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3D Systems, Hasbro Team To Bring 3D Printing To Playtime

As schools across the country are beginning to prepare children for what some have called “the next industrial revolution” by assimilating 3D printing technology into their curriculum, toy manufacturing giant Hasbro is planning to incorporate the technology into kids’ playtime.

The global toy company has struck a deal with leading 3D printer manufacturer and supplier 3D Systems to co-develop “new immersive, creative play experiences powered by 3D printing for children and their families.

“We believe 3D printing offers endless potential to bring incredible new play experiences for kids and we’re excited to work with 3D Systems, a recognized industry leader in this space,” Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner said.

The partnership combines Hasbro’s world-renowned portfolio of consumer brands, extensive play expertise and retail reach with 3D Systems’ portfolio of 3D printing products, platforms and perceptual devices to mainstream new and innovative play and co-creation experiences at home and online.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Hasbro, a premier, global, branded play company, to jointly define, shape and lead the entire digital play space, powered by 3D printing,” 3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental said.

 

Resources

  • shop.hasbro.com/worldwide
  • 3dsystems.com

Make It Fast And Make It Tiny – Two Photon Lithography

Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna) have built a 3D printer capable of making exquisitely intricate objects as tiny as a grain of sand, but it’s not the size of the objects that’s novel, it’s the speed at which they’re made which is unique.

Via a process known as “two-photon lithography,” the printer uses liquid resin which contain molecules that cause the liquid around them to harden into a polymer as they’re exposed to laser light.

So, you ask, how is that different from traditional stereolithography?

In order for this special polymer to be activated, the molecules require the absorption of two photons of light at once.

Since there’s only one location where the laser’s beam is intense enough to make that happen – right at its very center – the process allows for extreme precision during printing.

Two-photon lithography also allows for solid material to be created anywhere within the depth of the liquid resin rather than the layer-by-layer process used in traditional methods to obtain hardened material.

And aside from the proprietary resin involved, the TU Vienna printer takes advantage of a high-speed motorized mirror system to directs the beam of the laser within that resin, and the constant motion of the mirrors throughout the printing process cuts the acceleration and deceleration of the beam to the minimum, thus more time is spent actually creating the target object.

“The printing speed of two-photon lithography used to be measured in millimeters per second,” said Professor Jürgen Stampfl of TU Vienna. “Our device can do five meters in one second.”

Once the team works out the kinks in using a bio-compatible resin which is now under development, the team envisions it being used to create micro-scaffolding for use as a support structure capable of hosting a patient’s living cells.

In the video below, a replica of a race car 330 x 130 x 100µm3 in size is fabricated, and the finished product is made up of 100 layers, each made of an average of 200 polymer lines.

The entire piece is completed in just 4 minutes. The finished product matches the source CAD file to a precision of ±1µm.

 

 

Resources

  • tuwien.at
  • spie.org/news/4378-3d-molding-processes-based-on-two-photon-microfabrication?SSO=1
  • info.tuwien.ac.at/stampfl/index_en.html

The World Of Virtox And Voxels

Stijn van der Linden, perhaps better known in 3D printing circles as “Virtox,” is an artist and designer with an abiding passion for 3D printing.

Born and raised near Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the 36 year-old van der Linden is a self-taught 3D artist and programmer who began his love affair with computers at a very early age.

After completing his formal technical education as an electrical engineer, he landed a job as a software programmer, a career path he followed for the next ten years. During that period, van der Linden says he continually fought a nagging desire to become an artist and designer.

He spent much of his free time creating renderings and virtual photographs of non-existent objects until, at the end of 2008, he discovered the nascent art form of 3D printing via his purchase of a 3D printer of his own.

“I literally spent hours watching it work, and work and work, meticulously laying down layer after layer,” van der Linden said.

“Shortly thereafter, I saw the SLS machines at Shapeways in Eindhoven. They were even more impressive – it’s quite the factory.”

That discovery, and a couple of fortunate life events, led him to an opportunity to switch careers. He started an art and design studio and opened up a web shop very soon after.

These days, van der Linden works from a cozy corner of the living room/office he shares with his wife and toddler.

“Office hours are quite spread out over the day, as I also have the privilege to take care of our boy,” he says.

“It’s a bit hectic at times, so I often work very early mornings before the house wakes up. I work whenever I can during the day.”

The work he does during the day, creating amazing pieces which can seem at once art and impossible science and engineering, has become a bit of a phenomena.

One piece in particular, Gyro the Cube, has developed an admiring following which makes it one of the most popular items available on Shapeways.com.

When it was unveiled, it’s release led to van der Linden being accused of “fakery and witchcraft” by people who said his creation was simply impossible.

It’s a kinetic sculpture which wobbles and turns with a slight movement of the hand. A spin or puff of air creates an “erratic and wild behavior” in the piece, and people are quite simply mesmerized by seeing it in motion.

Composed of four concentric cubes, each cube spins around a different axis to create the object’s movement. The model does, according to van der Linden, need minor assembly: each inner cube has two small knobs which are placed into corresponding clamps in the parent cube. What you have when you’re finished is astonishing and lovely.

How cool is it? Cool enough to generate almost a million views of it working on YouTube

 

Resource

  • shapeways.com/shops/virtox

The Descent Into Genius Of Enrico Dini

“I’ve sacrificed my soul for this project…I’ve become a bastard.”

Enrico Dini is a robotics expert, an alchemist and a contrarian who has developed groundbreaking construction methods using 3D printing to robotically create houses and ocean reefs in solid stone.

He is also, in the mold of tormented geniuses who came before him like Preston Tucker and Nicola Tesla, balanced on the fine edge of madness and obsession.

Dini, the CEO and primum mobile of D-Shape, has a grand vision which has led him to suffer financial problems and dissolution of his family life in pursuit of his Holy Grail and his life’s work.

Dini built the world’s largest 3D printer from scratch, and with it he’s printed enormous sculptures, worked with the European Space Agency on a project to colonize the moon, turned a sand dune in the desert to stone, and very nearly printed his dream project – a small Italian house called a trullo.

Now Dini is the subject of a film chronicling his life, and with its release, he’s poised to become the first real public superstar of the 3D printing universe.

RadiolaraHis D-Shape machinery is capable of creating, from sandstone, full-sized buildings without the need for human intervention.

The 3D printing process Dini’s machine uses requires nothing more than sand and an inorganic binder to function, and Dini believes D-Shape has arrived at a methodology sure to upset the architectural design and building construction trades.

The Man Who Prints Houses, a film by Marc Webb and Jack Wake-Walker, tells his story, and it will make him a star…or a pariah.

After creating the largest 3D printer in the world, a machine which can create objects 18 feet across and just as tall, the final output is composed of 5 mm thick layered sections.

Dini says he takes his design inspiration from the work of famed Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi, and that he became a civil engineer as a result of that admiration.

In 2004, Dini invented and patented his full scale 3D printing method which uses epoxy to bind sand, and his journey began.

3D printed reefNow divorced from his wife and estranged from his son, only time will tell if Dini is ultimately vindicated in his quest for the Printed House.

“My boss said, ‘You are crazy, you will destroy yourself,'” Dini once said.

“I’ve put everything in my life into this project. It’s a revolution.”

It appears that prophecy has yet to be realized, but one thing is pretty certain; Enrico Dini will go down swinging.

Reference

  • d-shape.com

Matterhackers Opens 3D Printing Store And Releases Mattercontrol 0.7.6

MatterHackers, a major provider of personal 3D printer filament, has opened a retail 3D printing store in Orange County, California.

In addition to its enormous selection of 3D printing supplies, parts and accessories, the shop will carry the popular Airwolf and Type A Machines 3D printers.

“We had so many visitors to our facility, we figured, why not just open a store?” said Lars Brubaker, CEO of MatterHackers.

“We’ve had 3D artists who had gotten a printer and were printing out the things they had designed. Some were Hollywood designers that brought in really cool stuff from movies,” Brubaker noted.

“We’ve also had a lot of people who have small businesses around 3D printing, making plastic objects as part of their company’s offerings or creating various designs to put up on Etsy. One gentleman purchased a printer from us so he could print mechanical parts for his electric skateboards.”

At one time, Brubaker was the CEO of Reflexive Entertainment, which was acquired by Amazon in 2008. After a few years under the Amazon roof, the executive and software engineer was ready for something new. MatterHackers is the result.

“Amazon was great, but I missed being the one making the decisions,” quipped Brubaker. “I’m an entrepreneur. I like this kind of collaboration and development, where we are trying to build something.”

3D printing supplies and retail sales aren’t the only components of MatterHackers’ business strategy.

They are currently developing 3D printer control software with very advanced features for the open source community.

Known as MatterControl, an alpha version is available on the MatterHackers web site for testing.

The latest release, 0.7.6, includes ‘Plug and Print’ for Airwolf, Type A Machines and SeeMeCNC printers with support for more printers coming soon.

The new feature allows for automatic driver installation, slice settings pre-configuration, automatic printer detection, connection troubleshooting and calibration assistance. Version 0.7.6 also increases simplicity and adds integrated help.

MatterControl is part of a long term plan to reduce the ease-of-use gap between the proprietary software solutions provided with some printers and those available for RepRaps, their derivatives and all open source printers.

“One of our goals here is to make sure that the RepRap community has software that’s as professional as the programs these large companies are developing,” said Brubaker.

“We don’t want RepRap to fall behind from a software perspective. The open source community must remain strong, because they are a driving force in hardware advancement.”

Once MatterControl has reached the beta stage, it will include multiple modes. A simple mode will allow for settings such as speed, print quality and filament type.

An advanced mode will enable adjustment of every possible detail, from layer height to nozzle temperature. While that sounds intriguing, it’s the error correction that raises eyebrows.

By incorporating a ray tracing system, the software aims to make it possible to print things currently not considered printable.

This feature wouldn’t merely fix a model’s non-manifold edges. It would make multi-geometry figures, such as humanoid CGI characters, printable, without manually welding points or removing excess leftover mesh.

“Our slicing engine (MatterSlice) will be able to handle non-manifold objects completely, because we do a ray trace of an external volume of the surface,” explains Brubaker.

“For a 3D artist who says, ‘I made something that looks appropriate, I want to be able to print it and it’s not printing,’ MatterControl will print it, because that’s unacceptable.”

Imagine exporting a fully articulated, multi-geometry Max, Maya, Lightwave, C4D or Poser figure, then printing it without modification. A lofty goal, but one MatterHackers feels is worth pursuing.

Millions of modelers and artists from the CGI/animation side of 3D would be able to print their work without having to spend hours of frustration trying to reduce it to a single-geometry, water-tight shell.

MatterHackers plans to hook into Microsoft’s new 3D printing pipeline for Windows 8.1, but that will have no effect on the other operating systems they intend MatterControl to support.

The address for the new MatterHackers store is:

21098 Bake Parkway, Ste 106
Lake Forest, CA 92630

 

Resources

  • matterhackers.com/
  • etsy.com/
  • amazongames.com/en-us

Porsche Offers Free 3D Printable File Of Cayman S

Porsche wants to make your dreams come true.

As far as companies that can do that, Porsche probably ranks among the top.

That’s why the German sports car maker is offering a free 3D printable file of its Cayman S, the car the company claims lets you follow the code of the curve.

“Feel free to get creative,” the Porsche Web site encourages. “Create, print and colorize your personal Cayman S. We would love to see the results.”

You can print your model right at home to whatever size your printer allows.

No, your model probably won’t go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, but at least it won’t set you back $52,000 for the stripped down, bare bones version.

All the company asks in return for the free file is that you share a picture of the creation with them.

 

Reference:

  • porsche.com/international/cayman_3d/

3D Printed Models Of “ENDER’S GAME” Spaceships Offered

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Sandboxr and Summit Entertainment Team Up for Unique Merchandising Venture

Fans of the major motion picture “Ender’s Game” can order exclusive replica battleships from the film generated by cutting-edge three-dimensional printing technology by visiting sandboxr.com.

The plans for the ships come directly from the files used for the movie produced by Summit, a subsidiary of industry giant Lionsgate Media.

That means it doesn’t get any more authentic than this for memorabilia collectors, Sandboxr spokeswoman Rebecca Lee said.

She also noted that visitors to the site can expect more content and features to be unlocked over the coming weeks. Currently battleships range from $19.99 for a 3-inch model to $39.99 for a 4-inch model and $59.99 for a 5-inch-version.

The ships also come with free, standard display bases, but premium bases are available for an additional charge.

“This is the first 3D experience of this type to coincide with a major cinematic movie release, and Summit is excited to work with Sandboxr to offer this amazing experience and great new technology to our ‘Ender’s Game’ fans,” Nancy Kirkpatrick, Summit’s president of worldwide marketing, said.

“Ender’s Game” tells the story of how a shy, but strategically brilliant boy named Ender Wiggin leads Earth’s forces against an alien invasion in the near future.

Asa Butterfield, of “Hugo” and “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” plays the title role alongside Ben Kingsley, of “Iron Man 3” fame, and Harrison Ford, from too many blockbusters to mention.

Sandboxr, which launched in Salt Lake City in 2011, offers an application that allows people who don’t own a 3D printer and who have never seen 3D modeling or CAD software to create impressive 3D printed scenes, as if they were movie directors or photographers.

3D Printing Speeds: 10 Speed Settings Tips To Print Faster

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Not sure what’s the best speed for your 3D printing project? Do you want to know how to figure out the perfect 3D print speed?

Beginners usually find themselves experimenting with printing speed because they aren’t sure how to choose the correct setting for their project.

However, aside from delaying production, poor printing speeds could also lead to imperfections and flawed outputs.

Thus, it’s something you should be sure of whenever you do your 3D object, especially if it’s for rapid prototyping.

If you need to learn more about setting your printing speeds, you are just on the right page. By the end of this article, you will know how to determine the perfect speed to produce a quality 3D printed object. Also, I will give you several tips if you want to print faster.

So, let’s get started!

What Is 3D Printing Speed?

3D printing speed is the main speed setting when you are 3D printing.

It refers to how fast your 3D printer’s motor moves, including the X- and Y-axis control and the extruder motor. It is usually measured in seconds (unit of time) and kg, mm or cm3 (unit of manufactured material).

You can download a print speed test model to test your printer’s speed. The test model comes with instructions on adjusting the correct settings because the model linked will essentially print the same shape at gradually increasing speeds, allowing you to see for yourself the optimal setting to achieve a flawless output.

There are many factors when we talk about printing speeds like retraction speed, travel speed and more.

Retraction speed is the speed at which the extruder motor drives back the filament. A good retraction speed is between 1200-6000 mm/min (20-100 mm/s) where retraction performs best. When the retraction speed is too fast, the drive gear may grind away pieces of the filament.

Travel speed is the moving speed of the print head during non-printing status. It refers to the movement of the print head without squeezing the printing material out from the nozzle.

When travel speed is too slow, it could lead to stringing issues on the 3D printed object. A good travel speed for a 3D printer is 100 millimeters per second. But the optimum travel speed might differ for each 3D printer.

Here’s why you should aim for the accurate speed:

When the print speed is too slow, it could cause deformation due to the nozzle sitting on the plastic for too long. And when the speed is too fast, it results in ringing, which is caused by overly excessive vibrations.

Also, when you go too fast, the extruder might not be able to keep up and end extruding less filament than it should.

Hitting the sweet spot will enable the 3D printer to work fast, accurately, and flawlessly without sacrificing the quality of the output.

Print speeds and quality go hand-in-hand; that’s why it’s very important to use the right speed to achieve the desired results.

Overall, you will get a better quality output if you use a lower speed than a higher speed. However, that is only true when your 3D printer is not operating at its optimal conditions.

Also, some would argue that printing speed doesn’t impact print quality. That’s because other factors directly impact the print quality, which is as follows:

Type of 3D printer

The type of 3D printer will also affect the quality of the 3D prints without being influenced by the print speed.

A high-quality 3D printer can be set in a high-speed setting and achieve first-class quality 3D prints.

However, if you use a 3D printer of lower quality with the same speed, you won’t get the same high-quality results.

Type Of 3D Printing Material

The speed will be faster when using a high-quality support material because you do not need to keep unclogging the nozzle.

Also, you do not need to deal with support material getting stuck.

When you are done printing, you will remove the material without reducing the print quality.

How Fast Is A 3D Printer?

Several factors could affect a 3D printer’s speed and it’s necessary that you are aware of them, so you will have the proper expectations from your machine on how fast it could work.

Regardless of whether you are using a slow 3D printer or the fastest 3D printers, several factors directly affect how fast your printer could finish a certain project.

Let’s get into more details below.

Resolution of the 3D printed part

Part of the process before 3D printing is slicing the model into layers on a 3D slicer such as Cura or Repetier-Host.

The more layers, the thinner each layer and the longer it will take to print. For instance, a part printed with 50-micron layers will have twice as many layers as the same part printed with 100-micron layers and take twice as long at the same speed.

Quality of print

Theoretically, you could run a budget 3D printer at its maximum speed — make it work at extremely high speed.

However, do not expect it to yield a result the same as on your slicer. Instead, it will probably result in a mess because the speed was too fast.

Some 3D printers, especially fast 3D printers, can handle high-speed 3D printing, but others don’t, especially budget 3D printers with limited capacity.

3D printing technology

The technology used is another factor that affects the speed. Resin 3D printers are faster than FDM 3D printers.

Yes, that’s true; even expensive FDM printers are slower than low-cost LCD 3D printers.

Aside from resin technologies used in SLA, DLP and LCD 3D printers, the fastest 3D printing technologies include Multi Jet Fusion.

Here’s an overview of the different printing speeds of the different 3D printing technology.

TechnologyNormal speedMaximum speed (claimed)
DLP/SLA20-36 mm/sec720 mm/sec
FDM50-150 mm/sec500 mm/sec
SLS48 mm/sec60 mm/sec
Multi Jet Fusion2800 cm³/hr to 4000 cm3/hr4500 cm3/hr

Materials or type of filaments use

3D printers cater to different filaments — ABS, PLA, PVA, PET, metal, sandstone, conductive PLA and more.

However, the filaments mentioned above have different complexity.

Some are easier to print than others because they put less demand on the printer and make it print faster.

Model’s complexity

The 3D object you are about to print could also affect the speed of your machine. Printing a simple box will be easier for a 3D printer to finish than an intricate 3D printed jewelry piece.

Printing a larger object that’s not complex could make the printer work at a faster print speed without significant loss of quality because there are no intricate details needed.

However, the more complex or intricate the model, the more slow the speed is to ensure that it could follow the design as it is.

Infill settings

This factor affects the amount of materials extruded — depending on the level of the infill percentage; it could be between 10% to 100%. Infill settings affect the 3D printing space depending on the complexity.

The more complex the pattern, the longer it will take to finish printing. The effect of infills on printing speeds is through density.

A heavy density infill could promote the strength of the model. However, it also means that 3D printing will take more time or the printing speed is slower.

Size of print

Obviously, the larger the object to 3D print, the longer it will take for the 3D printer to finish. A full-size vase printed using an FDM printer could take 12 hours or more. But a small statue could only take under an hour.

It is true, provided that the two models are not very complex and have a significant difference in their sizes.

Nozzle size

For FDM 3D printers, the nozzle size matters in speed and performance. Smaller nozzles are great for working on models with intricate details.

Larger nozzles are not the best when printing objects with intricate details, but they can print faster.


How Fast Can The Fastest 3D Printer Print

There are a lot of fast 3D printers on the market today and the fastest FDM 3D printer — WASP 2040 PRO Turbo — could work as fast as 500mm/s.

Some said it could even print faster than that. Another great thing about it is that it is extremely accurate. However, DLP/SLA printers will always work faster than the fastest FDM 3D printer.

What Is A Good 3D Printing Speed

In 3D printing, everything is about speed — be it print speed, retraction speed, travel speed, low speed. Yes, everything revolves around speed. Thus, it is critical to get the right print speed to get a good print.

Here’s the recommended setting:

For slow 3D printers, it’s best to use 40 mm per second to 80mm per second. Mid-speed printers work best with 100mm per second. If you want to print faster, you can go 150mm per second. Fast-speed 3D printers can work beyond 150mm per second.

But you should note that there is no general print speed that works for all. There are many things that you need to consider to get the best print speed for your 3D desktop printer.

Here are some factors to consider:

Model’s outer wall. You should ask yourself, “how fast do you want the exterior of your model to be printed?” If your priority is surface quality, you better reduce the speed or opt for lower print speed settings.

Interior walls. For the interior, it is recommended that you use the same print speed in printing the overall model. The 3D printer speed needs to reduce the print time without lowering the 3D print strength.

Infill printing speed. For this, you also need to reduce printing time without compromising stability.

Bottom and top layers. For the last speed setting, you have to consider the top and bottom layers, and the best option is to go for a slightly lower print speed for better surface quality.


Print Speed Settings for PLA, ABS & More

Finding the right speed can be quite challenging, especially if you are new to 3D printing.

But after a bit of trial and error, you will surely be able to find what works best for your 3D printer’s software and hardware.

The different 3D printing materials have different recommended print settings.

Here’s the good print speed for PLA, ABS, and more, so you will know how to get started when using them. You can refer to the following section for that.

PLA

What is a good 3D printing speed for PLA? When using PLA, you can start in the 40-60 mm/s range. It will give a good balance of print quality and speed.

However, depending on your 3D printer type, stability and set-up, you can increase the speed up to 100 mm/s. Some achieved great results at a higher speed, but the quality of your printer matters too.

ABS

A good print speed for ABS is typically similar to PLA between 40-60 mm/s. However, you can increase if you have an enclosure around your printer.

You can print ABS filament at a speed of 60 mm/s and keep the first layer speed to 70% of that and see if it will work for you. It works well for adhesion in some cases, ensuring that enough plastic is extruded out of the nozzle for proper and safe adhesion.

PETG

For PETG filament, a good print speed starts in the range of 50-6- mm/s. The filament could rise to string issues, so some will usually opt for 40 mm/s, and according to them, they find good results. PETG is a blend of ABS and PLA; that’s why the recommended print speed is not too far from the two’s recommended settings.

TPU

If you are using TPU, you can start with a speed between 15 mm/s to 30 mm/s. The filament is soft and should be printed much slower than the average filament. But if you are using a Direct Drive extrusion system, you can increase the speed to about 40 mm/s.

You can go a bit higher from the recommended speed of 15 – 30 mm/s and experiment. But then again, always remember that this is best printed at a low speed.

NYLON

A good 3D print speed for nylon is between 30 mm/s to 60 mm/s, but most print with 40 mm/s for great quality and great details. You can also go higher, like 70 mm/s, because it is still sustainable if you increase the nozzle temperature side by side.


10 Tips to Get the Best Print Speed Calculation

Print speed setting is important because it helps you to improve print quality, dimensional accuracy, and print strength.

In addition, it reduces problems such as warping or curling.

Yes, speed is very important because it has to do with your 3D printed model’s quality, accuracy and strength. With the right print setting, you can strike a perfect balance to achieve the three.

Here are some tips to increase print speed from 3D printerly. However, you should note that some of them might affect the quality of your print.

1. Increase print speed in slicer settings

Find the balance of your print speed in the slicer settings. It will be very helpful, especially if you depend on how big the print is because the size of the object is relatively related to printing time. Again, experiment to find the perfect balance of speed and quality, and in time, you will find it.

2. Adjust acceleration and jerk settings

Jerk settings refer to how fast the print head moves from a still position. When setting this, you want its movement to be smooth and fast at the same time.

You can test jerk settings by printing the vibration test cube and seeing whether the vibrations are visible on each axis by inspecting the corners, edges and letters on the cube.

Acceleration settings are how the print head gets to its top speed. A low acceleration means that the printer won’t get its top speed with smaller prints. Acceleration depends on several factors and is not the same in all of your 3D printing projects.

According to AK Eric, who did the test, comparing low jerk values (10) to high ones (40) on a 60 mm/sec speed made no difference in print speed. However, the lower value had better quality.

Increasing the speed at 120 mm/sec decreased printing time by 25% but at the expense of the quality. So, you can use the print speed settings to get what you want, but you might have to choose between speed and quality.

3. Infill pattern

For this, you can choose an infill pattern that prints faster than the others to save much time on increasing the print speed. The best has to be the “lines” pattern due to its simplicity and lower number of movements compared to other patterns. Depending on your model, the infill pattern can save you up to 25% of printing time.

The infill pattern is the strength of your model. It’s the honeycomb pattern. The more detailed it is, the more time it will take, because it will include more turns and movements to follow the pattern. If you want to print fast, you can adjust the infill pattern not to be that high.

4. Infill density

Density is what’s inside your print. An infill density of 0% means that the inside of the model is hallow. On the other hand, a 100% density infill means the inside will be solid. The density could depend on the purpose of the model.

For example, if you want a functional print, you should not sacrifice infill density to achieve the strength of the model. However, if it’s for aesthetics, it’s up to you to go all out for the density or skip it and focus on speed to reduce the print time.

5. Wall Thickness/shells

There is a relationship between the wall thickness or shells and density, so you should consider the other when adjusting either one. The good thing is getting a good ratio will help you achieve a great structure.

The thicker the wall, the longer the print till will be. To speed up the printing time, you can decrease the number of shells or perimeters of your prints in the settings.

You can play around with the print speed settings to find the perfect number, so you can maintain the strength while keeping it low to speed up the printing time.

6. Dynamic layer height/adaptive layer settings

You can adjust the layer height depending on the angle. Cura has this feature called adaptive layers or dynamic layer height.

It can improve the print speed and save you a decent amount of time compared to using the traditional layer method.

For example, 3D printing a chess piece without the adaptive layers setting takes 2 hours and 13 minutes.

However, using this featured in the speed settings could reduce the printing time by up to 30% down to 1 hour and 33 minutes.

7. Print multiple objects

To speed up the process, you can utilize all the space in the printer bed rather than doing one print at a time. To make it possible, use the center and arrange function in the slicer.

It will make a significant difference in the printing speed. However, this method might not apply to big prints.

Printing small objects will allow you to copy and paste the design multiple times on the print bed and print them all together simultaneously to speed up the entire process. Those who have tried this approach agreed that printing multiple objects could increase the speed.

8. Remove support

If your 3D object doesn’t need support, the printing time will be shorter. You can eliminate the need for support in many cases when you split the model in the right place and orient them properly.

So use the best orientation for your model, and you’ll definitely reduce the printing time. It is perfect if you want to increase printing speed.

9. Use a large nozzle when practical

Another great way to speed up the printing time is to use a large nozzle. However, doing so might not apply to all models and could reduce your print quality.

Using a large nozzle might not work when you are printing intricate models. But if your 3D objects are not as complex or intricate, go for a large nozzle to increase the printing speed.

There are many sizes of nozzles to choose from. Choose one that is most appropriate for your model.

• 4x 0.2mm nozzles
• 4x 0.3mm nozzles
• 36x 0.4mm nozzles
• 4x 0.5mm nozzles
• 4x 0.6mm nozzles
• 4x 0.8mm nozzles
• 4x 1mm nozzles
• 10 cleaning needles

10. Increase layer height

The lower the layer height, the better the quality of your prints, but the longer the 3D printing time takes. If quality is not the top priority, you can increase the layer height and improve the printing speed.


Conclusion

You have to familiarize your printer and explore its print speed settings to get the optimal speed and enjoy quality outputs without the unnecessary long wait.

There are many ways to increase print speeds like using a large nozzle and reducing layer thickness, but always consider the results because when the printer works too fast, it might not achieve the quality you desire.

Also, always remember that the different 3D printing technologies offer different 3D printing speeds. SLA printers will always work faster, even when compared to the fastest FDM 3D printer.

The printing speed will affect the quality of your 3D printed object, so always make sure to strike the right balance, so you will achieve the strength, quality, and look you desire for your 3D project.

If you wish to learn more about 3D printing, better check our 3d printing home page.

 

References

  • 3dprinterly.com/best-print-speed-settings-for-3d-printing/
  • 3dprinterly.com/8-ways-how-to-speed-up-your-3d-printer-without-losing-quality/
  • 3dsourced.com/3d-printers/fastest-3d-printer/
  • rigid.ink/blogs/news/3d-printing-basics-how-to-get-the-best-results-with-pla-filament
  • the3dprinterbee.com/3d-printer-speed/
  • 3dsolved.com/3d-printing-speed-vs-quality/
  • m3dzone.com/3d-printing-speed/
  • all3dp.com/2/3d-printing-speed-optimal-settings/
  • all3dp.com/3d-printing-speed/
  • 3dsourced.com/3d-printers/fastest-3d-printer/
  • dyzedesign.com/2018/07/3d-print-speed-calculation-find-optimal-speed/
  • thingiverse.com/thing:277394

3D Printable Art: How Do Artists Use 3D Printing?

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Can 3D printers be used for art? How do artists use 3D printers?

The best 3D printers have been proven very useful in almost all industries, including the arts.

Yes, some artists also use 3D printing technology for their artworks.

If you are interested in using additive manufacturing in your arts, you are just on the right page!

I will be sharing with you how an artist uses 3D printing to take their works to the next level. You will surely be surprised to know the wonders of 3D printing, especially as your partner in your next artwork.

Can You 3d Print Artwork?

Even art adapts to the changes in technology that’s why there is 3D art.

And with that said, yes, 3D printing artwork is possible. You can use 3D printing to create artwork.

Some artists are already using this technology to channel their artistic side.

Even those renowned for their creativity and innovation. Artists can use 3D printing to further their creativity.

A 3D printing machine has the means to help artists do almost anything they have in mind. Also, 3D printing works in different sectors of art. In the next section, we will share details on how various artists use 3D printing for their craft and businesses.

How Is 3D Printing Used In Art?

How can 3D printing be used in art? In this section, I’ll show you concrete examples to answer your questions.

As mentioned, 3D printing makes an artist and a designer more creative. It allows them to explore their artistry at great lengths because 3D printers are versatile.

It allows them to design exactly what they have in mind for whatever purpose it may serve, be it for production, new equipment, or sculptures and artworks.

Here is a list of artists who use 3D printing in their field of artwork.

Visual Arts

One of the most obvious uses of 3D printing is in visual arts. In fact, you will find 3D-printed art installations and sculptures virtually anywhere.

The good thing with additive manufacturing technology is that it gives an artist more freedom to produce even the most complex structures easily and in a much lesser time. With 3D printing, you will just work on a CAD design and feed it into the 3D printer.

Here are some of the unique visual arts produced by 3D printers.

Joshua Harker

Source: Josh Harker

Josh Harker is responsible for 3D printed, sugar-like skulls.

The digital artist is also considered the father of 3D printing art due to his innovative approach to sculpture design.

He is the pioneer and visionary in 3D art and sculpture. He combines CT and 3D scans to create accurate facial and skeletal structures using plastics.

“Bolstered by the advent of organic modeling software, 3D printing technologies and material engineering, my visions are now able to be realized sculpturally in archival materials,” Harker said about using 3D printing in his work.

“Never before have forms of this organic complexity been able to be created. This boon of technology is a revolutionary time for the arts and one which will be boldly marked in history. I am honored to be considered one of the pioneers in the medium.”

Kate Blacklock

Source: Kate Blacklock

Kate Blacklock is popular in 3D printed ceramics. The Providence-based artist has an undergraduate degree from the University of California and an MFA from The Rhode Island School of Design (RSID).

She has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rhode Island College. She also co-chaired the Ceramics Department at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Blacklock’s studio work has moved from sculptural to functional ceramics to 3D printing, photography, and painting.

You can see the different works of art she created using a powder and binder printer on her website. The ceramics are all glazed and inspired by the Vessel Series of paintings and some of them are available for sale in her shop.

Danny van Ryswyk

Source: Danny van Ryswyk

Ryswyk is a Dutch digital painter and sculptor. He produces prints and 3D sculptures of moody and contemplative characters, often with dark themes and settings. You can find most of his works on Instagram.

He produces unique artwork by reflecting the essence of art through one’s emotional responses.

His works combine mystical fascination, extraterrestrial experience, and deep passion wrapped into a dark fantastic figure with steampunk style or Gothic atmosphere.

The nature of his artworks reflected in their names like “Close to madness,” “Deleted Souls,” “Black Flame,” and “Tender Loving Darkness,” to name a few.


Music

3D printing has also made a way to be as useful in the world of music. Musicians have already started 3D printing instruments because the process can build more elaborate, personalized equipment without the long wait and expensive cost.

Here are some of the musicians who use additive manufacturing technology in a different level of creativity.

Gilles Azzaro

Source: Gilles Azzaro

The French artist Azzaro thought of making a sound permanent through the use of 3D printers.

He records voice recordings of sound waves and transforms them into what many thought was impossible — tangible structures!

Among his most popular works are the cries of his pal’s newborn baby and former president Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address.

Olaf Diegel

Olaf Diegel was a sound engineer and professor who switched careers to become a 3D printer guru. He took his love for music to create ODD Guitars — his line of customizable 3D printed electric guitars.

For those interested, he explains on his website how he designs and processes the customizable guitars he produces.


Theater

3D printing has a massive application in theater arts, where live performers present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience.

In theater, there are tons of props and materials needed to bring a set-up appropriate for a scene, but 3D printing makes it easy. 3D printers can even print a house. It also makes set pieces, props, customers more accessible because you can just 3D print all of them.

Here are some 3D printing applications in theaters.

Wasp used in opera

WASP was used to print the scenery of the “Fra Diavolo” play of the “Opera” Theater in Rome. The 3D printed scenography for a theater play was the first of its kind.

Initially, 3D printers have been used to create masks and furniture components but not a scenic stage before the “Fra Diavolo” play directed by Giorgio Barberio Corsetti, and conducted by Rory McDonald, on Oct. 8, 2017.

To do so, WASP mounted a Delta WASP 3MT Industrial 3D printer next to the entrance of the Roman Opera and it worked until Oct. 8.

“We are sure that what we experienced for the first time how to perform a scene in the technique of the future: 3d print,” said Carlo Fourtes. “Moreover, the story of theatrical performance has always been a story of inventions and experimentation of techniques and materials.”

“Today 3d printing is already present in all design work but also in building elements in various productive areas. Here, for the first time, thanks to WASP’s commitment and work, it is employed to build the scenery of a lyric.”

Massimo Moretti, the WASP founder, said the Opera Theater presented them a very risky challenge because 3D printing had never been applied to such a large size project. They used cheap materials and the output could easily be recycled when the scenery would no longer serve its purpose.

The University of Lynchburg uses 3D printing in production.

Christopher Otwell, an Assistant Professor of Design and Technical Director at the university uses 3D printing to help them with props and set design. 3D printing enables them to produce realistic models with little expense.

“3D printers have just revolutionized theater,” he said per Trimech. “If you have the time, you can make exactly what you want.”

ASU Theatre for Ajax Costumes. Arizona State University’s

Makerspace, located in the Hayden Library, is a space dedicated to students where they can explore new skills. The ASU students used a MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printer to create costumes for the production of Ajax.

The students needed to add teeth to their costumes to make them look real and 3D printing made it easy for them to achieve it. Otherwise, they would have had to outsource or fabricate the teeth and likely increase the cost.

“I emphasize to my students that they should use technology to solve a problem,” said Sarah Lankenau, Clinical Assistant Professor of Costume Technology at ASU. “With the maker movement and the emergence of these makerspaces, it’s become such an open and collaborative community.”


Dance

3D printing is also applicable in dancing. While it may sound absurd at first, the technology is helpful to dancers in customizing their footwear so that they will enjoy their performance from start to finish.

Several dancers struggle to perfect their routine due to uncomfortable costumes or footwear, which sometimes leave them bleeding, bruised, or worse, injured. But 3D printers can give dancers the perfect footwear to help them love each minute of their practice up to their performance day!

Hadar Neerman

Hadar Neerman is a graduate from Israel’s national school of art at the Bezalel Academy of Art and has designed personalized pointe shoes using additive manufacturing technology.

Each pointe shoe is designed exactly as the dancer’s foot contour. Whatever the shape of the ballerina’s feet is, her shoe will be designed to fit her perfectly.

“I learned about pointe shoes and the more I got into the field, the more I realized that there was a lot of potential for improving the existing shoe and improving the quality of life of the dancers.”

Neerman designs them by scanning the dancer’s foot via a phone app. She will then create a digital model of the shoe, including the personalized features. The sole can be modeled or printed using a lattice structure from an elastomeric polymer to fit an individual foot perfectly.


Cinema

Aside from using 3D printing for customs, props, and sets in a theatrical play, it is also used to precisely design end products. For example, in cinemas, it is used to replace broken equipment because it is cheaper and faster.

Here are some of the applications of 3D printing in the movie industry and some of them you might have missed. So, let’s get started!

Hela Costume in Thor: Ragnarok

If you are a Marvel fan, you have probably watched Chris Hemsworth’s movie “Thor: Ragnarok.” In the film, Cate Blanchett, who played Hela, Thor’s half-sister, also popularly known a the Goddess of Death, wears a black headpiece.

The costume was actually 3D printed using SLS technology and composite powder reinforced with carbon fibers, so it is light and stable.

Also, to make it perfect for Blanchett, the manufacturer used 3d scanners to scan her head to achieve the perfect size and shape best suited for the actress. It was printed in several parts and put together as what Marvel wanted it.

Thor’s Mjölnir in Thord: The Dark World

The God of Thunder is known for his hammer called Mjölnir, which only he can support. So, where did the production get Thor’s Mjölnir? Yes, your right, they 3D printed the Mjölnir.

The prop was 3D printed using the Binder Jetting process and polymer powders on a printer from the manufacturer Voxeljet. The 3D printing process allows an incredible amount of detailing to achieve the look and feel of the hammer suited for a God.

Queen Ramonda of Wakanda’s costume in Black Panther

There is no doubt that Marvel is a fan of 3D printing technology because they use the same approach in designing the costume of Queen Ramonda of Wakanda in the 2018 superhero movie Black Panther.

Artists Julia Koerner and Ruth E. Carter were behind the design. 3D printing technology is often preferred because it allows designers to manufacture custom models in a short timeframe.

3D Natives also learned that the production is integrating Artec 3D’s 3D scanning solutions in customizing a Lexus LC 500 for Black Panther 2, scheduled for a 2022 release.

“For fashion in general, it’s the ease of wearing and aesthetics that count, while costume design must also take into account the story, the actors, the set, post-production, etc,” said Julia Körner, known for her 3D printed collections and the creation of the 3D costumes for the American blockbuster “Black Panther.”

Iron Man’s 3D printed suits

One of the most well-loved and popular superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Robert Downey’s Jr.’s Iron Man.

I’m pleased to tell you that the production also used 3D printing technology to bring to life Tony Stark’s impressive costumes.

In the movie series, Stark creates his costume. But behind cameras, special effects studio Legacy Effects designed the prosthetic makeup, animatronics, and special suits for the superheroes.

Marvel opted to use 3D printers because it saves time and cuts costs. The 3D Printed Iron-Man suits are created within the Maker community.

Filmmaker Gilles-Alexandre Deschaud, a 3D designer with more than 10 years of experience and best known for his short film “Chase Me” — in which all characters and props are 3D printed — has nothing but good things to say about 3D printing’s contribution to cinematography.

“3D printing allows two main things: a considerable time-saving in the production of elements (thus a significant financial gain) and a gain in quality. The models printed in 3D can be very precise and detailed. It is also easy to do iterations to improve the part or correct things,” he said per 3D Natives.


How Has 3D Printing Changed Art?

3D printing changed the game for artists and designers big time. Contrary to the belief that 3D printing takes artists’ work, the technology actually enables them to perfect their craft.

For that reason, many designers and artists use 3D printing technology for fashion, jewelry, and more. Many also use the technology for their prototype! So here are some examples of how technology changed art per Invaluable.

1. Building Maquettes

Source: Kevin Caron

Kevin Caron of Kevin Caron Studious in Phoenix, Arizona, uses a 3D printer to expand his techniques as a sculptor.

He also uses them to create models or little versions of his works.

“I use them as models, or maquettes, to show patrons,” he said.

“It’s something to have on their desks to show off while a sculpture is being created.”

Also, 3D printing models help him find answers to some questions before labor, money, and time are spent.

“Will a sculpture stand up? How does it look compared to what I expected?” are two of the questions that a smaller model can help him answer before working on the big or actual size.

2. Efficiency and Accuracy

Source: Cosmo Wenman

Southern California sculptor Cosmo Wenman uses 3D printing, scanning, and design to incorporate digital techniques in their traditional workflows.

He usually works on life-size sculptures in bronze, portrait sculpture, and ancient artifacts.

“In my work, 3D printing is just an intermediate step that is mixed with conventional workflows, and the final works typically show no traces of their digital origins,” Wenman said about the 3D printing.

“It may look like a traditional work, but my clients know they were made faster, more economically, and with more precision and versatility than would have been possible with conventional techniques.”

He also took pride in how the technology helped him produce a life-sized bronze cast of a gorilla, chimp, orangutan and gibbon for the National Zoo while preserving the intricate details, including fingerprints.

“This kind of detail would not have been practical without 3D scanning and printing,” he said.

3. 3D printed art is the future

Artists and designers are expected to use 3D printing in the future. The technology is expected to make things easier for them because it allows them to focus on creativity and conceptualization instead of the actual work.

“I can focus on the art rather than reproduction. It’s particularly useful in bronze casting, eliminating the steps of mold making and wax castings to create the master patterns. I’d been practicing Surrealist automatism through the 1980s and 1990s, but the associated two-dimensional work I was creating was too complex to create three-dimensionally.” said Harker, a pioneer in 3D printed art and sculpture.

“My pursuit of a process to develop these visions sculpturally culminated after nearly 20 years in a perfect storm of software development, materials engineering, and 3D printed technology advancements.” said Harker.


​​How Do You Make A 3D Sculpture?

Digital sculpting, sculp modeling, or 3D sculpting is the use of software that offers tools to push, pull, smooth, grab, pinch or manipulate a digital object as if it were made of a real-life substance such s clay. The creative process enables artists to end up with photorealistic detail.

Here’s an overview of what to do to create a 3D sculptor.

1. Sculpt a base using a sphere in ZBrush.

2. Tweak the pose to have better control and start sculpting using DynaMesh.

3. Create the mold. Mask the noisy area, extract it and use a low-poly sphere like a NanoMesh over the extracted area. And randomized the placement to create the moldy feeling.

4. Finalize the model and texture. You can use XMD brushes for the damages and old cracks.

5. Use Corona Renderer to build the material fast and work on the lookdev to achieve the result you need. Explore the setting to achieve the translucency and other attributes that you want to add to your artwork.

6. Add lights to create a dramatic scene.

7. Composition and rendering. Composition is very important because it guides the viewers’ eyes to the areas you wish to emphasize. For rendering, Corona Renderer’s default settings are already very good.

8. Polish. Once you are done with the previous steps, it’s time to re-examine your work. You can control the tones, contrast, brightness and other factors. Adjust if necessary to achieve the look you want.

You can check this out for more detailed instructions.


Wrap Up

3D printing doesn’t take away artists’ and designers’ jobs. Instead, it helps them be more creative, aesthetic, and artistic because it gives them the opportunity to focus more on conceptualization, and enables them to achieve complex designs and artworks that are close to impossible in the traditional approach.

3D printing is a huge help in the art industry. It revolutionized the process by allowing artists to be ahead of the game.

For instance, creating small models of their artwork could help them decide how to manage it before spending on the labor, time and materials for the actual thing that might fail.

Overall, 3D printing proves to be great too for artists in their crafts. If you wish to learn more about 3D printing, check our 3D printing home page.

 

References

  • 3dnatives.com/en/3d-printing-cinema-040820204/
  • 3dnatives.com/en/top-applications-3d-printing-movie-industry-090720214/#!
  • invaluable.com/blog/3d-printing/
  • 3duniverse.org/2019/01/17/5-ways-artists-use-3d-printing/
  • voxeljet.com/case-studies/art-and-design/3d-printing-the-future-of-prop-manufacturing/
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_sculpting
  • 3dnatives.com/en/interview-julia-korner160720184/
  • 3dnatives.com/en/3d-printing-cinema-040820204/
  • joshharker.com/
  • invaluable.com/blog/surrealism-defined/

3D Printing Purpose: What Is A 3D Printer Used For? How Does 3D Printing Work Step By Step?

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What exactly is 3D printing? What is 3D printing and how does it work? What is 3D printing used for nowadays? Do you need one?

I often hear a lot of questions about 3D printing and I understand. 3D printing technology is experiencing growing popularity because of its wide array of applications.

This technology is very helpful in business, education, medicine, construction and more industries.

I understand that you want to have a depth understanding of 3D printing purposes and I’m here to assist you.

I’ll address most of the concerns related to 3D printing to help you understand this innovative technology that is bound to change how things operate today for the better.

I’m pretty sure you will be pleased once you get to know more about it. Actually, being impressed with this technology is an understatement because it is mind-blowing.

The 3D printing industry is growing because 3D printing technologies are superb. So, let’s get started!

What Is 3D Printing And Its Types?

Let’s start by defining 3D printing. You are probably asking yourself, “What is the concept of 3D printing?”

3D printing or three-dimensional printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a digital design.

As the name suggests, it creates a three-dimensional object. You can think of it as the opposite of a subtractive manufacturing process.

In the latter, a final design is cut from a larger block of material. With additive manufacturing, the material is built layer by layer and it creates less material wastage.

3D printing has many applications because it produces something that you can touch and use. They are popularly used for rapid prototyping because they work fast, cut costs, and enable you to alter the design conveniently.

With 3D printing, you only need to alter the model or its digital file and feed it to the 3D printer to get the new object. And voila! you will see the changes you made, whether it’s minimal or not, once the 3D printing machine is done with the job.


What Is 3D Printing In Simple Words?

If it’s still difficult for you to understand, you can also think of it this way — it uses a 3D printer that works like the regular inkjet printer.

The latter uses ink to print text, graphics, and images that can be used for brochures, flyers, or documents.

3D printing materials are plastic or filament. The printer will melt the plastic and forms the object based on the 3D model layer by layer so that you will end up with a three-dimensional object in your hand.

Yes, 3D printing delivers an object with weight, height, and volume. You can touch it and even use it. You can 3D print a desk organizer and it will work as it should.

You can also 3D print tools like scissors, pliers, hammers or wrenches and expect them to serve their purpose. Yes, 3D printing is that powerful!

So, what is the objective of 3D printing? To deliver a 3D-printed object that you can touch, feel and use!

If you have a 3D printer and need something, not on hand, let the machine do its magic. It can give you anything you need, provided that you have the 3D model for that object.


What Benefits Does 3D Printing Provide?

• Cuts cost
• Reduces waste
• Fast turn around time
• Makes customization easy and convenient

There are different types of 3D printers and they work differently — Fused Deposition Modeling FDM and Selective Laser Sintering SLS

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

FDM is widely used type of 3D printing at the consumer level.

It works by extruding filaments such as ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), PLA (Polylactic Acid) through a heated nozzle.

It melts the material and applies the plastic layer by layer to a build platform until the part is complete.

FDM 3D printers are well-suited for basic proof-of-concept models and quick and low-cost prototyping of simple parts.

SLA 3D Printing (SLA)

Stereolithography was the world’s first 3D printing technology.

It was invented in the 1980s and remained one of the most popular technologies for professionals.

SLA 3D printers use a laser or UV light to cure liquid resin into hardened plastic in a process called photopolymerization

SLA resin 3D printers are very popular for producing highly-detailed prototypes with smooth surfaces.

Also, its formulation offers you a wide range of optical, mechanical, and thermal properties to match the standard, engineering, and industrial thermoplastics.

It is widely used in engineering and product design to manufacturing, dentistry, jewelry, model design, and education.

You might also hear about selective laser sintering, direct metal laser sintering, metal laser sintering dmls, digital light processing, selective laser melting and more in when it comes to 3D printing. If you are interested in these terms, check this out.


What Is The Basic Principle Of 3D Printing?

All 3D printers work similarly because they are built with the same basic principle — it starts with a digital model and will be molded by adding the material layer by layer.

Compared to the traditional manufacturing technologies like subtractive (CNC machining) and formative (injection molding), 3D printing is a totally different technique in producing parts.

Here are some principles of 3D printing from BotFeeder.

Reduce cost

In traditional manufacturing, complex design costs more. However, that’s not the case with 3D printing because a 3d printing machine can produce complex items while cutting the overhead cost of retaining human operators or retooling factory machines.

Fast time-to-market turnaround

Consumers want products that cater to their personal needs that’s why “personalization” and “customization” have become key terms in marketing.

You would want a shoe that fits perfectly on your feet, which may not be comfortable for others. You would want a personalized diet that may not be the best for others.

3D printing enables businesses to meet that the consumers’ demand by reducing the design-to-production times.

Designers will design the CAD software based on the consumer’s profile, use the 3D model to evaluate the design and production, and test it. Once it’s good, 3D print it. The whole 3D printing process will only take days.

No assembly needed

3D printing enables you to print objects with interlocked parts in one go. Traditionally, factories would make identical objects that are assembled by robots or humans. The longer it takes to assemble the item, the more expensive it becomes.

With 3D printing, you can print an item with interlocking hinges, so you don’t have to assemble it.

With this, supply chains will be shortened and you can cut the cost significantly because you do not need to pay that much for labor and transportation (when the items are produced in different places and will be transported for assembly).

Ability to print-on-demand

3D printing is very popular because it makes customization so easy. Yes, you can print on demand when it is required. It enables you to cater to your individual customer’s request without the additional cost of long-distance shipping and extensive labor because iteration isn’t that difficult and won’t take that long.

Portable

3D printers come in different sizes. Some of them are lightweight and small, so you can freely move them around when needed. You can 3D print wherever you are.

Precise physical replication

3D printing is very accurate. You can replicate anything no matter what it is as long as you have the digital file. From there, you can 3D print it to bring it to the real world.

Thanks to this technology, you can scan, edit and duplicate objects to create replicas or improve them.


What Are The 3 Stages Of 3D Printing?

3D printing involves the use of 3D printers to build objects using raw materials. 3D printers contain a nozzle where the raw material or filament is extruded onto a print bed layer by layer to construct the object from bottom to top.

Although there are different types of 3D printers, most of them require a similar method of operation that centers on three basic stages, which we will discuss in this section.

Stage 1: Preparation

The first stage of 3D printing is preparation, which is also known as the pre-processing stage. It involves designing the object in a computer program and positioning and preparing the 3D printer itself.

Before you start 3D printing, you need to design an object in a computer program. Computer-aided design (CAD) allows manufacturing companies to build digital object models, which are then saved and transferred to a 3D printer for processing.

Manufacturing companies design the object in a CAD program, after which they transfer the CAD file to a 3D printer. This stage covers CAD design and other tasks associated with preparation —deciding what to 3D print, what material to use, what 3D printer to use, and more.

Stage 2: Building

The second stage of 3D printing is building. The 3D printer will build the object by extruding material out of a nozzle. As the material is extruded out of the nozzle, it is deposited onto a print bed.

The build stage involves the complete production of the object. The 3D printer will move and extrude raw material based on the specifications of the CAD file with which it’s used. This stage covers the production of an object as the 3D printer extrudes material out of a nozzle onto a print bed.

Stage 3: Finishing

The third and final stage of 3D printing depends on the specific type of 3D printer used and the object you are printing. The finishing stage may require the removal of support structures.

Objects are often constructed with supports so that they don’t collapse. Once the printing process is done, then you will need to remove the support.

Finishing may also involve refining the printed object’s surface. If the printed object has a rough or grainy surface, you may need to sand it to achieve a smoother surface. This stage encompasses all post-production touchups.

In the next section, we will go into more detail as to how 3D printers work.


How Do 3D Printers Work?

How 3D printing works step by step? If you are completely new to 3D printers and wonder how these excellent machines work in helping you get the job done, you will find the answer here.

In this section, I’ll explain to you in detail how 3D printing delivers the 3D printed object you desire.

3D printers are becoming more and more popular today because they work fast and cut costs significantly. They are also very handy because they come in various sizes.

There are desktop 3D printers that are portable and compact to fit even the smallest working place.

3D printers are easy to use because they utilize computer-aided design (CAD) to create 3D objects from various materials like molten plastic or powders.

A typical 3D printer is very much like an inkjet printer operated from a computer. It uses additive manufacturing technology and builds up a 3D model one layer at a time.

Steps In 3D Printing

Here are the four steps in 3D printing.

Modeling

To start a 3D printing task, you have to create a blueprint or three-dimensional digital file of the object you want to 3D print.

Yes, start with a 3D model. You can create one from the ground up or download it from a 3D library.

You can also use 3D software to create a 3D model. You can opt for an industrial-grade or open-source tool. For beginners, we suggest that you use Autodesk Tinkercad. It is free and works in your browser. Thanks to this, you do not need to install the app on your computer.

Also, for more fun and convenient 3D printing experience, Tinkercad offers beginner lessons and has a built-in to export your model as a printable file e.g. STL or OBJ.

Here is a list of the best free 3D printing software for designing, modeling and slicing files.

Slicing

Once the 3D model is ready, the next step is to slice it. Slicing basically means slicing the 3D models into hundreds or thousands of layers and is done with slicing software.

When the file is sliced, it’s ready for 3D printing. You can feed the file to the 3D printer using a USB, SD, or Wi-Fi, and the 3D printer will 3D print it layer by layer.

Printing

Assuming there are no errors in the STL or AMF file, the 3D printer will use the 3D printer’s instructions in the perspective file to dictate where and how the material is deposited — this is how the 3D printed object is created.

It will print the 3D model layer by layer from top to bottom because it uses the additive manufacturing process. Each of the layers can be seen as a thinly sliced cross-section of the object.

It’s the opposite of subtractive manufacturing, which is cutting out or hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic with a milling machine. 3D printing enables you to produce complex shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.

Removal of support structures

This is something that you should never overlook because the process can be challenging.

Can you imagine waiting for hours to 3D print your 3D model only to snap off part of the 3D printed model because you were not careful enough when you removed it from the 3D printing bed?


Before And After 3D Printing Tips

There are some things that you need to do before and after printing to ensure a perfect removal from the bed.

Here are some tips for easy removal to ensure that your 3D printed object is safe.

Before printing

For example, when printing on a glass bed without any tape or adhesives, you should clean the surface of the bed thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol to remove any residual adhesives from the previous projects.

Meanwhile, some set the nozzle height at a too low Z-setting for the first layer to make the base stick to the bed too well. It’s a rule of thumb to set the home position of the nozzle at a Z-setting that is about 70% to 80% of the height of the first layer.

After printing

Once 3D printing is done, you have to remove it slowly and deliberately to get it off the print bed. The goal is to remove the print without getting damaged and without the bed itself getting damaged.


How To Remove 3D Printed Objects Safely

More tips to remove a 3D printed object safely from the bed without damage.

Cool it down

Let the object cool down to room temperature from several minutes to an hour to make the print solidify and more durable.

However, it also results in a slight contraction in the filament material, which would have little to no effect on the visual appearance but help it lift off from the print bed.

In most cases, letting it cool is enough to pop the item right off the bed, especially when the filament used is PLA or others that don’t require any adhesives.

Use a bit of force

If the print has already cooled down but doesn’t pop right off, you have to apply some force depending on how big or sturdy the material is.

You can push, pull or twist it to some degree to fully remove the print from the bed.

Tap with a screwdriver

Even 3D printing professionals use this method because it works. Simply take a flat head screwdriver and place it near a corner of the base of the print and give it one sharp tap on the handle. The 3D printed object should come right off.

Scrape it off

If you have tried the first recommended suggestions and they do not work, it’s time to remove the print bed from the build platform. The next steps could damage the clamps that hold the print bed in place.

Use a thin, flat object and insert it on any clearance that you can find between the base of the print and the bed.

Most 3D printing professionals keep a flat-edged steel scraper or a razor blade with a handle. Slide and lift to lift the bed off the print gradually. Make sure not to apply too much force not to damage the print.

It could potentially damage the print bed and make it uneven. So, it’s best to use the other methods first before you resort to this.

Cool it down even more

Cooling is very helpful in removing a print from the bed. You can cool your print lower than the room temperature to make it contract more and self-lift off the print bed.

You can place the whole print and the bed inside the refrigerator for an hour or so. If the print is too big for your refrigerator, you can use ice packs and place them on the underside of the print bed.

Rise with warm water

If you use an adhesive like glue stick, ABS slurry, or hairspray on your print bed, this method could work.

Lukewarm water or anything below 50 °C should rinse off the adhesive without damaging the filament material.

Use alcohol

If warm water doesn’t work, then rinse off the adhesive and use some isopropyl alcohol. This works especially if you used blue painters’ tape to get your print to stick onto the print bed.

However, the downside is that you have to remove the tape afterward and apply a new layer before the next print project.

And most, if not all, do not want the process of applying tape to a print bed. So, this should be your last resort.

For this, pour a liberal amount of alcohol on the edges of the print because you need to soak it up with alcohol and dissolve the adhesive. The print should just come right off with a little bit of prodding.

Use Dental Floss

If it only needs a small force to dislodge the 3D printed object from the bed, the best material to use could be a piece of dental floss.

Simply hold the dental floss between your hands and place it at the back of the print close to the bottom. Then, slowly pull it towards you. Several users shared success stories using this method.

Heat the print bed

Cooling works, so as heating. If the former does not work, you might try the latter. Reheat the print bed to about 70°C because, at times, heat can also make the print pop off.

The temperature changes to manipulate the print is a great method because print materials react to heat. Higher heat can soften the material enough to reduce adhesion to the print bed.

Freeze the print bed

If cooling doesn’t work, try freezing it. By spraying compressed air onto your stuck prints, you can make the object pop off due to the temperature change.

To do this, you can place the print and bed in the freezer. The cold temperature will cause the plastic to contract a bit resulting in the print bed loosening its grip on the print.


What Is A 3D Printer Used For?

By now, you are probably asking yourself, what is 3D printing used for? 3D printing has a lot of applications in various fields — business, medicine, construction, and more.

It can almost do anything you have in mind, from simple things like organizers to more complex items like guns and huge items like houses and buildings.

What is 3D printing examples? To give you a concrete overview of how useful 3D printing is — I’ll categorize them in different fields.

Medicine

3D Printing is used in the field of medicine, and can be used for 3D printing prosthetics, hearing aids, and organs like the liver and heart.

Some also use 3D printers to offer new solutions to patients with skin problems, wounds, or burns.

James Yoo, a researcher at the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, invented a portable printer to graft skin straight onto the wounds of burn victims.

The machine scans the wound and fabricates the appropriate number of skin layers needed to fill the wounds. The technology is very helpful, especially for treating the soldier’s injuries on the battlefields.

3D printing can also be used to replace human tissues or cells to treat different diseases, including macular degeneration, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart diseases, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Stem cells can now be bio-printed.

3D printing is also popular for manufacturing items that are expensive and difficult to obtain, especially in medicine.

3D printers had proven very useful during the COVID-19 outbreak when the global supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical devices was scarce. Many healthcare facilities turned to 3D printing to solve the shortage.

3D printers saved lives in many ways to ease the challenges during the pandemic. For instance, it 3D printing helped compensate for the lack of  valves for ventilators.

Isisnnova chief executive Christian Fracassi and his colleague mechanical engineer Alessandro Romaioli used a 3D printer and came up with a prototype to produce working valves, and it worked, so they started 3D printing new valves.

And they saved lives by doing so because valves were so in-demand at the time.


Rapid Prototyping

One of the most popular applications of 3D printing is rapid prototyping. Yes, many use this technology because it delivers.

3D printing only involves three steps for rapid prototyping — prototype, refine and iterate, and review.

Many use 3D printing for rapid prototyping because it creates models faster than the traditional process. Aside from a faster turn-around time, it has a lower cost and involves easier procedures.

Unlike traditional prototyping like injection molding, which requires weeks or months for each iteration, 3D prototyping only takes hours, significantly improving the speed and cutting the cost.

3D prototyping is perfect jewelry design, architecture, engineering mechanical parts, architectural models, props, functional consumer products, and more.

Here are some of the benefits of why 3D printing is best for rapid prototyping.

Fast turnaround time. The traditional prototyping strategies take long, at least a week, and more. But as mentioned, using 3D printers cuts the processing time. So, if you need the prototype fast, it’s the best choice.

Reduced cost. Aside from improving the speed significantly, it also allows you to cut the overall cost so that you can save more. The average product prototype costs at least $100.

However, with 3D printing technology, you can get the same results at a fraction of the cost. If you have the standard FDM 3D printer, you can create prototypes that are $1 cheaper or more.

Smoother workflows. The process is smooth and convenient. You will start by designing the model using computer-aided design (CAD) and upload it directly into a 3D printer software.

From there, you can feed the file into the 3D printer, and it will start printing. Once the process is done, you will get the prototype the way you design it.

Flexible 3D printing materials. Another great thing about 3D printing is its flexibility. 3D printers can accommodate different types of 3D printing materials, so you will surely find one perfect for your prototypes.

Among the most popular filaments are ABS, PLA, PVA, PETG, PETT, HIPS, and more. There are wood, sandstone, metal, magnetic, carbon fiber, and more.

Allows change and rapid iteration. Rapid prototyping is called as such because it needs to be done fast. 3D printing allows you to make iterations of your 3D model fast and easily.

You do not have to start from scratch or go through an extensive process again to make a minimal change in your prototype.

You just have to change the 3D model or update the CAD file and once it is sliced and ready for 3D printing, then feed the file to the 3D printer again, and you will get the updated prototype with the changes you just made.

3D printing enables you to test, change and refine a design in a matter of minutes or hours.


Construction

Have you heard of 3D-printed houses or buildings?

Yes, there are already houses and mansions that have been constructed using 3D printers.

3D printing is revolutionizing the construction industry, and you will be surprised at how fast and sustainable 3D printed structures are.

Among the most popular uses of additive manufacturing in construction is 3D printing concrete, which can speed up a 2-week job in just 3 to 4 days.

It also keeps the workplace safer because it doesn’t require many people, so the risk of injury is less. Plus, it will reduce the labor cost because you won’t be paying too many people — the 3D printer will make the majority of the job.

Also, 3D printing is economical because it uses fewer materials and produces less waste than the traditional construction processes. Furthermore, it reduces the environmental impact.

3D printing has a very promising future in the field of construction. Founder and CEO of Russian company Apis Cor Nikita Chen-in-tai is optimistic that it is the solution to the housing crisis. He also believed that more and more construction companies would adopt the technology in the future.

Here are some of the most famous 3D-printed buildings in the world.

Office Of the Future Building in Dubai by Apis Cor. It measures 20 feet high, 120 feet long, and 40 feet wide. The entire structure was printed using a giant cement printer and assembled on site. Yes, the building was huge, but it only took 17 days to 3D print it and two more days for the installation.

Since it used 3D printing technology, only three workers were involved when it was built. The 3D printer moved around the side by crane. Additional contractors were brought to install windows and the roof.

Dubai took pride in the largest 3D printed building because it is sustainable. It uses local materials and efficient insulation that reduces energy consumption.

WinSun’s 3D-Printed Apartment Block. Chinese Company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. is among the leading construction company to test the limits of 3D printing in construction.

In 2015, the company built 3D-printed houses in under 24 hours, and it made history when it constructed the world’s tallest 3D printed structure — the apartment block.

The company used a 20-feet tall, 33-feet wide, and 132-feet long 3D printer to do the job. It also uses a mixture of glass fiber, steel, cement, hardening agents, and recycled construction waste for the material. Plus, the block was designed to be flexible, self-insulating, and earthquake-resistant.

The company saves between 30 to 60 percent of construction waste. The production time was decreased by 50 to 70 percent.

Most of all, labor was significantly reduced by 80 percent. Plus, the buildings comply with the national standards, so they are safe and reliable to be your next home.

3D Printed Houses In Europe. Europe is one of the continents that embrace 3D printing in construction. In Belgium, Kamp C built a prototype 3D-printed house with two floors using its largest 3D printer — COBOD BOD2. They only hire a human workforce to put the finishing touches.

The building was a typical Belgian house with an entrance hall, two conference rooms, and a tiny kitchen area. It was completed on-site in just three weeks.

According to Marijke Aerts, the project manager, the materials were very strong and three times greater than the conventional quick build brick. Overall, it saved an estimated 60 percent on material, time, and budget.

Another 3D printed house was built in the Netherlands by firm Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix in the Eindhoven suburb. It was the first habitable and commercially rented 3D-printed property in the city.

It only took 120 hours or fives to 3D print the house. Bas Huysmans, chief executive of Weber Benelux, a construction offshoot of its French parent company Saint-Gobain, credited the speed to the printer not needing to eat, sleep or rest.

Elize Luz and Harrie Dekkers retired shopkeepers from Amsterdam, purchased the home. They were given a digital key to open their two-bedroom bungalow at the press of a button, and they loved it.

“It is beautiful,” Lutz said about their new home.

“It has the feel of a bunker – it feels safe,” Deckers added.

You may check out this article of 3D printed buildings.


Food industry

3D printing is also popular in the food industry. Several restaurants and chefs use this technology to boost their business.

Pastry chefs are among the first to take advantage of 3D printing. Dinara Kasko is an internet-famous pastry chef who uses 3D printed molds to design the shapes of her cake.

She became an Internet sensation for baking cakes with unique structures.

Kasko is an architect and switched to baking. She integrates her love for architecture and baking into her artistic and delicious cake.

The architect-turned-chef won’t disappoint you when it comes to using 3D printing in her food business.

Some businesses use 3D printing to sell products. BeeHex, the creators of Chef 3D — the bot designed to bake a pizza in six minutes — has an app where customers can order their favorite pizza. They can customize the size, toppings, dough shape, and more.

Also, another amazing characteristic about 3D printed food is its long shelf life. The 3D printed edibles can last up to 30 years when placed in special plastic bags. They are perfect for feeding astronauts on long space missions.

Here are some of the benefits why the technology is very helpful in the food industry.

• Easy to transport
• Food customization
• Food personalization
• Reduces food waste
• Fast and convenient preparation
• Allows use of new components or ingredients
• Delivers aesthetic and functional customization
• An economical and efficient way for mass personalization
• Longer shelf life (best for astronauts who will be staying in space for long periods)


Manufacturing

3D printing is also very popular in the manufacturing industry because it helps companies produce items that are perfect for the size and taste of their various customers.

3D printing technology is very helpful in personalizing products because it considers the customers’ size, preferences, comfort, the purpose of the product, and more.

For example, Adidas’ 3D printed shoes for athletes work as designed. It even helps them perform better.

“I believe that shoes with 3D printed midsoles are the future of running. They’re shoes made for athletes. The possibilities are really exciting, and it’s amazing to be a part of that journey with Adidas,” said Miri Dattke, a German long-distance runner.

Also, 3D printing is a perfect solution to enjoying a new level of design freedom. Although additive manufacturing is not always the ideal technology, it’s very helpful in the manufacturing industry.

“A lot of parts are being manufactured with 3D printing that could be done more effectively using traditional manufacturing methods,” said Peter Rogers, APAC Additive Manufacturing Product Specialist at Autodesk.

“Alternatively, though, with the right design, traditionally manufactured parts could be done a lot more effectively, increasing part performance and reducing waste by using additive manufacturing. It is not about pushing all designs to additive at all, rather making sure that the right design is going into the right manufacturing technology to achieve the most desirable outcome.”


Wrap Up

3D printing delivers three-dimensional objects. It is a great solution to save on assembly costs and cut turnaround time.

With this technology, it is cheaper for companies to experiment with new ideas and numerous design iterations with no ample time or tooling expense. This technology could even challenge mass production in the future.

3D printing has already been applied in various industries, including automotive, medical, business, industrial equipment, education, architecture, and consumer-product industries.

If you have a business, you should learn how to use 3D printing in your craft because it always has a purpose and is efficient and practical!

Do you want to learn more about the 3D printing materials, their uses, and how to choose the best material for your project, check our home page.

 

References

  • 3dprinting.com/what-is-3d-printing/
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing
  • twi-global.com/technical-knowledge/faqs/what-is-3d-printing
  • builtin.com/3d-printing
  • ultimaker.com/learn/what-is-3d-printing
  • 3dinsider.com/removing-3d-print/
  • 3dprinterly.com/how-to-remove-3d-prints-from-print-bed/
  • ​​monroeengineering.com/blog/the-3-stages-of-3d-printing-and-how-they-work/
  • tinkercad.com/
  • adidas.com.ph/4d-shoes
  • botfeeder.ca/blogs/3d-printing-knowledge/5-important-principles-of-3d-printing

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