Each year at Sculpteo, we are making a study in order t […]
The post The State of 3D Printing 2018: Answer our survey! appeared first on 3D Printing Blog: Tutorials, News, Trends and Resources | Sculpteo.
Thanks to 3D printing, we are now able to build impress […]
The post 3D printed bridge: The most impressive structures! appeared first on 3D Printing Blog: Tutorials, News, Trends and Resources | Sculpteo.
Laser Cutting is great technology that enables t […]
The shine of 3D-printed jewelry can eclipse other 3D-printed metals that could open up options for your next 3D design. Don’t get us wrong, we love 3D-printed jewelry and the amazing jewelry designers we meet but we wouldn’t want you to miss any opportunities to create the best 3D prints possible.
Learn more about 3D printing in metal and be amazed by some of our favorite 3D designs in aluminum, titanium, steel or copper. All that glitters is not gold, and that also goes for 3D printing!
This popular metal is great for 3D printing machine parts and it’s commonly used for industrial purposes, but it has so much more to offer.
The 3D printing technology that makes aluminum possible is called Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). This is a laser-based technology that uses a high-powdered laser to selectively bind powdered metal together while the machine distributes even layers of metallic powder on top.
Models in 3D-printed aluminum will be lightweight and will have a matte grey finish with a rough, less defined surface. Look at this saw wrench by the designer Pekka Salokannel. It’s a good example of a minimalist yet useful and beautiful design printed in aluminum.
Though titanium is a great material for 3D printing jewelry, today we want to focus on a project from Studio Droog which caught our attention. This tableware is part of the collection Forgotten Tools, which has digitalized old shapes of tableware. It’s a beautiful project that links the past and the present, bringing forgotten tableware to the present with the help of 3D printing.
Titanium was the perfect material for this 3D printing project because it’s a very strong, corrosion-resistant and lightweight material. Like aluminum, the metal parts printed in titanium are as good as machined models.
The 3D printing technology behind titanium is also Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). Read more about this technology on our blog.
Steel is a strong, robust material printed in steel powder and infused with bronze. Another big plus for this material is the wide variety of finishes that it can have. Apart from its natural and polished finishes, which come in grey, the steel can be finished in gold, black or brown. Discover them all on our 3D printing platform!
A good example showing these colorful finishes are these chess pieces in different colors. Aren’t they cool?
3D-printed steel is possible by binding together a layer of steel powder with a binding agent. The layer is dried with powerful overhead heaters before a new layer is spread and the process begins again. Once the printing is finished, the build box is placed in a curing oven and the part is sintered. Finally, the design is infused with bronze, replacing the binding agent. Read the material page on our website to understand how this 3D printing material works.
High-detail stainless steel steps up the game even more. This material is a great option when you want to achieve the highest resolution and quality of detail for your 3D prints, with an excellent surface quality.
High-detail stainless steel is achieved by using a 3D printing technology that binds together layers of ultra-fine grains of stainless steel powder in a precision printer similar to that of an inkjet. After a layer is spread, a special print head deposits a binding agent at specific points. Once the layer is finished and has been dried with a powerful heater, a new layer is spread. The process goes on, layer by layer until the part is created and can be sintered in an oven at 1300°C. Look at the following video and read all about 3D printing in high-detail stainless steel on our website.
This metal can be 3D printed in natural unpolished grey or alternatively, you can get a satin or gloss finish. High-detail stainless steel is perfect for 3D printing miniatures or watch parts. Look at the fine details of this figurine by Yarrid Henrad or the Sci-Fi Buts by Garry Lloyd. We can’t get over all those details in such a small 3D-printed model!
This metal has a reddish color and offers very high thermal and electrical conductivity. After oxidization, it develops a greenish hue. Copper is a very affordable option for 3D printing in metal.
The process for 3D printing in copper starts with wax 3D printing and lost-wax casting. The wax is printed using a resin-based type of Stereolithography. Read more about this process on our technology page.
Cooper is a robust material and a good electrical conductor. Look at the Bulbman figure: it’s half copper, half electric bulb. Conductors are a good example of an interesting way to use copper. Discover more on our website.
Just like we said, 3D printing in metal has so much more to offer than just jewelry or industrial parts. If you are thinking about 3D printing in metal but you’re not sure which material is the best for your design, read the design guides on our website carefully or order some material samples. Holding a material in your hands is the best way to understand how it feels and weighs.
What is your favorite material for metal 3D printing?
We also have plenty of information about different materials and 3D printing technologies on our website! When your 3D design for metal is ready, upload it to our online platform and get an instant price quote for your metal 3D prints.
The world of digital design is expanding accordi […]
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We run a survey to find out the most popular end mill brands every year, and 2017 was no different. But to get the most value out of a market share survey for your own buying decisions, you need to understand what the respondents were aiming for when they chose their end mills. That’s what […]
The post Who Makes the Most Popular End Mills Based on Your Needs? appeared first on CNCCookbook: Be A Better CNC'er.
If you’ve seen Nixie tubes on videos (or in the GIF above) they look incredible in video, and should be even more interesting in person. After receiving one of these clocks as a Christmas gift, I decided to document the assembly process, partially because the video of it in action just looked so cool!
On the other hand, most of the stuff I make is a unique creation of my own, so hopefully my subscribers will enjoy the build nonetheless. I did modify it to hang on the wall at the end of the video, so there is that.
Also, I should note that I do write blog articles for Tindie, but was not asked or paid to promote this product. I just really love how it looks! Also, I filmed everything in 4K and cut it down as needed, rather than the 1080P I’d been filming at before. Hopefully you notice the difference.
To coordinate with travel plans Revit User Group Auckland will be kicking of the year early (not the usual Feb) with a special January meeting.
Phil Read will be covering the updates in the latest release(s) of Enscape (including support for Rhino) and his Autodesk University 2017 session. It featured the best Enscape techniques from around the world and included several NZ examples.
A summer Enscape catch-up - Sponsored by Read | Thomas
Wednesday, January 17, 2018 | 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Jasmax | 2 Marston Street Parnell · Auckland
Please RSVP attendance via Meetup, for catering & facility purposes $5 donation (receipt available) for Drinks and Nibbles.
As a company, we pay attention to venture capital funding for 3D printing and additive manufacturing companies. We do not measure and compare the value of venture funding from one period to the next, although we have sensed an upswing in recent months. For example, Carbon announced a $200 million round of funding in December, and this is on top of the $220 million the company had previously secured.
In July, Desktop Metal said that it had raised an additional $115 million in venture funding. Since its founding in 2015, the company has attracted a total of $212 million. In November, Markforged stated that it had raised $30 million. A month earlier, it was published that Dutch 3D-printed optics company Luxexcel received EUR 4 million in venture capital, which came after an investment of EUR 8.5 million in Q2 2017.
Other types of investments are also underway. In September, it was announced that S$60 million (US$44.5 million) is going into an aerospace facility in Singapore for the development of new technologies, including AM. In December, GE Additive said it had invested $15 million into the company’s first European Customer Experience Center in Munich, Germany. In Q3 2017, Merck of Germany opened a EUR 20 million incubator in Israel that focuses on disruptive materials and innovative technologies that include AM.
Voestalpine is investing EUR 20 million to expand its AM metal powder production facilities in Austria and Sweden. This brings the Austrian company’s total investment in AM to EUR 50 million. Meanwhile, HeyGears, a Chinese manufacturer of wearable technology products, such as custom earphones, will invest $149 million in a 3D printing facility in Guangdong, China.
The 3D printing industry is being propelled to the next level, largely by the investment community. A strong flow of venture capital and other types of investment are finding their way into start-up companies, new products and services, and centers of excellence. With the stock market booming, coupled with corporate wealth generation, I do not see it slowing down any time soon.
Is it plastic? Is it a metal? Alumide is both at the same time! This 3D printing material combines the design flexibility of polyamide (SLS) with the shine of aluminum. The final 3D prints are polyamide (SLS) models with a metallic-looking surface. It’s your all-time favorite polyamide with a sparkle!
Read on if you’ve always wondered how 3D printing in alumide works and how you can get the perfect alumide 3D prints.
Alumide is a blend of polyamide (SLS) with aluminum powder. While the polyamide gives alumide the properties of a rigid plastic material, the aluminum in it gives the printed part a matte and metallic-looking surface.
Alumide has a high freedom of design and the prints are well-priced, turning it into the perfect material for beginners in 3D printing. This is a suitable material if you need a model with the similar mechanical characteristics of polyamide, combined with a metallic appearance. Alumide can also resist high temperatures and is slightly porous.
Alumide prints can have a natural finish, which is matte, grey and sparkly in appearance, or they can be finished with one of the five colors available at i.materialise: Rusty Orange, Brick Red, Moss Green, Sparkly Blue and Asphalt Black. We bet you can’t resist these charming color names! Which one is your favorite?
Alumide is printed with Laser Sintering technology. With this 3D printing technology, a very thin layer of powder is spread on the surface of the powder bed, and a laser successively melts thin lines in the powder that bond together to form the layers of the model. The print chamber is heated to just below the melting point of the powder so at the end of the 3D printing process, you’ll have a big block of heated powder with the printed model inside.
After the cool-down period, the last steps of the printing process will be digging up the parts inside the block of powder, removing the loose powder from the parts and cleaning the 3D-printed models. At this point, the alumide parts are ready if you chose a natural finish. The process of dyeing the part in colorful finishes is done afterwards.
A picture (or a video) is worth a thousand words! Watch this video to understand how Laser Sintering works.
When designing for 3D printing there are some design tips that you should consider in order to get a flawless 3D print in alumide.
Read the Design Guides for Alumide on our website carefully in order to avoid surprises when you order your 3D prints online.
The strength and freedom of design offered by alumide and its metallic look turns it into a good option for many 3D-printed options: gadgets, decorative items, cases or jewelry.
Do you want to explore the potential of alumide? Get a real look and feel for this 3D printing material and its different finishes by ordering one of our alumide sample kits!
Even just a decade ago, the word “STEAM” was associated more with saunas than with education. But today, STEAM education—which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics—is recognized as critically important in the education of today’s children.
The U.S. Department of Education projects that the number of jobs in STEAM-related fields will grow by 14 percent from 2010 to 2020. Compare this to the national average of 5 to 8 percent growth across all sectors, and it’s clear that children need to have a strong foundation in the subjects that make up STEAM.
As important as the subjects being taught, though, are the methods. STEAM is more than just rote textbook learning. Because the STEAM fields develop and change so rapidly, the focus is on developing critical thinking and problem solving skills in students. They are encouraged to ask questions and experiment, not memorize and repeat.
Robotics perfectly captures the blend of experimentation, problem solving, creativity, learning, and fun that makes up a STEAM education. And the results of participating in robotics are compelling. According to FIRST, a nonprofit dedicated to designing accessible STEAM programs for students, kids who get involved in robotics are 88 percent more interested in doing well in school than their non-robotics peers, 90 percent more likely to take a challenging math or science course, and 91 percent more likely to be interested in going to college. They also have improved problem solving skills, increased time management skills, increased conflict resolution skills, and strengthened communications skills. Scholarly articles back up these statistics. (B. Barker & J. Asange, 2014; A. Welch & D. Huffman, 2011)
3D printing provides advantages for robotics teams that are difficult to replicate with other products. In a competitive environment, 3D printing allows for the quick testing of new solutions. It allows teams to have tangible, physical outcomes for their ideas: They can see in real time with real, made-to-order products whether their ideas worked. If their ideas don’t work, they can tweak them, and see how the final product changes. This sort of hands-on learning is proven to keep kids engaged, and help them learn.The Biomimetic Robotic Prosthetic Hand produced for the Extreme Redesign Challenge 2017, and won the secondary education, engineering category.
It also teaches kids that 3D printing, and other cutting-edge technology, does not need to be reserved for mechanical engineers, or other professionals with advanced degrees. Increasingly, the interfaces are intuitive and easy to use. Even without being on a robotics team, students can still have opportunities to use 3D printer technology to learn about robotics and STEAM skills. Increasingly, there are tutorials and guidelines online that kids can use to make their own robots using 3D printers. For instance, you can find a free online tutorial for how to make interactive robotogami—foldable robots printed from a 3D printer. Additionally, each year we sponsor the Extreme Redesign Challenge, an opportunity for students of all ages to redesign an existing product to improve how a task is accomplished, or design something entirely new that addresses an unmet need. This is a quest to find the most creative, mechanically sound and realistically achievable design using 3D printing. Last year, the first place winner in the engineering, secondary education category incorporated robotics to create a biomimetic robotic prosthetic hand. And while entries in the Extreme Redesign Challenge do not need to incorporate robotics, last year, for Grayson Galisky it proved to be a unique and winning strategy.
3D printing and robotics go hand in hand. It allows students to hit all the goals of STEAM learning: creative, quick thinking; team work; communication; experimentation; and a deepening, hands-on understanding of STEAM concepts. These are skills that will set kids up for success, whatever their career path. To learn more about 3D printing in STEAM education, click here.
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Designing for 3D printing is not always an easy task. While creativity has no limits when you’ve mastered the right 3D design software, optimizing 3D designs for 3D printing can be tricky for beginners.
That’s why we wanted to offer you a compilation of the best design tips for 3D printing given by those who know it well: 3D professional designers. How does their 3D design process look like? Which 3D printing software do they use? Which tips would they give to new 3D designers? Read on to discover their thoughts!
Kristoffer Rønn-Andersen, the jewelry designer behind Primal Crafts, explains that he starts new designs with a rough sketch drawn by hand or by jumping directly into his 3D modeling software – which is Rhinoceros for the most part. For some designs, the 3D file might take shape in SolidWorks or Blender as well.
Kristoffer thinks that the biggest challenge and most important step when designing for 3D printing is to optimize the 3D model for the printing material.
According to the designer, choosing the right wall thickness for 3D designs is essential: “To me it is crucial that these aspects are integrated into the early design of the pieces, otherwise they might not turn out well; either because the piece is not printable or because you have to make last-minute changes to the dimensions, which ruin the design.”
Each 3D printing material has different design needs that are important to keep in mind when you design. Not just when making them printable, but also to adapt the design to your ideas.
Jewelry designer Noah Händel explains it with the example of his ring: “With bronze, you can achieve everything from matte brown to shiny gold. That depends on how you design the highs and lows and how even the surface is. The vines of the ring are a great example. Even though the indentation between the vines is only around 0.8mm deep, it looks a lot deeper because it has a darker shade that you can’t polish. A rough surface always looks more detailed than a plain one.”
This young jewelry designer uses Cinema 4D for his designs and gives another simple but important tip for those looking to print unique pieces in different sizes or with small alterations: keep your files as easy to edit as possible.
“When I started out, I finished with one completely merged object which was easier to export, but difficult to make alterations on after completion, like changing the wall thickness, or the size of certain details.”
This technique will only allow you to change small details for each customer to make the object a little more unique. Furthermore, you will be able to increase the ring size without increasing the bounding box, which allows for cheaper prints.
The designers behind the jewelry brand Blueberries are a couple from the Czech Republic called Zbyněk Krulich and Markéta Richterová. They use Houdini by SideFX for their 3D designs because it has a node-based workflow where everything is built in a procedural way. Instead of moving vertices, the couple create small systems to manipulate data in 3D. For the final analysis and exportation they use Meshmixer.
The tip Zbynek and Markéta would give to their fellow designers is to get a better understanding of the 3D printing technologies and how to design for 3D printing with them. For Blueberries, this is crucial because they always work on the edge of what is possible to make with 3D printing.
Their design process starts with a concept and with that in mind, they create the first designs with a 3D software program. Afterwards, they perform several iterations for the prototyping phase. Once they have a finalized prototype, Zbynek and Markéta make some last iterations for the final design, in order to get the perfect final results.
The product designers for the coffee product brand Fellow have a very open approach to design for 3D printing. They use different 3D design tools when they are working back and forth between industrial designers and engineers, and they see this as a learning process: “We learn something new in the design process of every product, so no two 3D printing and modeling program recipes have ever stayed the same product to product.”
Fellow encourages prototyping because it makes it possible to see products to scale, hold them and feel their diameter and height. “To see how our product takes up space in kitchens is incredibly helpful to figure out if we are on the right track for form and function.” Prototyping allows them to create iterations of the same product with 3D printing during the design and engineering process.
As you can see, there is not one single approach to design for 3D printing. Knowing the material and technologies that you will be printing with is key for getting the perfect outcome. Obtaining a flawless 3D print might not happen on your first attempt, but following these tips will help to make it easier.
Another important step to consider when you start your designs is choosing the perfect 3D design software for 3D printing.
Once your 3D files are finalized and ready to 3D print, upload them to our 3D printing platform to get an instant price quote. Our 3D printing platform is also a good place to discover all the printing options that we offer, as well as the finishes and colors available for each material.
Are you a 3D designer yourself? Leave your tips for 3D printing beginners in the comments and share your creations with us on the i.materialise Forum or on social media with the hashtag #imaterialise.
Featured image: Mjolnir Key Chain by Little Things | 3D Printed in Polished Natural Steel
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