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In this tutorial you will learn how to use Microsoft’s beginner-friendly 3D modeling app 3D Builder for creating your first 3D models and professional 3D prints. This how-to article includes a tutorial video as well as a text version.
3D Builder is a free Windows app that lets you view, capture, personalize, repair, and print 3D models. Users either start from scratch by combining simple shapes, or download any kind of given 3D file from an online database. They can then edit these models using the 3D modeling space. 3D Builder even includes a feature to turn webcam photos into 3D, as well as easy-to-use personalization tools. The app supports all important 3D printing file formats including STL, OBJ, PLY, WRL (VRML), and 3MF files.
As already pointed out you can either start from scratch or by importing existing models. 3D Builder gives you the following options:
An easy starting point is to select a model from the library. You can browse through the different categories (like toys, trophies, household, miniatures, etc.) on the home screen and start editing them immediately.
If you choose to create a ‘new model’ you will see an empty three-dimensional workspace! This is where you will create your new object! But first, let’s get familiar with 3D Builder’s interface:
After importing a basic shape, let’s take a look at how to navigate in 3D Builder. This will change the view on your item, but will not affect the geometry of the object itself.
After selecting an object you will see several simple editing options at the bottom of your screen.
But there’s more. By clicking on the ‘Object’ menu at the top you will get further editing tools.
Now that you know the basics let’s hop on to the more advanced editing tools. Click on the ‘Edit’ menu on the top to get here.
As we already pointed out, you can also import images. Click on ‘insert’ and select ‘image’ to do so. Try a black and white silhouette image for the best results.
Click on ‘inverse’ to change between a positive and negative representation. Also, make sure to play around with the ‘levels’ and ‘smooth’ bars to get the perfect result.
Whether you are in need of a professional 3D print, don’t actually own a 3D printer or are looking for 3D printing solutions beyond plastic, there are many reasons for choosing an online 3D printing service. And 3D Builder makes this even easier: You can order a professional, high-quality print of your model with i.materialise from inside the app. We will then print it in awesome materials like stainless steel, titanium, silver, gold, ceramic and more!
In the top right corner of the screen, you can find a 3D print button. Click it to prepare your model for 3D printing. In the drop-down menu called ‘select printer’ you can choose ‘3D printing service’. In the layout tab you can still double-check the size of your future 3D print.
Click ‘order online’ to upload it to our online 3D printing service. You will immediately see the price for a high-quality 3D print of your model in 100+ materials and finishes.
You can download the 3D Builder app here and learn more about Microsoft’s 3D printing activities here. Once your 3D model is ready to go to the printers, all you need to do is choose between our 20 different 3D printing materials and over 100 possible color and finish combinations.
After building a “catapult style” floor lamp, and publishing a howto article on it here, I soon adapted the design to hold a GoPro camera instead of a light. Instead of a bulb assembly, I put a piece of metal that a magnetic GoPro mount could hold on to, which has worked quite well for filming around my garage.
The disadvantage of this device, which stands as tall as a person when fully extended vertically, is that it doesn’t work well in restricted spaces like a workbench. For this I came up with a much smaller version outlined in the video seen below.
The little guy uses several pieces of furring strips that I had left over from another project. I cut each length to around 9″ to begin with, then made the bottom sections a bit shorter so the top could “peek out” over the support, filming a work surface uninterrupted. As seen in the video, the better way will likely be to weight the back supporting surface and turn it around from what’s seen here, the idea being that if I’m working on a circuit board or whatever, it can look down on it like some sort of light.
All in all, I’m quite pleased with the results, and was able to pull it off with a minimum amount of work with stuff I had in my garage.
Below is another picture of the two tripods together for comparison. Note that I used the same kind of stain/urethane on both, but the cheap furring strips that the little guy used took it much better:
And yes, I know this isn’t actually a tripod. Also, if you’re wondering what has happened to my clear Strandbeest, I’m still working on it, and have gotten it to walk. Hopefully I’ll be able to put out another video on it soon!
3D printing is changing the way goldsmiths work and design. More and more people are asking us how 3D printed jewelry items in gold look and feel. In this article, we explain how gold items are created, the difference between 14k and 18k, its various colors, and how to model your 3D design to get the perfect gold 3D print!
Instead of printing your gold item directly, we use wax 3D printing and lost wax casting to build your design. The wax printing process is a type of stereolithography that uses a wax-like resin. Support structures are printed along with the model to make sure the item does not fall apart. These support structures are automatically generated and then manually removed after the printing process.
The wax cast is subsequently covered in a fine plaster. When the plaster solidifies, it is put in an oven until the wax is completely burned off. The gold is then poured into the empty cast, thus creating a 3D printed gold item. In the final step of this process, the item is polished and finished manually.
A pure gold item (composed of 100% gold) is too soft for durable jewelry. With this in mind, jewel makers and goldsmiths usually mix pure gold with other metals, typically silver, copper, or zinc, in order to make it stronger.
The karat (often just written as “k”) indicates the amount of pure gold in the metal: the higher the karat, the larger the percentage of pure gold in the metal. For instance, 100% of pure gold is equal to 24k. However, as already pointed out, an object made of 24k would be too soft. This is why the amount of gold needs to be reduced: while 18k contains 75.2% pure gold, which is the standard in Europe, 14k gold only contains 58.5% of pure gold and is somewhat less expensive. In fact, 14k gold is the most popular choice for gold jewelry in the United States.
Since neither 14k nor 18k gold contains 100% pure gold, the metals we choose to strengthen pieces of jewelry (silver, copper, and zinc) have an impact on the color of the final item. As a result, gold can be offered in several colors: white, yellow, and red.
Take a look at the following examples of the color difference depending on the amount of pure gold as well as the amount and type of metal alloy:
The term ‘white gold’ is used very loosely in the jewelry industry to describe karat gold alloys with a whitish hue. The term ‘white gold’ covers a large spectrum of colors that borders or overlaps with pale yellow, tinted brown, and even very pale rose.
To create a white color effect, nickel is often added to the alloy. Since 1 out of 8 people have allergic reactions to nickel, and in order to comply with a European regulation called REACH, we didn’t want to go this way and preferred a slightly yellowish look.
The jewelry industry often conceals these off-white colors by using rhodium plating. It is a common misconception that the color of the rhodium plating, which is seen on many commercial pieces, is actually the color of white gold. In reality, however, rhodium plating will inevitably wear off. So you would need to ask your local jewelry shop to apply a rhodium plating to whiten your model each time it wears off.
Over the last months, we received quite some feedback from you, our community, about our gold color options. While most of it was positive, we noticed that some customers were not satisfied with the color of white gold. This is why we tried to improve the alloy and create white gold items that would match our customers’ expectations even better.
Since neither nickel nor rhodium plating were acceptable options, we decided to add palladium, a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal, to the alloy.
For more essential tips & tricks for designing your gold model, please visit our gold design guide. You can also learn more about 3D-printed jewelry in our blog posts about Desmond Chan’s stunning jewelry collection, Czech jewelry label blueberries, and our ultimate jewelry style guide.
Siemens Mobility is a company that builds on mobility concepts that have the potential to make transportation and the business models therein more efficient and innovative. When they partnered with SWU Verkehr GmbH in 2003, they had one main goal, and that was to keep vehicle availability as high as possible.
The first project these two companies partnered on involved adding additional operating elements into the armrests that utilized the printing capabilities of the Stratasys Fortus 900mc FDM machine. The 3D printing process allows for parts customization, design freedom and easier integration of the newly produced parts. For the manufacturer, it allows for low cost, low volume production. Using additive manufacturing, designers and engineers save time and money, while conceptualizing and testing prototypes. Additionally, 3D printed tooling reduces tooling process timelines from months and weeks to days and hours. It is now possible to get functional, testable models, and low-volume production parts faster than ever before.
What does all of this mean to a company that supports intelligent mobility? “Our production services for end-use parts have become much more flexible and tailored to our customers’ needs.” explains Tina Eufinger, Business Development, Siemens Mobility Division. “Before we integrated 3D printing into production, we were forced to produce higher quantities of parts in order to make the project cost- effective. For small volume part demands from customers, we would store excess parts until they were used, discarded or became too outdated to use. We can now create a design that is 100 percent customized to specific requirements and optimized several times before it is 3D printed. This takes our production time down from weeks to a matter of days, and makes it now cost-effective enough to extend our customer service offering to one-off part production.”
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RAPID 2017 is one of the longest running, well-respected industry forums in additive manufacturing. And as expected, technology and innovation will be on full display at this year’s event — a place where 3D printing innovators and manufacturing leaders come together to share knowledge and experiences to push the industry forward.
While workshops and tech briefings will still be a mainstay at RAPID this year, a few surprises are in store for attendees as well, like the new 3D playground. A more experiential exhibit, this space lets you get a little more hands-on with 3D printing, design, material selections and form creation. As a 3D playground sponsor, we couldn’t be more excited to demonstrate firsthand the innovative ways we’re shaping what’s next.
Throughout its history, we’ve supported the RAPID showcase and community, and we are excited to continue that support. This year, we’re set to unveil our newest, groundbreaking manufacturing solutions up close and personal with attendees. Visit us at booth 1513 to experience our powerful new technologies in manufacturing, rapid prototyping and advanced materials. Get a guided booth tour with industry experts in additive manufacturing, experience materials and system demonstrations for a more hands-on approach to answering your questions, and see detailed customer use cases that showcase a variety of real-life solution applications.
Want an exclusive look into our latest manufacturing innovations?
To learn more about how you can take a booth tour or attend a Stratasys sponsored education session, register here.
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