Imagine a World of Multicolour Prints!

Most 3D Prints up until now have been of one colour.  What if you could print out your creations ready formed and painted?

What would you print? Tell us here.

Well we stumbled across this story on Wired.com which may just mean your wish has come true.

XYZprinting has announced a table-top 3-D printer that spits out whatever figurine, model, toy, or tiny hamburger you desire in full, vibrant color.

The world of 3D Printing never stands still.

Check out the full story here

Limb Saving 3D Bones

Thanks to ABC Down Under we can bring you this most amazing story of  limb saving surgery.

The first person to have a 3D-printed tibia transplanted into his leg says he cannot wait to put it to good use by walking his fiancee down the aisle.

According to Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH), Reuben Lichter had become the first person in the world to have a 3D-printed tibia or shinbone transplanted into his leg.

It has taken five operations over the past six months — the final one lasting 14 hours.

The 27-year-old developed spontaneous onset of tibial osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone, which resulted in the majority of his tibia – 36cm – being destroyed.

Normally, the only option is an above-knee amputation.

“Doctors came up to me and said there are two options — you can get amputated above the knee or we can try this experimental stuff that may or may not work,” Mr Lichter said.

“I was like, ‘bang, let’s do it’.”

Mr Lichter said his dream now is to walk his fiancee Caity down the aisle.

But he will have to wait a while. Doctors say it will be at least 18 months before he can walk again.

Mr Lichter said his young son William would be walking before he does, but he is set to take his recovery one step at a time.

The 3D-printed model was manufactured in Singapore.

It is wrapped in biological tissue which then engineers the new bone.

A human tibia bone lies to the left of a 3D printed tibia bone.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said it was like scaffolding that supported the biological tissue.

“That then grows effectively a new bone in your leg and this is the first time this has been done,” Mr Dick said.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, there’s a lot of recovery to go through but [Reuben] is very positive, he’s very happy the pain has disappeared and the infection has now gone and he’s living very positively with the future.”

This is such an amazing story and one that we hope can be replicated around the world as 3D Technology begins to evolve further into the world of medical science.

We wish Reuben all the very best for a good recovery.

#3dmedical #3dtechnology #3dtibia

Richard Grant’s Practical Success with Our Skyblue PLA

Richard Grant works globally and in the UK delivering difficult tech and creative projects for Film studios, artists and private clients. He  is a Disruptor and Innovator. Loving to Hack, make and produce. This includes mentoring and making useful and incredible connections. His LinkedIn profile and IMDB reads like a Who’s Who of inspiring and creative projects spanning the last 20 years.

Working from his studio Near Windsor, West of London, he runs “rgproduct” and @FuseDeep as a Freelance Creative Director.

Richard innovates in many areas and most recently in 3Dprinting. Constantly developing and creating ideas for multiple industries. Richard has been honing his 3D skills and has worked on some notable projects such as an LED lit, oil matrix lightweight nodal structure for BP, which was suspended above delegates heads at a corporate event, and a fully working scissor lift, modeled from scratch to hold a £1M present.

You can find all these projects on his LinkedIn Profile.

Recently Richard used our Skyblue PLA to create further the development of @FuseDeep, his large and strong 3Dprinter 1700x400x500mm

     

We spoke to Richard and asked him what it was in particular he loved about working with 3D Filaprint products?

When did you first become aware of us and how did you find out about 3D Filaprint?

Around 3 years ago I was looking for a good, reliable, high quality British supplier with a fast delivery service. I searched the web and found 3D Filaprint. Since then I have built a great relationship with Tim and his team.

How have you found our service and products?

I’ve been combining fine art with high tech design to create some amazing pieces. Tim is like my #3Dprint Filament R & D department and always has time to discuss pro’s and con’s of using particular materials. If I have a particular project and am not sure about how the material might respond to the need (for use with one of my MakerGearM2s) I know that I can call Tim, discuss a project with him and he will usually have some great advice for me. We often chat to develop ideas, it is a two way street.

What do you like best about our service and products?

The two way conversation I have with Tim.  It’s not just a sale, it’s about building a community of knowledge. He spends time with customers and because of his knowledge of the industry and it’s fast paced developments and products he’s great to discuss ideas with.

    

Tell us more about the use of the Skyblue PLA in your last project. What did you make and why? Did you design it yourself or use a template?

The parts were created from scratch to enable the creation of my very special 3Dprinter. It is special as it uses polymer slide bearings so can be used in most environments.This followed on from a collaboration with the German company IGUS, worldwide manufacturer and distributor of plastic plain bearings, spherical bearings, linear guides, cable carriers and continuous-flex cables.  Using the gantry as the focus of the project I created a plethora of parts for a 3D printer build project. Use PLA as it’s safe to print and quick and easy to use.

How long did it take to print?

I iterate and apply constantly, since commissioning the gantry and chassis I have taken me about 3 weeks to get from gantry and chassis to 80% complete, which was about 10 – 15 days solid work.  I was able to run the project faster as one of my MakerGearM2 printers has been engineered to run faster.

      

What other projects are you running using 3D Filaprint filament?

Many of my projects use filament supplied by Tim. There are lots and very varied applications!

What advice would you give to children and young people who are at school and would be interested in pursuing a similar career?

Get good at 3D modelling, understand the use of tools and your hands and combine 3D technology with traditional understanding.

Thank you to Richard Grant for taking the time to speak to us briefly about #3Dprojects, #3Dcommunity and #3DFilaprint.

You can find out more about Richard online:-

If you need some inspiration take a browse through the amazing filaments we have in our store on our filament guide. You can also give our team a call for more advice 01702 611027.

The PolySher™ and Polysmooth™ are here!

We love new products here at 3D Filaprint, so get ready for a PolySher™ and PolySmooth™ by PolyMaker.  We shall be publishing a review from our friends Sue & Ian Hiscocks, coming soon to this blog!

Polysmooth™ from Polymaker is now in stock.

PolySmooth™ gives excellent printing characteristics, balanced mechanical properties, and most importantly, “polishability” when exposed to common alcohols such as isopropyl alcohol or ethanol.

It’s Polishable! The first 3D printable filament engineered for layer free post-processing. Polymaker have specifically developed PolySmooth™ to work alongside the Polysher™ providing the solution to dramatically improve the surface quality of 3D printed objects.

It’s Easy to Print: PolySmooth™ is compatible with all filament-based 3D printers and prints under similar conditions as PLA. Featuring a wide printing temperature range, low odor and no heated bed required, PolySmooth™ is the perfect companion to your desktop 3D printer.

Optimized for Support: Polymaker have taken their experience from PolySupport™ and engineered PolySmooth™ with the same support removal properties. Easily break away support from PolySmooth’s™ surface and once your model is polished there is no scar left on the surface.

3D Filaprint is stocking Polysmooth & Polysher NOW.

Click here to order yours.

Take a look at some of these beautiful creations.

The reviews have been great so far. We’ve listed a couple below, however look out for Sue and Ian’s review coming soon.

Shizzlebiscuit’s review.

3DPrintingCentre’s review

Polysmooth Videos

 

TCT Show 2017

Last year 3D Filaprint exhibited the TCT Show. We had an amazing time and met some pretty awesome people.

This year we are visiting the show which is held at the NEC, Birmingham, from 26th to 28th of September. We are looking forward to seeing friends and customers there.

The TCT Show brings together designers to patent advisors. The idea is to accelerate the adoption of 3D technologies for design, development and manufacture across all industry sectors. Their events and media portfolio delivers business-critical insights across the globe on 3D printing, additive manufacturing, CAD/CAE, metrology and inspection, as well as conventional manufacturing processes such as moulding, casting and CNC machining.

The 22nd TCT Show continues to set the agenda for the industry. It provides an insightful, educational and innovative opportunity for business ideas. We think it is well worth a visit and we may even see you there.

Sadly we are not exhibiting this year.  (We know, we’re sorry), however all is not lost.  As we value our customers so much, from Monday 25th September and for the whole of the TCT week until Midnight Sunday 1st October 2017, we will be doing something special for you as we won’t be able to offer you the free samples at the show.

We’ll be giving away a free specialty filament sample box to all customers who order a single spool or more from our store between 25th September and 1st October 2017. 

All you have to do is place your order, sit back and wait for your specialty filament sample box to pop through your letter box, and print! Simple.

And……

If you create an awesome print make sure you post it on Instagram and add the #3dFilaprint. We’ll be judging the best print and offering a prize for the best use of the specialty filaments in the sample box!

Making a Hobby Out of 3D Desktop Printing

Have you heard about the hype around 3D printing? Then, like us, you are most likely thinking that we are really in for a new boom in high-tech manufacturing, with futuristic-style replication on its way to reality. While a lot of these things are true, it is highly important to know what exactly 3D printing is and how you can use it effectively, especially if you think of it as a potential hobby. Here is what you need to know.

tonys bagatelle

 

Knowing the Basics

In simple terms, 3D printing is a method of creating solid physical objects from digital 3D models, the process of assembly is the same with that of printing ink on paper. It uses 3D printers, with the most popular today being the extrusion printers, which spray/ooze/extrude material (of which base are usually thermoplastic filament) out of manoeuvrable nozzles and lay it down in layers that eventually make for the finished product. Basically, this method of printing is an additive process, which means that it creates objects by adding layers from the bottom up, with every layer being printed over the preceding ones until the job is complete.

Darts right way up

Filament Types

While there are many different types of 3D printing materials existing on the market today, the most common for consumers is the filament. It has a thread-like appearance and is heated and extruded through a moving nozzle. It is layered vertically until a 3D object with width, height and depth is formed. If you got your eyes set on 3D printing to enhance your hobby, you should know the various types of filaments. Here are those that are most commonly used in the industry today:

ABS and PLA

Generally, these types of filaments come in a wide variety of colours and used for an array of 3D printed objects for their ease of use, versatile material properties and limited printing difficulty. While ABS and PLA share some overlaps in their qualities, they actually differ, where the former is extremely durable and used for high-impact applications, while the latter is fairly strong and could be more brittle depending on the geometry of the objects.

HIPS and PVA

These are considered as “support” filaments, which help temporarily support the overhanging geometry of objects. Basically, they are the most common support filaments available today, thus primarily utilized with dual extrusion 3D printers.

HIPS

Wood

The appeal of this type of filament is its ability to create objects with the tactile feel of wood. Take note that there are many wood filaments on the market today, with each having a specific mixture of wood and plastic fibres, such as Coconut, Bamboo, Black (Ebony) Pine, Cork and several other tones.

mixed woods

Ceramics

Though this is relatively a new type of filament used for 3D Desktop printing, ceramics has been seeing some levels of success. One important thing to note when using it is related to post printing, where ceramic parts need to pass through the same processes as with any ceramic part that is made using traditional production methods, such as glazing and firing. Ceramic filaments also require a 3D Desktop printer that can achieve high temperatures when melting the filament, several 3D printers on the market today would not be suitable.  Though the amazing filament LayBrick can be used on the majority or current 3D Desktop printers from which you can create detailed models.

Laybrick (758 x 348)

Metals

There have been a growing number of metals used in 3D Desktop printing. The majority of these filaments use very a fine metal powder that is blended into the filament during the manufacturing process. It is worth noting that just because it is a metal powder does not mean that your printed object is going to be super strong, what is can do is add a level of authenticity when producing objects made out of metal filaments and depending on how solid your printed object is could add weight to what otherwise would be an object printed out of plastic. Current types of 3D Desktop metal printing filaments are, Copper, Brass, Bronze, Stainless Steel and Iron.

bronzefill (478 x 302)

tungsten (360 x 270)

Summary

There are so many hobbies where we can see 3D Desktop printing being of use, especially when filament types are expanding. From candle making to model building, we are certain that 3D Desktop printing could assist you in your endeavours and possibly even enhance your creativity.  Check out the all new and super exciting REFLECT-o-LAY.

REFLECT-o-LAYby Kai Parthy (357 x 207)

3D Printing Designers: How Important Their Skills Are and Why

3D printing has been increasingly growing in popularity, as it allows people to create specific products in a short period of time without the heavy costs of major production.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 09.41.12 pm

What 3D Printing Designers Can Do

Every project begins with an idea, and with 3D Desktop printing, designers can turn such ideas into reality and ultimately prototypes within a short period of time. Without having to physically build something with their hands, they are skilled to use 3D design software to get the job done. From just simple drawings, photos or an idea in your head, concepts can become reality. Photos taken with just a smartphone or digital camera 3D Design professionals can create printable 3D models.

Using the necessary equipment and computers on a regular basis, 3D designers use various forms of design software which make 3D designing and printing look really easy. Though as masters of 3D designing and modeling, these professionals are able to create stunning objects, even those with moving parts for a wide range of end uses.

Where to Purchase or Download 3D Printing Models

3D printing users are able to purchase or download models on a marketplace, where people freely share and sell digital 3D printable files for use on designated printers. Such a 3D printing marketplace has emerged with the fast-growing segment of consumer 3D printers, and as of today, the 3D printing marketplaces existing are a handful, with a business model that is increasingly profitable.

Such a marketplace is composed of a combination of file-sharing websites, including those with or without built in e-commerce capabilities. On these pages, designers upload files for 3D printing, while users purchase or freely download the files for printing. These marketplaces facilitate the management of accounts, server resources and infrastructure, as well as guarantee safe settlement of payments. Some of them also offer additional services, such as location of commercial 3D print shops, 3D printing on demand, dynamic viewing of items and associated software for model rendering, with the most widely used 3D printable file formats as wrl, stl and vrml.

Licensing Issues Surrounding 3D Printing Designs

Currently, intellectual property legislations in developed countries do not explicitly regulate 3D printing, creating a lot of questions on the statute of 3D printing marketplaces. Most of such marketplaces that exist today are quite conservative on the topic of licensing. However, most large 3D printing marketplaces have procedures for copyright complaints, which mean that the further growth of 3D printing and the emergence of more new file-sharing marketplaces will most likely make the issue on copyright become a significant matter for them. If a 3D printed design has a license associated with it then ensure you read its contents.

Important Factors when Choosing a Suitable Filament Material for 3D Printing

In 3d printing selecting the right filament is important to ensure you get the results you want. Choosing inappropriate materials can lead to unfavorable 3D printing projects, wasted time, money and effort, as several 3D printers may not be able or are not suited to print some filament types. Having said this, it is important to be familiar with the available filament materials, their individual printing characteristics and properties, especially if you are new to 3D printing.

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 22.36.50

In this particular discussion, we will take a look at the factors to consider in picking the suitable filament material for 3D printing.

  1. Size/Diameter

When looking for filament materials and before making an order, check the specifications of the 3D printer you are going to use, specifically the diameter size. This is because the size of diameter required depends on the model of the printer. In 3D printing, filament diameters are either 1.75 mm or 2.85/3.00 mm. Ensure your slicing software is set to use the correct filament when preparing your projects.  There are also new 3D printer upgrades that give you the option to print with both diameters.

2.85mm-filaprint-premium-pla-5-metre-samples-133-c[ekm]219x165[ekm]

  1. Colour options

For a project with a tight budget, sometimes a colour choice can reduce the costs of printing. If you want to lessen the expenses, going for transparent or natural colours can sometimes be the best way to go since they do not require pigment additives. It is also important to be aware of the actual colour that is presented on the screen when you are ordering your filament, colours often look different depending on which device you are viewing it from.  Several stores including 3D FilaPrint give you the opportunity to buy small samples at a low cost, ensuring the colour you have in your mind is the colour that you will receive.  It goes without saying that there are many shades of grey!  It is also worth remembering that some filaments will actually print a different shade/tone of its original colour, when subjected to heat during the printing process. Some manufactured filaments also provide the corresponding RAL colour code.

  1. Grade and Condition

Filament materials come in many different grades such as 2003D and 4043 for PLA type. You may find that some cheaper but quality manufactured filaments could suit the project you are working on. Additionally, external printing conditions are also worth taking into consideration . No matter which material you are printing with it is good practice to ensure you have adequate ventilation.  Though remember a room that is too hot or too cold can effect the final print.  The settings that you use to print in the morning in your cosy room may not be the same during a cold winters evening or hot summers day, we have even been informed that altitude 3D printing has its own challenges!  3D Printing with exactly the same filament in a cold garage/classroom will require software/hardware setting changes if you then take your printer indoors (if its warmer that is).

  1. Packaging

If the printing project does not require large quantities of plastic filament, coil packaging could be practical/cost effective to choose, watch that the uncoiled filament does not become tangled when printing. On the other hand, if working in bulk and a large amount of material is needed, spool packaging is the better option since it is easier to work with, although it can also entail higher shipping costs because of its volume and weight.  If you are printing big there are options to purchase larger spools, such as 2.3kg, 4.5kg spools, ask your supplier if this is an option.  You may also find that larger spools work out cheaper per gram/kg/lbs.

  1. Type

The type of material is equally important to consider when choosing the right filament for 3D printing. The three common types are Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polylactic Acid (PLA) and Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA). ABS is a tad flexible and is more heat resistant. This strong material uses heated bed and can be used for numerous applications. However, it is non-biodegradable and produces fumes in the process. PLA, on the other hand, is a biodegradable type, some more degradable than others, which can be printed on 3D printers that are not fitted with a heated build plate.  It is also known for its slight flexibility. Meanwhile, PVA is for printers that have multiple extruders, used to provide material support for complex objects. There are also many filament types available suitable for specific uses in manufacturing, medical, aerospace, engineering and for animal welfare, we are sure you must have heard of Buttercup the Duck!

butt-2-213x300

Being familiar with the features and characteristics of filament materials is imperative to find the appropriate filament for a 3D printing project, with the many different filament types available in the market today, taking time to know what factors to consider will prove to be useful and will save you time and money.  If in doubt ask, we are always happy to share our knowledge.

3D Food Printing: A Promising Innovation Making Its Way to Consumers

3D printing has been in existence for about three decades but a couple of years ago, it went a notch higher when technology and food connived to bring healthy food options with a touch if creativity, known as 3D food printing. A company called Natural Machines introduced Foodini 3D Food Printer a couple of years ago. This machine, as its name suggests is produces food like magic. It can create savory cuisine with the use of fresh ingredients and prepared before printing. Ten other 3D food printers have made their presence felt during that year through prototypes, from pasta makers to chocolate creators.

3D printing looks promising because it does not only give an individual healthy food options that are appealing to the eyes but it is also considered to be environmental friendly. The question is, does it have a future in the food industry? According to reports, this innovation does. Soon enough, it will not only be used in high end restaurants. At the 3D Printshow 2015 in London, Chef Mateo Blanch created a 5-course meal which included caviar cookies, Framed octopus, hummus and pasta. Is there really a market for this? Here are three possible answers:

  1. Astronauts

Team Kokino came up with a prototype of a 3D food printer that can be used in outer space. This project combines knowledge with software that will be able to help solve the problem of transporting food in space, expiration of food and storage. According to NASA, this innovation is helpful in long missions in space where astronauts can have fresh fruits even after moths since ingredients will be stored in sealed cartridges. Moreover, the prototype is capable of converting waste food into new food. In the future, bringing 3D printers in outer space will be the norm.

  1. Chefs and Food Establishments

Today, success in the food business is not only limited to taste, creativity and technology go hand in hand to automate how food is prepared and presented. 3D food printers make work easier for chefs when it comes to food customization that cannot be done by hand. Foodini, for one, can print food that is centimeters high so long as there are enough ingredients. Manufacturers are optimistic these products will dominate top professional kitchens in the future.

  1. End-users

With people always on the go and having no time to prepare their own food, 3D food printers will soon be making it to the local households. According to experts, as consumers see this technology in restaurants they dine in, they will be familiar with the practice and soon use them at home. This is also because consumers are looking for new products that will meet their demands. With 3D food printers using fresh ingredients, it is not surprising for homemakers to try this innovation. Additionally, geriatric patients and older people who have difficulty in chewing and swallowing can also benefit from 3D food printers. Aside from making the food look appealing, ingredients can be chosen and portions can be prepared easily.

edu_astronauts

Image owned by NASA.

With the 125,000 grant given by NASA for a pizza-producing food printer and the on-going experiments with printed food and the promise of reducing preservatives and additives in what we eat, there is no doubt there is a market for 3D food printers.