A 3D printing update for you

Manufacturing Materials that Can Be 3D Printed

3D printing entails building objects in three-dimension from a computer-aided design (CAD). In the printing process where sophisticated forms of printing are used, the material is added successively layer by layer. This is the reason why 3D printing is also referred to as additive manufacturing.

Many processes like presses, hammering and casting are involved in conventional manufacturing. But with 3D printing, materials are added in layers, hence making it more convenient to create objects as compared to manufacturing them conventionally.

It is only a matter of time and 3D printing will replace traditional manufacturing and assembly of products. With 3D printing, it is possible to get industrial prototypes and final products with utmost precision.

3D printing is synonymous to speed and optimisation in that objects are made in record time with efficiency and in a tidy working space, as opposed to traditional forms of manufacturing.

This process entails fusing of molecules and powder grains layer after the other. The layers are then solidified under computer control, resulting in a three-dimension product. Companies like Geomiq can even complete your project in 3 days.

Mobile telephony, aerospace and automotive industries are among those that have adopted this new form of production to create parts and crucial component. It ensures that parts are replaced, modernised and upgraded with new functionalities and components.

Some of the advantages of printing products in 3D over manufacturing them traditionally are as follows:

  • 3D printing is useful in training and consulting experts for new products and projects.
  • It helps in surveying and digitizing real parts.
  • It helps in remodelling and re-engineering.
  • It helps in faster production of prototypes in new inventions before mass production.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUfUxTUXYZk

All spheres of life require 3D printing and have already started reaping the benefits. For instance, the medical world is about to revolutionize organ transplant by availing some of these body parts through 3D printing. Parts like skin, limbs and kidneys are now available thanks to 3D printing.

Even the new space technologies are utilizing 3D printing such as Stargate’s Terran 1, the world’s 1st 3D printed rocket. Stargate’s patented technology gives way for an entirely new chain that made Terran1 possible.

Complex geometries can be fabricated as well quickly, in a reliable manner, and with lots of flexibility, regardless of the size. 3D printing comes with the benefit of low operational costs as compared to conventional manufacturing processes, which are typically expensive.

When one invests in an effective and affordable 3D printing solution, they are assured low-cost production and efficiency.

Statutory requirements and improved conditions of work coupled with customer satisfaction and changing trends and designs are all guaranteed by the use of additive manufacturing.

In addition, it is possible to redesign old data from drawings or even artefacts. To do this, you will first have to convert the old data to CAD data to provide the raw material for 3D printing. Once that is done, you will be able to create the exact product as the old one.

3D printing, however, requires a bit of conventional manufacturing to finish printed objects either by the assembly, milling and cutting by use of machines before getting the final product.

Physical projects are converted into digital models through 3D laser scanning, which allows quick and accurate capture of shape and geometrics. This provides a digital form to be used in the additive manufacturing process.

Image link: https://www.laserdesign.com/3d-scanning-parts-objects

This improved invention of paper printing is very resource-efficient by the fact that it has minimal or no waste at all as compared to conventional manufacturing. This automatically makes it cost-effective.

Contrary to traditional supply chains which would rely on the efficiencies of mass production and require many assembly workers, 3D printing requires very little work.

Additive manufacturing, however, has its shortcomings, especially when it goes past the prototyping stage.

One disadvantage is that, unlike traditional modes of manufacturing which recreate products with high speed, additive manufacturing is slower. This is because every product has to be produced in layers and the process has to be repeated for all the parts which may take hours.

The use of specific materials also requires different models of 3D printers which are specifically designed for those materials. A lot more innovations are required in 3D printing because some materials still can’t be worked on a 3D printer such as metal alloys owing to their high melting points.

Research and innovation are, however, ongoing to make advanced inventions of 3D printers. This could only mean that the future holds a lot about additive manufacturing.

Conclusion

3D printing is creating new possibilities in many fields. The process is quite fast and accurate, and that allows people to create prototypes easily before mass production. 3D printing or additive printing is quite efficient and cost-effective.

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.