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.