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Guest vittos

3d Printing, The Next Revolution?

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Guest csven
And actually in production, from 3dsystems, for $9k (w/ a 9x6x8" envelope): http://www.modelin3d.com/

 

Meant to ask: Has 3D Systems resolved the legal issues holding the V-Flash up? Is it actually shipping?

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Guest michaelAtSPG
Meant to ask: Has 3D Systems resolved the legal issues holding the V-Flash up? Is it actually shipping?

 

Not actually shipping yet. I think things are "in the queue" awaiting some forward steps on the IP

front.

 

Related: I've just been going through some tests on the Perfactory RP machines (who's parent

company is the holder of the patents which are at issue above) and they are very impressive

(though expensive). If I can get this RP comparison finished I'll post it...it focuses on small

parts with high level-of-detail and compares surface quality and cost across identical builds on

7 commonly-available machines.

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Guest csven
If I can get this RP comparison finished I'll post it...

 

Would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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Guest simpson

Just had a go on the zcorp Spectrum Z510 machine the other day. the results were quite good, and if anyone's interested i can post some post-printing images (couldn't capture the printing process, because it was done during night). The cleaning process was a pain in the ass, because the parts were very thin and i accidentaly broke one in half (now repaired, primed and waiting for coloring) :)

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Guest simpson

The first steps reminded me of archaeological digging

Here i'm just trying to brush off the unnecessary powder (couldn't use a vacuum because of the small parts that could break in the process)

001.jpg

 

The rear part of the glider that i'm designing (had to cut the model in half because it wouldn't fit in the machine)

Max. 350x250x200 mm

002.jpg

 

Using a bigger brush here

003.jpg

 

The front part still in one priece :)

004.jpg

 

When out of the printer, drying in an oven at about 70 degrees celsius for 2h so i could blow off the left dust easily and to strengthen the material a little bit. (you can see the broken parts on the sheet of paper)

005.jpg

 

Using some kind of epoxy resin glue to make the model harder and glue the broken parts together.

006.jpg

 

Some parts were as thin as 1mm.

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Guest csven

Nice pics, simpson. Thanks for sharing those.

 

-

 

Just wanted to ask if anyone is familiar with "The Wedgwoodn't Project" (Link). I'm especially interested in ceramic material for RM, and am familiar with the work at Bowling Green (Link), but just saw Michael Eden's project and was curious about the unspecified details; mostly concerning the non-fired ceramic material sourced from an unnamed French company. I read all the development blog entries starting from last November, but there doesn't appear to be much detail of the material itself. It almost sounds as if this ceramic is an infiltrant applied to the Z Corp substrate.

 

Anything anyone could share would be much appreciated. I hate sending emails out of the blue to ask stuff like that.

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Just picked up on this thread. Csven, I saw your blog about RP and I totally agree. The knowledge of RP or RM from the majority of students is poor (sorry students). The knowledge from most practising designers is even worse....

 

I first used RP over 18 years ago. Since then the defining factor has been, I think, price. The service bureau type machines and SLA machines are still expensive and will always be specialist devices because the resins that they use are hellish expensive. The trend to "3D Printing" is probably more to describe the availablity of lower cost RP additive machines like the Dimensions, the Z Corps and the Unimatics (LOMs). The key identifier there are prototype production speed and cost of materials.

 

The problem for a practising designer is that no single process can deliver every desired result. In the last 6 months I have bought in SLS (in Nylon and Glass filled Nylon), SLA - Clear, translucent, Objet, Dimension FDA (in white and blue ABS), and, critically, CNC'd Acetal and Nylon parts from First Cut.

 

Of all the RP processes I find SLS is the best value vs function. Surface finish is OK and the parts are robust. But don't forget CNC as an option for rapid prototyping or rapid manufacture. This can be quicker and has a better surface finish and is in the production material.

 

The other critical factor is part size. For tiny parts (think bottle closure size and under) SLA-Viper, Objet Eden and the Envision machines are best. For Big parts, I'd opt for CNC or for complex parts SLA or FDM - basically because you can get machines that have build envelopes that can handle these big parts (over 1m wide). Anyhting else, you have the full choice of processes.

 

A great source of info is the Materialise website (www.materialise.com), and yes csven, Materialise did build their own SLA machines called Mammoths specifically to build car instrument panels in a single piece. They have also developed a range of Next Day services as well, all delivered via a web based order system for SLA, SLS, Objet and FDM. Works great.

 

Students, just because your college or uni doesn't have readily available RP facilities should not prevent you from using RP. Bureaus are VERY competitive on price these days. RP is now pretty much a commodity. In any case, all the leading bureau have excellent websites stacked with information - read it.

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To embed youtube video, use the 'Insert Special Item' drop down menu in the 'add reply' page and click on 'insert: Youtube' .

Then 'Enter the video id code' which is the code in the youtube URL just behind the '='

Voila!

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Guest csven

From the Desktop Factory newsletter (received yesterday):

 

On the reliability front we are slightly ahead of our projections. As we compile and assess our data we actually evaluate reliability at two distinct levels. One is the 'user' level and the second is the 'service technician' level. By this we mean that the 3D printer 'user' will be called upon to perform some level of preventative activity to maintain optimal performance of the system. Our goal is to make certain that the steps and the time required for this periodic maintenance are within reasonable limits. The 'service technician' is an external specialist trained to recover from a system failure or fault and return the printer to full use. This repair effort might be conducted on-site or at a service depot.

 

As of the end of May we are very pleased to report that 'user' preventative maintenance (PM) is currently suggested only every 10 days and should take well under an hour of time. This result is against a target of 7 days, so we are there. In terms of the need for a 'service technician', we are experiencing 20 days — about 4 weeks — of what we call MFOP, maintenance free operating period. These results are very encouraging as the target at launch for the MFOP is 90 days.

Not knowing what level of use this relates to, it's difficult to qualify that last bit, but even 90 days seems a bit low to me.

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As you say without knowing the criteria these figures are meaningless, but part of the aim of Desktop Factory was to make 3D printing more reliable for the end user. As their market is prosumer and it is being/will be marketed as a 3D printing solution for all it needs to be able to run far more reliably than any existing system on the market. 90 days is about average for a high end printing peripheral. Our copier/laser has a maintenance visit every few months from the supplier and it does not get huge usage.

 

I sincerely hope that Desktop Factory do sort everything out and do deliver what they promise. If they do the only problem they will have is being able to keep up with demand.

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Guest csven
Our copier/laser has a maintenance visit every few months from the supplier and it does not get huge usage.

I really should be thinking about it in these terms, but I keep thinking about it in terms of a typical inkjet.

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That will be Desktop Factory Mk2 :P

 

I do think this will happen within the next 5-10 years (3D printing like current inkjets). To be honest though my own feeling is that the real advances will come as a result of materials rather than hardware. If you take SLS as an example, the very latest materials give far better results in terms of finishes and properties when built on the same machines.

 

Last week I had 2 sets of SLS delivered. One from a regular supplier and the other from a company that visited me on spec. The regular one was OK - as expected, a bit of staircasing and general powdery surface texture. The new one, built on the same model of machine as my other supplier was far superior, less visible staircasing and a watertight sealed finish.....and it was cheaper.

 

Interesting aside:

 

All RP processes suffer from staircasing but a lot of the time this is due to the fact that we have production intent parts made by RP (eg ribs with draft angles, split surfaces etc). I did a proof of concept prototype for a customer a few weeks back and this was designed specifically for SLS production, so there were no issues with draft angles, split lines etc. The result is that the part is much cleaner to build - no staircasing as all functional support is vertical or horizontal, lighter as material can be placed exactly where needed etc. The only area where there were still issues were the visible external surfaces, and that was resolved with a quick rub down with wet and dry.

 

This were I think RP will become RM - support structures for external skins......now all I need to do is save up for a nice shiny new SLS machine :)

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