Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Allen last won the day on December 17 2020

Allen had the most liked content!

1 Follower

About Allen

  • Rank
    Senior Contributor
  • Birthday 05/01/1985

Recent Profile Visitors

318 profile views
  1. Tagging @embodi3d or @Dr. Mike to help answer
  2. Hi @Akiva Elad thansk for being a member of the community. I'm tagging @Dr. Mike to help answer the question since he's our guru
  3. I actually think the pandemic will accelerate 3D printing ... this is one of those opportunities where the technology and hardware lends itself to more DIY / work from home work.
  4. The system only allows embeds that participate in the Open Embed (oEmbeds), which covers popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. We'd have to go custom for some of these niche sites.
  5. Yup I saw that original post in the other topic. We're probably going to need to commission a plugin to accept the SketchFab iframe. It shouldn't cost much, but waiting on permission from Dr. Mike for approval.
  6. <div class="sketchfab-embed-wrapper"> <iframe title="A 3D model" width="640" height="480" src="https://sketchfab.com/models/9d3a3e42c0054c35aa39c3ee07388d16/embed?autostart=0&amp;ui_controls=1&amp;ui_infos=1&amp;ui_inspector=1&amp;ui_stop=1&amp;ui_watermark=1&amp;ui_watermark_link=1" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen; vr" mozallowfullscreen="true" webkitallowfullscreen="true"></iframe> <p style="font-size: 13px; font-weight: normal; margin: 5px; color: #4A4A4A;"> <a href="https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/tyrannosaurus-rex-9d3a3e42c0054c35aa39c3ee07388d16?utm_medium=embed&utm_source=website&utm_campaign=share-popup" target="_blank" style="font-weight: bold; color: #1CAAD9;">Tyrannosaurus Rex</a> by <a href="https://sketchfab.com/D.art?utm_medium=embed&utm_source=website&utm_campaign=share-popup" target="_blank" style="font-weight: bold; color: #1CAAD9;">D.art</a> on <a href="https://sketchfab.com?utm_medium=embed&utm_source=website&utm_campaign=share-popup" target="_blank" style="font-weight: bold; color: #1CAAD9;">Sketchfab</a> </p> </div>
  7. [sketchfab]9d3a3e42c0054c35aa39c3ee07388d16[/sketchfab] Tyrannosaurus Rex by D.art on Sketchfab
  8. Tagging @Angel Sosa for a potential blog article!
  9. (The post Is Getting A 3D Printer Worth It? Pros and Cons appeared first on 3D Insider. View the full article) With the holiday season starting, there are probably lots of people who are considering getting a 3D printer as a treat for themselves or for the special people in their lives. 3D printing has become pretty popular nowadays as a hobby for people who are stuck at home – which most of us still are. While we’re generally biased towards getting more people into 3D printing, we won’t lie and say that it’s a good idea across the board. There are a few caveats to consider. Just as with any other hobby, 3D printing is fun but it’s not for everybody. Before buying that 3D printer, here are a few pros and cons to mull over. PRO: Exercises your creativity In terms of creative freedom, there probably isn’t a commercial technology that can rival 3D printing. While there are a few limitations, a 3D printer generally does a good job of recreating any digital 3D model in real life. If you’re the type of person who likes to explore creative ideas, then the possibilities with 3D printing are virtually endless. You will probably start off 3D printing simple objects like cellphone cases and flower vases but can eventually move on to more complex figurines and miniatures. If you’re willing to put in the time, you can even learn to create your own 3D models using a CAD software platform. The therapeutic value of doing something that engages your creativity and imagination cannot be understated, especially at a time when many of us find it difficult to do any sort of traveling or face-to-face social meetings. A 3D printer is an excellent holiday treat for you or for anyone you know who is really into creating things. CON: Takes up a lot of space Before you decide to buy a 3D printer, consider if the person you’re buying it for has enough space for it. Yes, there are now desktop-scale 3D printers that take up just as much as space a tower CPU case, or any standard kitchen appliance. However, a 3D printer does not exist in a vacuum – it’s going to need a bunch of supplies and accessories. Between keeping a stock of filament spools and making sure that the 3D printer has enough ventilation, you’re almost certainly going to need a large room for this simple hobby. Despite what many 3D printing articles will tell you, 3D printing out of your living room or bedroom is not a great idea. Aside from the clutter of all the accessories and supplies, 3D printing emits a lot of unpleasant fumes that you do NOT want to come in contact with your beddings, furniture, or food. The perfect place for a 3D printer would be an open garage or an isolated workshop with large windows. If you live in a one-bedroom apartment, we suggest thinking a bit more carefully about where you’re going to put a 3D printer before splurging out on one. PRO: You can learn new things If you’re giving a 3D printer to someone who has had no experience with the technology at all, then it will provide the perfect opportunity for that person to learn something new. The best thing about 3D printers as a learning tool is that they are quite fun and engaging. In fact, they are so effective that 3D printers are starting to become staple parts of classrooms and learning institutions worldwide. There are a lot of knowledge areas to branch out on once you have a 3D printer. Working with the 3D printer and different filaments will involve a lot of troubleshooting and tweaking with printer settings, which will inevitably teach you lessons on electronics, thermodynamics, and engineering. On the software side, more advanced users can start to learn how to create their own 3D models. This is an entirely new avenue for creativity, as you will no longer need to make do with models that can be downloaded online. CON: Requires significant time and effort to learn As with any new skill, learning about 3D printing is going to take significant time and effort. For some people, having to overcome this learning curve can be a frustrating experience. If this is your first time to delve into 3D printing, you will inevitably run into several failed prints before you create one you’re satisfied with. Branching out into different filaments will also present different challenges and re-runs of previous frustrating moments. As with other hobbies that eventually get forgotten, there are probably millions of desktop 3D printers worldwide that have barely been used. This is just a risk that is inherent with any new hobby that you or some other person could potentially get into. It may click, or it may not. If you’re giving a 3D printer as a gift, you might want to throw in a good guidebook to basic 3D printing to get them started on the right foot. PRO: Complements your other hobbies One of the biggest advantages of the versatility of 3D printing is that it can fit perfectly well with several other hobbies. If you’re into the collection of miniatures and action figures, a 3D printer will allow you to create your very own figures and customize them as you please. People who are into board games and RPGs have been very active in designing and printing their own pieces at a fraction of the cost of commercially available pieces. 3D printers have been used to create everything from broken furniture pieces to guitar parts, props and costumes, and home furnishings. While there are still limitations to the technology, your imagination provides a pretty wide berth for what you can do with 3D printing. Even if you cannot fully get into 3D printing or modeling as a hobby, you might still make good use of your 3D printer to support your other hobbies. In this regard, it will be an enabler of your current hobbies and not the end-product. CON: Might not be as engaging as your other hobbies 3D printing is a hobby that requires patience. If you’re a beginner, you will have to read up on the basics, choose between the different filaments, and figure out how to fix things when problems come up. There’s also the fact that a single 3D printing project can take up to 12 hours to finish. What we’re trying to say is that you need to know what you’re getting into when you buy a 3D printer. It will involve a lot of reading, watching tutorial videos, tinkering with hardware, playing around with slicer settings, and a LOT of waiting for a project to get printed. For some people, this may not be their idea of a good time. Again, this is probably one of the reasons why a lot of desktop 3D printers ger abandoned eventually. This is a hobby that requires a lot of work, and not all of it can be described as exciting or engaging. PRO: Can be used for a business Not everyone who buys a 3D printer intends to use it just for fun. For more enterprising users, 3D printing can either be offered as a service or be used to create customized commercial products. Considering how many 3D printing startups have popped up in the last couple of years, there is certainly a market for this type of business. A fair warning, though – it’s best to go into 3D printing as a business once you already have solid experience. There are a LOT of people nowadays going into the 3D printing business, and the market has become increasingly competitive. It’s no longer enough to download models off Thingiverse and 3D print them. It would be advantageous if you can create your own models from scratch. CON: Might not produce a return on investment at all If you’re buying a 3D printer with the expectation that it will pay for itself eventually, then we’re telling you right now that this may not pan out as you are hoping. It will take a lot of work before you can even earn your first dollar in 3D printing. Aside from an initial investment in the 3D printer, you will also need to spend on several filament spools and other tools essential for troubleshooting and finishing of finished prints. You will inevitably end up with failed prints, which adds up the operating costs of a 3D printing business. Our advice? If you want to get into 3D printing as a hobby, then don’t go into it expecting that you’ll earn from it eventually. Much like other hobbies, 3D printing can prove to be a black hole for your time and expenses. Even so, it’s worth it if 3D printing gives you the satisfaction of exercising your creative muscles and learning something new. Final thoughts Is it a good idea to buy a 3D printer this holiday season? Under the right circumstances and with the appropriate mindset, yes, a 3D printer would be a great treat. However, we recommend managing your expectations a little. A 3D printer is not a toy but it’s not an automatic money-making machine, either. In as much as 3D printers seem fun, they also require a lot of work. If you’re the type who can commit several hours per day tinkering with your 3D printer, then it’s a great product for you. However, this is a hobby that is more likely going to get set aside if you’re already too busy for it.
  10. (The post How to Ensure Good Ventilation When 3D Printing appeared first on 3D Insider. View the full article) With more people taking on 3D printing as a hobby, it has become incredibly common to see 3D printers being set up in someone’s garage, living room, or bedroom. However, there is more to 3D printing than just buying a good 3D printer and some tools – especially when it comes to safety. On top of the hazards related to high temperatures and moving parts, the risk of inhaling fumes from the 3D printing process is something that every user and owner of a 3D printer needs to take heed of. How can one make sure that their 3D printing setup has enough ventilation? The importance of good ventilation Much has already been written about the respiratory hazards associated with 3D printing. Most of these discussions have emphasized the importance of ventilation for 3D printing at the industrial scale, but these precautions also apply to those who 3D print at their homes. In terms of composition, these respiratory hazards can be classified into two types – toxic fumes and plastic nanoparticles. Toxic fumes Toxic fumes can refer to any chemical or volatile organic compound (VOC) released by the plastic filament when they are heated. The actual chemical composition of these fumes, as well as their effects on long-term health, will depend on the specific type of filament material. ABS may be one of the most common plastics used in 3D printing, but it is also one of the most dangerous in terms of chemical emissions. When heated, ABS produces a gas called styrene. This chemical compound has been linked to carcinogenic effects among those who have gone through sustained or prolonged exposure. In the short term, exposure to styrene can also cause headaches, drowsiness, and a feeling of fatigue. PETG and Nylon are also filaments that are commonly part of the discussion on the topic of hazardous chemical fumes. Both these plastics release a compound called caprolactam when they are heated. It is slightly less dangerous as it is not a proven carcinogen but can still cause short-term irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Those who have been exposed for longer periods have developed malaise, headaches, feelings of confusion, or peeling of the skin. As a general rule of thumb, any unpleasant smell during 3D printing should be taken as a sign that there is an unhealthy concentration of chemical fumes in the room. However, the lack of an unpleasant smell should not be taken as a sign that everything is well – some of these chemical fumes can be imperceptible, even in high concentrations. Plastic nanoparticles While not all plastics used in 3D printing emit harmful fumes, the heat and pressure involved in 3D printing make it very likely to release plastic nanoparticles in the air. This is true of just about all 3D printing plastics – including the seemingly benign PLA. Nanoparticles can be absorbed by the body either through inhalation or skin contact. Over the long term, exposure to these nanoparticles has been linked to the development of certain types of cancers. Direct inhalation can also lead to a host of respiratory problems such as bronchitis and asthma. According to some studies, it can take up to 30 minutes for the nanoparticle concentration in a room to go back to normal levels after 3D printing operations. As a rule of thumb, filaments that print at higher temperatures typically release a higher concentration of these nanoparticles. ABS and PLA provide the perfect comparison for this concept. It is estimated that ABS can release between 3 to 30 times more nanoparticles than PLA. Other high-temperature filaments, such as Nylon and Polystrene, have also been found to release very high levels of nanoparticles. Whether you’re 3D printing at home or in a commercial site, the research on the matter is pretty conclusive – there is an inherent respiratory health hazard to 3D printing. With this in mind, the best precaution is to use your 3D printer in an area with good ventilation. Options for 3D printing ventilation The need for good ventilation applies both to commercial 3D printing operations as well to those who only 3D print at their homes. Safety measures need not be expensive. A careful selection of where you place your 3D printer plays a big role, but you can also get a few pieces of hardware to help. Here are a few measures you can take to avoid health hazards while 3D printing: Print in an open area The best option is to 3D print in an area with good cross-ventilation. This could be a garage with the doors open, a workshop located outdoors, or a toolshed with several open windows. The most important thing is to have a constant flow of fresh air to disperse and displace the chemical fumes and nanoparticles from your 3D printer. Use an enclosed 3D printer There are now a lot of desktop-scale 3D printers that come with built-in enclosures. These might be a little more expensive than their more “open” counterparts but the benefits they provide are certainly worth the added cost. 3D printer enclosures do a great job of restricting the spread of unpleasant fumes. These typically also come with a built-in venting system with a HEPA filter which helps remove plastic nanoparticles from the air before it exits from the vent. Take note that the chemical fumes likely won’t be removed completely by a filter, so it’s still best to set up your 3D printer in an area with good ventilation. Install an air extractor If you only have a small window in your workshop, then opening it might not be enough to provide enough ventilation. In this case, you should consider using an active air extraction system such as this Twin Window Fan from CCC Comfort Zone. These are designed to be mounted on any standard-sized windows and can be used to either draw out the air from inside the room or to introduce fresh air from the outside. Either way, having a window fan will encourage air circulation inside the room and prevent the unhealthy accumulation of chemical fumes. Use an air purifier An air purifier can be an additional accessory if you feel that your room still isn’t receiving enough ventilation. Just to be clear, an air purifier should not be relied on completely – it can only remove so much of the air contaminants and will likely get overwhelmed if you’re 3D printing in a completely enclosed room. If you’re planning to get an air purifier, then make sure to get one that can neutralize both nanoparticles and chemical fumes. You should primarily be on the lookout for an air purifier with a HEPA filter, a carbon filter, and ionizing technology. This air purifier from Medify Air is a good option that we can recommend. Print only with PLA If you don’t need your 3D printed projects to be exceptionally durable or rigid, then you can consider printing only with PLA filament. Compared to other filaments, PLA is likely the one that creates the lowest level of respiratory hazards. With PLA, you don’t need to worry as much about the effects of styrene or caprolactam. However, you will still need some protection from the plastic nanoparticles. Another factor to watch out for are the additives that could be in your PLA filament. The PLA material itself is relatively benign, but your specific filament brand may have dyes or other stabilizers that are relatively more toxic. If you don’t know exactly how safe these additives are, then it’s best to simply exercise maximum caution. Printing with PLA can be a viable option if you have no choice but to print in a room with poor ventilation. Take note that staying in the same room for the 7 to 10 hours it takes to finish 3D printing a project is still not a good idea. Final thoughts Coming up with a clear qualifier of whether your 3D printing environment is dangerous or not is virtually impossible. After all, there is an endless combination of 3D printer types, filaments, room sizes, and methods for air circulation. In the face of this uncertainty, the best thing we can recommend is to just err on the side of safety. The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of effort to protect yourself and the people around you from the respiratory hazards of 3D printing. Simply opening your windows is already a huge help. The key component is plain common sense – if the smell gets too strong or if you start getting dizzy, then you probably aren’t getting enough ventilation.
  11. Now that STEM education is being pushed to the forefront, 3D printers are increasingly becoming more common parts of classrooms around the world. This is a welcome development, of course, as 3D printing and other more advanced manufacturing technologies may prove to be vital parts of one’s skill set in the near future. This development presents an important question – how safe are 3D printers for kids? Can teachers leave students to use 3D printers unsupervised? What safety measures can schools and teachers take to ensure that no untoward incidents happen when kids work with 3D printers? The hazards of 3D printing The first step in establishing effective safety practices is to acknowledge that there are inherent hazards to 3D printing. After all, you’re still dealing with a machine with parts that can be heated beyond 200 °C. If you need to teach kids about using 3D printers, then you might as well tell them about the following hazards as well: Moving parts There are a lot of moving parts in a 3D printer, almost all of which are driven by the rotation of stepper motors. While these gears are typically inaccessible, it’s much easier for the smaller fingers of children to get caught within these moving parts. It’s good practice for both kids and adults to refrain from touching the moving parts of a 3D printer while printing is ongoing. Heat Heat is an important part of 3D printing. It also provides some of its most pervasive hazards. Depending on the filament you’re working with, you might have an extruder temperature that goes as high as 200 to 250 °C. Most 3D printers also have heated print beds that can be heated close to 100 °C. The filament material, of course, is also very hot when it comes out of the extruder nozzle. These are things to watch out for, especially if you’re dealing with a bunch of curious children. Fumes When 3D printing, massive heat is applied to the plastic filament materials. Different filaments react in different ways to this heat, but it is much safer to assume that they all release fumes that can range from irritating to downright toxic. Even if you can’t smell anything, the pressure and heat of extrusion also release plastic micro-particles which can result in long-term respiratory problems in humans. Tools Aside from the 3D printer itself, completing or finishing 3D printing projects will often involve the use of other tools. Some of these tools are sharp and can still cause injury when used improperly or without proper supervision. If absolutely necessary, you may have to incorporate training for using these tools into your 3D printing class. However, there are tools that are simply too dangerous to leave in the hands of small children. In listing down these potential hazards, one must always recognize that children are naturally curious and that they might not have developed a sufficient level of motor skills to work with small parts or tools. This means that there must always be a context in the development of safety practices – a different set of rules will be needed between middle schoolers and very young students. Best 3D printing safety practices for kids The best safety measure is one that eliminates the hazard completely. If this cannot be done, the next best thing is to reduce the hazard or prevent access to it. These will be our guiding principles in formulating safety measures for kids for 3D printing education. Get a 3D printer with an enclosure The best way to keep the kids away from the moving or hot parts of a 3D printer is to simply isolate them. Fortunately, a lot of the new desktop-scale 3D printers being sold nowadays come with built-in enclosures. Models from Flashforge, Dremel, and Monoprice are some good options. These are ideal because they provide protection and isolate the fumes of 3D printing while still allowing students to watch while the 3D printing process unfolds. The physical barrier is highly effective in discouraging kids from poking and prodding the 3D printer while it is still running. You can also set these 3D printers to stop operations as soon as the enclosure or cover is removed, ensuring that no accidents happen even if you’re not actively supervising. Place warning stickers on parts that can get hot We realize that warning stickers don’t always work, especially with kids, but it’s still a good idea to have them, nonetheless. They are a good indicator of which parts of the 3D printer get hot. This is a lesson that most people get to learn the hard way, after all. For best results, we suggest sticking warning labels that are colored bright red. Make sure to use stickers that are actually meant for use in high temperatures, lest you end up with one that gets washed out after just a few weeks. Inspect the 3D printer before use A major responsibility of the instructor is to inspect the 3D printers before use to check for any signs of damage. If there are any exposed wires, then it might be a good idea to have the printer repaired first. Do not touch any parts of a 3D printer while it is running A good general rule of thumb is to tell your students that under no circumstance should they touch any of the parts of a 3D printer while it is still running except for the control panel. This rule applies to students of all ages as well as to you as the instructor – yes, this is a great opportunity to lead by example. Avoid crowding around the 3D printer while it is running Even with all safeguards in place, it is best to enforce a minimum distance between your students and the 3D printer while it is still running. Not only does this help prevent curious fingers from prodding the machine, but it also lessens their exposure to a 3D printer’s harmful fumes. Letting them watch the 3D printer from about five feet away should let them appreciate the process without exposing them to unnecessary hazards. Do not eat or drink near the 3D printer It’s a good idea to treat your 3D printing class like you would a chemistry laboratory – everyone should be wearing the proper protective equipment while working, and there should be no eating or drinking in class. Any food or drink has the potential of getting contaminated with the chemical fumes that 3D printing releases. A spilled drink will also be bad news for any electronics and can result in some extreme accidents. Have students wear goggles, gloves, and respiratory protection A 3D printing class is an excellent avenue to teach students about general safety. Part of safety is making sure that you are wearing safety equipment appropriate to the activity you are doing. In the case of 3D printing, you will want to wear protection for your eyes, mouth, and nose to avoid chemical inhalation or contamination. Heat-resistant gloves are also recommended whenever you need to touch potentially hot parts. Since chemical fumes could be anywhere in the classroom, we recommend having all the students wear eye and breathing protection whenever a 3D printer is running as long as they are in the same room. Make sure to use masks that have been specially designed for chemical fumes and not just common particulates. Print in a well-ventilated area If you have the option to open windows during printing, then do so. This will help disperse the fumes that 3D printers emit. This is a recommended measure even if you’re using a fully enclosed 3D printer with a dedicated filtered vent. If your room does not have large windows, then you might want to reconsider relocating your class to somewhere with better ventilation. Only print with PLA PLA is probably the friendliest filament to work with if you’re teaching 3D printing to kids. It prints at lower temperatures, does not need a heated printing bed, and does not release unpleasant fumes. PLA also isn’t as prone to warping as other 3D printing filaments, making it less likely for your students to go through the frustrating experience of having to start a 3D printing project all over. Watch out for signs of asthma, allergy, or any flu-like symptoms There’s a good chance that the kids in your class have not been exposed to the type of chemical fumes that 3D printers release. Even with breathing protection, you will need to keep a close eye on your students and watch out for adverse reactions. If any of your students show signs of difficulty breathing or allergic reactions, then it would be best to have them step outside the room right away. Get in touch with medical personnel if symptoms don’t improve after a few minutes. As with most safety guidelines, it’s equally important to be receptive to adding or revising the rules as you see fit. Different facilities may require a different set of rules depending on the goals of the course and the available equipment. Final thoughts It wasn’t that long ago when ‘shop class’ was a common thing in schools. Learning woodworking is no longer as common nowadays and have been replaced by more tech-oriented fields. With schools opening courses on 3D printing, we feel it our duty to try and provide assistance on how they can keep these classes safe. The good news is that a lot of desktop-scale 3Dprinters for sale today have been pretty well-designed when it comes to safety. If you can get an enclosed 3D printer with an integrated HEPA filter vent, then that’s already half the battle won. The post 3D Printing Safety Tips for Kids appeared first on 3D Insider. View the full article
  12. Researchers from the Korea-based Asan Medical Center have 3D printed surgical guides that could help cancer patients to retain more of their breasts after surgery. The scientists found during testing that they were not only able to customize their devices to each patient, but they could save tissue up to 1cm from the tumor. In […] View the full article
  13. (The post The 8 Best Books to Learn About 3D Printing appeared first on 3D Insider. View the full article) We might be living in an era of YouTube videos and online tutorials, but there’s nothing wrong with reading an old-fashioned book to learn about something. Since a lot of us are still stuck indoors most of the time nowadays, it would be a great time to pick up a good book and learn something at the same time. We have compiled a list of the some of the best books for those who are interested in learning about 3D printing. We also recognize that 3D printing is quickly becoming a popular topic in STEM education, so we’ve included a few titles that are written specifically for kids. 1. BEST FOR BASICS: The 3D Printing Handbook: Technologies, designs, and applications This is a book we recommend for pure beginners to 3D printing who want to cover as many of the topics as comprehensively as possible. Granted that it’s not going to turn you into an expert, but it will help make you informed enough to jump into 3D printing as a hobby. The book includes a detailed overview of all the different types of 3D printing technologies, their corresponding pros and cons, and the factors to consider when choosing between each type. To demonstrate just how useful 3D printing is, the book also includes accounts or case studies of how 3D printing is used in various industries across the world. Just to be clear, this book is just an introduction to 3D printing and will not help you in any way when it’s time to work on an actual project. To that end, the ‘handbook’ in the book’s title is somewhat misleading. If you already know the basics of 3D printing technology, then this book has very little value to you. 2. BEST FOR GETTING STARTED: Getting Started with 3D Printing: A Hands-on Guide to the Hardware, Software, and Services Behind the New Manufacturing Revolution 1st Edition This is the book for those who are looking to get their hands dirty on an actual 3D printing project. Even if you haven’t purchased a 3D printer yet, this book provides a good overview of the available technologies and the pros and cons of each option. It also touches on some software that can be useful for 3D printing. The nice thing about this book is that it goes beyond the very bare basics and jumps into a few hands-on tutorials. This is great for those who want to start building their own models for 3D printing. The tips in the book are also useful for setting up your 3D models in the Cura slicer software. The book also contains a short section on the different types of 3D printing materials and an overview of the technology for 3D scanning. Unfortunately, the book stops just short of giving tips for actually executing a project on your 3D printer. You’ll be more than halfway there, though, so you’ll just have to supplement this book with other learning material. 3. BEST FOR KIDS: Peter And Pablo The Printer: Adventures In Making The Future This book is an excellent pick for parents who would like to introduce their young kids to the benefits and limitations of 3D printing technology. As you can tell, this is not a technical book and certainly won’t drown your kid with jargon or other details they would not care about. Instead, it’s a simple storybook with a fairly unique topic. The book tells the story of Pablo, a curious kid who is gifted with a magical 3D printer. Using the printer, Pablo is able to create virtually everything. Soon enough, Pablo goes from printing any toy he wants to creating his very own friends. You can probably tell where the story goes from there as Pablo learns that technology isn’t the solution for everything. While the moral values are the main focus of the book, it may also pique the curiosity of your kid to ask about 3D printing. Just make sure you can afford to buy one when that curiosity grows! 4. BEST FOR TROUBLESHOOTING: 3D Printing Failures: 2020 Edition: How to Diagnose and Repair ALL Desktop 3D Printing Issues Troubleshooting is pretty much a natural part of 3D printing. No matter how well you prepare or how regularly you maintain your 3D printer, problems will inevitably come up. This book provides a handy guide for solving some of the most common 3D printing problems. We consider this one of the best 3D printing books because it’s valuable both for beginners and experienced users. The troubleshooting guides are extremely detailed and include illustrations and photos, lists of tools and materials, and where to get them. We find that even people with years of 3D printing experience still learn a lot from this book. A nice thing about this book is that it’s the latest entry in a continuing series. The 2020 version is about 50% longer than the previous one with rewritten chapters, new photos, and seven fresh chapters. With the dedication of the publishing team to refine this troubleshooting guide, we’re really eager to support them so they can continue with this work. 5. BEST FOR PROJECT IDEAS: 3D Printing Projects Once you have your 3D printer set up, what are you going to print? If you had this book on hand, then you’re not going to run out of ideas. As the title implies, this book has dozens of ideas for projects you can create with your 3D printer from basic models to more complex ones. One thing to note is that the book does not provide any design files for its projects. Instead, you’ll have to create the models yourself using a standard 3D modeling software or via 3D scanning technology. This may sound overwhelming but don’t worry – the book makes it easy for you. It’s also nice to learn about basic 3D modeling if you’re going into 3D printing. Each design comes with detailed instructions down to the recommended filament material or color to use. Think of it as an arts and crafts book that was specifically written for 3D printers. 6. BEST FOR CAD DESIGN: 3D PRINTING PROJECTS: 200 3D Practice Drawings For 3D Printing On Your 3D Printer While some people get by with printing models that can be downloaded for free, how about you do one better and create your own 3D models? If you have access to CAD software but haven’t gotten around to mastering it yet, then this book will get you started in the right direction. The book provides a series of figures and drawings to practice using your CAD software. The figures progress from simple to complex, allowing you to grow your skills gradually. Take note that the book’s value lies in actually trying to recreate the drawings – you’re not going to learn anything just by looking at them. Designing in CAD can be one of the most valuable skills you can learn for 3D printing. Frankly, this is something that a lot of people who are into 3D printing have no idea about. If you don’t want to be limited by the models that are available online, better get practicing. 7. BEST FOR THE END OF DAYS: The Zombie Apocalypse Guide to 3D printing: Designing and printing practical objects 1st Edition This book takes a more tongue-in-cheek approach to 3D printing by highlighting how useful a 3D printer can be in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Don’t disregard this book as a joke book, though, as this zombie plot only acts as a framework for a very practical guide to 3D printing. Within the scenario of a zombie apocalypse, the tips given by the book focus on a few things such as increasing print speed, making you prints stronger, and making sure that your 3D printer does not break down. The theme does get exaggerated at times, and it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between a joke and a legitimate tip. If the author’s goal was to make this book the most captivating 3D printing guide, then we’ll have to say that he was successful. Get this book if you like your tutorials with a dash of creativity. 8. BEST FOR ENTREPRENEURS: How To Make Money With 3D Printing: Passive Profits, Hacking The 3D Printing Ecosystem And Becoming A World-Class 3D Designer There are probably lots of people who are considering going into 3D printing and growing it to eventually generate profits, but it can be tough to know where to start. That is exactly the problem that this book seeks to address. The book goes through the basics of 3D printing before delving into more business-related matters such as which software and hardware to get, where to get inspiration for 3D models, and how to market a 3D printing service. It even discusses other ways to make money from 3D printing such as by investing in 3D printing companies and offering 3D printing tutorials. While reading the book certainly isn’t a guarantee that you will be successful with a 3D printing business, it’s a great way to at least know how to get started. It does not dwell on the more technical aspects of 3D printing, so you may need more references for troubleshooting and refining your 3D printing technique. Final thoughts While it’s true that you can learn just about anything online nowadays, there are still some of us who miss the feeling of flipping through a book. If you’ve been struggling with following online tutorials to learn about 3D printing, then a good book might just be what you’re looking for. No matter what skill level you are or how you intend to use a 3D printer, you should find a book on this list that will appeal to you.
  14. As one of the most well-known names in the 3D printing industry, Czech-based Prusa Research has built a solid reputation bolstered by the excellent quality of their 3D printers. The open-source model adopted by manufacturer Josef Prusa has helped make the development of these printers a work done by the community. Right now, Prusa sells four 3D printer models, all of which are relatively affordable and highly reviewed. If you want to get in on this action, then here’s a detailed guide on which Prusa 3D printer you should go for, regardless of your level of experience. 1. Original Prusa Mini Price: $349.00 Launch date: Late 2019 Ideal for: Beginners, users with limited space As the name implies, the Original Prusa Mini is a highly compact 3D printer that offers all the best features of the full-sized Prusa models. This is also their entry into the budget market – it costs less than half the price of Prusa’s flagship 3D printer, the Original Prusa I3 MK3S. With its small 380 x 330 mm footprint, the Original Prusa Mini is the perfect 3D printer for those who don’t have a lot of space to work. Of course, this also means that the build volume of the Prusa Mini is fairly limited at 180 x 180 x 180 mm. This is something you’ll have to deal with but all the brilliant design elements we have come to expect from Prusa are there – from the magnetic steel print bed to the colored LCD screen interface. The Prusa Mini comes almost fully disassembled when it ships, so expect to spend between 1 to 2 hours for assembly. A lot of thought has gone into making the assembly instructions as intuitive and easy to follow as possible, so even beginners should find this whole experience fun. To help keep the Prusa Mini small, it comes with a Bowden-style extruder. Much has been said and written about the complications of using a Bowden extruder, and all those pretty much still manifest in the Prusa Mini. With a longer path for the filament to travel, the Bowden Extruder can clog more frequently than you care for. If this happens, you may need to loosen the extruder gear or replace the PTFE lining of the hot end completely to get the filament running again. Aside from that hiccup, the Prusa Mini has elements that make it very beginner-friendly. It ships with the PrusaSlice slicer software which has now been updated with a profile for the Mini. You can run the slicer in Simple mode which only gives the most basic parameters to adjust, or you can switch over to Expert mode for more customization options. Loading of files into the Prusa Mini can be done either via a USB cable or online through the printer’s Ethernet port. The color LCD screen of the Prusa Mini is also a very useful tool for starting up and monitoring the status of the project. At the onset, the screen displays the estimated time it will take for the project to finish and how much filament it will consume. The display then updates as printing progresses to show the total elapsed time. One of the best features of the Prusa Mini (and other Prusa printers) is the removable magnetic print bed. Not only can the bed be heated up to 100 C, but it has also been coated with PEI to help with bed adhesion and can be easily popped off the printer to facilitate removal of your finished print. It works great in most cases, although the temperature limitation of the bed can be problematic in some cases. According to Prusa, the Mini can work with a selection of filament materials that include PLA, ABS, PETG, ASA, and ABS. The maximum temperature that the extruder can reach is 280 C, which should theoretically be hot enough to print with Nylon. However, warping can be a problem because of the limited bed temperature. If you’re planning on printing with Nylon or ABS, it would be a good idea to use a DIY enclosure. The Prusa Mini lacks an empty filament sensor (only available as an optional upgrade) or any print resume function. This is presumably a move to help keep the price of the printer down and is not a deal-breaker in any way. Overall, the Original Prusa Mini is a compelling product for those who want to get into 3D printing but aren’t willing to spend $500 to $1000 on their first 3D printer. Prusa seems to have designed the Mini specifically to be beginner-friendly with the level of care and quality that we have come to expect from the brand. 2. Original Prusa i3 MK3S Price: $749.00 (kit) or $999.00 (assembled) Launch date: Early 2020 Ideal for: Experienced users The flagship of the Prusa brand, the i3 MK3S is Prusa’s follow-up to the award-winning MK2S printer. Even with lofty expectations, the i3 MK3S has managed to impress just about every industry expert and has been repeatedly declared as the best 3D printer of 2020 by several review sites. Simply put, this 3D printer benefits from all the lessons learned from the other Prusa models that came before it. It features improvements in the empty filament sensor, extruder design, and slicer software. Combined with the old and reliable features, the i3 MK3S is simply described as a 3D printer that works without being too complicated to use. The beefier i3 MK3S can accommodate a maximum build volume of 250 x 210 x 200 mm, which should be enough for all but the exceptionally large 3D printing projects. As with previous iterations, its printhead is mounted on rails that allow movement in both the X-axis and Z-axis, while the print bed is free to move along the Y-axis. This design helps with rigidity and eases the movement requirement of the print bed, allowing for printing that is more precise, faster, and quieter. The i3 MK3S uses a direct extruder which has been redesigned with two extruder gears. This makes the handling of all filament types, including flexible ones, less problematic. The extruder has also been redesigned to allow access and replacement of the PTFE tubing without having to take apart the entire extruder assembly. The magnetic PEI-coated print bed is back in the i3 MK3S. This time, Prusa offers both a smooth PEI sheet and a textured PEI sheet for better adhesion. The bed temperature can reach a maximum of 120 C, while the hot end temperature can be heated up to 200 C. At these temperatures, printing with filaments like Nylon, ABS, or Polycarbonate should no longer be a problem, although you might still need an enclosure. An all-metal hot end contributes as well to making the i3 MK3S as versatile as possible in terms of filament compatibility. The Prusa i3 MK3S is a fairly “smart” 3D printer. It comes with an automatic bed leveling feature and has a “Power Panic” mode which kicks in if there is a loss of power. Once the printer detects a power interruption, it shuts down all heating systems and saves the status of the current print job so you can pick up right where you left off when the power comes back. The i3 MK3S comes with the Prusa Slic3r, a slicer software that is powerful yet intuitive and easy to use. This version of the slicer has been upgraded with more profile options, easily allowing users to swap between “Speed” and “Quality” modes. The Prusa i3 MK3S isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s easily one of the most reliable, yet easy to use, 3D printers available right now. The various quality-of-life improvements that Prusa has made with this 3D printer has rounded it out into one of the best they have ever developed. Prusa also offers top-notch customer service should you run into any problems. This printer is highly recommended for users with a moderate level of experience who are considering offering commercial 3D printing services. 3. Original Prusa i3 Multi Material 2S Upgrade Kit Price: $299 IDEAL FOR: Long-time owners of the Prusa i3 MK3S This is not a separate 3D printer but is instead just an upgrade to the Original Prusa i3 MK3S. The technology has been around for a couple of years but has now been updated to its best version in the MMU2S. This kit is also compatible with the MK2.5 and MK3 versions of the Prusa i3 printers. Like the older versions, the MMU2S is designed to handle switching between up to five different filaments. It’s basically a print head replacement for the Prusa i3 MK3S, although saying it that way may be understating just how complex the setup can be. Assembly of the MMU2S is just slightly more complicated than the assembly of the MK3S printer itself, in case you ordered it as a kit. Thus, we recommend getting familiar with the components of your 3D printer before going ahead and ordering this upgrade. Prusa has made a lot of improvements in this version of the Multi Material upgrade. It now has a direct extruder (instead of Bowden) and just a single PTFE tube to lead the selected filament into the extruder. It also benefits from the new hybrid mechanical-optical filament sensor of the i3 MK3S, as well as its Bondtech double extruder gears. The MMU2S kit comes with an external filament buffer which helps prevent filament entanglement and makes it so much easier to position the five filament spools relative to the printer. It seamlessly integrates into the smart systems of the i3 MK3S and can also detect and recover from power loss. The standard Prusa Slic3r software supports the MMU2S upgrade with its various wipe features. To save on filament and time, you can choose to either wipe excess filament into the infill, into an object, or simply have a Smart Wipe Tower. This allows for a clean changeover from one filament to another while minimizing filament waste. One only needs to look at Prusa’s showcase of prints made using their MMU2S upgrade to realize the potential of this add-on. It requires a step-up in terms of technical skill to fully utilize its potential, but this is an upgrade worth considering for anyone who has spent time with their Prusa i3 printers. 4. Original Prusa SL1 Price: $1399 (kit), $1699 (assembled) Launch date: Early 2019 IDEAL FOR: Professional and commercial users Prusa has managed to build a pretty solid reputation with their FDM printers, so it really was only a matter of time before they delved into SLA printing. The SL1 represents their initial effort and was only made possible by acquiring Futur3D, a company with five years of experience with the technology. Overall, the SL1 was great for an initial product but isn’t quite there yet compared to more developed SLA printers. The Prusa SL1 strives to be a cut above the budget SLA printers but still at a relatively affordable price. The premium feel is apparent in the SL1’s build quality and a well-thought-out interface that features one of the first Prusa printers to come with an LCD interface. If you order the kit version of the Prusa SL1, then be prepared to spend the better part of the next one or two days to put it together. There is a whole array of panels, circuit boards, and wires to assemble which fortunately is made easier by the detailed instructions written up by Prusa. This makes it sound a little more complex than it actually is – it’s not terribly technical, just time-consuming. More specifically, the Prusa SL1 is an MSLA, or masked SLA, 3D printer. What this means is that the SL1 shines UV light through a mask to cure an entire layer of photosensitive resin simultaneously. This is in contrast with traditional SLA printers that use a beam to cure the resin one point at a time. Using the 5.5-inch 2K LED screen, the Prusa SLI1 improves on the throughput of a traditional SLA 3D printer. Another characteristic that makes the Prusa SL1 unique from other SLA printers is the way that the resin vat tilts ever so slightly once a layer has been completed. This reduces the vertical force needed to separate the finished print from the bottom of the resin tank. For reference, the Prusa SL1 is a bottom-up printer with a transparent build plate that moves up as the print progresses. In terms of print quality, the Prusa SL1 performs as excellently as just about any high-quality SLA printer. It can reproduce details at a much finer level and produces prints with layer lines that are barely visible. The 405-nm wavelength of the SL1’s UV light made it compatible with a wide selection of third-party photopolymer resins, although you may have to play around with exposure time settings. The Prusa SL1 also comes with the signature Pruca Slic3r software, which has been updated for SLA slicing. The software is fairly easy to use has been updated and improved since the initial launch of the Prusa SL1. Prusa also sells the Original Prusa Curing and Washing Machine (CW1) as an add-on for the SL1. This is an all-around processing tool fo SLA prints. The machine has functions for washing of finished prints with isopropyl alcohol, drying, and post-curing UV exposure. This is a great accessory for eliminating the mess and hazard of handling the mixture of isopropyl alcohol and uncured resin. The Original Prusa SL1 is a great option for those who are into commercial 3D printing and need a higher level of detail than what FDM technology can provide. Although there are other SLA printers that are much more expensive, the Prusa SL1 is certainly not cheap – especially if you pair it with the Prusa CW1 post-processing machine. What we know for sure is that Prusa is a stickler for innovation and that we probably have not seen their last stab at SLA printing. Final thoughts The Prusa has managed to maintain a solid reputation in the world of 3D printing by continuously coming up with more and more innovative features for 3D printers. Aside from the fact that the printers are open-source, the company itself takes pride in being cognizant of the needs of their users. This community-driven approach to product development has propelled the Prusa brand to heights that have made them virtually unequaled. It’s hardly surprising that their products routinely win awards and get declared the best 3D printer of the year, every year. The post A Detailed Guide to the Prusa 3D Printers appeared first on 3D Insider. View the full article
  15. Belgian software and 3D printing service provider Materialise has reported a revenue decline of nearly twenty percent in its Q3 2020 financial results. Materialise’s revenue fell from €50.4 million in Q3 2019 to €40.7 million in Q3 2020, representing a decrease of 19.2 percent. During Q3 2020, the firm’s Medical segment returned to growth, but […] View the full article
  • Create New...