Thursday, 25 May 2017

A Step-by-step guide to post-processing a thingiverse Darth Vader without any sanding or acetone Part 1

EQUIPMENT USED:

  • Plastic plate
  • Soft Paint brush
  • Clean water
  • Methylated spirits
  • Soft, clean cloth
  • Hair dryer or fan.

PRODUCTS USED:

  • Poly-clean Plastic Cleaner
  • Proto-fill Liquid Plastic (Jet black Ultra-matte finish)



3D Printed Part - Before Post-Processing


METHOD:
First clean your object’s surface with Poly-clean Plastic Cleaner.

Before using Proto-fill, be sure to stir the contents thoroughly before you start, as the ingredients tend to settle on the bottom. The product may be sprayed if you have the equipment. Use a disposable plastic plate to place your model on, which are made from a type of plastic, that Proto-fill won’t stick to. Some take-away containers and lids are also suitable.

Brush the first coat of Proto-fill, in a horizontal direction, or in the direction of the grooves. The product goes on like a liquid plastic and is shiny when it’s wet and dries to a matte finish. Because of the rich nature of the resin-system, allow the product time to self-level and even out before applying low heat from a hairdryer or air movement from a fan.


After First Coat - Drying Process
DRYING:
Depending on your environment and how thickly you apply the coating, it takes around 20-30 minutes to air dry. A hair dryer (only ever on a low setting) or a fan can be used to speed up the drying process. Movement of air over your model is more important than applying heat. Too much heat will dry the top layer, but because there is still liquid underneath, it can cause the coating to craze slightly. This is easily rectified, however.

Once the coating is touch-dry, use a brush or soft smooth cloth, dipped in methylated spirits to re-soften and smooth the coating. Never sand the coating at this early stage, as you may tear the coating film. This “smoothing” technique will also fix any dried runs or drips. Being water-based, there is virtually no smell when applying or after drying; great for students or people who don’t have dedicated post-processing areas. Spills can be cleaned up with water or methylated spirits.

As the Proto-fill dries, it reduces by around 25%. Two coats seem to be sufficient to fill most fine print lines. Some deeper print lines may require additional coats. Although the product is viscous, it is still a very thin coating and intricate details are retained, just one coat of the matte finish makes most printed objects appear less “plasticky” and more like a moulded object. It is a good practice to address any runs or bubbles, in between coats.

Applying the second coat


Final result after drying

"ADJUSTING” THE COATING:
Once the products is touch-dry, use methylated spirits on a cloth or your paint brush to soften and “re-distribute” the product and even out areas which may have been over-filled. After a few coats, there is no need to apply more product, instead re-distribute the product from where there is too much, to areas which need more coverage. This technique is almost like, being able to pause time and resume when you’re ready. Making fine adjustment is like photo editing, you can add detail in, or take detail out. When you start sanding or vapour smoothing an object, there’s no going back.

Up next: We will be applying a colour coat to the same part. Stay tuned for PART 2.

For more information or to buy Poly-Clean and Proto-Fill, visit https://www.objective3d.com.au/coating-systems/

Monday, 22 May 2017

ARTEC Eva 3D scans its first submarine

Who can tell how much heritage has been destroyed by time, man and nature? Countless monuments and artefacts have been lost forever, leaving traces only in manuscripts, books, photos and memories of the lucky ones to have seen them. But things have changed with the advent of 3D scanning as more and more institutes and museums have started to embrace the technology to save precious and fragile legacy in 3D.

Artec 3D scanners have been used extensively to digitize museum collections and historical sites, from scanning Assyrian reliefs at the British Museum to 3D capturing excavation sites with fossilized bones of prehistoric animals and hominids in Kenya.

The extent of heritage preservation is not confined to antiques and fossils, though. Artefacts of more recent history also need to be conserved. One of the examples of such artefacts is this Biber mini-submarine that has been 3D scanned by Artec’s Dutch partner Erwin Kanters, the head of the 3D tech company Miniyours.


The Biber, the German for beaver, was the smallest, one-man submarine in the Kriegsmarine, the navy of Nazi Germany. It could carry mines and two torpedoes attached to each side of the hull and was used to attack ships off the Belgian and Dutch coasts during World War II.

The submarine was developed in less than six weeks in February 1944 with the view to helping repel the imminent invasion of the Allies. The haste resulted in some serious construction flaws, which meant that pilots operating the Biber were virtually on a death mission. Between January and April 1945, 109 Bibers were sent on operations and only 32 survived.

The Biber scanned with Artec Eva sank before it saw action. The submarine was discovered buried deep in the silt of a river in the Netherlands a few years ago, and the Dutch maritime heritage foundation Stichting Maritiem Erfgoed K-Verband asked Erwin Kanters to 3D scan it in order to capture its measurements for restoration and preservation.

“Because all the metal was old and dented, it was quite easy to scan as we had enough features on the surface of the metal,” Erwin says.


Using Eva connected to a battery pack, which ensures stable scanning in places where there is no source of electricity, Erwin scanned the hull, the propeller and the torpedoes. Even though the Biber is a mini-submarine, it was quite a large object for the scanner, and taking into account all the ribs and gaps that needed to be captured, scanning took one full day, generating 10 files of raw data 3GB each.


“I found it useful to make multiple files and scan the submarine in sections to get maximum accuracy, as each section took quite a number of scans,” Erwin says. “I find Artec Studio very fast and easy to use. Although I prefer to do post-processing manually, the automated post-processing is simply amazing! Artec Studio algorithms help a lot in processing. I especially like constrained alignment with loop closure.”



Erwin processed the propeller and parts of the hull, and the larger part of processing was done by the foundation’s staff. They are now reconstructing the Biber, planning to put it on display in the future, which may take some time as it was badly damaged.

Artec3D Scanners are available from Objective3D. For more information, contact us at 03-9785 2333 (AUS), 09-801 0380 (NZ) or email us at enquiries@objective3d.com.au

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Sanding or vapour smoothing your print lines, is so... 2016.

Those in the know are switching from sanding and dangerous acetone smoothing, to a much smarter solution for smoothing 3d printed striations or "print lines" and visible part joins. 3D formulations Proto-fill easily and safely makes, print lines and joints, disappear.



Let's face it. Sanding and vapour smoothing are "subtractive" methods which are in contrast to the very principle of "additive" manufacturing. Once you begin sanding, the dimensions and integrity of your print is compromised. Sand too much, and there is no going back. Sanding your plastic parts, may also alter the colour and appearance of the surface, for instance, giving a black plastic a dark grey (scratched) appearance. Apart from the obviously extremely dangerous practice of vapour smoothing with acetone, the procedure is difficult to control and results are permanent. Proto-fill is a safer, water-based, non- hazardous and non-flammable product. You no longer need a dedicated post-processing area.



Brushing on, one to two light coats, is all that is required to disguise or fill fine print lines. More coats can be applied to fill deeper grooves. A small roller can be used on larger or flat surfaces. The high resin content of Proto-fill smoothly self-levels like liquid plastic. One touch-dry the coating is, easily further smoothed and shaped with a clean cloth or soft paintbrush, dipped in methylated spirits or isopropyl alcohol; very handy when dealing with curved surfaces and complex shapes, such as our "thinking person statue" project. Runs or excess coating is easily re-distributed. The coating may be sanded if desired, but sanding will not necessarily achieve the smoothness of the cloth smoothing method.


Once properly cured, the product forms a tough and durable film on ridged surfaces, yet remains com¬ pletely flexible; perfect for use on projects printed with flexible filament. The strong film will enhance the strength and durability of your project. Once dry, the coating is water-proof, chemical, and U.V. resistant.

Proto-Fill is just one the many post-processing products from 3D Formulations. Other products available include Proto-Colour, Poly-Clean and Poly-Clear. All come in a starter pack. Order these revolutionary products and be on your way to a quicker, smarter and safer project. Learn more >>

Thursday, 27 April 2017

4 Reasons to Use a 3D Printing Service Bureau

Like many businesses, your company is exploring 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Maybe you have the perfect design, and the innate benefits of 3D printing has caught the attention of your team. But while the benefits may be clear, operational costs and implementation may not be. Perhaps your company has considered buying a 3D printer, but aren’t sure about the costs involved and technological expertise needed. Then the question occurs, would it be better to buy a printer or outsource our 3D printing needs?

These internal debates have existed for years in the manufacturing realm and especially the 3D printing arena. Fortunately, the field has expanded in such a way that owning a printer and outsourcing don’t always have to be mutually exclusive. Below we’ve highlighted four important considerations when thinking through these options:

1. Advanced Equipment and Materials
Prototypes are just a percentage of the parts produced in major 3D printing services bureaus like Objective3D Direct Manufacturing. Additively manufactured production parts for major industries are continuing to grow due to technology advancements and development of materials from rigid and elastomeric plastics to high strength metals and alloys. 3D printing customers are aware of the inherent design freedoms, cost effectiveness and quick turnarounds associated with 3D printing production parts, but aren’t equipped to set up the operations associated with major additive manufacturing.

Some businesses have office set-ups perfect for clean, safe printers like the Stratasys F123 Series, but when exploring the more production caliber technologies like Laser Sintering and Direct Metal Laser Sintering, a considerable amount of careful handling and higher process temperatures have to be considered.

That’s where service bureaus fit in with their scope of technologies and materials. By utilizing their services, you can explore new 3D printing technologies that might not be available to you otherwise. Specifically, additive metals are not an in-house possibility for most businesses due to cost, material handling, and technical requirements. Objective3D Direct Manufacturing has the expertise, finishing capabilities, controls and secondary operations necessary to produce robust and functional DMLS components.


2. Investment Risk
Buying an additive manufacturing technology can be a significant capital expense all on its own. Additionally, it often involves investing in staff to set up software, provide maintenance, purchase and install material and other consumables. The setup involved may disrupt and require re-configuring of overall operations. Though owning a printer may be in your future, a service bureau is a great first step toward incorporating 3D printing into your business. Working with experts to understand which technology works best for your applications and quality requirements can help you determine which solution you need for the long term.

3. Part Manufacturability
Sometimes a part is complex and requires a special build style or specific materials. In-house operations may not be able to fulfill the desired look, feel or function. Or perhaps it’s time to try something new with the design and an exploration of new materials and build styles may be in order. Service bureaus open that opportunity to you.

This can also be a complementary process to in-house operations. Conventional manufacturers may need custom jigs and fixtures that would be better accomplished with additive manufacturing. Large parts or parts needing assembly might be better accomplished with a bureau’s experienced finishers who can assemble multiple sections without sacrificing strength or integrity.

4. Additive Manufacturing Expertise
At the end of the day, it’s really about expertise for quality parts. Objective3D Direct Manufacturing has been in the 3D printing industry practically since its inception and has made a point to explore every new avenue as it emerged. Development of parts for major players across a variety of industries, including aerospace, medical and consumer products means we’re well equipped to take on even the most complex application.

The sweet spot in additive manufacturing is a high volume of a low mix of part designs; there we can deliver with unmatched consistency and repeatability. We have developed the process and quality controls needed to deliver parts with strict requirements and certifications.

In addition to our manufacturing capabilities, we’ve spent 30 years honing post-processing and finishing skills that are unmatched in the industry. So many additive manufacturing technologies require knowledge of what’s required to finish them to customer desire and the supplemental equipment used to accomplish it. For DMLS especially, there is a full suite of post-processing equipment required to produce metals parts.

In other words, service bureaus like Objective3D Direct Manufacturing may be better suited to help customers realize additive manufacturing’s full potential for your application. We take amazing new ideas for products and technologies and champion them into real applications, one-by-one, by identifying new ways 3D printing can bring them to life faster and easier. Let’s take your idea and fully realize the possibilities available to you through our suite of technologies and services.

If you would like to build or scan a 3D Part and need a quote, please contact us at 03-9785 2333 (AUS) or 09 801 0380 (NZ) or email us at parts@objective3d.com.au Alternatively, you may upload your files and get a quote on our online system.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Learn how to Implement 3D Printing into Your Business Model

In the decades since its invention, 3D printing, has proved to have long-term benefits for businesses that incorporated the technology into their business models and operations. More companies are looking to save the time and money 3D printing offers them. However, it’s not always easy to make this transition and many businesses need help identifying how to fully leverage the benefits of 3D Printing. Objective3D Direct Manufacturing Professional Services exists to provide guidance for these businesses. They offer truly customised manufacturing solutions for your company by evaluating your operations, identifying opportunities for 3D Printing, assessing its impact, and offering training services on how to use this remarkable technology.


Objective3D are hosting a Professional 3D Printing and 3D Scanning Workshops where you can learn the details and advantages of different 3D Printing solutions, engage in-depth about new applications and participate in hands-on demonstrations.
The customised training curriculum is intended to support a range of players, including machine operators, manufacturing or process engineers, product development, design engineers and management. From technology overviews and technology selection to building an internal 3D Printing center, the engineers at Objective3D Direct Manufacturing team will speak to several topics to get your business started with utilizing 3D printing.
Workshop topics include:

Selecting the Right Technology 

New advances in manufacturing technologies may have you asking, what is the best fit for my
application?

You want the best quality and precision possible, but also want to keep costs down.
This presentation delves into the unique benefits and the difference between key manufacturing solutions available today and how to identify which technology is best for your project.

FDM and LS Technology, Materials and Production Applications

Learn the details about Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Laser Sintering (LS) technology, their materials and which applications they service. FDM and LS offer unique benefits, especially for production parts. Increased knowledge of these processes will help you design for the technologies and determine the best steps for your project.

Rapid PrototypingDesign for 3D Printing

Understanding the fundamentals of part design and preparation of files for 3D Printing will impact the way you design for this cutting-edge technology. Leave the design constraints of traditional tooling behind and unleash the benefits of free-form fabrication with LS and FDM. Learn how to utilize 3D Printing to take advantage of reduced material consumption, weight reduction, and most importantly, increased functionality.

Post Processing Workshop

Get hands-on experience with the methods and tools used to post-process LS and FDM parts. Attendees will remove support material, hand sand parts to fit, join parts together with a bond, drill and add inserts, taps, and more.

Sign Up Now!

These topics and more will help your business ramp up and begin the process to implementation of 3D Printing. The Workshop is limited to an intimate group of 6 to a class, so sign-up now to save your spot!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Making the most of 3D Printing in Manufacturing

When it comes to leveraging the power of additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing (3DP), having a versatile family of 3D printers to choose from is essential, but making the most out of what they can do is what really matters. 3D printing has always been a perfect fit for rapid prototyping and will continue to serve this application very well. But the real beauty of 3D printing is that it removes the constraints associated with traditional manufacturing, providing a blank canvas upon which creative minds can develop new applications. To help expand your knowledge of the potential of 3D printing technology, we address six manufacturing applications typically associated with traditional production techniques.

Objective3D are hosting a series of Breakfast Seminars on Manufacturing with 3D Printing from 8th - 17th March where you can learn how 3D printing can make dramatic improvements in both time and cost efficiency when compared with traditional production methods associated with these applications. Real world examples are also provided to show that these aren’t just hypothetical scenarios. The companies highlighted in these seminars found a way to transform traditional manufacturing applications using 3D printing technology and bring their operation to a new level.

Use 3D Printed Jigs and Fixtures for dramatic time and cost savings
Jigs and fixtures are most commonly fabricated from metal, wood or plastic in quantities of just a few to several hundred using a manual or semi-automated process. On average, each tool takes between one and four weeks to design and build. However, elaborate or intricate tools may require several cycles of design, prototyping and evaluation to attain the required performance. In contrast to conventional manufacturing methods, 3DP technology provides a fast and accurate method of producing jigs and fixtures. Additionally, these tools can be designed for optimal performance and ergonomics because 3DP Technology places few constraints on tool configuration and 3DP materials are lightweight compared to metal.


3D Printed Compostie Tools enables faster, more agile composite production
The aerospace and automotive industries pioneered the use of composite materials for strong, lightweight vehicles and structures. However, the tooling used to create them is often heavy and bulky, machined from aluminum, steel or Invar (a nickel-iron alloy), at a substantial cost and lengthy production time. These same characteristics also hinder design flexibility. Changes to a composite part’s design mean the tooling needs to change, too. This repeats the cycle of high cost and long lead times, ultimately extending production cycles.


3DP technology offers an attractive alternative with disruptive potential. Composite lay-up tools made from 3DP materials can be designed and created in a fraction of the time and cost it takes to create them using conventional manufacturing. That frees up time and money for design iterations, while still maintaining acceptable production schedules.

3D Printed Production Parts
Most companies that manufacture high-volume products are looking for ways to stay competitive in today’s marketplace. However, the processes they use to manufacture their products are still heavily reliant on expensive tooling and long lead times. As a result, these companies are limited in their ability to respond quickly to market changes or implement product refinements. By integrating 3DP technology into production, manufacturers can bypass the traditional constraints to quickly develop and manufacture new products, and improve existing ones.


End-of-Arm Tooling with 3D Printing Technology (EOAT)
End-of-arm tools made with FDM technology offer a number of benefits over the traditional methods and materials used to make them. 3DP can produce working end effectors in a very short amount of time and for much less cost because there’s no machining or long lead times involved. Tool designs can be changed quickly and easily by revising the CAD model and printing a new tool. And design complexity isn’t a factor in the tool’s cost because of additive manufacturing’s inherent freedom from design-for-manufacturability constraints.



3D Printing accelerates the Sand Casting Process
The production of sand molds and cast metal parts is relatively straightforward and suitable for automated methods. However, fabrication of the patterns used to produce the sand molds is often difficult, time-consuming and expensive. The most common approach is to produce patterns using CNC machining, but the production costs are high and the lead time is substantial.

Problems like incorrect shrink compensation and design flaws generally require that the pattern is reworked, which adds to the expense and lead time. Gate and runner systems (distribution channels and entry points to the mold) are typically cut from modeling board or a similar material, hand-carved and then sanded to the finished shape. This also adds expense and lead time.

Because of these problems, foundries have turned to additive manufacturing. To replace the machined pattern, additively manufactured patterns must withstand the ramming forces that are applied to pack the sand, be abrasion resistant, and be unaffected by the chemicals in the sand binders and mold release. Most additive manufacturing technologies have been unable to meet these challenges.

However, 3DP materials like ABS, polycarbonate (PC), PC-ABS and ULTEM 9085 resin meet all of these requirements.

3DP parts have the compressive strength needed for use as a sand casting pattern. The surface finish of 3DP parts meets all the requirements of sand casting patterns when post-processed. Post-processing also seals the molding surface to prevent release agents from penetrating and sand from sticking.

From Packaging to Aerospace, 3D Printing makes Quick Work of  Thermo-forming Tools
While vacuum-formed production and tooling costs tend to remain reasonable for large parts, preparing tools for vacuum forming can be costly and time-consuming. Tools are usually made of aluminum for large production operations while wooden tools are sometimes used for small production series. Regardless of the material, tooling requires the time and labor associated with setting up and operating a milling machine. If machining is unavailable onsite, tooling may be outsourced, slowing time to market and potentially increasing design expenses.

Because thermo-forming doesn’t require extreme heat or pressure, additive manufacturing is a viable alternative. Although tool life will not equal that of aluminum, the materials available with 3DP technology are ideal for prototyping and short-run manufacturing. Tool life ranges from 100 to 1,000 parts depending on the tool and part materials that are used.

3D printing eliminates much of the time and labor associated with machining vacuum-forming tools. Data preparation is completed in minutes, so tool construction can begin immediately after tool design. Automated, unattended additive manufacturing operations eliminate the time typically needed for

Sign Up Now!
These manufacturing applications and more will be discussed in our up and coming Breakfast Seminar and will help your business ramp up and begin the process to implementation of 3D Printing. The Breakfast Seminars has limited seats, so SIGN UP NOW to save your spot!