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I’m printing 3D!


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"Everyone is talking about 3D printing lately. Nobody knows exactly how it works, how it starts and how it ends. …

"Everyone is talking about 3D printing lately. Nobody knows exactly how it works, how it starts and how it ends.
This book by Robert is an ideal tour around the 3D printing world. It is a useful reference book for anyone who wants to get some hands-on-experience in 3D printing.
Follow Robert and discover that 3D printing is the future. Please – mind the developments. They go faster than you think."

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  • 1. I’m printing 3D! Starting with 3D-printing, even if you don’t own a 3Dprinter. R.H. Vissers
  • 2. Author: Cover design: ISBN: Robert Vissers Ciciel Veltmans, 978 94 021 0875 0 First edition © Robert Vissers The Netherlands, 2013,
  • 3. Summary “Nothing gives you more satisfaction than using parts that you designed and created all by yourself.” R. M. Pirsig from “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” The special feeling when you create something yourself...everybody knows it. The creation, design and manufacturing has something personal, sometimes magical. You are able to put your own values into the object that you create. This book explains 3D-printing in a way that enables you to start yourself, today: you don’t even need to own a 3D-printer. We start with the basics. All the tools are already available or easy to access. You can now, from your own home, join the 3D-community and print your objects, it’s easy.
  • 4. Contents 1. Introduction 1.1 What is it 10 11 1.2 What does it mean 1.3 What can I do with it 2. Getting Started with 3D printing 12 13 16 3. 16 What do I want to print 3.1 3.2 17 18 3.3 3.4 3.5 4. Ready made Finding models Alterations Designing from scratch Sharing your designs 22 28 29 How to I print 4.1 30 Printing it myself 30 4.2 Having it printed 5. My first print 6. The future of printing 32 40 42 6.1 A possible future of printing 44 6.2 Possible consequences of 3D-printing 45 6.3 And now: let’s start the journey... 7. Inspiration: Creative examples Deksels 7.1 47 48 48 7.2 7.3 Lego Modelling 50 53 7.4 Fashion 56 7.5 Home Improvement 8. Now do it yourself Appendix: hints and tips 60 61 62 Appendix: links 62
  • 5. 1.1 What is it 3D-printing is a way to create physical objects. You can imagine something, visualize it, draw it and then actually create it. For example something quite unique and or something that is perfect for your environment. The technology is also relatively simple. By melting the material (plastic) and carefully stacking it, you create layer-by-layer your object. You have probably done it yourself already. For example: sculpting with clay. For 3D-printing very thin strands of material are used. If you are placing them on exactly the right location you are building an object. In itself, this technique is not revolutionary. 11
  • 6. Examples of models that are already available via internet: 4 leaf clover1 Citrus Juicer 29c3 leberkleister-mug Five turn cubist torus Source: Courtesy of MakerBot® Thingiverse®. 1 This kind of finish is not always possible on any printer. 14
  • 7. Idea Imagination Creativity Definition of the form (download from internet or design yourself) Print My printed object 15
  • 8. 3.2 Finding models My favourite site is Thingiverse is doing a good job in building a community. There are a lot of active members who are sharing designs, and regularly design contests to ensure that the content is kept up to date and alive. One more advantage is that the designs are created specifically for 3D-printers. This means that you will not run into problems, you generally don’t need to convert designs but if you do the community generally finds a solutions when needed. Follow these steps to find models: 1. Start internet 2. Go to 18
  • 9. 9. The cup is now available. 10. In order to add a handle we can use a standard shape: for example the torus. 11. By moving and resizing the torus, it has become a handle. 26
  • 10. 4.2 Having it printed Having your object printed by someone else is a good alternative to owning your own 3D-printer. There are many alternatives in this market already. There are commercial suppliers for 3D-printing your designs; for example: i.Materialise, Sculpteo, Ponoko and Shapeways. These companies use professional printers and can print your design in many different colours and materials. They also use a variety of different techniques allowing your design to be printed in very high quality and with different finishes. Examples: plastic, copper, aluminium, titanium, ceramics, etcetera. Note: the more exotic materials have a different price range. One of the solutions that I’m using is The 3D Hubs organisation connects people without a 3D-printer to 3D-printer owners. The idea is that many existing 3D-printers are currently idle much of the time. Bringing the two parties together is a win-win situation. No investment for the person who wants to print, and the 3D-printer owner is using the 3D-printer in a more efficient way. Via the website it’s easy to submit your design. After uploading it you get a list of people who can print your design. That list only shows available 3D-printers in your neighborhood. You see the location, price, available materials, colours and the estimated delivery time. The participants are quite diverse. Sometimes they are companies, sometimes they are private individuals. After selecting the party you would like to print the object for you, you agree upon when and how you want to receive the object. There are 32
  • 11. 8. If the design is technically Ok, you can verify if it matches your expectations. 9. Check if the width, length and height are OK, and click on 10. Next you see a list of 3D-printers where you can have it printed, together with price and delivery time. 11. Select the option that best matches your needs, and click on 35
  • 12. 6.2 Possible consequences of 3D-printing 3D printing has far-reaching consequences that go far beyond the mere technical aspects. Social: The success of Wikipedia is the result of the fact that many (unpaid) individuals share their knowledge. With 3D-printing this altruism can go one step further. By publicly sharing designs we advance both as a society and personally. It’s the Open Source concept, but then for real. If you take a look at the models that are already available then you know that this is not something in a distant future; it has already started, it’s here, now. Economical: The shift from centralized to more decentralized production also has economic consequences. A similar trend is that of Internet, a large part of the economic activity now takes place online. A practical consequence is that the current infrastructure (shops, outlets) lost a part of its economic legitimacy to the online world. We can of course continue to deny it by demonstrating the need for physical stores, but the fact remains that a significant and growing part of economic activity now takes place online. What if I need a new (perfect fitting) shoe: go shopping, order it online, or print it myself? The 3D-printing is definitely taking its share of the market of consumer goods. It will happen sooner than we think. 45
  • 13. To illustrate the creative possibilities: Deksels. Source: “ Deksels3 are a pair of plastic rings which are 3D-printed. With these rings it is possible to add a lid to various existing packaging, for example a coke bottle or a bean funnel4. By using Deksels you can reuse your bean funnel, and in doing so save yourself money. Per refill this reduces the cost up to 75%. It is also environmentally friendly because you do not need to buy (and dispose) each time a plastic funnel. Good for both your wallet and for the environment!". The idea is that you turn a non-refillable packaging into a refillable one. With a simple procedure you are no longer bound by the rules of the manufacturer. Now you decide where you buy your products, you have the freedom to choose; simple, easy and accessible to everyone. 3 4 Translation: “Lids” More information available on: 49
  • 14. Art Deco Pendant Cthulhu Ring 58 Assassin's Creed Pendant Geo Necklace 01
  • 15. 8. Now do it yourself In this book, we have focused on 3D printing. We explained what it is, what it means, what it can do and how it will change the future. The first steps are known and with this book you are well on your way to your first 3D print. You know where you can find designs on the Internet and how you can make (minor) adjustments. Next to that you now have the information on where to have it printed. The introduction is now in your own hands. The next step is yours. Enjoy exploring the World of 3D-printing. Welcome aboard. Robert Vissers The Netherlands, Nuenen, September 2013 61
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