3D Printing: Turning Molten Plastic into Toys and Tools

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  • 1. 3D  Prin(ng   Turning  molten  plas(c  into  neat  toys  
  • 2. 3D  Prin(ng   •  Lots  of  different  kinds  of  3d  prin(ng   •  Some  use  powder,  metal,  etc.   •  Primary  home/hobby  prin(ng  is  “FDM”  –   Fused  Deposi(on  Modelling   –  Basically:  A  glue  gun  controlled  by  a  printer   –  Assembly  is  layer-­‐by-­‐layer  
  • 3. Models:  Makerbot   •  Consumer-­‐targeted  3d   printer   •  Designed  to  be  ‘no   setup’;  easy  for   consumers   •  Costs  about  $2200  
  • 4. Models:  Printrbot   •  Originally  kickstarter   •  Typically  sold  as  kits   (but  can  buy  assembled   for  $100)   •  Varies  in  cost  from   $300-­‐$800   •  Targeted  at  hobbyists.  
  • 5. Materials   •  PLA   –  Biodegradable   –  Produced  from  corn   –  Lower  mel(ng  temperature  (compared  to  ABS)   •  ABS   –  Higher  temperature   –  Higher  mel(ng  temperature   •  Can  print  in  other  things  (teflon;  nylon;  wood   filament)  –  much  less  common  (and  more   expensive)  
  • 6. Costs   •  “Filament”  (plas(c  used  as  input  to  the   printer)  typically  costs  about  $30/kg   –  Can  be  found  as  low  as  $20,  but  “you  get  what   you  pay  for”   •  Many  small  items  can  be  made  for  50  cents  or   so  worth  of  plas(c  
  • 7. What  can  you  make?   •  Just  about  anything  plas(c  with  enough  care   •  Limited  by  build  volume  (Printrbot  Plus  is  8”   cube)  and  layering  approach   –  You  aren’t  going  to  build  a  car  with  a  3d  printer   very  quickly   –  You’re  also  not  going  to  build  a  chandelier  very   easily  –  anything  with  overhangs  can  be  difficult  
  • 8. How  it  works:  Sodware   •  Take  a  3D  model  (STL  file)   •  Use  a  ‘slicer’  to  turn  it  into  layered  paths  for   the  head  of  the  printer   •  Slicer  intelligently  fills  in  solid  spaces  with   material     –  Also  tries  to  minimize  plas(c  on  the  insides  of   pieces  so  as  to  not  waste  material  
  • 9. How  it  works:  G-­‐Code   •  Slicer  generates  “G-­‐Code”   –  a  set  of  “move  here,  at   this  rate”  instruc(ons   •  G-­‐Code  was  originally   designed  in  the  1980s  for   driving  other  computer-­‐ driven  manufacturing   •  G-­‐Code  can  be   interpreted  by  firmware   on  the  electronics   aiached  to  the  printer  
  • 10. How  it  works:  Repe(er   •  Sodware  to  control   overall  interac(ons  with   the  printer   •  Communicates  over   USB  to  printer   •  Has  UI  to  control   posi(on,  heat,  fan,  etc.   •  Repe(er  also  has  slicing   and  G-­‐Code   visualiza(on  
  • 11. How  it  works:  Prin(ng   •  Melts  3D  plas(c  in  a  heated  head  (~200   degrees  C)   •  Prints  onto  flat  surface  –  important  to  get  the   first  layer  right  so  it  s(cks   •  Motor  feeds  material  through  the  hot  end,   pushing  plas(c  out  the  other  side.   •  Motors  move  the  bed  and  the  print  head  in  3   dimensions  to  print  
  • 12. How  it  works:  Complex  Prints   •  Some  3D  models  can’t  be  printed  without   overhangs   •  Two  basic  components:  Bridges  and  support   material   •  Bridges  are  connec(ons  between  two  exis(ng   pieces  of  plas(c   •  Support  material  is  thin  layers  designed  to   form  a  basis  for  bridges  –  temporary,  intended   to  snap-­‐away  
  • 13. How  it  works:  Complex  Shapes   •  Not  all  complex  shapes   are  complex  prints   though   •  Some  shapes  with  lots   of  holes  in  them  can  s(ll   be  printed  (rela(vely)   easily   •  Common  style:  Voronoi   surface  
  • 14. How  it  works:  Bigger  Shapes   •  3d  prin(ng  bigger   shapes  usually  works   via  snap-­‐fit  or  press-­‐fit   pieces   •  Push  pieces  together  to   get  them  to  stay  
  • 15. Coolest  Items   •  Ar(culated  excavator:   “Liile  Digger”,  thing: 208315   •  Prints  as  one  piece   •  Wheels,  cab,  and  arm   move  
  • 16. Coolest  Items   •  •  •  •  Fidget  cubes   Prints  as  one  piece   Hinged   thing:230139  
  • 17. Finding  Models:  Thingiverse   •  Thingiverse  is  a  3d  model  repository  that   offers  lots  of  3d  models   •  Social  –  can  also  share  3d  models,  share   ‘makes’,  etc.   •  Supported  by  Makerware   •  Good  to  find  first  things  to  print  –  toys,   puzzles,  printer  improvements…  
  • 18. Designing  Models:  OpenSCAD   •  OpenSCAD  is  3D   Modeling  for   programmers   •  You  write  3D  models   with  code   •  Can  import  and  export   common  formats  
  • 19. Designing  Models:  Sketchup   •  Sketchup  –  formerly  from  Google  –  is  another   design  tool   •  Free  plugin  to  support  export  to  STL   •  Can  be  used  as  a  visual  design  tool  (rather   than  code)  
  • 20. Crea(ng  your  own  Filament   •  Filament  extruders  can  be  purchased  as  kits   for  a  few  hundred  $   •  Take  in  plas(c  pellets  ($7-­‐$10/kg  instead  of   $30-­‐$40)   •  No  commonly  available  way  to  re-­‐melt  prints   currently,  but  people  are  working  on  recyclers  
  • 21. Other  types  of  3D  Prin(ng     •  •  •  •  Powder  bed  3d  prin(ng   Laser  sintering   Laminated   Light  Polymerized  
  • 22. Things  to  know   •  3D  Printers  –  at  least,  printrbot  –  is  *not*  a   commercially  ready  tool   –  It  requires  a  lot  of  (nkering  and  tweaking  to  get  good   prints   –  When  the  answer  from  support  to  a  problem  is  “Pull   out  your  mul(meter  and  measure  the  resistance”  you   know  you’re  in  a  hobbyist  market   •  If  you  buy  a  kit  –  expect  it  to  take  a  while  to  build   •  Bed  level  is  important:  Bed  level  and  belt  tension   are  the  two  most  important  aspects  of  good   prints  
  • 23. FAQ   •  Have  you  printed  a  gun?   –  No.  This  is  a  silly  use  of  3d  prin(ng,  there  are  lots   of  easy  ways  to  build  your  own  gun.   •  How  long  have  you  had  it?   –  About  two  weeks   •  Is  it  made  of  wood?   –  Yep