3D Scanning and Printing


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For this new assignment we had to 3D-scan an object, modify it, and 3D-print it. This new character's name is 3d.Mask.
Machines used: MDX-20 and ZCorp Z510 3DPrinter.

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3D Scanning and Printing

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  4. 4. 3d.MASK<br />This is the new assignment: to scan and print something. By the way, everything is related to 3D. Actually, what I have scanned have been PLIERS. I opted to vary its shape, and then, I added this new character that is carrying the modified pliers. The name of this 3D being? 3d.MASK. <br />It has 3 more components: a switch, a LED, and one battery. If you want to change the battery, you simply have to lift its mask and change it. <br />Next, I will describe the whole process about how it was ‘conceived’, its problems, etc.<br />
  5. 5. First, the PORT has to be checked. I had to use a USB serial converter, since my laptop doesn’t have a serial port. This means you will have the following connection: MDX-20 (Modela) – serial cable – USB serial converter – Laptop. Be sure to have installed the USB-serial driver. There are two options to get it: (1) look for it in the Internet and download it, or (2) after connecting the device to your computer, it will look for a driver which will be automatically installed. <br />
  6. 6. Once the you got the driver, you must assign a Port number to the USB connection you are using. I recommend you to choose COM 1 as Dr. Picza (the software used) has from COM 1 to COM 4. The steps are the following:<br />Start (bottom left corner of your computer) > Control panel > Classic view > System > Device Manager > Ports (COM & LPT) > USB Serial Port (it shows which one is being used) > right click > Properties > Port settings > Advanced > COM Port Number > I chose COM 1<br />
  7. 7. Arrows!<br />Then, open Dr Piczasofwtare(part of the Roland Software Package). This one will allow you to scan the objects. <br />Click on File > Preferences > choose COM 1.<br />You will know everything works properly if you click on Z Bottom (up or down arrows) and the scanner moves. If an error message appears, it means something is wrong. Sometimes you only have to put the converter in other USB Port, and it will work. For example in my case, my laptop has 3 USB ports. Itdidn’tworkwiththefirstone, and when I connectedittothesecond, itworked. <br />
  8. 8. Experiment 1: the Smooth-On cube<br />
  9. 9. Don’t trust on this estimated time!<br />Part of the scanning<br />Gross result (for me)<br />For this first ‘experiment’, I will not explain so much. As you saw in the previous slide, you must stick the object to the Modela base. For this cube, I chose an X-scan Pitch of 1mm, and Y-scan Pitch of 0.85mm. This will require of patience….a LOT of it.<br />Remember getting hypnotized by the MDX-20 when machining your mold? Well, that will happen again! You will also keep waiting for the estimated processing time, but FORGET IT! It is not exact. <br />So, after 4 hours, the result was the right image….. I felt something was wrong.<br />
  10. 10. I realized the X and Y scan pitch were too high. I decreased them. The less value they have, more details it will have, but more time it will take. I also decreased Z bottom (this is the distance between the base of the Modela and what you want to be the bottom of the scanned surface (in other words, the distance between the base and the bottom of the needle).<br />Dr Piczahas the option to re-scan the object. Simply click on SCAN, and wait again for the results….<br />
  11. 11. Earthquake or what???<br />OK..there should be a wall here, shouldn’t there?<br />Ok, I kind of liked the result. But I preferred something different. I thought that changing some values, I would get something ‘more similar’ to the Smooth-On cube….but not!!!! Besides, the scanning area was wrong. That’s why I had a hole on one side.<br />So, after some hours of observation, I concluded that the material was not appropriate one for scanning because the friction between the needle and the rubber is too high. The needle will stick on the rubber giving wrong results. <br />First piece of advice, choose something more rigid, with very low friction… Therefore, I looked for a second object.<br />
  12. 12. Experiment 2: the ‘small jar’ <br />Huge!<br />Black line parallel to the base (symmetry)<br />This new object would not stick with the needle. For this kind of objects you must take advantage of the symmetry. To keep the black line parallel to the surface, I created a cardboard base. Fix the object and cardboard properly to avoid possible movements, and the same between cardboard and base. <br />The only problem? It didn’t fit!!! Yes….it was too big; therefore, my wish about creating a package for it had to be postponed….<br />
  13. 13. Experiment 3: the pliers<br />70mm<br />90mm<br />Now, no ‘rubber earthquakes’, no huge objects. YES, I got really frustrated because of the previous things.<br />This time, I decided to scan pliers. It has different surfaces, and shapes. Besides, I really wanted to know how capable the machine is to get all those details.<br />Now, let’s show the steps. <br />First, I stick the object to the cardboard, and then, the cardboard to the MDX-20 base.<br />
  14. 14. 1<br />Small square<br />Top surface of object<br />2<br />3<br />3b<br />3a<br />When you click on 1 (controller), 2 will appear. As I explained before, for more details you have to decrease the X and Y scan pitch (0.10mm). The risk? It can take a lot of time. Z bottom is the distance between the surface and the symmetry line of the pliers. After that, click on Scanning area. <br />3 will appear. The blue rectangle represents the limit, and you can move it either manually or with the arrows (3a). When you double-click on the small squares, the needle will go there. It helps you a lot so the area will be the LEAST necessary. Clicking on Z upper limit (3b), you will set the top of your object. Doing it, you will save a LOT OF TIME. Click OK, and SCAN.<br />
  15. 15. This is the result. You will have a mesh where you can hardly recognize the object. My problem? It took almost 25 hours!!!!! I had to leave my laptop inside Fab Lab. Despite it, the result was really good. <br />Clicking on the light blue sphere, you will be able to see what you really want to see (instead of an unidentifiable black messy spider net!!!) <br />
  16. 16. Details of the surface, shapes, textures, and even imperfections were scanned! <br />So, this part was accomplished. The next step? To export it.<br />
  17. 17. You have different options. I tried with 3 of them: DXF, STL and IGES. <br />In order to export click on File > Export > choose a format. <br />I have my favorite ones, and that’s what I will explain next.<br />
  18. 18. This one is IGES. <br />There is some theory that I don’t understand about formats, polysurfaces, and meshes. The problem about IGES is that when you open it in Rhinoceros, it looks really weird. Besides, if you export it with more triangles (so that the surface will look better), the file will take a LOT of Mbytes. Well, it depends on what you chose, but in my case, it was almost 70MBytes. An ‘error’ message appeared, and I had to close the software.<br />
  19. 19. This one is STL. <br />The file was big, but not as huge as the IGES. This time, it was easier to look at the scanned surface. I mean…I could see the nut, the small teeth of the pliers, the plastic imperfections (as I explained before), etc.<br />In conclusion, use STL. <br />
  20. 20. Border line of pliers<br />Once you have the file in Rhinoceros, save it as .3ds. I did it in order to have more control on the file.<br />Previously, the file was one mesh. Now, the object is divided in many meshes. <br />For printing, the object has to be closed, it must have a thickness. Here I had two options: (1) create a surface on the bottom (making the pliers look flat), or (2) mirror it (making it look more real). I took #2.<br />In case you want to create a surface on the bottom, you must start by creating border lines of each mesh. After that, make trims until getting the border line of the pliers. Then, you can extrude it or modify it however you want.<br />
  21. 21. 1- To modify the object using Rhinoceros type ’ _CageEdit’ and select the object<br />2- I hope you know spanish! Then, choose what kind of control you want. I chose ‘Caja’ or box <br />3- Then select the origin and the end of the box using the top view<br />end<br />origin<br />
  22. 22. 4- Then using the front view, set theheightof the box <br />It might look something like this (in perspective)<br />
  23. 23. 5- Then, you must decide how many control points you want in X, Y and Z. I chose X=10, Y=10, and Z=5.<br />6- Finally, decide whether you want to edit All or Local. I tried All (global), since I want to vary the entire object. <br />You will have something like the image. Now that you have all those points, you are able to move them however you want. <br />Just remember this: the object MUST be a closed surface, otherwise, it will not be printed!<br />
  24. 24. LED<br />switch<br />9V battery<br />Now that the pliers are ready, it’s time to begin with the character. <br />I designed it so that it has two pieces: the body, and the mask head. This mask has a hole in the back side where the switch is located. In case you decide to change the battery, just remove its mask. This means that the character, besides having the battery and the LED inside, has many holes on its surface in order to let the LED light come out. Its ears (which are joined to the body) are used to locate the head.<br />
  25. 25. After locating the picture taken with my camera (previous slide) in Rhino, I started creating lines. These lines will be used in order to create surfaces. When modelling, it is crucial to consider the thickness of the object. As you see from the right picture, there are 2 surfaces: red and black. Red is the external, and black, the internal. The distance between them is 4mm, and you can get it using the surface offset comand. <br />If you want it completely solid, forget the offset, but remember…CLOSE THE SURFACES!<br />
  26. 26. After some hours, I had most of the character modelled: the internal and external surfaces for the mask head, and the body. I strongly recommend you to do something you really want. Otherwise, you will feel punished doing it!<br />The next step is to join the surfaces. <br />
  27. 27. Kind of similar?<br />What I did next was to locate the other components (LED, switch, battery) to have an idea of how it would look like. Now, the idea of 3d.Mask is that it has acne, so I created small spheres that would be joined to the orange mask head through boolean union (Solid > Union). The next step is to create the holes where the light is coming out from. For that, I draw small circles (1mm or 2mm diameter) and extrude them. Right after, I put the extruded objects wherever I want. <br />Yes, at the beginning it will look like a voodoo toy, or Hellraiser, but then you will have a boolean difference (Solid > Difference) so it will look better.<br />
  28. 28. Before printing, you MUST check that the surfaces are together and that there is no hole. To do it go to Analysis> Edge tools > Show edges > Naked edges. In my monster, the edges are light blue. The idea is that you have to close them however you can. <br />At the beginning, all my love to 3d.Mask turned into hatred! Maybe, you will feel like crying, giving up, drinking a cup of coffee, or sleeping. But come on! Stand up, breathe, walk some minutes, and go back to work. This is the last step!!!! You only have to add some surfaces, and make those light blue evil lines disappear!<br />
  29. 29. Finally, I had to cut its antennae…the truth is that I don’t know why I did it. Anyway, the printed objects would be two: the body holding the pliers, and the mask. The dimensions are 164x163x87mm.<br />Finally, export it as .stl, select binary, and NO check in ‘export open objects’ > Accept.No message should appear!<br />
  30. 30. There are some steps that I am missing, like how to send the file to the 3d printer. Since 3d.Mask was too big, it had to be scaled.  It means that the switch, battery, and LED won’t fit. Besides, there was an error when printing, so we will have ¾ of 3d.Mask (you will see it). <br />The machine used was ZCorp Z510 3Dprinter, and the powder is ZP140 (high performance composite, elastomeric, direct casting)<br />Once it is ready (well…in my case it was incomplete), I had to use a brush to take out the powder carefully.<br />
  31. 31. Then, I had to use compressed air in the Powder Recycling Station to take out all the powder accumulated in 3d.Mask. Again, be careful using it… you don’t want to break your work with your hands or with the air, do you????<br />Don’t forget it’s still fragile.<br />When opening the door, be smart and do not smell or stare at the powder…it might be funny but not healthy. Close the door too!<br />Oh, my final suggestion is not to wear black clothes when printing…hehe.<br />
  32. 32. Finally (seriously), spray the 3d printed objects with water, so it will harden it. Be sure to do it everywhere, inside and outside. Do it calmly and wisely. Remember this is not cement…and you want your work to last many days.<br />3d.Mask was born in Tuesday the 23rd, February 2010 in Fab Lab Barcelona…well, ¾ of it.<br />
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  34. 34. to be continued…<br />