Formlabs certainly kicked off 2017 with a bang. Did you hear about their announcement of a new Grey Resin with a matte, opaque finish for the Form 2 3D Printer? Besides offering a different look and feel, the new Grey Resin formulation offers the highest surface detail of any Formlabs material to date. This new resin really produces some of the best-looking parts possible from a desktop SLA printer.
A fascinating aspect of 3D printing this that is touches such a wide range of industries. Outside of the obvious engineering and testing realm, there is a growing influence in the design arts. One segment of this vertical is the custom jewelry market. Learn how TAVCO client Kat (Kramer) Adair has benefited from incorporating a Formlabs Form 2 3D printer into her custom jewelry business to 3D print jewelry.
3D Printing is ever expanding! Just look how common the technology has become across a vast array of industries. You can find it in product design, engineering, game creation, jewelry, etc. As new manufacturers have entered the scene, the introduction of new, innovative systems has made an impact, but, the most compelling advancements are occurring with the 3D print materials, such as filament, metals, or Resins. Just look at the new SLA Resin goodies that Formlabs has announced for their best-selling Form printer series.
When it comes to 3D printing, Stereolithography (SLA), remains a popular “go to” process for quickly producing high-detail parts. Even though it is the oldest 3D method, Formlabs has completely rewritten the book on SLA with their desktop Form 2 Series. This 3D printer incorporates an inverted SLA process that requires only a fraction of the resin needed compared to what is typically needed by a SLA printer. But, the real determining factor to getting top-quality parts is having the right 3D resin for the job. This is where Formlabs has turned the tables again with new Resin Formulations for the Form 2 printer.
Kids all across Central Texas will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the most advanced desktop 3D printer available, the Form 2 Desktop SLA printer from Formlabs. The printer will be set up and functioning for Tech Day at the Public Library in Leander, Texas.
As exciting as 3D printing technology is, it might be surprising to know that the biggest advancements are not always related to printer hardware. The truth is, new material technologies are what really drives the biggest changes with regards to 3D printing. Likewise, if printing in white plastic resin is your thing, then you’ll be thrilled to know that Formlabs is announcing a new version of White SLA Resin for Form 2 printers.
Let me give a big shout out to the Formlabs Community Forum. There is a ton of great insight there about Form 2 printers and 3D printing in general. One of the post that I ran across was about how to remove parts that are directly printed on the build plate without supports. This is an issue that we have run into a few times because, sometimes, supports just get in the way—although it is certainly the best practice to print using them. If you run into one of those types of situations, here is a great hack when undertaking your 3D SLA parts processing.
Look around, 3D printing is everywhere. At least is seems that way, and for good reason. While it is not necessarily a new technology, it certainly has come of age in the past few years. More industries are now embracing the dynamic benefits that 3D printing offers. It is most commonly found in engineering and rapid prototyping environments, but you can also see it in art, dentistry, and even custom jewelry design. With all of these applications, it is no wonder why so many companies are looking at getting a printer. What is not often realized is that large cash outlays are not always needed for acquisition. In order to get the technology today without investing a ton of capital, companies should lease a 3D printer instead of purchasing one. Here’s why.
The art of making jewelry has been around for thousands of years, with much of the same techniques in place, until now. Today, instead of creating a wax investments by hand, Jewelers and Designers are utilizing CAD software for the creation of their pieces. This has forced many jewelry makers to venture into 3D printing, although most choose to outsource this work to a large 3D service bureau. Good News! Technology is now at the point where jewelers can 3D print jewelry investments right on their desktops.
Since 1987 a company called Games Workshop has released resin miniatures for a gaming genre known as war gaming. Each box you buy contains parts to assemble vehicles, creatures, and soldiers. The assembly required painting, sanding, and gluing a 28 millimeter (1.1 in) scale object. Creating enough of these objects for a really great gaming session can take weeks, even months. But now, there is an easier way to quickly get miniatures, 3D Print them.
Drum roll please! With the ever expanding 3D market in full sight, we have been on the hunt for the next stellar product to champion. So, without further ado, we are proud to announce our joining of forces with Formlabs. TAVCO is now the new Formlabs Preferred Partner to offer the revolutionary Form 2, Formlabs printer in Texas. You have to see this thing in action!
In the first two parts of this series, we detailed the many benefits of printing injection molds on a 3D printer rather than producing them by more traditional means. One of the most compelling arguments for this is the incredible cost and time savings related to 3D print injection molds. But, there are some limitations. Specific design considerations and modifications need to be evaluated thoroughly before embarking on a 3D printed mold project.
Imagine that your project has met all of the criteria and you have successfully printed a mold. Now, what do you do with it? Here are some tips regarding running injection mold equipment with printed molds.
One of the buzzworthy topics in 3D printing is the ability to print injection molds. No doubt this could be a “game changer” for some companies as it provides a way to drastically cut production cycle time. But, there are a few factors to consider regarding 3D plastic injection molds. First of all, what is the material that you are planning to inject and how many final parts are you wanting to make? While metal tooling enables you to produce thousands, if not millions, of parts, plastic 3D printed molds generally accommodate only 50-200 parts before they wear out. However, in the case of prototyping or short-order runs, this can be greatly beneficial because plastic molds can be made quickly at only a fraction of the cost of a metal tool. Here are some key things to keep in mind to ensure the best applications of 3D printed injection molds.
Most plastic items that you own were produced via injection molding. This includes everything from hairbrushes, to keyboard keys, to garbage cans. Obviously, injection molding is a common manufacturing process used to create plastic parts quickly and economically.
This process is accomplished by injecting molten thermoplastic into a mold cavity and allowing it to cool. Typically these injection molds are made out of metal that is machined into the desired shape. But, metal injection molds are expensive—incredibly expensive. That is why some manufacturers are now directing their attention to 3D printing as a resource to print injection molds. After all, there are some compelling reasons why someone should print injection molds with a 3D printer.
Over millennia, architects have been motivated to produce physical models of their creations. This is obvious as various artistic renderings has been excavated at archeological sites, some of which are estimated to be thousands of years old. However, it was during the Renaissance Period when Leon Battista Alberti first documented the use of models for study and analysis. Since then, the model making methods have no doubt changed, but the premise remains the same. Luckily today, the technology exists to simply print 3D models of architecture from a digital file.
Make no mistake, while 3D printing is incredible, some effort is still required. We have not quite reached the "microwave stage" where a user can send a print and simply collect their final product --like a microwaved hot beverage. But, we are pretty close. There are a few manipulations that need to happen first.