How We 3D Print A Tower’s Dome

When was the last time you went for a property search, especially new property launches?

Architecture Model

We often scout around the models, checking if the facilities are built as per promised. Checking the traffic around the vicinity, direction and coordinates for the best Feng Shui. These property models are typically handmade from card boards to wood, or even acrylic as these are precise manufacturing methods, however, they are taking at least 1 – 2 months for the production and may cost up to hundred thousands for a simple model with LED lightning etc.

 

With the understanding that models need to be explicit, one client approached and requested for us to test print the highest part of a tower – a Dome:

File Source: Client
Technology: Polyjet
Printer:  Objet Design Series
Materials: VeroWhite Plus, VeroClear, Fullcure 835
Build Time: 7 hours and 7 minutes

Screenshots prior printing:

Outcome:

Implications:

  • We printed this model with Polyjet technology at 30 microns or 0.03mm for the precision. Noticed that it has some windows in between the dome itself?
  • It was in glossy finish (hence you would notice the surface is shiny). While the image quality may not be good or it appears to be, rough finishing (blame our phones), it actually has a pretty smooth surface and can be enhanced if needed.
  • Traditional model making methods may require assembly and take major time on refining the minor details on the dome. This was printed in mere 7 hours with no touch-up.
  • The best part is the material cost is way cheaper than traditional method, contact us to understand more about the costs and ROI.

Seeing AM as a different way to tackle traditional model making not only allows a better ROI, it also allows a better flexibility in terms of man-power. Best part is, you get better quality product as well!

3D Printed Heart Model - Full 2

We Printed An Actual Human Heart

It’s real. We 3D printed a heart.

Hold your horses on questions and listen to us for now.

The ultimate goal in medical field  is to 3D print a fully functional heart however, with many technical considerations such as tissue condition, implantation, sustainability and etc, 3D printing technology is still lacking in these areas albeit advancing at a steady pace.

This 3D printed heart in particular belongs to a patient. Our client intended to study his/her heart to understand how the surgery can be done, as well as using the heart model for explanation. As we’ve mentioned on our Facebook and LinkedIn, this is one of the best study materials you can have prior a surgery.

Here is the file source & technology we used:

File Source: Rapid Model Development Sdn Bhd
Technology: Polyjet
Printer:  Objet Design Series – Connex 3
Materials: VeroWhite, VeroCyan, VeroMagenta
Build Time: 11 hours and 52 minutes

Screenshots prior printing:

Outcome:

Implications:

  • We used Polyjet (or Connex 3 in particular) in this case as it offers multi-material and multi-color capabilities. This heart model in particular, requires a lot of precision to print out blood arteries as well as rubber-like texture.
  • Some may ask, why not print this in a go? Yes we can, not an issue at all. However to allow doctors and patient to understand the heart structure in a detailed manner, we made the model in assembly format.

We hope that this model will aid surgeons in their surgery understanding, as well as helping patient to understand better of their own heart condition.

3D Printed Motorcross Helmet - Front

Motorcross Helmet in Action

This week we printed something different, something that racer boy would yearn for – Motorcross Helmet. The best part is right after the model was printed, we had the opportunity to showcase this during Innovating Malaysia Conference 2014.

Here is how we did the printing, and some underlying reasons of material & technology selection:

File Source: Rapid Model Development Sdn Bhd
Technology: FDM
Printer:  Fortus 380mc, uPrintSE
Materials: PC-ABS (Black), ABS (Red)
Production Time:

Fortus 400mcuPrintSE
Build Time86 hours 24 minutes 7 hours 44 minutes
Assembly Time30 minutes
Support Removal Time16 hours6 hours

Screenshots prior printing:

Outcome:

Implications:

  • Traditionally, the production material for helmet is polycarbonate (PC) for best endurance and heat resistance. However, as we wanted the helmet in black and red which is not in the range of our PC material, we opted for PC-ABS instead.
  • PC-ABS combines the best of both materials (PC & ABS) – the superior strength and heat resistance of PC and the flexibility of ABS.
  • For drop testing and pressure testing etc, this prototype will serve as a good gauge for improvements as compared with existing product.
  • Noticed how the black helmet base was printed in a go but we had to print the decor separately? This is due to FDM does not support multi-material modelling as that is under Polyjet’s feature.

We Printed A Spectacle For Colleague

Lots of people have been asking – do you have transparent material? So this round we decided to print something unique – spectacles.

Below is some information on file source & technology we used:
File Source: Rapid Model Development Sdn Bhd
Technology: Polyjet
Printer:  Objet Design Series
Materials: Tango Black+, VeroWhite, VeroCyan, VeroClear (lens)
Build Time: 5 hours and 35 minutes

Screenshots prior printing:

Outcome:

Ezrul wearing 3D Printed Spectacle

Implications:

  • This is a concept modelling application which we need to find out if the design is feasible. Various factors such as ergonomics, functionality (joint of spectacle) and design were factored in for this project.
  • Polyjet is selected as it offers a wider range of materials, which in this case a mixture of rubber-like, ABS & translucent material. As this was part of our experiment with Connex 3, it is capable of injecting 3 materials at a go which consists of ABS and rubber-like materials in different colors (2 different blue & 1 black, with different shore level).
  • The frame itself was printed in a go, notice how the joint functions, no post assembly is needed. This is the representation of precision printing.
  • To ease the wearer’s uneasiness when frame is too tight etc, we printed some rubber-like material at the end of the frame (black rubber), this acts as a buffer to reduce the uneasiness.
  • The lens on the other hand, is printed separately and assembly later.

At the end of the day, the specs came quite quite comfy, look at how Ezrul is wearing it happily. So if you’re looking to do concept modelling and it requires multiple material printing as well as colors, go for Polyjet as it offers much more diversity compared with FDM.

Car Grille

3D Printed Custom Made Car Grille For Form Fitting

Other than printing models such as Ford Model T, this round we printed a custom made car grille. Depending on what materials the vendor use i.e. metal or ABS , car grille would undergo CNC machining or injection molding process for the finished product. In this round, we tried to simulate the similar environment by 3D printing it.

Technology: FDM
Printer:  Fortus Production Series
Materials: ABS M30 – Ivory
Build Time: 41 hours 25 minutes

Screenshots prior printing:

Outcome:

Implications:

  • To develop a customised prototype such as this CNC machining would take up to approx. 3 weeks, and injection molding (including mold process up tp I.M) will take months. This is 3D printed in 2 days at an accessible cost.
  • Conventional method will face difficulty in producing such complex shape hence taking longer time, that is where 3D printer comes in.
  • Technology wise, Polyjet’s Digital ABS (theoretically) is also capable of simulating such form fitting test. However FDM was the preferred option as it uses engineering grade thermoplastic materials, which in this case is ABS M30. Other than design validation, this will provide a realistic analysis to car manufacturers in terms of tensile strength and elongation test which will aid in their mass production process.
  • Also, FDM material is also suitable material for outdoor testing given at extreme condition such as mud, sleet, rain, snow, humid and etc.
  • The 3D printed car grille can also undergo UV coating / chrome plated for better finishing & further testing purposes.

 

3D Printed Ford Model T

The Ford Model T was the most popular auto mobile back in 1920s as it was the first car made affordable to the masses. Without doubt, we at RMD are also huge fan of this vintage model and we decided to print this as one of our lucky draw gift for our past DDM event.

Below is some information on file source & technology we used:
File Source: Thingiverse
Technology: Polyjet
Printer:  Objet Design Series
Materials: VeroBlack, VeroWhite, VeroClear
Build Time: 3 hours and 41 minutes

Screenshots prior printing:

Outcome (after assembly):

Ford Model T Car Model

3D Printed Ford Model T Car Model

Implications:

  • We decided to use Polyjet due to its precision and performance, the model parts came out in a brilliant form. All parts were printed precisely and we have no problems in fitting them in. By the way, Connex3 can go up to 16micron (0.016mm) per layer!
  • Another reason for Polyjet is due to the possibility of printing multi-materials multi-colors in a go. This means you can get multi-color composite materials (refer to the grey parts, it’s a mix of black and white). Depending on application, you can also have composite materials withdifferent shore levels by mixing rubber-like to translucent material.
  • Does that mean FDM is inferior to Polyjet? Not really. It all depends on what kind of applications that you’re looking at. Say if we were to do functional prototypes that requires high endurance/tensile strength, FDM is the way to go.