Monthly Archives: November 2016

3D printed vortex generator

The First Layer: Concealed Layer Start Points

When you’re trying to get the best quality possible out of your 3D printed parts, there are some obvious choices for how to setup the print. Finer layer heights and lower speeds can improve finish and accuracy, but is that all there is for improving quality in your printed parts? One subtle yet very effective way of improving the uniformity of your surfaces is by controlling your layer start points.

With the sole exception of printing using the “spiral vase” method, every time your printer starts a new layer it leaves behind a tell-tale mark caused by the motion path of the nozzle. It’s possible to minimize these marks through optimization but they won’t ever go away entirely. One nice benefit of using Simplify3D is the added ability to plan your layer start points. When done effectively the small marks can be concealed within geometry that makes it impossible to notice. Can you see the layer start points in the first photo above? What about the zoomed in version below?

3D printed vortex generator

If you look carefully along the bottom edge of the part you’ll notice all of the layer start points are consolidated along the edge where it rolls over. By placing your start points along a specific geometric feature, it’s possible to create very controllable “seams” that diminish into your design. Keep reading below and I’ll show how you can use planned layer seams to improve your printed parts! Continue reading

WTFFF?! 3D Printing Podcast Features Design by MAKEiT’s Russell Singer

We first ran into the team behind the WTFFF?! 3D printing podcast about a year ago at SoCal MakerCon in Pomona, California. Since then we’ve had a few opportunities to talk with hosts Tom and Tracy Hazzard and it’s always a privilege to catch them, either on the podcast or at local events. It’s exactly a year after we met and WTFFF?! is revisiting a conversation about 3D printed design. If you haven’t heard it before take a listen to the WTFFF?! conversation about the 3D printed table shown here, designed by MAKEiT’s Russell Singer, or check out more photos of this and more 3D printed designs in our photo gallery!

3D Printing for Injection Molding with Bruce Dominguez

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The most exciting thing about working in 3D printing is seeing the range of applications people use it for. This week we got a chance to visit our friend Bruce Dominguez at Supplyframe Design Lab in Pasadena, where he’s finishing up his term as Artist in Residence. Bruce’s project “Call to Adventure” is a new look at an old toy, green army soldier figurines, using 3D printing and other modern tooling methods to re-imagine the classic toy. Click read more below to see more of Bruce’s process! Continue reading