03 July 2019 13:00
Image above: The M5 screws 3D printed using Digital Metal's system [Image credit: Digital Metal]   Metal binder jetting is undergoing a renaissance. Over the last decade, many new companies have entered a competition mode, each with its own take on this technology.    Such activity is in part fueled by many lucrative opportunities this technology presents. For one, the high speed and precision of the metal binder jetting process can help establish it as a new high-volume production method.    But which developments are driving the success of this technology?    Today we’ll be looking at ...
19 April 2018 16:17
Above: AMFG's AM Automation Software provides powerful tools for file preparation and production management.    Converting a CAD-designed model into a compatible file format for 3D printing is an unavoidable step in the 3D printing process. The file format most commonly used is STL, which allows the 3D printer to interpret CAD model data and then to create the physical object. However, when an STL file is poorly exported, this can lead to a myriad of unexpected and, typically, undesired results, affecting the printability of a part. So what are the most ...
13 March 2018 11:43
From its emergence in the mid-1990s, Binder Jetting has evolved into a key additive manufacturing technology with a variety of applications. From producing full-colour parts and prototypes to low-cost metal parts and sand molds for casting, Binder Jetting has found a wide use case within a range of industries.  In this tutorial we’ll delve into how Binder Jetting works, its benefits and limitations and practical tips on how you can get the most out of this technology.    How does Binder Jetting work? Binder Jetting technology works by using a print head to apply ...
17 August 2017 16:09
Any quality 3D printed model -- whether it’s a prototype, a display model or an industrial part -- begins with a quality material. This is especially important for metal 3D printing, as parts intended for industries such as aerospace, defence and automotive must be manufactured to the highest standards. However, the materials used for metal prints are still quite expensive, and so must be deployed intelligently to ensure operations remain cost-effective. A key part of this is maintaining the purity of all powder materials used for 3D printing. Any printing run ...
16 August 2017 10:23
When it comes to finishing 3D printed parts, there are more options available than ever before. In today’s tutorial, we’ll be looking at a highly effective, hands-free method of achieving a smooth finish for your plastic parts: vapor polishing.   What is vapor polishing? Vapor polishing is a technique for polishing plastics that utilises vapor from solvents to gently melt the surface of a part, causing it to subtly ‘flow’. The printed part is suspended above a chemical bath in an enclosed space, so every area is exposed to the fumes for just ...
07 August 2017 16:29
For any filament-based 3D printing technique, proper maintenance of your machines’ extruders should be a regular part of your internal processes. This becomes even more essential if you are utilising different filaments with the same printer. If even small quantities of a different material are still present in the extruder during the next print run, it will affect the finished result, resulting in lost time and wasted material. If you are in any doubt about whether a clogged extruder is affecting the quality of your printed parts, look closely at it ...
04 August 2017 16:22
Invented and patented by Chuck Hull -- founder of 3D Systems -- in 1984, stereolithography (SLA) is the original technology that serves as the foundation of modern 3D printing. It was SLA that originally helped establish 3D printing as a viable tool for manufacturers, and encouraged others to explore new methods of printing and new applications for the technology. It is a testament to Hull’s original vision that SLA is still employed today, across a wide variety of industries, by both seasoned professionals and aspiring hobbyists.   How does it work? Stereolithography builds ...
03 August 2017 15:08
3D printing with ceramic materials is still a relatively new addition to the additive manufacturer’s arsenal of techniques, but nonetheless, it has a wide range of potential applications, from beautiful artistic creations to versatile industrial parts. In today’s tutorial, we’ll be providing a concise introduction to ceramic 3D printing, how the technology works, and how to ensure your first design is a success.   How does it work? There are currently two main ways of 3D printing ceramics: jetting-based printing and extrusion-based printing. Some ceramic 3D printing utilises a jetting-based approach, where a liquid ...
28 July 2017 15:54
We’ve already looked at the challenges that come with successfully utilising and removing support structures for 3D printed parts, but removing them from metal parts can prove especially difficult, particularly when a clean, smooth finish is required. That’s why we’ve prepared this short tutorial on managing your support structures for 3D printing with metal, to help avoid any unnecessary stress during the post-processing stage.   Avoid them altogether! As a rule, it’s better to minimise the need for support structures with any form of metal printing, so consider this before your 3D ...
27 July 2017 15:15
Pioneered by Stratasys in 2007, polyjet 3D printing -- while less widely used than SLS or SLA -- is an effective tool for printed parts that require a high level of surface detail (0.1mm details are achievable) and a smooth, high-quality finish. Its applications include: Highly detailed display models that require multiple colours, such as medical models. Prototyping stages where a large number of iterations of a part are expected. Polyjet’s printing speed makes it ideal for this. Limited-run non-functional parts, such as decorations for luxury cars. Generating moulds and ...