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3D Printing

Alex Wilkes Brunel University

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes

Slide Notes

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes

Introduction to 3D Printing
Professional 3D prototyping is an expensive process. Man has always had the ability to use his hands to craft objects, but digital technology has largely being focused on the design stages of craftsmanship and not the process of physically producing the artifact. This raises a problem.
What is the problem tackled?
We all have access to 2D prototyping technologies - printers. Printers come in all shapes and sizes, but no mass market 2D printer technology in the past 30 years has appeared to offer a direct path to a market for mass market 3D prototyping - 3D prototyping technologies were available but in very specialist markets. This made it had for consumer and small businesses it is hard to gain access to a professional digital prototyping environment for 3D objects. Now, 3D printing is being brought closer to the general public market with the introduction of 3D inkjet printing (a technology from Hewlett Packard and other vendors) and 3DP (a technology from MIT). This research will seek to uncover how 3D printing is progressing as an emerging technology. 3D printing is a form of rapid prototyping. Rapid prototyping has existed as an industry for around 20 years. However, the machines and tools involved are typically quite expensive. This represents a problem for individuals who are looking to exploit rapid prototyping technology. The wider problem is the competition with the digital world. The physical world must keep up with the speed that the digital world is evolving at.

What is the motivation for solving this problem?

The rapid prototyping industry needs to move faster toward production of technologies that are accessible by consumers and SMBs via performance, cost and efcient developments.

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes

Prototyping is often the most costly and time consuming stage of the product-development life cycle1. It is desirable for individuals and organisations to reduce the time it takes to develop a product.

What is the solution?

3D Printing. Printers are produced by the following manufacturers: Hewlett Packard ZCorp Stratasys RepRap Fab@Home

Where has the work taken place in the invention of this technology? Which is important? Craneld University - Algorithms to calculate how robots should move to weld the poly materials: 1 NORRISH.I.: Advanced welding processes (Institute of Phvsics Publishing, bK, 1992) 2 NORRISH,J, and OGUNBIYI,B: An adaptive quality control concept for robotic GMA welding, 5th International Conference on Comp&er Technology in Welding, Paris, France, 15th-16th June 1994, paper 45 Stratasys Open Source Projects

Fernando Ribeiro, 1998, "3D printing with metals", Computing and Control Engineering Journal, USA, February 1998, pp. 31-38.

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes

Plastics: Plastics were experimented with in the 1800s to produce many new materials 2. We were able to produce vulcanized rubber and gun cotton amongst other now well known items. When World War II broke out there was now a much more urgent reason to use synthetic material - mainly because supply lines to natural sources of wool, silk and other materials were being cut off.

American Chemistry Council, 2010 "History of Polymer and Plastics for Students" [Online], Accessed at [Accessed 25/ 10/2010]

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes

We now need to discuss basic technologies and processes involved in the 3D printing process. Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing is the process of making objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing which removes layers from a larger solid object. This technology can be used anywhere throughout the product life cycle for industry or individuals can use it to create everyday objects.

Polymers A polymer is a chain of repeating structures connected by chemical bonds. Photopolymers A polymer that will change properties when exposed to light, typically UV light. Curing technologies Curing is the process of the materials becoming hard or solid through cooling, drying or crystallization.

3D Printing methods
Stereolithography (STL) uses UV-curable photopolymer resin. A laser moves to create a cross section of the part, by hardening the resin and allowing it to bond to the resin layer below it. The resin is drained and the model is then placed in an oven for nal curing. Advantages: Can produce parts quickly No additional tooling required Good cost for low volumes Disadvantages: Limited materials (resin types) and colors available Considered brittle Might not produce all ne features

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes

Fusion-deposition modeling (FDM)

Coiled material is extruded through a small nozzle to form the shape. Pros: Production grade material. No further tooling. Quick. Cons: Not for small parts

Selective laser sintering (SLS):

users a laster to melt and fuse plastics together. Adv: More production ready Cons: Might not produce micro features

Cast urethane molds (rapid tooling):

Forms an impression of a solid part to produce a rubber mold to be used in standard production methods. The mold can withstand 10 to 20 reproductions before it breaks down. Probably will form the mold around a solid part produced by another rapid prototyping method. The part is only as good as the solid part it is molding. Adv: Good quality, similar to injection-moulding production methods Cons: New cast required after it breaks Technology STL Initial Inch tolerance Additional inch tolerance Minimal layer thickness Finish

0.005 inches 0.0015 inches 0.004 to 0.01 inches 0.004 to 0.01 inches

0.002 inches Production grade 0.0006 inches Smooth Production grade 0.004 inches Production grade



0.003 to 0.003 to 0.007 inches 0.007 inches


Rapid tooling

0.005 inches 0.002 inches 0.002 to Production 0.004 inches grade

Brent Hahn, Accumold 2010, "Rapid prototyping for micromoulded parts", MachineDesign April, USA, April 2010, pp. 52-55.

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes

AutoCAD is the leading 3D modelling software package3. The latest versions support 3D printing 3D printer manufacturers develop plug-ins for packages like AutoCAD that allow the slices to be accurately created. You can print almost any practical object that you design It is a very trivial process and multimedia workers should already be familiar with these software packages so no additional learning curve URL: index.html?url=WS73099cc142f48755-1257e12111bf108800e41f3.htm,topicNumber=d0e1 47723 Specication for CAD software to be able to print 3D1: Software modelling Surface modelling Constructive solid gemoetry Programming interface (to enable the use of an add-on to slice the shape for the printer) Shading features

If we are now more readily able to produce 3D artifacts. Users should consider straying from a mouse and keyboard to use an interface that is able to simulate the 3D development using 3D inputs and outputs. Some devices: iSphere Axsotics 3D-Spheric-Mouse

Other Technologies
3D scanning Haptic technology Slicing algorithms in the software

ICT Spaghetti, 2010 "CAD report shows growth in 3D [Online], Accessed at [Accessed 25/10/2010]

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes

How does it work?

A polymer lament is unwound from a coil into the extrusion nozzle The polymer is heated and is deposited by the machine The plastic hardens immediately whilst bonding to the layer below Any support structure is washed away

A printhead dispenses droplets of thermoplastic on the base The droplets hit the surface of the base and develop a shape The lines of droplets will form a layer Additional layers will be deposited on top of each other

Laser Sintering
A powder is layered down by a roller The laser then provides a heating element to fuse the powder in the correct shape The piston moves down A roller adds another layer

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes

Technical Overview

The model is electornically sliced in AutoCAD. The following output data is required: the polylines (sometimes in DXF format) the robot program (ARLA language) two reports: one with further instructions and values for each layer, and one to show the build information like time, quantity of material etc. The robot program is compiled for the correct machine The program is downloaded to the machine

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes


Does it work?
Yes indeed. There are several 3D printing models available, both open source (build your own) and commercial models.
RepRap is an open source 3D printer project. However it is special in the way that it can print its own components. They key approach of the project is to develop a system that would enable individuals to manufacture everyday objects in the home.

A similar open source project. But these are not reliable machines 4.

HP Designjet 3D
HP Designjet 3D offer an ofce-ready approach to 3D printing. Hewlett Packard is a trusted printer vendor and therefore one can expect good quality, performance. It is an FDM based printer.

Stratasys is the OEM provider behind Hewlett Packards printer. They also offer a variety of FDM approaches under the brands Dimension and Fortus.

Zcorp offers the ZPrinter models. They use a proprietary method of depositing the ink, it is typically formed with a powder. However they can also be used in ofce environments.

4 Paul Wallich, 3-D Printers Proliferate, IEEE Spectrum September 2010, pp 23.

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes


Technology Integration
Most 3D printers are platform-independent - so Windows, Unix or Mac OSX would be your personal choice. Likely to be a USB (slightly older models have a serial connection) Mainly software technologies are required for integration The software may interface with a 3D scanning device in order to capture a 3D object - then you could reproduce it.

Technology Development
3DP also needs to be made suitable for consumer and SMB environments and therefore elements like powder etc - health risks. However a team from the Pusan National University have proposed a system that applies a polymer resin and a UV curing process in conjunction with the 3DP process 5.

Jung-Su Kim, Min-Cheol Lee, Dong-Soo Kim, 2007, "3D printing method in the Oce", Pusan National University and Korea Institute Machinery & Materials, Sept 2007

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes


Prototyping e.g Computer Peripherals Product Design e.g Household Tools Micro Design e.g Computer interfaces

Medical: A 3D bio-printer is manufactured by Organovo*. The machine works in the same way as the 3D inkjet technology. But rather than spraying thermoplastics and wax, the machine sprays organic cells. Researchers found that cells would begin to ow and organize themselves when they are sprayed next to each other. At present most of the practical work involved in synthesizing skin and organs is completed by hand. It stands to reason that there could be several unintended usages in the medical world, if bio-printing ever became a commercial feature of the 3D printers we know today. Medical 3D printing may even have dire social effects. For example, the attitude to smoking may change if people are aware they could simply print some new lungs in 20 years. Eventually we will be able to print organs directly into the body.
* A variety of materials can be found refering to Organovos products in the Organovo Pulibcations Library. Multiple Authors. [Accessed 28/10/2010]

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes


Multimedia Usage
Product design Multimedia designers may wish to develop their own products to be used as giveaways when working with clients. Props for animations Multimedia designers creating stop-motion animations may wish to create 3D props. This would allow them to design complex props in AutoCAD for example, which would enhance the content of their videos. 3D photographs It maybe possible to create 3D photographs my slightly and subtly raising the surface on photographs. 3D websites I envisage that the WWW will be the rst medium that wants to break into the physical world. Two issues come to mind when multimedia designers will want to stray into the physical world. Colour is currently hard to reproduce using 3D printing methods. For example, the HP printer supports only one colour per model. Therefore it would be unlikely we could create a realistic graphical product. Secondly, the machines do not recreate 3D motion. Much further tooling is required to produce 3D motion, for example, adding electronic motors to the models.

Why would they use it?

To bring digital media back to the physical world. This was also covered in SixthSense technology 6. Individual multimedia technologists would be interested in the kits that enable you to make your own devices.

Prana Vimistry, 2010, SixthSense [Online] [Accessed 20.10.2010]

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes


Advantages: Allows for rapid prototyping in an ofce or home environment Uses digital interfaces for accuracy Most practical objects can be recreated Gives multimedia designers an opportunity to work in physical 3D

Disadvantages: Expensive - HP machine still costs 15,000 Not quite commercially ready - cannot order online like a 2D printer Open source kits are available but they are unreliable

Commercial factors: Whilst the HP DesignJet appears to be the most commercial model on the market, it is not available for general purchasing via Individuals are unlikely to be able to afford the price tag However the technology is easy to integrate with, so users should pick it up fast when it does become available Whilst models like Hewlett Packards DesignJet 3D represent a closer link to the general market, a price tag of $17,500 is still not affordable for the consumer. However if we consider that a laserjet in 1995 cost $1,629, and today costs $100, then it might be reasonable to assume that a DesignJet 3D will cost around $1000 in 2025.

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes


Emerging issues in multimedia technology

Because the technology is so emerging, I would advise against any consumer or SMB purchase because the technology will evolve again in the next 6 months.7 I would advise against any consumer or SMB purchase because the technology will evolve again in the next 6 months. The open source 3D prototyping tools are continually evolving and offer superior features with every version of the platforms HP will continue to develop the DesignJet 3D to become commercially-viable

Appreciation of likely developments and impacts on multimedia

If customers here about it, they will want 3D designs (probably without knowing why) CAD users and 3D animation users may have to consider printing in 3D for prototyping and testing Multimedia designers will be sought after to improve the interfaces to 3D systems

Ben Terrett, Really Interesting Group, 3D Printing, Creative Review March 2010, UK pp 22.

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes


Real 3D Sitemaps
Real 3D Sitemaps is my business idea for use of the 3D printing technology.

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes


About Real 3D Sitemaps

Idea Real 3D Sitemaps is a service that would take XML sitemaps and produce real-life models of them. The input would be an XML le of your data. This could be pre-visualized by a technology such as eValid (described later). The user would then select a template design to produce the 3D model. The basic or default model would be a atomic-like structure. The model would then be generated in AutoCAD and sliced for a HP DesignJet printer The model would be printed and sent via courier to the user. Integrating technologies The product might interface with We may also make an AutoCAD add-in for this product. Marketing I would produce a website to market the business. I have made a simple mockup using Adobe Photoshop. Advantages to User Unique Shows innovation Shows creation Advantages to Business Disadvantages to Business Disadvantages to User Not easy to modify Client may not understand the concept

Offering templated sitemaps would allow for reliable design

Because of the structure of the sitemap, removal of the excess material must be very cautious

Can charge a premium as unique Would only require one machine if low volume

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes


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References and Bibliography Multiple images used from HP Image and Video Library. Images Copyright Hewlett Packard Development Company [Accessed November 2010]

Images used from the following sources: [Accessed 01 November 2010] [Accessed 01 November 2010] [Accessed 01 November 2010] [Accessed 01 November 2010] [Accessed 01 November 2010] [Accessed 01 November 2010] [Accessed 01 November 2010] [Accessed 01 November 2010]

3D Printing - Alex Wilkes