Post Processing 3D Prints

Post Processing 3D Prints: Finishing Showcase Models and Prototypes

Post processing can do magic. Not only in movies but also with your 3D prints. Post processing techniques like sanding and painting allow you to make your 3D printed creations look and feel like the real thing, including color, texture, weight and function. If you use 3D printing professionally, consider the following easy techniques for turning your models into realistic prototypes, showcase models or movie props. If you’re a hobbyist, these techniques will make your home ornaments, gifts, cosplay accessories and other home projects look just amazing.

In this article we’ll show you how we turned a bunch of 3D printed parts into a fully functioning and professionally looking lamp. We’ll use filler and sanding paper to turn coarse 3D printed texture into a ultra smooth surface. Then we’ll use black paint and varnish to get the right color and finish. For the final effect we’ll install a lighting system.

Supplies:

  • 3D printed lamp elements. Make sure you’re using filament that works well with post production – ABS would be best but PLA will also work. We used a model by Paula Szarejko, you can download it on Instructables.
  • 6 cans of spray filler.
  • 4 cans of spray paint.
  • 3 cans of spray varnish.
  • Water sandpaper.
  • Protective mask. When using chemicals, always wear a protective mask and work in a well ventilated area.
  • LED lighting system. We used 3W modules (the more power, the stronger the light) with 30 W LED power supply and power switch cable.

Step 1. Clean the prints.

Remove all support material left after 3D printing. Use sandpaper to even out texture of your prints until they feel smooth in touch. They don’t need to be “super smooth” yet, that will come after applying filler and paint.

Post processing 1

 

Step 2. Apply filler, leave to dry.

Apply 3 – 4 layers of filler, each layer after 10 -15 minutes interval. Make sure to work in a ventilated area and wear a protective mask!

Leave to dry for about 2 hours.

Step 3. Use sandpaper to even out the surface.

The best choice of sanding paper would be fine grit, water sandpaper. If the surface of the lamp parts is not smooth enough, you can repeat steps 2 and 3 by adding more filler, leaving to dry and sanding until you get the desired effect.

Step 4. Apply paint.

2-3 layers of paint should suffice. Time to dry: about 2 hours.

Pro tip: use varnish to make the painted surface more durable.

At that point you can glue the parts together and enjoy a 3D printed lamp with industrial finish. You can also go a step further, and add a lighting system to make the lamp actually glow – that’s what we’ll do in the next steps.

Step 5. Install electronics.

If you don’t have any experience with LEDs try tutorials like this one, or ask somebody more experienced to connect all the wires of your lighting system.

The final effect – 3D printed, with post processing and lighting installed.

In this short article, we’ve shown you how to turn “raw” 3D prints into a fully functional, industrial quality lamp by using a few easy post processing techniques. This way you can create professionally looking prototypes and showcase models, or create custom appliances for you and your friends.

Improving Sara’s quality of life: A 3D printed prosthetic hand

Improving Sara’s quality of life: A 3D printed prosthetic hand

When we think about quality of life, we imagine us sunbathing on a tropical beach or just taking a breathe in a relaxed atmosphere on the other side of the world. We usually think big. However, sometimes small things can absolutely change someone’s quality of life.

And this is the case of Sara.

BCN3D Sigma_Prosthetic_3D_Domotek_Enabling the future_RTVE

Sara and her classmates observing the final prosthetic hand (RTVE, 2017).

Sara is a girl from Spain who was born with a malformation on her right hand which doesn’t allow her to use it properly. In March this year, Spanish television program “El árbol de los deseos” from RTVE, visited Sara at her school with an important gift for her. A fully 3D printed prosthetic hand.

A few months earlier, RTVE contacted Koldo, manager of DomoTek, and asked him to develop a fully 3D printed prosthetic hand for Sara. Domotek is a company that offers 3D printing machines and services and is really interested in social changing projects. Furthermore, Domotek is part of an association called “Enabling the Future“, exclusively dedicated to make open source 3D printed prosthetic hands.

BCN3D Sigma_Prosthetic_3D_Domotek_Enabling the future_RTVE_5

Sara’s conceptual idea and digital model of her prosthetic hand (Domotek, 2017).

Koldo managed the whole project and thanks to the BCN3D Sigma and the “Enabling the future” association, the project was a great success. The BCN3D Sigma, thanks to its dual extruder system that can print with two colours or materials at the same time, was able to print the entire piece in the exact colours that Sara wanted. So not only solving the problem but also improving it as well.

BCN3D Sigma_Prosthetic_3D_Domotek_Enabling the future_RTVE_4

Finished double colour 3D printed proshtetic hand on the BCN3D Sigma (Domotek, 2017).

Nowadays Sara is enjoying her prosthetic 3D printed hand as a little-big change in her life. This has been possible thanks to RTVE, DomoTek and “Enabling the future”, a non-profit association that is improving someone’s quality of life everyday thanks to its Open Source philosophy.

So is there where society has to put its energies, understanding that disruptive technologies like 3D printing can help to improve our lives. Understand from the oldest to the youngest, that the constant development of 3D printing technology it’s just the beginning of a new way to live better.

BCN3D Sigma_Prosthetic_3D_Domotek_Enabling the future_RTVE_6

Sara using her prosthetic hand in the park (Domotek, 2017).

BCN3D MOVEO – A fully Open Source 3D printed robot arm

BCN3D MOVEO – A fully Open Source 3D printed robot arm

IMG_7116_web

BCN3D Technologies keeps taking important steps in order to achieve his goal of bringing the digital manufacturing technology to everyone. In this occasion we are presenting the BCN3D Moveo, a robotic arm design from scratch and developed by our engineers in collaboration with the Departament d’Ensenyament from the Generalitat de Catalunya. Its structure is fully printed using additive manufacturing technologies and its electronics are controlled by the software Arduino.

Moveo, fully functional nowadays, has been born, as all the BCN3D Technologies products, with an open and educational wish.

Why BCN3D Moveo

One of the Departament d’Ensenyament worries is the high price of the materials the grade students must use on their internships. Holding that in mind, an Open Source robotic arm, adaptable by the students and low cost reproducible could take several educational itineraries: mechanical design, automatism, industrial programing, etc.

Thus, the BCN3D Moveo should allow the educational centers to enjoy a modifiable and easily accessible for the students, at a price far lower than the usual industrial equipment they used to have to acquire, with enough output for training purposes.

As a Fundació CIM area, BCN3D Technologies shares its educational vocation. That is the reason why when the Departament d’Ensenyament contacted us in order to suggest and offer this project a year ago we didn’t hesitate on taking that opportunity.

Once we had the robotic arm designed and manufactured we started the last phase of the project, which consisted on an assembling and fine tuning workshop for 15 institutes around Catalonia, which took place in the BCN3D Technologies.

These institutes already have the BCN3D Moveo in their classrooms and workshops, and will have to present an internship program that proves their knowledge about the arm during September.

 

IMG_0015_2

 

Open Source Technology: Github

As we have done with all our developed produtcs, the BCN3D Moveo files will be available for everyone. Thanks to the platform Github, a website where users around the world share their designs, anyone will be able to obtain all the necessary information in order to assemble his own BCN3D Moveo at home.

Unlike the other BCN3D products, the Moveo won’t be commercialized. The project has been born and developed in order to make a move for the community progress starting from the Departament d’Ensenyament idea.

Nevertheless, BCN3D will fee all the Moveo know how on our Github account, as we have been doing with all the BCN3D Technologies products. Thus, the users will be able to find the bill of material (BOM), where all the needed components for the assembling of the arm come detailed, as the CAD designs, so anyone will be able to modify the BCN3D Moveo design as they wish.

Furthermore, the Github users will find the STL files for the structure printing and the assembling, fine tuning and firmware upload manuals, which will be available both in English and Spanish.

Thanks to this project motivated by the Departament d’Ensenyament and developed by BCN3D Technologies everyone will be able to fabricate their own robotic arm at home, no highly technical knowledge needed. Therefore, we encourage you to fabricate the BCN3D Moveo and share the results on the social networks using the hashtag #BCN3DMoveo.

Realistic Mockup of a Housing Estate

Realistic Mockup of a Housing Estate

120 x 150 cm in size, amazing detail, made cheaper and faster than traditional methods.

Challenge

Creating a good architectural mock-up is no mean feat because it requires perfect reproduction of details, fine aesthetics and high quality of craftsmanship. The end result must impress potential investors and developers. The challenge was to create a highly detailed, large-scale architectural model of a modern housing estate in 3D printing technology.

Solution

Get Models Now decided to use a ZMorph multitool 3D printer to print all of the infrastructures of the mockup, and use traditional mockup making methods and materials only for finishing. The buildings were divided into segments and put together after printing. The area around the residential buildings was fenced and covered with green grass, on which a playground was placed. The remaining space was developed with trees, shrubs, parking spaces and lamps. Additionally, the mock-up has realistically made lighting inside and outside the buildings.

Result

The end result is a 120 x 150 cm realistic mockup of a housing estate made with the utmost accuracy and attention to detail, and of course a ZMorph multitool 3D printer. Creating an architectural mockup in 3D printing technology has nothing but superlatives – it’s much cheaper, faster and more accurate than traditional methods. Designing and 3D printing is an excellent tool for modern architects.

Realistic 3D printed mockup 5

Realistic 3D printed mockup 6

 

 

 

Realistic 3D printed mockup 3

Fully Functional Drone

Fully Functional Drone

Made by the worlds most versatile and practical 3D printer

Challenge

3D printers gained the attention of a broader audience in the second decade of the XXI century with a few open source project which offered affordable additive manufacturing machines, simultaneously sparking a market for future 3D printer manufacturers. Since that time 3D printers evolved, even surpassing the function of 3D printing. Nowadays, thanks to multitool 3D printers like the ZMorph VX, users can create complex, multi-material projects, including a PCB board. With this use case, we’d like to show you how advanced are multitool 3D printers today. The project you’re about to see wouldn’t be possible with a typical single-purpose 3D printer.

Solution

In order to make a fully custom drone we used all of ZMorph VX fabrication methods. 3D printing with ABS was used for the electronics casing, propeller guards, and landing gear. From a 3D printing toolhead we switched to Laser PRO toolhead to etch a PCB design on a PCB copper laminate plate. Next, a CNC PRO toolhead was used to cut the frame from lightweight and sturdy Dibond composite, and also to cut out the form of the PCB from the previously etched copper laminate. Then we took some standard electronics to make the drone “alive”, like sensors, main processor, battery, radio control remote. Finally, we made final post processing touches by painting some elements of the drone.

Result

We combined all three ZMorph fabrication methods: 3D printing, CNC, and laser. We used some ABS filament, Dibond, PCB laminates and some electronics, all worth around $100. This multitool 3D printer allowed us to make an awesome looking and functional drone within a desktop workspace. The same process can be used for making prototypes, showcase models and even low-volume production – proportional to the amount of owned 3D printers. A drone is only an example because the range of ZMorph’s possibilities is really vast – for more check out our catalog at zmorph3d.com/catalog. 3D printers came a long way!

ZMorph VX drone 1

ZMorph VX drone 4

ZMorph VX drone 12

ZMorph VX drone, 14

Model of a Bone Stabilizer

Model of a Bone Stabilizer

3D printing in surgery and medical engineering.

Challenge

For his master’s thesis, Filip Dominas needed a way to display the results of his biomedical engineering studies. He decided to go beyond 3D models, and use a more tangible way to illustrate his point, simultaneously showing application of a new technology in preparing for bone fracture surgeries.

Solution

Filip created a simplified 3D model of the bones, suitable for 3D printing. For this case, only the fibula, tibia and talus bones were fully modeled. Ligaments were reduced to simple connectors in-between. Other elements, such as veins or nerves are skipped, due to their insignificance for the mechanical stress analysis. Filip also modeled and printed the stabilizer itself in the form of plates to be attached to the 3D printed bones. Finally, the model was divided into parts corresponding with ZMorph 3D printer work area dimensions and prepared for printing using Voxelizer software. After the parts were finished, Filip combined them together, resulting in a 1:1 scale model.

Result

In this study, a real-life case of a bone fracture was analyzed, in order to find the best way to ensure successful healing of the tibia bone fracture by varying a stabilization method of a fibula. Five different scenarios were modeled, calculated, summarized and compared. 3D printing on a ZMorph 3D printer has been chosen as the most cost-effective method of displaying results of the study and complete the master’s thesis. A similar process can be used by engineers to prepare showcase models and even create innovations for medical devices. Analogically, doctors can use 3D printing to communicate more clearly with their patients and prepare better for surgeries.

3D printed bone stabilizer

Bone stabilizer 2

Bone stabilizer 1

 

3D printing helps the Design Does* exhibition at the Design Museum

The Domestic Data Streamers team uses BCN3D Sigma and Sigmax 3D printers to produce several items that can be found at the Design Does* exhibition, currently open at the Design Museum of Barcelona.

Design-Does-Exhibition-Design Museum

Exhibition Design Does* 

Design Does* is a co-production between the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona and Elisava, in collaboration with Domestic Data Streamers.

The exhibition is a research project to generate knowledge at group level by questioning the current use of design and reflecting on how sometimes it offers advantages and on other occasions drawbacks. Thus it defines future challenges and poses the question of what role the designer plays in society.

Free-Universal-Construction-Kit-Design Museum

Free Universal Construction Kit, a project by Golan Levin (F.A.T. Lab) and Shawn Sims (Sy-Lab)

An unconventional approach

Can we live without plastic? Can design pose moral challenges? Where do things come from? How do we join together what industry separates? Can we design something we cannot see?

These are some of the 15 questions linked to current events that the visitor will encounter and which will be represented by 15 real projects developed by renowned designers all around the world.

The exhibition is a dynamic initiative that generates knowledge and breaks away from standard exhibition structures. It places visitors in a key position, requiring them to reflect and turning them into an active component which in turn generates new content.

With its strong technological character, Design Does* encourages interaction with visitors, who can relate to the exhibits by responding to the questions asked of them. Their answers will be stored on a card that will be used to research public opinion.

Follow-Daniel-Armengol-Design Museum

Follow, project by Daniel Armengol Altayó

The virtue of 3D printing in short-term designs

The exhibition, curated by Elisava and Domestic Data Streamers, uses 3D printing technology to create some of the pieces that can be found throughout the exhibition. Domestic Data Streamers (DDS) is a Barcelona start-up that researches new communication formats using data.

The DDS team has long been committed to the use of 3D printing as a tool to revolutionize their workflow, as was the case of The Timekeeper project in collaboration with Spotify. Additive manufacturing enables them to bring to life unique designs with complex geometries that will only be manufactured once. Undoubtedly, one of the features of 3D printing and the benefits it provides compared to other technologies is the agility and speed to manufacture end products, which drastically reduces project costs and the time required to develop it.

The only restriction is imagination

Death Inc. is one of the most appealing installations in the exhibition – a robot whose entire structure is printed in 3D using BCN3D Sigma and Sigmax printers.

Death-Inc-Domestic-Data-Streamers-Design-Museum

Death Inc., project by Domestic Data Streamers

As the visitor approaches, the robot is activated and traces their path with a laser pointer while turning on a 360° axis. The project poses the question of whether we should we automate everything and attempts to challenge and project how design can be incorporated into ethical issues, such as designing autonomous weapons that are able to make decisions in the face of any situation without the need for human interaction.

3D-Printing-Domestic-Data-Streamers

One piece printing and the assembly process of the Death Inc.

As a technology, 3D printing is loaded with moral and ethical implications. Now that we have reached the point when anybody that owns a 3D printer is able to print whatever they like, we should ask ourselves what impact that may have in the future.

3D printing revolutionizes ETSEIB Motorsport workflow with the BCN3D Sigmax

ETSEIB Motorsport, one of the most experienced teams in the Formula Student competition, uses 3D printing to revolutionize their day-to-day operations. Thanks to the BCN3D Sigmax 3D printer, the team has been able to speed up the design phase and to fabricate end-use pieces that are directly mounted on the car itself. This has allowed them to greatly reduce the car costs and shrink the lead times. They are now capable to iterate faster and get refined designs in a very straightforward workflow.

 

The Formula Student team

Formula Student is a competition between students from universities around the world that promotes excellence in engineering through a competition where team members design, build, test, and race a formula-type racing car.

The ETSEIB Motorsport team is made up of 40 industrial engineers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. This is the 10th consecutive year that they design a formula-type vehicle. For the first 4 years they made combustion cars and these past 6 years they have manufactured electric cars.

3D Printing BCN3D Sigmax Formula Student ETSEIB Motorsport Car_web_logo

ETSEIB Motorsport formula racing car.

3D Printing to revolutionize their workflow

Since the ETSEIB Motorsport has incorporated 3D Printing FFF desktop technology into their day-to-day operations, their design and fabrication processes have improved drastically. Additive manufacturing has basically served them in three main areas:

· Improvement in the design validation stage:

Having a 3D printer in-house allows the engineers to print their CAD designs overnight, drastically reducing the validation and iteration time. This new procedure ensures the Formula team does not longer depend on external suppliers to fabricate their parts, allowing them to spend more time developing new ideas and concepts.

· Rapid manufacturing of cost-effective end-use parts:

3D printing has helped them to manufacture parts that are directly mounted on the car itself. Some of them are the brake ducts, several cable ties and they have even printed molds to make pieces of carbon fiber. Thanks to the BCN3D Sigmax 3D printer, the ETSEIB Motorsport team has been able to optimize their production and achieve greater efficiency.

3D Printing BCN3D Sigmax Formula Student ETSEIB Motorsport Car 2_web_logo_3

3D printed cooling brake duct assembled (left) and carbon fiber steering wheel made from a 3D printed mold (right).

· Reducing car cost and shrinking lead times:

Finally, desktop in-house 3D printing has allowed them to reduce the costs of the car. The team has been able to produce parts quicker and at a lower cost than using traditional fabrication methods, especially in the design of unique and complex pieces. By using the BCN3D Sigmax 3D printer, the team has saved thousands of euros in the car development. The initial investment was fully paid back during the first months of usage.

BCN3D Sigmax as a workhorse manufacturing tool

The team at ETSEIB Motorsport chose the BCN3D Sigmax 3D printer due to its massive printing volume. This allowed them to easily place certain parts of the car on the printing platform.

3D Printing BCN3D Sigmax Formula Student ETSEIB Motorsport 3D printer_web_logo

Cooling duct 3D printed on the BCN3D Sigmax with mirror mode in nylon, ideal to withstand high temperatures, vibrations and mechanical stresses.

Furthermore, thanks to Independent Dual Extruder (IDEX) system and its mirror mode, the engineers are able to print symmetrical pieces at the same time, like this cooling duct for the brake disc. This is of great use in the automotive field since many of the pieces are symmetrical.

Finally, the hotend family has allowed them to choose a hotend suitable for each moment. For small parts that need a lot of precision, they used Ø0.4 mm size nozzles. However, for larger pieces that are going to be subjected to mechanical stress, they used bigger nozzles such as Ø0.8mm or Ø1.0mm.

3D Printing BCN3D Sigmax Formula Student ETSEIB Motorsport Car 2_web_logo_2

ETSEIB Motorsport, by using 3D printing technologies, is able to fabricate parts for formula-type cars quickly and affordable. Are you interested to find out what BCN3D Technologies can do for your business? Contact us at info@bcn3dtechnologies.com, we love hearing from you!

Custom Resin Jewelry from 3D Printed Molds

Custom Resin Jewelry from 3D Printed Molds

Fully controlled process, lower production cost, amazing effects.

Challenge

Resin casting is a well known method for making jewelry. This method incorporates pouring resin into a mold in the desired shape of the jewelry piece. The most crucial part of the process is the mold itself – the visual effect depends on how precise the mold is, and the cost viability of the process depends mainly on the cost of a custom made mold. Designer Paula Szarejko was able to optimize both above factors thanks to a ZMorph VX.

Solution

The first part of the process was designing the parts for 3D printing: jewelry shapes and mold box. The 3D printed shape was used as an imprint to mark the geometry of the jewelry in silicon rubber, resulting in a mold negative. The mold negative created that way was then put into the 3D printed mold box, ready to be used for casting. For casting material, Paula chose translucent epoxy resin mixed with stone and sand particles as well as different dyes to create a one-of-a-kind visual effect. As the last step, Paula 3D printed some neat jewelry cases with her branding.

Result

Using a ZMorph VX Paula was able to create custom jewelry molds in a fully controlled process, and what’s also important, at low cost. Additionally, 3D printing opened her the way for experimenting with jewelry shapes and allowed for faster iterating. In result, Paula was able to create an entire line of jewelry, reuse the same molds for low-volume production, and multiply the molds when needed.

ZMorph resin jewelry 7

ZMorph resin jewelry 3

ZMorph resin jewelry 13

Architects pay tribute to Calatrava by 3D printing the Turning Torso

By using BCN3D Sigma 3D printers, the team at Suntem 3D has been able to 3D print the emblematic building Turning Torso by architect Santiago Calatrava. The mock-up has been manufactured with a scale of 1/135 and measures 1 meter and 40 centimeters.

Calatrava_3D_printing_BCN3D_Sigma_3

Since they were students, the architects of Suntem 3D fell in love with the work of the architect Santiago Calatrava. They have always admired his ability to create strong and coherent concepts transposed into an elegant blending of architecture into structure.

That is why they decided to 3D print the Turning Torso building as a tribute to this great architect.

In 1999, architect Santiago Calatrava was invited to develop a mixed-use residential tower in the port area of Malmö, Sweden, as an important part of the Malmö Western port transformation program. The project was conceived as a vertical sculptural element that symbolizes the human body in motion. The shape of the building is composed of nine units (each containing five floors), rotated to each other, and located around the central core, generating a spiral motion.

Turning Torso (190 meters) is the tallest residential building in Sweden and the second tallest residential building in Europe.

Calatrava_3D_printing_BCN3D_Sigma_1

In order to carry out their idea, the Suntem 3D team had to design the digital model. Once created, they started printing the pieces with their BCN3D Sigma printers. After 137 hours of 3D printing, they made their goal a reality: to have a physical model of the building.

The mock-up was printed in PLA, ideal for those models and prototypes that need a good surface quality and aesthetic detail. Also, is the perfect material for printing parts that contain overhangs, complex geometries and intricate curves. PLA is the best choice for building affordable models that need good surface quality for customer presentations, to help them better understand and visualize the product.

Calatrava_3D_printing_BCN3D_Sigma_2

It is easier for architects when they can visualize their designs physically and not on a screen. It is also very easy to just touch the model and figure out what it looks like from all angles.