This is a Yuri Gagarin bust. This model was downloaded from Thingiverse, I believe. You will notice that he is supported in certain areas. He has a lot of detail right there but overall the model should be fairly easy. But if you look at the back right here, there is error, there is a separation between the model and his helmet or between the neck and his helmet. Now normally if you were looking at that you would say “oh the printer jammed for a moment because a spool hung or something like that and it lost connection” that would be true, except the other half looks like this. That is a perfect print right there. The thing that actually happened right here when you see a perfect print and then a messed up component of it somewhere, This is actually a fault in the 3D model itself. The mesh of the STL was messed up in some kind of way, had some giant hole in it in how the head and the body were pressed together so the head just printed separately it was a separate part from the actual body itself. You can tell that because this is a perfect print and that's all nasty. If that's the issue you need to look at your STL clean it up close any holes and some general cleaning on the file.
Hope this helped and let us know if you have any questions related to 3D printer problems.
Happy 3D printing!
Here at Slant 3D, we have a lot of people come to us with outdoor parts so we're going to talk about the solutions of making those pieces around UV resistance.
Not a lot of people know this but most plastics degrade when exposed to sunlight UV radiation, which is what gives you the sunburn, can cause plastics to fade and degrade and then brittle over time. If you have an application that you want to mount on the side of a telephone pole for five or ten years generally isn't the best thing.
Here's the thing, most plastics are actually quite resistant to UV aside from discoloration. ABS and Pet-g are materials that are resistant. They're not fully resistant but they're pretty resistant to UV. That's why you see plastic bottles alongside the road forever but materials like PLA and other sorts of bioplastics like that are not UV resistant. They will fade very quickly but they will hold up outdoors. People overrate the amount of degradation that can occur with plastics. They are all plastics and they all have a half-life of a thousand years so you can place them outdoors and they will last a very long time. It kind of depends on what type of outdoors but it's okay. As far as UV resistance the materials that are UV rated are materials like ASA, TPU, and some nylons though they're also not great because they do fade very quickly, again ABS is also a very good one.
Here's the thing, all those materials are fine and they work great but in mass production, they're not very good materials. ASA is a highly temperamental material to work with so it's very expensive to mass-produce parts with that. FDM is kind of in a similar vein even though it's a cheaper cost of material and then the other ones like nylon are much more affordable than ABS or ASA to produce with but again you have that fading that comes with it. There is PET-G which is very often used for outdoor applications because it has that durability but there is another solution to this that many people overlook.
The features of the raw material are not necessarily what has to be done used to get a UV-resistant part. In the dashboard of your car, many of the parts within your car are not UV resistant and yet for some reason, they hold their color and last for the 20 years of a lifetime of a car. The reason for that is that auto manufacturing actually uses UV-resistant coatings which are transparent. They protect the underlying material from UV radiation and this is literally a rattle-can run across the part. Generally, if we have a client that is seeking high UV resistance we will try to get them into those UV-resistant materials potentially but depending on the cost and parameters of the project it can be much easier to just print the part in PET-G or PLA even and just coat it with a UV resistant coat and that will give it the resistance that it needs to survive the sunlight. That's the solution for kind of doing mass production with UV you have a lot of materials that are UV resistant and most plastic is able to hold up to the sun for quite a few years but if you want that really high engineering grade UV resistance there are particular materials that have that but then you can also just paint it with a UV resistant coat.
Let me know what you think down in the comments and let us know of any other topics that you would like to hear about how to manufacture particular types of products with 3D printer farms. Have a great day everybody!
At Slant 3D, since the pandemic started, we have been working with manufacturers and product sellers to bridge their production needs. If they had something overseas they would make something with us and then we'd produce it on through for them as either a temporary measure that eventually turned into a longer-term relationship but we wanted to expand on that. Right now there is still difficulty getting parts especially difficult to do spare parts. There are websites and shops and stores where an item just cannot be obtained anymore. In our own area, we have a particular type of hex screwdriver that we can't get a hold of anymore so we've had to recreate it. We want to make this service more widely available and while we're building out the software to access that we wanted to kind of put this public announcement out there.
If you have a need for a part a spare part whatever it happens to be a cap for a chair that you can't get anymore, a knob for a car that you can't get anymore please send us that list of parts that you need. If you have a website you can send us a list of the thousands of items that are out of stock. If you have just a store so this listed a few things that you would like to get a hold of and just send them directly to us. We will flip the bill for the creation of the design and the verification of the product and we will start up a wholesale relationship with you to where you can purchase those items from us in basically, the same way you did before except now they are 3D printed. You can actually have access to them from now until eternity because the stock levels will never run out because they're made on demand. Reach out to us if you are having trouble getting particular spare parts where you have items that are plastic that has been out of stock on your website for a while. We do everything from bioplastics to ul certified fireproof to aluminum replacement parts from carbon fiber nylon to rubbers and everything else in between. Please reach out to us with any of your spare parts needs. Hopefully, soon we'll be able to announce some things that will make that process even more accessible.
Have a great day everybody!
We just got the news that Hasbro has teamed up with Formlabs to do 3D printed action figureheads so this is huge news. Hasbro is a very significant company and Formlabs is a big company in the 3D printing space. For Formlabs to work on this level of consumer-grade product is a big step both as a demonstration of 3d printing at scale hopefully but also of it to be affordable and accessible to the average person.
Formlabs has done customizable items before they have worked with Gillette in the past to do things like razors. Unfortunately, they have never really hit low general level consumers and the razors were very much kind of a promotional item. Sure these action figures are going to be promotional items too but they get closer to just general products being 3D printed, which is not something that the industry has really hit yet.
Now we don't have a lot of information about how it's going to go. They're going to start out with four key characters and you'll be able to use the Hasbro app to scan your face presumably. It's gonna work probably on IOS because the iPhone has an actual scanner built into it and they'll have some sort of implementation from there. It will be interesting to see how detailed the actual models come out and if Hasbro keeps it up. We know that the action figures are going to cost about $60 when they come out this fall. From there we'll see if Hasbro continues on and expands the category and therefore helps Formlabs continue to decrease the cost or if it'll be like a lot of these customization products that has kind of been gimmicky and then never gone from there.
Customization within 3D printing even though 3D printing itself is very flexible has always been very difficult because customization still requires very constant constraints to make sure that the things that are being customized are still manufacturable. It's easy to stick a name on the side of something or a serial number or barcode but to completely change the shape of something to absorb a different type of geometry has always been tough. These action figures are an interesting case because they have kind of a datum feature where the head interfaces with the model which is the same across all of them and then they just change the facial features and the hair to look like the person that's doing it. It's also going to be kind of interesting to see how they're painting and coloring these since form labs isn't able to handle color.
None of the less, it's a big thing for the industry it's a big demonstration of how 3D printing is able to help with mass production of customizable items and we wish him the best of luck hopefully it turns out great.
Lately with COVID and all the supply challenges that have come from that. Manufacturers have been looking for new ways to figure out how to manufacture the parts that they need, especially smaller batch manufacturers that may have a custom PCB that needs a box. Historically, this has always been done with molds and you would go through you would design the mold, you would probably send that design off to some place overseas where they would cut a mold of it, they would then send you some sample parts, and then you would say okay we need 1000 or 10 000 parts. They'd send those to you and then if you ever wanted to reorder you would either modify that mold for the updated design or you would just use the exact same mold and have them make more parts so order a thousand at a time but then you have tooling and setup charges every time. This is a really cumbersome way to do it and actually limits what you're able to do. Molds are not able to work with highly abrasive materials which are often ESD safe materials or solid materials like carbon fiber-reinforced parts. Molds are molds you have to pay for, the cost of the mold even though the PCB itself that you're putting inside one of these boxes is changing very quickly. Molds are a very rigid way of doing it and right now, they're just a very unreliable way to do it because it might get stuck on a boat in a harbor someplace.
There are other ways to get it done. 3D printing is at a point where it can mass-produce tens of thousands of parts as cost-effectively as injection molding quite easily. But there are some things to be concerned about and to be aware of. Number one you do need to design for the process. 3D printing is a different process for molds. It has no inferiority if you're designing for that process. But if you have an injection molded design that you then try to 3D print you will probably run into challenges there. There are a few basic things to know about 3d printing number one fill it all the edges make the part as rounded as you can possibly get to something like this. Number two, take advantage of some of the advantages of 3D printing. You can have really thick walls, you can have chunks like this that you could not mold otherwise because that would be too much material would cause shrinkage. You can create complex mechanisms if you need a box or enclosure that has a latch on top you can do that and this is all printed as a single piece. Here at Slant 3D, we offer design services that can help you create these types of mechanisms where you can open it up latch it closed and now it's set forever. Those types of things are not possible with molds but it allows you to do even more than that because there is a wide range of materials. You do not have to commit to it your box no longer has to be a generic box that your PCB inside has to conform to. You can have the box change with the PCB. If you shave off half of it you can take the box down to half the size and save the cost on the next thousand pieces that you make. With 3D printing, as far as material options are concerned you can do ESD safe you can do ul 94 rated fireproof parts you can do carbon fiber nylon that is exceptionally durable and useful. If you're even doing something where you might need some sort of bounce resistance or drop resistance, you can print parts out of hydrometer that is difficult to mold with or expensive to mold with and gives you a level of security and durability in your enclosure that you couldn't get otherwise.
Printing has a lot of advantages over molding, and then aesthetically if you're designing a final product that houses your chip if you have something that plugs into a wall but needs to be displayed or something along those lines 3D printing allows the options for textures and all kinds of different patterns and embedded designs that again you could not do with molds. This part, this simple bump on the outside would prohibit this or this little ladder part right here would prohibit this part from ever being molded because there's no way to eject it from the mold. Also, it's a perfect square and you can't make a perfect square with molds. You have to have a draft angle on it all the way through, which really limits what you're able to design. If you're making a consumer product and housing to enclose a PCB for a consumer product, you have many more options with 3d printing as far as textures patterns and designs. 3D printing is able to hit the scale that you need it is able to create design components that you need so that you can create custom enclosures of various sizes that are able to be competitive with injection molding and get here quicker because of a print farm can be closer to you. Slant 3D has costs because you do not have to hold those 10 000 pieces for a year and a half or two years as you make all the product to move out the door or the hundred thousand pieces pick your number you instead can order them on demand saying we need a thousand pieces a month for the foreseeable future and just order those as they come. This completely simplifies your supply chain, reduces the cost of the parts, and eliminates the amount of cash stored in a warehouse from parts just sitting there waiting to be used so it streamlines the supply chain in ways that were never possible before. That's kind of a summary of it as far as the parts that you can make. This is a really good example of a good spread of pieces. We can obviously do different colors but it doesn't really come up very often because most people doing custom enclosures like black usb safe fireproof whatever it happens to be but you can have parts in various size ranges. You can of course have standoffs that you would normally have in any sort of enclosure. You can get more and more creative with it to where you either have special designs and rounded components or get into the really exceptionally detailed designs where you need all kinds of features for either functional or aesthetic needs.
That's kind of a summary of what can be done with 3D printing. As far as the scale of what it can hit obviously everybody's used to prototyping parts with 3D printing. But what is the maximum number? It depends on the design. It really does but very often these parts are made for a couple of dollars when they're in mass production with 3D printing. A few dollars for a 3D printed part might be a few cents more than the injection molded part. It gives you all of that supply chain flexibility. They show up on time and they give you the flexibility long term to where you don't have to buy a new mold every time you change the design of the chip inside of it which should be able to change as often as it needs to keep up with technology. 3D printing is a really good way to make custom enclosures in a way that was never possible before it simplifies your supply chain. It's more reliable it gives you more material choices and since you're not buying molds anymore. It very easily and very quickly becomes more affordable than traditional molding because you get that flexibility. You eliminate the warehousing cost and you eliminate the mold cost comment down below.
If there are other topics in mass production 3D printing that you want to talk about or let us know about the types of products or designs that are interesting to you
Thank you and happy printing!
3D printing really makes manufacturing enormously more environmentally friendly. There are a few reasons why.
The number one advantage of 3d printing over different processes is it does not have to overproduce. if you look at typical consumer products today as a toy for a particular movie coming out at the Christmas time, manufacturers will produce generally about 15 to 25 percent more than anyone will ever buy. This means that 15 to 25 will basically be landfilled at the end of the holiday season, which is a huge amount of waste but this isn't necessary.
Historically, this has been necessary because when injection molding, you get one run you get to make all of the parts, and then you're basically done for that year. You get all of your inventory made in like Q1 or Q2 and then you store that until the Christmas season when you sell as much of it as you possibly can. The biggest sin is to stop selling and be short of a product because then you missed out on that one-year opportunity. With this, you then have to wait until the next year for it to come around again. The issue here is that you have all of this waste because you have to overproduce because if the cost to produce a figurine is 50 cents, the loss of landfilling or scrapping or shredding all of those toys is less than if you were to be than the loss you would have if you didn't have those toys available to sell to somebody else. The potential gain is greater than the potential or almost definite loss of these consumer goods each year, 3D printing doesn't need that. With large-scale 3d printing farms, you're able to produce thousands of parts on-demand as needed. There's no longer a reason to produce tens of thousands or millions of a component at the beginning of the year, store them for a year, and then sell as many of them. You can simply make them as you sell them and it becomes less of a one-year exercise of getting your inventory and more of a month-to-month or even week-to-week exercise of getting your inventory. Right there with that fundamental supply advantage, the ability of 3D printing to produce on-demand at scale, you eliminate 15 to 25 percent of manufacturing waste, especially in consumer goods, toys, and that kind of thing.
The other input is that 3D printing is just the most efficient process imaginable. If you think about the raw inputs of manufacturing with the molding you have the mold and then you have electricity heat and plastic to make the part. It's pretty set there after you have the mold but you've got to make that mold. If you're machining, you have a block of something and then you pick away at it until you have the shape of the thing you want to carve away at it which means that you waste or have to recycle or post-process all of those shavings all the stuff that you took away. It's very efficient in that regard because you have to double process the material. With 3D printing, you have electricity and you have the plastic and that's it the final part comes out. Now admittedly 3D printing isn't perfect. All the time, there are support materials and other kinds of components to it that can require post-processing. But a well-designed part can come off a machine fully complete and ready to go with zero waste. Again since it's only coming in response to the demand for that item, there's never any wasted inventory. Just from that straightforward kind of high-level view, 3d printing is more efficient than traditional manufacturing methods by anywhere from 25 to as much as 50 percent. You only make what you need when you need it so there's basically zero waste and there are no extraneous processes that need extra touches and extra energy to produce and maintain.
Those are kind of the main reasons that 3D printing is just phenomenally more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly than other types of manufacturing processes.
Have a great day everybody!
This is kind of a very niche topic that is relevant only to printer farms and it's the fact that there is not a printer made for 3d printer farms.
A lot of people are going to argue with that statement, the reason for that is because there are lots of printer farms around. The Prusa printer farm itself is made up of Prusa printers producing those parts, but they're not made for that. there has not been a machine expressly and intentionally created and brought to market that was focused on the 3d printer farm industry. Creality made the belt machines which are still very low-scale high maintenance machines. Prusa has their machines which again are used in print farms because of their reliability but they're not the correct type of machine for that. There are a number of different options that have been tried out by Stratasys and others alike. But the print farm model has not been pursued and invested in or considered a market segment for many many years and currently still isn't. Even though there's been a few products kind of announced that are focused on print farms, they haven't come to market yet.
At Slant 3D, when we built our printer farm we expressly had to design and manufacture printers for our facility. This is because there was nothing out there optimized for print farms. There were no machines that had the automation capabilities, the ejection capabilities, or the reliability and ease of maintenance that was necessary to be used in a print farm. Everyone else who is building a print farm currently buys something off the shelf and puts up 100 of them or puts up 10 of them or whatever the number is and that's fine except for the fact that it doesn't work. The manufacturer is designing these machines for a consumer who might get bored in 24 months and needs a new machine or a consumer who needs to come back and buy another machine in 24 months so it will just break down because it's low cost. A print farm needs exceptionally easy maintenance of the machines so you cannot have the user-friendly features that make a machine easy for a general consumer to use but impossible to maintain because a chip that you don't want somebody to touch or beat on is going to be buried in the back but then professional users can't get at it. It will have certain reliability issues where it just burns out after a while because it doesn't have a premium component in that area because it's just a low-cost machine. There hasn't been a meshing of the needs of the printer farm industry segment with the needs and the demands of the printer manufacturers. printer manufacturers make a machine for a person, they don't make fleets of machines for a company. That's never been a market segment or a goal for them. This continues to be the case that there is still not a printer on the market that is reliably utilized for 3d printer farms.
Yes, you can say there are printers out there that are used that are best practices right now but that doesn't mean they're good. They weren't designed for print farms. People are using them for brick farms, they're duct taping it and that is not a solution. It's certainly not a good solution. 3d printer manufacturers need to start to consider this because as the printing scale grows, print farms will continue to expand and be a component of the industry for mass production of 3d printed parts. The companies working on print farms cannot continue to jerry-rig machines into their systems. Many of them will go the same direction that we did which is just to create a machine from scratch so that we had control of our product roadmap and we're able to engineer it specifically for our needs as a mass producer of 3d printed parts. That's the situation we'll see how the industry goes there's a huge amount of money to be made in selling individual 3d printers. The industry will continue to mature and the need for 3d printer farm printers will continue to grow so it's something to think about.
Let me know down in the comments of printer farms that you know about or good machines that you found for print farms in case somebody's trying to build one. Let us know what you think of the videos or other topics that you'd like to see.
Have a great day everybody and happy printing!
The 3d printing industry has a problem, a really big problem and it's one that almost nobody knows or talks about.
Let’s rant here for just a moment about this situation. Slant 3d operates one of the largest 3d printing farms in the world. We purchase thousands of pounds of filament every month from a number of different suppliers. Over the entire history of the company, there has been one problem that has continuously been an issue with every single supplier that we have worked with, it's color.
this is the exact same product, these are multiple spools of the same product with supposedly the same color but anybody can see this is not the same color. This is a giant problem if we are producing tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of products. Our clients expect them to all be the same color and we expect all the spools to be the same color. Filament manufacturers are not generally driven to make the same color.
Here's the reason for this and we kind of half understand it. The vast majority of filament on spools that are purchased in the industry is purchased by individual consumers who have a printer in the garage. Someone in the garage who's making a few items for Etsy or just hobby items for the around the house. They will not notice that one spool of green is slightly different from another spool of green. Since those people do not notice and they are the fundamental industry driver for buying spools of filament, the manufacturers of filament are not incentivized to really create high levels of consistency across their material. Some manufacturers do just implicitly or at least say they do.
For example like Prusa or Color Fab, those kind of guys works very hard to make sure that color is consistent across the process, using lean principles and a colorimeter at the end of the extrusion line. This is to make sure that colors are consistent. Most anybody else is eyeballing it and these are people ranging from somebody who started by making just cord and is now making filament to professional filament makers who are consistently producing colors but know that no one's going to notice that it's a variation. Up into even very large multi-billion dollar companies produce inconsistent colors because it just doesn't matter in general. somebody buying one or two spools will not notice or will not care. We understand at slant 3d that we're in the minority of clients. We buy huge amounts of filament we're not necessarily the highest margin customer or even the highest component of market share for many of these suppliers but here's the thing the industry in order to continue to grow and in order to legitimize itself against other manufacturing processes like injection molding or machining those manufacturing processes have exceptionally tight quality control. They are able to make a thousand or billion legos that are all the same color of yellow very consistently. The 3d printing industry is currently not meeting that standard. This is preventing large-scale production of parts like the slant 3D print farms and other print farms like it from consistently producing reliable results for clients. There are times even when we do an exact Pantone match and order that color specifically that the filament maker will not be able to mix consistently or monitor it consistently. The intensity of color varies up and down.
This is a huge problem because it is preventing 3d printing from being as massive of an option to all other forms of manufacturing as it could be. This is something that Slant 3D does not control exclusively, we are dependent upon suppliers for this. Suppliers are dropping the ball this is why we manufacture a good portion of our material in-house and we'll continue to expand that because this is unacceptable it is not difficult to make sure that color is consistent it simply requires the will to make the color consistent. Yes, the consumers will not notice but it will lead to a much larger market opportunity down the line. As giant printer farms or Slant 3D itself continues to expand and other companies like it, who need to produce millions of parts, at least need the same color. Eliminate this variable, it's very easy. This is just a letter to suppliers to reliably produce your material and do your job. This is a huge problem for the industry that most people don't notice or know about but it is hurting the industry.
Hope everybody has a great day. Let us know what you think down in the comments. Let us know if you've run into this before. If you've noticed it in orders of filament that you've gotten before. What kind of suppliers caused issues. If you know suppliers that are really good and reliable or if you are a supplier, please reach out to us because we're happy to speak to you and buy a couple of pallets of material from you if you're able to make colors consistently. Thank you everybody have a great day.
Happy 3D printing!
It was just announced that MakerBot and Ultimaker are merging, into well it might be Ultrabot, it might be Maker Maker who knows. This merger is actually really weird because we don't really see what the one is getting from the other. MakerBot is actually owned by Stratasys. Stratasys bought MakerBot several years ago and since then has had to take about a one billion dollar haircut and write off from owning MakerBot because it's been a wildly bad decision. MakerBot made machines that nobody really wanted but Stratasys has been pushing to make MakerBot kind of the prosumer type of printer brand, that is very similar to what Ultimaker is. There are synergies there but it's still odd because we don't know how it's helping Ultimaker. It appears that Ultimaker might just be in a bad spot and trying to find more ways to expand its market reach by getting the customer list that MakerBot has and just shoving Ultimate current’s machines into there.
Stratasys is basically selling MakerBot to Ultimaker in exchange for stock and Ultimaker so Stratasys will own a portion of the new “Ultabot” Company. Ultimaker will be able to have access to Stratasys which has a great customer base and a very strong position within the FDM type market, the prosumer, and eventually mass-production relative to the professional market of people who would be utilizing these machines. So it makes sense that Ultimaker would do that in order to get access to more customers but Ultimaker is what would be considered probably a fairly premium brand. They're in the realm of the kind of an Apple-type brand in the context of the 3d printing industry. MakerBot on the other hand is very much not. If Ultimaker is Apple, MakerBot is a bad Microsoft. MakerBot has had a very negative connotation for the last several years around their machines because they are not good machines. They have not been historical good machines that have been favored by the industry or by customers. This is why Stratasys took the haircut but Ultimaker can breathe some fresh RD and some value into the assets of Makerbot. There's value there to Stratasys and Stratasys has a customer base that is fairly locked in that they can then give to Ultimaker so that's how it makes sense but the brand cohesiveness is not there. I would imagine that MakerBot might just disappear completely and Ultimaker just absorbs it completely because MakerBot has no real brand power out there right now.
Let us know what you think about this merger down in the comments. Let us know anything you think about how it's going down, why they did it, and how you think it's going to go because we'd love to hear what you think and see how this all plays out! Have a great day everybody!
A common question in the 3-D printing world is, can 3-D printed parts be waterproof? Let's discuss it.