By Jason Griffey
As the maker circulate keeps to develop and 3-D printers turn into cheaper, an increasing workforce of hobbyists is raring to discover this new know-how. within the widely used culture of introducing new applied sciences, many libraries are contemplating procuring a 3-D printer. Jason Griffey, an early fanatic of 3-D printing, has researched and visible a number of platforms first hand on the buyer Electronics convey. during this file he introduces readers to the three-D printing industry, masking such subject matters as:
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Extra resources for 3-D Printers for Libraries
SketchUp is ostensibly designed for architectural renderings, building interiors and exteriors, landscape design—that sort of thing. But since, like Tinkercad, it deals in just a few basic shapes and controls, it’s very flexible with what can be designed with it. As a bonus, the SketchUp website has dozens of learning resources that you can use to both learn and help other people learn the tool. SketchUp doesn’t natively have the ability to export to STL for 3-D printing, but there is an easily installed plugin that gives it the ability to export or import any STL file.
Because FDM printers rely on building objects vertically in the open air, they have issues with specific geometries of objects. If you imagine a thing being printed slowly from the bottom up, if the thing has a significant overhang or free-hanging part like a wide doorway or something like a stalactite, it won’t be printable without supports on an FDM printer. The plastic has to be deposited on something: otherwise the print won’t work. All FDM printer software has the built-in ability to include supports for printing when issues like this arise.
I’ll describe the most common of these below. HIPS High impact polystyrene, or HIPS, is a plastic filament used for dissolvable support structures in FDM printers. It extrudes at around 235°C, and its material properties are very similar to ABS. The main difference is that HIPS is completely soluble in a liquid hydrocarbon called limonene. This means that if you have an FDM printer with more than one printhead, you can extrude ABS from one and HIPS as a support material from the other. If you sit the final printed model in a bath of limonene, the HIPS will dissolve away, leaving only the ABS behind, thus allowing for nearly impossible geometries to be printed, including moving ball bearings and more.