Do you wish you didn’t have to draw objects from scratch using a CAD platform like AutoCAD? No sooner thought than done, your wish is granted!!
There are myriad websites where CAD drawings are downloadable at no cost. These websites fall into three categories
- Websites of manufacturers or retailers
- Social networking websites for CAD enthusiasts
- Websites that sell CAD objects and offer some for free
Websites of Manufacturers or Retailers
This talk of how guns made on a 3D printer may be true, but is wearing our minds thin. It’s time to focus our attention away from that grim reality to a related 3D printing aspect that warms our hearts: the use of 3D printing for surgical prosthetics.
Two recent applications in this area caught our eye. The first is 3D printed casts with ample air spaces to allow the victim’s skin to breathe and reduce the itching that usually surfaces a while after the cast is put on. Here’s what we mean:
(picture source: media.npr.org)
The other is the use of 3D printed prosthetics for reconstructive surgery. For instance, shown below is a prosthetic ear made for a patient whose head was badly damaged in an accident (the prosthetic was developed by the Centre of Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery at Cardiff Metropolitan University) :
If you are interested in having a detailed 3D model developed for 3D printing, do get in touch with us: we have created thousands of 3D models. Use the contact form at the right or email us from our 3D modeling page here.
Good luck with your 3D printing!
Not only made, but fired. Several times. The firearm was made by a company called Solid Concepts, Inc., a US-based provider of 3D printing services.
But don’t tear your hair out in despair, because the equipment needed for 3D printing metal is beyond the means of the casual consumer. It costs $850,000. It uses a process called “Direct Metal Laser Sintering” (DMLS), where an object is created layer by layer from metal powder (view this video if you need more detail).
Apart from costing the earth to make, 3D printed guns can also be detected by garden-variety metal detectors. No need, therefore, for alarm, even though the media wants you to think there is!
To see the gun in question being fired, watch this video:
NEWS FLASH 14 November 2013
We spoke too soon. A metal printer for under $1000 has been announced. Read about it here. Pray for the safety of humankind soon after.
That said, if you have an object for which you need a 3D CAD model produced (which is necessary for getting the object 3D printed), send us a message using the form at the right, or go to our 3D modelling page and message us from there.
Just don’t ask us to model guns (seriously).
Now There’s A 3D-Printed Gun Made Out Of Metal, And We’re Doomed
78 million bucks. Who wouldn’t like a salary like that? Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle Corp, already earns it.
… this year, Oracle Corp asked its shareholders if Ellison’s pay could be increased by 19%. The shareholders voted against the proposed increase, 2 million and 1.6 billion for (with one 1 billion of the latter belonging to Larry). That’s 57% not in favor of it. They voted against a proposed increase last year as well, and that time 59% were against it.
This type of resolution by shareholders (known as ‘say on pay’) is, according to law, not binding. It constitutes a recommendation. A company can flout the recommendation if it wants, but that may result in a PR disaster. No public company wants that, especially for the second time in a row.
The reason shareholders were hesitant to raise Larry’s salary is that Oracle Corp’s growth has slowed down during recent years. One cause for this is that many customers no longer want to buy software for installing in their machines; they instead want to use ready-made, cloud-based solutions (cloud-based solutions offer the benefits of no hardware cost, no software maintenance cost and higher reliability).
It remains to be seen if Oracle’s new cloud offering, Oracle 12c (‘c’ for cloud) will prevent users from seeking alternatives like MariaDB or PostgreSQL. The tug-of-war is definitely not going to be a doozy!
3D printers have picked up momentum and it will be no wonder if you soon find a 3D print shop in your locality.
We have already written several blog posts regarding 3D printers and are now going to explain how we prepare a model for 3D printing.
1. Create the 3D model using a suitable CAD platform. Widely used platforms are:
- 3Dstudio max
Note: This is not an exhaustive list.
2. Export the file in a 3D printer compatible format.
Most of the 3D printers available in the market accept a variety of 3D file formats for printing. There are a few formats common to all printers. They are STL, OBJ and IGES.
All popular 3D modeling platforms create output in at least one of the above file formats. That said, for some printers the above formats may need to be transformed to machine-specific code using Gcode generators.
Checklist Prior to Exporting to 3D Printing Format
||Rectify the issue
|Reversed vertex normals
||Flip them to normal position
||Weld them properly
||Combine or subtract them properly
There is a tool called Netfabb in which we view STL files and repair them if any issues emerge. There is a basic version that can be downloaded free of cost.
Please note that the free version has some limitations. It will identify only basic issues. The paid version versions are for advanced usage.
General Tips for 3D-Printer-Friendly 3D Models
- Keep the polygon count minimal
- Triangulate models before exporting the model to STL or OBJ formats as Gcode generators will need triangulated polygons to create Gcode for printing
- Make sure the object has a flat base and the base is exactly positioned on the "0" level of the "Z" axis
- A fully solid model will increase printing cost and therefore a 3D model intended for 3D printing should be hollow without internal surfaces that are not visible.. For example, if the object is a cylinder, do not create a full solid model, create a cylinder with minimal wall thickness instead
- Use the Boolean UNION operation to combine multiple objects to remove internal surfaces that are not visible.
Outsourcing the Creation of 3D Printer-Friendly 3D Models:
TMG has lot of experience creating 3D models for 3D printing. Just send us your sketches or concept drawings and you will get a 3D model ready for printing. Click here to do that.
We look forward to hearing from you!