Aerosol jet printing is a form of 3D printing suited for printing small items. It’s also known as Maskless Mesoscale Materials Deposition and has been around since 2004. The word "mesoscale" indicates the small scale of the printing technology. In quantum physics, it is used to describe scales between micrometers and the size of small molecules. As such, this 3D printing … [Read more...] about What Is Aerosol Jet 3D Printing?
3D printing is a cool way to create real-world replicas of 3D computer models. There are several different ways to do so in your own home. FDM printing with thermoplastics and MSLA printing with photosensitive resins are both relatively affordable and easy to buy. There are other, more exotic methods of 3D printing that can offer unique advantages. Unfortunately, these are much … [Read more...] about What is Cold Spray Metal 3D Printing?
Everyone familiar with FDM 3D printing knows about layer lines. They’re an almost ever-present menace, limiting the final quality of all prints. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only downside of the additive manufacturing approach. At the start and end of each layer, the plastic simply can’t be smoothed together, leaving a visible seam. Depending on your slicer settings, this can … [Read more...] about 3D Printing Basics: What Is Z-Seam?
One of the ever-present features of 3D printing, especially FDM, is layer lines. Because the size of the printed plastic is still visibly large, very little can be done to minimize this. Even when using the smallest layer sizes available, layer lines are visible. They’re also noticeable on flat surfaces such as the top of the print. Interestingly, there is something that can be … [Read more...] about 3D Printing Basics: What is Top Surface Ironing?
Stamps can be a useful part of your job or a fun way to personalize stationery. They allow you to quickly recreate a design on any flat surface the ink you use can stick to. A limitation you can easily face, though, is the availability of designs that you want. While there are plenty of stamp designs available on the internet, you may not be able to find a design you like. With … [Read more...] about 3D Printing Basics: Printing Your Own Stamps
If you’ve got a 3D printer, it can be easy to think that you can print anything. Some parts require more planning and careful design than others, though. There are also applications for which 3D printing can struggle, at least with common materials and processes. One of these applications is threaded parts. When talking about threaded parts, most people will think of screws or … [Read more...] about 3D Printing Basics: Printing Threaded Parts
Any 3D printable that you print will have some level of inaccuracy compared to the 3D model on the computer. This inaccuracy is called tolerance and is a feature present in all forms of manufacturing. In some fields, this tolerance needs to be particularly fine. For example, in the watchmaking industry, the tolerances on each component are tiny. … [Read more...] about 3D Printing Basics: Improving Dimensional Accuracy
3D printing is a fun and creative hobby, but not all of it is a creative process. To reliably make 3D printables with your 3D printer, you will need to perform maintenance on your 3D printer. This maintenance may need to be very specific – and potentially in-depth – to fix a specific issue. Maintenance can also be quite simple and less time-consuming. … [Read more...] about 3D Printing Basics: Maintenance Tips for Your 3D Printer
Normally when 3D printing, the 3D print is the final result. However, there are some scenarios where the print is just another step in the creation of the actual intended final product. For example, you can 3D print a mold. Molds are great if you want to make identical batches of items quickly without having to worry about recalibrating your printer. They’re also useful for … [Read more...] about 3D Printing Basics: What to Know About Printing Molds
Selective Laser Melting or SLM is a 3D printing technology very similar to SLS or Selective Laser Sintering. The difference is that in SLM, the material is fully melted, whereas, in SLS, it is sintered. When the material is metal, SLM may also be known as DMLM or Direct Metal Laser Melting; the technologies however are identical. … [Read more...] about 3D Printing Basics: What Is SLM 3D Printing?