Industrial 3D printing doesn’t have to be all about super practical jigs, fixtures and end-use parts, as impressive as those can be. Sometimes it helps to expand our vision of what’s possible either by printing cool parts we’ve found online (often at the Stratasys resource page) or by creating our own here in the 3D Printing support department at PADT. We thought it would be a good start to the new year to show them off, so here are our current favorites to inspire you, along with notes about their production.
Lens Cap Mechanical Iris
A few years ago, a clever Stratasys product-development customer designed and printed a camera-lens cover with an integrated, movable iris – a mechanical design that was only possible with FDM soluble support material. The customer even paused the print to insert a glass lens, then resumed the build (printed in black ASA) for the final layers. This is one of our favorite F370 printer files due to the “wow” response of people seeing the iris vanes open and close with a twist of the frame. (Part size: approximately 3 inches diameter, build time 2.5 hours.)
A Bolt … with an Easter Egg
It’s always fun when an interesting part displays a hidden surprise. That was the case with a little give-away model designed by PADT 3D Printing Application Engineer, Chase Wallace, to highlight the fine detail possible with prints on the Stratasys Origin One DLP resin printer. Chase designed what at first appears to be a nicely threaded polymer bolt with the PADT logo on its head and P3 (for Programmable PhotoPolymerization) on its base.
But, with a little left-handed screw action, you find the threaded section is actually a sleeve, itself threaded, internally…
…revealing an inner tab embossed with the Origin One label and PADT logo.
We printed several hundred of these in BASF ST45 resin on our Origin printer. Each build produced either 32 or 24 parts, needing no support structures, in a little over two hours.
Mini-Arizona Panorama PolyJet Part
Coming up with a sample part that shows off multiple capabilities of a single printer can be a challenge, but AE Chase was also up to this task highlighting our J55 PolyJet printer, with another giveaway part.
This printer deposits millions of droplets of liquid resin (CMYK, white, clear, elastomer and more), producing parts in full color with texture and internal details. This little part is like a folding picture-frame, showing the company logo and printer model number on the front/back “covers” plus an Arizona sunset and a textured pattern on the hinged inside. (Printed open/flat, the part is about 3.7 by 0.8 by 0.5 inches; 28 parts fit on a single J55 build and print in 6.75 hours.)
Bento Box Personalized Gift
Lastly, we brought together the versatility of two different Stratasys technologies in a design we created to celebrate the recent retirement of a PADT co-worker. Wanting a gift that would be both fun and functional, we chose a Bento box concept with three layers of trays that nest snugly onto each other. The lid and front panels (produced on the J55 PolyJet printer) offered space for colorful artistic customization, then we printed the trays in a matching ABS on an F370 FDM system.
Each layer included a recessed area on the front, where we inserted J55-printed facades with text, years of service and the PADT logo, using custom colors to match the ivory filament. Since the fine 0.007-inch FDM layers made it easy to also print a visible texture, we incorporated a scrollwork-and-strawberry motif on the sides.
Inside each layer, it was easy to create removable, FDM dividers.
And for the box lid, we found a freeware DXF scroll pattern, imported it as an editable sketch file in SolidWorks and extruded it as a cut-out overlay. We then assigned a rich aqua color to the background layer (HEX #40e0d0) and a light ivory (HEX #f7f0d2) to the overlay and frame. The final touch was a customized oval nameplate that incorporated a discrete red strawberry as the dot of the “i.” Of course, the entire lid was printed as a single piece. (Part size 7.5 by 4.5 inches; print time 6.8 hours.)
If you have a clever CAD model that just begs to be 3D printed, we’re here to help.
PADT Inc. is a globally recognized provider of Numerical Simulation, Product Development and 3D Printing/3D Scanning products and services. For more information on Stratasys printers and materials, contact us at email@example.com.