3D Scanning and Printing

During this week we have to work on 3D printers and do 3D scanning in probably different methods

software used during this week

3D rendering application with parametric design. Very simple to use. All scripts and modules are written in Python, so quiet simple to add any new 2D or 3D model... I used it to work on assignment of design 3D object that could not be made subtractively.
3D modeling software that is free and quiet complete. I used it as post-processing for the 3D scanned objects and for animating the scanned objects.
123D Catch
IPhone free Autocad app. This application permit to scan 3D object by making many photos of it and by reconstruction and rendering 3D model based on photos and information of position and direction each photo was taken.
123D app site
Autodesk 123Dapp web site permit to work with autodesk applications (some of them are in SaaS mode.) After the scan was done via the iPhone app - we use this site to download results.
Open source solution to manage the Fusion Filament Fabrication 3D printing. Cura was developed and maintained by Ultimaker. I used this software to transform my .stl models to gcode and send it to my printer. (In fact I used it as well to send new firmware to printer and gcode files are mostly transferred via SDCard then directly from app)
Extensible mesh processing system that used for rendering / filtering / editing of 3D meshes.
Printrun is free, open-source software that permit to manage 3D printers using the gcode commands. Nice feature of terminal permit during debugging phase execute commands one by one to see reaction of printer. Kids, do not try this at home..
This application permit to emulate (and send to printer as well) then gcode programs. Using this tool we can see and simulate printing and see on any layer what will happens. Used for debugging models produced from Cura.

hardware and materials used during this week

3D printer
Prusa I3 hephestos.
PLA 1,75 mm, BQ Fila Flex Filament 1,75 mm
Iphone 5c camera

All files that used in this are placed on external storage. They are huge and I did not have enough time to rework all .stl in lower resolution. Will be fixed later.


#1 Test the design rules for your printer(s) (group project)

As this is the group project, we work in our group to define design rules for all available for us 3D printers. We collect data for Prusa i3 hephestos, Ultimaker, Woma "Dom Kit".

When we prepare the model to be printed on 3D printer we need to follow some important rules. They are related to the technology we use, to specific printer limits, to material limits and so on. We can determine some main rules and we need to follow them when we prepare our model. It is quiet complex task and it is related to tests and printing of the test models that include all different points and that permit us to check quality of print any difficult shapes on our printers and to align our settings. But to simplify we need always think and check:
- each layer need to have support. We can not print flying layers.
- each next layer add some weigh. So the lower layers will support it.
- material is melted. So it need to cool down to become again hard. Until it is not cold it support less weight and pressure
- printer has a resolution that is not infinity sharp. So any very sharp points have risk to be not printed
- speed of movement on different axes may be not very precise and depends on speed of movement. So exactly distance between walls need to be calculated and checked
- Make a test print before you start. Do not start huge and long printing model at the beginning.

#2 design and 3D print an object (small, few cm) that could not be made subtractively

Design of object

As during previous weeks I decided to use Antimony as a tool that will permit me to generate parametric design in very fast and simple way. I did not wanted to create something huge and complex, but I think more about the point that my object need to be "could not be made subtractively". So I think that if I do one object jailed inside another in this way that it can not be taken out - it will be difficult then to produce it in one piece of material without cut it on parts and glue them after. I decided to design the cube with some blended cross-tubes inside. You can see source code of antimony file here

Antimony model in dev

In antimony we have stl export node - so I export it in .slt file. Then open to Cura application and I see that my result in fact is too small... Let make it bigger - changed one parameter in Antimony file and during export increase also resolution. Then again and we looks good.

Too small


Let print object. To do this I built from kit the Prusa I3 Hephestos printer and after some tuning prints - my first print is the object.

Now we have printed object! It is was first object printed on this printer (except cubes of test) so quiet good! Here are results:

The result is good. It was printed in "normal" quality just to win the time. Inner object is bigger then can pass through the holes of outer cube. So this object can be difficult produced in another way then by printing.

#3 3D scan an object (and optionally print it) (extra credit: make your own scanner)

I saw results of 3D scanning by my colleagues using the Kinekt, and I more concentrated on 3D scanning 123D catch scanning software. It reconstruct the 3D model by using the plate simple photos that overlays and have texture that permit to this app reconstruct quiet well the 3D model. This method have many limits, in fact it is not enough precise, it does not permit to scan well object with monocolor (I found it duing my tests), object with reflecting surface and so on. But in the same time it permit to scan really big objects, like buildings, cars flats and so on. So below my tries.

I tried to make a scan of small Yoda. I scanned it using the 123D catch software I gave me good result. I download the result files and then passed them to Blender app. There I removed all not required points and exported file in stl format that later was used in Cura for printing. gcode file is available in the list of all medias.

Original Yoda

Original Yoda

Yoda reworking in blender

Yoda ready to print

And in video below is some animation of yoda in the blender.

I thried another model. This model is passed really bad. You can see just a vide of result and original photo. It did not worked because surface of really simple 3D object does not contain many texture to recognise... So it failed.

Original Thing

Original Thing

Failed result video