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Meet Threedo

Digital fabrication, like 3D printing, is really fun, not least because of all the toys you get to play with.

Meet my 3D SLA printer, Threedo. Don't let the googley eyes fool you, they're a serious piece of kit.


 

An SLA printer is basically a vat of UV sensitive resin with a clear base, a panel of UV lights and a plate that goes up and down. When you create a digital model that you want to print, it goes though a 'slicing' software which essentially breaks the model down into layers which tell the UV light panel which lights to switch on. The UV lights set the resin through the clear base of the vat onto the built plate. This moves up during the printing process, building the model layer by layer.

 

Printing Spike

(a necklace that takes a while to make by hand)

Spike is a necklace I originally made as a present. Turned out, I really liked it, so I made a second one for myself. It takes ages.  The neckalce is about 40 links long, each link has 4 solder joins, and each one takes about 15 minutes to make and polish.....so the necklace takes around 10 hours.

Spike Necklace by Inplico Design

 

I wanted to experiment with this necklace more and I didn't want to spend that long generating forms, so I made it digitally.


 I started with one tooth, which I then arrayed to link together. I wanted to print as many links as I possible could so I then arranged all the links in a compact spiral.

 

Spike necklace 3d model

 

 The result looked a bit chaotic, but I wasn't really expecting it to look simple.I put it in the slicing software and....well, it looked EVEN more complicated.

Spike necklace 3D file

 The structues that the slicing software created are support structures, they allow the model to stick to the build place while printig. I hit the print button and waited around 2-3 hours. The amazing thing about Threedo (and in fact all SLA printers) is the time the print takes is to do with how tall the model is, not how mich space it takes up on the build plate. If you are savvy, you can cat your print time right down, which is something you can't do using an additive layer printer.


 

Spike necklace printing stage inplico design

 

Spike necklace SLA printed by Roz at Inplico Design


 Now before you can start taking the support structures off, you have to cure the excess resin. A bit of time on a turn table next to a UV light works fine.

Spike necklace 3D print Inplico Design

SPike Necklace 3D print Inplico Design

It came out really well, printed links for the win. Check back in later for more design updates.

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