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3D Printing Blog

The i.materialise blog keeps you updated about outstanding 3D designs, the newest 3D printing technologies and the best 3D modeling software tutorials.

Recreating Leuven Town Hall In Intricate Detail Using 3D Printing And 100% Re-Used Powder

Leuven is a hotbed for innovation, renowned for its world-famous university and scientific and research-based institutions. The city is also prominent for its drive towards sustainability, gaining accolades such as the European Green Leaf Award (EGLA) and the title of European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) in the last few years. 

Stad Leuven is constantly investigating ways to combine innovation and climate-change initiatives to improve the lives of residents, typically working with local suppliers and businesses that share their ethos. That’s why they contacted our parent company, Materialise, to help with their latest project, an intricate 3D-printed model of Leuven’s Town Hall.

Leuven Town Hall: a gothic masterpiece

Leuven Town Hall (Stadshuis in Dutch) is over 500 years old, so it’s normal that the building needs a bit of a renovation. Certain areas will have improved accessibility, while other structures will be worked on in the future. The restoration plan was the inspira

3D Printing Technologies: Laser Sintering

3D Printing Technologies: Laser Sintering

Contrary to popular belief, there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to 3D printing. Although we offer 17 different materials and over 90 possible color and finish combinations, it takes us several different technologies to get the job done.  In general, 3D printing technologies can be split up into two groups: direct and indirect 3D printing. The main difference lies in the fact that the design is made from 3D printing (direct) or 3D printing was used in the process of creating your model (indirect). In this article, we’ll dive into laser sintering, by far one of the most popular 3D printing technologies, and an example of a direct 3D printing technique.  (more…)

“3D Printing Is A Revolution”: A Talk With Artist Koen Van Daele

“3D Printing Is A Revolution”: A Talk With Artist Koen Van Daele

Long-time i.materialise user Koenraad Van Daele combines a classical background with modern techniques, creating some truly inspiring designs. In this user spotlight, we talk to him about the inspiration and techniques behind his work and why 3D printing is so important to him.

When Koen began his first project with i.materialise in 2008, it marked a significant shift in his journey through the art world. Classically trained as a marble sculptor from the age of 18, including two years spent in Carrara, Italy — the center of the stone sculpture industry — Koen now mainly focuses his attention on vector art and 3D modeling. But what inspired the shift?

“I bought my first computer in the 90s and started using graphic programs,” he tells us. “I realized that I had a talent for drawing with software. When you work as a web designer or system engineer like I did, it’s very easy to go from one platform to another, and in between, start designing for 3D.”

The perks of 3D printing

H

Why Not Make Your Own? From Watch Collector To Watch Designer

Why Not Make Your Own? From Watch Collector To Watch Designer

Five or six years ago, Juha Savisalo started dabbling in a new hobby: collecting and repairing old mechanical watches. As his interest grew, he thought, “Why not create a design of my own?” And that’s what led him to 3D printing watch components through i.materialise. Read on to learn about Juha’s process of creating the watch, why he opted for the methods he chose, and more.

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Have You Seen These Common 3D Printing Myths?

Have You Seen These Common 3D Printing Myths?

There are a lot of 3D printing myths circulating the Internet. Some are wacky and probably influenced by cartoons such as The Jetsons — for example, every home will soon have a 3D printer. Other myths revolve around questions such as: “Are the costs for 3D-printed parts different to traditionally manufactured parts, and do they have a similar structural integrity?”

Well, in this blog, we’ll be addressing these three fallacies. So, get ready as we shatter these common misconceptions with the help of our resident myth-buster, Aran Maguire, Product Manager at our parent company, Materialise.

Myth #1: 3D-printed parts are weaker than traditionally manufactured components

This underlying myth is based on a specific notion around fused deposition modeling (FDM). This technology is the most well-known in the consumer space, and it’s true that 3D-printed parts are weaker in one direction: the Z-axis. However, it’s possible to eliminate many of the weaknesses found in the Z-axis by optimiz

How Is 3D Printing Shaping Education?

How Is 3D Printing Shaping Education?

Did you start the year promising yourself that you would exercise more, eat less, and improve your mind? Traditionally, the beginning of the year is for reflection and goal setting. However, research shows that 80% of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions by February due to a lack of goals*. Although we can’t help with your fitness or nutritional decisions, we’re determined to help you stay motivated and reach your goals with 3D printing.

We’ve come up with five stories that illustrate how 3D printing is being used in education worldwide — benefiting teachers, students, and institutions for the better. Enjoy!

1. Engineering students create one of the world’s fastest solar race cars

Our journey begins in Belgium, where the Agoria Solar Team from KU Leuven University strives to build the most innovative and efficient solar cars. The current European and World Champions are constantly seeking that extra edge to keep them ahead of the competition.

That’s why they’ve partne

3D Printing Trend For 2022: The Increasing Relevance Of Smart Data In 3D Printing

Today, 3D printing continues to transform factory floors as companies adopt 3D printing for large-scale production across multiple sites. Historically, a lot of 3D printing production happened in isolation — separated from the conventional manufacturing process. But as the walls between these two manufacturing environments disappear, these two eco-systems now start to connect and create a more integrated production environment.

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How 3D Printing Made A Life‑Sized Model Airplane From World War II

How 3D Printing Made A Life‑Sized Model Airplane From World War II

By creating a full-scale model of a 1930s airplane using 3D printing, the Manufacturing team from our parent company Materialise has breathed new life into a ghost from the past. Additive manufacturing was used to create the airplane model itself as well as to create assembly tools to deliver the consistent results required. After almost two years of development, the completed model is about to go on display.

When a government agency wanted to draw the attention of visitors to an old military landing strip in Honsem, Belgium, they needed a centerpiece for the planned development of the rural landscape. They wanted something which would represent the historic importance the area had during World War II. A lifesize model of a Belgian reconnaissance airplane of the 1930s, the Renard R31, was a perfect choice. VLM (Vlaamse Landmaatschappij) is a government agency committed to rural development by restoring or develo