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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.

3D printing commercial aircraft parts (and burning them with a Crème brûlée torch)

One of the biggest problems with 3D printing materials is that they’re basically built to fail. Traditionally materials have been chosen specifically because they have low melting temperatures or are weak. 3D printing is now entering a phase whereby the parts used increasingly must be strong, robust and functional for use in the real world. Delicate prototypes still have a place but increasingly the market will have to cater to direct digital manufacturing whereby final parts are produced on demand. One material showing us where thing are headed is Ultem 9085. This material, made by Saudi firm Sabic, is made for use on Stratasys FDM machines.
The combination is a powerful one. Ultem has been certified for use on commercial aircraft, is strong, very light, has very low toxicity when burned, high melting temperature and is actually flame retardant. It is a portent of a new class of materials with advanced properties that are certified for advanced uses. To show you just how awesome

3D print an entire coffee table in one piece

Check out the video to see how we 3D print an entire coffee table in one piece.

The Module by design label .MGX, designed by celebrated designers WertelOberfell–Platform is printed in one piece our Stratasys FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) machines. The coffee table is based on fractal growth patterns in trees and designed specifically to minimize waste. Individual Module coffee tables can be intertwined in order to get just the size of table you need.

The machine used in the video is the Stratasys FDM Maxum, one of the largest 3D printers in existence with a build volume of 600 by 500 by 600 mm. I hope the video does the scale of the thing justice, I could sit in it if I dared.

Our parent company Materialise has the largest FDM capacity in the world outside Stratasys itself. We have over 20 FDM systems, the majority of them the huge Maxum machines. The FDM production people are also currently trying to be patient while they wait for capacity to increase yet again so t

Delight with your very own 3D light

Announcing the Google SketchUp & i.materialise 3d printed Lamp Design Challenge.

Designers can enter to create and win their own lamp using Google SketchUp. The top 3 designers win their very own lamp 3D printed. The lamp comes complete with a light and base. The overall winner wins a Google SketchUp Pro 8 license. Check out the rules, how you can join and some examples on our Design Challenge page here.

We can”t wait to see how you surprise us with your very best in SketchUp product design skills. We’re looking for the most original lamp possible. How far will you take us? What will you make?

You can see some more lovely 3D printed lamp designs here on Flickr.

Meet your new community manager

Dear i.materialisers,

I would like to thank Alex for his hard work in initiating the i.materialise community and wish him well in the new studies he will be pursuing. I’m very proud and happy to take the baton from his hands and become your new Community Manager.

As your Community Manager, I hope to make your lives easier by helping you take your ideas and turn them into products. The next few months I will focus on making i.materialise an easier and more lively place to get things made. I will also be in charge of getting the word out and telling everyone about the great designs and products you make. At the same time I want to listen. I will call as many of you as I can to try to understand what it is that you need for us to be.

I thrive on feedback, and hope to get lots of it from you. If you have any questions, complaints or ideas please email me. I want you to consider me your employee. I work for you, our community, and I am tasked with making you as happy as possible.

Your new i.materialise Community Manager

As of today you will be hearing from Joris Peels quite often on this blog.

You might have heard of him before, as he is a well-known conversation partner in the on-line 3D printing community. We are happy to hear that he wanted to join us just a few weeks ago.

We are very glad he now wants to combine his knowledge of community & 3D printing with i.materialise & you.

Joris will be here to make your lives easier, keep you happy and grow our community significantly.

He will be in charge of improving:  our content, our marketing, PR, social media and most importantly in seeing to it that i.materialise is the best place for designers to get their products made.

If you have any suggestions & ideas you can email him at joris@i.materialise.com

Welcome to our team, welcome to our community.

Show your true colours : reduced prices during summer

We noticed that 3D printed multicolored models are most appealing to you,
but that users regularly have to compromise between price and color.

This is a pity, certainly now, when more and more 3D software packages are making it the designer easy to add colors or textures to the models, giving it the expression it deserves.

i.materialise is already offering a sharp price for specific architectural and bookend products in multicolor.

Now we are happy to announce that from today till the 30th September we will extend this sharp pricing for multicolor material to all your designs.

Below you find an example of the difference in pricing between the old and new price for this lovely model.

Have fun and color your summer !

Tags: 3Dprinting summer action reduced multicolor pricing model

Using Google SketchUp is a child’s play

Using SketchUp is child’s play! It is so intuitive that a child who has never seen Google SketchUp before manages to draw a table with a pot in: just 30 minutes ‘training’ included.

When I started using Google SketchUp mid 2009, I found it so easy that I used to say to everyone that my daughter of 9 years old would be able to design something in SketchUp. Last month, somebody asked me : “why can’t she try it ?”

So I took the challenge and …one evening, after supper, I launched Google SketchUp, called my daughter and showed the basic principles.
After 10 minutes  she took over the mouse, saying she was going to draw a table. 20 minutes later, she didn”t only have a colored table, but she managed to get a pot on the table as well.

FUN
To be honest, I was impressed by the speed she got familiar with the tools and her enthusiasm and fun she had during the modeling -the effect of the push-pull tool on her model made her laugh several times somehow-that I promised to 3D pri

Creating 3D printable objects with Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended

In April 2010 Adobe released the new Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended. One of the new features of that Photoshop version is the Repoussé, a tool that allows you to create 3D objects extruding texts, selections, paths and layers masks. To celebrate the CS5 release, Adobe 3D printed some souvenirs via i.materialise for the team that developed the Repoussé technology. Nikolai Svakhin, one of the Photoshop Developers, wrote a terrific tutorial on how to create 3D printable objects with Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended.

Adobe Photoshop is the world’s leading graphics editing program. Its extended version basically adds 3D capabilities to the program. One of those exciting new 3D capabilities is called Repoussé.

“Repoussé is a new research system for the interactive enhancement of 2D art with 3D geometry. Repoussé creates a 3D shape by inflating the surface that interpolates the input curves. By using the mean curvature stored at boundary vertices as a degree of freedom, a user is able to ma