If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re no stranger to 3D printing and know a fair bit about it — but we reckon we can still surprise you with our 11 fascinating facts from the wide world of additive manufacturing.
Every day’s a school day here at i.materialise. We’re always learning something new, and we’re more than happy to share that knowledge with you. That’s why we’ve dug a little deeper into the past, present, and future of 3D printing to come up with the greatest listicle the internet has ever seen.
OK, so we’re exaggerating a little. But what we DO have are some entertaining facts that we think you will enjoy. Let’s take a look!
It’s older than you think
Many see 3D printing as something for the future or consider it a budding technology. Compared to some of the alternatives, that’s arguably true, but it doesn’t change the fact that 3D printing is older than you might think. It started in the mid-1980s when Chuck Hull invented the stereolithography pr
Sustainability, environmentalism, and climate change are subjects at the forefront of hearts and minds across the planet. Recent events, from forest fires and floods to record weather temperatures and shifting ecosystems, indicate that we must make a concerted effort to come up with sustainable solutions to global issues. One such problem is providing adequate shelter to urban slum families in sub-standard housing in Africa. What could help solve this crisis? The Tridealhouse project.
Tridealhouse — a triangular house that stimulates happy living, urban farming, and sustainable utilities to help tackle urban poverty — solves five slum household deprivations as defined by the UN-Habitat while providing food and micro jobs. To confront such wide-ranging issues, this ambitious project needed more than just theoretical knowledge, it also required specific materials and expertise. That’s why the Trideal team contacted our parent company, Materialise, to collaborate on making special, 3D-
The 80s were a decade of bold style, colors, and shapes — and iconic rain boots. For years, boys and girls from all around the world had fun during wet weather with Wellipets, a rain boot in the shape of Ribbit, the frog. Today, Wellipets have been entirely reinvented, from the fitting process to becoming a fully sustainable brand. All made possible with 3D printing technology.
Far from its days as a niche technology, 3D printing now accounts for more than 90% of the world’s in-ear hearing aids: and that’s just one example of how this technology is making waves in the manufacturing sector across diverse industries.
In recent years, our parent company Materialise has worked on many eyewear manufacturing projects, in addition to several 3D-printed fashion collaborations and other consumer products. Manufacturing wearable products like eyewear calls for a considerably different approach than non-wearable end-products — and 3D printing is now at a level where it has to address all of these requirements. In the world of wearables, products reflect the identity of different brands, and often one needs to address tough requirements related to both performance and appearance at the same time. So, what goes into the process of using 3D printing to manufacture a product that people will be wearing? Here are the five things you need to consider when 3D printing wear
Research shows that 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs. And when it comes to 3D printing, these needs may vary. Often, customers have questions regarding which material to use, how to better design their parts, or even which courier service best suits their order. Luckily, at i.materialise, we have a customer support team that is ready for anything. To find out exactly how they go above and beyond for our clients, we talked to Anna Vasylkivska, Customer Support Officer at i.materialise.
Anna Vasylkivska Customer Support Officer at i.materialise
Solar cells, batteries, aerodynamics, and electronics. These technologies might be the path to sustainably meeting the majority of our energy needs, using only solar power. But is it possible to create race cars that use the sun as their only fuel source? The answer is: yes! And to do so, the Agoria Solar Team is partnering with Materialise yet again.
When you think of fused deposition modeling, your mind might jump to materials like ABS – this plastic is well-known in 3D printing crowds, after all. With an attractive new price to add to the list of reasons to love it, there’s never been a better time to try it for yourself.
Whether you’re an i.materialise veteran or thinking of starting your first-ever 3D printing project, we’ve got some exciting news that’s sure to be right up your alley. On July 22, 2021, we introduced a new price for ABS that will see you save more than 50% on every piece you print, depending on the size and shape of your model.
It’s a great opportunity for us to empower you to bring your projects to life and to share the joy of 3D printing with more people than ever before. But why should you choose it? Let’s take a look at just some of the reasons this material has stood the test of time that we think will inspire you to try it for yourself.
ABS is great for practical objects, but its surface textur
This summer might be the perfect time to start a new 3D project and materialize your wildest ideas. If you are taking a holiday from work, you can dedicate more time to your hobbies, including exploring your creativity in 3D software and design something extraordinary. To give you an extra creative boost, this week, we are launching our special Summer Sale!
Looking back at three decades
In June 1990, Fried Vancraen and his wife, Hilde, founded Materialise and embarked on a mission to create a better and healthier world through our hardware and software infrastructure and an in-depth understanding of 3D printing.
But the radical change didn’t come overnight. With incremental steps, 3D printing has indeed revolutionized the way we manufacture products and has helped to save lives. This interview between Fried and Kristof Sehmke, our Communication Manager, goes over the last 30 years of the company’s story with a look forward to the future. Read on to learn about five highlights from the interview!
1. Surprise at the evolution of AM
Fried says, “I always recognized 3D printing as a paradigm shift in manufacturing and as a technology with huge opportunity,” but he has been pleasantly surprised with the technology as it exists today — especially when it comes to metal sintering. He adds, “It h
When the time finally comes to hit that hallowed upload button and get your 3D printing project underway, you want to make sure your design follows every rule and is ready to go. While our team is always here to double-check every submission and flag any errors, following our five top tips will help ensure every file is printable and maybe even cut down on some of your costs while you’re at it.
#1: Make your model watertight
For your file to be ready to print, all of your surfaces must be connected without any gaps in the sides. So, before you submit your design, look over your model and ask yourself one question: if I were to fill it with water, would it flow out? If the answer is yes, it’s important to close it, as shown in the example below. This process is also known as ‘creating a manifold model’.
In this example, the clear gap in the design means it would not be suitable to print.
#2: Add wall thickness and volume
Every surface of your 3D model must be assigned a wall th