If you wish to read my previous post on this topic, look here.
It’s here! My AirWolf 3D model HD printer has arrived. I unboxed it (following all printed instructions and a helpful video on the support website), and I was printing an object within an hour. I can’t take credit for the object – it was already on the mini SD card that came with the printer. People tell me that Teddy and I look alike, but apart from the glasses I don’t see it. ;-)
Since there are so many ways to 3D print, I should clarify that the printer I have is a Fused Deposition Layer Modeler. As the name implies (and the video shows), it creates the object layer by layer starting from the bottom. This particular printer is designed for plastic extrusion printing of ABS, PLA, and several other plastic chemical compositions.
I have already received several responses to my questions, both from the folks at AirWolf and people who read my last blog post. Thank you very much for helping me on my learning path.
One answer I got from my first 3D printed object is about the question “how does 3D printing handle overhangs?” If you look at the back of Teddy’s bust, there is a steep reverse angle (aka overhang). The designer of this print created a secondary print object to provide support for the primary object as it was printing. This secondary object had a gap of about 1mm between it and the primary, and that prevented the primary from slumping over backwards. When I peeled Teddy off the platen, the secondary support popped off into my hands.
“Why a heated bed?” Turns out, this helps in slowing the curing process and helps the first few layers stick to the bed and each other. In other words, it helps keep the object from warping/curling up at the bottom.
“Why a glass bed?” Glass is a hard material and relatively scratch-proof, which is important when trying to get your 3D print off it. It also provides even heat distrubution when placed on the heated bed.
“Can you get rid of the lines from the layer deposition process?” Yes, there are several post-printing options, including sanding and acetone bath to remove high spots.
There’s a slight smell of plastic in the air – weird, right? I should have expected that, I know.
The unit is very precise. The detail that is possible with this technology is impressive.
The interior checkerboard has 3 distinct advantages that I will talk about in the next blog post