3d printing in classrooms with FreeDee 3D Academy and Makerbot

3D printing in european classrooms? If you think that techies are the only ones using this technology, think again. We here at FreeDee 3D Academy don’t have to look far from our office in Budapest downtown to see how middle school students are using 3D printers. And why not? 3D printers are a natural for STEM education, an initiative that prepares students to excel in science, technology, engineering and math. The future of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education may depend far less on traditional teacher-student hierarchies than on supportive communities of people who have diverse, complementary knowledge and enthusiasms. Knowing how to look up information and to tap into others’ specialties could become the real keys to STEM success. And the hands-on, do-it-yourself culture of the Maker Movement, along with the Makerbot 3D printers supplied by FreeDee Printing Solutions and other tools that animate it, might play a singularly important role in reinventing libraries and schools to work this way.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

But this time, a catholic middle school next to the Ukrainian border in Kisvarda has managed to set up the very first FreeDee reference 3D lab fitted with 4 Makerbot Replicator desktop 3d printers and a 3D Systems Sense handheld 3D scanner to support the education of teenagers in the STEAM education including arts and social sciences. To help students and others get past their fear or dislike for science, the director of the school and the teachers strongly favored a connected learning approach. Connected learning encourages people to identify the relevance of STEM topics to things about which they are already personally passionate. In that context, STEM can seem more meaningful and directly valuable, so individuals will be more motivated to learn the associated science.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

The St. Laszlo Catholic Middle School in Kisvárda, Hungary provides education for children from the primary and middle school. The school has purchased a set of professional desktop 3D printers and a 3D scanner through a couple of grants a couple of weeks ago, and the innovative technology has already made its presence known. Sixth and seventh grade students in robotics classes have recently designed and 3d printed custom designed mechatronic parts to improve their robots built from Lego Mindstorm kits.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

The students and their creative teachers have also created a number of other objects with the 3d printers, such as: replicas of ancient temples, nuts and bolts, geometric solids, stencils, dragonflies, cells, mathematic demonstration models, human and reptile bones, custom parts for a laser scanner, and of course some rings and headbands.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

Last year in December, the management of the school collaborated with FreeDee 3D Academy in Budapest to set up 3d professional Makerbot Replicator 3D printers and give one extra Makerbot Replicator 2 to Szt Laszlo Middle School in Kisvárda, Eastern-Hungary. They’ve already made great strides in learning how to create objects with the printer. Laszlo Jura, teacher of IT and Robotics, says the only challenge is designing with 3d printing in mind. He says the trick to an easy print is making sure the object is oriented optimally to avoid unnecessary supports and to give the most stable base for the 3d printing process.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

Students in programming and technology classes and the school’s robotics club started off 3d printing trinkets, also made of ABS and PLA, in the school’s STEM lab, which is actually a Makerbot Starter Lab including a 5th Generation Makerbot Replicator 3D printer, a Makerbot Replicator Z18 large format 3D printer, a Makerbot Replicator 2X experimental dual-extrusion ABS printer and the most popular desktop PLA printer, the Makerbot Replicator 2. After learning the mechanics of the 3D printer, they’re now putting their printers to use for a good cause. In the next couple of weeks, they will meet with representatives of the local organization of E-nabling the Future, called E-nable Budapest, an organization with a mission to partner with schools to use 3D printers to print hands and arms for children born without any. It is some kind of charity movement, because a lot of patients in Hungary cannot afford to buy medical prosthetics while their infants are growing.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

As featured on the local news, they’ve been 3d printing and building prosthetic arms and hands in the school’s STEM lab. Soon, the students will use the 3d printers to print a prosthetic arm and hand for their principal, who was born without a left hand. Kerezsi director says making an arm-hand combination will take some time and planning and will involve a good bit of measuring, printing, fitting, re-building and re-fitting. But he’s sure the students are up for the challenge.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

Some of the students say that may pursue engineering later in life, but for now they enjoy the active learning and using the 3D printer for a good cause. This approach to STEM built around personal enthusiasms dovetails with another trend, the rising interest in the Maker Movement—and in equipping libraries to become community centers for Maker activity. The Maker Movement is an extension of traditional DIY hobby craft culture that embraces digital technologies such as 3D printing and robotics.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

Last friday, on the 29th January, the middle school has made an open day for its partner institutes and regional companies of Eastern-Hungary to showcase their brand new lab with the 3D printers and 3D scanner. They have fought about their experiences with the additive technology, how they already have profited from the affordable desktop 3d printers using them to create educational demonstration models. Since the installation of the equipment, they already have printed dozens of colorful plastic models for making the education more interactive and allow children to experience the power of the brand new digital fabrication methods.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

After the opening ceremony, the teachers and gifted pupils have shown the audience in 4 different places how they have implemented 3d printing in their educational practice. In the first classroom, participants have thought how a physical object can be made out of scratch: they use free and open-source CAD modeling programs like FreeCAD or Leopoly to create 3 dimensional meshes. After that, they check and clean-up the model to prepare it for 3d printing on Makerbot Desktop 3D printers. With the Makerbot Desktop software, they place the virtual model on the printed and fine tune the printing process to be able to get the best results out of the machines. After an object is printed, they also give it a perfect finish with sanding and painting them. The results? As you can see, they have managed to produce a huge amount of educational models, for some coins. This way, they just saved a lot of money while the innovation drives a lot of attention from the region to the institute.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

According to recent information reported by the BBC, experts say we are headed for a boom in 3D printing, citing estimates that the market will top $16.2 billion in 2019. While you may already consider it to be booming just by the amount of press the technology is receiving, the idea is that those graduating with the skillsets currently are going to be melding with the initial need within industry. The timing will come together perfectly with large companies finally being convinced to turn to 3D printing. And as many guidance and career counselors in schools will be explaining to masses of graduates, companies are looking for: industrial engineers, mechanical engineers, software developers, commercial and industrial designers and marketing managers.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

A new report from the NMC Horizon Project has identified 12 emerging technologies that will have a significant impact on STEM+ education over the next one to five years.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

The Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2013-2018 recognizes learning analytics, mobile learning, online learning, and virtual and remote laboratories as technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the near-term horizon of one year or less. 3D printing, games and gamification, immersive learning environments, and wearable technology are seen in the mid-term horizon of two to three years. Finally, flexible displays, the Internet of Things, machine learning, and virtual assistants emerged in the far-term horizon of four to five years.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

The report declared over the next two to three years, four additional technologies will come to the forefront: 3D printing, games and gamification, immersive learning environments and wearable technology.


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

“3D printing allows for more authentic exploration of objects that may not be readily available to education institutions, including animal anatomies and toxic materials. The exploration of 3D printing, from design to production, as well as demonstrations and participatory access, can open up new possibilities for learning activities.” writes the report. “Typically, students are not allowed to handle fragile objects like fossils and artifacts; 3D printing shows promise as a rapid prototyping and production tool, providing users with the ability to touch, hold, and even take home an accurate model.”


© photo: Szent László Katolikus Középiskola Kisvárda

We’ve seen 3D printers in action in STEM education, and we also use one here at FreeDee 3D Academy in our design process. What fields have you seen 3D printers at work? Let us know.

Világszínvonalú 3D nyomtatókat a magyar iskolákba!

parametric | art

Egyedülálló kezdeményezés indult kis hazánkban a 3D nyomtatás oktatásba történő integrációjának érdekében. Az amerikai Makerbot 3D nyomtató gyártó és a nemrég megnyílt 3D Akadémiát is üzemeltető FreeDee közösen pályázatot indított, melynek keretében 11 db professzionális 3D nyomtatót kapnak azok az oktatási intézmények, akik sikerrel pályáznak az asztali 3D nyomtató készülékek oktatásban való használatára.


Mint ahogyan arról az index internetes portál is beszámolt, pályázat kiírói, a világ vezető asztali 3D nyomtató fejlesztője, a Makerbot és a hazai 3D nyomtató piac vezető szereplője, a FreeDee úgy gondolják, hogy a következő 10-15 év során alapjaiban alakul át a gyártás és a technológia világa, és ezzel párhuzamosan az oktatásé is. Az új technológiák ismerete, intelligens és szórakoztató megjelenése az oktatási gyakorlatban kiemelt jelentőségű. Partnereik között már most több általános iskola, középiskola, egyetem, innovatív tanuló, és speciális oktatási intézmény is szerepel, akik igénybe veszik az additív gyártás lehetőségét. A 3D nyomtatás kétséget kizáróan a…

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Budapest 3D Printing Days 2015 is coming next week!

On the 14th May 2015 the 3rd edition of Budapest 3D Printing Days is going to open its doors for a three-day extravaganza on 3d printing, additive manufacturing and associated technologies. Great speakers will build the core of Budapest 3D Printing Days’ outstanding line-up of conference sessions and interesting 3d printing or 3d scanning related workshops. Whether that business involves desktop consumer 3d printing, manufacturing or even hobbyist tinkering technology (maker culture), this years event in the heart of the Hungarian capitol will be the place to do the business.

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

The aim of the exhibition and thematic keynote sessions is to provide inspiration and education on all things designing and making – be that in an international aerospace and defense contractor or for homemade prosthetics for children and young adults. The 2015 line-up consisted of the leading lights from the companies that both provide and use the tools we’ve been covering for the last couple of years. The organizers have something different for this this year, but more of that later. The space for the show like the main exhibition area at Akvárium with the 3 halls, the conference hall at Design Terminal and the workshop space in Design Terminal’s pavilion were larger than for 2013 or 2014.

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

When I first visited the Budapest 3D Printing Days in 2013 there was a small and somewhat dispersed representation for the 3d printing industry, although as an exhibitor I absolutely felt happy and found some good friends and businesses during the 5 days of the show. The exhibition and workshops with working 3d printers have been really popular, the organizers decided to go bigger with the next years event. The Budapest 3D Printing Days 2014 has been the most prominent Central-European 3d printing event with a lot of exhibitor from the V4 Countries like Poland or the Czech Republic. For 2015, Design Terminal made a huge impact by launching the biggest and newest range of the regional 3d printing market, in this way the event wants to be even bigger: the region has its own leading cores and the organizers want to connect all the regional businesses around the local 3d printing industry. I really like the concept of becoming the place for regional desktop manufacturers to launch their awesome machines, for example the professional grade DLP 3d printer of Do3D, the super-affordable spider-like deltabot of Krak3n or the affordable industrial SLS 3d printer of a small company. Some ’traditional’-style desktop 3d printers will take place as well, like the CraftUnique 3d printer from Craftbot, which is already in production thanks to its successful indiegogo campaign.

Akemake at Budapest 3D printing Days 2014 © Design Terminal

Akemake at Budapest 3D printing Days 2014
© Design Terminal

The first day starts with the official opening ceremony, where all the companies will represent their products for the press and audience for a few hours. The conferences will take place on 15th May, the workshops will run continuously during the 3 days of the Hungarian 3d print show. Even you are a hobbyist or a professional, the most interesting day for you might be the conference day: the morning will kick off with some keynote speakers representing the longest-established companies in the industry like Arduino (Davide Gomba) or Makerbot (Alexander Hafner). Almost twenty speakers will take to the stage over the day, spanning the veterans and newcomers to share their vision for the technologies and application for the next couple of years. I hope I won’t miss the interesting lecture of Cristina Nan from Architecture Hafencity, and of course we really can suggest our dear friend David Pap from FabLab Budapest with their interesting workshops about generating custom g-codes for desktop 3d printers using grasshopper or 3d scanning techniques with photogrammetry or laser-scanning. How we make things today and how we made things twenty years ago has changed drastically thanks to the increased accessibility and power of computing solutions – will the same be true for the 3d printing technologies on the Budapest 3D Printing Days showfloor?

© parametric | art

© parametric | art

GigamaX3D and parametric | art have been central to Design Terminal’s Budapest 3D Printing Days for some years now, retaining a central position and substantial double-stand since the 2 companies work together from the beginning. They will be having their main, twin-desk booth which will be in a central place of the main hall, where they will be demonstrating the consumer and professional desktop 3d printers and materials and the production applications of affordable and/or open-source 3d printing technologies – including end user parts as generative jewelry, lampshades and sculptures by parametric | art. If you are curious what you could expect from the two companies for 2015’s event, you’re at the right place because there will be 2 workshops for generative 3d printed jewelry design and DIY 3d printing, which are open for the public during the Hungarian 3d print show.


© parametric | art

models by parametric | art and Virtox


GigamaX3D is going to be showing some brand new products and a couple of evolutions and improvements to already existing products. On the FDM desktop 3d printer side, they will showcase the Leapfrog professional 3d printer systems, the Creatr and the Xeed, and they also will run a fully open-source assembled K8400 Vertex 3d printer KIT, which also will be explained during the 3d print workshop on saturday. Some of he 3d printers at the booth will be 3d printing prosthetic hands for young people for the e-NABLE project with Joe Cross, who also will be a speaker and exhibitor at the Budapest 3D Printing Days. I am glad to spread the word about e-NABLE and how we can help in this area, because until recently, they did not have any e-NABLE volunteers working in Hungary.  Thanks to this event, they will be able to recruit new volunteers and help many children. The idea of desktop 3d printing being used at the point of need (or indeed by the person with need) to create healthcare solutions os something that will touched upon Joe Cross in his presentation. Honestly, I’ve never seen a project like e-NABLE developing such a great movement, so guys, if you have a 3d printer at home, don’t hesitate and support them with some prints you can afford.

© parametric | art

© parametric | art

I hope I’ve made some attraction to the event and if you’re around you will visit us at the Budapest 3D Printing Days, the event also has a facebook page and a microsite where you can buy tickets for the workshops and register as a visitor. The exhibition and the conferences are free to attend for everyone, so don’t miss the opportunity to get the freshest news from the 3d printing industry! Actually, one of the headliners of the huge 3d printing new portal (3dprintingindustry.com) will be a keynote speaker as well! See you there next week;)

© parametric | art

© parametric | art

Budapest 3D Printing Days exhibitor application and 3d print design contest

The most prominent central european 3d printing event will take place this year for the 3rd time in Budapest, the organizers at Design Terminal call you for application as an exhibitor if you want to showcase your 3d printing related products or services during the interactive exhibition on 14-16 May.

© Design Terminal

© Design Terminal

In the last 2 years, parametric | art generative 3d print studio and GigamaX 3D Printing Technology have exhibited on the show, and they also did some interesting interactive workshops about open-source 3d printing and parametric design with Grasshopper for 3d printing. If you are into emerging technologies which will shape our future you shouldn’t miss this years event, which is going to be the most awesome ever!

parametric | art booth at Budapest 3D Printing Days 2014 photo: © Design Terminal

parametric | art booth at Budapest 3D Printing Days 2014
photo: © Design Terminal

Budapest 3D Printing Days offers an interactive exhibition of 3D printing related tools and projects. Exhibitors will not only showcase their products and services but doing interactive workshops for the audience with free attendance (registration needed). Beginner and master classes focusing on every aspect of the process, from scanning and modeling to 3D printing.

parametric | art at Budapest 3D Printing Days photo: © Design Temrinal

parametric | art at Budapest 3D Printing Days
photo: © Design Temrinal

If you want to exhibit on the show, you should hurry up, because the application deadline is the end of this week! It is really worth to do so, just check out my review about the last year’s Budapest 3D Printing Days, it was such an amazing couple of days in the heart of the Hungarian capitol! You can apply for an exhibitor by filling this form! Top five reasons: •To make new contacts and generate new business opportunities •To raise market awareness of your company •To launch new products and services •To meet, engage and retain existing customers •To demonstrate products and services in a live environment You should apply if: •You’ve built a 3D printing related product in the past 3 years (hardware or software) •You have a 3D printing related project that you are ready to show the public •You are the exclusive local distributor of an international brand •You are able to demo a working prototype during the exhibition •You’ve created something special with your desktop 3d printer (printing some downloaded stuff doesn’t count;)) •You are prepared to demo your work during the 3 days of the event What Design Terminal can offer: •Branded exhibition stands – Size of the stands and details will be determined based on prior agreement with the Organizers •Highlight your brand – Flyers and other promotional materials are welcome but need to be approved by the Organizers •24/7 security service at the venue •Press coverage •Listing as an exhibitor on the website and in other promotional materials General conditions to exhibit •Payment of the registration fee of 60.000HUF+VAT (cca. 200EUR+VAT) •Application form sent by March 29 •Personal attendance and interactive exhibition during the opening hours of the 3 days •Transporting the equipment and products to the venue by agreed time •Signed Agreement with the Organizers Exhibit Space Selection Process   To exhibit, please apply via the form below until 29 March, 2015.   Due to the limited number of display spaces, please be patient while the organizers check availability and send you a confirmation. An information package will be provided subsequently, with specific details of the exhibition space, terms and conditions. Your attendance as an exhibitor will become final after you return the signed agreement and complete payment of the 60.000HUF+VAT (cca. 200EUR+VAT)  registration fee. INVITATION TO COMPETITION What-to-print-in-3D? As part of the Budapest 3D Printing Days 2015, Design Terminal and VARINEX Inc. are organizing an open competition for introducing objects made by 3D printing technology and recognizing their designers. Application Criteria Applicants can compete with any artworks based on 3D printing technology and printable by 3D printers for industrial or home use. Natural persons or legal entities persons and business organizations without legal entity can apply for the competition. Documents Required for Application: •filled application form at www.whattoprintin3d.com website (I wish to submit an application); •product design in PDF file; •3D CAD model of the product in .stl format; •a max. A3 size poster, in electronic format, presenting the product, consisting of a max. 1 page product description illustrated by 2-3 characteristic pictures (description should be in editable [word] format, while pictures should be of at least 300 dpi resolution [with jpg extension]). Application documentation can be submitted only in electronic format. The project’s CAD and PDF files and the poster should be uploaded by the applicants to the their own Dropbox or Google Drive accounts and the appropriate links should be included in their application forms. The language of the documentation should be English. An applicant can submit more than one application. An application can be submitted with a design that meets the following requirements: •it is not older than 3 years; •it did not participate in the 2014 What-to-print-in-3D competition; •it does not infringe copyrights and industrial property rights; •it does not include model parts with smaller than 1 mm of wall thickness. Applicants must give a statement about the division of copyrights and ownership in the application form. The application is not valid if it does not meet the requirements, its documentation is incomplete, or it is received after the deadline. The application form and additional information is available from the www.whattoprintin3d.com website. If you would like to send in the 3D printed object itself, please send it to the address of VARINEX Inc.: H-1141 Budapest, Kőszeg u. 4. If you have any further questions, send an e-mail to the following address: competition@whattoprintin3d.com,. Deadlines Registration Deadline: March 20, 2015 Preliminary registration serves as an indication that the applicant intends to participate. It does not oblige him/her to submit the application. Submission Deadline: March 30, 2015 This is the deadline of submitting the required design documentation. Deadline of Public Votes: April 14, 2015 The public can vote on Facebook for three applicants to be in the first 20. Evaluation and Voting Evaluation has two rounds. First round – selection of the 20 best applications •Based on the detailed documentation, the jury chooses the 17 best designs •3 applicants are chosen by the public on the www.facebook.com/3dnyomtatas.Varinex Facebook page Second round – selection of the 3 best applications •The jury selects the 3 best designs out of the 20. In the event of a tie, the chairman shall have the casting vote. No appeal shall lie against the decision. Evaluation Criteria The jury shall prefer designs that can only be created by layer-to-layer 3D printing technology. Important aspects are novelty, originality and the applied design solution. Public Vote Applications are published on the following page: www.facebook.com/3dnyomtatas.Varinex, where you can vote for them by pressing the Like button until April 14, 2015, 10.00 a.m. The public can vote for three applicants to be in the first 20. The best applications (max. 20) will be printed and presented to the public as part of the Budapest 3D Printing Days 2015 event. Members of the Jury Dr. Miklós Bendzsel, Honorary Professor of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, President of the Hungarian Design Council and the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, chairman of the jury. György Falk, Honorary Associate Professor of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, President of VARINEX Inc. Pál Koós, Associate Professor of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Acting Deputy Director of the Design Institute and Department Head of the Design Department. Péter L. Molnár, designer, founding member and Manager of the Maform Studio, professional leader of the Zsennyei Műhely, board member of the Hungarian Design Cultural Foundation. Samu Szemerey, architect, urbanist, founding member and Curator of the Contemporary Architecture Centre, professional consultant of the Design Terminal. György Simó, Managing Director of FREEDEE Printing Solutions Ltd. András Varga, Assistant Lecturer of the Machine and Product Design Department, Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Awards and Recognition •The best applications (up to 20), including the ones voted for by the public, will be printed in 3D by VARINEX Inc. and its strategic partners, reserving the right to proportionately minimize the size of the designs which prove to be too large. •Design Terminal will put the printed models on display with the name of their designers as part of the Budapest 3D Printing Days 2015 event. The models will be on display until May, 14-16. Additional information about the event can be found on the 3d.designterminal.hu website. •The awarded designers will receive an award certificate. Award of the Winner: •a Makerbot Replicator Mini 3D PRINTER, and •a 3D printing service opportunity of 500 EUR •and the White Cube award for the most remarkable design. Award of the Second Runner-Up: •A Prestigio tablet, •and a 3D printing service opportunity of 400 EUR Award of the Third Runner-Up: •A Prestigio tablet, •and a 3D printing service opportunity of 300 EUR Jury can grant special awards for imagination, creativity, novelty, and for applying outstanding formal solutions. Announcement of the Results and the Award Ceremony Budapest 3D Printing Days 2015 Location: Akvárium Klub, 1051 Budapest, Erzsébet tér Date: May 14, 2015

The best 3d printer filaments for the best price, is it a fairy tale?

With the exponential growth of the desktop 3d printing scene, even more and more hobbyists and makers are looking for the cheapest plastic filaments for their self-built or out-of-the-box 3d printer. If you google ‘em, you can easily realize that you can get the best prices from the far east, but you should know you mostly get what you pay for when it is about the 3d printer filament prices and the material quality.

sculpture design by parametric | art 3d printed with cheap GigamaX3D filaments

sculpture design by parametric | art 3d printed with cheap GigamaX3D filaments

In this entry, I just want to make clear a few things about choosing the optimal 3d printer filament for your needs, depending on what you want to use your 3d printer for. There aren’t any 3d printer filaments for universal use, the maker itself has to decide in every 3d print job which kind of extrudable plastic is the best for the actual needs.

If there were an award for the most innovative desktop machine of the 21st century, it might well go to the desktop 3d printer. These machines, which turn digital designs and virtual 3d models into real physical objects made out of plastic or other materials like 3d printed wood or sandstone, are getting better, faster, simpler and cheaper at such a dizzying pace that it’s not hard to imagine a future in which they’re as pervasive as personal computers or mobile phones. Just think about the beginning of the internet. There are some common points and milestones in their history. And already, you can buy a basic desktop 3d printer for about €450.

building open-source 3d printers

Velleman open-source 3d printers in the GigamaX3D store

But it isn’t the best decision, however, to hung up on the incredible low prices of the 3d printers themselves. Just think about the most common and conventional 2d inkjet printers which need those expensive ink cartridges every month, affordable desktop 3d printers can work with open-source 3d printing materials with the specified diameter and 3d printing guidelines, other work with cartridges using a built-in chip which makes the system closed. Of course, 3d printer filament cartridges are more expensive than the normal PLA, ABS, HIPS or wooden 3d printer materials, although the material is made in the far east in every single case. Although the plastic pellets of the raw 3d printing material is quite cheap, the spools of plastic filament which a 3d printer layers into an object have a huge impact on the long-term economics of 3d printing.

If you don’t want to pay a huge amount of money for expensive, brand-specific 3d printer filaments, you have a lot of opportunities: if you’re a hacker kind of guy, you can produce your own filaments for your 3d printer by purchasing or building a 3d printer filament extruder like the Strooder, Filastruder projects appeared on Kickstarter a couple of months ago. If you don’t want to turn your bedroom into a plastic factory, you can search for the cheapest 3d printer filament suppliers on the web to get the best offer. It can build up some trust if you see a lot of people using the type of 3d printing material you want, it is always good to see the results of other 3d printers using the same plastic material from the same supplier.

We’ve complained about the high price of 3D printing filament, and cheered at the machines that makes filament for the 3d printer out of plastic pellets. Still, the costs of the material for our 3D printers is getting higher and higher, making every hacker and maker searching for the cheapest 3d printer filaments on the internet. Trying to find the best 3d printing filament supplier is always a work in progress. Canvassing suppliers on every continent for 1.75 and 3mm ABS, PLA, HIPS, PVA, Nylon, Conductive, Flexible or wooden 3d printing material for every possible color while accounting for different amounts and spools of filament and shipping is a whole lot of work. Therefore, I’m going to describe it from the european point of view, first starting with how much it will cost somebody like me to get a kilogram of usual 3d printer filament shipped to my door. And this way I only think about local 3d printer suppliers.

3d printed wood

Spiral by Akemake 3d printed with the TImberfill 100% wood 3d printer filament

If you do some research, you might realize that the cheapest spools are from China or the Far East, which means you have to pay the taxes and high shipping costs for your 3d printer filament spools. If you order it with airmail, it is incredible expensive, if you choose the normal transport, it can take months until the package arrives. A fact is a fact: you’d better choose a 3d printer supplier in your neighborhood because you can check the quality and have some warranty for the quality of the product. 3D printing materials aren’t easy to produce, it can be made wrong both overseas and here in Europe. GigamaX3D wants to bring 3D printing accessible to everybody, so that everybody with an idea for a product can turn it into reality. They think that open-source 3d printers like the Velleman K8200 3d printer KIT or the Flashforge Creator desktop 3d printer and cheap 3d printer filaments could help.

In the GigamaX3D 3D print webshop you can find the cheapest 3d printer filaments with a high quality. They also offer premium 3d printing materials for special applications with higher accuracy and strength, but you also can order ABS, PLA, HIPS, PVA, Nylon, Wood, Conductive or Flexible 3d printer filament spools at an incredible low price starting from € 12.70 / 1 kg. The premium filaments are made in the EU by Fillamentum, which is a czech plastic filament manufacturer with the highest quality materials and most beautiful colors. You also can find filaments from the far east, the cheapest spools are made in China by Esun and are widely used with success around the world since it’s one of the most popular 3d printing filaments.

All the chinese and european 3d printer filaments distributed and used by Gigamax 3D printing technology are extruded with inline laser diameter control for guaranteed quality, and have a tolerance in the cross section dimensions better than +/-0.10mm. They just have started a promotion offer, which means, if you place an order above 10 spools (except the discount white PLA) you can get FREE SHIPPING to the EU using the coupon code 10PLA at the checkout! That means, you can get many colors of PLA, ABS, and HIPS 3D PRINTER FILAMENTS for € 16,50 / 1 kg spool with free shipping! In my own opinion, it’s the the cheapest 3d printer filament available in the EU I ever met. But price is one thing, let’s have a look at the quality of the 3d printer filament. PLA and ABS plastics are the most common 3d printing materials, but the devil hide in the detail and it all goes about the diameter accuracy. I can’t test if the given tolerances were true or not but I know a lot of people who are using Gigamax 3D printer filaments with amazing results on different types of 3d printers with FDM technology. An architect/designer and 3d printing enthusiast, who runs parametric | art generative 3d print studio in Hungary works always with the cheapest Esun filaments purchased from GigamaX3D, a girl who makes unique jewelry with a 3d printer mentioned GigamaX as a filament supplier on her blog as well. The universities and high schools use 3d printers and filaments for different use, the technical and material support is mostly provided by the Hungarian 3d printing company.

3d printe sculpture with fine detail

model downloaded from Thingiverse – 3d printed with cheap white PLA 3d printer filament

Just have a look at these 3d printed movie monsters like Diablo, the Terminator, the Alien or the Predator, they all have been 3d printed with the cheapest GigamaX3D PLA 3D printer filament on a Makerbot Replicator 2 desktop 3d printer with default settings! And you can get this cheap PLA 3d printer filament for € 12,70 / 1 kg spool! That sounds irresistible, don’t it?

high quality 3d printer filament

LIMITED OFFER – 1 kg spool white PLA 3d printer filament for € 12.70

Feel free to ask the guys at GigamaX3D, they can tell you everything about the filaments and 3d scanners they offer. They are working on several projects from movies to medical applications, with key point on education and open-source solutions! Do you want to try something new? Check out the special 3d printer filaments or search the blog for useful tips and tricks about 3d printing!

The K8200: my favorite open-source 3d printer


Hi there! It’s been a long time since I posted new entry on this 3d printing related blog, I really have to apologize because the last couple of months have been really busy with Gigamax 3D Printing Technology and parametric | art 3d print studio. The two projects did some huge things this summer, you can read about the great 3d printing events in Budapest organized by Design Terminal and Varinex on another blog about 3d printing.

3d print quality of the k8200 3d printer 3d printed on the Velleman 3d printer

Today I’m going to introduce you my favorite affordable 3d printer machine, the Velleman K8200 open-source 3d printer kit which I got from GigamaX3D for testing. The original design of the 3d printer has been developed by Open Electronics under the ‘3Drag’ project name, and they have organized the mass production together with the Belgian DIY giant Velleman company and gave it the name…

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Affordable 3d printing pen from Velleman

As I discovered when I could give a try to the 3Doodler handheld 3d printer back in March, 3d sketching in the air can totally be great fun. Let’s make it clear, you won’t create any flying machines or 3d printed musical instruments but it is possible to serve up something more elaborate than a squiggle ball with a little practice. The only problem with the original 3d printing pen construction is that it’s way too heavy to create precise drawings and is uncomfortable to use after a while.


3d pen for sketching in 3D

3d printer pen by Velleman

Just like in most cases of the 3d printing industry, after the successful kickstarter project of the doodler, a lot of chinese clones appeared on the market. The only problem with chinese suppliers is that you never can trust any quality values and replacing parts or getting support might be an impossible mission as well. You’d better get your 3d printing pen at a local supplier who cares about warranty – and if not, it will have consequences – and this way you can feel safe with your brand new 3d printing device.


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© lix

But parents, please take care if you want to buy a 3d printing pen for Christmas, the tip of the machine can be really hot which can easily burn one’s hands! So please make sure that you child won’t touch the nozzle while sing the 3d printing pen, and you better do not leave it alone with it.

3d printing pen

3d pen by Velleman which works like a 3d printer

In this blog post I would like to show you a brand new 3d printing pen, this one is from the Belgian company called Velleman. Their amazingly popular K8200 DIY 3D printer KIT made them recognized in the worldwide maker community, although they’ve been producing DIY electronic kits like arduino shield and other professional electronic solutions for decades now. The new 3d printing pen has got some benefits and useful features like the 1.75 mm filament mechanism, which allows you to use any 3d printer filament from the cheapest PLA 3d printing filament rolls to the premium quality filament spools which allows you to 3d printsketch with wood or sandstone instead of being bound to expensive filament sticks.


There is a real 3d printer extrusion mechanism trapped inside the cigar shaped device. On the whole, many things has changed to the 3d printing pen’s shell design since the designers of the 3d doodler created their successful kickstarter project. The oblong device is covered in a white and blue hard plastic casing. It’s lightweight and easy to hold between your thumb, index and middle finger, just like a thicker ink pen.


3d pen for drawing in 3d

3d printer pen by Velleman

The Velleman 3D Printer Pen has debuted at the Maker Faire in New York. The 1.75 mm 3d printer filament extrusion system allows you to use all the common FDM 3d printing materials like ABS, PLA, HIPS, PVA, Timberfill (wood), Luminuous, Flexible, Conductive and so on… For example, playing with the conductive filament and sketching circuits in 3d or ON 3d surfaces can be an interesting stuff, I’d like to give it a go on some organic 3d printed designs. But let’stalk about the Velleman 3d printing pen, which is an absolutely great xmas gift, but for you, not for your toddler. Just check out the specs and prices, you can forget about the filament price because you can order 1 kg spools for about 20€ which last for a year or more…


3d pen

3d pen by Velleman


  • light weight design
  • slim design comfortable handle
  • speed adjustment makes it easy to control the drawing speed
  • for: heating ring and nozzle are an integrated cartridge
  • temperature adjustable
  • intelligent standby function, enters standby after 5 minutes of idle time
  • heat extrusion
  • filament: 1.75 mm ABS (included)
  • adjustable printing speed
  • for:: product designers, hobbyists and students


  • heating temperature: 320 – 482 °F (160 – 250 °C)
  • maximum heating power: 26 W
  • power supply: 12 VDC – 3 A
  • weight: 2.4 ounces (65 g)
  • dimensions: 7.3 x 1.7 x 1.2 inches (187 x 43 x 31 mm)

And how does the Velleman 3d printing pen work?

Literally, it is a small 3d printer extrusion mechanism integrated in a pen-shaped case, which melts and extrudes 1.75 mm thermoplastic filament sticks which can be deposited anywhere from ground instead of the layer-by-layer modeling technology of the desktop 3d printers. This gives you the possibility to build an huge variety of geometries and structures with ease! Most people will instantly be able to trace objects on paper, and after only a few hours of practice you will be able to make far more intricate objects. Just like a glue gun, but this 3d printing device doesn’t extrude thick plastic stick. This 3d printing pen extrudes heated 1.75 mm filament (PLA or ABS, which filament cools down once it’s out of the nozzle. This allows you to build 3D structures and shapes.


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© lix

Why is it better, than the Doodler?

Because it is lighter, easier to use: you only have to plug in your 3d printing pen and wait until it heats the extruder. Once the wanted the temperature achieved, you can set up the speed of extrusion and start creating some magic! Especially for the holidays, just think about some awesome, lightweight truss-like christmas ornaments with your 3d pen! You can use any kind of 1.75 mm 3d printer filament in any colors, GigamaX3D also offer special 3d printing pen packages including some rolls of premium 3d printer filament or conductive 3d printing plastics.


Who is the Velleman 3d printing pen for?

3d pen by Velleman

3d pen kit with 3 spools of filament – for €71

For anyone who would like to draw in the air! It is a toy for adults, not for your children! It is not allowed at the age of 12 but your older teenager children would surely like it! I also have purchased my own copy because I though it will be a nice part and a great additional tool of my 3d printer collection. I already have a Flashforge Creator X Dual extruder 3d printer, which is a great copy of the Makerbot Replicator 2, which I also own. The Rep2 has been modded, it has an open-source controller and runs sailfish now, because I don’t want to be bound to MB’s presets or adjust the setting in text editor while modifying the profile files. I also have a Velleman K8200 open-source 3d printer kit, but I don’t use it for 3d printing: I’ve turned it with some open-source upgrade parts and a Proxon drilling machine into a simple CNC mill which can engrave or mill PCBs or soft materials like Styrofoam. The next thing I want to give a try to is the chocolate extruder, as you can see it on this video, it can print a chocolate mug on your toast for a delicious breakfast at the holidays! And if you want to complete your 3d printer setup, you also should have a 3d scanner which allows you to capture your environment in 3d and prepare it for 3d printing! You also can draw some hair or make-up on a 3d printed sculpture like these 3d printed Halloween monsters.

3d pen from Velleman

3d pen from Velleman


If you already are a 3d printer owner and maker, you can fix and repair your failed prints with your 3d printing pen. Just fill the holes, glue broken parts or pimp some old and failed plastic parts and turn them into some piece of art! In forthcoming world of new devices like 3d scanner and 3d printers, the Velleman 3d printing pen offers something creative, special and unique, allowing you to create strange new works of art – and it is truly affordable and a great xmas gift for about 70 Euros, including some spools of 3d printer filament. The 3d printing pen may look like a tech gift for 3d printing enthusiasts but thanks to its easy-to-use mechanism it can be a creative tool for everybody who like making things on their own! You also can print some graphic pattern on your 2d printer and then draw it with you 3d printing pen using heat-resistant translucent kapton tape on it! Have you ever tried a 3d printing pen? Come visit the GigamaX 3D Printing Studio in Budapest to test all their 3d printing, 3d scanning devices, you also can see how the Velleman 3d printing pen works! If you are from the EU, you can easily purchase your 3d printing related stuff on their 3d print webshop, the shipping costs are about 10-15 Euros under 10 kg across the continent so it isn’t a big deal to order some 3d printer parts, 3d printing materials or an affordable desktop 3d scanner for Christmas. By the way, have you 3dprinted something scary for Halloween? I’ve just checked these 3d prints from parametric | art, a Hungarian 3d designer and 3d printer guy, who also uses GigamaX3D’s filaments and 3d printers. Check out his blog post about 3d printed Halloween decoration, if you want some great downloadable 3d printable models!