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.

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© parametric | art

models by parametric | art and Virtox

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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

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The most prominent 3d printing event in Eastern Europe is coming!

Additive manufacturing and 3d printing is an amazing technology with unrivaled capabilities. There is no need to provide anything less than the unvarnished truth. When additive manufacturing’s advantages are wanted and needed, the facts will not dissuade potential users. Yes, it may lead to specific technologies being eliminated from consideration, but that is for the best for everyone involved. If you are interested in 3D printing, come and join the Budapest 3D Printing Days 2014 to get some really close experiences about this fascinating technology.

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Whether you just want to see a real 3D printer in action for the first time or share your success with an advanced application, the best way to experience this technology is in person. In the company of engineers, designers and 3D printing experts around the globe, you’ll find out how to make the most of additive manufacturing in your scene.

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When starting with this article, I was wondering about the 3D printing bubble – the theory surrounding the exponential rise in popularity the technology has seen in recent years, in particular the saturation of the desktop 3d printer market – is becoming a victim of its own success. Because the realm of 3d printing is no longer consigned to the underground-hacker-maker RepRap 3D printer community and/or industrial powers of this world, and because everybody from Barack Obama, Jay Leno to that chap from Made In Chelsea seem to have one, is 3d printing loosing it’s ‘coolness’?

© Design Terminal

If you want to get a bigger view from the exponentially growing scene, you should visit us at Budapest 3D Printing Days in June (check out the program), where you can see all the applications and innovations of this mysterious brand new domestic home manufacturing system. The organizers have developed a special program for professionals who want to learn and/or want to start with 3D printing, but don’t know where to start,  as the applications for this technology are so broad. The event will showcase the countless possibilities of 3D printing technology and gives a preview of where it is headed in the near future.

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3D printing technology has advanced greatly in the past couple of years — it’s now used to create body parts, robots, jewelry, and houses. In June at the Budapest 3D Printing Days, vendors will showcase their creations, ranging from art and human body part reproductions, to life-size industrial prototypes, wearable art and fashion at the Design Terminal in Budapest.

3d printed generative bracelet by parametric | art

3d printed generative bracelet by parametric | art

GigamaX3D and parametric | art will be partnering with Design Terminal’s Budapest 3D Printing Days (the most prominent 3D printing event in Eastern-Europe) with a short-but-sweet conference session that continues our mission to inspire people to design and make – with a little help from generative 3d design and open-source affordable 3d printing.

© Design Terminal

The event will see presentations from many different users in the form of: Varinex’s György Falk, György Simó from Freedee, David Lakatos from Formlabs, David Pap from Fablab Budapest and Peter Varo from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest and Peter Szabo (me) from parametric | art and GigamaX 3D Printing Technology.

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In addition to the presentations and workshops, visitors to this year’s Budapest 3D Printing Days will be able to experience the various applications of the 3D Printing technologies, from industrial to commercial and domestic use, while showcasing fresh innovations from the region.

GigamaX 3D Printing http://gigamax3d.com

GigamaX 3D Printing
http://gigamax3d.com

GigmaX3D are specialists in desktop 3D printing with a wide range of open-source affordable 3D printers, FDM machines for the consumer and prosumer user community, including custom built FDM 3d printers for special applications. They also carry premium quality 3d printer filaments in a wide range of thermoplastics, including special materials like conductive ABS or luminous glow-in-the-dark plastics. In action at the show will be RepRap 3d printers, Flashforge machines, colorful 3d filaments, 3d scanning and showcasing 3d printed design objects. New to the line-up is the professional 3d printer line of Leapfrog, which are dual-head, multi-material desktop 3d printers with the largest build volume on the market that is capable of printing in PLA and ABS but also Laywood, Laybrick, HIPS or Nylon – and can use dissolvable PVA 3d printer support material© GigamaX3D

The small design studio, parametric | art will showcase some of its most unique designs including generative 3d printed jewelry, organic 3d printed lampshades, parametric geometrical 3d printed objects all made with affordable (and sometimes modded or hacked) desktop 3d printers using special materials like wood or sandstone. At heir booth at the Budapest 3D Printing Days they will wowing visitors with live demonstrations of their latest projects including generative 3d modeling with free and open-source tools like Grasshopper and Meshlab, and showcasing the 3d printing capabilities of custom built affordable desktop 3d printers. p4

The workshops and seminars are free with a registration and open to show visitors how 3D printing works, with a live demonstration so exhibition visitors can experience it first-hand. Technicians from parametric | art and GigamaX3D will produce various objects and projects for visitors to pick up and assemble. The parametric | art booth will also have a gallery space where products made during the exhibition will be displayed. gigaprint2

There are also opportunities to find out how the boundaries between designer, manufacturer and consumer are disappearing, with a growing movement of ‘hacktivists’, who share and download digital designs online so they can be customized for new uses.

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Several workshops and seminars will give you a broad insight in the 3D printing market. You can attend one, but you can attend them all as well. GigamaX3D will do a seminar about open-source 3d printing solutions, you know, the movement which started with Adrian Bowyer’s RepRap 3d printer machine and is the first successful open-source and open-hardware project on the globe. If you want to create your own digital 3d designs for 3d printing, you should attend at the workshop by parametric | art, where you can learn basic 3d modeling tips and tricks and get an insight of generative and parametric 3d modeling techniques.

 

© photo by: Federico Gaudino

© photo by: Federico Gaudino

The event is divided into three thematic days. The lectures and conferences will cover the past, present, and future of 3D printing presented in text, image, and video. The best way to understand 3D printing is to see it in action. If you want to meet us, create something unique with the help of our designers and technician, or simply just want to buy an affordable desktop 3d printer or some special plastic filaments for you 3d printing machine, visit us at Design Terminal during the Budapest 3D Printing Days from 5-7 June! Peace;)

How to check your .stl files before 3D printing them

Hi there, today it’s going to be about some general design rules that should always be performed on any .stl file you create before 3D printing. Most of the downloadable .stl files for 3D print offered by several platforms are already checked for 3D printing, and the feedback is quick as well if something is wrong because of the nice community around 3D printing.

© parametric | art

© parametric | art

After the 3D printing boom in the last couple of months, the number of the 3D printer owners has rised and a lot of people started to 3D print their downloaded things at home. The system of the RepRap-like FDM 3D printers hasn’t been designed for a plug&play use, if you’re into 3 printing you should know what I am talking about. If you are a natural born hacker, RepRaps are just for you, but if you want a 3D printer for professional production you should buy an expensive FDM printer from the higher class. They use the same technology but the system is closed so it doesn’t need any adjustment or special maintenance.

© parametric | art

© parametric | art

If you want to design a 3D model for a visualization render or a video game, you needn’t pay any attention to real world physics. In the practice, the most 3D objects will only contain the meshes that are visible, they don’t need to really connect, there can be a lot of 2D elements in the geometry and there can be some holes and broken meshes or duplicates which can disturb the slicing process while generating the g-code, etc. You can completely ignore the physical world. 
As some of you have already discovered, once you start working with 3D printers this is very different!

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I just would like to share the basic design rules of my general design for 3D printing process and the machines I’ve worked with. If you design something in 3D, at the beginning, you probably don’t know which type of machine and material you want to use to realize your object. In general, every single 3D printing technology like FDM, SLS or DLP has got its own pros and cons, so the designs should be optimized for the actual chosen additive manufacturing method and the material for the fabrication. I mostly use my desktop 3D printer which works with fused deposition modeling technology (FDM), actually it is an upgraded/hacked Makerbot Replicator2, which is capable to 3D print with experimental materials as well, like laybrick (sandstone-like stuff) and laywood (wooden filament). I usually print with PLA filaments and sometimes I make 3D prints with wood and sandstone. I already have 3D printed more than 2000 hrs with my machine, and I had to learn the limitations of the FDM process so I could design more complex geometrical forms and parts.

Usually, I make my designs in Rhino with the Grasshopper parametric modeling tool, which is absolutely free. This great plug-in gives you parametric control over your meshes, so I can think about the 3D printing process while designing my sculptures or stuff like that.

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If you want to prepare your model for 3D printing, you should know the boundaries of your machine. If not, there are some general guidelines to choose the right and universal maximum size and wall-thickness, based on the build volume and nozzle/beam diameter of the 3D printer. In general, the model should fit into a 15 x 15 x 15 cm cube and mustn’t contain walls with a thickness under 1mm.

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If you need support structures for your 3D print, maybe you should add them manually to your model; the automatic generated supports by the several slicer software are a waste of material and if you don’t use some soluble material for 3D printing support structures with a dual extrusion 3D printer, you may have some issues while removing the support structures and get a nice surface finish.

@ parametric | art

@ parametric | art

Another important thing is the position of the normal vectors of the meshes of your .stl file. All meshes of your model should have their normals pointing in the correct direction. When your model contains inverted normal’s, the 3D printer cannot determine the inside or outside of your mesh or 3D model.  Usual problem is the error of the mesh surface as well, holes, duplicates can make your print wrong.  In Rhino, there are some really nice Mesh Repair tools like Cap Holes of Remove Duplicates, which can make your work easier. Netfabb is an awesome cloud-based tool as well, the free version already allows you to analyze, test and repair your .stl files, split and cut them into parts.

Your 3D printed surfaces must be closed, I’d like like to call this being ‘watertight’. It can sometimes be a pain to identify where this problem occurs in your 3D model, if you can’t find it, there are some really nice algorithms or applications and tools which will highlight the problem area for you. Will It 3D Print is useful site with a funny design, unfortunately, it doesn’t work for me with complex and huge .stl files, with simple geometries it might work. I’ve already put together an algorithm in Grasshopper which analyzes meshes for holes and unifies their normal vectors.

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Let me share some really nice apps and tools which I’ve used to create and optimize my 3D models for the 3D printing. At first, you have to create the 3D geometry of your model. I use several professional 3D software’s, but if you don’t want to get into 3D modeling and complex geometries, there are some easy-to-use sculpting solutions which can give you great results without any 3D experience. Of course, you can download .stl files from 3D databases like Thingiverse, GrabCAD, Ponoko, or Nervous System, you also can customize your stuff with some really nice WebGL based 3D modeling tools which run in your browser window.

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If you want to create something unique, SculptGL, 123D and Leopoly could be the right choice for you! Both are in-browser 3D modeling environments with 3D print and .stl export function, and Leopoly has got an absolutely awesome controller called Leonar3Do which is a bird-like device to navigate and work in a 3D virtual reality space.

If you already have your model, you have to optimize and check them before 3D printing, Netfabb, the Mesh Repair functions of Rhino, WillIt3DPrint and Meshmixer are great solutions for that, and of course, the new 3D printing features of Blender’s latest release gives you a nice control over these parameters as well.

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After your .stl meshes have been tested, you have to slice your model to generate the g-code which defines the tool path for the extruder head of your 3D printer. This article cannot describe the whole world of g-codes that the most desktop 3D printer firmwares use and how they work, but some facts should be cleared. The main target is additive fabrication using FFF/FDM processes. Codes for the 3D printer head movements follow the NIST RS274NGC G-code standard, so RepRap-like firmwares could be used well for CNC milling or stuff like that.

As many different firmwares exist and their developers tend to implement new features without discussing strategies or looking what others did before them, a lot of different sub-flavours for the 3D-Printer specific codes developed over the years. The most common slicing software solutions like Slic3r, MakerWare, ReplicatorG, etc. can save the information in the main format and as a pure g-code as well. If we aren’t sure about the success of our 3D prints, because we try it for the first time, we can test and simulate the 3D printing process with our g-code. There are a couple of g-code visualizers available, some of them already runs on Android as well. CNC Simulators can animate the 3D printers movement and working process as well, so can easily check if our print will work or not. The ReplicatorG and Slic3r offers similar simulating and analyzing functions like Netfabb and WillIt3DPrint.

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If everything is ready, and our model has been sliced and fully prepared for 3D printing, we can turn on our magic machine (I mean a desktop 3D printer for example) and prepare it for the work. Make sure your build plate has been leveled correctly because it can cause the first layer not to stick to the plate. You can wash it with acethone but always check the leveling before you print.

© parametric | art

© parametric | art

You can use a painters tape if you want to, I personally don’t prefer stuff like that because I print all the time so it would take too many hours to change the tape, I always print with solid raft structures so I can easily remove the prints from the plate without any risk of damage. Make sure you have enough filament on the spool to complete the process, and let’s start heating the extruder! In a couple of hours (or days depending on the size and resolution) your prototype is ready, just like this huge industrial prototype I’ve printed, which took more than 50 hrs to print in 3 separate parts.

© parametric | art

© parametric | art

But it looks really cool, I’ve made it with translucent PLA using 70 micron (.07mm) layer height, which is quite good from a desktop 3D printer like my hacked Makerbot. Of course, all the 3D printer manufacturers offer their own software for the machine, and I bet they work pretty good as well, but if you want to push the boundaries of your desktop 3D printer, the open-source software solutions gives you more possibilities for fine tuning and calibration of your machine for special materials or experiments. In my next entry, I’m going to post some results about my latest 3D printing experiments: 3D printing with sandstone and wood – organic materials in the digital fabrication process! Stay tuned 😉

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