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3D print of the model bike
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Concept bike sketch
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3D model of the concept bike
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Concept bike 3D print
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Black finish to concept bike
At a recent conference Materialise's Director Jurgen Laudus said that one of the biggest problems facing 3D printing is the belief that any old CAD file could be 3D printed as is, for 3D printing to be truly adopted 3D design needs to evolve to support 3D printing.
Mark Little’s Luma3Dprint is a one of the few CAD companies that do just that; CAD for 3D Printing.
With 15 years of experience in 3D CAD and product design, Mark works with clients in order to turn their visions into a 3D printed model. Mark feels that designing for 3D printing is a specific skill, “Although there are fewer rules to follow than traditional methods of manufacture such as injection moulding and CNC machining there are still many important elements to get right for a successful 3D print.”
A successful working relationship with one of the fasting growing bureaus in the UK means Luma3Dprint know what does and doesn’t work when 3D printed. Mark explained, “We work closely with 3DPrintUK who operate an EOS P100 SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) machine. Wall thicknesses cannot go down to less than 0.5mm, especially if any thin features have elongated profiles, it causes heat spots which in turn can lead to print failures. Parts cannot be too thick as this can cause warping during the print cooling process. A lot of thought has to go into each item that will be 3D Printed. “
Luma3Dprint get asked to design all manner of products, as long as a client can communicate their idea whether that be in the form of a sketch, a photo or even a physical object Luma3Dprint will aim to design a model that 3D prints every time, “This concept bike (see the slideshow) is a great example of our design services. We took the clients sketches and converted the side profiles into a 3D model. We then worked with the client to generate a sculptural shape and produce a 1:12 scale design.
“The final model was printed into separate wheels, tyres and main body sections. This kept the build volume down, reducing the cost of the 3D print to the client and also allows different wheel positions and colour combinations.
“We offer a SLS colouring service, we hand dyed the nylon model black which the client requested. Dying SLS models also brings out a lot of the detail that can be lost in the natural white finish.”
As the industry grows and machines become ubiquitous it will be the 3D printing designers that rule. The average Joe is never going to learn about wall thickness or support material etc. they will want a pre-designed object from a catalogue and those objects will be pre-designed by people like Mark Little of Luma3Dprint.