1st Sample Printed, more on the way

We went to see Bertus on Thursday afternoon to see if he had any success 3D printing the scanned crown on the Ultimaker and also to give him an update on the project and what we were planning to do moving forward. Unfortunately the print had failed, so we decided to try splitting the model and printing in two halves. We set this up and then left it to print overnight so that we could check the results in the morning.

The Ultimaker printing one half of the crown

Detail of the printing on the Ultimaker

On Friday morning we met with Tessa to begin printing our samples on the Form2 in normal resin. This was so that we could check the quality of the printer and get some experience with using the Form2 before trying to print our final models in the more expensive cast-able resin. Before the meeting we had prepared our files as per the online tutorials. We edited the support structures so that they would not start at the edge, otherwise the edges could get damaged when we remove the support structure.

Two sample pieces with support structure

We started the Form 2 print going at around 1pm and it said it would take 6 hours to print but Tessa assured us it was okay to leave the print on the machine until Monday.

Form2 printing our sample pieces

After setting the Form 2 print going we went to check on our Ultimaker prints from Bertus.

Finished pieces of the Ultimaker

Crown with the two halves put together

This time the prints came out quite nicely and we now have a full size 3d print of the crown. It is not the highest quality, and we had some warping of the plastic, but it is really good to use this as a representation of the size of the final products we trying to build. If we want to produce a silicon mould from the Ultimaker 3D prints it will require a lot of work sealing the model and getting it prepared fro casting. We look forward to finding out if the Form 2 prints are any easier to prepare for silicon casting.

Hurdles and setbacks

Unfortunately, the company that we ordered the wax filament from had to cancel our order as they no longer had any of this filament and were not able to order in any more of it so we would have to look elsewhere if we wanted it. We spoke with Jouke (our course coordinator) to see if there had been any better results with ordering the cast-able resin but this too was experiencing delays and it did not look like we would get it in time.

We had a phone conference with Maaike on Thursday, 5th of October and let her know that we would not be able to get the samples for Monday and as a result we decided to ask if we could postpone the tests from the casting company. We then discussed with Maaike changing our initial plan of testing to work more with what we currently had available so that we would not have to wait on sourcing and shipping of other materials.

From here it was decided that we would print sample sections of the crown on the Form2 in the standard resin and then test the results of making a silicone mould to produce wax parts for investment casting.

Things are moving quickly

We received an e-mail from Maaike on Monday to ask if we would be able to get samples ready for casting at Groningen by the following Monday. The company she was in contact with had some free time that they could see us and go through the process but there didn’t seem to be too much point travelling there if we didn’t have samples ready for testing. This would mean that we would need to get the cast-able resin and source a printable wax filament by at least Thursday to then have time to print the samples and clean them up ready for Monday the 9th of October. We would also need to crop the scanned crown data to create smaller sample pieces, digitally restore one of these prior to printing and manually restore a sample after printing to be able to compare all of the results.

Our deadlines all changed from our initial meeting but this is something we need to be ready to deal with when it comes to working with industry partners and clients, we would do what we could to get ready in time.

We contacted the Applied Labs and asked when we could book in a time to get an induction for using the Form2 printer and ask about using the wax based filament on their Ultimaker printers. Tessa is the manager of the printing lab area and was very helpful with letting us know where to find all of the tutorial information for using the Form2 printers and running through the introduction for us using the printers ourselves. She also let us know that it was fine to use a different filament on the Ultimaker printers, but that we would have to find out the correct settings for this ourselves. This is what the Form2 printer looks like:

Form2

The wax based filament that we found is called “Moldlay” and it was recommended for use in investment casting. We found a company in the Netherlands that listed this filament on their website and could ship the filament on the same day of order. We placed an order for the filament and continued working on getting everything else ready for Monday. We worked through the tutorials for using the Form2 printer and prepared the digital models for printing samples.