Archive for the ‘Tips and Tricks’ Category

effectively-using-white-painters-tape

If printing mostly smaller details on your 3D printer you can easily take advantage of the cheaper white painters tape, however if you only place it in the middle you might have some trouble properly leveling up the build platform. So you just need to add some small pieces of tape where the points for leveling up the build platform are located and you should be able to adjust things much easier and faster. We are using the white painters tape as an easier means to remove the printer parts from the build plate as you can easily remove the tape with the printed 3D model on it and then reapply it on the build plate or replace it with another one. You can do the same thing with the Blue 3D painters tape, but it is more expensive and it is not as commonly available as the white painters tape.

low-poly-tiger-with-support

We have already discussed what is the support material and what are rafts in 3D printing and why you need to use them and when, but it will be more clear for a lot of people to understand if we just show you. Here you can see a print of a low polygon 3D model of a tiger printed with support material under the body. The two most important and problematic zones if you do not use support material will be the head and the tail as they do not have anything under them as a part of the model and a 3D printer extruding thermoplastic material cannot simply print in thin air. That is why you need to print support material and not only for the head and tail, but for the body as well and when the 3D model is ready you can just remove the extra support material that you do not need.

The often observed problem with the use of support material however is that it may not always stick well to the print bed, so you may need to add Raft to fix this. Sometimes the support material could also be hard to remove from the 3D printed model, especially if your print bed is not properly leveled as normally you should be able to very easily remove the extra support material. One of the drawbacks that many of the 3D printing software solutions that come bundled with 3D printers is that they are designed to automatically generate support where they think it is required. So the user does not have control of where and how much support material to be used, but the good news is that there are alternative software packages that do provide extra functions such the ability for the user to add support material only where it is needed.

plasti-dip-coating-3d-model

Plasti Dip is an interesting alternative to traditional paint in the form of a synthetic rubber coating that you can apply on various materials by dipping, brushing, or spraying and this includes 3D printed models as well. By applying Plasti Dip you can protect the coated items against moisture, acids, abrasion, corrosion, and skidding/slipping, and provides a comfortable, controlled grip. Plasti Dip remains flexible and stretchy over time, and will not crack or become brittle in extreme weather conditions (-34 to 93 Celsius). You can find Plasti Dip available in multiple different forms and sizes in smaller or larger containers as well as in the form of aerosol spray cans. You need to make sure you have read the instructions on how to use it if this is your first time using Plasti Dip as this can affect your results and in order to get good results make sure to follow the simple rules on how to paint with this interesting rubbery alternative to traditional paint.

The features that Plasti Dip has make it a great alternative to traditional paint to color your 3D printed models in order to make them not only prettier, but also more durable to extreme conditions. Another good thing is that you can relatively easily remove the Plasti Dip color coating by peeling it off the model, though at the same time it is also pretty durable. By applying a few layers of Plasti Dip you can achieve good coverage of the 3D model, the cute octopus on the photo above printed using transparent PLA material was well covered with just three layers of red Plasti Dip. You may however need something like 3-5 layers to get good coverage, depending on the material and the color that the 3D printed model is using. With 3-5 layers of coating you should still be able to see the finer details of each layer of the 3D printed model, however with some more layers you may be able to achieve smother surface finish. A great example of using Plasti Dip for coating a 3D printed model is a case for a mobile phone – providing better grip and finish, and you can use multiple colors to create additional effects on 3D models that are printed with a single color. So feel free to experiment and play with Plasti Dip as it opens some new and interesting options for your 3D printed models…


top