Our favorite 3rd parity slicer software for 3D printing Simplify3D just got even better with a ton of new features and improvements to make 3D printing easier and more problem free for a large number of devices. Some of the more interesting new features in Simplify3D version 4.0 include Variable Print Settings, Dynamic Feature Sizing, Improved Model Foundations, Dynamic Gap Fill, Enhanced Preview Controls, Smarter Break-Away Rafts and others. The new version 4.0 also includes many optimizations and bug fixes identified by the user community, so if you are already using the software you should upgrade to the latest version. If you still haven’t used the Simplify3D software you should start by checking if your 3D printer is compatible and if it is, then you should most definitely give it a go… we have been happily using it for years already and just it keeps getting better and more useful.

For more details about the new features and improvements in Simplify3D Version 4.0…

One of the most annoying things that can happen to you is to lose the backplane of a motherboard when you are installing it to a computer case. There are so many variations of backplanes for different motherboards and finding a suitable one is not an easy task. eBay sometimes is your friend, but often there you find overpriced backplanes and when you ad in shipping cost is simply is not worth buying one. The alternative – quickly drawing and then 3D print the backplane you need…

It all started as an experiment with a quick test drawing the insides of a backplane, extruding it to 2mm height and gluing the resulted 3D printed backplane on a frame from an existing backplane. Of course the insides of the non-compatible motherboard backplane needs to be cut first, but that is not a hard thing to do with the right tools and the result does seem to be surprisingly good.

Measuring and replicating the right dimensions with a bit of tweaking of the shapes has produced surprisingly good result for the first test run. So good that I will most likely do some more experimenting with a few more backplanes and why not even do a complete backplane with the frame. Not having to destroy an existing backplane just so that the metal frame can be used saves some time and efforts and if the results are good it won’t be a bad idea to use a 3D print the whole thing in one piece.

Off to the “drawing board” for the next backplane and then will go for a full once piece solution, though I do have some doubts that the plastic may quickly wear off where it needs to be attached to the computer case. Regardless the backplane is not something that you will need to often remove and reinsert again, so if it manages to hold up to a couple of insert/remove cycles it should still be fine.

I have also tested ABS printing using the Polyken 296FR tape that I was recently testing with PLA filament as a surface for the build plate of a 3D printer. The results with the use of ABS filament were as good as what the PLA test showed – good adhesion and easy removal of the 3D printed part.

Using regular ABS filament with 230 degrees Celsius for the extruder and 110 C for the heated build plate covered with the Polyken tape did provide really good results.

People that have used ABS filament know that it is much more prone to warping at the edges due to the material shrinking more when cooling down, so the use of a heated build plate is one way to try to avoid possible issues, but the surface of the build plate is also important.

The Polyken 296FR tape does provide good adhesion and easy removal and with the help of the heated build plate there is no warping or even if there is it is really minimal and a subject to some slight adjustments.

The end result is good adhesion, easy removal and no warping of the edges thus no deformed or failed prints when using ABS filament as well as with PLA as I have previously reported. It seems that this unexpected contender for a tape that was not originally intended to be used for 3D printing purposes may actually turn out to be an interesting and surprisingly well working solution. I still need to do some testing with some more exotic filaments, but so far the results are pretty promising…

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