3D/4D/5D Printing emergence.

Beginner’s guide to 3D Printing miniatures model to masterpiece

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Before delving into the intricacies of 3D printing miniatures, it’s essential to understand the fundamental principles of this fascinating technology. While various 3D printing methods exist, we’ll primarily focus on two: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Stereolithography (resin). These are the go-to choices for creating detailed miniature models.

Choosing Your 3D Printing Technology

FDM Technology: FDM 3D printers work by extruding layers of 3D printer filament to build your design. While FDM printers can certainly produce miniatures, achieving the level of detail required may demand meticulous calibration and post-processing.

Resin Technology: Resin 3D printers, on the other hand, use a liquid resin to create highly detailed prints. These printers are renowned for their ability to capture intricate designs with precision, making them the preferred choice for miniature enthusiasts.

Slicing Your Miniature Model

Once you have your 3D model ready, the next step is slicing it into printable layers. This is where a 3D printer slicer comes into play. Not all slicers are compatible with resin printers, but there are specialized options like the Lychee slicer designed for this purpose.

  1. Download and Install the Slicer: Begin by visiting the download section of the Mango3d website and install the appropriate slicer version for your operating system.
  2. Create an Account and Add Your Printer: After installation, create an account and add your 3D printer to the slicer software.
  3. Import Your 3D Model: Add your miniature’s 3D model by either dragging and dropping it into the workspace or going to File > Import 3D File.

The Advantages of Resin Printing for Miniatures

While both FDM and resin 3D printers can be used for printing miniatures, resin printers often steal the spotlight due to several key advantages:

  1. Exceptional Detail: Resin 3D printers excel at reproducing fine textures and intricate details, such as sharp edges, critical for achieving stunning miniature prints.
  2. Smooth Surfaces: Resin prints boast smooth surfaces, reducing the need for extensive post-processing work.
  3. Support Removal: Resin prints are easier to support removal, especially for delicate parts, ensuring a higher-quality final product.

No matter the type of miniature you intend to print, the steps outlined in this guide will serve as your foundation. Keep in mind that the choice of 3D printer and settings will influence the final output. So, embark on your 3D printing journey and unlock the world of miniature masterpieces.

Mango3d Website, Lychee Slicer.


LLNL’s innovative 3D Printing process for wearable devices

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Meta Platforms, a prominent multinational technology company, that also owns Facebook, Instagram, Threads, and WhatsApp, partnered with LLNL in this ambitious endeavor. The researchers have harnessed the power of light to create seamless variations in stiffness, addressing a significant challenge in creating more lifelike “wearables.”

Meta Platforms’ engineer, Sijia Huang, who is also the study’s lead author, explains, “Engineers make a part that is stiff and another part that is soft, and then manually assemble them, so we have a very sharp interface that compromises the mechanical property.” The LLNL-Meta collaboration sought to overcome this challenge by designing continuous mechanical gradients, transitioning from soft to stiff, within a single resin system. The key to this process lies in manipulating the intensity of light applied to a photopolymer resin through Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printing, a layer-by-layer technique that enables the rapid production of parts by projecting light into a liquid resin. This modulation of light intensity governs the properties of the deposited plastic material. Lower light intensity yields a softer material, while higher light intensity results in a stiffer material.

A notable demonstration of this material’s capabilities was the creation of a 3D-printed wearable device that can be worn on a finger and “translate” text messages on a cell phone into braille by strategically filling the device with air at specific points.

This groundbreaking 3D printing process holds immense potential for applications beyond wearables. Huang envisions its use in crafting energy-absorbing materials, soft robotics, and various other wearable electronic devices.

Meta and LLNL have pioneered a technology that not only expands the horizons of wearables but also showcases the power of collaboration between research institutions and innovative tech giants.

LLNL Creates 3-D Printing Process for Wearable Devices.