3D scanning and printing

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by macmesser, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. macmesser macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2012
    Long Island, NY USA
    I want to experiment with 3D design and printing and I wonder if anyone has any experience with this process to share. My application will be production of small art pieces and components of small sculptural pieces. Interested in what you use for software, hardware.
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Not sure if you did any research but quick search turns up 3d printer
    http://cubify.com/cube/ which provides Mac software
  3. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2012
    Long Island, NY USA
    Thanks for response. Will check out, and also Jumpstart project a poster mentioned on different thread. Still hoping to hear from someone who has gotten down and dirty with 3D printing.
  4. erthquake macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2011
    Do a search on Amazon for Cubify as part of your research. I was just there, and it's getting horrid reviews.
  5. BKNJ macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2011
    For store built printers, the http://www.makerbot.com and https://www.ultimaker.com are both awesome machines and produce quality prints. I have a homemade machine called a MendelMax that follows design principals from http://www.reprap.org.

    Check out Make Magazine's review of 3D printers: http://www.makershed.com/Make_Ultimate_Guide_to_3D_Printing_2_0_p/9781457183027-p.htm?Click=163251

    Check out http://www.thingiverse.com for thousands of open designs that you can simply download and print

    I'm running on an older white MacBook using open software


    Open SCAD - This is a programatic (e.g. code based) 3D design tool
    Google Sketchup
    Autocad 123D (you can get iPad version too)

    Program to make object into slices for printing:


    Programs to control printer


    What questions do you have specifically?
  6. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Honestly I'd say try http://www.Shapeways.com first before you look at buying a printer. What kind of 3D experience do you have?
  7. kevinfulton.ca macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    I do 3D design and work with a 3D printer on a regular basis. We currently use Rhino 3D for designing our products and an Objet 30 for printing. For what it is the pricing for the software is reasonable, but the printer would probably be way over budget, but the detail is awesome. Here's a few notes about software and printers.

    Different 3D software is designed for different purposes. We tested Blender 3D (free) first, but since it doesn't really have a proper system for precise measurements it was a no go for product design (though it's great for animation and gaming work). You CAN find patches that can help you with that, but it being open source it meant we'd be stuck with FAQ pages and no proper customer support if we got stuck.

    Strata 3D was also quite interesting, but at the time it didn't have the STL support we needed (I have heard this has been updated).

    AutoCAD, Solidworks and another similar programs have the advantage of creating different types of fill for your objects, but you lose some sculpting and modeling capabilities that you might be looking for. If your goal involves industrial design these two are by far the best.

    Other "consumer" software (123D, Scetchup etc). I've messed around with these as well. While they're quite easy to get started with you'll quickly run into their limitations. Also, many of their UI elements don't really transfer to more advanced software so there could be some relearning when it's time to upgrade.

    We ended up going with Rhino 3D. It's a nice happy medium for product design and sculpting.


    There are a few different types with pro's and cons

    Extrusion 3D printers: These usually use ABS or PLA plastics that are heated and extruded through a hot head (think of it as a fine tipped glue gun) onto a motorized bed. They're everywhere, cheap, and so is the material. The detail was ok for what we needed, but if you're making small action figures or something with a lot of fine detail you may want to save your coin or at least take some time and learn how to get the most out of these. Also, be careful to avoid models that have a wooden or plastic printing surfaces. These can warp quite quickly. Best to find one with a heated aluminum bed. Your prints will be much more consistent.

    Polymer Based: These ones are only really found for industrial uses so they are NOT cheap. Basically the detail comes down to how small the polymer grain can get........so yeah, pretty sharp. Some also have some impressive color capabilities.

    UV 3D printers: When it comes to detail these are by far the best and are starting to get cheaper. They use a type of liquid plastic that solidifies when it gets hit with UV light. This is what we use at my work so I'll always recommend it first. Check out Stratasys for their full line up.

    Hope this helps!
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    MakerBot Replicator 2 + 3D scanner is 18% off ($651 off from $3,599)
    100 micron height, up to 410 cubic inch build volume.
    Makerware software is for Mac OS X 10.6 and up.
  9. tacotester1 macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2013
    i recently seen a few on kickstarter for pretty cheap
    one was called peachy. they usually look like a slightly lower detail then commercial ones ive seen
  10. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    I have a makerbot… its a fun toy but in my opinion not a serious replacement for professional systems like a zform printer.

    If you do not have a lot of experience with these, I would find a local makershop that will allow you to rent time on them.
  11. CereusGraphics macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2013
    I am using a 3D design tool for designing but not able to print it properly is there a proper printer for printing a brochure in a 3D so that it may not ruin the quality of the brochure

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