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Polymaker has announced a series of new materials, and showcased some dramatic demonstrations of their capabilities.

PETG 3D print made from Polymaker materials
Polymaker Engineering Materials

The China-based company has been one of the leaders in the 3D printing industry and in developing engineering-grade high-quality 3D printing filaments. They have also come out with some highly unusual 3D printing materials, and now take pride in a rather comprehensive range of products.

Among their extensive material catalog are some new materials, including a unique nylon-reinforced PETG material. Typically, we’ve seen PETG as a standalone material, but this is an interesting composite that combines an easy ability to print with some added strength.

3D print made from Polymaker PolyMide-CF a carbon fiber-reinforced material 

In their PolyMide (warp-free nylon) series, Polymer has added PolyMide-CF, a carbon fiber-reinforced PA6 filament. This material is likely one of the strongest produced by Polymaker, as it combines the incredible strength of carbon fiber with their heat resistant PA6. It is incredible that they manage to make the nylon warp-free as it makes the material very easy to print.

Strong Carbon Fiber 3D Print
Strong mechanical specifications for Polymaker’s PolyMide-CF, especially the heat deflection temperature [Source: Fabbaloo]

PolyDissolve S1 marks Polymaker’s entry into the soluble support material market, for materials that can be completely dissolved in plain room-temperature water. This is an important material for the professional market, as it enables very easy 3D printing of highly complex geometries on machines equipped with dual material extrusion. Polymaker says the new material is usable with PLA, TPU, PVB and PA.

A water soluble 3D printing filament from Polymaker, PolyDissolve S1 [Source: Fabbaloo]
ASA 3D Printing Material

PolyLite ASA is a new member to their PolyLite line, which comprises basic materials usable at all levels. Currently their PolyLite line includes PLA, ABS, PC, PETG, and now adds ASA to complete the set. ASA is a material similar to ABS, but with far better outdoor capabilities, as it is resistant to UV, water and some chemicals, making it attractive for use in certain types of parts.

3D print made from Polymaker’s PolyLite ASA material [Source: Fabbaloo]

Although not entirely new, we were able to examine a large section from a huge 3D print of a pedestrian bridge completed by Polymaker some months ago. This bridge used their industrial AS200GF material. No, it’s not gluten-free ASA, but is in fact a type of high-strength ABS.

Section of 3D printed bridge using Polymaker’s AS200GF material [Source: Fabbaloo]

The material was extruded in thick beads to quickly form segments for the bridge, as seen here. The bridge is located in Shanghai and is apparently the longest 3D printed bridge in the world.

One material in particular caught our attention, and that was PC-FR. This is a polycarbonate material that is fire resistant, and that is a very important property, as it allows the material to be used in many more regulated applications, in particular aerospace.

Just in Time 3D Prints

Here we see an incredible example of how this material capability is being leveraged in an ingenious way. What you’re seeing here is a “foot step” part from an aisle airliner seat. The donut-shaped part is used by passengers or flight attendants to “step” up to more easily access the upper stowage areas on Boeing 737 aircraft.

This airline seat feature allows one to step up to access storage [Source: Fabbaloo]

The problem being solved is that these parts tend to break, no doubt from the weight of heavy individuals using them. The solution provided by Polymaker for China Airlines involved developing centralized 3D printing centers at the airline’s hubs.

Then, aircraft could report broken parts while enroute, triggering the printing of a replacement. When the aircraft eventually arrives at the hub, the new part is ready to go. Apparently the foot step is not the only part the airline is using in this solution. It’s an interesting print-on-demand solution that should be used for many other scenarios.

Aircraft foot step 3D printed for China Airlines with Polymaker PC-FR [Source: Fabbaloo]

Read more about 3D printing at Fabbaloo!

The post Polymaker’s New Innovative 3D Printing Materials appeared first on SolidSmack.

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There are few things better than a good, hearty soup. Although you might have a winning argument if you said, “A good, hearty soup served from the BUCKET OF A CATAPULT is way better.” Oh, you meant launched from the catapult. Well, of course, that’s better. And whether it’s soup launching, cow launching, or sending wads of wet paper over your cubicle wall, a catapult is the obvious weapon of choice.

We’ll scale it down today and look at a catapult that can launch at least one of those items. Oliver Chatwin has taken his inspiration from Leonardo’ Da Vinci’s catapult design, and while Da Vinci’s is nothing short of ingenious (using a pawl and ratchet mechanism to incrementally tighten the firing system), Ollie’s version has some fun improvements and mods.

As Ollie explains, the catapult is, “more powerful than a simple desk toy,” and even better, it’s “Easily printed within 24 hours”. He released the build as a prototype for a universal project and as a challenge for all:

“Design a catapult that can fire a certain distance. The catapult has to be adjustable and fire from 1 meter up to 5 meters. Most accurate design wins.”

He first published the design in February and since then has put out seven updates, including some interesting add-ons, with the latest update adding a new version that lightens some parts and reduces the hardware needed. Add-ons introduced with the 5th update include aiming sights, a triple-shot bucket, and a quintuple shot bucket – imagine the soup. Mmmm.

Ollie used Fusion 360 to model the catapult and a Creality Ender 3 3D Printer for the print. There are nine parts for the MK1 and six parts for the MK2 along with the bucket and four additional add-on parts.

How did Leonardo’s catapult design work?
Well, as the system was tightened, the energy added to the catapult by a soldier is transferred to both the ropes and tension arms of the catapult. When the firing pin (the pawl) is released, that stored energy is instantly transferred from the ropes and tensioning arms to the swing arm which held the lead ball or cannonball.

This project requires some extra hardware you’ll have to pick up along with some elastic bands to fine-tune your launch distance. You can download the files from Thingiverse. (Bonus! See Jörn Kessler’s remix of Leonardo’s Catapult with some nice improvements here!)

Have a model you think everyone needs? Share the link and details with us here!

3D-Printed Catapult Assembly Video - YouTube

This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale at no extra cost to you!

The post Model of The Week: 3D Printed Spring Leaf Catapult [To the Parapet!] appeared first on SolidSmack.

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3D printers (people) have a bad habit of wasting their print improvement effort on the shiny and new instead of the useful. I get it, I do. 3D printers (machines) are cool, and it’s fun to make them look cool. A big part of the fun is customizing and talking shop about mods. We spend days designing and printing “upgrades” whose only real utility is matching color schemes or, at best, hiding the sound activated LED lighting.

Yes, it’s cool that 3D printers (machines) can print their own parts–they’re like living, growing organisms–but some folks are obsessed with this, taking it to the extreme in the name of independence and/or frugality. Others take the opposite approach, throwing money at fancy nozzles, touch panels, or home/office additions with the idea that this is the path to consistent quality.

Have you thought though, that perhaps the best way to up your print game isn’t by modifying your hardware at all, but by better understanding the software that controls it?

3D Printing Slicer Software (The Race Car Driver)

Slicer software. What is it anyway? The cutting edge algorithm behind automated, perfectly paper-thin deli meats? The artificial intelligence used in amoral cyborg ninjas? Maybe. But the slicer software I am referring to is the kind that translates 3D models to a language understood by FDM printers (machines). Slicer software is what converts the faceted solid model (STL) into layers and into G-code for printing on your FDM printer.

The 3D printer (machine) is a beautiful, wonderful and yet also totally dumb machine. It does what it’s told. If instructed, (or sometimes for no apparent reason), it will go to a fixed point in space and endlessly ooze out a mountain of useless, curly waste. The 3D printer (machine) is also like a race car, a finely tuned machine. The Slicer is like the race car driver, deftly controlling the machine. No winning team focuses on just one and not the other. You’re welcome for that perfect analogy.

Can My Benchy Get a Slicer?

Currently, there is a glut of slicer programs available. We have (to name a few): 3DPrinterOS, Astroprint, CraftWare, Cura, IceSL, ideaMaker, KISSlicer, MakerBot Print, MatterControl, Netfabb, OctoPrint, Repetier, SelfCAD, Slic3r,  SliceCrafter, Tinkerine and Z-Suite *deep breath*. A rising tide raises all Benchies, as the saying (I just created) goes.

But with all the options, where do you start? If you’re new, start with the most basic and integrated slicer option. This is probably the slicer recommend by the printer manufacturer and is, in some cases, made by the same manufacturer. For discerning SolidSmack readers, you’ll want the maximum feature set for ultimate control and leverage of your printer’s (person and machine) capabilities.

One slicer consistently comes out ahead on features and print quality. So, I went deep to peel back the functionality, layer by layer, of…

a href=”https://www.simplify3d.com/”>Simplify3D

The UI/UX and features of slicing software is as varied as the amount of slicer software available. I’ll take a quick look at the features that set Simplify3D apart, but also at what makes it an exceptional experience for the 3D printer (person). Let’s start, where you start.

The Import

The imported STL models fall from the top of the screen in a delightful way. (Analogy: Anvil falling on poop – in a good way?) With the wide array of 3D printers that Simplify3D supports (more than any other software, 500+ and counting!), there’s an equally wide array of 3D file formats. That is, you’re not just limited to STL. You also have the option to import OBJ and 3MF.

Added Value: $3.01

Super Cool Feature #1: Dense Support Layers

Dense support layers switch the support structure from a sparse support density to a compact support density as the layer level gets close to the overhang of the model. The philosophy is simple, increase the density only where it matters and right next to the model where it impacts the models surface finish (the rest is wasted material). Why? Exotic support materials like PVA are expensive. Time = Material = Money in the 3D printing game. Me? I often print parts in an orientation that is very inefficient from a supports perspective but will produce the best cosmetic results. For volume duplicate prints, as with direct digital manufacturing, the savings are compounded.

Added Value: $111.32

Super Cool Feature #2: Variable Settings

As a self-professed 3D printing whiz kid and creative visionary, I’m ashamed (in hindsight) at how blissfully unaware I was of such useful and obvious functionality.  Basically, the norm is to create a setting based around the portion of a model with the most complex requirements and then print the entire model with that setting.  That could mean using a very fine layer resolution or dense infill for an entire print when only a small section demands it. That’s like driving the enforced speed limit of a short city block for an entire road trip. Variable settings allow for defining different parameters (processes) for different sections of the print. Optimizing for multiple parameters, detail, and strength while minimizing material consumption and maximizing printer utilization. Because, my friends, compromise is the worst.

Super Cool Feature #3: Saved Processes

I have a handful of generic setting profiles I predominantly switch between. A course setting for quick early concepts, a detailed setting for presentation models, and a few standardized filament settings. There are times I’ve switched back and forth, forgetting to change some key setting like supports, infill, or temperature. Saved processes allow you to save those settings in libraries which you can switch between quickly and confidently.

Added Value: $76.29

There are actually many, many super cool features in Simplify3D.  For example, file import speed, estimated print time accuracy, and the ability to manipulate, break apart, or combine models within the slicer software. Simplfiy3D also allows for detailed, manual manipulation of supports. There are also the algorithms, working behind the scenes, that control the details of the motion like retraction, jerk and, ultimately, print quality.

Simplify3D in Action

Super cool software features are super cool and all.  But how does it all really stack up when the PLA meets the build plate?

Given the number of slicers available and the rate at which they are being developed, it is impossible to do an apples to apples comparison. One method would be to perform a highly scientific study, in a climate controlled bunker, running hundreds of printers QA traced to standards. An alternate method would be a scientifically perfect model, created to be able to test all key performance metrics independent of the printer (machine) and environmental variables. I’m not talking about Benchy or some run of the mill, downloadable torture test. SolidSmack’s resources are, in practicality, limitless so our in-house team of scientist stopped all current projects to develop an algorithm. We now release our technological breakthrough.

Run:
//3Dprintertester.sldsmk
Username: KittenMittens
Password: ladymeowmeow
Testing Variables: All
Intensity Level: To the extreme!!!
Maturity Level: Low
Generating Results…….
Generating Results…….
Coffee break…….
Results Complete
Hat Style: Top Hat
Emoji: Poop

I ran this scientifically perfect model through Cura Version 3.6.0 and Simplify3D Version 4.1.1 using the same settings. I then printed them both on my Creality 3D CR-10S.

Simplify3D clearly outperformed Cura, as evident from the poo emojis on the side walls of the hat. The majority of them survived. The extremely thin walls of the hat, the fine detail of the emoji and only using supports for the brim make this a truly difficult print. Simplify3D, my poo hat is off to you.

Simplify3D Results Cura Results Is Simplify3D Awesome?

Yes. Out of the slicers I’ve tried, Simplify3D is my preferred slicer software. It delivers on new features and in the most rigorous of scientific studies. A perpetual license is $149 USD and gets you access on two computers, tech support, and one year of upgrades.

Deep Thoughts

If you are serious about 3D printing for professional work, or as a business, it is key to do regular self-audits of your printing capabilities. Hardware dictates build volume and materials but software can dictate quality and throughput and should be considered with equal care. Like me, you may have found ways to adapt to your currently understood printing options.

When you think everything is running smoothly it is, in fact, the exact time to deep dive into your slicer options and evaluate. First, the frequency of software enhancements will increasingly outpace hardware. Second, the time invested can provide immediate payback in saved money, reduced headaches and set you up for future success. That future success may come in the form of preventing bottlenecks with faster, more successful prints or provide new capabilities for more intricate, better quality prints.

Remember, to succeed in this game, you gotta keep your wits and your slicer sharp.

You can learn more about and try Simplify3D here.

The post I Used Simplify3D to 3D Print a Poo Emoji Top Hat [A Review] appeared first on SolidSmack.

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If you were whining to the flight attendant about waiting to buy a mobile workstation until Lenovo’s launched their latest ThinkPad P-Series mobile workstations, your wait is about to be over. Four of the ThinkPad P-Series have fresh new specs and they’ve added another to round out the bunch. Here’s the breakdown:

ThinkPad P73

Ultimate performance, 17″ mobile workstation ‘make people gasp’ class

  • 17.3″ 4K UHD (3840×2160)
  • 9th Gen Intel Xeon or Core
  • Up to NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
  • Up to 128GB DDR4 Memory
  • Up to 6TB Storage
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3
  • Weight: Starts at 7.5 lbs
  • Bonus: 35% smaller adaptor
  • Price: Starting at $1849
  • Available: August 2019

ThinkPad P53

Ultimate performance, 15″ mobile workstation ‘power of 10 active volcanoes’ class

  • 15.6″ 4K OLED Touch (3840×2160)
  • 9th Gen Intel Xeon or Core
  • Up to NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
  • Up to 128GB DDR4 Memory
  • Up to 6TB Storage
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3
  • Weight: Starts at 5.4 lbs
  • Price: Starting at $1799
  • Available: July 2019

ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2)

Super mobile, 15″ workstation ‘light as a banshee scream’ class

  • 15.6″ 4K OLED Touch (3840×2160)
  • 9th Gen Intel Xeon or Core
  • Up to NVIDIA Quadro T2000
  • Up to 64GB DDR4 Memory
  • Up to 4TB Storage
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3
  • Weight: Starts at 3.74 lbs
  • Price: Starting at $1949
  • Available: June 2019

ThinkPad P53s

Entry-level, 15-inch Ultrabook ‘get outta my way’ class

  • 15.6″ 4K UHD (3840×2160)
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7
  • Up to NVIDIA Quadro P520
  • Up to 64GB DDR4 Memory
  • Up to 2TB Storage
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • Weight: Starts at 3.87 lbs
  • Price: Starting at $1499
  • Available: June 2019

ThinkPad P43s

Entry-level, 14-inch Ultrabook ‘small ass’ class – New family member!

  • 14″ 4K WQHD (2560×1440)
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7
  • Up to NVIDIA Quadro P520
  • Up to 48GB DDR4 Memory
  • Up to 2TB Storage
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • Weight: Starts at 3.24 lbs
  • Price: Starting at $1499
  • Available: July 2019

When Lenovo refreshes a product family, they don’t hold back. If they did, people would be all like, “that’s lame, let’s go have nachos.” Nope, they outfit that family with new hardware, beef up their specs, put the middle child on center stage and announce a new baby.

As you see above, they’ve brought 9th gen Intel CPUs to the high-performance P73, P53 and P1 mobile workstations, maxed out the P53 to the spec level of P73 with the bonus of a 4K OLED touch panel in a 15″ package, and added the wee P43s when you want to skimp on all the added muscle.

A few years ago, the reappearance of the P70 17” mobile workstation gave us the heart murmurs. Now, the P53 is in the limelight with everything you thought you’d never even see in a 17″ lappy and makes us want to say, “YOU’RE BREATHTAKING!” And then there’s the P1 (Gen 2). We reviewed the P1 (Gen 1) and couldn’t get over the weight and specs. Now the P1 (Gen 2) ultra-mobile workstation will come with the 4K OLED plus get a power boost at no additional weight.

The new ThinkPad P Series will be released over the summer, with the P53s hitting in June, followed by P53 and P43s in July and the P1 (Gen 2) and P73 in August. They all pop in between $1k-2k at the base level, with desired upgrades (at least for me) likely bringing a configuration close to $3k, so stash your cash accordingly.

The post Lenovo Next Gen ThinkPad P-Series is a Mobile Workstation Fist of Fury appeared first on SolidSmack.

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Perhaps you know this but there’s a lot of equipment, not to mention sweat and long hours, that goes along with the experience you build as a designer. Pro photographers carry loads of lenses for every situation, pro painters are militant about canvas and bristle count, and 3D pros need their hardware to be just right. Especially when you’re on the go. Enter the new Intuos Pro Small.

The updated pen tablet is a smaller, more compact version of Wacom’s Intuos Pro drawing tablets. Despite the tinier 10.6 x 6.7 x 0.3 inch frame compared to its predecessor, the screen real estate is actually larger: measuring 6.2 x 3.9 inches. As is expected, the screen works with all of Wacom’s Pro Pen variants, comes with the amazing Pro Pen 2 with 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity, and features multi-touch gesture support like the other Intuos Pro tablets.

One drawback of the smaller frame compared to the larger Intuos Pro Medium (13.2 x 8.5 x 0.3 in ) and Large (16.8 x 11.2 x 0.3 in) tablets is two fewer ExpressKeys (shortcut keys) on the Intuos Pro Small. Despite this, having six ExpressKeys to work with on a tiny tablet doesn’t seem so much of a problem. Along with the ExpressKeys, the Intuos Pro Small still includes the customizable Touch Ring and radial menu for easier navigation.

The Intuos Pro Small does lack the ability to change the tablet’s texture sheet – a feature of the Medium and Large if you prefer something smoother or rougher to the touch. At the $250 price (compared to $380 for the Medium and $500 for the Large), it’s understandably missing, but one feature we’d like to see included.

The 5080 lpi resolution tablet connects to your computer using a USB-C cable and port, but you can also connect wirelessly using Bluetooth.

Wacom has made incremental moves toward portability and the Intuos Pro small can tuck away even more nicely now and would be a welcome accesory to a mobile workstation setup, especially if that mobile mouse has been a less that ergonomic issue. To see more of the tablet’s specifications and capabilities, check out Wacom’s official webpage for the Intuos Pro Small. And, let us know if you use an Intuos Pro on the go.

This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale at no extra cost to you!

The post Wacom’s New Intuos Pro Small Is More Compact For Pro Designer On the Go appeared first on SolidSmack.

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The future. Tis upon us. And once again, it’s gaming that’s paving the way.

This week at E3, Bethesda Softworks announced Orion. What’s Orion? It’s “a patented collection of software technologies that optimize game engines for superior performance in a streaming environment.”

For gamers, this brings ‘imperceptible latency’ to, not just one game engine but, any game engine. Even more, it brings it to the highly-anticipated, yet-to-be-release Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud. It’s all coming together in what Jessica Conditt over at Engadget has rightly called “The Era Of The Stream”.

“Wasn’t Netflix the Era of the Stream?” Well, perhaps it started there. Google and Microsoft are bringing it to gaming. BUT, where those streaming platforms are reliant on the bandwidth, Bethesda is bringing the streaming capability to the players, so it doesn’t matter how far you are from a datacenter or how slow your internet is.

How can they do that? How can they get around bandwidth being throttled? They are incorporating Orion technology at the game engine level making it possible to stream game content up to 20% faster per frame and 40% lower bandwidth. That’s significant. And, it can be ‘easily’ integrated by game developers with Bethesda’s Orion SDK.

My question: Will the Era of the Stream include 3D Modeling/Rendering/Simulation software? Would 3D software benefit from this technology?

Some will argue it already does. Some will say ‘streaming’ isn’t needed for 3D design software like it is for 60 fps/4k gaming. Some will glare and re-install their favorite 3D modeling software on their desktop that’s completely disconnected from anything resembling a data port.

But what if all the design process did take advantage of technology that reduced any latency in loading, rebuilding, transferring, shading, simulating. Better yet, what if it was a technology that could be easily integrated by any 3D design software developer?

The post Will the “Era of the Stream” Include 3D Modeling Software? appeared first on SolidSmack.

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Swedish furniture company Ikea has been on a problem-solving roll lately. After working on 3D printed gaming chairs for sensitive rears and the more recent ThisAbles project which features accessible furniture for the disabled, the company now has its sights set on helping those lacking personal space in small urban dwellings.

ROGNAN is an upcoming collaboration between Ikea and American furniture startup Ori Living which makes full use of a tiny room’s dimensions. At first glance, it looks a large storage unit which you install in the center of a room. But, when using the touchpad controls, homeowners can transform the area into a bedroom, workspace, closet, or living room depending on their specific needs.

Three core settings make up the modular ROGNAN system. The first setting is a bed mode that unfolds a mattress on one end of the unit and moves the unit to one side. Second is a living room mode which slides back the bed and moves the unit to the other side to make room for a couch and cabinets. Finally, a closet mode centers the ROGNAN in the middle of the room for equal space sharing. Depending on what you and/or your rowdy roommates need, the ROGNAN can be adjusted to fit any scenario.

Users can also move the unit freely using the arrow buttons on the sides of the touchpad while pressing any of the three icon buttons below activates their designated modes. The ROGNAN moves using Ori Living’s robotic platform seen in the company’s other works like their Studio Suite and Pocket Closet. The contents of the storage unit come courtesy of Ikea, as the ROGNAN can fit their Platsa storage furniture and Tradfri lighting fixtures.

All-in-all, Ikea says the ROGNAN can save up to 86 square feet of extra space, which is integral to anyone living in tiny quarters. The ROGNAN’s initial launch will be in Hong Kong and Japan (countries where adequate living space is hard to come by) this coming 2020. More info is said to arrive this coming summer 2019.

The post Ikea Introduces Modular Shape-Shifting Furniture Collection appeared first on SolidSmack.

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Mondays might not be your favorite day of the week, but the good news is that we’re all in this together ladies and gentlemen. As purveyors of prime Grade A web content, the SolidSmack crew has done some of the heavy-lifting to make sure you get your Mondays started on the right track.

Welcome to The Monday List.

Every Monday, we link you up with some of the most insightful, informative, and socially-relevant stories to keep tabbed, bookmarked, reading listed, pocketed, or what have you to get your week started on the right foot. Be sure to check in each week for a new crop of freshly sprouted words curated straight from the source of your favorite homegrown ‘Smack.

What We’re Reading This Week: Are Rechargeable Batteries Better Than Alkaline? Most of the Time

In some cases, single-use batteries are still the better option.

The World Is Full of Innovation More Important Than Ad Algorithms

To find them, you just need to look beyond Silicon Valley.

A Very Fast Spin Through the Hills in a Hybrid Porsche 911

The Vonnen Shadow Drive system boosts the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera’s horsepower and torque by about 50 percent.

Upgrade Your Memory With a Surgically Implanted Chip

Brain prostheses for the computer in your skull.

Huawei’s US ban: A look at the hardware (and software) supply problems.

Huawei’s hardware independence is actually pretty good! The software, though…

Coffee, Even a Lot, Linked to Longer Life

Scientists wake up and smell the apparent health benefits.

The post The SolidSmack Monday List 24.19 | Stories We’re Reading This Week appeared first on SolidSmack.

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Liniments and soliloquies permeated the ground cover. From whence did the oily salves and voices emanate? The shutter beneath the leaves were a sure sign they were below, and getting closer, ever after the sweet, syrupy, mesmerizing blinks of these links.

Philipp Dobrusin – Got to love Philipp’s art of story telling. This concept artist and illustrator passionate has a knack with castles and the dreary.

Jarren Frame – lookout for this young South African-born painter’s first solo show in New York City. Focused on James Bond and called ‘Bond, James Bond’, the art is mindblowing! Slightly NSFW.

Pixelixir – Chicago-based Pixelixir have adorable 8-bit pixel art house plants, ideal for video gamers who don’t have green thumbs! 

Light Shadow – Sculpting using both light and shadow, artist Kumi Yamashita has mastered the knack of constructing single (or multiple) objects and then placing them in a way to make light / shadow artwork.

Shoplifter – Instagram follow of the week. An Icelandic artist based in New York, artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir makes installations out of… hair. More.

THE MOLESKINE PROJECT VIII – The annual Moleskine Project is in its eight edition and is curated by Rodrigo Luff and Spoke Art. It features a diverse group of artists whose creations are all within the confines of a Moleskine notebook.

360 Slow Motion – You HAVE to watch this clip on how a slo-mo camera captures the nuances of a ball falling into colored liquid and the kaleidoscope of color that ensues.

For All Mankind – An alternate reality, where The USSR reaches the moon first. New show coming to the new Apple TV+ streaming service.

Reign (in Jazz) – Reign, the classic by metal band Slayer, in Jazz. Note: Not actually them playing it jazz style, but Andy Rehfeldt playing it, with all instruments played and recorded himself.

Slayer-Reign In Jazz - YouTube

The post Friday Smackdown: The Liniment Soliloquies appeared first on SolidSmack.

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3D Platform has produced a rather large 3D printer, the WorkCenter 500 – and the build volume on this beast is substantial, at 1400 x 2800 x 700 mm (55″ x 110″ x 27″), or 2.7 cubic meters (95 cubic feet) of volume. It should be able to accommodate the needs of many large part-makers.

The 3D Platform WorkCenter 500 large format 3D printer 

I know what you’re thinking: this is just another scaled-up desktop 3D printer. What’s the big deal? Well, you may be surprised. The WorkCenter 500 has three very interesting features that 3D Platform has developed over the past few years of building and selling large-format 3D printers.

Several high-speed extruders available for the WorkCenter 3D printers from 3D Platform 1. PETG and Nylon Materials

One innovation is the type of materials that can be used. More primitive large-format 3D printers of this type would only be able to handle PLA material due to its low tendency to warp. 3D printing a ‘warpy’ material such as ABS was simply out of the question.

ABS continues to be out of the question for the WorkCenter 500, but they tell us they can successfully 3D print PETG and some nylons, making the device much more useful than your typical giant PLA machine.

The huge 3D Platform WorkCenter 500 3D printer includes a massive aluminum build plate 2. High-Speed 3D Printing

Typical large-format 3D printers also suffer terribly from extended print durations. If you think a 6-hour desktop 3D print takes too long, then you will be floored by systems that simply scale up that same technology to result in week-long prints. That’s simply unacceptable, and it turns out 3D Platform has done significant work to overcome this barrier.

The company offers a variety of very advanced hot end extrusion systems that are specifically designed to deliver thermoplastic material far more rapidly than a typical desktop hot end. The standard rate on the WorkCenter 500 is a huge 1kg (2.2 lbs) of material per hour, but there are larger optional extrusion systems that can bring the deposition rate up to an astonishing 6.8kg (15 lbs) per hour.

The 3D Platform WorkCenter 500 has a rather hefty high-speed extrusion system

Some of that speed increase is due to larger nozzle sizes, which 3D Platform can provide. Their product list includes 0.7mm, 1.4mm and 2.8mm nozzle diameters.

To put that in perspective, that would require you to swap 1kg spools every 8 minutes and 49 seconds. Obviously, 3D Platform uses far larger spool sizes on this machine.

3. 6mm 3D Printer Filament

While the company does offer pellet-material solutions, one of their more interesting innovations is 6mm diameter filament, seen in this image. The added diameter ensures there is plenty of material to deliver to the hungry high-speed extrusion system. However, it is quite rigid. You may be wondering how they can properly unspool such a thick filament and have it pass smoothly through the filament path.

Thick 6mm 3D printer filament from 3D Platform. Rigid! 

The answer is that 3D Platform actually pre-heats this thick filament to make it somewhat more pliable and thus able to handle the filament path successfully.

One very intriguing suggestion we heard from the company is their interest in leveraging this thick filament in other ways. Specifically, the thick filament’s diameter could accommodate additions that could not be contemplated with thinner filaments.

One example of this leverage could be the inclusion of much longer fibers. Material vendors today market “carbon fiber” filament, which is essentially PLA or Nylon mixed with very find chopped carbon fibers. While these tiny segments do add some strength to the part, their effect is limited by their length.

But that could change with 3D Platform’s huge 6mm filament. They could potentially add much longer fibers and receive a corresponding strength increase in printed parts. And this would work for any type of fiber, such as glass, which is frequently used instead to carbon fiber these days.

It’s not part of their 3D Printer configurator yet, but the 3D Platform WorkCenter 500 is available at a price near $200,000 USD, which happens to be 4x the price of the WorkCenter 400 at $50,000 USD.

Read more about 3D printing at Fabbaloo!

The post 3 Unique Features of the New WorkCenter 500 Large Format 3D Printer appeared first on SolidSmack.

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