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If you’ve neglected to remember the fact that it is soon to be Valentine’s day; don’t fret as there is still time to whip up something on your 3D printer which should suffice as a gift.

Below are some of the most romantic prints for you to choose from which are free to download and print, but perhaps don’t tell your loved one that part.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #1: Infinity Heart Pendant

What is it? This design was made for a wedding but works perfectly well for a Valentine’s Day gift too.

Who made it? Sam Hightower

Where can I get it? You can find the pendant files here, or if you’d like to print it in metal check out our All3DP price comparison service.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #2: Valentine with Bare Conductive Electric Paint

What is it? The designers said: “Light up your Valentine’s geeky heart, with our 3dprinted AdaBot card, using LEDs and Bare Conductive Paint. Turning the gears applies pressure to the batteries hidden inside a heart, lighting up the LEDs.”

Who made it? Adafruit Industries

Where can I get it? You can find this design on Thingiverse.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #3: MailBot – The Robot Note Mailbox

What is it? Mailbot is a 3D printed mini robot mailbox for little notes. The designer said: “There’s mail, and then there’s the mail you actually love to get.” Mailbot can be kept anywhere such as; your desk, office, car, and everywhere in between!

Who made it? 3by3D

Where can I get it? You can find this cute little guy here.

 3D Print for Valentine’s Day #4: Heart Charms or Hearticles

What is it? Heart Charms! They can easily be linked together in different ways. If you’d prefer a bracelet, a necklace or even a ring from just one closed charm, there are many choices. The hearticles come in different sizes, some are closed, some have an opening on the side and some on the bottom. This sweet little idea makes nice jewelry.

Who made it? mieke van der poll

Where can I get it? You can find the downloadable files here on Pinshape.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #5: Heart Wings Cookie Cutter

What is it? With this OogiMe Valentine’s Day Collection cookie cutter, you can easily surprise your loved one. The estimated print time is just 44 minutes, and depending on how good you are in the kitchen, estimated baking time can vary.

Who made it? OogiMe

Where can I get it? You can find this fabulous design here.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #6: Heart Light

What is it? For anyone who likes pink heart lighting, this gift is the perfect choice. The heart light is one which casts beautiful mood lighting, perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Who made it? mingshiuan

Where can I get it? Find this gorgeous print here.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #7: Male Valentines Duck

What is it? This little guy has been described as: “the ancient forefather of the almighty Duck Dynasty”. Sharing a bubble bath with him may make Valentine’s Day feel a lot less lonely. Hopefully.

Who made it? 3DPrinterOS

Where can I get it? You can download this design here.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #8: Spiral Heart Pendant

What is it? If you’re a bit of a cheapskate, then you’ll find that this option is a much cheaper alternative to Tiffany’s.

Who made it? ideadesign

Where can I get it? This super cute heart pendant can be found here, with a free download too.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #9: “Hole in My Heart” Cookie Cutter

What is it? Of this slightly different print, the designer said: “I wanted to create something fun for Valentine’s day and ended up with a heart shaped cookie cutter with a difference.”

Who made it? Kayleigh Spring

Where can I get it? If you’re looking for an alternative present option, then you can find this idea on Thingiverse.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #10: Cupic

What is it? The Cupic’s are a great idea for anyone wanted to share any romantic food on Valentine’s Day. The designers said: “Lovers desert for two? Valentines party? Meet CUPIC, our most romantic food-pick. Dispose after one use.”

Where can I get it? You can find this sweet little idea on 3DShook, and download the print for free, here.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #11: Valentine Vase & Dish Set

What is it? The Valentine Set comprises of heart inspired vases in short and tall varieties with an optional heart-shaped base, and a matching three section heart shaped candy dish too.

Who made it? richard_swika

Where can I get it? These classic looking dishes can be found on Pinshape.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #12: “I Love You”-Box

What is it? A circular trinket/present box with the words “I LOVE YOU” embossed in the style of Morris/Goudy around the outside. There is a plain lid, or if you prefer, a lid with space for an insert of your loved one’s initial printed separately and pressed in.

Who made it? MakeALot

Where can I get it? You can find the design here.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #13: Two-Finger Hearts Ring

What is it? This cute little ring which features three hearts is a great present for anyone with questionable jewelry taste.

Who made it? Ashley Sheppard

Where can I get it? You can find the design here.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #14: Simple Heart Bracelet

What is it? To go with your loved one’s heart ring is a simple heart bracelet too. Perhaps you could make a whole jewelry collection from your 3D printer?

Who made it? Craig Beddow

Where can I get it? Check out this beautifully simple design on MyMinifactory.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #15: Support Bouche

What is it? Moving away from the heart theme is this sweet yet functional idea. The Support Bouche is used to hold up your smartphone or tablet – something romantic yet useful.

Who made it? pydimpression3d

Where can I get it? You can check out this cheeky idea on Cults3d.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #16: Couple Egg Cups

What is it? This interesting idea could be a great way to serve breakfast in bed on Valentine’s Day. The designer said: “Need a special gift for the upcoming Valentine’s day? How about this 3d printed couple? One for him, one for her.”

Who made it? FORMBYTE

Where can I get it? Check out this sweet idea here.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #17: Heart Gear Keychain

What is it? If you want an understated present, then check out this 3D printed design which works as a key ring. The whole print only takes about 40-60 minutes and can be done in a single print with no raft or supports.

Who made it? UrbanAtWork

Where can I get it? You can find the simple, but a super cute idea on Cults3d.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #18: Geared Heart, Hand Crank Edition

What is it? This design has an impressive 1,943 likes so it seems many people may be receiving the same Valentine’s Day gift this year!

Who made it? FollowMeOn

Where can I get it? The geared heart works with a hand crank and is available to download on Thingiverse, but a motorised version is also available here too.

3D Print for Valentine’s Day #19: “You’re the one” Sound Wave

What is it? If you’re not really into hearts, but still want to find an equally cheesy present, then perhaps the “you’re the one” sound wave will fit the bill. The designer said, of this little token: “I recorded the words “you’re the one”, took that into Reaper to visualize the waves it made and designed a printable Sound Wave using Sketchup. The original idea was to put this in a box frame with the words as a gift but I’ve not gotten that far! Valentine’s gift perhaps?”

Where can I get it? You find a 3D printed necklace at Shapeways.

Disclaimer:

All3DP GmbH makes 3D printing available to everyone.

If you choose to buy an item through one of All3DP’s articles, we do not charge any fee or additional price on top of our partners fulfillment price. We are paid on a commission, which means that we receive a small percentage from our partners.

Also, we are not selling the models. By comparing the prices of our 3D printing services, we simply are pointing you to the lowest 3D printing price available. If you would like to know more, please visit our Terms of Service.

Also, the editorial team of All3DP only conveys models that are under Creative Commons 4.0 Licence. All3DP will never convey STL files which are marked with the non-commercial use licence (CC NC). Also, according to CC BY, we give attribution where needed. If you are the designer of a model and want to be removed from All3DP’s price comparison service, please send a mail to contact@all3dp.com.

The post 20 Romantic Things to 3D Print for Valentine’s Day appeared first on All3DP.

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Basically, there is one software tool you do need: that is a slicing software. Optionally, you may want to use a software to create 3D models for printing.

But let’s start with 3D modeling software as that comes first in the process.

3D modeling software

When you wish to design the 3D printable model on your own, get a 3D modeling software tool that outputs your digital model in the standard STL or OBJ format. There is a wealth of more or less powerful tools for this purpose – we selected a few recommended tools.

Free 3D modeling tools

* SketchUp Make is a feature-rich tool for both beginners and advanced users. It is easy to learn – especially, with the help of All3DP’s beginner’s workshop for SketchUp. There is also a commercial Pro edition with additional functionality. Please note that you need to install a plug-in to be able to export STL files for 3D printing (see our workshop).

* FreeCAD is a complex tool designed rather for advanced users. However, All3DP’s beginner’s workshop for FreeCAD helps you get started.

* Blender is a feature-rich 3D modeling and animation tool. It is designed for advanced and professional users and is often used for 3D applications, animated films and games. But it is also a great tool for 3D modeling.

* 123D Design is a simple 3D modeling tool that gets you easily started; there is a commercial version with more features.

Commercial 3D modeling software

* SketchUp Pro has more features but is as easy to use as its little brother (see the All3DP beginner’s guide for SketchUp).

* Solidworks is a very popular 3D CAD tool; it is used by over 2 million engineers and designers.

* AutoCAD and 3ds Max are also widely used professional CAD and 3D modeling tools.

Other tools that create 3D models

* 123D Catch is a free 3D scanning app (Windows, iOS, Android) that lets you create 3D models by taking a series of photos of an object.

* 123D Sculpt+ is a tactile modeling app for the iPad and Android tablets. It allows you to use your fingers to work on a model like you would when modeling with clay.

Slicing software

A slicing software is something you definitely need for 3D printing. The slicing software converts a digital 3D model (a STL or OBJ file) into printing instructions for your 3D printer – i.e., it generates so-called G-code. The G-code then is sent to the 3D printer where it is executed and turned into a 3D printout.

The slicing software cuts the model into horizontal layers (slices); the printer outputs one layer after the other. Additionally, the software also creates the paths needed to fill the layers and to build the support structures. It also calculates the amount of material required.

3D printers from commercial providers come with a slicing software designed for that printer. If you built your 3D printer by yourself or if you are not satisfied with your printer’s slicing software, you can use the free slicing tools Cura (that comes with the Ultimaker printers) or Slic3r. Many expert users prefer Cura or Slic3r over their printer’s software.

Both Cura and Slic3r are excellent tools that get the job done and are easy to use and highly customizable to fit your needs. There is an extensive review of the new version of Cura on All3DP and a step-by-step workshop on slicing with Cura.

The post What software do I need for 3D printing? appeared first on All3DP.

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The Felfil Evo is an open-source 3D printer plastic extruder machine that allows you to create customized 3D printing filament from the comfort of your own home. Make your own materials from plastic pellets, flawed or old 3D prints, or plastic waste. 

With all of the brands and formulations crowding the 3D printing market, finding the right filament can be a trying experience. Sometimes, a maker knows exactly what color or characteristic they need for their printing project, but it isn’t always readily available.

The Felfil Evo is aiming to put the power of filament production into the hands of the maker community. Manufactured by the Italian startup Felfil, this plastic filament extruder is capable of creating 3D printing materials from industrial pellets, disposable 3D prints, or plastic waste. It’s a completely open source device that is made up of all-new components, all of which can be easily sourced at a low price.

Felfil Evo is equipped with a nozzle, an electronic card that is compatible with Arduino, and a specially designed extrusion screw and melting chamber that enhances the overall extrusion quality.

Whether you have a certain filament color in mind, prints or plastic waste that you want to recycle, or just want to experiment, the Felfil Evo will be the driving force in your quest to create 3D printing materials. According to the manufacturer, users can save up to 80 percent on spool costs by using the plastic extruder and their granulated plastic pellets.

With the Felfil Evo, you can produce a wide range of filament types, such as PLA, ABS, TPU, PETG, Nylon and more. The team has shared the optimal settings for each material, and they even sell their own PLA and ABS pellets to help you get started right away.

The Felfil Evo Filament Extruder: From Master’s Thesis to Market

While the Felfil Evo officially surfaced on the market in October 2017, the Italian startup has been developing its plastic extruder concept for a few years. In fact, the first prototypes of FelFil were created for a master’s thesis project. In 2015, the first iteration of Felfil Evo made its way to the popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, where it raised over €45,000 from a total of 168 backers.

In addition to their Kickstarter success, the Felfil team also launched a campaign on the Italian equity crowdfunding platform called Mamacrowd Projects, raking in another €119,000. This sizable amount of funding enabled the team to continue refining the design, eventually leading to the production of the second series of the filament extruder. 

By conducting surveys and listening to the feedback from their earliest adopters, Felfil has been able to continuously improve upon the Evo’s design and functionality. In October 2017, after completing their pre-sale orders from various crowdfunding campaigns, the latest version of the Felfil Evo became available for immediate order.

The Felfil Evo is currently available in three forms: Assembled (719€), Complete Kit (599€), and the Basic Kit (299€). The assembled version is ideal for beginners or those who want to get extruding right away. All you have to do is set the temperature and gear motor speed to start making your own filament. The Complete Kit comes with all of the components needed to start your filament making journey, and requires a short amount of time to assemble. Finally, the Basic Kit contains the main components needed to build the Evo, while parts like heaters and electronics need to be sourced elsewhere.  

It’s available in four different colors (yellow transparent, transparent, white, black) and comes equipped with either a 1.75mm or 2.85mm nozzle.

Are you ready to start creating and experimenting with your own 3D printing filament? You can purchase the Felfil Evo and pellets directly from the Felfil website.

The post Become Your Own Material Maker with the Felfil Evo Filament Extruder appeared first on All3DP.

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Add some fright to your spine-chilling costume with this collection of Halloween-themed 3D printed jewelry, which includes a stitched neck and dripping bloody neck. 

Do you need to add some extra dread to your undead aesthetic? One Instructables user who goes by the name of Penolopy Bulnick has recently shared a collection of 3D printed Halloween jewelry that will complement the most terrifying of costumes. Her latest designs include a dripping bloody neck, as well as a stitched neck and wrists.

This collection of Halloween-themed accessories are easy to make and actually look pretty realistic, making them ideal for anyone planning to go to dress up as a zombie, vampire, or Frankenstein for an upcoming costume party. The designer has shared a handful of 3D printable models that vary in size and thickness, as well as the Tinkercad files so you can customize them yourself.

With just a few affordable jewelry pieces and these 3D printed effects, you can attach dripping blood or stitches directly to your throat. Let your friends stare in horror as you parade your gory trinkets around the neighborhood. Let’s take a look at how you can 3D print your own creepy jewelry for the haunted holiday ahead.

Also, be sure to check out our other Halloween-themed Weekend Projects for more ideas:

Weekend Project: 3D Print a Creepy-Crawling Halloween Pumpkin Spider Transformer Weekend Project: Tell Scary Tales Over This 3D Printed Tea Light Ghost 3D Printed Halloween Jewelry: What You Need & How to Build it

You can find the STL files for the stitched neck and dripping bloody neck on the designer’s Instructables post. There, she also goes over the design process for both pieces, explaining how she created them on Tinkercad.

The supply list needed to create this jewelry collection is quite short. You can either use red and black filament (Penolopy Bulnick recommends Iron Red and Black from Hatchbox3D) or spray paint once the print is complete. Aside from your 3D printer and filament, here’s what else you need to make your own bloody or stitched neck:

Necklace clasps Necklace chain Jump rings Needle nose pliers Glossy red and matte black spray paint (optional)

Since these designs are so thin, you don’t really need flexible filament to wear them. However, if you want to print a thicker version or improve the comfort a bit, a flexible material like TPU might be worth investing in. Otherwise, when loading these models into your 3D printing slicer software, double check them to make sure they aren’t too thick. If you decide to print the thicker version of the bloody neck with regular filament, the band of the design should only be two layers high.

The next step is dependent on what color filament you’re using. If you’ve already got the right color extruding out of your nozzle, there’s no need to worry about spray painting. For those who don’t have any red or black filament, or want to use paint to enhance the gruesomeness of the jewelry, you can just color the side of the print that will be on display. The designer uses a sealer after painting to give her slit neck a more glossy effect.

Next, add the jump rings to the corners of the print, followed by the clasp and necklace chain. Both the bloody neck and stitches are designed to be worn as a choker, so make sure the chain is long enough, but not too long. And that’s about all it takes to add some terrifying jewelry to your Halloween costume!

If you don’t have a 3D printer, you can also visit the designer’s Etsy shop and purchase the Halloween-themed jewelry for $7.

The post Weekend Project: 3D Print a Bloody or Stitched Neck for Your Halloween Costume appeared first on All3DP.

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CraftBot has added the new CraftBot 3 Dual to its expansive range of 3D printers. This professional-grade desktop machine offers dual extrusion printing, an advance filament monitoring system, and a 374 x 250 x 250mm build volume. 

The desktop 3D printer market has become increasingly crowded with endless options, making it difficult to decide which machine is the right match for you. For those who want a 3D printer that is highly capable, affordable and respected across the 3D printing community, look no further than the Hungarian-based company CraftBot.

After raising more than $245,000 in their 2014 Indiegogo campaign, CraftBot set upon its journey to develop plug and play machines that are easy to use and provide impeccable quality. Thus far, the 3D printer manufacturer appears to be succeeding at that goal. CraftBot has released a number of FDM 3D printers, including the flagship CraftBot Plus and CraftBot 2. In fact, the CraftBot Plus was awarded as the Best Plug N’ Play 3D Printer by 3D Hubs in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

A closer look at CarftBot as a company showcases exactly what makes their product line so unique and highly praised by the community. Each CraftBot 3D printer is manufactured in Europe, and both software and hardware development is entirely done in-house by a team of highly qualified technicians. The company takes all of their customers’ feedback into account, allowing them to constantly improve and refine their 3D printers.

Now, to add to its expansive product line, CraftBot has been working on a dual extrusion 3D printer that goes above and beyond what we usually find on the consumer market.

The CraftBot 3 Dual 3D Printer Strikes Balance Between Affordability and Professional Quality

Following their success with the popular CraftBot Plus and CraftBot 2, the Hungarian manufacturer has now released CraftBot 3 – The Supervisor. With a superhero-like name, it’s no surprise that this desktop dual extrusion 3D printer has some magical features. At $2,199, the CraftBot 3 is incredibly affordable compared to similar dual extrusion machines.

The CraftBot 3 utilizes an Independent Dual Extrusion (IDEX) system, meaning that the two print heads operate independently from one another. Therefore, users can print two objects at once, or use PVA support material to produce more complex parts. Equipped with silicone discs, the nozzles are wiped clean while the print heads are changing, ensuring that excess filament material doesn’t muddle up the surface of your print.

While dual extrusion might seem like the main attraction here, the CraftBot 3 is jam-packed with impressive features that promote quality and accessibility. For starters, there’s a state-of-the-art filament monitoring system (FMS) that keeps track of filament consumption, provides troubleshooting when a filament jam is detected and sends messages to the user when manual intervention is required.

With the CraftBot 3, you’ll get a sizable build volume of 374 x 250 x 250mm (270 x 250X 250mm for dual extrusion and 187 x 250 x 250mm for multi-part printing). This printer is capable of printing at a layer resolution of 50 microns when using the 0.25mm nozzle. And, if you’re concerned about keeping the family up while you print the night away, rest assured that the CraftBot 3 Dual’s motor control makes this 3D printer more quiet than ever before.

Despite the low price point, “The Supervisor” is engineered to deal with professional-grade materials. The full-metal hotend makes it possible to print at a temperature as high as 300°C, expanding the range of compatible materials beyond the usual suspects. It’s also equipped with high-accuracy ball screws to improve overall print quality.

The CraftBot team has implemented optimized object cooling technology into their latest dual extrusion machine, making it easy to print small objects at an exceptional resolution. The heated bed is designed to prevent warping and sticking, and can be easily removed once your print is complete.
The new 3D printer by CraftBot uses different colored LED status indicators to signal the current status of printing that can be customized for an even better experience. Using WiFi connectivity and CraftBot’s mobile app, users can upload 3D models to the printer, start and stop print jobs, and even control various printing settings from a remote location.
Interested? We thought so… You can purchase the CraftBot 3 Dual 3D printer directly from the CraftBot website or from the global network of official CraftBot partners.

The post CraftBot Introduces the CraftBot 3 Dual 3D Printer to Expansive Product Line appeared first on All3DP.

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Want to make your Halloween decorations more cheerful this year? This 3D printed Tea Light Ghost will make a happy addition to your seasonal adornments, greeting all of the trick-or-treaters with a smile. 

Halloween is a time for haunted houses, elaborate costumes and frightening amounts of candy, but not every decoration has to scare you out of your socks. Why not lighten up the mood with a friendly-looking 3D printed Tea Light Ghost lamp, designed by maker Greg Zumwalt.

This grinning ghost is equipped with a base for a LED tealight candle, which emits light throughout the model and creates a subtle lamp effect. It’s the perfect addition to a house that is haunted with smiles rather than spookiness. It’s easy to print and doesn’t require much time to make, making it an ideal project for beginners or makers looking for a quick way to add some Halloween ornaments to their seasonal display.

If you want to consider a different approach to this project, you can also check out Zumwalt’s Illuminated Happy Ghost Lamp on Instructables. Otherwise, let’s take a quick look at how to conjure up the spirit of your own 3D printed Tea Light Ghost.

Illuminated Happy Ghost: What You Need & How to Build it

The files for this 3D printed ghost lamp are available to download via Thingiverse. There are two versions of the ghost – one for single extrusion and another for dual extruder 3D printers. The ghost itself can either be printed as one piece or with the eyes and mouth separately.

Aside from your 3D printer and some filament, you’ll also need LED tealight candles (37.5mm in diameter), which act as the base of the lamp. You can find them at a local hardware store or order them on Amazon. Zumwalt suggests printing the parts with a 20 percent infill, no support structures necessary.

There’s no assembly process with the dual extrusion version; simply print it out and insert the tealight candle at the base. If you opt for the single extruder model, you’ll need to apply some thick cyanoacrylate glue to attach the right eye, left eye, and mouth. While mounting the eyes, you can insert your pinky finger through the mouth hole for support. When attaching the mouth, go through the bottom base to secure the ghost’s wide smile.

The final step is simple. Just press the tealight candle into the base of the ghost and turn it on. Now you have giddy decoration to lighten the spooky Halloween mood.

This project is easy to create and doesn’t take too much time or effort, so feel free to make a collection and have yourself a friendly ghost party!

The post Weekend Project: Tell Scary Tales Over This 3D Printed Tea Light Ghost appeared first on All3DP.

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Need to prepare decorations for Halloween? We’ve got you covered with this spooky 3D printed Pumpkin Spider Transformer designed by William Bruning.

The spookiest day of the year is just weeks away… Why buy your decorations when you can make them on your 3D printer? To get you prepared for the ghouls, ghosts, and trick-or-treaters that are coming to your door this Halloween, All3DP will share a handful of fun and frightening weekend projects to keep you and your 3D printer busy.

And what better creature to mark the upcoming holiday than a Pumpkin Spider Transformer (yes, you read that correctly). Designed by New Zealand-based maker William Bruning, this 3D print can appear as a plain old pumpkin at one instance, but can suddenly transform itself into a creepy spider in the blink of an eye.

We stumbled across this eight-legged print on Thingiverse, where it’s currently being featured on the front page. The creator even made a short animation video with his creation, which you can watch below.

This isn’t one of those difficult projects that require soldering, various electronics, or anything that might scare away a 3D printing novice. In fact, the Halloween Pumpkin Spider Transformer is fully 3D printed, making it an easy way to spruce up this year’s decorations. Let’s take a peek at how to print and put together this creepy-crawling project.

Halloween Pumpkin Spider Transformer: What You Need & How to Build

The STL files for the Halloween Pumpkin Spider Transformer are freely available on Thingiverse. The model is comprised of seven different parts (six if you attempt to print the chest in one piece). Bruning recommends using support structures, a 10 percent infill, and a .15mm resolution.

As for colors, you’ll probably want the outside of the pumpkin to be orange, which you can either achieve via colored filament or (preferably) spray paint. Once the parts are finished and the supports are removed, it’s time for the assembly process.

First, put a bit of superglue on the base of the ball joint in the middle of the chest to strengthen the connection. Next, push the leg ball joints into the chest socket. According to the designer, the assembly may be a bit tight, but there shouldn’t be any issues that end up breaking the part. After that, click the other end into the slices of pumpkin to finish the leg section. Lastly, connect the head to the body via the two neck joints.

In order to make it look like a spider, move the head to the front. To disguise it as a pumpkin, movie the head down until its fit snugly into the middle of the model. And that’s about all it takes to make your own Halloween Pumpkin Spider Transformer!

The post Weekend Project: 3D Print a Creepy-Crawling Halloween Pumpkin Spider Transformer appeared first on All3DP.

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The Formlabs Form 2 is our pick for the “Best Resin 3D Printer of Fall 2018”. Check out our Formlabs Form 2 review to find out why.

When it comes to 3D printing, FDM printers take all the glory; Ultimakers, Prusas, and Crealitys are talked about constantly. Their machines offer makers, hobbyists, and semi-pros great creative tools. But FDM printers aren’t the only choice when it comes to 3D printing.

If you are looking for professional printers that can deliver stunning details, stereolithography (SLA) machines are the right choice.They work with resin instead of thermoplastics. As of 2018, there are cheap SLA machines targetting hobbyist – and then there’s the category of SLA 3D printers that can be found in labs, professional fabs, universities, and engineering spaces.

Formlabs holds the number 1 position for several years now. At $3,500 / €3,925, their flagship 3D printer Form 2 doesn’t come cheap. But it’s a fraction of the price you would pay for a 3D Systems ProJet 6000 HD.

Don’t Miss:

Also for a desktop machine, the Formlabs Form 2 has a quite powerful optical engine. The 250mW violet laser is guided by custom-built galvanometers, delivering prints in impressive quality. For the purposes of this Formlabs Form 2 review, we didn’t encounter a single misprint.

Formlabs Form 2 Review: Pros Print quality is brilliant Easy to setup and maintain Great interplay of hard- and software Reliable and predictable results Good software slicer Great user interface Relatively silent operation Formlabs Form 2 Review: Cons No print without post-processing Not faster than FFF 3D printers Standard support structures are very dense Changing resin is easier than with the Form 1+, but still no trivial task Consumables (resin and tank) and the printer are expensive Formlabs Form 2 Review: The Verdict

If you’re looking for a reliable, professional, high-quality SLA 3D printer, look no further. The Formlabs Form 2 is a workhorse that delivers stunning results.

This high-class SLA 3D printer isn’t aimed at the regular consumer who wants to dabble in 3D printing. It’s for people who have a clear use case and a budget — so we’re talking about semi-professional and professional users.

However, this SLA 3D printer is an excellent machine for prototyping. The Formlabs Form 2 can be a valuable addition to an engineer’s office, a dental lab or a jewelry designer — it really does turn your ideas into reality. It even can be used to manufacture (very) small batches.

What makes this SLA 3D printer interesting is the consistent quality. While FFF printers need a constant balancing of parameters, temperatures, filaments, and extruders, the Formlabs Form 2 just delivers without you having to worry about quality. If you remember the old “Get a Mac” Apple Ads  pointing out the differences between Apple and Windows-PCs — that pretty much sums it up.

But there are drawbacks, and they have to do with SLA technology itself. First of all, working with resin means you will have to do some post-processing. Formlabs offers a special post-production kit for the Form 2, which we found expensive but invaluable.

Secondly, neither the printer nor the resins are a steal. For most people, the price of $150 for a liter of resin is too high, and over the longer term the cost of consumables will add up. Thirdly, the print dimensions are limited to 125 × 125 × 165 mm — if you are prototyping in bigger dimensions, you have to search for alternative solutions.

But if you are looking for a 3D printer that just delivers with (nearly) every single print, you have found your match.

Formlabs Form 2 Review: The Long Read

Before we dig deeper in this Formlabs Form 2 review, here’s a short preamble on the differences between an SLA 3D printer and FFF 3D printer.

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) is the most common desktop 3D printer technology. A FFF printer feeds plastic filament into a heated extruder and prints layers with the molten material. FFF 3D printers are versatile machines and can use different materials. But most of them lack predictability when it comes to results.

Exactly this predictability is one of the strengths of SLA 3D printers like the Formlabs Form 2. It points a high precision laser on a tray of liquid resin, which causes a thin layer to solidify. This chemical reaction allows for the creation of water-tight printed parts. The 3D printing speed is comparable to FFF machines when comparing layer thickness and density. SLA printers are also known for printing high-detailed objects.

Formlabs Form 2 Review: Unboxing and Setup

Setting up the Form 2 was a breeze. Our Formlabs Form 2 review sample came securely packaged. We found every part nicely labeled. There’s a helpful setup guide on the Formlabs website. Even if you’ve never assembled a printer before, you can do this in no time.

Just put the printer on a flat and sturdy surface (a.k.a. “table”). The dimensions of the printer are 35 × 33 × 52 cm, which is big, but not huge compared to other 3D printers.

Next, you open the orange cover and attach the build platform. If you are new to SLA 3D printers, you might be surprised to find that the build platform of the Formlabs Form 2 hangs upside down… that‘s because the object is “drawn out” of the resin, so to speak.

After that, you put the resin tray in place and click in the tray wiper. The latter is an improvement over the previous generation Form 1-series. Every time a layer is finished, the print bed moves up a little. Then the wiper moves and makes sure the resin is spread equally on the tray. The result? You’ll get fewer misprints.

After this step, you slide the Form 2 resin tank into the printer, plug in the power cord, and start the printer. The tray is automatically filled with resin. We didn’t have to do any calibration (unlike with the Form 1 and Form 1+).

Last stop is adding the Formlabs Form 2 to your wireless network. As an alternative, you can use the USB- or Ethernet ports to transfer files.

All in all, setting up the Formlabs Form 2 didn’t take us more than 1 hour.

Formlabs Form 2 Review: Available Resin Types

There are several resin types to choose from. The resins consist of methacrylic acid esters, photoinitiators, proprietary pigment, and other secret ingredients. If you are planning to use your own resins, you will run into problems — the cartridge system of the Formlabs Form 2 is proprietary.

Formlabs offers two flavors of standard resins. The standard resins come in clear, white, gray, and black. A liter of these “bread and butter” resins costs €160 / $150 — that’s not exactly cheap.

The second type of resins for the Formlabs Form 2 are functional resins. They also come in different flavors.

Tough Resin is good if you want to have more durable or resilient prototypes. The standard resin isn’t strong enough for daily use. They break easily. So this is the one you should order if you’re building functional parts. A 1-liter tank costs €160 / $175. Flexible resin is bendable and compressible. You pay $199 for a liter. Castable resin is made with jewelers in mind. The resin burns out without ash or residue. The price is $300. Dental resin is Class 1 biocompatible. It’s designed to directly print surgical or pilot drill guides. If you don’t have a clue what that is, you’ll probably never need to order it. Price is a whopping $399.

But wait, there are other consumables! First, there’s the resin tank, which — according to Formlabs — should be switched out every 2 liters of resin. A tank will cost you €66. It also comes with the wiper.

You can also buy a second build platform if you want to speed up the workflow in an intensive use case scenario.

Formlabs Form 2 Review: Software

In our Formlabs Form 2 review process, we found the interplay between the software and hardware to be the real beauty of the 3D Printer.

For 3D printing, you need a software slicer to tell the 3D printer what to do. Formlabs have developed their own tool called PreForm. As with other 3D slicers, it lets you import STL files, which are placed on the print bed and displayed in the software. PreForm also auto-repairs broken meshes.

In most cases, you don’t want to 3D print your object directly on the build plate, as you might accidentally scratch it when you try to remove it. To prevent this, Preform invites you to add supports, which are customizable in density and strength. The support structures on the build plate are bent slightly upwards, so you can slide a removal tool under them — that’s clever!

There‘s also a “One Click Print” button, which should be sufficient for most use cases. Unless your 3D object doesn’t fit the printer, you will probably not adjust the size. It’s also possible to place several objects onto the build plate and have it 3D printed in one go.

The software auto-rotates the object and adds support structures where needed. If you’re happy with your results, the software will calculate the layers and give you an estimate on how many layers will be printed and how much resin you’ll need for it. One thing that was somewhat annoying; Preform only shows you the estimated printing time if you click on the field… this should be an easy option to add.

The print is now transferred wirelessly to the 3D printer. If you‘re printing a highly complex and large model, calculating and transferring can take up a few minutes.

To start the print, you have to press a button on the printer itself.

The Formlabs Form 2 will retain most of the 3D prints you’ve already made, so you can start a new print without having to run to the computer again. It’s the little things like these that make this 3D printer a joy to use.

The software can also notify you by mail when the print is finished — that‘s a thing you’d love to see as standard in many FFF 3D printers.

If you’re designing 3D objects, you should know that the minimum supported wall thickness is 0.4 mm, and the unsupported wall thickness is 0.6 mm. A proper design guide can be found at the Formlabs site.

Formlabs Form 2 Review: Printing

It takes the Formlabs Form 2 considerable time to heat up the resin tray to 30 degrees Celsius / 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If you place the printer in a very hot or very cold environment, you might reconsider taking the printer to a more “moderate climate”. When the resin is at the right temperature, the build plate lowers itself into the resin-filled tray.

You can keep track of your print on the touchscreen, on your computer, or even on a smartphone. Formlabs uses a ring in lieu of a progress bar. The outer ring shows the layers, the inner one the progress of the current layer. Also, there’s a constant time estimate of remaining print time.

Over the course of our Formlabs Form 2 review, we found the graphical user interface of the printer to be extremely clear, helpful, and easy to understand. We also liked the LCD touch screen — it’s bright and responsive. The menu isn’t overloaded with information and displays the right choices at the right time. There’s only one button which is used for confirming actions and also serves as the power switch.

The build speed is comparable to FFF machines when comparing layer thickness and density. It’s roughly 1-3 cm/hour along the Z axis when printing at 100 microns. The Formlabs Form 2 can 3D print in 25, 50, and 100 microns.

Formlabs Form 2 Review: Post-Production

Post-production is where SLA printing becomes ugly. If you‘re using an FFF printer, you just pluck the model from the build plate, and you’re usually ready to go. For SLA 3D printers like the Formlabs Form 2, that‘s not the case.

As you’re printing with liquid resin, you will have to remove the print from the plate, immerse it in chemicals, then remove the supports. This can take up a considerable amount of time.

Formlabs offers a finishing kit, which we found extremely helpful. It consists of a rinse station with two buckets, which you partially fill with isopropyl alcohol (IPA).

Before you begin post-processing, you should wear protective gloves and eye protection. Avoid breathing in gas, mists, vapors or spray of resin — or any other chemicals — and wash your skin thoroughly after handling. Working with resin is considered to be relatively safe, but in some rare cases, skin irritations and allergic reactions have been reported.

First, you should put on some rubber gloves. Be careful when removing the build plate. As it’s still covered with liquid resin, the “goo” has a tendency to drip. Next, you need the removal tool to slide it under the “quick release tabs” generated by the PreForm software. With larger prints, you’ll need to pry them firmly from the build platform.

Next you rinse the print; drop it in the tank and leave it there for roughly 20 minutes. For smaller parts, reduce the soak time accordingly. A rinse bottle will help you clean any internal channels of your print.

Allow the (still sticky) print to dry for several hours. As a final step, you remove the support structures with a pair of “flush” cutters. This can be demanding, as the Preform software has the tendency to make the supports a little stronger than needed in order to provide a good print.

In our Formlabs Form 2 review process, we found that too many supports can leave ugly dots on your final print — if you want perfect results, you’ll have to experiment with the support structure settings and also clean them after removing the support. Also, we found it quite hard to remove supports that lie in the inner structures of a delicate print.

You could even break some delicate pieces from your print, as we did in this example.

You can then finish your prints by spraying them with acrylic paint, or post-cure them in UV lightboxes. Formlabs provide good support information on priming prints.

Formlabs Form 2 Review: Wrapping up

As we’ve stated several times in our Formlabs Form 2 review — this is a stunning machine! We were very impressed with the quality of results this SLA 3D printer delivered, and it did it constantly.

There are some challengers to their crown. If you consult this list of competitors, you’ll find that most rival machines start at $5000 — so for small budgets, the Formlabs Form 2 stays “best in class.” The cheapest alternative we can recommend is XYZ Printing’s Nobel 1, which only costs $1,900, but is said to deliver less quality (we haven’t reviewed this printer yet).

If you just want to print out high detail models only occasionally, you might be better off ordering from a 3D printing service. The costs of the consumables (trays, resin) for the Formlabs Form 2 add up and will dent a hole in a non-professional budget.

But if you are looking for a reliable, professional, high-quality SLA 3D printer you can use on a daily basis, then look no further. The Formlabs Form 2 is a premium printer that delivers stunning results.

The post Formlabs Form 2 Review – Best Resin 3D Printer of Fall 2018 appeared first on All3DP.

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Maker Greg Zumwalt is back on Instructables with another 3D printed coin bank. His latest creation is the Simple Secret Box II, a fully 3D printed coin bank with a secret locking mechanism. 

Searching for a fun way to teach his grandchildren the valuable lesson of saving money, maker Greg Zumwalt decided to design a coin bank with a secret lock mechanism. This resulted in the Simple Secret Box II: Coin Bank, a 3D printing project that will provide you with a secure place to stash your leftover change.

We’ve covered some of Zumwalt’s projects in the past, including a 3D printed Apple Coin Bank that utilized a similar mechanism. His latest coin bank doubles as a kind of puzzle, as the dovetail fixed joinery and a sliding dovetail top makes it tricky to open. The designer based the locking mechanism off of the German designed “Radbox”, which uses two mirror image slotted wheels to keep the box closed.

Furthermore, the Simple Secret Box II functions with no batteries, electronics, motors, or any hardware really. Zumwalt even adds some excitement by refraining to tell us how to open the box, leaving the mystery for you to figure out. All you need to make your own coin bank is a 3D printer and some filament. Let’s take a look at how to make this frugally-minded 3D printing project on your own!

3D Printed Coin Bank: What You Need & How to Build it

As we previously stated, all you need to make the Simple Secret Box II is a 3D printer, so no need to break out your wallet for electronics and other non-printed components. The STL files for this 3D printed coin bank are freely available through Zumwalt’s Instructables page.

There are nine different parts to 3D print, each of which should be 3D printed at .15mm layer height and 20 percent infill. After the parts are all 3D printed, you may need to do some sanding and post-processing in order to ensure smooth movement once everything is put together. The designer also recommends filing all of the edges that came in contact with the print bed, especially in and around the dovetail joinery.

Once you’ve finished 3D printing and cleaning up the parts, it’s time to build your coin bank. The assembly process is quite simple and is laid out in just a few photos. Start by connection the “Side, Left”, “Side, Right”, and “Divider” parts.

Next, using the “End, Lock”, “Cam 1” and “Cam 2” components, slide Cam 2 and Cam 1 onto the axle on end lock. Make sure that these cams can easily pivot on the axle. Align the end lock axle with the hole in the divider and press this assembly onto the end of the sides and divider assembly. You have to rotate the two Cam parts until the flat sides are parallel with the divider.

Use a business card to hold them in place and slide “Top With Slot” into the assembly until it aligns with end lock. Finally, remove the business card and secure the top with the “End” part and press the “Base” onto the bottom. Now you have your very own 3D printed coin bank!

To learn more about how the assembly process and how the secret locking mechanism works, check out the full project description on Instructables.

The post Weekend Project: Stash Your Cash in this 3D Printed Secret Coin Bank appeared first on All3DP.

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Want to bring the convenience of a soda fountain machine into your own home? Take a refreshing sip from the 3D printed Drinks Tap created by That Robot Guy. 

There are few things in the restaurant world that are as enticing as a free refill, just one more glass of your beloved soft drink. What if you could take the refill machine from the local fast food joint and into your home?

One maker named That Robot Guy has created a 3D printed Drinks Tap that you can build for around $15-$20. This simple robotic machine is essentially made up of a handful of 3D printed parts, along with a pump, switch, and power socket. All you have to do is flip over your favorite soft drink (or a water bottle for the more health-conscious maker) and connect it to the tap, hitting the 3D printed level to get the refreshments flowing.

This 3D printing project has the look and style of a drink refill machine that you’d find in a restaurant. It’s easy to build and the components are pretty easy to acquire. Let’s take a look at what you need and how to build this 3D printed Drinks Tap.

3D Printed Drinks Tap: What You Need & How to Build it

That Robot Guy’s 3D printed Drinks Tap is comprised of six 3D printed parts: the base, support for the switch and nozzle, the nozzle itself, drip tray, the PUSH lever, and tube cover. The STL files are free to download via Thingiverse. The refreshment will flow through PVC tubing, so no need to worry about your drink coming in contact with the 3D printed plastic.

Aside from the 3D printed parts, here’s what else you need to build your own refill machine:

12v DC Water Pump PVC Tubing (8mm int, 11mm ext) Microswitch Power Socket 12V Power Supply M3x16mm bolts M3 Nuts Glue gun Cable ties

Once you have all of your 3D printed parts and non-printed components prepared, you can move on to the assembly process. Taking your bottled drink, the first step is to cut a 6mm wide on the lid and ensure that it fits over the top of the pump. Once this is verified, attach the bottom of the lid to the pump using your glue gun.

Next, you will need to cut the PVC tubing to measure out to 50cm, connecting one end to the outlet of the pump. After that, it’s time to attach the 3D printed parts to the base, starting with the support piece and nozzle rack with a push fit. Feed the tubing through each part and cut away any excess tubing. Use the M3 bolts to attach the support piece and, once the tubing is fed through the parts, the hose cover as well.

The final few steps consist of soldering the wires on the power supply port, connecting the switch, and connecting the power supply to the power socket. More details on the schematics are available on That Robot Guy’s website. Lastly, mount and screw the bottle onto the pump and flip it over, putting it back onto the mount.

From here, you should be able to start pouring your own refreshments from your very own Drinks Tap. Stay hydrated!

For more information on this project and the assembly process, click here.

The post Weekend Project: Stay Hydrated with a 3D Printed Drinks Tap appeared first on All3DP.

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