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Testing the 3D printer

Seeing how much support material was discarded after traditional print jobs on our dimension machine, we decided to explore ways of integrating both the support and structure material into a final product.

The result is a toy rabbit printed directly into its packaging.  In this process we observed several things about the inner workings of our 3D printer:

1.While adding a flat plane to the database prompted the 3D printer to print a solid volume of support as expected, the  details of this support structure were not cubic as we had hoped.  The default tool paths created a form with a rhombus base that tapered to square at the top.  Changing the support structure settings from “sparse” to “basic” created a more uniform structure with about 3 degrees of draft.

2. Each printed layer of the support is slightly offset from the one below, creating a slanted “grain” which repeats with a ~50 step cycle.

3. Modifying “Overhangs” in the solid material from a “T” shape cross-section to a “V” cross section eliminated the need for support material.  No support is needed if the vertical walls are kept somewhere between 45 degrees and ninety degrees.

One Comment

  1. tad tad

    the next time we do this – we should make the objective to break the printer. Or more accurately, to force the job to fail. I wonder if there’s any way to determine what leads to failure and to categorize the fails so that we can repeat them. Like cascades, star bursts etc.


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