Ensuring your 3D Prints Stick to the Bed with BuildTak

Having problems getting your 3D prints to stick? Ready to put away the blue tape, kapton, hairspray, ABS juice or other solutions? We have the answer! BuildTak is a thin, durable plastic sheet that adheres to the print bed of FDM/FFF 3D printers. It provides an optimal printing surface for 3D objects to adhere to for the duration of a print, while allowing for a clean, easy removal of completed builds.

You can find out more about BuildTak here.

We Are Now UK Distributors for Zortrax

Hampshire based 3D printing retailer, Dream 3D, has been appointed to distribute Zortrax 3D printers and materials in the UK market.

For the past two years Dream 3D have specialised in the sale of desktop 3D printers, filaments and accessories. They have excelled thanks to their product knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for this exciting and ever changing industry.

Since taking on Zortrax products earlier in 2015, Dream 3D has gained valuable hands on experience that has lead to their progression into distributers for the UK. Zortrax are a Polish manufacturer of reliable, high quality 3D printers with a strong emphasis on ease of use. Their first machine, the M200 is regarded as one of the most reliable desktop 3D printers on the market (according to 3D Hubs) and has taken the ease of use and print quality for this class of 3D printer to a new level. Zortrax’s newest 3D printer, the Inventure, is due to be available in January 2016, this machine comes with two nozzles enabling dissolvable support structure and further improved ease of use with smart cartridges.

Dream 3D will be distributing the full Zortrax range of products, including the M200 and Inventure 3D printers, along with their full range of filaments such as Z-ABS, Z-ULTRAT, Z-HIPS, Z-GLASS, Z-PETG and Z-PCABS. Each material has differing properties to fulfil every users specific requirements.

Dream 3D will also be providing a Zortrax support centre in the UK. This added benefit means that machines can be serviced in the UK rather than being sent back to Poland, thus drastically reducing the time it takes for machines to be repaired and serviced.

To find out more about Zortrax products and how to become a reseller please click here.

New Zortrax M200 Filament: Z-PCABS

We are glad to say that yet again the Zortrax material range has been extended.

This new filament is called Z-PCABS which in fact is a blend of a well-known ABS with polycarbonate (PC) addition which improves the overall properties of the material and is mainly responsible for high durability and resistance.

Z-PCABS is a great material for creating casings and functional prototypes, especially those that are to be used in difficult conditions, as the blend is highly resistant to high and low temperatures.

You can find out more about Z-PCABS by clicking here.

Where to find 3D printable files?

You don’t have to be a 3D design guru to print some brilliant objects using a 3D printer. Here’s a quick list of some great 3D file sharing websites…

  • Thingiverse.com – This is probably the biggest 3D design sharing website of them all and everything is completely free. It was founded by the 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot but you can use the designs with any 3D printer you like. There are literally hundreds of thousands of ‘things’ on Thingiverse, they reached 100,000 back in 2013 so they’re likely to be well on their way to a million files by now. Not everything on Thingiverse is easy to print though so its worth checking the Made section which shows you what the 3D print actually turned out like so you don’t waste your time and money on filament.
  • Cults3D.com – There are some really nice files on Cults but not all of them are free. We found a decent range of free files though and we’re printing these sandals on our Ultimaker 2 as we speak!
  • YouMagine.com – This is Ultimaker’s file sharing website which is still fairly new so there aren’t the same number of files as some of the other websites but with the success of the Ultimaker 3D printers we expect it to grow rapidly.
  • MyMiniFactory.com – What sets MyMiniFactory apart from other 3D file sharing platforms is that each an every object is created and test printed by its community from all around the world, mean that every object is guaranteed to be 3D printable.
  • Pinshape.com – Another great site with a wide variety of designs available for free. We recently featured on their blog with our Christmas Nutcracker design, check it out here.

If you know of any other good 3D file sharing websites please let us know in the comments below.

Dream 3D Christmas Nutcracker available to download!

On the 8th day of Christmas, Dream 3D gave to me….

A free downloadable Christmas Nutcracker……

To join in with the makerz over the festive season we have designed a Nutcracker decorative figure. He’s printable without using supports and takes around 7 hours to print at high quality. Our print is around 7 inches tall and looks great and is currently awaiting a lick of paint. The pictured prints were all printed on our Zortrax M200 which as standard prints with a raft, we recommend using a raft on any printer to keep him secure on the build plate.

You can download your own by clicking here.

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Finishing 3D Prints with Rub ‘n Buff

We are always on the lookout for ways to finalise our 3D prints. Recently we came across a product called Rub ‘n Buff and decided to give it a go. It is essentially a wax finish you rub onto your desired surface which then creates a worn, glossy or shiny appearance. It is made from a imported carnauba wax and is available in a variety of colours and finishes. To start with we purchased the Silver Leaf and have been experimenting with it on Black Z-ABS. Our first test subject would be our Dreamo keyring’s. 

Make sure to clean and file down your print if need be before treating with the Rub ‘n Buff. To apply all you’ll need is a cloth and some elbow grease.

Below you can see a print treated with the Rub ‘n Buff next to the original print. The effect is really cool and lends itself well to the worn metallic look.

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We also treated another keyring with the Rub ‘n Buff and then sprayed it with lacquer to give it more of a glossy look, see image below;

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New Zortrax M200 Filament: Z-PETG

Meet the brand new material available for the Zortrax M200 – Z-PETG.

This material is highly resistant to salts, acids and alkalis, dedicated to creating mechanical parts exposed to chemicals.

Z-PETG is physically durable, great for prototyping diverse and demanding elements.

Available in Black and Grey colour.

Find out more about Z-PETG by clicking here.

3D Printing the Emirates Spinnaker Tower

Looking to extend our customers awareness of our geographical location….we decided to model and print something very big and famous that was close by to our showroom. Of-course for us that meant Portsmouth’s own Emirates Spinnaker Tower.

To recreate the Spinnaker we found some illustrated plans online and set about creating this well known landmark in 3DS Studio Max. To do this we aligned the two plans and worked simultaneously creating the simple shapes whilst checking each view to ascertain the correct dimensions.

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Once the rough shapes where in place we then began refining the overall silhouette. Once we had completed the build and smoothed the mesh we then attached all the shapes together using the Proboolean tool and selecting the Union option. In a nut shell this attaches all the separate shapes together that are intersecting one another and removes any faces/vertices on the inside of the model which may cause errors when printing.

We wanted to go big with this print so it was necessary to cut the model up into 3 sections. Using the quickslice tool and then capping of any holes is a quick and effective way to do this in 3DS Max if you don’t have the ability to slice models within your 3d printing software.

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Lastly we designed a quick base that would allow the models bottom part to click into. To do this I simply subtracted the footprint of the tower away from the shape of the base and increased the overall size of the footprint, creating a tolerance that would hold the model in firm but have room to be able to be detached.

We printed our tower on the Zortrax M200 in White Z-ABS, see picture below for the final result.

Spinnaker Tower - Portsmouth

You can download and print your own Spinnaker Tower by clicking here.