Aug 28, 2014

Testing flammability of 3d printing materials

Here is a small improvised and non.scientific "test" of fire resistance (or flammability however you want to look at it) of various Shapeways 3d printing materials. The results are not surprising, basically gypsum burns worst. Don't try this at home folks. Plastics is flammable.

Tested materials were: Alumide (metallic plastic) UV Cured Acrylic Resin (Frosted Ultra Detail & Detail Plastic), Gypsum Full Color (full color sandstone) and Nylon (white, strong & flexible).

FLEKS3D flexible build platform system

FLEKS3D is a new flexible build platform cover that will enable you to upgrade your heated bed improve print adhesion and enable you to remove prints easily.

Key features as advertised on Kickstarter:
  • EASE OF REMOVAL OF 3D PRINT FROM BUILD-PLATE: The flexibility of the FLEKS3D™ Build-Plate makes it super easy to remove prints. We chose a highly resistant thermoset (plastic). This is because it is far more flexible and holds its form better than spring steel or other metals. We found that it is important to be able to flex the plate a lot for the really hard prints to remove. From our experience, just having a little bit of flex isn't enough for the prints that are really stuck on the build-plate
  • EASE OF REPETITIVE PRINTING BY HAVING SEVERAL EASILY REPLACED PLATES: The FLEKS3D™ kit comes with 2 plates. This makes it possible to interchange them for an uninterrupted 3D printing experience.
  • ULTRAGRIP WITH THE PROPRIETARY TEXTURE: The FLEKS3D™ Build-plate features proprietary texture that makes tape and hairspray unnecessary.
  • LESS DISRUPTIVE TO THE LEVELING OF BUILD-PLATE: Resetting the leveling of the build-plate after each print is tedious to say the least. This is not necessary with the easy removal set-up that the FLEX3D™ incorporates. This is because it comes with 2 easily removed plates that fit snug in the permanent frame.
  • BEST PRICE: Let's face it you work hard for your money. We don’t want to have you break the bank. We have made a great effort to be able to offer the FLEKS3D™ Build-Plate System at the best possible price. This is so we can offer this to as many people as possible.
  • HEATED BED: We have not done extensive testing with a heated bed. This is since our UltraGrip™ texture creates a very strong grip and a heated bed haven't been necessary to avoid warping. The FLEKS3D™ is made of a thermoform plastic with a melting point at 311 F or 155 °C. If a heated bed is used the temperature needs to be set bellow this.
  • HEATED BED: We have not done extensive testing with a heated bed. This is since our UltraGrip™ texture creates a very strong grip and a heated bed haven't been necessary to avoid warping. The FLEKS3D™ is made of a thermoform plastic with a melting point at 311 F or 155 °C. If a heated bed is used the temperature needs to be set bellow this.

You can get it for as low as 20 USD during their Kickstarter:

Company page:

FLEKS3d comes in 3 standard sizes to fit 95% of the printers. Small is 6" by 6", medium 8" by 8" and large is 10" by 10" inch. In metric units: Small 152mm by 153mm, Medium 204mm by 204mm and large 254mm by 254mm.
For MakerBot, there are custom FLEKS3D™ plates. These are available for Replicator 2, Replicator 2X and Replicator (5th gen)

FLEKS3D joins ranks with other print bed upgrades currently available like BuildTak or carbon surface from GermanRepRap.

Aug 27, 2014

How to use Filabot extruder to recycle your 3d prints and make new filament

Good people of Adafruit have made a tutorial on how to use Filabot filament extruder to recycle your 3d printed waste stuff. It looks like it is bast suited for organizations who gather a lot of recyclable models. It could save you some money.

They use electric garden chipper to grind the 3d printed waste into a mulch. The entire process could also be applied on any other DIY filament extruder like Filament Factory.

Everything is described in detail at:

Pre-sorting by color and material is key to maintain filament quality and color

Building easy rubber molds for making resin copies of your 3d printed things

Tasted has an excellent video tutorial on how to make simple rubber molds in order to make resin copies of your 3d printed models. The technique described uses simple tools and materials like foam boards for frames and can be very useful in your daily work.

Thnx Tested!

Scalpels ... I like them ...

Aug 26, 2014

Sintratec desktop laser sintering 3d printer coming soon at affordable price

Let the desktop laser sintering revolution begin!

Sintratec is company from Switzerland that wants to develop first  desktop selective laser sintering DIY 3d printer. They aim to launch a crowdfunding campaign in October to raise money to ship at least 60 kit printers with price under 3999 euro ($5,277).

The main feature is that they will replace CO2 laser used in current SLS machines with diode laser which is cheaper and visible by human eye which gives more safety.

These videos show that they are already successful with prototype 3d printers and that the printed objects are strong:

Company homepage:

Sintratec desktop SLS 3d printer prototype, the "Bobby" with 130mm cubed print volume

Example of object printed on Sintratec machine

Oddbot is 3d printable DIY robot with Mecanum wheels

Oddbot is 3d printable open source DIY robot with omnidirectional Mecanum wheels which you can make yourself with your 3d printer. It is aimed at robotics education and small projects. It doesn't look optimized for FDM printers but it is probably possible to do it.

Mecanum wheel

Detailed construction instructions with all the files and software can be found at:

The project is developed by Olaf Diegel whois  well known for his 3d printed electric guitars and 3d printed saxophone.

Free webinar on 3d printing and injection molding

Here is another great free video webinar by Tyler Reid of GoEngineer. It is a half hour long presentation of relations of 3d printing and injection molding mostly for industrial application. Very interesting and useful even if it focuses on Stratasys polyjet technologies.

For previous webinar and more similar content go here

DIY extruder for HDPE aquaponic plant growing strips

Extruders can be used for more than just filament extrusion. Here is a project from Web4Deb that makes growing media HDPE strips for plants in aquaponic or hydroponic systems from raw pellets. Auger based extruder is powered by windshield wiper motor and geared with bicycle gears. You could alos use it for HDPE recycling. Food from plastics ...

Extruder specs:
  • The barrel is heated with a length of Nichrome wire and and insulated with what appears to be polyimide tape.
  • The auger is a standard 3/4" wood auger bit (bought a set from Harbor Freight) and cut it down to length.
  • The auger is driven by a wind shield wiper motor which is geared down with a bicycle chain and sprocket.
  • The heating element draws around 16A at 12V (192W) from a computer power supply.
  • The temperature for the extruder barrel is controlled with a Teensy AVR micro-controller.
  • The die appears to be interchangeable.
  • The extruded HDPE is forced through a set of fan cooled rollers.
  • Two individual temperature sensors are located on the extrusion barrel.
  • The Teensy AVR micro-controller appears to be used to switch one or more relays through a transistor array.

RepRap wiki page:

Plant growing on extruded HDPE strips. It is the miracle of science :-)  

Web4Debs extruder

3d printing can be used in wide variety of aquaponic and hydroponic systems:

Happy growing!

LINK furniture system with 3d printed connectors

LINK is a DIY furniture system developed by Tamás Boldizsár from Hungary. It is made from three wood (plywood) parts and various 3d printed connectors which can give many different combinations of furniture pieces. I wish that design software was open sourced or at least available to public since I couldn't locate the app. Nice idea!

Source and more information: