Here at Hutchinson Community College we were fortunate to be early adopters of 3D printing, specifically the Stratasys Dimension SST 768. We have had this printer for approximately ten years. While it is still a great printer, I decided it was time to upgrade to newer technology. Fortunately, we were able to secure a grant to purchase an Objet30 Prime printer. We will be making the purchase some time this fall. I am very excited for this new technology for a few reasons:
- Rubbery material. Printing in ABS plastic is great, but I can't wait to create more flexible models (literally!)
How cool is this rubber tire?!
- Clear material. The SST 768 was somewhat limited on material choices. I cannot wait to print some working assemblies with a clear outside so that students can see the inner workings!
- Resolution. The SST 768 had a minimum layer thickness of .013 in.; the Objet30 Prime has a minimum layer thickness of .0006 in. (!)
- Take a look at the difference in these two parts:
Yep, that's why I am excited.
Incidentally, the part on the left was my first attempt to "glue" two parts together. I used acetone to essentially melt the parts into one. It worked like a charm, that thing is solid! Next I applied some body filler (Bondo) and sanded. Since this was a test part I didn't spend a lot of time to get it perfectly smooth, but it was a good indicator on how finishing a part would turn out. Here is the result:
Here is what I ultimately printed and finished. A Sabine helmet from Star Wars Rebels:
Yeah, I am a Star Wars geek.
May the Force be with you in all your 3D printing endeavors!