Last Wednesday we organized an event in Natural Robotics shop in Les Corts area in Barcelona.
You can see the details in our meetup group [in Spanish] “Cursos Gratuitos Impresión 3D de Natural Robotics“.
If you checked who we are you’ll see that we have a high involvement with 3D printing movement in Barcelona, in fact the most important group 3dprintbarcelona was founded and is organized by one of our partners. This group is more oriented towards makers and people that love it as a hobby.
That’s why we thought that the Natural Robotics meetup group was also adding value. We show 3D printing with more focus on professional use and also with a very practical approach since we benefit from having all our equipment around at our disposal.
In the middle of the event, the theorical part
Prototypes design with low cost iterations
Last Wednesday was about showing the advantages and disadvantages of 3D printing used for rapid prototyping. This is the historical use of 3D printing. In fact in the past it was called exactly this: Rapid Prototyping.
The explanation was based on the assumption that people have access to a 3D printer. There is also the option of using an external 3D printing service. For example Natural Robotics launched in January its 3D Printing Service with the added advantage of being able to print big size objects (45 cm diameter x 60 cm high).
The external 3D printing service means a higher cost and more time between iterations compared to an in-house 3D printer, but on the other hand you do not need to know much about the machine. You need to know about the technology you want to use because in fact design should be made for 3D printing and the specs change for every machine. As an example the minimum wall thickness fo an object is different depending on the machine and the technology used.
In tems of advantages it is obvious that speed of design iterations is the top one. To show this in our example we modeled a small design, and still live we took all the steps needed up to 3D printing the object (export to STL format, run a slicer with the 3D printer configuration and generate a gcode file that the machine will understand when printing).
To name other advantages there is the low cost. Materials cost is really low compared compared to man power needed for preparation and post-processing if needed.
It allows to implement agile concept in design, since you can even prototype parts of an object in several iterations and 3D print just those parts.
On the other hand, and this has improved from time to time, you will need a bit of knowledge of the 3D printer: how to use it, how to perform basic maintenance tasks, etc. We recommend for a company to have more than one person involved in 3D printer handling, preventing from having only the most techie person involved. This is a risk if this person leaves because he carries all knowledge away. We provide support and maintenance for 3D printers even if they’re not from our brand, in case you find yourself in such a case.
The practical part
After that we jumped into showing one of the nice things of 3D. In the same event we modified design and we launched again a 3d print of the modified object. Since everything went faster than expected we took the opportunity to launch 3D prints at different speeds, higher than usual of course.
The different 3D printed iterations, as well as the different speed tests
There was surprise among attendees when seeing Delta Black speed, really faster than what they were used to see or use.
This picture makes a good summary of the event: theory and practice.
If you don’t have access to a 3D printer, you can know more about our 3D printing service. We ship in all Spain.