Last week the exciting world of 3D printing visited the workshops of Chelsea College. Organised by Isabelle, who runs the Laser cutting room here, representatives from 3D printer specialists EMCO were on hand to demonstrate and answer any questions we had regarding this exciting way of creating three dimensional objects and forms. The only question remains........will we get one for ourselves some day soon?
Below are some images taken from the afternoon.
An expectant crowd starts to gather for the demonstration.
We had lots of examples to interact with. Produced from refined Gypsum powder these objects were tough and durable as well as several having moving parts and high levels of intricate detail.
Incredible details are achievable with these machines.....
..as well as life like finishes.
The 3D scanner unit
The scanner in use. This machine scans in an object taking in all of its sides, shapes and contours.
The information is fed into a computer were it is cleaned up, smoothed, filled and flattened ready for it to be printed 3 Dimensionally.
The 3D printer being readied
A block of powder holds the form tight whilst it is being formed.
Layers are printed one at a time. This form had around 140 layers making up the 15mm thick object!
Whilst the form was printing we were shown the process of infiltrating. This is were the form, which is reasonably stable but rather delicate, is coated with Z bond (super glue) to seal and harden the surface.
Having been dipped it is dried
and in a matter of minutes the object becomes much harder.
The last few layers of our form are added.
When the final layer is done the powder is vacuumed away
and finally we are left with our form.
It is placed into the blowing unit
where carefully, a jet of air is blown to remove any of the remaining powder.
Our object is now ready to be infiltrated.
Isabelle gets this job and dons a suitable pair of gloves for dealing with the Z bond.