Tutorials

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How to 3D Print Textured Objects Inside Clear Plastic Blocks

31 3 Expert
This walkthrough explains how to print fully textured CAD files encased inside transparent blocks, to help support complex parts, show vistas you never thought possible, or just increase the usability of your full-color models!
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Designing for FDM Production Parts

27 0 Beginner
This best practices tutorial concentrates on factors that impact the quality, value, and performance of FDM production parts. There are a number of design considerations, material choices and performance objectives that should be taken into account when designing for additive manufacturing. Tailoring these decisions to the FDM manufacturing process allows the benefits of FDM to be maximized.
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How to 3D Print Jigs & Fixtures, Part 2: Designing for Print

25 3 Beginner
This is the second part of a four-part tutorial series on how to optimize your manufacturing jigs & fixtures for 3D printing. Today, we'll go over what to do in each design pass as you're optimizing your part, including specific steps to do in your CAD package, your print-preparation tool, and if you're bold, your FEA package. Later installments of this series will deal with FDM material selection and post-processing for jigs & fixtures.
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How to Create Incredibly Complex Textured Shapes for 3D Printing, Using Bump Mapping

22 3 Expert
This tutorial covers how to use 2D images to create actual 3D depth and physical textures on your CAD parts and then 3D print them. Mainly we use Rhino to do the bump-mapping, but Photoshop could be used as well. Files were then printed in full color on a Stratasys J750.
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How to 3D Print in Full Color (Part 1)

20 3 Beginner
This is a series of tutorials to help printer operators who are NOT graphic artists get the absolute most out of their multi-color, multi-material 3D printers, like the Stratasys J750. We will cover what types of files multi-color printers can accept and how to manipulate colors in Photoshop, Rhino, etc, to get the full gradient texture effects that most color printer users want.
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Finishing Options for FDM and PolyJet 3D Printed Parts

16 0 Beginner
Finishing or secondary operations encompasses a broad range of processes that change a manufactured part’s properties. Engineers can employ finishing simply to improve part’s appearance and reshape it to meet certain dimensions, or use it to enhance functionality, such as increasing strength, chemical resistance, electrical conductivity and more. Secondary operations basically turn raw parts into finished goods and this isn’t limited to traditional manufactured parts. 3D printed parts can also be enhanced with secondary operations, but much like designing for additive manufacturing, different processes and best practices apply. Throughout the product design and manufacturing process, engineers should also be thinking about how 3D printed parts can be finished. Determining the appropriate finishing operations depends on the additive process, material and geometry as well as the desired aesthetics and functionality. This guide explains the primary finishing operations additive manufacturing service providers implement for FDM and PolyJet 3D printing technologies, grouped by possible finishing objectives, and compatible materials and applicable design considerations.
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How to 3D Print from Adobe Photoshop

16 0 Intermediate
Every sculpture, product, installation and building (successful and unsuccessful) starts with an idea. When it takes physical form, the designer gets valuable aesthetic and practical feedback. Here are some tips on when and how 3D printing can feed this process.
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How to 3D Print Jigs & Fixtures, Part 1: Choosing Your Target

15 5 Beginner
This tutorial series will take users who are new to 3D printing and show them how to: - Choose which Jigs or Fixtures from your factory floor might be best improved with 3D printing (Part 1) - Optimize your J&F designs for 3D printing by using stress-analysis tools, CAD tools and new 3D print prep tools (Part 2) - Choose which FDM materials to print in for best performance (Part 3) - Post-process your Jig or Fixture for greater utility with inserts, painting, numbering, etc. (Part 4)
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Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Design Guidelines

14 2 Intermediate
The following tutorial is a good starting point to understanding design considerations when 3D printing with Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). FDM is an additive manufacturing technology that extrudes thin layers of thermoplastic layer by layer until a part is completed. FDM produces robust production parts in engineer-grade thermoplastic, with the added benefits of speed and design freedom possible with 3D printing. The cutting-edge technology is utilized across industries like aerospace, energy and transportation for production components.
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Understanding Design & Process of DMLS 3D Metal Printing

14 0 Intermediate
Over the last decade, metal 3D printing has seen significant growth and evolution in the additive manufacturing landscape. Major players like NASA and GE have incorporated additive metals into their programs, aided by industry-wide material development and process research. Additive metal parts are seen more and more in end-use production. This tutorial covers Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) design constraints and freedoms, available metal materials and the process controls that deliver incredible metal parts.
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Helpful Injection Molding Design Guidelines

12 0 Intermediate
These guidelines are to be used as a starting point in understanding the basic aspects of design and preparation for injection molding.
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How to Insert Metal During an FDM 3D Print Job

11 1 Beginner
If not done right, metal that is inserted in FDM parts can look sloppy and unprofessional. With a few easy steps, a metal part can be inserted seamlessly and damage-free.
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How to Convert CAD Files to STL Files in Various Software

10 8 Beginner
How CAD files are exported to STL is an important process for the accurate building of parts, but the conversion process can vary depending on the software. These step-by-step processes for converting CAD files to STL were taken straight from the mentioned companies websites.
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How to Create Texturing Patterns on FDM 3D Printed Parts

10 0 Beginner
When producing FDM parts that will be installed in user-facing applications, or when FDM prototypes need to have a more interesting appearance, surface profile and finish are critical. Texturing a part file allows for a unique pattern or design to be built directly into part surfaces, reducing the layer line visibility as well as post-processing time. Coatings and paint can be applied directly to the textured surface to create a finished part.
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How to Solvent Smooth 3D Printed FDM Parts

8 1 Beginner
The normal surface finish of FDM parts is suitable for most purposes, but in applications where a smoother surface is required, solvent smoothing is an alternative to sanding, filling, and mass finishing.