3D printing lab

The 3D printing lab serves the education of students in 3D printing of plastic materials and its dedicated process chain such as the 3D scanning method. The actual research will be transferred into the teaching content to enable a basic tutorial related to modern principles. The most widely used technique here is the fused filament fabrication method, which is based on the coordinated plasticization of polymer wires. For this, we have four printers (Ultimaker 2+) with their allocated computer storage. All the computers are equipped with actual design and slicer software. The preceding process chain of plastic extrusion can be presented with a common plastic extruder and material mixing experiments can be performed. Conventional and high-tech materials can be processed.

Because of the advantages and disadvantages of each 3D printing technique, there is also stereolithography and selective laser sintering processes available. On the one hand, it is possible to discuss valuable surfaces in Form2, however on the other hand, plastic powder handling and its build-up process will be discussed with a Sharebot Snowwhite printer.

Process data can be generated by designing or 3D scanning of objects. There is computer aided design software and the availabiloty of topological optimization. Furthermore, it is possible to import and edit scanning data. For the 3D scanning method, here are 4 different techniques each with specific advantages and disadvantages.

For students:

The lab and the related infrastructure can be used for student projects or final assignments providing the sufficiant knowledge of the related process steps. Please participate in the tutorial. Please find the actual and relevant dates in TUCaN or here.

This easy-to-use 3D printer works based on the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process. The standard material used in the machine are 3mm thermoplastic filaments from ABS or PLA, in different colors. The 3D CAD file is loaded into the software as a stereolithography format (.stl). After G-code translation, the slices of the 3D model are transferred to the machine for rapid prototyping on a hot plate, layer by layer.

Technical specifications:

  • Usable build area: 100 mm x 100 mm x 100 mm
  • Positioning accuracy: 0.1 mm
  • Supports up to five stepper drivers (XYZ platform + A/B extruders)
  • Included Arduino MEGA control board
  • Heated build platform and extruder heater

MakerBot Thing-O-Matic

The EVOlizer is a 3D printer based on the fused deposition modeling (FDM). Drives, guides, enclosed housing and an exhaust with activated carbon filter are of superior quality. The used software and controller are free, so it is very flexible. It has two print heads, hence support materials or bicolor models can be printed.

Technical specifications:

  • Printable volume: 270 mm x 210 mm x 210 mm
  • 2 extruders
  • Printing bed heated, made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic with Kapton film
  • Filament diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Nozzle diameter: 0,4 mm
  • Positioning accuracy: 0.05 mm
  • Printing materials: ABS, PLA, PVA, nylon and others

The system 30 from Hyrel is a hybrid 3D printer. In addition to the well-known fused deposition modeling (FDM) it offers printheads for more applications to build 3-dimensional objects. Different types of syringes, some of them are heated, with different nozzle diameters or needles are used as a printing nozzle. In addition, a UV-LED ring for cross-linking immediately after printing and a laser head are available.

  • Printable volume: 200 mm x 200 mm x 200 mm
  • 4 printheads, which can be used simultaneously
  • Printing bed heated
  • Positioning accuracy: 0.05 mm in X- and Y-, and 0.02 mm in Z-direction
  • Print heads:
    • FDM extruders with a maximum of 250°C and 400°C extruder temperature
    • Various syringes, partially heated up to 150°C, with different nozzles
    • Syringe with UV-LED ring working at 265 nm wavelength
  • Printing materials: ABS, PLA, PVA, soluble and meltable plastics, silicone, putty, clay, biomaterials and others