Technology Centre - 3D printing

“Hi, I am Arne, a printer by profession from North Germany. After I successfully gradiated from school (German A-level degree), I worked in the industry for a little while. My curiosity brought me here to Stuttgart, to learn more about the „colorful“ industry I’ve been working in. Here I discovered the whole breadth of print.

What I especially like about our course, is the possibility to bring thoughts and ideas from the screen into real life. This is also the reason, why at the moment I am spending most of my time in our 3D printing lab in the HdM. Here I can play around with the possibilities of “additive manufacturing” and transform data to physical objects.

Today things are possible that could not even have been imagined twenty years ago. Just imagine now, we had a technology that would create machine parts, prototypes or even prosthetics for humans locally and only by the push of a button.

Sounds like Star Trek’s Replicators, right? The tech-nology is already here, in its infancy. 3D printing, or more accurately Additive Manufacturing, is part of what is covered in our course, and it is very popular amongst our students - even students from other courses. 

We have an array of different machines in our 3D lab that can be used, and we continue to build up our fleet of printers for new and interesting projects for students and professors to embark on together.”

Creation close at hand!

We are about to witness the next industrial revolution. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to processes used to synthesise a three-dimensional object. More computer graphics and CAD software will support direct printing from within the software, consequently making printing easier for the end user. Top computer graphics software will integrate to 3D printing. 3D printing is said to revolutionise many parts of the industry.

3D Printers are melting filament, most commonly PLA, in their print heads. Then the liquid material is pushed through a nozzle, onto the printing bed. There it is immediately cooling down enough to be hardened again. Through printing layer onto layer and therefore building up the model, the print is finished. Nowadays there are different options available like using different filaments for one model or building electronics into the 3D printed model.

The HdM has its own initiative for 3D print. Any student can use the 3D printers at the university and print their own models. In the industry, additive manu-facturing is used in many different fields, ranging from printing car parts or decorative articles to printing backup devices for rockets.

The Equipement

FORMLABS FORM 3: Low Force Stereolithography (LFS), 25 microns (XY Resolution), 85 microns (Laser Spot Size), One 250 mW laser (Laser Power), 14.5 × 14.5 × 18.5 cm (Build Volume (W x D x H)), 25 – 300 microns (Layer Thickness)
PROJET 660 PRO: Large-scale, photo-realistic color 3D printing machine. Five print heads for realistic color printing, including gradients. Max build envelope capacity 508 x 381 x 229 mm (W x D x H). Print concept models, anatomical models, simulation.
PRUSA i3 MK3: Great build volume –  25 x 21 x 21 cm (X×Y×Z), Integrated LCD and SD card controller (8GB included), 0.4mm nozzle (easily changeable) for 1.75 mm filament; Layer height from 0.05 mm; Automatic mesh bed leveling, Heatbed with cold corners compensation – for warpless 3D printing from any material; Automatic skew axes compensation; Hassle free PEI print surface – no glass, no glue, no ABS juice; Supported materials – PLA, ABS, PET, HIPS, Flex PP, Ninjaflex, Laywood, Laybrick, Nylon, Bamboofill, Bronzefill, ASA, T-Glase, Carbon-fibers enhanced filaments, Polycarbonates…