3D printed objects that kill microbes

, orthodontist Yijin Ren and their colleagues have made a 3D printing substrate which kills bacteria on contact. The first applications will be in dentistry, but other implants may follow. Their results were recently published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

When the paper was published a few weeks ago it started a bit of a media storm. New Scientistthe Guardian, the New York Post and now even Al Jazeera is interested, says Andreas Herrmann. As a materials scientist at the University of GroningenZernike Institute for Advanced Materials, he works in close collaboration with theKolff Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Materials Scienceat the UMCG University hospital.

The director of Kolff, who is head of the Orthodontics Department, asked me if I could come up with an antimicrobial dental glue, Herrmann explains. Kids with braces have small metal blocks glued to their teeth, and these are an ideal breeding ground for the microbes that cause tooth decay. So when I saw all sorts of 3D printed objects for use in dentistry in her office, I said: why not incorporate the antimicrobials in 3D prints? The results were published after some two-and-a-half years of work.

In dentistry, it is standard practice to work with materials that polymerize under UV light. Herrmann took monomers which are routinely used, and set out to add what are known asquaternary ammonium ions. These positively charged molecules interact with the negatively charged bacterial membrane and puncture a hole in it, killing the microbes.

The scientists used two approaches to make a printable antimicrobial material. In the first, they mixed two different monomers and an additional quaternary ammonium compound with a polymerizable unit and used UV light to polymerize the whole mixture. But some antimicrobials could still leach out of the polymer mesh.

In the second approach, they first polymerized the antimicrobial groups to form long chains. The resulting antimicrobial polymer was added to the 3D printing fluid, and became entangled with the other polymers during polymerization. Here only very little antimicrobial material diffused out.

The trick in both approaches was to get the mixture right to enable 3D printing and minimize any leakage of the antimicrobials. You dont want them to enter the mouth and thus the intestines, where they could kill off gut microbes, Herrmann explains.

In the end, they succeeded. Herrmann: We have tested printed objects with saliva. All the components are already being used in humans, but more tests are needed before we can bring these 3D antimicrobials to the market. The first applications will probably be in orthodontics, where 3D printed retainers and aligners are already in use. In the longer run, 3D printed crowns with antimicrobial properties could be an option.

The use of antimicrobials could solve a major problem in dentistry. Any artificial objects in the mouth can be colonized by bacteria, Herrmann explains. In the US alone, this causes billions of dollars in dental costs each year. But the process of 3D printed antimicrobial medical devices has even wider applications. All implants in medicine suffer from biofilm formation, so giving them antibacterial properties would be beneficial.

Reference:3D-Printable Antimicrobial Composite Resins Jun Yue, Pei Zhao, Jennifer Y. Gerasimov, Marieke van de Lagemaat, Arjen Grotenhuis, Minie Rustema-Abbing, Henny C. van der Mei, Henk J. Busscher, Andreas Herrmann and Yijin RenAdvanced Functional Materials. First published online: 9 October 2015 DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201502384

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Friction-weld, rivet, sand, paint arm yourself with simple tools and techniques to take your 3D prints to the next level.

People often claim 3D printers can make you anything you can imagine. Dial up the digital model you want, hit Go, and the machine hums to work, producing an object, accurately and repeatably. But as an astute 8-year-old pointed out to me when I handed her two of my favorite printed models at Maker Faire Bay Area last year, the results dont always match your intentions.

That octopus isred! A TARDIS is notsupposedto be yellow! she wailed and knocked my offerings away.

While overall shape and mechanical fit are valued more highly than surface treatment in todays desktop 3D printing, its sometimes worth judging a print by its cover.

Im reminded of advice I got from a pair of industrial design professors at Pratt, after I showed them my print of a fluorescent-green clockwork mechanism: It is worth enormous effort to make prototypes look like they were created from real-world materials. Even the most creative engineers and businesspeople will have difficulty seeing your prototype as a machine when it looks like a toy.

The domain of finishing techniques for 3D printed objects (i.e., everything that takes place after printing) is the craftsmans workshop, where patience, tools, skills, and experience can transform the raw products of these machines into fully realized models. Like builders of dollhouses and model trains, many 3D printer jocks appreciate a loving and accurate rendering of a miniature world.

The results are impressive, but why should you tackle these craft skills when you could spend that time printing more plastic objects?

Makers who have mastered finishing techniques are granted wizard status by fellow 3D practitioners. Take artist Cosmo Wenman, who creates pieces that accurately mimic distressed metals and stones. And sculptor Jason Bakutis, whose sanded, painted, and polished faux marble and jade prints look remarkably like the real thing. Through careful work, pieces printed in crazy pink, green, and translucent filaments are made to resemble clay, stone, metal, and wood. How do they do that?

The desktop 3D printing community has a lot to learn from the sculptors, model railroad builders, and tabletop gamers now joining their ranks. And as my professors pointed out, these extra steps arent just cosmetic. Your capacity to transform your models into magical replicas is a crucial means of communicating your inventions.

Pliers, combination aka linemans pliers

Safety goggles I like DeWalts DPG82-11C clear anti-fog model.

Respirator for sanding/particulates I use 3Ms 8511 particulate respirator.

Hot air SMD rework station, or other small heat gun

Brass tube to fit snugly over your soldering iron tip

Metal plate or mirror (optional) for fast cooling

Nail, steel, large for cooling/pressing

Deburring tool I use Nogas heavy duty NG-1 model.

Flush cutters aka diagonal pliers or wire cutters

Coffee/spice grinder, for grinding filament

Sandpaper: 80/100, 150, 220, 320, and 500 grits

Micro-Mesh Soft Touch Pads and Colored Sanding Sticks

Sanding/polishing/buffing disks for rotary tool

Acetone for use with ABS objects (not PLA)

Resealable container, acetone-resistant

Enamel hobby paints such as Testors

Clear-coat spray paints I use Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic, Matte Finish, and Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze; and Rust-Oleum Matte Clear and Gloss Clear.

Desktop 3D printing has yet to spawn third-party finishing services like commercial 3D printing did a decade ago. So, without access to acetone cloud chambers, multi-axis enamel jet robots, agitating chemical baths, and industrial tumblers and polishers, makers have rolled up their sleeves and discovered a host of finishing solutions using inexpensive tools and materials. These methods not only affect a print in post-production, but can often change the way we think about a digital model back in the initial design stages.

In researching my upcoming bookDesign for 3D Printing(Make: Books, Sept. 2013), Ive interviewed a wide range of members of the desktop 3D printer community. Id like to share some of their promising tools and techniques. In turn I hope that those of you refining new methods and sourcing better, safer, and cheaper products and techniques will also share. Post your ideas and thoughts in the comments section.

Friction welding involves the use of high-speed rotating tools and should not be attempted without ANSI-approved safety glasses. Welding and other operations that heat, soften, and melt plastic may release hazardous chemical vapors and should not be attempted without proper ventilation. Sanding and other dust-producing operations should not be attempted without a NIOSH N95-approved particulate respirator. Acetone and other volatile solvents should not be handled without proper ventilation, safety goggles, protective clothing,

The world may have forgotten the Spin Welder toy sold by Mattel in the mid-1970s, but Fran Blanche of Frantone Electronics did a great job of re-creating the experience in her 2012 video Build Your Own Friction Welder. Using an inexpensive rotary tool, Fran was able to spin a styrene rod fast enough to create a strong weld between two pieces of plastic that was difficult to break apart by hand. With the Spin Welder toy, children assembled the frames of helicopters, motorcycles, and other projects by fusing together beams and struts, then used plastic rivets to fasten the outer shell. Sure, it was potentially one of the most dangerous toys of all time, but I agree with Frans conclusion: why havent tools like these joined the makers toolbox?

Unlike adhesives or traditional welding,friction weldingfuses metal or thermoplastic objects together by quickly spinning or vibrating one piece against another. Mechanical friction creates a melt zone shared by both parts, fusing them into one solid piece. Infriction surfacing a variant of friction welding a piece rotated at high speeds is moved across an edge or surface under gentle pressure to weld seams, patch gaps, or smooth surfaces.

These techniques are common for plastics and aluminum in the automotive and aerospace industries, but the tools are expensive. Sophisticated spin welders can spin parts at hundreds of thousands of RPMs for short bursts of even single-digit rotations, parking the fused part at a precise orientation. Where are the cheap, hand-tool equivalents?

As it turns out, many of us already have the equipment to experiment with friction welding. Dremels and similar high-speed rotary tools spin fast enough to melt 3D printer plastics, and printer filament can be used as welding rod to solidly fuse parts or close seams. These tools can also spin-weld 3D-printed rivets. And while it takes them a second or two to spin down again, the melting points are comparatively low, allowing for some manipulation after the fact to reposition the joined part.

I think both approaches welding and riveting are killer tools for 3D print finishing, particularly for blind riveting into the side of objects, and for joining parts made of PLA, which is typically much harder to glue than ABS.

I spent some time with Chris Hackett from the Madagascar Institute learning how ideas from traditional metal welding might apply to friction-welding 3D-printed parts. We experimented with the rotary tools in his workshop and came up with the following approach for creating a nice welded seam in plastic, similar to a traditional metal weld. When two printed parts dont mate perfectly due to warp or poor planning, you can friction-weld them together as securely as
if they were a single printed part. Here Ill demonstrate with ABS parts and ABS filament. It works with PLA too.

1a. Select the collet you need for trapping the filament youll be using. For 1.8mm filament, use a 3/32 collet as shown here (3 rings) and for 3mm filament use a 1/8 collet (0 rings).

1b. Insert a short length of filament into the collet jaws and tighten down the collet nut to secure it in place.

1c. Trim the filament about 1/2 from the collet. Short pieces are easier to control, and they spin on a tighter axis. (With experience you can use longer pieces, pressed gently at an angle, to make longer welds. You may need to straighten them by reforming them with

2a. After scraping and sanding, these 2 watch body cases meet with a gap that varies between 0.1mm and 2mm around the edges. Thats too sloppy for gluing, so Ill weld them.

2b. Use a deburring tool or razor blade to bevel the top edges of the seam where the parts meet, forming a narrow, V-shaped channel. Your goal is to create enough room for 3 welding layers, from the bottom of the bevel up to just above the surface of the 2 parts. This method gives a stronger bond than a weld that sits just on the surface.

2c. Warm both parts with low heat from a heat gun. This helps them receive the weld to the same depth. If one part is much larger than the other, focus extra attention on warming the larger piece.

3a. Now youll tack the parts together with a series of short spot welds, moving around the joint while holding the parts steady.

Spin up the rotary tool, and lower it until the spinning filament grazes both surfaces of the seam. When the tip of the filament begins to deform, apply a little pressure.

Move the welding rod in a tight, traveling circle, progressing slowly along the seam.

3b. Moving the spinning filament in tight little circles, widen the melt zone slightly into the side of both parts, making a little forward progress with each circuit, until youve created a small spot weld.

3c. Tack in 3 or more places along the seam and let the parts cool. They should be tacked tight, difficult to separate by hand.

4a. Gaps that are wider than half the width of your welding filament should be filled before welding a clean seam. Soften a short scrap of filament to use as filler, by using the low setting on a heat gun or by warming to 100C on your printers heated build platform.

4b. Press the softened filament into the widest gaps between the 2 parts, making quick tack-welds if necessary to pin it in place.

In this idealized diagram, we weld one bead at the bottom of the seam, 2 beads on a second layer, and 3 on a third (top) layer, fusing the parts through their entire thickness.

Now weld the whole seam in 2 or 3 layers, as shown in the diagram. A single weld would probably bond the parts at the surface only, allowing the seam to be broken if the parts are torqued.

To hide the weld, you can sand it back flush and then paint or seal the surface.

Punctured mysteriously by the TSA, a part from Micah Ganskes sculpture Industrial Ring Habitat (page 88), needs a patch. Well use red filament to make the friction weld easily visible.

PLA is prone to cracking and splitting, and its typically difficult to repair. Solvents such as acetone have little effect. ABS glue or super glue merely cement the parts by surface tension, rather than offering a chemical weld meaning that the seam can easily be rebroken.

With friction welding, you can form solid joints that are difficult to break.

1. Press the patch or broken part into place and hold it securely.

2. Tack-weld the patch in place in a few different positions.

3. PLA is workable at lower temperatures than ABS, so use a gentle touch to melt and weld the 2 parts. Too much pressure can create a puncture. It takes a bit of practice.

4. Move around the seam, changing direction as necessary for handling and control. For prettier welds, take frequent breaks to let the parts cool.

5. Let the completed seam cool to room temperature before sanding and sealing.

A rotary tool can also be used to permanently fuse a spinning part to a fixed one, using a one-sided blind rivet. Blind rivets have one huge advantage over ordinary solid rivets: you dont need access to both sides of an assembly to rivet its parts in place.

This method works well for attaching plastic panels to the outside of objects when access to the interior is awkward or impossible. It also lets you construct massive objects from multiple panels, each panel printed close to the bed of the printer for optimal printing.

Shown here are two 3D-printed blind rivets, next to a brass solid rivet and 3 aluminum blind rivets. Notice that the printed rivets, like the aluminum ones, have a mandrel that extends well beyond the rivets head. This is the part thats gripped in the rotary tool. Youll clip it off after the rivet is firmly in place. I designed the printed rivets to be gripped by the 1/8 collet, the standard size for most Dremel accessory bits.

Plastic rivets need not be perfectly cylindrical for friction welding, so I designed them three-quarters round, for printing flat on the platform. This way, the horizontal grain of the printed rivet helps strengthen it.

Ill demonstrate by riveting a small panel to the outside of another part. To print your own rivets, get the 3D files atthingiverse.com/thing:61510.

1. With the proper collet in place, loosen the collet nut and insert a plastic rivet.

2. Drill or design in mounting holes in your panel to provide clearance for the shaft of the rivet to pass through to the base part where it will be fixed. The hole should be narrow enough that the rivets head will pin the panel in place.

Pre-drilling (or designing) a pilot hole in the base part can help prevent your rivet from mounting off target.

3. Spin up the rotary tool and gently insert the shaft of the rivet through the mounting hole until it contacts the mounting position. Continue spinning until the shaft of the rivet begins to melt and deform then press it gently down into place.

4. Stop the rotary tool and hold it steady in a fixed position at a right angle to the work, while applying a little downward pressure. It can help to use a piece of cardboard or foam as a friction brake to stop the rotation quickly. (Unlike a professional spin-welding tool, most rotary tools need a second or two to spin down.)

5. Loosen the collet nut and slip the mandrel of the blind rivet out of the rotary tool. If the rivet is still cooling, hold it in position until its fully cooled (at which point it should be entirely fused with its mounting point).

6. Using a flush cutter, snip off the mandrel, leaving the head intact.

7. If the rivet head protrudes too far, has a sharp ridge, or seems too narrow to secure the panel in place, warm it with a heat gun and use the head of a steel nail to press it flat.

TIP:Its possible to fuse ABS rivets to PLA, and vice versa, but youll need to find the feel for the initial friction stage before pressing down the body of the rivet. Before mounting delicate parts, test-rivet the materials youll be using.

People have used rivets since the Bronze Age to fasten together tools, art, bridges, and buildings, so its no surprise that 3D printer users are experimenting with riveting techniques. Weve seen a number of projects using pieces of filament as pins to hold together large assemblies.

Just recently, 3D artist and instructor Jason Welsh demonstrated a method for building his DIY electronics cases that promises to become a new power technique. His Folding Arduino Lab (thingiverse.com/thing:32839, shown here) and Pi Command Center (thing:38965) each use filament spikes to create rivets and hinges.

Essentially, Welsh uses heat to reform pieces of filament into straight rivets, flattening one head before inserting the rivet and the other head after the rivet is firmly in place. As with any solid rivet, you need access to both sides of the assembly, bu
t the advantage of this method is the creation of strong fastenings that can be completely removed later using a flush cutter.

While you can make spikes with any filament, I recommend 3mm PLA based on my experiences building Welshs project. PLA is easier to soften and work with a heat gun, and 3mm spikes remain straighter and more rigid than 1.75mm spikes after cooling. If you dont have 3mm filament, you can accomplish the same goal with 1.75mm filament by using more rivets to distribute the load.

1a. With a heat gun set to low, evenly warm a 46 length of filament until it becomes limp. (Several minutes on a heated build platform works, too.)

1b. While the filament is still hot, straighten it by rolling it on a table, or better yet, on a piece of glass that will quickly cool it. Gently move both hands away from each other while rolling, to keep the filament straight as it cools.

1c. Soften one end using a heat gun on a low setting. (A soldering iron, heated brass nozzle, or heated build platform can work in a pinch.)

1d. Tap the soft end of the spike on a flat, cool surface until it deforms into a flat rivet head. I tend to use a steel nail head, but any flat surface that can cool the filament rapidly will work.

1e. Your rivet should have a nice flat head, wide enough to rest firmly on the edge of the mounting hole. In rivet lingo, this is the factory head, as opposed to the second head or shop head youll create on the other end when installing the rivet.

2a. Insert the rivet into the mounting point until the factory head is flush, then clip the tail a little ways beyond where you need the second head of the rivet.

2b. Use a heat gun to soften the protruding tail of the rivet until it begins to deform.

2c. Use a flat, smooth surface to press down and deform (buck) the tail, creating the rivets shop head. I find that a large steel nail head works best its easy to handle and it cools the shop head quickly.

2d. Continue to press tight against the shop head as it cools, making sure it doesnt relax away from the mounting point.

Dont apply force to the assembly until both the rivet and the parts being assembled cool to room temperature.

Installation of a hinge rivet follows the same procedure, except at the very end.

After pressing the shop head, move the parts gently as they cool to ensure that the joint has enough play for the hinge to open and close easily.

In the completed assembly shown here, the 2 black ABS plates can spin easily on the hinge without coming free.

ABS and PLA plastics have very different physical properties. ABS is printed at a higher temperature (typically 215C235C), is more durable and flexible, and dissolves in industrial solvents like acetone. PLA can print at lower temperatures (starting at 180C), wears down faster, can be brittle or shatter, and wont dissolve in acetone. (The chemicals used to dissolve PLA are highly toxic.)

TIP:If youd rather use a soldering iron than a heat gun, find a brass tube that fits snugly over your iron. Use the brass tube to work the plastic, and keep your soldering tip clean. Make sure to clean your tube thoroughly so the plastic doesnt stick to the brass.

TIP:Tape the factory head of the rivet in place when you need both hands to soften and flatten the shop head.

While super glue (cyanoacrylate) and plastic model glues do an excellent job of bonding ABS parts, many 3D-printed model builders have switched to using ABS slurry for both glue and filler material, because this substance can weld parts together more permanently, and can be exactly color-matched to the printed parts. ABS slurry is simply ground-up ABS filament dissolved in acetone.

Applied in the open air, acetone melts the surface of ABS plastic (and many similar styrene plastics), creates a goopy sludge, and then after some time evaporates, leaving behind just the reformed ABS plastic. By sealing up this process in an airtight container that the acetone cannot easily escape, you can prepare a thick, even acetone/ABS mix similar to acrylic gel medium.

Artist Micah Ganske used ABS slurry glue to assemble his groundbreaking sculptureIndustrial Ring Habitatfrom 1,000 3D-printed ABS parts. He also uses it to glue PLA parts to ABS even though acetone doesnt dissolve PLA, the slurry seeps into cracks and crevices to mechanically bond the PLA part to the ABS base.

There are a variety of methods for preparing ABS slurry. I like ProtoParadigms recipe (thing:14490) 1 part ABS to 2 parts acetone, mixed in fingernail polish containers or similar. Use a cheap coffee/spice grinder to shred ABS filament and scraps as needed. Smaller pieces dissolve faster and make it easier to gauge the mix ratio.

WARNING:Observe proper handling precautions when working with acetone and ABS slurry. Wear gloves and goggles and do not work without proper ventilation or in the presence of open flames. Besides being highly flammable, ABS slurry sticks to anything and burns with a foul-smelling smoke that is widely regarded as toxic. Be very careful or youll create a tiny batch of napalm that will need to be treated like a chemical fire.

Apply ABS slurry with an inexpensive natural-hair paintbrush (synthetic brushes will dissolve in acetone!) to either fill small cracks or glue 2 pieces together. Leave it to air-dry until the acetone completely evaporates, and your final part will have a joint or patch made only of ABS plastic.

Your exposure to acetone is greatest while applying ABS glue and immediately after, so pin your parts to a piece of cardboard or a tray that you can immediately move to a well-ventilated area away from your workspace. If you move them outside, protect them with a cardboard box to keep leaves, dust, and grime out of the still-goopy slurry.

TIP:While acetone can weld the edges of ABS parts to bond them, this joint lacks the shear resistance of parts printed together, because the melt zone doesnt extend deep into the surface. If an assembly needs mechanical strength, design an interlocking joint with lots of surface area or use hardware.

When I first learned the basics of woodworking, I proved a lazy, inept sander of splintery plywood toolboxes and lopsided Pinewood Derby cars. My father suggested I forget about sanded as a goal, and focus on sanding as an activity. You cycle from coarse-grit sizes down to finer-grit papers until the surface is as smooth as you intend.

Same goes for sanding 3D-printed plastics. With ABS and PLA, you can work your way down to very fine papers indeed 3M gem-polishing papers and Micro-Mesh sanding tools with single-digit micron grits that create scoring patterns invisible to the naked eye.

Still, well-sanded 3D-printed projects seem few and far between, for two good reasons. First, ABS and PLA are softer than the wood were used to sanding. Second, the tricky horizontal grain created by 3D printing reflects light differently than sanded surfaces or the glossy heated base (in ABS printing), and this grain cannot be tooled back into the surface easily encouraging an all-or-nothing approach to sanding the object.

The basic rule of thumb is to sand 3D-printed pieces like youd sand a gummy hardwood. Focus on sanding and dont rush toward sanded: start with 100- or 150-grit papers or Dremel wheels, then 220, then 320 fine, then 500 super fine, and then tackle the micron-grade grits to eliminate sanding marks. Many 3D makers tend to skimp on the earlier papers to their detriment: these coarser grits are capable of stripping away the peaks of the layer lines. Go too fine too fast and youll just round over the peaks without flattening them.

After youve sanded a surface to your satisfaction, you can use a heat gun to gently warm the surface until it melts slightly, which will erase many of the smaller scratches and restore the original printed color. Practice on scrap until you get the feel of it.

You can also can use the Novus plastic polishing system to get a remarkably smooth, polished surface on ABS prints, but most 3D modelers opt to
just paint their prints instead.

MAKE Volume 34:Join the robot uprising! As MAKEs Volume 34 makes clear, theres never been a better time to delve into robotics, whether youre a tinkerer or a more serious explorer. With the powerful tools and expertise now available, the next great leap in robot evolution is just as likely to come from your garage as a research lab. The current issue of MAKE will get you started. Explore robot prototyping systems, ride along with the inventors of the OpenROV submersible, and learn how you can 3D-print your own cutting-edge humanoid robot for half the price. Plus, build a coffee-can Arduino robot, a lip balm linear actuator, a smartphone servo controller, and much more

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Article is great, but wheres the extra content on finishing, and painting?

I was wondering the same thing, this is supposed to be a skill builder but all it is, is a load of bs & nothing else.

Im going to have to agree with the others here. I was fully expecting at least a rundown of some specific methods (along with a variety of pictures, perhaps) used to give a model a more realistic appearance, but this is all just lip-service. This is Make: not Talk:

It appears that the author has added a considerable amount to this article since I last posted. Thank you very much for the extra information and specific examples. I wish there was a site dedicated to finishing techniques on 3d printed objects. If there already is, please let me know.

I agree with the others. Where is the online content you talk about in the magazine?

I believe you have to have a subscription to see the whole article. At the top, just under the photo, it says, Excerpt from the article.

35 is out, but the promised section on For tips on polishing, painting and sealing your 3-D printed objects blah blah blah visit makezine.com/34

I can see the whole content of the article here, but there is no extra content about painting, etc, which is the part I was most interested in. Really irritating.

I have generally found that using Squadron putty or similar products smeared over the surfaces an excellent filler material. You then simply sand with a fine sanding sponge (from any hardware store). I generally like wet sanding to keep the dust to a minimum. Once done, I apply a coat of primer spray to look for high spots. Use grey or white primer to find those and reapply your putty to cover up any issues. When done, your sanding may have flattened some of the ridges and the putty filled in enough gaps to make the surface smooth. Now prime again and paint, generally with 2-3 coats, which also binds the putty. The primer itself helps fill in any tiny imperfections. Finally, if you are a model maker, you might consider Mr. Surfacer, which comes in various thicknesses and has excellent bonding capability. A bit expensive, but some of it comes as a spray and can make quick work of a large part. Putty is a messy business, but it has never failed me. For large gaps consider Lightning Bond. This is a cyanoacrylate that comes with a vial of plastic powder. You pour a few drops of the very runny glue into the gap and follow up with the powder and more drops. The glue bonds INSTANTLY and makes a fully machinable joint. As an example, I have filed down joints like this with a metal file and they have withstood the stresses of D-sized model rocket engines. Outstanding stuff.

*Kickass* guide. But it should be noted that many PLA blends can be dissolved in non-toxic mild sodium hydroxide, with the aid of time and an ultrasonic cleaner. But most of the PLA solvents are toxic, as mentioned in the guide.

Ultrasonic cleaners are not the most accessible equipment, but something potentially within the means of makers for small objects (They make cheap jewelry cleaning ones you can buy online), or larger machines for communal makerspaces.

Hey is the 3d printed object used in the title image available somewhere to download the 3d printing files for? Id love to print it

This is an amazing article! Thank you.

Great guide for fdm parts. Any recommendations for finishing/coating/sealing parts made through sls with nylon 10 &12?

Fucking fantastic. Friction welding with a dremel and PLA is such a powerful weapon to have in ones 3D printer arsenal.

Great, informative post mate, thanks for taking the time 😉

maybe add a special chemical to filament that acts as a glue when heated.

would result in better layer bonding

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Category3D printed objects

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Connecting 3D printed objects to Wi-Fi without electronics

University of Washington researchers have 3D printed plastic objects and sensors that can collect useful data and communicate with other Wi-Fi-connected devices entirely on their own.

With CAD models that the team is making available to the public, objects can be created from commercially available plastics that can wirelessly communicate with other smart devices.

Our goal was to create something that just comes out of your 3D printer at home and can send useful information to other devices, said UW researcher Vikram Iyer. But the big challenge is how do you communicate wirelessly with Wi-Fi using only plastic? Thats something that no one has been able to do before.

To 3D print objects that can communicate with commercial Wi-Fi receivers, the team employed backscatter techniques that allow devices to exchange information. In this case, the team replaced some functions normally performed by electrical components with mechanical motion activated by springs, gears, switches and other parts that can be 3D printed.

Backscatter systems use an antenna to transmit data by reflecting radio signals emitted by a Wi-Fi router or other device. Information embedded in those reflected patterns can be decoded by a Wi-Fi receiver. In this case, the antenna is contained in a 3D printed object made of conductive printing filament that mixes plastic with copper.

Physical motion pushing a button, turning a knob, removing a tool from a weighted tool bench triggers gears and springs elsewhere in the 3D printed object that cause a conductive switch to intermittently connect or disconnect with the antenna and change its reflective state. Information is encoded by the presence or absence of the tooth on a gear. Energy from a coiled spring drives the gear system, and the width and pattern of gear teeth control how long the backscatter switch contacts the antenna, creating patterns of reflected signals that can be decoded by a Wi-Fi receiver.

As you pour detergent out of a bottle, for instance, the speed at which the gears are turning tells you how much soap is flowing out. The interaction between the 3D printed switch and antenna wirelessly transmits that data, explained professor Shyam Gollakota. Then the receiver can track how much detergent you have left and when it dips below a certain amount, it can automatically send a message to your Amazon app to order more.

The team from the UW Networks & Mobile Systems Lab 3D printed several different tools that sense and send information successfully to other connected devices: a wind meter, a water flow meter and a scale.

They also 3D printed Wi-Fi input widgets such as buttons, knobs and sliders that can be customised to communicate with other smart devices in the home and enable an ecosystem of talking objects that can seamlessly sense and interact with their surroundings.

Using a different type of 3D printing filament that combines plastic with iron, the team also leveraged magnetic properties to invisibly encode static information in 3D printed objects which could range from barcode identification for inventory purposes or information about the object that tells a robot how to interact with it.

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In first 3-D printed objects connect to WiFi without electronics

In first, 3-D printed objects connect to WiFi without electronics

December 5, 2017 by Jennifer Langston,University of Washington

UW engineers have developed the first 3-D printed plastic objects that can connect to other devices via WiFi without using any electronics. The 3-D printed attachment above can sense how much laundry soap is being used — and automatically order more when the bottle is running low. Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington

Imagine a bottle of laundry detergent that can sense when youre running low on soapand automatically connect to the internet to place an order for more.

University of Washington researchers are the first to make this a reality by3-D printing plastic objects and sensorsthat can collect useful data and communicate with other WiFi-connected devices entirely on their own.

WithCAD modelsthat the team is making available to the public, 3-D printing enthusiasts will be able to create objects out of commercially available plastics that can wirelessly communicate with other smart devices. That could include a battery-free slider that controls music volume, a button that automatically orders more cornflakes from Amazon or a water sensor that sends an alarm to your phone when it detects a leak.

Our goal was to create something that just comes out of your 3-D printer at home and can send useful information to other devices, said co-lead author and UW electrical engineering doctoral student Vikram Iyer. But the big challenge is how do you communicate wirelessly with WiFi using only plastic? Thats something that no one has been able to do before.

The system is described in apaperpresented Nov. 30 at the Association for Computing MachinerysSIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia.

UW electrical engineers and computer scientists have developed the first 3-D printed plastic objects that can connect to other devices via WiFi without using any electronics. Credit: University of Washington

To 3-D print objects that can communicate with commercial WiFi receivers, the team employed backscatter techniques that allow devices to exchange information. In this case, the team replaced some functions normally performed by electrical components with mechanical motion activated by springs, gears, switches and other parts that can be 3-D printedborrowing from principles that allow battery-free watches to keep time.

Backscatter systems use an antenna to transmit data by reflecting radio signals emitted by a WiFi router or other device. Information embedded in those reflected patterns can be decoded by a WiFi receiver. In this case, the antenna is contained in a 3-D printed object made of conductive printing filament that mixes plastic with copper.

Physical motionpushing a button, laundry soap flowing out of a bottle, turning a knob, removing a hammer from a weighted tool benchtriggers gears and springs elsewhere in the 3-D printed object that cause a conductive switch to intermittently connect or disconnect with the antenna and change its reflective state. Informationin the form of 1s and 0sis encoded by the presence or absence of the tooth on a gear. Energy from a coiled spring drives the gear system, and the width and pattern of gear teeth control how long the backscatter switch makes contact with the antenna, creating patterns of reflected signals that can be decoded by a WiFi receiver.

The UW team of computer scientists and electrical engineers also 3-D printed plastic scroll wheels, sliders and buttons that can wirelessly interact with computers, phones and other WiFi-connected devices. Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington

As you pour detergent out of a Tide bottle, for instance, the speed at which the gears are turning tells you how much soap is flowing out. The interaction between the 3-D printed switch and antenna wirelessly transmits that data, said senior author and Allen School associate professor Shyam Gollakota. Then the receiver can track how much detergent you have left and when it dips below a certain amount, it can automatically send a message to your Amazon app to order more.

The team from the UW Networks & Mobile Systems Lab 3-D printed several different tools that were able to sense and send information successfully to other connected devices: a wind meter, a water flow meter and a scale. They also printed a flow meter that was used to track and order laundry soap, and a test tube holder that could be used for either managing inventory or measuring the amount of liquid in each test tube.

They also 3-D printed WiFi input widgets such as buttons, knobs and sliders that can be customized to communicate with other smart devices in the home and enable a rich ecosystem of talking objects that can seamlessly sense and interact with their surroundings.

In this backscatter system, an antenna embedded in a 3-D printed object (middle) reflects radio signals emitted by a  WiFi router (left) to encode information that is read by the WiFi receiver in a phone, computer or other device (right). Credit: University of Washington

Using a different type of 3-D printing filament that combines plastic with iron, the team also leveraged magnetic properties to invisibly encode static information in 3-D printed objectswhich could range from barcode identification for inventory purposes or information about the object that tells a robot how to interact with it.

It looks like a regular 3-D printedobjectbut theres invisible information inside that can be read with your smartphone, said Allen School doctoral student and co-lead author Justin Chan.

The 3-D printed gears (in white) and spring (blue spiral) toggle a switch (white box with grey surface) made of conductive plastic. The switch changes the reflective state of a 3-D printed antenna (gray strip) to convey useful data to a WiFi receiver. The shape of the gears and the speed at which they move encode the digital data. Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington

The UW team also demonstrated how to use the magnetic properties of some 3-D printed material to invisibly encode static data in the objects above, which could be useful for inventory tracking or to help robots interact with them. Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington

Explore further:Team shatters long-range communication barrier for devices that consume almost no power

More information:Paper:printedwifi.cs.washington.edu/printedwifi.pdf

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(Lowering the cost of ways your stuff can spy on you for its real masters…)

and automatically order more when the bottle is running low

Try to imagine, that this bottle will leak in your bathroom and it will wipe-out your bank account in similar way, like the mobile phone with unlimited credit on roaming. You will return from holiday and find pile of Amazon packages before your home (all delivered automatically with drones indeed).

…without electronics?? Antennas and switches are electronic devices. Still very clever. But not really a new idea – look up US Embassy bugging by the Soviets with Infinity Transmitter.

I wonder how small these things can be made. I am thinking about making a biosuit that tracks joint motions in my garage. If I can create a unique sensor pattern for every joint, and make the thing small enough, I can make all the sensors right in my home shop with only the expense of the plastic itself.

Great so since its not programmable I spam my neighbors WiFi routers with unrouted IoT messages, not to mention my own!!!??!?

Pretty darn cool. I agree with Da Schneib though. You could spoof a signal from the IOT to your receiver. A powerful RF spoofed signal acting as a switch (as the video shows) could open all kinds of doors. However, in the right application it might be a perfect solution.

What you want to be sure of is that its not a quick-n-dirty solution. If you can make each transponder have a unique address then you can have a router for them that you program to only listen for yours. But again, security. Now your neighbor can make money from a manufacturer who gets them to aggregate data from all the houses around them. Further applications left to the observer.

Remember that likely producers of such objects will most likely be the manufacturer of the supply that is being consumed, who will have an interest in your data. If this doesnt make you uncomfortable you havent thought your way through it yet.

Great so since its not programmable I spam my neighbors WiFi routers with unrouted IoT messages, not to mention my own

I dont think it would be that useful. First youd have to listen in on what your neighbor is sending. Then you have to play that back…but since the signal has no identifier you dont really know what youd be sending.

You could potentially prank someone – but you wouldnt know what youre pranking them with.

and automatically order more when the bottle is running low

Try to imagine, that this bottle will leak in your bathroom and it will wipe-out your bank account in similar way, like the mobile phone with unlimited credit on roaming. You will return from holiday and find pile of Amazon packages before your home (all delivered automatically with drones indeed).

That would be impossible. Read the article, it explains how the sensor works.

It cannot sense how much the bottle contains, it estimates how much you pour out, if the bottle leaks it will just run dry before the sensor realizes it and you will be stuck without softener.

I have to give them Kudos for ingenuity but I cannot fathom how it would work in real life. Most people are lucky to have Wi-Fi coverage in their entire home with one router. That is with active devices pumping out milliwatts of power. Also, how does a piece of plastic acquire the IP address needed to be accepted by a network when most home routers assign IP addresses on a temporary basis. Just Saying.

In order to transmit a Wi-Fi packet with a unique address there need to be some active logic circuitry involved. This device is just modulating the RF of the existing packets and a receiver is reading the modulated RF. It would be pretty hard to give each unit a unique identity.

The fact is that they could do the same thing with any RF transmitter and receiver. They are just amplitude modulating a RF carrier by changing how much signal is reflected to the receiver. Anywho, I hope the get an A on their term paper.

German government wants backdoor access to every digital device:Look, your bottle of laundry detergent is watching you…

Germany considers law change to allow police to spy on potential terrorists and criminals through car and house alarmsOrwell wouldnt invent IoT better: instead of installing Big Brother eyes at public space for public money, we will install them in your private space for our own money. And what about the leaked data?

It is only a matter of years before everyone will be required to have a chip embedded in their body. The government will create mass riots and confusion. People will willingly stand in line for the procedure for public safety reasons. After all Its for the safety of the children!.

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Sand Your Way to Smoother 3D Printed Parts by Following These Easy Steps

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Sand Your Way to Smoother 3D Printed Parts by Following These Easy Steps

byMichelle MatisonsJan 12, 20163D Printing3D Printing Materials

The completed, polished, printed Rumy

When we speak about 3D printing, we spend much time on the design, modeling, and printing of our objects. But lets not forget that in order to optimize your print job theres also the prerequisite finishing of the print. This is no small part of an overall successful print. 3D printed objects are notorious for having stringy surfaces after printing, and fortunately theres an easy way to handle this problem: sanding. Heresan account of Arif Iftakher and Thomas Stillwells experiencefinishing a portable sensor controller for smart thermostats (Rumy). There are lessons here for everyone who wants to improve their overall print quality by finishing their prints in a more satisfactory manner.

Iftakher reportsthat a 1st generationFlashforge Creatorhe bought off Craigslist was not up for giving him the best print quality money can buy, so he decided that finishing the print well could compensate for any limits in the print job. It took him two hours and $25 (for sandpaper and polishing compound) to finish both of Rumys parts, but the results were worth it. All of Rumys parts were sandable since there were no creases or small angles requiring acetone, so the job was clean and safe.

Step One in this process is to begin with a good print. Iftakher gives a few tips here, including using a color of filament close to your prints desired color to avoid heavy painting later. (The blue filament photos here are for the article, but the original Rumy was printed in black requiring no painting later.) Also, for the highest resolution you want to use the smallest layer height (0.1 mm or less) possible, especially on the first layer. Other tips include: start with the face plate upside down (for best surface finish); for ABS prints, clean the surface of your print bed withKapton tapeand (optional) IPA; always use a slower speed when you can; and print at 100% infill since sanding removes some of the prints material.

When it comes to sanding your print, Iftakher recommends using about six gradually increasing grades of sandpaper (such as 100, 240, 400, 600, 1500, and 2000) and begin sanding your print with the larger grade paper to remove bumps and scratches. You can wash the print off several times and inspect it for missed scratches; if you miss these you may have to start over again.

Iftakher describes the sanding process as he moved from larger to smaller grit sandpaper:

Initially the surface looked ashed. However once we started using paper with grit 600 and higher, the surface started to be cleaner and smooth. It was somewhat shiny with the 1500 grade sand paper. If done right, there will be no stringy texture (striations) on the surface at this point.

You can see the difference in photos here. If youve achieved a level of smoothness that the Grit 2000 photo depicts, you may feel that your finishing work is done. Not quite. Do you want it to be a different color than the original filament? Well, then you have to paint your print, too. Iftakher recommends sanding with a minimal grit of 240 before you paint. Spray cans work great for this, providing you use proper priming and painting techniques, which can be foundhere.

Polishing is the last step in this finishing process, and you can do this simply by using a plastic finishing compound that will give your print a nice shine at the end. These steps should help you go from acceptable to spectacular when it comes to getting the most out of your 3D print jobs. Happy sanding!  Discuss this technique in theSanding 3D Printed Parts forumon .

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3D Printed WiFi-connected Objects That Dont Need Power

First 3D Printed Plastic Objects that Connect to WiFi Without Electronics/BatteriesPublished on 2017-12-13. Author : SpecialChem

When Your Laundry Soap is Running Low

and Automatically Order More

Imagine a bottle of laundry detergent that can sense when youre running low on soap and automatically connect to the internet to place an order for more.

Connecting 3D Printing Objects to Internet

University of Washington researchers are the first to make this a reality by 3D printing plastic objects and sensors that can collect useful data and communicate with other WiFi-connected devices entirely on their own.

Vikram Iyer, co-lead author and UW electrical engineering doctoral student, said:

Our goal was to create something that just comes out of your 3D printer at home and can send useful information to other devices. But the big challenge is how do you communicate wirelessly with WiFi using only plastic? Thats something that no one has been able to do before.

To 3D print objects that can communicate with commercial WiFi receivers, the team employed backscatter techniques that allow devices to exchange information. In this case, the team replaced some functions normally performed by electrical components with mechanical motion activated by springs, gears, switches and other parts that can be 3D printed borrowing from principles that allow battery-free watches to keep time.

Backscatter systems use an antenna to transmit data by reflecting radio signals emitted by a WiFi router or other device. Information embedded in those reflected patterns can be decoded by a WiFi receiver. In this case, the antenna is contained in a 3D printed object made of conductive printing filament that mixes plastic with copper.

Physical motion pushing a button, laundry soap flowing out of a bottle, turning a knob, removing a hammer from a weighted tool bench triggers gears and springs elsewhere in the 3D printed object that cause a conductive switch to intermittently connect or disconnect with the antenna and change its reflective state.

Information in the form of 1s and 0s is encoded by the presence or absence of the tooth on a gear. Energy from a coiled spring drives the gear system, and the width and pattern of gear teeth control how long the backscatter switch makes contact with the antenna, creating patterns of reflected signals that can be decoded by a WiFi receiver.

(blue spiral) toggle a switch (white box with grey surface) made

of conductive plastic. The switch changes the reflective

state of a 3-D printed antenna (gray strip) to convey useful

data to a WiFi receiver. The shape of the gears and the speed

at which they move encode the digital data

Senior author Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, said:

As you pour detergent out of a Tide bottle, for instance, the speed at which the gears are turning tells you how much soap is flowing out. The interaction between the 3-D printed switch and antenna wirelessly transmits that data. Then the receiver can track how much detergent you have left and when it dips below a certain amount, it can automatically send a message to your Amazon app to order more.

The team from the UW Networks & Mobile Systems Lab 3D printed several different tools that were able to sense and send information successfully to other connected devices: a wind meter, a water flow meter and a scale. They also printed a flow meter that was used to track and order laundry soap, and a test tube holder that could be used for either managing inventory or measuring the amount of liquid in each test tube.

They also 3D printed WiFi input widgets such as buttons, knobs and sliders that can be customized to communicate with other smart devices in the home and enable a rich ecosystem of talking objects that can seamlessly sense and interact with their surroundings.

Using a different type of 3D printing filament that combines plastic with iron, the team also leveraged magnetic properties to invisibly encode static information in 3D printed objects which could range from barcode identification for inventory purposes or information about the object that tells a robot how to interact with it.

Allen School doctoral student and co-lead author Justin Chan, said:

It looks like a regular 3D printed object but theres invisible information inside that can be read with your smartphone.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and Google.

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Build-to-Last Strength to Weight 3D Printed Objects

We reduce the material of a 3D kitten (left), by carving porous in the solid (mid-left), to yield a honeycomb-like interior structure which provides an optimal strength-to-weight ratio, and relieves the overall stress illustrated on a cross-section (mid-right). The 3D printed hollowed solid is built-to-last using our interior structure (right).

Abstract:The emergence of low-cost 3D printers steers the investigation of new geometric problems that control the quality of the fabricated object. In this paper, we present a method to reduce the material cost and weight of a given object while providing a durable printed model that is resistant to impact and external forces.

We introduce a hollowing optimization algorithm based on the concept of honeycomb-cells structure. Honeycombs structures are known to be of minimal material cost while providing strength in tension. We utilize the Voronoi diagram to compute irregular honeycomb-like volume tessellations which define the inner struc ture. We formulate our problem as a strength-to-weight optimiza tion and cast it as mutually finding an optimal interior tessellation and its maximal hollowing subject to relieve the interior stress. Thus, our system allows to build-to-last 3D printed objects with large control over their strength-to-weight ratio and easily model various interior structures. We demonstrate our method on a collection of 3D objects from different categories. Furthermore, we evaluate our method by printing our hollowed models and measure their stress and weights.

author = Lin Lu, Andrei Sharf, Haisen Zhao, Yuan Wei, Qingnan Fan, Xuelin Chen, Yann Savoye, Changhe Tu, Daniel Cohen-Or, Baoquan Chen,

title = Build-to-Last: Strength to Weight 3D Printed Objects,

journal = ACM Trans. Graph. (Proc. SIGGRAPH),