Design Monday - 3D Printing

Posted in Design

Design Monday - 3D Printing

With a love for design, and finding ways to relax after work on a Monday, LUXYCLAD® is excited to bring you "Design Monday" - weekly blog posts that highlight or feature something interesting, focused around the subject of "design." 


Also known as "additive manufacturing" - 3D printing takes a digital file (usually CAD files, "computer aided design files") and turns them into something tangible, and three dimensional. After creating a 3D model, your design is ready to print, or to "be sliced." Slicing software is what helps take your 3D model and turn it into hundreds or thousands of horizontal layers, so that the printer knows how to construct your 3D design. There's lots of free software online that you can find for slicing. In the printing process, each horizontal pass of the "extruder" creates a new layer of material. The build up of these passes is what contributes to the end result. With this process, one can create functional models that use less material than generic manufacturing.  

A lot of the times, people will share their designs, which are commonly known as STL files (files that store information about a specific 3D model) and you can 3D print them, when used in conjunction with the slicer software. Think of it as someone sharing a template with you.


The 3D printing process uses filaments, many of which can be different materials. Common materials for desktop printing are plastics - ABS and PLA (ABS uses chemicals, PLA is plant based and bio degradable). Other materials for printing are nylon, resin, stainless steel, gold, silver, titanium, ceramic, and the list goes on. 


What are people using 3D printing for?

  • Prototypes > Architectural models for buildings, automotive models like car bodies.
  • Bio Printing and Medical Devices > Using living tissues to create 3D models that can be put into the body, or creating splints and prosthetics.
  • Clothing > Nike had 3D printed football shoes, New Balance used 3D printing to custom fit the shoes of athletes. Printing frames for glasses.
  • Environmental Uses > Creating fake coral reef figures helped encourage real coral to regenerate in our oceans.
  • Food > Using sugar to print details for cakes
  • Art and Jewelry

All photos below are from Google.

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