Discovering 3D Printing Blog Series

Article by Dimos Siagoulis updated July 6, 2015

Discovering 3D Printing

Javelin 3D Printing Lab

About the Discovering 3D Printing Blog Series

Over the course of this summer, Javelin 3D Printing Application Engineer David Hayes and I will be providing valuable and interesting blog posts about 3D printing and how it is currently reinventing the industrial age.

For instance, did you know that a company in the US is 3D printing rhino horns to flood the market and discourage African poachers from killing rhinos? Amazing! Javelin is currently working with a wide range of industries to push the limits of what is currently possible. This application is just one of many we will be covering over the summer with our casual yet informative conversations. Stay tuned every week to dive deep into exciting implementations of 3D printing.

Ask us any question about 3D Printing in the comments section below and we’ll answer them.

About Us

David:  I’m David and I am fresh out of my Mechanical Engineering undergraduate and even fresher into the 3D Printing industry. I come from a sport background and love anything mechanical and technical. Throughout our summer blog series Dimos and I hope to capture your imagination and interest with 3D Printing as it did ours. We eat, sleep, and breathe 3D Printing. We are excited about this, we hope you are as well! My goal is to make you as informed as possible on the ins and outs of 3D Printing by the end of the summer. Dimos, tell us about yourself.

Dimos: I’m a summer student here at Javelin Technologies and I love to learn about everything. I am currently  studying Mechanical Engineering in University and I am loving it! I’m a nerd, what can I say? I’m also an adrenaline junkie, I enjoy snowboarding and riding my motorcycle. So David, enough about us. Let’s learn about 3D printing…

What is 3D Printing?

Dimos: How exactly does 3D Printing work? Are there little magical gnomes hiding within the printers to make the parts?

David: Great question Dimos! No, unfortunately there aren’t any gnomes in our office helping us print. For today, we will focus on the basics but throughout the summer we will dig into highly technical applications. It’s a very straight forward process. The printers take crude plastic from a cartridge, melt it and deposit the plastic layer by layer. Think of a glue gun zipping around putting down a layer of material, when that layer is done the tray of the printer drops and it deposits the second layer. It continues this process until you have a stack of layers that make up a part.

Dimos: Well that’s pretty cool, what about something as complex as my motorcycle? I thought 3D printing can only make action figures and paper weights.

Dimos's Motorbike

Dimos’s Motorbike

David: To replicate a beautiful bike like yours we would first need the 3D model from CAD software like SOLIDWORKS. Once you have the 3D model on your computer it’s as easy as sending it to the 3D printing software. You then pick a number of different settings to make the part just the way you want, click build, and you’re done!

Dimos: Awesome, I’m already one step closer to obtaining my dream bike. Lets talk about the different materials, I’d like a nice comfy seat, some good grips and some exotic fairings.

David: Done, done, and done! We can print more than plastic. We can print rubber like materials for your comfy seat. Not only can we print rubber but we can change how tough you would like the rubber to be. The seat for instance can be a nice soft material whereas for the grips, we can choose a material that has great cohesion to your gloves. The best part about all of this is that we can print your seat and your grips on the same tray essentially at the same time.

Dimos: Hold up, let me stop you right there. So you’re telling me we can print more than one part at a time? How big are these machines I’ve only seen the hobby printers.

Triple-Jetting Connex 3D Printer

Stratasys 3D Printer

David: The Stratasys 3D Printers we work with range from a build envelope of 5″x5″x5″ (x, y, z)  all the way up to 36″x24″x36″. So we can make everything from your dial cluster to your rear fender.  You name it, we’ll print it. When do you want it delivered?

Dimos:  Well as soon as possible obviously! I’d love to be able to show my friends at University my 3D printed bike come September. Lets aim for the end of August, that will give us around two months. Seems fair doesn’t it?

David: If I took 2 months to print your bike parts my boss would fire me. I would aim to get you the bike within a couple of weeks. I would need to design the parts in SOLIDWORKS first but once we have those I could print them in a matter of hours, not weeks. You’ll have your bike early enough to enjoy the summer weather.

Dimos: Thanks for the information David!

Questions about 3D Printing?

If there are any further questions or any topics you would like to see David and I research, leave a comment below! Thank you all for reading and we’ll see you next time!


This week’s favourite track we listen to when post processing 3D printed parts:
Matt Simons – Catch & Release (Deepend Remix)

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Dimos Siagoulis

Co-op student from McMaster University on my second work term at Javelin Technologies Inc.