Last month, while my colleagues from the 3DPrint.com team were soaking up the sun at RAPID 2016, back at home we reported on the new methodologies for generating internal structures that were unveiled by Type A Machines. Their Cura Type A software, which is currently available for download as a public beta release, has been enhanced with new features that provides increased access and efficiency for generating internal geometries and infills within your 3D prints. Type A Machines refers to the inner-workings of a 3D object as ‘internal structure’ rather than infill, and the change in name lends credence to the fact that these features are a true breakthrough in 3D printing software.
The two new features of their software that deal with enhancing internal structures are called Absolute Dimensions and 3D Internal Structures, and thus far, they’ve proved to help create higher quality 3D printed parts. Cura Type A internal structure process allows the 3D designer to set the precise distance between rows and columns of the object’s infill, essentially defining the infill in absolute dimensions. This process creates a ‘true’ 3D structure, and enables the 3D printed object to become more resistant to stress, while simultaneously using less material on the infill. Not only does the software enable more accurate dimensions, it also utilizes a unique twist on the cubic shape within the structure.
Instead of defaulting to a grid of stacked squares, triangles, or hexagons that are typically layered within the structure of your model, the Cura Type A software will generate an infill of cubes turned over on their sides, lining the infill along the perimeter of the 3D printed object. Once this modified cubic pattern is instilled into the 3D object, it may appear as a series of awkwardly set triangles or hexagons, but in reality, this unique infill forms a true 3D structure.
To me, this enhanced internal structure was best described in a recently published Hackaday article, which compared traditional infill generation and Cura Type A’s enhanced version as if they were graphite and diamonds, respectively. Although they’re both composed of the carbon element, graphite has thin layers of graphene that make it a weak material, while a diamond is internally a true 3D structure and one of the hardest materials on our planet.
Cura Type A isn’t the only software making an attempt to enhance the internal structure of 3D printed objects; for instance, Slic3r has a 3D Honeycomb infill feature developed last year. This Slic3r feature generates an infill pattern that varies across the Z axis rather than repeating the same shape throughout all the layers, which enhances the properties of the internal structure similarly to the Cura Type A features. All in all, these improvements in 3D software are just as important (if not more so) than advancements in 3D printing hardware. In order to truly optimize the 3D printing process, we must first ensure that the insides of our 3D models are as structurally sound as possible. Discuss further over in the Cura Type A Enhancing 3D Printers forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: Hackaday]
You May Also Like
Researchers Use Autodesk Ember 3D Printer to Characterize 3D Printed Lenses
In the recently published ‘Characterization of 3D printed lenses and diffraction gratings made by DLP additive manufacturing,’ international researchers studied digital fabrication of optical parts using DLP 3D printing. Examining...
Germanium, Silica & Titanium Lend Stability to 3D Printing Optical Glass
In the recently published ‘Sol-Gel Based Nanoparticles for 3D Printing of Optical Glass,’ Peter Palencia and Koroush Sasan of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are innovating further in the realm of...
Lithuanian Startup Dear Deer Eyewear Offers Bespoke 3D Printed Eyeglasses Online
Because I was really into Barbies at age 6 when I first got prescription lenses, my very first pair of eyeglasses were huge and bright pink…I shudder to look at...
Interview with Formalloy’s Melanie Lang on Directed Energy Deposition
When I met Melanie Lang at RAPID a lot of the buzz on the show floor was directed at her startup Formalloy. Formalloy has developed a metal deposition head that...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.