If you’re still struggling to find gift ideas this holiday season, consider using your 3D printer for some help! Check out our list of last-minute, 3D-printable gift & stocking stuffer ideas that are perfect to give your friends & family this year.
If you don’t have a 3D printer of your own or enough capacity for the job, visit our build services website to see how we can help you complete your prints.
1. Reindeer Hair Band
Hair band with reindeer antlers attached (Source: Johannes E — Printables)
This adorable reindeer headband is a simple, yet creative way to get into the festive spirit this season. You can adjust the size of the print to fit both kids & adults.
Where to Find this Design:
As many plant enthusiasts know, it can be difficult to find unique potting options to suit your plant’s needs along with your aesthetic. With the help of 3D printing technology, there are now more ways than ever before to personalize your plant’s home — customize your pot’s size, design, & functionality, all at an affordable price.
If you’re looking for the right way to make your plants pop, check out our list of unique STL files to help showcase your plants in style.
1. Ferris Wheel Plant Stand
A rotating display for up to six small plants (Source: Jacob Cardwell — Printables)
Written by Emma Carr
What’s the difference between FDM, SLA, and SLS 3D Printing?
When it comes to selecting a 3D printer, today’s market can seem overwhelming. Technical jargon often makes it challenging to understand important distinctions between the different types of production systems, and this can lead individuals to select methods that are a poor fit for their needs. To help avoid this confusion, we want to break down three of the most common additive manufacturing processes used in the 3D printing industry: FDM, SLA, & SLS.
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), also known as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), is the most well-known 3D printing method. In the additive manufacturing realm, it belongs to the category of material extrusion.
In FDM 3D printing, the desired model begins as a computer-aided design (CAD) file. The selected filament, or thermoplastic printing material, is then loaded into the 3D printer and heated to its melting point. The filament is then distributed layer by layer according to the CAD file, and the build plate is lowered accordingly until the print is complete.
OMNI3D has recently been granted a United States patent for the extruder system used in their Factory 2.0 NET industrial 3D printer. This system was designed by OMNI3D in response to the need for strong, precise, & resistant models built at greater dimensions. Typically, comparable industrial 3D printers use heat sinks to remove heat from the body of the printer motor. Alternatively, OMNI3D’s liquid cooling system eliminates the need for heat sinks, which reduces the overall weight of the printer head and allows for maximum speed & efficiency.
The main task for me, as the designer of this solution, was to improve the working conditions for the knurled-filament-filament clamp system. These elements had to work at a sufficiently low temperature to ensure the right force for pressing the filament into the heated head. To improve these parameters, we used a cooling system that receives thermal energy from the extruder body, and transmits energy through the liquid pipes to the cooler, which ejects excess heat energy into the environment, and thus improves the operating conditions of the previously mentioned system. Thanks to the use of such a solution, it was also possible to stabilize the operating parameters of the extruder motor and it made it possible to resign from the head heat sink. In this case, the heat sink function was taken over by the extruder body. Thanks to this, the extruder became compact, and at the same time allowed for printing for many hours in a heated printing chamber
Written by Emma Carr
When purchasing a 3D printer, it is vital to consider the difference between open-source and closed-source platforms. A closed-source platform refers to a 3D printer that does not provide flexibility in terms of material brand. These production systems are centered around a sole manufacturer, which means that they are only compatible with one specific brand of material. Users who do not wish to expand beyond a limited scope of materials might prefer a closed-source platform, but generally speaking, members of the additive manufacturing community find closed-source platforms quite limiting.
Though users tend to prefer open-source platforms, manufacturers typically prefer contriving production systems that are closed-source so that they can maximize their material sales. Over time, users have found this restrictive and costly, and there is a growing industry preference towards systems that are open-source.