3D Printing – Technology – Assignment II

Scope of the Assignment:
Assignment II is an assignment in which we were to make items of our choosing using the basics gained 
up to that point in time, these being the laser cutting process as well as the basics of press-fit.

Inception:
The process of 3D printing is fast gaining popularity especially with regards to prototyping where it has become a must have component if one is to make a prototype. Having a prototype printed out is essential to the process of design since it helps to actually feel and see the item being prototyped. In anticipation of various items to be used in the "City Project" field, I chose to focus prototyping on components related to the "City Project"

Troubleshooting:
Duration of 3D printing Process.
Depending on the complexity of the item being printed, the process can either take just a few minutes, to several hours.
Iterations 1 - 3 of Palm bracelet along with knuckle ring component

Model of Component – Palm Bracelet

The modeling of the above captioned palm bracelet was subsequently instrumental in determining the ridiculousness of our initial assumption both in terms of utilitarian inconveniences as well as ease of use, not to mention the fact that it just failed to serve its purpose. Subsequent modifications forced the team to think more organically. This hands on approach enabled the team to acknowledge and understand the scope and limitations of the technology in use. Depending on the task at hand, I was able to optimize and subsequently better choose the means with which to make each respective prototype component.
This outside the box approach to the prototype (heck, the box was thrown out entirely) was one of the issues in that it presented a steep learning curve to me personally. 
The optimization of the design is enhanced by the fact that the item becomes tangible and it can be tested (if printed to scale). This is one of the few shortfalls of the virtual environment and simulations in CAD software as a whole. 
The printing process is also limited by the dimensions of the printer used. For instance, the Ultimaker 2 Go has a build volume of 120mm x 120 mm x 115mm. 

Materials Used:
Printing was done on Ultimaker 2 Go, using PLA (Polylactic Acid) which as it turns out, is one of the more commonly used 3D printing materials. The model was saved in STL format and was prepped for printing using Ultimaker Cura.

Ultimaker 2 Go

Lessons Learnt:
The prototyping process is made much easier with the use of 3D printers.
The choice of materials (of the prototype) should be taken into consideration during the printing process.
The use of a resin laser 3d printers is a more accurate method of 3D printing.

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