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3D Printing Design Research

Chris Shangqing Yan DSGN-4155 Design Research

3D Printing Design Research

Design Research Document of 3D Printing 2016 NSCAD University Press 5163 Duke Street Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada B3J 3J6 or consult the web-site: Printed in Canada 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Design and Cover: Chris Shangqing Yan Typeface: 10/12pt Gibson Regular

“Don’t believe the marketing hype: 3D printing isn’t a magic bullet. It is an industrial process which has been scaled down and made affordable enough for individuals to own and operate from home. Like other industrial fabrication techniques a lot of time and skill is required to understand the processes, materials, successes and failures. It’s a fantastic way to learn new curse words.” — Nathan Ryan

Thank you to Glen Hougan for educating me on product design thinking and guiding the research process. Thank you to Nathan Ryan for giving me 3D printing technical guidance and advices. Thank you to Donald Thompson who offered laser cutting technical support. Thank you to May Chung who assisted in the graphic design layout. The design research would not succeed without their help.


This 3D printing reseach ducument represent the final assignment of the Independent Design Research Course DSGN–4155. This document describes the process of 3D printing and displays 3D printed products. The content are divided into four parts. • Introduction to 3D Printing • Printing Materials • Duplicating Extruder • 3D Printing Product Student: Chris Yan Instructor: Glen Hougan


1. Introduction to 3D Printing 1 What is 3D Printing CAD & CAM NSCAD 3D Printers Traditional Manufacturing VS 3D Printing 2. Printing Materials 9 PLA (Polylactic Acid) ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) Nylon (Polyamide) TPE (Thermoplastic elastomers) 3. Duplicating Extruder 15 Purpose of Duplicating Extruder Extruder Components Overview Process of Duplicating Extruder Printable Components List 4. 3D Printing Product 25 Architectural Chess Sets Brainstorm Reference and Sketch Idea 3D Modeling and 3D Rendering 3D Printing and Laser Cutting

Introduction of 3D Printing


What is 3D Printing?

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to various processes used to synthesize a three-dimensional object. In 3D printing, successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object. These objects can be of almost any shape or geometry, and are produced from a 3D model or other electronic data source. A 3D printer is a type of industrial robot. 3D printing in the term’s original sense refers to processes that sequentially deposit material onto a powder bed with inkjet printer heads. More recently, the meaning of the term has expanded to encompass a wider variety of techniques such as extrusion and sintering-based processes. Technical standards generally use the term additive manufacturing for this broader sense.


The term 3D printing covers a host of processes and technologies that offer a full spectrum of capabilities for the production of parts and products in different materials. Essentially, what all of the processes and technologies have in common is the manner in which production is carried out — layer by layer in an additive process — which is in contrast to traditional methods of production involving subtractive methods or moulding/casting processes. Applications of 3D printing are emerging almost by the day, and, as this technology continues to penetrate more widely and deeply across industrial, maker and consumer sectors, this is only set to increase. Most reputable commentators on this technology sector agree that, as of today, we are only just beginning to see the true potential of 3D printing.


Computer-aided Design (CAD) NSCAD CAD Softwares: Fusion 360 and Rhinoceros

Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer systems to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. CAD software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve communications through documentation, and to create a database for manufacturing. CAD output is often in the form of electronic files for print, machining, or other manufacturing operations.

Computer-aided design is used in many fields. Its use in designing electronic systems is known as electronic design automation, or EDA. In mechanical design it is known as mechanical design automation (MDA) or computer-aided design (CAD), which includes the process of creating a technical drawing with the use of computer software. Basically, CAD includes 2D general arrangement drawing (Figure1), 3D modeling (Figure2) and 3D rendering (Figure3).



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Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAD) NSCAD CAM Softwares: Repetier-Host(Mac), Slic3r, Replicator G.

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is the use of computer software to control machine tools and related machinery in the manufacturing of workpieces. This is not the only definition for CAM, but it is the most common; CAM may also refer to the use of a computer to assist in all operations of a manufacturing plant, including planning, management, transportation and storage. Its primary purpose is to create a faster production process and components and tooling with more precise dimensions and material consistency, which in some cases, uses only the required amount of raw material (thus minimizing

waste), while simultaneously reducing energy consumption. CAM is now a system used in schools and lower educational purposes. CAM is a subsequent computer-aided process after computer-aided design (CAD) and sometimes computer-aided engineering (CAE), as the model generated in CAD and verified in CAE can be input into CAM software, which then controls the machine tool. The two main manufacturing methods of CAM are 3D printing (Figure6), laser cutting (Figure4) and Computerized Numerical Control (Figure5).

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NSCAD 3D Printers

Makerbot Replicator 1

The MakerBot Replicator 1 is a dual extruder 3D printer with a heated build plate. This 3D printer uses plastic build materials like Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Polylactic Acid (PLA). The Replicator 1 is fast, easy to use, less costly, and great for builds that don’t require high precision. Material cost for this printer is reasonable at $50 per reel, which contains about 1kg of material.


The Replicator 1 offers a layer height resolution of 0.2 mm - 0.3 mm, which creates very nice detial for the printing objects; the printer has a maximum build envelope of 8.9 x 5.7 x 5.9 in. The Replicator 1 uses programs like MakerWare and ReplicatorG to convert .stl files into .x3g files, a format that the printer uses to build the model. 3D models in .stl format can be downloaded from Thingiverse. Alternatively, a 3D model can be created in CAD programs like SolidWorks, Rhino, or OpenSCAD and saved in .stl format. Softwares for 3D printing inclube Repetier-Host(Mac), Slic3r, Replicator G.

Lulzbot Taz 2

The TAZ 2, which is the subject of a campaign on crowdfunding site fundable. Taz was created by Lulzbot 3D Printing product line that is belong to Aleph Objects, Inc. The TAZ2 sees the addition of an LCD display and an SD card reader that allows models to be produced without the printer needing to be attached to a computer.

TAZ 2 is also composed of more laser-cut parts and metal casings, as opposed to the 3D-printed parts featured on the previous model. “We can laser cut simple parts faster than we can print them, so we can build more machines faster,” the LulzBot team explains. “This is purely for scalability reasons.” Softwares for 3D printing inclube Repetier-Host(Mac), Slic3r.

The TAZ 2 can print with ABS, PLA, PVA, high-impact polystyrene, and wood filament, with other materials such as nylon also supported using add-ons. The team also has plans to develop more TAZ tool heads, including dual extruders and cutters, as well as more types of filament and possibly a filament extruder (a machine that produces the raw material for the 3D printer).


Traditional Manufacturing


3D Printing

Higher manufacturing cost

Cost efficient as compared to traditional manufacturing technique

Less innovative design due to cost constraints, design consider on CNC manufacturing

Allows for easy yet inexpensive innovation in design; design consider on additive manufacturing

More times to build final product

Lesser time taken due to compressed design cycles

Creates more Material waste; subtractive process will compromise on precision

Lighter & smaller amount of waste higher precision with layer-bylayer Manufacturing

Transitional manufacturing method doesn’t need consider overhang and building support while recreating on object

3D printing manufacturing method can create special form that Transitional manufacturing can’t make


Printing Materials


List of Material Filaments in NSCAD: • PLA (Polylactic Acid) • ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) • Nylon • TPE (Thermoplastic elastomers)


PLA (Polylactic Acid) PLA (Polylactic Acid) is one of the two most commonly used desktop 3D printing materials (with the other being ABS). It is the ‘default’ recommended material for many desktop 3D printers, and with good reason - PLA is useful in a broad range of printing applications, has the virtue of being both odorless and low-warp, and does not require a heated bed. PLA plastic is also one of the more eco-friendly 3D printer materials available; it is made from annually renewable resources (corn-starch) and requires less energy to process compared traditional (petroleum-based) plastics. Outside of 3D printing, PLA plastic is often used in food containers, such as candy wrappers, and biodegradable medical implants, such as sutures.


ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is another commonly used 3D printer material. Best used for making durable parts that need to withstand higher temperatures. In comparison to PLA, ABS plastic is less brittle. It can also be post processed with acetone to provide a glossy finish. When 3D printing with ABS filament a heated printing surface is recommended, as ABS plastic will contract when cooled leading to warped parts.


Nylon (Polyamide) Nylon is an incredibly strong, durable, and versatile 3D printing material. Flexible when thin, but with very high inter-layer adhesion, nylon lends itself well to things like living hinges and other functional parts. Nylon filament prints as a bright natural to white with a translucent surface, and can absorb color added post process with most common, acid-based clothing dyes. Nylon filament is extremely sensitive to moisture, so taking drying measures during storage and immediately prior to printing (using desiccant, vacuum, or elevated temperature) is highly recommended for best results.


TPE (Thermoplastic elastomers) TPE filament is a flexible 3D printing material that feels and acts much like flexible rubber. TPE filament can be used to make parts that can bend or must flex to fit their environment - stoppers, belts, springs, phone cases and more. This extremely flexible 3D printer material will allow you to create 3D prints that will have the properties of a soft rubber, making it even more flexible and elastic than our Soft PLA filament.


Duplicating Extruder


Purpose of Duplicating Extruder Using 3D printer Taz2 or other printer to duplicate components of extruder. Since different plastic parts of the printer can be damaged or are abraded, 3D printers can make new components to continue printing.



Extruder Components Overview


Wires & conduit

608 Bearing

Hobbed Bolt

NEMA Motor

3mm Nozzle



Wheel Gear

Extruder Mount



Lower Bracket



Process of Duplicating Extruder

Lulzbot company provide open source that is 3D models of pinter’s mechanical components. Users can download open source from Lulzbot website and printer the printer’s mechanical components, thus users can replace the damaged components from 3D printer. The process is divided into 12 steps as follow.

1. Research on Google, Click Community Subpage.

2. Click LulzBot Downloads.

3. Entered LulzBot Downloads Folder, then select TAZ Folder.

4. Select 2.0/ Folder.


5. Click Printed Parts.

6. Select STL Folder.

7. Choose Printer Components of 3D Printer.

8. Open Repetier-Host Mac Program.


9. Import the Downloaded File.

10. Click Slice with Slic3r to Convert 3D Model to 3D Printing Code (G-Code).

11. Click Save Button to Export G-code.

12. Connecting 3D Printer to Print the Components.


Printable Components List 1. Flexstruder 2. Extruder Mount 3. Flex-Plate 4. Lower Bracket 5. Hub







3D Printing Product


Architectural Chess Sets

Architectural Chess Sets is a 3D modeling project that originally comes from the course Intro CAD/CAM for Jwly & 3D. The assignment is using Rhinoceros software to create a set of chess with a special theme. Then the project is taken further to be 3D printed, which the chess sets are transformed from digital 3D model to physical products. This Chess set is a obvious example of transformation from Computer-aided Design to Computer-aided Manufacturing. The chess pieces are 3D printed individually and the chess board is laser cut acrylic board.


Brainstorm Reference

Sketching Idea


3D Modeling Software: Rhinoceros

3D Rending Software: Rhinoceros and Brazil


3D Printing Software:Repetier-Host, Slic3r, Replicator G Machine: Lulzbot Taz 2 and Makebot Replicator 1

Laser Cutting Software: Laser Cut 51 Machine: Bright Star B-1200



Chris Shangqing Yan 1(902) 580-988

3D Printing Design Research  

This 3D printing reseach ducument represent the final assignment of the Independent Design Research Course DSGN–4155. This document describe...

3D Printing Design Research  

This 3D printing reseach ducument represent the final assignment of the Independent Design Research Course DSGN–4155. This document describe...