When last time we visited the 3D technology exhibition in Finland, we saw an exhibition of ancient ship models near the exhibition hall. Having a free minute with colleagues, we looked at the ships and we were fascinated by the amount of time and effort involved in manual handling of such tiny ship models. There was a thought - why not to try to make the model of the ship using 3D printing technologies and see how much time can be saved. This is how was born the idea of producing a deep sea explorer „Megaptera“.
The ship model consists of a total of 58 individual parts, which have been printed using two different 3D printing technologies - Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Stereolithography (SLA). The ship hull and other large items were printed by the 2017 desktop-class world best 3D printer "Zortrax M200". With this printer, the ship's hull was produced quickly and accurately. More discerning readers may notice that the machine has a working area of 20 x 20 x 18 cm and a large layout of the ship would not fit in it, but we will reveal a little secret - the size of the 3D printer is not the limit for us!
Probably everyone has drawn attention to the detail of the ships - there are a lot of accurate and extremely important items - we've printed them on the most accurate 3D printing technology - SLA. Here we used liquid resins and an advanced "Form 2" printer. This technology is so precise that its application ranges from jewelry models to precision dental devices. Layer thickness in this technology even up to 25 µm!
The printing of all the necessary parts of the ship lasted a week. The finished parts were processed - glued, sanded and painted in the original colors of the ship. Some parts of the ship are moving - a rotating lifting crane for the capsule lifting overboard; rotating propellers. Processing took an extra week time. The largest parts were split and printed separately. During the post-processing, the joints were carefully melted and treated without leaving marks. ABS plastic was chosen for the sake of this project. This plastic is ideal for parts that need to be further processed after printing.
At the moment, the Megaptera ship is at the exposition of our products and fascinates our visitors. We are delighted to find 3D technologies applicability in ship modeling and from now on we can offer our customers a fast, accurate and cheaper production method.
Models made with 3D printers are popular not only in the production of ships but also in the houses, historic buildings, frame houses, art installations, sculptures or other objects production. This is a precise, fast and inexpensive way to implement your idea.
3D printing technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Stereolithography (SLA).
3D printing material: ABS plastic, liquid resin.
Size (mm): 600 x 150 x 250
Manufacturer of interior details sent a few different designs to print to have a better view and feel for further manufacturing decisions.
Wall clock designs were printed on a large-scale 3D printer which is based on FDM technology. PolyMax PLA material was chosen specifically for its ease to print and very similar properties to ABS plastic. Handles were printed on "Zortrax M200" machines with HIPS plastic because of its impact resistance and easy to post-process.
Whole printing project took only 2 working days with 4 different wall clock designs and more than 20 knobs. The duration of printing shows very good opportunities with additive manufacturing for quick pre-manufacturing processes to determinate compatibility and design choices.
3D printing material: PolyMax PLA and HIPS
3D printing technology: Fused Deposition Modeling
Product size (mm): clocks up to 260 x 260 x 30 / knobs up to 30 x 30 x 60
By medical institution's inquiry, specific lower jaw guides were printed for pre-operation purposes.
By surgical team needs, fully functional 3D models were modeled by engineer using computer tomography images. Created 3D models were printed using state of the art SLS 3D printer which is widely considered one of the best 3D printing technologies to produce high complex, accurate and very strong parts. Because of the plastic powder base, support requirement is compeltely eliminated and because of the said purpose, guides were printed using medical grade nylon (poliamide) plastic material.
Industrial grade SLS 3D printing technology has almost no design limitations and is a great option to produce complex, unique, small series parts considering high need of accuracy, surface quality and strength.
3D printing material: PA2200
3D printing technology: Selective Laser Sintering
Product size: ~ 150 x 150 x 80