Category Archives: 3D Printing

3D Printing at the Movies: How a Costume was 3D Printed for Black Panther

If you live on this planet, you might have already watched or at least heard about the latest Marvel movie: Black Panther. This blockbuster has been acclaimed by the public and movie critics for many reasons, including the impressive costumes worn by the characters. Tradition meets 3D printing The amazing outfits for the movie were inspired by the colors and shapes of African tradition and the cutting-edge technology of Wakanda. One of the main characters, Queen Ramonda, wears an elegant crown in the movie, reminiscent of the traditional crowns worn by married Zulu women. This crown was 3D-printed by Materialise. It’s a perfect example of the Wakandan blend between old and new! When Ruth Carter, Head Costume Designer for Black Panther, was faced with the challenge of designing a crown for the mother of T’Challa – the Black Panther himself – she sought the collaboration of an experienced designer for fashion and 3D-printed wearables, Julia Körner, and put it together using the 3D printing technologies available at Materialise. The results are out of this world! Read more about this fantastic 3D print and the designing process on the Materialise blog. A 3D printing technology worthy of a queen’s outfit The technology chosen to 3D print Queen Ramonda’s crown was Laser Sintering and the material was Polyamide12 or Polyamide (SLS). This is the 3D printing option that offers the highest freedom of design, one of the best options for such a creative project! Julia’s 3D design skills were key to achieving a crown that was stiff enough to retain its shape but also flexible enough to be comfortably worn by the actress Angela Basset who was playing Queen Ramonda. Polyamide is also a great material for beginners in 3D printing and designers because it gives the possibility to print the most intricate shapes, and it comes in many different finishes and colors. You can also print your creations in Polyamide (SLS) by uploading your 3D designs to the i.materialise 3D printing platform. You’ve never been closer to Hollywood! Look for more inspiring stories about 3D printing in fashion and shoe design on our blog. All images courtesy of Marvel’s Black Panther / Costume Design by Ruth Carter

New 3D printing materials from BASF and Essentium Materials

BASF 3D Printing Solutions is a subsidiary of BASF SE, the largest chemical producer in the world, focusing on expanding the company’s materials, components and service offerings for 3D printing. The company is collaborating with Essentium Materials, the Texas-based creator of the FlashFuse FDM electric welding process, to create new filaments under the “Ultrafuse” name as […]

3D printing news Sliced, GKN Powder Metallurgy, Orbital ATK, 3MF and Duke University

Today’s edition of our 3D printing news digest Sliced, asks the following: How do you redirect sound with 3D printing? Will 3D printers ever find a place in mechanics’ shops? Are 3D printed hypersonic warheads viable? All this and more from Duke University, PostNord, GKN Powder Metallurgy and the 3MF consortium. Metamaterials, soluble supports and […]

5 Reasons Why We Love 3D Printing in Brass

It’s no secret that we have a soft spot for brass, and we aren’t the only ones. We can count so many examples of jewelry designers and makers who have surprised us with their exciting brass creations. When it comes to materials for 3D printing jewelry, brass is a great option for many reasons and we want you to know them all! The versatility One of the main advantages of brass for 3D printing is the possibilities that it offers when designing jewelry. From small, detailed pieces with detail, to bigger figurines or even sculptures, brass can be used for a wide range of applications. Brass is a fantastic metal to make your 3D printing dreams come true! The details If detail is what you are looking for in your 3D prints, brass is a great option. This alloy of copper and zinc allows for intricate designs and small details on your 3D printing creations. It’s possible to attain the same level of quality and detail as that of precious metals such as silver and gold, but at a much lower price. Read more about this below! The finishes If the qualities of brass weren’t enough, this metal can also be finished in seven different ways. From the basic untreated state to the luxurious rhodium-plated polish, find the perfect finish for your prints and give them that personal touch. Discover them all! Untreated brass This is the basic finish for your brass models. If you go for untreated brass for your prints, you will get your models that haven’t been polished, coated or plated. The surface areas will maintain higher quality, offering great details for your jewelry pieces. Natural PU coating This is a step up from untreated brass. With this finish, your models will be coated with a clear layer of PU to protect them from scratches and oxidation. Polished yellow-gold plating Thanks to an electroplating process, brass 3D prints are finished with an 18kt gold layer, so you can get all the shine and detail of gold at a much lower price. This finish comes with a PU coating for extra protection. Polished red-gold plating For those looking for a twist on the classical yellow shine for your jewelry, you can also get a red-gold plated finish for 3D prints in brass. Polished black color-plating Yes, you’ve heard it right; brass can be plated in black as well! All the shine and detail of brass can be finished in this elegant black plating. It’s perfect for your most mysterious designs! Polished chrome plating This finish is achieved by electroplating the brass 3D prints with a thin layer of chromium. The brass pieces will not just look great, they will have an extra layer of protection against corrosion and the surfaces will be harder. It’s ideal for car parts and tools. Be aware that a small amount of nickel is used for this finish, so it’s not advisable to use it for jewelry pieces. Polished rhodium plating By applying a thin layer of rhodium onto your 3D prints, they will be protected against scratches or tarnishing, while also looking great. With its white color tone, this finish is perfect for elegant jewelry designs. The shine 3D printing in brass is the perfect choice to get the shimmer of gold without breaking the bank. It isn’t just the high level of detail that makes it a good option for your jewelry pieces; the shiny look will make it a fantastic choice for your jewelry prints. In short, brass looks great! The price Last, but by no means least, one of the main reasons why we adore brass for 3D printing is simply its price. Brass is the most affordable metal to 3D print jewelry.  What is more, prices for some of our favorite finishes for brass have decreased recently, so there is no excuse to not try them all! If you want to compare prices for your designs in brass, upload your 3D files to our online 3D printing platform and get an instant quote for our different finishes. These were the reasons why we love 3D printing in brass. Which are yours? Show us your brass 3D printing creations by tagging your designs on social media with the hashtag #imaterialise. Learn more about brass on our material pages and discover how to get the perfect brass 3D print on our blog. What other materials for 3D printing do you like using for your 3D-printed designs?

Alice in 3D Printing Wonderland

For many people, 3D printing just means prototypes and industrial designs, but at i.materialise we’re well aware that this is not true! For us, 3D printing is synonymous with creativity, art, design and even fashion. 3D printing can be used for the design of a beautiful kettle, to create incredible pieces of jewelry, or such as in this case, to bring a pair of dream shoes to life! Read more about the outlandish 3D shoe designs from Alice Van Opstaal.   When this student of Shoe Design at the SASK (Stedelijke Academie voor Schone Kunst) in Sint-Niklaas had to create a fantastic shoe collection for a project, she decided to use 3D printing. The results were impressive. Discover Alice Van Opstaal’s wonderland! From a classic book to a piece of fashion With the help of 3D printing, she designed this Flamingo/Hedgehog shoe, which is part of a collection of four different shoe models called “The war against reality”. They’re inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Each shoe depicts the characters and atmosphere of the book and this one is from the chapter called “The Queen’s croquet ground”. Look at the shoes in action on this video!  “When looking for inspiration, any medium or art form might inspire me: graphic art, literature, music, theatre, etc. The idea to use the universe of Lewis Carroll was sparked by a theatre performance by Abattoir Fermé, called Alice,” explains the designer. After that, Alice dove into the books of Lewis Carroll, where she rediscovered the original drawings by John Tenniel. She was inspired by them when drawing her sketches and also in her use of textures. They’re inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Each shoe depicts the characters and atmosphere of the book and this one is from the chapter called “The Queen’s croquet ground” 3D printing without boundaries The wonderland of Alice is an absurd, illogical and twisted universe and Alice wanted that to be reflected in the designs. “3D printing allowed me to go all out and use the most complex forms. There were virtually no boundaries.” Alice decided to use 3D printing for these designs because her boyfriend was taking classes in 3D printing and it seemed like a nice idea to have a shared project. Also, 3D printing technology allowed for such an array of possibilities: crazy shapes, extreme height and great strength. After the first sketches, Alice translated the designs into 3D with Fusion 360. The shoes were 3D printed in Polyamide (SLS). “I chose this material mainly because of the price tag, its strength and the possibilities in size because the heel of my Flamingo/Hedgehog shoe is 30 cm high.” 3D printing allowed me to go all out and use the most complex forms. There were virtually no boundaries Another good reason for choosing Polyamide for 3D printing was that Alice also wanted to spray-paint the design herself in a specific color of her choice. The multiple purposes of 3D printing for fashion “This was my first experience with 3D printing but I will definitely use 3D printing in the future. For my shoe designs but also for other design purposes. Hopefully, the price will become more and more affordable in the future.” Alice is currently working on her graduation collection. This time she will use more traditional manufacturing methods like CNC milling to make some wooden heels, but she will rely on 3D-printed parts for the details. We can’t wait to see the results of this project! This is not the first time that we use 3D printing for fashion. Check out the amazing 3D-printed shoes by Katrien Herdewyn and the Vortex dress by Laura Thapthimkuna. Do you have a final project for your studies that you would like to see featured on the blog? Let us know! We also offer a 10% educational discount for students and teachers. You just have to register here with the official email address of your university or school. Once your 3D designs are ready, upload them to our 3D printing platform to get an instant quote in the different 3D printing materials that we offer.

Discover Our Favorite 3D-Printed Jewelry in Non-Metal Materials

We love the possibility of 3D printing in precious metals: silver, brass, bronze or even gold are some of our most popular materials with jewelry designers. But it’s worth discovering these other unusual materials which can also be perfect for 3D printing jewelry. Over the years we have printed jewelry in unexpected materials like plastics and we are always amazed by the creativity of the designers. Discover all the materials that you can use to 3D print jewelry and why they can be a great alternative for your next designs! 3D-printed jewelry in Polyamide (SLS) Polyamide (SLS) stands out for its versatility so it’s no surprise that many creatives have used it to make jewelry. This 3D printing material can adapt itself depending on the design to become more or less rigid and it offers many finishing options. Another positive point for polyamide is the many colors available at i.materialise. Polyamide is originally white but it can be dyed in 10 different colors! Polyamide (SLS) can also be finished with a waterproof seal or a velvet coating. Look at these great examples of 3D-printed jewelry in Polyamide (SLS). Vintage meets modern technology. #love A. ❤️ #3Dprinted #3Dprintedjewelry #design #jewelryaddict #instamood #pendant #nothingsordinary #fashionjewelry #greekdesigners #chic #geometric #uniquejewelry #jewelryporn #heart #jewellerygram #contemporaryjewellery #vintage #superlora #shoponline A post shared by Superlora (@superlora3designs) on Apr 5, 2016 at 8:57am PDT 3D-printed jewelry in Polyamide (MJF) One of the latest additions to our family of materials, Polyamide (MJF), has rapidly stolen our hearts. This 3D printing technology offers great freedom of design with a higher density than Polyamide (SLS). As a polyamide, MJF is great for detailed designs, textured surfaces and imaginative designs. The natural color of MJF is gray but it can be dyed in black for a smart and uniform finish. The first 3D-printed jewelry designs in MJF are already here, check them out! Curiosity – Ring / 3D print in black dyed polyamide using HP multi jet fusion technology by @imaterialise #3dprinting #ring #black #polyamide #jewelry #anneau #bijoux #plastic #design #3ddesign #figures #figurative #figurativeart #imaterialise A post shared by Koenraad Van Daele (@koenraadvandaele) on Dec 22, 2017 at 5:08am PST 3D- printed jewelry in Alumide Ok, alumide has some metal in it but technically it’s a plastic. This blend of polyamide and aluminum powder has a metallic appearance with a bit of a sparkle. The technology behind this 3D printing material is Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), which means a lot of freedom of design. Sparkle and endless creativity: what else do you need for a perfect 3D jewelry design? Natural alumide is matte gray in color but it can be printed in great colors like Asphalt Black, Brick Red, Rusty Orange, Sparkly Blue and Moss Green.     3D-printed jewelry in rubber-like Another unusual material that has a lot to offer to jewelry designers is rubber-like. This super flexible and strong 3D printing material is perfect for 3D printing bracelets, but can also be used for necklaces. The natural finish of rubber-like is white but it can be dyed in black for a more consistent final look. Look at these designs of jewelry in rubber-like and how they adapt to the body. They are also great to squeeze! There are no ideas too crazy for 3D printing, just endless possibilities! Don’t hesitate and start 3D printing your jewelry designs in these original materials today. Which one would you choose? Check out the best software available for jewelry design and all the other materials that we offer at i.materialise.

3D Printing for Product Design

3D printing allows us to dream. Not just because the freedom of design it enables is limitless, but because it’s a good way to test out our ideas and designs in the real world. This is especially useful for product designers like Elia Furgiele. Elia is a Swiss Industrial Designer who uses i.materialise to 3D print prototypes for his designs, and he can tell us a thing or two about how to use 3D printing to improve the design of his products to perfection. He graduated in 2009 from the Technical Industrial Designer (SSSAA) course at CSIA in Lugano. He has worked as a building and industrial designer and since 2016 he is flying solo as a freelance industrial designer. Elia has been designing for 3D printing since high school and is well aware of the important role that 3D printing plays in the process of creating a good design. From idea to 3D print Elia explains a bit more about the 3D design process that he follows:  “Usually, I use 3D printing to test dimensions, ergonomics, space, proportions and usability. Using different colors and materials could add value and give a strong identity to my products.” His favourite 3D design software is Creo Parametric.“It’s fast, user-friendly and it allows me to check the design thoroughly in a simple and intuitive way“. He even taught students how to use this design software in a class in collaboration with Parametric Design Suisse. I use 3D printing to test dimensions, ergonomics, space, proportions and usability. Using different colors and materials could add value and give a strong identity to my products. Prototyping for the best design Elia 3D prints his prototypes in Polyamide (SLS) because he can choose from a wide variety of colors and because it’s more affordable than the other materials.  “For the final product I can choose the right material in terms of consistency, weight, reflection, color and connotation”. Design is also very important for the perfect 3D print: “Firstly, I would recommend being as clean as possible when creating your design in whatever software. Secondly, it’s important to consider the thickness of your design in order to remove unnecessary material and save money.” Elia also suggests spending some time (and money) to print prototypes before printing a final product with a specific material, to be sure that your product works in real life. For the final product I can choose the right material in terms of consistency, weight, reflection, color and connotation. A 3D printing solution for each design One of his recent projects is a cutlery set. “It was a big challenge because instead of thinking about one element, you have to think about a set of things that need coherence and consistency among them to make them feel part of the same family of ideas. After I had a clear idea, I used 3D printing to test the design!” Another recent design is a card holder. The original idea was to create a magazine holder but due to dimension limitations, Elia 3D printed the card stand instead to test the design. He also 3D printed a mold in standard resin to create the perfectly shaped finished concrete card holder. Design and materials, never-ending ideas 3D printing offers many options for designers in terms of materials, as well as the possibility to create prototypes and short series of products. Elia has a project for an ashtray now and he wants to try alumide and copper for his product design projects. “I also want to use rubber-like materials for some fashion design. Another idea I have is to use ABS for junctions to make a library, a table and a chair”, says Elia. Discover more stories on our blog about prototyping with 3D printing and product design. If you want to follow Elia’s steps and design your models in PTC’s Creo software, you can print your designs directly through i.materialise thanks to the integration of both tools. If you are using another 3D design software, you can easily upload your 3D files to our 3D printing platform and get an instant quote for your 3D prints.

From a Clay Sculpture to a 3D Print with 3D Scanning

Working in such a dynamic sector like 3D printing, it’s normal that the members of the Materialise team are always exploring the creative side of 3D printing and discovering all its possibilities. This story is a good example of how we use every excuse to get creative with 3D printing. Are we obsessed with 3D printing? Maybe, but it’s just so much fun! Steven Demot works as a multimedia designer at Materialise, and creates art in his free time – most recently with clay modeling. When his fantastic creatures were noticed by product development engineer Nils Faber, he put his 3D scanning and 3D design knowledge and skills to work and made the 3D magic happen.  From drawing to 3D print Steven has always drawn fantastical creatures and aliens. A few months ago, he decided to turn his 2D creations into 3D and started sculpting in clay. For this purpose, he chose the design of a big gorilla. Nils scanned the clay figure with a professional 3D scanner and made the first designs of the 3D model using Materialise 3-matic software. After the scan, the file needed to be fixed for 3D printing and the resolution was reduced. By lowering the quantity of triangles to 1/10th, it is possible to reduce the resolution without losing quality. “Then, I added hair to the model with Blender and in the first iteration I could comb and cut the hair like in real life. I just wanted to try how it looked like and it was so much fun!”, explains Nils. Once the model was 3D scanned and fixed it could be handled easily for any purpose: 3D sculpting, painting or uploading for sharing when working in a team or with friends. Nils played with the design by adding some hair to the Model, with stunning results. I added hair to the model  and in the first iteration I could comb and cut the hair like in real life. It was so much fun! The final design was 3D printed in Polyamide (MJF) and dyed black. The material was perfect for showing the fine details of the gorilla’s face. Look at this detailed 3D print! Tips for 3D scanning when 3D printing 3D scanning an object is the fastest way to turn a real object into a 3D design, but there are some important things to take into account. As a scanning expert, Nils gives his advice to turn 3D scans into 3D designs. “The holes are the most crucial parts to be careful with and also any internal cavities that can be difficult to reach with the scan.” “Remember to reduce the amount of triangles before fixing the files, and make sure that the models have light, matte colors. Clay was a perfect material to 3D scan because shiny surfaces are much harder to scan.” The creative possibilities of 3D scanning Steven had the idea of turning his clay creation into a pair of bright cufflinks and 3D printing made it possible. The cufflinks were 3D printed in untreated brass. This material was perfect to keep the details of the 3D design, even when the scale and material changed. This process is a good example of the endless applications of 3D scanning a real object. In this case, scaling up and reducing the models is really impressive. The real model is 30 cm, and the 3D scan was made at a 1/1 scale, but since the design has so much detail it can be blown up to be as big as you like. That means it could be turned into a real gorilla! “This is not too different on how models are created for big Hollywood movies,” according to Nils Faber. “The figure in a different size would explain a whole new story and it would be a great creative exercise,” Steven adds. Coloring the models to find the colors that you like is also an ideal application for a 3D scan, or even replicating the models to apply them onto other objects, such as a décor. Steven is very enthusiastic about the applications of the scan: “As an artist it is enjoyable to make fun stuff with 3D models. I am a big fan of pop culture and a mish-mash of things from the past and present!” The figure in a different size would explain a whole new story and it would be a great creative exercise Ready to 3D scan your figures and get creative with your 3D models? Discover the most popular scanners and 3D scanning software to design your 3D prints. Nils used a professional 3D scanner for this project, but you can also get high-quality 3D scans at home. For example, you can use the app Qlone to 3D scan small objects and 3D print them directly with i.materialise. Once the scans are ready, you can upload your files to our 3D printing platform and decide what the best material and size is for them. What would you like to see the 3D scanned gorilla used for? Let us know in the comments!

From Kickstarter to 3D Printing Business

One of the main advantages of 3D printing is the benefits that it offers for mass customization. Thanks to 3D printing technologies, the possibility of personalizing objects to make them unique has become much easier and that’s exactly what the Space Time Coordinates project is about. On the i.materialise blog, we sometimes share the stories behind Kickstarter projects to showcase the countless creative possibilities of 3D printing. Space Time Coordinates is one of these projects we featured in the past. This Kickstarter campaign was a great success and is an up and running company nowadays. As you can see, there is life beyond a Kickstarter campaign and this is what it looks like! A solar system at your fingertips What is Space Time Coordinates about? Let us refresh your memory. Based on the date of your choice, a software program creates a custom 3D model with the exact position of all the planets circulating the sun at that point in time. The orbital paths are illustrated by concentric etched lines and their sizes and distances are schematized. The Sun and the eight planets of our solar system are represented by small holes on a metal coin. The 3D-printed mementos can be used as a necklace, a keyring or a push-in badge. Apart from their beloved 3D-printed metal badges, Space Time Coordinates now also offer other customized objects like t-shirts and posters with the positions of the planets at a certain point in time. The Sun and the eight planets of our solar system are represented by small holes on a metal coin. The 3D-printed mementos can be used as a necklace, a keyring or a push-in badge. The minds behind the Space Time Coordinates project Angélique Adrianna Govy, known as Govy, is an extremely curious French artist diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. She has dabbled in a variety of artistic mediums: photography, drawing, video, interactive art, installation and sculpture. In 2014, her obsession with space and time led her to work on the first prototypes of the Space Time Coordinates project. After experiencing the popularity of her project through a Kickstarter campaign, she joined forces with Martin Vézina: a Canadian developer who is passionate about history, space and science. He had already created an interactive simulator for the Solar system and was the perfect match to help Govy automate the whole process and make it faster. It was a perfect fit! Can you 3D print time? Govy got the inspiration for this 3D printing project when her friend Scott Thrift asked her to work on a new face for his clock The Present. This clock takes one year to make a full cycle, which inspired Govy to illustrate the path of the earth around the sun.  “I started gathering inspiration from old astronomy books on the representation of our solar system and the orbital paths of our planets. And I just went down that rabbit hole”, explains Govy. She became more and more interested in the concept of representing time within space and showing the human achievements within the context of our solar system because illustrating important historical events had a meditative aspect that really drew her in. “I think that viewing important dates in our human history helps bring things in perspective, as well as grasping the ephemeral aspect of our lives. While being aware that we are all part of a common story, no matter how small it is in the context of the universe, and we should celebrate each advancement in humanity, each personal milestone”, specifies the French artist.  The 3D printing process of getting the universe in your pocket  The 3D design of the mementos involves some automation, and the creators used the 3D software programs Rhino and Javascript to automate this part of the 3D printing process. The Space Time Coordinate mementos can be 3D printed in a variety of metals like brass, bronze, aluminum, silver, titanium and even gold, but Govy points out high-detail stainless steel for 3D printing: “It’s so detailed and it has a beautiful marble effect, which reminds me of a meteorite.” The French artist also wants to highlight how 3D printing was crucial for this project. Each piece is unique because it represents a special date in someone’s life: a birth, a wedding, etc., and 3D printing allows the customer to print a piece that’s one of a kind. “Without 3D printing, I might have given up on the project altogether! I’m thankful for the inventive spirit of the human race”, says Govy. Without 3D printing, I might have given up on the project altogether! I’m thankful for the inventive spirit of the human race Since Govy and Martin created a company for the STC products, she has come back to inventing new ideas for the project. Apart from 3D printing for future exhibitions, she is exploring new fields such as VR and learning how to use the 3D design software Blender.Discover all the projects which Govy is working on, read more about Martin’s orrery or just go straight to the Space Time Coordinates shop to buy one of their unique creations. Which special date would you like to carry around with you? If you’re thinking about launching your own 3D printing Kickstarter project, get inspired by these stories and upload your 3D files to our online platform to get a price and an estimated lead time for your 3D prints. Do you have an ongoing 3D printing project? Let us know on social media with the hashtag #imaterialise.

MagicaVoxel 3D Printing Tutorial: 3D Design for Beginners

3D design can be somewhat intimidating if you have never used 3D design software before. At i.materialise, we love getting newcomers to 3D printing started in this fascinating world. That’s why today we’re bringing you a 3D design tutorial for beginners. Get started with 3D design with this MagicaVoxel tutorial. MagicaVoxel is a voxel-based modeler. A voxel is a cube that can be used to create 3D designs in a very simple and intuitive way, almost like a virtual Lego set. By using MagicaVoxel, we created and 3D-printed a figurine in our new Multicolor+. From an empty screen to a finished figure, you can do it too! Just follow this 3D design tutorial in MagicaVoxel and become the king of the 3D design jungle! As we said, MagicaVoxel is perfect for beginners because it doesn’t have complicated tools or functions.  In this tutorial we are going to use three basic commands: Attach, Erase and Paint. You can find the buttons in the upper left-hand corner of your screen. Ready? Go! Now that you have seen how to 3D design a figurine it’s your turn to do it! Once your files are ready, export them in ply format and upload them to our 3D printing platform to see your creations come alive. Impressed by the brighter colors of the voxel lion? That’s our new full-color 3D printing material: Multicolor+. Discover here how you can get the perfect Multicolor+ 3D prints. Discover all the possibilities of 3D design for beginners with this free design programs to get you started with 3D printing. Show us your MagicaVoxel creations on social media with the hashtag #imaterialise. Tutorial by Bert De Niel