The glue gun of the future : 3D printing at the DME

3D printing work station

It’s been a while since my last post, but this week is a short blogpost all about my visit to Ryerson’s Digital Media Experience Lab (DME).

October 19, 2016 with one of my friends we decided to kill two birds with one stone, and visit the DME for our digital skills and innovation blogpost and also print a required assignment for another of our classes.

A week before, we had an introduction to 3D printing during our management of workflow lecture and the only thing I remembered was the analogy of a giant glue gun. We thought it would be better to start fresh and learn everything once again. Requesting an introductory/ experience session was very quick and easy. Once we emailed them, we got a response and a date within 24 hours. As the day arrived, we had a purpose and goal to print our required file. I think the girl that helped us her name is Steph. She was very effective and reminded us what 3D printing is all about and how the printer actually works.

Printing my 3D model

In nutshell;

She mentioned once again the idea how 3D printing is like a glue gun, a 3D printer uses filament that is thermoplastic which is just like the glue in a glue gun. Also, it uses a feeder and a heating element that melts the filament and passes it through the extruder to make sure consistent amounts of filament is pushed to make the layers of the complete 3D object.

An 3D object is created by laying down continuous, additive layers of material until the object is created. It all starts by having a digital design, which the file is produced by using a 3D modelling software. As suggested by our teacher we used “123D Design” a free software download that is very easy to use with different tools provided. For this assignment we needed a. STL file format; abbreviation of the word Stereolithography this file contains data describing the layout of a three-dimensional object. These files are usually generated by a computer-aided design (CAD) program. Most commonly used because it allows a computer to communicate with all the 3D printer hardware. We opened the. STL file in CURA, which is the software that slices your 3D model into layers and prepares the file for print. You can preview it, scale it and adjust or change any settings as you’d like. Click print and the 3D printer will start running. The total height and length of our models were small, which allowed the printer to be very efficient and only taking 5–6 minutes to print. Steph showed us a boat and a top all created using the bigger 3D printers they also offer.

Final 3D print result

Printing is a subject that is very well known throughout my program, from knowing the various methods of printing like offset lithography, flexography, digital printing and gravure we learn everything that has to do with what, why, when, where and how each of these methods of printing are used. By visiting the DME for the 3D printing experience, it was very nice and interesting to be testing and using the machine to see one final result.

I might go back and create something bigger and extraordinary.