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  1. Does anybody have ideas oder tutorials in which programs or how do model perforation like that on any object ?
  2. Good Day, I trust that you are well, I need some assistance or advise from any of the Cura developers or someone that maybe knowledgeable in my request. I would like to find out whether it is possible to create a custom script or plugin to automate the "modify setting for overlap" specific to the "infill mesh only". Please see the attached image. I am working with several different CAD bodies (which can be represented by Body2 in the above image) which requires printing. In all cases, a specific concentrated loading profile (which can be represented by Body 1 in the above image) is being applied to the CAD bodies. The loading profile is guided by the stress profile generated from FEA. To assist with improving the mechanical characteristic of the body, I am using the "modify settings for overlap" and the "infill mesh only" where I select the appropriate print settings for the given load. Currently, the process of re-opening the tab and selecting the "modify setting for overlap" and the "infill mesh only" defaults to "Wall thickness and Top/Bottom Thickness" and removes my previous selected print options. This process also takes time in re-selecting the print settings. The image below presents the example of generating the infill place as per the normal approach. I would like to find out whether is it possible to create my own script or plugin where I have all the predefined print settings/options added so I could simply select the body I want to apply the modified mesh/infill properties too instead of reselecting each time for new models. I did try to look for source code under the Cura Github platform but I don't seem know which script specifically creates the modify setting for overlap and how its referencing the print settings. Can someone please advise or refer me to the appropriate files to achieve this as well as a guideline or link to developing custom plugins for Cura? Any help and assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Kind Regards
  3. Is there a method to convert g-code to a cad model such as a solidworks part file? I want to do structural analysis including the infill patterns generated by Cura for my model. Any solution or ideas to create a custom solution would be much appreciated.
  4. So a couple of months ago I came across a website called 3D Lab Print (a website where you can buy 3d printing models of famous aircraft) and I decided to print my own Edge 540, the same plane used in the red bull air race and commonly used in aerobatic competitions. I fell in love with the idea of modeling and printing my own plane at some point as a hobby to learn a variety of CAD softwares and learn a little more about aircraft design than I already do. I started my journey of modeling my plane a couple of weeks ago and am finally at the point where I am starting to import STL files into Cura 3.4 for slicing, however, I've run into a couple of snags with my models that I was curious to see if anyone had any fixes for. I am using SolidWorks Student 2019 for my modeling software and I've run into three major issues while slicing my STLs. All of the screenshots included in this post give comparisons between my model (just the skin of the wing, internal structure is hidden from view) and the 3D Lab Print Edge 540 model in Cura. As you can see the differences are quite major as the Edge 540 model is slicing very cleanly and my model has a couple of issues. Here is the list of issues I am experiencing with images accompanying them attached: 1. When I play the path of the printing head for each of my layers in the cura gui, the head follows the outline of the airfoil once (as expected) but then goes back a second time and follows the airfoil path again on the same layer (effectively printing a single layer twice with no vertical movement, not expected). I have not enabled combing in Cura so I do not believe that this is the result of that setting. 2. I am seeing strange grooves in the surface of my wing as some of my layers alternate line width. As you can see below, the edge 540 wing is smooth compared to my wing which has varying layer line width. 3. I cannot get the wall line count to change in my model preview when I change the wall line count value in the Cura sidebar; however, when I change the wall line count to 2 for the 3D Lab Print Edge 540 model Cura successfully previews the wing section with 2 lines for the width of the model wall. This may be some kind of magic with the CAD software that 3D Lab Print uses (I think they use Fusion 360) and I would love it if anyone has any knowledge of how to pull of this little trick. Any knowledge on any of these topics would be greatly appreciated. Maybe if we can use this topic as a base for modeling techniques then more people can make their airplane day dreams a reality with 3D printing!
  5. I want to take my 3D shape and put it with it's infill pattern into another programme such as Ansys so I can analyse it. When I save the file in Cura after slicing it and import it to any other programme it only shows the exterior shape and the infill pattern seems to disappear. Anyone got any solutions? Thank you.
  6. Introduction Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, Amerigo Vespucci, James Cook. What do they all have in common, and what could they possibly be doing in a post related to 3D Printing and Generative Design? The obvious answer to what they have in common is that they were all explorers, many of them from an era known as The Age of Discovery. The reason they relate to this post is that Generative Design has been created for “design explorers” and it provides a method for navigating a route through to the discovery of the kind of design outcomes the like of which we may never have seen or used before. Using Generative Design we are able to engage in design exploration to assist us in seeking out new ways to solve engineering and product design problems, perhaps as part of our own “age of discovery”. It provides us with the opportunity of exploring what lies beyond the boundaries of traditional designing, especially where light weight, high stiffness and minimal material usage is important. Multiple Manufacturing Methods When it comes to engaging in that exploration though there can be a perception that Generative Design is only for pushing the boundaries for additive manufacturing parts. That perception is often shaped by some of the more complex, high-profile examples of Generative Design that people have seen, and the fact that when it first emerged it was initially focussed on additive manufacturing as the method of delivering its outcomes. However, that is no longer the case and Generative Design can now produce solutions that are far more inclusive when it comes to the types of manufacturing techniques that we intend to use to produce our final design. It is now capable of delivering designs that can be ready for manufacturing using methods such as 2D cutting, 2.5-axis, 3-axis and 5-axis CNC machining, as well as being able to produce outcomes for die-casting which can easily lend themselves to being used for manufacturing using other methods of moulding. To illustrate that point here are the results of a Generative Design study that returned a number of different solutions. All of them are valid design options, each tailored to a specific manufacturing method, and all of them were produced from a single set-up in Generative Design. Exploring a Fusion of Manufacturing Methods As part of encouraging the spirit of exploration introduced at the start of this article, I would like to introduce how fusing together additive and subtractive manufacturing methodologies within Generative Design can be beneficial. It also serves as an example of how Fusion 360 lives up to its name through the way it brings both manufacturing methods together within the Manufacturing and Generative Design workspaces that exist within it. When using Generative Design I would encourage you to consider that just because the manufacturing outcome for a study is targeted at one particular manufacturing method it does not always have to mean that it is the sole preserve of that method, and what follows is an example of a type of “manufacturing fusion” workflow. Additive Manufacturing Without Complexity Additive manufacturing is often described as a way of making things where “complexity comes for free”. Whilst that's never been entirely true it's a statement that has served as an enduring strapline for advocates of the technology. The truth of the matter though is that some additive manufacturing methods cannot deliver on that promise of high geometric complexity, yet they are still able to offer a very effective way of making things. Additive manufacturing with some materials and some techniques is restricted by the fact that unsupported overhangs are not only undesirable, but may not even be possible. With FFF 3D printers it is now possible to use material filaments that are densely loaded with metal powder carried within a polymer binder. Using these materials, parts can be 3D printed on desktop machines and then subsequently put through catalytic de-binding and sintering processes to get to a final metal part that is very close to being 100% dense. There are several examples of this kind of system available, but here I'm going to concentrate on an application using BASF Forward AM Ultrafuse 316Lmaterial on an Ultimaker S5 Ultrafuse 316L offers the opportunity to create 316L stainless steel parts through 3D printing but, at the time of writing, there is no effective removable support material that is compatible with this particular 3D printing filament. Overhanging areas can also be the cause of significant issues with part stability during the de-bind and sintering stage of the process, however, I still wanted to explore how that kind of material and additive manufacturing method could be used for creating a part that had been produced using Generative Design. Generating a Fusion of Subtractive and Additive Manufacturing So, I took a slightly different approach in Generative Design when it came to specifying the manufacturing outcome in order to do this. Because of the need to produce a design that was free from overhanging areas the manufacturing objective I chose to use was 2.5-axis CNC machining since, by its very nature, it should generate a design that conforms to that requirement. When specifying the manufacturing objectives for 2.5-axis CNC machining in the Generative Design study set-up there is the ability to define the minimum tool diameter that will be used. Whilst you would normally specify the real dimensions for the CNC tool that you are going to use, the software does not actually constrain you to using real-life tools. So, it doesn’t really matter for instance that you are unlikely to be using a 0.4 mm diameter tool for 2.5 axis machining but, if you are looking to create a solution for FFF 3D printing, that dimension could be used to represent the diameter of the material extrusion from the nozzle being used. So, using that thinking, here's a study that I ran for the design of a gripper arm. It’s one that is based on the design that can be found in Sample projects section in the Fusion 360 Data Panel: ( Project => Simulation Samples, Folder => 1 – Hands-On Exercises, Design => GripperArm). In this case I set up the study and included the 2.5-axis CNC machining manufacturing objective in the full knowledge that I intended to use the outcome instead for an additive manufacturing method. In this case I set the tool diameter at a fairly modest 2 mm (even though a CC Red print core with a 0,6 mm diameter would be used for the 3D printing) and a wall thickness of 2.5 mm to provide a usable condition for 3D printing. Had I wanted an outcome with more complexity I could have reduced that specified tool diameter even further. The tool direction was set at Z to ensure that no overhangs would be created for the 3D printer to deal with and 316L stainless steel was included in the materials selected for the study. This is one of the solutions generated for a 316L stainless steel part using 2.5-axis machining which looked looked worthy of further investigation and potential for 3D printing. As you can see from the image there are no overhangs in the design, so I decided to export this outcome and made only very minor changes to it before using it for 3D printing. 3D Printing and Post-Processing What resulted was a very straightforward, support-free 3D print that was optimised for using Ultrafuse 316L on an S5 printer. The print was completed using the Ultrafuse 316L material profile from the Cura Marketplace with 100% solid infill, which gave a print time of just over four and a half hours. It's important to remember that scaling factors need to be applied to the size of the part at the slicing stage to take into account the shrinkage experienced through the de-bind and sinter stage. These scaling factors for the X,Y and Z axis can be found in the FASF Forward AM guidelines for this material. Some light post-processing was done on the top and bottom faces of these parts after 3D printing to smooth them down using a fine grade abrasive paper. The material is quite soft in this so-called "green" state and very little effort is needed in order to be rewarded with high quality surfaces after the de-bind and sinter process. These 3D prints were then put through the de-bind and sinter process to finish up with generatively designed 316L stainless steel parts that had been successfully manufactured using a desktop 3D printer. Conclusion So what are you waiting for? Open up Fusion 360 and become a “design explorer” using all of the tools that Generative Design offers. See how you too can combine additive and subtractive manufacturing objectives into your explorations and discover the potential benefits of using the capability of the multiple manufacturing objectives that Generative Design provides and how it can help with Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM). Also, if you are looking to create 3D printed metal parts consider investigating the BASF Forward Ultrafuse 316L option. It was very rewarding to run through this process from start to finish and look at the parts at the end with the satisfaction that I had produced my very first metal parts using an Ultimaker 3D printer! Note : The above post is an edited version of this article published as part of Autodesk University 2020 which is taking place online on 17-19th November 2020
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