One of the principal advantages of 3D printing is that it can be used to manufacture parts that cannot be made using any other technique giving the designer great freedom and permitting them to produce highly optimized parts. A typical example would be a strut optimized for minimum weight while maintaining adequate strength for the application.
Despite this advantage, one of the factors holding back the adoption of 3D printing in manufacturing, is speed. The output of today’s 3D printers (across all technologies) is much slower than that of other manufacturing processes such as CNC milling, injection molding or forging. As a result, the cost to manufacture 3D printed parts is prohibitive and often outweighs any benefit from the optimized part (there are some exceptions, such as dental and hearing aid industries, where 3D printers have replaced manual labor and thus led to significant cost savings). If the speed of 3D printing increases, then it can be transformed into a viable manufacturing technique and open up a host of opportunities.
In this Instructable, we’re going to look at how to increase the speed of a Digital Light Processing Stereolithography (DLP SLA) 3D printer, specifically the Autodesk Ember 3D Printer. The techniques that we describe here apply to the whole class of DLP SLA printers and can be replicated on many different systems.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!