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Some time ago we were helping out the Biology Department at Walla Walla University get a printer dialed in for some work they wanted to do. In our work with them, they gave us these images they took with the help of Whitman College, using their scanning electron microscope and gave us permission to publish. It's been a while, but we ran onto those files again and thought the community might find them interesting.
All of the prints are done with the 4043D PLA we were selling at the time, and printed on a modified MakerBot Thing-O-Matic. The flat surfaces with the white lines, streaks, fuzz, or lightning-like patterns are where the plastic was parted with a razor blade to take the images of the infill.
This image was of particular interest, notice the twisting on the traces caused (presumably) by the changing directions of travel of the print-head and friction and bonding of the traces to prior layers. This was a grid / rectangular infill pattern at 45 degrees, cut on what we believe was the ZY plane.
Here is a closer view of the same piece. Here we get a much better view of the twisting in the traces, which is most pronounced near its interfaces with other traces. The lighting marks on the cut surface appear to be some combination of loose fibers of resin (seen better in a later photo) and embossed patterns we believe were created by the internal stresses of the traces formed during printing, cooling, and subsequent cutting.
In this next image we see the interface between the perimeter traces and infill traces. It is good to see that level of bonding between the traces toward the interior, but it looks like the outermost perimeter traces weren't very well bonded to the adjacent perimeter.
Here is another view of the infill that shows off the interface between opposing layers of the grid infill very well. Notice the twisting seen here as well as the distortion (smooshing) in the trace where it was laid down on the prior layer (oriented in on the perpendicular).
This last image was of the same design, printed with linear infill. For whatever reason we see less twisting in the traces, and less extreme deformation at the trace interfaces (which where there is less adherence when molten may actually mean a weaker part if there isn't as much of a mechanical bond from the deformation where the traces meet). The fibrous bits on the ends of the cut traces are just that - fibers of PLA resin smeared when the part was cut open. The fibers in this image are more numerous and larger than on other photos, possibly because of differences in the sharpness of the blade used, differences in printing conditions, or other uncontrolled factors.
This is a library file I put together to make routine tasks easier in OpenSCAD. Features include some often-used constants, divisions of 360 degrees into different numbers of sections, chain hull, hex rod, and some features for working with 80/20 10-Series T-Slot. I'll provide some explanations and examples below to demonstrate how I use some [...]
It's been one month since we launched 5 Dollar Filament™ and we have been overwhelmed by the 3D Printing community's response. Our mission to bring high quality American made 3D Printing materials and colors for only $5 a spool has resonated with people. Reading your feedback on our Adv. Ingeo PLA formula and beautiful colors makes [...]
A new 3D Printed spool is set to power future product lines of low cost 3D Filament. We at ProtoParadigm are proud to announce a new 3D Printed spool format for our new $5 Filament™ product category. $5 Filament™ promises to offer “Generous portions of 3D Printer Filament for only $5 a Spool,” and uses a 3D Printed [...]
Our new webfront is up and running along with a new company focus and direction. Here are the highlights.There's a New Manufacturer in Town It's us, we're the new manufacturer in town. This is by far the most important part of our new direction, we're at the steering wheel. Which means when you're talking to us, [...]
A while back, I wanted to make a parametric design in OpenSCAD that required the calculation of a cube root for one of the parameters for a volume calculation, but discovered that there didn't seem to be any code for doing this in the wild. I've finally gotten around to an implementation that's about as [...]
We recently learned about a fantastic project that a customer of ours is supporting called the HeaterMeter, and just in time for summer!Conceived by Bryan Mayland, the HeaterMeter is an AVR / Arduino microcontroller-based automatic BBQ controller. Our customer, Tom Kole, wanted to utilize 3D Printing in the process of building his HeaterMeter and originally [...]
Status Update (3/15/2016): Due to the high cost to produce LumiCord and the toll it takes on our equipment we are no longer producing LumiCord for retail sales. We hope to be able to offer a more economical version of it in the future and welcome OEM inquiries about including the technology behind LumiCord into your [...]
Did you know that when you buy from us using PayPal, you can spread the cost across multiple payments interest free over time? Maybe you've been eyeing our printer filament and wondering if you could get more time to pay. Well, now you can enjoy your purchases and choose your payments with Bill Me Later through [...]
Many Personal 3D Printers use threaded rod as a drive mechanism, usually just for the Z-axis, most of the rest use precision leadscrews. We've seen debate in multiple forums about which is better, and about how much of a difference it actually makes. We've even heard the argument that leadscrews are a waste of money, [...]