Friday, June 17, 2016

M3D Micro - Pushing the Envelope With Detail

Base on the incredible detail I've seen in prints from the M3D Micro, I decided to give it some tough love with an object that was specifically designed to push the limits of using no raft and no supports with other 3D printers..

The difference in this test, from that of other 3D printers, was the scale.  At just 2.7" (69.5mm) The Micro printed version is about 1/2 of that of the other printer tests, resulting in extremely thin features hanging out there with no support!  I used Medium Quality (3rd selection from left) and Low Density (3rd selection from Left) for this test.  All check boxes were unchecked.   Here is the result:

Fire Vase - 2.7" (69.5m)

(Sorry for the barely adequate iPhone image.)

Ok... I know.  Who in their right mind would do this to a 3D printer?  But, as my granddaughters would say when they pick on me, "Because it's FUN... and SPECIAL!"

And, in fact, it WAS!!!

Remember... NO raft and NO supports!

As can be seen by comparing the size of the printed "Fire Vase" to the quarter, this print is very, very delicate,  The flames flare out with absolutely no support except the integrity of the layers.

The only artifacts were some stringing at the last 5mm from the tips.  While it's difficult to see in an iPhone image of a white object, the ornamental detail around the base and the top was nothing short of spectacular considering the scale.

The remarkable thing was that all of the flames and the tips of the flames were completely printed and intact until I clumsily damaged a tip and one of the flames by dropping it while admiring it.  Bummer!

I plan to print it again in a color that photographs better and at that time I will also use a much better camera.  I really want you to be able to see the amazing detail I'm experiencing.

Believe it or not, when I think about which of the 3D printers with which I work is most like the Micro in terms of detail, I would have to say it is the professional liquid based ProJet 1200 which costs $5,000.  That's not too shabby for a printer selling in the $400 neighborhood.

If this is what Medium Quality at Low Density looks like, I wonder what using the Expert Quality with Extra High density might yield?  Stay tuned.

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