What can you do with 3D design? Well, quite a few things. So many things that it’s almost impossible to count and catalog them all. You can create a model from scratch or build a model using a 3D scanner. Once you have the basic model ready, there are many more things that you can do to tweak and change that model to meet your exact preferences. We took an every day icon that most of you might be familiar with, a storm trooper mask, to walk through a few common customizations applicable to 3D models.
1: 3D Print a Digital File
Depending on the project, 3D printing can be used to generate a final product, or can be used as part of an iterative process in design. Our 3D printers range from prosumer models specifically for affordable look/feel testing, to industry leading, extremely high detail complex prints. There are a number of different printing methods we work with – including selective laser sintering, fused deposition modeling, and stereolithography. Each method of 3d printing has its own advantages and material strengths, which we can help guide you through.
2: Alter an Existing Digital File
Whether the desired outcome is a precise, engineered alteration or some added sculptural detail, we can take a file and then update it. Sometimes an existing design needs an additional feature for a new function, or a 3D file needs color to be mapped onto it.
3: Create a Model with Interlocking Slices
A physical model of a 3D file can be generated by creating planar sheets than intersecting and interlocking. This is typically used for sculptural applications or for preparing for thermoforming a topological surface.
4: Use a 3D Print to Create a Mold for Casting
3D printing is not a replacement for all traditional manufacturing techniques. In fact, 3D printing is amazing at being a primer for conventional fabrication techniques that have been around for centuries. For instance, we can take a 3D print or a specific shape and make a mold that can be used to create objects make from ceramics, concrete, metal, and wax.
5: Add Complex Surface Conditions, Ornament, or Filigree to a 3D Digital File
Patterns and ornament can be projected or mapped onto a 3D digital file to make very complex objects. This is where 3D printing really shines – and where we can physically realize objects that could never be built by hand.
6: Create Folded Paper Model of a Digital 3D File
Used frequently for making masks for hobbyists – they can be coated with fiberglass and made into strong and durable objects. These can also use full color.
7: Create a Laminated Topographic Model
3D digital models can be sliced into topographic layers which can then be cut from flat sheets of material using laser cutting or CNC milling.
8: Reduce Mesh Resolution of a Digital File
Mesh reduction can be used to achieve a more digital aesthetic, or for preparing files for fabrication in which flat panels of material will be used for construction.