X3D Blog

Get started with these 3D printing filaments for crafts and hobbies

You may be surprised at the number of 3D printing filaments for crafts and hobbies . Yes, the 3D printing technology is no longer just for medical, commercial, and industrial applications. Many people have been taking up 3D printing as a craft and hobby due to the creative freedom to design toys, models, and prototypes and print them out and see them in real life. Personalised gifts can also be made through 3D printing. If you want to start your 3D printing journey as a hobbyist, here are high-quality 3D printing filaments for crafts and hobbies.

The 3D Printing Filaments for Crafts and Hobbies to Create Artistic Prints

3D Skulpt

If you’re looking for one of the 3D printing filaments for crafts and hobbies that are sculptable, look no further than 3D Skulpt. Made from Thibra3D, it allows the filament to be sculpted like clay and remodelled during post-processing.

Printing imperfections like zits, blobs, zippers, and obvious layers can be easily smoothed down and remodelled, while intricate accents can be carved into the surface. It can also be printed with acrylic paints.

Bonus: 3D Skulpt can be sculpted constantly by carving, cutting, remodelling, and piling on additional 3D Skulpt material and leftover support structures, among others.

Clear 3D printing filaments for crafts and hobbies

Read more

Why You Should Use High Quality PLA Filaments If You’re a First-Time 3D Printer

If you’re just starting out with 3D printing, using high quality PLA filaments for your printing projects is the way to go. They are one of, if not the most, popular 3D printing filaments to use Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) desktop technology. Find out why high quality PLA filaments are the best for beginners.

Get up Close and Personal with X3D’s High Quality PLA Filaments

What are high quality PLA filaments exactly?

PLA filaments are made of PolyLactic Acid, a biodegradable thermoplastic polymer sourced from renewable resources, such as corn starch and sugar cane, which lends it a sweet scent while printing. It is environmentally friendly because it decomposes after three to six months versus the thousands of years that other thermoplastic materials require.

Pros of High Quality PLA Filaments

Easy to print: When you print with high quality PLA filaments, you will rarely come across issues as they typically don’t warp or clog the nozzles. It also requires a low temperature.

Accurate surface detail: Since high quality PLA filaments are not prone to warping, blobbing, clogging and other problems, they can produce prints that are faithful to your design. Its low temperature melting point also results in sharper details and features.

Read more

3D Printing Guide With the Best Nylon 3D Printer Filaments

It doesn’t matter if you’re printing with the best nylon 3d printer filaments . If you don’t have the right technique, then your prints are still going to fail. So, what does it take to churn out an immaculate 3D print that is faithful to your intended design? Read on below to find out.

What are the qualities of the best nylon 3D printer filaments?

The best nylon 3D printer filaments are durable. They are known for their shock and impact resistance if they are printed with wall thickness and dense infill. If they are used for thin prints, they turn flexible, which makes them ideal for high-use functional pieces such as living hinges, gears and more.

The best nylon filaments display superior tensile strength. While they are flexible, the best nylon 3d printer filaments can be pulled and stretched whichever way and force without breaking. Best examples of this are nylon-made cable ties and ropes.

Expect minimal friction coefficient with the best nylon 3D print filaments. Nylon 3D printer filaments make for great hinges and gears as they move seamlessly without the need for lubrication.

X3D’s best nylon 3d printer filaments

Our best nylon filaments boast of the typical qualities of its materials such as its unrivaled strength, heat and chemical resistance, and durability. But what makes our 3D printer filaments the best in class? Find out below.

Read more

A Beginner’s Guide to PETG Filament Printing

If you want to buy PETG filament but have no idea what it is, think of PET plastic bottles. The PETG 3D filament is the sibling of PET with just one component differentiating the two: glycol. This chemical completely changes the composition of PETG, making softer and more flexible. PETG allows the bottle to have an easy-grip waist. Aside from aesthetics, PETG also prevents the undesirable characteristics of PET like its crystallization, brittleness, and haziness during the heat.

However, PETG filament has its own share of drawbacks due to its softer build such as being resistance to autoclaving and increased susceptibility to UV light damage and scratches. Overall, the advantages of PETG 3D filament outweigh the bad when you think of its durability, shock resistance, high heat tolerance, RF sealable, and comfortable grip.

Best Applications for PETG

Aside from water bottles, PETG filament is good for making food containers, mechanical parts, 3D printer parts, protective components, planter pots, and waterproof pieces, among other plastic materials.

Important Things to Know before Printing PETG Filament

PETG 3D filament is not for the weak of heart. It can be difficult for beginners to print with this as it requires specific print settings in order to come out great. Here are things to remember before diving into printing PETG filaments.

Heated build platform is recommended. For successful prints using PETG 3D filament, you need to have quality heated build platform. While glass bed or blue painter’s tape built in some 3D printers are good enough, a good heated build platform can take the results up a notch. It improves the first layer adhesion, making it easier for the succeeding prints. Heated bed platforms also typically have its own glass surface, making it easier to print directly without the need for additional globs of glue or tape.

Read more

How to Know If You Have the Correct Abs Temperature for 3d Printing

If you search for the ideal ABS Temperature for 3D Printing online, you will come across different answers. It can be especially confusing if you are still a beginner! While the ideal heater temperature range between 200-250 °C, it still varies depending on the type of plastic and printer that you have. So, this begs the question: what is the accurate ABS temperature for 3D printing? Read on below to find out.

Starting out

While you can never be too sure about the right ABS temperature for 3D printing, the range that it should be heated should give you a clue as to how you should go on about it. What you should do is begin heating the ABS plastic in the mid-range of the recommended temperature: 230 °C. From there, you can incrementally increase or lower the temperature by 5 degrees until you hit the sweet spot of balancing the print quality and strength of the part.

If you’re a novice, it can be pretty hard to tell. Here’s what your ABS print would look like if you either went overboard or too little with the heat.

Underheated ABS print

If you notice that your filament refuses to adhere to the previous layer, then it means it is undercooked. The heating temperature is insufficient if the filament also has a rough surface or the part can be easily pulled apart.

Overheated ABS print

Read more

The Best 3D Printing Software Tools for 2018

The success of your 3D prints does not rely on the quality of 3D printers alone. You may have the best 3D printer out in the market. But if you don’t have a good 3D printing software tool to come up with your design and prepare it for printing, then it would all be for naught. 3D printing software programs allow you to take the reins in reviewing, creating, tweaking, preparing, and overseeing your prints. Some tools may be more technical and more complicated than others, but there is a program for everyone regardless of 3D printing expertise. To help you, here are the five best 3D printing software tools for 2018.

Cura

Purpose: Slicing, print management, 3D printer hosting

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Supports: Windows, Mac, Linux

From the makers of the Ultimaker 3D printers, Cura is an award-winning open-source slicer software. It complements their own printers, but it is also compatible with other brands.

Through Cura, you can create 3D models and slice them into layers that the printer can read. After exporting them as the acceptable file formats, you can tweak the settings, such as the material, speed cooling, infill, and quality then just hit print. This 3-step process is so easy that even beginners can operate the tool. For those who are more skilled at 3D printing, you could also have more precise control over the settings by switching to Expert mode.

Read more

5 Benefits of Building a 3D Printed House in Australia

Living in a 3D printed house in Australia is about to become a possibility. The residential property outlook is the worst that it has ever been. With the Australian housing market continuing on a downward trend, finding decent and affordable housing is becoming a serious problem for Australians. Here are five reasons why building 3D printed houses in Australia should start soon.

3D printed houses are affordable.

3D printed houses dramatically cut down construction costs due to lower material prices and labor. A 600-800 square foot single-storey 3D printed home with two bedrooms can cost as little as $4,000, just like the houses built in El Salvador by New Story, a non-profit organization based in Silicon Valley.

3D printed houses can be built faster.

Typical houses take months to be completed. This is not the case with 3D printed houses. A Chinese company, Winsun Decorating Design Engineering, has achieved the feat of finishing 10 full-fledged houses with the use of 3D printing technology. Houses with simple layout and designs are built the fastest, so it should be no surprise to see overnight mass production of neighborhoods a few years down the line.

3D printed houses are stronger and more accurately built.

Faster results do not necessarily mean that the quality is sacrificed. The design is done through a software program, which will then be directly implemented by the printer throughout the building of the 3D printed house. It means fewer chances for mistakes during the construction phase.

Read more

The Ultimate 3D Printing Filament Guide

If you’re a new to 3D printing, it can be confusing to know which 3D printing filament to use with the number of options to choose from. Each 3D printing filament has its own characteristics, purposes, and printing methods; Thus, you have to know the strengths and weaknesses of each filament in order to get an accurate 3D print.

To help you out, we have published an extensive 3D printing filament guide to help you out. Due to the extensive 3D printing filaments out in the market, we have classified them into three kinds: the standards or those that are commonly used; the fun stuff or those that are used by designers and hobbyists; and the professionals or those used in commercial and industrial settings.

The Standards

ABS

Printing Temperature: 210°C – 250°C

Bed Temperature: 80°C – 110°C

Pros: The second most popular 3D printing filament, ABS is characterized by its high durability and longevity against high temperatures.

Read more

5 PLA Filament Ideas for Useful 3d Objects

As a hobbyist, you can only print cute 3D figurines until you get bored. You can do so much more with 3D printing. There have been many advancements in 3D printing that it could print a house if you choose to! If you want to start printing items that you can actually use in your day-to-day life, you can try these five easy PLA filament ideas which you can design yourself or find templates for online.

Fidget Spinner

Although no longer as trendy as they were last year, fidget spinners are still fun to use to pass the time or beat boredom. You could also give them as gifts or sell them. If you want to know how to print your own, you can follow our simple 3D fidget spinner how-to guide here.

Cable Tie

One of the most useful PLA filament ideas, cable ties are great for organizing cables and cords snaking around in workstations and desks. You can also use them to prevent getting them tangled in storage. Why shell out money to buy them when you can create your own as many as you like, anytime you want?

Knuckle Duster

If you want something to use to defend yourself without alerting metal detectors, try printing plastic knuckle dusters. They may not be as potent as their brass counterparts, but they pack in enough punch in order for you to stun your assailant and run away. You can also try printing your own with various designs.

Read more

How to Create Your Very Own 3d Printed Fidget Spinners

The popularity of fidget spinners may be dwindling, but they are still going around people’s minds. Just this year alone, there have been many innovations introduced, from luxury ones made of titanium and Damascus steel, to ones that can fly. If you have an idea for a customized 3D printed fidget spinner that you want to use for your personal enjoyment or to give as a gift, here’s how you can make your own 3D printed fidget spinners.

What you will need:

4 skateboard bearings

3D printer

3D printing filament of your choice

Computer

SD card (optional)

Read more

2018 Best 3D Printers For Every Budget

3D printing is an emerging technology that can be used for a wide array of applications in different industries, such as manufacturing, architecture, design, and medicine, to name a few. 3D printers are now becoming accessible for everyone since they have become available at different price points. Whether you’re a 3D printing novice or you’re in the 3D printing business, here are the best 3D printers for your budget.

Affordable: Up Mini 2 3D Printer

Price: $989

The Up Mini 2 3D printer is the gateway 3D printer for budding hobbyists and designers.

Pros :

Plug-and-play : There is no assembly required, and you can start printing as soon as the device is out of the box.

Easy to use : It comes with a software that features Smart Support Technology that simplifies printing of designs.

Read more

The Future of 3D Printing: 5 Upcoming Inventions That Will Wow You

3D printing is truly the future, and the future is not too far ahead.

We all know the out-of-this-world things that 3d printing technology can provide us, from footwear to fully functional cars. With the fast developments in the world of 3d printing, it won’t be long until we reach a time where almost anything can be replicated by this technology. Find out what lies ahead in the future of 3D printing.

3D Printing Body Parts

3D printing body parts such as bones, cartilage, and muscles for regenerative medicine purposes have been made possible, according to a study published by the Nature Biotechnology in 2016. Scientists have also produced fully functioning miniature versions of vital organs such as human kidneys and livers. With this progress, it won’t be long until they can create actual-sized organs to solve organ transplant shortage.

Skyscrapers

There have been so many attempts at 3D printed houses lately with the most noteworthy being the 400-square-foot house built by 3D-printing company Apis Cor in Russia. It was printed onsite within a day at the cost of a little more than $10,000, making it far cheaper and faster to build than typical structures. So what else could be done to top that milestone?

Plans to build the first 3D-printed skyscraper in the United Arab Emirates have been announced by a Dubai-based construction firm, Cazza. It will be constructed thanks to a new technique called crane printing with the use of concrete and steel materials. Estimated to be built by 2020, the 1,375-foot building would have 80 storeys that are capable of rotating individually around a concrete axis.

Read more

The Battle of the 3D Printing Filaments: PLA vs. ABS

PLA vs ABS: They may look similar to the untrained eye, but there is a huge difference between the two.

A battle is brewing between two of the most popular 3D printing filaments that use Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) desktop technology: PLA filament and ABS filament. Both are thermoplastics that both enter a moldable state and solidify as they cool.

On the one side, you have the organic Polylactic Acid or PLA filament, a biodegradable material made from sugarcane and cornstarch. On the other side is the plastic Acylonitrile Butadiene Styrene or ABS filament, an oil-based plastic. Let’s see which will be declared the winning 3D printing filament in terms of their Ease of Printing and Cooling, Accuracy, Strength, Flexibility, and Purpose. Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!

Ease of Printing and Cooling

PLA filaments melt easily, and they are not sensitive to temperature changes. They also have a lower tendency to warp, and they smell like candy while printing. Due to its heat-resistant nature, PLA does not require a heating bed or an enclosure, making the cooling an easier process.

Meanwhile, it takes up to 150-160°C for ABS filaments to melt properly. It is also sensitive to temperature changes in the environment, so an enclosure or heated belt plate is required during printing. It should also be allowed to cool slowly or else the printed product will come out with cracks in the layer lines.

Winner: PLA filament

Read more

Smooth Operator

3D Printers are improving the level of print quality by using smaller diameter nozzles to improve print detail and accuracy, this however still leaves undesirable layer lines. In the majority of cases these layer lines are ugly and can be a turn off when trying to make a finished product or a model to paint.

Polymaker have a unique solution to this problem with their new PolySmooth filament; a PVB based material developed specifically for polishing. Then add the Polysher; a sealed machine that generates an aerosol of IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) or ethanol that evenly smooths and polishes your 3D Printed parts and you end up with truly stunning looking prints.

!!

The Polysher achieves its goal to consistently remove layer lines from 3D Prints, offering easier, faster and more consistent results. While ABS and PLA cannot be smoothed in the Polysher, PolySmooth is a high quality easy to print material with useful mechanical properties for general printing, even if you don’t own a Polysher.

In the past, the dangers, difficulty or time consuming nature of other post processing techniques has made it difficult for schools, families and workplaces to improve the appearance and textile feel of their 3D Prints. The Polysher is a truly unique solution that makes 3D smoothing accessible to everyone.

Read more

Printing With X3D Premium Twinkling Filament

To celebrate the arrival of our new X3D premium twinkling filament, we’ve created a How To article!

X3D Twinkling Filament is a great way to add that extra sparkle to your 3D print! It’s made of a Polymer composite PLA material, with a higher strength and toughness in comparison to regular PLA. It is also biodegradable, has a low shrinkage rate along with good rigidity. Printed objects will have a twinkling sparkle, giving that extra something to your print. Like PLA, twinkling filament is tough, odourless, with low shrinkage, good rigidity and no heated print bed necessary.

Recommended nozzle temperature is 190-220℃ along with a printing speed of 50-60 mm/s. Recommended heat bed temperature is 50℃ (a heated bed is not necessary however) along with keeping your printer fans on.

The X3D formula is RoHs compliant and tested for quality on all our X3D range of 3D printers. X3D Premium is the professional filament of choice. It also comes with a no fuss return or refund guarantee.

Recommended print settings:

Extrusion Temperature

190-220℃

Read more

Print Bed Adhesion Tips

Have you ever begun a 3D print only to have to start all over again because the print refuses to stick to the print bed? Bed adhesion is critical to ensure the success of your print. A solid first layer is a must to ensure a stable foundation for the remainder of your 3D print. Two popular print bed additive methods are to use either Kapton Tape or Buildtak.

Buildtak

Buildtak is fantastic and sticks incredibly well. If Kapton tape hasn’t fixed your bed adhesion problem, Buildtak definitely will (especially for those tricky ABS prints!) Make sure you follow their instructions to the letter (Buildtak instructions can be found here: http://www.buildtak.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/bt_instructions.pdf )

Once the Buildtak has been adhered to your printer make sure you level your print bed again to accommodate the extra height the Buildtak adds to your printed (or else the nozzle will scrape along the print bed!) Also, make sure your print is set up with little to no first layer brim/squish or else it will be very hard to remove from the print bed once finished – trust me, we know!

Buy Buildtak here: https://www.×3d.com.au/store/category/1813-3d-printing-accessories

Kapton Tape

Kapton tape can be used on high print bed temperatures such as 260C. To apply Kapton Tape to your print bed either apply underwater or with a spray bottle so it adheres better. Make sure there are no bubbles under the tape and that there is no overlap of tape when applying. Press the tape down slowly for a bubble free layer. If there are bubbles the tape can be removed and you can try again.

Read more

What infill should you use for your 3D prints?

There are four main types of infill: rectangular, triangular, wiggle and honeycomb (hexagonal).

Rectangular

The most common and general purpose infill. It’s often a default in printing software yet it offers no real structural benefit compared to some of the other infills.

Triangular

Triangular infills provide great strength, especially for high lateral loads. This infill is great to use when you print longer slender structures (such as bridges replicas, etc) or need good wall strength.

Wiggle

Wiggle infill should be used when you want your print to have a bit of flexibility and twist. It is the least rigid infill while still providing support.

Read more

Luke’s 3D Printing Story: The e-NABLE Movement

Meet eight year old Luke Dennison. Luke was born without the use of his left hand, so his father Gregg searched for a way to help his son. He found the volunteer group e-NABLE, made up of a worldwide network of over 5,000 volunteers and dedicated to use 3D printing to make a real difference to peoples lives.

e-NABLE designs, prints and donates “helper hands” free of charge to children and adults using Ultimaker 3D printers. They help people to find a 3D printer near them to print and assemble the pieces, or the hand files can be downloaded and printed at home.

Luke is able to play outside using his e-NABLE hand

Gregg contacted e-NABLE and now uses an Ultimaker 2 3D printer to create a number of different functional hands for Luke so he can hold and pick up objects.

“I feel a strong sense of pride as a father that my wife and I are able to provide my son with a new hand. Through e-NABLE and our Ultimaker 2 3D printer we are able to come up with a new hand whenever he needs one. Luke loves being able to pick the colours of his hand and show new designs off to his friends at school. e-NABLE and Ultimaker have made it easy for me to give my son the life he deserves.” – Gregg

The amazing assistive hands e-NABLE designs provide people with the ability of moving fingers if they able to bend their wrist.

“Being able to provide someone with a new assertive hand not only changes their life but also mine and everyone working with e-NABLE. Our volunteers come together to create, innovate re-design and give a ‘helping hand’ to those who need it – whether it’s helping to print parts, creating a completed device or simply helping to guide others s they build one themselves.” – Aaron Brown an e-NABLE volunteer

Read more

Pushing the Limits of 3D Printing: 3D Printed Bike

This Race track bike was printed on a regular desktop 3D printer at colorFabb‘s print lab using colorFabb’s XT-CF20 filament (a carbon fiber based Amphora 3D polymer) a plastic especially engineered for 3D printing. The 20% carbon fiber content makes the 3D Printed parts strong and stiff.

This concept bike (designed by Stephan Schürmann) has been developed to demonstrate that a 3D Printed racing bike can be produced on a regular, commercially available 3D Printer. The design goal was to use the bike in real life, under normal circumstances.

The lugs were printed and connect tubes to them. The result is an amazingly strong bike frame at an acceptable weight. Details like the seat clamp are also fully working.

The big benefit of making your own bike is that the sizes of the bike can be customized manually before 3D printing to preserve best ergonomics. Various types of tubing can be used including carbon, titanium, aluminum or bamboo.

This design can be customized and 3D printed on any desktop 3D printer like the Ultimaker, LeapFrog, Mass Portal, Makerbot and many others. The strength of the bike frame has been tested with a FEM analysis and, of course in real life use.

It can be downloaded via:

ThingiverseGrab CabYouMagine

Read more

Tips for Quality 3D Printing

3D printing can be fun but sometimes challenging. With so many variables it is not surprising that often a print does not always turn out as expected. Here a some simple tips for improving your success ratio.

Buy a quality filament. Sure you can find on eBay cheap filaments but as with everything in life – you pay for what you get. If it is cheap there is usually a good reason.

Make sure your print bed is level. It pays to ensure you a have a level bed and your printhead is the right distance from the bed. Follow your printers instructions. Time spent here will be well rewarded.

Set the Z-gap between your printhead and printbed to your printers instructions.

Check the first few layers. It pays to watch these first few layers as if these do not print properly it is highly likely the rest of the print will have problems. This could result in many hours and much filament wasted.

Print small parts and not large parts. There is always the temptation to print as big as you can. But if there is a problem the whole part can be wasted. Better to print small parts that can be fused together later as if one part has a problem there is less waste and you will only have to print a small part again.

Maintenance and Cleaning Up. Like any printer – abuse it and it will let you down. It pays to follow the instruction manual and any maintenance procedures as well as to regularly clean your bed with rubbing alcohol. Use Kapton Tape or Buildtak to improve filament adhesion to your bed.

Read more

X3D Premium Filaments

Launches Premium Filament Range!

X3D have introduced a new and exciting premium range of 3D Printing Filaments to the Australian marketplace. Both in ABS and PLA and in an extensive range of colours – X3D filaments have been designed and tested to produce a perfect print every time.

By the Roll or the Metre

X3D Filaments can be bought by the 1 kilo roll or by the metre and they all come with no quibble refund or replace quality guarantee. With free overnight delivery including in the price we think X3D premium filaments will be a popular choice with the 3D Printing community across Australia.

Look out for "George"the chameleon on the X3D website.

Read more

Filament by the Metre

X3D are committed to sourcing and investing in worlds newest and best filaments for the 3D Desktop printing market. We realise that with so many filaments and so many choices not everybody wants to buy a whole spool.

X3D now provide you with the opportunity to try every filament from our extensive range without having to dig deep into your pockets. From speciality filaments to premium everyday ABS and PLA filaments. Now you only need to buy what you need.

Free Freight

Freight is included on every X3D filament order. With samples starting from $6.00 including GST and delivery we think this service is going to be a winner.

Read more

Conductive Graphene Filament for 3D Printing

Conductive 3D Printing Filament

X3D are now stocking BlackMagic3D’s Conductive Graphene Filament. This is a highly conductive material designed for 3D printing circuitry and sensor applications. Graphene is the thinnest and strongest material known to man. It is also an excellent electrical and heat conductor with unique optical properties.

Electrical Conductivity

Conductive 3D Printer filament is possibly a game changer. Providing the ability to print circuit boards, gaming controllers, digital keyboards, trackpads, drum Machines and MIDI controllers. BlackMagic3D are even using the graphene filament to develop Printed Batteries

Now you can order a sample of this new and exciting filament from X3D with free delivery to anywhere in Australia!

Read more

3D Printing for Chocolate Lovers

Do you love chocolate? Would you like to print your own custom design for that special occasion?

Soon you may be able to use 3D printing to print your own.

In the Netherlands, Marijn Roover is a food designer and he has printed his own Chocolate Globe which is embossed in gold. It was 3D printed layer by layer in chocolate!

From later on this year you will even be able to buy your own 3D food printing machine, aptly called the “Foodini” from Natural Machines in Spain. Maybe the Star Trek food replicator is closer then we think!

Read more