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3D Printing using Blender and FDM Printers

3D Printing using Blender and FDM Printers

Code: MUM8TA003
Extent: 3 ECTS (81 h)
Timing: Any semester
Language: English
Level: Elective Studies (Intensive week)
Type: Elective

Learning coutcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, the student is able to

  • operate and maintain a MiniFactory 3D Printer
  • design a mesh in Blender
  • export it to STL file format
  • check the manifold properties of the mesh
  • use RepetierHost to manage the printing process
  • adjust the mesh and re-export the mesh until perfect

Prior courses
MUM8TA001 – Basic 3D Design with Blender MUST be taken prior to this course with a good grade, or, the student must display adequate  design competence using Blender, 3DS Max, or Cinema 4D. Any other 3D package can be considered, if it exports STL file format files.

Course description
This course is designed to take the student one step further in 3D, namely to design a mesh and take it through the 3D printing process. With just 3 printers available, a limited intake of students will be effected. Students will then learn how to design, prepare and print their own designs, and it is planned that this course will enable students then to use the printer lab at their own discretion.

Course contents

  • Understanding 3D printing
  • Understanding the path from Blender meshes via manifold checking to STL file and printer
  • Printer materials (ABS, PLA, nylon)
  • Fused Deposition Manufacturing type printers (MiniFactory, CoLiDo models, BCN3D)
  • RepetierHost printer management software and using memory card for transferring print jobs
  • Managing the printing process
  • Hands-on training on a variety of 3D printer models

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)
Should a student already possess the knowledge and practice of 3D printing, it is possible for that student to design a mesh in the 3D package of his/her choice and then take it through the printing process from the STL file stage onwards. If the person has 3D prints that he/she has printed previously and individually, these can be considered at the teacher’s contact hour.

Responsible teacher
Heikki Hietala

Course material
Handed out in class and on Moodle.

Assessment criteria

  • quality of mesh
  • management of printing process
  • condition of the printed object

Grade 1 (min. 40% of the objective)

Grade 3 (min. 70% of the objective)

Grade 5 (min. 90% of the objective)

The student

  • has a passable knowledge of the 3D design process
  • understands the use of different file formats
  • understands the significance of the concept of manifold objects
  • manages to create a  very simple printable mesh
  • manages to take the object through the printing process and the result is a small and simple 3D printed object

The student

  • has a good knowledge of the 3D design process
  • understands the use of different file formats and is able to move between file formats as necessary
  • understands the significance of the concept of manifold objects and uses tools to check for manifold properties
  • manages to create a more complex printable mesh
  • manages to take the object through the printing process and the result is a relatively complex 3D printed object

The student

  • has an extensive knowledge of the 3D design process
  • understands the use of different file formats and is able to move between file formats as necessary
  • understands the significance of the concept of manifold objects and uses tools to check for manifold properties
  • manages to create a very complex or multi-part printable mesh
  • manages to take the object through the printing process and the result is a complex or multi-part 3D printed object