Supplies: Mesh Mixer & Filament Dryer
Autodesk Mesh Mixer
HAGE3D uses the Meshmixer software solution from Autodesk to process the Standard Tessellation Language (STL) models. STL models basically describe surface structures using triangular facets. The more closely these triangular facets are selected during the conversion process of the 3D model, the more accurately the object is imaged. At the same time, however, this also means that the file size increases with increasing resolution. On the other hand, too much information is lost if the resolution is too coarse. For this reason, we always strive for a good balance between resolution and file size.
With Meshmixer it is possible to edit the created STL model as desired. The following functions are provided by the software solution:
- Mesh & Mix: Any creative combination of several models
- Analysis: Analysis of different characteristics of the models
- Shapes: Creation of personalized models
- Edit: Modify the models
- Embossing: applying textures
Essentially, the Meshmixer software solution has two different tool groups:
- Among other things, the machining tool group has the following features: solidification of the model or even hollowing out at certain points, etc.
- The tool group Analysis uses the following functions: Automatic repair of the model as well as checking the thickness of the model and much more.
In order to ensure the highest possible production quality and to be able to exclude potential sources of error in advance, the storage of the used production materials (filaments) is of great importance. Certain materials, such as nylon, polyvinyl alcohol, polylactides and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene are more prone to absorb moisture from the air. This phenomenon, which is undesirable in the field of fused filament fabrication (FFF) technology, must therefore be contained by appropriate measures.
Proper storage pays off!
For this reason, the manufacturing materials should be stored properly because the current level of moisture can not be detected with the naked eye. If filaments remain open in the air for too long, they may become more brittle and brittle over time or sometimes even change in diameter, leading to blockages of the nozzle during the extrusion process. In addition, it may happen that the surface quality of the physical model is affected by too much moisture.
Signs of too wet filament are:
- Bubbles in the extruded strand
- Exceptionally high material flow
- “Hissing” of the material during the extrusion process
- The material evaporates during the extrusion
- The material changes color
Filaments can be dried again, but beware!
Once the material has absorbed too much moisture, it can easily be dried again. However, it should be noted that the temperature whiel drying is not too high, as certain materials thereby unintentionally alter their thermal properties.
Silica gel with color indicator is particularly suitable for drying the filament. This changes its color from yellow-orange to green-blue with increasing humidity. Due to the indicator, the condition of the filaments can be easily controlled.