I was pleasantly surprised to find out that 3D printing services are now available in Trinidad. I reached out to the company and asked a few questions. Connect with them through their facebook page which has an email and telephone contact under the About tab.
What is 3D printing and what can it be used for?
The method that we use, Fused Deposition Layer manufacturing, is one of a subset of technologies used in additive manufacturing, a process commonly referred to as 3D printing. The technique involves a machine taking as an input a three dimensional computer design and slicing the model into numerous layers. A nozzle then deposits layers of plastic, one over the other, which fuse together to create a three dimensional object. Thus, the technology allows the creation of physical replicas of computer generated models.
Tell us about your company and the service you provide?
Revolution 3D Printing consists of a team of four young vibrant designers. We leverage our creativity and technical skill to produce an array of stylish and functional products. We intend to stay one step ahead of the local industry while seeking to promote the technology as a solution for many design problems locally. We have a standard offering of products which we feel persons would be interested in, but are much more interested and excited to work along with customers to design and produce exactly what they want or need. We provide printing services for those people who wish to build their own models and simply have them printed; Modelling services for those who have only the concept of what they want and also repair and maintenance services for FDM printers.
What material(s) are used in printing?
There are a wide range of different types of 3D printers and they can print in many different materials, they can range from chocolate to metals, ceramics, concrete and most often plastics. We print in either of two types of plastic: ABS or PLA, ABS is a more opaque plastic that gives results similar to Lego, PLA is more transparent but still very hard.
What is needed to get a 3D print done? A design file, the object to be copied, a photo, a sketch?
To get a print done, we need a 3D model, like I said before we can make this model for you either based on your description of what you want, a sketch or for some simpler models, we can build it from a picture. This 3D Model is then converted into a gcode file which can be interpreted by the printer.
How long will a typical 3D print take?
The time taken to print has a very wide range, this is dependent on the size of the print, complexity of the model, print speed and percentage infill chosen. Small prints can be done in close to half hour while large, more complex prints can take anywhere from 10 to 24 hours.
Your thoughts on the use of technology in Trinidad?
It is our opinion that this technology can help inspire innovation locally giving young innovators the tools they need to create products that will be targeted to solving problems that we are faced with on a daily basis. We hope to work alongside university students to propel their final projects from mere concepts to usable/sellable products. We hope that persons will explore their imaginations and approach us with different ideas for things they want to work on. The beauty in this technology is the fact that it can be of benefit to persons from all different areas of study, from artists to scientists, hobbyists to engineers! 3D Printing makes specialized manufacturing available to all without the need for mass production as is the case with injection molding which would normally have been used.
The technology is still very experimental and while it is our belief that eventually every home will have a 3D printer, sadly it is not there yet. We eventually intend to provide training classes for persons wishing to purchase their own printer or just to be exposed to 3D printing.