The 3D print laboratory is a modern research facility for product development and manufacturing methodology, and a place where you can easily turn your ideas into reality.
The lab is open to all Lund university staff and students. The access philosophy for the Lab is one of open access with a welcoming attitude that encourages staff, students and industry partners to extensively use the facility to its maximum potential and explore new areas of use for the technologies.
What is 3D printing?
3D printing is a technology which is also known as additive manufacturing, because material is being added – unlike turning on a lathe and cutting on a mill where material is removed. This makes it a very cost-effective production method as you are left with very little waste material. Product designers can instantly create prototypes to see if their design is working, at a fraction of the price and without the design constraints involved with traditional manufacturing methods.
Many methods and materials are currently available. The most common technology for home use and small-scale manufacturing is called Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). With this method, objects are printed layer by layer in molten plastic that is extruded with high precision from a heated printer head, in the manner of a small computer controlled hot-glue gun.
Another method is called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), where your model is built up with a fine nylon powder that is evenly spread over a platform, which is then melted with a laser beam and fused together. It uses the same principle of layer-by-layer manufacturing, but a higher level of detail is achieved with the laser sintering method than with fused filament fabrication.
SLS is our primary manufacturing method in the 3D print lab. One of the perks is that in contrast to FFF, SLS does not need to have extra support added. The model is automatically completely supported by all the excess powder tightly packed around the object while printing. This enables the manufacturing of complicated parts with fine details.