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Mimaki 3DUJ-553 Printer Supports Mission of the Smithsonian Institution

3D printer will be used to aid educational, science, research, art, and cultural exhibits and experiences

Mimaki USA is proud to work with the Smithsonian to place a Mimaki 3DUJ-553 full-colour 3D printer in the Smithsonian Exhibits’ (SIE) studios, located in Landover, MD, and part of the Smithsonian Institution. SIE collaborates with museums and offices throughout the Institution and the federal government to help them plan, produce, develop, and design powerful and engaging exhibits, and produce models for public programs and research purposes.

“We are pleased to be a part of the Smithsonian Institution’s efforts to engage and inspire audiences through the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” said Josh Hope, Sr. Manager, 3D Printing & Engineering Projects at Mimaki USA. “This printer will enable the Smithsonian to use new technologies to produce exhibits in new ways, particularly for creating models and tactile elements that help bring exhibits to life for all visitors.”

The SIE team has embarked on its first project to use the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 printer, which is to create full colour 3D printed models of viruses that are enlarged with great detail for hands-on engagement with visitors in the Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World exhibition currently on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Future possible projects for the full colour 3D printer include:

  • Models of collection objects used for hands-on educational activities with the public
  • Tactile display elements for low-vision or blind visitors such as raised-line maps to aid with wayfinding
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A Visionary Approach to Luxurious Yacht Design

Claudio Celiberti Monaco Yacht Show

With a little help from 3D printing

A master craftsman and celebrated visionary in interior architecture, Claudio Celiberti is known for his use of fine materials and timeless finishes. Shortly after Studio Celiberti unveiled its latest project, ‘Origin’, at the Monaco Yacht Show, we spoke to Claudio about the potential of 3D printing in yacht design.

Mimaki: Tell us about your work
Claudio: My work is about evoking emotion. I handpick a small clientele each year and produce bespoke design for each. The intention is that the client will find meaning, personal to them, in the final creation. It’s a collaborative process, I work with ideas from the client and I use my professional knowledge and expertise to produce furniture and interiors of timeless elegance.

Mimaki: And what are some of the challenges that come with design for yachts?
Claudio: Luxurious yachts are works of art. They require extensive vision into the future. Because the construction process takes time and a yacht must mature beautifully and become finer with age, they must be composed of fresh, innovative ideas. Designs must deviate from current trends and this can be difficult to visualise.

Mimaki: So how does 3D printing come into the process?
Claudio: The strength of 3D printing is that it can be part of an immersive experience that helps communicate the vision. Accurate colour and fine detail, such as that provided by Mimaki 3D printed models, are a necessity. With the ability to prototype multiple iterations of a design quickly, it’s easy to show clients how materials and designs will change over time, and how the design will compare against newer yachts.

Crucial to my work is to always curate the finest materials and select premium quality. I spend most of my waking hours developing an extensive knowledge of the materials I use in my craft, so it’s extremely important that I can communicate those finer details of the design. I want to show clients why it is worth it, so I show them samples and where possible I take clients to the material’s source – such as a marble quarry. With 3D printing, that can be taken further, showing the finer detail of marbling for instance in an accurate physical representation of the design. Nothing replaces the ability for a client to feel and experience a product in the flesh, but 3D printed models offer an exciting addition.

Mimaki: How does technology help you express yourself as a master craftsman?
Claudio: My goal is to make designs perfect – and that passion for perfection has taught me to focus not just on the aesthetics of a design but also its functionality. The truly sublime needs both.

I begin by thinking outside the box – I challenge current ideas and find the balance between trends and classic designs. Designs can quickly become dated if you rely on trends. The ergonomics and functionality of a design is just as vital to perfection as the aesthetic. It must be tailored to the user’s daily needs flawlessly.

Often the solution is a combination of the finest materials with cutting-edge technology. So furnishings, tables, seats, or service components such as refrigerators, kitchens, grills, or barbecues remain hidden under unthinkable architectural creations and appear magically amalgamating into their surroundings. I find whatever route is needed to make the vision a reality.

Mimaki: So what can we expect to see in the future?
Claudio: Sustainability and durability are trends unlikely to disappear anytime soon and will only become increasingly important. I predict that customisation and seamless multifunctionality will become more prominent in the near future and we are going to see a lot more designs encompassing lightweight materials. Studio Celiberti is currently working on something very special and will be revealing this project soon – so watch this space!

Claudio Celiberti 3D printing in yacht design

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How Does 3D Printing Work?

Picture a robot-controlled hot glue gun that uses plastic instead of glue, and you have the basics of a 3D printer. Strands of plastic are fed into a print head, which is heated up to melt the material. The print head moves around very precisely in three dimensions and drops lines of plastic onto the print bed—the table on which it prints. The printer does this over and over, building up layers of plastic until it forms a 3D part.

It All Starts with 3D Models

Every object printed on a 3D printer starts with a 3D model. These are usually made in a CAD program designed for working on real-world 3D models, like TinkerCADFusion360, or Sketchup. This is a bit different to how 3D models might be made for movies or games, though you could certainly print out very detailed figures from traditional 3D modeling software.

One benefit of a 3D printer is that it can print nearly anything. Some models are so complex that they’re impossible to make with traditional manufacturing techniques like molding or CNC routing, and that’s where 3D printers take an obvious lead. However, they’re not just used for making fancy geometric shapes, as it’s usually much cheaper for a large factory’s R&D department to print a single model in plastic rather than rigging up the whole factory to make the actual part. This is called prototyping, making a rough draft to help test the final copy without wasting valuable time and materials.

Slicing the Model for the Print

Since a printer doesn’t understand how to take a complex 3D mesh and turn it into a printed model, the 3D model must be decoded into information that the printer can understand. This process is called slicing since it takes scans of each layer of the model and tells the printer how it should move the print head to create each layer in turn. It’s done with the aid of a slicer, a program that handles all of this for you, like CraftWare or Astroprint.

The slicer will handle the “fill” of the model, creating a lattice structure inside a solid model to give it extra stability. This is one area where 3D printers shine—they can print very strong materials with really low densities, by strategically creating pockets of air inside the model and making it much lighter.

Another thing the slicer handles is support columns. Since the printer can’t lay down plastic on thin air, support columns must be created to allow the printer to bridge the gap. These are removable but are used in the printing process to ensure it doesn’t collapse.

Once the slicer is done, it will send the data over to the 3D printer to start the printing process.

Waiting some time

Once the printer starts, you’ll notice it can be slow. While a 2D printer can print a whole book in a couple of minutes, most 3D prints will take several hours, to finish printing. And if you messed up the settings, misconfigured the slicer, or just bumped into it a bit, you could lose the whole print.

There are some faster technologies making splashes in the industry,  speeding the process up significantly. But these kinds of printers are many times more complicated, much more expensive, and only work with plastic so far.

So Should I Buy a 3D Printer?

If you’re not interested in designing and printing parts, you certainly aren’t going to be replacing your boring 2D printer anytime soon.

The printers most consumers will buy usually print in plastic, though there are exotic (and expensive) printers used in the industry that can print pretty much anything. There’s even a 3D printer that can print artificial meat. The technology is moving very quickly and has significant implications across many industries. Surely someday, you’ll be able to print gourmet meals from an edible food printer, but until then it remains a hobbyist and industrial device.

Still, with prices coming down all the time, it can be a fun hobby—especially if you build anything where small plastic models are used.

Source: How to Geek


View our 3D Printer page here »

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3D printing? It’s all about colour!

With industrial mass production touted as the next big thing, accurate colour simulation, achieved using the Mimaki 3DUJ-553, will be the key to its success.

There has been a lot of buzz about 3D printing in recent years. While the 3D printing market continues to expand globally, there is a strong sense in the industry that mass production will be the next big thing. Indeed, additive manufacturing is quickly moving from prototyping into full production, with enhancements in workflow, standardisation and automation underway. However, at Mimaki we have reasons to expect another scenario to play out in parallel, with the leitmotiv being “What colour you see is what colour you get”. In fact, we believe that colour will be key to the growth of additive manufacturing across a number of areas in 2019.

It’s 3D-colour time!
The latest developments in 3D printing technology have achieved full colour capabilities, meaning that additive manufacturing can now produce true-to-life, photo-realistic models. Here Mimaki is a pioneer, thanks to its established expertise in colour and colour management within the industrial 2D inkjet printing environment.

The new Mimaki 3DUJ-553 is the first ever polymer 3D printing system that enables more than 10 million different full colours. Based on UV-curable inkjet technology, it builds objects by jetting successive layers of inks that are hardened by LED UV light at each pass. The 3DUJ-553 uses CMYK, white and clear inks to produce photo-realistic products, with rich colour expression including spot colour, shades and gradients. In addition, the use of white and clear inks enables the production of special effects, such as total transparent textures or layered textures with clear on the outside and white or plain colour on the inside (and vice versa), boosting opportunities in applications.

Yet, this is only one side to the story. The other one concerns the support of ICC colour profiles – a world premiere in 3D printing – which is crucial to achieving accurate colour simulation and perfect reproducibility from the design screen to the real printed 3D object. Mimaki has drawn on its knowhow from 2D printing and applied it to 3D: MPM3, a proprietary colour management software, enables colour accuracy, colour adjustments, as well as colour matching among same printer models through equalisation (by measuring colour charts), allowing the same colour output on multiple 3D printers – no matter where in the world they are located. For further quality benefits, Mimaki has also introduced an enhanced waveform control system, which adapts the waveform for each ink that is used. What is waveform? It is the process whereby ink droplets are jetted in near-perfect circles and positioned with absolute precision, resulting in flawless print quality.

Thus, how can Mimaki’s colour-powerful 3DUJ-553 change designers’ lives? Three key terms here: output quality, simulation matching and consistency. The new 3D printing system helps designers ensure that the projects they create on screen perfectly match the printed output, broadening up creative opportunities and enabling time and cost savings – provided, of course, that screen calibration is done properly! Consistency and repeatability bring in further time and cost benefits in terms of less reliance on transportation, thereby decreasing the environmental impact. As soon as the project is ready to be printed, production can run locally with the guarantee that the final product looks and feels the same.

Beyond colour
Colour is not the only strength of our core 3D printing technology. Mimaki’s long expertise in industrial 2D inkjet printing, as well as in inkjet direct-to-object printing has enabled us to be accurate in every detail of our 3D printing systems.

The 3DUJ-553 is equipped with in-head ink circulation systems, which helps prevent pigment sedimentation and removes air bubbles near the nozzles. With NCU (Nozzle Check Unit), automatic cleaning is performed when a nozzle is missing or damaged. Both technologies are borrowed from Mimaki’s 2D inkjet printing knowledge, ensuring advanced uptime, improved productivity, reliability and production stability is also achieved in 3D printing.

Another feature worth mentioning is the modelling area of 500x500x300mm, which makes the 3DUJ-553 suitable for a wide range of applications, including large-scale prototyping and modelling, with high detail accuracy and efficient positioning of printable objects.

All in all, we expect new frontiers to open up for 3D applications across the coming years. Technology-wise, Mimaki is ready to take on the 3D printing challenges. Application-wise, there are different market segments that can be addressed with the new 3DUJ-553. Ranging from scaled models, mock-ups and prototyping, to 3D art, tools and equipment, figurines, and medical and educational applications: colour-powerful 3D printing technology is set to enhance the way those industries envision creativity and improve the overall production process.

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Mimaki Showcases Business Driving 3D Printing

The Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer allows agencies, designers and product developers to create photorealistic prototypes and models due to its fine detail and extensive colour capability. Printing in true full colour, Mimaki uses the colour expertise it has honed through its extensive heritage in 2D printing to produce consistent and repeatable results, so users can be confident what they design on screen is what will be produced in real-life. Mimaki has also developed a clear resin so that full transparency and semi-transparent colour can be realised. The 3DUJ-553 3D printer delivers super fine detail and smooth surfaces, with options to print in 19, 32 or 42µm layers. Details are preserved during post-processing due to a water-soluble support material that simply dissolves in water.

Visitors to the show can also see Mimaki’s recently launched 3DFF-222 3D printer, which uses Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). The FFF solution was developed as an in-house design and production tool delivering reliable, almost silent creation of prototypes and end-use parts such as jigs and three-dimensional signage. Co-branded with Sindoh, a South Korean 3D printer and multi-function printer manufacturer, the 3DFF-222 uses easy-to-load filament cartridges to print parts up to 210mm x 200mm x 195mm (W x D x H) in PLA material. Users can also benefit from the ability to remotely monitor each print job through a Mimaki app. The 3DFF-222 recently joined the 3DUJ-553 in Mimaki’s portfolio of 3D printers, with both systems offering enduring reliability and global technical support and customer service.

“We have a fantastic range of models to show at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D that will stop visitors in their tracks,” comments Mr. Hisashi Takeuchi, CEO of Mimaki Deutschland GmbH. “Together with DP Solutions, we will show visitors the varied solutions we have to offer in the additive manufacturing market. When it comes to creating colourful, photo-realistic samples, you can’t beat the 3DUJ-553. And for hard, robust models that don’t warp easily, we have the 3DFF-222 3D printer. As is true of all Mimaki machines, both printers are extremely reliable.”

Key features of the 3DUJ-553 3D printer:

  • Printing in more than 10 million colours to reach high levels of photorealism and detail
  • ICC colour profiling – ensures high quality, consistent results
  • Water-soluble support material – preserves the super-fine detailed parts and smooth surfaces during post-processing
  • Printing in UV-cured photopolymer resins – 3D models have strength comparable to ABS plastic
  • Possibility to mix clear with colours to achieve varying levels of transparency
  • Mimaki 3D Link software – enables colours to be changed on-the-fly

Key features of the 3DFF-222 3D printer:

  • PLA (Poly-Lactic Acid) filament – a hard, robust material that is a plant-derived eco-plastic made from corn and potato starch
  • Automatic Filament Supply – filament installation is simplified, by inserting the reeled filament into the dedicated cartridge and setting it to the main unit, the filament is supplied to the nozzle automatically
  • Auto Filament Cutting – is also possible after the print job is completed
  • A flexible metal bed, with built-in thermostatic function, enables both stable formation and easy removal of the model once it is ready
  • Bed Levelling Assist – automatic measuring of horizontal error of the table and correction also supports stable formation
  • HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter – prevents the discharge of foul air
  • Motor drivers were designed specially to reduce noise levels during operation
  • A camera and LED light are provided for remote monitoring with a smartphone or tablet

“We’re excited to show visitors our growing portfolio of 3D printing solutions. From print jigs and moulds, to toys and prototypes, Mimaki has it covered and a visit to the stand at Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3.D is not to be missed,” concludes Takeuchi.

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Mimaki Launches New Desktop 3D Printer

Flexible and easy to use, Mimaki’s new 3D desktop printer simply sits in your office without disruption.

  • The Mimaki 3DFF-222 printer can produce jigs, three-dimensional signage and many more applications in combination with Mimaki’s range of LED UV flatbed printers.
  • The Mimaki 3DFF-222 3D printer also offers a wealth of benefits for sign and display printers.

Mimaki Europe, a leading manufacturer of inkjet printers and cutting systems, today announces the launch of the new Mimaki 3DFF-222 3D printer, a product co-branded with Sindoh, a manufacturer of 3D printers and multi-function printers based in South Korea. The Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) solution has been developed as an in-house design and production tool, ideal for parts such as jigs used in direct-to-shape printing and tools for producing three-dimensional signage.

Commercially available from the end April 2019, the 3DFF-222 system prints in PLA material. Using easy-to-load filament cartridges, it prints parts up to 210mm x 200mm x 195mm (W x D x H) and offers remote monitoring of each print job through a Mimaki app. The new platform joins the 3DUJ-553 in Mimaki’s portfolio of 3D printers, to which Mimaki has applied the expertise from its long heritage in the graphic arts. Consequently, both systems offer enduring reliability and have technical support and customer service in place across the globe.

“Flexibility and ease-of-use are key features of the new desktop 3D printer. It’s been developed so that you can have it sitting in your office without disruption,” states Bert Benckhuysen, Senior Product Manager at Mimaki Europe. “The 3D printer also complements our sign and display printers seamlessly. The 3DFF-222 is capable of inexpensively producing customised print jigs, which can be used to stabilise print quality when printing on flatbed direct-to-shape UV LED printers from our UJF Series.”

“Sign and display printers can also benefit with time and cost savings through efficient in-house manufacturing of eye-catching colourful indoor signs and channel letters, which are 3D printed first and then decorated using Mimaki’s UV printers in LD mode, allowing high quality print on three-dimensional objects.”

Key features of the 3DFF-222 3D printer

  • PLA (Poly-Lactic Acid) filament – a hard, robust material that is a plant-derived eco-plastic made from corn and potato starch.
  • Automatic Filament Supply – filament installation is simplified, comprising insertion of a reeled filament in the dedicated cartridge and setting it to the main unit. The filament is supplied to the nozzle automatically.
  • Auto Filament Cutting – is also possible after the print job is completed.
  • A flexible metal bed – with built-in thermostatic function, enables both stable formation and easy removal of the model once it is ready.
  • Bed Leveling Assist – automatic measuring of horizontal error of the table and correction also supports stable formation.
  • HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter – prevents the discharge of foul air.
  • Motor drivers – designed specially to reduce noise levels during operation.
  • A camera and LED light are provided for remote monitoring with a smartphone or tablet.

“Following the launch of our flagship 3DUJ-553 3D printer, Mimaki continues to explore opportunities in 3D printing,” continues Benckhuysen, “Our new desktop 3D printer is designed to fit the needs of modern print production environments and it is suitable for a broad range of uses. The introduction of this latest product demonstrates Mimaki’s commitment to driving innovation and providing our customers with profit-enhancing solutions.”