Introduction

3D Printing projects for 2019 thus far has struck a qualitative balance between functional and aesthetic applications as per client demand. It shows as an increased awareness by South Africans in realising 3d printing as a proper revolutionary movement for part manufacturing and complementary towards artisanal production.

An IT and/or Artist’s Technological Apprentice

The Anycubic Photon offers high calibre printing resolution for small prints. Mavrakis Concepts has welcomed the addition of a DLP printer to its 3D printing fleet. This allows us to offer 3D printing services for small, although immaculate qualitative components. These have found use in the IT industry, which generally struggles to find small replacement parts locally without importing bulk whole units to extract just one required part. Liquid Resin 3D printing is also ideal for the artisanal niche, or requirements on searching for finely detailed 3d printed statuettes, which can later be post-processed or synthesised with other mixed media materials.

Mechanum Arm Rover Competition 

Wheel and robotic arm parts for a mechanical rover as part of a team-built vehicle intended for entry into a national school science competition, also made its way to us. Mavrakis Concepts is proud to have formed part of this experience and part of the process.

Agricultural Aid

Regional farmers require pump parts to withstand harsh weathering, mechanical and hydraulic conditions. FDM 3D printing continues to respond to these criteria incredibly well, and notes ASA plastic as the ideal material in this specific application. In addition, printing with rafts, and supports especially for round complex cylindrical objects is catered for by Mavrakis Concepts’ enclosed FDM 3D printers. The agricultural industry often turns to local manufacturers for adept local ‘bush-fix’ solutions, and 3d printing streamlines the process while filling the gap and adeptly responding quick-turn around times in urgent circumstances.

Conclusion – Design + Make Process in Review

What is often missed is the design value and time and effort taken to 3d model parts into a nominal and widely known digital format. It is superlative when pausing to review in the rear-view mirror, but quickly forgotten in hasty fast-tracked situations in the moment of ‘crunch’ design time.

Broadly speaking, 3D-printing has streamlined the process for ‘praxis’, making or practicality, and removed the substantial variables of financial and project deadline factors. Now, the need of ‘techne’ or rather software design tools needs to catch up in the ‘Design + Make’ process. Intuitive design technology, and better, cost-effective, ergonomic scanning technology is most likely hiding behind the scenes and developed by large global tech companies, although remains to be strongly supported by tech and design enthusiasts. We anticipate to cover some of these aspects in later blog posts and will continue to investigate further innovative design tools and how this may fit South African design context. Stay tuned.