Jan - 2015

Fiber Bridging Techniques by Mark Leonard

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3D Printed Paint Brush

One of the coolest parts of the 3D community is the open source sharing that goes on every day. So it was no surprise when Mark Leonard approached us to share the fiber bridging techniques he perfected after years of trial and error.

Mark is a designer for Aztec Scenic Design, an ultra creative design and finishing shop that focuses on high-end ceiling treatments. Before joining Aztec, Mark was a chef with a penchant for inventing. And that’s exactly what Aztec owner Gabriel Collazo was looking for – a creative problem solver. Mark worked on ceiling designs that involved time-intensive molding and castings to get the treatment just right. He soon turned to 3D printing to make the casts in half the time and cost. Tinkering with the 3D printer led him to solve some other printing challenges – like making a brush. Mark developed bridging techniques that enable the 3D printer to literally “print over air” creating flexible, yet strong, intricate designs that use individual filament strands. “The 3D printer expanded the creative options we could offer clients, but the more complex designs created printing challenges, and it took months to develop the solutions,” said Mark Leonard.
Mark is offering some of his best creative designs to the Spyder 3D World community. To view and download his designs visit the 3DKreashunz artist profile page. According to Mark, with the right technique, you can bridge across the entire printing bed. His top recommendations include:
  • Adhesion is critical. As every strand adds more tension, the strands need to adhere perfectly.
  • Use a smaller nozzle and make sure it’s clear because any clogging will cause the bridge to fail.
  • Adjust the slicing by managing the bridge flow ratio to control extrusion when the printer is bridging.
  • An end platform offset from the design object allows the bridges to connect.
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