Introduction: Printing Hollow Delicate Objects Using an Objet500 Connex 3D Printers (or, How to Export STL Files From Fusion 360)
This is a short guide with a couple of tips and tricks to successfully print delicate hollow objects using the Objet500 Connex 3D Printers.
Step 1: Making a Delicate Shape
Draw a shape. Any shape.
I chose to draw a Quadball and elongate it along one of its axis. It kind of looks like an egg.
Then, I turn that into a hollow shape using the Shell command. It’s under the Modify menu, and in order to hollow a body, I had to make sure the Tangent Chain option was not checked before I selected the body to hollow. After that, it’s easy. 2mm walls, inside direction. . . done!
And, in order to get the support material out, I had to make a tiny hole somewhere on the shell. I made it by sketching a 5mm circle and using it to cut the shell at the very bottom of the model.
Step 2: Exporting STL
Exporting an STL from Fusion is super easy. That can be done by right-clicking on the body you want to export, and selecting Save As STL. Or, by right-clicking on the appropriate body on the browser, and selecting Save As STL. Easy!
Step 3: Cleaning the Support Material
Many eggs were harmed in the making of this project.
I found out that anything with a wall thinner than about 1.5mm will crack when rinsing its inside using high pressure. It will also crack if you hold it too hard, and it tends to lose its shape when you leave it soaking in water overnight. That's why I made the walls 2mm thick.
Getting the support material out from the 5mm hole can be kind of... tedious.
My most successful routine included:
- cleaning all of the support material on the outside of the shape either by scrapping it, or blasting it with high-pressure water.
- taking a thin tool and shoving it inside the hole at the bottom of the shape, swirling it around a bunch to loosen up as much support material as it will reach.
- then, leaving it in water for 24 hours.
- scraping at it some more using the tool from step #2, and blasting it with some high-pressure water.
- repeating steps #3 and #4 a couple of times to get all of the support material out.
Kind of a pain! But totally worth it.
Step 4: Done!
I put my eggs in the fridge with some regular eggs and after 30 minutes they started glowing.