There are times where a Video or Image can’t show all the features and details of a product, there is nothing better than having the real thing in front of our eyes. Because of the weight and size of some of our products it would be extremely difficult to take them to a presentation to show to our clients. So, what’s the solution? To make a small version of the product right? In this article we will show you how we used 3D Printing to create a functional yet lightweight version of our Touch Screen Table.
Planning & Modeling
We started by deciding what device we would use for the interaction with the user and opted to use an iPad Air. It’s lightweight, small and fits perfectly our needs in terms of functionality and interactive interface.
Next we created a 3D model of the Touch Table, it will cover the iPad Air body leaving only the screen visible. Because the whole assembly is too big to be 3D Printed in one piece, we had to split the 3D model in several small parts that then later will be glued together and form the final assembly of the Touch Table.
Slicing & Printing the Parts
Now that the 3D model is complete we are ready for slicing and prepare the individual parts to be 3D printed. The final assembly will be sanded and painted so in order to speed up the printing process we choose to print with a layer height of 0.2mm, and low infill because the part will not suffer too much stress so it doesn’t need to be super stiff.
Time to start the printing process, for this project we choose to use PLA filament which is the most common material used in 3D Printing. Some of the parts are really big, using almost the entire surface of the printing bed, a common issue with other materials like ABS and Nylon is that in big parts like this it tends to wrap and bend, ruining the whole print. PLA prints at a much lower temperature and does not wrap much, and if a heated bed is used like in our case, it does not wrap or bend at all.
Some hours later we have the first set of 3d printed parts, next step will be to glue all the parts, sand some imperfections and add a finish coat with the same paint used on the full size product.
After gluing and painting the prototype table looks like shown in this picture, now we are ready to slide an iPad Air to the bottom of the table and show some nice presentations to our clients.
Here is a size comparison between the prototype table and the full size table.