3d printed bird

Science Meets 3D Printing

Due to recent advancements in 3D printing and the introduction of even more materials, the technology has been found to be effective for various applications in areas like scientific research. Being able to provide the optimum test conditions is very important to achieve accurate results in any scientific study.

Cuckoos are known for handing over the responsibility of taking care of their young ones to other birds. In an experiment to further study this and other behaviours of cuckoos, the engineers at 3D Quick Printing helped to print a 3D model of the bird. With the professional 3D printers such as Stratasys Dimensions 1200 and 3D systems Cube Pro available to them, the results achieved was stunning. It took about 14 hours to print the whole scale model of the bird which is very impressive considering the resolution and size at which the printing was done.

3D Models like this can not be printed without the help of support materials, thankfully all the printers at 3D Quick Printing do print water-soluble support materials. This means striving to break off support materials in crevices of the printed model is a thing of the past. All support materials dissolve away a few minutes after it has been placed in water.

3d printed bird
The 3D model of the cuckoo being prepared for printing
3d printed bird
Printed model before post processing

The choice of material was very vital to achieving the desired final result. At 3D Quick Printing there are a variety of material options to choose from with the most recent one being Nylon. For this model, the material of choice was ABS plastic.

ABS is a thermoplastic polymer, it is tough and exhibits resistance to impact. These properties make it possible for models printed with ABS plastic to be sanded and other post processing such as smoothening to be done. It is therefore not surprising that the model of the cuckoo was printed with white ABS plastic. It was then sanded to achieve a smooth surface for painting.

3d printed bird
3d printed bird

Super vivid model achieved after post processing

The result is a perfectly vivid model of a cuckoo which can be used to trick even these clever birds into thinking that there is a new member of the group. This is a clear example of the incredible possibilities of 3D printing. It is obvious that without this technology, it would have been very difficult to achieve this level of precision in such a very short time.