Agile Manufacturing Inc. partnered with RGD Association of Graphic Designers and a Toronto Design Firm on the creation of the Design Thinkers Award. Using images from Agile’s web site as their muse the design firm created a truly mind bending piece of art. Leveraging the power of 3D Printing they were able to create a complex skull with an exposed beam design that would have been to time consuming and costly to produce any other way.
The design firm designed two iterations of the award that needed to be produced for comparison. Agile printed half of each skull design so the firm could do a side by side comparison. For the Final award we used Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) for the body of the award and Stereolithography (SLA) for the base hollowed out so we could add metal for weight.
Using SLS for the skull allowed for great strength with thin beams of Nylon Polymer. SLS is a additive manufacturing layer technology, SLS involves the use of a high power C02 Laser to fuse small particles of variations of Polyamide powder into a mass that has the desired three-dimensional shape. The laser selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections generated from a CAD file on the surface of a powder bed. After each cross-section is scanned, the powder bed is lowered by one layer thickness, a new layer of material is applied on top, and the process is repeated until the part is completed. SLS is the world’s most widely used Additive Manufacturing process for end use 3D printed parts.
Using SLA for the base allowed for a super smooth surface finish that we than painted a Pantone matched red. Stereolithography is an additive manufacturing process which employs a vat of liquid photopolymer resin using an ultraviolet laser to build parts layer by layer. For each layer, the laser beam traces a cross-section of the part pattern on the surface of the liquid resin. Exposure to the ultraviolet laser light cures and solidifies the pattern traced on the resin and joins it to the layer below. SLA provides excellent surface quality, accuracy and has a wide range of material options to suit nearly any application.