Our Top Ten 3D Printing Stories of 2020

By on December 30th, 2020 in blog

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Our Top Ten Stories of 2020

We’ve cranked up the analytics engine to see which Fabbaloo 3D printing stories were most read in 2020.

These may not be our “best” stories, but they are in fact the stories that were read the most throughout this awful year, as determined by our analytics. Here they are, enjoy!

It May Be Time To Abandon PLA For 3D Printing

A big pile of PLA scraps that must be dealt with [Source: Fabbaloo]

This was not as controversial an idea I thought it might be, but I proposed that we should replace the old standard PLA material with PETG for everyday 3D printing. It’s a better material for many reasons, and it looks a lot better, too.

xolo Announces First Volumetric 3D Printer

The xube, a volumetric 3D printer [Source: xolo]

I’ve written extensively on the new, strange form of 3D printing known as “volumetric” in 2020, and I do believe it will eventually become a standard offering. What else could happen with a technology that literally 3D prints objects 1000X faster? This relatively recent story discusses the first commercial volumetric 3D printer hitting the market.

Creality Takes The High Road On A Technical Issue

The CR-6 SE desktop 3D printer [Source: Creality]

Creality launched their very low-cost desktop 3D printer, the CR-6 SE, earlier in 2020 on Kickstarter (that itself was a first for a larger 3D printer manufacturer), but encountered an electrical issue. Unlike many crowdfunded launches that would simply have faded away, Creality publicly admitted there was an issue and attempted to rectify matters.

It Really Is Possible To 3D Print Non-Planar

A non-planar 3D print in progress, note blue material [Source: Gabriel Boutin]

This story detailed my discussion with designer Gabriel Boutin, who has developed powerful slicing fu that enables successful non-planar 3D printing using (mostly) standard desktop 3D printers. Boutin is using his new powers to produce amazing 3D printed helmets in rigid and flexible materials.

Search Thingiverse: An Alternative Search For Thingiverse?

Searching for clamps on Search Thingiverse [Source: Fabbaloo]

Thingiverse remains the number one online repository of 3D printable models, but often it’s challenging to use it. One feature that’s desperately in need of improvement is its search function, a critical element when you’re dealing with over 4M entries. This story explained an experimental third party site offering the ability to search Thingiverse, something highly desirable when Thingiverse’s own search is down.

An Unusual 3D Print Accessory: Plastic Repellent Paint

Plastic Repellent Paint [Source: Slice Engineering]

There’s plenty of weird accessories for 3D printers these days, and one that might not be so strange is a “plastic repellent” paint that can protect your hot end from those accursed blobs that accumulate during spaghetti-failures.

What Will The Prusa XL Tool Changer 3D Printer Look Like?

A Prusa Research extruder / hot end [Source: Fabbaloo]

Prusa Research hinted that their forthcoming large-format “XL” 3D printer would offer a “tool changer”. That could mean several different things, so I speculated on possibilities and probably generated a ton of laughs in the Prusa Research development labs.

Is A Correction Coming In 3D Printing?

[Image by Queven from Pixabay]

The investment readers of Fabbaloo seemed to like this story that focused on the ups and downs of 3D printing during the pandemic. While there were many successes, there were also some failures.

Exclusive: Naomi Wu On The Creality 3DPrintMill Belt 3D Printer

Naomi Wu with the upcoming 3DPrintMill belt printer [Source: Naomi Wu]

The controversial belt 3D printer launched by Creality this fall generated much discussion online. I felt, and still do, that belt 3D printers could become a standard style of 3D printing in the future, so I was eager to see this project succeed. I reached out to Creality’s Naomi Wu to see what she had to say about the project in her own words.

First LIDAR 3D Scanning Apps Appearing

[Source: SiteScape]

Earlier this year Apple began including a LIDAR sensor on their high-end iPads, and this fall in their Pro series of iPhones. While this feature is ostensibly for AR applications and improved focusing, it can also be used for 3D scanning. This story looked at some of the first 3D scanning apps to use the LIDAR sensor.

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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