New at Octave!! 3D Printing STEM Kits for Education

3D Printing STEM Kits for Education

Project-based learning and 3D printing are pivotal avenues for teaching STEM subjects, engaging students on new levels, and preparing them for future careers. We offer several 3D Printing STEM Kits, which support project-based learning in the classroom. Each pack comes with student workbooks and a teacher’s guide to help you seamlessly integrate the projects into your curriculum.


Click HERE to see all of the STEM kit offerings!

3D Hubs 2017 3D Printer Guide

3D Hubs 2017 3D Printer Guide: This Year’s Top 3D Printers Categorized From Prosumer to Price Budget

By Tyler Koslow on Nov 15, 2016 12:56 pm
When you think about the organization 3D Hubs, you likely focus on the 3D printing service platform aspect. The Amsterdam-based company helps people throughout the world find access to localized 3D printing services that can provide the necessary technology for almost any project imaginable. But 3D Hubs does more than connect everyday people with the proper 3D printing service. The service platform also conducts a massive amount of research to provide users with compiled data to help decide what 3D printer they should purchase or utilize.

Nothing is more exemplary of their research prowess and comprehensive data than their annual 3D Printer Guide. Whether you’re looking to purchase a prosumer 3D printer or shopping on a budget, 3D Hubs has a thoughtful answer to the difficult question, “which 3D printer should I buy?” Even more extensive than the 2016 3D Printer Guide, this year’s companion was comprised of the following data:

  • Over 8,624 reviews from verified 3D printer owners
  • < 4,982 years of 3D printing experience
  • 1.14 million 3D prints
  • 513 different 3D printer models

Working with the globally vast 3D Hubs community, the following parameters were investigated to help rank the range of 3D printers:

  • Print quality
  • Build quality
  • Reliability
  • Ease of use
  • Print failure rate
  • Customer service
  • Community
  • Running cost
  • Software
  • Value

In order to satisfy the requirements of the wide range of consumers on the 3D printing market, the 3D Hubs 2017 3D Printer Guide takes into account five individual categories for 3D printer type: Prosumer, Workhorse, Budget, Plug ’N’ Play, and SLS. This year’s guide includes 14 3D printer models, each of which has an average of 50 in-depth reviews from experienced 3D printer owners.

View the entire article HERE

New! Afinia H400 3D Printer

The new Afinia H400 3D printer is the ultimate in affordability, reliability, and simplicity. It’s perfect for educators, hobbyists, and engineers who want to start 3D printing out-of-the-box and hassle free.


The Afinia H400 3D printer is perfectly built with ease of use, safety, and reliability combined in its elegant design that will fit on any desktop. The printer produces dimensionally-accurate plastic parts for education, design, or engineering applications.

The printer is fully-enclosed with a built-in, recirculating HEPA 7 air filtration system that continually cleans the air in the enclosure of particulates and odors as the model is printing. The H400 also has power failure protection. If power is cut to the printer, it will remember where it left off and allow you to finish the print after power resumes.

The Afinia H400 3D printer has a large touchscreen display and built-in WiFi to allow the system to be operated either locally or remotely. The new Afinia 3D Studio software allows prints to be sent not only from PC or Mac, but also from iOS devices such as iPads and iPhones.

The H400 platform comes factory-leveled and does not require adjustments and has auto-nozzle-height detection. The H400 has a new feature allowing for custom temperature setting of the nozzle and heated platform to allow for printing of not only ABS and PLA, but other materials requiring different temperatures.

New and Improved Features

WIFI – transfer your print job wirelessly from a computer or mobile app
Touch screen control – conveniently perform basic operations without a computer
Better resolution – with layer thickness as fine as 0.15mm
Power failure protection – resume printing from where a print was stopped due to power failure

Additional Features for Safe & Easy 3D Printing

Automatic nozzle height detection – helps ensure your print adheres securely to the print bed
Software-assisted leveling – compensates for warped or imperfect print surfaces to help you achieve a successful print
HEPA air filtration – reduces 3D printing air emissions for a safer 3D printing environment

Start 3D Printing in No Time

The Afinia H400 is shipped fully assembled, ready to use, and with all the materials you’ll need*, so you can start printing in minutes. Just install the software (compatible with Windows XP/7/8/10, Mac OS, and iOS) and wirelessly (or via USB) transfer your print.

Guide to Green 3D Printing – 4 Ways to be More Sustainable!


From Pinshape Blog

The effect of 3D printing on the environment has been a growing topic as people begin to be more aware of their carbon and waste footprints. If you love 3D printing but want to find ways to make it more “green”, here are a few considerations.

Before we get to that, however, we’ll start with the concerns – how can 3D printing be bad for the environment?

4 Barriers to Green 3D Printing

1) Support Material Goes to Waste: Although this material is sometimes necessary to save your entire print from ruin, ideally you don’t need supports to successfully print a design. This is why we encourage 3D designers create models which don’t require supports. Not only are they a pain to remove – they’re wasteful.

2) Most leftover plastic material ends up in the garbage

Most of us don’t know what to do with our failed prints, so they end up in the garbage. It’s not that we don’t want to recycle them, it’s that we’re not exactly sure how to recycle it/compost it. Before we go over the options, I think it’s important to distinguish between biodegradable and compostable as there is a lot of buzz around new filament materials that are compostable.

Biodegradable- According to the FTC’s Green Guide, for something to be biodegradable, it must show evidence of breaking down in nature until microorganisms digest it and it returns to the earth. This process must happen in a reasonably short period of time after disposal. When something is just degradable, it means that it will break down into smaller pieces and will not necessarily be digested by microorganisms.

Compostable– This means the material will completely biodegrade fast enough in a certain environment. Compostable plastic will have three features:

The material breaks down into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass at the same rate as paper

The material fully disintegrates in a compost pile

No toxic residues are left and the compost supports plant growth

So which filaments are compostable and which aren’t? The two most common filaments to print with are ABS and PLA. ABS is a thermoplastic that is great for 3D printing because of it’s strength and durability. This material is not biodegradable or compostable, but can be recycled in other ways if you want to re-heat the material to use it again in a filament recycler.

Some PLA is compostable, though it requires a very specific temperature and environment to do so. It is made from products like cornstarch, sugar cane, and tapioca root so it can be absorbed by microorganisms. Experts recommend Makers to not throw their PLA in a recycling bin because it can biodegrade in the recycling process. One option is to compost your PLA in an industrial facility. Since the conditions in which PLA composts are somewhat sensitive, it’s not recommended to compost it at home.

To Read more of this article click HERE

Bunker – Your 3D Printer’s Perfect Companion


The Bunker is a smart filament storage system. It monitors your usage and keeps you informed with a mobile app.

What Is Bunker?

Bunker is a smart filament storage system that can be used with your favorite 3D printer, with any type of filament and features some huge benefits:

*Every Inch – Bunker keeps track of every last inch of your filament.
*Wireless – Stay informed when you’re away from your 3D printer.
*Moisture & Dust-Free – Improves reliability & quality of 3D printing.
*Statistics – Print times, duration, success, fails, mileage and more!
*Bunker App – Receive important notifications on your mobile.
*Print Settings – Find the perfect print settings for your filament brand.


Get more information on the Bunker HERE

Discover the new Zortrax Support Center

Discover the new Zortrax Support Center video manuals.
The step by step tips are exactly what you need to 3D print successfully.



The science of 3D Printing with ABS

Author: Kathleen of 3D Print Works

Over the next few weeks we will explore “The science of…” different issues related to 3D printing. This week we are exploring the magic of ABS filament!

We will explore these topics through a series of interviews with Colin Hindle, Lecturer in Polymer Technology at Edinburgh Napier University, who is developing materials alongside us at 3dprintworks. With over thirty years experience in the plastics and polymer industries, Colin has been a great asset to the company and so we decided to take this opportunity to pick his brain.

What is ABS?

ABS is short for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene – bet you wished you never asked!

What qualities are looking for in ABS in order to achieve good print outs?

You are looking for a good flow behaviour for it to melt and obviously flow from the head. You might also be wanting it to be a very tough material. ABS combines reasonable toughness with rigidity, good surface gloss.

What makes the strands adhere together in ABS?

The styrene’s got an acrylonitrile phase, a rigid styrene acrylonitrile phase and a rubbery styrene rich phase. But it is styrene acrylonitrile that makes it easily mould together.

Why do you need to heat the bed if you are printing ABS?

Well again it comes back to glass transition. Glass transition of ABS is round about 100 so you want the bed to keep material above the 100 degree mark. So that’s why for ABS you would use a heated bed.

So will it stick better to the bed because of that?

It will stick better initially, yes.

How do you find out your TG? What is TG?

TG is the glass transition temperature. It’s the temperature above which large scale polymer chain rotation becomes possible. We usually measure it by measuring a physical property which changes markedly at TG. An example of that would be a specific volume, the volume occupied by the given mass of material. But an easier quantity to measure perhaps is a change in specific heat. Which is a measure using Differential Scanning Calorimetry, DSC for short. That’s quite a quick and easy automated test for most people to determine TG by DSC.

What is conductive ABS and what makes it conductive?

Well, you can make plastics like ABS conductive by incorporating into them a conductive additive. It could be particles of metal, you don’t need to have them actually touching but the particles need to be near to each other so the metal charge can be carried, like stepping stones if you like across a river jumping from one to the next. Or you can use intrinsically conductive polymers which are incredibly expensive, but you don’t need a great deal of it to make it conductive. If you’re only looking for a low level of conduction, that’s to say just dissipating static electricity rather than conducting a current, then you can get away with things like carbon black – although in that case you can only have one colour of course, black!

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