3D Printed Chainmail: Size XL

20181030_3D Print Chainmail

If you’re into 3D printing like me, chances are you’ve already 3D printed chainmail and been excited by the ability to produce something that is made of multiple parts already assembled and ready to go. If you’re new to 3D printing, what you might not realise is that because you are printing objects in small layer increments, you can print these layers in such a way that different pieces become trapped within each other as the print progresses, permanently assembling them together. This means that something like chainmail, which has been hand assembled for thousands of years one link at a time, can now be printed with all the links in place.

One of the most popular examples in recent years has been from well known designer Agustin Flowalistik, whose unique design of chainmail has been downloaded over 100k times already on Thingiverse! Click here to download the file for yourself and add to this growing number. After one of my previous posts about the new Wanhao Duplicator D9/500 printer, I wanted to see how it would handle the intricate geometry, however, at 200% the scale. Go big or go home!

Well, as you can see from the photos it worked quite nicely. With the large 0.8mm nozzle the layers certainly look rough and messy – this print isn’t going to win any awards for being pretty. But it worked, and on this sketchy 3D printer that’s the most important thing at the moment. One of the nicest things was peeling it off the magnetic flexible build plate of the D9, which you can see in the first picture above – no hacking away with a spatula which is one of the positives of the printer. The links freely move and because of the large size, the chainmail has quite an industrial feel about it. Very satisfying.

So I think I can chalk this one up as a win on the Wanhao D9, which I think brings my score up to about 2 wins, and too many failures to count… Not great but after a firmware update I hope there will be some more wins to come.

– Posted by James Novak

2 thoughts on “3D Printed Chainmail: Size XL

  1. Hi James,

    I do wish you guys would get to know the difference between printing and drawing . Most of what you call printing is done by single point applicators for example the FDM process is in fact drawing. There are some genuine 3D printers around of course such as the Objet , Z Corp and Thermojet.and no doubt now others . These machines produce entire cross sections in one pass ( from a variety of materials).
    I believe the name 3D printing came about when an ASTM group wanted to change the name “rapid prototyping” to a more easily recognisable one. Various iterations were proposed such as “additive manufacturing” ( as distinct from subtractive manufacturing eg machining, spark eroding, carving , turning),” digital manufacturing” but 3D printing was selected.
    If you want some more information about how and when rapid prototyping came to Australia, let me know and I’ll send you a paper I wrote several years ago.


    Mike Naylon FPIA

    PS I have a neat example of “chain mail” made from glass filled nylon


    • Hi Mike,

      I must disagree with your narrow definition of “printing.” As you said, the ASTM and all other bodies I know of seem to mutually agree on the interchangeability of the terms “additive manufacturing” and “3D printing.” For example the ISO/ASTM 52900:2015 standard defines 3D printing as the “fabrication of objects through the deposition of a material using a print head, nozzle, or another printer technology.” I will agree with you that there are some differences in how the terminologies are used in industry and academia (e.g. we normally use “additive manufacturing” to describe end-use parts manufactured using one of these technologies, rather than simply a prototype), but readers of my blog aren’t interested in these semantics, 3D printing is the universally accepted term that encompasses all layer-by-layer additive processes.

      I’d certainly be interested in a link to your paper on the introduction of 3D printing into Australia, I can always use such resources for my own publications on the topic, which you can find on my academic profile page of this blog https://edditiveblog.wordpress.com/about/publications/


      PS. I believe we have met several time when I used to work in Brisbane, you had the metal (titanium?) lattice ball which was one of the first metal prints I got to see in real life?


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