3D Printing with Carbon Fibre.


Massachusetts-based startup company Impossible Objects received $2.8 million in funding to help realise their vision for a composite based 3D printing technology. Impossible Objects uses a technique that almost resembles a combination of the Selective Deposition Lamination technology of Mcor and inkjet 3D printing, it combines additive and subtractive manufacturing by jetting a binder on to materials such as cotton, silk polyester, Kevlar and carbon fibre into the desired shape. The shapes are cut and layered before they are compressed and baked in an oven to bond, excess material is sand blasted away revealing the part.

While the machines shown here are only in the prototyping stages there is no doubt a market exists for it, the big benefit to this style of 3D printing is scale, enormous large form inkjet printers already exist so the possibility is to translate this technology to create car sized objects!



Multi material 3D printers!

Multi material 3D printers have been available for a few years now in the Stratasys Eden and Connex range of printers, by mixing base resins within the printer and jetting them onto a build platform in a similar way to an inkjet 2d printer they are able to produce digital materials with varying translucency, rigidity, thermal resistance or color. The main benefits for this are to simulate over moulding, produce multi material single print parts or a variety of parts with different specifications in the same build, it can also reduce the need for post processing like painting.



With an array of new light curing resins becoming available for SLA and DLP printers it is possible to print an object as soft as silicone right through to rock hard. The problem with using multiple materials in SLA and DLP is they use a VAT filled with anything from a few 100 ml’s to several litres of a single resin, pouring two resins in a single Vat will do you no good for multi material printing.



Reinout Holtrup, a student of industrial design at the University of Twente in the Netherlands set out to solve this issue by creating the XZEED. For his bachelor assignment he created a prototype for a DLP 3D printer which can print with up to 5 materials/colors at once. Utilizing several Vats instead of just one he lined them in a row with a mechanism  to shift them on a horizontal axis, aligning a single Vat with the projector cures the selected part/layer with the corresponding resin, to shift Vats is to change resins. A very clever and simplified solution to that of the Stratasys machines and one I am sure that will gain a lot of attention.




Classic car parts for cheap!



Well ok, still not cheap, but 50% less is a good saving.

Anyone who has ever tried to restore or maintain a classic car knows its its  not easy or cheap, finding original or 2nd hand parts can be extremely difficult on the more popular models, not to mention pricey, the window winder guide we replicated here would have cost an astounding $450 US, according to our client . We were confident we could design and produce the part for nearly half the price and in steel if required.

Auckland Police Officer Grant Kenny’s 1968 Dodge Charger ‘General Lee’ replica is a real stunner, with 600 + hp she’ll have more than enough power to stick to those speed limits, cheeky reference.

IMG_2531                                       IMG_2528


Problem was sourcing a window winder guide that allowed the pillarless windows to function properly, basically the window didn’t work. Grant contacted Clone, we discussed the part and its application and decided that as the guide had no weight  or force applied to it when installed, we could replace the steel one with plastic. We could also have chosen to use the 3D print in an investment cast and replicate it in steel at little more cost if required.

First, as with any type of 3D printing, we need to create a CAD file, this is a vital part to the quality of the completed part. Here is an image of the part in our design software.

68 Charger window slide9




The printed part sitting in the printer, still with support material and raft attached. We lay the model down to obtain the strongest possible part.



And here the old and new parts side by side, support removed and vapour polished, some will notice the plastic part is thicker, this is intentional to add rigidity and strength, it also looks bigger overall, this is just the camera angle playing tricks.


IMG_2506        IMG_2515

What can we create for you?



3D printing for the Auckland City Mission

Slalom ski 3d printed

I am so pleased to be writing this, a few months back Clone 3D was approached to 3D scan, model and print 15 model water skis for Auckland Water Ski Clubs (AWSC) 60th anniversary, from here I think this email sums it up nicely,

Dear Hayden,

On behalf of Auckland Water Ski Club I would like to say thank you for creating some amazing table pieces for our 60th anniversary dinner- they are beautiful. I would like to further thank you for making them at a special price for charity. A silent auction of them raised a grand total of $2,342.50 which has been donated to the Auckland City Mission Christmas appeal.

Thank you kindly, and Happy New Year.

Kind regards,

Emma Wingrove

Office Administrator


Thanks Emma!


Slalom Ski 3d printed

3D Printing for Installation

Jetskifishing.co.nz teams up with Clone to develop a new mounting solution for installing fish finders to jet ski’s.

Yamaha fish finder mount














We are now producing the 4th generation of these mounts after 2 years in use, the beauty of  additive manufacturing, subtle to major changes can be made to the design at little cost while still producing functional parts on demand. As with any part we create it has it’s own set of build specifications, the more we know of the parts intended use, the better we can tailor the part to suit.

Here’s how we create the Yamaha jet ski electronics mount.

Screenshot 2014-12-16 12.57.12

All 3D prints start with a computer aided design file, adjustments to this file can be made from one batch to the next if needed.



The mounts are printed  in solid ABS for maximum strength,


and at 0.25mm layer resolution which offers economical production of the mounts by reducing print time.

Vapour polished

The mounts are then vapour polished, like putting a lighter to wax, it smooths all the minor lines and  seals the surface, also, this process greatly increases part strength and brings out the high gloss ABS plastic can achieve.



The high gloss look was not really what we were after for this project, the mounts needed to blend in with the jet ski, solution,  spray them with a UV stable vinyl matte black paint, the ABS plastic we use has a high UV resistance however this extra layer of protection is welcomed. At this point we could fill and sand the mounts to achieve a mirror finish, however the added cost the process would add was not necessary for these mounts.

IMG_2260              IMG_2262 (Large)

A 2015 Yamaha Waverunner, owners will recognize the cup holder to the right of the gauge cluster, this is where the mount attaches with 4 screws into the walls of the cup holder.



The completed package.

What can we create for you?

Clone can 3D print your brain

While 3D printing a real brain may never eventuate you can now order an exact replica of your own brain made in ABS plastic.Wellington company Brainform uses our FDM 3D printers to create your brain from real MRI scans.

Visit www.brainform.co.nz to order your ultimate geek accessory.

3D printed brain by Clone3D














As you can imagine reproducing a brain from an MRI scan is pretty difficult, 3D printing makes it possible, but not any printer will do, those desktop printers are fine for trinkets, when it comes to complex objects like this you need a heated build chamber, soluble support material and high resolution. Clone 3D’s FDM printers offer all of these.

The left and right hemispheres fresh from the printer, the left has the build support material still attached, the right has most of its support material removed by hand.

Soluble support


We then dissolve the rest of the support material in an ultrasonic bath filled with an Alkaline solution. The solution dissolves the support while not harming the ABS and the ultrasonic waves speed up the process.



Brainform also wanted shipping direct to the customer worldwide, upon receipt of the stl file we ship within 3-4 days.

Pre-packed brains


One brain bound for the USA.

Packed 3D printed brain


What can we create for you?