This is an entry for the 2020 3D Printing Industry Awards Trophy contest.
The design of this trophy represents the advantages that additive manufacturing has over traditional subtractive manufacturing. It cannot be produced by CNC or FDM.
The base is to be printed in black nylon via SLS or MJF. Since no supports are required with either process, the lattice structure can be produced with high definition and no support vestige.
Although the arms steal the spotlight, a closer look shows that the lattice structure acutally holds the top of the trophy as well as provides support for the arms. Lattice structures produced by additive manufacturing can greatly reduce the weight of an object while still maintaining structural strength.
The top portion of the trophy is to be printed in clear resin via SLA. Careful design considerations we taken ensure no support structures are necessary. Channels are used to showcase the benefits of the SLA process. The channels reside close the surface to provide visual appeal. The channels ends are exposed to ensure that the resin can be drained and is not trapped in the part.
The internal channels located in each wing represent conformal cooling channels utilized in plastic injection molds. Plastic injection molds can use cavities printed in tool steel via SLM (selective laser melting) with water-cooled channels that conform to the impression of the part. This greatly reduces the cycle time of the process and can improve part quality as well. Since one cavity can produce millions of plastic parts, it is a fantastic application and case study of the benefits of additive manufacturing in the current manufacturing climate.
Different physical methods of joining the two parts were explored, including snaps and threads. However, features in the dark base would have shown through the clear top. A dab of clear glue is to be used to permanently join the two parts.