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3D printing looking at the stars

Roger Uceda, director of operations of the Fundació CIM and BCN3D Technologies, met with Enric Nauzet Vega, a mechanical engineer from the Observatorio del Teide, to learn more about the center’s activities and know how a 3D printer fits in it.

The Observatorio del Teide is one of the four centers within the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), whose headquarters is located in La Laguna, Tenerife. Among the many institute purposes highlights the development of applied scientific instrumentation dedicated to astronomy. As Enric explains, that activity consists largely of the design and manufacturing of prototypes. It is in this context that comes in the world of digital 3D printing.

In a world in which reigns, increasingly in an overwhelming way, the importance of immediacy, speed up the prototyping process is a priority in any field, whether in the productive industry and research. For this reason, 3D printers, which produce high quality parts requiring both a lower cost than conventional processes, have brought a revolution. In this context, following the words of the same Enric, “3D printing is a very useful tool for the manufacturing process and design of some of the pieces that make up our telescopes.”




The market for 3D technology is increasingly popular and widespread, so that both supply and demand of 3D printers has expanded greatly in recent years. However, BCN3D Sigma has some key features that decanted the balance in its favor.

” Was not an easy decision. After a full assessment of the market, we decided to give importance to a printer with open source software” declares Nauzet. He adds, “the dual extruder is also important for us, the ability to combine plastic and metal in one print is a great advantage for our prototyping parts for the astrophysical study”.

In turn, the mechanical engineer believes that the good relationship with the manufacturer, as is the case with the Foundation CIM- is very important to make sure you are doing the best use of the machine. Thus the BCN3D Sigma has all the features and is able to cover all the needs that the IAC requires observatory.