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    Changing Material Colors for FDM 3D Printers | A Tip from a Tech

    Travis Testerman by Travis Testerman on November 12, 2019

    changing color fdm materialStratasys FDM 3D Printers like the F900 and those in the F123 Series can print a variety of colors in ABS and ASA. Swapping between colors of the same material is a fairly simple process since the printer doesn’t require a tip change or recalibration - just unload the old material and reload the new one.

    However, depending on what color is being swapped out, it may be necessary to perform an extra purge from the tip in order to fully flush out the old material. This step is especially critical when changing out a dark color (e.g. black or blue) to a lighter color such as ivory. Keep reading for more tips and tricks for color changing on FDM 3D Printers.

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      School Spotlight: The University of Michigan and 3D Printing

      Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on November 1, 2019

      University of Michigan 3D printingAt the end of 2018, DELOITTE Global predicted thatsales related to 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) by large public companies—including enterprise 3D printers, materials, and services—will surpass US$2.7 billion in 2019 and top US$3 billion in 2020.”

      With the industry accelerating so rapidly, it’s important for universities to develop higher education programs that meet the demands of the future workforce and train students in CAD programs, additive manufacturing, and other 3D printing technologies. As a company headquartered in Michigan, Fisher Unitech appreciates the efforts of nearby schools to raise awareness around 3D printing and to educate the next generation of innovators. We decided to highlight the University of Michigan’s advancements in 3D printing, which have already been noticed by others in the industry; in 2017, the University of Michigan was recognized by 3D Forged as one of the top 3D printing schools in the country for its 3D printing facilities and contributions to the industry.

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        SOLIDWORKS Simulation Hardware Requirements: The Best Processor, Memory, and Hard Drive

        Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on October 31, 2019

        Simulation Hardware requirementsSOLIDWORKS Simulation is an FEA (Finite Element Analysis) product that allows users to validate and test designs quickly and efficiently. With SOLIDWORKS Simulation, users can make changes to a geometry and retest designs to see how changes will affect the results. However, one of the most important factors that a user must be aware of is Simulation hardware requirements. This blog provides optimum hardware specifications for SOLIDWORKS Simulation to ensure that FEA problems are solved efficiently. 

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          Everything New in SOLIDWORKS CAM 2020

          Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on October 28, 2019

          SOLIDWORKS CAM 2020SOLIDWORKS CAM introduced as an add-in to SOLIDWORKS CAD in 2018, is a powerful tool that helps prepare designs for manufacturability early in the development cycle. SOLIDWORKS CAM 2020 comes equipped with even smarter features and functionality to complete your products faster than ever. 

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            How to Upgrade Your SOLIDWORKS PDM Server

            Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on October 24, 2019

            upgrade PDM server guideIf it’s time to upgrade your SOLIDWORKS PDM servers, the task may seem a bit daunting. This guide will help you with everything you need to know and walk you through the process step-by-step to make sure you perform a successful PDM upgrade. Let’s get started.

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            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

              Need a Custom Tool? Make it! | A 3D Printing Tech Tip

              Josh Humphrey by Josh Humphrey on October 18, 2019

              3D Printed Tool fisherPreventative maintenance is important if you own a 3D printer. For FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D Printers, chamber fans keep the build chamber at the proper uniform temperature. As part of regular preventative maintenance, these fans need to be periodically replaced, but it's a bit of a tricky process. As a 3D printing Field Service Technician, I thought to myself, “what a great opportunity to use additive manufacturing!” To complete this task, the team here decided to 3D print a tool in-house to make the job easier. Here’s what we made.

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                The Finished Product: Design to Manufacturing Series (Part 10)

                Laura Nickerson by Laura Nickerson on October 17, 2019

                design to manufacturing series

                At this stage in our Design to Manufacturing Series, we’re starting to wrap up our headset/cellphone project. The industrial design of the “Transporter Project” and the “Holster Project” share the same family look and design details. It’s important to vary the aesthetic so that each product stands out on its own. 

                With the help of SOLIDWORKS Visualize, the Industrial Designers could explore different surface treatments, colors, and LED configurations. SOLIDWORKS Visualize has a very intuitive, “what you see is what you get” interface, and the recent A.I Denoiser (which filters out noise from unfinished or noisy images) lets you create renderings nearly in real-time. It is operational in Fast and Accurate render modes for both setting up your renderings and rendering out any format (images, animations, Interactive, 360-VR, etc.)  A rendering that would take several hours in previous versions now takes several minutes.

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                  Fisher Unitech Joins the Computer Aided Technology Family

                  Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on October 15, 2019

                  Fisher UnitechFisher Unitech announced today that they have merged with industry leader Computer Aided Technology (CATI). This merger expands their footprint in providing SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software and Stratasys 3D Printers into the Mid-Atlantic and New England areas. We’ve highlighted some frequently asked questions and explain what this acquisition means here.  

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                    Everything New in SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2020: User Rights, Reports, and More

                    Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on October 11, 2019

                    SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2020SOLIDWORKS Electrical is a powerful tool that lets you design and place electrical schematics and components in an easy-to-use, collaborative environment. SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2020 has added new features and functionality for reports, leader lines, user rights, and more. Learn more about these new enhancements and find out more about what SOLIDWORKS 2020 has to offer here. 

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                      Learning SOLIDWORKS PDM with PDM Training

                      Tom Starks by Tom Starks on October 9, 2019

                      solidworks pdm training There are many benefits to using product data management (PDM) software in project management; when used correctly, PDM can simplify the management of your engineering data, eliminate concerns about data loss, and simplify workflow. But for employees who have never used PDM before (or are not familiar with a certain PDM software), navigating the PDM environment can become time-consuming and less effective than it would be with a more experienced user. This is where PDM training comes in.

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                        SOLIDWORKS Plastics Analysis: Design to Manufacturing Series (Part 9)

                        Nathan Sneller by Nathan Sneller on October 8, 2019

                        solidworks plastics analysisIf you’ve been following along with our Design to Manufacturing Series, then you’ve seen the ins and outs of two design concepts for a functional headset and cellphone stand. We narrowed the design down to two concepts, “The Transporter Project” and “The Holster Project”. In our last blog, we discussed some challenges we faced with the Holster Project and brought in SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard to resolve issues surrounding the spring force. In this blog, we’re going to use SOLIDWORKS Plastics to help us determine how well our project would hold up in mass production.

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                          Setting Your SOLIDWORKS PDM Viewer

                          Heather Dawe by Heather Dawe on October 3, 2019

                          TPDM Viewer errorhe SOLIDWORKS PDM eDrawings viewer is used in multiple places in the SOLIDWORKS PDM user interface. It can be used to view previous versions in the history, in the preview, and can be used to view a part or drawing in eDrawings without needing to open the file in SOLIDWORKS. However, sometimes when you attempt to open the viewer, you are greeted with an error message like the one shown to the left. 

                          This message indicates that the viewer needs to be set in either the user or group settings. (Note: While the group settings allow the viewer to be set for more users, oftentimes different users have different file locations, so it may be necessary to set up the viewer for each user.) Let’s get started. 

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                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS

                            SOLIDWORKS 2020 Embraces 3D Printing and Says Goodbye to STLs

                            Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on September 30, 2019

                            SOLIDWORKS 3D printing3D Printing is on the rise and SOLIDWORKS continues to embrace the technology in SOLIDWORKS 2020. In order to have a successful 3D printed part, it’s essential that your part or assembly will fit inside the print area. New in SOLIDWORKS 2020, is a comprehensive list of 3D printers with up to date envelope information so you can quickly browse or search for your most used printers and add them to the favorites list offering easy access from the dropdown menu. Learn what else is new for SOLIDWORKS 2020 and 3D printing here. 

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                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                              Edit the SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Component to Show a Vendor’s Item Number in the BOM

                              Laura Nickerson by Laura Nickerson on September 27, 2019

                              edit the SOLIDWORKS ToolboxLet’s set the scene. The SOLIDWORKS Hole Wizard features have defined your holes and you use Smart Fasteners to quickly assemble the corresponding Toolbox Component into your Hole Wizard features in the assembly. You’ve sourced the appropriate fastener in an online catalog for the purchasing department and even wrote a post-it note to remember to add the vendor and item number to the BOM. 

                              Wouldn’t it be great to add the vendor information and item number to the toolbox component so that it will show in the BOM? That would ensure the purchasing department orders the correct items. There is a way to add any type of information, not just vendor and item number, as the Description and Comment to Toolbox Components. In this blog, I’ll use vendor information and item number as an example.

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                                The Holster Project Springs into Action: Design to Manufacturing Series (Part 8)

                                Laura Nickerson & James Reeher by Laura Nickerson & James Reeher on September 24, 2019

                                Holster project completeEarlier in our Design to Manufacturing blog series, we introduced The Holster Project, a design concept for our headset and cellphone stand. With the use of additive manufacturing technologies like 3D printing and 3D scanning, as well as a variety of tools found in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software, we were able to produce a prototype and test how well our design would work. Unfortunately, our design has had its share of challenges. For instance, when we placed it on a laptop monitor without any attachments, it immediately fell off so we designed a spring clip to fasten the stand to the monitor. The spring clips would account for different thicknesses in monitor brands and styles and would also apply pressure to hold the stand in place. However, they didn’t work as well as we hoped and as a result, our prototype ended up in pieces. 

                                Before investing time into a redesign that would require a clamping mechanism, we would need a prototype, feasibility study, and a mock-up model just to see if this would work. As I started to feel the pressure of our deadline on my shoulders, I took one last look around my desk. As luck would have it, the solution to my problem was right under my nose: a binder clip. It’s the perfect size, but it is the perfect strength?

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