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    Overcoming Engineering Challenges | Design to Manufacturing Series (Part 3)

    Laura Nickerson by Laura Nickerson on May 29, 2019

    engineering challengesHaving a functional workspace that’s also neat and clutter free may seem unrealistic or temporary at best. Cell phones, computers, tablets, headsets - there just doesn’t seem to be enough room for it all! Over the course of the next eight months, the team of Application Engineers at Fisher Unitech is tackling this problem head-on overcoming engineering challenges with the goal to offer a solution that we can all use for desktop management and organization.

    In part one, we introduced the project plan as well as the tools we’ll use to execute our design including the entire suite of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD products as well as additive manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing and 3D scanning. In part two, we ran through different design concepts that serve as both functional and creative. In this blog, we share which concepts we eliminated.

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      Digital Debunking: An Engineer Examines the Weapons of ‘Game of Thrones’

      David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on May 23, 2019

      Game of thrones blog catapultsAs an avid fan of HBO’s uber-popular medieval fantasy series Game of Thrones, I’ve often been curious about the feasibility of the weaponry we see in the show’s epic battle scenes. I took a particular interest in the massive trebuchets, a fancy name for a catapult, used in many of the show’s siege battles. This powerful catapult uses a swinging arm and counterweight to hurl projectiles over and through fortified castle walls and at battalions of oncoming soldiers. Of course, only an engineer like me would be able to suspend their disbelief for dragons and ice zombies while obsessing over the plausibility of a trebuchet, but still, I wondered, would the computer-generated mechanisms depicted on the screen stand up to the laws of physics?

      The best way to understand how the trebuchet would behave is to put it to the test. I used Altair InspireTM Motion to create a simulation model, define the design constraints and performance goals, then simulate the catapult in action. We can then transfer the motion loads onto the structure to assess the feasibility of the initial design and even optimize the geometry to create a stronger and better performing final design.

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        Plastic Part Design for Injection Molding: How to Optimize Design

        Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on May 16, 2019

        plastic part design for injection moldingIf you do plastic part design for plastic injection molding, you know that optimizing your design is key to reducing errors and producing better parts. Because mold rework can become expensive, a better design process will save on both time and cost for manufacturers, and allow parts to get to market faster. The use of simulation software like SOLIDWORKS Plastics is helpful in this regard because it “simulates how melted plastic flows during the injection molding process to predict manufacturing-related defects on parts and molds,” allowing designers to easily and quickly evaluate the functionality of their design.

        Although simulation software is an initial investment in your design process, your return on investment will take the form of reduced costs, shortened cycle time, and improved part quality. Here’s what you need to know about simulation software in plastic part design for injection molding.

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          The Importance of Prototyping

          Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on May 14, 2019

          what is prototyping bottleAre you looking to accelerate your development, create better products, and beat out the competition but don’t know where to start? Although 3D printing is generating a lot of buzz, some companies are still unsure how it can help their design cycle and create better prototypes, or even what prototyping is — and that can put them at a major disadvantage. According to Forbes, prototyping was the most popular 3D printing application in 2018, with significant returns; 93% of companies using 3D printing in 2018 were “able to gain competitive advantages including reducing time-to-market and flexing to support shorter production runs for customers.”

          So what is prototyping in 3D printing, and how do you take advantage of it? Here’s what you need to know.

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            Concept Creation: Design to Manufacturing Series (Part 2)

            Todd Myers & Laura Nickerson by Todd Myers & Laura Nickerson on May 8, 2019

            Design to manufactureIn our previous blog, we introduced the Fisher Unitech Design to Manufacturing Series, a project our Application Engineers are tackling to address the lack of space and abundance of items on our desks that many of us can relate to. As Plato once said, “Necessity is the mother of invention” - something needs to be done. So to eliminate cord management problems and solve the “where should I put my headset” dilemma, the AE team will conceptualize, design, simulate and fabricate a headset and cellphone charging stand using the entire suite of SOLIDWORKS, 3D scanning, and 3D printing for a complete design to manufacturing experience.

            As Industrial Designers, we live at the intersection of imagination and technology, bridging the gap between engineering and artistry. We are always thinking, approaching problems with curiosity, creativity, and the desire to help and hopefully, in the end, strike innovation. During our design to manufacturing series, we’ll take the same approach.

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              SOLIDWORKS Simulation Tutorial: Applying Non-Uniform Pressure

              Nathan Sneller by Nathan Sneller on April 30, 2019

              SOLIDWORKS Simulation TutorialWhen creating a simulation, it’s sometimes necessary to apply a pressure non-uniformly. This is most commonly found when dealing with liquid in a tank, however, other reasons may occur. Sometimes, (like in my example today) an accurate simulation can be made using modeled geometry such as modeling a solid in the shape of water in the tank, but this can add unnecessary complexity to a model and slow down a designer or analyst. Since this isn’t an everyday type of simulation for most of us, in this SOLIDWORKS Simulation tutorial I’m going to demonstrate a quick example to make it a little easier.

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              • POSTED IN CAD

                2D CAD Software: Easily Create 2D Designs with DraftSight

                Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on April 25, 2019

                2d cad softwareIf you’re a designer or engineer, you’ve likely worked with 2D CAD at one point or another. Although 2D design has become less prevalent with the release of 3D CAD, it is still a useful tool for many professionals, including those in architecture and construction. Because of this, many companies have a variety of 2D CAD software options in recent years, including industry leader SOLIDWORKS.

                Whether you’re a student just learning about CAD or a seasoned professional looking to streamline your 2D design, there are effective, low-cost 2D CAD options available. Here’s what you need to know about 2D CAD software and how to easily download 2D CAD software like DraftSight.

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                  Introduction to the Fisher Unitech Design to Manufacturing Series

                  David Janicki by David Janicki on April 23, 2019

                  Fisher Unitech design to manufacturing seriesTake a look around your workspace. If it’s anything like mine it’s full -- literally full -- no exposed surface or unused space. To make matters worse, I charge my cellphone from my computer adding yet another cord to my already overly-crowded desk. My headset also lacks a convenient and functional permanent home. It’s usually on my keyboard, draped over my laptop screen, or stacked on my cellphone.

                  Over the course of the next eight months, the team of Application Engineers here at Fisher Unitech is tackling this problem head-on hoping to offer a solution that we can all use for desktop management and organization. Here’s how we’re going to do it.

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                    Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics with SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

                    Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on April 23, 2019

                    SOLIDWORKS Flow SimulationWhen the products you design involve liquid or gas flow, how can you test their performance for real-world conditions? This is where computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation software comes in.

                    SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation enables you to run “what if” scenarios and efficiently analyze the effects of fluid flow, heat transfer and related forces on or through components. This allows you to compare design variations quickly to make better decisions so you can create products with superior performance. Read on to learn more about CFD with SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation.

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                      Urethane Casting 101: RTV Molding in 3D Printing

                      Derek Ellis by Derek Ellis on April 18, 2019

                      RTV moldingIn my previous blog, we defined Room Temperature Vulcanization (RTV) silicone molding and the benefits of simulating production materials by using two-component urethanes. We also played out a real-world example of how printing four master patterns, molding them and piecemealing each engineer their parts is much more efficient than 3D printing them individually or even in small batches. In this blog, we share some standard mold types, and how they’re created for successful urethane casting.

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                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, DRIVEWORKS

                        Industrial Magnetics Drawn to DriveWorks to Enhance Automation Journey with SOLIDWORKS

                        Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on April 16, 2019

                        DriveWorks Industrial MagneticsHeadquartered in Boyne City, Michigan, Industrial Magnetics, Inc. (IMI) is a leading provider of permanent magnets and electromagnets for work holding, lifting, fixturing, conveying and magnetic separation. The company specializes in providing personalized service, innovative solutions, and custom fabrication — designing, engineering and manufacturing industrial-grade magnetic products to meet customers’ specific requirements.

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                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                          Getting Started as a PDM User: What is PDM?

                          Lindsay Early by Lindsay Early on April 15, 2019

                          what is pdmWhat is PDM? PDM stands for Product Data Management and is essentially an add-on for Windows that allows companies to better manage their data and collaborate more effectively. Some of the benefits of Product Data Management is that it keeps a full history of every file, allows only one user to edit a file at a time, file security, comprehensive search and research tools, and lets everyone work locally (no more working from shared drives).

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                            How to Create a Plane in SOLIDWORKS

                            Sean O'Neill by Sean O'Neill on April 9, 2019

                            How to create a plane in solidworks When speaking to beginner SOLIDWORKS users, I always recommend taking a course like SOLIDWORKS Essentials in order to get started on the right track with their SOLIDWORKS-using experience. On the topic of planes: the word “plane” is used 337 times in the 2019 edition of the SOLIDWORKS Essentials course booklet. That’s a lot.

                            In this article, I’ll discuss when/why you’d look to make new reference planes for your SOLIDWORKS geometry, as well as several methods of making them. Let’s get started.

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                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                              New Announcements from Stratasys: F120, V650 SLA Flex, and Pantone Colors

                              Gerald Matarazzo by Gerald Matarazzo on April 4, 2019

                              Stratasys F120On April 1st, 2019, Stratasys announced some exciting new products to their additive manufacturing solutions portfolio. These new products include the F120 3D printer, which is an addition to their F123 Series line, the V650 Flex SLA 3D printer, and Pantone color capabilities for PolyJet which can be utilized on the J750 and J735 production 3D printers. Keep reading for a deeper look into these new innovations from Stratasys.

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                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                                What Can You Make with a 3D Printer?

                                Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on April 4, 2019

                                what can you make with a 3D printer? 3D printing has radically changed the way companies have done business, from 3D printing in the medical field to 3D printed airplane parts, but it’s no longer limited to big spenders. The availability of desktop 3D printers and designs has made it easier and more affordable for hobbyists to try 3D printing at home, and there is a wide range of personalized pieces you can make to sell or use yourself. Here are just four of the project categories you can explore with a 3D printer.

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