3D Printing


  • 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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    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS

      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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      • 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 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

          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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          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

            F120 3D Printer Makes Industrial 3D Printing Affordable

            Dan Erickson by Dan Erickson on September 5, 2019

            F120With the release of the Stratasys F120, Stratasys continues its trend of offering more affordable 3D printing options for specialized markets. The F120 is an easy-to-use industrial-grade 3D printer in an office-friendly size. Combining the speed and efficiency of the F123-Series with larger material canisters allows greater productivity and design freedom. 

            Like the rest of the F123 lineup, the F120 is built to be used in an office space and used directly by engineers, designers and the like (even those without prior 3D printing experience) to produce professional prototypes and parts. F120's smaller size and price make sense especially for smaller-scale operations with financial or space restrictions, without compromising quality and accuracy.

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            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

              Back to 3D Printing Basics | A Tip from a Tech

              Ryan Carpe by Ryan Carpe on August 26, 2019

              3D printing basicsLet’s talk about acronyms. We see these a lot in the 3D printing world (e.g., FDM, SLS, and SLA). One acronym that specifically stands out to me is B2B. Not Business to Business, but Back to Basics. As a field technician, whenever I start a new case or am stumped on a problem I always go back to the basics. 

              When I say B2B, I’m talking about proper maintenance for your 3D printer. This is the foundation for keeping your 3D printer up and running and it all starts with proper training. In our fast-paced lives, we can sometimes lose sight of the core basics we learned about machine maintenance. In this blog, I’ll highlight a few basic practices that can help keep your printer in prime condition.

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              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS

                The Transporter Project: Design to Manufacturing Series (Part 6)

                David Janicki by David Janicki on August 22, 2019

                design to manufacturing projectEarly on in our Design to Manufacturing series, we revealed some design concepts for our headset/cellphone stand that our Application Engineers were working on. The seven designs up for consideration were designed around portability and adjustability yet were creative and functional. We were able to narrow the final design down to two. In part four we saw how the Holster Project came together, in this blog we’re going to take a look at the Transporter.

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                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                  Finding a 3D Printing Services Provider in Michigan

                  Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on August 8, 2019

                  3D printing service michigan3D printing services can be a helpful way for companies to strategically use 3D printing in a cost-effective way. Here’s what you need to know about 3D printing services and how you can find the right provider for you in Michigan. 

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                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                    MakerBot Method 3D Printer: Review

                    Dan Erickson by Dan Erickson on July 25, 2019

                    MakerBot Method reviewIn the relatively short history of 3D printing, the 3D printer market has grown from exclusive and expensive to wide and varied. MakerBot, a subsidiary of Stratasys, has built its brand on making 3D printing accessible, and its newest release offers exciting opportunities for individuals who need access to industrial 3D printing without breaking the bank. Here’s what you need to know about the MakerBot Method 3D Printer.

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                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                      Streamlining Industrial Design with an Industrial 3D Printer

                      Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on July 18, 2019

                      industrial 3D printerIndustrial designers are challenged with designing the most effective and efficiently manufactured products and need robust hardware that can support their goals. For the fastest and most realistic prototypes, designers and manufacturers should leverage the power of additive manufacturing through 3D printers designed specifically for their needs: industrial 3D printers.

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                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                        Everything You Need to Know About 3D Printing Jobs

                        Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on July 11, 2019

                        3D printing jobs

                        As industry 4.0 continues, the need for workers who can design and develop smart products and other technologies will only continue to grow. The demand for skills in 3D printing was on the rise globally as far back as 2014, and we can only expect that trend to continue. Current and future designers and engineers concerned about automation – or simply looking to stay ahead of the curve – should, therefore, consider a career in 3D printing, where they can leverage their skill set in a wide range of industries and help drive innovation forward.  Here’s what you need to know about 3D printing jobs.

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                        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS

                          The Holster Project: Design to Manufacturing Series (Part 4)

                          James Reeher by James Reeher on July 2, 2019

                          Design to Manufacturing series 4If you’ve been following along with our Design to Manufacturing Series, then you know that we’re on a mission to create a fully functional headset and cellphone stand. To do this, our Application Engineers are utilizing the entire suite of SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software as well as additive manufacturing technologies including 3D printing and 3D scanning. For this particular entry, we’ll take a look at some of the tools that can help us identify, solve, and determine how we should proceed with our design process.

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                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING (FDM), 3D PRINTING MATERIALS

                            3D Printing Best Practices: TPU Material (Part 2)

                            Ryan Henigan by Ryan Henigan on June 27, 2019

                            TPU Material best practicesThe newly released TPU 92A material from Stratasys for their F123 series 3D printers is a great addition to the FDM family of materials. TPU material is an elastomer, meaning it lets your produce flexible and elastic parts - opening new doors for prototyping with FDM technology. TPU is best suited for applications such as overmolds, seals, hinges, and gripper pads. To print with TPU material, all that’s required is a simple software upgrade, a small component upgrade, and a new swappable TPU print head. To help you get the best results, we’ve got some best practices you should consider. 

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                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, 3D PRINTING MATERIALS

                              Best Practices for Using TPU 3D Printing Material (Part 1)

                              Gerald Matarazzo by Gerald Matarazzo on June 5, 2019

                              TPU 3D Printing best practicesIn November 2018, Stratasys announced a new breakthrough TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane Elastomer) material for their F123 Series FDM line of 3D printers. TPU92A is a Fused Deposition Modeling material with a 92 shore value and prints in 0.010”. TPU 3D printing material is excellent for applications like tubing, ducts, hoses, seals, gaskets, and protective covers. However, to get optimal results, like any specialty material, there are some specific precautions to take before you start printing your applications. Let’s take a look at some of these best practices.

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                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                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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