3D Printing


  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS PCB

    Nano Dimension and the Power of PCB 3D Printing

    Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on March 6, 2019

    nano dimension closeupIn the time of industry 4.0, remaining innovative and evolving quickly is key to manufacturing success, especially when it comes to electronics. Yet manufacturers creating PCBs and other electronic components are often held back by outsourced designs that can delay the design cycle by weeks or even months.

    To address this issue, companies like Nano Dimension have worked to adopt 3D printing to fit the unique needs of electronics development. Through revolutionary new hardware and materials, electronics designers and manufacturers can now leverage the power of additive manufacturing with PCB 3D printing. Here’s what you need to know.

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    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

      The History of 3D Printing: A 3D Printing Timeline

      Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on February 28, 2019

      history of 3D printingWith the prevalence of 3D printing and its rapid adoption across industries, it’s easy to think that the technology has been around for much longer than it has. In reality, the history of 3D printing dates back to the early 1980s, and in forty years has grown from a new process used by a select few to a mainstream technology adopted by everyone from hobbyists and engineers to manufacturers and researchers. What began as a relatively simple process has now evolved to encompass everything from bioprinting to metal 3D printers.

      We’ve compiled some of the biggest moments in 3D printing history below, as well as projections on where 3D printing is headed in the future. By preparing yourself for industry 4.0, and following along with the disruption of 3D printing, you can help your business innovate, save money and gain a competitive edge.

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      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

        How Does 3D Printing Work? What Are The Common Functions, Uses and Product Options for 3D Printers?

        Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on January 31, 2019

        How 3D Printing WorksWhat is 3D printing? 3D printing is the process of creating a three dimensional, physical object from a digital model. 3D printing is sometimes referred to as “additive manufacturing,” although this term is used more frequently within the manufacturing industry to describe 3D printing’s role in the industrial process.

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        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

          Our Top 10 3D Printing Blogs of 2018

          Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on January 23, 2019

          Top 10 3D Printing BlogsCompanies and industries from around the globe are breaking barriers and embracing the disruption that 3D printing and additive manufacturing is creating. In 2018, we covered a wide range of subjects from breakthrough materials to brand new 3D printers that are assisting with the medical industry and surgical models to aerospace parts and consumer goods packaging. In case you missed any, here’s a compilation of the top 10 3D Printing blogs we published in 2018. Enjoy.

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          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, POLYJET

            3D Printing in the Automotive Industry: Revving Up Production with the Stratasys J750

            Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on January 22, 2019

            3D printing in automotive industryThe automotive industry has changed in almost every way since its beginnings in the 1800s, with rapid advances in everything from design and production to the parts and materials used. Today, the latest innovations in the automotive industry are driven by 3D printing, so much so that the market is expected to reach $1.56 billion by 2020. The availability of new materials like nylon, Ultem, and carbon fiber have given manufacturers more options when it when to comes to automotive applications, and continued improvements to 3D printing technology have reduced costs across the board.

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            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

              David Bolen, Stratasys Dental Strategic Account Manager | Spotlight Interview

              Gerald Matarazzo by Gerald Matarazzo on January 7, 2019

              David Bolen InterviewDental is an enormous and growing target for 3D printing. With the combination of specialized model shops, dentists, and orthodontists, it isn’t just your local dentists that need this technology - the industry as a whole is being disrupted.

              I recently spoke to David Bolen, Strategic Account Manager at Stratasys about the current state of the dental and orthodontic technology, workflows, and manufacturing and how 3D printing is exponentially increasing throughput and efficiency within.

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              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, 3D PRINTING MATERIALS

                The Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition: Industrial 3D Printer at an Affordable Price

                Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on January 4, 2019

                fortus 380mc carbon fiber edition3D printers have been integrated into workflows and onto factory floors to cut down on lead times and save on costs. But anyone who has 3D printed for tough applications knows the initial investment in a 3D printer can be expensive. Tough applications need to produce prototypes, parts, and tooling that are reliable and strong, but this dependability and accuracy don’t come cheap. Luckily, 3D printing company Stratasys has corrected this issue with an affordable carbon fiber 3D printer: the Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition.

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                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                  7 Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) Principles

                  Simon Indrele by Simon Indrele on December 26, 2018

                  design for additive manufacturing3D printing started in the 1980s and since then quite a few different technologies have developed. DfAM (Design for Additive Manufacturing) will be applied differently to different 3D printing technologies. Different technologies require different optimization techniques which is important to keep in mind.

                  In this blog, we’re going to touch on PolyJet and FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technologies. Let’s take a look.

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                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                    Improving 3D Print Parts Services with the F900

                    Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on December 5, 2018

                    3d print partsAs a top reseller of Stratasys products, Fisher Unitech is always looking for new ways to innovate its own processes and services. We recently invested in our own Stratasys F900 3D printer for our Pleasant Ridge, Michigan headquarters to improve our 3D print parts services and give customers the opportunity to see the printer in person before they buy. The F900 has a number of capabilities that are well-suited to 3D print parts production, and customers can expect even better quality and faster turnaround from us in the future!

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                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, DESKTOP METAL

                      Desktop Metal Studio System Revealed at Fisher Unitech Headquarters

                      Stacey Clement by Stacey Clement on November 16, 2018

                      Desktop Metal StudioChristmas came early at our Fisher Unitech Headquarters this year with the arrival of our first Desktop Metal Studio System 3D printer, which includes the printer, debinder, and furnace. The Desktop Metal Studio System is the first 3D metal printer that is safe, cost-effective, and easy-to-use in the office.

                      We announced our Fisher Unitech and Desktop Metal partnership back in August 2017 and since then Desktop Metal 3D printers remain the first of their kind on the market. Here are just a few benefits of metal 3D printing and the innovations our Desktop Metal Studio System will bring.

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                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                        Driving Innovation in the Automotive Industry: Prototypes, Tooling and More

                        Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on November 14, 2018

                        future of automotive industrySince the days of the assembly line, the automotive industry has been known for driving innovation by adapting to changing consumer needs and taking advantage of new technologies. Today, the future of the automotive industry is strongly connected to the innovative power of additive manufacturing and the many ways it can save time and money. SmarTech Publishing expects the overall automotive additive manufacturing market to reach revenues of $5.3 billion USD in 2023, with a growth to $12.4 billion by 2028.

                        How is this possible? Additive manufacturing drives innovation for automotive and other industries by working faster, cheaper, and more efficiently than traditional processes, allowing companies to produce everything from prototype parts to end products. Here’s what you need to know about additive manufacturing in the automotive industry, and what you can expect in the future.

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                        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                          Jeff Mize, CEO of PostProcess Technologies | Spotlight Interview

                          Gerald Matarazzo by Gerald Matarazzo on November 12, 2018

                          surface finishI recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jeff Mize, CEO of PostProcess Technologies to dive into what his team is working on and what’s to come. Jeff Mize spearheads a team of over 50 people based out of Buffalo, New York, who are continually developing and reiterating their streamlined and automated PostProcess to 3D printing, consisting of specifically tailored chemistry, hardware, and software.

                          Jeff is an accomplished technical leader, leading two previous companies to billion and multi-billion dollar acquisitions. Although he is relatively new to 3D printing, there is a theme to his career. First, he digitized maps, then farming data, and now - post-processing of 3D printing. Here’s what Jeff had to say during his spotlight interview.

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                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                            3D Printing Packaging & Consumer Goods: Custom Designs, Lower Costs

                            Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on October 31, 2018

                            3d printing packagingWe’ve all heard that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but there’s no denying that appearances matter - at least when it comes to consumer packaging. A 2015 study found that 84% of consumers agreed that “package designs have a significant impact on their buying behavior.”

                            The way we design, produce, and package consumer goods all contribute to their success in the market, but traditional design and prototyping processes can be costly and time-consuming. Companies looking to gain a competitive edge need to move quickly and efficiently in order to be successful.

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                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                              Alive or Dead? RTV Molding in Additive Manufacturing

                              Derek Ellis by Derek Ellis on October 25, 2018

                              RTV moldingFisher Unitech recently exhibited at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) conference and tradeshow in Chicago, Illinois. At IMTS we showcased our newest product lines from PostProcess Technologies and Nano Dimension as well as Artec 3D scanners and Stratasys 3D printers. I noticed that the majority of the crowd I saw were young engineers who had grown up in the transformative age of 3D Printing. I couldn’t help but wonder how many of them had ever even heard of RTV silicone molding, let alone used it. Have you?

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                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS

                                Stratasys GrabCAD Print and uPrint 3D Printer Bring SOLIDWORKS Model to Life

                                Madison Bryce by Madison Bryce on October 22, 2018

                                Stratasys GrabCADWelcome back to my blog series where I’m taking the concept of a fully automated drink dispenser and turning it into a real-life machine with the help of Stratasys GrabCAD Print and a Stratasys uPrint 3D Printer. In my first blog, I created a fully functional model using SOLIDWORKS. In my second blog, I created animations using motion studies SOLIDWORKS to see how the machine will move. In this blog, I demonstrate how I actually printed parts of the machine using a Stratasys 3D printer.

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                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                  Jigs and Fixtures: Changing the Factory Floor with 3D Printing

                                  Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on October 1, 2018

                                  jigs and fixturesAs we move deeper into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0), it becomes increasingly important that companies adopt new technology and innovate - or risk getting left behind. From automotive and aerospace to medical and consumer goods, industries have changed the way they work to create smarter and more efficient processes and products. 3D printing has been a strong driving force in this revolution and is now gaining prominence on factory floors for its ability to create manufacturing tools like jigs and fixtures faster and more efficiently. Here’s how 3D printing is changing the factory floor.

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                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                                    3D Printing Support Material Removal and Surface Finishing Hardware

                                    Gerald Matarazzo by Gerald Matarazzo on September 19, 2018

                                    Support Material Removal

                                    In part one of this blog series we discuss the secret behind PostProcess Technologies and the world’s first digitized post-processing solution for 3D printed parts - AUTOMAT3D software. In part two we take a deep dive into the backbone of that digitized post-processing solution - chemistry. In our final installment, we are breaking down the machines themselves and taking a look at the hardware.

                                    PostProcess hardware is categorized into two simple categories: Support Removal and Surface Finishing. Let’s take a look.

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                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                      Detergent and Media: PostProcess Chemistry

                                      Gerald Matarazzo by Gerald Matarazzo on September 13, 2018

                                      postprocess chemistryIn part one of our PostProcess Technologies three-part blog series, we covered the first aspect of their unique innovative value - AUTOMAT3D. In part two we’re diving into a unique value PostProcess Technologies provides that the entire company is based upon - Chemistry.

                                      PostProcess chemistry consists of two distinct consumables: Detergent and Media. Let’s take a look.

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                                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING MATERIALS

                                        AUTOMAT3D: 3D Printing Support Material Software by PostProcess Technologies

                                        Gerald Matarazzo by Gerald Matarazzo on September 7, 2018

                                        3d printing support material removal Since the inception of 3D printing, there have been phenomenal, albeit incremental innovations and improvements with virtually every step of the manufacturing workflow. Part Design has Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) procedures and Generative Design, Pre-Printing setup has software like GrabCAD (part slicing/scheduling/monitoring), and the machines themselves have incrementally increased material catalogs, speed, resolution, and repeatability since their inception. However, some of you may have realized that there has surprisingly been a lack of innovation in one important facet of 3D printing - Post-printing (3D printing support material removal).

                                        PostProcess Technologies has automated this area of 3D printing, which historically solely relied on precise operator knowledge that would leave a company once that operator left or retired. Deemed “tribal knowledge”, this skillset required dedicated operators who, even though they did excellent work, would not be able to have true repeatability due to the nature of work by hand. The only previous workaround to this would be support washing tanks and tumblers, which were never specifically designed or optimized for 3D printings, nor were their settings customizable. PostProcess Technologies has digitized this formerly analog process with three distinct innovations: software, hardware, and chemistry.

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                                        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS

                                          The Best Software for the 3D Printing Professional: SOLIDWORKS and GrabCAD Print

                                          Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on August 30, 2018

                                          best 3D software for 3D printingWith the largest technical team in the industry, our staff at Fisher Unitech knows a thing or two about 3D printing and 3D CAD software. Our experts have helped everyone, from designers and engineers to manufacturers and students, find the perfect CAD software to meet their 3D printing needs. We’ve found that, for the professional, the best 3D software for 3D printing is SOLIDWORKS and GrabCAD Print - this blog explains why.

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                                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, 3D PRINTING MATERIALS

                                            Material Mayhem: 3 Tips For Optimizing FDM 3D Printing Materials

                                            Gerald Matarazzo by Gerald Matarazzo on August 24, 2018

                                            3D printing materials3D printing is primarily known for its ability to dramatically increase efficiency in any environment it is applied to. From decreasing prototyping and labor costs, reducing cycle times, and instilling Lean Manufacturing principles (which you can learn more about from my recorded webcast), it is a major player in today’s advanced manufacturing fields. However, there is one facet of the technology that can lead to delays and increased costs if not managed correctly - 3D printing materials.

                                            As you can imagine, the more 3D printing is integrated into an organization, the more 3D printing materials are used. So, the more optimized your 3D printing process is in your organization, the more important it gets to follow proper material handling practices. Today I will specifically be focusing on FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling), the world’s most popular 3D printing process, and if it’s from Stratasys, the process that uses real thermoplastics.

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                                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                              3D Designs For 3D Printing: 3D Printed Bobblehead

                                              Keith Morris by Keith Morris on August 23, 2018

                                              3D Designs For 3D PrintingWhen people ask me what I do for a living and I respond with “I repair 3D printers”, most people are perplexed yet intrigued. Although 3D printing technology is becoming more mainstream, the general public, by and large, still don’t quite understand what a 3D printer actually is or how it works. So, instead of explaining how a 3D printer works, I will instead show an intrigued prospect a recent project I created. As a gift, I 3D printed a bobblehead version of my brother that was derived from a cartoon drawing that I designed for the label of his home-brewed beer.

                                              Thanks to my passion for creating 3D models, illustration, and graphic design, I was able to successfully develop, design, and 3D print this unique piece. Keep reading to learn more about 3D designs for 3D printing.

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                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                What are 3D Printing Parts Services and When Would I Need Them?

                                                Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on August 22, 2018

                                                benefits of 3D printing services3D printing parts services are used by companies that are working on a 3D printing project but can’t print some or all of the work themselves. It is commonly used for prototyping, concept models, and rapid production. Service providers with a good range of 3D printing materials and parts quality can also help with additive manufacturing in aerospace and medical, where precision and safety are particularly crucial.

                                                3D printing parts services are primarily used by people who need to use 3D printing but don’t have access to a 3D printer. Outsourcing their work gives them the parts they need without having to invest in their own hardware, and they can use the service as little or as much as they need it. This also makes the services popular with companies that have 3D printers but can’t handle the runs themselves, and need to outsource some of the work.

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                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                  What to Look for in a 3D Printer: The Best 3D Printers by Industry

                                                  Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on August 15, 2018

                                                  what to look for in a 3d printerA 3D printer is a big investment in your company’s future. By driving innovation through streamlined production, reduced costs, and rapid design, a 3D printer can be a game changer in competitive markets - but picking the right one is not always straightforward. Narrowing down your options can become time-consuming, especially when you must consider the needs of both your company and the industry as a whole.

                                                  To help simplify the process, we’ve broken down what to look for in a 3D printer in each of the major industries, as well as our recommendations for the best 3D printers by industry.

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                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                    3D Printing Uses in Business: How Are Top Companies Taking Advantage of 3D Printing Technology?

                                                    Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on August 8, 2018

                                                    3d printing uses in businessSince American engineer, Charles Hull invented the first 3D printer in 1983, the use of 3D printing technology has skyrocketed. Early in its development, additive manufacturing was hailed as a medical solution, and though there have been challenges, scientists are continuing to prototype 3D-printed organs.

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                                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                      Fisher Unitech Announces Channel Partnership with Nano Dimension

                                                      Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on August 1, 2018

                                                      Nano Dimension On July 30th, 2018 Fisher Unitech announced their channel partnership with Nano Dimension. Nano Dimension is a leading additive electronics provider that is disrupting, reshaping, and defining the future of how cognitive connected products are made. With unique 3D printing technologies, partnering with Nano Dimension will satisfy the growing demand for electronic devices that require increasingly sophisticated features.

                                                      With this partnership, Fisher Unitech will now provide Nano Dimension’s award-winning DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D Printer, a one-stop solution for 3D printed electronics including PCBs (printed circuit boards) to the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and New England areas.

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                                                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS, 3D PRINTING MATERIALS

                                                        Know Your Stratasys FDM Materials: ABS, ASA, and PLA

                                                        Dan Erickson by Dan Erickson on July 9, 2018

                                                        Stratasys FDM MaterialsWhether you are considering the purchase of a Stratasys FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printer, or already have one, it’s important to us that it be used to its fullest potential. That means using the right materials in the right application. But if you’re new to the world of Additive Manufacturing, you may find the selection of materials to be a bit unfamiliar. In this blog series, I’ll try to shed some light on the Stratasys FDM materials, let you know where they shine, and what to expect when using them. Today I’ll focus on ABS, PLA, and ASA. Read on to learn more!

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                                                        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, CAD, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

                                                          FIRST Robotics Team “Calumet CoppperBots” Win Michigan State Championship

                                                          Tajah Rayne Davise by Tajah Rayne Davise on July 2, 2018

                                                          Calumet CopperBotsThe FIRST Robotics program has spent nearly 30 years inspiring young men and women to strive for improvement. Though improvements prove necessary, they are not always easy to achieve because they require hard work, time, and community support. Some FIRST Robotics teams have a rough start due to their location. As the most northern-placed team, the Calumet CopperBots, based out of Calumet, Michigan, are familiar with the hardships of geographical placement, but as their community realized the benefits of FIRST, the ball started rolling for them and today they are flourishing.

                                                          For their first six years, from 2008 to 2014, the Calumet CopperBots were unknown to the vast majority of the community. Team meetings were held in the closet of a local machine shop for five years and a garage for another. Regardless of the condition, the Calumet CopperBots strived to complete the mission to build a robot that could drive because they didn’t believe they would be able to build a robot that could complete other goals. As crazy as this idea was, it worked. In 2014, the Calumet CopperBots won a district event, gaining them recognition from the school and the first stepping stone to their success.

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                                                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS

                                                            Edit an STL File in SOLIDWORKS - It’s Easier Than You Think

                                                            Dan Erickson by Dan Erickson on June 29, 2018

                                                            STL File SOLIDWORKSIf you work with 3D Printers regularly, then you know what an STL file is. And you know what a pain they can be to work with. There are some very good STL editors out there, but they tend not to be “parametric” modelers, which can be difficult to use accurately. More importantly, this style of editing can be unfamiliar to Design Engineers. Luckily, if you have access to SOLIDWORKS 2018, you may be surprised how easy it is to edit STL files. Read on to learn how.

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                                                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                              How 3D Printing Can Change Your Approach to Medical Device Development

                                                              Rick Gillespie by Rick Gillespie on June 27, 2018

                                                              Medical 3D PrintingMedical 3D printing has come a long way over the past 30 years when Chuck Hull first filed a patent for a 3D printer and eventually spread the technology beyond anything we could have imaged. Since then, medical 3D printing has exploded, and doctors and scientists are using 3D printing for an array of different and life-changing uses. Whether it’s for prosthetic devices, hearing devices, or most recently surgeons using 3D printing for a life-saving kidney transplant, 3D printing has uses far beyond measure. In fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Dental 3D printing has also seen vast improvements in the concept and production of clear aligners, orthodontic molds, soft tissue models, and crown and bridge models. The technology, along with a plethora of materials, can help shape, create, and replicate life-like models and prototypes.

                                                              I recently had the opportunity to speak at the Medical Device Technology Exchange (MDTX) event held in Secaucus, New Jersey. MDTX gathers a wide range of engineers and designers who want to be at the forefront of discovering the latest in cutting-edge medical technologies. This year’s conference was the thought leaders forum for medical device innovators who design, develop, or commercialize devices filled with interesting conversations to get creative juices flowing and learn from fellow experts.

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                                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                                                Medical Device Makers use 3D Printing to Save Time, Money, and Relationships

                                                                Bruce White by Bruce White on June 13, 2018

                                                                3D printed medical devices“I feel the need for speed.” - Maverick (Tom Cruise) in the film “Top Gun”. This cool line from a slick movie about fighter pilots in the 1980’s could well be the battle cry of medical device makers both large and small today.

                                                                For Syqe, an Israeli startup, 3D Printing’s rapid prototyping capability was important to the firm from its inception. Perry Davidson, the medical founder and CEO of Syqe, figured another ‘excruciating slide presentation’ was not the way to win initial financial support for the firm, which makes sophisticated inhalers for controlled doses of pain medication, initially medical marijuana.

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                                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS, 3D PRINTING MATERIALS

                                                                  Antero 800NA: The High-Performance Thermoplastic

                                                                  Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on May 30, 2018

                                                                  Antero 800NA With the rapid adoption of 3D printing across industries, companies are continuously looking for new ways to incorporate additive manufacturing into their workflows and create more efficient processes. While in the past chemicals and other harsh environments would make 3D printing impossible, today companies like Stratasys are creating new materials to meet the requirements of almost every application. Stratasys’ most recent release, Antero 800NA, is a heat and chemical resistant PEKK-based thermoplastic that manufacturers can use to cut costs and design more quickly.

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

                                                                    Stratasys 3D Printers and Fisher Unitech Support Help Reduce Cost of Fixtures 30-40%

                                                                    Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on May 16, 2018

                                                                    Cooper StandardCooper Standard is a leading global supplier of fluid transfer hoses, fuel and brake lines, rubber and plastic sealing and anti-vibration systems for the automotive industry. The company’s plant in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky produces thousands of different coolant hoses in high volumes for many make and model vehicles. The hose is initially produced in long lengths in a highly automated process then must be trimmed to size, fitted with a clamp and printed with identifying information. These last three and other secondary processes can be far more efficiently performed with the aid of many hundreds of jigs and fixtures that are designed specifically for each of the company’s many different hoses.

                                                                    Cooper Standard switched from machining to 3D printing to make these jigs and fixtures, reducing their cost by an average of 30-40%, their lead time by 66% and their weight by 90%. Fisher Unitech printed Cooper Standards fixtures in its own facility for six months to prove a Stratasys 3D printer would do the job, then provided training to help ensure Cooper Standard’s success in printing jigs and fixtures in-house.

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                                                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                                                      The Stratasys F900: Built with Manufacturers in Mind

                                                                      Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on May 9, 2018

                                                                      F900Stratasys has long been known for its innovations in 3D printing, especially when it comes to 3D printers. From medical modeling to rapid prototyping and aerospace, Stratasys has produced hardware for almost every industry using 3D printing and is continuously working to improve the user experience. At RAPID + TCT, the company once again demonstrated its commitment to additive manufacturing by announcing the Stratasys F900, its third generation of FDM printers.

                                                                      Built on the best-selling Fortus 900mc platform, the Stratasys F900 brings everything the Fortus printer family has to offer into one printer. This new release features a wider range of materials, improved reliability, and maximum throughput, allowing manufacturers to produce bigger and better than ever before. If you’re looking for a competitive edge or simply want to maximize your manufacturing power, the Stratasys F900 is something you’ll want to consider.

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

                                                                        The Value and Benefits of FDM Sacrificial Tooling

                                                                        Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on May 2, 2018

                                                                        FDM sacrificial toolingSacrificial tooling is a process that allows designers and engineers to create hollow, seamless, and complex composite structures with smooth internal surfaces and simplified tool removal.

                                                                        Some common sacrificial tooling technology that uses eutectic salts, ceramics, cast urethanes, or other similar materials can present several challenges: parts are difficult to handle due to fragile materials, the part requires additional tooling in order to produce, or limitations to create specific geometries occur due to production or removal methods.

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                                                                        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                                                          PolyJet 3D Printing with New Vivid Colors

                                                                          Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on April 26, 2018

                                                                          PolyJet 3D Printing with New Vivid ColorsPolyJet 3D printing has long been a favorite of additive manufacturers and 3D printing hobbyists. The ability to produce smooth and accurate parts with varying strength, colors, and flexibility has made PolyJet materials a popular choice when creating diverse parts and multi-colored prototypes, and Stratasys continues to expand PolyJet’s capabilities with a growing product line that includes 3D printers and innovative materials like Agilus30. The company’s newest release, the Stratasys J750, is a 3D printer with exciting implications for consumer goods and a new range of color capabilities, including two new Vivid Colors materials. Here’s what you need to know.

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                                                                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                                            3D Printing Medical Devices for Patient Success

                                                                            Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on April 19, 2018

                                                                            3D printing medical devicesFrom automotive to aerospace, the impact of 3D printing is well-documented. Companies in a wide range of industries are using additive manufacturing to reduce downtime, speed up processes, and utilize new 3D printing materials to create more efficient products. The medical field, in particular, is using 3D printing to drive innovation in almost every aspect of the industry, spanning everything from medical models and prototype parts to 3D printed assistive devices like prosthetics and wheelchairs. In fact, the use of 3D printing has become so prominent in the medical field that the FDA has issued draft guidance on additive manufactured devices.

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                                                                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                                                              Introducing the New Stratasys J700 Dental 3D Printer

                                                                              Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on April 12, 2018

                                                                              Stratasys J700 Dental 3D PrinterWho doesn’t want a beautiful smile? Dentists and Orthodontists are not only skilled in their work, but they are becoming more and more exposed to the latest technology to deliver the best results for their patient's dental needs. The new Stratasys J700 Dental 3D Printer makes the production of clear aligners and molds faster and more efficient than ever.

                                                                              The Stratasys J700 Dental 3D printer comes equipped with speed, reliability, and minimal post-processing and eliminates the need for post-curing and finishing. This eBook “The Stratasys J700 Dental 3D Printer: Dedicated to the Art of Clear Aligners” explores the current market for clear aligners, how the process works, and lets you take a detailed tour of the Stratasys J700 3D printer.

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                                                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, CAD, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

                                                                                Teaching Kids About 3D Printing and Robotics at BUILD IT by Pathway x Events

                                                                                Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on April 6, 2018

                                                                                FIRST Robotics“How many FIRST robotics teams are there in Michigan?” Melissa Wilson asks a group of Ferndale Middle School students who are on a field trip at an event called BUILD IT: Construction! Without missing a beat she says, 520, and draws their attention to a group of kids behind her.

                                                                                It’s Ferndale High School’s FIRST Team 1025—the Impi Warriors, an exhibitor at the BUILD IT event produced by Ferndale, MI-based Pathway x Events, an organization founded by Melissa Wilson and Sarah Cook.

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                                                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                                                                  Assistive Devices and the Impact of 3D Printing Technology

                                                                                  Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on April 4, 2018

                                                                                  assistive devices3D printing is making a significant impact in the medical industry. Whether you’re familiar with the technology or not, you’ve likely heard a story or two about medical 3D models, rapidly prototyped parts, or even attempts at 3D printed organs. These headline-making breakthroughs have important implications for patient care because they are typically more accessible and less expensive than their traditional counterparts. This is especially true of equipment like assistive devices, which are medically necessary but often extremely costly and time-consuming to produce.

                                                                                  Medical 3D printing companies, university research teams, and ambitious individuals have been making strides to address high costs and user needs by developing a range of assistive devices to further aid patient recovery and help those with injuries or disabilities. This is beneficial to both manufacturers looking for more efficient ways to produce devices, as well as patients looking for cheaper, high-quality options. Here’s how 3D printing is making an impact on assistive devices.

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                                                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                    Stratasys J750: Revolutionizing Consumer Goods & More

                                                                                    Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on March 28, 2018

                                                                                    Stratasys J750Are you a consumer goods company, medical manufacturer, or automotive industry engineer looking for a more versatile and effective way to 3D print? With the release of the Stratasys J750 3D Printer, the first full-color, multi-material system, designers and manufacturers can now achieve unmatched product realism with game-changing versatility.

                                                                                    The Stratasys J750 is different from other printers in that it offers a wide range of material properties and over 360,000 color combinations. The use of color textures and gradients result in prototypes and parts with unparalleled realism, opening exciting new doors for a variety of industries. From medical models for surgery prep to faster and more efficient sneaker designs, the Stratasys J750 will help designers and engineers create better results with maximized uptime.

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                                                                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, DESKTOP METAL

                                                                                      Improve Production Lead Times with Desktop Metal

                                                                                      Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on March 21, 2018

                                                                                      production lead timesCompanies of all sizes are looking to gain a competitive advantage regardless of industry, but perhaps none more so than those in the booming manufacturing industry. Manufacturers are facing more competition than ever, and small to midsize companies, in particular, are struggling to stand up to both domestic and international pressure. Many believe that bridging the gap between themselves and their much larger competitors simply isn’t achievable due to a lack of resources - but the right approach can help improve production lead times while still saving cost.

                                                                                      Additive manufacturing is a rapidly growing subset of the manufacturing industry that has spurred advancements in medical, aerospace, and many other areas. Producers of 3D printing hardware have made their products more accessible than ever by creating hardware that suits a wide range of applications and settings. In particular, industry leaders like Desktop Metal have produced end-to-end solutions with a cost 10x cheaper than comparable systems, allowing companies of all sizes to leverage the power of 3D printing.

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                                                                                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, DESKTOP METAL

                                                                                        Fisher Unitech Welcomes First Desktop Metal Studio System 3D Printer

                                                                                        Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on March 7, 2018

                                                                                        Desktop Metal Studio System 3D Printer It's here! We're excited to announce that on March 6th, 2018 we welcomed our first Desktop Metal Studio System 3D Printer at our new Fisher Unitech office located at mHUB in Chicago, IL. We've been thrilled to be a Diamond partner with Desktop Metal, and the innovations metal 3D printing can bring to the table.

                                                                                        The Desktop Metal Studio System is safe, cost-effective, simple to use, and unlike any other metal 3D printer currently on the market.

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

                                                                                          How to Keep Your 3D Printer in Tip-Top Shape

                                                                                          Alex Pauley by Alex Pauley on February 28, 2018

                                                                                          3D Printer maintenanceMost companies have a 3D printing solution that they use on a daily basis. Performing proper 3D printer maintenance will help ensure that your printer keeps running smoothly and continues to kick out parts in the best possible form. During my experience as a 3D printing field technician, I’ve seen several cases that could have been avoided if proper upkeep and routine maintenance were established. In this blog, I’m going to go over some helpful tips and tricks for both PolyJet and FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printers that will help you keep your projects on schedule, so you don’t fall behind.

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                                                                                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, SOLIDWORKS, CAD, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

                                                                                            ThunderChickens FIRST Robotics Team is Ready for 2018 Competition

                                                                                            Ryan Henigan by Ryan Henigan on February 20, 2018

                                                                                            ThunderChickensWith a new year comes a new FIRST Robotics season for the ThunderChickens. High school students in FIRST Robotics teams across the globe anxiously wait for this time of year. On January 6th, “For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology” (FIRST) released this year's FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION (FRC) challenge.

                                                                                            FIRST Robotics is an organization that has been around since its founding by Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers in 1989. Their goal is to inspire young students to participate in Science and Engineering as if it were a sport. With traditional high school sports receiving so much attention, Dean and Woodie set out to create a sport for the mind that all of its participants could “go pro” in some day.

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                                                                                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                              The Automotive Industry Continues to Drive Additive Manufacturing Solutions

                                                                                              Bryant Goudelock by Bryant Goudelock on February 15, 2018

                                                                                              3D Printig soutions The automotive industry in the United States has seen many changes in production since its early beginnings in the late 1800’s. From Henry Ford’s Model T to the Big Three, factory floors have adapted to developments in production. In the beginning, designers and engineers used mockup drawings and general prototyping to demonstrate their ideas, but for the last two decades, the automotive industry has grown even more. With the use of an additive manufacturing and 3D printing solution, automotive manufacturers can create functional models, jigs, fixtures, and assembly aides along with other manufacturing tools to improve time to market.

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                                                                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                                                                                                New Developments in Additive Manufacturing: Aerospace

                                                                                                Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on January 31, 2018

                                                                                                additive manufacturing in aerospaceIn August 2017, we wrote about the growing popularity of 3D printing in aerospace due to the cost, quality, and efficiency of 3D printed airplane parts and 3D printing materials. Since our last post, even more aerospace companies have adopted additive manufacturing, and new innovations seem to be emerging every day. Here are the most recent developments in additive manufacturing in aerospace, and what we can expect in the future.

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                                                                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                                  Justifying a 3D Printer Investment for Rapid Prototyping

                                                                                                  Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on January 24, 2018

                                                                                                  Justifying a 3D printerDo you think your company could benefit from 3D printing technologies? Are your design teams, engineers, and product managers on board but your accounting or finance department and management teams are still on the fence? If you could use a little help convincing the rest of your team to justify a large investment, you’re not alone. The advantages are significant, as 3D printing allows product development teams to easily, rapidly, and cost effectively produce models, prototypes, and patterns. Parts can be produced in hours or days rather than weeks.

                                                                                                  For many companies, prototyping is an expense, not an investment, for which there is a limited budget. With this mindset, increasing the volume of prototyping work means only that expenses increase. This translates to a negative impact on the bottom line that becomes hard to rationalize. To justify 3D printing based on printing more prototypes, the value of prototyping must be quantified in real, tangible ways. The following blog will help you define challenges you may face along with a whitepaper that provides case studies and all the steps you should take to win your case.

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                                                                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                                    3D Printing News: Top 10 Stories of 2017

                                                                                                    Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on January 8, 2018

                                                                                                    Top 10 3D Printing News of 2017-13D printing has continued to make an impact in many different areas. Whether it’s helping save lives in the medical field, driving innovation in the automotive industry, or bringing opportunities to new heights in the world of aerospace technologies, 3D printing news is making headlines for its endless possibilities.

                                                                                                    In 2017 here at Fisher Unitech, we covered a lot of 3D printing news, Stratasys came out with a new line of printers, materials, and new enhancements to GrabCAD Print, and we continued to explore 3D scanning and metal 3D printing. These are the top ten stories we posted in 2017. Have you read them all?

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                                                                                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                                      Objet30 3D Printer Helps Nicomatic Speed Delivery: A Case Study

                                                                                                      Lisa Hannon by Lisa Hannon on December 27, 2017

                                                                                                      Stratasys Objet30 Helps Nicomatic Speed Delivery: A Case Study-1Companies like Nicomatic are applying the capabilities of 3D printing into their everyday workflow. With 3D printing readily available, prototypes and end-use parts can be made and analyzed faster than ever before. Learn how Nicomatic successfully increased their production of custom fixtures and prototypes with additive manufacturing solutions.

                                                                                                      Nicomatic builds electrical connectors, cables and switches for the defense, avionics, medical, space and membrane switch industries as well as many others. Often Nicomatic’s customers order the connectors late in the product development process and in these cases fast delivery is essential to meeting the customer’s product launch date.

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