3D Printing


  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

    3D Printing Support Material Removal and Surface Finishing Hardware

    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

      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

        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

          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

            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 I’ll be discussing further in my upcoming 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

              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?

                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

                  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?

                    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 Dimensions

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                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

                                  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%

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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

                                          by Lisa Hannon on April 26, 2018

                                          PolyJet 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

                                            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

                                              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

                                                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

                                                  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

                                                    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

                                                      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

                                                        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

                                                          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

                                                            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

                                                              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

                                                                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

                                                                  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

                                                                    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

                                                                      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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                                                                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, CAD, 3D SCANNING

                                                                        Fisher Unitech Celebrates the Fourth Revolution Awards in Chicago

                                                                        by Christa Prokos on December 21, 2017

                                                                        Fisher Unitech attends Fourth Revolution Awards On October 18th, the inaugural Fourth Revolution Awards hosted by manufacturing innovation centers mHUB, UI LABS and IMEC took place in Chicago, Illinois honoring talent and achievements in the region’s manufacturing community.

                                                                        Product development experts from Fisher Unitech were there to celebrate along with other technology enthusiasts and visionaries in the greater Chicago manufacturing community. Keep reading to learn more about this intelligence and technology driven event and more about the mHUB community.

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                                                                        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

                                                                          Everything You Need to Know About Manufacturing: 20 Manufacturing Statistics

                                                                          by Lisa Hannon on December 20, 2017

                                                                          Manufacturing Statistics Manufacturers big and small play an important role in the U.S. economy; according to the United States Census Bureau, manufacturers are the nation’s fourth-largest employer and ship trillions of dollars in goods every year. Whether it’s a large auto plant churning out cars or an establishment with fewer than 50 employees, manufacturers are critical to the country’s global success. Yet many people have misconceptions about the manufacturing industry -- that jobs are undesirable and low-paying, or that the United States is rapidly losing ground to China.

                                                                          In reality, the United States’ manufacturers are still going strong and offer a wide range of well-paying jobs. Here are 20 manufacturing statistics and facts you should know.

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                                                                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                            Create the Future with New GrabCAD Voxel Print

                                                                            by Angelle Erickson on December 8, 2017

                                                                            Stratasys GrabCAD Voxel Print The power of additive technology is changing the way designers imagine and create their designs. Encountering roadblocks due to lack of technology is a thing of the past especially for researchers involved in FAD (fabrication aided design). The new groundbreaking capabilities of GrabCAD Voxel Print allows designers to design and fabricate from the bottom up using voxels. What is a voxel? A voxel is a volumetric, or three dimensional pixel which allows for full control of the material or properties being used in a design.

                                                                            The following blog was created and provided by Stratasys and provides a detailed look into the endless capabilities of GrabCAD Voxel Print.

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                                                                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, CAD

                                                                              Deduct Your Software and Equipment Purchases with IRS Section 179

                                                                              by Stacey Clement on November 16, 2017

                                                                              IRS Section 179 deductionThe end of the year is near! Thanksgiving is around the corner, and we have 35 days until Christmas. Did you know time is also running out to take advantage of the IRS Section 179 and receive your equipment or software by the end of the year? Now is the time to buy the tools your business needs for a jump start on the new year.

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                                                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                New VeroFlex 3D Printing Material Raises the Bar in Eyewear

                                                                                by Angelle Erickson on November 10, 2017

                                                                                New-VeroFlex-3D-Printing-Material-Raises-the-Bar-in-Eyewear-1The eyewear industry requires a high production rate in order to meet the demands of fashion trends, season changes, and the pure number of competitors currently in the marketplace. However, among those demands are the consumers who continuously search for the latest and greatest products and fashions available.

                                                                                So how are eyewear companies going to meet these demands while also staying ahead of their competition?  Stratasys, the leading provider of Additive Manufacturing solutions, has the answer with their PolyJet VeroFlex 3D printing material that can drastically cut production time.

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

                                                                                  How to use GrabCAD Print to Make a Multi-Colored Nameplate

                                                                                  by Dan Erickson on November 3, 2017

                                                                                  This is the second part in a two part blog series, where in the first post I designed a simple nameplate using SOLIDWORKS. If you haven't read it yet, you can view it here. In this blog post, I'll prepare the model for printing using GrabCAD Print, the latest 3D Print-Preparation (aka “slicing”) software from Stratasys, and print the model on a Stratasys F370 3D printer.

                                                                                  One of the design goals outlined in the last article is that the nameplate be attractive and easy to read. I'm happy with the overall design of the part, but I'd like it to have plenty of contrast to make the text easy to read. I can do that by printing the part in two colors. With Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology, a color change requires a material change. So I'll start the print with one color, pause the build at a certain layer and switch materials, then resume the print to complete the part with the second color. I'll need to keep this in mind while orienting the part. Let’s get started.

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                                                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                    Medical 3D Printing Saves Lives and Helps Surgeons Reduce Complications

                                                                                    by Bruce White on October 31, 2017

                                                                                    Medical-3D-Printing-Helps-Surgeons-Reduce-Complications-and-Save-Lives-1Medical 3D printing is well on its way to giving surgeons a way to practice before game time. For preoperative planning, it allows surgeons to see the specific anatomic problems of individual patients. In essence, medical 3D printing takes MRI scans, CAT scans, etc., which doctors often use, and turns them into 3D objects that are exact replicas of a patient’s anatomy - including their pathologies. These 3D models allow surgeons to plan and perform a preoperative surgery, with the exact instruments they will use days or weeks before the patient is on an Operating Room table.

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                                                                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS, CAD

                                                                                      Design a custom 3D Printed Nameplate Using SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                      by Dan Erickson on October 20, 2017

                                                                                      Design-a-custom-3D-Printed-Nameplate-Using-SOLIDWORKS-1Fisher Unitech has 32 Stratasys 3D Printers, distributed across the showrooms of our 17 offices. To showcase them, we try to keep them running as much as possible, building sample parts and benchmarks to support our sales team, backfill production when our customers’ machines are down, and printing parts as a service. But having access to 3D printers does have its perks, and we do find the time for “government jobs” now and again.

                                                                                      If you attended one of our Design to Manufacturing events and filled out a survey, you’ve already received one. I designed those “FUdgit” spinners earlier this year and we’ve been churning them out every spare chance we’ve had since then. But that’s the subject of a different blog article. Today I’ll focus on nameplates.

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                                                                                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                        Meet our Experts: Dan Erickson - 3D Printing Application Engineer

                                                                                        by Angelle Erickson on October 12, 2017

                                                                                        Meet our expert, and member of our 3D Printing team, Dan Erickson who is based out of our Headquarters in Pleasant Ridge, Michigan. Dan started at Fisher Unitech in 2011 as a SOLIDWORKS Technical Support Engineer. After gaining more and more knowledge and interest in additive manufacturing and the power and capabilities of 3D printing, Dan joined our 3D printing team in 2015 as an Application Engineer.

                                                                                        Keep reading to learn more about Dan, his role in supporting the sales and marketing teams, and his passion for transformative technology.

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                                                                                        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                          3D Printing and the Medical World

                                                                                          by Lisa Hannon on October 11, 2017

                                                                                          3D-Printing-and-the-Medical-World-1This week during NPR’s podcast, “BioTech Nation” host Dr. Moira Gunn and chief correspondent Dr. Daniel Kraft discussed how 3D printing is revolutionizing medicine and health today.

                                                                                          Though 3D printers have been around for 30 years, the technology is now advancing exponentially, allowing users to explore new and profound possibilities for what can be imagined and created. This is especially true of the health industry. Thanks to major advancements in scanning technology and the ability to cost-effectively “blend” materials such as smart technologies or even biological cells, health is becoming not only more personalized but also democratic.

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                                                                                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, SOLIDWORKS, CAD

                                                                                            Celebrating National Manufacturing Day

                                                                                            by Stacey Clement on October 4, 2017

                                                                                            celebrating national manufacturing day-1Held on October 6, 2017, National Manufacturing Day celebrates the incredible achievements manufacturers have made to revolutionize, streamline, and challenge the modern world. And, it’s now more important than ever to pay attention.

                                                                                            Unlike the Industrial Revolutions of the past, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing how we engage with the world across all industries, and it’s happening at unprecedented speeds. Manufacturers have made huge breakthroughs in our communicative capabilities and our ability to store and access data instantly from anywhere in the world.

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                                                                                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                              Stratasys 3D Printing Materials: FDM Thermoplastics and PolyJet Materials

                                                                                              by Lisa Hannon on September 27, 2017

                                                                                              Stratasys-3D-Printing-Materials-FDM-Thermoplastics-and-PolyJet-Materials-13D printing is a rapidly evolving industry, and with it comes a slew of new and updated products: printers, software, and 3D printing materials. Perhaps two of the most well-known 3D printing materials are Stratasys’ FDM thermoplastics and PolyJet materials, with product lines that have expanded to meet the growing needs of engineers and designers. Although this growth is useful from an application standpoint, the sheer number of available material options can be overwhelming. The choice between FDM and PolyJet materials is based largely on application needs and the type of product you hope to create.

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                                                                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, SOLIDWORKS, CAD

                                                                                                Delivery Drone Soars with SOLIDWORKS 2018 at Design to Manufacturing Events

                                                                                                by Angelle Erickson on September 26, 2017

                                                                                                Delivery-Drone-Soars-with-SOLIDWORKS-2018-at-Design-to-Manufacturing-Events-1What do SOLIDWORKS 2018, an RV manufacturer, and a delivery drone have in common? The Fisher Unitech SOLIDWORKS 2018 launch events! The theme of our events this year is Design to Manufacturing. We are so excited about SOLIDWORKS 2018. Using the new software along with additive manufacturing technologies in our portfolio, we have developed an end-to-end story using these technologies that we’ll share with you during the events.

                                                                                                So plan to join us at a Design to Manufacturing event in a city near you. We’ll show you product demonstrations and real world examples of how you can apply SOLIDWORKS 2018 and additive manufacturing to your business to increase productivity, accelerate innovation, and get your great designs created. Keep reading to learn more about the events, how to find one near you, and a preview of our delivery drone.

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                                                                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                                  Office 3D Printing, Do You Have A Strategy?

                                                                                                  by Jason Bassi on September 20, 2017

                                                                                                  Office-3D-Printing-Do-You-Have-A-Strategy-1In this blog, I’ll take you through several thoughts to consider and why standardizing 3D printers in your business may not be such a bad idea.

                                                                                                  I recently have been noticing a trend in many companies that utilize 3D printing and it begs the question, should companies be thinking about standardizing their 3D printing? Companies do this with software, supplies and capital equipment, but yet I often see no real buying strategy for 3D printers. This is not just a small company or large company observation, but it ranges from companies who have a handful of people who need to access a 3D printer to large corporations who utilize 3D printing across many locations.

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                                                                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                                                                                    Meet our Experts: Alex Pauley - Senior 3D Printing Field Technician

                                                                                                    by Angelle Erickson on September 7, 2017

                                                                                                    The people on the 3D printing team at Fisher Unitech have pretty amazing jobs. They get to help engineers and designers bring their virtual ideas to life on a regular basis. One of those team members is Alex Pauley, our Senior 3D Printing Field Technician based out of our office in Chicago, Illinois. Alex is certified on the entire line of Stratasys 3D printers and the lead installer. He also teaches advanced Insight software training courses.

                                                                                                    Keep reading to learn more about Alex, 3D printing, and his role in the customer experience.

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                                                                                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                                                                      Meet our Experts: Greg Pancoast - 3D Printing Field Technician

                                                                                                      by Angelle Erickson on August 31, 2017

                                                                                                      If you’ve recently purchased a Stratasys 3D Printer from Fisher Unitech, and your company is located in the Mid-Atlantic area, (or our most recent expansion into New England), chances are you may have met Greg Pancoast. Greg is a 3D Printing Field Technician based out of our office in Horsham, Pennsylvania and has been with Fisher Unitech since 2017.

                                                                                                      Keep reading to learn more about Greg and his expertise in the additive manufacturing industry.

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