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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      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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        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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          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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            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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              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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                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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                  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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                    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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                      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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                        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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                          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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                            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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                              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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                                Innovations in Medical 3D Printing: What You Need to Know

                                by Lisa Hannon on August 24, 2017

                                Innovations-in-Medical-3D-Printing-What-You-Need-to-Know-1The goal for those in the medical field is to improve patient outcomes, but how they get there is much more complicated. Doctors, researchers, and manufacturers are constantly evolving their work to keep pace with new technology and developments that can keep people healthier for  longer.

                                Medical 3D printing is one of many 3D printing innovations that has broken onto the scene and is changing the way those in the medical field approach their jobs. Whether it’s 3D printing a new prosthetic or making medical models more efficiently, medical 3D printing is changing the game for the medical field. Because the impact of technology is far-reaching, manufacturers, doctors, and researchers should all be aware of the applications of medical 3D printing so far, and where it can be headed in the future.

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                                  Fisher Unitech Expands 3D Printing Footprint with a Partnership with Cimquest Inc.’s Stratasys-Focused Business

                                  by Stacey Clement on August 23, 2017

                                  Fisher-Unitech-Expands-3D-Printing-Footprint-with-a-Partnership-with-Cimquest-Incs-Stratasys-Focused-Business-1Fisher Unitech announced today the expansion of the company’s 3D printing business footprint with the manufacturing solutions segment of Cimquest Inc. which sells and services Stratasys equipment.

                                  Fisher Unitech will now support customers with sales, services, and consulting for all Stratasys additive technology solutions, including the full portfolio of Stratasys 3D printers and advanced materials.

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                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS, 3D PRINTING TECH TIP

                                    How to Insert Metal into a 3D Printed Part

                                    by Nick Licari on August 18, 2017

                                    3D Printing has transformed the manufacturing industry, allowing parts to be produced with unprecedented speed. FDM thermoplastics are durable and strong enough for most applications, and high performance materials expand those possibilities even further. Still, some designs require off-the-shelf or metal elements to do the job. But did you know that it’s possible to directly integrate these pieces into a 3D printed model? With a Stratasys production FDM printer and some tricks in Insight, it’s possible to build a 3D printed model around a metal insert.

                                    This blog will demonstrate how I used Insight and a Stratasys Fortus 250 machine to create a simple knob on a bolt head.

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                                      3D Printing for Aerospace: 3D Printed Airplane Parts and More

                                      by Lisa Hannon on August 17, 2017

                                      3D-Printing-for-Aerospace-3D-Printed-Airplane-Parts-and-More-1The aerospace industry is one of the most powerful in the United States, and produces everything from airplanes to missiles and spacecraft. According to the International Trade Administration, the “U.S. aerospace industry contributed $147 billion in export sales to the U.S. economy,” including aerospace parts like jigs, fixtures, and production parts.

                                      Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) who make these parts know there’s money to be made in aerospace, but the close regulation of products can make production complex and expensive. To counteract this, companies are adopting new techniques to streamline their processes and save on cost: they’re 3D printing the parts.

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                                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                        Reducing the Cost and Lead Time of Form Tooling with Additive Manufacturing

                                        by Jerry Fireman on July 24, 2017

                                        reducing-the-cost-and-lead-time-of-form-tooling-with-additive-manufacturing-1Hydroforming is primarily used for low volume forming of sheet metal parts while thermoforming is mainly used for high volume forming of plastic sheets. The tooling used in these processes is typically produced by CNC machining of materials such as aluminum or wood which typically involves high costs and long lead times.

                                        Advances in additive manufacturing processes and materials now make it possible to create tooling for hydroforming and thermoforming in a fraction of the time and cost of traditional subtractive manufacturing methods. This blog will look at how several companies are using additive manufacturing to more efficiently make hydroforming and thermoforming tooling.

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                                          Agilus30 - 3D Printing Rubber - Everything You Need To Know

                                          by Lisa Hannon on July 18, 2017

                                          Agilus30-3D-Printing-Rubber-Everything-you-need-to-know-1Stratasys recently announced the release of a new family of 3D printing materials, Agilus30. This innovative, rubber-like material can be used to create flexible prototypes for a variety of applications. Here’s what you need to know about Agilus30 and Agilus30 Black.

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                                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                            Getting to Market Faster with 3D Printed Injection, Blow and Silicone Mold Tooling

                                            by Jerry Fireman on July 12, 2017

                                            Getting-to-market-faster-with-3D-Printed-Injection-Blow-and-Silicone-Mold-Tooling-1Injection molding, blow molding and liquid silicone rubber (LSR) molding are three remarkably efficient manufacturing processes for producing large volumes of highly accurate and often very complex parts. One of the challenges of bringing products to market with these processes is that producing functional prototypes with the right mechanical properties requires expensive tools with long lead times.

                                            Additive manufacturing addresses this problem by producing tooling for these and other types of molding that can be used to make limited runs of prototypes or low volume production parts from the same material and with the same physical properties as the final production parts. Molds made by additive manufacturing make it possible to evaluate more design iterations in less time at a lower cost, enabling companies to get products to market faster and reduce engineering and prototyping expenses.

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                                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                              Composite Tooling: Reducing Cost and Lead Time with Additive Manufacturing

                                              by Jerry Fireman on June 26, 2017

                                              Composite-Tooling-Reducing-Cost-and-Lead-time-with-Additive-Manufacturing-1One of the biggest challenges in producing fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite structures has long been the cost and lead time involved in making the metal or sacrificial tooling used to lay up the composite structures. Additive manufacturing has been used for a number of years to produce composite layup tooling but was limited by the lack of materials capable of withstanding the temperatures used for curing composite structures.

                                              The Stratasys new ULTEM 1010 resin can be used at process parameters in excess of 350 degrees Fahrenheit, making it possible to use printed layup tooling for producing most composite structures. Switching from conventional manufacturing methods to additive manufacturing can reduce composite tooling fabrication expense and lead time by up to 90% while providing additional design freedom and weight savings.

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                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                GrabCAD Print: Stratasys' 3D Printing Software

                                                by Lisa Hannon on June 23, 2017

                                                GrabCAD-Print-Stratasys-Announces-3D-Printing-Software- 1Stratasys recently announced an innovative new 3D printing software called GrabCAD Print. This free, cloud-based solution is designed to streamline the 3D printing workflow, and is built for accessibility and speed. Stratasys users will want to check out this new solution as soon as possible -- GrabCAD Print is the only option for the Stratasys F123 series, and it will eventually support all Stratasys 3D printers. Here’s everything you need to know about GrabCAD Print.

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                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                                  Printing Jigs and Fixtures Leads to Big Gains in Manufacturing Productivity

                                                  by Jerry Fireman on June 13, 2017

                                                  Printing-Jigs-and-Fixtures-Leads-to-Big-Gains-in-Manufacturing-Productivity-1Jigs and fixtures that hold parts or tools in just the right way to simplify manufacturing, assembly or inspection operations can dramatically increase shop floor productivity. For example, Digi International uses fixtures with integrated masks in a conformal coating process that eliminate the need for taping parts, saving about $123,750 for a typical production run.

                                                  CPI Aero produces fixtures that hold aerospace assemblies with complex contours so that they can easily be inspected with gage blocks and calipers, saving dozens of hours per assembly. Genesis Systems Group increases the safety of waterjet cutting by using end of arm tooling (EOAT) for a robot to move the part around the waterjet, eliminating potential safety hazards involved in moving the waterjet.

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                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                    Stratasys Announces Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator

                                                    by Lisa Hannon on June 6, 2017

                                                    Stratasys-Announces-Continuous-Build-3D-Demonstrator-1Stratasys recently announced the creation of an innovative new product: the Stratasys Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator. This multi-cell additive manufacturing platform is designed to continuously produce parts, and can be scaled to meet demand. Its innovative features could have major implications for the way additive manufacturing is done. Here’s everything you need to know about the Stratasys Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator.

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                                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                      Additive Manufacturing Makes Less Expensive Manufacturing Aids in Less Time

                                                      by Jerry Fireman on June 1, 2017

                                                      Additive-Manufacturing-Makes-Less-Expensive-Manufacturing-Aids-In-Less-Time-1Companies that succeed in manufacturing nearly always develop a wide range of manufacturing aids – custom tools that help manufacturing floor employees do various jobs faster, more accurately, with fewer steps, etc.

                                                      For example, Diebold uses many different fixtures to hold small components while they are machined or assembled. Swift Engineering uses sacrificial internal tools to create hollow features in composite structures. BMW uses custom hand tools for attaching bumper supports as well as a wide range of other assembly and testing jobs.

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                                                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS, RAPID PROTOTYPING

                                                        Disrupting the Supply Chain with 3D Printing: An Introduction to FDM Composite Tooling

                                                        by Lisa Hannon on May 23, 2017

                                                        Disrupting-the-Supply-Chain-with-3D-Printing-An-Introduction-to-FDM-Composite-Tooling-1The blog below was originally written and created by Ross Jones, Application Engineer at Stratasys. Fisher Unitech is sharing it with our readers due to the compelling story of how the manufacturing industry is solving problems with time and cost to produce tooling prototypes.

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

                                                          Nylon 12CF | Innovative 3D Printing Material for FDM Printers

                                                          by Lisa Hannon on May 18, 2017

                                                          nylon-12cf-innovative-3D-printing-material-for-FDM-Printers-1Stratasys recently launched a material in its new family of nylon, Nylon 12CF. This innovative new 3D printing nylon has a very high stiffness-to-weight ratio, and its potential applications are generating plenty of buzz in the 3D printing community. Here’s everything you need to know about Nylon 12CF.

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

                                                            The Future of Manufacturing: 3D Printing Innovations

                                                            by Lisa Hannon on April 11, 2017

                                                            3D printed prototypes have allowed designers and engineers to turn their ideas into reality with parts they can physically hold and manipulate. This technology The-Future-Of-Manufacturing-3D-Printing-Innovations-1has spurred innovation across multiple industries and changed the way people approach challenges. From a 3D printed splint that clears a baby’s airway to an aerospace part created in half the time, the benefits of rapid prototyping are numerous.

                                                            3D printing companies have known the benefits of their products for years and are now getting others up to speed on this innovative way of creating solutions. Stratasys, for example, has been in the industry for more than 25 years and fostered relationships with manufacturers, engineers, and designers around the globe. The company recently released a video highlighting how their products’ capabilities have tapped into people’s imaginations and accelerated progress across industries.

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                                                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                              Which 3D Printing Solution Fits Your Business?

                                                              by Lisa Hannon on April 6, 2017

                                                              Do you have an interest in learning more about additive manufacturing with 3D printing solutions? Are you part of a team that wants to bring products to market Which-3D-Printing-Solution-Fits-Your-Business-1faster? 3D printing technologies might be the answer for you but how do you know? At Fisher Unitech, we want to provide you with a guide that can help — whether you are a beginner with 3D printing or someone who already uses the technology but wants to explore more solutions.

                                                              No matter what level of knowledge you have with rapid prototyping, the guide “3D Printing Solutions” will help you determine if one of our solutions can help you design faster and smarter, bring products to market faster, or simply educate you further on how the technology works.

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                                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                Fail Your Way to Success in New Product Development with 3D Printing

                                                                by Jerry Fireman on March 21, 2017

                                                                If you are involved in new product development, you are probably facing a difficult paradox. You realize that thinking outside the box and taking risks is required to develop a product that will stand apart from the competition and achieve extraordinary success in the marketplace.

                                                                On the other hand, you also recognize that this kind of risk-taking behavior more often than not leads to failure. And neither you nor members of your team want to be associated with failure, especially the repeated failures that are often required in the early stages of developing an innovative product.

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                                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                  First Impressions: Stratasys F370 Review

                                                                  by Angelle Erickson on March 14, 2017

                                                                  First-impressions-Stratasys-F370-reviewStratasys officially announced the new F123 series at SOLIDWORKS World 2017 in Los Angeles on February 6th to thousands of attendees. The new lineup had big shoes to fill since Stratasys has discontinued production of the Fortus 250 and Dimension printers.  

                                                                  So is the new F123 series from Stratasys living up to all the hype? I spoke to two of our 3D printing experts here at Fisher Unitech who work with the full range of Stratasys 3D printers on a daily basis. After having the new F370 for well over a month now, I was interested in what kind of an impact it has been having on its daily users.

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                                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                    GrabCAD Print: Here’s what you Need to Know

                                                                    by Dan Erickson on March 6, 2017

                                                                    If you’ve been in the 3D printing world a while, GrabCAD is probably not unfamiliar to you. Along with Thingiverse and MyMinifactory, GrabCAD has been a stalwart repository of 3D-printable files; notable, in native CAD formats. Over the past 8 years, GrabCAD has been (and remains) an invaluable resource to some two million members.

                                                                    grabCAD-Print-Heres-what-you-need-to-knowSo what’s this GrabCAD Print thing, you ask? Well, it’s a slicer. Like Catalyst, Insight, and others, it slices a CAD model into thin layers, and then writes the instructions for a 3D printer to lay down material for each layer. GrabCAD Print supports polygon-based STL files, but unlike most, also directly reads native geometric modeling file formats like SOLIDWORKS, CATIA, UG/NX (among others) and the usual neutral formats (e.g., step, parasolid, iges); even assembly files.

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                                                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                                                      Introducing the F123 Series 3D Printers

                                                                      by Stacey Clement on February 6, 2017

                                                                      3D printing fans, rejoice - the next generation of FDM 3D printers from Stratasys is here! Stratasys announced its new line of 3D printers, the F123 series, at the SOLIDWORKS World conference on Monday, Feb. 6. The line includes three powerful printers: the F170, F270, and F370.  We have all the details of the big announcement, plus a webcast on the new line that is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 8.

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                                                                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                        Are you stuck in the past waiting on the future?

                                                                        by Nick Licari on December 29, 2016

                                                                        Back in 1989, Doc Brown and Marty McFly promised me that in 2015 we wouldn’t need roads where we were going—we would have flying cars. By using this same concept today in the additive manufacturing community, I should still be driving my 1987 Chevy Celebrity until flying cars become available. As you can guess, I’ve purchased new cars since 1987. Think of all the advancements in automotive technology since then; sure it may not be as advanced as flying cars, but in 1989 had Hollywood been able to sell us on heated seats, GPS, park assist, and autonomous vehicles I think we may have been just as excited.

                                                                        So what does this have to do with additive manufacturing? Like Hollywood, large 3D printing companies are making big promises as to what their technologies may be capable of in the future… but not today. This futuristic “what if” is leading to more and more companies holding on to their 1987 Celebrities and barely getting by, hoping to buy that flying car when it becomes available rather than trading it in for current technology that is readily available and industry leading today. Companies such as HP and Rize Inc are constantly making promises on what their systems can do some day... but not today, or tomorrow, or the next year, or the year after that. So why would I buy their technology today?

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                                                                        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                                                          Stratasys J750 Changes How Engineers Validate Design

                                                                          by Rob Stipek on November 9, 2016

                                                                          For a design engineer, what is the best way to validate a CAD model? The most effective and efficient way is to use a 3D printer to rapidly produce a prototype. With a PolyJet 3D printer, for example, a designer can not only verify a design, but can also receive feedback on the look and feel of the physical prototype, or part.

                                                                          PolyJet 3D printing is an extremely precise and detailed additive manufacturing technology that uses photopolymers to build up layers of material to create the desired part. The most technologically advanced PolyJet 3D printer, the Stratasys J750, was released earlier this year. The J750 gives design engineers greater capabilities that can improve the product development process even more. It is a step above the already industry leading precision 3D printing technology Stratasys offers.

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                                                                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, STRATASYS

                                                                            How 3D Printing Improves the Sand Casting Process

                                                                            by Rob Stipek on October 24, 2016

                                                                            Sand casting is the process of using a mold made of sand to create metal casted parts. It is one of the oldest processes used to create metal parts, dating back thousands of years. The basic process of sand casting involves several steps: First, a part shape, runner layouts, and gates are placed into special sand to create a mold. Next, a molten metal material is poured into the mold and cooled to solidify it. Last, the sand mold is broken away leaving a metal part that is ready for clean up and production.

                                                                            Sand casting is used for a wide range of industry applications with the primary manufacturers being foundries and pattern shops. If this process seems so simple and has been around this long, how can 3D printing improve the sand casting process?

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

                                                                              The Power of PolyJet Technology for 3D Printing

                                                                              by Rob Stipek on September 27, 2016

                                                                              If you’re new to PolyJet technology, it works similarly to inkjet printing, but rather than jetting drops of ink onto paper, PolyJet 3D printers jet layers of photopolymer materials onto a build tray. With PolyJet materials, users get a unique way to create high quality 3D printed parts that incorporate color, texture, and multi-material capabilities all in the same build.the-power-of-polyjet-technology-for-3d-printing

                                                                              Why does PolyJet reign supreme?

                                                                              PolyJet technology produces highly realistic, functional 3D models in a wide range of materials. It also provides properties that span from rigid to rubber and opaque to transparent, solving all of your printing needs. There are also materials that perform similarly to engineering plastics which combine toughness and heat resistance. PolyJet enables designers, engineers, and artists to produce finely detailed models and prototypes for virtually any industry.

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                                                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                Come Experience the Game Changing 3D Printer: Stratasys J750

                                                                                by Rob Stipek on September 9, 2016

                                                                                Ask anyone in business, higher education or the manufacturing community what their top objectives are and they’ll probably say it’s to achieve more, to solve more problems, and to act faster than what’s now possible—all while saving money in the process. Ask what’s holding them back and you’ll probably find a diverse variety of obstacles in their day-to-day work processes that hinder their progress.

                                                                                Having the right tools to do the job is one crucial element in solving problems and becoming more efficient and productive. Additive manufacturing, widely known as 3D printing, is one of those tools. It helps businesses, educators, and manufacturers breakdown production barriers. Using 3D printing reduces time and effort to produce parts, models, prototypes and other objects. And today, the game changing 3D printer is the J750 from Stratasys. You can come experience all that the Stratasys J750 has to offer at an upcoming Fisher Unitech J750 Roadshow Event

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                                                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                  Stratasys to Demonstrate Next generation 3D Printing at 2016 IMTS

                                                                                  by Rob Stipek on August 25, 2016

                                                                                  The 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company, today announced it is previewing demonstrations of next generation manufacturing technologies at IMTS 2016 as part of its SHAPING WHAT’S NEXT™ vision for manufacturing. SHAPING WHAT’S NEXT builds on Stratasys’ industrial FDM® 3D printing expertise to respond to the needs of customers’ most challenging applications, addressing manufacturers’ needs to rapidly produce strong parts ranging in size from an automobile armrest to an entire aircraft interior panel. The Stratasys ecosystem of additive and traditional technologies, software workflows, materials development, and professional services align with individual application needs, better meeting quality, cost, and delivery metrics while unlocking the capabilities of additive manufacturing to revolutionize how parts are designed and built.

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                                                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, POLYJET, STRATASYS

                                                                                    SUP 706 Game Changer for Polyjet 3D Printing

                                                                                    by Rob Stipek on June 29, 2016

                                                                                    SUP 706 support material is a game changer for those looking
                                                                                    to create complex and detailed prototypes and concept models. This hands-free
                                                                                    soluble support material promises to make the cleaning and post processing of
                                                                                    3D printed models, in particular those requiring intricately placed support materials, fast and easy. This material specific to Polyjet 3D printing, educes post-printing processing down to a two-step, automated soak and rinse process.soluble1

                                                                                    Business that have projects that are time sensitive are reaping the benefits of SUP706 as time consuming post processing is drastically reduced and productivity is vastly improved upon.

                                                                                    “The development of SUP706 provides a great combination of advantages for 3D printing users,” said David Tulipman, director of product management for PolyJet consumables at Stratasys. “Owners of PolyJet-based 3D printers can now print small, intricate features with greater reassurance, and clean several
                                                                                    parts at once, enabling high volume 3D printing that’s both cost-effective and

                                                                                    To learn more about SUP 706 and other 3D Printing support materials that are opening up new 3D printing application check out Fisher Unitechs upcoming webcast on the benefits of using soluble support. Click here to learn more and sign up.

                                                                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                      Fisher Unitech and Milacron Team Up for 3D Printing Injection Molding Event

                                                                                      by Rob Stipek on June 17, 2016
                                                                                      Last week world leading provider of 3D printing technology
                                                                                      Fisher Unitech and world leader in injection molding machining Milacon teamed
                                                                                      up for an event showcasing the value of using 3D printed molds for low volume
                                                                                      production. The event which was hosted at Milacron state of the art Batavia
                                                                                      facilities introduced attendees to how industry is realizing the value of using
                                                                                      3D printed molds along with an onsite demonstration of just how the process


                                                                                      Team members from both companies ran through presentations
                                                                                      regarding how to pick the right injection molding machine for the right applications,
                                                                                      Polyjet technology overview, and the process in which injection molders should
                                                                                      follow when running 3D printed molds. This event was very technical in nature
                                                                                      with the goal of providing attendees with a solid educational base to which
                                                                                      they can apply in their own design shops. With the great turn out and positive feedback
                                                                                      from attendees, this is the type of event that both Fisher and Milacron hope to
                                                                                      replicate in the coming months.  If you
                                                                                      have any questions regarding 3D printed injection molds and polyjet technology
                                                                                      please click here to download “Top 5 Reasons to Integrate PolyJet into YourProduct Development Lifecycle”

                                                                                      • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, POLYJET, STRATASYS

                                                                                        3D Printing for the Injection Molding Process

                                                                                        by Rob Stipek on May 26, 2016
                                                                                        In the world of injection molding, the amount of challenges that mold makers and part designers face can be overwhelming. Factors such as weld lines, air traps, balanced fill, and sink marks are just a small handful of issues that can be incredibly detrimental to producing a really good quality plastic part.
                                                                                        Many designers utilize different simulation tools to ensure quality, but there is no substitute for being able to hold and touch a physical part, however tooling an aluminum mold for a small volume of parts can be rather expensive and take a fair amount of time to create.  This is where many injection molders are utilizing 3D print their molds saving both time and money when producing low volume production parts and prototypes.

                                                                                        Utilizing Polyjet 3D Printing technology to create molds can be a great option under the right circumstances. These printers use a photopolymer to layer by layer build a molds core and cavity. The mold can be put into a mud base and injected with the actual material that the end use part will be made of. By doing this mold makers can produce parts that are high quality at a fraction of the cost. Granted these molds are not as durable as tradition injection molds but for low volume production 3D printed molds can be a major cost reduction tool.

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

                                                                                          Stratasys Announces New Acceleration Kit for Fortus 900

                                                                                          by Rob Stipek on May 20, 2016
                                                                                          Earlier this week Stratasys
                                                                                          released a new acceleration kit that will get builds in their

                                                                                          Fortus 900
                                                                                          machines done faster and more effectively. The top of the line Fused Deposition
                                                                                          Modeling machine current customers are using features the T20 extruder tip,
                                                                                          this can be upgraded to a new T40 tip which will provide customers:

                                                                                          The largest
                                                                                          available slice height for FDM systems.
                                                                                          Throughput 2-3
                                                                                          times faster on average compared to T20 tip.
                                                                                          solution that requires no additional hardware.

                                                                                          900 users will need to have the latest controller (Version 3.19) and insight software (Version 10.8) updates in order to utilize the upgraded tip. The Fortus 900 delivers to its customers all the available benefits that Stratasys FDM printers have available, this new tip enables user the ability to continue producing high quality parts, but in a way that enables more control and faster build speeds.

                                                                                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, POLYJET, STRATASYS

                                                                                            Not Just Why 3D Printing, but Why the Stratasys J750

                                                                                            by Rob Stipek on May 3, 2016
                                                                                            In order to create great products
                                                                                            creativity, prototyping, and concept validation are key. Design engineers have
                                                                                            broken new ground in their designs with Stratasys’ new J750 3D printer. Ever
                                                                                            since it’s April debut, the J750 has made waves with its creative capabilities.

                                                                                            Incredible Part Realism

                                                                                            A hallmark of the Stratasys J750 is its true full-color capability, a breakthrough in 3D printing technology. Although printing in various colors isn’t new, getting the quality you want along with a whopping 360,000 color selection is.

                                                                                            Unmatched Versatility

                                                                                            This versatility originates from its robust material capacity, accommodating input of up to six base resins. Because advanced PolyJet systems create composite materials right on the build tray, the number of material options is far greater than the number of input materials. In the Stratasys J750, those six base resins yield hundreds of thousands of colors, translucencies and durometers.

                                                                                            Fast, Efficient, and Easy to Use

                                                                                            Printing with the J750 is easy, starting with PolyJet StudioTM software to process your part. PolyJet Studio is
                                                                                            the next generation of Objet StudioTM software and offers multiple improvements for workflow efficiency. Improvements include an intuitive interface that makes
                                                                                            it easy to choose material, optimize the build, and mange print queues. After the parameters of the part are selected, the user hits “print” and it’s ready to build.
                                                                                            The J750 is ideal for any user, whether you’re planning on creating detailed surgical guides or looking to produce color coded jigs and fixtures.
                                                                                            For more information, click here to download the newly released J750 EBook.

                                                                                            • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                              The Future of Manufacturing with 3D Printing Event

                                                                                              by Rob Stipek on April 14, 2016

                                                                                              World leading Stratasys 3D printing partner Fisher Unitech is excited to announce The Future of

                                                                                              Manufacturing Event series highlighting the benefits manufacturing is seeing with the utilization of 3D printing. The landscape of manufacturing is transforming and 3D printing is becoming essential to production. Fisher Unitech welcomes all to this excellent opportunity to learn more about how 3D printing can increase time to market, drive innovation, and save costs.

                                                                                              Participants of these events will learn about:

                                                                                              • Fused Deposition Modeling and Polyjet Technologies
                                                                                              • 3D Printing Applications and customer success stories
                                                                                              • New J750 Features and Functionality
                                                                                              • 3D Printing Materials Overview

                                                                                              • 3D Printing Post Processing Techniques

                                                                                              The Future of Manufacturing Event Series is complimentary to attend and breakfast will be provided at all locations for participants. Please click below to attend at any of the 4 current locations.-Troy, Michigan at the Fisher Unitech Headquarters May 5, 2016. Register 

                                                                                              -Schaumburg, Illinois at the Hyatt Hotel May 10, 2016. Register 

                                                                                              -Cincinnati, Ohio at Fisher Unitech Local Office May 17, 2016. Register

                                                                                              -St Charles, Missouri at the St Charles Convention Center May 19, 2016. Register 

                                                                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, POLYJET, STRATASYS

                                                                                                New Stratasys J750 Breaking Down Design Walls

                                                                                                by Rob Stipek on April 4, 2016
                                                                                                Earlier today, Stratasys announced the J750, the
                                                                                                latest addition to their world-leading professional 3D printer lineup. Building
                                                                                                on the already successful high-resolution multi-material PolyJet technology,
                                                                                                this printer delivers unrivaled aesthetic performance as the world’s first full color 3D printer.
                                                                                                Unmatched Realism
                                                                                                Full-color capability, texture mapping, and color
                                                                                                gradients allow the creation of prototypes that look, feel, and operate like a
                                                                                                fully finished product. Thanks to the Stratasys J750’s wide range of material
                                                                                                properties, painting and assembly are no longer required.
                                                                                                Maximum Versatility
                                                                                                With the fastest PolyJet mult-material 3D printer,
                                                                                                time for part intricacy and complexity is no longer a sacrifice. J750 allows
                                                                                                users to take full advantage of unparalleled 3D printing by channeling a range
                                                                                                of applications that previously required a several step process in order to
                                                                                                achieve an all-in-one package with a vast array of colors and material
                                                                                                properties. Users will now be able to print parts that feature Digital ABS
                                                                                                alongside a variety of flexible Shore values and/or translucencies.
                                                                                                Print with 6 Materials
                                                                                                at Once
                                                                                                The large, six-material capacity of the
                                                                                                Stratasys J750 means you can load your most used resins and avoid downtime
                                                                                                associated with material changeovers. Print simulated production plastics, like
                                                                                                Digital ABS™, in half the time or with twice the resolution. With an astounding
                                                                                                360,000+ color combinations to choose from and multi-material capability, the
                                                                                                Stratasys J750 allows you to bring even your most imaginative ideas to life.
                                                                                                Customer Success
                                                                                                For more information on how customers are utilizing the new J750, check outthis case study discussing build service provider Synergy is saving their
                                                                                                customers time and money, while providing the most vivid detailed concept
                                                                                                models ever produced by a 3D printer.

                                                                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                                  Fisher Unitech Named Top Selling Stratasys Partner World Wide

                                                                                                  by Rob Stipek on March 24, 2016

                                                                                                  Stratasys, the industry leader in 3D printing, recently announced that Fisher Unitech LLC has been named the 2015 number one selling partner worldwide. The company, a SOLIDWORKS product life-cycle management solutions provider and Stratasys partner for over 19 years, supplies its customers with 3D Printing production equipment, materials, and build services.

                                                                                                  With a territory that ranges throughout the Midwest, Fisher Unitech’s strategic
                                                                                                  positioning throughout its territory with its sales and applications personnel
                                                                                                  has enabled them to develop working relationships with its customer base,
                                                                                                  strengthening the support needed to prove out the capabilities of 3D printing
                                                                                                  technologies. Over the course of Fisher Unitech’s partnership with Stratasys
                                                                                                  the strategy for success continues to be customer centric.

                                                                                                  The 3D printing team at Fisher Unitech focuses on two basic principles: applying their collective learning from applications ranging from automotive and aerospace, to consumer goods and medical and using this significant experience to solve seemingly unrelated challenges in manufacturing, tooling, product development and design. Fisher Unitech also empowers their team with the proper training and resources to become leading 3D printing experts.

                                                                                                  “It was very gratifying for Fisher Unitech to again receive the honor as #1 Stratasys Distributor Worldwide,” Says Fisher Unitech Director of 3D Printing
                                                                                                  Sales/Service Andy Dehart, “Stratasys has been a fantastic partner--providing
                                                                                                  evolving solutions for the broadening 3D Printer Market since the inception of
                                                                                                  our relationship in the early 90s, we are proud to be recognized by Stratasys
                                                                                                  in this regard and look forward to the bolder challenges in 2016.”

                                                                                                  To learn more about how Fisher Unitech is supporting customers with 3D printing applicaions, be sure to check out our upcoming webcasts

                                                                                                  • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                                    New Stratasys Incentives Announced for Those Looking to Purchase 3D Printer

                                                                                                    by Rob Stipek on March 16, 2016
                                                                                                    3D printing is one of the fastest growing areas in manufacturing
                                                                                                    and design.  Recent announcements

                                                                                                    Stratasys should give those interested in exploring the benefits of owning a 3D
                                                                                                    printer an incentive on why now is a good time to buy.

                                                                                                    Material Promotion:
                                                                                                    ·         50% off the first $15,000 (MSRP) of designated
                                                                                                    material of your choice for the first 6 months with purchase of any new SSYS
                                                                                                    printer listed at or above $75k (MSRP).
                                                                                                    ·         50% off the first $2,000 (MSRP) of designated
                                                                                                    material of your choice for first 6 months with purchase of any new SSYS
                                                                                                    Trade-In Promotion:
                                                                                                     Trade in any old or Stratasys 3D printer and
                                                                                                    upgrade to the latest, leading technology from Stratasys.  (For
                                                                                                    certain printers, this promotion can be combined with other offers
                                                                                                    ). Speak
                                                                                                    with your Fisher Unitech sales representative for more details.
                                                                                                    Buy a 3D Printer, Get One FREE
                                                                                                     Any new Stratasys Production Systems customers
                                                                                                    can now take advantage of the inclusion of a Mojo 3D printer OR two MakerBot
                                                                                                    Replicator 3D printers with any 3D printer purchase of 60k or more.
                                                                                                    For more information on these offers, contact your sales
                                                                                                    representative at Fisher Unitech. If you are just starting the process of
                                                                                                    checking out 3D printing, please join our upcoming webcasts to learn more! 

                                                                                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, STRATASYS

                                                                                                      3D Printing Manufacturing Floor Tools

                                                                                                      by Rob Stipek on March 10, 2016
                                                                                                      Maybe one of the best applications for 3D printing is the
                                                                                                      creation of unique and essential tools used

                                                                                                      on the manufacturing floor. There are
                                                                                                      countless times during the day where a manufacturing engineer needs a tool to
                                                                                                      help hold, position, place, or organize parts. For those reasons jigs,
                                                                                                      fixtures, check gauges, and other floor tools are ideas to be 3D printed, primarily
                                                                                                      using FDM technology.

                                                                                                      On the production floor FDM jigs and fixtures make work
                                                                                                      easier and safer. And companies that use FDM find that they have more of them
                                                                                                      than ever since they are so easy and inexpensive to make. Make a masking tool
                                                                                                      for conformal coating electronics and cut out manually taping each printed
                                                                                                      circuit board. Or build a dispenser for factory floor labels. For assembly
                                                                                                      operations use FDM for nesting assembly fixtures, rivet guides, or assembly
                                                                                                      guides. Need a one of a kind tool? You can easily produce that too.


                                                                                                      Using industry grade strong plastic like Nylon, Poly-carbonate,
                                                                                                      and Ultem that are available on Stratasys FDM printers, workers are able to
                                                                                                      quickly print the necessary tools needed to get a job done and always have them
                                                                                                      on hand as part repeat-ability is easily done on Stratasys machines. From R&D
                                                                                                      through inspection FDM is the tool to make work more efficient with jigs and
                                                                                                      For more information on production of manufacturing tools using 3D Printing be sure to sign up for our upcoming webcast 3D Printing Manufacturing Tools 

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