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Beyond Prototyping: 5 Things to Consider for 3D Printing Your Functional Parts
8/7/2013

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BMW has used additive manufacturing (AM) to enhance the ergonomics of its hand-held assembly devices. The weight of this jig was reduced by 72 percent using AM and a sparse-filled build technique.   (Source: Stratasys)
BMW has used additive manufacturing (AM) to enhance the ergonomics of its hand-held assembly devices. The weight of this jig was reduced by 72 percent using AM and a sparse-filled build technique.
(Source: Stratasys)

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bobjengr
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Platinum
BEYOND PROTOTYPING
bobjengr   8/9/2013 7:08:06 PM
NO RATINGS
Excellent post Bill.   I have been involved with AM for quite some time and the greatest benefit I see in my daily work is "proof of concept".  The time spent in providing a DG (design guidance) model is remarkably short compared to traditional methods; i.e. machining, casting, forming, etc.  One area gaining additional "respect" is the production of jigs and fixtures to hold components during assembly operations.  This is proving to be equally time-saving and allows us to do a great deal of additional "what-if" at minimal expense.  

Ann R. Thryft
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Faster than some people think
Ann R. Thryft   8/7/2013 12:12:08 PM
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Thanks for this informative report from the front lines about the fact that 3D printing and AM have gone way beyond prototyping. We've heard a lot about medical and dental apps, but it's important to know the extent that fixtures and tooling, as well as automotive, are being affected by AM for production parts. I also think the stats on injection molding costs and time are valuable. There seems to be a perception that 3D printing is slow, but it depends on what you're making with it. Compared to traditional methods for some end-use parts, it's really fast.

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