Hand an engineer or would-be designer a powerful and low-cost tool and there’s no telling what they can create with it. That’s the message Alibre is trying to sell with its family of 3-D design tools. With the newest edition, Alibre Design Personal Edition launched in May, Alibre officials say any one can become an entrepreneur and market their innovation to the masses.
To drive home this do-it-yourself innovation story, Alibre is showcasing a handful of creations thanks to the work of its aspiring entrepreneurs:
Linn Audio has designed seven-foot tall custom home theater speakers, using Alibre Design and Alibre CAM to design the panels and machine out the parts. Owner David Lynn says he “likes how in Alibre Design you can draw a rough sketch of the part you need to make and then go back and dimension it to exact specifications.” Alibre CAM then sends the cutting toolpath in the form of G-code to the CNC Machine, which cuts the pattern of internal and external components of the speaker cabinet.
University of New Mexico masters student Francisco Rodriguez Alibre-inspired creation is a robot based on the TXT-1 monster truck. Using Alibre Design, Rodriguez added an odometer and extra shock absorber on each of the truck’s front wheels and an aluminum plate to support the sensors and computer. The end result: A robot used to make simulations in a virtual world with the goal of becoming a search and rescue robot that could be used to locate victims in mine fields, collapsed building or for structural inspection.
String Theory Yoyos’ Mark Mankiewicz decided to try his hand with Alibre Design, creating a professional grade yo-yo that’s precision machined for maximum stability and balanced-rim weighted for maximum spin time. His material of choice: Aerospace grade aluminum and premium steel bearings. Mankiewicz’s design called for two butterfly-bell halves to form an exact weight. Alibre Design Expert helped the fledging designer calculate the physical properties after each design change so he could ensure he was within regulation.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.