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CAD/CAM Corner
3D Printing Round-Up: Innovative Medical Field & Space Exploration Pursuits
5/23/2013

A 3D-printed skull made out of polyetherketoneketone was used as an implant to replace 75 percent of an unknown patient's missing skull.  (Source: Resources2.news.com)
A 3D-printed skull made out of polyetherketoneketone was used as an implant to replace 75 percent of an unknown patient's missing skull.
(Source: Resources2.news.com)

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Nancy Golden
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Re: Possibilities are Mind Boggling
Nancy Golden   6/11/2013 6:06:02 PM
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Very informative - thanks, Cabe. It looks like 3D printing is the future across many different industries: http://www.businessoffashion.com/2013/05/could-3d-printing-disrupt-the-designer-eyewear-market.html

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out and per the article what type of legislation will become necessary as a result...

In the mean time a quick google search revealed lots of options - should be fun to try.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Possibilities are Mind Boggling
Cabe Atwell   6/11/2013 4:35:47 PM
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Nancy,

Staples is already testing the possibility of 3D printing in stores. Readily available printing options are popping up everywhere. No purchase necessary.

C

Nancy Golden
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Re: Possibilities are Mind Boggling
Nancy Golden   5/30/2013 10:58:38 AM
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Thanks for the additional information, Cabe. The article on Social Network for 3D Printers was very interesting. It would be really cool to see Office Depot down the street offer this service as part of their print center and maybe in a few years they will.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Possibilities are Mind Boggling
Cabe Atwell   5/30/2013 12:06:50 AM
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Nancy,

You do not have to be a machinist to work a 3D printer. Though, understanding how the printer work completely will not be avoided. If you need to make a lot of parts, prototypes, etc, then getting one will pay for itself. However, like Greg said, you can always have someone else make one.

See the Social Network for 3D Printers.

Also, Shapways.com is a good spot too.

C

Nancy Golden
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Re: Possibilities are Mind Boggling
Nancy Golden   5/25/2013 1:14:06 PM
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Thanks for the great information, Greg - I will definitely look into it. Sounds like it could be a lot of fun. There are so many possibilities...I have a lot of projects in my head that I never thought it would be cost-effective to pursue...this could change my mind!

Greg M. Jung
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Re: Possibilities are Mind Boggling
Greg M. Jung   5/25/2013 1:04:46 PM
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Nancy, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how affordable and easy to use 3rd party 3D printering services are today.  One of these services, www.redeyeondemand.com allows you to just upload your .STL file to their website and automatically generates a quote on the spot.  After purchasing with a credit card, it starts the printing job and a few days later, you receive the part in the mail.  Efficient (and even fun) to use.

Ann R. Thryft
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3D printed skulls
Ann R. Thryft   5/24/2013 12:01:18 PM
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I'd heard of 3D printed partial skull plates, but none this large. Thanks for covering this, Cabe. Here's an entire, artistic 3D printed skull :
http://www.ahalife.com/product/1946/3d-printed-filigree-skull/



Nancy Golden
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Re: Possibilities are Mind Boggling
Nancy Golden   5/23/2013 5:35:23 PM
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Now I really want one - I'm going to start looking into them. But since I only do the occasional project now as a contractor, it really isn't practical for me - I sure wish I had one back in the day!

Greg M. Jung
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Re: Possibilities are Mind Boggling
Greg M. Jung   5/23/2013 5:23:36 PM
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Many companies now, including mine, have a 3D printer on site.  An engineer or a designer will typically send their designs to the machine in the morning and have the parts in the afternoon (or maybe the next day if it is a large/complicated part).  This really accelerates development and test cycles from weeks to even days or hours and is a very effective development tool.

The price of 3D printers has been lowered dramatically, so these systems can be within financial reach now.  When selecting a 3D printer, it is also important to choose one that has simple operation (so that everyone in the department can run the machine, rather than having a specialized technician only).

Nancy Golden
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Re: Possibilities are Mind Boggling
Nancy Golden   5/23/2013 1:14:48 PM
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Thanks for your observation, Greg. The company I worked for typically lagged 3-7 years behind current technology so we did a lot of making do with what we had. I can see that if we could prove the cost-effectiveness of 3D printing and the increased speed to market that we possibly could have sold the idea of investing in one to management - especially since we had a full department dedicated to CAD.

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