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Video: What 3D Printing Can & Can't Do

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naperlou
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another tool
naperlou   11/5/2013 8:18:29 AM
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Chuck, 3D printing is another good tool for manufacturing parts.  In the past, CNC machining allowed cost effective production of small runs of parts.  This is still true.  Injection molding has improved to the point that it is possible to make small production runs with molds that are cheaper.  They may not be as long lasting as the traditional mold, but they are just fine for those smaller runs on an inexpensive machine.  Often the molds are made on a CNC machine.  3D is another low production rate technique that can be used in various situations.  In "low" volume industries like aviation, this technique is very useful.  In a mass customization environment 3D can really shine.  I wonder when we will see personalization of prodcuts like automobiles with the addition of 3D printed interior parts (like special cup holders).  Information technology coupled with 3D printing could make that a reality.

Mydesign
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3D Printing
Mydesign   11/5/2013 8:33:08 AM
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Charles, it's very nice to read this interesting article. I read many articles with respect to 3D printing and in one of them somebody specified that it can print ornaments, medicines etc. I think it peoples are aware only about merits and they presumes that it will be able to print everything.

Mydesign
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Re: another tool
Mydesign   11/5/2013 8:39:24 AM
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"Injection molding has improved to the point that it is possible to make small production runs with molds that are cheaper.  They may not be as long lasting as the traditional mold, but they are just fine for those smaller runs on an inexpensive machine."

Naperlou, you mean that 3D printing objects are of high quality and have better durability? I think in both cases the composition of material may be same and only the finishing may be better in 3D printing.

Charles Murray
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Re: another tool
Charles Murray   11/5/2013 7:22:07 PM
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I agree, naperlou. I think we're only scratching the surface here. Companies will learn how to combine information technology and 3D printing in all kinds of industries to produce customized products that no one has thought about yet.  

Charles Murray
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Re: 3D Printing
Charles Murray   11/5/2013 7:26:11 PM
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At the event, Mydesign, the Stratasys executives made a point of letting journalists know that the popular conception of 3D printing is inconsistent with the realities of using it in manufacturing settings. As you point out, there are a lot of applications that don't lend themselves to 3D printing.

RogueMoon
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pre-processing for 3D Printing
RogueMoon   11/6/2013 8:53:23 AM
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Charles, thanks for the post.

Can you elaborate more about what pre-processing is necessary?  You had mentioned changes in CAD modelling...

ramjet@metrocast.net
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Re: 3D Printing
ramjet@metrocast.net   11/6/2013 8:58:54 AM
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While I'm itching to acquire a 3D printer for my hobbies, It will be a while.

And I am just looking in from the outside, so to speak.

I understand that objects with overhangs are still difficult to produce. Perhaps they can be created with snap off supports or such but you lose the smoothness of the finish in that spot.

Am I correct in my understanding?

Still, Printing my own custom nosecones for my amatuer rockets would be a massive game changer.

ramjet@metrocast.net
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Re: 3D Printing
ramjet@metrocast.net   11/6/2013 8:58:58 AM
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While I'm itching to acquire a 3D printer for my hobbies, It will be a while.

And I am just looking in from the outside, so to speak.

I understand that objects with overhangs are still difficult to produce. Perhaps they can be created with snap off supports or such but you lose the smoothness of the finish in that spot.

Am I correct in my understanding?

Still, Printing my own custom nosecones for my amatuer rockets would be a massive game changer.

Jim S
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Re: another tool
Jim S   11/6/2013 10:00:48 AM
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We use them for experimental molds for silicon rubber moding compound. It works just fine, but we don't care about the rough finish. We just coat it with mold release and inject the compound. Really fast way to prototype something.

Charles Murray
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Re: pre-processing for 3D Printing
Charles Murray   11/6/2013 9:23:39 PM
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This is definitely not my strength, RogeMoon, so we'll see if we can get an expert can help us out here. But as I understand it, a lot of the pre-processing is on the model side. You need to create an STL (steroelithography) file and, from that, a CGM (computer graphics metafile) file after your CAD file. I'm told this is still a big area of learning for most engineers. There's also a matter of matching your design to your materials and to the right process beforehand -- whether it's fused depostion modeling, selective laser sintering, or another 3D printing method. I'll see if we can get someone from Stratasys to jump in here.

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