Here at Make Parts Fast, we post hundreds of news and stories for you. It’s time to take a look at which ones were the most read. Do you miss any of these?
GlassesUSA.com, a leading online eyewear retailer, plans to disrupt the traditional eyeglass frame market by launching 3D printable glasses.
The concept behind this project is that consumers can change the frame shape with colors, adding text to the temples for personalization like name or phone number in case the glasses get lost. The 3D frame files are compatible with STL and OBJ formats and after completing the printing process all that’s left to do is order the lenses from GlassesUSA.com.
The metal additive manufacturing (AM) materials market is shifting from high-cost/top performance alloys such as titanium and nickel superalloys to more affordable materials that still offer adequate performance in larger batches. Aluminum is expected to be among the key materials in the shift toward larger batch production of mass goods.
New words, or words with new definitions, pop up regularly in the 3D printing industry. One of the latest words is Voxel.
According to Wikipedia, “a voxel represents a value on a regular grid in three-dimensional space. These values are frequently used in the visualization and analysis of medical and scientific data.”
Time to market is always a design challenge. The design team at Tooling & Equipment International (TEI) had just three weeks to cast, clean, heat treat, machine and inspect a motorcycle swing arm with an architecture so intricate it almost defied gravity. Created by 3D software design company, Autodesk, the swing arm was developed for the Lightning LS-218, an all-electric motorcycle produced by Lightning Motorcycle. TEI, a state of the art prototype/ low volume foundry and machine shop, was commissioned by Autodesk to produce the prototype.
Additive manufacturing (AM) is being promoted as the beginning of a revolution in manufacturing. The revolution is to make manufacturing digital where everything is connected through a digital thread. Because AM can be connected to the cloud and other forms of “digitalness,” it is being viewed as a natural evolution of manufacturing. Thus, much effort and research is going on to turn what once was a prototyping tool into a production tool. One example, Airbus plans to produce 30 tons of 3D printed parts per month this year.
As companies move down this digital manufacturing path, they seek engineering talent, but from a limited talent pool. This challenge for companies is good news for engineers with skills in additive manufacturing and 3D printing.
Multi Jet Fusion functions like other 3D printing processes by building parts layer-by-layer, but it adds in infrared heating alongside fusing and detailing agents to build high-strength, nearly-isotropic parts. While there has been plenty of buzz around this breakthrough technology, little has been written about the nuances and design considerations. It’s still a fairly new technology in the additive manufacturing industry and a baby when compared to veteran technologies like stereolithography and fused deposition modeling (FDM).
Not every design should be made using additive technology. But answers to eight questions will help you make the right choice between additive, machining, and injection molding for your production needs.
Despite the buzz and attention on additive manufacturing (AM), not every design should be built using an additive process. Just as there are tradeoffs on when to use machining or injection molding, there are tradeoffs with additive manufacturing. Answers to a few key questions will help you determine whether your design is best handled through additive manufacturing.