Category Archives: 3D Printing

3D Printing & it’s Achilles Heels – Part 2

Design Applications

1. FRAME OF SCALE

CAD is a very powerful tool. You can design a football stadium… and you can design microfluidic channels. Unfortunately it’s very easy to lose your ‘frame of scale’. In other words, you don’t know how big… or small something is in real life. 3D Printing allows you to get a feel for the actual part in a way that you could never accomplish through a computer screen alone.

This works especially well for industrial designers. Their concern is how something looks, feels, and the overall experience of the device. CAD can try to fake reality by adding perspective, but it isn’t the real thing. When it comes right down to it, you need to have it in your hands. Not only that, once you print something out, you can modify it. You can sand, cut, machine, paint, melt, bend, etc… Whatever modifications you can think of to get it the way you want it. And then you can update CAD, reprint, etc…

 

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3D Printing & it’s Achilles Heels – Part 1

FDM 3D Printing is a common way to prototype. It’s quick, clean, and gets parts in your hands in a matter of hours… but what can you really do with it?

In the following series of posts, I will discuss the different design elements that go into using 3D printed parts for prototype development. Here is what will be included:

  1. Design Applications
  2. Material Types… Especially for ESD Compliance
  3. The Printing Process & its Achilles Heels
  4. Printing Large Parts
  5. Designing for Machined Post Operations
  6. Getting Holes Right
  7. Modifying Parts to Increase Strength
  8. Part Identification

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