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

Design Applications


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…



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

Feel free to comment below.

SolidWorks World 2013 – Video Presentations

Okay… there are some great resources for improving your SolidWorks skills. However, if you feel that youtube tutorials are hit and miss… and the depth of knowledge is safe for a 1yr old to swim in… then check out the presentations through the link below or in the sidebar.

My only complaint is that their video software stinks and I have to reload the page multiple times before I can get the whole video to buffer, but the content is still really good!

Check it out!

SolidWorks World 2013 – Presentations & Videos

Timer Programming with Interrupts

Achieving a consistent timer circuit on your program may be quite a challenge, especially when the datasheets for your uController is 500 pages long and doesn’t speak clearly. The following code will get you a 1 second interrupt that will allow you to accurately time events on an Arduino Uno. Have Fun! Continue reading