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CI’s own Mark Watson was recently featured on the Fabricator discussing new use cases of the CI SAAM discovered by our team.  With Cincinnati Incorporated being a 120-year-old machine tool company with a 500,000 sq ft manufacturing facility; Cincinnati is demonstrating how this provides us an advantage of not only building high-quality reliable machine tools but also the use cases involve.  Mark Watson’s new discovery centers around complimentary products for one of Cincinnati’s core products: Press Brakes.

He has discovered that Back Gauges, which are typically ordered custom, take weeks, and cost hundreds of dollars, can be printed rapidly on the SAAM and available the same day for a significant reduction in cost.

He has also discovered that Press Brake tools themselves, which cost thousands and take weeks to order, can be printed in certain circumstances.  This has generated great interest in the SAAM as the ideal complimentary tool for the metal fabricator looking to cut costs and lead time without sacrificing quality.

There are certain instances where SAAM can be the best tool for the job, and I would recommend you visit the fabricator at the link below to learn more:

Gauging Challenges on the Press Brake

If you are interested in learning more about the CI SAAM and how we are able to help, please click here

The post Cincinnati’s Mark Watson Featured on The Fabricator appeared first on CI - NVBots - Automated 3D Printing.

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By Ashley Lipman

From cars that drive themselves to fitness trackers, there’s nothing technology today can’t do. Mobile apps have come a long way, and they make our lives a whole lot easier. This isn’t limited to just mundane tasks around the house or even rideshare technology, rather, apps and software are starting to evolve industries themselves.

The manufacturing industry is one that’s been majorly affected by the introduction of new apps and technology. Now, both mobile and digital apps have offered manufacturers revolutionize their work process. 81% of global CEOs believe that mobile technology is strategically important to grow business today. Not only are these apps more affordable than ever, but they’re adding function to an industry that has gone without change for a while. Let’s explore some of the top manufacturing apps you should keep an eye out for in 2019.

Image via Unsplash

1. Manufacturing 360

Manufacturing 360 is an app created by Siemens AG. It’s the entire digital manufacturing process on your smartphone. You can access video demonstrations, success stories, and in-depth guides on all parts of the manufacturing process. It’s all about educating the top enterprises on the best technology, practices, and trends. If you want to succeed today, you need to know just what’s around the next corner. Manufacturing 360 makes this possible.

2. 5S-Lean Audit Checklist

Performance is crucial in any manufacturing facility. With 5S-Lean Audit Checklist, operation and plant managers can review the most important checklists on their smartphones. It helps leaders focus on things like lean initiative, tools, and new ways to improve. Because you’re able to track things like safety, employee engagement, and materials, you’ll result in a leaner, more efficient workplace.

3. Manufacturing MRP

With Manufacturing MRP, it’s all about accurately measuring your workplace. You can plan, schedule, and control inventory all on the same system. Even more useful is the real-time communications feature which allows users to display worksheets and alerts based on updates or quality changes. It can even record data from your equipment through API. It’s an all-in-one manufacturing solution.

4. PhotoModeler

Out of all of the most popular manufacturing applications, PhotoModeler is one of the most useful to the industry. While, in the past, capturing large images for 3D models would be expensive and time-consuming, PhotoModeler makes it simple. This software can produce accurate multi-dimensional models of buildings, products, and more. It’s particularly useful when modeling objects and scenes in the field for manufacturing parts for retrofit or renovation work.

5. CMMS Integrated Solutions

Finally, having an integrated maintenance system can help both larger and smaller companies stay organized without having to utilize a combination of additional software. CMMS refers to Computerized Maintenance Management Systems, and it’s all about increasing communication across facilities. Different departments are able to coordinate effectively and make clear technical choices based on data within the system. From tracking costs to managing the status of work orders, this is a customized approach that works for everyone in an organization.

Manufacturing apps and software make every day in this industry a little bit easier. With so much competition, there’s a need to utilize technology to take your business steps further ahead of the competition. These apps above are perfect for businesses of all sizes. It’s time to take your manufacturing company into the 21st century.

6. Fishbowl Manufacturing

For smaller companies that might not need a robust integration platform, Fishbowl Manufacturing offers just the right features. It easily integrates with Quickbooks while also offering inventory control, material requirement planning, and job floor execution. Because it’s based on inventory, you can create barcodes, review assets and materials, and analyze cycle trends. Though this isn’t the easiest program to get started with, it offers free training and support resources online so you can hit the ground running.

7. Marketing and Sales Assessment Tool

One of the most important and most often overlooked parts of the manufacturing process is marketing and sales. With the Marketing and Sales Opportunity Assessment Tool, you can outline any new growth opportunities and create campaigns all in one platform. With input fields you can customize for your company’s needs, there is a way to make this system work for every team. .

The post Top Manufacturing Apps to Look for in 2019 appeared first on NVBOTS.

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By Alexandra Reay

3D printing is has overtaken the gradual 2D assembly process. More and more companies print whole products. It’s been such a successful production method that 93% of all companies reported much shorter production runs, as well as more revenue.

Due to widespread use, 3D printing has ventured into every facet of human life. In this article, we will cover the 7 most amazing things that you can now make through 3D printing. Some of these are well-developed, while others are still in their infancy.

Food

There is a popular belief that 3D printers can only produce artificial objects such as car parts or clothes. Even food can be printed with the right materials.

If you use edible materials and resources for the 3D printer, any type of meal or dish can be printed. In 2017, NASA announced that astronauts would solely eat 3D printed food. This allowed them to pack their food and store it for much longer.

It’s not just dough we’re talking about. 3D printers are technically able to turn complex recipes into reality.

Another advantage of 3D printed food is that it can be heated while it’s being prepared. Soon, people will be able to store their food and produce more in case of natural catastrophes. 3D printing makes it possible.

Clothes and footwear

Mass production is what changed the world forever. However, we might still see a second industrial revolution, as 3D printing becomes more common in various industries.

Alice Taylor, a senior technology writer at AssignmentGeek, explains more on this. “Mass production greatly depends on supply chains. With 3D printers, the only links in the chain will be materials and the printer itself. This will increase production rates and cause a boom in consumerism.”

Adidas released their Futurecraft 4D shoe this year, a 3D printed model. While prices are steep because not everyone has a 3D printer, we might soon see people printing their own clothes and shoes. But how does this affect copyrights? Who knows.

Microscopic items

Since the printing tools are connected to the software, they can execute any order given to them. This is usually related to bigger items that can be used in everyday life. But what if we managed to scale down the printing process? Combined with microscopes, 3D printers can fire lasers and craft microscopically small items. Jonty Hurwitz used this technique to create the world’s smallest sculptures.

While these are made of solid materials and are just for show – what does the future hold? Doctors predict we could be able to print antibodies and inject them into patients. Others think that cancer will finally be a curable disease once we start printing nanorobots to destroy tumor cells. We have the capabilities, but there are still a few steps before we reach this level.

Prosthetic limbs

For many people around the world, their disability is still a problem. But what would have happened if people were able to print prosthetic limbs in the comfort of their own home? Apparently, this is going to happen very soon.

The designs are more abundant than ever, and even home 3D printers can execute the printing process.

What if we took it one step further? If we intended to fuse our bodies with the new limbs? When a person loses a limb in a car accident, they will be able to get a stronger one. The only thing stopping us is knowing how to create artificial nerves and connect them to our brain.

3D printers

In 2014, the world saw the birth of RepRap, a 3D printer that can produce copies of itself. Currently, there are experiments on controlled mass production of these robots.

Robots will soon change the world because humans will bear less of a workload. As these machines produce the necessary items and more 3D printers, we will only have design implications in the process.

This self-replicating method of production can possibly help us colonize other plans. Colonizers will be able to focus on research and use. At the same time, 3D printers will help forge the first human settlements outside Earth. It’s something that can happen in the next 10 years or so.

Homes

Not too long ago, several companies have experimented with large-scale printing of structures. The first thing they managed to do was to figure out how to reuse construction waste.

With this movement in the right direction, mass production of homes can come real soon. Not only will new cities flourish in a matter of weeks, but this is very environmentally friendly.

With such a method, future cities will be around huge solar farms to which 3D printing farms will be connected. From there, all production will be governed.

Organs

Doctors and scientists have been using 3D printers to create replica hearts and other human organs. The materials used are soft gel and fat tissue. Heart valves are 3D printed and inserted into patients during surgery. Soon, the 3D printing industry will provide living organs to patients in need.

Heart transplants will happen in a matter of one day, without waiting lists. This technology is in its beginning phases, but doctors predict that it’s coming in less than 15 years.

Concluding thoughts

With 3D printing, people will strive towards new inventions and new specialties. There will be no more unwanted jobs, as everyone will participate in an easier production process. The future is now, but the best is yet to come.

About the Author

Alexandra Reay has been working as a journalist and editor in one of the finest Melbourne publishing agencies for 3 years. She is also a professional content writer who prefers to do research on the following topics – self-improvement, technology innovations, global education development ets. Feel free to contact her at Twitter.

The post 7 Interesting Creations You Can Make Through 3D Printing appeared first on NVBOTS.

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By Mary Kutton

In the world of the computer age, comes 3D printers. These nifty devices are highly useful for educational purposes for both children and teens. And those pursuing further education. For design and technology teachers, it may be hard to receive 3D printer grants in K-12 schools and other academic institutions.


Source: Luis Gutiérrez Rico

This is why it is essential to master the art of writing a grant letter to apply for such a privilege. There are many forms of essay help associated with grant requests. With such assistance, this can help you to write with a niche for securing 3D printing grants. Follow this article for more the top tactics to ensure the grant you’ve been waiting for.

Do Your Homework Before Starting

The hardware aspect of 3D printing can be costly. Most educational institutions cannot afford this technology so far at this stage. Usually, people pay big bucks for this type of printer if they do not possess any form of a grant. Sometimes, for their personal use (though, this is rare). This doesn’t have to be much of a problem when securing a grant from one of the fantastic funding resources.  

Problems arise when maintaining the hardware aspect of 3D printing. It is essential to understand how to manage the equipment before applying for a grant in the first place. Applicants who demonstrate an in-depth appreciation of how to maintain 3D printer components usually get the luck of winning a grant competition.

When applying for grants, it is good to do your homework first. Learn all about how to use the correct software. When writing, also show an appreciation for the CAD software which is used to create 3D models. Make a list of them and write what you think is best and why.  Showing this sort of knowledge will impress the application evaluators.

Source: Image

You may also want to compare and contrast each software. Applicants with knowledge of the software are more likely to receive grants (as well as knowing all about the hardware). This is why studying before applying should become a well-known phrase, especially when one wishes to apply for a grant. Maybe, it is a good idea to attend a 3D printing course to learn this type of knowledge.

Be Persuasive: Convince Your Approvers

Tell an interesting, yet, persuading story on why they should provide a grant. Tell them it is a good idea because it can help educate the students about 3D printers while providing them new skills and opportunities. Educational institutions do often secure grants and receive them, so don’t be too shy to try it. They usually do this as part of something known as an ‘outreach mission’.

A grant would allow the school to create a new ‘Makerspace’ lab which provides access to this new technology for students of all ages. The intent is to generate more work for unemployed technology trainers (reducing unemployment and improving the economic, as well as providing students with more opportunities and job skills for the future.

Discuss The Mission

Mention the purpose for introducing 3D printing technology into the school. It is a significant leap into starting the application for a grant. The application approvers who are filtering through every application will know exactly what their motives are for distributing funds — the more precise the mission, the more luck with gaining success. It is a good idea to write about the purpose as accurate as possible.

It is worth considering these important factors when writing:

  • Mention, in full detail, the exact intention of using this technology in the classroom
  • Talk about the potential outcome and opportunities it will provide to students

Mention How The School Has Managed To Reduce Funds

It is a good idea to talk about how the school has reduced costs to bring 3D printers into schools. To mention this, make sure it is legit. Include the amount of money which will be spent on resources and for the printer, itself. For example $12,000: Used for plastics, vinyl cutter, laser engraver, welding simulator etc. If the school is a campus and part of a big company of schools, then discuss how the resources are shared between colleges. This is usually a big motivator for the approvers of such funding.

Source: Tiago Galo

Next, talk about how much the school has already raised for the project. This includes the amount the school are willing to add of its revenue. It is an absolute bonus to mention how the school has managed to raise money for creating such a program. For example bake sales, non-school uniform days (all students pay $1.00 to wear their  clothes), summer fare held by the school, donations from parents and other sources. This will most likely be convincing enough to persuade the evaluator.

Mention Timetabled 3D Printer Sessions

Because this technology is outbreaking and so enjoyable for both students and teachers, discuss how the school will integrate sessions of the 3D printer to allow students the opportunity to craft some 3D models. This will look very good to anyone whose job it is to provide funding to an educational institution. It shows that the school intends to make use of every penny supplied to them by allowing more educational growth to students.

Source: Steven Harrison

Here is a list of factors to also mention:

  • Implement a 3D printing course for all late elementary school and high school students.
  • 3D printed models (as created on the course) can be placed into the school library can help students to learn more about archaeology, animals of the past. This especially comes in handy for pre-school and the early years of elementary school.
  • Talk about how excited and enthusiastic all staff and students are to achieve this project.

Conclusion

If you want to have this incredible technology in your school, then follow these instructions for writing the application for securing a fund. It is a good idea to sell the application form by including a story. Make sure you include all of your knowledge. Talk about the potential outcomes of the school project to teach and the use of 3D printing. It is highly advisable to mention how the school plans to implement 3D printing onto its schedule.

The post Top Tactics to Secure a Grant for your K-12 3D Printing Projects appeared first on NVBOTS.

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The Industrial Revolution gave us the factory, which is the symbol of our productivity as the human race. In these buildings, we house tools, processes, and labor that give us many of the products that we use to make our lives easier.

Factories came and vastly increased our productivity. Adam Smith put it best in his book when he mentioned how ten men employed in a small factory could produce between them tens of thousands of pins while had they worked alone.

The benefits of factories cannot be denied. However, they also come with certain limitations. For one, you cannot reprogram a factory. A factory is typically built to manufacture one thing or one set of things and nothing else. If you want it to make something else, then you have to get different machines and retool it. When you do that, you can expect to spend a lot in terms of initial capital outlay before your production line begins to make financial sense. Because of the intense capital expenditure, innovation doesn’t move along at a pace as rapid as we would hope.

Another limitation also happens to be a major benefit: specialization. Because of the extensive specialization involved in manufacturing, businesses need to have massive supply chains and storage facilities around the world to take care of their goods.

This isn’t going to go on forever. We are about to have a different kind of Industrial Revolution that will make things different. Humans are already going through this Industrial Revolution. We are now making things into shapes that would have been impossible before using methods that couldn’t have been imagined before. I’m talking about 3D printing; the marvel of 21st-century manufacturing.

While you may be more used to 3D printers that use plastic spools to make stuff, there are companies making 3D printers that can also produce metal parts. In order to understand the exact impact of such an innovation, it’s important to get a sense of how 3D printing technology has evolved over the years. Just a few years ago, 3D printers weren’t really all that, despite all the hype surrounding them. 3D printers made things that most consumers really weren’t interested in and most manufacturers wanted things that 3d printers really couldn’t make.

3D printers have for the longest time been mainly used by hobbyists, who would purchase them at a few thousand dollars and use them to print digital designs in plastic. The most common 3D printers would heat various polymers and eject them out of a nozzle to form the shape detailed in the computer blueprints. However, the plastic often looks cheap, unfinished, and rough. As a result, 3D printing is only good for prototyping and can’t really be used in this way to produce goods that are ready for the market.

There are some much more expensive and professional 3D printers out there, such as the ones used by GE to make high-value parts. Such printers often cost more than $1 million dollars and can be used to make things like the nozzles of expensive jet engines through the fusion of metal powders. The process, however, is pretty slow, pretty expensive, and sometimes pretty dangerous.

The problem, in this case, is that, while the entire manufacturing sector would love to be able to use 3D printing to its advantage, most of the things that are manufactured today, whether they are drills or phone cases, tend to have some metal parts or at least a combination of metal and other materials. A 3D printer that can work with metal would, therefore, be a boon to the industry.

Desktop Metal is a company looking to fill this gap and reap the more than trillion dollars that the market represents. The company’s CEO points out that, while 3D printing was considered expensive and slow in the first 2 decades of its existence, it is now being used for mass production of high volume goods. While there are lots of companies out there making 3D printers to print plastic and use additive manufacturing processes to produce high-value goods, Desktop Metal is the only company of its kind, that is focused on making 3D printers that manufacture metal parts.

Admittedly, it isn’t easy to print metals. You can’t extrude molten metal in the same way that you can extrude a polymer because your machine would have to be able to tolerate extremely high temperatures while doing so. So how do you go about solving the problem?

Desktop Metal uses a particular kind of technology known as binder-jet printing. It was first conceived by a man named Ely Sachs in 1989 and was one of the first ideas to be patented in the 3D printing space. With this technology, a binding polymer is combined with metal powders. The polymer then hardens and an oven is used to burn away the polymer while also fusing the metal together. This fusions process is known as sintering.

The first question that probably comes to your mind is why this technique is being applied now if it was first conceived in 1989. The reason is simply that materials were a lot more expensive at the time and techniques for 3D printing weren’t as mature then as they are now. Also, at the time, no one really saw the potential of the technique. There was a lot of skepticism because no one could explain why anyone would want to print metal parts in the first place.

Two types of machines will be sold by Desktop Metal. The first is the “Studio” version, which will be used for prototyping, and will cost $120,000. The other one is the “Production” version, which will be used for mass production and will cost $250,000.

There is already quite a lot of demand for Desktop Metal’s products, with companies like Google buying the Studio version for their prototyping needs.

With the conquest of the metal space, 3D printers will, for the first time, be able to work in mass productions in special kinds of “anything” factories where multiple things and parts, sometimes completely unrelated, can be built in the same place. Ultimately, the factory will see its own kind of revolution which will bring goods to market faster, make them cheaper, and make them a lot more efficient.

Lilian Chifley is a writer and editor at Aussiewritings.com. She loves reading books about modern technologies, spending time with family and shopping. You can talk with her through Facebook.

The post 3D Printing: The Future of Factories appeared first on NVBOTS.

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By David Madden

There has been a lot of debate about the effects of emerging technologies like 3D printing on industrial manufacturing. There are industry experts that feel like it will be disruptive, while others believe that the technology isn’t viable. Industry projections point towards significant growth in the industry over the next five years, and consequently, the value of the industry is projected to experience a rapid rise in the future.

With the continuous growth in the 3D printing market and the drop in the cost of printers, new competitors in the traditional markets are expected to rise with an increase in innovative products. Prototypes for new products will also become less complicated and a lot less expensive to create.

However, product development and the market environment are just two potential effects of this emerging technology. 3D printing is very likely to affect the business model of manufacturers, especially when it comes to product pricing, the cost of materials and assembly line strategies. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, taking early advantage of this technology can be very beneficial. So here are some of the ways 3D printing can be used in your manufacturing process.

Design Iterations

3D printing has transitioned from prototyping into first-run production. This allows for product prototypes to be truly tested in the market and for product duplications to be made rapidly.

For example, a car company might have to create a brand new mold to test a prototype for a new engine. This process could take months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. With 3D printing, these molds can be printed for a small fraction of the cost and in a lot less time.

With the constraints of the old industrial process now lifted, engineers are able to explore many variations of their prototypes and rigorously test them while making improvements on their performance. The advances in 3D printing will result in the blurring of the lines between products and prototypes.

Startups and small businesses stand to gain the most from this emerging technology as they are able to introduce innovative products without incurring the heavy costs associated with storing inventory. Multiple versions of consumer goods and even industrial parts can be tested right away in the marketplace. This kind of A/B testing, which is very common in the world of software, can now be done with hardware and physical products.

Rapid Prototyping

 For nearly 20 years, 3D printing has been used to create exact replicas of new product designs. This process was referred to as rapid prototyping. However, unlike its name, the process hasn’t been rapid. 3D printing service providers can take well over a week to deliver a single prototype.

However, recent breakthroughs in automation, along with the success of global distribution companies, have completely changed the industry of prototyping. Products that would require over a month to go through several design cycles in the prototyping phase can now do the same in as little as a week. Consequently, products are reaching the market a lot quicker, with companies saving a significant amount of time and money.

Mass Customization

In mass customization, large quantities of an item are produced. However, each item can be customized.

An interesting application of this concept is in the medical field. Today, if a patient needs to have a knee replacement, their knees can be scanned, and a perfect replica is printed and ready for the patient ahead of the surgical procedure. In the past, however, if a patient needed to have a knee replacement procedure, a nurse would have to bring a box into the operating room, and the doctor would determine which of the possible knee designs was most similar to your knee.

In the dental industry, Invisalign has also been very successful with using 3D printing to customize the teeth alignment devices that they produce. As a business owner, customization could be a great feature to add to your products, and that is entirely possible with the 3D printing technology available today.

Virtual Inventories

It’s not uncommon for manufacturing companies to manufacture several months or even several years of spare parts to meet the consumer demands for years to come. However, storing that much inventory can be very costly. These costs include the large capital required to produce the inventory, tracking, insurance, warehousing and lost or missing parts.

Why store that much inventory at such high costs? Especially if you are small to mid-sized business, why not just print those parts on demand?

With 3D printing production, you can create the parts you need whenever and wherever you need them. This can significantly improve the efficiency of your storage systems and save your company the high costs associated with having a large inventory.

Working Environment

To effectively implement 3D printing in your manufacturing process, it’s also important to assess your physical work environment. For example, in an office environment, PolyJet and Fused Deposition Modeling(FDM) systems are more suitable and safe. With a larger warehouse facility, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) or Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) would be much more suitable, especially considering maintenance and operations.

Author Bio: David Madden is an efficiency expert, as well as being the Founder and President of Container Exchanger and ExchangerHub. His passion is to save businesses money and make North American manufacturing and distribution companies more competitive in the global market. He holds a degree in Industrial Engineering and has a Masters in Business Administration, as well as a certificate from Daimler Chrysler Quality Institute for completion of six-sigma black belt training.

The post Ways to Implement 3D Printers in your Manufacturing Process appeared first on NVBOTS.

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by Peter Hill

If you’re new to 3D printing, then you had best get ready for what is going to be an interesting journey going forward. However, it will be an even easier journey if you have the right tools to take you forward. These are tools that you will use over and over again and they will always come in handy. Here we have compiled a list of ten of the most important tools. Of course, you don’t need to go on an all-out buying spree and get all of them at once. However, as you amass tools over time your toolkit will look a lot like the one below.

Masking Tape

This is by far the most basic covering you will use for the surfaces of print beds. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to help 3D printed objects adhere to print beds better. It also makes it very easy to remove the 3D print once it’s finished and it will protect your bed from nasty scratches.

The best tape to use is the blue painter’s tape. Make sure to look for something that’s at least 50 mm or 2 inches wide. You will need fewer strips to cover your print bed if you get wider.

Kapton Tape

This is a special type of adhesive made from polyamides. It is used commonly as an alternative to cover printing beds. Unlike masking tape, though, it’s been made to withstand very high temperatures of up to 400 degrees Celsius.

Because of its unique temperature resistance, this tape is used to make for better adhesion in 3D printing, to secure components in the hot end, and also used especially with ABS filament. If you’re printing with PLA then it might be cheaper to use regular masking tape.

Glue Stick

This tool is important when you want to improve 3D adhesion. All you have to do is get a soluble glue stick and cover your print bed with it. The 3D prints will see their adhesion of the 3D prints will improve drastically. You can apply it on top of Kapton tape or regular masking tape. If your print bed is made of glass, then you can apply the glue stick directly onto the glass.

Calipers

In this case, it’s best to get digital calipers. They will help you use it to do lots of stuff, such as checking how precise your prints are as well as dimensioning parts that you would like to replicate using CAD software.

3D printer filament, for example, rarely adheres to manufacturer specifications. That’s one of the areas where the calipers come in handy as you can adjust the diameter of the filament after measuring it at different pales using the caliper.

Digital calipers are advised because of their extra precision. They allow you to get everything just right.

Tweezers

Tweezers are something you always need to have around when you’re about to do a printing job. You can plug oozing filament using them or when cleaning up the print. You should ideally get a diverse set with tweezers of different shapes and sizes.

Palette Knives

You will undoubtedly find yourself in a situation where your 3D print sticks extra well to the print bed and you just can’t get it off easily. That’s where a palette knife will come in handy. You can use it to pry the print from the bed by getting underneath it.

You will probably find yourself building up a sizeable collection of different palette knives over time. A good place to start is to get one stiff and one flexible one. As your needs increase you can get others along the way.

A Knife and a Cutting Mat

You will need to process your 3D prints once the printing job is done because they rarely ever come out perfectly. There may be filament strings or blobs of plastic that need to be removed. For that, you’ll need knives. A good knife is one that has an exchangeable blade so that you can get the right blade for the job.

Sandpaper

Sandpaper is another handy tool you need to have in your kit. Get a collection with different grits so that you can handle different aspects of post-processing. A good range is from 220 grit to 1000 grit. Be sure to get good quality sandpaper as the grit quality lasts longer.

Pliers

Pliers come in handy in a variety of situations. You can use them to fix parts on your printer, to remove prints that stick too hard, and so on. You should have wire cutting pliers and needle nose pliers in your kit no matter what brand you go for. The wire cutters, in particular, are important for trimming filament and snipping away supporting material. You should also go for rubberized slip-resistant grips.

Hex Key and Regular Screw Drivers

You probably already have some hex keys and screwdrivers in your possession. However, if you don’t, then you should buy some as soon as you can because you may need to tighten the stepper motor and gantry screws from time to time. Most 3D printers are assembled using hex nuts and bolts so you should also have a few hex key wrenches and screwdrivers.

About the Author

Peter Hill is the best editor of BestEssayTips. He is a socially active person, likes travelling and photo/video editing. He finds himself in writing. Feel free to contact him on Google+.

The post 10 Top Tools for 3D Printing Hobbyists appeared first on NVBOTS.

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By Jason Morris

Let’s face it: anything can be designed in 3D on a digital sheet; however, not everything can be printed in 3D. While a drawing might look gorgeous in your CAD program, it could turn out messy when printed on paper.

This is every 3D designer’s nightmare.

Luckily, you can avoid this and create an easily printable 3D object by applying the following key design tips:

Overhangs and support

When it comes to making 3D designs for printing, one of the main procedures entails building parts layer-by-layer. What this means is that for your print to look neat, every layer must be printed on another supporting material.

Any area of your model that lacks support or is only partially supported by another layer is known as an overhang. Having many such parts deforms your design and makes your print look saggy.

Luckily, you can minimize the negative effect of overhangs by limiting angles to below 45 degrees: most printers can safely accommodate this range without the need to add support structures. And the best part? The fewer the support structures and overhangs, the lower the amount of time and materials you’ll need to print your 3D design.

To learn more about this and other 3D technologies, visit Total3dprinting.

Wall thickness

Issues arising from uneven wall thickness contribute the most common design problems that 3D makers grapple with when printing their wares. If the walls are too thick, your design is likely to suffer internal stresses, resulting in undesirable outcomes like cracking. On the other hand, thin walls produce fragile prints that easily get broken or damaged.

Usually, the appropriate thickness of a model depends on the materials used in printing and the overall design of your 3D object. However, a good practice is to add a wall thickness greater than 0.8mm which is adequate for most 3D printing processes.

Overheating and warping

For starters, 3D printing is quite vigorous and often involves quick and drastic temperature changes as the materials are sintered, melted, and finally solidified. Expectedly, this causes warping and shrinkage which in turn lead to deformation and even cracking of the models.

In particular, large and flat surfaces tend to warp easily as heat treatment causes lengthwise contraction. Other parts that are quite prone to shrinkage include sharp corners which act as stress concentration points.

To minimize these effects, use the correct machine calibration and also add adequate adhesion between your print bed and your part. You can also choose to go for a rounded brim instead of sharp corners.

File resolution

When creating a 3D model with numerous intricate details, it’s important to take into consideration the minimum feature size that each printing process can produce. Naturally, this is determined by the material and the 3D technology used during printing. For example, most standard 3D printers are not able to produce models with extreme levels of detail. Additionally, the type of materials used will impact on the processing speed and ultimately the cost of your print.

STL export settings

Considering that most 3D designers use FDM printers, it’s important to touch a bit on .STLs which is the format you’re likely to use when exporting your models for printing. For best results, your model should have high poly counts but not too high for your slicing program and 3D printer to handle. File sizes can range from as small as 200kb to big ones of up to 10MB. The goal is to create the smallest possible file that your printer supports while still maintaining the detail in the design.

Orientation

In 3D printing, orientation refers to the direction in which a part is placed on the printing platform. The three main options here are orientation at an angle, vertical, or flat positions (represented by letters X, Y, or Z respectively).

During fabrication, build orientation plays a critical role in determining the quality of the model particularly in areas such as tolerance errors on the part as well as geometric dimension.

Inappropriate orientations can cause undesirable outcomes like needless overhangs which require more supports. Others expose layer lines, and this interferes with the aesthetics of the part.

Conclusion

For an attractively composed design that is ready for 3D printing, it is essential to take into consideration the six key design units namely overhangs, wall thickness, warping, resolution, STL settings, and orientation. Once you’ve found the right balance for all of these, you can proceed to build your part.

The post Six Key Design Considerations for 3D Printing appeared first on NVBOTS.

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Less than 10 years ago, 3D printing seemed like science fiction, but the technology has made some huge strides since then. In fact, it has become mainstream, and it seems like there is no end to what 3D printers can do in areas such as medicine, forensics, architecture, or design, just to name  few. There are even 3D printers out there which are used to make other 3D printers. Since 3D printing has become more affordable, it can be used as a valuable tool in education, especially when it comes to STEM disciplines.

STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and math are disciplines which are going to become even more necessary in the future, and therefore it is important to engage students and bring the somewhat complicated science concepts closer to them. But, that doesn’t mean that 3D printing can’t be used equally well in other classes. With that in mind, here are six classes that can benefit from 3D printing.

History

According to Henry Connor, who works as a manager for EssayOnTime, 3D printing can revolutionize the way we are teaching history to our children. As you know, some history lessons can be pretty confusing, and it can get difficult for students to even envision something that had happened centuries ago. The solution? Using a 3D printer, teachers can create models or full-size historical artefacts, such as weapons, tools, artefacts, and musical instruments in order to engage their students and provide an upgrade over the visual learning materials, such as photographs or films.

Chemistry

This one is fairly obvious. While chemistry classes, and especially lab work, provide students with sufficient hands-on experience which allows them to view the reactions they are learning about right before their very eyes, some things, such as atomic or molecular bonds, are much harder to demonstrate. With the help of a 3D printer, you could, for instance, make a model for each allotrope of carbon, including graphite, diamond, and even carbon nanotubes. They would be able to learn how the same atoms can create something entirely different once they are arranged into different structures.

Geography

Most geography classes don’t go much beyond textbooks and presenting their students with various types of maps. 3D printing could change all that. For instance, you could print out topographic maps that simulate the surface of the Moon. You could also create scaled down mountains, such as Mount Everest or the Alps, plains, river banks, or even a section of the ocean floor containing the Mariana Trench, and forever retire those papier-mâché models. There is really no limit as to what you can do here.

Biology

Biology is pretty engaging on its own, but once it gets down to the level of cells, tissues, or organs, things can get pretty complicated for students. But, imagine if every biology teachers was able to print out a 3D model of a human heart with moving parts, and then demonstrate how efficient our cardiovascular system is. Or, they could print out cross sections of other organisms, or even eliminate the need to dissect animals altogether.

Art

At first sight, it seems like there is not much room for art in the increasingly STEM-oriented future. However, design and art go together with technology like peanut butter goes with jelly. 3D printers could introduce a whole new way of artistic expression in art class. For instance, an art teacher could tell students to draw an object or a design on paper, which they would then print out in 3D using a printer. Not only would they get to try their hand at design, but they would also get to expand their spatial reasoning and watch a how conversion from 2D to 3D happens.

Physics

Unlike diagrams or drawings, objects printed out using 3D printers have actual physical properties, which makes them ideal for physics lessons. In this case, students would be able to learn how Newton’s laws work, instead of just solving equations. They could also build stuff like bridges, wind turbines, or robots, using a process that produces immediate results.

Conclusion

3D printing is definitely one of those technologies that will take us into the future. But, in order to achieve that, we need to make sure that it becomes a part of everyone’s education. Ultimately, both teachers and students benefit from it.

About the Author
Serena Dorf is an enthusiastic content writer in Los Angeles. She is passionate about writing, personal development, education, and language learning. In her free time, she is reading classic American literature and learning Swedish. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter.

The post 6 Classes That Would Benefit From 3D Printing and Make Your Students Curious appeared first on NVBOTS.

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By Gracie Anderson

The “one size fits all” policy isn’t applicable to 3D printing, which is why mistakes are common in this area. Now for creating seamless 3D printing prototypes, specific skills and technical knowledge are always required. Also, in order to avoid the common errors when it comes to 3D printing, it is vital to know the common issues first.

Not Following the Material Guidelines

Before beginning the process of 3D printing, selecting the proper materials in 3D printing is mandatory. There is an abundance of credible options in 3D printing. It could be resin, ceramic, nylon, ABS to name of few.

All the materials come with features like brittleness, solidity, stiffness, flexibility, and so on. So, while designing the 3D model, it is imperative to keep in mind these qualities because, in every recognized technology of 3D printing, there is a particular kind of material being used.

For instance, let’s focus on the ceramic material. In this case, there are several concerns that should be remembered like overhanging parts, rounding off corners, etc. So opting for the proper printing material requires the basic guidelines in designing.

Also, the material should be fit for the application utilized to have successful outcomes.

The Application of Wrong Printing Technology

3D printing makes use of different printing technology based on the materials created. For instance, substances like Alumide, ABS, and Polyamide are a little difficult to print together. In this case, various advanced printing technologies need to be integrated to make it happen.

“In case of alumide and plastic materials, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology or Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology are employed”, says Alan Cooper, an expert on assignment help for MyAssignmenthelp.com and a 3D modelling enthusiast. For resin or wax materials, methods such as Digital Light Processing (DLP), Stereolithography (SLA), and multijet printers are utilized.

Now the crucial thing to keep in mind is that you can’t assume Silver and Stainless Steel will have similar requirements because they are both metals. They are printed with different technologies, and so some design attributes will vary. However, materials that employ the same technology such as Bronze, Gold, Silver, and Brass (lost wax casting) are more likely to share the same design requirements.

Improper STL files

In the process of designing the 3D model, working with the STL files can be a little difficult because it denotes the outer surfaces of the 3D model which forms the mesh of points, edges and faces and is indicative of the internal volume of the model.

Any error in the STL file can lead to issues such as intersecting faces, bad boundary edges, non-manifold edges and over-refined mesh.

To resolve this issue, always ensure that the STL files are fixed with the help of an exclusive 3D printing software like Meshmixer and Netfabb. In fact, experts in this domain always advise rectifying the issue in the native CAD software first prior to exporting it to STL file. Moreover, Always see to it that the STL file is appropriately designed and exported.

Not Utilizing Image Planes

This is a common problem specifically among the beginners, as they tend to completely overlook the design and composition, and jump directly into Maya.

So if you are a beginner, you can draw up orthographic ideas for buildings and environment assets before proceeding with the design. Not only will it allow you to work at a faster pace, but it also enables you to maintain absolute accuracy, and this leads to efficiency in the process of 3D modelling. In this case, using image planes for every major element that you model, particularly the characters or complex architectural pieces, will work like magic.

Modelling Seamless Meshes

It’s a rather common notion among people that a finished model has to be a single seamless mesh. But it’s not always necessary, and trying to model things utilizing that method will only complicate things further.

Often the experts in this area offer valuable insights on the question of whether an element of your model should be separate geometry or seamless. In this case, think about the way the model you’re creating would be developed in the real world, and model it as close to the reality as possible.

It’s a common adage among the designers that “form follows function”, and this phrase holds some significance here. If you experience a situation where you think it’ll be a lot more convenient to design something separately, then, by all means, go through with it.

Failing to Check the File Resolution

The most popularly used file format for 3D printing has to be STL (Standard Triangle Language). When providing the STL file, it is crucial to select the correct resolution for the file. Basically, STL means that the design is formed within the triangles in a 3D format. Opting for the appropriate resolution will lead to a good quality print.

When the resolution of the file is too less, it denotes that the triangles are too big. This will only create an uneven print, and the print will turn out be “pixelated”.

On the other hand, if the STL file comes with a high resolution, it will be quite complicated to deal with and ultimately upload the file. Similarly, it may also include a great level of details that other 3D printers are incapable of printing.

When you are exporting an STL file, it will be wise for you to select a tolerance of 0.01mm to have a seamless export process.

Not Paying Attention to the Wall Thickness

Although you can find enough details about the wall thickness in the discussed guidelines, it still deserves mention.

Issues related to wall thickness are by far the most prevalent reasons why some 3D models are not printable. In several cases, the wall is too thin. And when the walls are thin, it makes small parts on the model difficult to be printed as it becomes extremely fragile and can break off easily. Similarly, walls that are a little too thick, tend to put too much internal stress and can cause the item to break crack.

Inappropriately Set Up Machines

More often than not, the reason why mistakes happen while carrying out a 3D printing is that of the failure in machine. Problems like nozzles not working, out of filament, etc. are rather common. Hence, it is essential to set up the 3D printer accurately before proceeding with the 3D modelling.

Now some 3D printers are pre-calibrated, other printers are required to be adjusted to function efficiently. Always ensure to go through the instruction manual to set up the equipment properly beforehand.

With adequate understanding and proper training, mistakes in 3D printing can be reduced. The quality of the 3D prototypes can be improved with the help of some trial and error by yourself.

Author Bio: Gracie Anderson is a software developer who is working with a multinational corporation in Australia. She has pursued her B.Tech degree from the Australian National University. She also runs a successful blog on technology and gadgets; she is a ghost writer by choice. She has been associated with Myassignmenthelp for the past three years.

The post 8 Prevalent Errors Creating 3D Models For 3D Printing appeared first on NVBOTS.

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