3D Printing for Jigs and Fixtures – Circling the Funnel

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   As 3D technology continues to advance, many of the benefits are becoming more integrated within manufacturing. One of the obvious and early applications of 3D technology within the highly competitive manufacturing world has been the growth of rapid prototyping. Previously, companies could take weeks, months and even years to perform all the R&D required [...]

Additive Manufactured (3D Printed) Tooling Comes of Age

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A Tooling Case Study      A few years ago, a small but rapidly growing US startup faced a problem.  Initial product lines had been successful and the market was hot.  The owner had bootstrapped the startup and pulled together the resources to produce an improved machine.  Speed, quality and performance would be greatly enhanced and [...]

3D Printed Tradeshow Giveaways

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Everyone loves a good tradeshow. With the latest technology and product offerings it can be a great way to find new products and services. But with all the competing hype it can be hard to lure passersby to your booth. Many companies use food and candy, or even clever costuming. Others use promotional giveaways such [...]

3D Printed Corporate Giveaways

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Finding the right corporate gift can be difficult. Spend too little and it gives the impression of a tchotchke item that can be found anywhere. Spend too much and you can overrun your marketing budget quickly. But instead of hitting Amazon with a list and a credit card why not consider a unique 3D printed [...]

Obsolete Equipment Presents a Unique Opportunity for 3D Printing Service Bureaus

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Introduction In August of 2000 the manager of a New England factory was conducting a walk-through of his plant. The factory was experiencing a surge in production due to rising demand. Their product was used in a consumer niche market and was considered a specialty product and there were only four competitors worldwide capable of [...]

Recycled Plastic Vs Virgin Resin – More Than Just a Coin Toss

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Choice of material in any 3D printed project can make or break the home based maker as well as the shop floor parts manufacturer. Common materials such as ABS, PLA, HIPS, Nylon and PVA as well as many others are readily available depending on end use of the project and are easily purchased through the [...]

Will 3D Printing Replace Traditional Manufacturing?

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In the last few years we’ve seen a lot of media hype about 3D printing as the next industrial revolution – taking over all manufacturing as we know it. Expectations are now so high that anything short of the entire world running off 3D printers will be seen as a failure of the entire technology. [...]

Material Variances in Fused Filament Fabrication – Matching Expectations with Reality

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One of the most common building materials in use today is the two by four.  This common lumber size is found in projects ranging from backyard sheds to large construction projects and most people at some point have used them for at least one project.  They are so common that a misperception exists with many [...]

Additive Manufacturing: JIT Parts and Service Solutions for the Next Industrial Revolution

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The Industry 4.0 Highway Between the years 2006 and 2011 business and government groups within Germany began to develop an initiative aimed at improving the competitiveness of German manufacturers.  The initiative, known as “Industry 4.0” [i], was based on the premise that we have entered a fourth industrial revolution.  The first revolution was acknowledged [...]

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