Additive Manufacturing: Tools without Tooling

ST_Tools-without-tooling_final-1Additive Manufacturing (AM) has been called the Next Industrial Revolution, improving virtually every aspect of the way products are made. Additive manufacturing is a key component of Direct Digital Manufacturing which generally describes the process of producing parts directly from digital CAD data.

Normally DDM stories tend to focus on end use parts, where additive manufacturing is used to cost-effectively produce the final parts that go into your car, jetliner or coffee maker. Describing its potential impact, theWohlers Report 2014 states, ”Most indications suggest that we are heading toward a relatively new method of manufacturing and an industry worth tens of billions of dollars.”

One area of additive manufacturing that can have an equally significant impact is tools – the molds, patterns, jigs and fixtures that are used throughout the manufacturing and as assembly processes.

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Artec 3D Scanner now available in Australia

Artec Eva 3d ScannerThe Artec Eva 3D scanner is a great solution for quick 3D scanning with accurate textures in high resolution and it’s now available in Australia. Eva doesn’t require markers or calibration. The Artec captures objects quickly in high resolution and vibrant color, which allows for almost unlimited applications.

Everyday CAD users will benefit in multiple application including reverse engineering and product design.  The Artec software is a powerful desktop solution.  For more information contact Objective 3D

Artec 3d Scanner

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Autodesk Release 3D Printing Software & Hardware

Autodesk has announced both an open software platform for 3D printing called Spark and their very own 3D Printer. The hardware is to serve as a reference point for the new Spark software which they hope will bring a new level of user experience to 3D Printing.

Autodesk 3d printer

As with many of Autodesk’s newest products Spark will be open and freely licensable to hardware manufacturers and other interested parties. Autodesk is hoping that by making the system  available to product designers, hardware manufacturers, software developers and materials scientists it will be used to explore the limits of 3D Printing technology.

For more information sign up at http://www.autodesk.com/campaigns/spark

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Australia’s newest 3D Printing Service

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 5.05.07 pmIDEC Solutions Pty Ltd, a leader in design, fabrication and construction activities have joined forces with Jeff Condren the former owner of SOS Components Pty Ltd to open Australia’s newest 3D Printing Service.

The new directors of 3DPrinting.com.au Pty Ltd, Peter Gartshore and Neil Summerson are experienced business and industry experts that are committed to investing in the success of the business.  They have already purchased a Mitutoyo Co-ordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) and will be purchasing 3D scanning equipment, to enable reverse engineering.

Jeff Condren the previous owner of SOS Components Pty Ltd is one of the leading experts in the 3D Printing industry globally. With more than 8 years experience in 3D printing and a former toolmaker, Jeff is the perfect person to drive this business to be a global leader.

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3D Printed Mountain Bike

Titanium Mountains Bikes aren’t new, but 3D Printed Titanium Mountain Bikes are!

3d printed titanium mountain bike

The UK company Renishaw has teamed up with Empire Cycles to build the first 3D-printed Titanium bike.  SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) style 3D printing was used to a  transform fine particles of Titanium and a CAD file into functional three-dimensional parts.  This process can produce metal densities of 99.7% which is denser and less pourous than traditional casting process of a similar metal.

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Is This The Ultimate 3D Printer?

Connex3 color 3D PrinterObjective3D has announces the arrival of the Stratasys Objet500 Connex3, the most advanced multi-material colour 3D they have released to date, so is this the ultimate 3D Printer?

The Objet500 Connex3 is a highly advanced multi-material colour 3D Printer, featuring a large build tray size of 500 x 400 x 200mm, it enables designers & engineers to prototype in vivid colour, multi-materials and in high quality with all the characteristics and strength of PolyJet technology.

What’s Unique about Objet500 Connex3?
Connex PolyJet printing already offered ground-breaking 3D printing options, but users wanted more materials and more colour options. Stratasys answered the call with the Connex3.

The Connex3 features additional material bays, a new print block and the three part colour mix. The resulting parts are functional and offer true product realism to satisfy the artist, the designer, the engineer and the product manager according to Objective3D .

The Connex3 can build as many as 46 different material characteristics into an individual part, with users able to select from a wide range of material properties, colours and opacities.

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Seriously large 3D printer – Makes chairs!

Dirk's printer

I wish I had a robot arm so I could turn it in to a 3D printer. And this is exactly what Dirk van der Kooij has done. Continue Reading →

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A Year with the Leapfrog Creatr.

creatr-shadow_grandeSome of you may remember my review of the Leapfrog Creatr.  I wrote it after I’d had the machine for a few weeks and at the time I was quite impressed with my purchase.  To a large extent, I still am, however I have had a fair share of issues and breakdowns.  Some of these issues were down to the fairly hasty fashion in which the machine was assembled and others have been connected to design flaws in the machine itself. As I mentioned in my review, I have a fair amount of experience with electromechanical devices, being trained as a broadcast engineer in the tape era.  Since then I have had to keep up with the times and subsequently, a good deal of my work now is connected with computers, networks and software.  3D printers are a good match for my skillset.

When I ordered my machine from the Netherlands, I was not under any illusions about the possibility of warranty support on the machine.  I was on my own.  After building my CNC router from scratch, the prospect didn’t faze me but other clients have proved to be much less forgiving of the machines idiosyncrasies and faults.  I have seen some really angry threads on the forum attached to their official site and more than once the buyer has referred to the machine as a doorstop or paperweight.  The term “boat anchor” hasn’t taken off in Europe!  Back home, I was jumping the hurdles as they came along but other users were not expecting so many issues and were not holding back their disappointment.  As much as I could, I joined in the discussions and offered technical advice where I felt I had some understanding and fortunately, there were other members, much more knowledgeable than myself, adding their considerable input.  This extended right up to a beautifully sorted version of the Marlin firmware for the Arduino that ironed out a bunch of issues.

Okay, so what was good and what was bad?  Let’s kick off with the bad stuff, it’s everyone’s favourite eh!

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3d Printed speakers with neat LED illumination [Video]

20130304_LEDSpeakers3-660

LumiGeek and Autodesk enjoyed a highly artistic collaboration in early 2013 to create a pair of audio-reactive 3D printed speaker enclosures. The project was rather groundbreaking for several reasons.

First, there are very few instances where a 3D printed object is the final product, rather than an artifact of a larger process. (i.e. a proof of something to be injection molded en-mass) Small pieces of jewelry, precision aerospace parts, or medical implants are a small exception. Continue Reading →

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RapidPro & Objective3D Merge to offer 3D Printing services

RapidPro merges with Objective3D

As of November 6 Objective 3D will offer part sales and finishing in both Australia and New Zealand through their new 3D printing division - RedEye Australasia.

Utilising all the skills and knowledge of RapidPro’s team, the RedEye Australasia Build centre will have even greater capabilities and services offering even more 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions to existing clients. Still operating from separate sites in the short term, the merged operation will come together in a state of the art build centre before the end of the year.

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