My employer participated for the first time last year and we did again today. As the machinist in the R&D Shop, my machines and capabilities were part of the tour and demonstrations. Our visitors this time numbered 12 whereas last year we had almost 30 so with today's smaller group, explaining the technology and answering questions was just that much easier.
Here's what I handed out last year; a working part printed on our 3D printer. From the feedback I received today, some of the kids lost these to their fathers once the day was over back in '12......
This year we did something that we hoped was a bit more kid-friendly and less coveted by others in the household. Our CAD Designer, Eric, came up with this ball-in-a-cube. Both the adjustable wrench from last year and the ball have our company logo on them, hidden here to protect the innocent.
Our printer is an Objet 350, uses resin and UV curing to apply accurate layers of material to create models that are amazingly precise and toleranced. Printing entire assemblies, which is what the wrench above actually is, allows for some very accurate and working components, often already assembled as taken from the machine. It's an incredible tool for the development of medical instrumentation and I continue to be impressed with the problems that it helps us sort through.
Wow. I would really enjoy touring a company that does what you are doing. It's something a person has to actually see in action, I think.ReplyDelete
The bright UV light, the whirring of the carriage and the sound of the printer heads all make for mesmerizing observation of the printer doing its thing.ReplyDelete
I think Eric and I did a nice job of exposing the kids to CAD as well as CAM, following an example of one of our products from the early design phase to a working prototype.
When watching the TV series Eureka I would see 3D printed used in the show and they just amaze me. Cool that you guys use one.ReplyDelete
Maybe amaze isn't the right word, add baffle to it too.
Brandy, we were Eureka watchers as well :) These printers are tools, or should be. Playing with one would be all toooo easy.Delete
that is a neat machine. we have an autocad programmer for our Plasma Cutter. He makes it look easy
I like that cube with the ball inside. It reminds me of those Ivory carvings
Riding the Wet Coast
Bob, I'm old enough that our metal cutting machines were initially controlled with punch tape (NC) and then CNC came along. I was fascinated that work instructions could be given to a machine to mimic or easily improve upon what we could do with dials and manual control.Delete
My grandfather used to do a variation, lots of rings on spindles that were 'hollowed' out.
What a fascinating machine. I have read about them and have seen them in publications. What fun it would be to be turned loose with such a tool, some time, and your imagination!
B.R., they are truly fascinating, at least to me. Anything that could be modeled could be printed, that same relationship doesn't necessarily hold true for machining....or manufacture.Delete
That looks pretty cool. How hard is the plastic? Is it only used for prototyping and maybe to make molds or is it hard enough to machine?ReplyDelete
Richard, I'm not sure of the durometer. For most normal machine threads, we run taps/dies over what gets printed for assembly. I've machined, re-bored, taken to size, etc. various features. The cured resin is relatively compliant yet strong, much nicer to live with than the old SLA's were.Delete
I remember many meetings with surgeons/salesmen around a table, mandating multiple models present because no parts would make it completely around the table without being broken. You'd have to want to break these parts.
That is incredible! Must give you a lot of satisfaction working there creating cool stuff.ReplyDelete
It is definitely interesting and a challenge to actually produce parts that function and serve a purpose.Delete
Coop - technology today is amazing ... I can't imagine what tomorrow will bring.ReplyDelete
Karen, an excellent point. Tomorrow, or the day after, bring changes that make it difficult to keep up. Before long, this impressive capability will become outdated, making ownership a challenge.Delete