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Archive for April, 2014

AMUG 2014

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by The Technology House

We recently attended the 2014 Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) in Tucson, Arizona.  This is a users group that started in the early 1990’s.  The group initially focused on the advancement of stereolithography (SL) with the owners and operators of 3D Systems’ equipment.  Today, the group educates and supports users of all Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing technologies.

There were over 600 attendees and exhibitors, which was a record showing for the event.  This group ranged from graduate students to 3D printing manufacturing companies.  Throughout the history of this event, camaraderie’s and relationships have formed, which have helped advance the Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing processes and applications.  The atmosphere of this event is open, and encourages communication between all members for the sake of enhancing and improving the industry.

It was exciting to see designs and products that are now possible due to Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing.  We look forward to next year’s conference!

Click here to learn more about AMUG.

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Electric Motorcycle Utilizes Rapid Prototyping

Posted on: April 17th, 2014 by The Technology House

We recently helped The Ohio State University Electric Motorcycle team, known as Buckeye Current, on prototyping pieces for their new motorcycle.  Buckeye Current was founded by students in 2010 through the Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research.  The objective of this team is to provide students experience with electric vehicles and to construct a fully operable electric motorcycle to compete in races on both the national and international level.

We first came in contact with Buckeye Current when they required 3D printed parts for their electronic enclosures.  We printed parts through the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process.  We asked Polina Brodsky, a team member and mechanical engineer student, the following questions on these 3D printed parts.

3D printed parts for motorcycles

Why was the FDM Process Chosen?
The FDM process was chosen to make our electronics enclosures because we needed more than just a black box form radio shack to house all of the custom made, home-built electronics. All of the boards on our bike have connectors with specific sealed panel opening requirements and have buttons and LEDs that need to be accessible. Because of this, the FDM process was chosen to make our boxes. This process is inexpensive, has low tooling costs and provides crisp, well tolerance parts that ensure the functionality of our custom electronics enclosures.

What Were the Prototypes Used For?
These prototypes were used to house our custom CAN data-logging and home-made BMS that monitor our battery pack on the electric motorcycle and log valuable data from our race at the Isle of Man.

3D printed prototypes

What Did You Learn from the Prototypes
The teams’ CAD surfacing skills improved in designing these creative enclosures, as well as our mindset of minimalistic design.  We had to sacrifice aesthetics for using less material and making stronger parts.

How Did the Prototypes Improve Your Product?
These prototypes gave the bike a professional look and ensured that the custom electronics we worked so hard on had the proper housing on our TT bike.

Buckeye Current

Last year, the team placed 3rd in their inaugural effort at the TT Zero race.  Their motorcycle, The RW-2, averaged a speed of 90.43 mph.  The team looks to build on this great achievement at the 2014 TT Zero.  We wish them the best of luck in their upcoming races, and are proud to have helped.

Click here to learn more about Buckeye Current.

We listen and work with customers every day to be a value added supplier by matching our processes and materials to their specific needs.  Click here to see what process and material can help you.

March Manufacturing PMI shows growth. But What Does this Mean?

Posted on: April 3rd, 2014 by The Technology House

The Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) published by the ISM (Institute of Supply Management) registered 53.7 percent for the month of March. This is an increase of 0.5 percent from February’s reading of 53.2.

But, what does this number mean? And how are they calculated?

This index number is based off a monthly polling of businesses that represent the makeup of various manufacturing sectors. 400 purchasing managers are surveyed in five different fields; production level, new orders from customers, speed of supplier deliveries, inventories and employment level. Respondents report either better, same, or worse conditions than the previous month.  Any reading above 50% indicates growth, and any reading below 50% indicates contraction.

Manufacturing numbers

Based off our insight and these numbers, the sector appears to be strong, and looks to continue this trend.