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Archive for November, 2014

3D Printing Fixtures and Jigs with FDM

Posted on: November 22nd, 2014 by The Technology House

Fixtures and Jigs are used to assemble, align, hold, and fit check parts during the various stages of the manufacturing process.  Fixtures and jigs are heavily relied on in order to help maintain the quality of the parts, and production efficiency.  Fixtures and jigs should not be overlooked, for they help make the manufacturing process run efficiently.

Fixtures and jigs printed in the Fuse Deposition Modeling (FDM) process can help avoid any halts in the manufacturing process.  FDM fixtures and jigs can be produced in days rather than weeks or months when compared to producing fixtures and jigs through traditional machining processes.

FDM fixtures and jigs can be printed in ABS, PC, or ULTEM material. The material can be tailored to your objective.  For example, if the part needs to withstand high heat, then the fixture/jig should be printed in ULTEM. Regardless of which material is used, all FDM materials are very durable, and can withstand most handling.

In addition, if there is the potential for several iterations, then one-off FDM’s will be more cost effective than one-off machined fixtures.

Benefits to FDM Fixtures and Jigs:
-Reduced cost
-Durable materials
-Reduced Lead time
-More complex designs can be created
-Revised fixtures can be easily produce


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Getting in the Holiday Spirit With 3D Printing

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by The Technology House

We recently took part in the “3D Printed Ornament Design Challenge” that was presented by Instructables.  Instructables is a website specializing in user-created and uploaded do-it-yourself projects.

There were over 300 entry’s into this contest, and the people ranged from individuals new to 3D printing to seasoned professionals. All the designs and models were very creative, and each had their own unique look and flare that reflected the magic of the holiday season. The winners will have their ornament printed, and displayed on the White House Christmas tree.

We designed, printed, and finished and dyed snowflake ornaments either clear, blue, or green, and then frosted.  The snow flakes were printed in the SLA process using the 7870 material.

3D printed snowflake ornaments

The entire process from design to finish took us less than a week, which goes to show how quickly 3D printing can produce parts.

3D printed snowflake ornaments

Although we did not win, we applaud those who did, and thoroughly enjoyed looking at all the entries.

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