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How 3D Printing with Stereolithography is Helping Launch a new Surgical Navigation Technology

Posted on: August 14th, 2018 by The Technology House

Some of us learn by simply reading from a textbook, others learn by hearing directions aloud, but many of us learn from hands-on exposure to a task or concept presented to us.

The Technology House (TTH) teamed up with Cleveland-based medical start-up company Centerline Biomedical, Inc. to aid in their demonstration and explanation of their product and its value. Centerline Biomedical, Inc. is commercializing a novel surgical navigation technology aimed at vastly improving the precision, safety, and control in minimally invasive endovascular procedures.

Centerline Biomedical requirements:

  • Transparent model that allows surgeons to see tools in practice
  • Display movement of the apparatus going inside the aorta
  • Durable model to withstand multiple shipments and demonstrations
  • Create a high-quality, visually accurate model

Today, when a patient receives a stent or stent-graft, surgeons use X-ray fluoroscopy for navigation, which provides a poor form of visualization and subjects patients and caregivers to dangerous ionizing radiation. Centerline’s IOPS technology is designed to give surgeons high resolution color 3D imaging without using ionizing radiation.

Essential to the success of a young high-tech start-up is the ability to demonstrate the technology to potential investors, customers and other stakeholders, and Centerline looked to The Technology House to fulfill their need of a portable and rugged version of their technology and demonstration pieces. With their 22-year history in creating rapid prototype models for demonstrations, The Technology House was able to provide insight and information to Centerline Biomedical, Inc.

“The Technology House leveraged its rapid prototyping capabilities in Stereolithography to 3D print a vascular phantom and electronics housings exquisitely suited to our needs.”
– Vikash Goel, Chief Technology Officer

Centerline Biomedical envisions these demo prototypes eventually leading to product lines for training and educational use.

The Challenge: Create an Aesthetic, Durable Model in a Clear Paintable Material

After reviewing Centerline’s requirements and the 3D CAD file, one of our Project Managers met with our Additive Engineers and decided the best solution was to section the file to 3D print in the Stereolithography (SLA) technology of high resolution, accuracy, easy of finish, paint, and assembly.

Step 1: Section the File for 3D Printing in the SLA process

Using the Magics Software by Materialise, our Additive Engineers were able to bring in the provided 3D CAD file and make customized part breaks that allowed for the best parts to build, finish, paint and assemble.


3D CAD file sectioned via Magics

Step 2: 3D Print Parts in SLA ClearVue SL 7870

After sectioning the files, we were able to orientate and add supports as needed, which allowed us to layout the part perfectly on our 20’’ x 20’’ build platforms. Parts were then built by a UV laser tracing the part images layer by layer, or “slicing” the part at .005’’ increments, over and over until the build was complete. Parts were ready for the next steps in 1 business day.

Step 3: Prepare Parts for Paint

Once the parts finished printing, they went through a standard cleanup which includes: support removal, wash and UV oven cure. Parts are then lightly sanded to remove any support remnants and sand blasted. This is the standard SLA part finish. To prep a part for painting (or as we call it, a Paint Ready Finish), the parts are sanded to remove all the build layer lines. For the clear part, we wet sand the part because the clear shows imperfections such as scratches that then require post-paint buffing. From there any non-clear parts are primed and ready for paint.

Step 4: Paint Parts

For paint, we had three total parts. By painting the parts separately, it improved the overall process and look of the parts because we did not have to hand mask the model multiple times. If you have ever painted your home, you know this is the toughest and most tedious part of painting and it never comes out perfect the first time. The base was painted gray. The keypad was painted white. Both received a light texture to hide any small imperfections. The main aorta part needed to be painted clear with a red tint, not an easy task, but using our in-house custom color match system, we were able to customize a red tint clear paint. This allowed the parts to be red, but also see-through when used for demonstrations. After drying the aorta part was buffed and all parts were ready for next step.

Step 5: Assemble Parts

After all the parts were painted, the parts needed to be re-assembled together into a finished model. When sectioning the parts in the Magics software, we were able to add tolerance for the superglue leaving room for the parts to assemble perfectly without a big mess of excess glue.

Final Painted Aorta ModelFinal Painted Aorta Model

Step 6: Create Custom Reusable Shipping Package

The last step was to ensure the parts held up from demo to demo when shipped across the world. To do this, we used the CAD file to custom cut foam inserts that would fit into a box. This allowed ease of packaging and confidence that the part would show up perfect every time.

In the end, Centerline’s model is what we do at TTH every day. Our Project Managers and Engineering Team work together with customers to fully understand requirements of the project and even offer new solutions from our diverse in-house services, to exceed customer expectations.

If you are interested in working on a project with our team at TTH please email us at sales@tth.com

TTH Sponsoring Partner For R3D@ Tri-C- Regional 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Conference

Posted on: September 19th, 2017 by The Technology House

Come visit TTH this Thursday & Friday at the annual R3D@TRI-C Cleveland 3D Printing Conference at the Huntington Convention Center on September 21-22, 2017.

We recommend coming for the opportunity to see and hear Jason Lopes from Carbon speak about his work in 3D printing and how Carbon is driving the future of additive manufacturing.

To purchase tickets to attend, click HERE.

 

R3D Conference

R3D @ Tri-C

Tri-C’s Workforce Community, Economic and Development Division is excited to host the third annual R3D @ Tri-C Conference at the Huntington Convention Center located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Beginning Thursday, September 21, 2017 with a networking event featuring a variety of hands-on workshops for everyone.  Friday, September 22, 2017 will be a day of informative sessions about the latest advances in additive manufacturing technologies, product innovation and case studies.  Along with a keynote presentation by Jason Lopes, 3D Printing Evangelist.

Date:

  • September 21-22, 2017

Who should attend?

  • Companies using additive manufacturing technology and those interested in getting started
  • Entrepreneurs interested in using additive manufacturing technologies
  • Educators who have a vested interest in current and future trends in additive manufacturing, including 7-12 grade educators and higher education faculty/staff

Location:

  • Huntington Convention Center, 1 St Clair Ave NE, Cleveland, OH 44114

Cost:

  • Individual registration $125
  • Educator discount and CEU’s available, please email R3D@tri-c.edu for more information

Keynote Address 2017

 

Jason Lopes

3D Printing Evangelist

Production Development Engineer, CARBON

Jason Lopes is the former lead systems engineer with Legacy Effect who helped create some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters of all time utilizing Additive Manufacturing. Jason’s credits include Avatar, Terminator Genisys & Salvation, 2012, Thor, Iron Man 1,2, & 3, Cowboys & Aliens, Real Steel, Life of Pi, Captain America 2, Robocop and Pacific Rim; amongst other successful TV and film productions.  After leaving Legacy Effects Jason now helps companies, leverage Additive Manufacturing and educates all spaces of 3D Printing.

Jason is a strong advocate of 3D printing, which has proven to be an invaluable tool in his production workflow, along with 3D scanning, 3D design and 3D modeling. He has been operating numerous 3D printing technologies for a number of years to assist in the production of stunning visual effects and products and was awarded 3D Printing Industry’s Maker Of The Year 2017 the DINO (Distinguished Innovative Operators Award) in 2012 by the Additive Manufacturing Users Group.

Keynote Address Thursday

Thursday’s Keynote

Michael Block, Application Engineer, Stratasys

Mike has been with Stratasys for over 9 years and his roles included: project coordinator, technical support specialist and applications engineer. He is currently supporting the education sector for the Americas and assists with the application support emails for the Americas as well. Mike also lead a team of application engineers on the Comic Con Creature project that appeared on Jimmy Kimmel.

TTH is sponsoring the event along with the following:

Case Western Reserve University Engineering
MAGNET
America Makes

 

 
 
 

Validated Injection Molding : Meeting Design Specs, Every Time

Posted on: April 19th, 2017 by The Technology House

When it comes to manufacturing parts, there are many methods to choose from. For example, injection molding is used to make everything from bottle caps to MRI coils. The process produces end-use ready results for applications in many industries. There are applications, such as medical devices or aerospace that require an even higher degree of accuracy and trust for a consistent, molded part. For these situations, Sea Air Space Machining and Molding (SAS) offers validated injection molding. Validation involves making sure that the machines used, materials employed, and manufacturing processes followed meet stringent accuracy and repeatability standards. While SAS offers a complimentary design review on all orders, validated injection molding involves far deeper design verification and customer collaboration. It starts with working closely with the customer to make a plan. SAS has a standard process and then tailors these steps to the customer’s unique needs. This collaborative process ensures that the standards SAS follows meet the customers’ expectations and requirements.

Communication is vital when making validated parts. Not only does SAS have regular contact with customers during the validation process for updates and progress, but they are also sure to immediately halt production and call the customer whenever SAS finds something that is not up to specifications.

Due to the cost and time overheads associated with validation, many manufacturers do not offer validated injection mold services, especially not on low volume orders. But, with the way SAS is setup, they are able to apply their skills and time to validate injection molding no matter the size of the order.

The Steps of Validated Injection Molding

Validation is a multi-step, detailed process. While there may be unique customer requirements, there are some steps that occur whenever a client requests validation.

Installation Qualification: Making Sure Everything Works

One of the ways validated injection molding differs from traditional processes is that it involves using IQ, or Installation Qualification. During IQ, the injection mold press equipment that will be used to manufacture a part is verified that it is installed correctly, working properly, and that the machine is receiving the proper power. This involves inspections from the manufacturer to make sure the equipment is set up correctly. The machines must be capable of repeatability and accuracy to meet all specifications.

Operational Qualification: Test, Test, and Test Again

After the IQ demonstrates that the equipment is correctly installed per manufacturer’s requirements, the next step of validation is to make sure the equipment is capable of performing over a specified range. This range is based on the material processing range and the processing parameters of the tooling and parts. This is called the Operational Qualification, or OQ phase. Here, data becomes especially important. An operator performs test runs, in which the operator records the machine’s operating settings by adjusting all manner of controls, including speed, pressure, temperature and more. Testers log, compile and store all data. This helps ensure the machines can operate over the processing range and notifies the operator if it falls out of the certain tolerances within that range.

Performance Qualification: The Real Thing This Time

Once OQ is complete, operators or technicians use the real manufacturing materials, while running the equipment through full cycles of parts. Basically, operators run the planned process for the part and verify that the process fits within the OQ range and the molded part meets all customer requirements. This is known as PQ, or Performance Qualification. During PQ, operators:

  • Record process parameters.
  • Ensure measurement accuracy for dimensional requirements.
  • Verify that materials behave as expected regarding durability and strength under various conditions.
  • Get customer approval that parts meet their specifications.

If PQ fails, it is back to OQ.

Lessons Learned

Formulating the validation process was a learning experience for SAS. Going through the validation process helped SAS to better plan out processes based on customer requirements and communicate the needs and importance to all levels of the organization. SAS now finds that it has less scrap when making any order, validated or not. Communication improved among all levels of employees. Learning that changing and updating processes is a good thing was something that became apparent to everyone. The importance of collecting and analyzing data, verifying processes and materials, and making sure everyone is clear on all steps became even more focused than it already had been.

Do you have an injection molding project that requires validation? Submit your design for review and a quote.

ADM – Cleveland 2017

Posted on: March 22nd, 2017 by The Technology House

2017 Advanced Design and Manufacturing Cleveland

What is Advanced Design and Manufacturing (ADM) Cleveland?

ADM Cleveland will deliver the full spectrum of advanced design and manufacturing technology. Engineers and executives will get access to the latest solutions in the product development process with cutting-edge technologies, networking events, and educational opportunities.

Who Should Attend?

Engineers and executives who use or are interested in 3D printing and additive manufacturing in key industries such as automotive, medtech, aerospace, robotics, automation, plastics, packaging, and design technology. The conference will have interactive events and exhibits for people of all skill levels.

Will I See TTH There?

Of course!  We will be exhibiting at the conference at booth #523.  Be sure to stop by to see firsthand the innovation and benefits of 3D printing and additive manufacturing.  Also, we will have plenty of free giveaways.

Sign Me Up!

Individual registration is $75, which includes all speakers, presentations, exhibits, and meals.

Registration 2017 Advanced Design and Manufacturing Cleveland

Carbon 3D CLIP Material Spotlight: EPU Elastomeric Polyurethane

Posted on: October 25th, 2016 by The Technology House

Carbon 3D CLIP Technology

Carbon 3D Spotlight Material of the Week

Carbon 3D EPU Elastomeric Polyurethane

Highly elastic, resilient

Carbon 3D

EPU is a high performance polyurethane elastomer from the Carbon 3D Family. It exhibits excellent elastic behavior under cyclic tensile and compressive loads. EPU is useful for demanding applications where high elasticity, impact and tear resistance are needed such as cushioning, gaskets and seals.

Our Thoughts

1. Problem Solver

3D Printing Elastomeric parts has long been a pain point of many engineers. Very limited options exist. Polyjet can create a look and feel model but does not have the properties to withhold actual testing. The next option would be to create a RTV Mold and inject a low durometer urethane. This adds time and cost. Carbon 3D solves one of the biggest engineering pain points by being able to print high performing elastomeric materials. Gaskets, O Rings and Seals everywhere rejoice!

2. Material

The EPU is a high performance polyurethane elastomer from the Carbon 3D Family. The material behaves similarly to injection-molded elastomers, exhibiting elastic behavior over a wide temperature range. It has excellent tear strength, compressive strength and elasticity. The material can fit into any production application where a molded elastomer would have been used.

3. Durability

This video demonstrates the tear strength, compressive strength, and elasticity of EPU. A mesh structure is twisted, pulled, and repeatedly crushed by a push roller. This showcases EPU’s spring-like properties as it compresses under load and recovers quickly without deformation or abrasion.

 

Interested in learning more?

Click the link below to download our Carbon 3D Material Guide

Download the Carbon CLIP 3D Materials Guide

The Future

Posted on: August 18th, 2016 by The Technology House

With The Technology House’s 20th anniversary this month, I have done much reflecting on how and why we got to this mark. If you ask someone that has worked with us, they will say that we do Rapid Prototyping, Additive Manufacturing, 3D printing, Injection Molding or CNC Machining. They will tell you the services we provide. While driving in to work today it hit me like a ton of bricks when I asked, “Why do we do what we do?” Yes, The Technology House can make parts but the reason we are here is bigger than that.

While working at a leading consumer goods company our owner Chip Gear began noticing thousands of dollars being spent on rapid prototypes from his engineering team. As he starting to dig into WHY they needed these parts, he found his answer. Time.

It saved them time. See, time is the one thing we can never replace or get back. You can rework a project or fix a tool, but you will never get the time spent on that back. He realized that this process was a disruptive technology, able to cut new product launches from years to months.

So, 20 years later, here we are. Still working every day to save people in this world time. Pushing the limits to reduce product launches from years to months to weeks.

There is a lot of hype and excitement in the 3D Printing industry today. Entrepreneurs like Chip are the reason this excitement can be found in classrooms, universities and companies worldwide.

Today, we celebrate Chip and his family. We celebrate all our customers, vendors, suppliers and especially the employees that helped to get us to where we are at today. And we celebrate The Future and all its unknowns. We will all keep pushing the boundaries of time with innovative design and technologies to help better the companies of the world and future.

With the utmost appreciation, we thank you! We would not be here today without all of you!

Manufacturing Exhibition at the Ohio Bioscience Expo & Showcase

Posted on: July 19th, 2016 by The Technology House

 

Next Wednesday, July 27th 2016, we will be exhibiting at the Ohio Bioscience Expo & Showcase in Columbus, OH. This event is part of the [M]EDNEXT series presented by MAGNET in partnership with BioOhio. The idea of this [M]EDNEXT series is to connect established manufacturing companies to critical biomedical resources to help create new revenue streams, create jobs and strengthen the economy here in Ohio. The Ohio Bioscience Expo & Showcase, in particular, was created to help local Ohio company’s like ours, find and connect more closely with local medical companies.

Ohio Bioscience Expo & showcase

BioOhio is a membership organization that builds and accelerates bioscience industry, research and education in Ohio. They have almost 400 members ranging from start-ups, universities, research institutions and medical manufacturers.

MAGNET is a networking, nonprofit organization to support, educate and champion manufacturing in Ohio. They are dedicated to help manufacturers grow and compete.

We (Sea Air Space Machining & Molding with The Technology House) decided to attend and exhibit this year at the BioOhio event because we see the growing need for medical companies to connect with local resources like us for engineering, design, prototyping, and production manufacturing. The medical industry is growing and is unique when compared to some other industries because of quality requirements, materials and, often times, low volume production required.

This creates a niche area for a company like ours that can provide Additive Manufacturing, Cast Urethane Molding, Custom Injection Molding and CNC Machining all under one roof. Many component manufacturers are setup to run high volume production with running the same part over and over. This can be different in the medical industry. Sometimes we may run two different parts on the same machine in the same day. But, the production parts still need to be turned around quickly, with high quality and a fair price.

This is why the Ohio Bioscience Expo & Showces is important and a great opportunity provided by BioOhio and MAGNET. This event will help to spread the word to both sides, in order to support, grow and better each other and the way our businesses operate. In this day and age, it is critical for manufacturing and medical companies alike to create networks in order to provide the most efficient part from the most efficient process.

With both The Technology House and Sea Air Space Machining & Molding, we have seen the needs from design to prototype to production. In the last couple years, we have also seen the need for specialized processes for the medical industry, like validated injection molding. Last year, we worked with another local medical company to help develop a validated injection molding process. Hopefully we can help more companies too.

We hope you come to visit us and all we can offer down at the Ohio Bioscience

Ohio Bioscience Expo & showcase

Technology House In The Akron Beacon Journal

Posted on: July 11th, 2016 by The Technology House

The Technology House featured in The Akron Beacon Journal

Recently the Akron Beacon Journal came to the Technology House to do an article focused on additive manufacturing and the new Carbon CLIP 3D printer. Click below to read the article on how Northeast Ohio is becoming the leading region for additive manufacturing.

AkronBeaconJournal Masthead

Carbon 3D CLIP Material Spotlight: RPU Rigid Polyurethane

Posted on: April 27th, 2016 by The Technology House

     Carbon CLIP 3D Printing

 

Carbon 3D Spotlight Material of the Week

RPU Rigid Polyurethane

Tough and abrasion resistant, stiff

 

Rigid Polyurethane Pedals

RPU is our stiffest and most versatile polyurethane-based resin out of the Carbon 3D family. It performs well under stress, combining strength, stiffness, and toughness. These properties make RPU particularly useful for consumer electronics, automotive, and industrial components, where excellent mechanical properties are needed.

Our Thoughts

1. Material

Every manufacturing process has its bread and butter material; 3D Printing has ABS, CNC Machining has Aluminum, Injection Molding has Polypropylene. Carbon 3D is no different. The RPU Rigid Polyurethane is our workhorse material. It builds fast, accurate and finishes great. Our team loves its. If our techs had it their way they’d build every part out of it.

2.Surface Finish

The RPU Rigid Polyurethane has the best surface resolution out of the all of the Carbon 3D materials. Period. The parts off the machine require little to none post finishing. When parts need to be finished, the material is extremely acceptable to sand blasting and paint.

3.Production Ready

Out of all the materials the RPU Rigid Polyurethane is the farthest along to start production today. The material has the versatility and mechanical properties to make it a great fit for housings, brackets, ducts, connectors, etc. We have already seen several cases where CLIP technology has already been a cost and time effective alternative to CNC Machined or Injection Molded parts.

 

Interested in learning more?

Click the link below to download our Carbon 3D Material Guide

Download the Carbon 3D Materials Guide from TTH

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carbon CLIP: Design Without Restrictions

Posted on: March 2nd, 2016 by The Technology House

Last year Carbon burst onto the scene with their Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) 3D printing technology. We are part of a select group of companies who have been working with Carbon to push the boundaries of CLIP across various industries. And we could not be more excited about our new relationship with Carbon.  We recently spoke to one of our engineers, Pat Shevchek, who has been working tirelessly on CLIP on his thoughts about this ground breaking process.

What is your role?
I am a manufacturing engineer at TTH tasked with operating and integrating CLIP into our repertoire of production capabilities.

What is Carbon’s CLIP biggest impact in the additive manufacturing world?
There is a lot to this question. It gives us the ability to design and directly manufacture geometries that could not be produced using any traditional manufacturing method in the past. The speed, library of printable production materials, and quality of final parts are CLIP’s best advantages.

What industries can utilize CLIP?
The short answer is any and all. As more and more materials are developed there really is not a single industry that would not be able to utilize CLIP. There will certainly be niche markets early on but development will expand to all industries.

Where do you see CLIP going from here?
In the short term we currently have a limited build volume. I see this buildable volume as well as speed increasing. Long term, I see CLIP changing the way engineers design and the makeup of manufacturing as a whole.

 

Click here to learn more on how we apply CLIP technology across various industries to print solutions that meet specific needs.

If you have a part you are interested in printing in CLIP, then feel free to contact us and we will work with you to determine what is best for your project needs.

TTH Carbon CLIP 3D Printing