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Archive for the ‘3D Printing’ Category

What’s the Benefit of Metal-to-Plastic Conversion? Part II

Posted on: November 12th, 2015 by The Technology House

As the old saying goes, “It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks”-Like converting metal parts to plastic.

We discussed in our last blog, when done properly, parts converted from metal-to-plastic benefit from:

-Cost reduction
-Improve functionality
-Design Freedom

But what industries benefit from metal-to-plastic part conversion? Three of the major industries we have helped are the automotive, aerospace, and medical industries.

The automotive and aerospace industries are converting parts to plastic in order to reduce vehicle weight, and to meet tougher federal emissions standards. The reason for the latter is that certain plastics are chemically and heat resistant.  These plastics can be utilized in the fuel and fluid handling systems.

A major reason we have seen the medical industry utilize metal-to-plastic conversion is for device ergonomics. Plastic products can be easier, such as molding a handle that is hard plastic, but the grip area is a soft rubber.  Another reason for metal-to-plastic conversion is that plastic has a lower thermal conductivity.  Therefore, plastic parts may not be cold to the touch, which allows the patient to be more comfortable when the product is in use.

We have helped a lot of customers over various industries with metal-to-plastic conversion. Contact us to consult with our team about the feasibility of converting your metal products to plastic.

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How Did Being an Early Adopter of 3D Printing Help Us?

Posted on: October 26th, 2015 by The Technology House

Nearly 20 years ago we started with 3 guys and 1 3D printing machine.

Curious on where we are now, and where we think the 3D printing industry is headed?

Read one of the latest articles in Crain’s to find out.

TTH is a Early Adopter of 3D Printing

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What is the Difference Between High and Normal SLA Resolution?

Posted on: October 19th, 2015 by The Technology House

We are often asked what options one has in SLA resolution. The answer is simple, normal resolution and high resolution. And deciding which option is best for you is simple as well. Normal resolution prints parts at .005” layers, and high resolution prints parts at .002” layers.

Here is a part that we printed in both normal and high resolution.  The part was printed in the same material as well as had the same finish done in post processing.

Side-by-side comparison of Normal and High SLA Resolution

Can you tell the difference?  Take a closer look to see which is which.

Side-by-side comparison of Normal and High SLA Resolution
The part on the left was printed in high resolution, while the part on the right was printed in normal resolution.  As you can see, the details on the left part are more defined than the details on the right part.

Side-by-side comparison of Normal and High SLA Resolution

The left file was the part printed in normal resolution, while the part on the right was printed in high resolution.  The build lines are less visible, and the details are more noticeable on the high resolution part.

After seeing these parts, you may be asking yourself the following questions:

How do I decide which resolution is best for me?
Normal resolution is a good all around use resolution. Customers who need parts for basic form, fit, and function print their parts in normal resolution.  Customers with designs of intricate details, require tight fitting to mating parts, or require tight tolerances print parts in high resolution

Is there a cost difference?
Generally speaking, high resolution parts cost twice as much as normal resolution parts.   This is because build times for high resolution parts are typically twice as long since as normal resolution since parts are being printed at .002” instead of .005”

How large are the build platforms?
We print normal resolution parts on 20”x20”x20” platforms, and our high resolution parts print on 5”x5”x11” platforms. But we are not confined to these dimensions, larger parts can always be printed in sections and then bonded in post processing.

Knowing this information will help take the guessing out of deciding which resolution is best for your parts. This will potentially save you from wasting money and resources on prototypes that do not work for your needs. If you have further question on the difference between the resolutions, then do not hesitate to contact us.

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The Ultimate 3D Printing Glossary/Acronyms Handbook

Posted on: September 2nd, 2015 by The Technology House

Confused by all the jargon and abbreviations used in 3D printing?

Allow us to help you alleviate your confusion.

3D Printing Glossary eBook

Our 3D Printing Glossary/Acronyms Handbook is full of useful, interesting and free information.  We created this handbook based off our expertise and industry standards as a tool to help you.

Finally, feel free to Like, Share and Bookmark this page.

Although 3D printing has been around for about 30 years, there are new terms being coined regularly for new processes. That’s why we’ll continuously update this handbook.

If you find any words within our resource pages that you’d like to have defined, be sure to reach out to us through our contact page, or through one of our social media outlets. We’ll be sure to get back to you right away.

 

Download our 3D printing Glossary and acronyms pdf handbook

3 Takeaways from R3D @ Tri-C

Posted on: July 23rd, 2015 by The Technology House

Cuyahoga Community College, Tri-C, held last month its inaugural regional 3D printing and additive manufacturing, conference called R3D@Tri-C.  This two day event featured informative seminars, workshops led by prominent experts, and plenty of networking opportunities.  We were fortunate to participate in this event, and below are our takeaways:

The Industry Focus is Shifting Towards Production.
Many new and potential additive manufacturing technologies are focusing on utilizing the technology for production applications.  Companies not only want to print production parts from additive manufacturing machines, but also print prototypes are that similar prosperities to the end part.  Printing technologies are moving from an “R&D” use to a serialized and consistent production technology for end-use parts.

Plastic vs. Metal Printing.
The growth of 3D metal printing is expanding at a more rapid pace than plastic printing.  This is mainly due to 3D printing/additive manufacturing being used as a resource for production parts.  Most of the demand for metal printing has been in the aerospace, medical, and automotive industries.  Despite several metal processes and systems already developed in the past 10 years, the technology is still at its infancy stage on its true commercial impact.

What Can You Look Forward to at Next Year’s Show?
This year’s show had a great turn out, so expect even more people to attend next year.  The 3D printing/additive manufacturing technology is developing so rapidly that new machines and materials will more than likely be presented at the next show.  Attendees from this show will more than likely learn new information from next year’s show that was not available at this year’s show.  Finally, this show is geared towards people of all printing abilities.  People new to the industry as well as seasoned veterans will benefit from attending.

 
It is a very exciting time for our industry.  People are thinking of next ways to design and create parts, which is allowing for great strides in 3D printing/additive manufacturing advancements.

 
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3 Reasons Why You Should Attend R3D @ Tri-C

Posted on: May 22nd, 2015 by The Technology House

R3D@Tri-C, the Regional 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Conference, will be held on June 18 and 19, 2015.  This two day event will be held at Tri-C’s Advanced Technology Training Center in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio.

But how do you know if this event is right for you?  Below are three quick reasons on why you should attend.

Learn the latest trends in 3D printing/additive manufacturing.
Presentations from Wohlers Associates, America Makes, MAGNET, and TTH will be given on the current and future trends in equipment, materials, and services

Network with industry professionals and educators.
You will be able to engage and share ideas in a fun and interactive setting.  This event initiates personal engagements and cultivates networking.

It’s open to companies and individuals of all 3D printing abilities.
Companies currently using 3D printing/additive manufacturing as well as companies new to the industry will find this event beneficial.  In addition, both 7-12 grade educators and higher education will gain insight from this event.

We will be presenting and exhibiting at this event, so be sure to stop by and say hello!

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AMUG 2015 Displays Latest 3D Printing Innovations

Posted on: April 29th, 2015 by The Technology House

Last week, we attended the annual Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Conference held in Jacksonville, Florida.

The group was just limited to stereolithography (SLA) when it was first founded in the 1990’s.  Throughout the years, new additive manufacturing technologies and companies have been added to the group.

With over 70 vendors and 800 attendees, this was the users group largest conference ever held.  The event encourages information exchange between all attendees, regardless of how long you have been part of the group.  Both big and small companies were in attendance exhibiting the latest innovations in additive manufacturing and 3D printing.

Some notables who were at the conference were Chuck Hull, the inventor of stereolithography (SLA) and the .stl format.  He participated in a very informative Q&A interview session.

Also in attendance was Jason Lopes from Legacy Effects.  If you have seen any of the recent big budget super hero movies, like Iron Man, then you have more than likely seen their work.  The company 3D prints a lot of parts used for the super hero costumes.

These people were just the tip of the ice berg for who attended.  But this event isn’t just about meeting the “who’s who” in the additive manufacturing industry, but rather, it is about collaborating in a fun and welcoming environment in order to progress the industry.

We look forward to attending next years conference, and hope to see you there!

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Why We Attend AMUG

Posted on: April 16th, 2015 by The Technology House

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) is a users group that focuses on the advancement of additive manufacturing .  The group first started with a focus on stereolithography, but now includes (but not exclusive to) Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), Desktop 3D Printing, Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), Fuse Deposition Modeling (FDM), and Polyjet.  Its members are now more diversified due to the advancement of additive manufacturing materials and processes.

This year’s AMUG Conference will be held in Jacksonville, Florida from April 19 – 23, 2015.  The conference grows every year, and attendees range from novices to expert users, and all attendees have plenty of opportunities to be fully engaged.

The common theme to the conference is to expand one’s knowledge through personal engagements and networking. The organization is comprised of some of the most revered and respected individuals in the additive manufacturing industry.

Stay tuned, because we will write again soon on what we learn from this year’s conference.

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What FDM Part Density is Best for You?

Posted on: March 4th, 2015 by The Technology House

When printing Fuse Deposition Models (FDM) models, we can adjust the build density of the parts.  This is very beneficial for you because the parts can be better tailored to your needs.  Below are the three different densities that can be printed, and how they will be effective.

Solid
A solid part density will build the part as filled in as possible.  A part with a solid interior is the most common part density used.  A part with this density can be used for reasons such as: show models, fixtures, concept testing, and design review.

Fuse Deposition Models (FDM) Prototype solid part density

Sparse
A substantial amount of material and time can be saved by using the Sparse interior modes. Having a sparse part density builds a part with a honey comb interior rather than solid. Unless the FDM part is being used in a high stress application, then the difference in strength will never be noticed.

Fuse Deposition Models (FDM) Prototype sparse part density

Double Dense
Although the name may be slightly misleading, Double Dense parts are in between the solid and sparse part density.  An FDM part with a double dense still has honey combed, but fills in the interior walls twice as much as a sparse density.  This density is beneficial because there are some cost savings due to less material being used, and the part can still be used for more high stress applications than sparse density.

Fuse Deposition Models (FDM) Prototype double dense part density

 

As you can see from the picture below, regardless of the part density, the exterior of the part is not affected.

Fuse Deposition Models (FDM) Prototype

 

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TTH Uses 3D Printing to Help Reduce Surgical Time

Posted on: February 11th, 2015 by The Technology House

We are updating our case studies in order to give you a better insight on how our processes and capabilities help a variety of customers and industries solve problems and improve their product.  These new case studies show an up-close and in-depth look on how we can listen to your needs.

Below is an overview of the first of three new case studies we are publishing.  Click here to read this case study in more detail.

We create SLA models of a patients skull.  These skulls are printed from CAD files created from the patient’s CT scan. The SLA models are then used as masters in surgery to create high quality implants.  The SLA process is used because it is one of the most accurate 3D printing processes.  Creating precise SLA models is imperative in order to create implants that precisely fit the patient.

The SLA models offer a real boon for complex surgeries. Not only have we reduced the time it takes to make a model, but the 3D models we create are far more accurate than the wire-mesh models previously used

Click here to read our prototype case studies.

Click here to read our production case studies.

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