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TTH 3D Printing Handbook

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

Get Our Handbook on 3D Printing

We here at The Technology House are proud to introduce our 3D printing handbook!  This handbook was created to help you understand the major 3D printing and additive manufacturing techniques, helping you choose the correct process, and offer design tips.  Our intention with this handbook is to help you create the best product possible using our technologies and processes.

3D Printing Handbook

What’s Included?

Here’s a brief rundown of the topics and main points we cover in our free handbook:

-What is 3D Printing? Get the rundown on what makes additive manufacturing technologies unique over other forms of manufacturing and get insight into why people choose to get prototyping and other services through this process rather than through mainstream methods.

-3D Printing History. Learn about how it all began and what the first 3D printers looked like leading all the way up into today’s technology.

-3D Printing Types. What’s the difference between soft tooling and hard tooling? What’s the advantage of a urethane mold versus metal printing? We discuss the different types of printing as well as their unique applications on each of the various areas of prototyping.

-Choosing the Best Process. What application is correct for your particular situation? If you’re confused about where to start and what service to use, this chapter of our handbook will help clear up the fog and get a better concept of what work is really needed.

-3D Printing Design Tips. Have a design? Great! We’ll help make sure that it turns out exactly how you imagined when it comes time to print it.

-Developing with TTH. Learn how our operation can help simplify the additive manufacturing process for you.

Click the Link Below to Download Our Handbook!

Download 3D Printing Handbook

 

 

3D Printing History

Posted on: August 21st, 2014 by The Technology House

This month, our company turns 18. Throughout this time, we have seen the 3D printing industry jump leaps and bounds. We thought that this would be a good time to highlight some of the major advancements in the industry’s 30 year existence.

-The first 3D Printer was created in 1984 by 3D Systems. The initial process was known as stereolithography (SLA). This process uses UV Lasers to cure photopolymer resins layer by layer.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) was developed and patented at the University of Texas at Austin. SLS is an additive manufacturing technique that uses a laser to sinter powdered material into a solid structure. The laser sintering technique has also expanded to include metal. This process is known as Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS).

-In 1990, Strayasys developed the plastic extrusion technology Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).  FDM is an additive manufacturing process where plastic filament is extruded from a coil of material that builds parts layer by layer.

-As of 2012, the market for 3D printers and services was worth $2.2 billion worldwide.

These are some the major processes that helped build the foundation for the 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Since this time, machines and materials have expanded beyond hard plastics to include rubber and metal. Machines and materials are more readily available. Industries that utilize 3D printing are as far reaching as ever which include architecture, industrial design, automotive, aerospace, military & defense, medical, biotechnology, fashion, jewelry, food, consumer goods, and many others.

3D Printing Innovation Through the Rapid 2014 Conference and Exposition

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

We exhibited at this year’s Rapid Conference and Exposition. This event is one of the most comprehensive events that focus on 3D Printing. There were over 3,400 attendees at this year’s event, which helped make the show one of its best in its 24-year history!

We had a number of our team member who ran our booth, and interacted with a lot of attendees. Below are some of their thoughts on the show and on the 3D Printing industry.

What Were the Major Difference You Saw Between this Year’s Show and Last Year’s?

-Much greater interest in production parts than last year. Last year, everyone seemed to be looking for general information on 3D Printing and additive manufacturing. This year everyone seemed to know the basics and was looking for the next step.

-The audience had a lot more engineers, buyers, and technical/materials personnel looking to either purchase a machine, or purchase services based on current projects or developing for future projects. Last year seemed like everyone was feeling out the industry, how to invest in it, how to make material or parts for it, and how their company could use it. In short, this year seemed to have more specific ideas and projects for additive manufacturing, while last year was much more of an industry research feel.

What Were Some of the Major Industries that Benefited from 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing?

-I think any industry that requires small complex parts with low quantities can benefit from it.

-I can’t speak for how industries have benefitted from additive manufacturing, but my opinion is that medical and aerospace have gotten the most from it. It gives them options. Industrial is using it more and more for non-load bearing parts as well as production fixtures.

Where Do You See 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing Improving the Product Development Process?

-Options for more testing and low volume part production or testing.

-I don’t see additive manufacturing being the be all end all solution for the product development/manufacturing process. I don’t think all parts in 10 years will be made with only additive manufacturing. I see all processes, additive, and subtractive, working together in sync to help stream line the product development and manufacturing.

 

Learn how our 3D printing and additive manufacturing process can improve your product.

Request a Quote for you next 3D printing project

Visit Us at the Rapid 2014 Conference and Exposition!

Posted on: May 8th, 2014 by The Technology House

TTH will be exhibiting at the Rapid 2014 Conference and Exposition.

We would love to see you there!

Booth: 1025
When: June 9-12, 2014
Where: Cabo Center, Detroit MI

TTH Booth

Come visit us to learn more about the latest trends and developments in 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing.

Click here to visit the Rapid Conference and Exposition’s website.

Request a Quote for you next 3D printing project

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.

Request a Quote for you next 3D printing project

Keep Your Projects Running Day and Night

Posted on: December 19th, 2013 by The Technology House

Our Rapid Prototyping machines are automated, which allows us to build parts unattended. This is beneficial to you because machine efficiency is maximized in order to meet your tight deadlines as best as possible.  Parts can build at times when our office is closed, which includes nights, weekends, and even holidays.

Click here to see how our rapid prototype services can meet your needs.

Laser Rapid Prototyping

Additive Manufacturing-Which Process is Best for You?

Posted on: September 14th, 2013 by The Technology House

 Additive manufacturing is a process that creates physical objects from digital models.  While traditional machining methods fabricate parts by cutting away at material, additive manufacturing builds the part up layer by layer.  Although this process has been around since the 1980’s, there has been much excitement about it due to the numerous recent advancements in processes and materials.  Companies are able to produce high quality prototypes that come closer to the production piece.  For example, medical companies are exploring patient-customized implants that are fabricated through additive manufacturing.  But with the constant innovation, it can be difficult to stay informed on what will work best for you.  That is why we have compiled the following list to show how the different processes can help you.

Stereolithography (SLA) Prototyping
SLA is available in numerous plastic materials (i.e. ABS-like, PC-like, PP-like, Water clear, and High heat) that simulate properties of actual plastics.  SLA is one of the most popular methods for initial prototypes because it is ideal for design review, and fit/function testing.  Accuracy and finish allow for SLA to be the best process for master pattern of urethane and metal castings.  In addition, SLA is favored for show models since it can be more easily sanded and painted compared to other methods.

SLA prototype golf ball

Click to see details about SLA Prototype Materials.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Like SLA, FDM is a popular method for initial prototypes.  A major benefit to FDM is that the materials offer excellent thermal and mechanical properties.  FDM is ideal for more “under the hood” applications.  Unlike, SLA where one will get a similar material to the plastic; FDM offers the actual plastic (i.e. SLA offers an ABS-like material, while FDM offers an actual ABS material).  FDM is one of the most used processes for production additive manufacturing.

FDM prototype golf ball

Click to see details about FDM Prototype Materials.

 

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
SLS builds rugged parts out of materials such as Nylon PA, Glass-Filled Nylon, or flame retardant Nylon. The parts can better withstand the wear and tear of functional testing.  They are a good choice for applications that require snap features, high heat and chemical resistance. SLS is one of the most used processes for production additive manufacturing.

SLS prototype golf ball

Click to see details about SLS Prototype Materials.

 

Polyjet
Polyjet can fabricate parts in both shore A and shore D materials, as well as overmold parts.  It is a good alternative to urethanes when the timetable requires producing rubber-like parts within a few days.  Another benefit compared to urethane molding is that polyjet does not require any tooling.

Objet Prototype golf ball

Click to see Polyjet/Objet Prototype Materials.

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
DMLS produces metal parts by fusing metal powder layer by layer.  DMLS parts have mechanical properties equivalent to production materials such as steel, aluminum, and titanium.  They also have high detail resolution and excellent surface quality.  DMLS is ideal for small to medium sized parts that have highly complex geometry, as well as making direct tooling inserts.

DMLS prototype golf ball

Click to see Laser Sintering Materials.

Desktop 3D Printing
Desktop 3D printers are one of the most affordable processes. Desktop 3D printing can fabricate plastic prototype pieces in a variety of colors.  Parts fabricated from desktop 3D printers are ideal for design review.  This process has been popular lately with individuals that want desktop and novelty parts.

Desktop 3D printed golf ball

It is easy to become inundated with the myriad of additive manufacturing news. But we hope this will help create a clear path on what will work best for you.  This is an exciting time for our industry that will continue to see great advances in available processes and materials.

A Newer Twist in Additive Manufacturing

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by The Technology House

No doubt about it, additive manufacturing is hot. Unlike subtractive processes, such as machining which make parts by removing material, additive processes build three-dimensional objects layer-by-layer from digital models. Solid objects can be “3D printed” to almost any shape. Over time, the technology’s range has expanded from mostly business-to-business to business-to-consumer. This has changed the face of industry, making many companies think differently about how they produce parts. Most companies used to associate “additive manufacturing” solely with “prototypes.”  Now, spurred by the rise of consumer resources such as MakerBot and MakerGear, firms are increasingly associating additive with “end parts.”

Although some firms are still stuck on using mill specs for production, it seems that in the last few years, more companies are thinking harder about when and how to use additive techniques. Stories such as the Navy using additive aboard ships to build replacement parts and NASA exploring the technology to create spare parts on spaceships crop up almost daily.

Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is the most common additive technique in industry because it prints parts using standard engineering thermoplastics — not the proprietary blends other techniques demand. Our company builds end parts using FDM, stereolithography (SLA) and selective laser sintering (SLS).

Additive manufacturing can be used to help in production in at least 2 popular ways. First, “3D printing” can be used to create fixtures. Currently, companies must design and machine-out fixtures from a metal or plastic material in order to make a production fixture. The FDM, and other additive processes, now allow companies to “print” fixtures and get the completed devices by the next day. The fixtures hold parts for assembly, painting or machining (for instance, post-op drilling.) Second, additive manufacturing can produce the end use part either for initial testing or for the actual production run. The medical-grade polycarbonate (PC-ISO) FDM material is popular in the medical device industry and Ultem is popular for many high-heat applications for the automotive and aerospace industries.

We see a lot of interest in additive techniques and feel that their use in industry will continue to grow.