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Archive for the ‘Medical’ 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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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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How Direct Metal Laser Sintering Can Help Solve Your Problems

Posted on: September 5th, 2014 by The Technology House

When parts need to be fabricated from metal, then Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is the best 3D printing/direct digital manufacturing practice. Most 3D printing/direct digital manufacturing processes produce parts in either plastic or rubber, but DMLS is a manufacturing process that can build metal parts in materials ranging from aluminum, cobalt chrome, steel, nickel alloy, and titanium.

DMLS can be a good alternative to traditional CNC machining, but how do you know when is the correct time to use it?

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) example

Fixture and Tooling Cost
Traditional machining processes may require fixtures or tooling.  DMLS does not require any fixture or tooling, which will help reduce your total project cost.

Order Quantity
DMLS is ideal for short run/low-volume parts.  This is because parts can be built together on the same build.

Part Detail
Parts with unique surfaces or features can be easier to produce in DMLS rather than traditional machining or casting.  This is because material is sintered layer by layer.

Lead Time
Lead times for machined parts can range from 2-4 weeks for prototype parts, to 8-10 weeks for production parts.  DMLS can deliver parts as quickly as 1-2 weeks.

Industries
The DMLS process is used heavily in the following industries:
-Aerospace
-Automotive
-Defense
-Medical and Dental Instruments

Golf ball created using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS)

On your next project that requires durable, accurate metal parts with fine detail, then consider DMLS.  Visit our material page to see what material will work best for your project.

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.

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