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Archive for the ‘Rapid Prototyping’ Category

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

Top 5 for 2015: We Posted Them, You Read Them

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

As 2015 comes to an end, it is time for us to review what blog posts were most read in 2015.  The topics of these blogs ranged from 3D printed parts being used in a Formula One racing car to the benefits companies are seeing by doing production in the U.S.

Afraid you missed out on the more interesting posts?  No worries, below are the top 5 blogs in one place for you to riffle through.


5. SAE Racing Team Incorporates 3D Printing in Car Design

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

3. What FDM Part Density is Best for You?

2. 5 Benefits of Reshoring Manufacturing

1. What’s the Difference Between Soft and Hard Tooling?

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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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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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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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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.

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

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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What is the difference between 3D Printing, Additive Manufacturing, and Rapid Prototyping?

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

Although the technology is about 30 years old, 3D Printing, has been well documented and defined during the past couple of years. We are frequently asked by people new to the industry if there is any difference in terminology between 3D printing, additive manufacturing, and rapid prototyping.

Between the terms 3D printing and additive manufacturing, there is no difference. 3D printing and additive manufacturing are synonyms for the same process. Both terms reference the process of building parts by joining material layer by layer from a CAD file.  This is as opposed to a traditional manufacturing process, like CNC Machining, where a part is built by subtracting material from a block of material. 3D printing and additive manufacturing can be used regardless if the parts are fabricated in plastic, metal, or rubber.

3d printing vs additive manufacturing

Based off our general perception, it seems as though people who work in an industrial or manufacturing setting prefer additive manufacturing since it sounds more formal. In comparison, the media and hobbyists prefer the term 3D printing. The term 3D printing has been used more ever since inexpensive desktop printers became more popular.

The term rapid prototyping is different from 3D printing/additive manufacturing. Rapid prototyping is the technique of fabricating a prototype model from a CAD file. In other words, 3D printing/additive manufacturing is the process, and rapid prototyping is the end result. Rapid prototyping is one of many applications under the 3D printing/additive manufacturing umbrella.

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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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6 Most Unusual Prototype Requests. Part II of II

Posted on: October 31st, 2014 by The Technology House

In this second of two blog series, we will discuss some of the more interesting and outside the box thinking prototype requests we have ever received.  Each one of these projects utilized different processes and materials to meet their specific objectives.


Outer Space Smoke Detector
Smoke produced in a reduced gravity environment does not exhibit the same characteristics as smoke produced on Earth.  As such, the smoke detection and suppression systems on a space craft has to be designed accordingly.  The Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment (SAME) was a highly successful experiment in which valuable data of smoke particle was collected and analyzed to assist in the development of future fire detection and suppression systems for space craft.

3D printed parts for the Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiment (SAME)

The red arrows indicate some of the components that were 3D printed.

Many of the pieces that went into building SAME were 3D printed and rapid prototyped. The 3D printed parts were fabricated in the 5530 high heat SLA material.  Traditionally, flight hardware mainily consists of metal and other non-flammable components  As a result the SLA’s were coated with nickel in order to make them less flammable and improve structural rigidity.

3D printed parts in use on the International Space Station

Fully assembled and in use on the International Space Station.

A customer required replicas of a 1714 Stradivarius Violin in order to show the shape and contour of the violin.  Since this type of violin is so rare, prototypes needed to be produced.  We used an actual 1714 Stradivarius Violin as a master to make a silicone mold, and then mold cast urethanes in an ABS plastic. These prototypes are accurate renditions in the look and feel of the original violin.

Lemonade Stand
A customer needed a trade show model of their new product, a children’s lemonade stand.  The product needed to be fabricated and fully finished and painted in a short amount of time.  Components were 3D printed and CNC machined from plastic and foam.  Once all the parts were made, the parts were then finished and painted to replicate the production model.  The customer heavily relied on us for process and material recommendations.  The prototype was completed on-time, and under budget.

3D model of lemonade stand


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