My first time to Miami was a success! Last year, Stratasys held the partner kickoff in New Orleans and that was when they launched the F1, 2, and 3 series. Since then they have sold over 800 units of these types of FDM 3D printers in the USA. This year in Miami, they did announce something new but it still has a few quarters to go until there is an official release. To say I am excited about what is coming is an understatement! In fact, Stratasys is going to be releasing one new printer here in a few weeks. I am excited for the direction they are going. During this partner kickoff, they mentioned a huge price drop on all of their Polyjet printers! Send us a message for the latest pricing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for PADT employees that were in attendance, we had quite the representation this year. Rey Chu (Co-Owner of PADT), Mario Vargas (Manager of Hardware Sales), Norman Stucker (Colorado Territory Manager), Anthony Wagoner (Utah Territory Manager), Kathryn Pesta (Sales Operations Manager), and me (James Barker, Sr. Application Engineer).
Pictured above from left to right is Mario Vargas, Kathryn Pesta, James Barker, and Anthony Wagoner.
Above is a picture of the Stratasys Panel that was open to some Q&A. 2nd from the right is S. Scott Crump who is the inventor of FDM (fused deposition modeling) printers 30 years ago. Below is a picture of the anniversary info for Stratasys along with Objet (Polyjet technology 20 years) and the merger between the two companies is now 5 years old!
My introduction to 3D printers started 8 years ago with an Objet Eden 500 printer at L-3 Communications where I ran their 3D print lab. 6 months later we got an additional Polyjet printer which was a Connex 500. Amazing that we were able to justify purchasing another high quality machine after a few months of operating the Objet Eden 500! A few years later we got our first Uprint FDM printer from a sister company that no longer had a need for it. After using the Uprint for a few months, I was made aware of some of these thermoplastic materials that could only be printed on the production grade FDM machines. I created a business case to get the Fortus 450 and had every material option available at that time to print with (ABS family of materials, ASA, PC, Nylon 12, Ultem 9085, and Ultem 1010). I love both of these technologies and am confident that they provide the best solution for either rapid prototyping or tooling applications. We even have many customers that are printing production parts with these very precise 3D printers.
One customer that is printing production quality parts is Laika Studios, who has produced these movies: Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman, and Coraline. The presentation they made for us on their stop motion animation was so much fun! 10 years ago for Nightmare before Christmas there were 800+ hand sculpted faces made. For Kubo and the Two Strings, there were 64,000 facial expressions that were all 3d printed with a Stratasys J750. Another fun fact about the movie is that it took 60 hours of 3D printing for one second of film time to be created which is why it takes 2-3 years to complete a film. Moonbeast is a 3ft long puppet that is entirely comprised of 3d printed parts which is the largest character they have done to date. If you have watched Kubo and the Two Strings, it appears to be computer animated but in reality it is stop animation with 3D printed parts! Here is a fun short video (13 seconds) of what the Stratasys printer looks like as it is printing and then support material being removed from the head with different facial expressions.
Matt Gimble, who works for Penske as a Production Manager, shared with us many of the different applications that have helped them save a lot of money since they’ve incorporated 3D printing. Racing is rapidly evolving and is very technical nowadays with a huge emphasis on engineering. 3D printing gives them the tools to meet the new challenges. There are many different great uses they’ve had for 3D printing – from a redesigned rear gear pump design, to a new exhaust tailpipe. Even production parts are made with Stratasys’ newest material, Nylon 12CF. This is a high strength chopped carbon fiber filled Nylon 12. Many that use this material are awe-inspired with its performance! The Superspeedway side view mirror is made out of this material and saved Team Penske 4-6 weeks – which is how long it takes for the mold to be made. Then what if the mold needs altering? Crew Helmet Light/Camera mount is also made in this great thermoplastic/composite material called Nylon 12CF.
The above Fuel Probe was re-engineered and is lighter than its predecessor, plus more ergonomical to help with delivering fuel in a timely manner. Pre-preg carbon fiber sleeves when wrapped around a soluble support material and after the autoclave heating process, the soluble core is dissolved in a sodium hydroxide cleaning tank leaving only the carbon fiber. PADT is a manufacturer for the cleaning tanks that are sold with any Stratasys FDM 3d printer. The core is made out of ST-130 material which is perfect for this application or sacrificial tooling. Ultem 1010 was used as well to create carbon fiber layup tools in a fraction of the time it would have taken for the steel molds to be made. Typical turnaround is 1-3 days, as compared to 4-6 weeks. These are all great applications by Team Penske! Well done!!
We learned a lot at the partner kickoff. Luckily I was able to get this great picture with S. Scott Crump and Mario Vargas! To this day Scott is still inventing and is a major contributor to innovating at Stratasys. While talking with him and Mario, he started talking about these many adventures that he goes on. Scuba diving off the island of Tortuga and having many sharks swimming above isn’t for the faint of heart, yet it is where Scott seems to find his happy place.
My wife flew out Thursday night to come see Miami with me. It was my first time visiting Florida and we had a phenomenal time there. We put 800 miles on the rental car driving all around. Driving down the Florida Keys all the way to Key West was a blast and if you ever go to Key West, make sure to get a Cuban sandwich from the restaurant Bien! It is MUY MUY BIEN! The islands are so beautiful! We also went to the Everglades where we got an airboat tour and where I even held a 4 year old Alligator and gave it a kiss on the back of its head. My little girls shriek every time they see the picture!
We had a great time in Florida! As we now look to the future, watch out for some exciting updates about new products that are coming! Stratasys, in my opinion, is going to continue being a leader in the Additive Manufacturing realm and I can’t wait to help announce some of the new equipment once it is available!
Any questions you have, you can direct them to me at James.email@example.com. Thanks!
If there is one service that most people connect PADT with it is our 3D Printing Services. We have been making prototypes for companies using this ever-advancing technology since we started the company in 1994. As 3D Printing has become more popular and entered the mainstream even beyond engineering, what 3D Printing means to people has changed as well. Along with that, people’s understanding of exactly what it is we do in this area has drifted a little from what goes on. In this month’s installment of our “Getting to Know PADT” series, we will work to provide insight into what 3D Printing Services are and how they can benefit your company.
What is “3D Printing” and “3D Printing Services?”
To start, it should be called “Additive and Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Services, ” but people search for “3D Printing” so that is what we call it. 3D Printing is the common name for what is technically referred to as Additive Manufacturing, or AM. Most physical parts are made (manufactured) by casting or shaping material into a shape you want, removing material from stock to get the shapes you want, and/or combining physical parts you get by the other two methods. Instead of these well-proven methods, AM creates a part by building up material one layer at a time. That is why it is called additive – it adds layers of material to get a shape. Here is an older blog article showing the most common technologies used in AM.
The advantage of this approach is that you just need one machine to make a part, you can go straight from a computer model to that part, and you are not held back by the physical constraints of traditional processes. These features allow anyone to make a part and to make shapes we just could not create before. At first, we only used it for prototypes before parts were made. Then we started to make tools to make final products, and now 3D Printing is employed to manufacturing end-use parts.
In the world of mechanical engineering, where 3D Printing is heavily used, we call companies that use additive manufacturing to make parts for others 3D Printing Service Bureaus or 3D Printing Service Providers. Therefore, the full process of doing manufacturing using the technology is called: 3D Printing Services.
The critical word in that last sentence is “full.” Sending a computer model to a 3D Printer is just one of many steps involved in Additive Manufacturing. When the service is employed correctly, it includes identifying the right type of additive manufacturing to use, preparing the geometry, setting parameters on the machine, printing the parts, removing supports, cleaning the parts, sanding, applying a surface finish treatment, and then inspection and shipping. Anyone can send a part to a printer; the other steps are what make the difference between simply printing a part, and producing a great part.
What Services does PADT Offer?
Additive Manufacturing covers a wide range of technologies that create parts one layer at a time, using a variety of approaches. Some extrude, some harden, some use an inkjet print head, and still others melt material. What they have in common is creating solid geometry one layer at a time. Each technology has its own unique set of advantages, and that is why PADT offers so many different 3D Printing technologies for our customers. Each of these approaches has unique part preparations, machine parameters, and post-printing processes. Each with a unique set of advantages. The key to success is knowing which technology is best for each part and then executing it correctly.
Currently, PADT’s 3D Printing Services Group makes parts for customers using the following technologies. Each one listed has a brief description of its advantages. See our website for more details.
Reliability of systems
Broad material choice
Water soluble supports
Multiple materials in a single build
Broad material choices
Custom material choices
Multiple colors in single build
Water soluble supports
Fully dense metal parts
As a proud reseller for Stratasys systems, we feel strongly that the two primary technologies from Stratasys, FDM and Polyjet, are the best for customers who want to do Additive Manufacturing in-house or as a service provider. When customers need something different, they can come to PADT to take advantage of the unique capabilities found in each technology.
How is 3D Printing with PADT Better?
The difference is in what we know and how to execute the complete process. As a provider of 3D Printing services for over 23 years, very few people in the industry even come close to the amount of experience that we bring to the table. We also know product development and traditional manufacturing, so when a customer comes to us with a need, we understand what they are asking to do and why. That helps us make the right recommendation on process, material, and post-processing.
A few differentiators are:
- We know our machines
- We know our materials
- We offer a wide range of plastic and metal materials
- We understand post-processing
- We understand support removal (we manufacture the leading support removal system)
- We understand design and manufacturing
- In-house machining, painting, and part finishing
- In-house inspection and quality
- Employees who are enthusiastic and dedicated to providing the right solution.
In addition to all of these things, PADT also offers On-Demand Manufacturing as a Carbon Production Partner. We combine Carbon’s DLS technology with our existing and proven manufacturing processes to provide low volume manufacturing solutions for plastic components.
We are also always looking at the latest technologies and adding what our customers need. You can see this with the recent addition of systems from ConceptLaser, Carbon and Desktop Metal systems.
Next Steps and Where to Learn More
The very best way to learn more about PADT’s 3D Printing services is to have us print a part. The full experience and the final product will explain why, with so many choices, so many companies large and small count on us for their Additive Manufacturing. If you need to learn more, you can also contact us at 480.813.4884 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some links that you may find useful:
- PADT’s 3D Printing Services Pages on our website.
- Our 3D Printing Services Brochure
- The On-Demand Manufacturing Brochure
- More Information on Scanning & Reverse Engineering
- Details on our Product Development Services
- Blog posts on 3D Printing
The addition of a new UnionTech RSPro 450 further establishes PADT as the leader in Additive Manufacturing technology in the Southwestern US. With a build volume of 17.7 x 17.7 x 15.75 inches, this state of the art Stereolithography(SLA) machine will triple the company’s capacity to 3D Print with SLA technology at this Las Vegas print shop. It not only allows the printing of larger parts, it can also create multiple smaller parts in less time. It will join PADT’s two existing SLA machines along with the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), PolyJet, and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) solutions currently producing parts daily for their customers across the country.
“When we started the company in 1994, one of our first purchases was an SLA machine. It started our 3D Printing services business, and the technology is still heavily used today.” Said Rey Chu, a co-owner of PADT and the leader for PADT’s Advanced Manufacturing efforts. “This new system gives us added capacity in size, speed, and material choices. We looked at a wide range of SLA systems and felt that UnionTech provided the quality and robustness we need to keep our customers happy.”
The new system was delivered the second week of October and will be calibrated and producing customer parts by the end of the month. One of the advantages of the machine is the easy setup and strong calibration capabilities. The team will be able to produce parts that are about 75% larger than they can currently. The additional volume and speed will allow for three times as many parts to be printed in a given week than is possible with the current two smaller and older machines. Initially, a new rigid ABS-like material will be used that produces very strong and precise parts with white plastic. PADT’s existing pre- and post-processing tools will be applied to this process with little change.
The UnionTech RSPRO 450 SLA System
UnionTech systems are the most popular machines for SLA Additive Manufacturing outside of the United States. They have proven to be reliable, easy-to-use, accurate, and fast. They are also an open system, allowing users to use any SLA compatible resin that can usually be acquired at a more affordable price than proprietary material solutions.
Stereolithography is the oldest commercial 3D Printing process. It uses photo-curable liquid resins to build parts one layer at a time. A vat in the machine is filled with liquid material, and a plate is placed just under the surface. Then an ultraviolet laser draws on the very top layer of the liquid, and all of wherever the laser traces, the liquid turns to a solid. The plate is lowered, a new layer of liquid is spread on top, and the laser creates a new layer. The process repeats until the part or parts are made.
The UnionTech machine is a refined and proven application of this technology that was a perfect match for PADT’s current needs. Also, the company itself was great to work with, and the local sales and support team have been outstanding. As the team learns the system, they are finding it to be easy to use as well as simple to maintain and calibrate. The initial quality of parts has been outstanding.
PADT’s 3D Printing Services
PADT has been the Southwest’s leading provider of 3D Printing services since the company was started over 23 years ago. The company has survived industry consolidation and a vastly changing landscape by focusing on providing high-quality 3D Printed parts to customers using Fused Deposition Modeling, Polyjet Printing, Selective Laser Sintering, and Stereolithography systems combined with one of the most experienced and knowledgeable teams in the Additive Manufacturing space.
Located in the ASU Research Park in Tempe, Arizona, PADT’s advanced manufacturing facility currently features ten machines dedicated to printing parts for customers. The lab includes a full machine shop, part finishing facilities, and an advanced scanning and inspection capability.
This added capability is yet another reason why so many companies large and small count on PADT for their 3D Printing needs.
Contact us today to learn more about our 3D Printing Services or:
The long-term promise of 3D Printing has always been using the technology to replace traditional manufacturing as a way to make production parts. The various technologies that are considered Additive Manufacturing have been fantastic for prototyping and making tools that are used to manufacturing end-use parts, but rarely work well for production. Carbon is literally turning the 3D printing world upside down by introducing real production capabilities with their systems. And now that PADT has joined Carbon’s Production Partner Program, on-demand manufacturing using 3D Printing is now a reality in the Southwestern US.
The Production Partner program establishes vetted service providers with 3D Printing and manufacturing experience as manufacturing centers. This allows customers who are early adopters of CARBON’s exciting technology, to find a trusted source for their production parts. PADT was chosen to participate because of our twenty-plus years of experience as a 3D Printing service provider and more than $5,000,000 in injection molding projects, along with in-house product development, scanning, simulation, and inspection.
PADT will be adding three Carbon M2 printers to our existing 3D Printing facility at our main office in the ASU Research Park in Tempe, Arizona. The first two machines will be available for production in early 2018, and the third machine will be online by early summer. Customers will then be able to order production quality parts in volume and receive them within a week. PADT’s investment and this partnership make the dream of On Demand manufacturing of complex plastic components a reality.
“We have been looking for a low volume plastic manufacturing solution that uses 3D Printing for some time.” Said Rey Chu, co-owner of PADT “Since we started the company we have been providing soft tooling and rapid injection molding. Once we saw the Carbon DLS technology in action, we knew we found our solution. The part quality and material properties are as close to injection molded as we have ever seen.”
About Carbon’s Disruptive Technology
Carbon has introduced a revolutionary way to 3D Print plastic components called Digital Light Synthesis, or DLS. It combines their proprietary continuous printing technology with programmable liquid resins to create parts with the same strength and surface finish of injection molded parts. The part creation is fast because it is a continuous process, whereas most 3D Printing machines build up one layer at a time with pauses in-between. This continuous process is not only fast, but it also avoids the stair-steps created with layered methods. This results in textured surfaces and a surface finish that no other process can approach.
Programmable materials are the other technology that enables production quality parts. This unique approach joins two liquid resins as the build material; one that hardens with light and the other with heat. The 3D Printer creates the desired geometry of the part by using light to shape the first material. Then a second step uses an oven to harden the heat activated resin, resulting in engineering-grade mechanical properties. Moreover, since the strength comes from a heat cured resin, the properties are the same in every direction. Most 3D Printed parts that use a layered approach are weaker in the build direction. The other significant advantage of including heat activated resins is that they offer a much broader material selection than light activated resins.
PADT’s On-Demand Manufacturing Service
In the past, when PADT’s customers needed parts manufactured with production quality, surface finish, and strength we had to use soft tooling or low-volume injection molding. Both are expensive and take time to make tools. 3D printing is leveraged to make those tools faster, but it still takes time and labor. Production manufacturing could benefit from going directly from a computer model to a finished part, as we do with prototyping. When we first saw an early Carbon sample part we knew that this was a technology we needed to watch. As the technology matured further, it became obvious that this was the process PADT was looking for – this was the type of end-use part our customers were requesting. Then, when the Production Partner program was introduced, we knew we needed to take part.
Our On-Demand Manufacturing service will be built around the Carbon Digital Light Synthesis process. Initially, we will use three Carbon M2 systems, a cleaning station, and a curing oven. This will be placed in the middle of our existing advanced manufacturing facility, allowing us to add machining, hand finishing, painting, and other post-processing steps into each production process as needed.
What sets PADT’s offering apart from other providers of production manufacturing with 3D Printing is that we also provide full product development, simulation, and part scanning services to help customers make sure their designs are correct. Before parts are made, we can use our simulation and design knowledge to make sure everything is correct before production begins. And when the parts are completed, we can use our advanced scanning to inspect and our product development testing to verify performance. By adapting our proven quality to this new technology, we can ensure that every step is done correctly and traceability exists.
You do not have to wait till our production line is up and running. We can start working with customers now on getting their parts ready for manufacturing with Carbon’s breakthrough Digital Light Synthesis. Our experienced staff can evaluate your components and find the best fit, recommend design changes, and work with Carbon to produce samples. And when our line is up, you can hit the ground running and obtain your parts on-demand, when you need them.
- Download the On-Demand Manufacturing brochure
- View the official press release announcing the partnership
- Visit the Carbon website
Take part in the transition of manufacturing to faster, better, and on demand by contacting PADT today to learn more.
It is no mystery that I love my Subaru. I bought it with the intention of using it and I have continually made modifications with a focus on functionality.
When I bought my roof crossbars in order to mount ski and/or bike racks, I quickly realized I needed to get a fairing in order to reduce drag and wind noise. The fairing functions as designed, and looks great as well. However, when I went to install my bike rack, I noticed that the fairing mount was in the way of mounting at the tower. As a result, I had to mount the rack inboard of the tower by a few inches. This mounting position had a few negative results:
- The bike was slightly harder to load/unload
- The additional distance from the tower resulted in additional crossbar flex and bike movement
- Additional interference between bikes when two racks are installed
These issues could all be solved if the fairing mount was simply inboard a few more inches. If only I had access to the resources to make such a concept a reality…. oh wait, PADT has all the capabilities needed to take this from concept to reality, what a happy coincidence!
First, we used our in-house ZEISS Comet L3D scanner to get a digital version of the standard left fairing mount bracket. The original bracket is coated with Talcum powder to aid in the scanning process.
The output from the scanning software is a faceted model in *.STL format. I imported this faceted CAD into ANSYS SpaceClaim in order to use it as a template to create editable CAD geometry to use as a basis to create my revised design. The standard mounting bracket is an injection molded part and is hollow with the exception of a couple of ribs. I made sure to capture all this geometry to carry forward into my redesigned parts, which would make the move to scaled manufacturing of this design easy.
Continuing in ANSYS SpaceClaim, as it is a direct modeling software instead of traditional feature-based modeling, I was able to split the bracket’s two function ends, the crossbar end and fairing end, and offset them by 4.5 inches, in order to allow the bike rack to mount right at the crossbar tower. I used the geometry from the center section CAD to create my offset structure. A mirrored version allows both the driver and passenger side fairing mount to be moved inboard to enable mounting of two bike racks in optimal positions. The next step is to turn my CAD geometry back into faceted *.STL format for printing, which can be done directly within ANSYS SpaceClaim.
After the design has been completed, I spoke with our 3D printing group to discuss what technology and material would be good for these brackets, as the parts will be installed on the car during the Colorado summer and winter. For this application, we decided on our in-house Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) SINTERSTATION 2500 PLUS and glass filled nylon material. As this process uses a powder bed when building the parts, no support is needed for overhanging geometry, so the part can be built fully featured. Find out more about the 3D printing technologies available at PADT here.
Finally, it was time to see the results. The new fairing mount offset brackets installed just like the factory pieces, but allowed the installation of the bike rack right at the tower, reducing the movement that was present when mounted inboard, as well as making it easier to load and unload bikes!!
I am very happy with the end result. The new parts assembled perfectly, just as the factory pieces did, and I have increased the functionality of my vehicle yet again. Stay tuned for some additional work featuring these brackets, and I’m sure the next thing I find that can be engineered better! You can find the files on GrabCAD here.
As the world of manufacturing continues to grow and change, engineers are being challenged to design, test, and evaluate products in increasingly complex environments. In such a time it is necessary to rely on an all-encompassing simulation platform that can handle a variety of physics efficiently, operating as a one stop shop for complete virtual prototyping. ANSYS is that platform!
Join us for this informative seminar including presentations from customers and ANSYS technical experts, focusing on how to effectively implement the ANSYS platform and productivity enhancement tools into your work-flow.
Through this free event we hope to inform you on how a single consolidated platform for complete virtual prototyping can help to drive efficiency across your company!
Date: October 4, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM MST AZ
Location: ASU SkySong – Building 3
1365 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
Check out the full agenda, with presentations covering a plethora of topics including:
- ANSYS Solutions for Additive Manufacturing
- Wireless Connectivity with RF Engineering
- Commercial Antenna Array Work Flow Using ANSYS Electromagnetic Tools
This event will include presentations from customers and ANSYS technical experts alike, focusing on how to effectively implement the ANSYS platform and productivity enhancement tools into your work-flow.
The aerospace industry’s adoption of additive manufacturing is growing and predicted to revolutionize the manufacturing process. However, to meet stringent FAA and EASA requirements, AM-developed aerospace products must be certified that they can achieve the robust performance levels provided by traditional manufacturing methods. Current certification processes are complex and variable, and thus obstruct AM adoption in aerospace.
Thanks to a newly released aerospace package released by Stratasys for their Fortus 900mc printer and ULTEM 9085 resin, Aerospace Organizations are now able to simplify the aviation certification process for their manufactured parts.
Join PADT’s 3D Printing General Manager, Norman Stucker for a live webinar that will introduce you to the new Stratasys aerospace package that removes the complexity from FAA and EASA certification.
By attending this webinar, you will learn:
- How Stratasys can help get more parts certified for flight quicker and easier.
- The benefits of Aerospace Organizations using the Fortus 900mc and ULTEM 9085 resin
- And much more!
Don’t miss your chance to attend this upcoming event,
click below to secure your spot today!
If this is your first time registering for one of our Bright Talk webinars, simply click the link and fill out the attached form. We promise that the information you provide will only be shared with those promoting the event (PADT).
You will only have to do this once! For all future webinars, you can simply click the link, add the reminder to your calendar and you’re good to go!
One of the newest materials available for the Stratasys Fortus 450 users (other machines could have this capability at a later date) is the Nylon 12CF. Nylon 12CF is a Carbon Fiber filled Nylon 12 filament thermoplastic. The carbon fiber is chopped fibers that are 150 microns long. This is Stratasys’ highest strength and stiffness to weight ratio for any of their materials to date as shown below.
Often times, when Stratasys is getting close to releasing a new material, they will allow certain users to be a beta test site. One beta user was Ashley Guy who is the owner of Utah Trikes, which is located in Payson, Utah. He is having so much success with this material that he is making production parts with it. Watch this video to hear more from Ashley and to see some of his 3D printed parts.
Talking with Ashley, he has helped us with understanding some of the tips and tricks to get better results from printing with this material. One change that he highly recommends is to adjust the air gap between raster’s to -.004”. This will force more material between the raster’s so there won’t be as many noticeable air gaps. Here is a visual representation of the air gap difference using Stratasys software Insight:
The end goal at Utah Trikes is to produce production parts with this material, so by adjusting the air gap, the appearance of the parts look close to injection mold quality after the parts have been run through a tumbler. Some key things that I really like about this material is that the support material is soluble and easily removed using PADT’s own support cleaning apparatus (SCA Tank) that aid with the support removal. After the support has been removed, they are placed in a tumbling machine to smooth the surfaces of the part with different media within the tumbling machine. Any post process drilling or installing of helicoil inserts or adding bushings to the part is done manually.
Jerry Feldmiller of Orbital ATK, who also did a beta test of this material at his site in Chandler, Arizona, mentions these 3 tips:
- Nylon12 CF defaults to “Use model material for Support”. 90% of the time I uncheck this option.
- I use stabilizing walls and large thin parts to anchor the part to the build sheet and prevent peal up.
- Use seam control set to Align to Nearest.
Jerry also supplied his Nylon 12CF Tensile Test that he performed for this new material as shown below. He mentions that the Tensile Strength is 8-15 ksi depending on X-Y orientation.
~5 ksi in Z-axis, slightly lower than expected.
This part is used to clamp a rubber tube which replace the old ball valve design at ATK. Ball valves are easily contaminated and have to be replaced. After two design iterations, the tool is functioning.
Jerry also follows a guide that Stratasys offers for running this material. If you would like a copy of this guide, please email me your info and I will send it to you. My email is James.email@example.com
Now onto Stratasys and the pointers that they have for this material. First, make sure the orientation of the part is built in its strongest orientation. Nylon materials have the best layer-to-layer bond when comparing them against the other thermoplastics that Stratasys offers.
Whenever you print with the Nylon materials (Nylon 6, 12, and 12CF), it is advised to print the sacrificial tower so that any loose strands of material are collected in the sacrificial tower instead of being seen on the 3D printed part. You also want to make sure that these materials are all stored in a cool and dry area. Moisture is the filaments worst enemy, so by storing the material properly, this will help tremendously with quality builds.
It is also recommended for parts larger than 3 inches in height to swap the support material for model material when possible. Since the support material has a different shrink factor than the model material, it is advised to print with model material where permitted. This will also speed your build time up as the machine will not have to switch back and forth between model and support material. We have seen some customers shave 5+ hours off 20 hour builds by doing this.
This best practice paper is the quick tips and tricks for this Nylon 12CF material from our users of this material. The Stratasys guide goes into a little more detail on other recommendations when printing with this material that I would like to email to you. Please email me with your info.
Let us know if this material is of interest to you and if you would like us to print a sample part for testing purposes.
PADT and Stratasys have worked with Lockheed Martin to establish a new Additive Manufacturing Laboratory at Metropolitan State University in downtown Denver. The Lockheed Martin Additive Manufacturing Laboratory is the first-of-its-kind facility in Colorado. It is focused on giving students and industry access to the equipment and faculty needed to develop the next generation of manufacturing tooling, based on the use of 3D printing to make the tooling.
This is PADT’s third successful contribution to the creation of Academia + Industry + Equipment Manufacturer lab, the others being at ASU Polytechnic focused on characterization of 3D Printed parts and at Mesa Community College, focused on training the needed technicians and engineers for running and maintaining additive manufacturing systems. These types of efforts show the commitment from Stratasys, industrial partners, and PADT to making sure that the academic side of new manufacturing technology is being addressed and is working with industry.
We reported on the grand opening of the facility here,and are very pleased to be able to announce the official partnership for the Laboratory. Great partners make all the difference.
Nothing makes us happier here at PADT than seeing a customer be successful with technology we worked with them on. When Jack King of DustRam came to us for a prototype for a part on his dust free tile removal product it was just the start of a fantastic journey that showed off the power of 3D Printing. After a few iterations Jack was able to replace his expensive and long lead metal mouthpiece with a plastic one that he could manufacture on demand in his own shop using his Stratasys 3D Printer.
It was such a great story that two publications were interested and wrote far better writeups than I could.
The first is interesting because it is an industry trade magazine for people in the floor installation business. Their perspective is refreshing for those of us who live in the engineering world, getting more into the practical application of the product:
This was preceded by a fantastic article in Additive Manufacturing magazine that gets more into the technical side:
If you want to learn more about how you can use additive manufacturing to produce yout production hardware, contact us today.
PADT recently hosted the Aerospace & Defence Form, Arizona Chapter for a talk and a tour. The talk was on “Additive Manufacturing & Simulation Driven Design, A Competitive Edge in Aerospace” and it was very well received. So well in fact, that we decided it would be good to go ahead and record it and share it. So here it is:
Aerospace engineering has changed in the past decades and the tools and process that are used need to change as well. In this presentation we talk about how Simulation and 3D Printing can be used across the product development process to gain a competitive advantage. In this webinar PADT shares our experience in apply both critical technologies to aerospace. We talk about what has changed in the industry and why Simulation and Additive Manufacturing are so important to meeting the new challenges. We then go through five trends in each industry and keys to being successful with each trend.
If you are looking to implement 3D Printing (Additive Manufacturing) or any type of simulation for Aerospace, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can work to understand your needs and help you find the right solutions.
Download all 5 parts of this series as a single PDF here.
This is my final post in our 5 part series discussing things we learned installing a metal 3D printer (specifically, a laser powder bed fusion machine). If you haven’t already done so, please read the previous posts using the links below.
- Part 1: Equipment
- Part 2: Facilities
- Part 3A: Safety Risks
- Part 3B: Safety Risks – Prevention & Mitigation
- Part 4: Environmental
If you prefer, you can register for a webinar to be held on July 26, 2017 @ 2pm EDT (US) where I will be summarizing all 5 parts of this blog series. Register by clicking on the image below:
Housekeeping may seem too minor a thing to dedicate a post to, but when it comes to metal 3D printing, this is arguably the single most important thing to do on a regular basis once the equipment, facilities, safety and environmental considerations are addressed up front. In this post, I list some of the activities specific to our Concept Laser MLab Cusing R machine that we do on a routine basis as indicative of the kinds of things that one needs to set aside time to do, in order to maintain a safe working environment. In this post, I break down the housekeeping into the 3D printer, the wet separator and the filter change.
1. The 3D Printer
All 3D printers need to be routinely cleaned, but for powder based metal 3D printers, this needs to be done after every build. Three steps need to be performed during cleaning of the printer:
- Powder Retrieval: After the build, the powder is either still in the dose/feed chamber or not. All powder that is not in the dose chamber needs to be brushed to the overflow chamber for recycling. While it is possible to vacuum this powder, that is not recommended since it results in greater loss of powder and also increases the burden on cleaning the vacuum and creating wet waste.
- Process Chamber Cleaning: The process chamber after a build gets covered with fine combustion particles (soot) that need to be wiped away, as shown in Figure 1. The recommendation is to do this cleaning using lint-free or clean room wipes moistened with an ammonia based cleaner like Windex Original.
- Lens Cleaning: Special lens cleaning wipes are to be used to clean the protective lens that separates the chamber from the laser. Standard lens cleaning wipes can be used for this, in a gentle single-pass movement.
It is important to wear appropriate PPE and also NOT contaminate the lens. Improper or irregular cleaning will result in soot particles interfering in subsequent builds. Soot particles can occasionally seen in subsequent builds especially when the inert gas and the ventilator (circulating fan) are turned on – this is more likely to happen if the chamber is not routinely and properly cleaned.
2. Wet Separator
The wet separator (vacuum) sucks up stray powder and suspends it in a water column. The metal particles will descend to the bottom of the water column (as shown in Figure 2) and need to be routinely cleaned out. This cleaning procedure is recommended daily for reactive metals – failing this, the metal particles will weld themselves to the metal container and prove to be very difficult to scrape out. For non-reactive metals, a daily flush may be excessive (since this will add to the cost in terms of labor and disposal) and a weekly routine may be preferable for a wet separator that serves 1-2 machines.
To reduce the water needed to flush out the powder sludge at the bottom, a standard pump sprayer is very effective. Further reduction in water usage and disposal can be achieved by a filtration device such as the one developed by the folks at Kinetic Filtration.
3. Filter Change
Filters need to be changed periodically as shown in Figure 3. A video below (set to start at the 2:58 mark) shows how the filter change is performed for our MLab, for a non-reactive metal, so I shall not describe the procedure further. A reactive metal alloy filter needs to be stored in water to passivate it at all times, even through disposal. Other OEMs recommend sand and other materials, so it is important to follow the specific instructions provided by your supplier for passivation.
Good housekeeping for metal 3D printing is vital and more than just aesthetic – there is a modest chance that failing to follow your supplier’s instructions on one or more of the items above will result in a safety incident. This is especially true for reactive alloys, where filter changes are recommended after each build and wet separator clean on a daily basis.
- This is intended to supplement the supplier training you must receive before using the equipment and not meant to replace it – in case of conflicting information, your supplier’s training and equipment requirements override any discussion here. PADT and the author assume no legal responsibilities for any decisions or actions taken by the readers of this document.
- My personal experience derives specifically from the use of Laser-based metal 3D printing tools, specifically Concept Laser’s MLab Cusing R equipment. I expect majority of this information to be of use to users of other laser based powder bed fusion metal systems and to a lesser extent to Electron Beam systems, but have no personal experience to vouch for this.
This concludes my 5-part post on what we learned installing a metal 3D printer. If you have any thoughts on the content or would like to discuss this subject further, please let me know by messaging me on LinkedIn or by sending an email to email@example.com, citing this blog post. I will be happy to include any suggestions in my posts with due credit.
Thank you for reading – I hope this has added value to the discussion on safely and effectively advancing metal 3D printing technology.