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CADD Edge 3D Printing Blog

World's First and Fastest 3D Printed Jet-Powered Drone Cuts Production Time 50%

Posted by Marcus Weddle on November 11, 2015 at 10:21 AM

Today we bring you another exciting aerospace application that shows where additive manufacturing is headed for end-use parts. Aurora Flight Sciences teamed up with Stratasys to create a UAV (unmanned aircraft or drone) using 80% 3D printed parts. The result? A mere 33-pound vehicle with a 9-foot wingspan and 150+MPH flight speed. What’s more impressive is the project design and build time were cut 50% over traditional methods.

How did they do it? To begin, it is notable that multiple additive manufacturing techniques including fused deposition modeling (FDM), laser sintering (SLS) and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) were used in tandem. One of the FDM materials of choice was ASA—a thermoplastic with performance characteristics superior to ABS, but similar cost and ease of use with soluble support. With it, designers have increased freedom, such as incorporating wiring pathways and even assemblies that are created inside the printer.

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PolyJet 3D Printing for LSR Molding and Soft-touch Jigs/Fixtures

Posted by Juan Carlos Gandiaga on October 29, 2015 at 1:56 PM

Watch the video above as CADD Edge application engineer Juan Carlos Gandiaga explains two applications well-suited for Stratasys PolyJet 3D printing technology. These two applications are LSR molding of silicone rubber and jigs/fixtures with soft-touch features to keep from damaging finished parts.

Our range of Stratasys Objet printers all feature PolyJet technology, where liquid resin is cured with UV light. The printers are office-safe and feature easy post-processing. Contact us to speak more about what can be done for your organization using this technology.

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Game-Changing Tech: Additive Manufacturing for Spacecraft Using Stratasys FDM

Posted by Marcus Weddle on October 23, 2015 at 4:50 PM

For aerospace applications, replacing traditionally manufactured metal parts with strong thermoplastics saves weight and cuts lead time, as we explained in an earlier post about the new Airbus A350X airliner. But for United Launch Alliance (ULA), reducing the complexity of assemblies using 3D printing is another critical benefit. International Business Times recently spoke with ULA on their current use of additive manufacturing, and where they’re headed in the future.

ULA designs rockets, and has several Fortus 900mc 3D printers from Stratasys to help them in their quest for “better, faster and lighter designs,” according to Structural Engineer Kyle Whitlow1. ULA’s program manager for additive manufacturing, Greg Arend, adds that the technology has already saved “over $1M a year by 3D printing rocket components from plastic. In addition, ULA is saving over 50%, and in some cases 95%, by 3D printing rocket components over traditional methods.”2

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Injection Mold Prototyping Using Stratasys 3D Printing Tested by HASCO

Posted by Juan Carlos Gandiaga on September 29, 2015 at 9:00 AM

HASCO, makers of standardized mold products, faced a common design challenge. Their initial design for an ABS plastic sealing screw required a wall thickness too large for traditional injection molding. So they redesigned the part using a thinner wall, but instead of creating an aluminum tool to test the design, they 3D printed the mold design using Stratasys additive manufacturing technology.

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Direct Metal 3D Printing Through Partner InterPRO

Posted by Marcus Weddle on September 18, 2015 at 12:19 PM

We often hear the question "What metal materials can you print in?" Before moving down the path toward 3D printed metal parts it's always good to think about why metal is essential.The main reason we setup this gated question is due to costs involved in metal printing. After determining the application we can identify which path to proceed down. 

Assuming that you do in fact require metal our reply is that there are basically two paths to metal parts using 3D printing: direct printing and casting. What tends to get the headlines is direct printing, but the more common method is printing a part using FDM or PolyJet, then using that as a pattern for investment casting into the metal of your choice.

However, sometimes the part geometry or other factors simply requires direct metal 3D printing. This process is a complex one, so that's why we often recommend an experienced partner company for this service.

We are therefore excited to share our newest partnership: InterPRO in Deep River, Connecticut. Their business serves a wide range of on-demand 3D printing needs, plus CNC milling and prototyping finishing services.

In the two-part video below, InterPRO president Kevin Dyer explains both direct metal 3D printing (also called additive manufacturing) and the use of FDM parts as patterns for metal casting.

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How to Create FDM Assemblies on Fortus 3D Printers

Posted by Juan Carlos Gandiaga on September 4, 2015 at 11:54 AM

A key advantage of additive manufacturing/3D printing is that you can create an assembly of parts right out of the printer. Even something like meshed gears or other moving parts can be designed without thinking “How will this be assembled?” This freedom brings big savings in labor and opens up dramatically streamlined part designs.

Yet if you’ve held a 3D printed assembly with gears, you might wonder exactly how does the software “know” how to keep meshed gears separate? It’s actually quite simple, and this post will explain how it works.

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Reducing 3D Printing Build Time and Cost Using Fortus Insight Software

Posted by Juan Carlos Gandiaga on August 11, 2015 at 12:58 PM

Here's a great example of how 3D printing software can dramatically impact part cost and print time. We are using Insight software, which is only available for Stratasys Fortus printers. In the video below, you'll see how this software gives users extra control over build parameters.

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Faster, Cheaper RTV Silicone Molding Using FDM and PolyJet 3D Printing

Posted by Juan Carlos Gandiaga on July 13, 2015 at 11:15 AM

Are you creating any parts that are cast using silicone molding? If so, consider how 3D printing can dramatically speed up the process of creating the pattern. Here’s a quick guide to how it works—and the potential benefits.

Casting parts from silicone molds is a three-stage process.

  1. Create a positive physical part of the final design—the pattern. For the typical RTV molding process, the material for the pattern is not subjected to high heat or pressures. However, the surface quality of the final part (assuming no final post-processing) is dictated by the surface finish of this pattern.
  2. Cover the pattern in silicone to form a silicone mold. The mold will be designed to divide into pieces to allow for the pattern to be removed and the final material to be injected.
  3. Casting of the part using the silicone mold. Note that the original pattern is not used for this step. This step can be repeated using the same silicone mold for multiple final parts.
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Stratasys Updates Software for More Material Options on FDM Printers

Posted by Marcus Weddle on June 30, 2015 at 11:26 AM

We’re excited to share with you some new capabilities for Fortus FDM printers from Stratasys. These new features are through a new version of the Insight software, which runs Fortus 250mc and higher printers.

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Open House in Marlborough, Recording of 3D Printed Injection Mold Talk

Posted by Marcus Weddle on June 19, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Note: This blog post is regarding a past event, and therefore signup links have been removed.

Mark your calendars for July 24th, as we are opening up our headquarters in Marlborough, MA for a day of learning about CAD, 3D printing, and additive manufacturing. The event starts at 8:30, with regularly scheduled presentations.

New On-demand Video On Injection Molding

We are also pleased to share one of our previous presentations by David Stockbower. He spoke at our Open House earlier this month on 3D printing prototype injection mold tooling. Watch the video below and learn more about this exciting new application.

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