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The Complexity of Rapid Prototyping

The complexity of the geometry required for rapid prototyping is fuzzy. The only things indisputable are limited cases. The choices for inexpensive CNC equipment are large. These machines use improved software and address the recent market for rapid prototyping. This equipment does require a basic knowledge of machining. When the end result has compound surfaces and complex curves additive technology is the obvious choice. This method may not work for the final material but will avoid complex set ups, calculations and numerous daunting tasks. If the part with an accurate reflection of the desired geometry is obtained, they are many different ways to change it into another material. Additive technologies are an excellent choice due to the complex shapes in the world. The majority of consumer products from shampoo bottles to automobile parts would be very hard to make without machine subtractive. Many items are hard to describe externally, internally and mathematically. A lot of parts have an odd shape making them difficult to machine. This is just as true for items such as jewelry, sculptures and modern architectural forms. Some people believe a line needs to be drawn at some point because the defining feature of the item can force the production in a specific direction. The answer may not always be apparent but the determination is easier due to the additive nature of the technology.

The Implications of Geometric Complexity

If complex geometry is not involved, most people will not give a second though to additive technologies. Despite this, there are reasons to use this technology. It is not difficult to understand the methods used for additives for a complex machining task. A great deal of time can be saved; a tool of complex parts can be made fast and the time to market greatly reduced. It is not obvious the technology can be effectively used to change the way the product is created. Objects with a lot of complexity can be designed and a unique functionality can be achieved only by employing additive methods. This means the fact this process exists enables the complexity to change the item originally intended. The perfect example of the influence of RP as an application of materials and geometry are the injection molds developed specifically to make plastic parts. Cooling channels are incorporated into the mold and follow the parts contours. The composition of the metals is varied throughout the volume of the mold. This enables molded plastic parts to be made at a significantly reduced cost and a much faster rate. This would be impossible without the controls used for additive fabrication.

The Geometric Control

Additive fabrication provides a geometric control enabling more economical manufacturing. If the goal is the creation of a million copies of a specific part, it becomes possible to easily pay to produce an expensive tool. This is because the cost can be divided through the manufacturing of a large amount of tools. The process will become much more expensive when only a few hundred items are being made. If the tool is fairly complex, the parts will be more expensive and this will affect the cost of the tool. Additive technology often enables a tool to be made at a substantially lower cost or much quicker. When the final part can be fabricated, the tool itself can sometimes be eliminated. It is always important to consider a physical part may be unnecessary. Virtual prototyping is consistently improving. This may be adequate if a check is conducted for interference and the appearance is judged. No matter how advanced virtual modeling becomes, it will never be possible to hook an image to a plane or use as an implant in the human body.

Patent Applications for Additive in the United States

There are 6,000 patent documents in the United States regarding additive fabrication. This means the straightforward approach is over and it is almost impossible to prevent one worker from interfering with another. Cross licensing and licensing have become common and now requires a strategy for intellectual property regarding technology and business plans. Most of these patents are to gather competitive intelligence for a defensive and offensive strategy. When benefits are ignored they go to the competitors. Competitors can shut each other down and restrict freedom. The use of intellectual property must be understood to avoid trouble and compete effectively. Most companies do not pay attention to competitors. This can result in an erosion of the company’s place in the technological market. Competitive intelligence is gathering and analyzing information gained from public sources. It is easy to find a competitors brochures, new releases, trade press articles, white papers and SEC filings. The top of the list should be patents.

The Importance of the Patent

Patents provide information not found anywhere else and the material they contain is daunting. Patents are critical because they uncover competitive infringements, threats and opportunities, guide the technical process and provide insight into the future plans of the competitors. Patents are the foundation to evaluate opportunities and candidates for acquisitions and mergers. Correspondence can be monitored and insight into the business strategies of the competitors gained. Competitive intelligence is the beginning of a plan of action. It is critical for a company to understand the direction taken by their competitors. This will enable strategies to protect and improve the businesses financial and market positions by blocking the competitors. The uniqueness of the service and products are maintained while providing differentiation for the brand. Patents can block the patents of the competitors, obtain delays and initiate litigation. The interactions do not need to be hostile. Discussions between the competitors are often effective.

Patent Tracking

A patent council can keep companies aware of new developments and most services are web based. It is difficult to track additive fabrication because of the new terminology. These new terms are used to hide information. Another issue is patents encompass a lot of territory so technologies can overlap. The different technologies also make it hard to ensure discrete categories. The overlapping of the technologies mean all markets of interest must be tracked. Fused deposition modeling is different than 3D printing but many applications use both. This makes it necessary to track additional developments. Patent attorneys are now familiar with additive fabrication capabilities. Terms are being used to include other fields without any impact on the market or technological development. Patent tracking requires a wide range of technical knowledge and diligence regarding search terms. This means a greater effort is required for additive fabrication patent tracking than most other fields.

The Alert System

Organization is the first step in building an intellectual property strategy and an integrated business. Invention assignment and confidentiality agreements should be signed by the consultants and employees. The education of the workforce should be continual. A solid understanding of the importance of IP for the company must be a priority for the sales, marketing and engineering personnel. They must be able to look outward and inward to scan for threats from the competition, strategic opportunities and infringements. This includes the R&D efforts and patent portfolio of the company. This process may involve audits for intellectual property agreed upon by the outside patent control. These audits can effectively reveal the industry’s emerging technologies and the company’s patentable technology. The audit typically includes extensive interviews with the employees and systematically analyzing the technology of the competitor. This type of audit is annually conducted by Hewlett Packard.

The Astonishing 3D Printed Camper

History is full of stories about 3D printed houses. A new trend has begun due to a unique project occurring in Canada. A camper trailer thirteen feet long will be presented by the Wave of the Future 3D. Facebook will be broadcasting the even live for ten to fourteen days. The expectations are the size of the camper will break a world record. The Wave of the Future 3D’s founder and an RV company product specialist is Randy James. He believes 3D printing is capable of eliminating roughly 95 to 100 percent of all issues with campers. Create Cafe is a coffee shop and 3D printing workshop. The live 3D printing will also be hosted at their store. They have stated 3D printing can solve any problem. The name of this spectacular camper is The Wave. Large scale, custom built ErectorBot will be used for the 3D printing. This is believed to be the biggest 3D indoor printer in North America and the only one known throughout Canada. Randy Janes owns the ErectorBot 3D printer. The build areas are 28 feet in length, 7 feet in width and 7 feet in height. The idea is for the trailer to be 3D printed as one single piece. This will be accomplished with PETG plastic feedstock.


The Construction of the Wave

The Wave is equipped with a unique body to make to the strongest camper ever made. The trailer contains absolutely no seams, screws, nails or wood. This trailer will set a world record and be the largest item ever produced by Create Cafe. The record breaking potential of the Wave is because it is only one piece. A thirty foot 3D printed submarine hull was printed by the ORNL or the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the United States Army. This was the biggest 3D printed asset but six different parts were required for the assembly. The previous Guinness World Record is also held by ORNL. This is a 3D printed tool for the wing of a Boeing airplane. The ORNL tool measures 17.5 feet in length, 1.5 feet in height and 5.5 feet in width. These specifications must be beat by The Wave to establish a new world record.

The Necessary Collaborations

Collaboration with Saskatchewan Polytechnic was required for the 3D printing necessary for The Wave. An applied research grant was used for the collaboration of developing high flow, customized nozzles to push 3D printing to the edge. This partnership is on the cutting edge of 3D printing and created unique opportunities for the students to learn. The partnership is working well for both sides as they learn and share their expertise to solve the common problems found in the real world. When The Wave is finished, it will weigh approximately 600 pounds. The life expectancy of the camper is 100 years. The camper has the ability to be mobile and re-purposed in numerous different ways such as an ice fishing hut. It is possible The Wave will become one of the best innovations for the year. There are already mini models and digital plans of The Wave available for viewing at the Creative Cafe. Only time will determine, if records are broken or new innovations achieved in the world of 3D printing with this unique project.

The Newest 3D Printers Support the Industrial Revolution

The definition of 3D printing is the process of creating solid, three dimensional objects using a digital file. The creation of this object is achieved through an additive process. Successive layers of material are layered until the desired object has been successfully created. The 4th industrial revolution is being supported by HP with their new 3D printers. Four new printers have been launched and are capable of printing multiple materials using an identical print and printing in full color. These 3D printers include the Jet Fusion 500 and 300. They are available in a choice of color or black and white models. This is the next logical step towards democratizing 3D printing.

The Voxel Level

This line was created for medium to small operations. The pricing is dependent on the specific configuration. This type of printer is a fairly significant investment but is not considered to be large for companies interested in development and prototype without the need to outsource. These two printers stand out from the competition because they are able to perform at a voxel level. The voxel level is very important because the voxel is similar to a 3D pixel. This is what 3D printers require to make any object and to create objects in full color. The technology of 3D printing is currently experiencing rapid growth. There are new purposes being discovered for these printers on a consistent basis.

The New Capabilities and Growth of the 3D Printer

HP is already working with the Yazaki Corp., the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Youngstown State University to discover new purposes for the technology of 3D printing. The Phoenix Children’s Hospital has been able to use 3D printing technology in full color to recreate a model of the heart of a patient that is both anatomically correct and contains a complex defect. The reason for this endeavor was to provide physicians a much better visualization of an optimal path for surgery. This model also makes it a lot easier for the doctor to explain how the procedure is accomplished to the family. This process involves much more than just the color. HP needs to develop numerous different materials. These will be used to optimize the voxel level of the Jet Fusion printers. HP is trying to boost their Open Platform by establishing partnerships with companies such as SolidWorks.

The Design of the 3D Printer

This means that while a design is being printed, the material can be changed by the Jet Fusion printer. This action is able to make alterations in the final product. A good example would be using 3D printing for a shoe insert. The top can be made from a material much like fabric. The shoe can provide optimal support with a springy platform. With 3D printing, this can be accomplished using just one process. This is exactly what the Jet Fusion printers have been created to accomplish. In addition, the printer can also add colors to the shoe. These printers are a good example of what can be accomplished using the latest advances in technology. HP believes 3D printing represents a vital component for the fourth industrial revolution. It does appear they are right on course due to the release of their new 3D printers, the consistent improvements and the program they have established to locate new partners.

Accuracy and Precision

Accuracy is the difference between the intended and actual finished dimension. There are accuracy specifications for linear dimensions, flatness and whole sizes. This issue is critical and additive technologies have improved the standards. The process is complex because additive methods are all different, the cutting tool is used as a point of reference, there are multiple operations, a complex chemistry and energy exchanges to consider. Subtractive technology is incorporated using additive technologies. This becomes an important part of the process and increases the absolute accuracy. This is because any compounded errors due to the additive process can be corrected using subtractive technology. This is the reason the method based on an inkjet has a distinctive edge. The parts produced are equal to or near CNC accuracy. The versatility of the materials and the speed are the tradeoffs for other RP methods. The majority of the other methods are within approximately a few millimeters. A qualitative idea can be established by beginning with stereolithography because the results are accurate. Powder and LOM methods have less accuracy. The final number depends on the dimensions measured, the part’s geometry, the material and numerous additional factors.

The Finishes

The appearance and finish of the part are related to the accuracy but are dependent on the additive technology. Powder based technology provides a diffuse or sandy appearance and sheet based methods provide a poorer finish. The resolution is the minimum increments of dimension achieved by the system. This partially determines the accuracy, appearance and finish. Some systems have received modifications to produce a finer feature but have limits regarding the size of the parts fabricated. A second material is generally required to paint, sand, polish, fill or infiltrate to decrease the level of porosity. The minimum feature size is the detailing that can be reproduced. The mathematical definitions are based on a minimum curvature. Non-metallic parts are used directly or after finishing operations. Parts made from three dimensional printing are fragile and may not hold up to the normal stresses of shipping and handling. This is counteracted by adding a wax or cyanoacrylate adhesive for added durability. All additive methods require secondary operations prior to the final tolerance and finishes.

The Speed and Basic Costs

All additive technology is slow. It can take days to build a part. This is still quicker than subtractive methods. Complex parts can require a week of machining. Raster based additive methods are quicker but the fastest is 3D printing. Inkjets only require a couple nozzles to make objects with a high resolution. The ancillary secondary operations must be considered for an accurate view of the speed. Secondary finishing operations and file preparation must also be taken into account. Each variable is an important factor into the time required for each part. Professional systems for additive fabrication cost between $3,000 and $800,000. The less expensive machines have a thermoplastic extrusion base. The more expensive machines specialize in laser sintering and stereolithography. The right machine is dependent on numerous factors including material requirements, application and cost.

Additional Costs Include…

The additional costs include maintenance, housing and training. A laser replacement in a stereolithography system can cost in excess of $20,000. This will be necessary at some point in time. Some technologies have complex operating procedures and the capital cost is high. Some companies find considerable savings by purchasing a used system. This type of purchase is often limited because the license for operating the software is not transferrable. This information can be established through the manufacturer. There are also companies specializing in leasing and selling RP systems that have been previously owned. There are additionally certain manufactures that make refurbished equipment available. A fully assembled hobbyist machine sells for between $500 and $3,000. They are not as accurate, have poor support and warranties and make it difficult to use software. They will work well for rudimentary parts and fit models.

Perfect to Discover Well-Known Places from a New Perspective

If you have ever watched your favorite show and wanted to see a 3D model of the set, the only real option that was possible was that of online blueprints that were leaked online in the dead of night. My how technology has changed as these days, you can see actual 3D models of your favorite offices from hit television shows. This has taken the world of fandom to a whole new level and brought a new aspect to the whole 3D model of houses world. There is also a personal side that comes with this often as this can be useful in helping to map out a home for several purposes.

3D Television Homes

This is a new era in the love of our favorite shows and as a result, it has led to many people that want to have a way to enjoy their favorite shows. Homes from these shows can be hard to recreate if you don’t have the exact layout of the house. Even floor plans will only go so far as they can only give you a basic layout.

With 3D scanning, you are able to get perfect models that show off every detail down to the pictures that sit on a desk. This level of detail is unlike anything that has ever been seen in the last few years. This will allow you the chance to see your favorite television show sets in a way that was never possible in the past.

3D Scanning a Home for Personal Reasons

Sometimes you see a home and you wonder what it looks like on the inside. Before the advent of technology, you were left wondering this and had no way to find out. Then came along 3D scanning and the entire game changed, this allows details that were once never able to be seen unless the home was part of an open house to be seen. Many real estate companies are using this technology to help and reach more potential buyers.

The use of drones has given the real estate sales people an upper hand that they may not have had in the past. The drone can take pictures from various angles and give potential buyers a perspective from different vantage points. This will be a lot better than the days of walking around and taking some photos of the interior and leaving the rest up to the buyer’s imagination.

Bird’s Eye View of Cities

This may sound like a concept from another time, but the truth of the matter is that 3D mapping of a city has a lot of real advantages that you might not normally think about. Things like trying to determine what a house will look like when it is built were things that once were just left to chance and you hoped the outcome was decent. As time has progressed, the advances have been fast and great in this area and have allowed experts to map out a city area and give potential home builders a perspective as to what the view will be for a home or even an office building that is being planned.

3D Scanning for Home Builders

There are a lot of people that are looking to build their dream home in a city. In the old days, this would have been difficult to accomplish as you would not really have a shot at knowing what the view from your home. Thanks to the advancements made in 3D scanning, this is more able to deliver a more comprehensive idea of what things will look like when you wake up in the morning to have your coffee, or in the evening after a long day of working.

Having this information will be helpful in determining if a certain area that you are planning on building in will be right for you or not. Taking a little time to look at this in depth will give you a much better perspective as opposed to the old days of having to take an educated guess. This will give perspective builders a chance to pick the right view for their home.

3D Scanning for Buildings

In regards to buildings, there are a lot of people that will see the many advantages that come from this technology. It is an old saying in real estate and that is location, location, location. This is true in the fact that when a building is constructed, if the view is not what it should be, you can’t just pick the building up and move it, you have to live with the decision that you have made. As the technology gets to be more advanced, there is an increased amount of precision that can come from picking the right location. This was something that was almost unheard back in the early days.

Today, you can know how well will the current be in and around your building or where the sun will hit at the right time in the right place. All of these facts can be crucial in the locating of a building to help and get the ideal location. Many of the bigger companies these days are using this technology to plan out where they are going to build their headquarters. If even one detail is off, the whole experience will not be as great as it had been hoped for. With a little planning and a little money, you can work with an expert that will scan the area and give you as close to a real estimate on things as possible.

3D Printing Applications in Health and Food Industry

This technology envelops almost all areas of industry. 3D printing finds its application in the field of medicine, aerospace, shipping, chemical and food industry. With the on-going refinement in the existing technology it is capable of finding its application in almost anything we can think of.

Food Industry

This industry is one of key elements of life which is at the base of the pyramid of human needs. Conveying the sustenance business to the advanced age is one of the fundamental and progressive utilizations of 3D printing. Applying this innovation empowers quick computerized and repeatable procedures, flexibility in configuration, and additionally permitting huge and simple fluctuation of the cooking procedure which can be tweaked for every area or person. Utilizing mechanical layer based sustenance printing frameworks permits the formula of the nourishment to be digitized and spared keeping in mind the end goal to get ready extremely repeatable and fantastic dishes with no edge for administrator blunder. Likewise, the shape and improvement of the nourishment can be individualized in light of the client or the event.


Medical and health care is another sector where we find this application will be of enormous benefit. Across the world there is a growing need for organ transplantation and organ donations needs. Organ transplants have been effectively led for as far back as century; in any case, there has dependably been a lack of contributors or a failure to discover a match between the benefactor and beneficiary in time. 3D printing is a propelled late innovation in this field which can be a progressive option with an assortment of uses in the transplant and medicinal services industry when all is said in done. 3D printing examination is explored in different fields inside the social insurance industry; some of which are talked about in this area.

Specialists have demonstrated that 3D printed parts can be utilized as bone swap for individuals whom lost some portion of their skull or jaw in a mishap.

Dental industry has been utilizing counterfeit material for dentures, orthodontics, embed, crown, and extensions for a long time. As these parts are uniquely designed for every individual, the procedure is both tedious and costly. Immediate and aberrant 3D printing, to be specific printing the real part or a form, has been appeared to be a less expensive and quicker other option to traditional systems. 3Dprinting of human tissue and organs can upset the social insurance industry by augmenting the normal future and incredibly enhancing the personal satisfaction for a huge number of individuals. Organ beneficiaries will no longer need to sit tight months or years for a contributor with the right blood classification, organ transplant dismissal will be canceled, unlawful human trafficking for organ gathering can be limited, and war and mishap amputees can by and by increase full versatility. 3D bio-printing may have phenomenal outcomes on regenerative prescription and personal satisfaction while limiting moral and religious issues which presently encompass human developing life procedures.

These are just a few examples of the immense potential this technology holds. The amount of funds put into research and fine tuning the technology will help in many more areas of human life finding its application.

Protected Against Destruction

Those that ignore the decaying historic places and cities are bound to wake up one day to them being gone. This is a harsh reality that many of us are having to face as war and time have destroyed and chipped away at the historic significance that these places have. This is not just a problem in war-torn areas or places that have been abandoned. Places like Mount Rushmore are suffering from erosion and without the use of 3D scanning, they may never be saved and we will lose all records of them even existing. Unlike with scanning to fix broken pieces or to imitate a work of art, this type of scanning is used to preserve a digital version of these places.

Efforts to Save War-Torn Areas

There is an immense amount of effort being made to help and save a lot of the areas that have been war torn over the last several years. Before certain parts of the Middle East were attacked by ISIS, researchers went in and took 3D scans of the area to have a digital record of these places in case they were destroyed. One of these areas hit was Aleppo.

Here there were photos taken as well as 3D scans to preserve every detail of the area. Looking at these today as compared to the images we see coming out of the city have proven that the area was hard hit and had those scans not been in place, we would have lost the glory that Aleppo once represented. This is just one example of how 3D scanning has made sure that generations that come after us, are not put into a situation that they forget the history that once stood in these war-torn areas.

Fighting the Effects of Erosion

There is a strong effort being made to help and fight back the damage that is being done by erosion. Natural monuments and landmarks are showing the scars that have been part of the erosion process. Mount Rushmore is one of these areas that after decades of being exposed to the elements, are not hold up well and beginning to show signs of wear and tear. Scanning has been used in an effort to help and save in a digital form this landmark seeing as though it is not possible to do anything major to help reverse the damage.

This is something that was never possible many years ago, and thus, places that could have been scanned, have to live solely in the form of pictures and some areas are just lost forever due to never being photographed. This history that has been lost will never be salvaged again.

Going out of the way to capture history is still a very vital tool that researchers have in helping to preserve history for those generations that come later down the road. One day kids will be able to study and learn Mount Rushmore even if it is not in the glory of days’ past.

3D Scan for Making Replicas of Sculptures

Scanning sculptures is something new that we are seeing over the last few years. It has caught on in popularity for the mere fact that is cannot only help to repair damaged pieces of art, but it can also be used to expose more people to these magnificent pieces of art that might not otherwise be seen by new people on a regular basis. This article will discuss the process of 3D scanning and create replicas of sculptures as well as other pieces of art.

3D Scanning to Repair Damaged Sculptures

Taking the time to repair some of the damage that is created by time on a sculpture can salvage the piece and allow it to remain on display. This is a far cry from the old days where people had to take a sculpture off display simply in order to preserve it for future generations. With the new advances, this leads to more and more people to be able to see these sculptures and enjoy them as they were meant to be. If a sculpture does become damaged, there can be a simple 3D scan done on it to map out the damaged area and then simply print out a piece that will fit perfectly.

One example of this could be the Liberty Bell, we are all used to the crack that is in the side of it. Technology has come far enough that this crack could be fixed and for the first time in years, the Liberty Bell could be whole again. This is just one of the many examples of how this technology is able to be used to take something that was originally damaged or has become damaged and help to restore it to its perfect state.

3D Scanning to Make Replicas

Pieces of art that are home to one museum may not be seen by anyone unless they come to the museum, even in a virtual tour, these pieces may not be included in order to entice you to come in and see it in person. With the advancements made in 3D scanning, you are now able to see these sculptures in person at your local museum. This is all in part to being able to scan the original and then creating a replica out of many different printable materials.

One such example is a piece that was part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was recently scanned and a 3D model of it was made and put on tour going to several museums around the country. The replica was so close to the original, that curators at the museum had to be careful not to send the actual sculpture by accident.

This process will be getting more and more advanced as the years go by and eventually this will lead to a new chance for people to see these works of art that might not otherwise have ever been seen by anyone else. 3D scanning to make replicas is going to in the end lead to a new experience for those that love art and those whose job is to bring that art to the public.