coming Soon: Additive Manufacturing Complete Learning Guide & Industrial Case Studies

Understanding STL File and 3D CAD to STL conversion

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The STL (Standard Triangle Language) is the industry standard file type for 3D Printing. It uses a series of triangles to represent the surfaces of a solid model. All modern CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software allows you to export their native file format into STL. The 3D model is then converted into machine language (G-code) through a process called “slicing” and is ready to print. A common question we get in this industry is, “How do I translate my 3D CAD files into. STL files?”  Normally, STL creation is accomplished by exporting or “Saving as” a. STL file after all manipulations and adjustments have been completed. We’ll do the hard part of getting a machine ready to print your project.

Learn about what is.STL, and how to export different CAD files to .STL file.

Including Thinkecad, Sketchup, Autodesk Inventor, CATIA, IronCAD, PTC Creo, Rhino, SoldiEdge, SolidWorks, NX, ZBrush, Maya, etc

3D Printing: Quick tips
for going from CAD design to printed object

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All 3D prints start with a design. When the design you want to print is your own, you’ll need to use 3D modeling, or computer-aided design (CAD), software to bring your idea to reality. The object can be as simple or complex as you want, although it’s best to avoid models that are very thin or small.

If you’re used to traditional manufacturing, you’ll discover that your approach to design as well as manufacture needs to change for 3D printing.

How 3D printing helps in industry 4.0

Production & Manufacturing 

Supply Chain & Logistics

Product Development

Production Cost

Demand Planning

Inventory

Offshore imports -> Local

Global -> Last Mile

Slow -> Fast

High -> Low

Uncertain -> Predictable 

Physical -> Digital

Prototyping

Exploration of the shape, size, and appearance of a product is key to the design workflow. This basic understanding informs the direction of the project and brings an idea from abstract concept to physical object. Previously, initial prototyping stages were constrained to drawings and hand-assembled physical models, both of which are time consuming, lo-fidelity methods of communicating ideas.

With the barrier to obtaining prototypes lowered significantly by industrial 3D printing, creators can flesh out ideas in CAD from the beginning of ideation, accelerating the design process from the get-go. This leaves more opportunities to iterate upon geometries, truncating the amount of time spent on creating design concepts and implementing new ideas. Positron Additive help to create highly accurate parts quickly, which makes for a more efficient, less tedious start to the product design cycle.

Form & Fits

Visual Inspection

Design Iterations

Manufacturing

Manufacturing involves turning raw materials into final parts. Production costs can influence the bottom line more than any other expense in the manufacturing cycle. Whether carried out by humans or by automated systems, inefficiencies and downtimes in a production line drain money; companies rapidly lose cash every second that a factory isn’t producing parts.

3D printers increase line efficiency and mitigate expensive blips in production. Printing parts bypasses CAM and involves fewer hours of skilled labor than traditional methods, allowing for rapid, inexpensive fabrication of fixturing, brackets, and jigs. It also enables customization at a lower cost, allowing you to optimize your manufacturing line with less startup costs. Finally, replacement parts can be printed without stressing machine shop bandwidth, keeping your production line running at maximum efficiency.

Jigs & Fixtures

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Robotic Grippers

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Mechanical Components

Testing

The reliability and performance of prototypes and their subsystems need to be repeatedly tested to verify that their functionality meets expectations. Part of this step involves creating supplemental testing hardware such as brackets and workholding for the parts being assessed. It is inefficient to machine this hardware; geometries tend to be complex and change throughout the prototyping process. Lead times can be especially detrimental at this stage in the product development cycle because they may delay the prototype from being pushed to mass production.

Hardware for tests must be durable and rigid to ensure that results are repeatable. 3D printing combine the ease and speed of additive manufacturing with the strength and reliability found in machined metal parts to produce test fixtures that are robust enough for a testing environment. In addition to added efficiency, 3D printers help speed up the whole iteration process. As systems are reworked and geometries evolve, new fixtures can be printed overnight without the pain of machining custom parts.

CMM Fixtures

Test Fixtures

Workholdings

Batch Manufacturing & End Use Parts

Initial investment in traditional manufacturing is very high, including design iterations, machining setup, mold making and other hidden costs. Also which minimize the design freedom, complexity of parts and other process limitations, With 3D Printing you can directly go from CAD design to Final part saving lots of time and initial investment with freedom to designs and part geometry. With 3D printing we can batch manufacture parts with predictable demand planning, helping many startups.