Creating Custom Fixtures with 3D Printing

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Creating custom machining and assembly fixtures is often a costly and time-consuming process. Using 3D printing, custom fixtures can be created in a fraction of the time at a cost that is justifiable for short run parts and one-offs. To demonstrate this, I have this scaled model for an engine cover. This shape is highly complex and cutting this from modeling foam can be a challenge because of the materials brittle nature.  Because of the constraints of the machine I […]

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What’s New With Materialise Magics 24

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With this year’s new version, Magics 24, comes some great improvements to help your model preparation even further. These new features include the ability to apply chambers as well as fillets to the edges of part files. The fillet tool was also improved to work with more contours in a single operation. The honeycomb tool now allows you to define a depth from surface. In the sintering module, the controls for nesting parts have been improved. Parts orientation can be […]

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Tips for Using Manual Surfacing Tools in Creaform’s VxModel

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The manual surfacing tool in Creaform’s VxModel software is a very powerful tool when reverse engineering complex surface parts. However, this power can be a challenge to tame. To help you take advantage of this powerful tool I have created this short guide. The main concept behind using this tool is creating 4 sided shapes covering any area of interest on your part. To start creating the shape, left click on the scan and proceed to add intermediate points with […]

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Streamlining In Process Inspections With Handheld Scanning

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Streamlining In Process Inspections With Handheld 3D Scanning In process inspections are a necessary evil when producing machined parts. They can be time consuming, especially in the case of parts with complex geometries. Either a part has to be checked in the machine with hand tools only taking simple measurements or removed from the machining center and placed in a CMM to gather all of the measurements and GD&T data. One way provides more information about the part but costs […]

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3D Scanning: I Can See It, but How Do I Measure It?

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Sometimes it can be a challenge to get the measurement you need from an existing part. The part may not have any consistent geometry to get a reference from or the part may be installed in an area where physical measurement tools are impractical. These kinds of situation can be an excellent place for 3D optical scanners to help improve your workflow. In this case, the drive shaft alignment on a vehicle needs to be measured after a suspension lift […]

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Printing in Multiple Colors on the Stratasys F123 Series

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Even though the F123 series only prints in one model material at a time it is still possible to incorporate multiple colors of the same base material in one print. This method is great for embossed and raised lettering or symbols. Adding color effects like this starts with adding a pause in the build so that the loaded material can be changed. Creating pauses in GrabCAD is done while in the Show Slice View Tab. Use the slider on the […]

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Optimizing Support Material Usage for FDM

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The fundamentally different nature of FDM printing grants a vast amount of freedom when it comes to what can be printed. That freedom, however, usually comes at the cost of large amounts of support material usage. Internal cavities, overhangs, nested parts, and functional joints are all possible because of sacrificial support material. Today I would like to share a method with you that allows for complex features but helps conserve support material. That method is to print multi-part structures fully […]

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