Discovering your 3D Printer’s Capabilities – Part 3

This is the last of a brief series on understanding the capabilities and limitations of your 3D Printer. When you know what your machine can achieve, it can be applied to significantly aid your part design as well as throughput and quality. In part 1 of this series, we discussed how structural supports are dependent on 3 variables; technology, material and layer thickness. We showed how some overhangs can be built in FDM without a support structure. See Discovering your […]

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CATI Serving the Community

Serving the Community Computer Aided Technology, LLC is growing. We now have offices in over 20 locations, covering over 1/3 of the United States. With multiple offices, this gives CATI employees the opportunity and privilege to serve the many communities that we work and live in.     Recently the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri put on their 38th Annual Fashion Show to benefit inpatient and outpatient cancer services. Our office in St. Louis was proud to […]

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Stratasys 3D Printing: Discovering Your 3D Printer’s Capabilities – Part 2

Discovering Your 3D Printer’s Capabilities – Part 2   This is the 2nd of a series on ideas to understand the capabilities and limitations of your 3D Printer. When you know what your machine can achieve, it can be applied to significantly aid your part design as well as throughput and quality.   When 3D printing holes with FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) it is always desirable to position the hole axis perpendicular to the platform. Unfortunately some designs (channels for […]

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Stratasys 3D Printing: Discovering Your 3D Printer’s Capabilities – Part 1

Discovering Your 3D Printer’s Capabilities – Part 1   This is the first of a series on ideas to understand the capabilities and limitations of your 3D Printer.  When you know what your machine can achieve it can be applied to significantly aid your part design as well as throughput and quality.   Regardless of the 3D printer you are using, it is drawing a 2D image in multiple layers to create the 3rd dimension.  With this in mind, most printers will […]

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Stratasys 3D Printing: Photoelasticity with PolyJet

Photoelasticity with PolyJet   Photoelasticity is a visual method to determine the stress distribution of a part geometry.  Unlike analytical methods of stress calculations, photoelasticity gives a fairly accurate picture of stress distribution around any imperfections in the actual geometry.  This method can be an important tool for identifying critical stress concentration in irregular geometries.   The principal of photoelasticity is based on rays of light passing through certain transparent materials with two refractive indices to create a phenomenon of an isochromatic image […]

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Stratasys 3D Printing: FDM Build Parameters to Create a Vacuum

FDM Build Parameters to Create a Vacuum   The 3D printing process of layering extruded material makes FDM parts porous. This is great for many applications such as Thermoforming that requires air to be drawn through a tool. But what if you want the part to hold a vacuum? To hold a vacuum the FDM part needs to be non-porous or dense. This is often achieved by sealing the part and there are several well documented procedures for sealing parts. […]

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 What’s New: Importing and Exporting 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) Files – #SW2017

Importing and Exporting 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) Files   For almost 30 years STL (Surface Tessellated Language) has been the predominate format for 3D Printers. So why develop something new? 3D Printers have made significant strides in development with accuracy, resolution, materials, colors, etc., but sadly the STL file has remained stagnant. The STL format simply wraps triangles or tessellates a surface; recording the vertices of the triangles in 3-Dimensional space, it does not record any information regarding color, material, […]

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Decrease Your FDM Build Time by Clicking One Check Box

  The build time on Additive Manufacturing equipment is a direct correlation of the part height, due to the layering process incorporated.  However, for Stratasys FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) other factors are also involved such as supports, fill density, contour and raster width, etc.  For this article, let’s just focus on the support extruding process.  Stratasys FDM technology uses 2 separate extrusion tips for independent support and model materials.  This means each extrusion tip must deposit both materials individually on each layer as required. […]

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Reducing Build Time with Part Orientation

Which part orientation will build fastest?  Both part are identical in size (left part is 12 x 4 x 4 inches). It is always assumed that 3D printing parts with in the lowest Z-axis height will be the fastest build.  This is not always true; the part geometry is not the only factor to consider.  You must also consider the build process of the 3D printing technology.  For example, FDM technology uses 2 separate extrusion tips for independent support and […]

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