CATI Tech Notes

SOLIDWORKS Tips and Tricks and Info on Professional 3D Printing with Stratasys from the Technical staff of CATI

CATI Serving the Community

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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 create many of the children’s accessories for the fashion show. gboth FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) and PolyJet printing equipment from Stratasys to 3D print bracelets, tiaras, bow-ties, jewelry, etc. for

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Posted in Modeling, Rapid Prototyping

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 wiring ,tubing, fluid, air, etc) require that the holes be sliced in a horizontal orientation. So, can supports be eliminated in these holizontal holes?   If you will remember from

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Posted in Digital Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping

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 require some kind of support or brace to prevent overhanging layers on top of a previous layer from collapsing.  Some machines, typically powder based machines, will use the unused material

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Posted in Design Validation, Digital Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping

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 known as ‘Birefringence’ or double refraction.  This phenomenon is similar to light separated by an optical prism or crystal.   While the definition above may sound complex, the practical implementation

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, Design Validation, Digital Prototyping, Modeling, Rapid Prototyping, Simulation

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.     However, there are parameters that can be used to aid in the density of FDM parts. For my experiment, I designed a simple bottle with a tube that

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, Digital Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping

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, texture, etc.   When Microsoft sought to implement 3D printing support that would solve customers’ existing problems and address future needs, an important consideration was how applications should pass model

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, Digital Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping, SOLIDWORKS What's New

CATI Supports Boy Scout STEM Camp

Computer Aided Technology, LLC participated a 3rd consecutive year in the Boy Scouts of America STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Camp Week for the Greater St. Louis Area Council. The Boy Scouts of America created a new NOVA program which emphasizes STEM and gives Scouts an opportunity to explore these skills and be recognized for their achievements.   Judy Marlo and Mark Abshire from Computer Aided Technology, LLC were able to display the 3D Printing technology to campers at the Beaumont Scout Reservation.  A Stratasys uPrint SE+ FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printer was set up to demonstrate the actual printing, while also displaying 3D printed parts and providing

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Posted in Digital Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping

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. This also requires that each layer must spend time wiping the extrusion tips for model material and again for the soluble support material. We will use the geometry shown right

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Posted in Daily Dose.....of SolidWorks Support, Digital Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping

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 model materials.  This means each extrusion tip must deposit both materials individually on each layer as required.  Consider positioning your part where less support is required at each layer and

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Posted in Rapid Prototyping

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