by: Anthony Garland
I’ve read many articles that describe why 3D printing is a ‘game changer’, but I have never been satisfied with them. I feel like they over emphasize one thing or leave out other significant advantages. So, I’m writing a series of posts about why 3D printing is unique and the implications.
First, what is 3D printing? 3D printing is sometimes called rapid prototyping or additive manufacturing. Technically, 3D printing is a particular type of additive manufacturing (material jetting), so I will use the term additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing refers to the process of adding material layer by layer to an object to create the whole object (this is in contrast to subtractive manufacturing where the material is removed (like cutting and drilling a piece of wood)). There are seven general categories of additive manufacturing techniques. Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies does a good job describing the different categories in the following picture.
Click on the image for a higher resolution version.
There are three main advantages of additive manufacturing.
So is additive manufacturing a 'game changer'? Absolutely! However, many barriers still need to be over come. Technical challenges still need to be solved. Our thinking about how we design objects needs to change from mass manufacturing to developing a process which allows for mass customization.
Yes, in that the benefits proposed by of additive manufacturing ten years ago are still not here. The overhype was in the speed of solving the technical issues related to additive manufacturing. The magnitude of the size of the problems was underestimated.
No, in that the benefits of additive manufacturing are realistic, but they just aren't here yet. The field of additive manufacturing is evolving rapidly, and the benefits will come eventually.
Graderworks 3.00 has new improvements which help fully automate grading of SOLID
Graderworks 2.36 and higher is compatible with SOLIDWORKS 2017. Graderworks now
Garland Industries is happy to announce that Graderworks is now an official SOL
Several more improvements have been made to Graderworks in version 2.35.
Graderworks 2.32 represents continued incremental improvement in the overall qua
A design automation example is given showing topology optimization coupled with
Graderworks 2.31 includes the following updates. 1. When analyzing .stl files th
Update on Graderworks 2.3 Several major bugs were fixed.
Graderworks 2.3 allows you to compare the geometric similarity of .stl files wit
Graderworks is the Turnitin of 3D models. Not using a plagiarism checker in a So
This tutorial shows how to get started analyzing and grading Solidworks part fil
As an engineering entrepreneur, marketing is not my strength. To make high-quali
How would you 3D print hundreds of .stl files in the shortest time possible usin
3D Printing offers many new exciting possibilities, but why is it unique? Three
3D Printing requires three steps. 1. Getting a 3D model. 2. Slicing the model to
Solidworks students submit .rar files instead of .zip. Graderworks requires .zip
A short tutorial on how to sign a Windows installer and what the smart screen fi
3D Printing opens the possibility of mass customization of consumer products. Ma
Does software make it from academic research to useful commercial tools? Ignoran