25 March 2019 15:59
Stereolithography (SLA) and Digital Light Processing (DLP) are two of the most popular 3D printing technologies around. Sharing a number of similarities, both SLA and DLP fall into the vat polymerisation family of 3D printing technologies. The two technologies have undergone a huge evolution in the last decade, stepping beyond their rapid prototyping origins to production.   Thanks to the high precision and excellent quality of parts produced, SLA and DLP can be used for a broad range of applications, including functional prototypes, dental products, consumer goods and even jewellery moulds.   Following ...
15 March 2019 10:42
Quality assurance (QA) is arguably the most important and yet one of the most challenging steps in 3D printing.   With 3D printing being increasingly used in high-performance industrial applications, the technology must consistently and reliably deliver high-quality parts with the properties needed to meet demanding applications. When it comes to metal 3D printing, however, this has been an ongoing challenge for many manufacturers looking to invest in the technology.   Today's article will be looking at the some of the key challenges companies face when trying to establish QA processes for metal ...
17 October 2018 14:11
Support structures are one of the most important elements for successfully producing 3D printed parts. While a key advantage of 3D printing is its ability to create freeform and intricate geometries, much of the design freedom offered by 3D printing wouldn’t be possible without the use of support structures.   Supports are vital for preventing distortion and collapse within a part, among other uses. In this tutorial, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the world of support structures, the requirements for different technologies and how to minimise their usage.    What are ...
04 October 2018 11:01
3D printing and CNC machining are the two most commonly used methods when it comes to prototyping and low-volume production. However, since both offer two very different approaches to manufacturing — one being additive and the other subtractive — identifying the right manufacturing method for your application is crucial for streamlining product development, achieving greater efficiency and, ultimately, higher-quality parts.   In this tutorial, we’ll look at the differences between 3D printing and CNC machining and share a few tips on how to pick the right method.   3D printing vs CNC When looking ...
20 September 2018 14:34
As we've previously seen, 3D printing is rapidly expanding beyond prototyping into production. However, this transition is not without its challenges, with process repeatability and quality assurance being two issues cited by many manufacturers. It’s therefore unsurprising that manufacturers are looking for ways to optimise AM processes in the pursuit of greater repeatability and reliability.   Simulation software could be one way to achieve this. By enabling consistency and higher-quality parts, simulation is one tool that can further improve AM processes. We've therefore put together a list of 10 software companies offering innovative ...
11 May 2018 15:31
As the first ever 3D printing technology, Stereolithography (SLA) offers a cost-effective way to produce parts with a high degree of accuracy and smooth surface finish using a range of materials.  However, to achieve a truly high-quality finish for your SLA parts, a range of post processing options should be considered. This is especially the case for SLA prints as they require support structures which, when removed, can leave marks or ridges on the surface of your part. In today’s tutorial we’ll explore a range of post-processing options for SLA printed ...
02 May 2018 9:30
Freedom of design is one of the main benefits of additive manufacturing. However, since designing for 3D printing significantly differs from designing for traditional manufacturing, it requires a new approach to design engineering. In order to create 3D printable, high-quality parts designers and engineers must therefore be armed with a knowledge of new approaches and requirements when designing for additive manufacturing. Although the particularities of each 3D printing technology and material dictates their specific design approaches, in this short guide we’ll highlight general design considerations that can be applied to ...
01 May 2018 11:09
Metal 3D printing has made impressive strides in the last few years, with companies increasingly investing in the technology for highly complex, industrial applications. However, alongside the advantages of producing lightweight, sophisticated metal components, there are also a number of challenges that need to be overcome during the metal 3D printing process. Today’s tutorial will explore the main problems faced when 3D printing metals, and how you can solve them.   Metal 3D Printing - An Overview When it comes to metal 3D printing, there are a range of printing processes. These can ...
26 April 2018 10:48
Photo credit: Branch Technology   The construction industry is perhaps the latest to adopt 3D printing as a viable manufacturing technology. But the technology has the huge potential to transform the industry by reducing production time and costs, while offering design flexibility and a high level of sustainability.   As highlighted in our Maturity Chart, which explores how 3D printing is evolving across industries, 3D printing within the construction sector remains a relatively novel approach, and there are a number of challenges to be overcome before it can be widely adopted.    To learn more about ...
24 April 2018 9:38
When producing your FDM part, often the finished look matters just as much as the functionality. FDM parts are ideal for functional prototypes, low-volume end use parts and concept models. However, when printing your FDM parts, it’s important to know not only how the FDM production process works, but also how to achieve aesthetically-pleasing results in the post-processing stage. In today’s tutorial we’ll explore a few practical tips on how you can effectively finish your FDM parts — as well as key things to watch out for.   1. Remove any support structures ...