19 April 2018 16:17
Above: RP Platform's AM Automation Software provides powerful tools for file preparation and production management.  Converting a CAD-designed model into a compatible file format for 3D printing is an unavoidable step in the 3D printing process. The file format most commonly used is STL, which allows the 3D printer to interpret CAD model data and then to create the physical object. However, when an STL file is poorly exported, this can lead to a myriad of unexpected and, typically, undesired results, affecting the printability of a part. So what are the ...
06 March 2018 14:48
Since its emergence in the mid-1980s, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) has become one of the most widely used and versatile additive manufacturing technologies. SLS provides a host of benefits — not least because highly durable, lightweight parts can be produced in a matter of hours — and is used in a range of applications, from low-volume production to rapid prototyping. In this tutorial, we’ll take a closer look at how SLS works, its applications and how you can get the most out of the technology - and you can download our ...
22 February 2018 14:45
The shift towards Industry 4.0 has led to the digital transformation of manufacturing, as manufacturers incorporate digital technologies to enhance their production workflows. With the evolution of additive manufacturing as a viable means of production within this digital transformation, manufacturers are now recognising the benefits of using automation in additive manufacturing as a means of enhancing their operations, and ensuring greater efficiency and a faster time-to-market. Automation, described as the single biggest evolution of 3D printing, will be the next step in the evolution of additive manufacturing. Achieved through a ...
14 February 2018 16:47
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) has become one of the most widely used technologies for additive manufacturing. Far from being a tool used solely for creating prototypes, SLS technology has become a viable means of producing low-volume end parts and support parts, like jigs and fixtures, across a range of industries. With the benefits of SLS technology being manifold, the technology has opened up new possibilities for design and engineering. So why should you consider producing SLS-printed parts in-house? Create highly complex, lightweight parts SLS technology is ideal for creating highly complex ...
21 August 2017 14:08
3D printing technology, software and processes are evolving at an incredible rate, as new solutions to longstanding challenges reveal themselves virtually every month. When one steps back, this is part of a much wider and more fundamental shift in the industrial world: the transition to Industry 4.0.   What is Industry 4.0? Put simply, Industry 4.0 is an approach to manufacturing that enhances quality and efficiency through strategic automation and seamless data exchange. The term was first used at the 2011 Hannover Fair, with the Working Group on Industry 4.0 launching in ...
10 August 2017 14:42
We’ve looked at a lot of different aspects of the finishing process for 3D-printed parts over the past few months, from cleaning away waste material and removing supports to achieving a smooth finish and adding specialist finishes, such as metal plating. With such a wide range of options available, a tremendous range of looks and mechanical qualities can now be achieved for both prototypes and production parts. But how do you actually put all this into practice? The reality is that time and resources are a precious commodity, and a number ...
09 August 2017 11:54
Material science in additive manufacturing is rapidly evolving, largely in order to meet the increasingly sophisticated requirements of AM specialists and their clients. One especially intriguing development is the fulfilment of one of additive manufacturers’ long-held dreams: 3D printing with silicone. While the potential advantages of this approach have been obvious for many years, it is only recently that the available technology has evolved to the point where it could potentially become feasible.   Why silicone? Silicone is already a versatile and well-established material, used across different industries in a wide variety of ...
27 July 2017 15:15
Pioneered by Stratasys in 2007, polyjet 3D printing -- while less widely used than SLS or SLA -- is an effective tool for printed parts that require a high level of surface detail (0.1mm details are achievable) and a smooth, high-quality finish. Its applications include: Highly detailed display models that require multiple colours, such as medical models. Prototyping stages where a large number of iterations of a part are expected. Polyjet’s printing speed makes it ideal for this. Limited-run non-functional parts, such as decorations for luxury cars. Generating moulds and ...
27 July 2017 12:56
One of the most effective applications of 3D printing in the industrial world has been injection moulding, where the use of printed moulds has helped reduce materials cost, streamline workflows, and maintain consistent quality. However, it’s not the only manufacturing technology where 3D printing offers opportunities for new improvements and enhancements. As part of an ongoing drive to streamline and improve their production processes, forward-thinking foundries are combining 3D printing with sand casting.   What is sand casting? Sand casting is the process of casting molten metal using sand-based moulds. To begin with, ...
21 July 2017 14:15
Once a print run has been completed, a proper quality inspection is essential. While effective data preparation and real-time monitoring of the printing process can help prevent errors before they occur, there are still a range of things that can potentially go wrong before or after printing. For one-off or limited-run parts, conducting a quality check manually is unlikely to prove prohibitively complex or time-consuming. However, for larger print runs, things become more complicated. That’s why more and more 3D printing teams and bureaus are incorporating CT scanning into their ...