New Patent Filing by Stratasys Possibly Shows Next Steps

New Patent Filing by Stratasys Possibly Shows Next Steps

FDM with Invisible Seams While there are a huge number of variations on the basic design of 3D printers, most printers either use an extruder to distribute the material onto a build plate, which is known as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or use a high-powered device to fuse together liquid particles of material in a build tank, called stereolithography (SLA). Regardless of the method of production, both types of printers produce pieces layer by layer. While layers are clearly visible with FDM, however, you get a much smoother finished product with printers that use SLA technologies. If the recent patent filing by Stratasys comes to fruition, this might be about to change. The Debate Since nearly the beginning, 3D printers have chosen their side in the debate between FDM and SLA. FDM fans love that the machines produce less mess and SLA advocates believe that the process makes stronger parts without the visible seams found in FDM. If, however, an FDM process was able to produce the solid exterior found in SLA prints, this could upend the entire debate. The Patent Filing by Stratasys In Stratasys’ recent patent filing, the company proposes technology that would hide the seams of an FDM printer. According to 3dprint.com, the filing explains,”The method includes generating a contour tool path that defines an interior region of a layer of the 3D model, where the contour path comprises a start point and a stop point, and where at least one of the start point and the stop point is located within the interior region of the layer.” Essentially, this means that the printer would print...
Top 10 3D Printed Holiday Gifts

Top 10 3D Printed Holiday Gifts

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the Black Friday madness has passed, it is really time to start checking the remaining names off of your gift list. If you are looking for something truly unique that you will not find anywhere else, a 3D printed design is a great option. With sites like Thingiverse and My Mini Factory, you don’t need to know anything about 3D design. All you have to do is find the design, contact us with the information, and we will print it out on our Stratasys uPrint SE Plus or MakerBot Replicator. To help you find a little inspiration for your gift, we have combed the internet to find the top 10 3D 3D printed holiday gifts. 10. Something for the centerpiece   If you are looking for the perfect hostess gift, consider this unique 3D printed vase. Designed with a twisted style, this vase has tons of intricate line work and a nice, classic design with contemporary touches. For an extra special surprise, present it to your host or hostess with a bouquet of flowers already tucked inside. 9. Cloud Storage For all of your techy friends, give them a great way to organize any office with this cute little gag gift that they will actually use. The cloud-shaped storage container is printed in two pieces for a great place to keep your trinkets or small office supplies. 8. A blizzard of snowflakes If you are interested in learning more about 3D printing and want a simple place to start, take a look at these snowflakes. With multiple designs available, these downloads give you...
Putting a Stratasys Mojo Printer to Work for You

Putting a Stratasys Mojo Printer to Work for You

High-quality printing for less When Stratasys announced the newest member of its Idea Series, the Mojo Desktop 3D printer, in 2012, the printing community went wild. The possibility of a professional-quality printer at less than $10,000 was revolutionary. One early review commented, “From my engineering perspective, this is a sweet system.” Another review noted “The most noticeable aspect of the Mojo is ease of use.” Engineering.com raved, “Right off the bat, I will tell you that I really liked everything about this low-cost, personal-class 3D printer. For just $9,990, you will get everything you need to build and post-process parts.” Why all the excitement? For ease of use and price point, the Mojo was unlike anything that existed in the 3D printing world. Stratasys started by adopting the tenets of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), the additive method through which parts are built by adding material by the layer. The designers then tweaked the process to make it more functional. With fine feature details and the durability of ABS plastic, the Mojo prints usable parts and prototypes. The build space of 5″ x 5″ x 5″ means that you can print 80% of the parts used by an average engineer or design shop in-house. After the part is completed, cleanup couldn’t be easier. By dipping your part in the WaveWash 55 Support Removal System, support material will dissolve away, no scraping required. Having a powerful desktop printer that can produce parts and prototypes to order means that designers and engineers can save a considerable amount of time, money, and hassle. Why is the Mojo even better today? Two words: “price...
3D Design: Cell Phone Cradle

3D Design: Cell Phone Cradle

3D Design: Cell Phone Cradle The Inspiration Recently, having my cell phone just lying flat on my desk began to annoy me ever so slightly. When I was in the middle of working on the computer and my phone buzzed, I wanted to be able to glance over at the screen without it pulling me away from my workflow. Plus, if I wanted to watch a video, hovering awkwardly over the phone was less than ideal. This inspired my newest design for this cool little cell phone cradle. The Design At first, my idea was to just create a simple cradle that would let me keep my phone upright near my computer. I quickly realized that, since I am often charging my phone while it is on my desk, making it easy to plug in while it was in the cradle was essential. To facilitate this, I added a split in the middle of the base of the cradle so that the charger chord will fit through the bottom. I also made it large enough that my phone can slip in and out of the cradle without having to unplug it from the charger. Then, I started to really think about the functionality of a phone cradle and how I would like to be able to use my phone. I realized that something else that often bothers me when I am using my phone at my desk is how quiet the speakers are, especially when they are competing with the drone of the printer. By adding sound channels to redirect the sound from the speaker area to the front...
3D Printing and Wearable Technology

3D Printing and Wearable Technology

3D Printing and Wearable Technology A great prototype helps an inventor better express his vision to buyers or investors by giving them a real sense of the final look and feel of the product. With anything that is intended to be worn, this is even more important, as the comfort of the design is one of the key factors in determining whether a wearable product will be successful or not. As wearable technology has become more and more popular, developers are turning to 3D printing to help produce accurate representations of their final product. Exploding Market In recent years, the wearable technology market has exploded as walkers have begun to use pedometers to count their steps and fitness buffs strap on a heart rate monitor before heading to the gym. Recently, the applications are becoming even more high-tech as developers are working on a whole slew of devices that track vital signs, insulin levels, and more. Google is now taking wearable technology to a whole new level with the development of a contact lens that can monitor the sugar content in tears to help alert patients with diabetes to sugar imbalances. The market for wearable technology is expanding so quickly that it is projected to reach $17.47 billion by 2024. Market Potential Seeing the vast potential of this niche market, Zero360, a design consultancy firm, has partnered with Industrial Plastic Fabrications in order to create a comfortable and stylish wristband that measures your biosigns. When determining how they would develop their prototype, the designers decided to try out 3D printing. By choosing Stratasys’ Objet 500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D...
3D Printing Relief for Arthritis Sufferers

3D Printing Relief for Arthritis Sufferers

3D Printing Wrist Splints for Arthritis Sufferers Software Makes it Easy to Design & 3D Print Wrist Splints for Arthritis Sufferers Arthritis and Wrist Splints A combination of software and 3D printing is spelling relief for arthritis sufferers. Many arthritis patients are forced to use ugly, bulky wrist splints that make their arms sweat with had no way around it, until now. Thanks to Dr Abby Paterson, a Loughborough University lecturer, a new, more attractive, comfortable, and affordable wrist splint can be offered to suffering arthritis patients. New Software Using the newly developed computer software that enables clinicians to design custom-made wrist splints tailored to an individuals particular shape, and with the help of a 3D printer, a patient can have a brand new splint that provides joint protection, rest, and promotes pain relief. The splints are made by simply scanning a patient’s arm in the appropriate position. A 3D model splint is then designed based on the scan to generate a computer model. 3D Printing The Stratasys Objet Connex 3D printer, can then produce as many splints as are needed, in any color, with or without a lattice design to aid ventilation, with any type of fastening, and with multiple materials in a single splint, such as rubber-like integral hinges or cushioning features. The software is designed to enable clinicians with no experience in 3D modeling to design and make custom-made 3D printed wrist splints so that any patient can receive one. These innovative wrist splints can improve the aesthetics, the fit, and integrate extra bits of functionality they couldn’t do before which will result in a major...