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For all those traditionalists out there running CNC shops fear not, Robert Chiari from Renishaw puts your mind at ease with this video.

Video: Is Additive Manufacturing a Competitor to CNC Machining?

Not at all, says Renishaw’s Robert Chiari. The manufacturing methods complement one another, which is why many machining facilities are looking to AM.

Not all manufacturers are fully vertically integrated and can take a product from prototype to production in-house.  Even the largest Fortune 500 companies outsource elements of projects for prototypes and production parts and assemblies.

Why do they do this?  How can you take advantage of providing 3D Printing services to manufacturers? Despite having a variety of resources at their disposal ‒ sometimes including their own 3D printing machines ‒ outsourcing for these firms can be a faster, less expensive and less problematic.

Below are the top five reasons why companies should outsource their 3D Printing.

Capacity

Even for large companies that have their own 3D printers, resource constraints can cause bottlenecks in production.  If a firm’s 3D printers are tied up on other projects, teams can’t get parts built fast enough.  As a solution, outsourcing this production allows them to harness additional capacity.

To help reduce lead times, Klacam utilizes multiple machines with the same technology and material, [...]

The path from prototyping to production poses a number of challenges. The company that’s most successful during this transition are best positioned for success moving forward. With our traditional manufacturing background and key vendors we work with clients from the prototype phase through to production, hopefully these key factors to success can provide some insight into your next project:

Start with 3D Printing to Create Rapid Prototypes

Many firms choose SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) for their initial prototypes due to cost, fit and function that this technology provides. Depending on your industry, SLA, CJP and FDM printing are also good options. SLS, builds parts using a strong, flexible nylon material, is an ideal fit in most instances. The process is accurate, fast and cost-effective – particularly on a low-volume basis, and allows clients to quickly fit-check their design and make any adjustments before gravitating to subtractive machining (where errors can potentially be more costly).

3D [...]

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3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing Industry News
WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU? We use the latest additive manufacturing processes to build functional prototypes and end-use parts in more than 50 different metals and plastics.   3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing   Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)sls SLS is one of our most versatile and cost-effective 3D printing technologies. Made from durable white nylon, SLS parts are typically used for concept models, fully-functional prototypes and first article production pieces. SLS parts have a slightly grainy matte finish, but retain high dimensional accuracy and detail. Follow the link for our SLS Design Guide ColourJet Printing (CJP) cjpColourJet printing provides full colour 3D models quickly and affordably. This additive manufacturing technology involves core and binder. The Core material is spread in thin layers over the build platform, color binder is selectively jetted from inkjet print heads over the core layer, which causes the core to s [...]

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about 3D Printing
3D printing is also known as direct digital manufacturing or additive manufacturing. It is a process whereby a real object is created from a computer generated 3D design. The digital 3D-model is saved in STL format and then sent to a 3D printer in slices. The 3D printer then prints the design layer by layer and forms a real object.There are several different 3D printing technologies. The main differences are how layers are built to create parts. SLS (selective laser sintering), FDM (fused deposition modeling) & SLA (stereolithograhpy) are the most widely used technologies for 3D printing. Selective laser sintering (SLS) and fused deposition modeling (FDM) use melted or softened materials to produce layers. This video describes how laser-sintering processes melt fine powders, bit by bit, into 3D shapes.

This video shows how FDM works. The video below explains the process of Stereolithography (SLA). Generally, the main considerations are speed, cost of the printed prototype, cost of the 3D printer, choice and cost of materials and color capabilities.If you’re just getting started you can try some of 3D modeling software which can be downloaded for free.
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