Using 3D printing for fully functional end-use metal and plastic parts is becoming increasingly common in rapid manufacturing with industrial-grade processes like direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) and selective laser sintering (SLS).
Industrial-grade 3D printing is well suited to produce organic shapes, like this nylon turbine (left) and end-use production parts such as this titanium drill component (right).
With an expanding material selection and improving material properties, designers and engineers have another good option for small quantities of production parts.
Accordingly, our monthly design tip covers this emerging trend.
This month’s tip discusses:
Choosing the best 3D printing process for your application
Selecting the right thermoplastic and metal materials
Designing part geometry for 3D printing
Using SL, SLS, and DMLS for end-use production parts
Our search for innovation has led us to the golf course. Well, it is summer after all.
The makers of GolfBoard claim it is the greatest invention in golf since the graphite shaft and is forever changing the way golfers experience the game. Hyperbole aside, it does look like a fun alternative to riding a golf cart.
The GolfBoard is powered by a lithium-ion battery, and is a fully electric vehicle that golfers basically stand on and steer. Designers incorporated front and back gear boxes that provide power to all four wheels, plus a proprietary “Spring Deck” technology that uses flexible spring plates that provide a smooth ride. The GolfBoard also includes an industrial-grade electric motor and fully enclosed drivetrain for reliability and low maintenance.
More than 200 U.S. courses now offer GolfBoard rentals, and the product has been winning awards, including Best New Product Award at the 2014 PGA Merchandising Show, and the 2016 Best Club Transport Award from Golf Digest Magazine. The magazine calls it “a combination of electronic snowboard and golf cart” that “provides a bit of a workout for those feeling guilty about not walking.”
Beyond the golf course rental market, GolfBoards sell individually for $6,500.
In our next webinar, we’re focusing on direct metal laser sintering—our industrial 3D printing process for metal parts. Join David Bentley, our DMLS expert, to learn why product designers are turning to DMLS for prototyping and end-use parts. The presentation will include:
An overview of DMLS including materials and design guidelines
A case study on an innovative bike design
An open Q&A session
TITLE: Designing for 3D Printing: Direct Metal Laser Sintering DATE: Thursday, August 25 at 1 p.m. CDT REGISTER: Click here to sign up
Busy that day and can’t make it? Not a problem. You can still register and we’ll send a recording that can be watched on-demand. Also, feel free to forward this invite to your colleagues.
The latest webinar in our continuing series of rapid manufacturing presentations focuses on rethinking the traditional medical device development cycle. With new prototyping tools available, product designers are accelerating development since they can iterate and test new designs more effectively.
Strategies to accelerate medical device development cycle
Technology in the 3D printing space is advancing at the speed of light—everything from support structure software to material options and properties to ever improving processes. Some simply take these advancements as small steps in the overall progress of 3D printing, but these improvements are significant attributes that add value across industries and applications.
Nylon handheld device 3D printed with SLS.
Medical and Health Care Development
Industries are adopting this technology for varying applications at very different paces. The health care industry has embraced nearly all forms of printing, but has particularly grasped onto direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). As we discussed last month, DMLS has a solid advantage over other 3D printing processes since it produces functional, production-quality parts from metal powder. When plastics are concerned, selective laser sintering (SLS) is another additive manufacturing process with production in mind.
Product developers, designers and engineers in the medical and health care industries use many different types of 3D printing technologies, but why?
concept modeling and prototyping during early phases of product and device development
iterating design often to get parts in hand fast
reducing financial and design risks
building high-quality assemblies for end users to evaluate and influence human factor designs