Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The Ultimate 3D Printing Match Up: Laser Sintering vs. Fused Deposition Modeling


Laser Sintering (LS) and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) are like the Peyton Manning and Cam Newton of 3D printing—Two of the best quarterbacks in the league, one about ten years older than the other (LS was commercialized in around 1980 and FDM around 1990), and currently both at the top of their game. LS and FDM are often compared because they both deliver similar materials and engineering-grade thermoplastics which give them the ability to serve functional and production manufacturing applications. Even though LS and FDM are equally capable of producing strong, durable parts, their divergent delivery mechanisms make certain geometries and applications better suited for one or the other. Learning the advantages and differences between technologies will help lead you to the best process for your project. Here we compare each technology when it comes to engineering challenges, applications and geometries:

Internal Features
You’ll see positive results on internal cavities with both FDM and LS when the features are accessible to a finisher removing supports. FDM offers break-away support which is manually removed by hand and soluble support which dissolves in a water-based solution (ideal for internal cavities). LS parts use the unsintered powder as support during the process, which can be easily brushed away post-build. For difficult to access internal features, you’ll find more success using LS regardless of material choice because excess powder can be easily brushed or blown away from cavities. Tough-to-reach internal features can be more difficult with FDM, especially with non-soluble support materials that need to be manually removed.
Large Parts
One of the largest build platforms in the industry is the Fortus 900mc (FDM technology) which measures 36”x24”x36”. The largest LS platform is the EOS P700 series at 24”x14”x20”, but building large parts can be problematic, depending on the geometry. FDM manufactures flat areas with ease while flat parts built with LS would likely warp if the walls are too thin. LS is often better suited for curved large parts with rounded features. However LS can successfully produce a large flat part if ribbing is included to reinforce the area.


Temperature Requirements
Both technologies offer materials specifically formulated for withstanding high temperatures, but FDM’s ULTEM materials hold the title for highest heat deflection temperature with ULTEM 9085 at HDT 153° C @ and ULTEM 1010 at HDT 213° C. ULTEM is also UL94 V-0 rated and passes the FAR. 25.853 60-second vertical burn test. However LS’s high-temp materials aren’t far off with Nylon 12 PA at HDT 86° C


Mechanical Performance
Laser Sintering has a clear advantage in isotropic mechanical properties with near consistency in X, Y, and Z. LS is also better positioned in terms of flexibility with Flex TPE material (8 MPa Tensile Modulus and 110% Elongation at Break) and a family of Nylons with better elongation properties than any other FDM materials. And when it comes to impact strength, both technologies are far above the other plastics processes in the field, but LS has select materials with slightly higher impact strength than most FDM materials (LS Nylon 12 PA is 4.12ft-lb/in and FDM PC-ABS is 3.7 ft-lb/in).

The Objective3D Direct Manufacturing Solution for you
Objective3D Direct Manufacturing has the expertise and technology range to deliver upon any of your additive manufacturing projects. However, if your project requires larger quantities of small parts – fast, Laser Sintering is the best technological solution for you. Per-part pricing is reduced as quantities increase, but there are more advantages to using Laser Sintering for small prototypes than price alone. To find out more read Delivering High Quantities of Prototypes Fast

Talk to us and find out how we can help you determine the best possible material for your project.


Ready to place an order? Get a RapidQuote or call 03-9785 2333 (AUS) 09-801 0380 (NZ)

Objective3D Direct Manufacturing is certified ISO 9001:2008 compliant and is powered by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing with 16 commercial grade machines providing the widest range of 3D printing technologies and materials to enable a broad range of specialist solutions. With more than 1500 orders received and over 100,000 parts produced annually, Objective3D Direct Manufacturing is helping companies in diverse industries create extraordinary new products at every phase of the production process. For more details visit www.direct3dprinting.com.au





Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Five 3D Printing Tips to Save You Time

3D printing is known to be a fast alternative to most traditional manufacturing processes, and you can harness the possibilities of this groundbreaking industry by taking some easy steps. Get to market quickly with these five tips to save you time when ordering 3D printed parts.


1. Export Your CAD file as a STL
In order for a 3D printer to build a part, the CAD file has to be exported into a STL file. A STL file is made up of triangles forming the surface of the part, causing faceting of the 3D model. Depending on the parameters set up, the faceting of the 3D model will differ. Common parameters that affect faceting of STL files include chord height, deviation, angle tolerance and poly count. It’s imperative to prepare your files for the export with this in mind to ensure quality expectations and design intentions are maintained from CAD to final part production.

There are a number of ways to optimize and prepare your CAD data to guarantee ­files are ready for processing and production. There are adjustments you can make to complex geometry data, such as wall thicknesses, or even small changes to ­file size and features that will help create a pristine STL fi­le and accelerate processing.

You can learn more about the details of how to prepare STL files in our whitepaper and tutorial.

2. Look at Design Guidelines
A common misconception about 3D printing is that the process is similar or the same across different machines and technologies. The reality is that 3D printing involves a variety of technologies with unique design considerations. Objective3D Direct Manufacturing offers a suite of 3D printing services including PolyJet, Laser Sintering (LS), Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS).


If you’re looking to utilize a specific technology, you can speed up your production process significantly by considering the limitations or unique requirements of that technology and how to adapt your file or design accordingly.

For example, most 3D printing processes require the design of supports for any overhangs in a 3D model, but Laser Sintering does not because of the nature of its build style. Other factors that may change from technology to technology include resolution, build orientation, wall thickness and part size.

Objective3D Direct Manufacturing has detailed design guidelines and other helpful information regarding design considerations:


3. Know Your Post-Processing Options
When you think about your piece, what do you envision? Does the piece have a smooth surface? Will the size of your part require multiple builds and assembly? If the component is a prototype, does it need cosmetic finishing or can it retain its natural finish? Will the layer lines of the 3D printing process affect the function of your final part?


Our expert finishing department can produce beautiful cosmetic and functional finishes with a variety of options. Some functional finishes include media blasting, tumbling, bonding, sealing and sanding; some cosmetic finishes include painting, clear coating, dying, vapor polishing, electroplating and texturising.

Oftentimes desired cosmetics can be accomplished more quickly and cheaply by choosing an alternative than the obvious. For example, if you need a part to be blue, you could have the part dyed instead of painted to save on time and money.

By understanding the options available and the time involved in fulfilling the desired finishing, you can significantly speed up the post-build process and get your product to market faster.

Learn more about available finishing options here.

4. Consider Your Material Needs
It’s typically a swift decision when choosing the category of material you’re considering for your product (plastic or metal, opaque or transparent, flexible or rigid), but many can be bogged down by the complexity of considerations when choosing specific materials based on benefits and the specific data related to it. We’ve broken down all of our materials in easy to understand tables on our website with detailed data sheets for each offered material.


For example, you may be considering a production-grade thermoplastic, but need the material to withstand high-temperatures with the ability to be sterilized for medical applications. You start with the technology on the material’s page, and then choose which 3D printing process you are utilizing. That page organizes each available material with a description and the relevant data. Each material’s detailed datasheet is also linked under each offering.

If you’re not sure which technology would be best for your application, you can start in RapidQuote with our Material Wizard. By clicking the Material Wizard tab on the right side of the screen, you’ll be able to filter materials based on a variety of key characteristics, including mechanical or thermal requirements. By clicking the three processes at the top of the selections, you’ll see which materials are available with each technology. Then, you can click through results to see detailed information about each material.

5. Talk to an Expert
The best way to speed up the 3D printing process, especially if you have no experience with the technology, is to speak with the engineers at Objective3D Direct Manufacturing. With more than 12 years in the industry, we are well equipped and knowledgeable about the 3D printing solutions that can help bring your envisioned product to life.


You can speak with our highly-qualified Project Engineers as you uncover the right technology for your product, or do some research on your own by visiting our website. General and nuanced information about the world of 3D printing can be found in our resources and case studies section of our website.

If you’re interested in learning about how 3D printing can be better incorporated into your business, our Professional Services offer in-person evaluations and recommendations. Professional Services looks at your entire operation and pinpoints opportunities to integrate 3D printing and provides all of the resources necessary to do so. Starting with expert onsite services, Professional Services prepares a comprehensive operations analysis after observing current operations and speaking with individuals from c-suite executives to manufacturing floor workers.

Don’t let the complexity of this revolutionary industry slow down your project goals. By following these five simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to rapid, quality 3D printed parts.

If you would like to build a 3D Part and need a quote, please contact us at 03-0785 2333 (AUS) or 09 801 0380 (NZ) or email us at parts@objective3d.com.au Alternatively, you may upload your files and get a quote on our online system here.

About Objective3D Direct Manufacturing
Objective3D Direct Manufacturing is certified ISO 9001:2008 compliant and is powered by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing with 16 commercial grade machines providing the widest range of 3D printing technologies and materials to enable a broad range of specialist solutions. With more than 1500 orders received and over 100,000 parts produced annually, Objective3D Direct Manufacturing is helping companies in diverse industries create extraordinary new products at every phase of the production process.


Monday, 7 November 2016

Taking Your Product to the Finishing Line

Additive manufacturing can make materials come to life in a single print. Fresh off the machine, a 3D printed part can look like a nearly finished product. Depending on your requirements, the natural surface finish of an additive manufactured part may or may not meet your needs. When cosmetics, specific surface roughness, or functional coatings are needed, Objective3D Direct Manufacturing’s expert finishing department rises to the occasion. With skilled professionals working to deliver your project goals, we offer a variety of options, hand sanding, Sealing, tumbling, micro-welded inserts, vapor polishing, dying, electroplating and lot's more.

In the examples below, you’ll be able to see how technology, material and product life cycle stage all contribute to the various options we can provide to get your product to the finish line.

Finishes for Every Product Stage
EMD Millipore Corporation utilized finishing services from prototype to production parts when manufacturing the Millipore Muse™ Cell Analyzer. Looking to use the functional Muse prototypes for market research and feedback before tooling and injection molding, Stereolithography (SL) models were printed that mimicked the look of the finished product.

The SL pieces were sanded to ensure an even surface and provide the desired surface smoothness for the application. After, they were primed and painted to match Millipore’s color and texture specifications. Finally, the models were assembled and decals were applied.


Once Millipore approved the finished SL prototype models, secondary SL parts were built as master patterns for urethane castings.  A cast-in texture was then applied onto the master patterns per Millipore’s mold-tech specifications. Texturizing and detailing the master patterns expedites the process and enables a uniform look across multiple cast pieces. Color specifications were taken from Millipore and color matched the urethane parts and assembled the pieces.

Comfortable and Decorative Prototypes
Finishing can be utilized in the prototype stage for cosmetic presentation and functional testing.

Pillar Product Design LLC designed an advanced hand tool for the urban gardener that provided maximum performance and ergonomic comfort. A prototype was developed using Laser Sintering (LS) technology with Aluminum Filled Nylon 12 to emulate the billet forged Aluminum used in the final product. Hoping to present the prototype as close to the final product as possible at a low cost, Pillar requested the finishing department remove all traces of build lines on the product.


The part was smoothed by sanding and given a cosmetic clear top coat for a clean surface. Since the product was ultimately going to feature a soft touch TPU grip for easy handling, our finishing department also applied a rubberized soft touch black paint. The paint not only provides a more comfortable grip when testing the product, but gives the illusion of the final product’s feel and comfort. The rubberized black paint is a fast and cost-effective alternative to over molding or bonding a grip onto the part.

Assembling a Functional Form
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company was seeking a more efficient satellite design, when they approached our partner, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing in the US, to prepare form, fit and function simulators for the satellite’s fuel tanks. Although Lockheed Martin owns additive manufacturing machines, the size and post process requirements of the prototype posed a challenge.


The Stratasys Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology was introduced for the tank simulators and offering an array of functional finishing options available for the project. The prototype was built in 16 sections and hot air welded together. Hot air welding melts a filament of the same material to fill seams, allowing pieces to be brought together without adding foreign material. Because of the weight and rounded shape of the tank pieces, we built customized fixtures to hold the sections while welding the parts together.

After fusing, the surfaces and seams were sanded to provide a uniform surface finish. Additionally, we offered an integral fuel tank (IFT) coating which protects materials against corrosion from fuel contaminants.

Applying Aesthetics and Smoothing Functionality
These examples highlight a few of the finishing options we offer to our customers. Other functional finishes include:
  • Media blasting for a fast alternative to sanding that creates matte finishes
  • Tumbling durable materials, such as metals and polycarbonate, in vibratory units with ceramic, plastic and synthetic media to smooth surfaces
  • Bonding sections together with either two-part epoxy or cyanoacrylate
  • Sealing products that need to be water-resistant or airtight
Additional cosmetic finishes include:
  • Dying parts color matched to your specifications
  • Vapor polishing FDM ABS and PC/ABS materials by melting the outer surface with a solvent
  • Electroplating with EMI/RFI shielding, which can block electromagnetic and radio frequency interference
  • Clear coating to add water resistance and desired sheen
  • Achieving Final Products with Additive Manufacturing

As you choose the materials and technology to manufacture your product, we can provide guidance on which finishing options can help you realize your product objectives. From providing aesthetically pleasing finishes to achieving necessary durability, our finishing services are at the ready to enhance your 3D printed part.

Interested in what finish is right for your project? Talk to us at 03-0785 2333 (AUS) or 09 801 0380 (NZ) or email us at parts@objective3d.com.au

If you would like to build a 3D Part and need a quote, pls. click here


About Objective3D Direct Manufacturing
Objective3D Direct Manufacturing is certified ISO 9001:2008 compliant and is powered by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing with 16 commercial grade machines providing the widest range of 3D printing technologies and materials to enable a broad range of specialist solutions. With more than 1500 orders received and over 100,000 parts produced annually, Objective3D Direct Manufacturing is helping companies in diverse industries create extraordinary new products at every phase of the production process.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Delivering High Quantities of Prototypes Fast

Objective3D Direct Manufacturing produces parts using a range of additive and conventional manufacturing technologies. We offer tailored solutions for your project’s needs. If your project requires larger quantities of small parts – fast, Laser Sintering is the best technological solution for you. Per-part pricing is reduced as quantities increase, but there are more advantages to using Laser Sintering for small prototypes than price alone.


Laser Sintering (LS) provides strong, versatile and geometrically intricate components made from filled and un-filled nylon materials that are ideal for fit and form verification and functional testing. Prototypes made with LS are created quickly and offer robust solutions for your project.

FAST Delivery
Laser Sintering can provide sturdy, functional prototypes as little as 24 hours. Multi-component designs can be incorporated into single structures, allowing engineers to produce complex features and geometries in one print, and eliminating the need for assembly. Additionally, reduced secondary processing means quicker delivery to you.
Variable Characteristics
Prototypes from Laser Sintering are functional and stable in a variety of taxing environments. The nylon 11 and nylon 12 materials used in Laser Sintering can be reinforced with property-enhancing fillers, such as carbon fiber or glass, to produce strong parts that meet a variety of performance requirements like high tensile strength, flexural strength, impact resistance, and heat deflection temperatures. LS prototypes created with these materials are perfect for applications that experience variable temperature exposure, like fuel tanks and electronic enclosures.

The versatility of LS material qualities makes it easy to meet your project’s distinct requirements.

Little to No Finishing Needs
One key advantage to Laser Sintering is that each part is encased in powder as it is made. The surrounding powder reinforces the parts and eliminates the need for support structures that require removal after production. With ready-to-use prototypes off the printer, little to no finishing needs reduces costs and delivery time.
Your Prototype Solution
LS prototyping is an excellent solution for your project if you’re looking for high quantities of small, durable or light-weight parts. Whether your designs require complicated geometries, minimal finishing requirements or quick turn-arounds, 3D printed prototypes made with Laser Sintering are the perfect solution for your project needs. Objective3D Direct Manufacturing has the expertise and technology range to deliver upon any of your additive manufacturing projects, with Laser Sintering as the best solution if you want higher quantities of small prototypes, quickly delivered.

Ready to place an order? Get a RapidQuote or call 03-9785 2333 (AUS) 09-801 0380 (NZ)

Objective3D Direct Manufacturing is certified ISO 9001:2008 compliant and is powered by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing with 16 commercial grade machines providing the widest range of 3D printing technologies and materials to enable a broad range of specialist solutions. With more than 1500 orders received and over 100,000 parts produced annually, Objective3D Direct Manufacturing is helping companies in diverse industries create extraordinary new products at every phase of the production process. For more details visit www.direct3dprinting.com.au

Friday, 12 August 2016

CSIRO Relies on 3D Printing for Groundbreaking Research


The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) is one of the largest and most diverse scientific agencies the world. CSIRO researches a variety of disciplines from agriculture to energy, manufacturing to space, improving the future for Australians and the world. CSIRO’S accomplishments include pioneering radio astronomy work leading to the invention of WiFi, development of extended-wear contact lenses and a vaccine that protects against the deadly Hendra virus. 

3D printing has played a key role in CSIRO’s Autonomous Systems Lab since 2011, accelerating research and reducing costs.

3D Printing Streamlines Research
In many CSIRO studies, researchers developed testable prototypes and gathered data by securely attaching multiple sensors to moving robotic devices in order to finalize designs. Prototypes created for tests were often held together with double-sided tape or zip ties, because using traditional fabrication methods (such as milling or cutting) or outsourcing were too costly and time consuming.

Paul Flick, a senior mechatronic engineer for CSIRO, implemented FDM® and PolyJet™ technologies to streamline prototype production. Researchers now create models quickly in-house from 3D CAD designs, minimizing lead time and outsourcing.

A hexapod robot developed by CSIRO’s robotics team with 3D printed components.

“Efficiency has been a huge factor contributing to the success of a research project for us, and 3D printing has been the integral accelerator for some of our projects with its highly reliable technology and durable ABS materials,” Flick said.

A Smart Approach
CSIRO adopted two 3D printing methods to aid its research. FDM builds durable prototypes with mechanically strong, production grade thermoplastics for projects that need higher tensile or impact strength or bio-compatibility. PolyJet creates models with fine details that can undergo functional tests, such as assembly and snap fit. With these two complementary technologies on site, Flick and his team create concept models and functional prototypes more confidently.

“Now, if someone comes up with a brilliant idea at the end of the day, it is possible to send the CAD file to one of the 3D printers and have the part ready the next day,” Flick said.

This agility sped the development of a GPS-enabled cattle monitoring sensor. A key goal was to design a collar that could house the solar panels, electronics and batteries while withstanding the rough movements of the animal. This system tracks the movement of the cow via GPS, accelerometer and barometer information that is then transferred to a base station for studies. Finalizing this design took many iterations that would have taken the team weeks or even months using a traditional fabrication method. Instead, it took only days to print, assemble and test to confirm the design using 3D printing, allowing the team to begin developing the data-reading parameter ahead of schedule.

CSIRO’s GPS-enabled sensors track animal movements

Extending the Robotic Reach
Since the Queensland lab facilities added 3D printing, its machines have been running nonstop, providing predictable results faster and more cost-effectively. For example, assembly tests for a hexapod, which can travel on uneven terrain to collect natural-science data where wheeled robots can’t go, took advantage of strong ABS material to ensure the robot prototype could withstand high impact and oscillation.

“At CSIRO, research is the religion as we endeavor to improve people’s living standards by investigating science and nature. 3D printing has been an indispensable tool and the driving force that helps us prototype better and faster, eventually pushing the limits of possibility in the many sectors that we work in,” Flick said.

While the CSIRO lab continues to seek answers to some of the world’s most challenging questions, 3D printing is enabling its researchers the ability to create applications and systems with greater efficiency.

Objective3D is Australia and New Zealand’s leading provider of Stratasys and Concept Laser 3D Printer Solutions for designers, educators and manufacturers. We are the only Stratasys reseller in Australia and New Zealand that provides both 3D Printer Solutions and 3D Printing Bureau Service through a state-of-the-art Additive Manufacturing Centre which houses the largest range of FDM and PolyJet Machines including consumables and spare parts. With more than 1500 orders received and over 100,000 parts produced annually, Objective3D Service Bureau is helping companies in diverse industries create extraordinary new products at every phase of the production process. Objective3D is an ISO 9001 compliant company and has won the Stratasys Customer Satisfaction and Support Award in 2013 and 2015 for the Asia Pacific region. 

For more details, visit www.objective3d.com.au or call 03-9785 2333 (AUS)  09-801 0380 (NZ) or try out our INSTANT ONLINE QUOTING SYSTEM if you have need 3D Parts Printed.

Monday, 8 August 2016

NextGen Space-frame Combines Lightweight Construction and Flexibility


Manufacturers are currently required to integrate the increasing number of drive concepts and energy storage systems into vehicle structures. The vehicle bodies of tomorrow, particularly in view of alternative drive systems in small series with lots of different versions, will not only need to be lighter, but above all will also require a highly flexible design. The consequence is an increasing number of vehicle derivatives, which demand adaptable bodywork concepts that are economical to manufacture. In the foreseeable future, additive manufacturing could offer entirely new possible approaches.

The EDAG concept car “Light Cocoon” is a compact sports car with a bionically designed and additive manufactured vehicle structure, covered with an outer skin made from weatherproof textile material. The EDAG Light Cocoon was unveiled in March 2015 at the Geneva Motor Show and in September 2015 at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. The “EDAG Light Cocoon” is intended to polarize opinions among designers and breaks open existing thought patterns in vehicle design. The bodywork structure embraces bionic patterns and translates them into a lightweight bodywork structure. A concept car that highlights sustainable approaches and at the same time embodies the technological potential of additive manufacturing.

Technology example: 
NextGen space-frame combines lightweight construction and flexibility: Functionally integrated, bionically optimized lightweight vehicle structure manufactured flexibly

In a joint project, EDAG Engineering GmbH (Wiesbaden, DE), Laser Zentrum Nord GmbH (Hamburg, DE), Concept Laser GmbH (Lichtenfels, DE) and the BLM Group (Cantù, IT) created the bionically optimized space-frame produced by hybrid manufacturing to highlight a new way in which a bodywork concept that is adaptable and can be manufactured flexibly can be delivered in order to make the increasing range of different vehicles manageable thanks to the large number of different drives and load stages. Additive manufactured bodywork nodes and intelligently processed profiles are combined. Thanks to additive manufacturing, the nodes can be configured to be highly flexible and multi-functional so that, for example, different versions of a vehicle can be produced “on demand” without any additional tooling, equipment and start-up costs. Steel profiles are used as connecting elements. They too can easily be adapted on an individual basis to the specified load levels by providing them with different wall thicknesses and geometries.


The NextGen space-frame in detail
The NextGen space-frame is a combination of additive manufactured 3D nodes and intelligently processed steel profiles. The nodes can be manufactured on site for the particular version “just in sequence” (JIS), along with the profiles, which are cut to the appropriate shape and length initially using 3D bending and then by employing 2D and 3D laser cutting processes. The focus is on joining together individual components to create a hybrid structure in order to produce topologically optimized structures that are not yet possible at present. The method used is laser welding, which is characterized by intricate welded seams and low thermal input. The components are welded together with a fillet weld on the lap joint. The geometric basis for this is the complete shoeing of the profiles all the way round, and this is also produced on demand via additive manufacturing through 3D measuring of the profiles. This joint enables circumferential welding to produce a connection over a long length along with excellent pre-positioning of the components. 


The profiles are automatically aligned and fixed in place by the node. A high-brightness laser with robot-guided optics is used. In addition, the laser techniques used to produce profiles and nodes can largely be automated in assembly. This concept offers great potential when it comes to the manufacturing cost structure and the possibility of saving time.The additive manufactured nodes can be adapted to reflect each load stage, e.g. by incorporating additional stiffening elements to cater for high load requirements. This means that each version is designed for the optimum weight and function. The hybrid design spans the required distances of the structure with the profiles, while the nodes are used to connect the profiles together. Both elements were optimized using CAE/CAD and guarantee the requirements that are demanded of a bodywork structure. In the present case, as well as playing a coordinating role, EDAG Engineering GmbH was responsible for devising and optimizing the space-frame concept, Laser Zentrum Nord GmbH did the laser welding, the BLM Group undertook the 3D bending and laser cutting, and Concept Laser GmbH performed the additive manufacturing of the nodes. The project could only be implemented successfully thanks to the interdisciplinary collaboration between the complementary partners and the high level of expertise of the individual technology specialists in their specific disciplines.


Production of the additively manufactured NextGen spaceframe nodes
The LaserCUSING process from Concept Laser generates components in layers directly from 3D CAD data. This method allows the production of components with complex geometrical shapes without the use of any tools. It is possible to produce components, which it would be very difficult or impossible to fabricate by conventional manufacturing. With this type of design, the nodes cannot be manufactured by conventional steel casting. In order to be able to guarantee a fault-free structure, a support structure should be provided on planes with an angle of less than 45° in relation to the build platform. As well as providing simple support, the support itself absorbs in particular internal stresses and prevents the components from warping. Due to the complex geometry of the nodes, clean support preparation is the absolute basis of successful production. After preparing the support, the component is virtually cut into individual slices. Once the data has been transferred to the LaserCUSING machine, the corresponding process parameters are assigned, and the build process is started. The nodes were manufactured on an X line 1000R machine from Concept Laser, which has the appropriate build envelope (630 x 400 x 500 mm3) for such projects and operates with a 1kW laser. Only the new X line 2000R (800 x 400 x 500 mm3), likewise from Concept Laser, has a larger build envelope for powder-bed-based laser melting with metals and it is also equipped with 2 x 1kW lasers.


Verdict: Digital 3D manufacturing strategy with laser technologies
The spaceframe concept combines the advantages of 3D printing, such as flexibility and the potential for lightweight construction, with the efficiency of proven conventional profile designs. The laser plays the key role in both technologies. The topologically optimized nodes enable the maximum lightweight construction that is possible at the present time, and a high degree of functional integration. Both the nodes and the profiles can be adapted to new geometries and load requirements without any additional outlay. This means that they offer the possibility of designing every single part to cater for the level of loading, and not dimensioning the components to reflect the greatest motorization or load stage, as was previously the case. The basic idea then is to have a node/profile design which can be optimally customized to reflect what the particular model requires. The result is a space-frame structure with an optimized load path. By employing processes, which do not involve much use of apparatus or tools, it will be possible in future to manufacture all bodywork versions economically and with the greatest possible flexibility.
Article Source: Concept Laser Inc

Objective3D is Australia and New Zealand’s leading provider of Stratasys and Concept Laser 3D Printer Solutions for designers, educators and manufacturers. We are the only Stratasys reseller in Australia and New Zealand that provides both 3D Printer Solutions and 3D Printing Bureau Service through a state-of-the-art Additive Manufacturing Centre which houses the largest range of FDM and PolyJet Machines including consumables and spare parts. With more than 1500 orders received and over 100,000 parts produced annually, Objective3D Service Bureau is helping companies in diverse industries create extraordinary new products at every phase of the production process. Objective3D is an ISO 9001 compliant company and has won the Stratasys Customer Satisfaction and Support Award in 2013 and 2015 for the Asia Pacific region. 

For more details, visit www.objective3d.com.au or call 03-9785 2333 (AUS)  09-801 0380 (NZ) or try out our INSTANT ONLINE QUOTING SYSTEM if you have need a 3D Part Printed.

Friday, 22 July 2016

F1 car scanned with Artec Eva, reverse engineered and 3D printed

It’s amazing what you can do with a combination of 3D scanning and reverse engineering solutions. This project for scaling down a full-size Formula 1 racecar, for which Artec Eva 3D scanner was used, is one of the many examples showing that 3D tech application opportunities are, indeed, limitless.



The project was initiated by a Birmingham-based tool manufacturer that tasked Artec’s British partners Central Scanning and leading supplier of CAD & CAM solutions Delcam with making a scale model of their F1 car so it can be 3D printed at a size of approximately 300 mm.

The car was 3D scanned by Central Scanning, and then the collected data was modeled in Delcam’s reverse engineering software package PowerSHAPE.



“This scan was done by us as a test to see what could be achieved using two types of scanning systems,” said Paul Smith of Central Scanning.

The main body of the car was scanned using Steinbichler Comet L3D scanners, and then the driver’s cockpit, steering wheel, wishbone suspension, rear spoiler, wing mirrors and areas that could not be easily reached with Steinbichler Comet were scanned with Artec Eva.

“We selected the Eva because of its portability and speed, plus we do not need to add markers, it easily follows the graphics,” Paul said.



The car was scanned in the owner’s reception area and workshop; both areas had good stable lighting but no direct sunlight because this would affect the data capture.

Paul has shared with us a few tips on how to scan car parts easier.

“Adding something behind the wishbone suspension units, like paper with graphics, enables the scanner to track the texture and capture the geometry of the thin wishbone,” he said.

There were some dark carbon fiber areas around the wishbones – those were sprayed very lightly. Light reflections around the spoiler areas were also sprayed lightly to ease and quicken the capture.

“We liked using Artec Eva because it needed no calibration and was quick to set up and capture in these tricky areas,” Paul said.

Most of the data was processed using standard settings and without texture during global registration to speed up the process. Artec and Steinbichler big data sets were then merged in PolyWorks.

The completed 250Mb STL model, approximately 8.5 million triangles, was then fully reverse engineered at Delcam using PowerSHAPE Pro. Complex doubly-curved regions were most suited to surface modelling, while more prismatic parts could be modelled most efficiently using solids.

As James Slater of Delcam explained, “The front and rear fins of the car were modelled as solids, created by taking sections through the mesh, extruding them and then merging the separate pieces together using simple Boolean operations. This work was actually done by a summer placement student, who had only had one week’s training before embarking on the project. Meanwhile, one of our more experienced engineers was tackling the more demanding surface construction needed for the body. The end result was a fully detailed, hybrid surface and solid model that would be virtually impossible to make using any other software. Of course, one of the most important things in any RE project is to have a high quality, accurate mesh to start with.”


The car was surfaced at full size. Once it was scaled down, some of the thinner areas, in particular the wishbones and spoilers were thickened up in PowerSHAPE. The model was then 3D printed on a Stratasys 3D printer with a print layer of 0.016 mm.


ARTEC 3D Scanners are available in Australia and New Zealand from Objective3D, a complete 3D Scanners and Printing Solutions provider. To arrange for a demo, please call 03-9785 2333 (AUS) 09-801 0380 (NZ) or submit a demo request

3D Scanner cast in starring role at leading foundry

It’s always great to get testimonials from industry pros who have enhanced their performance thanks to Artec 3D scanners. One such company is Willman Industries Inc., a Wisconsin-based full-service jobbing foundry offering design, pattern making, heat-treating and machining.

Willman were already familiar with the benefits of 3D scanners as they were looking to upgrade from an older laser scanner and Faro arm. Efficiency working with large castings up to 30,000 pounds was the benefit that sold them on the Eva, says Steve Young, the owner of Exact Metrology.

“With the larger castings, the [Artec] scanner can be taken to the casting rather than having to move the casting to where the scanning arm is,” explains Dana Green, an account manager at Exact Metrology. “That along with the large field of view allows for faster capture rates compared to that of the arm and scanner. Additionally the accuracy tolerances are well within the Eva’s capabilities.”


Since its purchase, says Randy Parker, Willman’s quality manager, the Eva has been in use practically every single day in some capacity or another. Parker estimates the Eva has been instrumental in QA on approximately 50 jobs so far, “working out well beyond expectations.”

“We’ve made numerous improvements to our process with it. Our dimensional control has improved not just from measuring the castings but from checking multiple process inputs with the Eva,” Parker says.

Dimensional control is carried out to determine if the quality of castings meets expected values by comparing the data captured with the scanner against known CAD files. This also helps with issues that can come up during the casting process such as core shift. The Eva captures data at an accuracy level well within the confines of the needs for the castings, capturing and processing the data of larger castings much quicker than a laser scanner.

“Using an arm and laser scanner could take hours to scan a large casting, add to that the processing of the large data sets and it may take a day to get results,” says Green. “With the Eva, the casting can be captured in less time and provide processed results faster, thus allowing faster feedback on the production process to maintain quality.”


According to Parker, Willman Industries have greatly expanded the primary use they bought the Eva for to include tooling analysis, pattern and mold scanning, reverse engineering and problem solving.

Problems such as uneven cooling can be encountered within casting scenarios, leading to production errors. With the faster data capture and measurement results, Parker can see errors in portions of a casting that can only be attributed to uneven cooling. This helps adjust production methods, resulting in lower production losses in time and materials.

Parker says he knew the Eva would help supply layout castings more rapidly but is amazed at the actual pace – some tasks are accomplished in 75 percent less time. He cited some castings that historically would have stretched over a period of seven to 10 days now being finished in six to 10 hours.

Parker refers to the Eva as “crazy efficient,” adding, “The rate at which you can capture data is fantastic.”

“Without a doubt the Eva has saved our company money,” says Parker. “We definitely promote it to customers as a valuable tool that will enable us to meet their castings’ requirements.”

ARTEC 3D Scanners are available in Australia and New Zealand from Objective3D, a complete 3D Scanners and Printing Solutions provider. To arrange for a demo, please call 03-9785 2333 (AUS) 09-801 0380 (NZ) or submit a demo request

Friday, 8 July 2016

3D Printing in the Deep Sea

Subsea Equipment Manufacturer 3D prints Injection Tools using Direct Digital Manufacturing

“It used to take us six to eight days to produce a 26-inch injection head through CNC machining. Now, the same part can be completed within two days.”  Keith Burch / i-Tech


From laying underwater cables and pipes to offshore oil and gas exploration, modern subsea operations involve some of the most complex systems, and are constantly challenged by changing ocean environments. Driven by government regulations and market pressure to control oil production and maintain environmentally friendly practices, subsea equipment manufacturers are actively looking for solutions to reduce development and operation costs.


i-Tech is one of the leading global providers of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and intervention tooling solutions for offshore engineering. It operates one of the world’s largest and most advanced fleets of ROVs to support major global energy companies in many flagship projects in the depths of the ocean.

Pipeline engineers and designers at i-Tech are confronted with problems caused by underwater pressure, unpredictable weather conditions and strong ocean currents in their deep-water operations. Equipment reliability is of the utmost importance to ensure that tools can be used for extended periods of time with minimal corrosion and damage. To optimize the design, performance and application of its Chemical Stick Injection Tool (CSIT), i-Tech turned to Objective3D for a 3D printing solution.



Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Removing Stratasys Soluble Support in Less than 60 Seconds

One thing that’s true of 3D Printing machines across the board is that some post-build processes must be done before a 3D printed part is ready to be used. The parts have been built, but support removal and/or some additional post processing is required. So the next time when you are considering a 3D printer for your business, it's important that you factor in the amount of time it will take you to remove the support material.

The video below demonstrates the ease in which support material is removed using a water jet. All done in less than 60 seconds. Imaging how much time you can save with the Stratasys support material.




Stratasys 3D Printers are available in Australia and New Zealand from Objective3D, a complete 3D Printing Solutions provider. From 3D Printers, 3D Parts, 3D Scanners including Printer Maintenance services and consumables for Stratasys 3D printers, Objective3D is the largest distributor of Stratasys 3D Printers across Australia and New Zealand, and were recently awarded the Stratasys Customer Satisfaction and Support Award for 2013 for the Asia Pacific region.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Top 5 3D Printing Misconceptions

Given the roller coaster of attitudes towards 3D printing in recent years, it can feel like there is a plethora of misinformation on the technology. Misinformation has led to misguidance, misuse and ultimately distrust. To fully embrace 3D printing in all its varied forms, and therefore achieve the greatest overall value from what could be a crucial project solution, we’ve gathered some of the most common misconceptions we’ve heard from newcomers and industry veterans alike and addressed where the misconception comes from and how 3D printing breaks the mold.



Misconception 1: 3D printing can’t produce real functional parts. This misconception stems from early realities for the technology. In the first decade or so, 3D printed plastics were mostly relegated to photocure materials which were not durable. Most 3D printing processes did not have good tolerances or automation in place to aid in controlling the build to achieve a specific need. By about 2000, however, 3D printing was already maturing into full blown production use in aerospace and transportation. Today, 3D printing has significantly improved in material availability – with FAR rated, HST certified and biocompatible materials. In addition, process controls through automation and improved technology have transformed 3D printing into a reliable production solution.                                                                                                             
Misconception 2: 3D printing is slow OR 3D printing is instant (like Star Trek). This misconception is more involved with a confusion surrounding 3D printing in general. 3D printing is not one technology; rather it involves technologies with separate materials and processes. 3D printing refers to any process which involves additively building up or forming parts in layers. The speed for each 3D printing process depends on many factors including layer thickness, process, part size, geometry, and even material. A small prototype can take 1.5 hours with a technology like PolyJet or 5 hours with a process like laser sintering. However, there is no instant replicator technology like the one seen in Star Trek (which we suspect is somehow warping time).                                                                                                                  
Misconception 3: A 3D printed part is ready for use right off the machine. We certainly wish this was true, but 3D printed parts require post-processing to remove supports and support material residue along with other treatment processes depending on the technology and desired aesthetics or strength. Even laser sintered parts, which are support free, will undergo a simple air blast to remove loose powder. Support material is any material added to a part during printing that supports the part as it builds. It can be a separate specially formulated material or the same material as the final build material. Support material and support requirements greatly vary between 3D printing technologies.

Misconception 4: All 3D printing technologies require supports. While most 3D printing technologies do require supports, laser sintering is a zero-supports process. Additionally, designs can be oriented or reconfigured to reduce the amount of supports required for any 3D printing technology, including PolyJet, Stereolithography and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). It is helpful to understand why a process requires supports to appreciate how supports are added to a design.
  • Why a part requires supports: While a part is printing, the material may still be in a “green” state. A green material hasn’t completed its curing or hardening process. While it cures, hardens or otherwise completes its production, it usually requires supports to ensure delicate features remain accurate, or to avoid warping or similar problems.
  • The exceptions: Laser sintering builds in a bed of powder; the unsintered powder supports designs as they complete their melting and hardening process. However, metal laser sintering, which also builds in a bed of powder, requires supports. Metal laser sintering, or DMLS, heats designs at a significantly higher temperature than plastic, and once the metal is formed into a shape, it becomes much denser than the surrounding powder. Therefore without supports, the metal part would sink through the less dense, unsintered powder.
When designing for 3D printing, it’s important to take into account how your desired material or process utilizes supports and to talk to your project engineer about how supports can be used to supplement your design and achieve optimum products.

Misconception 5: 3D printing is expensive. All 3D printing technologies involve highly advanced manufacturing processes with a lot of intense hardware – lasers, noble gases, specially formulated materials – plus it requires human touch labor for build preparation and post-processing. In many ways 3D printing is like typical manufacturing with typical production costs. However, where 3D printing differs from conventional production and saves money is in the execution of complicated geometry without increasing time or labor. A complex, involved geometry is easy for 3D printing and doesn’t require the labor and manufacturing costs of a process like machining or tooling. If a part is large and simple, it probably won’t save you too much on your bottom line to produce with 3D printing. But a small to large part with involved details, interior features, and complex uses will see huge cost savings with 3D printing compared to conventional manufacturing. 

In the ever-changing, fast-paced ecosystem surrounding 3D printing, it can feel like the technology lurches forward at ever accelerating paces in just the blink of an eye. Learn more about 3D printing technologies and how they differ in “Find the Right Technology for Your Application”.

Today 3D printing is transforming manufacturing for aerospace, medical, energy, and many other industries with the expansive capabilities it currently offers. As 3D printing continues to evolve, who knows what tomorrow will bring!

Source: Stratasys Direct Manufacturing Blog

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Perfectly cooled! Moulds without hot spots

Economic solutions for tooling and mould-making
Securing competitive advantages and getting to the market faster is the name of the game nowadays in almost all sectors of industry. As a renowned supplier to the plastics-processing industry and in aluminium die-casting, Concept Laser GmbH benefits from many years of experience. The use of mould inserts with conformal cooling delivers quality optimisation while reducing the unit costs at the same time.



Metal Machine Solutions using LaserCUSING® Technology, a cutting edge technology from Concept laser is now available in Australia and New Zealand from Objective3D. The term LaserCUSING® – made up of the letter C from Concept Laser and the word FUSING for „complete melting“ – describes the technology of the future. The fusion process with patented „stochastic exposure“ generates complex component geometries layer by layer using 3D CAD data. LaserCUSING® opens up unimagined possibilities. New product ideas and mould inserts which can be subjected to high mechanical and thermal loading can already be produced today. Individually, fl exibly, quickly and cost-effectively!



LaserCUSING® MOULD INSERT DELIVERS QUALITY BENEFITS

  • Shortening of the manufacturing time for mould inserts
  • Shorter reworking time, since there is no rough machining process required.
  • Less warping and shrinkage holes: Increase in quality and/or reduction in the scrap rate.
  • High-quality product delivers considerable competitive advantage.
  • Cycle time saving of 20-30% and more means: Lower unit costs


MATERIAL CHOICES
The LaserCUSING® machines are suitable for processing the following material groups: Stainless steels, hot-work steels, stainless hot-work steels and nickel based alloys



APPLICATIONS

  • LaserCUSING® mould insert for aluminium die-casting (oil pump housing) manufactured on M1 cusing / material CL 50WS (1.2709) / measurable advantages thanks to integration of a conformal cooled tool insert in cavity 2: signifi cantly improved product quality thanks to the reduction of cavity formation. 50% less scrap rate based on the target error characteristic. Warping on the cast part considerably reduced. Time and cost saving.
  • LaserCUSING® mould insert for an injection-mould to produce lenses for sport glasses in serial production manufactured on M1 cusing / material CL 50WS (1.2709) / measurable advantages thanks to the patented conformal surface cooling: reduction in the cycle time and quality optimisation.


  • LaserCUSING® mould insert for vacuum cleaner lid injection-mould in serial production manufactured on M1 cusing / material hot-work steel CL 50WS (1.2709) / measurable advantages thanks to patented conformal parallel cooling: quality optimisation, reduction in the cycle time and unit costs.



If you are interested to learn more about our latest Metal Machine offering and what this leading edge technology can do for you, visit us at National Manufacturing Week 2016 in Sydney. Our 3D Printing Solutions Consultant, John Whinnen, will be at the Amaero Additive Manufacturing Stand at the following dates and times. If you would like to lock in a date and time to meet John at the show, please feel free to call him at 0408 134 443 or email him at john@objective3d.com.au




Stand 1604 (Amaero Additive Manufacturing)
Wednesday, 11th May, 10am - 3pm
Thursday, 12th May, 10am - 3pm
Friday, 13th May, 10am-4pm

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Design Freedom with Metal 3D Printing



Do you require same strength but lighter weight solution? 

Do you require multiple part consolidation? 

Do you require injection moulding with conformal cooling? 

Are you producing medical / dental implants or devices? 

If you're answering 'yes" to some of the questions above then you're probably need a Metal 3D printing solution.

Learn more >>


Friday, 22 April 2016

3D Printing Seminars help manufacturers accelerate design-to-manufacturing workflows.

3D printing technology has been in use by the manufacturing industry for many years but many businesses which could benefit from the technology have yet to adopt it. There are many reasons for this slow adoption - many do not understand how 3d printers function, how does the technology fit into their work flow, what their long term costs and cost savings maybe, or which printers would be best for their particular businesses. 


As leaders within the 3D printing industry, Objective3D understands this lack of information within the market place. Since April of last year to date, the company has hosted over 18 "Manufacturing the Future" Seminars around Australia and New Zealand focused primary at informing, educating, and inspiring local businesses, designers, engineers,educators, entrepreneurs and other professional around Australia and New Zealand on the applications and benefits of 3D Printing. These seminars have been a huge success, both in educating and driving businesses to either adopt Objective3D's range of Stratasys 3D printer solutions or to use the 3D printing and custom manufacturing services offered by Objective3D Direct Manufacturing. Many have even traveled interstate to the Melbourne Seminar to tour the Objective3D Additive Manufacturing Centre, the largest commercial based 3D Printing facility in the country which houses the widest range of FDM and PolyJet Machines including consumables and spare parts.


Seminars were held in various cities including Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Wagga-Wagga, Newcastle, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch and have managed to reach over 900 individuals. The latest concluded on 13th and 20th April at Flinders University SA and the University Technology Sydney, where Objective3D's latest metal solutions offering was introduced to over 130 individuals from the aerospace, defense, automotive, industrial / consumer products, dental, education, architectural industries as well as the government departments.


Objective3D will continue offering this seminar series in the coming months with events in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth all locked in. Stay tuned for an email invite or if you would like to be included in an invite, send an email to enquiries@objective3d.com.au


All Objective3D Seminars will cover the following:
  • Insight into how 3D Printers can be used to grow your business, and assist in creating a sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Real life examples of Direct Digital Manufacturing and learn how they use 3D Printing Technology in their businesses. 
  • Learn how to diversify your current business model to achieve growth among your existing client base while attracting new clients with the use of Stratasys 3D Production Systems.
  • An opportunity to have your questions answered by Objective3D and Stratasys industry and technology experts.
  • Design best practices for 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing. Learn about direct digital manufacturing - the Cost, Time, Quality and IP benefits it presents.
  • An introduction to 3D printing and custom manufacturing services.


Objective3D's mission is totally focused on using the "Manufacturing the Future" seminar series to not only expand the market for this technology but to also educate the various industries on the latest technologies including metal solutions offering. For those of you who are not able to attend any of our seminars but would like to know more about how Objective3D can assist you in using 3D Printing technology to grow your business, then send send an email to vicki@objective3d.com.au in order to arrange for an individual meeting.


About Objective3D
Objective3D is Australia and New Zealand’s leading provider of Stratasys and Makerbot 3D Printer Solutions for designers, educators and manufacturers. We are the only Stratasys reseller in Australia and New Zealand that provides both 3D Printer Solutions and 3D Printing Bureau Service through a state-of-the-art Additive Manufacturing Centre which houses the largest range of FDM and PolyJet Machines including consumables and spare parts. Objective3D is a certified ISO 9001 company and has won the Stratasys Customer Service Excellence Award in 2013 and 2015. For more information, visit www.objective3d.com.au or www.direct3dprinting.com.au