Posts Tagged "business"

Bringing CAD (Computer-Aided Design) into the Classroom

July 18, 2013
3d-innovations.com

Most think of CAD and 3D modeling as technology that’s taught at the college or professional level, it is now trickling down to high-school and even middle-school classrooms. CAD increasingly is shaping the education of America’s youth in ways that far outstrip its original application as a drafting tool. Its use is helping to shore up the country’s supply of engineers by instilling a passion for technology use at a young age.

When it comes to fostering students’ interest in a subject current wisdom says the window of opportunity is closing by the time students finish middle school. That, together with an emphasis on the importance of teaching process and critical thinking, is what’s driving the push to introduce CAD technologies to students in the third through twelfth grades.

3D Academy, the educational branch of 3D Innovations, focuses on bringing CAD into the classroom. Our program curriculum is structured and designed to give students a head start in their careers as well as exposure to industry practices. Curriculum is focused on pre-engineering principles that integrate CAD, engineering design, drafting, and manufacturing.

Opportunity and exposure to STEM fields are key to fostering interest, but a student’s belief in his or her ability to make a contribution to the professional world is an important precursor to pursuing what often is a hidden dream. CAD is helping students gain that confidence.

Resources:

__________

3D Academy, A Division of 3D Innovations, LLC provides training services specializing in 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) Technology.

Additive Manufacturing Benefits Business

June 20, 2013
3d-innovations.com

There has been a popular article circulating from the Manufacturing Business Technology website about the top five benefits of additive manufacturing that you have probably never considered, and we found it very insightful and wanted to share some of the article highlights with our 3D Innovations community. (Click here to view the article in its entirety.)

Top Five Benefits of Additive Manufacturing (You Never Considered)

The following are the top five benefits of additive manufacturing that highlight where the technology is taking us today.

1. Freedom to design and innovate without penalties

If there is one thing product engineers can count on, it’s modifications and redesigns; and it is one of the most important aspects of designing. Additive manufacturing is no longer just about the physical creation of a part. It brings design and innovation to the forefront. Having this creative freedom in the production process, without time or cost penalties, is the ultimate advantage over traditional manufacturing. This is especially true when you consider that over 60 percent of designs submitted for tooling are modified while in production. In traditional manufacturing, this can quickly lead to significant increases in cost and time delays. Additive manufacturing mitigates this through the movement away from static designs while enabling engineers to try multiple iterations simultaneously with minimal additional costs.

Companies do not have to tolerate design flaws that come with amortizing the cost of the tool before starting over. This freedom to design and innovate without penalties yields big rewards: compressed production schedules, better products, more product designs and ultimately, more products.

2. Increased supply chain proficiency with ‘3D faxing’

Think faxing is a technology of the past: think again. In the additive manufacturing world, it is the future and it has huge implications to helping manufacturers control their supply chain. Contract part manufacturers like RedEye On Demand have proprietary Internet communication technologies (ICT) that enable proficiency with supply chain management and global production orders. It works by allowing companies to manufacture via the internet through access to a global network of 3D printers and production systems. Companies are able to eliminate constraints and barriers so that design files can be processed digitally in one central location, and then 3D faxed to any printer on the network around the world, creating global digital factories.

One of the best aspects of the process is that it eliminates lost time and costs associated with shipping parts globally. Parts can be created at a digital factory near the manufacturing facility when and where they are needed, eliminating the hassle of customs, duties and inspections. General shipping and transportation fees are minimized through the process. Additionally, additive manufacturing allows for real-time visibility to production and receipt of parts, further increasing time and cost savings for part and original equipment manufacturers.

3. Support of green manufacturing initiatives

By now, it may have already occurred to you that additive manufacturing significantly streamlines traditional methods. This compressed process also equates to a smaller environmental footprint. When considering the mining process of steel or the retooling process required in traditional manufacturing, it is easy to see where additive manufacturing warrants consideration as a sustainable alternative.

Global digital factories, like RedEye On Demand’s, allow companies to access a global network of 3D printers and production systems to manufacture via the internet.While additive manufacturing relies on electricity, a relatively small amount is required to produce parts. Additionally, there is little waste as only the needed materials are used and the plastics are recyclable. And with 3D faxing there is significantly less trucking of parts. Additive manufacturing is also effective in the light-weighting of vehicles and aircraft, which is important in mitigating harmful fuel emissions. In fact, components produced using additive manufacturing processes like Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), allow manufacturing engineers to build solid parts with a semi-hollow honeycomb interior. These parts have an excellent strength to weight ratio that is equivalent to a solid part. The difference, however, is that these components can be as much as 65 percent lighter than traditional, subtractive manufacturing methods, which have tremendous impact on fuel costs of the final product.

4. Bottom line improvements through factory physics

One of the fastest ways to improve a company’s bottom line is by mitigating risk and increasing predictability. Using a framework known as factory physics, the all-digital additive manufacturing technology makes unpredictable production methods predictable by gauging factory loads. With online quoting engines and a part’s volume that CAD software can easily compute, engineers are given real-time delivery dates. At the same time, 3D printers have a known volume and capacity that can automatically be tracked and measured at any given moment. This ability to manage and automate factory loads means pricing becomes dynamic based on the factory physics at that moment. It also gives engineers a more efficient means of controlling pricing by mitigating risk of unpredictable scheduling or the fear of interruption to the supply chain. 3D printers can read CAD files to know how long it will take to build a part and how much material is needed before it’s even on the machine. This allows the ability to better plan capacity, give accurate delivery dates to customers and schedule factory capacity by forecasting future needs without interruption.

5. Get parts – fast

Ok, so you likely have already considered parts on demand as a major benefit of additive manufacturing, but it warrants repeating. Being able to access parts almost instantaneously allows a more fluid product development and design process. This brings us full circle back to freedom to redesign without penalties. For additive manufacturing, speed is the name of the game at all phases – quoting, production and shipping. This includes parts needed for end-use applications or for those where it makes sense to use the technology as a bridge to traditional manufacturing.

Whatever the case, all of the stories are the same and most end with additive manufacturing acting as the bridge. When one supplier fell through for an automotive manufacturer who was building machines in Asia, they turned to additive manufacturing to produce 250 ABS thermoplastic pieces instantly in order to keep the factory running. Without these parts on demand enabling continuous production, the factory would have been idle for weeks.  Similarly, for a government application, parts on demand meant saving lives of our armed forces when the production of military flashlights, used in battle, were put on hold because of retooling. With additive manufacturing available to help validate the new design, it allowed manufacturing assembly to kick in while tooling caught up. According to the purchasing manager, without additive manufacturing’s ability to redesign the part overnight, they would have had to wait 12 weeks.

The demand to obtain parts quickly will continue to rise, especially as the industry becomes increasingly comfortable and familiar with enabling technologies like additive manufacturing. In fact, traditional manufacturing companies are already beginning to increase the number of onsite additive manufacturing machines to fill the void. It is only a matter of time before the most significant benefits of this technology are realized and the future of manufacturing is transformed into global digital factories.

What 3D Printing Means for Small Business

April 25, 2013
3d-innovations.com

3D printing is wowing entrepreneurs and enthusiasts because of its extreme flexibility. It has applications for almost any industry or field” (Yahoo Small Business).

Small businesses have found that 3D printing has not only helped on a per product basis, but overall it has made them much more competitive in the marketplace. Below are four ways in which 3D printing benefits small business:

  1. Prototyping: You can now have a sketch in the morning of a product idea and by the end of the day, you can hold that product prototype in your hands. Yes this IS possible! 3D printing has simplified and streamlined the prototyping process for businesses. When you are able to modify your product design and prototype in a matter of a week or so, sending the final design to the manufacturer just became that much easier.
  2. Personal Customization: 3D printing allows you to personalize renderings and products for each individual consumer. You are able to use different materials, tweak the product design and add additional customized features so that you provide your customer with exactly what they are envisioning. “Imagine people tweeting or sharing their personally customized version of your product that fits them perfectly. A business could easily market the base design for a product, and tout its customizability to consumers everywhere” (Yahoo Small Business).
  3. Manufacturing: Cutting out the “middle man” on short production runs means that your business will be able to get your product to your consumer much faster and at a lower cost. Also, consider this, in the future a business might also be able to offer their product designs to consumers through a purchasing process so that consumers can download the CAD file and print out their own product at home.
  4. Leveling the Playing Field: 3D printing allows small businesses to take on larger corporations in their field because of the quick product turn around times and increased flexibility. “There are a ton of companies, from one- and two-person organizations to sub-100-person organizations, that actually make themselves competitive with the 10,000-pound gorilla in their particular marketplace because of the advantages they get with 3D printing,” says Bruce Bradshaw, marketing director of Objet” (Entrepreneur). Not all large corporations have been quick to adapt 3D printing technology, and thus they have left themselves vulnerable to smaller and much more flexible businesses that are embracing the technology.

The efficiency of 3D printing has transformed business and will continue to have an ever expanding impact as the technology evolves and becomes more mainstream.

If you are interested in learning more about 3D printing and the advantages it can have on your business, contact us at info@3d-innovations.com and would be more than happy to discuss this with you!

Resources

________

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the  3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

3D Innovations- About Us (video)

We have recently put together a brand new video about 3D Innovations and wanted to share it with our followers! Please take a moment to watch it and also share it with your friends and colleagues.

Thank you…Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

3D Innovations is a full service 3D Engineering/Design company – from the 3D Design to a fully functional 3D Prototype & Product.

3D Innovations provides Engineering/Product Design, 3D CAD, Design Documentation, and 3D Printing/Rapid Prototyping services to support all of your design, prototyping, and manufacturing needs.

We support various Commercial and Government industries that include Industrial, Military, Construction, Medical, Manufacturing, Automotive, Mechanical Design, R&D, Inventors, and many more.

3D Academy Continues to Further Student’s Education

October 14, 2011
3d-innovations.com

3D Academy, a Division of 3D Innovations continues to provide support for STEMWorks

Introducing students to Pre-Engineering, Design, CAD, Prototyping, and Manufacturing

STEMworks, (Formally Project EAST) is a program provided by the Maui Economic Development Boards Women In Technology Project. STEMworks is a multi-faceted, hands-on program where students get to use the most current, high-end technologies in actual service learning projects.

Students also learn about Industry applications and how their programs overlap and integrate with their technology courses to develop relevant 21st century skills.

Image1

For more information on this program, please e-mail academy@3d-innovations.com

3D Innovations featured as one of Aloha Connects ‘Hawaii Connections’

October 5, 2011
3d-innovations.com

“Aloha Connects is a collaborative project designed to connect Hawai’i businesses with their counterparts in the APEC member economies resulting in increased trade, business expansion, capital investment and job creation.” https://www.alohaconnects.com/

3D Innovations has been featured on the Aloha Connects website!

INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO DESIGN & MANUFACTURING

3D Innovations has helped many of their customers develop concepts and move from the R&D phase to Production and Manufacturing phases by utilizing 3D Printing and DDM Technologies. On average, customers can save 80% – 200% over traditional subtractive fabrication/manufacturing methods. This does not include any re-work or scrapped parts that would typically result in additional project overruns of 300% or more if this prototyping process was not integrated into the R&D phase. In certain applications, DDM Technologies can be used as end use parts, saving thousands of dollars in tooling and fixtures that are required for the Injection Molding process… Visit: https://www.alohaconnects.com/3DInnovations to view the article in its entirety.