Get a better connection with SOLIDWORKS Interconnect

    by Angelle Erickson on October 19, 2016

    Collaborating with a customer or a supplier shouldn’t be a challenge, but with the many versions of CAD software being used in the industry these days, these challenges can exist. SOLIDWORKS 2017 has made helping customers and viewing different formats easier with Interconnect, a tool that will be part of their 2017 release.

    SOLIDWORKS 2017 is not only smoother and faster than ever before, but they have made enhancements to almost every feature and product in their software line. Interconnect is the icing on the cake for those who need to not only open and view data from other CAD software but who need to make changes that can be saved and reopened by the original user.get-a-better-connection-with-solidworks-interconnect

    So what else does Interconnect do? Well for starters, it can work with files from all major brands of CAD software including Autodesk® Inventor®, CATIA®, PTC®Creo®, Siemens®, and more. So now, jumping to SOLIDWORKS isn’t as much of an obstacle since it can now deal with non-native data in a friendlier, more flowing manner. This is especially useful for those who may have been wanting to switch to SOLIDWORKS, but their supply chain uses another program. Interconnect eliminates that problem allowing everyone to work together on a project or design throughout its entire lifecycle.

    In the past, working with non-native CAD software had its limitations.  Although it was possible to import files, they existed in a state unlinked from the original file. Here are the top highlights that will increase your productivity and provide clearer communication within your design processes.



      The Business Boosting Benefits of 3D Printing

      by Christa Prokos on October 18, 2016

      About thirty years ago, 3D printing emerged as a new technology that could create objects from a digital file using a process known as additive manufacturing. Today, news coverage continues to follow the business boosting benefits it affords. 

      If you are new to 3D printing, here is how it is done: First, you make a virtual design of an object using a 3D-modeling CAD program to design a new object, or if you would like to make a design file of an existing object, you can use a 3D scanner to copy it. Next, the 3D printer prints the object by applying layer after layer of material to produce the complete object. The material can be anything from clear, rubberlike and biocompatible photopolymers to tough high-performance thermoplastics. It just depends on the application for which the object is created, and the 3D printer used.



        Large Assembly Mode Made Easier with SOLIDWORKS 2017

        by Angelle Erickson on October 14, 2016

        As many users know, not every design produced in SOLIDWORKS is small. Some designs require over 100,000 parts and being able to view, manage, document, and assemble a large product should not be a daunting task. Luckily, SOLIDWORKS’ Large Assembly Mode has made that process easier. Available in SOLIDWORKS Standard, Professional, and Premium packages, Large Assembly Mode has key features such as configuration tools, large design review, and magnetic mating allowing users to view the whole picture or work in specific areas without the risk of losing data.

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          Tips for New SOLIDWORKS Users Part 2: Keep Your Sketches Simple

          by Toby Schnaars on October 12, 2016

          Welcome back to our series of tips for new SOLIDWORKS users. As I mentioned in my last blog, I started teaching SOLIDWORKS CAD software to both new and experienced students in 2001.  This blog series covers three great tips I’ve learned over the years to help new SOLIDWORKS users get started off on the right foot:

          1. Always start your sketches the same way – and know when you are in sketch mode
          2. Keep your sketches simple
          3. Fully define, every time

          My last blog covered the first tip. Today, we will move into the second: Keep your sketches simple.

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            3D Printed Prototypes Essential to Automotive Industry

            by Rob Stipek on October 10, 2016

            Balancing deadlines and quality work isn’t an easy task to accomplish, especially when you are challenged with creating complex automotive designs. OEMs and their suppliers are constantly looking for ways to improve process, while saving time and money. This is where using 3D printing for prototyping has become an essential part of the automotive design process.

            Validation of a design base on what a computer image shows you isn’t a foolproof way of ensuring design quality and traditional prototyping methods can be costly and expensive. By incorporating an onsite 3D printer, design engineers can print their CAD models and have them in hand within a matter of hours, ensuring quality and design validation at a speed and price that far exceeds traditional means. The value of having a part in hand to make a proper determination on design quality can be the catalyst to a project’s success.   

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              Celebrating National Manufacturing Day

              by Angelle Erickson on October 7, 2016


              celebrating-national-manufacturing-day-whitespaceThe first Friday in October is celebrated as National Manufacturing Day, where we commend those who have made American products with passion and determination. These are the same people who have inspired the upcoming generation of students to become further educated on developing the future. As we enter the fourth industrial revolution which will focus on the integration of data and communication, companies are focusing on skills, continued innovation, and setting new standards to drive the next generation.

              So where does Fisher Unitech see manufacturing heading for the future? I asked Danny Levy, a 3D printing Application Engineer who works with our manufacturing customers, what his thoughts were on the topic. His insights were inspirationally optimistic.

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                Tips for New SOLIDWORKS Users Part 1: Sketch Mode

                by Toby Schnaars on October 3, 2016

                Hello and welcome to the wonderful world of SOLIDWORKS. I’m excited to be your guide. I have been using SOLIDWORKS CAD software for 18 years, since my first training class back in 1998. I began teaching the software to both new and experienced students back in 2001. Throughout the years I have found that there are three great tips to help new SOLIDWORKS CAD software users get off on the right foot:

                1. Always start your sketches the same way – and know when you are in sketch mode
                2. Keep your sketches simple
                3. Fully define, every time

                This blog is the first in a series of three that will provide details on each tip. So let’s get started!

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                • POSTED IN CAD

                  Is it Time to Switch to a New CAD System?

                  by Jerry Fireman on September 30, 2016

                  Your CAD system was cutting edge when you purchased it years ago but now it feels like a dull razor blade. Which raises the question – should you replace it now or try to get more out of your existing software? In favor of switching is the opportunity to pick out the latest and greatest solid modeling software that provides the best fit with your product development process. On the negative side, there are costs such as the new software, upgraded hardware, training, conversion of legacy data, etc. How do you decide when it’s time to switch?

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                  • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                    What’s New: SOLIDWORKS 2017 Technical Communication Tools

                    by Angelle Erickson on September 29, 2016

                    It has been said that communication is the key to success. So when bringing an idea to life, designers and engineers must be able to communicate their plans and thoughts with the rest of their team. In order to portray this, users have looked to SOLIDWORKS Technical Communications tools and have been successfully able to demonstrate and depict the most complicated designs in an easy to understand display format.

                    The life cycle of a design begins with an idea. Often times, there are several stages involved in order to bring a design to life. Drawings and files are handed off from department to department to guarantee the original concept is portrayed properly and accurately. Eliminating spoken or written instruction between teams decreases the opportunity for error, which in turn will increase the production time. That’s why SOLIDWORKS’ Composer tool is used so often by designers and engineers to transcribe assembly instruction, provide a part list, and gather media for presentations.

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                      The Power of PolyJet Technology for 3D Printing

                      by Rob Stipek on September 27, 2016

                      If you’re new to PolyJet technology, it works similarly to inkjet printing, but rather than jetting drops of ink onto paper, PolyJet 3D printers jet layers of photopolymer materials onto a build tray. With PolyJet materials, users get a unique way to create high quality 3D printed parts that incorporate color, texture, and multi-material capabilities all in the same build.the-power-of-polyjet-technology-for-3d-printing

                      Why does PolyJet reign supreme?

                      PolyJet technology produces highly realistic, functional 3D models in a wide range of materials. It also provides properties that span from rigid to rubber and opaque to transparent, solving all of your printing needs. There are also materials that perform similarly to engineering plastics which combine toughness and heat resistance. PolyJet enables designers, engineers, and artists to produce finely detailed models and prototypes for virtually any industry.

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                        Latest and Greatest - SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017

                        by Angelle Erickson on September 23, 2016

                        The release of SOLIDWORKS 2017 is right around the corner and drumming up a lot of excitement for power users and new users alike. With every new SOLIDWORKS release, users anticipate enhancements and features that will increase their productivity and help make their design and product development processes easier.pdmcomp

                        There is no better way to bring an idea and design to life than with the power of SOLIDWORKS. With multiple tools and functions such as electrical, simulation, and visualization, it’s possible to design a product seamlessly and effortlessly.

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                        • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS, 3D PRINTING

                          3D CAD and 3D Printing Meet Virtual Reality

                          by Christa Prokos on September 22, 2016

                          Virtual Reality, commonly referred to as VR, is becoming more and more prevalent in our lives. Just look at the obvious example of gaming. You probably know at least one person in your circle of friends or family who has told you to try out their VR headset to see something in a new way.

                          3d-cad-and-3d-printing-meet-virtual-realityBeyond gaming and entertainment, VR is also used for business and educational purposes such as training, research, and engineering. We asked Dan Wagner at Prism Engineering, a Fisher Unitech company, to tell us more about VR and how he and a technical team of 3D CAD and 3D printing experts are using it for their engineering purposes.

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                            The Right Tool for the Job Part 3: Getting Your Fix with Fixtures

                            by David Roccaforte on September 20, 2016

                            In the first blog in this series, I introduced SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard, our entry level but high value analysis package. In my second blog, I discussed the single body limitations in Sim Xpress and compared that with the extended capabilities in our more full featured tools. In this post, I will discuss the fixed constraint option in Sim Xpress and compare this to the capabilities of Simulation Standard.  

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                            • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                              Top New SOLIDWORKS 2017 Enhancements

                              by Christa Prokos on September 15, 2016

                              If you use 3D CAD design and modeling software,“The Power You Need to Drive Innovation,” is a headline that is bound to catch your attention—especially when it’s describing the release of SOLIDWORKS 2017.

                              Industry news is a buzz about the launch of SOLIDWORKS 2017, the 24th annual release of the CAD, simulation, data management and collaboration software. User feedback drove 90 percent of the enhancements in this release. In the CAD tools alone, there are 250 new features and enhancements, and a total of 520 new enhancements spread across all SOLIDWORKS products.

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                                Come Experience the Game Changing 3D Printer: Stratasys J750

                                by Rob Stipek on September 9, 2016

                                Ask anyone in business, higher education or the manufacturing community what their top objectives are and they’ll probably say it’s to achieve more, to solve more problems, and to act faster than what’s now possible—all while saving money in the process. Ask what’s holding them back and you’ll probably find a diverse variety of obstacles in their day-to-day work processes that hinder their progress.

                                Having the right tools to do the job is one crucial element in solving problems and becoming more efficient and productive. Additive manufacturing, widely known as 3D printing, is one of those tools. It helps businesses, educators, and manufacturers breakdown production barriers. Using 3D printing reduces time and effort to produce parts, models, prototypes and other objects. And today, the game changing 3D printer is the J750 from Stratasys. You can come experience all that the Stratasys J750 has to offer at an upcoming Fisher Unitech J750 Roadshow Event

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                                  The Right Tool for the Job Part 2: The Single Body Limitation in Sim Xpress

                                  by David Roccaforte on September 8, 2016

                                  In my last blog, I introduced SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard and how it is a lot of analysis power for the money. One point that I made is that there are many times when SOLIDWORKS users might be trying to do too much with the free Xpress tools or might not realize what they are missing in a more complete solution like Simulation Standard Professional or Premium. In this blog, I will discuss the single body limitation imposed by Sim Xpress.

                                  Sim Xpress allows only a single body and "fixed" constraints that stop motion on the chosen face in the X, Y, Z directions. The main reason for this limitation is that it prevents users from creating an unstable model by accident. Fix any face in X, Y, Z directions on a single body and you are going to have a stable model. In other words it's a slam dunk that the solver will able to solve for equilibrium and we can find a solution. This limitation guarantees a solution but limits the areas we can accurately extract stresses from and limits the types of situations we can accurately reproduce.

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                                    Join Us at a SOLIDWORKS 2017 Launch Event Near You

                                    by Christa Prokos on September 7, 2016

                                    sw17cropWe are excited to announce that Fisher Unitech and our friends at Prism Engineering will be hosting a series of SOLIDWORKS 2017 launch events beginning next month on October 5th. With hundreds of new enhancements and features, the newest version of SOLIDWORKS promises to be the most powerful release yet.

                                    So if you’re just as geeked out about SOLIDWORKS 2017 as we are you’ll fit right in! Join us at one of our live launch events to engage with our experts and gain some tips and tricks, along with a deeper understanding of how industry-specific tools can address your personal designing needs.

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                                    • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                      Stratasys to Demonstrate Next generation 3D Printing at 2016 IMTS

                                      by Rob Stipek on August 25, 2016

                                      The 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company, today announced it is previewing demonstrations of next generation manufacturing technologies at IMTS 2016 as part of its SHAPING WHAT’S NEXT™ vision for manufacturing. SHAPING WHAT’S NEXT builds on Stratasys’ industrial FDM® 3D printing expertise to respond to the needs of customers’ most challenging applications, addressing manufacturers’ needs to rapidly produce strong parts ranging in size from an automobile armrest to an entire aircraft interior panel. The Stratasys ecosystem of additive and traditional technologies, software workflows, materials development, and professional services align with individual application needs, better meeting quality, cost, and delivery metrics while unlocking the capabilities of additive manufacturing to revolutionize how parts are designed and built.

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                                      • POSTED IN CAD, SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

                                        Simulation Standard: The Right Tool for the Job

                                        by David Roccaforte on August 23, 2016

                                        As the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Product Specialist at Fisher Unitech, I generally blog about tips and tricks using our analysis tools. Today’s blog covers one of the biggest engineering crimes that I witness these days: Trying to make your engineering problem fit the tools that you have, rather than using the right tool for the job.

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                                        • POSTED IN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                          3D Printing Goes for Gold at the Olympics

                                          by Angelle Erickson on August 16, 2016


                                          Michael Phelps had an extra pep in his step during the 2016 Olympic Games opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. His Under Armour sneakers were more than just comfortable, they were 3D printed. Under Armour has incorporated additive manufacturing into its product development process along with other major brands such as Nike and Adidas.

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                                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING MATERIALS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                            FDM Additive Manufacturing and its Impact on the Automotive Industry

                                            by Rob Stipek on August 15, 2016
                                            The automotive industry is a very competitive market to be in. OEMs and Suppliers alike are constantly trying to better develop processes that increase production, productivity, and innovation while at the same time reducing cost and waste. One of the increasingly vital tools that automakers are coming to rely on is Additive Manufacturing, specifically Fused Deposition Modeling.
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                                              FDM and Polyjet Additive Manufacturing for Production Parts

                                              by Rob Stipek on August 8, 2016

                                              Everyone knows that additive manufacturing is great for taking a CAD design and turning it into a physical model. Prototyping and concept modeling have traditionally been where additive manufacturing has found its niche with production, design, and manufacturing engineers. Today users of professional 3D printers are taking the next steps in the evolution of the technology and finding ways to incorporate additive manufacturing into production parts. Producing end use parts with additive manufacturing technology not only dramatically reduces your production costs and delivery times, it also reduces inventory while creating new supply chain efficiencies and new business models.

                                              READ MORE

                                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                Stratasys Announces New Promotion for the Workhorse uPrint 3D Printers

                                                by Rob Stipek on August 3, 2016

                                                Designers and manufactures in all industries are finding that having a true professional in house 3D printer can be crucial to product development success.  World leader in 3D printing Stratasys has announced an exciting new offer for those interested in bringing on board a professional grade 3D printer. The work horse Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printers uPrint SE and uPrint SE Plus for a limited time been given a special price reduction of a 30%. These machines are ideal for organizations looking for an affordable entry point into the world of professional 3D printing.

                                                uPrint SE List Price Reduction   From $13,900 to $9,900 uPrint SE list Plus Price Reduction   From $18,900 to $13,900
                                                With accessibility to thermoplastic ABS materials, these machines can build parts that help engineers do everything from validating designs to creating jigs and fixtures.

                                                Click here to download the uPrint spec sheet and learn more. 

                                                • POSTED IN STRATASYS, POLYJET, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                  SUP 706 Game Changer for Polyjet 3D Printing

                                                  by Rob Stipek on June 29, 2016

                                                  SUP 706 support material is a game changer for those looking to create complex and detailed prototypes and concept models. This hands-free soluble support material promises to make the cleaning and post processing of 3D printed models, in particular those requiring intricately placed support materials, fast and easy. This material specific to Polyjet 3D printing, educes post-printing processing down to a two-step, automated soak and rinse process.soluble1

                                                  Business that have projects that are time sensitive are reaping the benefits of SUP706 as time consuming post processing is drastically reduced and productivity is vastly improved upon.

                                                  “The development of SUP706 provides a great combination of advantages for 3D printing users,” said David Tulipman, director of product management for PolyJet consumables at Stratasys. “Owners of PolyJet-based 3D printers can now print small, intricate features with greater reassurance, and clean several parts at once, enabling high volume 3D printing that’s both cost-effective and hassle-free.”

                                                  To learn more about SUP 706 and other 3D Printing support materials that are opening up new 3D printing application check out Fisher Unitechs upcoming webcast on the benefits of using soluble support. Click here to learn more and sign up.

                                                  • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                    Fisher Unitech and Milacron Team Up for 3D Printing Injection Molding Event

                                                    by Rob Stipek on June 17, 2016
                                                    Last week world leading provider of 3D printing technology Fisher Unitech and world leader in injection molding machining Milacon teamed up for an event showcasing the value of using 3D printed molds for low volume production. The event which was hosted at Milacron state of the art Batavia facilities introduced attendees to how industry is realizing the value of using 3D printed molds along with an onsite demonstration of just how the process works.


                                                    Team members from both companies ran through presentations regarding how to pick the right injection molding machine for the right applications, Polyjet technology overview, and the process in which injection molders should follow when running 3D printed molds. This event was very technical in nature with the goal of providing attendees with a solid educational base to which they can apply in their own design shops. With the great turn out and positive feedback from attendees, this is the type of event that both Fisher and Milacron hope to replicate in the coming months.  If you have any questions regarding 3D printed injection molds and polyjet technology please click here to download “Top 5 Reasons to Integrate PolyJet into YourProduct Development Lifecycle”

                                                    • POSTED IN FUNTECH NEWS

                                                      Important Announcement

                                                      by Angelle Erickson on June 9, 2016
                                                      We have an announcement to make!
                                                      At Fisher Unitech, we make innovation possible, so we’ve expanded our reach to assist more designers and engineers.  We’re excited to announce our acquisition of Prism Engineering Inc.
                                                      We are pleased to introduce...
                                                      Prism Engineering is the Mid-Atlantic’s leading provider of SOLIDWORKS and Mastercam. With Training and Support centers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, Prism has a proven track record of value and satisfaction to their customers.
                                                      Why Prism is the perfect match
                                                      Together we take pride in half a century of combined experience working with product design and additive manufacturing customers. With the addition of Mastercam to the lineup, our hardware and software solutions now includes the world’s best-in-class CAM software, allowing customers to improve their productivity and advantage in the market.
                                                      The value of values
                                                      We believe strongly in our Core Values, and we have seen first-hand that Prism Engineering adheres to these same values.  Prism Engineering emphasizes the importance of their relationships, growth, work ethic, teamwork, and communication within their colleagues and their customers. Together we will strive for customer success and are excited to expand our team!

                                                      For further questions related to this acquisition please visit our website

                                                      • POSTED IN SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

                                                        Simulation Tech Tip: How can I simulate freezing water expansion?

                                                        by David Roccaforte on June 8, 2016

                                                        Now that spring is here ice is probably the last thing on your mind. Unless your designing a product where stress induced from freezing is a problem. One of my customers posed an interesting question.  How might we emulate freezing water in FEA ?

                                                         As you may know water expands when freezing and this can wreak havoc on any structure where water is contained or trapped.  Hence all the lovely pot holes in the spring punishing our fancy alloy wheels.

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                                                        • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                          Why You Need To Know About Variable Pattern

                                                          by Jay Pinheiro on June 1, 2016
                                                          With the release of SOLIDWORKS 2015, Variable Pattern was added to the available pattern types. For long time users who may have attended training in the past, this addition may go unnoticed. So why is it so important and why should you add it to your repertoire? The Variable Patterns most radical enhancement was its ability to pattern Reference Geometry. Let that sink in. Yes, you can pattern planes and sketches, not just Features, Faces, and Bodies. Let me give you an example of just how powerful this is.
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                                                          • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                            Productivity Tools in Solidworks Simulation: 4 Part Blog

                                                            by Justin Lafaive on May 31, 2016

                                                            What if I told you there was a way to use tools inside Solidworks Simulation that would make you more efficient when running and/or setting up your FEA studies?  In this blog series, I will take through a wide range of tools that are primarily in Simulation Professional to help you do just that!

                                                            READ MORE

                                                            • POSTED IN STRATASYS, POLYJET, 3D PRINTING, UNCATEGORIZED

                                                              3D Printing for the Injection Molding Process

                                                              by Rob Stipek on May 26, 2016
                                                              In the world of injection molding, the amount of challenges that mold makers and part designers face can be overwhelming. Factors such as weld lines, air traps, balanced fill, and sink marks are just a small handful of issues that can be incredibly detrimental to producing a really good quality plastic part. Many designers utilize different simulation tools to ensure quality, but there is no substitute for being able to hold and touch a physical part, however tooling an aluminum mold for a small volume of parts can be rather expensive and take a fair amount of time to create.  This is where many injection molders are utilizing 3D print their molds saving both time and money when producing low volume production parts and prototypes.

                                                              Utilizing Polyjet 3D Printing technology to create molds can be a great option under the right circumstances. These printers use a photopolymer to layer by layer build a molds core and cavity. The mold can be put into a mud base and injected with the actual material that the end use part will be made of. By doing this mold makers can produce parts that are high quality at a fraction of the cost. Granted these molds are not as durable as tradition injection molds but for low volume production 3D printed molds can be a major cost reduction tool.

                                                              • POSTED IN STRATASYS, FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING (FDM), 3D PRINTING

                                                                Stratasys Announces New Acceleration Kit for Fortus 900

                                                                by Rob Stipek on May 20, 2016
                                                                Earlier this week Stratasys released a new acceleration kit that will get builds in their

                                                                Fortus 900 machines done faster and more effectively. The top of the line Fused Deposition Modeling machine current customers are using features the T20 extruder tip, this can be upgraded to a new T40 tip which will provide customers:

                                                                · The largest available slice height for FDM systems.
                                                                · Throughput 2-3 times faster on average compared to T20 tip.
                                                                · Plug-and-play’ solution that requires no additional hardware.

                                                                900 users will need to have the latest controller (Version 3.19) and insight software (Version 10.8) updates in order to utilize the upgraded tip. The Fortus 900 delivers to its customers all the available benefits that Stratasys FDM printers have available, this new tip enables user the ability to continue producing high quality parts, but in a way that enables more control and faster build speeds.

                                                                • POSTED IN STRATASYS, POLYJET, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                  Not Just Why 3D Printing, but Why the Stratasys J750

                                                                  by Rob Stipek on May 3, 2016
                                                                  In order to create great products creativity, prototyping, and concept validation are key. Design engineers have broken new ground in their designs with Stratasys’ new J750 3D printer. Ever since it’s April debut, the J750 has made waves with its creative capabilities.

                                                                  Incredible Part Realism

                                                                  A hallmark of the Stratasys J750 is its true full-color capability, a breakthrough in 3D printing technology. Although printing in various colors isn’t new, getting the quality you want along with a whopping 360,000 color selection is.

                                                                  Unmatched Versatility

                                                                  This versatility originates from its robust material capacity, accommodating input of up to six base resins. Because advanced PolyJet systems create composite materials right on the build tray, the number of material options is far greater than the number of input materials. In the Stratasys J750, those six base resins yield hundreds of thousands of colors, translucencies and durometers.

                                                                  Fast, Efficient, and Easy to Use

                                                                  Printing with the J750 is easy, starting with PolyJet StudioTM software to process your part. PolyJet Studio is the next generation of Objet StudioTM software and offers multiple improvements for workflow efficiency. Improvements include an intuitive interface that makes it easy to choose material, optimize the build, and mange print queues. After the parameters of the part are selected, the user hits “print” and it’s ready to build.
                                                                  The J750 is ideal for any user, whether you’re planning on creating detailed surgical guides or looking to produce color coded jigs and fixtures. For more information, click here to download the newly released J750 EBook.

                                                                  • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                    The Future of Manufacturing with 3D Printing Event

                                                                    by Rob Stipek on April 14, 2016

                                                                    World leading Stratasys 3D printing partner Fisher Unitech is excited to announce The Future of

                                                                    Manufacturing Event series highlighting the benefits manufacturing is seeing with the utilization of 3D printing. The landscape of manufacturing is transforming and 3D printing is becoming essential to production. Fisher Unitech welcomes all to this excellent opportunity to learn more about how 3D printing can increase time to market, drive innovation, and save costs.

                                                                    Participants of these events will learn about:

                                                                    • Fused Deposition Modeling and Polyjet Technologies
                                                                    • 3D Printing Applications and customer success stories
                                                                    • New J750 Features and Functionality
                                                                    • 3D Printing Materials Overview

                                                                    • 3D Printing Post Processing Techniques

                                                                    The Future of Manufacturing Event Series is complimentary to attend and breakfast will be provided at all locations for participants. Please click below to attend at any of the 4 current locations.-Troy, Michigan at the Fisher Unitech Headquarters May 5, 2016. Register 

                                                                    -Schaumburg, Illinois at the Hyatt Hotel May 10, 2016. Register 

                                                                    -Cincinnati, Ohio at Fisher Unitech Local Office May 17, 2016. Register

                                                                    -St Charles, Missouri at the St Charles Convention Center May 19, 2016. Register 

                                                                    • POSTED IN CAD, SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                      More Video Opportunities to Learn Simulation and Analysis Fundamentals

                                                                      by David Roccaforte on April 13, 2016

                                                                      I just received an email from my analysis colleagues at SOLIDWORKS  kicking off a series of Simulation training videos.  This is one of the great things about SOLIDWORKS there are so many places to learn and this is a great team to learn from.

                                                                      Check out the video series.


                                                                      • POSTED IN STRATASYS, POLYJET, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                        New Stratasys J750 Breaking Down Design Walls

                                                                        by Rob Stipek on April 4, 2016
                                                                        Earlier today, Stratasys announced the J750, the latest addition to their world-leading professional 3D printer lineup. Building on the already successful high-resolution multi-material PolyJet technology, this printer delivers unrivaled aesthetic performance as the world’s first full color 3D printer.
                                                                        Unmatched Realism
                                                                        Full-color capability, texture mapping, and color gradients allow the creation of prototypes that look, feel, and operate like a fully finished product. Thanks to the Stratasys J750’s wide range of material properties, painting and assembly are no longer required.
                                                                        Maximum Versatility
                                                                        With the fastest PolyJet mult-material 3D printer, time for part intricacy and complexity is no longer a sacrifice. J750 allows users to take full advantage of unparalleled 3D printing by channeling a range of applications that previously required a several step process in order to achieve an all-in-one package with a vast array of colors and material properties. Users will now be able to print parts that feature Digital ABS alongside a variety of flexible Shore values and/or translucencies.
                                                                        Print with 6 Materials at Once
                                                                        The large, six-material capacity of the Stratasys J750 means you can load your most used resins and avoid downtime associated with material changeovers. Print simulated production plastics, like Digital ABS™, in half the time or with twice the resolution. With an astounding 360,000+ color combinations to choose from and multi-material capability, the Stratasys J750 allows you to bring even your most imaginative ideas to life.
                                                                        Customer Success For more information on how customers are utilizing the new J750, check outthis case study discussing build service provider Synergy is saving their customers time and money, while providing the most vivid detailed concept models ever produced by a 3D printer.

                                                                        • POSTED IN PDM, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                          A Comparison Chart Between SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard And Professional

                                                                          by Stephanie Medeiros on April 1, 2016

                                                                          You've probably heard the terms PDM Standard and Professional thrown around recently, but what exactly are the differences between the two? And why do they really matter if you're already using PDM Workgroup? We have the answers for you.

                                                                          We put together this chart below that shows the comparisons--and differences--between PDM Standard and Professional so you have a better understanding of their functions for your business.

                                                                          Click here to enlarge image

                                                                          There are some major differences between Standard and Professional, both with their own unique benefits for different company types and sizes. This is crucial information to know when you're ready to make the upgrade from Workgroup to either PDM solutions in the future.
                                                                          But the differences go deeper than that, plus both have so many more features and benefits that can't all fit into a single infographic or even one blog post.

                                                                          So, why does this all matter? SOLIDWORKS have announced they will be gradually phasing out Workgroup until it will be completely unsupported by 2018. There is still quite a bit of time to make the switch and we're here to help consult and support you every step of the way to make the upgrade as smooth as possible.Moving data to a newer platform can seem daunting, but the process can be made much easier when you have knowledgeable experts helping you at every point, ensuring you keep moving forward with your innovations.

                                                                          Want to learn more about both PDM Standard and Professional? Schedule a one-on-one demonstration with one of our engineers.

                                                                          • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                            Fisher Unitech Named Top Selling Stratasys Partner World Wide

                                                                            by Rob Stipek on March 24, 2016

                                                                            Stratasys, the industry leader in 3D printing, recently announced that Fisher Unitech LLC has been named the 2015 number one selling partner worldwide. The company, a SOLIDWORKS product life-cycle management solutions provider and Stratasys partner for over 19 years, supplies its customers with 3D Printing production equipment, materials, and build services.

                                                                            With a territory that ranges throughout the Midwest, Fisher Unitech’s strategic positioning throughout its territory with its sales and applications personnel has enabled them to develop working relationships with its customer base, strengthening the support needed to prove out the capabilities of 3D printing technologies. Over the course of Fisher Unitech’s partnership with Stratasys the strategy for success continues to be customer centric.

                                                                            The 3D printing team at Fisher Unitech focuses on two basic principles: applying their collective learning from applications ranging from automotive and aerospace, to consumer goods and medical and using this significant experience to solve seemingly unrelated challenges in manufacturing, tooling, product development and design. Fisher Unitech also empowers their team with the proper training and resources to become leading 3D printing experts.

                                                                            “It was very gratifying for Fisher Unitech to again receive the honor as #1 Stratasys Distributor Worldwide,” Says Fisher Unitech Director of 3D Printing Sales/Service Andy Dehart, “Stratasys has been a fantastic partner--providing evolving solutions for the broadening 3D Printer Market since the inception of our relationship in the early 90s, we are proud to be recognized by Stratasys in this regard and look forward to the bolder challenges in 2016.”

                                                                            To learn more about how Fisher Unitech is supporting customers with 3D printing applicaions, be sure to check out our upcoming webcasts

                                                                            • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                              New Stratasys Incentives Announced for Those Looking to Purchase 3D Printer

                                                                              by Rob Stipek on March 16, 2016
                                                                              3D printing is one of the fastest growing areas in manufacturing and design.  Recent announcements

                                                                              from Stratasys should give those interested in exploring the benefits of owning a 3D printer an incentive on why now is a good time to buy.

                                                                              Material Promotion:
                                                                              ·         50% off the first $15,000 (MSRP) of designated material of your choice for the first 6 months with purchase of any new SSYS printer listed at or above $75k (MSRP).
                                                                              ·         50% off the first $2,000 (MSRP) of designated material of your choice for first 6 months with purchase of any new SSYS uPrint.
                                                                              Trade-In Promotion:
                                                                               Trade in any old or Stratasys 3D printer and upgrade to the latest, leading technology from Stratasys.  (For certain printers, this promotion can be combined with other offers). Speak with your Fisher Unitech sales representative for more details.
                                                                              Buy a 3D Printer, Get One FREE
                                                                               Any new Stratasys Production Systems customers can now take advantage of the inclusion of a Mojo 3D printer OR two MakerBot Replicator 3D printers with any 3D printer purchase of 60k or more.
                                                                              For more information on these offers, contact your sales representative at Fisher Unitech. If you are just starting the process of checking out 3D printing, please join our upcoming webcasts to learn more! 

                                                                              • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                                3D Printing Spring Webinar Series

                                                                                by Rob Stipek on March 15, 2016
                                                                                3D Printing industry leader, Fisher Unitech, will be kicking off the month of April with a webinar series showcasing some of the major areas of applications and growth for 3D Printing. These webinars are all scheduled to take place at 2:00 PM EST and will educate participants in the industry changing applications that 3D Printing is enabling. design and manufacturing engineers alike will gain a better understanding of how 3D Printing is enabling users to create better quality parts faster and more cost effective than ever before.
                                                                                These webinars will be hosted by our Fisher Unitech applications engineers and will include a live Q&A session to address specific questions that are important to participants.
                                                                                These informative webinar presentations will specifically cover:
                                                                                For more information on dates and descriptions of these webcasts and please click here 

                                                                                • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                                  3D Printing Manufacturing Floor Tools

                                                                                  by Rob Stipek on March 10, 2016
                                                                                  Maybe one of the best applications for 3D printing is the creation of unique and essential tools used

                                                                                  on the manufacturing floor. There are countless times during the day where a manufacturing engineer needs a tool to help hold, position, place, or organize parts. For those reasons jigs, fixtures, check gauges, and other floor tools are ideas to be 3D printed, primarily using FDM technology.

                                                                                  On the production floor FDM jigs and fixtures make work easier and safer. And companies that use FDM find that they have more of them than ever since they are so easy and inexpensive to make. Make a masking tool for conformal coating electronics and cut out manually taping each printed circuit board. Or build a dispenser for factory floor labels. For assembly operations use FDM for nesting assembly fixtures, rivet guides, or assembly guides. Need a one of a kind tool? You can easily produce that too.


                                                                                  Using industry grade strong plastic like Nylon, Poly-carbonate, and Ultem that are available on Stratasys FDM printers, workers are able to quickly print the necessary tools needed to get a job done and always have them on hand as part repeat-ability is easily done on Stratasys machines. From R&D through inspection FDM is the tool to make work more efficient with jigs and fixtures.
                                                                                  For more information on production of manufacturing tools using 3D Printing be sure to sign up for our upcoming webcast 3D Printing Manufacturing Tools 

                                                                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                    Baxter The Bartender: Robot Learns Bartending By Watching Humans

                                                                                    by Stephanie Medeiros on March 1, 2016

                                                                                    The robot serving up cocktails in the video probably looks familiar for SOLIDWORKS users because it's Baxter, the SOLIDWORKS mascot, from Rethink Robotics! The robotics team at the University of Maryland Robotics Department have developed an extraordinary program that allows artificial intelligence to learn how to properly mix a drink just by watching a human first and mimicking the steps.

                                                                                    The innovative part is that Baxter (called Julia by the robotics team) can get the exact measurements because of the unique programming and camera attached. Previous automation programs in AI meant the measurements for the cocktail would have to be pre-programmed into the code and then the robot could access that data when a certain input is made--such as a martini--but AI learning the correct measurements by simply watching is unprecedented.

                                                                                    The team behind the robotic bartender are Yiannis Aloimonos and Cornelia Fermuller of UMD Robotics.

                                                                                    Even for machine learning and AI, CAD software has a place. A design still needs to be envisioned, created, and tested before we can get to the final step of a robotic bartender such as Julia.

                                                                                    To learn more about SOLIDWORKS (and see more of Baxter), you can go to the Fisher Unitech website or check out our YouTube channel for video demos and tutorials.

                                                                                    The UMD Robotics Department has a YouTube channel where you can see more robotics projects as well.

                                                                                    • POSTED IN SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                      30 Minutes to Smarter Design Decisions with SOLIDWORKS Simulation

                                                                                      by David Roccaforte on February 23, 2016
                                                                                      In the past 20 years, I have worked in manufacturing, product design and as a consultant/applications engineer for several simulation software companies. Working with many companies seeking to innovate and differentiate their products, I have seen personally that the decisions engineers make early in the design process often make the difference between success and failure of the products and the companies.The engineers might be seeking to add new features to a product that has been commoditized by new entrants in the market or to adapt an existing product to serve a new market. Inevitably they run into situations where they have to make choices in areas where they have little experience to draw on. At some point they build a prototype to test out the design, but which one or two of a dozen good ideas should they prototype? If they pick the wrong approach, they waste a month while their competition advances steadily forward to improve their own product.
                                                                                      READ MORE

                                                                                      • POSTED IN UNCATEGORIZED

                                                                                        New Objet Connex3 Enhances Workflow Experience with Adobe Partnership

                                                                                        by Rob Stipek on February 23, 2016
                                                                                        Since its release, the Objet Connex3 has been known for its smooth and finely detailed finishes with

                                                                                        bright vivid color capabilities. Earlier this month, Stratasys announced a newly updated Connex3 that gives users a better streamlined workflow process and better color ranges with a partnership with Adobe.

                                                                                        Stratasys is looking for ways to enhance the customer experience and the updated work flow process aims to do just that. This new process enables users to set up their 3D CAD model in the printer in two simple steps, an improvement from the previous seven step process. Also looking to enhance the customer experience, Stratasys has expanded the color spectrum with the assistance of Adobe. Under an exclusive partnership, Stratasys will use Adobe's 3D Color Print Engine which allows customers the ability to get better color pallet combinations and finer resolution from their prints. 
                                                                                        Stratasys’ North American President, John Gould, commented on the change to the Connex line up sighting the goal of gaining more main stream adoption of the technology. "We have to simplify the workflow. It has to be file, preview, print and go," said Gould. "The partnership with Adobe streamlines the entire process with support for more than 1,000 colors."
                                                                                        With these updates, Stratasys will look to promote the Connex3 as its sole line of Connex printers and will be discontinuing Connex1 and Connex2 versions of the printers, which did not offer the level of vivid color blending technologies as the Connex3.
                                                                                        To Learn more about new Connex3 updates be sure to check out Fisher Unitechs upcoming webinar 

                                                                                      • POSTED IN UNCATEGORIZED

                                                                                        5 Best Announcements & Presentations From SOLIDWORKS World 2016

                                                                                        by Stephanie Medeiros on February 19, 2016

                                                                                        We had quite the schedule while visiting Dallas for SOLIDWORKS World this year. Not only did we have a customer appreciation welcome reception the first day of World, we also had nine of our own engineers presenting breakout sessions throughout the three days. But we still had time to put together a list of our favorite announcements and presentations from SOLIDWORKS World. Here are five of our favorites!

                                                                                        1. SOLIDWORKS For Kids

                                                                                        We were very excited to hear that kids were a big focus at this year's World. A specialized version of SOLIDWORKS will help them become interested and certified in SOLIDWORKS for STEM related careers in the future. In fact, there are already a whopping 70,000 students across the United States certified in SOLIDWORKS! Not only is this initiative sparking interest in engineering in students, it is also promoting creativity within their designs created in SOLIDWORKS. Bridging analytical and creative thinking is a huge, innovative process that we can get behind.

                                                                                        2. Design = Technology with Yves Behar

                                                                                        This was an enlightening presentation with design legend Yves Behar, who talked about the close relationship between good design and good technology. In his presentation, Behar said that design equals technology because it needs to be people friendly. Without the person element, technology cannot exist. This also goes hand-in-hand with teaching engineers of the new generation about good design and encouraging creativity.

                                                                                        3. Xdesign

                                                                                        Need a browser-based SOLIDWORKS application that can do file management, modeling, model based definition, and design guidance? Then you're going to love Xdesign. Browser elements also means working in a highly secure cloud system that can save, archive, and retrieve everything that a project team needs without having to endlessly search for it.

                                                                                        4. Part Supply

                                                                                        On top of Xdesign, this innovative feature will allow designers in SOLIDWORKS to easily find and copy parts from a library stored in the cloud and utilizes geometry, meta, and contextual search to help you find those parts quickly. This cuts time on searching and even indexing parts drastically, allowing for more time to be spent on the actual project.

                                                                                        5. Neil Gershenfeld and bringing machines back to urban economy

                                                                                        The global economy is rapidly changing, which includes the job market along with it. That means thinking of machinery and robotics in a different light that implements both automation and people. MIT rock star Neil Gershenfeld put this into simple terms that anyone could get behind, such as bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States and being able to rapidly build new neighborhoods.

                                                                                        Missed out on SOLIDWORKS World this year? We're hosting a live event in Wisconsin on Monday, March 7th, that will have highlights of the best announcements that came out of World. Plus, you'll get to see the most popular presentation we had at SOLIDWORKS World, hosted by the actual presenter. Sign up and reserve your spot!

                                                                                      • POSTED IN UNCATEGORIZED

                                                                                        The Impact of 3D Printing in the Plastics Industry

                                                                                        by Rob Stipek on February 17, 2016
                                                                                        For plastics professionals, 3D printing has been a breakthrough for how plastic part design and production can now be accomplished.
                                                                                        Plastic design engineers have been using 3D printing technologies such as Polyjet, to create physical

                                                                                        models which have the same look and feel as the mass production part they’ve designed. By 3D printing their ideas, design teams can optimize every aspect from structural enhancements such as extra ribbing, to increasing wall thickness and visual changes. This visualization cannot be accomplished simply by looking at a model on a computer screen. Better understanding proof of concept is has been essential for keeping production goals on track.

                                                                                        On the manufacturing floor, 3D printings impact has been equally important as it has been to the design team. Manufacturers are finding that by using Fused Deposition Modeling technology they are able to produce stronger parts. Jigs, fixtures, and check gauges are being created quicker and are less expensive than tools made from aluminum. Some companies, particularly in the Automotive, Aerospace, and Medical industries, are finding that by using FDM materials like Ultem or Polycarbonate that they are able to skip traditional manufacturing completely by producing their products directly from their 3D printer. This method greatly reduces the cost to produce expensive molds and if a part needs to be replaced, it can be reprinted quickly and inexpensively.
                                                                                        An expanding application manufacturers are also finding to be a game changer, is using Polyjet digital materials to create molds for low volume blow or injection molding. These molds generally are a great option for parts that have a high complex design and are produced in low volumes. Some design teams that need safety or regulatory standards also like the option to use Polyjet molds because they can now have a functional prototype built with the same material as mass production parts. 

                                                                                      • POSTED IN UNCATEGORIZED

                                                                                        YOU CAN WIN A 3D MOUSE FROM FISHER UNITECH!!

                                                                                        by Rachael Hughes on February 16, 2016

                                                                                        WIN A 3D MOUSE!!
                                                                                        Have you ever wanted to smooooooth out your zoom and rotate movements in SOLIDWORKS?

                                                                                        Have you ever wanted to speed up your modeling?
                                                                                        Have you ever tried a 3D mouse?
                                                                                        How can YOU get in on the next drawing?  
                                                                                        -Take the survey at the end of the course
                                                                                        -You're entered to win a 3Dconnexion 3D mouse!
                                                                                        -Every course you take this quarter, fill out the survey for an entry!
                                                                                        Fisher Unitech's Training Team is giving away a 3Dconnexion 3D mouse EVERY QUARTER!  Every time you take a training course, fill out the survey at the end of the course and you'll be entered into the drawing.
                                                                                        This quarter (Jan-Mar), we are giving away:
                                                                                        The 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Pro a $299 value
                                                                                        Learn more about 3D mice on their website, and check out the product guide: http://www.3dconnexion.com/

                                                                                        Sign up for a Fisher Unitech training class here: http://www.funtech.com/Training/Find-SolidWorks-Courses-by-Product

                                                                                        • POSTED IN UNCATEGORIZED

                                                                                          Fisher Unitech 3D Printing Build Services Adding Value to Customers

                                                                                          by Rob Stipek on February 11, 2016

                                                                                          For the design and manufacturing industry, 3D printing has become an instrumental tool in opening new doors to how we create new products. However many have not been able to utilize 3D printing due to the initial challenges of return on investment, machine cost, or other company specific reasons. For those who need parts built quickly but can’t justify the purchase of a 3D printer, this is where Fisher Unitech’s build service team shines.

                                                                                          Many current 3D printer users are finding that at certain times throughout the year their printer is overwhelmed with print jobs and can’t keep up with demand. Utilizing Fisher Unitech for a quick build that can reduce the workload on your in-house 3D printer is a common issues that we have been assisting out customers with for years. We have all the professional grade materials Stratasys offers on hand in our 3D printing centers and a professional staff who can meet the specifics of what customers need done.
                                                                                          Budget Constraint:
                                                                                          The investment in getting a 3D printer can be pretty substantial if your return on investment isn’t justified. The value that a build service brings to a company that only needs a handful of parts built a year can be instrumental to the quality of your project. For a design team to hold their 3D printed part in their hands and make an educated decision on whether that part is satisfactory to proceed to production or go back to your CAD and make design changes is a far greater value than looking at a design on a computer screen and trying to make the same decision. Relatively inexpensive parts can be produced in a timely fission that can be instrumental to the success of your project.
                                                                                          Turn Around Time:
                                                                                          Speed of production is one of the largest benefits that 3D printing brings to industries that utilize the technology. For many companies, being able to keep up with deadlines is sometimes the determining factor in evaluation the success or failure of project. The value that Fisher Unitech provides to our customers is a full line of Stratasys 3D printers in multiple locations throughout the Midwest that are run by a dedicated team to ensure deadline are met while maintaining a high level of quality.
                                                                                          Expertise Build Team:
                                                                                          Fisher Unitech has over 20 years of 3D printing experience. As the experts we can ensure part quality and make recommendations to customers that will help produce a great quality part.
                                                                                          Extensive Material Selection:
                                                                                          Customers are often looking for a specific look and feel of a part in order to do everything from functional testing to marketing focus group evaluations. As a Platinum Partner of the Stratasys, Fisher Unitech has access to the full range of Fused Deposition Modeling and Polyjet Materials. This enables us the ability to meet the needs of designers who want a part with a rubber like material for over molding, or machine floor workers looking for jigs, fixtures, and check gauges that need to be made of strong durable materials.
                                                                                          To request information on how Fisher Unitech's Build Service Team can help you please fill out the form below 

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                                                                                        • POSTED IN UNCATEGORIZED

                                                                                          3D Printing’s Impact in Sports

                                                                                          by Rob Stipek on February 11, 2016

                                                                                          Advancements in 3D printing technology have led to new innovative ways design and manufacturing

                                                                                          engineers have brought products to life. In recent years, athletic and sports industries have quickly become one of the largest adapters of 3D printing.  Utilizing the speed of part production and flexible material options, the sports industry has made great strides in improving the athlete experience.

                                                                                          All major sporting goods brands have adopted 3D printing to optimize their product lines. Major benefits companies are gaining from 3D printing can be found in prototyping and functional testing.  Polyjet technology lets users modify different material colors and deromiters, allowing a range of colors and having rubber-like over molding. Athletic apparel companies, such as Nike and Adidas, are able to print prototype shoes for design focus groups allowing feedback before mass production. Due to production speed, these companies can get their sample products reviewed within days or sometimes hours, keeping product time tables on track.

                                                                                          Polyjet 3D printing technology has also been used for functional testing at Trek, the world leader of bicycle manufacturing. Engineers at Trek use their CAD software to design brackets and gear parts which can be functionally tested the same day.  This technology reaps the benefit to quickly validate designs and make necessary adjustments to optimize the part for performance.

                                                                                          3D printing even made its way to the Super Bowl when Carolina Panther’s linebacker, Thomas Davis, broke his arm before the big game.  After Davis’ surgery, where a metal plate was to be placed in his arm, 3-D Elite and Whiteclouds designed a 3D printed custom sleeve to support his arm and help get Davis back onto the field. With the speed of 3D printing and its ability to utilize scanning technologies, a one of a kind brace was created.

                                                                                          For more information on 3D Printing, be sure to check out our upcoming Fisher Unitech Webinars.

                                                                                        • POSTED IN UNCATEGORIZED

                                                                                          Save Time And Money With Injection Mold 3D Printing

                                                                                          by Stephanie Medeiros on February 5, 2016
                                                                                          So much goes into creating an injection molded part, from the design team that creates the part in CAD to the quality engineers who have to fix issues that arise when a part is injected like short shots or warp. Due to all the bumps in the road injection molders encounter, the popularity of 3D printed injection molds is steadily growing.

                                                                                          Reduction to CNC Que
                                                                                          You can imagine the frustration of having to push back a job because you don’t have the bandwidth to keep up. This is why 3D printing is quickly becoming a valuable complementary tool to CNC shops. If, under the right circumstances, an injection mold that is intended for low volume production meets process conditions of the material and press clamp force, then having a 3D printer on hand can free up CNC time. This allows for a shop's CNC machines to be used for cutting larger, more expensive steel or aluminum molds which in turn allows a project to stay on schedule.

                                                                                          Reduction in Mold Costs
                                                                                          When you are producing large volumes of parts, then it makes sense to tool your mold out of durable materials such as aluminum or steel. However, for low volume production the cost of a mold sky rockets if you are not producing parts that can offset the cost of the mold tooling. Instead, you can 3D print the mold for about the tenth of the cost of an aluminum mold.

                                                                                          Multiple Printer Applications (ROI)
                                                                                          Engineering service companies and mold shops alike are finding the benefits of having a 3D printer are vast. Otentimes, print is brought in for print injection molds only but soon they become go to resources to print prototypes, jigs, fixtures, and end use parts effortlessly and for less of the normal cost.

                                                                                          Speed of Printing Mold

                                                                                          The time it takes to print an injection mold from a 3D printer can be done usually in less than a day. Multiple ink jet heads that cure layers of photopolymer mean the speed to build up a mold is done quickly.
                                                                                          To learn more about 3D printing and how it can help your next project, please visit our 3D printers page on our website.

                                                                                        • POSTED IN UNCATEGORIZED

                                                                                          Optimizing your CAD for FDM 3D Printing

                                                                                          by Rob Stipek on January 20, 2016
                                                                                          Whether modeling in SOLIDWORKS, Creo, NX, or any other Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, bringing your design to life is easy with a 3D Printer,  but it all starts with an STL file.  Here are some tips to consider for your next design, to get the best possible 3D Print, while reducing material waste.
                                                                                          First, watch the walls. The width of thin walls should be designed as a multiple of the filament bead width, bearing in mind the number of perimeter toolpaths (aka “contours”).  For example, the standard configuration for Stratasys professional 3D printers produces one 0.5mm perimeter bead (with infill rasters in between).  Very thin walls should be either 0.5mm OR 1mm wide.  Any width in between is likely to be undersized and/or inconsistent.
                                                                                          Next, mind the gaps. Most machines (or slicing software) have a minimum size for infill rasters, which might result in airgaps within thin walls.  For the example machine above, a 1.3mm wall isn’t quite wide enough to infill, so it’ll print as two thin flimsy walls side by side.  In this case, a 1mm wall would be more rigid, despite being narrower, because the two beads would be fused.
                                                                                          Also be sure to remember that STL files (sometimes referred to as “Standard Tessellation Language”)

                                                                                          are faceted; meaning they contain no curves!  So, when sliced into layers, every 'circle' is actually a polygon.  Thus, exterior curves will always be slightly oversized and internal curves will be slightly undersized.  The results can be improved by tweaking the STL export settings in CAD (use the “fine” resolution or better); just be consistent.  While designing, consider defining custom oversized hole standards or undersized library features, in order to get consistent fits for pins/holes.

                                                                                          Last be sure to take into account orientation. Whenever possible, build cup-shaped parts open-end-up, to avoid unnecessary support.  But when that that’s not possible, consider that most machines can bridge short horizontal spans without building support underneath.  To minimize use of support material and speed up prints, stay out of the ‘support zone’ between 0° (horizontal) and 45°.  Also include chamfers or fillets to inside corners whenever possible, to reduce the length of horizontal spans (and the likelihood they will require support).  For example, a 1” diameter cup printed upside-down might result in a LOT of support material used.  But adding just a 1/8” chamfer reduces the unsupported “ceiling” to just ¾”, and might eliminate the need for support altogether.

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