Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a method of creating physical objects by adding material layer by layer. This process is in contrast to traditional manufacturing methods such as subtractive manufacturing and molding.
Subtractive manufacturing involves carving away material from a block until the desired object is achieved. Molding involves creating a cast of the desired object, turning it into a mold, and then injecting material into the mold to create the final product. Additive manufacturing, on the other hand, involves building up an object layer by layer from nothing. This method has several advantages, including:
You have a brand new product that you are now trying to get made. You will need to understand that a manufacturer is an investor in your company.
Now when you're reaching out to manufacturers like an injection molder or a production 3D printing house, like us, there is a need to be understanding of what is occurring. Most Inventors or companies who are reaching out to manufacturers assume that we are a service to be had. Someone who takes your money and does the work and leaves and you can leave the money on the bed stand however that is not the case. When a manufacturer takes on a new client they are taking an explicit risk, because that client will take advisor ship guidance and they will take up a certain amount of your production capacity at a certain time. When you commit to a client, you are committing that they will be in a long-term relationship. We expect that client to be around years from now and not just fizzle out after six months. So like it or not when a manufacturer is evaluating new projects to take on the value awaited much the way an investor would evaluate an investment to take on. They will look at “Is this a viable product?” “Are they able to be worked with?” “Are they coachable?” “Are they reliable and able to create a company or reliably produce this product?” “Are they a good partner that we can stand to work with and are they able to actually execute on this vision that they have or are we going to have to do all the work?” This is something that many new inventors don't really understand. The manufacturer is somebody that you pay and they give you your parts. The manufacturer can and should be doing so much more. When we bring on new clients, we try to take a very personal interest in the product that's being created, offer as much information about how to design it, how to optimize it and how to save costs because when we bring out a client we are bringing on a partner. Someone who is helping us generate revenue. We want that to be a relationship that is long lasting, sound and profitable for both parties so that the relationship can go on for a long time. Manufacturers have the right to turn down work if the relationship isn't good or that the deal isn't good. The same way venture capitalists can turn down a new product if they feel that the deal isn't good or the relationship isn't good. Manufacturers and the actual product designers would do well to kind of consider that more as they go in a relationship. Don't make it cheap, build It up, find someone who you can partner with and be really close to. Your manufacturer will be your single point of failure so you want to make sure that they are as bought into your idea as you are, so that you have the best chance of being successful and they are going to make the same evaluation on their side to make sure that you have the best chance of being successful.
Hopefully that helps you as you go out looking for manufacturers of your products. Whether it be molders overseas, local 3D printing gets a close relationship so that they can actually be a part of your organization.
Have a great day everybody
PETG is one of the other more common materials that we use in mass production of 3d printed parts. Today we're going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using it in large-scale production. PETG is a very common type of plastic and it's actually the material that is used to make disposable water bottles and many sorts of plastic containers, it is a food safe plastic although there's a proviso to that.
It is very reasonably heat resistant, it is quite durable with a little bit of flexibility mixed in there. It is good for again kind of consumer level products but it can go up into like low-grade engineering products like brackets, enclosures and certain types of chunky hard hardware that doesn't really have to be optimized very much so it's good for caps and other sorts of things that you might find inside of warehouse or industrial automation. Very often those are where we use PETG for enclosures and boxes. PETG has a very wide selection of colors available, everything from variations of tan to all sorts of different standard primary colors; we are also able to do custom pantone matching. Generally when printed PETG has a very high gloss surface though that can vary depending on what the ultimate color is that you get depending on the color that you're requesting there are sometimes the parts can vary between high gloss and semi matte. That is something to be aware of if you're looking for really high level consistency. The color and the type of PETG that you need needs to be discussed with your engineer so that you understand what's available.
PETG as far as cost is reasonably cost effective from a material standpoint but the thing that can increase the cost of it substantially is lack of automation in certain context, if the part is not designed well enough PETG is not always automatable inside of our facilities because machines are not able to always eject it. The other thing that can contribute to cost is post-processing PETG is sort of a messy material to print; it can leave a lot of residue, strings, bumps and blobs around a part again depending on the design of the part. It can sometimes require additional cleanup from other sorts of materials like PLA which can increase the cost of the part but again much of this can be addressed with proper design of the component. We highly encourage anybody submitting a part to give permission to the account engineer to suggest any sort of design changes that might be necessary to optimize the part and be open to those suggestions because they can radically reduce the cost of operations.
PETG as we've said before is fairly durable you can drop a part from six feet or so and it generally won't shatter or break but at the same time depending on what the design is PETG can become quite brittle if printed inappropriately so make sure that your design allows it to be printed appropriately. Generally the way to get around that is to reduce overhangs which are something that sticks straight out in the air with nothing underneath it, try to reduce those as much as possible especially with PETG. In order to print those reliably it requires turning on a cooling fan but turning on a cooling fan cools the layers in such a way that the next layer coming down does not adhere as well to the layer before it so it can hurt the strength of the part if the fan has to be used a lot to maintain the detail of the part. PETG is not the cheapest material that we have. It has a reasonably high startup cost of about 50 to 100 for like a sample or a single prototype minimum. This is mainly because it requires optimization for the design of the part itself and it can't just be dropped in most of the time but as it gets into scale the parts can decrease and cost a lot because the raw material cost of PETG if appropriately sourced is actually lower than materials like PLA in some cases. That changes and varies all the time they are part of a commodities market and those can fluctuate back and forth, depending on when you get a quote. PETG might be cheaper or PLA might suddenly become cheaper, generally PETG is a very good option to create functional parts and consumer products. With food safety in relation to the consumer products PETG is food safe because it's BPA free and it does not have any sort of chemicals within it that can be considered food unsafe. The problem with food safe parts is that it is not really dependent on the material. If you are 3D printing a mug out of PETG it is done with an FDM printer which means you have layer alliance, even though the material is food safe the process and the results from the process really aren't. This is because it's very difficult to sanitize a 3D printed part that has a lot of ridges inside of it. Even though PETG is food safe it really isn't and if you submit a certain product to us we will evaluate it based on its application to see if it should be produced with 3d printing or if you should move into something like molding to get just the right kind of surface and have the right material to create a food safe product.
Hopefully that covers most of the issues and advantages of PETG, it's a very durable product it can be used in a lot of applications but it can be a little bit messy and tough to set up. You need to plan ahead and ensure that there's time to optimize the part, the design and the process to produce that reliably and as affordably as possible. With that being said when you reach scale it can be very cost effective and it can be used in high heat environments or reasonably durable or industrial environments without any sort of issue at all. Let us know down below if there's something else about producing final products with PETG that you'd like to know about and we'll try to get those covered in another video.
Have a great day everybody.
Montana has become the first state to prove 3D printing as an alternative to traditional concrete block structures. This is a big step because even though 3D-printed houses have been around for a while, they've kind of been looked upon with a certain amount of reticence because people don't really know what they're able to do. That makes sense because 3D-printed houses have only been around for a few years. They haven't really been able to be time tested the same way really old building methods have been like bricks and wood, which have been around for hundreds of years so we know how they last and how they hold up as a structure. This new regulatory approval from Montana now proves out 3D printing is a legitimate alternative to traditional manufacturing.
The machine that has been approved and the process that has been approved was created by Apis Cor you may have heard of them they're the ones who have created the largest 3D printed building in the world over in Dubai. The gentleman who actually pushed for this approval up in Montana wanted to use Apis Cor to produce a small development inside of Billions, Montana his name is Tim Stark. He is hoping that the new process will reduce the cost to build houses by about 30 percent both from the reduction of labor and the simplification of the processes and the material. He also hopes that it will reduce the time to produce new developments quite substantially as well which has been really important in the current kind of housing crisis that has existed. This is a big step for them regulatorily but it also proves that their materials and their processes have finally reached a point where they can be considered reliable.
3D-printed houses have always had the same sort of material challenges as other types of 3D printing. They are not able to run standard concrete through their nozzles as they're laying down these layers for a wall. The companies that have created these machines have had to create custom machinery and custom cement mix that are stable enough dry quickly enough and flow well enough to be able to be put down in layers and not have the whole thing melt as it's going up, which traditional concrete would do.
This is a great step forward it has proven out the technology and it has proven out that these are now ready to kind of be deployed. It'll still be a long time before 3D printed houses are really really commonplace but it is a good step. Let us know down in the comments about other things that you'd like to hear about and let us know about what you would use a 3D printed house for!
Have a great day everybody!
Here at Slant 3D, we end up producing a lot of products with PLA. We have gotten very familiar with the pros and cons of that material. We want to showcase things to be aware within the production of what can be done and what can't be done what increases cost and what decreases the cost.
PLA is one of the most common materials that we actually work with at Slant 3D. The reason for that is that many of our clients are already prototyping their products with their own 3D printers. This normally means they're very often led towards PLA because it's a very simple material to work with
at home or prototyping machines. However, PLA has a few advantages and disadvantages, especially when moving it into production that we're going to try to discuss here as much as possible.
First of all, PLA is bioplastic. There are several different grades of it it goes from a number called 4043 which is very brittle and is generally the low-cost option of PLA up to a number called 870 which is a very durable kind of less brittle more reliable almost abs replacement type plastic but it is more expensive so it is less scalable. This generally means PLA is used because of how brittle it is to be cost-effective. It's used for promotional products certain types of toys, good quality surface finish consumer products, that kind of thing, but it is almost never used for engineering products or high-reliability products. It's kind of a not tchotchke material but a consumer product brick block kind of material. that being said depending on the design it can be turned into anything, PLA does have a reasonable amount of flexibility so you can use designs like grip fins and that kind of thing within it that have just a little bit of flex to allow something to fit.
The tolerances of PLA since it's FDM there is generally fairly low pro tolerances of about 0.2 millimeters. That is the general tolerance to play with any sort of 3D printed part but if you were able to design in a wider tolerance that decreases the cost of parts long term because QC standards are lower and it's easier to produce lots of parts without having to check and have secondary processes to inspect them.
PLA has the largest color variation of almost any material the only other alternative might be like Pet-G and ABS but in PLA we were able to do custom Pantone matches for almost any color that you can imagine though those take a couple of extra weeks for creation.
PLA also is able to offer a fairly quick turnaround because it does not have as much setup cost it is quicker to start up it's quicker to set up. it's also very good for print on demand because it can produce one part out of the blue very reliable because it's a very stable material.
PLA is the lowest cost material in our catalog depending on the design but it lends itself to being highly automated with auto ejection and it is just a low-cost source of material that may be changing in the future so check back with future updates to see if other materials have become less expensive but in general that's a good rule of thumb.
Another thing to watch out for with PLA is its strength lower inner layer adhesion is not amazing compared to other materials it is more brittle so you do not want vertical surfaces that have layer lines going through them pointing straight up in the air because they will snap off with a reasonably small amount of force so those either need to be very reinforced or just try to avoid them if possible. the closer you can get to a sphere or a block is something that you want to do
PLA into scale generally kind of bottoms out fairly high certain other materials like pet g is actually cheaper at mass production if the part is right because the cost of raw materials is less even though PLA is easier to work with so there's a trade-off there depending on the design of the part Itself.
PLA has a very good surface finish, in general, it's very consistent because it flows smoothly and does not require any sort of complexity and setup or settings and it's also the most robust for adjusting to different types of geometries just again because it's a very robust material inside of the 3D printing process
PLA a fairly good general option for products with some sort of aesthetic leading component lamps, consumer products, household items, and certain types of toys PLA is not able to stand up to the outdoors it melts inside of a hot car it will literally deform and soften so it is not something for functional parts inside of a hot car in Arizona but it can be used within a house within a controlled environment
Hopefully that covers kind of the pitfalls in the general outline of PLA and where it can be used if you have any other questions comment down below and we'll try to create a video to cover some more of that stuff and let us know if there's anything else that you'd like us to talk about having a great day, everybody.
Bring the Rain with this durable and team-oriented squirt gun that makes water sports an actual battle.
Squirt guns have always lacked the team-based nature that make paintball and air-soft so much fun. Thus the idea of Splash Blaster was born. When having a water gun fight, it's always hard to have a team battle and be able to tell which team did the most damage. Splash Blasters eliminate this problem with Red/Blue Team Colors for your guns and ammo! With push action technology and an easy-to-grip knob, all ages can get in on the fun. Rugged and Simple, Splash Blasters are ready to let any age "Bring the Rain"
Made For Team Play
Traditional squirt guns are just made for free-for-alls, but what's the fun in rolling solo? That's why we created a squirt gun that is made for team play. Splash Blasters come in Red & Blue Team Colors so you can always tell the difference between friend and foe.
But we didn't just stop there, Splash Blasters also come with red and blue dye packets that you can add to your teams water supply. Wear all white and paint the other competitors with your color! This dye is washable and non-toxic, designed to color swimming pools and water features. But please don't spray the walls of a white house. Go to the park or something.
Multiple Firing Options
A good battle strategy always come with leaving your opponents guessing. Splash Blasters give you multiple firing options so you can be effective from any range. Storm the frontlines and engage in close-quarter combat with burst fire. Or sit back and snipe your enemies from up to 30 feet with one long stream. Coordinate a battle plan with your team to deal damage from all distances!
We got tired of shaking squirt guns to know how much ammo was left. So we wanted to make sure Splash Blasters actually showed how much was left in a wildly clear way. The barrel of the Splash Blaster is not only 360 transparent but also has milliliter markings to show how much longer until you need to reload.
In a pinch? Sometimes there just isn't enough time to pull water through the nozzle. With Splash Blasters, you can just remove the plunger, scoop your ammo, and get back in the fight!
Join The Battle
Splash Blasters bring a team-based aspect that other squirt guns can't compete with. Say goodbye to the days of free-for-all battles that leave you wondering who reigned supreme.
So, are you ready to take your water gun fights to the next level? Choose Your Side and Leave Your Mark, only with Splash Blasters.
There are a couple of reasons metal 3D printing hasn't caught on. The way it was hyped a few years back and we're going to talk about that a little bit. Metal 3D printing has gained a lot of hype. So much hype that I cannot go into a meeting where we talk about FMD 3D printing, mass production, and 3D printer farms without somebody asking “Are you ever going to do metal?” and the answer is at this moment no.
We really don't anticipate doing metal but there's a reason for this. Metal 3D printing still has a very large technological hurdle and the problem is it is not necessarily an engineering technological hurdle. It's almost a scientific-technological hurdle. The difference between those is an engineering hurdle you can see and you can say okay if we work at that here's kind of a solution we'll figure it out there's a pathway to it. a scientific-technological hurdle is we have got to figure out how to do fusion. There's some fundamental piece of science that isn't figured out or so complex that it doesn't really work.
With metal printing whether of all the processes that exist ultimately what they always come down to is you have metal powder suspended in a resin a binder you then print out the part which is then a green part which is just a glued together metal powder you then take that glued together metal powder and you either D bind it you get rid of the resin out of it and then it holds its shape and then you put that into a centering oven. The centering oven melts all the particles of metal together. You eventually end up with what is essentially a cast metal part that could either be machined down a little bit more or something along those lines. Here is the problem the first part of the process the binder jetting or the bound powder that's fine that works great that's very well proven in fact we print parts like that very often the D binding is also not a problem the binding and removing that binding material is very easy heck you can put it into the center and just have it burn off. The problem is in the centering of it. Here is the thing in order to center apart reliably you have to know every single detail about that part and that part needs to be exposed in an oven to the perfect amount of heat but not too much.
If you have something like a dumbbell or a kettlebell that you see at the gym it has a handle on top of the ball of metal on the bottom if you are making a part like that in a centering oven you run into a problem of the inconsistency in the geometry itself to where the handle is going to heat up and bind much more quickly than the big old mass of metal down at the bottom. You have to design for the centering process so that the whole thing can be baked at a regular level. Another analogy to this is cooking cookies if you have a bunch of small cookies they will all bake in 15 minutes but then if some kid comes along and puts a little dollop of dough on your dish now you have to bake it for a half hour to get all the stuff cooked and bound together. the baking of metal parts is causing a lot of problems because the rules change with each new part. If you're doing watch faces you can load up a thousand watch faces and figure out what is the formula and the recipe for baking those watch faces a thousand at a time inside of that oven but then if you take it down to 500 well the rules of making then change or if you change to a different watch face or a different type of part then the rules of cooking change again and this is the problem that metal 3d printing has had. The science of what is the correct way to bake something comes down to art like a lot of 3D printing. The guys eyeball it and they're like ah it's not quite done cooking yet we got to cook that for a little bit longer. There's not enough intelligence or enough science available to really quantify every possible variation that 3D printing can create and what has happened is that for companies that are pursuing mass production of 3D printed parts they work fine and they can do it but the problem is they are not very flexible because they're able to do a thousand watch faces but you can only run a thousand watch faces at a time. That's how the line is set up you print them over here you do bind them and then you bake them and that oven is set up for a thousand watch faces at a time and nothing else. If you ever change what you're making the change might be a bit easier than doing a new cast of new bowls and that kind of thing. It is a big change because you have to recreate a new recipe for the new part and this is what's slowing down metal 3D printing adoption.
The current process of metal 3D printing works fine at a smaller scale for shops and even hobbyists. It's not that big of a deal because again you can eyeball. It's part of the gig machine in itself and sometimes has some creative and artistic flair to it. It's not necessarily a hard science, but for a process to reach mass production, it has to be hard science. If it wants to hit the goal of 3D printing which is high flexibility then it really has to know the science. Metal just isn't there yet and it's a fundamental problem that the industry has to solve before it's really scalable and to replace molding or casting at a large scale. because it has no more flexibility. The 3D printed metal machines for mass production are essentially large metal injection molding machines so unless you're making a part with a unique geometry that requires printing to create that geometry there are very few benefits to it over regular casting. We keep an eye on it and we're really excited about what everybody is doing with metal but it is just still too early and it has this fundamental problem of how to cook a part and do it flexibly and reliably that just hasn't been flushed out yet.
That's kind of the problem with metal 3D printing. Comment down below if there are other components of 3D printing or other parts of the industry that you want to talk about and we'll try to get them answered.
This is a Yuri Gagarin bust. This model was downloaded from Thingiverse, I believe. You will notice that he is supported in certain areas. He has a lot of detail right there but overall the model should be fairly easy. But if you look at the back right here, there is error, there is a separation between the model and his helmet or between the neck and his helmet. Now normally if you were looking at that you would say “oh the printer jammed for a moment because a spool hung or something like that and it lost connection” that would be true, except the other half looks like this. That is a perfect print right there. The thing that actually happened right here when you see a perfect print and then a messed up component of it somewhere, This is actually a fault in the 3D model itself. The mesh of the STL was messed up in some kind of way, had some giant hole in it in how the head and the body were pressed together so the head just printed separately it was a separate part from the actual body itself. You can tell that because this is a perfect print and that's all nasty. If that's the issue you need to look at your STL clean it up close any holes and some general cleaning on the file.
Hope this helped and let us know if you have any questions related to 3D printer problems.
Happy 3D printing!
Here at Slant 3D, we have a lot of people come to us with outdoor parts so we're going to talk about the solutions of making those pieces around UV resistance.
Not a lot of people know this but most plastics degrade when exposed to sunlight UV radiation, which is what gives you the sunburn, can cause plastics to fade and degrade and then brittle over time. If you have an application that you want to mount on the side of a telephone pole for five or ten years generally isn't the best thing.
Here's the thing, most plastics are actually quite resistant to UV aside from discoloration. ABS and Pet-g are materials that are resistant. They're not fully resistant but they're pretty resistant to UV. That's why you see plastic bottles alongside the road forever but materials like PLA and other sorts of bioplastics like that are not UV resistant. They will fade very quickly but they will hold up outdoors. People overrate the amount of degradation that can occur with plastics. They are all plastics and they all have a half-life of a thousand years so you can place them outdoors and they will last a very long time. It kind of depends on what type of outdoors but it's okay. As far as UV resistance the materials that are UV rated are materials like ASA, TPU, and some nylons though they're also not great because they do fade very quickly, again ABS is also a very good one.
Here's the thing, all those materials are fine and they work great but in mass production, they're not very good materials. ASA is a highly temperamental material to work with so it's very expensive to mass-produce parts with that. FDM is kind of in a similar vein even though it's a cheaper cost of material and then the other ones like nylon are much more affordable than ABS or ASA to produce with but again you have that fading that comes with it. There is PET-G which is very often used for outdoor applications because it has that durability but there is another solution to this that many people overlook.
The features of the raw material are not necessarily what has to be done used to get a UV-resistant part. In the dashboard of your car, many of the parts within your car are not UV resistant and yet for some reason, they hold their color and last for the 20 years of a lifetime of a car. The reason for that is that auto manufacturing actually uses UV-resistant coatings which are transparent. They protect the underlying material from UV radiation and this is literally a rattle-can run across the part. Generally, if we have a client that is seeking high UV resistance we will try to get them into those UV-resistant materials potentially but depending on the cost and parameters of the project it can be much easier to just print the part in PET-G or PLA even and just coat it with a UV resistant coat and that will give it the resistance that it needs to survive the sunlight. That's the solution for kind of doing mass production with UV you have a lot of materials that are UV resistant and most plastic is able to hold up to the sun for quite a few years but if you want that really high engineering grade UV resistance there are particular materials that have that but then you can also just paint it with a UV resistant coat.
Let me know what you think down in the comments and let us know of any other topics that you would like to hear about how to manufacture particular types of products with 3D printer farms. Have a great day everybody!