RAPID+TCT was last week in Detroit and there were a lot of manufacturers, large and small, showcasing their advancements in the additive world. RAPID is one of the largest additive manufacturing conferences in the US and has been running for the last 30 years. At this show, many manufacturers announce their new technologies, so it’s usually an exciting show. This was my first RAPID and I was excited to see what all the big manufacturers were showing off as well as to see some of the more emerging technologies like bioprinting. Below are some of my highlights from the show.
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a 3D printing technology that uses production-grade thermoplastics to create prototypes, end-use products, replacement parts and much more. These thermoplastic materials are strong and resistant to high temperatures. If your parts will be tested through an arduous process, FDM may be the best choice. There are several ways in which FDM can help improve the flow of product development in different parts of the process.
March 26, 2019
3D printing a functional prototype is one of the most critical steps in the development of any product or solution. It allows for testing, hands-on fit and finish testing and the ability to make design iterations on the fly before the final product is made. It allows for problems and defects to be found quickly, saving you both time and money. Plus, prototyping can be done in 5 easy steps.
March 12, 2019
Polylactic Acid (PLA) is one of the most widely used thermoplastics in 3D printing, specifically in Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printers. PLA is widely used on hobbyist level printers for its speed and overall part quality, but it's not very popular on higher-end machines because it lacks strength and resistance to heat and chemicals. That makes it unsuitable for any kind of applications that rely on those qualities, like jigs and fixtures. However, there are characteristics of PLA that could make it very useful for engineers or hobbyists on certain types of projects.