Articles by Renee Eaton
Thursday, June 29, 2017
The cost advantages and creative applications of thermoforming — or vacuum forming as it is also known — are accelerating its use in multiple industries, including manufacturing and medicine. Recently, a case study found that thermoforming customized medical trays for procedures cut prep and operation times by 59 percent and lowered expenses. Having these customized trays better organizes procedures and improves medical staff utilization.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Getting parts on demand has been a manufacturer's dream for many years. Since 2005, there have been cries from the 3-D printing industry that additive technology would replace the need for injection mold tooling, that it would eliminate the need for machining, that casting would become obsolete. Finally, that dream is becoming a reality.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
The popularity of industrial design (also known as product design) has accelerated due, in part, to a new wave of designers and advances in technology, materials, processes and capabilities that have dramatically improved the design options available to clients. Working closely with engineers, industrial designers are trained on function, aesthetics, ergonomics, anthropometrics and manufacturing processes to provide clients with the best "working" concepts from sketches, to renderings, to CAD models that create their final products.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
When designing a product or part, many people take inspiration from what's around them and end up looking to have an object 3-D scanned in order to modify or reproduce it. In 3-D scanning, the term "reverse engineering" has a specific meaning: converting the messy point cloud or polygonal data into a file better suited for engineering CAD software (e.g., STEP, IGES or native SolidWorks files).
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
On the Discovery Channel's hit show, "Deadliest Catch," Derrick Ray is a captain for one of Alaska's most successful and beloved crab fishing ships, the Aleutian Ballad. During the offseason for crabbing each summer, Ray and his crew take customers on the high seas to simulate the experience — at least without the rough weather, long hours and extreme danger. A staple of the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour is that the customers get to see the massive 10-pound crabs up close.
Wednesday, February 01, 2017
3-D printing — or rapid prototyping as it is also called — is a fast and cost-effective solution for testing and perfecting digital designs in the real world. Due to their ability to fabricate parts overnight without any direct labor, programming or tooling, 3-D printing technologies carry many advantages over traditional technologies like injection molding for short turns and small-batch production.
Monday, October 27, 2014
The official purpose of a recent FDA-sponsored workshop was "to provide a forum for FDA, medical device manufacturers, additive manufacturing companies and academia to discuss technical challenges and solutions of 3-D printing." The FDA wants "input to help it determine technical assessments that should be considered for additively manufactured devices to provide a transparent evaluation process for future submissions."
Monday, September 15, 2014
Last month, an acquaintance underwent what was expected to be a routine ablation procedure — nearly 10 hours later, the surgery finally finished. Despite CT scans, X-rays and EKGs, the surgeons encountered "structural issues" that complicated the operation. If they'd had a 3-D print of his heart, they might have anticipated and planned contingencies based on what they saw.
Monday, August 18, 2014
The terms 3-D printing and additive manufacturing are generally used interchangeably. They refer to a group of new technologies and processes that allow parts, models and (in some cases) assemblies to be built directly from computer-aided design (CAD) or building information modeling (BIM) data.
Monday, July 07, 2014
Exhibiting at trade shows can be quite rewarding for companies. Unfortunately, it can also be quite expensive and stressful. Transporting and staging large equipment can consume a significant portion of a company's marketing budget, especially when international shipping is involved.
Monday, June 09, 2014
Most people have heard the stories about 3-D-printed gun and body parts. Now, additive manufacturing is revolutionizing the interior design, architectural and construction fields because it overcomes many of the limitations traditional practices have faced.