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CargoSignal-tool

Full Service Manufacturing with Cargo Signal

This past month 3DC had the opportunity to combine each of our main services to show how our shop works to create a final product. When Seattle based cargo tracking company Cargo Signal came to us with a design that they needed manufactured for a short production run, we knew we could do the job!

Cargo Signal’s prototype design was to create an encasement for their new tracking device. Building on their idea, our engineering team was able to design an FDM tool that would be 3D printed and used for multiple pulls on our thermoformer. Because thermoforming requires plastic to be heated up to high temperatures, we printed the tool in Ultem 9085, for its thermal resistance and strength.

The body of the parts were thermoformed out of ABS plastic sheets in sets of eight and then our CNC machinists cut them to their final shape. This way we were able to utilize the most space out of the ABS sheets to try and cut down on waste. The finishing touch was to laser engrave each part with the Cargo Signal logo.

“Thanks for the great work, your cases are a big hit…They came out amazing.”

– Paul Nicholls, Cargo Signal

We produced over 1000 cases for Cargo Signal so far with more to go! Our range of services gives our customers maximum customization for their designs and ideas. Click here to learn more about the different services offered by 3D Composites and let us transform your ideas into reality.

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Kim-pnaa

Kim Gustafson to speak at the PNAA symposium

3DC’s own Kim Gustafson is going to be a panel speaker at next week’s PNAA NExT Event: Northwest Additive Manufacturing Symposium (3D Printing) at the University of Washington! The symposium will feature manufacturing representatives from a variety of sources who are willing to share their first hand knowledge of the benefits and techniques of additive manufacturing, specifically 3D printing.

On Friday, April 26th, Kim and three other speakers will be on the afternoon’s second panel, How Additive Benefits Business. The panelists will be sharing their experiences with the technical aspects of the additive manufacturing business, their origins with learning the technology, and offering their views on how additive manufacturing will be implemented in the future.

If you are interested in attending or want to find out more visit pnaa.net/events and root Kim on!

Integrating vacuum thermoforming in 3DC manufacturing

3D Composites is taking our thermoforming services to the next level this year and vice president Kim Gustafson explains how.

“We do thermoforming as just one way of manufacturing production parts for a small quantity by being vertically integrated enough to to everything in-house,” says Kim.

Being able to produce your part from design and development all the way to finished piece is great because you can be sure that your part is meeting our quality standards throughout the entire process.

“We do the tooling in-house, we have CNC routers in-house, as well as the 3D printed tooling. Vacuum forming is just one of many different ways that we manufacture quick parts for our customers.”

3DC is implementing more manufacturing processes like increasing our machining capabilities so that we can give you more options and keep providing you quality parts and service.

Learn more about our thermoforming and other 3DC services here!

WIM-Sara

Designed for Excellence with Sara Abramowicz

Exploring Quality & Service with the Women of 3DC

3D printed parts can be built to almost any dimension but sometimes those measurements out-scale the machines. That’s where Engineer Sara Abramowicz comes in. Since starting at 3D Composites Sara has taken on the task of making sure that each part, even the extra large ones, are printed to the correct specifications with care.

“I help with managing what’s going on the machines, making sure the parts are ready to go and if they are bigger parts that need to be split up into smaller pieces, setting up those joints.”

3D Composites uses Fortus printers with build envelopes that are up to 16”x14”x16”. When 3D printed pieces are too large to fit within the given dimensions it is up to Sara to section the CAD file into segments to make sure that it is precisely divided with appropriate joints that can be bonded.

“Working with the bond joints is fun because it’s like how do I make this go together, how do I split this up so that it still works together as its intended as a full part?”

A graduate of Gonzaga University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Sara had only a little exposure to 3D printing when she started with the company. “In my junior year we were just getting in a couple of little MakerBots for the students to use, so we learned some basics from that. [When I started with 3DC] I did not know much about any of the materials at all, it was really interesting to see what we could do, like with the vacuum former so that we can print our own tooling instead of having to get it manufactured externally.”

She is right. There is a lot more to additive manufacturing than first meets the eye. Being able to design a part that not only is made from durable and production-grade materials, but is also manufactured to precise custom measurements is a feature that the 3DC staff take pride in.

Our Women of 3DC series has come to an end but we have more awesome staff and great services for you to explore. Be sure to keep up with us on facebook and twitter for the latest with the 3DC crew!

old building

3D Printing May Save Old Architecture

Capabilities To Restore The Past

Restoration work on historical landmarks, as buildings, houses, among others, is a very tedious job, at the same time, extremely expensive. To protect historical buildings at a reasonable cost is becoming harder and traditional facade design is towards a dying art. Many modern cities have lost the architectural charm of the past; glass and steel have replaced intricate facades and ornamental classics.

However, new technology exists that can bring the craft of ornate architecture into the modern age, and at a cost that could save buildings from demolition. Digital tools are now the medium towards artistic expressions. One of them is 3D printing technology, with the capacity to restore and recreate historic urban architecture that can be lost.

EDG New York, an architecture, engineering and consulting firm, is inspired to formulate a financially viable process to help restore buildings under threat. With 3D printing, architectural sculpture can be digitized and render them into printable objects. In other words, modern technology meets traditional craft.

Even then, in spite of 3D printing technology, the main drawback in restoration was the cost. Solid 3D-printed parts remained expensive. EDG went for plastic moulds that can produce intricate copies on site, within a day. Laser scanning software allows EDG to recreate anything with ease, from colonnades and cornices to a whole building. Architects anywhere could reprint the same mould from their digital catalogue of parts. There is now the freedom to create captivating, engaging and unique facades. EDP says that even with costly projects, with their method of construction, ornamentation can be designed and incorporated into the facade without exceeding the budget.

Since 3D printing in architecture has been growing in the last decade, what other structures have been 3D printing-inspired? Well, whole 3D printed house have been built. Some were in Russia and China, and a micro-house was recently built in Amsterdam. The first 3D-printed room in 2013, the Digital Grotesque in Zurich, 11 tonnes and 11-feet tall, boasted beautiful baroque detail with millions of micro-textures. There are also plans to 3D print a one-bedroom house at this year’s Milan Design Week. Also 3D -printed were some remains of the siege of Palmyra in Syria after the ISIS destroyed much of its priceless treasures. 3D printing has indeed set a permanent foothold in the realm of architecture and even in archeology.

Printing Complex Parts Quickly and Accurately

For your ideas and prototype models, contact us at 3D Composites. At 3D Composites we are able to turn your ideas into reality through 3D printing. With our professional line of Stratasys 3D printers including the Fortus 450, and strong production-grade thermoplastics, we are able to print complex parts quickly and accurately, creating functional parts from the design phase through to production.