Posts Tagged ‘3d prototypes’

Preserving Our History with 3D Printing

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Beyond the manufacturing advantages, the combination of 3D scanning and 3D printing has led to an incredible way of preserving rare artifacts from the past. For many collectables, the primary reason they have dwindled in number has always been the extreme cost of having the original molds remade from scratch. With a 3D printer, the physical molds are replaced with digital instructions, provided by a 3D scan of the original object, or created carefully with design software. This process has been used to recreate tools, toys, machine parts, forgotten oddities and even some more ancient artifacts. Using 3D print materials based on clay or ceramic powder, it is possible replicate very old pottery. This will eventually make it less expensive for museums to exhibit a wider variety of history.

Here at AP Extrusion, many of us share an interest in recreating old automobiles, especially the muscle cars of the 1960s. 3D printing makes it possible to replicate the plastic components that have long since passed out of market. This enables us to restore a complete vehicle without spending years hunting down parts. We are always interesting in talking to anyone who shares our passion and in many cases, we may be able to help with your custom restoration efforts. Consider 3D printing as an alternative to any custom molding project and you will likely find the time and cost are greatly reduced.

If the shoe doesn’t fit, make a 3D rapid prototype

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

3D rapid prototypes are not only used in the design of medical devices or printed circuit boards; although the inclination for many people is to believe that rapid prototyping technology is reserved for design engineers of complex electronics and parts. However, it’s quite the contrary.

3D rapid prototypes have been used in concept modeling for toys, prosthetics, automotive parts, and yes, even footwear.

Advancements in technology of 3D rapid prototyping have made prototyping more accessible and less expensive, and provide footwear designers, to name one industry, with many advantages.

So how exactly does 3D rapid prototyping help designers?
By creating a 3D rapid prototype model of their product, it provides flexibility in the manufacturing process, helps to eliminate design flaws, and increases efficiency in production as it’s a cost-effective method. Although creating prototypes themselves is not a new concept, conventional methods were expensive and often times delayed production.

After all, it’s the consumer that designers are targeting, and they have many options from which to choose, which is why expediency, but quality is paramount. And the only way to achieve that goal is to manufacture a product to exact specifications and that is best facilitated by starting the design process with a 3D rapid prototype model. This enables design features to be put through a series of tests to allow for prototype improvements, thus allowing designers to be more precise in developing a higher quality end product.

But regardless of whatever widget, gadget or running shoe is being produced, new and improved 3D rapid prototype services have provided designers of footwear, electronics, and automotive parts—to name a few—with a necessary tool to help them create products that meets the unique demands of its customers.