3D Printing – Need to think outside the box!

Do you think outside the “box” and do you want to get ahead in the exciting world of 3D Printing? Then start designing your creations. There are free software packages on the web that allow artists to create an electronic sculpture or an engineer to de3D Printersign a widget that will change the world. The great thing is that GPRC CRI has a 3D printer that can turn your idea into an ABS plastic model.

3D Printing is also referred to as Additive Manufacturing and Direct Digital Manufacturing. Then just to confuse the issue there are a number of printing methods that are used to create the 3D models. At GPRC/CRI we have what is known as a Fused Deposition Modeling Additive Manufacturing System. Put in simpler terms what we have is a very high tech glue gun that puts down very thin layers of ABS plastic to build a 3D model layer by layer.

The challenge is to create a 3D image that can be “printed”. Artists can create 3D images on their computer, some programs such as Autodesk 123D Design or Autodesk 123D Make are free and come with a printer utility that creates the files used by 3D printers. Another option for artists is to take a 3D scan of their creations (sculptures, etc.). If you want to test the concept, try using Autodesk’s 123D Catch that allows you to use your iPad or iPhone as the scanner. While these give low quality scans, the results are remarkable.

While 3D Printing provides artists another medium to work in, 3D printing requires engineers to not only think outside the box but to forget what they know about traditional manufacturing processes. In a Guest Blog on DesignNews, Bill Camuel, from RedEye on Demand, in a blog titled “Beyond Prototyping: 5 Things to consider for 3D Printing your Functional Parts” dated 8/7/2013 states “It is essential that engineers remove their blinders and allow their minds to expand beyond what they have learned through the years of education and practice. Engineers should feel free to design their parts to achieve the best performance possible. Additive manufacturing makes this feasible.”

GPRC students and faculty, inventors and innovators can all access CRIs 3D printer to see their ideas become real items that they can see and touch. Watch for the new CRI video on 3D Printing at GPRC. The video will be available on the CRI website early next week.

For more information contact Lloyd at 780-539-2718 or lsherk@gprc.ab.ca.

One thought on “3D Printing – Need to think outside the box!

  1. Pingback: 3D Printing – Need to think outside the box! | 3D Printer Outlet3D Printer Outlet

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