Stephanie (Monsanty) Hendrixson served as a Modern Machine Shop summer intern in 2012 and joined the team as an assistant editor later that fall. She currently works on event news for MMS Online and on the production of the print magazine. She also blogs about additive technology and helps to manage Additive Manufacturing magazine as its associate editor. Stephanie holds an M.A. in professional writing from the University of Cincinnati and a B.A. in English literature and history from the University of Mount Union.
A plastic part like this could be milled or 3D printed. How do you decide between processes? Image courtesy of Proto Labs.
Additive manufacturing is a good choice for functional prototypes. It’s often faster and cheaper than molding or machining the part, and flexible enough to quickly produce design iterations. But is it always the best choice?
Not necessarily. Depending on the material, geometry, tolerances and other requirements of a given prototype, machining is sometimes the better option. See how they match up and learn how to decide between 3D printing and machining in this short article based on information from Proto Labs.
The October issue of Additive Manufacturing marks a new beginning for the magazine. This is the first edition following the re-launch of the publication, and the first expanded, full-sized issue. Click the cover image above to read the digital version in your browser or download it to your device and see what we’ve been working on for the past several months.
Inside are some familiar departments including our editors’ column, product news and feature-length application stories. But you’ll also find expanded news from AMT and new sections like “Taking Shape,” a series of short reports on additive manufacturing research, technology and applications. Stories in this issue include:
The making of the aluminum part shown on the cover;
Applications for a 3D printer inside a Swiss turning shop;
The use of direct-metal laser sintering (DMLS) to build better coolant nozzles for ID grinding; and
Considerations for choosing between 3D printing and machining for making functional prototypes.
Nikki Kaufman of Normal models a pair of her company’s custom earphones, produced via FDM.
Nikki Kaufman, the founder and CEO of Normal, will speak about her company’s use of 3D printing to mass produce a personalized product at the 2015 Additive Manufacturing Conference (AMC) scheduled for October 20-21. Kaufman’s company was started as a result of her quest for earphones that would be comfortable to wear for extended periods. Normal provides fully customized earphones—buyers take photos of their ears using an app to provide a model—that are produced via fused-deposition modeling (FDM) on the company’s Fortus 250mc machines from Stratasys. Read more about the company’s individualized approach to manufacturing here.
And speaking of additive … have you seen the new Additive Manufacturing website? We have been posting new content here daily. The increased attention to AM extends to social media,too. Join us as one of the earliest followers of Additive Manufacturing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Also during October, AM subscribers will receive the first issue of the new, full-size Additive Manufacturing magazine. Begin a subscription here.
Since 2012, Gardner Business Media (publisher of Modern Machine Shop) has also produced the Additive Manufacturing supplement. This digest-sized magazine has defined itself as a source of information on industrial additive manufacturing, with a specific focus on the application of AM technologies to produce functional prototypes and real-world, end-use parts. As use of additive in mainstream manufacturing facilities has grown, so too has the need for this type of information. That’s why we’re expanding our coverage of AM with a revamped website, a monthly e-newsletter, and a new, full-sized magazine.
If you’re already a subscriber, you’ll receive the first editions of the magazine and newsletter in October; copies of the print publication will also be distributed during the Additive Manufacturing Conference, October 20-21.
Not a subscriber yet? Sign up here to receive print or digital issues of the magazine plus the e-newsletter.
While measurement and inspection are necessary parts of the manufacturing process, the right equipment and features can help reduce the time and operator involvement required and limit the number of machines and steps. Fully automated systems such as Parlec’s Apex profile measuring machine and those with one-touch measurement like the Mitutoyo Quick Image 2D optical measuring machine can speed this step while reducing operator error. Other systems emphasize flexibility and diverse capability, such as the Zeiss O-Inspect which can be equipped with three different sensors to accommodate a range of workpiece sizes.
Click the image above for a slideshow featuring these and other measurement and inspection products.