RepRap At OSCON 2008

RepRap Blog

The RepRap Child is heading for OSCON in Portland, Oregon (yes, I''m off to the US of A again). I''m presenting in the last session on Thursday afternoon and will probably set up an impromptu display in the foyer if I can get away with it, so pop in and say "Hi" if you''re in the neighbourhood. Vik :v). oscon reprap

ExOne Announces ISO 9001:2008 Certifications in North Huntingdon and Troy Facilities

3DPrint.com

3D Printers 3D Printing Business (NASDAQ:XONE) certifications exone ISO 9001:2008 iso certification iso standards xone While ExOne (NASDAQ:XONE) may be a leader, as well as a pioneer, in non-traditional manufacturing, they are still sticklers for good old-fashioned and much required, strict industry certifications. In supporting their customers with both wide-scale and... View the entire article via our website.

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Favorite Products of 2008

Wohlers Talk

As I havedone in the past, I’ve identified a few products from the past year that have been as good or better than expected. Here goes … 1) Seagate portable drive. The 250 GB FreeAgent Go portable disk drive from Seagate is slick, especially compared to my older portable drives. It measures 11 x 80 x 130 mm (0.45 x 3.15 inches), weighs 170 grams (6 ounces), andfits in a small pocket. A USB connection is all that is needed for both power and data transfer.

Data 100

RepRap achieves replication!

RepRap Blog

The child machine made its first successful grandchild part at 14:00 hours UTC on 29 May 2008 at Bath University in the UK, a few minutes after it was assembled.

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Election Reactions Around the World

Wohlers Talk

The plane pushed back at 1:50 pm on November 4, 2008 from San Francisco International Airport. The November 8, 2008 issue of The Economist reported the outcome of 53,000 readers worldwide who voted on-line. It wasnt until I arrived Beijing, China at 6:00 pm on the 5th that I learned the results of the U.S. presidential election. I was surprised by the views of almost everyone I encountered during my 16-day zigzag around the world.

Bungled U.S. Energy Policy

Wohlers Talk

Jonathan Gourlay, features editor of Desktop Engineering , wrote an interesting editorial in the August 2008 issue. A lot needs to be fixed in the U.S. at the moment. At the risk of being the bearer of more bad news, here goes. He stated the following.  In the last fiscal year, the Energy Department had planned to spend.  $159 million on solar research and development.

Costa Rica

Wohlers Talk

According to Wikipedia, Costa Rica ranks 5th in the world in the 2008 Environmental Performance Index, up from 15th place in 2006. My wife, daughter, and I visited Costa Rica last week and part of this week. We spent our time in the western half of the country near Playa Hermosa and Lake Arenal. Our previous visit to the country was 11 years ago, so the trip served as a reminder of how much Costa Rica has to offer. The following are facts about the country and its people. It takes about 4.5

Corporate Litigation

Wohlers Talk

The report, published in the January 2008 issue of Manufacturing Engineering , went on to say that 56% of these companies encountered more than 20 new lawsuits in 2007. Can you believe it? Ninety-one percent of our nations manufacturing companies were involved in one or more new lawsuits in 2007, according to Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, a law firm in Houston, Texas.

Travel Annoyances

Wohlers Talk

I like to travel and would not do it if I didnt. I enjoy meeting people from around the world, experiencing new cultures and foods, and seeing historic sites and the countryside. I understand and appreciate most of the security measures at airports. However, theres a few things associated with travel that are irritating, especially when they occur repeatedly. . One aggravation are the fees for Internet access at some hotels and airport lounges. Many hotel chains in the U.S.

Europe 100

How to Get Things Done

Wohlers Talk

Many years ago, I read the classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Of all the suggestions offered in the book, one stuck with me the most. I call it the Big Rock principle. Our lives are filled with jobs, tasks, meetings, and emailssometimes an overwhelming number of them. If you are like many people, you sometimes slip into a period where youre working hard and long hours, but you neglect some of the most important stuff.

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3D Design for Everyday Consumers

Wohlers Talk

In The Boston Globe article Next software for the masses? How about three-dimensional design, author Scott Kirsner explained that computers were once used only by PhDs and videocassette recorders were designed for television broadcasters. He went on to say that the mobile phone, GPS, photo editing software, and Internet were intended originally for professionals and academic types. Kirsner suggested that 3D design software may someday become common among non-professionals and I agree.

The U.S. Has Fallen Behind

Wohlers Talk

Ive had the opportunity to visit many organizations and conferences on additive fabrication (AF) over the past few years. Something that may be alarming to some has presented itself. The U.S. has fallen behind Europe. Case in point: I attended a first-year AF conference this month in Ptuj, Slovenia. The topics and discussions were more interesting and advanced than those at a major U.S. conference held earlier this year.

How Much Do Engineers Make?

Wohlers Talk

Earlier this year, Machine Design magazine revealed the results from its annual salary survey. According to the April 24 issue, engineers make from about $68,000 to $148,000 annually. Vice presidents of engineering earn nearly $129,000, while consulting engineers get $148,000. Design, project, and R&D engineers are at the other end of the pay scale, although its not dramatically lower than other engineering types who earn in the range of about $70,000 to $91,000.

Medical Modeling

Wohlers Talk

Late last week I visited Medical Modeling Inc. of Golden, Colorado. Ive been to the company a few times in the past, but this time was different. Ive always been impressed by the companys progressive thinking and dazzling projects. This time, however, I was taken to another level. There really is no other company like it. Not even close. Andy Christensen has been the head of the company from the beginning.

Are Cars in the U.S. Less Efficient?

Wohlers Talk

I was sitting at dinner last week in Austin, Texas when the subject of fuel prices came up. Individuals from the UK were present, so we estimated the cost of gasoline in the UK. Our estimate: $9-10 per gallon. One Brit was quick to point out that cars in Europe are much more efficient than those in the U.S., indicating that they often get 40-60 miles per gallon (mpg). In the past, I had wondered if European cars got better mileage, but dismissed the idea.

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Autodesk is Now the Giant

Wohlers Talk

The first time I phoned Autodesk (1983), Mike Ford, then vice president of marketing and sales, answered the phone. Thats how small the company was at the time. Autodesks most recent annual revenues were $2.17 billion, making it the largest CAD company in the world. Who would have ever guessed that it would go so far? Through the 1980s and much of the 1990s, Autodesk was viewed as a second-class citizen among its high-end competitors and many of their customers.

Riding Rockets

Wohlers Talk

Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut is one of the best books Ive read in a long time. Mike Mullane chronicles much of his life leading up to his three shuttle missions into space. An engineer friend, Boris Fritz of Northrop Grumman, highly recommended the book. He said, I picked it up and couldnt put it down. Boris and I heard Mullane speak at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers RAPID conference in Chicago, Illinois in May 2003.

Engaging Students is Key

Wohlers Talk

The U.S. has dropped to tenth place worldwide in high school completion, according to the September 2007 issue of Manufacturing Engineering. In 2004, the average annual income for a high school drop out was about $16,500, compared to more than $26,000 for a graduate. What can be done to reduce the problem? One idea is to offer more opportunities for hands-on activities that engage students. Some kids do not take well to textbooks and lectures.

Course 100

Home Manufacturing in the Future

Wohlers Talk

Many years ago, at least one person predicted the use of additive fabrication (AF) to 3D print household items. If the bread toaster breaks, a new oneor part of onewould be created on the home 3D printer. The convenience and speed would make it compelling. I disagreed then and I do now. If the toaster breaks, a new one is purchased for $1520.

Adam Cohen

Wohlers Talk

Some of you may recognize his name. Cohen helped pioneer the additive fabrication (AF) industry. At 3D Systems, he was instrumental in the development of the SLA 250, once the most popular AF system in the world. Cohen subsequently co-founded Soligen, a Southern California company that used inkjet printing (3DP) technology from MIT to produce ceramic shells for metal castings. He served as vice president of R&D for years at Soligen.

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Rewriting the Rules of Making Metal Parts

Wohlers Talk

Last week I visited EOS GmbH (Krailling, Germany), a company that manufactures laser-sintering machines for plastics, metals, and foundry sand. By the end of my visit, it became clear to me that EOS is rewriting the rules for metal part fabrication. Conventional methods will not disappear, but a range of metal parts that would otherwise be machined or cast is now being produced using metal laser sintering. The company faces challenges, but it has made a lot of progress in the past few years.

Lack of Engineering Graduates?

Wohlers Talk

A lot has been published over the past couple years on the suspected lack of engineering graduates in the U.S. Some articles suggest that countries, such as China, are producing many more engineers than the U.S. In determining whether its true, one must know how these countries define an engineer. Some information hints at the possibility that an individual in China trained to run a CNC milling machine is considered an engineer. Countries, such as the U.S.,

Record Growth for U.S. Manufacturers?

Wohlers Talk

The Washington-based Cato Institute, a non-profit public policy research foundation, claims that U.S. manufacturing is doing very well. In fact, it maintains that the manufacturing sector is experiencing record growth, record profits, record output, record exports, and record return on investment. A summary of the organizations findings was published in the December 2007 issue of Manufacturing Engineering. If you were to randomly ask a dozen manufacturers in the U.S.

National Center for Rapid Technologies

Wohlers Talk

Saddleback College (Mission Viejo, California) is the home of the National Center for Rapid Technologies (RapidTech), a four-year program funded by the National Science Foundation. NSF approved the Center in September 2007. RapidTech will assist industry and education with rapid technologies for prototyping, tooling, manufacturing, and reverse engineering. A major emphasis of RapidTech is the preparation of technicians for the world of work.

Biggest Advancement of the Year

Wohlers Talk

Meghan Connolly, editor of Time-Compression Technologies magazine, recently asked, What has been the biggest gain, improvement, or advancement over the past year for RP/RM? The following was my response. Many interesting advances have occurred. However, the one that stands out the most is the increased popularity of additive fabrication (AF) technology at schools. Almost weekly, I come across an article, news piece, or blog on how a school is putting the technology to work.

Favorite Products of 2007

Wohlers Talk

Ive listed my favorite products and services in the past and its time to do it again. Some companies provide good quality, but many do not. The following, listed at random, are a few of those that have met or exceeded my expectations over the past year or so. 1) PdaNet. This is an excellent application that runs on Palm Treo handheld devices. A one-time cost of $34 turns your Treo into a broadband modem for your laptop or desktop computer.

Machines that Build Themselves

Wohlers Talk

Self-replicating machines have been a topic of futurists and science fiction writers. Nanotechnology shows some promisefor nanoscale assembly, although practical applications of this may be many years into the future, if ever.

Lathe accesories

HydraRaptor

Khiraly asked me for a walk through of the lathe accessories I mentioned before , so here goes. I am no expert on lathes, I am learning as I go along. In fact, I learnt quite a lot writing this! Cutting tools This is an 11 piece tungsten carbide turning tool set.

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Richards SolidWorks Blog: Digital and Physical can both be reduced.

Richard's SolidWorks Blog

Mans Future on Earth » July 10, 2008. By Richard Williams July 9 th 2008. “ July 10, 2008 at 01:29 AM in Engineering Related Items | Permalink. Richards SolidWorks Blog. Richard Williams. About Me. Contact Me. Categories. Analysis. Current Affairs. Designing without limits.

New Toy

HydraRaptor

The company that I have worked at for 25 years gave me a long service award recently. I could choose anything worth £500 so I chose this small lathe / drill / milling machine combo. The tiny watchmaker''s lathe I have been using up to now is not really big enough for RepRap parts.

RepRap in Oslo

RepRap Blog

I was asked to give a keynote at Go Open 2008 in Oslo. With lots of hand-waving, obviously. The conference had other keynotes from the likes of Chris DiBona , the Open Source Program Manager at Google, and Simon Phipps , the Chief Open Source Officer at Sun.

Stripboard Sanguino

RepRap Blog

I have been asked to blog pictures of my stripboard version of Zach''s Sanguino. Here goes: The cable top-right is the USB TTL serial lead. The double-row 6-way connector top left is the ICSP connector, which you''ll need to put the bootloader into the machine before you use the USB connection.

Simple experiment

HydraRaptor

Inspired by Demented Chihuahua''s extruder work , I repeated his experiment using what was left of my old heater. I mounted it in a 30mm M6 stainless steel washer and clamped that in a vice.

New Materials

HydraRaptor

HydraRaptor''s extruder suddenly stopped working in the middle of a build a few weeks ago. I tried upping the temperature and pushing the filament with pliers but it would not budge. All that happened was the heater barrel slipped a few threads in the PTFE insulator.

Sticking point

HydraRaptor

sid , who is a regular contributor to the RepRap forums, had an idea to get a soldering iron manufacturer to make a heater barrel assembly for RepRap. He approached a Chinese company with a specification and they sent him some prototypes. He forwarded one to me for testing.

A day with PLA

HydraRaptor

Adrian Bower has kindly given me a small sample of polylactic acid (PLA) filament to evaluate and some parts to make the new geared extruder are on their way. Being a bit too impatient I decided to try extruding it with my current extruder.

Mother of all Boards.

RepRap Blog

Zach kindly let me have a prototype of his latest Sanguino board. I''ve just installed it on my RepRap (above) and it runs just fine. The Sanguino is great as a RepRap controller, and I have been using one on my machine for months.