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Guest vittos

3d Printing, The Next Revolution?

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Guest tc9604
I treat the scanner as a device for giving me 3D underlays for creating production surfaces over the top of. IMHO if you use it like this there is no point in using anything too costly on the software side. Rhino, for example, has excellent tools for point cloud handling. I actually use VX for this to extract curves from the point cloud. The Next Engine Pro software is actually very good as well but I can't justify the $1000 cost for something I rarely use. The software that comes with the scanner is great for producing a point cloud and stl file - imports into most systems directly, and some applications have Next Engine plug ins now.

Aha, another VX user! I do like the way it can not only handle surfaces as well as it handles solids, but also I agree its point cloud handling is very good for a general purpose CAD/CAM package - solidworks et al can't touch it in this respect. Rhino is of course good for surfacing too.

 

If it's not too off-topic, do you ever use VX for toolpath generation?

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I treat the scanner as a device for giving me 3D underlays for creating production surfaces over the top of. IMHO if you use it like this there is no point in using anything too costly on the software side. Rhino, for example, has excellent tools for point cloud handling. I actually use VX for this to extract curves from the point cloud. The Next Engine Pro software is actually very good as well but I can't justify the $1000 cost for something I rarely use. The software that comes with the scanner is great for producing a point cloud and stl file - imports into most systems directly, and some applications have Next Engine plug ins now.

Aha, another VX user! I do like the way it can not only handle surfaces as well as it handles solids, but also I agree its point cloud handling is very good for a general purpose CAD/CAM package - solidworks et al can't touch it in this respect. Rhino is of course good for surfacing too.

 

If it's not too off-topic, do you ever use VX for toolpath generation?

 

I should qualify this and say that I stopped VX maintenance last year and I only use VX for this, and opening 3rd party files that I need to check. My main CAD system is SolidWorks. To be honest I prefer Solidworks to VX (up to v13 anyway - v14 is just out and I notice they have used the D Cubed constraints engine now for their sketcher - which must be a big improvement). Sure there are some things that VX can do in terms of surfacing better than SolidWorks but there is also more SolidWorks can do better than VX so I don't agree that SW cannot touch it in surfacing terms. I have plenty of files that prove otherwise :D There are actually a lot of SW and VX dual users out there!

 

I've not personally used VX for toolpath generation so I can't comment on how it compares to other systems. If you speak to the VX guys they are adamant that VX beats all others in toolpath generation. If you intend doing this do a benchmark with VX against say Powermill. CNC is one of the few areas of CAD that you can actually get ROI figures for very easily and justify the cost easily (assuming you have the throughput of work).

 

All I will say is that the VX team in the UK are top notch in terms of support (but then you probably know that already!).

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Guest tc9604
I should qualify this and say that I stopped VX maintenance last year and I only use VX for this, and opening 3rd party files that I need to check. My main CAD system is SolidWorks. To be honest I prefer Solidworks to VX (up to v13 anyway - v14 is just out and I notice they have used the D Cubed constraints engine now for their sketcher - which must be a big improvement). Sure there are some things that VX can do in terms of surfacing better than SolidWorks but there is also more SolidWorks can do better than VX so I don't agree that SW cannot touch it in surfacing terms. I have plenty of files that prove otherwise :D There are actually a lot of SW and VX dual users out there!

 

I've not personally used VX for toolpath generation so I can't comment on how it compares to other systems. If you speak to the VX guys they are adamant that VX beats all others in toolpath generation. If you intend doing this do a benchmark with VX against say Powermill. CNC is one of the few areas of CAD that you can actually get ROI figures for very easily and justify the cost easily (assuming you have the throughput of work).

 

All I will say is that the VX team in the UK are top notch in terms of support (but then you probably know that already!).

 

Sorry I was referring to point could handling in VX vs. Solidworks. I also use both packages daily although it tends to be Solidworks for CAD and VX for CAM - the CAM side of things is pretty good and produces excellent toolpaths despite the odd quirk of the user interface!

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Guest Dennisdevr
Question: how big individual parts can you RP these days? I heard "by the water cooler" that a certain German automotive company in Stuttgart does dashboards in one go, but it would be nice to see some hard numbers from a reliable source.
Might also check out the Materialize site. I seem to recall their having built their own custom, large-sized machines. I want to say they were SLA, but that doesn't sound right to me.

 

 

That's quite right, they have customized SLA machines to build larger parts e.g. bumpers. There's extensive information provided on this link to mammoth SLA machines. You can also view how it works via the Mammoth Stereolithography technology movie.

Hope this helps ;)

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Guest Skint

I heard a rumour that a company called A1 technologies has a rapid prototyping machine coming available for as little as £750. Aimed at schools/colleges etc to assist with students modelling hence the effort to reduce prices so much. Soon we will all have one on our desks ?

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Guest Dennisdevr

Question is how high the cost of material will be, and the quality of the prints..

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Guest csven

Hope they fare better than Desktop Factory, which seems on the verge of imploding.

 

My thoughts are that the service bureaus like Shapeways are the ones to watch. With designer e-shops and direct-to-consumer capability, the business model seems slightly more viable, imo. I still wonder about the legal issues confronting this system, but that will likely only slow things, not stop them.

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Guest idemon

Yeah, I have put my eyes on this field some year, I want to design some sophisticated style things, and use 3d printed them. Like FOC (www.freedomofcreation.com) I like their design very much!

 

and i have try some design like it, you can find them at:

www.lifaliang.blog.com

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Guest amoncur

I love 3D printing and think it's becoming a critical part of the product development process. I'm not sure what the turnaround time is on a hand made model, but I get my printed RP parts back in 2 days, usually. And they;re usually pretty cheap (couple hundred bucks for a small assembly of parts). The shop I use even has a machine now that will print compliant materials along with the rigid (to simulate overmolded parts). Very useful.

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