I attended a 3D Printing seminar

Yesterday I attended a 3D Printing seminar put on by Peak Solutions http://peakllc3d.com/main/, Ultimate 3D http://ult3d.com/, and 3D Fixtures http://www.3dfixtures.com/ .

As always with 3D Printing, it was fascinating and this industry never ceases to amaze me with what’s around the corner as it changes the world as we know it. I certainly appreciate being invited to attend.

The days of blacksmithing have come a long way from forged steel to what’s coming our way folks. With this innovation, prototyping and manufacturing are being revolutionized. It’s speeding up the manufacturing process from concept modeling, design change, materials, to inventory control.

It’s one thing to generate CAD drawings on the computer via the engineering department, but it is another to produce on site prototypes and concept modeling in full color. The possibilities are endless, with very few limitations. From a picture or laser scan, 3D printing can start printing it via the XYZ coordinates of the 3D software.

This technology is lowering costs in that it is saving up to 70% of design costs, opening up the doors for competition, innovation, economic development, and needed manufacturing jobs.

Ultimate 3D out of Hillsboro OR discussed how they can take a design from a CAD drawing to programming to tooling and produce parts, models, or about anything, via “sintering” or SLS which takes a powder material, such as Nylon 12 base, or aluminum, and for certain applications (such as aviation) flame retardant material. SLS is the acronym for Selective Laser Sintering and the powder heats up and melts forming the finished goods.

Limitations of the past are being taken over with 3D. No longer does the mouse trap have to be done the same as it has in the past; the wheel literally can be recreated for fit and function or the design phase can be revitalized to improve finished goods by overcoming past limitations while certainly speeding up the manufacturing process. If you have ever been involved in manufacturing you will realize that inventory control issues can be solved on a global basis by way of just in time inventory as production can literally now be made on site. All of this lowers manufacturing costs and brings competition to the free market.

The room was at maximum capacity and a few had to stand. This event was held at the Convention Center in Lynnwood, WA.  The people in attendance were enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, professionals, people considering buying printers, manufacturers, and people that want to learn more about this technology.

I sat next to a gentleman by the name of Bob Forgrave (bob@forgrave.net) who has patented FlatBike Swivl which is a stem for a bicycle. Imagine the limitations of the handlebars as you hang it in the garage. With FlatBike Swivl a person can change the direction of the stem or handlebars to fit in the garage, saving space. Add in multiple bikes in a garage or the back of an RV, this is a solution. And Bob Forgrave thought of the idea, patented it, had it 3D printed, and has been working vigorously to meet the 3rd party testing to meet safety standards. This is a good idea, one that he acted upon and did something. It was interesting to hear the process for but one product, in this case a bike stem. But if there are entrepreneurs out there like Mr. Forgrave, there will be many others that will be the creators and designers of new technology, while improving lives.

We have seen how 3D printing can create a new turtle shell – improving the life of a turtle that may have lost his shell along the way or improve the life of a cat that became crippled or seen the expression of a dog that can run again with the help of 3D printing. Imagine what 3D printing can do for humankind. From prosthetics that work in terms of fit and function, to dental and medicine, knee and hip replacement, cartilage replacement and new growth, and yes, the bioprinting of vascular systems,  3D Printing is revolutionizing the world as we know it.

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http://peakllc3d.com/main/ Peak Solutions – Portland, OR

Peak Solutions LLC, established in 2003, provides Rapid Prototyping, Scanning and Software solutions for companies in the Western US and Canada. Our mission is simple: make technology an asset for your business.
3D Printers by 3D Systems

3D Systems is a leading, global provider of 3D content-to-print solutions including personal, professional and production 3D printers.

http://www.3dfixtures.com/  3D Fixtures – Mulino, OR

http://ult3d.com/ Ultimate 3D – Hillsboro, OR

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