Objet advances desktop RP market with new 3D printer

Published 20 October 2008

Posted by Greg Corke

Article tagged with: rapid prototyping, 3d printing, objet

Objet Geometries has upped the ante in desktop 3D printing with the launch of its latest machine, the Alaris30. The office friendly machine is small enough to fit on a desk but still manages to offer a build volume of 300 x 200 x 150mm. Like Objet’s other 3D printers, it utilises the company’s PolyJet Photopolymer Jetting Technology, meaning it can print parts with fine detail (0.1 - 0.2mm accuracy), including “finished-quality” smooth surfaces, and moving parts. The sample parts we have seen are testament to this.

To achieve such high accuracy the Alaris30 squirts Objet’s proprietary FullCure photopolymer material at 600 x 600dpi in 28 micron layers. Similar to an inkjet printer, the jetting head moves back and forth along the X-axis depositing a single layer of photopolymer onto the build tray. Each layer is immediately cured and hardened by UV light, producing fully cured models that can be handled immediately without additional post-curing.

The machine also builds support structures with a gel-like FullCure Support material, and this enables complicated geometries, such as cavities, overhangs, undercuts, delicate features and walls as thin as 0.6mm. When the build is finished, the support material can be removed by water jetting or by hand, and the model is ready for fit, form and function testing. According to Objet, it can also be painted, drilled, chrome-plated or used as moulds for tooling.

In terms of operation, the Alaris30 is designed to act like a network printer and its four cartridge loading permits up to 36 hours of unattended printing. CAD data is prepared using Objet’s Studio software.

Unlike Objet’s Connex500, the Alaris 30 doesn’t offer the ability to print multiple model materials with varying mechanical properties simultaneously.
Look out for a full review soon.

www.objet.com

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Print3D offers realtime prototype pricing software

Published 09 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: solid edge, siemens plm, 3d connexion

Providers of rapid prototyping services Print3D have got all excited about their new software release that promises real-time pricing of CAD models before they are sent into production.

Users will apparently receive real-time quotes for plastic or metal prototypes for whatever components they have open in their modeling workspace, and even customise their order to add paint and finish options before sending the request to rapid prototyping facilities from their 3D modeler.

It can be used as a standalone piece of kit or as a plug-in for AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Alibre Design, and SpaceClaim, while users of Pro Engineer, Revit, Maya, and 3DMax will be catered for in the coming months.

“Just from a day-to-day perspective, designers get more sophisticated pricing and greater control over the quality of the orders in far less time than they would exporting and uploading each part to a website,” explained Print3D CEO Ron Barranco.

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Solid Edge gets 3D Connexion mice

Published 09 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with:

The three-dimensional mouse from 3D Connexion is now supported by Siemens’ Solid Edge, bringing it’s useful manipulation of screen navigation to the synchronous technology involved.

Advanced navigation features in Solid Edge Part, SheetMetal, Weldment, Assembly, and Draft documents allowing engineers to move in all three dimensions simultaneously with six degrees of freedom.

The addition brings the total number of 3D software titles supporting this nifty bit of hardware to over 130.

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DWG: Do We Give a…

Published 09 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: autodesk, dassault systemes

For anyone trying to keep tabs on the flurry of law suits being undertaken and pending between the major CAD software producers, Autodesk have asked for their action against Dassault Systemes to be suspended.

This move comes after they have already spent a reported $2 million in this case of ‘handbags’ over the use of the initials DWG.

Having registered DWGgateway and DWGeditor as trademarks, Autodesk went to work on Dassault in the civil courts, being particularly annoyed with this (the same initials as the .dwg file name they feel they have rights over). Autodesk are hoping that the action through the civil courts will be enough to avoid dragging the whole carbuncle up to the US patent office. Not as exciting as OJ, but news nonetheless.

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Autodesk get down with the kids… Fo’shizzle

Published 06 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: autodesk, student design

Fusty old Autodesk have decided to have a shake-up of its student design and engineering community website to make it more like the “popular social networking sites frequented by students.”

This could be viewed as an attempt to drag the 350,000 plus members of Audodesk’s online student community away from ‘poking’ each other on Facebook and back into doing some actual studying using their products.

In addition to the new, not-unlike-Facebook interface, users are offered showcases for their work, a careers centre, learning guides, and the opportunity to write their own informative, witty, nothing-like-this blog.

“We created the Student Community to provide students with the vital tools and information they need to learn the design process and be successful in their careers.” LOL’d Paul Mailhot, director of worldwide education programs at Autodesk.

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Version 7.9 to make light work of rendering

Published 01 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: rendering, visualization, lightworks

New Ambient Occlusion functionality has been added to LightWorks’ latest release, offering intelligent, predictable realistic lighting for rendering.

Targeted at the AEC sector, with the new lighting settings aimed primarily for interiors, the imaging for product touts it as a universal lighting solution with a wide range of lighting effects. A range of new shaders offer users more realistic effects, allowing the creation of glossy plastics, brushed metals, car paints, varnished surfaces and lacquered finishes. All of which is good news for the users of the 80 software applications that have LightWorks embedded.

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A less sluggish SolidWorks for 2009

Published 19 September 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: solidworks, dassault systemes

Speed was the key selling point at the release of Solidworks 2009, as Dassault Systems were keen to point out a 65 per cent speed increase.

Calculated via productivity gains measured in the creation and modification of large assemblies from real-world customer environments and data, Solidworks 2009 claims that it has become faster without the need for new features and functions, meaning that users do not have to learn new techniques.

260 new enhancements have been made as a result of feedback from user groups, customer analysis and gossip from down the pub.

In addition, a ‘Speedpak’ should allow for a new approach to large assemblies that use less memory to achieve full graphic detail.

“Given that the point of software solutions is to automate tasks and the point of automation is to make common tasks happen faster, then a significant increase in performance will deeply benefit every designer and engineer,” said John MacKrell, senior analyst with CIMdata. “SpeedPak technology increases performance while decreasing resource consumption, providing a double benefit for designers, especially those who work with large assemblies.”

A new ‘Simulation Advisor’ helps users analyze designs for hidden flaws through every stage of a simulation, and even back in the 2D world users get new improvements and add-ons.

Finally, the addition of Photoview360 should mean for easier progressive rendering on the new version. However, the increased figures for speed will probably be enough to warrant the upgrade.

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