Posts by Stephen Holmes

3D Scanning: New laser-based imaging system can create HD surface maps from over 10 metres away

Published 09 October 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: 3d scanning, 3d scanner, scanning, lidar, nist

The new technology can create a 3D image of about one million pixels in less than 8.5 minutes, from 10.5m away

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a laser-based imaging system that creates high-definition 3D maps of surfaces from as far away as 10.5 meters.

NIST’s 3D mapping system combines a form of laser detection and ranging (LADAR), which is sensitive enough to detect weak reflected light, with the ranging accuracy made possible by frequency combs, as previously demonstrated at NIST.

Using a laser of only 9 milliwatts (safe for the eyes at the instrument’s infrared wavelength) NIST’s 3D mapping system scans a target object point by point across a grid, measuring the distance to each point. using the distance data to make a 3D image of about 1 million pixels in less than 8.5 minutes.

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Teach Yourself: Intro to brick meshing for FEA or CFD analysis in Ansys

Published 08 October 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: simulation, ansys, cae, analysis, teach yourself, meshing

It might not seem immediately important to a newcomer to analysis software, but the way you mesh your solid model ready for simulation can make a big difference.

A solid can be meshed either in a ‘free’ mesh - like tetrahedrons - with fewer restrictions of element shapes, and no specified pattern applied to it.

However, a ‘brick’ mesh - using hexahedrons - gives a regular pattern, in obvious rows of elements, filling a given volume more efficiently than other shapes (it takes roughly five or six tetrahedrons to fill one lovely brick), leading to to faster analysis solution times.

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Education: How to teach the teachers?

Published 08 October 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: 3d printing, cad, education, schools, euromold, black country atelier, teaching

Black Country Atelier teaches children about design through 3D CAD and 3D printing, but is seeing a rise in school teachers needing training

When stood at our fine DEVELOP3D trade stand at the TCT Live show last week we couldn’t fail to notice* Black County Atelier’s (BCA) workshop for teaching local children about 3D CAD and 3D Printing.

Through similar workshops at the V&A museum, Barbican Centre, and the Big Bang education show it has taught over 10,000 people - not just kids, as the interesting part is that demand for its work is also coming from adults.

Over the last three months alone it has taught over 20 teachers, from hour long taster sessions at workshop events to courses covering one term, or two year courses comes loaded with a full qualification.

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Space: Manufacturing for up in the stars gets lighter with every design

Published 07 October 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: 3d printing, industrial design, engineering, aerospace, additive manufacturing, nasa, titanium, space, esa

Sentinel-5 Precursor is scheduled for launch in 2016 to monitor the atmosphere from polar orbit. The satellite will carry the Tropospheric Ozone Monitoring Instrument, Tropomi, which has parts redesigned to benefit from 3D printing

The international space agencies are all operating at high speed to nail down suitable new designs to leverage 3D printing.

The process might not be the new Industrial Revolution, but is definitely at the heart of the new space race as different agencies, suppliers and subsidiaries all looking to a future of parts being built by automated printers in space as we jet off to another galaxy.

Yet, for the time being, getting things off the ground for research is the priority, and weight saving measures are at the top of the list - not only are agencies looking to benefit from the costs of low run production parts, but in terms of shaving off weight and adding material strengths.

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Delcam adds enhancements for 2015 SolidWorks integrated CAM

Published 06 October 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: solidworks, delcam, cam, machining, delcam for solidworks

Delcam for SolidWorks 2015 adds intelligence into the turning algorithm to avoid tool dragging

It may be owned by Autodesk, but Delcam is still churning out the upgrades for its SoldWorks integrated CAM products, including some for programming three-axis tool paths and drilling.

Fully integrated into the SolidWorks environment to the point that it looks and behaves like an eery British doppleganger, the 2015 version offers full associativity so that any changes in the CAD model are reflected automatically in the tool paths, adding in the option to review the choice of cutting tools and machining strategies.

Programming of three-axis toolpaths for complex parts has been made easier and more reliable with the addition of automatic collision checking of the tool shank and holder, as well as the cutter, for both roughing and finishing operations. If a gouge is detected the toolpath can be recalculated with any segments that will cause a gouge clipped away.

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Autodesk Fusion 360: The family expands with new Ultimate edition

Published 06 October 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: autodesk, industrial design, cad, product design, fusion 360, ultimate

Fusion 360 Ultimate: includes all the standard Fusion 360 features plus added extras

Autodesk has been busy introducing a new tier to its Fusion 360 product line: Fusion 360 Ultimate, which includes all the standard Fusion 360 features plus added extras.

This new top tier adds 2D drawings capabilities, 3D exploded views and animations, and 3-axis CAM with advanced support, all this comes with plans to expand it to allow team-based collaboration and data management workflows (longhand for exploring design variations and concurrent reviews), and some more simulation tools.

The best news is that Autodesk has stated it’s backdating this release for existing customers - so if you’re a paying Fusion 360 customer at the time Autodesk releases Ultimate, you will be “a Fusion 360 Ultimate customer for life” – regardless of what new customers might have to pay.

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3D Printing in glass? HP keeps us guessing what technology it’s working on

Published 03 October 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: 3d printing, hp, manufacturing, hewlett packard, materials science, materials, glass

HP Labs has already been playing around with glass printing, comparing particle sizes and firing of the glass prints

We’ve waited expectantly for technology giant HP to launch its ‘industrial 3D printing’ technology for some time, yet a recent job posting suggests that we all might be off target.

In the ad, the job description reads: “HP Labs’ research into printing of inorganic materials is working towards hybrid printing of glass (and other inorganic materials) onto items that are already mass produced.

“As part of this activity we have a vacancy for someone primarily with experience in robotics, to lead the building of novel prototype robotic platforms that will be used to produce 3D printed structures on the surface of objects that are not planar.”

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