DIY Quick Fixes with a ZBuilder Ultra

ZBuilders are built to produce parts of excellent quality. With a higher quality than the competition and 4x the resolution of SLAs, these durable plastic parts rival injection molding’s accuracy, material properties, detail, and surface finish. This finish is ultra-smooth, with razor-thin walls and sharp detail. Parts are always consistent regardless of orientation. The customer and the designer can always have faith that the finish product will hold up. Rapid-prototyping with ZBuilder technology allows designers to capture mistakes early and to fix them quickly and efficiently at a lower cost-to-market.

ZBuilder technology solves problems. Generating “problems” and solving them are all part of the design process. Communication is crucial to solving these problems. Presenting a model can best explain to the customer what works and what doesn’t. That way the customer is much more informed about the manufacturing process and is reassured that their product will sell, and they are not left in the dark. Great designers strive to have a relationship with their clients to promote future editions of products, new markets for products, and a further road-map for design development.

In this instance, the team here at STI wanted to explore how the average household could use ZBuilder technology. We surmised that regular around-the-house; quick fixes would be an excellent use of the aptly named rapid prototyping. Of course, any user of rapid-prototyping would have to have some know-how of CAD, but with new products like ANSYS SpaceClaim, most of us around the office do.

ZBuilder materials are the best on the market, and the most reliable. ZBuilder uses a high-resolution Digital Light Processor (DLP) projector to solidify a liquid photopolymer producing the same tensile strength as other SLA systems. The ZBuilder models are yellow, so we used bronze spray paint to make the opposite handle. Take a look; you’ll never know the difference!

ANSYS SpaceClaim 3D Modeling with Multi-touch

ANSYS SpaceClaim’s touch-enabled devices permit users to turn, pinch and alter geometry via two-handed touches all in 3D! Multi-touch has shaped the future of 3D modeling. It allows users to manipulate the view and the geometry of a part instantly with little effort. This is a great value to 3D modeling which allows real-time engineering. You can create sketches, make selections and move geometry and the entire process comes naturally. It will immerse you into its full-featured multi-dimensional environment.

ANSYS SpaceClaim’s adaptive commands allow you to make selections in a certain way in order for the geometry to be created or modified. The program can sense this and, in a way, learn from this to adapt how geometry is formed and commands are accessed. The commands can be used for performance, detailed design, and drawing improvements for concept modeling, design review, simulation, and manufacturing applications.

ANSYS SpaceClaim’s ease-of-use of a simple viewer with the power of 3D solid modeling was previously only available in complex CAD systems. Now every engineer in every industry can have access to this state-of-the-art technology. The automotive and medical industries have already taken full advantage of ANSYS SpaceClaim for 3D data visualization and collaboration. Manufacturing industries will also take advantage of applications including NC Machining, jig and fixture design, mold manufacturing and sheet metal manufacturing. ANSYS SpaceClaim allows any engineer to visualize large data-sets as well as open and edit precise part geometry.

ANSYS SpaceClaim is necessary in facilitating communication within and among engineering teams. ANSYS SpaceClaim allows for rapidly, in formal, planned design-review meetings, as well as ad hoc discussions. ANSYS SpaceClaim also necessary for accelerating engineering processes, which is the key benefit of 3D Direct Modeling.

ANSYS SpaceClaim is known for its quick and easy changes, and allowing engineers the freedom to rapidly generate and modify product concepts. Using a touch-screen compliments the strengths of the program focusing more on geometry and selection rather than on create geometry to manipulate it. The ability to modify is what multi-touch brings to ANSYS SpaceClaim, allowing 3D developers cohesive work-flow.

ANSYS SpaceClaim is known for letting engineers do things “super fast”. “ANSYS SpaceClaim changed the landscape of the 3D CAD market when we introduced our 3D Direct Modeler in 2007,” Chris Randles, President and CEO of ANSYS SpaceClaim. ANSYS SpaceClaim has sparked a revolution that has most CAD vendors just beginning to follow suit. ANSYS SpaceClaim is the clear leader in 3D Direct Modeling.

ZCorp and Google Uncover Your World

Grow Interactive, one of the country’s hottest digital design studios, along with Google recently released an amazing ad using a ZPrinter® 450! Creating an entire cityscape one AEC model at a time, it breathed life into Google’s newest and most advanced mobile search tool: the Google Search app. Google Search utilizes Google’s voice, visual and location-aware mobile search capability. Anyone can see their efforts in the new AdMob rich media mobile advertising campaign: Uncover Your World.

Clay Bavor, Product Management Director of Google Mobile Ads, wrote in his blog about the benefits of using creativity and innovation in this ad campaign. “The preliminary results of the campaign have been impressive. On average, users spend over a minute and a half interacting with the ad, and of those, 50% go on directly from the ad to download the app.” Exploring the virtual cityscape that the design team created uncovers facts about the world around you.

Conceptually, the artists had a real tour de force on their hands and ran into some design issues. The problem of finding a way to accurately convey paint dripping was innovated and solved using 3D printing technology. The artists were able to create a completely fabricated sequence of paint dripping down over and coating a building. They did this by designing and printing out drip models in CAD software, and filming the drip sequence. This is an excellent example of 3D printer versatility.

Drew Ungvarsky, owner and creative director of Grow Interactive understands what makes Zprinters stand out. After receiving several sample prints from various competitors, he found the ZPrinter® 450 to be the best choice. “We explored and tested nearly every 3D printing technology on the market,” said Ungvarsky, “In the ZPrinter; we found what we were looking for: speed, color and high detail. The ZPrinter was the only device with the speed, resolution and surface quality we needed. And it’s the only one capable of printing in multiple colors, so that saved us time on painting.”

This team of artists discovered Zprinter versatility and innovation, but its ease of use made the process smooth and utterly seamless. Experienced CAD designers, they quickly learned the software used for this project, and how to make their images printable objects. These objects intrigue anyone who beholds them and that is what sold Grow Interactive. “When you see the objects in the ad, you know they’re real, not digital, but you can’t quite put your finger on what they are,” said Ungvarsky, “and that’s what we love about them. We found the unique visual we were after: highly detailed and seemingly handmade.” Watch the ad below to see the final result!

EngineeringZONE™:3D Printing for High School Students

Zcorp understands the value of education. That is why on August 30 2011, Zcorp announced their collaboration with Congressman John Tierney (D-Mass) to launch the EngineeringZONE™ program initiative. This program provides unique and valuable engineering experience for high school students. The initiative concerns Tierney as he is committed to improving New England’s local economy and persistent high unemployment.

As the only New England Member on the House Education and Workforce Committee, Tierney has a special interest in the futures of New England students. He understands that jobs focused on technology that integrate math, science and engineering are in high demand, so he wants to engage those who are interested in these fields. But he also wants to reach and inspire those who are less knowledgeable and inexperienced. Tierney believes that if all New England high school students had a leg up on the job market, they could all have better success when they enter it. “The most recent initiative ensures that local students are aware of these new and creative job opportunities,” said Tierney.

Despite the recent economic struggles the country has faced, high tech manufacturing jobs are not dwindling. From 2008 to 2018 STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent. Being familiar with Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology is in great demand. Students going into engineering fields will need to learn quickly what is required to tackle problems and create solutions in manufacturing. The best way for students to embark on this learning curve would be early exposure to AM vendors like ZCorp.

Scott Harmon is Zcorp’s vice president of business development. “We’re thrilled to open our doors,” says Harmon, “this is where the magic happens.”Because of initiatives like this one, budding engineers have been using Z Corporation 3D printers, called ZPrinters, at thousands of high schools, vocational schools and universities. Through this initiative, even more students will be exposed to 3D printing, now one of the fastest-growing innovations in manufacturing. Zcorp invites students to visit one afternoon a month to not only experience 3D printing, but also CAD software and 3D laser scanning technology.

As more manufacturers adopt the process, those who have experience with it will hone their competitive edge in design, technology, and manufacturing. 3D printing brings together all of these disciplines. This combats the skill crisis well-rounded individuals. The program will allow students the unique opportunity to experience state-of-the-art hands-on training for developing 3-dimensional physical models using CAD data. With experience in 3D printing, CAD design, and Additive Manufacturing, students will have a the competitive edge needed to work for companies like Black & Decker, Cisco Consumer Business Group, New Balance, Timberland and Pixar.

Zcorp is world-renowned for creating the fastest, full color, easiest to use and most affordable 3D printers on the market. The EngineeringZONE™ initiative introduces New England high school students to the wonder of making things. Students in the EngineeringZONE™ program will try their hand at some introductory computer-aided design (CAD) software and will make their own 3D printed models. If your high school is interested, contact STI for more details.

3D Printers and CAD Software: ZPrinter 3D Printing Solutions and SpaceClaim Direct Modeler for PA, NJ, NY, DE, MD, and VA