Design for No-Assembly: Rapid prototyping evolves to digital manufacturing

It is abundantly clear that additive manufacturing (AM), whether in plastic, metal, or human tissue, is a manufacturing game changer. But as with any manufacturing method, design for that method must be considered. In that case of digital manufacturing, we get to let down our hair and let go of having to consider those pesky tool paths. It’s liberating! Read more

How to build a confidential engineering portfolio

It’s one thing to do great work as an engineer – and quite another to show off that work to a potential employer without violating company confidentiality. And, there’s good reason to worry about it. According to research, more than 75 percent of trade secrets cases in state courts and more than half of cases in federal courts involved an existing or former employee. Read more

It’s the end of engineering as we know it, and I feel fine.

Whether you choose to call it 3D Printing or additive manufacturing, it's quite clear that printing tech is on the cusp of revolutionizing the manufacturing landscape. Additive manufacturing is transitioning from being just a tool for very specialized applications, to a process usable for line production. But what does such a shift imply for the future of engineering? Yosei Ikeda of Solid Smack poses an interesting question in this light: "Will Additive Manufacturing Ruin or Enable the next Generation of Engineers?" The answer is most definitely yes. First one, then the other, and in that order too. It's the end of engineering as we know it. And I feel fine. Probably. Read more

The Easy Cheese 3D printer: heavily processed foods as an extrusion material

Did you see the easy cheese 3D printer that made the rounds last month? Of course you did, the video has almost a million views and appeared on just about every internet news outlet known to man. And that makes sense – pairing easy cheese and 3D printing is a match made in sharing heaven. Honestly, I wish I had thought of it. But I didn’t. Andrew Maxwell-Parish did. He also thought to strap a camera to his head and high five strangers. This is a man we should all know a bit better. And so I asked him a few questions. Read more

The “what” and “how” of GD&T for 3D printing

Last week, we looked at two examples of 3D printed objects with very different tolerances and allowances – a small tree frog and a train console. Since we already covered why you should use GD&T when 3D printing, I thought we might dive a little deeper into the “what” and “how.” Let’s return to our previous examples for a moment. Read more

New report: Practical CAD collaboration for small design and engineering firms

Small design firms, freelancers, engineering consultants, and independent contractors play an important role in the engineering and design community. They’re part of our more collaborative world where ad-hoc teams come together as needed to staff up projects. These small firms need to iterate and collaborate when their virtual teams come together for a project or contract. Read more

Not your father’s NASTRAN (structural simulation isn’t safe from multi-domain 3D either)

Engineering is not art. There's much more to product development than welding on whatever you find lying around, Mad Max style, as long as it fits and functions. Engineering must last for a design life that for some products can span decades; and be safe to boot. It's here where the discipline of structural analysis comes to the forefront. Read more