Posts with tag: ‘GD&T’

Unsolicited advice for the new engineer: GD&T & design software

Learning GD&T is just as important as learning trigonometry.
After spending 20 years designing advanced hardware, I have some unsolicited advice for new engineers. Although you may be a most innovative thinker and may be able to create fantastic widgets, understanding how your part will be manufactured is just as important (perhaps moreso) than that new idea. Even if 2D drawings go away, you will still need to communicate key dimensions for inspection and allowable tolerances for manufacturing.

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Mesh tolerance wisdom you seek?

You've heard the common 3D printing wisdom often enough: set a mesh tolerance fine enough so your printed part doesn't end up looking like bantha poodoo, but coarse enough that your 3D printer doesn't spontaneously burst into flames processing all those facets. Aside from such conveniently vague (perhaps Yoda-worthy) guidance, you're mostly left to find your own way. Confused as hell, you are. For poor mesh tolerancing is the path to the dark side. The wrong mesh tolerance leads to degenerate geometry. Borked geometry leads to print defects. Print defects lead to suffering (6-12 hours later). Way to go, Kenobi.

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The evolution of design intent (drawings are dead, drafting is not)

It's been about a year since we boldly declared drawings dead, and despite citing some major caveats about the accessibility of enabling tools, the conversation nonetheless sparked a wee bit of controversy. A strong theme in that conversation focused on how classically drafted information critical to the design (tolerances, material specifications, surface treatments, finishes, etc.) can possibly remain readily accessible in an all-digital future. Especially difficult to imagine was how someone on the shop floor trying to run an inspection could possibly be hassled with all this new-fangled PMI garbage by fumbling a tablet from “those $%@# engineers.”

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Industrial computed tomography – 3D printing’s biggest ally?

If you’ve been following 3D printing’s technological progression over the past several years, you’ll have noticed it has advanced from just making prototypes, to a technology that makes functional, end use parts. Question is, during this crucial time of technological advancement, who is 3D printing’s biggest supporter to validate these functional parts?

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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!

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Why use GD&T for 3D printing?

As rapid prototyping techniques evolve from sculpture and form representation into parts that are utilized in the field, the need to convey the CAD designer’s design, manufacturing, and inspection intent for a product that is manufactured using additive manufacturing (AM) techniques must also be captured in conjunction with the geometry.

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Engineering Drawings are Dead. Now What?

So that last article was rather frightening for some, you know, with the zombies and the whole thing with engineering drawings not being alive and all that. For some, it was downright traumatic. Many have rightly pointed out that cost constraints and the limitations of today's tools make Model Based Engineering (MBE) seem like an impossibly far off dream. Yet the value of evolving engineering documentation to its logical next step seems clear. So the question remains: how can we possibly get there from here? Read the rest of this entry »