Tutorials

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How to Solvent Smooth FDM Parts

1 0 Expert
The normal surface finish of FDM parts is suitable for most purposes, but in applications where a smoother surface is required, solvent smoothing is an alternative to sanding, filling, and mass finishing. Solvent smoothing utilizes a chemical agent to smooth a part’s surfaces (Figure 1). This process modifies the surface of FDM parts by eliminating layer lines while preserving feature detail and part accuracy. The smoothing agent can be applied either as a liquid or a vapor and it is quick and nearly labor-free. The finish achieved can mimic that of injection molded parts. This tutorial is courtesy of Stratasys.
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FEA Results in Color 3D Printing

1 0 Intermediate
Finite element analysis (FEA) is a computer-based method of analyzing and simulating the behavior of components under a variety of conditions, including force, temperature, vibration, and motion. FEA calculates displacements, strains, and stresses under internal and external loads. These predictions confirm if a design is suitable or if modifications are required to prevent failure. This tutorial comes courtesy of Stratasys.
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What You Need to Know when 3D Printing with Thermoplastics

0 0 Expert
Today, a majority of consumer products and production parts are made from thermoplastics. Thermoplastics are typically used in manufacturing techniques like injection molding, compression molding and machining, but with the invention of 3D printing, they became available for additive extrusion and sintering processes. A new door to advanced manufacturing has opened with 3D printing materials similar to the conventional thermoplastics familiar to engineers and designers. Thermoplastics are plastic materials, or polymers, that become pliable when heated to a specific temperature and solidify upon cooling. Types of thermoplastics include acrylic, ABS, Nylon, PLA, polycarbonate (PC), polyethylene and other specialty, high performance materials. If your part requires strength, rigidity or high temperature tolerance, then thermoplastics are a great option to fabricate your production component or prototype. Using 3D printing, engineers can make parts with the most commonly used thermoplastics, such as ABS, polycarbonate, a variety of blends, as well as thermoplastics engineered for aerospace, medical, automotive and other specialty applications. There are two additive technologies at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing that utilize thermoplastics: Laser Sintering (LS) and FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling).
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How To Dry Sparse FDM Parts

0 0 Intermediate
When sparse FDM parts are placed into a support removal tank, they can fill up with solution from the tank and water from the rinse. Most of this solution or water will drain from parts naturally within 30 minutes of their removal from the tank. However, in some cases, geometry will trap some liquid inside. Later, this liquid will slowly leach out. To avoid this, we recommend using a vacuum and/or oven to completely remove any liquid from your FDM parts. The best method is to use the vacuum first, followed by the oven. Either method can be effective individually if you increase the amount of time the part is in the oven or the number of vacuum cycles applied to the part. The following Tutorial is courtesy of Stratasys.