Fitting Additive Manufacturing in the right parts with Colin Cater of Tri-Tech 3D and Cadspec

Cliff Notes Podcast 33

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Where do you start adding Stratasys PolyJet to your Additive Manufacturing.



Podcast Show Notes

Fitting Additive Manufacturing in the right parts with Colin Cater of Tri-Tech 3D and Cadspec Fitting Additive Manufacturing in the right parts with Colin Cater of Tri-Tech 3D and Cadspec

This episode we get into a good conversation with Colin Cater of Tri-Tech 3D and Cadspec on Additive Manufacturing. This recording was made over the phone during Covid-19 lock-down so hope the experience of Colin shines though on Cliff Notes: Lead manufacturing.

Colin truly is an AM veteran working from the traditional days of the factory floor toolmaking to now working with state of the art 3D Printers and CAM software.

The interview covers a wide range of Additive with many new options for Pantone colour matching and new materials with Stratasys machines and Autodesk software. I caught up with Colin after their successful webinar on Tri-Tech 3D "Ask the Experts Panel", with his specialties Metal 3D Printing, CAM, Generative Design and Metals.

Learn from the Cliff Notes on Additive Manufacturing

  • Additive Manufacturing growing with GE buying two of the largest in Concept Laser and ARCAM
  • Short story, a friend of mine had to have his ribcage replaced...
  • For aerospace, it is about weight, and saving half a kg here or there
  • Conventional parts that need assembly, this might take 20 parts down to one
  • The pace of CNC is moving as fast as additive
  • You can print in 20 materials, but you tend to dedicate a material to a machine, as cross contamination would be a no in medical and aerospace
  • It is a lights out process where cnc needs an operator all the time
  • It is not to machine a part cheaper, but to take parts further
  • Some of these companies are doing in the last 10 weeks online far better than you would do at MACH when you have a few minutes to talk to people

Sometimes CNC is the best fit and you already know how it will perform, but other times like in Aerospace for weight and Medical for more organic fit 3D printing comes in to its own.

Colin comes from a traditional toolmaking background, time served apprentice, and became one of the first to begin using CNC machines, nearly 40 years ago which then migrated into EDM(Spark Erosion) roles. With over 10 years as an applications engineer with Charmilles and five years in robot automation with System 3R, there’s not a lot Colin doesn’t know about this field.

He moved into 3D Printing, in 2005, at the very early beginnings of Objet Polyjet 3D Printers, and started his role at ARCAM EBM once again.

Colin has experience in working with materials, like titanium, Inconel and Aluminium. More recently his experience in the use of CAD/CAM to provide the front end solutions for AM, with light-weighting, Generative Designs, using Autodesk software, have given him the experience on how to look into the future of how Additive/Subtractive and the CAD/CAM tools will combine to give what he sees as ultimate design capabilities, and how the toolroom has changed over the last 40 years.

Resources


Transcript Highlights

  • Additive Manufacturing growing with GE buying two of the largest in Concept Laser and ARCAM
  • New Ployjet allows Pantone colours on a model
  • It is like an Inkjet print technology, imagine how that mixes all the colours but in a 3D
  • Differentiate between types of plastic printing
  • Making hand-tools with a type of grip
  • Or want colour and texture to match brand
  • Ployjet is great for design and protype, can print in draft gray, as well as a full colour
  • A material that people can work with or a grade of aluminum or steal
  • The range of materials is growing but no where near conveniently available
  • Once you have build it you may need to post process it in CNC or polish it
  • Some of the benefits of additive are not things you can see, like internal lattice for weight or curved cooling channels
  • You can get a feature on the outside so bone can grow on to it, for medical
  • Short story, a friend of mine had to have his ribcage replaced.
  • Then fill it with concrete, but now he has had a titanium sternum made
  • ...and that was Eddie Evans, and I used to play football with him
  • For aerospace, it is about weight, and saving half a kg here or there
  • Conventional parts that need assembly, this might take 20 parts down to one
  • Heat parts, you can change the way air flows.
  • If you can see CNC will be quicker and cheaper use that
  • The pace of CNC is moving as fast as additive
  • At a Mazak open day, I was blown away with what their new tools can do in five and seven axis.
  • Where the benefit comes with additive is how these parts are held, with a certain type of fixture
  • That allows it to be machined upside-down and back to front
  • You can print in 20 materials, but you tend to dedicate a material to a machine, as cross contamination would be a no in medical and aerospace
  • Q: Can you cross train, or is this a specialist role?
  • If I look at companies I am trying to introduce it, but if CNC is still cheaper, but if a part is very expensive, and can free up the tool
  • Just buying one to try without the specific need, can be easier to stay with CNC
  • The technology is not for one off parts, but batch parts, but you can print lettering and engraving and slight changes
  • You can print 20 parts at the same time, all with small changes.
  • It is a lights out process where cnc needs an operator all the time
  • It is more similar to a digital casting
  • It offers some great benefits over subtractive
  • It is not to machine a part cheaper, but to take parts further
  • You can design things with the new software that you would never think of.
  • Try out alternatives, and if one is 20 % lighter, then you can machine it
  • I have seen drone in aluminum, now in carbon fibre
  • Q: How can people get hands on with this?
  • There are many webinars online, Desktop Metal are running one today
  • I would recommend talking to us as a partner with Autodesk
  • Some of these companies are doing in the last 10 weeks online far better than you would do at MACH when you have a few minutes to talk to people
  • Makerbot have launched a carbon fibre model that will shake up the market
  • Looking at Autodesk, Desktop Metal, Stratasys websites and Linkedin as a useful tool to educate yourself
  • Call me at Tri-tech 3D or Cadspecs with my two hats
  • If you want to know what the right part, we can help you
  • Some people think you can print with £50 machine from ebay, but it is the need, of what you want out of it.
  • Much of our time is educating people
  • Machines are very heavy, at 200kg for example, with fully sealed heated chambers
  • You just can not do every thing on every system
  • In the last 10 weeks I have taken so many questions from people who want to build visors and the like, everyone wants to get involved
  • So the 3d printing companies can get things running until the injection moulding companies can get up to production quantities
  • "Everything starts with pencil and paper"
#additive #3dprinting #mfg
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