Bits to Atoms - the World of 3d Printers


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Presentation from Houston TechFest 2013.

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Bits to Atoms - the World of 3d Printers

  1. 1. 0 The World of 3D Printers Philip Wheat Singularity Innovations
  2. 2. 1 Welcome to Houston TechFest • Please turn off all electronic devices or set them to vibrate. • If you must take a phone call, please do so in the lobby so as not to disturb others. • Thanks to our Diamond Sponsors: Thank you for being a part of the 7th Annual Houston TechFest!
  3. 3. 2 Information • Speaker presentation slides will be available at within a week • Don’t forget to complete the Bingo card to be eligible for door prizes
  4. 4. 3 So why are you here? • I already have a Printer • I saw one and want one • I saw it on the web • I saw it on the news • I saw it on the schedule and though it was interesting • I didn’t have anything else in this slot and didn’t want to sit in the common area
  5. 5. 4 What are we talking about? • There’s actually two paths to this story – Commercial 3D printing/Rapid Prototyping – What you’ve been seeing in the media (consumer level printers) • There’s an additional world of subtractive manufacturing that’s happening but isn’t getting as much press – CNC Routers – CNC Milling
  6. 6. 5 Commercial Printers • Commercial printers have been around since the 80’s (by some measures earlier than that) • Commercial printers have a wide variety of materials – Thermoplastics – Metals – Ceramics – Photo Cure Epoxies
  7. 7. 6 Consumer Printers • Consumer printers started with the expiration of the FFD Patents (Fused Filament Deposition) • RepRap/Fab@Home projects were early projects in this area • Based upon precise X/Y/Z control of an extruder • Extruders normally work with specific ranges of thermoplastics • Commercial printers are starting to flood the property
  8. 8. 7 Materials • Consumer printers – ABS. Flexible. Strong. Warps. – PLA. Brittle. Strong. Stable. Compostable. – Nylon. Flexible. Strong. Stable. Temperamental. – Wood. Brittle. Weaker. Stable. Temperamental. • Blends of materials to provide various capabilities. • Continuous advances in materials mixes.
  9. 9. 8 Software • Replicator-G is the open source champion • Multiple slicer releases enable different capabilities • Makerware is another common software package • Design software tends to be what you’re comfortable with. Sketchup, Inventor, SolidWorks – most if it’s based on your budget.
  10. 10. 9 Next Year • Next February 4 more patents expire. • Selective Material Sintering is going to create a new generation of printers. • Provides capabilities for Metals and other new materials such as ceramics.
  11. 11. 10 Please Leave Feedback During Q&A If you leave session feedback and provide contact information, you will be qualified for a prize Scan the QR code to the right or go to