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October 28, 2010

Mtg: Making 3D Printing Ideas Real: A Demo and Talk

by @ 7:52 pm. Filed under ALL, Computers/Software, Electronics Design, Engineering Mgmt, NanoEngineering, Semiconductors

MONDAY November 8, 2010
SCV Signal Processing Chapter
Speaker: J.R. Warmkessel, founder, Bay Area MakeBot Users Group
Time: Refreshments at 6:30 PM; Presentation at 7:00 PM
Cost: none
Place: National Semiconductor, Building E, Kifer Rd, Santa Clara
RSVP: From website

The 3D printer was first designed for rapid prototyping in the commercial arena.? With the advances in technology, and the significant drop in price, this technology is now available to enthusiasts and hobbyists.? The RepRap project is an open source 3D Printer, designed for at home use.? A RepRap 3D printer heats ABS or PLA plastics and extrudes it in thin layers to build the final product.
There are multiple implementations of the RepRap project, with the best-known version being the MakerBot CupCake printer.? The CupCake printer is a complete kit that includes everything that a user needs to build and use the printer at home.
The 3D printers use standard CNC (Computer Numeric Control) phases to design and print the products.? CNC has three phases: CAD, CAM, and Cut.? CAD, or Computer Aided Design, is the process by which parts and assemblies are designed.? The final product of this phase is a software file, often STL (Stereo Lithography).? Common CAD software includes SolidWorks, Rhino, and Google Sketchup.
CAM, or Computer Aided Machining, is the process of converting the STL file into a set of sequential commands that serve as instructions for the printer (called G-code).? The MakerBot uses Skeinforge CAM software.
Cut is the process by which the machine (in this case, the 3D printer) creates the final product through execution of the G-code.? The MakerBot uses ReplicatorG Cut software.
Discussion will include the benefits of 3D printing, and of using the RepRap project for 3D printing, the pitfalls, problems, and limits of 3D printing, and finally, the future of 3D printing and the RepRap project.

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