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3D Printing is Changing Manufacturing of Complex Composite Parts


3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that works best for functional prototypes, complex designs, reducing multipart assemblies, and end-use applications. 3D printing technology is rapidly changing how manufacturers are creating concept models and end-use parts. One of the fastest growing applications is utilizing 3D printing technology for the tooling of complex and low volume composite parts. Boeing and other companies in the aerospace and automotive industries are finding that using composite materials instead of metal, greatly reduces the weight and […]

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Top-10 Injection Molding Defects and How to Fix Them


Making injection molded prototypes is both an art and a science. High levels of technical expertise and attention to detail are required to prevent small mistakes from costing companies big money when it comes to mass-production of novel parts. Preventing such a circumstance is all about highly competent design. This article discusses some of the molding defects that can occur in a part during injection molding, and ways to fix and avoid them. Design shortcomings we will discuss include: Flow […]

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Eyeglass Frame Material


Eyeglass frames are made out of many different composite materials and formulas, but the basic groupings are metal and plastic. In plastics, zyl is the most common although lower quality plastics are used in the cheaper frames. Nylon is often used in sport sunglasses due to its impact resistance and flexibility. Among the metals, monel is most common, followed by titanium, stainless steel, nickel silver, alpaca, and aluminum. Zyl Zyl is a short name for the material cellulose acetate, which […]

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Titanium


Titanium is 30% stronger than steel, but is nearly 50% lighter. Titanium is 60% heavier than aluminum, but twice as strong. Titanium has excellent strength retention to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Titanium is alloyed with aluminum, manganese, iron, molybdenum and other metals to increase strength, to withstand high temperatures, and to lighten the resultant alloy. Titanium’s high corrosion resistance is also a valuable characteristic; as when exposed to the atmosphere, titanium forms a tight, tenacious oxide film that resists many corrosive […]

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How to Stop Flash in Injection Molding?


Troubleshooting flash is complicated, and often there is a lot of tail-chasing on the shop floor in trying to get a solution. This approach should lead you to the solution via a data-driven procedure. Testing the parting line, using pressure-indicating paper: The image on the left is flash-free. The part on the right side is flashed; note the location of flash where the paper is mostly white at the top and bottom. The white color indicates the parting-line touch force […]

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Progressive Die Stamping


Progressive die presses stamp metal using a forming method that can encompass bending, cutting, punching and several other ways of modifying coil sheet steel. The automatic feeding system pushes a strip of metal (as it unrolls from a coil) through all of the stations of a progressive stamping die. Each station performs one or more operations until a finished part is made. The final station is a cutoff operation, which separates the finished part from the carrying web. The carrying […]

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Plastic Parts Design


Designing plastic parts is a little different from designing metal parts. There are many things that must be carefully considered and planned for. Plastic parts can be made in many ways: injection molding, thermoforming, extrusion, blow molding, even casting. For the sake of brevity, this article will focus on one type: injection molding. If you’ve ever built a plastic model kit, you’ve seen and know at least something about injection molding. It is a process where heated (molten) plastic is […]

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Defects in Die Casting Design


Die casting is a manufacturing process that involves production of geometrically complex parts using molten metal and reusable die casts. A simple and highly cost-effective process, die casting has been one of the most important reasons for the industrial revolution. In this manufacturing process, a die casting design is first created based on the size, shape and function of the final produced part. After the design is created, the non-ferrous metal perfect for the procedure will be chosen. The properties of the […]

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Following DFM Guidelines for Working with Sheet Metal


Engineers can turn out sheet-metal designs that are both highly functional and easy to make by following Design for Manufacturing (DFM) principles. Engineers designing sheet-metal enclosures and assemblies often end up redesigning them so they can be manufactured. In fact, research suggests that manufacturers spend 30% to 50% of their time fixing errors and almost 24% of those errors are related to manufacturability. The reason behind these preventable engineering errors is usually the wide gap between how sheet-metal parts are […]

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What is Metal Injection Molding?


What is Metal Injection Molding? Metal Injection Molding, also called MIM, is a low cost, high volume manufacturing process that produces custom metal parts near to net shape. It combines the way injection molded plastics are formed with powdered metal sintering to create metal or ceramic parts which are stronger, denser and more capable of complex geometric shapes than most forged or die cast metal parts. Metal Injection Molding, also called MIM, is a low cost, high volume manufacturing process […]

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