In manufacturing, 3D printing has turned the production of injection molded prototypes into a quick, easy and inexpensive process. Read on and watch how Stratasys PolyJet 3D printing technology helps a team at Budapest University create an injection mold with POM (acetal) for functional testing at dramatically reduced time and cost.
Commissioned to produce a fan that provides enhanced car engine cooling and reduced noise, Dr. Jozsef Gabor Kovács, Department of Polymer Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics (www.pt.bme.hu), and his team needed to find an efficient, inexpensive method of producing injection molded prototypes to test the fan in the end-product material.
The design and development process involved subjecting the fan to extreme functional tests on a tight deadline, so the team had to produce iterations extremely quickly. Conventional methods of producing molds, such as CNC manufacturing with steel, are significantly more expensive and time-consuming, and therefore impractical for multiple design iterations. So Kovács took the innovative approach of using the Objet500 Connex multi-material 3D Printer using digital ABS material to produce the injection molds.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!