Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It Cuts Time and Saves Cost

As I mentioned in my last post, I reverse engineered the tire we're going to use on our prototype and mated it to a wheel that I downloaded from 3D Content Central. Well,
today I have that wheel and tire (in 1/4 scale) in hand! I hit start on the printer just before leaving for the evening, and in just over 4 hours received an email right from the printer that the model had completed. When I arrived this morning Dave was already removing the wheel and tire from the printer, and shortly after that, it was ready to ship out to Ben so he could place it on the 1/4 scale model.

With every part we print, I am continuously amazed at the level of detail that carries over from the digital model to the physical part. This is especially true for the wheel and tire since I modeled them at full scale (the tire is over 30 inches in diameter) and then scaled them to 1/4 of that size. Every little detail right down to the fillets I made (1/4" radius at full scale) to create smooth transitions where the nubs of the tire meet the tube portion of the tire show up in the model.

Take a look at the images below for a comparison of the digital model in SolidWorks and the actual part from the ZCorp printer.

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