Friday, June 17, 2016

Fisher Unitech and Milacron Team Up for 3D Printing Injection Molding Event

Last week world leading provider of 3D printing technology Fisher Unitech and world leader in injection molding machining Milacon teamed up for an event showcasing the value of using 3D printed molds for low volume production. The event which was hosted at Milacron state of the art Batavia facilities introduced attendees to how industry is realizing the value of using 3D printed molds along with an onsite demonstration of just how the process works.

Team members from both companies ran through presentations regarding how to pick the right injection molding machine for the right applications, Polyjet technology overview, and the process in which injection molders should follow when running 3D printed molds. This event was very technical in nature with the goal of providing attendees with a solid educational base to which they can apply in their own design shops. With the great turn out and positive feedback from attendees, this is the type of event that both Fisher and Milacron hope to replicate in the coming months.  If you have any questions regarding 3D printed injection molds and polyjet technology please click here to download “Top 5 Reasons to Integrate PolyJet into YourProduct Development Lifecycle”

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Important Announcement

We have an announcement to make!
At Fisher Unitech, we make innovation possible, so we’ve expanded our reach to assist more designers and engineers.  We’re excited to announce our acquisition of Prism Engineering Inc.
We are pleased to introduce...
Prism Engineering is the Mid-Atlantic’s leading provider of SOLIDWORKS and Mastercam. With Training and Support centers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, Prism has a proven track record of value and satisfaction to their customers.
Why Prism is the perfect match
Together we take pride in half a century of combined experience working with product design and additive manufacturing customers. With the addition of Mastercam to the lineup, our hardware and software solutions now includes the world’s best-in-class CAM software, allowing customers to improve their productivity and advantage in the market.
The value of values
We believe strongly in our Core Values, and we have seen first-hand that Prism Engineering adheres to these same values.  Prism Engineering emphasizes the importance of their relationships, growth, work ethic, teamwork, and communication within their colleagues and their customers. Together we will strive for customer success and are excited to expand our team!

For further questions related to this acquisition please visit our website

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Simulation Tech Tip: How can I simulate freezing water expansion?

Now that spring is here ice is probably the last thing on your mind. Unless your designing a product where stress induced from freezing is a problem. One of my customers posed an interesting question.  How might we emulate freezing water in FEA ?

 As you may know water expands when freezing and this can wreak havoc on any structure where water is contained or trapped.  Hence all the lovely pot holes in the spring punishing our fancy alloy wheels.

To emulate the expansion of a water volume as it freezes I followed this basic process:

1. Use the thermal expansion coefficient (CTE) and a temperature boundary to create the expansion.

2. Verify that my CTE creates the desired volumetric expansion of my ice body by simulating the ice body on it's own and checking the change in linear dimensions.

3. Adjust materials stiffness (modulus) to emulate that of ice. This is probably the biggest unknown in the simulation.

The paper referenced in the video has more insight into that variation:

"The Mechanical Properties of Ice", K.F. Voitkovskii , American Meteorological Society, 1960.

Check out this short video to see the process on this simple vessel:

Happy Simulating !


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Why You Need To Know About Variable Pattern

With the release of SOLIDWORKS 2015, Variable Pattern was added to the available pattern types. For long time users who may have attended training in the past, this addition may go unnoticed. So why is it so important and why should you add it to your repertoire?  The Variable Patterns most radical enhancement was its ability to pattern Reference Geometry. Let that sink in. Yes, you can pattern planes and sketches, not just Features, Faces, and Bodies. Let me give you an example of just how powerful this is.

The example is going to be a decorative swept cut around the jug shown here

The original cut, which happens to be at the top in this case, is actually quite simple. I had to add one extra step to get it to work properly and that is to base the plane’s height off of a simple 2D Reference sketch. Here’s the breakdown of how it is created –

1.    Create a Sketch that need only contain a straight vertical line that ends where you want your plane.

2.     Create a Plane at the proper height using the reference sketch you just created

3. On the Plane, create a Sketch and use the Intersection Curve sketch tool to create a spline where the plane and the face come together 
4. Create a Swept cut using the new 2016 functionality that will allow you to type in a circular diameter instead of having to create a circular sketch. Of course, if you want something non-circular then go ahead and sketch                                                                                                     .
5.  Create the Variable Pattern. The top box will have the Swept Cut. The bottom box will have the reference sketch used for the plane and the plane itself.  Here is what the property manager will look like  
6. Once you have the proper features selected you’ll need to “Edit Pattern Table” create the instances of the pattern. As you can see the only real dimension is the dimension of the reference sketch for the plane, hence why we needed to add that sketch even though a plane could’ve been created in that spot without a sketch.

So if you’ve been building your model along with me, you can see the magic of the Variable Pattern. The pattern feature will create a new Reference Plane, a new Intersection Curve, and a new Swept Cut for every instance in the pattern. Image doing this in years past, every cut would have to be created manually. In the image below I was able to put a diamond knurl on a compound curvature surface using the same technique as above, only using two swept cuts and Variable Patterns instead of one. I have attempted this in years past, and was much slower as every groove was created manually.

So hopefully you can see how truly unique and powerful this feature is will be able to apply this to one of your models soon.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Productivity Tools in Solidworks Simulation: 4 Part Blog

What if I told you there was a way to use tools inside Solidworks Simulation that would make you more efficient when running and/or setting up your FEA studies?  In this blog series, I will take through a wide range of tools that are primarily in Simulation Professional to help you do just that!

In each video, I will be covering at least three of these tools.  If you have a specific tool you’re interested in, please jump to the video shown in the list below:

Video 1:  Auto Fasteners, Unconstrained Bodies, Contact Visualization Plot, Trend Tracker, Frequency

Video 2: Load Case Manager, Sub-modeling, Edge Weld Connector, Matereality

Video 3: Flow to Structures, FEA Optimization, Thermal to Structure, 2D Simplication

Video 4: Motion (time based), Motion (event based), Motion Optimization

While viewing these videos, you will develop a clear understanding of how you can create faster and more accurate simulation models.

Happy Simulating!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

3D Printing for the Injection Molding Process

In the world of injection molding, the amount of challenges that mold makers and part designers face
can be overwhelming. Factors such as weld lines, air traps, balanced fill, and sink marks are just a small handful of issues that can be incredibly detrimental to producing a really good quality plastic part. Many designers utilize different simulation tools to ensure quality, but there is no substitute for being able to hold and touch a physical part, however tooling an aluminum mold for a small volume of parts can be rather expensive and take a fair amount of time to create.  This is where many injection molders are utilizing 3D print their molds saving both time and money when producing low volume production parts and prototypes.

Utilizing Polyjet 3D Printing technology to create molds can be a great option under the right circumstances. These printers use a photopolymer to layer by layer build a molds core and cavity. The mold can be put into a mud base and injected with the actual material that the end use part will be made of. By doing this mold makers can produce parts that are high quality at a fraction of the cost. Granted these molds are not as durable as tradition injection molds but for low volume production 3D printed molds can be a major cost reduction tool. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Stratasys Announces New Acceleration Kit for Fortus 900

Earlier this week Stratasys released a new acceleration kit that will get builds in their
Fortus 900 machines done faster and more effectively. The top of the line Fused Deposition Modeling machine current customers are using features the T20 extruder tip, this can be upgraded to a new T40 tip which will provide customers:

·        The largest available slice height for FDM systems.
·        Throughput 2-3 times faster on average compared to T20 tip.
·        Plug-and-play’ solution that requires no additional hardware.

900 users will need to have the latest controller (Version 3.19) and insight software (Version 10.8) updates in order to utilize the upgraded tip. The Fortus 900 delivers to its customers all the available benefits that Stratasys FDM printers have available, this new tip enables user the ability to continue producing high quality parts, but in a way that enables more control and faster build speeds. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Not Just Why 3D Printing, but Why the Stratasys J750

In order to create great products creativity, prototyping, and concept validation are key. Design engineers have broken new ground in their designs with Stratasys’ new J750 3D printer. Ever since it’s April debut, the J750 has made waves with its creative capabilities.

 Incredible Part Realism

A hallmark of the Stratasys J750 is its true full-color capability, a breakthrough in 3D printing technology. Although printing in various colors isn’t new, getting the quality you want along with a whopping 360,000 color selection is.

 Unmatched Versatility

This versatility originates from its robust material capacity, accommodating input of up to six base resins. Because advanced PolyJet systems create composite materials right on the build tray, the number of material options is far greater than the number of input materials. In the Stratasys J750, those six base resins yield hundreds of thousands of colors, translucencies and durometers.

Fast, Efficient, and Easy to Use

Printing with the J750 is easy, starting with PolyJet StudioTM software to process your part. PolyJet Studio is the next generation of Objet StudioTM software and offers multiple improvements for workflow efficiency. Improvements include an intuitive interface that makes it easy to choose material, optimize the build, and mange print queues. After the parameters of the part are selected, the user hits “print” and it’s ready to build.

The J750 is ideal for any user, whether you’re planning on creating detailed surgical guides or looking to produce color coded jigs and fixtures.  For more information, click here to download the newly released J750 EBook

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Future of Manufacturing with 3D Printing Event

World leading Stratasys 3D printing partner Fisher Unitech is excited to announce The Future of
Manufacturing Event series highlighting the benefits manufacturing is seeing with the utilization of 3D printing. The landscape of manufacturing is transforming and 3D printing is becoming essential to production. Fisher Unitech welcomes all to this excellent opportunity to learn more about how 3D printing can increase time to market, drive innovation, and save costs.

Participants of these events will learn about: 

Fused Deposition Modeling and Polyjet Technologies 
3D Printing Applications and customer success stories
New J750 Features and Functionality 
3D Printing Materials Overview
3D Printing Post Processing Techniques 

The Future of Manufacturing Event Series is complimentary to attend and breakfast will be provided at all locations for participants. Please click below to attend at any of the 4 current locations.

-Troy, Michigan at the Fisher Unitech Headquarters May 5, 2016. Register 

-Schaumburg, Illinois at the Hyatt Hotel May 10, 2016. Register 

-Cincinnati, Ohio at Fisher Unitech Local Office May 17, 2016. Register

-St Charles, Missouri at the St Charles Convention Center May 19, 2016. Register 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

More Video Opportunities to Learn Simulation and Analysis Fundamentals


I just received an email from my analysis colleagues at SOLIDWORKS  kicking off a series of Simulation training videos.  This is one of the great things about SOLIDWORKS there's so many places to learn and this is a great team to learn from.

Check out the series link:

If you have not read my post from last year summarizing other places to find help you can check out that blog post here:

Happy Simulating,