NPDBD projects have access to the CSE Anderson Student Innovation Labs 3D printers as well as 3D printers at their company, in the research lab of their faculty coach and at the Medical Devices Center. These machines print 3D versions of parts that are modeled in a CAD package such as Creo, SolidWorks or Sketchup. Parts are typically created in PLA or ABS plastic. Parts can take one to 24 hours to build depending on volume. It is suggested that parts be kept smaller than 6x4x4 inches as larger parts can take many (e.g. more than 24) hours to build and consume considerable material.
The purpose of this deliverable is to have each team build a 3D part to understand the capabilities and limitations of 3D printing, and the process to create parts. In years past, too few teams took advantage of this incredible resource. By forcing each team to create a part early in the course, we should see more 3D printed parts as part of the prototyping process as the project proceeds. Teams are free to use 3D printing at any time during the year.
Make a 3D printed part that is related to your project. Your part will be displayed for the whole class to see. Model the part in your favorite CAD package and export as a STL file and then have it printed. The print procedure varies depending on which printer you are using.
Scheduling: The part build time can be 2 or 3 hours or might be overnight. Depending on the printing technology chosen, the post-processing steps might take 2-4 hours. If you chose a machine that is not DIY, the machine might have a parts queue that is a day long or the manager might not be available immediately to run your part. Message: plan accordingly so that you are successful with this deliverable.