The excitement over 3D Printers seems to grow by the day – and rightly so. The ability to produce real projects without the need for conventional tools is hugely significant and continues to rewrite the rule book for designers. 3D Printers can produce parts that can’t be made any other way so the ‘art of the possible’ has become a moving target for design professionals. 3D Printing has become an essential tool for one-off, prototype or niche products but this too is rapidly changing. The largest Stratasys machines are categorised as Production systems and this reflects the narrowing gap in the economics of tooling-up for conventional manufacture and simply 3D printing a batch of parts. Part quality from Stratasys machines is that good.
New Range of Low Cost 3D Printers - from TechSoft
TechSoft have been selling 3D Printers into schools since 2004 and this has given us a unique understanding about what makes for education-suitable technology. We are aware, of course, that not every school can afford or justify the cost of a professional machine. But we are equally clear that schools cannot afford 3D printers that are too temperamental to operate, or lack the build-quality to reliably produce quality parts. We have the answer and are delighted to introduce a new low-cost range of quality 3D Printers from 3Dfactories.
Premium Engineering on a budge
3Dfactories machines are European-built to meet exacting engineering standards to give stability and reliability in their mechanical, structural and electronic systems. The manufacturers are already firmly established as leading producers of high end production machinery for the automotive industry - if you are lucky enough to drive a prestige-brand European car then the chances are that these guys lent a (robotic) hand in its production. Only high quality parts and materials are used and all machines are supplied fully-assembled and ready for work. Each machine is supplied with intuitive, graphically-rich software to convert common .stl files into the G-Code the machine needs. The process is simple and includes time and material use predictions.
Quality and Reliability
3Dfactories machines work using fff (fused filament fabrication) and options are available for models in both PLA or ABS. Part accuracy is excellent and PLA models will be plenty strong enough for simple projects. Above all, the parts produced by one of these 3D printers will cost pennies rather than pounds. In education, we know that reliability is king and you will have the confidence of knowing that TechSoft support is only a ‘phone call or email away.
Mr Gove has certainly caught the 3D printing bug for D&T – but has anyone else spotted an elephant in the room?
How can a 3D Printer serve designing and making without a good 3D CAD system?
We can, of course, help there too. SolidWorks is the ideal tool for 3D creativity and introducing it to students need not be a scary prospect. SolidProfessor (e-learning) can provide the expert-in-the-classroom students need, and TechSoft provide various training opportunities for teachers.
The new low-cost range of 3D printers from TechSoft makes an ideal introduction to 3D printing in school.