Team Fictiv

Fictiv is a digital manufacturing ecosystem that rapidly delivers precision mechanical parts through its digital quote-to-order platform and global partner network.

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A Guide to Prototyping Materials for Medical Devices

“Medical device” is a broad umbrella term that covers a huge variety of apparatus and equipment, such as Band-Aids, dental floss, blood pressure cuffs, defibrillators, MRI scanners, and much, much more. It’s probably no surprise that medical device design constitutes a major segment of the field of mechanical engineering, especially in the U.S., which is […]

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Thermoplastic vs Thermoset Plastic: Mechanical Properties Overview

The flexibility in adjusting plastic mechanical properties makes much of our technological advancement possible, from being able to produce fuel-efficient jumbo jets with high strength, to lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic that can be made into impact-resistant silicone phone cases that save our precious phones from shattering into pieces. This article provides an overview of the […]

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How to Read Material Data Sheets

To most people, plastics might seem all the same, but to an engineer, plastics come in families, have cousin materials, and have other materials that are as different as cats are from dogs. Of course, our clients expect us to worry about these details, and as nerds, the minute differences between materials are a source […]

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GD&T 101: An Introduction to Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) is a language of symbols and standards designed and used by engineers and manufacturers to describe a product and facilitate communication between entities working together to produce something. By deepening your knowledge around how to create a well structured GD&T, you will improve communication with your machine shop and ensure everyone […]

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Scaling Up: From 3D Printed Prototypes to Injection Mold-Ready Designs

We love the invention and design development process. We love seeing the concepts come together, love working through iterations of prototypes and finally (finally!) getting a design just right, fulfilling all the technical and aesthetic requirements. But do you know what’s even better? Seeing your designs in full-scale manufacture. Unfortunately, once your design is beautiful […]

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Injection Molding Design: Side Actions to Produce “Impossible” Undercuts

Design for injection molding has clear rules: Add draft. No undercuts. Round edges. Clear parting lines. Uniform walls, not too thick. But learning about advanced plastic manufacturing is like visiting Morpheus’s dojo in The Matrix: Some rules can be bent. Others can be broken. But breaking these rules is costly. Sharp edges require additional machining […]

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Best Practices for Wall Thickness in Injection Molding

Heat and pressure most famously make diamonds. But they do more than that: Nearly every plastic product in your house was made with the same two forces. From the 1950s until now, injection molding has dominated consumer manufacturing, giving us everything from action figures to denture containers. Despite its incredible versatility, injection molding does have […]

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Design and Application Guide for Anodizing Aluminum

Anodizing is one of the most common surface treatment options available for aluminum. We’ve probably all seen anodized pieces used in a variety of applications, ranging from some of Apple’s iPhones and iPods to sprockets on motorcycles and karts. This article will walk you through the design considerations, as well as the applications, for anodizing. […]

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Cutting Edge Design: Sharp Edges on Injection Molded Parts

Sharp edges are beautiful: light glinting off these clean lines as a product rotates through space, music swelling dramatically in the background of a commercial. Edges are precise. Edges are distinct. Edges are horrible for injection molding. A general rule of injection molding is: Radius all edges. What do you do if your design calls […]

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Advanced Materials Guide for Injection Molding

The advent of CAD systems, additive manufacturing, and CNC machining has made the design and manufacture of complex part designs almost routine. Engineers today are being asked to design parts that will probably be exposed to many different factors, including extreme weather, chemicals, bodily fluids, high stress/high load, impact, and other elements and situations that […]

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How To Make a Great Engineering Drawing Manufacturers Will Understand

Before the days of CNC, machinists made parts purely based on 2D drawings. We’ve come a long way since then, and now the drawing is much less important to the process of actually cutting material, thanks to precise 3D modeling and CAM programs. That said, drawings are still a great way to call out special […]

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Recommended Wall Thickness for 3D Printing

One of the most important considerations when designing parts for 3D printing is the wall thickness. While 3D printing makes prototyping easier than ever—not only in terms of cost and speed, but also in regards to DFM (design for manufacturing), you can’t disregard DFM completely. A design might be (barely) producible by 3D printing, but […]

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Guide to Plastic Materials for Prototyping and Production

In the world of plastics, there are a lot of different options for a designer to choose from. There are so many plastic materials, in fact, that the process of selecting the proper 3D printing plastics for prototyping and subsequent manufacturing plastics for production may seem intimidating. This article seeks to clarify the main types of plastic materials […]

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9 Tips for Better Engineering Drawings that Save Time and Money

Engineering drawings are a great way to communicate design intent for CNC machined parts that require tight tolerances or other special requirements. Many of our customers in robotics, aerospace, automotive, and medical device industries attach drawings to their parts when uploading to the Fictiv platform. That said, not all engineers receive comprehensive training on how […]