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.

All articles from the author

Article

A Visual Guide to GD&T

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) is a language of symbols and standards 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 involved is […]

Article

Injection Molding Design Guide

Every year, 55 million tons of plastic are processed to manufacture almost any kind of part. Injection molding is the leading process to manufacture these plastic parts. The process is a quick, economical way to mass produce a number of parts, ranging from high-precision engineering components to cosmetic product enclosures. The Injection Molding Process Having […]

Article

A Brief History of CNC Machining

From workshops to large industrial plants, computer numerical control — or CNC — machines have become integral parts of the production and manufacturing industries. The history of CNC machining dates back to when it was simply referred to as numerical control. This was an older system that didn’t involve programmable computers. The history of CNC […]

Article

Fictiv DFM Feedback Glossary

When you upload a part to the Fictiv platform, you receive instant design for manufacturability (DFM) feedback. Here are some explanations for why you received that feedback and what you can do to get your part ready to machine! Fillets to be added Explanation Fillets will be added to sharp internal corners or areas where […]

Article

Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) in a Nutshell

Computer aided manufacturing (CAM) has allowed huge developments in the automation of manufacturing. By automating the generation of toolpaths for machining, CAM allows people to manufacture complex designs and geometries that would be difficult or even impossible to machine by hand. Gone (mostly) are the days of writing hundreds of lines of G-code by hand! […]

Article

The Ultimate Guide to CNC Machining

Introduction CNC machines are the gold standard in precision manufacturing because of their speed, precision, and ability to hold tight tolerances. The development of CNC machining has facilitated incredible innovations because it allows the design and manufacture of parts with incredibly complex geometry. It’s no wonder that this process is essential to make many products […]

Article

CNC Machining Design Guide

CNC machining is one of the most widely used prototyping and manufacturing methods today, especially for metal parts. Most of the details, such as tooling, spindle speed, cutter type, and depth of cut, are taken care of at the machine shop, but there are some things you can do while designing your product to not […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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 […]

Article

Design and Application Guide for Anodizing Aluminum

Anodizing is one of the most common surface treatment options available for cnc 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 […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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 […]