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Manufacturing Processes


Best Practices for Adding Ribs and Gussets to 3D Printed Parts for Structural Integrity

When designing plastic components, it’s often necessary to add ribs and gussets to improve the stiffness and strength of load-bearing features. This reduces material volume and optimizes print time for 3D printed parts, since it takes longer to make these features solid structures (print time is largely driven by the volume of material for a […]


Heat Sink Design Guide & Considerations

In a world of ever-increasing electronics, our lives are continuously impacted by devices that incorporate some sort of heat-generating circuitry. When it comes to electronics that dissipate power in the form of heat during normal operation, it is often necessary to manage this heat, to ensure the components don’t exceed their maximum allowable temperatures. One […]


Learn by Example: How to Design Light Pipes

Light plays an important role in the design of many hardware products. Often, they are both decorative and functional. Indicator lights are the most minimal user interface: They tell you whether the device is turned on, low on battery, or “thinking” really hard. On modern electronics, the light’s source is almost always an LED. However, […]


Fillets: When to Use ‘Em, When to Lose ‘Em

Fillets are one of those mysterious design features for which there seem to be no clearly defined rules. Either a part is entirely devoid of fillets, and most or all edges are well-defined, or the part’s designer decided to take the opposite route, and every single edge and corner is rounded with some size of […]


How to Design for Stiffness Using Material Properties

Improving part stiffness is critical for load bearing applications, and can be accomplished through both design geometry and material properties. In this article, we’ll employ many of the same formulas we discussed in our previous article about leveraging geometric structures to improve stiffness. However, here we’ll focus on material selection, altering the properties of materials […]


How to Design Assemblies to Be Self-Locating and Self-Fixturing

There’s a reason kids love Lego. When I was a kid, nothing was more valuable to me than my big blue bucket of the multi-colored bricks. Even when my parents encouraged my interest in engineering with more complex Fischer Technics, nothing replaced the joy of quickly snapping pieces together in increasingly complex shapes. Wouldn’t it […]

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