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Mass Customization: The Future of Made-to-Fit Manufacturing

Once upon a time there were cobblers, who would craft shoes to individual feet. Then came the industrial revolution, and the cobblers were replaced by dozens of factory workers, each performing a single step to build standard shoes—and feet were expected to adapt. This wasn’t all bad; the new shoes were cheaper, and more people […]

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Creating Involute Gears in CAD

Say you’re 3D printing a robot, and you’re designing a sweet gearing system to make your robot move smoothly. What to do about the fact that most CAD programs don’t have a “create involute gears” button? Welp, you’ll have to create these geometries manually. In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through the process in SolidWorks, […]

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Nothing Gets In: Waterproof Enclosure Design 101 (and IP68)

Design guidelines for waterproof enclosure design, as well as IP68 waterproof rating design.

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How to Set Up Your Files for Multimaterial 3D Printing

One of the major benefits of printing in Polyjet is the ability to print in multiple materials for a single part. This allows you to simulate overmolds, create soft touch applications, and build living hinges among many other applications. We get a lot of questions about how to prepare files for multi-material prints, so here’s […]

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Best Practices for Fixing Solidworks Import Errors

If you’re like most Solidworks users, you probably collaborate with other people on projects. Generally speaking, that’s a good thing. After all, two heads are better than one, right? However, not everyone uses Solidworks, so the people you collaborate with likely end up sending you files with extensions like IGES, STEP,  X_T, etc. You import […]

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4 Tips & Tricks for Becoming a Solidworks Pro

In Fictiv’s 2016 State of Hardware Report, a whopping 70% of participants reported using Solidworks. Solidworks might be expensive and is certainly not perfect, but it sure is popular! Considering how many people out there are using Solidworks, I thought it would be great to impart a few tips & tricks for upping your Solidworks […]

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How to Get the Most out of Surface Modeling in Solidworks

So, you’ve been designing “things” using Solidworks for a while now. Maybe you took a Solidworks class or two, maybe you didn’t. Either way, you got to the point where you want to design more complicated & organic shapes and you are struggling. After all, designing organic shapes typically requires surface modeling in Solidworks, which […]

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CAD File Formats and How to Export Them for 3D Printing

There are a lot of CAD (computer-aided design) file types out there, each with their own names, formats, and parameters. From STEP files, to STL files, to IGES, and more, it can be difficult to differentiate between them all. This post will help you understand the difference between these file types, and which file is best […]

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3 Best Practices for Digital Design

Just having the right tool doesn’t mean you’re necessarily getting the most out of it. Here are 3 best practices to help you get started using your chosen CAD software effectively. 1. Keep it Simple With digital tools, it’s easy to create intricate features that look great but are unnecessarily, and unrealistically, complex. So before […]

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CAD Design Terms

When learning CAD, some words may seem foreign–extrusion, chamfer, radius, and fillets aren’t exactly intutive. No worries, read up on the terms below as a refresher or an introduction to the most common CAD terms and operations. Main CAD Operations Extrude / Extrusion: An extruded face of an object expands or contracts (or cuts through/against) empty […]

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