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Conversion Coatings: The Benefits of Passivation, Black Oxide, Alodine, and Anodizing

The Second Law of Thermodynamics declares that everything tends to move into a state of disorder. We all know what happens when metal is exposed to the elements: deterioration. When designing and creating your products, the last thing you want to discover is a layer of deteriorated metal in the form of oxidation, corrosion, or […]

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Casting vs CNC Machining: We’re No Longer in the Bronze Age, But Is It Right for Your Part?

Casting, a process whereby molten metal is poured into a mold, has been around for over 6,000 years and is still widely used today. Advances in casting technology enable the casting of high quality parts with tight tolerances, not unlike CNC machining, a newer manufacturing method that’s also widely used.  But have you ever considered […]

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Best CNC Machining Robotics Components

The year is 2050, and robots… are… everywhere. They’re delivering packages, driving cars, piloting airplanes, and tending to the sick and elderly.  Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but it’s no joke that robots are more common with each passing year. In my house, I have a robotic vacuum, a robotic speaker, robotic toys, and some […]

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Aluminum Anodizing: All You Need to Know

Aluminum Anodizing Overview The anodizing process (sometimes known as anodization) converts the surface of aluminum into a thicker, more uniform oxide layer through an electrolytic process. Electrochemically anodizing aluminum produces an aluminum oxide surface that has: Corrosion resistance A pleasing appearance Wear resistance Improved paint or adhesive bonding Improved lubricity Improved plating adhesion This article […]

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Precision CNC Machining: How Can You Make Your Parts More Precise?

When you hear precision CNC machining, what comes to mind? Isn’t all CNC machining “precision?” In a sense, yes. CNC machining allows you quickly manufacture precise parts in large volumes. However, it goes much further than that. In this article, we’ll discuss: What is precision CNC machining?  How do you verify that your parts are […]

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3-Axis to 12-Axis: CNC Milling Machine Capabilities Compared

Computer Numerical Control (or CNC) machining combines the efficiency of computer programming with the customizability of subtractive manufacturing. The CNC controller works in conjunction with mechanical components such as axes, motors, and drive components to automate the manufacturing process and maintain quality and repeatability. There are many different types of CNC machines on the market […]

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CNC Plastics Selection Guide

The first step in designing a part is to determine what material it should be made out of. If you decide the part should be plastic, and it should be CNC machined, the selection does not simply stop there. There is a plethora of machinable plastic to choose from for plastic machining in 2022, each […]

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Methods for Cleaning 3D Printed Parts

You’ve envisioned it, you’ve modeled it, and you’ve printed it. As it turns out, however, your newly printed prototype may need a bit more TLC before it appears, or functions as intended. 3D printed part finishing often involves a cleaning step to improve appearances or remove unwanted support material.  The purpose of this article is […]

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Ultimate Guide to Finishing 3D Printed Parts

The purpose of this article is to detail the different finishing methods for FDM and PolyJet 3D printed parts and the techniques/tips that can elevate the look and feel of your prototypes. A simple Apple Watch stand design will be utilized as a case study. This stand is a model with pockets and internal and […]

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3 Tips for Stronger 3D Printed Parts

Depending on the intended use case for your 3D printed part, structural integrity can be a crucial ingredient. It could be a matter of ensuring that your product doesn’t collapse when used or even a matter of ensuring user safety. The world in 2022 seeing a vastly accelerated need for 3D printed parts in mult-disciplinary […]