Tracking

Latest

Article

From Snap Fits to Adhesives: A Comprehensive Guide to Mechanical Fastener Options

Fictiv’s guide to fasteners for 3D printed parts includes an overview of threaded inserts, self-threading screws, captured hex nuts, as well as how to design threads and cut threads with a tap. In this article, we’ll examine plastic fastening assemblies for CNC machined and 3D printed parts, including:  This guide will help you choose the […]

Article

9 Tips for Better Engineering Drawings that Save Time and Money

This article was revised by Tessa Axsom in September 2023 Even in 2023, with the rising popularity of model-based definitions, engineering drawings are still a great way to communicate design intent for CNC machined parts that require tight tolerances, material specifications, or other special requirements. That’s why many Fictiv customers in the robotics, aerospace, automotive, […]

Article

How to Design Wire Guides that are Functional and Beautiful

A robot performing parkour was impossible 30 years ago, but now, Boston Dynamic’s Atlas robot can traverse an obstacle course gracefully and precisely. Boston Dynamics uses Atlas as an exercise to unlock the next generation of mobility, perception, and athletic intelligence in robotics. The Atlas robot is constructed of a beautiful combination of 3D-printed titanium […]

Article

Guide to Foamcore Joining Techniques

Foamcore (also known as foam board or foam core) is a lightweight building material typically consisting of an inner foam layer sandwiched by paper or another thin, lightweight material. If you have put together a poster for a school project or a work-related presentation, odds are you’re familiar with rigid foam core poster board. Foamcore […]

Article

Engineering Fundamentals Refresh: Strength vs. Stiffness vs. Hardness

This article was originally published in February 2017 by Humberto Villasenor. The content has been updated. Understanding the differences between the mechanical properties of strength vs. stiffness vs. hardness is foundational in mechanical engineering, yet these properties are often confused. These properties are related, but they have important differences:  For this article, we’ll review the […]

Article

Types of Springs and their Applications: An Overview

Springs are common in all kinds of machines — from consumer products to heavy industrial equipment. Take apart anything that involves a mechanism, and chances are, you’ll find a spring inside. Springs are storage devices for mechanical energy, analogous to the electrical storage capacity of batteries. The earliest spring-driven clocks appeared in the 1400s. Fast-forward […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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 […]

Article

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

This article was originally published in February, 2017 by Jeremy Hill. The content has been updated. Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T or GD and T) is a language of symbols and standards designed and used by engineers and manufacturers to describe the shape (geometry) and size (dimensions) of a product and facilitate communication between entities […]

Article

Thermoplastics vs. Thermoset Plastics: Material Properties Overview

Thermoplastics and thermoset plastics are classes of polymers used in injection molding, CNC machining, 3D printing, and urethane casting. Like elastomers, another class of polymer, thermoplastics and thermosets both consist of long, repeating chains of molecules. Under a microscope, the structure of a thermoplastic resembles a railroad track while a thermoset material looks like a […]