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

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 a product and facilitate communication between entities working together to manufacture product. GD&T was first utilized by the US military in the 1940s with the MIL-STD-8 publication (NOTE: MIL-STD-8 has […]

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Engineering Fundamentals Refresh: Strength vs. Stiffness vs. Hardness

Understanding the differences amongst the mechanical properties of strength vs. stiffness vs. hardness is foundational in mechanical engineering, yet these properties can often be confused. These properties are related, but there are very important differences between them:  Stiffness is an indicator of the tendency for an element to return to its original form after being […]

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Design Methods to Improve Torsional Rigidity

Products that are subject to a torsional load often require analysis like the analysis used for bending stiffness. The main differences are the specific material property to be used (Shear Modulus or Modulus of Rigidity) and the polar moment of inertia (which is very similar to the area moment of inertia used in bending). Torsion […]

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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 […]

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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, how to design threads, captured hex nuts, and cutting threads with a tap. In this article, we’re going to dive in a bit deeper with a more comprehensive guide to all the options available for plastic fastening assemblies, including: […]

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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 […]

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How to Build a BattleBot Like a Pro, Part One: Rules and Combat Styles

Perhaps you watched BattleBots in the early 2000’s, or maybe you recently got into combat robotics and  thought to yourself “what goes into building one of these gladiator bots?” Well, we’re team RoboGym, and we’re here to answer your question. We’ve been building and refining our BattleBot, Deadlift for years, and we’ll be guiding you […]

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How to Build a BattleBot Like a Pro, Part Two: Design and Construction

If you want to know the general lay of the land when it comes to combat robotics and the different types of BattleBots, you can learn about that in Part One of How to Build a BattleBot Like a Pro. If you’re ready to get into the specifics of designing and building a combat robot […]

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Draft and Texture in Plastic Injection Molded Parts

It’s always a good idea to go through several drafts of any design before finalizing a part. Prototyping can help you get the right design, but you’ll need a different type of draft for a successful injection molded plastics project. In injection molding, draft is the angle that you apply to the vertical walls of […]

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Fiat 500 EV Conversion: Prototyping and Sourcing Parts

In this part of our Butterball electric vehicle conversion series of articles, we’re discussing prototyping and making parts vs. buying them off the shelf — and you can learn more about the genesis of the project, its mechanical design, and electrical system in our other articles. As a digital manufacturing company, we’re very familiar with […]