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3D Printing For Business
January 30, 2015
Based on the overwhelming response from a HARO query, we decided the best way to aggregate responses by each question, based on the responses provided.Participants are as follows, and initials corresponding to their answers are found in the parentheses. Each interview was conducted separately via email.
Sarah Boisvert (SB), Potomac Phototonics, Inc. and Fellow, Laser Institute of America. They use a Lulzbot Taz4 with PLA filament as well as a Cubify Cube 2 with both PLA filament and ABS filament. Their third printer is a 3D Systems ProJet3000 Plus which takes an acrylic type material for its printing.
Kevin Caron (KC), Artist and Owner, Kevin Caron Studios. His studio owns three different 3D printers. The first is the 3D Systems' CubeX. The other two printers are from Cerberus 3D, the Cerberus 3D 250 and the Cerberus 3D Gigante. Among the materials used are ABS for the CubeX and PLA for the two Cerebus models.
Now without further ado, here are their answers:
Question 1: What do you print?
TG: “We generally run two types of prints. First, prototype housing for products we are developing and, second, general test shapes to push the limits of our filaments. We are always developing new product concepts for our website. We start with 3D models and print test models along with way to get a feel for the shape and feel of the housing.
Because we import filament for sale we are in a constant state of printing various shapes. We find test models on Thingiverse and use them to test our filament consistency, color saturation, transparency, etc.”
KC: “I print original sculptures such as these:”
“I also use my printers to create maquettes, which are small versions of sculptures. They allow potential patrons to see what I am proposing as well as help with proof of concept (will a sculpture stand up? Are its proportions right?) and fabrication (so THAT'S how those two sides connect!)”
GC: We print custom moldings, medallions, and appliqués.
Question 2: How satisfied are you with the quality of what it prints?
Question 3: What issues have you had with it (if any)?
Question 4: How hard was it to learn to use?
Question 5: What are your future plans as far as 3D printing is concerned?
I'm also keeping an eye on machines that can print other materials such as carbon fiber or even Kevlar. This will make printed objects much more durable in real applications. At least one model was just unveiled at CES that seems to be in a reasonable price range of a few thousand dollars.”