Wednesday, January 14, 2009

3D Printing - Objet Alaris 30

I recently had a chance to receive training on a 3D printer from a company called Objet. For the longest time I was fascinated by this technology. I understood the general concept. But, after learning more about what makes these machines tick, it made me even more curious to explore it to the full. Needless to say I can't stop printing! I was there for a whole week learning how to print and do basic service of the machine. It basically will accept any STL formated file from virtually any CAD system. What I'm envisioning is a 3D scanner setup. Along with that is a CAD program such as SolidWorks. You can scan your model. Clean it up in the CAD system. Then export it as an STL file to be printed on the machine.

It is a bit tricky to get it going. But, it gets easier as you go.

Below is a promo video that shows how it does the magic.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Autodesk Inventor receives a CATIA V5 Translator

Recently Autodesk introduced a CATIA V5 translator for the Inventor 2009 software. It supports CATIA files up to R18 (which is what most of us are running). This is a very significant feature. CATIA happens to be an expensive software to own and run. So, If you happen to be a design firm that occasionally gets some V5 files, this is a great solution. It works on both native V5 parts and assemblies. The best thing here is that it's a free download. You want to make sure that you're running service pack 1 in Inventor 2009. I had a chance to play with it and it looks very promising. The question that begs an answer is: Why doesn't SolidWorks have the same capability? It's owned by the same company that makes CATIA: Dassault Systemes! It's probably conflict of interest. Dassault probably doesn't want to see a mass exodus from it's CATIA ranks over to the cheaper midrange CAD software. Only the future will tell how Dassault will handle this delicate situation.

I've created video that shows how to use this feature.