How to increase productivity in Solidworks with formulas, equations & Linked Global Variables

How to increase productivity in Solidworks with formulas, equations & Linked Global Variables

Program your dimensions & tolerances using global variables on every element of your part. Step by guide by experimenting with this useful tool.
November 6, 2019

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Why hassle trying to fiddle with every single dimension & tolerance one by one. You can now program your dimensions & tolerances using global variables on every element of your part. Now whenever you need to change the dimension of a repeating element within your part or assembly you can now change the value of just the global variable & instantly this would change all programmed elements. We will demonstrate a step by step by guide on the Geomiq icon logo by experimenting with this very useful tool. Please open your part and follow the same steps for you own part / assembly.

Step 1

Open your original sketched part. I have opened our company’s icon logo which I work from.

Step 2

Open the equation manager by right-clicking & selecting on the equation’s icon on the features section on the tree alternatively you can right-click on the part, hovering over hidden tree items & selecting the equation manager. You will be promoted with a new window.

Step 3

Program your different dimensions that you require that need to be duplicated across different elements by assigning different letters to different values that you require. Type in a letter in the global variables section & type the desired value next to the equal sign. For Our case lets put A =50, B=25 & C=10. You can also create a simple function / equation by programming a previously created global variable and putting a mathematical operation in front or after it. In our case we use the addition operation by adding 10 to global variable C. Now press OK to save it.

Hint: You can also use more complex global variable for trigonometric functions e.g. sine & cosine. Another option is adding file properties e.g. Volume & mass.

Step 4

Now when selecting a dimension type in the equal sign & select the global variable that you have create. In this case I will choose the global variable & I will select is on the elements that will have that same dimension which are the outside edges of the Geomiq icon. Now you can do the same with the other global variables on other sides if you like on your part.

Step 5

We can also also explore this feature in 3D. By extruding the boss of the part from the features tab, you can now select the depth of the extruction using a global veriable by again typing in the equal sign & pressing the letter of the global variable that you require. In my case I will pick global variable C. Then press OK.

Step 6

Now let’s say that you need to change the dimensions of the outer whole part in order to scale it up or down. Now you only need to change the value of global variable the rather then changing the dimension values of every single side. Just open the equation manager again & type in your new changed values. I will now change mine from A=70 & C=100.

Step 7

You can also create global variables on the fly by selecting a global variable dimension that you have not yet programmed. Just select a previous untaken latter and press that button that looks like a globe & press yes.

Step 8

In order to create a global variable of a new element that is equal to an existing element for example the depth of the original Geomiq Icon logo here, just press equals and that side, this will automatically create a variable named =”[email protected]″. This will depend exact feature & letter of your global veriable.

Thank You for using this Geomiq guide, make to like & follow our page, as we will be regularly bring out new tips & tricks for SolidWorks to help you to become a much better mechanical engineer & designer.

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What’s new in Solidworks 2020.

What’s new in Solidworks 2020.

Dassault Systemes, Solidworks 2020 what are the key features, enhanced tools, how to streamline your workflow, new capabilities and core features that will boost your productivity.
October 31, 2019

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Geometry-Based Boundary Conditions

Assign boundary conditions such as Injection Locations, Control Valves, and Mould Wall Temperatures directly on geometry entities. In addition to the mesh-based assignment of boundary conditions, you can assign boundary conditions directly on geometry. This will let you position Injection Locations or Control Valves more accurately and associate boundary conditions assignment directly to geometry when changes to the part geometry occur. The boundary conditions are directly saved to your .sldprt file.

Geometry based boundary conditions in Solidworks are going to significantly improve your workflow, help you make Solidworks Plastics 2020 analysis more accurate and more importantly save you time.

Searching For Materials

One other great feature of Solidworks 2020 is the ability to search for materials. This might be self-explanatory but it’s here so that you know it exists. This feature can save you a lot of time when trying to figure out the material you need from the Solidworks database.

Adding a Selection to a Selection Set

A new feature in Solidworks 2020 allows you to add to an existing selection set.

On your 3D model select multiple items in the FeatureManager design tree or graph area, right-click the selection and save selection. To add an item to a new set, New Selection Set – To add an item to an existing set Selection-set#(##) where # indicates the order of creation and ## indicates the number of items in the set. Clicking Selection Sets will show the selection set.

Adding Reference Axes and Reference Planes to Mesh Bodies

3D scanning and 3D printing technologies continue to be more accessible and affordable, design workflows can take advantage of 3D CAD software. Solidworks solutions allow you to create reference geometry based on this imported scanned data. Scanned geometry can be imported into Solidworks as a Mesh Body, the 3D model is broken down into triangular faces (one issue is that these triangular faces are planar, this poses a problem where non-planar geometry is represented incorrectly Rounded geometry, fillets, circular holes are going to be broken down to thousands of triangular faces. This greatly increased the file size and rebuild times due to the number of planar faces)

User Interface Markups

Solidworks 2020 features a new Markup functionality ability for non-touch devices to use your mouse for creating markups and markups for drawings. This was originally known as the “ink Markup toolbar” it has now been renamed as the “Markup toolbar” in Solidworks 2020. There are minor differences to the Markup toolbar depending on the type of device you are using.

Custom Scales for Drawing Sheets and Views

In SOLIDWORKS 2020 it’s possible to quickly define custom drawing scales AND save them for future use for quick access. This is a faster way of choosing your new sheet scale & setting them a default location.

Warning Users when transitioning Files

Displays a warning if you try to transition a file through a workflow transition without selecting a recipient. SOLIDWORKS workflows can be used to notify team members when a file changes state. This is particularly useful when you need a team member to review a file or engineering drawing and approve the design.

Simulation Evaluator

The purpose of this CAD software tool is to check the setup of a simulation study, prior to solving, to determine if the setup is correct for a successful simulation. Simulation Evaluator performs a number of system checks prior to running the study which aids the user in the successful setup of the study. It first checks conditions related to the results folder, including the storage capacity of the results-driven. This provides helpful information to the user of where the results are being saved and the disk space available. The next check that Simulation Evaluator performs is related to the materials used in the simulation. If any parts or bodies in the study have not been assigned a material, a warning message will appear alerting the user to this oversight. The last check that Simulation Evaluator performs is a comparison between the volume of the mesh and the volume of the CAD geometry. If there is a large difference between mesh and CAD volume this will get flagged and could be the result of a gap in the mesh. If there are any conditions in the study that would prevent a successful simulation run, the Simulation Evaluator dialog box provides information for corrective action.

Pattern and Mirror Support

In 2020, you can pattern the entire Structure System using a linear or circular or mirror patterns.  You keep the intelligence integrity for all your members and any additional Structure Systems that are added while referencing the patterned members.  When patterning bodies, this is not possible. After exiting the Structure System, the Corner Management tool determines the corners between the new members.  This is based on the first Structure System and its patterned members, which then determines the proper Trim Tool Member and Trim order. You have the ability to create and modify structural members of different profiles in a single feature.

Body Compare

With SOLIDWORKS 2020, bodies can now be any type for body comparison not only solid bodies: classic BREP bodies, mesh BREP bodies, or graphics bodies. Classic BREP and mesh BREP can be solid or surface bodies. You can take your mesh data and compare it to your SOLIDWORKS 3D model. This is not a metrology application by any means, but you can scan your manufactured part and compare it to your design data.

Visualize

SOLIDWORKS Visualize now supports AxF™ measured materials. The .axf file format from X-Rite stores digital material representations, most notably measured materials, from their BTF scanning technology. To add .axf files to a project, drag from Windows Explorer into your scene, or add them from the pallet. You can now export *.gltf and *.glb file formats of your SOLIDWORKS Visualize project data for use in augmented and virtual reality viewers. SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2020 can now handle duplicate geometry, such as patterned components from SOLIDWORKS assemblies, more efficiently. Typically, for larger SOLIDWORKS assemblies, the use of duplicated geometry requires less GPU memory and reduces the likelihood of running out of GPU memory. However, appearance part-grouping mode does not support this functionality, so you’ll want to use the advanced mode when exporting to Visualize. Now, SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2020 supports full editing capabilities of vMaterials. You can adjust bump heights, texture scaling, colors, and even add additional textures for things like fingerprints or dust on glossy surfaces. The materials now accurately show up in preview modes when you want to quickly adjust textures without ray-tracing.

Flexible Components

Flexible components allow features, driven by external references, to update effortlessly as the externally referenced entities move within the assembly. Some practical applications include; springs, bellows, and hinges to name a few, as well as many impractical applications.To create a flexible component there must be a single degree of freedom that is not in-context of the component itself.

This guide will help you with solidworks, draftsight & every other solidworks product which is part of the dassault systèmes family of products. Solidworks is a design 3D CAD Software which enhances the 3dexperience traditional Computer-aided-design process. This 3dexperience platform will enable you with designing, testing, simulating & with product data management.

Learn more about new features on www.solidworks.com

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Automotive Manufacturing Technologies

Automotive Manufacturing Technologies

Techniques used in the automotive sector are sophisticated and more engaging. There has been an improvement in the technology used over decades, such as automation of the manufacturing process. The application of new technologies has resulted in faster construction, reduction in cost, and improvement inefficiency.
October 22, 2019

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The automotive industry is an economic sector that involves designing, construction, supply, and trading of motor vehicles. It provides a mode of transportation in many countries like the use of commercial vehicles and collects huge revenue. The best and high automotive producer countries in the world enjoy a good income from this venture as compared to low-volume production or non-producing countries. Manufacturing is cost-effective and requires high levels of machinery. It is defined as the process of transforming raw material to construct motor vehicles and their construction parts.

Automotive companies

Automotive companies refer to groups or organizations that are involved in the automotive manufacturing sector. The creation of these companies can be described as progress for the companies to cope up with better advancements. There is a massive competition among the companies resulting in improvement in efficiency and the rise of new technologies to outdo each other. Better producers who come up with automobiles that are more advanced and more comfortable are going to compete better in business and make more sells. Besides producing the best automotive producers, the best companies entail the best framework to ensure they have the best marketing and even branding techniques an essential tool for marketing.

These companies have slogans to market their products and gain unique identification in the market. For instance, Volkswagen AG Company has a slogan that identifies its products. Volkswagen’s marque has helped the company to achieve the market globally. Some of these companies include ford that originated in the United States, Nissan, and Toyota that originated in Japan and the jaguar land rover. These producers are known to be among the world’s best producers and remain relevant in the market. They always come up with new productions or make even better advancements in their creations.

Automotive manufacturing techniques

Techniques used in the automotive sector are sophisticated and more engaging. There has been an improvement in the technology used over decades, such as automation of the manufacturing process. The application of new technologies has resulted in faster construction, reduction in cost, and improvement inefficiency. Some of the techniques used in manufacturing include:

Injection Molding

Injection moulding is a process that is useful in the formation of parts of motor vehicles by inserting molten material into a cavity. The equipment takes shape, size, and configurations of the mold after cooling. The molten material is injected into metal cavities or steel depending on the preferences in the construction material of the parts. Currently, it’s applied in the construction of plastic parts of motor vehicles. This can be molded to any required shape as the shape depends on the shape and size of material you are going to pour the hot mold into.

3D Printing

3D printing is a technology that involves the use of 3D printers to apply layers to products. The process is computer-controlled. It has enabled the production of finished products with complex shapes and improved accuracy. The application of this technology in the manufacturing sector has led to the creation of digital models on finished products. Most of the automotive in recent times digitalized. This helps to make their operation less complicated, comfortable, and updated; hence, technology plays a part and is very helpful.

CNC Machining

Computer numerical control machining is a technology that uses computers to control machines such as drills and lathes automatically. It involves feeding a computer numerical control machine with coded information that it uses to execute its functions without being handled manually. CNC is an automated technology and has enabled faster production of products as compared to the non-computerized machining. A computer numerical control machine is a free tool that is controlled by a computer. CNC is cost-effective and more convenient. This technology has helped in the production of more beautiful and more precise productions as it is more accurate as compared to manual handling.

Sheet Metal Fabrication

This technology is automated and applied in car modification sustaining and satisfying customer needs. Sheet metal is used because of its plasticity and elasticity. Sheet metal fabrication is also involved in the construction of unibody parts, car restoration, and roll cage work, thus improving the performance and safety of these components. The best producers also focus on the best ways of improving safety, whereby sheet metal can also play a role.

New technology

Advancement in the use of computer systems in this industry has resulted in rising of better techniques in the manufacturing of motor vehicles. The transition from old technology to new technology has posed a lot of benefits. Some of the advantages include faster production of products; they are efficient, convenient, and allow customization of products according to specifications. The technologies that are advancing include:

Digital Manufacturing

Digital manufacturing is a computer-based technique of manufacturing products that are currently used. It has enabled engineers to establish convenient manufacturing techniques to improve the finished product. The producers can give accurate information on the production period, and even durability as this type of manufacturing is entirely very reliable. On-demand is the following technologies

Addictive Manufacturing

It’s an automated process that applies a layer after a layer on the finished products. It has enabled the use of fewer workforces, and therefore the manufacturing cost is reduced. It has also resulted in the production of products at a faster rate, saving time, and a lower price. Every manufacturer aims to make profits after the sale of output. It means coming up with technologies that will save a lot in terms of production costs to make the difference, which is the profits.

Rapid Manufacturing

Rapid manufacturing has enabled the production of a large number of products over a short period. It’s also an automated process hence quicker. This has helped to match the demand in the market with the supply hence a stable economic state.

Cloud-based Manufacturing

Cloud-based manufacturing enables access to information from various sources used in the production of the products. It’s open to social networks and helps to improve efficiency, reduce cost, and facilitates good response to customers.

Three-dimensional Modeling

Three-dimensional modeling is a technology that enables engineers to modify tools to be used in the manufacturing process, thus reducing cost and improving efficiency.

Rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping has accelerated the development of products, minimized errors, and led to higher accuracy in product manufacturing. It involves CNC applied in construction and soft tooling silicon modeling. Its a more efficient technology in manufacturing.

Advancement in technology has resulted in a reduction in the cost of manufacturing, improved accuracy of many processes, and minimum value used. It has also enabled autonomous driving. The independent driving of autonomous vehicles has improved safety on the roads, welfare, and reduced traffic congestion. Advanced technology has also enabled the construction of more sophisticated cars such as BMW, electric vehicles, and ford.

Automotive sector

This sector involves a lot of activities ranging from construction, supply, and marketing the products. It’s one of the leading industries in revenue earnings in many economies like the UK economy. The supply chain in this sector includes many relationships between the sales channel, suppliers, manufacturers, and the transportation sector. In the industry, low volume production occurs when there is a need for prototyping, manufacturing of niche vehicles, and initial production of new models.

Current six automotive trends in the automotive Industry

  1. Acceptance of autonomous vehicles in most parts of the world with less concern about safety.
  2. The use of internet in the sector enables the vehicle to vehicle communication, thereby enhancing efficiency in this sector.
  3. Sharing of automotive vehicles hence there’s a decline in ownership of cars, and this has helped reduce traffic congestion inroads.
  4. Digitization and automation of automotive products that have resulted in better efficiency and quicker action in production
  5. The improved requirement for social skills and is helping to reduce the unemployment rate in the economy.
  6. The emergency of hardware and software updates.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Fueling the Future of Tech campaign, Crowdcube, Britbots & Linklaters partnership.

October 7, 2019

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Fueling the Future of Tech campaign, Crowdcube, Britbots & Linklaters partnership.

We’re excited to announce our partnership with Crowdcube. Who have launched Fuelling the future of tech campaign, enabling the brightest minds in robotics, AI and automation.

Big changes are occurring in the robotics industry and radical new forms of robotic technology are not far away from reality. Over the years the UK has proven to be a strong advocate of pushing the boundaries of technological development. Automation and robotisation is just one of the solutions to address global issues posed by industry inefficiencies and falling productivity.

Crowdcube in partnership with Britbots (The British Robotics Seed Fund) has allocated a £2m early-stage investment fund. Seeking the most promising emerging tech business in the UK to help them move into their next phase of growth.

This partnership has the ability to strengthen our ties with the community and give the necessary kickstart to companies who are set to change the relationship we have with technology.

With the support of Linklaters, innovators and early-stage companies will receive access to their online platform designed to give tech businesses key legal documents, insights and resources needed during early stages of growth.

We’re proud to support UK businesses who leverage advanced robotics, AI and automation technologies.

 

Read more & apply here:

https://www.crowdcube.com/explore/raising/robotics-ai-automation

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Why Choose Injection Moulding?

Why Choose Injection Moulding?

October 2, 2019

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Injection Moulding

Injection moulding is the process of manufacturing parts in large quantities. It is mostly used in occasions where the same parts are being produced thousands or millions of times at a time. One of the advantages of using injection moulding is the ability to produce in masses. After the initial cost has been paid, the prices per unit in the process are extremely low. The prices also drop further as more parts are produced. Some of the other advantages of the injection moulding process include:

It Produces Low Scraps and is Repeatable

When compared to other manufacturing processes like CNC machining, the rate at which scraps are produced in plastic injection moulding is very low. CNC is known to cut off substantial percentages off the original plastic block. However, injection moulding can also not be compared to processes like 3D printing which has even lower scraps. The waste produced in plastic injection moulding services come from four areas: the runners, the sprue, gate locations, ejector pins, and the runner system. The sprue is the part that guides molten plastic from the spout of the injection moulding machine to the injection moulding tool. The runner consists of channels that meet with the sprue.

Their function is to guide the molten plastic to cavities within the plastic injection moulding tool. The gate is the part that comes after the runners leading directly to the part cavity. After the injection process, the cooling plastic leaves solid pieces along with the sprue, runners, and gates, if not appropriately contained. After the first part has been created, the second and the rest that follows are practically identical from shape to part size. This is a brilliant characteristic, especially when trying to keep up with brand consistency as well as high volume production of parts.

What Is the Down Side To Injection Moulding?

The process has an upfront cost which is usually very high due to the testing, design, and tooling requirements. Now that the other parts look identical to the first one produced, you will need to make sure that you get the first part right when producing in high volumes. Otherwise, the process that follows including thousands of parts will be a mess. For the first part to be perfect, you will need to:

•    Design and the prototype the part itself to specification- The prototype is first designed on a 3D printer using a different material such as ABS plastic.


•    Design an injection unit tool for the initial production- This is required for generating 300-1000 prototypes with the production material.


•    Refine all surface finish in the injection moulding tool before mass production.

Injection moulding requires uniform wall thickness. For instance, if you were to cut a cross-section, you would realise that the wall thickness is about 2-3mm. This prevents uneven cooling and deformation of part shapes, their wall thickness, and strength. Some of the potentially negative aspects of injection moulding include:

High tooling cost and large lead times

Tooling is quite a huge process by itself and is only a phase in the whole moulding process. The high cost and time needed come about because you’ll first need to produce a prototyping part before producing the actual moulded part. After the prototype is made and perfected, you’ll now need to come up with a perfect mould tool that can produce duplicates in large volumes with zero error. As you can now see, getting a prototype right and moulding tool with fine details for mass production requires both time and money.

Difficult to make changes

These tools are typically made of steel, so making any changes to them is quite a hustle. In cases where you need plastic added to the tool, you can always make larger cavities by cutting away steel or aluminium depending on what the tools made of. If in your case you need plastic removed from the metal, then what you need to do is decrease the mould cavity size by adding metal to it.

Material Suitable for Injection Moulding

One of the most important factors to consider during injection moulding is the type of material used. These plastic materials directly affect the moulding manufacturing process and performance as well. For you to choose the right material, you have to consider its function and environment. Other factors to consider in thermoplastics are material strength, flexibility, durability as well as color and cost. Below is a list of the most commonly used materials:

Nylon

Due to its toughness and high melting temperature, nylon is mostly used to produce plastic products like gears and bearings. It is best known for resisting chemicals as well as tear and wear and is cost-effective.

Acrylic

This material is used to produce transparent parts like lighting equipment, window panes, and walls. Due to its tensile strength, it’s often used as an alternative to glass. It’s also scratch-resistant. One of the most common uses is to create food containers. This is as a result of its tasteless and odourless nature hence making it perfect for food preparation and storage.

Polyoxymethylene

Often used for making parts that would be made of metal, this material is used for the production of hardened plastic parts. Its chemical compound makes it very strong, rigid, and tough. Its common uses include making knife handles, gears and ball bearings.

Conclusion

What makes a material suitable for use in injection moulding machines or not depends on what is being manufactured. The materials used should meet property requirements as well as be resistant to the environment of the application. For instance, parts that are often used in the kitchen or as part of a moving mechanism would require the use of Polyoxymethylene due to extreme heat and clamping. Places that need lighting or translucent walls like public offices would mean that the material used for construction be made of acrylic material. There are many other considerations to make during the injection moulding process. It all depends on the purpose of the parts being produced. 

We’re Heading to TCT Show 2019

September 19, 2019

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We’re Heading to TCT Show 2019

We’re excited to announce that we’ll be traveling to Birmingham, UK to attend the annual TCT Show.

This event is particularly notable and relevant to our industry as it’s one of the very first tradeshows to directly address 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping. It’s been in existence for some twenty years, for a long time it was only one of the few events that you could attend and see 3D printing equipment in action.

With over 10,000 visitors yearly and well over 300 exhibitors, it is the one we are most excited about this year. The show features a number of hands-on activities, presentations and speeches. Most importantly TCT learning zones which allow industry leaders and practitioners to dive deeper into all aspects of digital manufacturing services that are available now and in the future.

It is important for us to meet face to face with companies who are interested in digital manufacturing services but maybe are not yet convinced. It is quite another level to understand on a practical level how digital manufacturing services are applied to a given business.

If you are thinking of attending the TCT Show UK 2019, and would like to learn more about how Geomiq’s digital manufacturing services can benefit your business, come by our booth B62 and one of our design engineers will give you a walkthrough our platform and the services we offer.

We are looking forward to this event, and if you happen to attend as well, we’ll be very pleased to meet up with you and discuss your project. Drop us a line at [email protected] and we can make arrangements. See you there!

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Aluminium Anodising Process and Benefits

Aluminium Anodising Process and Benefits

The core benefit of anodising aluminium alloys is that it improves its durability and wear resistance. Though it won’t provide everlasting protection against weathering, you will not have to incur the exaggerated maintenance cost. However,
September 19, 2019

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Everything You need to Know about Anodising

Anodising is a process that is used to convert a metallic surface into corrosion-resistant, durable, decorative, and anodic oxide finish. Aluminium alloy is the most suitable material for anodising. However, other metals such as titanium alloys and magnesium can be anodised.

The anodic oxide that is used in the process is retrieved from the aluminium substrate and only contains aluminium oxide. However, this oxide cannot be applied on surfaces like plating or painting; but is resistant to chipping since an aluminium substrate underlines it. Another feature of the substance is porosity. This particular feature allows it to be used for secondary processes such as sealing and colouring.

Why is Anodising Important?

Due to the facts mentioned above, it is accurate to mention that anodising process that can be employed to protect the surface of the metal from possible damages caused by abrasion. By anodising aluminium alloys, a protective coating of aluminium oxide is added, and it is resistant to rusts and other causes of wear and tear. Aluminium oxide is a durable, corrosion-resistant material. The electrochemical process also lets you colour the surface with dyes without the possibility of peeling and flaking.

Now let us go into the nitty-gritty of the benefits of anodising.

The core benefit of anodising aluminium alloys is that it improves its durability and wear resistance. Though it won’t provide everlasting protection against weathering, you will not have to incur the exaggerated maintenance cost. However, you will notice that anodised surfaces tend to pick up dirt and stains quite easily, but they are easy to clean using a piece of cloth or wool. Better still, you can do it using a mild detergent, and the surface will look as good as new.

Anodised surfaces can last up to 20 years before showing any sign of wear and tear. This is far much better than organic paints that peel off as soon as they get into contact with sharp and scratchy substances. Since anodised surfaces are far much harder than powder-coated surfaces, they are the best for areas with high traffic or even heavy equipment use where contacts are likely to happen. The surface will not easily take damages from contact, even when it is exposed to harsh chemicals.

Thankfully, the surface cannot be affected by the UV light, which is a common destroyer of many surfaces.

Key Advantages of Anodising Aluminium Alloys

– Corrosion resistance 

– Natural metallic anodised finish

– No risk of adhesion failure of the anodic film  

– No risk of surface finish fading

– No risk of chalking 

– No risk of filiform corrosion 

– Preservation of the original surface finish texture and design

– Optimal surface coverage  

– Anodic film is totally impermeable

– Exceptional abrasion resistance 

– Anodised Aluminium components are  100% recyclable

Are there Good and Bad Applications?

Yes, just like with any other product and application, there are wrong ways to anodise aluminium, and you should learn to avoid them at all cost. The main factors that must be considered in the process are the micron thickness and quality of the anodic element. Also, it is important to know that thinner coatings tend to provide minimum protection against destructive elements.

That said, the bottom line is that the higher the quality and the thicker the anodic material is, the better the protection it can provide against various damages. Aluminium products tend to be more susceptible to wear and tear, and the best way to ensure maximum protection is through the provision of high quality, thick anodic process.

What are the Downsides of Anodising?

While there are tremendous benefits linked with anodising, it still does not offer enough resistance to chemical damages. When exposed to corrosive substances for a long time, the surface of anodised material starts to break down. And when this starts to happen, you can lose the entire product.

This problem is mainly encountered in urban areas where there is a lot of chemical emission going on from active industrial activities. Most building materials in the urban centres tend to break down after long exposure of acidic chemicals.

Can Stainless Steel be Anodised?

Yes, though it does not have the kind of use that aluminium has, we can anodise stainless steel into different colours such as brown, black, white. However, compared to other substances such as titanium, stainless steel colours are not quite durable enough. This means that even when you manage to anodise stainless steel, you might not protect the surface long enough since it will peel and wear off faster compared to aluminium and titanium. If you want to make it more durable, there are special protective coatings that you might have to add to the mix. But that is a lengthy process which is unnecessary altogether.

 

If you are not sure whether you need soft anodising or hard anodising your aluminium, then you might want to contact an expert. It is essential that you protect the surface of your materials using the processes that guarantee longer effectiveness.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Industry Insight Hardware Roundup – September

Industry

CNC Machining Is changing the manufacturing industry…since 700 B.C. CNC technology is not as recent as you might think, the oldest machined part (a bowl) was discovered in Italy around 700 B.C made using a lathe like machine. By the 18th century attempts were made to automate various machining process. Today CNC Machining is ever-more enhancing manufacturing of tomorrow, it’s convenient, its versatility, high precision and wide selection of materials makes it appealing to rapid prototyping.

Moore’s Law of 3D Printing? – New Holographic 3D Printing can create object I seconds by printing a 3D shape all at the same time. How? Simply put 3 Laser beams overlap to define an objects geometry from 3 different directions, creating a 3D image suspended in a vat of photosensitive resin. The laser light stays on for just long enough to cure the shape excess resin is drain and what remains is a fully formed 3D shape. LLNL engineer Chris Spadaccini says this is the next generation of 3D Printing.

How Manufacturing Plants Can Prepare for Industry 4.0 – disconnectedness i.e. more efficient digital technologies. Think, the modern state of digitisation including more advanced computing solutions, cloud and remote computing, IoT and connected devices, and the adoption of AI and machine learning. Step by step process follows by first Focusing on Improving Processes which will help shape collaboration within your organisation, even with the necessary hardware and systems. That means investing in training and education, process automation, related hardware and maybe new tools or software. 

Tech Future

BIOLIFE4D, a Chicago startup has demonstrated the versatile applicability of 3D printing. Transforming every industry from space to manufacturing 3D Printing is now transforming Healthcare. Led by Chief Science Officer Dr. Ravi Birla, BIOLIFE4D achieved its successfully replicated a human heart at JLABS research facility in Houston. To print the heart BIOLIFE4D researchers create a bioink using specific composition of different extracellular matrix compounds that replicates the properties of a heart.

NASA Image: ISS056E073247 – ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst works on the Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification (MICS) experiment aboard the International Space Station. MICS is researching how cement reacts in space during the hardening process and may help engineers better understand its microstructure and material properties. Observations could improve cement processing techniques on Earth and lead to the design of safer, lightweight space habitats.)

Are we Edging closer to building man-made structures in space? The moon? Mars? Recent investigation on the International Space Station (ISS). Astronauts performed cement solidification in microgravity to see how it turned out. Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification (MICS). Full results of the investigation can be found here.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Takes 3D Printing for Rocket Engines to the Next Level – a California-based rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer, has announced successful hot-fire testing of its 3D-printed thrust chamber for the RL10 engine. It is the largest copper-alloy thrust chamber ever built with 3-D printing and successfully tested. The RL10 rocket engine has played a pivotal role in placing satellites of all types into the Earth’s orbit. Benefits of this technology include, Cost Savings due to it being faster and less labour-intensive & Higher Flexibility as it has fewer constraints on the size and shape of materials. The new chamber design reduces the time to manufacture from several months to just under one month, and the number of parts by 90 percent to just two. With 3D printing, also comes the ability to design and build advanced features that allow for improved heat transfer.

Events & Community

Events

​Come speak to our team at TCT2019, Booth # , 24-26 September 2019. The event for Design-to-Manufacture innovation, at the NEC Exhibition Centre Hall 3 &3A, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Sam Al-Mukhtar Speaking at Advanced Engineering 2019, 31st October 2019, 14:00pm. At the Manufacturing of the Future Session – Speaking about “Removing the pain of Cost Estimating and Quoting Jobs – for both Engineers and Manufacturers”.

Geomiq is organising London Industrial Designers/Engineers Meetup event in London. Location & Date TBD. Sign up to the Meetup group to get exclusive updates. 

Geomiq will be speaking at WebSummit 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. 

This Month

Apple Unveils the next Generation of iPhones

The iPhone 11 boosts chip performance by 20% with the new A13 processor. The new chip is built with a more power-efficient transistor technology, saving battery life. Among other hardware improvements the new iPhone features improved camera sensors. The new iPhones come in a Pro version and a standard version. Available from 20th  September.

Geomiq is proud to bring you this new series of Industry Insight. We would like to share with you the technologies, products and companies that inspire us! Working closely with some of the most innovative companies around the world is what get us out of bed everyday!

This is our first issue and we would like to hear your opinions. If you have an interesting story or exciting product you would like to share with us, get in touch at [email protected]

Rapid Prototyping in Manufacturing and Its Benefits

Rapid Prototyping in Manufacturing and Its Benefits

In this new technological dispensation, innovation has completely changed how brands and businesses work. For you to thrive in business, you must ensure you evolve around digital innovation. You also need to scale your internal venture like environments, as well as offer new and advanced products and services to your customers.
September 11, 2019

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In this new technological dispensation, innovation has completely changed how brands and businesses work. For you to thrive in business, you must ensure you evolve around digital innovation. You also need to scale your internal venture like environments, as well as offer new and advanced products and services to your customers. 

The traditional, now outdated discoveries development strategies are going through a shift that requires new manufacturing technologies that support sustained competitiveness. Today, startups are not the leaders in implementing the latest technologies as it used to be back in the day. The established businesses are quickly adopting modern methodologies in software development and design like prototyping. Today also, the established firms are quickly translating the innovative startup processes in their corporate structure. Going forward, we believe that they will capitalize on the startup’s untapped digital opportunities such as rapid prototyping in manufacturing, in material and processes, in product design, technologies, as well as the rapid development of innovative products and accelerate innovation. 

What is Rapid Prototyping?

Prototyping is the process of validating the possibilities that a product will be capable of solving the problem that is required to. A prototype seems to be real enough such that potential users can interact with it and give feedback. In case the feedback given by the user about the prototype is negative, the firm is saved considerable amounts of time and money to build a product or service that won’t perform in real sense. Positive feedback, on the other hand, shows that the product concept is on point and from there; and aids in the advanced product development. 

The term rapid, on the other hand, is used to mean the speed in which the prototype can be produced. Also, how fast the feedback can be collected and synthesized and also, how quickly the following iterations can go through the same process. Therefore there is a great need for teams to strike a balance between creating a prototype that looks near-real so that users can provide real feedbacks and reactions. 

DMLS – Direct Metal Laser Sintering​

The technology is useful in most  industries today and has a wide range of applications including the automotive industry, marine, aerospace and defense, robotics, energy, and consumer products.

Types of prototypes in product design

Prototypes are categorized based on the degree of accuracy needed. For instance, there is Fidelity. Also, they can be classified depending on the product development stage the technology is applied.

Fidelity types

Prototypes don’t have to look exactly like the final product and can vary widely based on what the designer wants to achieve from it. As stated, rapid prototypes are classified based on the accuracy needed. The degree of accuracy varies from low to high Fidelity in the products appearance, functionality, size, and user interface.

Low Fidelity Prototype

These are very simple, and they are produced very quickly for testing the boarder concept like cardboard mock-ups and paper sketches or consumer products.

High Fidelity prototypes

These appear and work exactly like the final product. They are used in industries where unmatched precision is required and the best use of 3D printing is of essence, e.g., in the automotive, robotics aerospace and defense industries since the production parts are cut precisely.

Selective Laser Sintering

This is an AM technique (additive technology) with the lasers the power source for sintering powdered materials such as polyamide or nylon. It aims the laser automatically at the points in space that are defined by a 3D model.

What are the benefits of using Rapid prototyping in Product design and development?

It is one of the challenges that most product designers face, being unable to make in-house management stuff, or their client to realize how the end product will look and feel. While today there are tremendous advancements in the 3D and CAD technologies, it still a daunting task to explain the design aspects through the digital models. Therefore one must prove it in the first place.

Rapid prototyping or additive manufacturing technology has come a long way, and today its gaining popularity among manufacturers and engineering designers. It remains to be a fast and accurate way of realizing the potential of a product. This is why firms no longer do not shy away from adopting rabid prototyping technologies when coming up with their new products. It brings a high fidelity from the conceptualized product when you judge against the conventional paper prototyping. Here are some of the benefits of this technology in product design and development.

Realise the design concept

This technology allows one to realise the concepts beyond just virtual visualisation, thus making one understand the looks and feel of a design. Therefore designers can forward their ideas and apply them in the design before finalisation. The end client who won’t take anything short of realistic product design is also provided with a proof of concept

Incorporates changes instantly

With a physical model ready, you can easily incorporate changes immediately by asking your customers for feedback. There are lots of iterations needed before you finalise the design. With every iterative process, the design is further improved, and this builds confidence among the designer and consumer.

Saves costs and time

Rapid prototyping service, in manufacturing, it is cost-effective and reduces the time spent in developing patterns, molds and also eliminates the cost of bringing in specialised tools. You will use the same printing equipment and CAD software to produce various geometries. There is less materials that goes to waste as selective laser melting is pretty much used.

In conventional paper prototyping, eg, CNC machining, the waste produced is significant, compared to rapid prototyping where it only prints only the material that’s needed to build a project.

Minimises design flaws

Additive manufacturing enables one to identify defects in the design before mass production. Materials used in additive manufacturing pretty much look like the properties and also the strength of the real product. This it is possible to execute a physical test easily. Faults and usability will be identified earlier, avoiding risks that may manifest later in the manufacturing process.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

The Benefits Of Online Manufacturing Services

The Benefits Of Online Manufacturing Services

Manufacturing is currently being shaken by the rapid, unstoppable onslaught of the fourth industrial revolution. The integrated, digital fabrication processes outlined by the Industry 4.0 initiative are universally connecting through the IoT (Internet of Things) improving industrial procedures beyond recognition.

Manufacturing is currently being shaken by the rapid, unstoppable onslaught of the fourth industrial revolution. The integrated, digital fabrication processes outlined by the Industry 4.0 initiative are universally connecting through the IoT (Internet of Things) improving industrial procedures beyond recognition.

Outstanding Efficiency

The digitalisation brought about by Industry 4.0 and IoT technology is enabling factories to experience unparalleled efficiency by using intelligent automation procedures. An original concept can be rapidly developed, tested, manufactured and delivered in an incredibly short timeframe. Data collection from printed sensors built into machinery is being used to gather information on all aspects of industrial techniques enabling further enhancement of improved productivity. Streamlined initiatives regarding automated replenishment of raw materials and stock combined with detailed analytics are allowing industrial processes to become highly efficient. Being able to instantly discover where improvements can be made enables managers to organise the time and energy of employees to the best advantage resulting in cost-effective efficiency.

Integrated Technological Tracking

Products manufactured digitally benefit from the intelligent tracking offered by smart labels and printed sensors. These can be customised to a client’s individual requirements and installed during various production techniques. Initially used for data collection during manufacture these incredibly thin sensors transmit information using NFC (Near Field Communication) and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). Data is transmitted through Bluetooth wireless technology to desktops, mobiles and wristwatch devices. Intelligent tracking enables products to be reliably and accurately monitored while in storage or transportation. It also eliminates the likelihood of counterfeit goods being circulated. The introduction of sensor-driven smart packaging has benefits such as achieving ambient temperature control and complete traceability during delivery.

Geomiq Industry 4.0 Digital manufacturing Advantages of Iot

Increased Innovation and Investment

Factories that have already taken steps to become fully digitalised are realising the flexibility and efficiency to be gained. One of the greatest benefits is in the early stages of designing a new product. Sophisticated three-dimensional imaging allows designs to be created using virtual reality technology. A product can be planned and developed simultaneously. Flaws in a virtual prototype can be detected before the decision is taken to manufacture. Three-dimensional modelling has had an enormous impact on investment. Entrepreneurs can confidently develop an innovative new product without the costs and delays that have always been inherent in linear production techniques. Through remote Bluetooth connectivity data can be transmitted directly to a CNC machine without the need for separate programming. It enables innovative designs with increased geometric complexity to be manufactured in a variety of metals or plastic. The use of a Bluetooth CNC machine results in components with critical surface finishing and an unsurpassed accuracy.

Cost-Effective On-Demand Production

Switching to a digital production system has positive economic benefits. Goods no longer need to be produced in high quantities followed by the expense of storing them in warehouses. Digital designs interconnecting with advanced tooling options are ideal for the manufacture of on-demand (MOD) products. Small batches of components can be cost-effectively manufactured whenever they are required. Digitalised injection moulding techniques can be used for a range of components in various industries including aerospace, construction and automotive. These goods are typically required in high volume rates with strict deadlines. Injection moulding is an ideal procedure for large orders but by using the flexibility of on-demand digitalised procedures, components can be economically produced with increased speed and efficiency.

Sheet Metal and 3D Printing

Components manufactured from sheet metal can be rapidly produced by using digitalised techniques. Blanks from two-dimensional designs are first formed by computerised laser-cutting techniques using either chemical etching or water jet sprays. Three-dimensional components are created once the blanks are pressed into shape. Digitalisation enables the whole process to be conducted at speed from beginning to end, increasing productivity while reducing costs. Direct 3D printing is suitable for a range of metals including stainless steel in a process that has a fast turnover with a reduced cost. Other techniques such as stereolithography (SLA) enables the rapid processing of master patterns, prototypes and fabrications with a snap-fit assembly. Selective laser sintering (SLS) is ideal for the rapid development and testing of prototypes and the manufacture of components with a low volume. Throughout the process of using digitalisation to manufacture goods, productivity is fast, efficient and cost-effective.

Shared Information and Technology

A major benefit of digitalised online services in the manufacture of a wide range of components is the opportunity for sharing knowledge. Flaws within a design can be accessed remotely by experienced staff in another department or company in a different location. Such instant problem solving saves time and money enabling a project to progress with streamlined efficiency. Machinery and equipment designed specifically for digitalisation and Bluetooth connectivity are uniformly manufactured. Centralisation of stored analytical data, the interchangeable nature of spare parts and flexible running procedures significantly reduces costs. The repair or upgrading of a system is quick and simple. When employees relocate, they can immediately begin using machinery they are already familiar with resulting in streamlined productivity.

Progressive Development

As networks of digitalised machines and equipment interact with each other the opportunity for progress and development is vast. Streamlined production techniques benefit from collaboration at every stage. A digital system is extremely responsive to its surroundings due to the gathering of highly detailed analytics. Such data is continuously processed warning of potential difficulties and even providing solutions before they are encountered. With a network of shared knowledge throughout the industry there is instant access to records concerning fabrication techniques. the result is an improved performance in every area of production. Digitalisation increases compatibility, quality control and compliance with regulations. The streamlining of production techniques throughout all areas of industry create a reassuring environment for customers and factory managers.

Futuristic Technology

The futuristic development of Industry 4.0 and the IoT is a green technology relying on digitally transmitted instructions and improved production techniques. The speed at which innovative designs can be perfected by using three-dimensional imaging to highlight flaws is revolutionising the manufacture of components. Prototypes can be developed at cost-effective prices within a much shorter time-frame than using the techniques of a previous generation of machinery. Investment in designing innovative new products is being encouraged by a combination of reduced costs and the certainty of increased productivity. Digital manufacturing promises streamlined efficiency across a wide range of equipment including futuristic CNC machines and techniques such as 3D printing. The reliability of intelligent tracking through smart labels adds to the efficiency of digitalisation. The reduced costs involved in developing products through advanced digital manufacturing are proving to have many benefits. The cost of initial investment is balanced against futuristic techniques in creating flawless designs and products that are of superb quality. The sudden impact of the fourth industrial revolution is already transforming the factories that have been eager to implement its exciting capabilities. Businesses that have adapted to the new technology are discovering the limitless opportunities and benefits of online fabrication and machining services through increased efficiency and reduced costs.