Project 3 is about designing something and eventually making that product a reality. We were tasked on creating sketches for three different products and eventually manufacture them with the tools we had available to us. A huge part of this project was to understand what Design for Manufacturing is and how we would apply it to this project.
A huge part of this project was to understand what Design for Manufacturing is and how we would apply it to this project. DFM is the process of designing products in order to produce the products as efficiently as possible as well as ensuring that the product itself does what it is designed to do. It's one thing to actually design something, but it's another matter to have the product function when you actually manufacture it.
Within this project there was two types of manufacturing processes that we used to create our products. The first was additive manufacturing also known as 3D printing. This process creates products by printing them layer by layer through a computer controlled extruder or chained together by ultraviolet light. The two types are known as FDM and SLA. While they are both used in 3D printing, they are still very different from one another. The other type of manufacturing is subtractive, which involves creating products by cutting away material from a solid block of material.
In project 3, we had 4 total machines that were available to us. Two of the four machines are 3D printers while the other two are a CNC milling machine and a laser cutter respectively. For the 3D printers we had the Makerbot Replicator Gen. 5 and the Form2. The Makerbot is the FDM 3D printer which utilizes an extruder and makes the prints layer by layer. The Form2 is a SLA 3D printer which uses resin and ultraviolet light to create its prints. The CNC milling machine is called the SRM-20 which uses a drill bit to shave off wood from a block layer the desired cut is achieved. The laser cutter is the Versalaser 4.60, which uses a CO2 laser to cut wood and make engraving or etchings of our choice.
The DFM for each machine is different from one another due to the different ways they create the desired product. In regards to the 3D printers, there is much room for potential. Compared to other forms of manufacturing additive manufacturing allows for the design and creation of products that have not been possible before. 3D printers are able to create shapes that would have been difficult to create with other forms of manufacturing. With 3D printers you have the ability to design things with the knowledge in mind that it will be built from the bottom up. One thing to consider when designing a 3D print is that it will likely need supports when printed. As well as how much filament will be necessary to create something that you have designed. Volume is also extremely important when considering something to print since it will take much longer to print. This considerations are important when designing a product with 3D printing in mind.
In regards to the SRM-20 it uses subtractive manufacturing which has you create a product about cutting away material from a solid block of material in order to get the desired product the individual has designed. Unlike 3D printers, volume isn't as much as an issue since you will be cutting away from the material. When designing for the SRM-20 you need to be aware of the size of the drill bit as some parts of the drawings you create may be to small for it to cut or shave off correctly which may cause a flaw in the product. When considering a design, you must incorporate the material you are using as it may be impossible to drill into. Also, accuracy will be limited due to all the vibrations that occur due to all the moving parts in the machine. Precision should not be your priority when considering the use of this machine for your product.
The final machine is the VersaLaser 4.60 and its DFM. It uses a C02 laser which has multiple functions. With this laser cutter you are able to cut, etch, and engrave on wood. It should be noted that any designs that need metal to be cut will not be viable as the laser will just reflect off the metal. Using the laser to cut thick pieces of wood is not recommended as there are better machines to do so and it could cause unwanted problems. A massive benefit in using the laser cutter is it's precision. Due to the laser's small spot size it's able to due very detailed cuts and etches on the wood. There is less moving parts in this machine than the others so if your design intent is to create something that must be accurate this is the machine would want for the precision details that you made need for your product design.