by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
FCW : June 15, 2016
could certainly benefit from fabrication capabilities to help them fulfill their missions. For example: The Food and Drug Administration builds and tests medical device prototypes as well as the portions of the human skeleton to which they might be applied. The U.S. Mint machines coins, including its yearly program of commemorative items, which are produced in small quantities than ordinary currency. The Mint developed a highly complex piece several years ago—baseball celebration coins in the shape of a partial sphere. The National Transportation Safety Board recreates mass transit accidents and regularly tests parts for thermal or compression effects. The Environmental Protection Agency designs small sensors to detect air or water contaminants. It can deploy these sensors to citizens’ for field measurement under its citizen science program. The Government Publishing Office, while mostly a digital organization nowadays, still manufactures certain books and other materials. In some cases, it must still keep antique equipment running with spare parts. The list of government agencies that could benefit from this technology goes on. Scientific and research-oriented agencies such as the National Institute of Standard and Technology and the National Institutes of Health work in nearly countless disciplines requiring three-dimensional objects made to precise specifications. It’s easy to see how the efficiencies and capabilities of 3D printing could be central to helping a federal agency carry out its mission. Benefits of 3D printing Agencies considering an investment in 3D printing must of course first build a business case. This begins with some of the advantages of this technology. Chief among them is prototyping speed. Organizations regularly report prototype components can typically take a week for fabrication. Now that can be completed within hours. And there’s no delay in getting it installed for testing. If some rework or design alteration is required, that can be done immediately, whereas farming it out would mean additional time and expense. In some cases, even for volumes as small as an average of two per month, prototype costs drop 73 percent when done in-house versus with 3D printing. Federal agencies frequently need things in a hurry when responding to disasters, military exigencies, or program deadlines. A mantra for agile management and software development is “fail fast.” 3D printing can help expedite any revisions a prototype may require before moving to the next step in production. Consistent with rapid prototyping, 3D printing encourages continuous improvement in project design or materials. This is one way in which 3D printing squeezes out time and cost. The faster first prototype also helps ensure lower costs when you move to volume production. The project team can fine- tune and verify designs before making costly molds or dies. Some DOD agencies find they can accomplish training exercises in simulated environments using 3D parts formed inexpensively in-house. This saves expensive or scarce production pieces for the field. Still another advantage of in-house 3D printing is greater assurance of confidentiality. This is one reason NASA makes its own 3D prototypes. It uses fused deposition modeling, or FDM, technology with production-grade thermoplastics. 3D Printing Options Before purchasing a 3D printer, it’s useful to understand the basic types of 3D printers. These include: FDM: This process builds parts in layers using heat and extrusion. PolyJet: This process resembles ink-jet printing in that it squirts liquid material onto a tray, where it instantly hardens under a UV light. Stereolithography: This builds parts by applying ultraviolet lasers to harden thin layers of light-sensitive resins. Laser sintering: This is useful for making intricate parts by applying a powerful laser to powdered thermoplastics. The printers themselves may be classified according to capacity. Industry leader Stratasys offers an array of 3D printing devices. Its Idea Series are best suited for small teams needing to develop parts in low volume and at low cost. Its Design Series is best suited to prototyping with fast turnaround. The Production Series, as the name implies, are designed for factory production volumes. Each series consists of several models, depending on anticipated parts size and production volume. At the top of the line, the Stratasys J750 handles multiple materials in full color, and up to nearly 8x15x20 inches in size. Stratasys maintains a worldwide network of dealers and resellers. Many of those have federal experience and stand ready to help any government agency modernize with the capabilities and benefits of 3D printing. ExEcutivE insights: 3D Printing SPONSORED CONTENT
May 30, 2016
June 30, 2016