If you have seen us at any of the several manufacturing trade shows we attend each year, you may have noticed the 3D printed “giveaways” we offer to our visitors as a means to demonstrate the capabilities of our technologies.
This year, our President and CEO, Rob Hassold, came up with an idea for a 3D printed ASA enclosed bottle opener for giveaways. These would nicely show off how a metal piece can be encapsulated in a part printed by fused deposition modeling.
We knew this giveaway would pose a greater challenge than the hex bottles and shooter toys that we’ve been known to have, so we got started right away working on a design.
First, we took careful consideration to measure the exact dimensions of the bottle openers we purchased.
Using these dimensions, we designed a cavity exactly the size of the bottle opener into our model of the giveaway. In a normal 3D printed part, a cavity like this would fill up with support material.
Using the Insight software for a Fortus production printer, we are able to delete these layers of support and insert a pause in the build just before the layer where the cavity will close off.
While the machine is paused we inserted the bottle opener, which is coated with a plastic solvent for adhesion, into the cavity. When designed perfectly, the bottle opener will be completely flush with the layer at the pause.
We ran a few samples, tweaking the design with each iteration, to ensure that the opener fit snugly inside the cavity of the model. Once we knew the cavity was the perfect size, we tried out a few design ideas for the enclosure, until we decided on a design that was both ergonomically and aesthetically pleasing.
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