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Key Takeaways From The Design 2 Parts Expo May 2, 2017

Author: Akeem Spencer

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6 minutes

Hey guys, So I wanted to give you my thoughts and fan-favorites from the Design 2 Parts expo held outside of the city of Philidelaphi in Oaks PA. While I myself may not be involved in a production/facility environment, my business is beginning to flourish a tad bit and I wanted to see the 3D printer inventors & hackers who are mastering the art of independent plastic extrusion parts for the hobbyists like myself. Because of my prior experience as Manufacturing Engineer, I had to stop at some of the other professional experts' booths who were showcasing OEM products. These services of the products included: - CAD/CAM Software - CAD Design Services - Gaskets, Springs, Retaining Rings, & Wave Springs - Plastic Parts & Components - Rubber Molding - Fabricators The expo center was a two-day event so I decided to stick with Thursday afternoon's session. I had my engineering badge and I highlighted a list of booths I had to visit, making 'disruption' on the Mid-Atlantic tech sphere. The direction of rows and booth numbers were out of chronological order, but I was able to target the companies I circled in my directory listing. ## Plastics & Components ---------- <br> <br> I visited Fisher tech's platform and I was blown away by a number of complex PLA, ABS, ASA, & nylon materials they can composite with the floor model 3D printer. The demo unit (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong), was the Stratasys F170 fused deposition modeling 3D Printer. One of the reps, Lisa Hannon, showed me the array of molded parts they can smoothly mold from their new deposition machine. The more complex parts had me stunned and I'm sorry I don't have enough pictures of the pieces which were fabricated (it may be due to the fact of trademark and proprietary materials on the floor, but oh well it's 2017, people have camera phones these days). The products ranged from stiff plastic pieces to flexible elastomers on the keyring. The bulky, but rapidly quick turnover machine can automate gas pedals to a/c rotating ventilation fans that are actually streamlined into production for the Boeing 777 aircraft jets in the fuselage. Stratasys' own Fisher UniTech is trailblazing as it looks to become an OEM seller to Siemens and Ford Motors. ## Springs & Things ---------- <br> <br> For the complexity and challenges of finding a valuable vendor for fasteners, Smalley is doing their thing. I see the company heavily advertised on Machine Design & NASA print publications, so I had to stop by the booth. They handed out to the buyers and engineers a bag of goodies and here are some of the pieces below: ![5pics][1] <br> <br> Above you can see some snapshots of the different varieties of coils that Smalley manufactures. For instance, some of the drive shafts for linear instruments require a retainer ring to keep the bearings centered and unable to shift during angular torque momentum. Below is a video showing some ways to insert bearings into the hollow area of the shaft: <br> <br> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3h0IPS_zkhQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> The company is highly standardized when in comes to the various spring locks they fabricate and I urge anyone who's in the manufacturing environment to check out [Smalley Spring Locks][2] &#xae; own Spirolox retaining ring that gives conformance to any designer working in critical situations for advanced difficult enclosures for components huddled together in tight spaces. <br> <br> ## Adhesives ---------- <br> <br> Paratronix is like a breath of fresh air for parts with smooth finishes and highly classified silk-like parts developed for engineers. Paratronix develops adhesives and has been in the coating services business for 35 plus years. The pieces were odd yet practical, with some of the materials extremely smooth and colorful. If those of you have a hard time picturing what Paralyne n material is applied to, visit this [website][3]. These benzene &#x232c; classes are used in every functional organization, from the military, medical, and electronics industries. The chlorine branch gives the electrical properties and physical properties and produces a low gas permeability constant. The corrosion index also is low due to its unique structure. Paratronix also sells Paratronix V494 & H1092 model Parylene Conformal Coating Systems. These systems can complete cover electronic components such as ferrites, magnets, RFID Tags, O-Rings, & ceramics. Apologies for the lack of visuals, but check them out online for quote estimates for your design. ## **The Favorite Supplier Is......** ---------- <br> <br> This company represents the primal opportunity of exposure, material development, brick & mortar hustling, & independence. Ultimaker-sponsored "Printed-Solid.com" was giving a demonstration of wheel-plastic development on the Ultimaker 3 printer. The cost and maintenance are flexible for designers & AutoCAD designers so you don't have to bend the budget. This 25-pound machine is highly-favored across the UK all the way to Bangkok, Thailand. Here's a video underneath of the technological exposure in the UK at Imperial College in London. A few of the artists use the additive manufacturing printers for their own compositions and work for the prototype to exhibit to the judges. Try and see if you can spot the printers on some of the workbenches below: <br> <br> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fB53-pcwPNQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> The CAD software to produce the parts have a very, very low learning curve and most of the documentation is free and open-sourced on GitHub. Check out the REPO called [CURA][4], which is always discussed in the issues tab and members can easily send commit changes without the extensive hassle of having to sign release forms for merges to occur(I think it's under the APACHE 2 license so you're free to hack away). ## **Epilogue & Observations** I loved every minute of being able to see the rising talents in the STEM field. The only issue I had at the forum was the frequent barrage of sales personnel and the informal "QR" scan to exchange contact information between reps. Also, there is a clear lack of diversity within the industries & I know my social media atmosphere is made up of brilliant, young entrepreneurs. So if you're unemployed or seeking an opportunity to utilize your B.S., come join us and use your technical acumen to make a mark on this growing and ever-changing industry. With the New York tax-rate dropping to historic lows, more employers are realizing how vital it is to assemble and build close to the East coast mecca. You also have to take into account new federal initiatives being placed into Congress like the Trump-Proposed "By Americans for Americans". It's a great opportunity to remove the rust off your calipers and get back to manufacturing and patenting some work you contrived. I'll definitely will see myself going next year. Thank you for reading my post. Akeem Spencer [1]: /media/spring_collage.JPG [2]: http://www.smalley.com/retaining-rings/spirolox [3]: http://www.paryleneengineering.com/why_use_parylene.htm [4]: https://github.com/Ultimaker/Cura

About The Author



Akeem Spencer is the owner, manager, and architect behind Spencer Tech Consulting. You can catch him at @UUID_Akeem or find him on LinkedIn @ Akeem Spencer. My hobbies include running, active boxing training intervals such as Shaun T Insanity Workouts, and giving it the best I've got in 2018 onwards, with projects both virtual and physical.