Meet Tom Meeks. A teacher, writer, video documentary and news producer, animator, video software designer, consumer software designer, video game marketer, photographer, blogger, avid fan of 3D Printing technology, struggling fish-out-of-water 3D designer, a firm believer in community building and a true Cubify fan.
Cubify Fans Blog
His Cubify Fans Blog is a great source for every Cubify / Cube user. It has the latest news, tips, tricks and guest posts from other Cube users. The latest guest post is from mechanical engineer Chris Crowley, owner of Table Mountain Innovation, a Mechanical Engineering consultancy specializing in medical equipment design.
Crowley describes how his Cube has changed his daily workflow, saying:
“All of my clients are extremely impressed by the fact that they get “free access” to a 3D printer when they hire me for mechanical engineering. You see… I don’t charge any additional fees to 3D print parts from my Cube. I am not acting as a “service bureau” for my clients. Just as I might make a prototype with a rough cardboard cutout, with my milling machine, or with my silicone casting process…. I can now simply print prototype designs on my Cube and test them with my clients.
I offer this service because the material cost is so low. Of course, I charge professional hourly fees for the concept, design, and CAD work, but now the printing comes “free”.
The results are simple…. my product designs are better. My design cycle is much shorter. The costs to the client are lower. We do more prototyping in less time.”
Crowley also describes a few use cases. The first one is about a replacement spindle for a vinyl printer. Crowley:
“A client needed a “thumb-sized” spindle to replace a worn part on a very expensive production vinyl printer. The OEM spindle was so worn that it would occasionally DROP a 100+ pound spool of vinyl on the floor during a print job. They wrapped it in masking tape and rubber cement. When that didn’t work, the client used an old piece of sprinkler pipe, which caused the spool to jam. HP wants $900 for this part – it is only purchasable with a larger assembly. I reverse engineered the spindle and printed 3 replacements all in an afternoon. Client VERY happy!”
We’ve received an email from Chris Crowley as an addition to the story above. He says:
“The change for engineers will be tremendous in the next few years… instead of waiting until “near the end” of a project to request an expensive stereolith from a service bureau, I can now print several prototypes at the beginning of a project just to test different ideas.
Usually the stereolith is used as a “final check” before committing to an expensive injection mold, but this can be a problem also, because you are able to make features in a 3D Printed / Stereolith part that cannot be replicated in an injection mold.”