J-CAD Inc. has been a global leader in 3D printing long before 3D printing became a sensational manufacturing process. We have been doing this since 2006. Let us help you refine your design and print your product. Contact us today for a quote.

3D Printing is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world and is shaping the future of manufacturing! 3D printing has revolutionized the rapid prototyping process and this is just the beginning.

What used to be very complex to manufacture using conventional methods (machining, welding, casting, molding etc.) is now easily achievable, as 3D printing has no limitations.

3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates 3D objects from a digital model. The object is created by laying down successive layers of material. It is unlike any other manufacturing processes such as drilling, cutting, molding etc. that depend on material removal for manufacturing.

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3D printing and prototyping process and services

3D printing as commonly practised is based on stereolithography, which is a laser-based process that works with polymer resins that react with a laser beam to cure and form a solid.

It has become a very precise and accurate process having print accuracy in the thousandths of an inch (0.001″). The polymer resin is contained in a vat that is held by a movable structure.

The laser beam is then directed in the X-Y axes across the resin. The resin hardens precisely where the laser beam hits during the motion. After every layer is complete, the vat is moved to a location where it adds another layer of resin in the Z- axis. This process is repeated until the object is complete.

The motion information of the laser is supplied to the 3D printer by the STL file. STL file format is the primary file format for 3D printing. There is, therefore, need to convert whichever file format of the numerous 3D CAD software file types into STL format so that you can print out your object.

Some 3D CAD software products are capable of converting their file formats to STL format, but some of them are not able to. J – CAD Inc. can convert your files into STL and create your 3D files for 3D printing.

Listen to our CEO Jason discussing 3D printing with Jeff from 3D Masterminds:

 

STL and SLA Files for 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping

Parts can be printed at an affordable price allowing anyone’s idea to become a real working prototype. All you need to do is hire an experienced CAD designer such as J – CAD Inc. to create the 3D file that the 3D printer needs.

This is typically in the form of an STL file. Once the STL file is finalized, we send that file to the 3D printer and your part is made in a few hours.

We can ship your part globally, in the material and color you specify. Typical turnaround time from calling J – CAD Inc. to receiving your part is about a week. Much faster than pre-3D printing where it took months to design & manufacture a prototype!

3D Printing Materials

3D printers can print in almost any material including many different kinds of plastic in full color, gold, silver, steel, platinum, ceramic, wax, brass, bronze among others.

Below are some examples of materials JCAD uses for printing prototypes.

Acrylic Plastic

Our ProJet 3500 prints in white or translucent resin with properties similar to acrylic plastic.

This machine can print with a resolution as small as 16 micron and produces strong parts ideal for functional prototyping or for making detailed silicone molds. Print bed size: 298 x 185 x 203 mm.

This is also called ‘multi-jet modelling’ – the resin is UV cured like SLA but instead of a tank of liquid plastic it’s deposited by a print head much like a normal 2D printer. Additionally, it uses wax as a support material so we just put it in an oven followed by a de-greaser to finish the parts.

ABS Plastic (High Precision)

The ProJet 6000 uses a laser to cure a clear or black resin which has properties similar to ABS plastic (very standard plastic). The resolution on this machine is also excellent and the surface finish is close to that achievable through injection molding. Print bed size: 250 x 250 x 250 mm.

Gypsum Powder

The ProJet 660 produces full-color models from a gypsum powder – we use this for producing models of people and animals as well as architectural models or other parts that need to be printed in full color.

Colored and ABS Plastic

We also have a ProJet 4500 machine that can print full color on a plastic material. Print bed size: 254 x 381 x 203 mm.

Our Fortus FDM machines print directly in ABS plastic and are ideal for functional industrial parts. These are older machines so the surface finish features the vertical stepping typical of 3D printing but the parts are very strong. Print bed size: 355 x 254 x 254 mm. Available colors are black/white/grey/red/blue/ivory.

We can even print in flexible rubber!

We recently bought a 3D printer that can print in flexible rubber and in different shore hardness durometers which is ideal for prototyping flexible parts! With this machine, we can 3D print in very high accuracy in a wide range of flexible rubbers, from soft as a “gummy bear” to the hardness of a tire. See the chart below to help you select the shore hardness that best matches your project requirements.

Below are some innovative uses of 3D printing

A designer is using 3D-printed technology to build prosthetic hands that could make kids look and feel like superheroes.

Pat Starace, an animator and mechanical designer has developed an Iron Man-inspired prosthetic hand with voice control and laser beam-like capabilities.

A company by name Continuum located in NYC is revolutionizing the fashion industry using 3D printing technology. The owner Mary Huang, sees a future where you can either purchase your shoes from the company or download the 3D file and print them yourself from home, assuming you own a 3D printer…

Learn More About Rapid Prototyping Methodology

There are two kinds of rapid prototyping models, SRPs and ARPs, SRP stands for Subtractive Rapid Prototyping, and its function is to mill layers off of the material, shaping it into the model. ARP stands for Additive Rapid Prototyping, but you already know it as 3D printing.

To develop a rapid prototype, both methods begin with the preparation of the geometrical data of the model through a CAD workstation, which is then split into layers on 2D (STL) drawings that are interpreted by the CNC machine that’s going to craft the model.

After defining the input design, it just requires giving the machine the necessary motion control trajectories to craft the product, setting up and calibrating the machine, then letting the magic happen.
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In the SRP’s case, this geometric data must come from a model that encloses a finite volume and it could be hard to achieve some designs, because of the nature of the method.When doing 3D printing though, explained in a few words, your product materializes from a vat filled with your favorite photopolymer liquid.

The computer-controlled optical scanning system directs a laser beam to solidify sections of the photopolymer, adding layers of the liquid and solidifying it, building the part from the bottom up, until the product is completed.
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