Barbara Miller-Webb


Recent posts by Barbara Miller-Webb

3 min read

Struggling to improve your innovation around manufacturing and 3D printing?

By Barbara Miller-Webb on Dec 16, 2020 9:47:53 AM

"The pain of Change could be LESS than the pain of NOT changing"

It's often not easy to change − whether it is a personal change or business change. I work with customers and often the path of least resistance is to stay status quo − not implement any changes or new processes because often it's perceived as the path of least resistance. I hear "We have done it this way for years and it works" but does it?  Often if you step back and analyze your areas of PAIN, the steps to address those challenges are often times easier than not changing. You can relate to this concept on a personal level if you think of eating healthy − or at least I can relate.  Often the initial change in diet is challenging − you don't like the food options − you miss eating past favorite foods and often the easiest thing to do is NOT change.  So often we are not determined to see the change through and give up.  The end result, we gain a few pounds and are not as healthy.  As opposed to going through the pain − changing our diet − and in the end having a healthier self!  The change seemed hard but easier than the bad habits leading up to issues later that are even more difficult to address than the current situation.

So how does this relate to 3D Print/Additive Manufacturing?  Often I work with clients that have a difficult time stepping back and looking at their overall processes and addressing the changes needed to avoid larger pains in the future.  Like eating right − they hear 3D printing is the future but think it does not apply to them.  I can tell you first hand the organizations that challenge themselves to be more innovative and focus in process change become class leading.  This ability to take on short term pain for long term gain makes them industry leaders − they look at any and all technologies to sustain continual improvements.  Needless to say their commitment to process change makes them industry leaders.  Ever look around and wonder how your competitors have implemented a change that you know gave them an advantage? Commitment to process improvement no matter how disruptive it may initially have been.

Let me get back to how you should look to see if 3D print may address some of your current or long term pains.  It starts internally to truly understand your current challenges and be honest within your organization.  The next step is to find a trusted partner you can be vulnerable with and work to outline/map a future to address those pains.  This of course is easier said than done − need I bring up dieting again?

As an example on how I personally work to be a trusted partner, I work with customers to understand their specific pains within their existing manufacturing process and then determine (together) if additive manufacturing or 3D printing can bring value to addressing their challenges.  I need to be candid often when there is no solution available − thus you need trust that a partner isn't just trying to sell you things.  My clients also need to trust in the process and be candid with themselves on the changes they need to make.  Many companies fail to recognize that change is a process that makes improvements to the organization, instead they ignore the problems/pains and continue to do the same thing over and over again.

If together we can't find a compelling reason/need to change the current process, or a personal impact, the change will not happen in the company.  We are conditioned to avoid pain and discomfort.  There's always adversity, fear, uncomfortable sensations, problems, distractions and so on.  We need to address the pain together...

How can trusted partners help customers discover the compelling reason?  The following are a few questions that I ask to help discover their compelling reason and you should make sure your vendor is asking you:

  1. What are your current biggest challenges in your manufacturing processes?
  2. Can you be more specific? Give me an example?
  3. How long has that been a problem?
  4. What have you tried to do about that?
  5. How much do you think that has cost you?
  6. How do you feel about that?
  7. Have you given up trying to deal with the problem?

Will the change you are considering:

  1. Speed up your time to market with your products?
  2. Cut costs in you manufacturing?
  3. Reduce your manufacturing downtime with on demand production?

Change will only happen when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.  I encourage you to take a step back from the whirlwind and really look at what current pains that are worth addressing.

My last note, check out Mark Blumreiter's blog 22 Ways Manufacturers are using 3D print to see if his outline sparks any ideas on areas 3D print can address your pains.

Even if we can't help you I am always up for great business discussions so don't hesitate to reach out if you want to chat on pain.

Topics: 3D Printing
2 min read

Overview of 3D Systems MJP Materials Families

By Barbara Miller-Webb on Nov 18, 2020 3:15:18 PM

My work involves working with customers and their application specific needs and trying to determine which materials on the 2500Plus Multi-jet printer are best for specific use cases.  Many once-valid opinions about additive materials are now myths.

The MJP 2500Plus now expands to 10 materials: five rigid class, two engineering grade, two elastomeric and one specialty for high temps.  VisiJet® M2 MultiJet Printing materials are for functional precision plastic and elastomeric parts. The rigid materials offer watertightness for evaluation of fluid flow performance.  Following are highlights and use cases for some of the materials:

VisiJet Armor is a tough, ABS-like impact resistant material.

  • Impact-resistant
  • ABS-like for snaps & drilling, jigs and fixtures, patterns and molds
  • World-class clear finish

VisiJet Rigid Grey

  • Primer Gray finish = exceptional feature detail viewing
  • Simple visual modeling applications
  • Medical Applications

VisiJet ProFlex

  • Durable, Polypropylene-like, High Impact Material
  • Capable of creating living hinge parts with multiple full actuations
  • Exceptional clarity
  • Ideal for applications requiring deformable plastic

VisiJet Rigid M2R-CL and WT; VisiJet CR-CL and WT materials are bio-compatible

USP Class VI - Rigid materials for the ProJet MJP 2500 and 5600 have passed USP Class VI biocompatibility certification.

  • Short term contact with human skin (30 days)
  • Mucosal-membrane (24 hrs)

ISO 10993 - Rigid materials for the ProJet MJP 2500 have passed the following testing criteria:

  • ISO 10993-5 - Cytotoxicity
  • ISO 10993-10 Sensitization Maximization Irritation
  • ISO 10993-10 Intracutaneous Reactivity

VisiJet M2S-HT90

  • Heat resistance with high heat deflection temperature at 90°C
  • Excellent humidity/moisture resistance
  • Rigid and transparent
  • Biocompatible
  • Molds and dies for rapid tooling applications

  -Under-the-hood components
  -Heated fluids and gasses flow analysis
  -Electronics enclosures/cases

  • Medical applications

For a quick look, 3D Systems also created an eBook that provides an overview of the 2500Plus materials portfolio.  In addition to features and material properties, the eBook (http://info.mastergraphics.com/3d-systems-rapid-prototyping-ebook) provides guidance on how to assess additive materials, and what you should be looking for.  
Download the eBook to learn:

  • When to prototype, why and how to achieve faster time to market
  • How to reduce development cycles, lead-time and engineering effort
  • Prototyping for agile manufacturing, and key questions to ask before getting started 
  • How to use CAD data for design verification and types of prototyping
  • 3D printing technologies for rapid prototyping and choosing the best solution
Topics: 3D Printing
1 min read

How much could my business save?

By Barbara Miller-Webb on Nov 16, 2020 9:20:10 AM

Here's a question we're often asked:

"How much could my business save with 3D printing?"

That can vary depending on the application/need your company would be using 3D printing.  But a great place to start is by looking at other companies and how they have successfully achieved large ROI's with additive manufacturing.

  • Figure 4 Standalone enables contract manufacturer to exceed customer expectations with injection-molded quality 3D printed parts. Click here to read case study.

  • True-to-CAD accuracy and quick 3D printing speeds of 3D Systems ProJet® MJP 2500 fast track product development at Bushnell. To read Bushnell case study click here.
Topics: 3D Printing
1 min read

Eggshell Molding with Additive Manufacturing

By Barbara Miller-Webb on Oct 23, 2020 11:23:16 AM

Eggshell molding is 3D printings hidden gem application.  Eggshell molding is a sacrificial technique where a thin mold is printed and then material is injected into the mold.  The resulting mold is then broken away.  

Creating the eggshell mold is relatively simple; a CAD user creates a positive 0 set on the external surface of the model, then removes the original CAD to leave a hollow shell.  The resulting shell is, typically in the 3D Systems Figure 4's case, 0.3 mm thick.  The CAD designer will then add features to allow the injection of the material and some vents to prevent air pockets.

The shell is then printed using Figure 4 standalone and the specific eggshell molding resin 3D Systems has developed, "Eggshell-AMB 10."  The Figure 4 EGGSHELL-AMB 10 material is specifically engineered for the eggshell molding process.  A material like silicone can then be injected in using a syringe and the shell is then broken out with ease by hand because of the elastomeric properties of the usual end-use material.  

- For casting silicone parts in any durometer
     - Elongation at break: 5%
     - Tensile modulus: 2765 MPa
     - Impact strength (notched Izod): 15 J/m
     - Heat Deflection Temperature @ 0.455 MPa: 89°C 


For a quick look at the Eggshell -AMB 10 material properties, review the link:http://infocenter.3dsystems.com/materials/material-library/figure-4/figure-4-eggshell-amb-10

Topics: 3D Printing