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Materials Matter More than Anything in

Product Development

Latest 3D Printer Design Inspired by Cocooning

Engineers at Festo were inspired by how a caterpillar builds its
cocoon when designing its new 3D Cocooner printer.

David Prawel, Entrepreneur, Consultant and Educator

6/22/2016 Post a comment







Materials Really Matter! In fact, in my opinion its safe to say that materials matter
more than anything in product development.

Humans have been making things for thousands of years and have developed
countless great methods of producing high-quality products. 3D printing has been
added to this list in the last 30 years, and has recently exploded into our inboxes and web
browsers, as news of life-changing breakthroughs pop up every day. Unlike many other really
exciting technologies that come (and go), 3D printing demonstrates a unique ability to do things
that really change peoples lives. And so we embrace its coolness with an excitement and fervor
rarely seen in a generation. However, its easy to get caught in the vortex, to believe that it will
change everything in product development, in manufacturing for that matter.

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With 3D printing we can make incredibly complex objects -- jewelry, devices, and gadgets of all
sorts. But the real challenge is faced head-on when you try to put a 3D-printed object to a test of
real usability. Its relatively easy to make things look, feel, and fit as they should, but can they
perform like theyre supposed to? It all comes down to materials. It turns out that 3D printing really
is quite limited to date in its ability to create products that perform as expected. In fact, every
consultant in the 3D printing market says materials are the most important factor throttling the
growth of this amazing technology. And it is in no way a replacement for good old machining and
mold-making, and the countless other manufacturing methods that have buttressed innovation in
product development for centuries.

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From June 28-30 Im teaching a free online course thats only 45 minutes per day about one of the
most important topics to understand when youre making something -- which materials make
sense, why, and in which situations. There are so many complex factors affecting many tough
decisions. And no single answer works for very many situations, all the time.

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Design News - Blog - Materials Matter More than Anything in Produc...

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About four years ago I founded a 3D printing lab for our community. With more than 1,850 users
through our lab last year, it is obvious that 3D printing is truly amazing. And we have learned its
limitations, which Ill share with you during the class. Ill start out with a comprehensive look at the
wide range of popular metals, plastics, and polymeric materials that are used in 3D printing, CNC
machining and injection molding. Ill give you some clear, concise guidelines to help in your
material selection process. Then Ill get down to the details. Ill discuss the various behaviors and
properties of common materials along with key factors that should guide your material selection
process. In the third session, Ill discuss the impact of material choices on many of the core
business processes in discrete manufacturing.
I look forward to presenting this material to you. Ive been deeply involved in 3D technology and
product development for more than 35 years. In this time, Ive seen many technology cycles come
and go, and many great products with them. Today, in our biomaterials research lab at Colorado
State University, I see every day the impact of materials choices on some of the toughest
problems, and some of the most complex products that we humans have come to develop.
Materials is an exciting field, where we can continue to make huge impacts on peoples lives, and
it all starts with the right material for the job.

The Safety Compendium

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Material choices can spell success or failure of product development and innovation -- indeed to
the core of business itself. To join me in this course, register here. Ill be answering your questions
after my presentation each day and Id like to learn from your experiences. If you cant make the
live classes, register anyway because theyll be available in archive and you can attend at your
[images via David Prawel]

This Semester: June 1 - June 30

Learn More


Jun 6 - 10, The Lua Programming Language for

IoT - Hands On
MON: June 6 - Day 1: Introduction to Lua and the ...
TUE: June 7 - Day 2: Lua in Depth, Part 1
WED: June 8 - Day 3: Lua in Depth, Part 2

David Prawel, PhD, is founder and president of Longview Advisors Inc., director of Idea-2-Product
3D Printing Laboratory, and associate director of the Biomaterials Research & Engineering
Laboratory at Colorado State University.

THU: June 9 - Day 4: The NodeMCU in Depth and ...

FRI: June 10 - Day 5: Advanced Coding
MON: June 20 - Day 1: 8-bit Embedded Development ...
TUE: June 21 - Day 2: 8-bit Embedded Development ...


WED: June 22 - Day 3: 8-bit Bluetooth via the RN4020

THU: June 23 - Day 4: 8-bit Super PICs
FRI: June 24 - Day 5: Ethernet Connectivity Using ...


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