Rapid Prototyping

Ames Laboratory

3D printing at Ames Laboratory improves flexibility and accelerates design of the CaloriSMART system.

Three dimensional (3D) printing available at Ames Laboratory improves flexibility and accelerates the design of the CaloriSMART system. We utilize SolidWorks software and a Form 2 Stereolitography 3D printer to efficiently design system components and then quickly 3D print the parts required for CaloriSMART’s top performance.

Stereolithography (SLA) is a 3D printing technology that allows additive manufacturing parts from a resin cured with UV light. A laser beam selectively hardens the liquid material layer by layer. The layers correspond to cross sections of a model. The part is generated from the bottom to the top with high resolution.

Solid models of CaloriSMART components are developed in SolidWorks. 3D models of parts for rapid prototyping are further processed with PreForm software provided by Formlabs. The software orients the model in the printer build envelope, slices it into layers with thickness between 0.025 – 0.1 mm (0.001 to 0.004 inches), and generates the support structure necessary for accurate printing. The result is sent to the Form 2 3D printer and manufactured from a photo-curable resin.


Formlabs website: https://formlabs.com/

SolidWorks website: http://www.solidworks.com/

Specific Capabilities and Techniques: