Prism Engineering hosts meeting on 3D printers and CAD-CAM

Prism Engineering hosted the ISA Philadelphia Section’s September 2014 meeting, held at the company’s headquarters and training center in Horsham.

Wagner and 3D printers

Dan Wagner discusses capabilities of 3D printers during tour following presentations. Inset shows process model created by a 3D printer

Dan Wagner began the presentation by profiling PRISM Engineering. He said it is a leading provider of 3D CAD and CAM solutions with about 40 employees–technicians, engineers, machinists and trainers. The firm offers and trains on SolidWorks 3D computer aided design software, Mastercam design and computer aided manufacturing software, and Stratasys 3D printers. The firm also provides CAD/CAM services.

Next Wagner took the audience through a design project using SolidWorks software. He modeled a yoke part for a table saw from scratch, demonstating how the software easily and quickly builds the part in three dimensions. Once the model is complete, the software can produce conventional 2D and isometric views with dimensions. Wagner showed how he could add the part to a modeled table saw to check for any iinterference.

Wagner then talked about how the design could be produced by a 3D printer, which builds the part layer by layer in additive fashion. Going from least expensive to more expensive, printers range from those for ideas, to prototypes, and on to production equipment. Printed sizes range from a six inch cube  to a four foot cube with prices from $10K to $600K. Materials tend to be thermoplastics, cured by cooling and photopolymers, cured by ultra violet light.

Wagner handed over the presentation to Matt Kelly, who demonstrated MasterCam software for machining parts from models, a subtraction process. Kelly said that MasterCam software can control the machining of parts via milling and turning. He demonstrated how the software would cut a part in the shape of the Prism P, modified to act as a bottle opener. MasterCam also comes integrated with SolidWorks, and will accept virtually any design file type.

Tour photo

Philadelphia Section members listen attentively during tour or Prism Engineering’s 3D printer showroom and lab, the largest in the region.

Following the presentations, the ISA members were invited to tour the firm’s showroom and lab, which contains a variety of 3D printers.

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