When it comes to manufacturing, the adage “Speed, Quality, Cost. Pick Two” has always been the standard for operating. However, a new startup might be changing that equation, allowing you the chance to enjoy all three values.
When it comes time to prototype a part, everyone has a decision to make. Do you print the part on a lower resolution to get it out faster, or do you print on high resolution to resolve every detail? Two students, Ross and David, at UC Berkeley School of Engineering believe that you choose the former.
To maximize the value of a lower quality print, Ross and David created a machine that refines a low-resolution print to such a degree that it’s indistinguishable from a higher quality version. To do this the duo created a machine that “rotates a 3D printed part in front of a pressurized and constant flow of solvent, allowing for a symmetric smoothing of the print, resulting in the appearance of a high quality and appealing finish for any 3D printed part.”
In the image above you can see the dramatic difference between two parts that have and haven’t been refined. The difference is startling, and in my opinion, remarkable because it gives any manufacturer the opportunity to choose all three values: speed, quality and cost.
If you’re interested in trying out one of Ross and David’s refiners, visit their Kickstarter campaign. For the bargain price of $299, you can get a plug-and-play 3D refiner.
Watch 3D Refiner’s Kickstarter Video:
Images Courtesy of Ross Yeager