Randy Lynn

August 10, New Mexico SolidWorks User Group Meeting

Blog Post created by Randy Lynn on Aug 11, 2016

This is the second meeting at our new location


UNM Science & Technology Park
800 Bradbury Dr SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

As before, we welcome any feedback you have about the new location (positive or negative).





NMSUG currently does not have a person to make arrangements for the “free food” that is served at our meetings. In addition to his duties as President, William Radigan ordered Domino’s Pizza for this meeting, mostly for simplicity: a phone call and they deliver. We would appreciate if someone could volunteer to make the food arrangements for our meetings. This involves choosing the menu, paying for the food and making arrangements to get it to the meeting. After that, we submit the receipts to SolidWorks and they reimburse us. Remember, SolidWorks parent company (Dassault Systèmes) is French and they allocate a very reasonable budget for our meetings. If you have attended in the past then you know we usually provide munchies that are pretty darn good. Chateaubriand anyone?


Get 'em while they're hot!
Brandon Getz has gone to great lengths to make these awesome looking polo's happen for us. You'll be the envy of all your geek friends wearing one of these. The cost is $37.50 ea and are available in sizes from XS-6XL. An order can be placed with Brandon up until August 24 and payment can be made directly to the vendor (Ad It Up), but please coordinate this first with Brandon (brandon dot getz AT outlook.com).

GD & T SEMINAR OPPORTUNITY-Tony Cimabue, local GD & T guru, has offered to present NMSUG an exclusive “Intro to GD & T” seminar. This would be a special meeting in addition to our regular 6-8 week meeting schedule. The 2.5 hour seminar will likely take place in October. SolidWorks will provide dinner and a meeting space. We need a minimum of 15 committed individuals. Note: some of our members have attended classes by Tony Cimabue and they give him glowing reviews. This meeting is still in the pipeline. We’ve had some difficulty coordinating calendars. Stay tuned.



Lately, NMSUG meetings have been attended by folks who also frequent the QUE Lab. From their website…”Quelab is Albuquerque’s hackerspace. Our mission is to foster and sustain an environment that promotes creativity, invention, and collaboration at the intersections of science, culture, art, and technology. We support people inventing, learning, tinkering, and conducting citizen science.”


They host two open nights a week where they open our doors to the public for tours and tinkering, held on Sundays and Tuesdays from 7:00pm – 10:00pm. (like an open house,  but more hands-on).


For more information visit www.quelab.net or send an email to info@quelab.net





Eric Atencio-Principal at Creative 3 Dimensional
Eric Atencio is a recent graduate of the University of New Mexico and received his BS in Mechanical Engineering. He is now pursuing a Masters in Product Design and Development and Engineering Business at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is also currently an employee at Sandia National Laboratories, opening a brewery with his family and starting other small joint ventures with other individuals, and including his own 3D printing company, “Creative 3 Dimensional”.  He currently uses a Projet 460 (for color designs) and Formlabs +1 (mono color and multiple material), and an Occipital 3D scanner.


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Eric brought with him several samples of 3D printed parts and assemblies from his work


Here is a rehash of Eric’s PowerPoint presentation



Model like a design engineer, not a graphic designer

Use one program, avoid file transfers-minimizes errors

Computers are perfect, printers are not



Know what your printer can do

Know the part size

Know the feature size

Know your build tray size

If parts are too small, scale them up if possible

If Parts are too big, scale them down or cut and assemble them if possible.



Projet, ZCorp (Gypsum/Ceramic), brittle result, the support material is the same, can recycle unused material, it is cheap. Powder print that is dipped in cyanoacrylate (super glue)

Projet and Objet (Plastic Jet): sprays plastic, higher material cost

Maker Bot (Plastic Extrusion): Eric’s least favorite, this is a toy, extruders get clogged

Formlabs (SLA: Resin, Plastic, Wax, Rubber): Value printer, good price for the quality, easy to post process, the material cost can be expensive

Phenix (may now be 3D Systems-ProX model)-(Metal), the printers are expensive and the prints are expensive. The parts may be cheaper to machine.

Visit www.aniwaa.com. This website features 3D printer/scanner comparisons/reviews



Molds for silicone or soft plastics and rubbers

Sacrificial mold for metal casting (plaster)

Sacrificial mold metal negatives (concept) will this work for injection molding?

Print an assembly, assembled

Stack parts in a single step file (Formlabs users)-



Know your printers limits

Keep your printer clean and up to date

Follow a maintenance schedule, this includes doing test builds

Never mess with the machine mechanics or software unless you know what you are doing!

Don’t overload a single circuit for multiple printers-give them their own outlet

Don’t overload the printer build tray with too many parts



Size Limits

Steady hand or stable stand

Low definition and high definition parts-most scanners are low definition

Editing your 3D scan-post processing, point-cloud editing (3D Scan to print in SolidWorks)

3D Print your scan


Eric brought with him an iPad scanner attachment, the Structure Sensor from 3D made by Occipital (3D Proven Systems in Albuquerque uses this scan to create head bust scans).


Eric's presentation can be viewed here: ON THE GO WITH 3D PRINTERS - August 10th, 2016




Once Eric was finished, we had a group discussion sharing local knowledge about the different printers and scanners we use at our jobs. Discussion topics included post-processing, color 3D printing, file formats, printer bureaus, various types of printers, including some far out and new-fangled printers. Many of the comments are noted here:


Post Processing: Many of these printers create offensive odors from melting or burning plastic. Some folks are concerned about the fumes. Are they a health risk? Some of the post processing sprays and chemical have fumes.


Post Processing: An acetone vapor bath (good ventilation required) smooths surfaces. This changes the dimensions but is great for aesthetics.


Post Processing: sandpaper and soapy water, the way model makers do it.


Post Processing: There is a product called Smooth On that you brush on certain materials. It changes the dimensions but makes the parts real shiny. It is great for aesthetics. (See https://www.smooth-on.com/ )


Hardware: There is a printer that uses a ream of paper as its medium. (Brand may be Iris) Each sheet has a barcode. The result is cured with something like Elmer’s glue. There is never a failed build, just a paused build, usually when the sheets get out of order. There will be a desktop version in the $19K range. (See 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping | Mcor Technologies )


Hardware: Dimensionally, SLA is very good for high resolution. Polyjet is also good for high resolution. FDM is better in the x and y axes but it drifts for long parts.


Hardware: Some printers mix materials in the tanks for different durometers.


Hardware: CadBlu and FormLabs make wax printers for jewelry manufacturing (precious metal castings)


Bureau: There is an online company called 3D Hubs “Where 3D prints are made”,  (See 3D Hubs: Browse online 3D printing services )


Hardware: William Radigan brought his printer, a Sindoh 3D Wox (Korean equivalent of HP), $1500, surface finish is not great. It is analogous to FDM. Can print ABS but it smells offensive to some people. (Sindoh 3DPrinter )


One of our members works for a company that is printing ceramics, namely 3D printed ceramic molds for investment casting. Overhangs and complex geometries are not good. Surface resolution is not the best. Good for fluid flow molds. Not a desktop machine. (See here: Home )


Hardware: A local company, Optomec, manufactures 3D printers that print metal.


Hardware: Type A Machines get good reviews.


Hardware: There is a precious metal clay extruder/printer out there that extrudes metal particles with a binder which you then fire. The result is a piece of jewelry.

They are 3d printing concrete: Really? Yes they are. Google It.




Strategies for printing multiple materials on the same part


      • Objet-requires a multi-body part and each body gets a different material.
      • Other brand requires multiple part files all with the same origin and the printer software resolves them.


Vrml files contain the color information and the file extension is .wrl.


Most 3D printers use STL files. William noted that despite the convention, STL files do not include units (inches or mm).


There is a SolidWorks function titled “Scan to 3D”. It is supposed to convert 3D scan data to a 3D model. The general consensus from the group is that this function does not work well.


IMPTOMPTU PRESENTATION-Lance Dettmer, Engineer, 3D Proven Systems


3D Proven Systems (3D Proven Systems), located in Albuquerque, represents, distributes, and sells several 3D printer and scanner brands. Additionally, they provide 3D printing and scanning services and sell supplies. They brought two boxes of some really exotic 3D printed parts for display and show and tell. Given their varied capability, it was interesting to see the same part output from different printers.


Lance Dettmer brought an Artec Eva handheld scanner and on a moments notice agreed to give us a demo. Lance scanned Brandon Getz from the waistline up while Brandon stood very still wearing the new NMSUG Polo Shirt. For three minutes Lance walked around Brandon pointing and waving his Phaser. In real time, the scanner software resolved Brandon’s 3D physique on the screen. Once scanned, Lance demonstrated some of the features available with the scanner software. He noted that a fast computer with lots of memory is required to run the software. Lance also showed some scan files his company had done for clients including an FSAE engine used by our local UNM Formula 1 team. The engine was a 430 MB file.

Brandon Being ScannedPoint Cloud Reconstruction In progress
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3D Proven Systems is located at 2121 Claremont Ave NE in Albuquerque. www.3dprovensystems.com. They said we are welcome to drop in and see four tables loaded with samples as well as the different type of printers they offer for sale and for printing customer models. We thank them for bringing some great samples and for demonstrating one of their scanners on the spur of the moment.




The food tonight was from Dominos pizza

30 Attendees