Fathom Manufacturing lets you take advantage of a full spectrum of in-house additive manufacturing technologies to print large-scale 3D printed parts. Large-scale printing allows for visualization and fully functional demonstration models and prototypes which need to measure up to the same rigor and abuse real-world parts do—and sometimes more. Fathom tailors large 3D printed parts to specific needs, time constraints and budgets. Working with Fathom provides immediate and comprehensive access to the most relevant equipment and experience in advanced manufacturing, engineering and prototyping.
Types of Large 3D Printed Parts / /
There are many different uses for large-scale 3D printed parts. Across industries, there are four distinct use cases which include visual, working, user experience and functional. Depending on what stage your project is in, the product development process will help determine which type of use is needed.
- Visual Parts / / A visual part can illustrate a product’s color, size and geometric features, but not the texture, feel, or weight of a product. Visual parts are primarily used in marketing for product photoshoots.
- Working Parts / / A physical part allows a brand to test a finished product’s functionality, but does not have the same appearance as the finalized product. The purpose of a physical part is to determine if the final product will serve its purpose/function or if any design changes are needed.
- User Experience Part / / A user experience part has the same appearance and functionality as the final product. It can be presented to the end-user for research to allow for consumer testing to determine if a product is user-friendly and provides customer satisfaction. Customers can interact with the part, allowing valuable data to be gathered. Learnings from consumer testing can then be integrated into the design.
- Functional Part / / A functional part has the same appearance and full functionality as the final product. However, it may be made using different materials and/or manufacturing methods than the final product. Functional parts are often used to gain funding for mass production or for licensing purposes.
Fathom’s Build Volume Capacity / /
Fathom offers six different additive technologies for your next 3D printing job. Large 3D printed parts can be produced from one Computer-Aided Design (CAD) file or several separate large or small components can be printed and then assembled by Fathom technicians.
The max build volume for any 3D printer should never constrain your product development or design. By focusing on how a product should function rather than how it’s made, companies can drive greater innovation and push the limits of manufacturing. Whether manufactured traditionally, additively or a hybrid of both, Fathom promotes an “outside-in” approach for rapid manufacturing services.
By leveraging the outside–in approach, Fathom can help you navigate around blind spots (traditional manufacturing constraints) and maximize product possibility. Fathom is driven to augment conventional manufacturing using advanced technologies and unique processes.
How to Create Parts Bigger Than The Max Build Volumes / /
Designing your large 3D printed part as several smaller components that can be assembled or combined after printing is a common approach to building large-scale prototypes and models.
Segmentation / / Segmenting a part design is the process of dividing the part into smaller sections better suited to the max build volume. Before determining the segments, consider how segmenting the part will impact the functionality, aesthetics or mechanical properties to avoid any critical junctures.
Joints / / Once the ideal placement for segmentation has been determined, the next step is to consider how to shape the component edging to allow for assembly. Sub-assemblies can be joined with a variety of components—screws, nuts and bolts, and fasteners. If hardware isn’t an option, joinery techniques like dovetail, dado or dowel joints, or adhesives may be the better option.
Printing / / After the best joining process was been decided upon, consider how the components should be printed. It’s important to not place the joint at the base of the print because the weakest point of a 3D printed part is along the direction of the z-axis. Instead print the component with the joint at an angle to the z-axis.
Fathom is proud to offer same-day and next-day options for its high-end digital fabrication services. Fathom is an advanced manufacturer and 3D printing expert with expedited additive manufacturing options to support quick turnaround project needs. Fathom’s Same-Day and Next-Day 3D printing services are ideal for speeding up the product development process—go from concept to prototype to manufacturing in an accelerated way that was not previously possible.
Get an instant 3D printing quote on any project today or contact a Fathom expert to discuss your project needs.