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SLS 3D Printing Slinky 3D Scanning

Not Your Ordinary Slinky

june
3D

One of our most popular posts on social media this month was of a slinky, but not the ordinary kind made using traditional manufacturing methods. Instead, this slinky was created using a popular type of additive manufacturing called Selective Laser Sintering or SLS, one of Fathom’s many in-house production center services. First, the team built a plain slinky, a great sample piece that demonstrated the unique capabilities of SLS and the material durability (check out the video posted on Instagram). Not long after it circled around the office, the design team came up with the idea of turning a CAD file of a 3D scanned employee into a custom, one-of-a-kind slinky. Thats what really caught the attention of our online followers, a few of which asked some great questions! To learn more about this project, we met with Veronica De La Rosa, an industrial designer on the Fathom design team.

Tell us about this build, from concept to completion. Veronica: The idea for this sample part came to us one day when we were asked to design a piece that would best show off the capabilities of the SLS machine and the strength and flexibility of the nylon material we offer (PA2200). SLS is a type of additive manufacturing which makes use of a high power optic laser. Designs come to life as the laser fuses small powder particles together layer by layer. Fathom’s customers opt for this technology when creating complex geometric parts that must meet high durability requirements.

Our Mechanical Engineer, Cole Hartman, engineered the first design by splitting a cylinder with an extruded helix. At that same time, our support team was 3D scanning Fathom employees and printing the busts on one of our PolyJet-based 3D printers. We thought, why not turn one of those scans into a slinky! Instead of splitting a cylinder with an extruded helix, we used a scan of Fathom’s Advanced Engineering Project Manager, Alric Lam.

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SLS makes it possible to achieve durable, versatile, functional parts, as well as, complex geometric shapes. Originally designed for building prototypes, it has now evolved in a preferred method for creating end-use parts in small to large volumes.

Dennis Harroun on Facebook wrote, Id love to know how it was modeled. Ive been seeing this lately. I use Maya and Im drawing a blank as to any methods to achieve such shapes. Veronica: You can pretty much “slinkify” any object by taking any solid form and giving it a thickness. Then, you Boolean it with a helix that also has thickness and depth. This should result in a continuous slice of the model.

Carrie Sloane on Facebook wrote, Does it function as a slinky, still? It seems like it would lose some of that because its not circular anymore. Veronica: The human bust doesnt act like the traditional slinky design mainly because it is not a tube and the diameter of the head is quite smaller than the base of the chest, but its still fun to play with (check out the video posted on Instagram). You can find functional slinky designs in different form factors. If you do a quick search online, there are heart and star shaped versions for download. It would be interesting to test how irregular of a form you can “slinkify” without losing the slinky mechanics.

We hope that youll try to create a slinky of your own! Send us a photo of your design, or, have us print it for you and we will feature it on our blog. Using our online ordering tool, you can upload your CAD model on smartquote.studiofathom.com and select the SLS option. Have a question? Contact one of our additive manufacturing specialists using this form.

Comprehensive Capabilities for Rapid Manufacturing

At Fathom we offer a unique advantage of speed and agility-our experts help companies go from concept to prototype to manufacturing in ways not previously possible. 

90+ Machines  
SLS / / Two-day  SLA / / Next-day 
FDM / / Next-day DMLS / / Three-day 
PolyJet / / Same-day MJF / / Two-day
   

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30 Second Quotes
Prototype Tool / / As soon as 10 days
10K Parts / / 10 days
Production Tool / / As soon as 3 weeks
 

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3 & 5 Axis Milling & Turning
(Plastics, Composites and Metals)

Tolerance Accuracy Range
from +/-0.001″ to 0.005″

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Injection Molding Adjacent
without High Costs of Metal Tools

Most Commonly Used for High-Volume
Prototyping & Bridge to Production

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Finishing, Production Painting and Color Matching

Assembling, Including Embedded Electronic
Components, Threaded Inserts, and More

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CAD, DFAM and DFM Services

Apply Methods to Increase Speed
and Decrease Total Cost

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Highly Trained Staff / / Full-Time & Part-Time
Support as Short-Term & Long-Term Strategy

Decrease Downtime with Customizable
Staffing Accelerates Implementation

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Fathom is driven by advanced technologies and methods that enhance and accelerate today’s product development and production processes.

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Manufacturing Locations Across National Time Zones
Manufacturing Locations Across National Time Zones
The Fathom Advanced Manufacturing Platform
new map update 3
HEADQUARTERS

1050 Walnut Ridge Drive
Hartland, WI 53029
ISO 9001:2015
AS9100:2016
ITAR

ARIZONA

444 W. 21st St. Ste. 101
Tempe, AZ 85282
ISO 9001:2015
NIST800-171 Compliant
ITAR

FLORIDA

14000 N.W. 58th Court
Miami Lakes, FL 33014
ISO 9001:2015 Design Certified
ISO 13485:2016


 

CALIFORNIA

620 3rd Street
Oakland, CA 94607
ISO 9001:2015 Design Certified
NIST 800-171 Compliant
ITAR

ILLINOIS

1207 Adams Drive
McHenry, IL 60051

1401 Brummel Ave
Elk Grove, IL 60007
ISO 9001:2015 Design Certified

NEW YORK

401 W. Shore Blvd.
Newark, NY 14513
AS9100:2016
ISO 9001:2015
ITAR

1920 Slaterville Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850
ITAR

TEXAS

1801 Rowe Lane
Pflugerville, TX 78660
ISO 9001:2015
AS9100:2016

1513 Sam Bass Rd
Round Rock, TX 78681
ISO 9001:2015
ISO 13485:2016

COLORADO

7770 Washington St.
Denver, CO 80229
ISO 9001:2015
ITAR

MINNESOTA

13758 Johnson Street NE
Ham Lake, MN 55304

OHIO

6415 Angola Road
Holland, OH 43528