Stratasys is demonstrating its joint collaboration with Creaform, the worldwide leader in portable 3D scanning technology, at trade shows across the country—including The American Society for Engineering Education Conference and Exposition and most recently, AM3D Conference and Exposition. The North American partnership offers an enhanced user experience, combining the complementary technologies of 3D scanning and 3D printing to create a streamlined design process. Benefits include a significantly faster workflow and more accurate output, potentially leading to advancements in mechanical engineering and design curricula. This is critical in today’s STEAM-driven marketplace, as the demand for qualified engineers and special skillsets has increased over the years.
Martin Chader, US County Manager at Creaform, attended the ASEE 2015 conference with Stratasys. According to Chader, the response to the joint marketing effort was extremely positive. One question discussed during the event was: How do educators keep students engaged in their studies while fostering a passion for engineering?
“I think the whole prospect of shape-capture and additive manufacturing enables students to apply their nascent engineering skills at the earliest levels of their engineering education,” said Chader. “It’s gratifying to get the shape of a physical object into CAD where it can be further processed and printed on a Stratasys 3D Printer. This rapid gratification nurtures their passion for engineering.”
Chader illustrates the benefits of the 3D Scan-to-3D Print workflow using the example of reverse engineering. Recreating an existing product or object manually requires calipers, mechanical micrometers, and other single point measurements. This complex process often leads to inaccurate measurements and longer development cycles. Alternatively, with a 3D scanner, a student can quickly capture all the requisite measurements, get a complete model edit and send it to the 3D printer—all within a matter of hours.
“By partnering with Creaform, Stratasys is able to offer its customers access to a new source of 3D printable content. This is expected to enhance existing solutions and open up new applications in a wide range of industries. We view Creaform to be an excellent addition to our growing partner ecosystem,” said Bruce Bradshaw, Vice President of Marketing, Stratasys, North America.
What does this mean for the future of the 3D design industry? Early adoption is fundamental to the expansion of additive manufacturing. “As we put these systems into the hands of educators and their students, they are learning about this new method just as it becomes widely used by industries like automotive, aerospace and general manufacturing,” explained Chader.