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Santa Claus
Machine Library
 
  
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SLA FDM SLS LOM Inkjet CAD/CAM

Santa Claus Machines are "printers" that print real objects
instead of messages. They are also sometimes known as
Rapid Prototyping Systems. Although still somewhat new,
outrageously expensive, and primitive, Santa Claus machines
are poised to totally
revolutionize how all products are made
and distributed.

The term comes from such science fiction sources as Warren
Ellis Transmetropolitan where a magic machine could produce
anything
from a new girlfriend to a roast beef sandwich. At present,
you can do the sandwiches. They are even low in calories and fat free.
But they often leave a distinct acrylic aftertaste. And you'll have to
watch the gain and polarity ~very~ carefully when replicating girlfriends.

Note that "rapid prototyping" also denotes a system of software
testing and is a totally unrelated field. One not referenced here.

Areas of current Santa Claus Machine interest include...

Stereolithography
Fused Deposition Modeling
Selective Laser Sintering
Layered Object Manufacturing
3-D Inkjet Printing

Conventional Table Top CAD/CAM
Along with these additional resources...
Link Farms
Tutorials
Prototyping Houses
Books and periodicals
Associations & Newsletters
Consulting Help

Some library files require an Adobe Acrobat 5.0  plug in for online
viewing.  Offline, these may be accessed by an Acrobat Reader or
an eBook Reader or any other .PDF accepting program.


We also have a related Flutterwumper library that focuses mostly on
home built CAD/CAM and similar devices that spit or chomp.

 

   Link Farms & Tutorials: .
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We can start off with these link farms and reprint archives...

   Superb RP Link Farm from the University of Utah
     Your "must do" starting point for everything involving Santa Claus
     machines. Systems, modlers, resellers, consultants, academia, pubs,
     biometicals, art, software, associations, and much more.

Click here for PostScript tutorials.
Click here for Live Auction bargains.

   Rapid Prototyping Reader's Digest
     Immediate access to several hundred key papers on rapid
     prototyping. Intros, visualation, technology, medicine, tooling,,
     art, suppliers, bunches more. From Castle Island.

Click to reach the Magic Sinewave library.
Click for a Magic Sinewave development proposal.

   Rapid Prototyping Searchable Bibliography
     Called "the Mother of all bibliographies of Rapid Prototyping
     articles. Over 4700 searchible citations from 1984 to the present.
     Doe not include actual articles. From Castle Island
Click to reach our Blatant Opportunist library.
Click to reach our PostScript library
.
   Useful Resources from the Rapid Prototyping Net
     Consists of a live chat group, article reprints, news, case studies,
     and an extensive and color coded set of manufacturer's links.
     The current news section seems out of date.

Click to reach the Tech Musings library.
Click to reach our GuruGram library.

   RP Tutorials from Rutgers University
     Nice summary tutorials and figures of available RP machines
     combined with brief tutorials of FRM, LOM, SLS, and SLA.
     Includes useful but older product comparison chart.

Click here for Surplus Bargain info.
Click to reach the Tech Musings library.

   RP Resources from  Carnegie-Mellon University
     A nice link farm and bibliography of both mainstream and unusual
     rapid prototyping systems and products. Focusing on Rapid Design
     and Manufacturing Resources on the We
b.

Click here for PostScript tutorials.
Click here for Live Auction bargains.

   Do-it-yourself RP from Fab at Home
   Project dedicated to making and using fabbers - machines that can
     make almost anything, right on your desktop by printing three
     dimensional objects Designs are free and open source.

Click here for PostScript tutorials.
Click here for Live Auction bargains.

   Do-it-yourself RP from Rep Rap
     Instead of just printing on sheets of paper,a self-replicating 3D printer
     makes real three dimentional objects. The projected pricing is around
     $500 for homebrew versions. Worldwide support.

Click to reach the Math Stuff library.
Click here for our live eBay auctions.

   UK Scholarly Pub: Rapid Prototyping Journal
     British published scholarly journal. Free abstracts of nine
     quarterly volumes since 1995. Published by Emerald. There
     is a charge for actual full artical access.

Here's an older and somewhat dated tutorial of mine...

   Hardware Hacker #77 HACK77.PDF
     Thermodynamic Second Law violations. Soliton waves, references,
     and resources. Superb CD ROM directory. Santa Claus machines
     review and update. Some hacker opportunities

Click here for PIC Microprocessor Books info.
Click here for Circuit Cellar reprints.

And the key paper from our Flutterwumper Library...

   PIC PostScript Flutterwumpers POSTFLUT.PDF
     All of the raw power of genuine 100% authentic Adobe PostScript
     can easily get applied to stunningly low cost PIC robotic systems.
     
Royalty free! Tutorial gives examples and insider details.

Click here for PIC Microprocessor Books info.
Click here for PostScript Books info.
Click here for more Circuit Cellar reprints.

   Stereo Lithography: .
 top   bot 

Stereo Lithography Santa Claus machines are among the oldest
and earliest. They use an ultraviolet laser to selectively harden
a liquid photopolymer or a UV curable epoxy.

In a typical system, the laser draws a hardening pattern on the
surface of a suitable liquid. Fresh liquid is added and the process
continues until the entire part is complete. Parts are then further
hardened and post-processed.

 

   Stereolithography Machines from  3D Systems
     Both the originator and leading supplier of sterelithography
     rapid prototyping machinery, materials, services, and parts. Also
     manufacturers SLS and similar technologies
.

Click to reach the Flutterwumper library page.
Click here for Instant Consulting solutions.

   SLA Equipment Supplier Aaroflex
     A competing manufacturer to 3D systems. Their high end
     systems include the AAROFLEX Solid Imager, a machine
     which creates three-dimensional physical models .
Click here for banner ad  info.
Click here for a partnering opportunity.
   Stereolithography Materials Supplier DSM Somos
     BritA full line of ProtoFuntional rapid prototyping products
     quthat replicate production materials. A number of different
     resins are offered, both clear and opaque. .

Click to reach the Resource Bin library.
Click for our Bitmaps & Fonts library.

   Another SLA Materials Supplier Renshape
     Souce of Renshape Stereolithography materials. Includes
     over fifty products optimized for productivity, accuracy,
     temperature, colorability, and plastics emulations.

Click to reach the Magic Sinewave library.
Click for a Magic Sinewave development proposal.

   Stereolithography Apps at Spectra Group
     Covers medical, defense, industrial, defense, and aerospace
     markets with stereolithography, laser sintering, molding,
     casting, CNC machining and poly jet.

Click here for Acrobat tutorials.
Click here for Live Auction bargains

   Hardware Hacker #66  HACK66.PDF  (July 1993 )
     A flying car newsletter. Photopolymer resources. Amateur
     television books. Royalty free real PostScript. The Basic Stamp
     from Parallax. Thoughts on a printed circuit drill. Two contests

Click to reach our Hardware Hacker library.
Click to reach our Patent Avoidance library.

   SLS Selective Laser Sintering .
 top   bot 

SLS Santa Claus machines start with a powder and use a laser to
melt just enough of the powder particle surfaces to fuse them into
a solid mass. Other variations start with a metal powder having
fusible coatings on them.
Plastic, wax, and metal parts are possible,
as is high durability.

   Selective Laser Sintering at Quick Parts
     Ideal for durable and fundational parts. Capable of producing
     snap fits and living hinges. Material choices include several
     nylon variations and flexible polymers.

Click to reach the Flutterwumper library page.
Click here for Instant Consulting solutions

   Selective Laser Sintering Machines from  3D Systems
     Both the originator and leading supplier of sterelithography
     rapid prototyping machinery, materials, services, and parts. Also
     manufacturers SLS machines and similar technologies
.

Click to reach the Resource Bin library.
Click here for our Auction Help library.

   Selective Laser Sintering Machines from  ProtoCAM
     Service bureau strong on SLS prototyping services. Materials
     
include plastics, filled plastics, elastomers, metal tooling,and even
     
casting patterns.
.

Click to reach our Hardware Hacker library.
Click to reach our Patent Avoidance library.

   SLS Tutorial from Castle Island
     One of many useful tutorials and manufacturer's lists on
     
irapid prototyping subhects. Many of the SLS asuppliers
     
are international rather than US based .
.

Click to reach the Math Stuff library.
Click here for our live eBay auctions

   FDM Fused Deposition Modeling .
 top   bot 

FDM Santa Claus machines are also known as the "glue gun"
method. A filament of thermoplastic is laid down in a programmable
manner from a carefully controlled heated orfice.
Parts are often
rugged but of limited precision. Hollow items are easily done with
this "coiled rope" technology.

A homebrew variation on these could simply use a glue gun on
an X-Y drive stepper rate control fed with polyetheleyne rod.
Ideal products would be large sign lettering that could make use
of Flutterwumper techniques. Especially font availability.

 

   Leading FDM Machine Supplier Stratasys
     An early developer of FDM technology for concept models
     functional prototypes, end use parts and manufacturing tooling.
     Parts tough enough for actual use testing.
Click here for Don's Resource Bin columns.
Click here to sponsor an Ad Banner.
   U-Print FDM Machine from Dimension Printing
    Turn your product designs into real-life molds quickly,
    easily, and affordably with their $15,000 machine. Usually
    
works with ABS plastics Personal 3D printing.

Click to reach the Flutterwumper library page.
Click here for Instant Consulting solutions.

   FDM Rapid Prototypes from Alpha Prototypes
    Uses FDM to convert CAD drawings into physical parts.
    Real plastics available in a variety of colors. Normal
    
layer resolotion is ten to thirteen mils.

Click to reach our Hardware Hacker library.
Click to reach our Patent Avoidance library.

   LOM Layered Object Modeling .
 top   bot 

LOM Santa Claus machines are made up of layers of paper.
A piece of paper is glued to the previous stack and then the
part outline is cut with a laser.
You end up with a wooden-like
part inside a wooden block. When you remove the block,
the part is released.


Several early LOM companies ( notably Helisys ) have folded
and this particular RP technology may not have much of a future.

   LOM systems from Cubic Technologies
     Offers the Solidimension SD300 printer based on the.
     older Helisys technology. Well suited for building up
     prototypes, models, and molds.

Click to reach the Guru's Lair library.
Click for the Worst of Marcia Swampfelder.

However, huge models based on foam blocks may still be viable...

  LOM systems from TU Delft
     Use of precut large foam blocks offers some interesting new
     alterntives to very large models .Blocks are much thicker than
     other RP systems. Final object size can be arbitrarily huge.

Click here for banner ad  info.
Click here for a partnering opportunity.

   Inkjetters: .
 top   bot 

Inkjet Santa Claus machines are coming on strong as a
newer and potentially low cost alternative. Typically, one
inkjet will spray a thermoplastic while a second sprays wax.

A flat milling process follows each layer till buildup is complete.

An alternate method lays down powder and then uses an inkjet
delivered binder to bond the parts. This offers full colors.
A
third method is called PolyJet in which the inkjet prints a
photopolymer which is immediately UV cured. This process
seems to offer exceptional accuracy and precision.

The process can be used to make lost wax castings, fancier
molds, or for limited use proof-of-concept models.


Water soluble portions can be included allowing support
during the building process.

 Rapid Prototyping Systems from  SolidScape
     Manufacturers of the T66 and Modelmaker inkjet based
     machines and companion PatternMaster software. The
     T66 is under $50K and truly desktop.

Click to reach the Resource Bin library.
Click here for our Auction Help library

  Full Color RP Systems from Z Corp
     Uses the inkjet-hardens-powder method in their Z310,
     Z406, and Z810 systems. Materials are typically starch or
     plaster based. A related Z-Cast system makes metal parts.

Click to reach the Math Stuff library.
Click here for our live eBay auctions.

  Full Color RP Systems from PolyJet
     A wide variety of inkjet RP systems from ObJet. Includes their
     Connectex, Eden, and Alaris families Also offers a trade in 
      program for older RP systems.

Click here for Don's Resource Bin columns.
Click here to sponsor an Ad Banner.

   CAD/CAM Mini Mills: .
 top   bot 

These are simply smaller (and often fully automated) versions of
traditional machine tools. Tiny enough to literally fit a desktop.


They differ from other RP methods in that they remove, rather
than build up material. They are often much faster.

For info on homebrew solutions, see our Flutterwumper Library.

  Web information center from  Desktop CNC
     Survey site and link farm covers smaller milling machines,
     lathes, routers and others
. Special areas for newsgroup
     postings, educational market systems, bunches more.

Click to reach our Hardware Hacker library.
Click to reach our Patent Avoidance library

  Small Milling Machines from Minitech CNCC
     Offers the Mini-Mill/Pro smaller CNC system that is claimed
     to be one of the most accurate desktop machines in the world.
     Also has even more precise scientific versions.

Click here to visit the GuruGram library
Click here for our live eBay auctions.

  Prototyping Houses: .
 top   bot 

Prototyping houses are essentially service bureaus who have
bought Santa Claus machines from primary suppliers and use
them to create models and preproduction mockups for you.

  Master RP Service Bureau Directory by Castle Island
     Extensive world-wide directory of Rapid Prototyping service bureaus
     and development services arranged by state and country. Also splits
     out which Santa Claus technologies are in use.

Click here for Don's Resource Bin columns.
Click here to sponsor an Ad Banner.

There are apparently many thousands of rapid protoyping houses.
Here is a random selection of some higher profile resources...

  Your own action figures from ToyBuilders
     These folks have all five major Santa Claus technology
     systems in house and specialize in such items as game
     pieces, toys, awards, and incentives.

Click here for the Adobe Acrobat library.
Click here to visit the GuruGram library.

  Prototyping House: Quick Parts
     Low-volume custom-manufactured plastic and metal parts, built
     to your specs. Available RP technologies include SLA, SLS, FDM,
     plus conventional cast urethane and quick turn injection molding

Click to reach the Tech Musings library.
Click here for Induction Heating book access.

  Prototyping House: Laser Repro
     Useful source for concept designs, rapid prototyping, urethane
     reproductions, and final manuracturing. Primarily stereolithography.
     Also as newsletter and free online videos available

Click to reach the Guru's Lair library.
Click for the Worst of Marcia Swampfelder.

  Prototyping House: DTP Fast
     Design prototyping technologies outfit provides instant quotes
     for Sterelithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), 3D
     Printing, Urethane Casting and Rapid Investment Casting

Click here for water soluble swimsuit info.
Click here to view our eBay live auctions.

  Books and Periodicals: .
 top   bot 

Books:

Note that "Rapid Prototyping" also denotes a software
methodology largely unrelated to Santa Claus machines.
Those titles are not included here.

Direct Write Technologies for Rapid Prototyping ( Douglas B. Chrisey )
Electroactive Polymers for Rapid Prototyping   ( Yoseph Bar-Cohen)
Fab (Neil Gershenfield)
Handbook of Rapid Prototyping & Layered Manufacturing  ( L.Leu )
Laser-Induced Materials & Processes for Rapid Prototyping ( J. Fuh )
Rapid Manufacturing : The Technologies and Applications...  ( S. Dimov, )
Rapid Prototyping ( Andreas Gebhardt )
Rapid Prototyping & Flexible Manufacturing ( Rolf-Juergen Ahlers )
Rapid Prototyping Directory 1995 ( Cad/Cam Pubs )
Rapid Prototyping : Fundamentals of Stereolithography ( Paul Jacobs )
Rapid Prototyping of materials ( Dawn Herlocher )
Rapid Prototyping: Principles & Applications ( Chua Kai )
Rapid Prototyping Systems ( SME Association )
Rapid Prototyping Solutions ( Steve Upcraft )
Rapid Prototyping Technology ( Kenneth G. Cooper )
Solid Freeform Manufacturing: Advan.. ( D. Cochan )
Stereolithography & Other RP&M Technologies ( Paul Jacobs )


  Design Resource: International Journal of CAD/CAM
     Publication of research results in CAD/CAM with emphasis
     on the technology applications
. Both industrial and academic

Click here to sponsor an Ad Banner.

  Extensive RP Coverage by Castle Island
     Worldwide Guide to Rapid Prototyping. Includes bibliography,
     patents, links, service bureaurs, directories, much more...

Supply sources via our Auction Help page.

  Trade Journal: Machine Design
     The best general trade journal for mechanical design and product
     development. Occasionally covers RP and CAD/CAM topics,

Click to reach the Resource Bin library.

  Trade Journal: Design News
     Another general trade journal for mechanical design and product
     development. Occasionally covers RP and CAD/CAM topics.

Click for Custom Research solutions..

  Associations & Newsletters: .
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  RP group in the Society of Manfacturing Engineers
     Focuses on the technologies and processes that help conceive,
     develop, test, revise, and manufacture new products.

Click for Custom Research solutions..

  Complete Archive from Rapid Prototyping Mailing List
     Archive sponsored by Castle Island. Actual mailing list is maintained
     by Helsinki University of Technology.

Click here to view our eBay live auctions

  Online RP Live Chat Group via Rapid Prototyping Net
     Network also offers color coded manufacturing links and much
     more. See their listing in the SLA section.

Click to reach our Blatant Opportunist library.

  Stereolithography users group from 3D Systems
     Active user's group specifically targets stereolithography issues.
     See their listing in the SLA section.

Click to reach our GuruGram library.

  Selective Laser Sintering users group from 3D Systems
     Lots of great robotics theory and practice, along with bunches
     of RP info. See their listing in the SLS section..

Click to reach the Math Stuff library.

Usenet newsgroups seem a little lean when it comes to rapid prototyping.
Here are a few possibilities...

alt.machines
alt.machines.cnc
alt.machines.misc
sci.polymers

  For More Help: .
 top   bot 
.
    Other Guru's Lair library pages of interest include Tech
    Musings, Hardware Hacker, Blatant Opportunist, Don's
    Resource Bin, Math Stuff, PostScript, GuruGrams, Ask
    the Guru, and Flutterwumper resources.
  Ask Don a Santa Claus RP Question.
  Explore an Energy Efficient Solutionn.
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