AdvancedTek Part of the Week – 9/19/16
No ears, guns or cars – just real parts and real applications.
Today’s part of the week was a personal project for Calvary Church in Minneapolis, MN. Calvary Church has been located at the corner of 26th and Blaisdell since May 6th, 1883. The beautiful sanctuary as it stands today was opened in 1902 and is a registered historic landmark. Calvary has undergone extensive remodeling and restoration over the years as it has become a vibrant multi-cultural congregation and host to weddings and other celebrations of life.
Recently, one of the church members in charge of church maintenance approached me and asked about 3D Printing. Someone in an upcoming wedding party had noticed a few missing decorative vent covers on the front of the stage. They wanted cover or fill in the detail for the wedding photographs. This led to a few conversations and eventually some questions directed to me about the possibility of printing replicas in order to match the aesthetics of the existing vent covers.
Of course, one of the requirements for 3D printing is that you have CAD data to send to the device. The parts in the photos could have been 3D scanned or reverse engineered in CAD. 3D scanning may be the best option for geometries that are very intricate or contoured, while this particular vent cover was easier to just reverse engineer the key features. One of our customers volunteered to draw it up using SolidWorks and we were off and running. We chose to print the part on the Fortus 250mc using ABS Plus material. ABS Plus was selected due to its relative low cost and the ability to easily finish and paint. The total print time was just a few hours for a total material cost of around $40 for each vent cover.
It was a pleasure to be able to help a place like Calvary with this small renovation project. I look forward to more opportunities around historical renovations and other architectural applications for 3D printing. Please contact us if you’d like additional information about 3D printed parts for end-use or other applications.
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