3D Metal Printing: When To Use It And Design Pitfalls (3D Printing USA 2018)

Zak Smith, Global Sales Director
Star Rapid
United States


USA 2018 (pdf) Presentation - IDTechEx*
USA 2018 (audio) Presentation - IDTechEx*

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Presentation Summary

There are many misconceptions that have developed around 3D metal printing, leading to designers trying to use it as a rescue for bad designs - this simply won't work. 3D metal printing is much more complicated than 3D plastic printing and other design processes, requiring a different set of skills and deeper understanding of the process. Understanding the nuances of this technology is essential to creating a design that won't fail during the build process.
The first step is knowing when 3D metal printing is the correct design process. 3D metal printing is well suited for the creation of parts that have complex geometries that are unachievable by other processes. 3D metal printing is also ideal for lightweight and high-strength parts. However, it is important to note that if a design can be CNC machined, it probably should. CNC machining still has advantages in speed and cost.
Next the session will share practical design, such as limitations on walls, gaps and holes, when to implement bridges and overhangs, and more. Zakary will provide you with the necessary tools to identify if 3D metal printing is right for creating the part they are designing for and common design mistakes to avoid.

Speaker Biography (Zak Smith)

Zak Smith is the Global Sales Director for Star Rapid, leading a global team of engineers in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US. Together they turn innovative ideas, concepts, and projects into reality in an array of industries such as medical, automotive, aerospace, industrial, and IOT. Star Rapid's team of in-region engineers collaborate directly with other engineering and product development companies to deliver prototypes and production parts of the highest quality, on time and at an extremely competitive price. Prior to Star Rapid, Zak was an Advanced Concepts Engineer designing next-generation seat shells at Zodiac Aerospace, a Process Engineer designing lithium ion batteries at A123 Systems, Manufacturing Engineer at Philips Color Kinetics, and a Mechanical Engineer nano-plating high strength and corrosive resistant alloys at Xtalic Corporation. He currently is the Chapter Chair for YPO Next Generation of San Francisco and earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Technological Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University.

Company Profile (Star Rapid)

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Star Rapid is a western-managed, low-volume, rapid-prototyping and manufacturing company based in China. One of the company's key differentiators is its ability to provide competitive pricing, high-quality products and rapid delivery to its overseas customers. Star Rapid does this by blending additive, subtractive and forming technologies into an offering that meets client needs with the appropriate technology. Star Rapid has invested heavily in production and especially in its quality assurance department in order to make sure all the parts pass the quality control test before sending to customers.
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