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  • What is a Bill of Materials?

    • April 6, 2020

    For every manufactured item from a spoon to a spacecraft there is a document known as a “blueprint”. Blueprints got their name from the ink color used in early document reproduction. If the blueprint is the birth certificate and life history of a part, then the bill of materials (BOM) contained therein is the recipe.

  • 5 Facts About Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)

    5 Facts About Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)

    • April 3, 2020

    Have you heard of fused filament fabrication (FFF)? Also known as filament freeform fabrication, it’s a popular 3D printing process that’s characterized by the use of a continuous plastic filament. It involves the use of a 3D printer that guides the filament through an extruder header, after which the material is deposited onto the workpiece.

  • 3D Printing vs Additive Manufacturing: What’s the Difference?

    3D Printing vs Additive Manufacturing: What’s the Difference?

    • April 2, 2020

    Many people assume that the terms “3D printing” and “additive manufacturing” refer to the same manufacturing process of building objects by depositing layers of material. The two terms, in fact, have become synonymous with this manufacturing process. So, what’s the difference between 3D printing and additive manufacturing exactly? What Is 3D Printing? 3D printing is

  • Why Zinc Is Used in So Many Alloys

    Why Zinc Is Used in So Many Alloys

    • April 1, 2020

    Featuring the atomic number 30, zinc is a bluish-silver metal that’s somewhat brittle at room temperature. While most people recognize zinc as an essential mineral — it boots the immune system and regulates metabolism — it’s also used in the production of many alloys. Brass, for instance, is an alloy consisting primarily of copper and

  • Will Covid-19 Kill Kanban?

    Will Covid-19 Kill Kanban?

    • March 30, 2020

    Most Americans are not familiar with the business model that delivers their groceries. In fact, “supermarkets” were the source for most of the good practices that have evolved into “just in time manufacturing”. The term “Kanban” evolved from grocery stores to also define the process by which manufacturers only bought components “as needed” or “just

  • The Pros and Cons of Die Casting

    The Pros and Cons of Die Casting

    • March 27, 2020

    From cylinder heads and engine blocks to garden furniture and bicycle frames, die casting is used to create a wide variety of products. It involves the use of pressurized molten metal to fill a mold cavity. The raw metal is heated, after which it’s forced into a mold cavity. After the molten metal has cooled

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