Welcome to World of CAD: Monthly News Roundup, Scan2CAD’s monthly look-back at the latest developments in the CAD industry. This month, we’ll be taking a look at some exciting developments from the fields of CAD, additive manufacturing, CNC, and raster-to-vector conversion.
First, we’ll be taking a look at the projected increase in revenues for the 3D printing and CAD markets. We’re also reporting on the new machines from 3D printing giant Stratasys, who have also announced partnerships with Siemens, Boeing, and Ford.
One of the most exciting developments in the world of CNC comes from Californian startup Shaper, whose Origin machine uses augmented reality to make CNC machining more user-friendly. In the field of additive manufacturing, we’ll be looking at Renishaw’s new WINDY project, which will change the way aircraft take to the skies. Finally, we’ll be showcasing an Australian company which gives small businesses an innovative way to promote their brand—using vectorization technology.
CAD and 3D printing revenues expected to increase
We begin this month’s roundup with some exciting forecasts from market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC). In their Worldwide Semiannual 3D Printing Spending Guide, they’ve projected huge growth for the 3D printing and CAD markets within the next five-year period.
The 3D printing market is expected to be worth $35.4bn in 2020, a huge increase from its 2016 valuation of $15.9bn. Despite the increasing variety of 3D printing applications, these gains are projected to come largely thanks to a traditional area of strength for 3D printing: discrete manufacturing. This field currently generates 56% of the revenue for the 3D printer market, and will continue to play an important role in the coming years.
As well as 3D printing itself, related fields are also projected to receive a boost in revenues. The computer-aided design (CAD) industry can expect its revenues to triple in size over the next five years; a rate of growth which will be nearly matched by the market for on-demand parts services. We here at the Scan2CAD blog will be closely monitoring the growth in CAD over the coming years, so we can bring you the news as it happens.
Stratasys partners with Boeing, Siemens and Ford
Stratasys was the first company to develop fused deposition modeling—the technique of adding layer upon layer of molten material to form a three-dimensional model. This technique now forms the basis of most modern 3D printing, so it’s fairly safe to say that the company has always had a pioneering streak. On August 24, Stratasys continued in this vein by announcing two new next-generation 3D printing products.
The first of these two machines is the Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator. Unlike traditional 3D printers, which are best known for printing small prototypes, this machine will be able to build objects of virtually any size. It is therefore able to meet the needs of the automative and aerospace industries for “large lightweight, thermoplastic parts with repeatable mechanical properties”. Stratasys has worked alongside Boeing to define the specifications of the machine, and will partner with Ford in order to develop applications for the printer.
The second machine sees Stratasys partnering with Siemens to create the Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator. This machine combines the advanced extrusion technology of Stratasys with the motion control hardware of Siemens, creating a machine that allows for extreme precision in building strong, lightweight structures. The Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator is also aimed at the automotive and aerospace industries, but Stratasys also foresees applications in the oil and gas and medical fields. To learn more about these exciting new technologies, visit Stratasys’ newsroom.
Earlier this year, we showcased some of the most exciting new innovations in the world of CNC. This next machine would fit right in on that list: a CNC machine which incorporates augmented reality (AR) technology. The first product from San Francisco-based startup Shaper, Origin promises to make CNC considerably more user-friendly. It does this through the use of a camera and specialized patterned tape called ShaperTape.
The user starts by sticking the tape to the desired material along the intended cutting paths. Then, the camera is able to detect the paths, helping the user to cut in a straight line and automatically correct for any deviation. Not only that, but unlike traditional CNC machines, which have a fixed workspace, the Origin can cut on any flat surface, making it considerably more versatile.
Whilst 3D printing is taking up much of the limelight at the moment, it’s good to see that its more established cousin, CNC, is still evolving. To find out more about how the Shaper Origin works, watch the video below:
Additive manufacturing project to revolutionize aircraft wings
In recent months, we’ve reported on a number of innovations from the world of additive manufacturing. This month is no exception, as British engineering firm Renishaw have announced the launch of their appropriately-named WINDY (Wing Design Methodology Validation) project. The project will harness Renishaw’s additive manufacturing capacities and knowledge of precision measurement in order to transform aircraft wing design.
The project has been part-funded by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and will come in at £17.7m ($23.3m). It will be led by a team from the Bristol office of European aircraft manufacturer Airbus, and will focus on the aerodynamic modelling of wings; the potential to use 3D-printed components in wing structures; and using loads control on aircraft for greater efficiency. With over 30,000 new aircraft projected to be required in the coming two decades, the outcome of this project could have major implications on the way all of us fly.
Using vector images to create custom stamps
Here at Scan2CAD, we love featuring some of the many creative uses for raster-to-vector conversion—from beautiful sculptures to theater backdrops. This month, our spotlight is on Woodruff and Co. This Melbourne-based company specializes in creating custom rubber stamps, making it possible for small businesses to create personalised, branded packaging, and in doing so, helping them stand out from the crowd.
You might be wondering, however, what exactly all of this has to do with vectorization. In fact, vectorization is a crucial part of the process. First, customers send their raster designs to Woodruff and Co—accepted file types include JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Next, these files are converted from raster to vector. Once vectorized, the designs are used to create custom rubber stamps. These can then be used on coffee cups, paper bags, menu boards—anything the business needs. The stamps provide a professional, unique and affordable way for startups to create a cohesive brand. Plus, as the photos above show—they look great! Check out more of Woodruff and Co’s work on their website or Instagram page.
Want to learn more about the latest developments in CAD and its related fields? Check out some previous editions of World of CAD.