FDM (fused deposition modeling) is an additive build process wherein thermoplastic filament is melted and extruded from a printer head and deposited onto a printing bed. The printer builds three-dimensional objects in layers. Each layer is printed in the X and Y directions (as a horizontal surface). Layers aggregate in the Z direction.
L.O.M (laminated object manufacturing) is a process wherein a sheet material is cut to shape and successively adhered in layers to build a three dimensional object. Layers aggregate in the Z direction.
S.L.M. (Selective Laser Melting) is a rapid- prototyping technique that utilizes a high density laser to sinter and fuse metal powder into a desired form. Thin layers of powder are rolled onto the work surface. Then, the laser is applied, selectively melting desired areas of powder to the layer below.
A light-emitting device (laser or DLP) selectively illuminates the transparent surface of a tank filled with a liquid photo-polymerizing resin. The solidified resin is progressively dragged up or down by a lifting platform, resulting in a 3D object.
This additive prototyping process uses an ink jet print head that moves across a layer of powder, selectively depositing a binding material. Another thin layer of powder is spread across each completed layer, and the process is repeated until the desired geometry is formed. Excess powder remains in the build bed until the process is complete.
A CNC lathe machine is a computer numerically controlled tool that rotates stock material about an axis of rotation to perform various subtractive operations. These include cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, deformation, facing, and turning. Tools can be applied to the workpiece to create an object with symmetry about that axis.
A CNC milling machine is a computer controlled machine that is generally used to plane material, drill holes, cut or carve materials. Each of these subtractive tasks do not involve rotating the work piece itself. The Milling machine acts in the X and Y directions while fixed to a moving Z axis arm.
A CNC router is a computer controlled machine that is capable of cutting a variety of materials. It is conceptually similar to the hand-held router. The CNC router machine translates CAD models into ‘G-Code’. This code supplies instructive coordinates to the machine. The router moves across a gantry in the Y-axes and plunges in the Z-axis. The entire gantry moves in the X-axis.
The laser cutter uses an optically amplified beam of light as a cutting element. That laser can etch, engrave and/or cut non-metallic materials including wood, glass, film, fabric, and plastic. The laser can be focused, and the intensity of light increased or decreased for specific tasks. Cut performance (depth for example) can also be controlled by varying the speed of the cutting head.
Plasma cutters work by sending an electric arc through a gas that passes through a constricted opening. This elevates the temperature of the gas to the point that it enters a fourth state of matter, plasma. This plasma uses this electrically conductive gas to transfer energy from a power supply to any conductive material, resulting in a clean, fast cut.
This project would not have been possible without the help and support of the Teaching Learning Enhancement Fund Grant program. SALA offers its sincere thanks and gratitude to the TLEF program, its organizers, and the students of UBC who fund the program. Thank you for your support in our project.
Many people contributed to this document, including Blair Satterfield, Graham Entwistle, Sam Hart, Lisa Kusaka, Derek Mays, Alana Paven, Alex Preiss, Sébastien Roy, Kara Verbeek, and Amy Wu.