First Article Inspection Under 10 Minutes

Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) have been around for a long time. But the goal of transforming to full model-based definition (MBD) has been elusive. One of the key disciplines where it has not been incorporated is in Quality Control. While organizations have partially employed model-based methods for CMM (coordinate measuring machine) inspection, most QA departments have continued to rely on drawings, manual techniques, and other non-digital means to complete the process. But now, moving the enterprise towards a fully modelbased process not only yields technical and process control benefits, but it can also greatly redu...

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Scan It, Build It

When Gabe Draguicevich was asked to help fabricate a titanium hip implant based on CT (computed tomography, also known as CAT) scan data, he had to coordinate numerous technologies to complete the project. Because the CT data consisted of 2-D cross-sections, Draguicevich had to stack and align the individual scans to create a 3-D model, which he used to create a polygonal mesh in the form of a stereolithography (STL) file. After creating a prototype, he had to verify it against the original scan data, which was no mean feat considering that software capable of providing deviation analysis of the model surface to the STL file did not exist. Finally, Draguic...

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Quality Control for Big Fabricators

For some people thinking big is not so easy.  Which is why in business you often hear the statement, “Think Big  Think outside the box!” On the other hand, some people find thinking big, not only easy, but necessary.  Which is exactly the case at Irvine, CA’s Coast Composites, Inc., a large aerospace fabricator dedicated to producing large precision molds and tooling used by aircraft and other manufacturers for production of composite components. “At Coast Composites we have to think big,” says Steve Anthony, company IT manager. “Some of the high-precision tooling we produce for customers is really huge. One example of a large ...

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