How Fusion 360 enables low-cost solutions to expensive problems | Autodesk GmbH
When you deal exclusively with big-name industrial customers and highly sensitive applications, it is very challenging to market your capabilities. This was a particular problem for contract engineering firm STS Technical Design and one of their material providers, The Virtual Foundry, both of which are based in Wisconsin. As a result, the companies were looking for a way to highlight both the unique design expertise of STS and the innovative materials of The Virtual Foundry.
For this project a clamp assembly was designed and manufactured to for example cancer drugs or small samples of refined materials, or other substances in various applications. It was designed to have a low center of gravity to avoid tipping. What the STS and Virtual Foundry teams landed on was a three-part material handling solution comprising a vessel, a water-cooled work holding device, and a simple base and carriage.
It took Heard approximately 24 work-hours to design these three parts, with input from his product development team, while also learning how to use Fusion 360. The intent of the project, however, was to show how the barriers to entry for advanced manufacturing are much lower than they were even a few years ago. Using Fusion 360 and the innovative filaments from The Virtual Foundry, however, STS was able to create parts that can be printed on a fused filament fabrication (FFF) device that can be acquired for a few hundred dollars — as opposed to industrial-grade metal 3D printers or CNC machines that can run into the millions.