How to Avoid These 5 Materials in Pursuit of Safer Design

There is a growing discussion in the hardware world around the lifecycle of materials used in products. Users are doing their research and demanding safer materials that have low carbon footprints. As awareness about the harmful side effects of certain materials grows, designers and manufacturers must seek alternative hardware materials that still meet their design requirements. The ultimate...

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Threading 101: An Introduction to Threading

Threading is the process of creating screw threads for fastening things together. Threaded parts are incredibly common, and for good reason: threads allow parts to be joined together easily and at a low cost. They can be created using a variety of methods, and are used with dozens of different types of fasteners. In this post we’ll cover multiple processes used to cut threads, how to add...

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$26 Million Lost: Why Crowdfunded Hardware Projects Fail

About 9% of funded Kickstarter campaigns fail to deliver on their promises, and hardware projects have a special set of challenges that project creators have difficulty overcoming. While software teams can release a minimum viable product, then iterate and improve upon it, hardware teams have less room for iteration once they ship their device.

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Announcing Online Manufacturability and Pricing Analysis

We’ve launched an online tool that brings the power of our CAD add-in straight to your browser. Now - no matter what CAD software you use - you can check your design’s manufacturability, get a price, and order your part online. We’ll machine your part and ship it to you in as little as 3 days. See for yourself and upload a part!

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Engineering Plastics Primer: Which Plastic Should I Use?

Although metal is often the go-to material choice for engineering applications, plastics are a great option for many scenarios as well. Many have a great balance between material properties and cost. Depending on your needs, a plastic may be a less expensive material choice with similar properties as the metal you were considering. Certain plastics may also offer properties that are simply not...

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The History and Design of Milling Machines

Milling machines have been influential in the world of production and manufacturing for decades. Without them, countless innovations would’ve never seen the light of day.  At the most basic level, a milling machine uses rotating cutters to remove material from a solid block by feeding the cutter along a block of material. There are many types of milling machine, but for the sake of this post,...

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5 Ways to Design for Cost with Milling

Milling is a manufacturing process used across a variety of industries to create parts of all shapes, sizes and materials. Due to its huge variety of tooling, machine capabilities and decades of technological advances, milling is a process that every designer should understand how to utilize. However, costs can add up quickly because of material selection, part geometry, programming time, and...

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Plethora Partners with Siemens, Supports NX

Plethora’s CAD add-in for pricing and manufacturability feedback now supports NX™ software from Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software business. You can download our new NX add-in here. We’re excited to support a program used by so many great automotive, aerospace, and consumer product companies! Siemens is a global industry leader, and we’re looking forward to working with them...

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Day of Making

Every quarter, Plethora holds a “Day of Making” where employees teach classes, work on personal projects, and collaborate on group tasks. In the past, we’ve made bike parts, caroling mills, lost wax-cast sculptures, tables, planters, bartending robots, and much more. Here are a few projects from our most recent Day of Making:

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