A reader asked me to comment on a situation he faced regarding calibration frequency for some gages he had on loan from his customer. The gages are only used once a year for this specific customer and—I’m guessing—spend about 80% or more of the year doing nothing.
They’re as common as dandelions in the spring, and as universal as a Swiss army knife. Sometimes they gather dust, condemned to a dark corner, other times they’re polished to a mirror finish from intensive everyday use. We’re talking, of course, about universal testing machines (UTMs).
Since its venture into 3D-printing, Ghent University has expanded into supporting new materials and manufacturing research in a variety of industries, including fatigue testing of 3D printed titanium. Its latest efforts include projects on both polymers and metals.
A reader emailed me after reading some of my rants on thread ring gages dealing with the problems that come up in their use and calibration. But he added another dimension to the problem since he is in the calibration business: How do the Europeans deal with their solid thread ring gages?
The term reverse engineering can be applied to a wide range of technologies, including disassembling computer code, genetic modification, and many more. For engineering applications, it is more usually thought of as the conversion of physical parts into digital models.
What started as a project to investigate the accuracy and reproducibility of reverse engineering a product using computed tomography (CT) and additive manufacturing with 3D printing technology has helped to establish some guidelines and processes for the future of high-quality “3D copying.”