3D Printing 101

Discussions focused on introduction to 3D printing, connections to learning opportunities and direction to higher level resources. A portal to the 3D printing world.
Del Bloem is president of Proxima 3D, a 3D printing services company headquartered in Schaumburg, IL. Proxima 3D offers file preparation services, manufacturing capability, access to all 3D printing materials and processes, and educational opportunities. Previously, Del was president of ICS Medical Corporation, a leading producer of medical diagnostic devices for otolaryngologists and audiologists.

3D Printing in Your Future

Here's a 6-minute perspective from a service provider.  It offers our insight into how to take advantage of 3D printing.


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Caterpillar's 3D Printing Lab

Here are just three uses the lab has found for AM in Caterpillar’s operations: 

• Gaging. Caterpillar has identified a number of gaging needs that can be met with custom gages 3D-printed out of plastics. For example, the company has produced field gages to measure the wear on tips, the consumable “teeth” found on the edge of an earthmover’s bucket. The gages have numbers printed directly into them, making it easy for an on-site technician to determine the level of wear on a tip. And according to Jim LaHood, Caterpillar engineering specialist for 3D printing, the plastic gages are just as accurate as metal gages and can be replaced more quickly when they wear out. A set of the field tip gages can be made overnight.

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Case Studies - - 3D Printing

Here are some experiences that users have had with 3D printing.

Nordic Consulting Group headquartered in Copenhagen

Challenge – Finding the best way to convey civil engineering visions to prospective clients, established customers and engineers throughout the 4,000-person company

Solution – Full-color 3D prints to produce engineering models

Results –

• Model production at less than one third the cost of handmade models

• Dramatic time savings that increase with the complexity of the model

• New business acquisition

• Increase in efficiency and accuracy

“There’s just something about a 3D model that stirs the passions in ways that a blueprint or computer file just can’t...3D printing has become a distinct competitive advantage for us, and ultimately, a tool that significantly benefits our customers.”

Gita Monshizadeh, CAD Development Manager, Ramboll Transport and Infrastructure Division


Stanley Black & Decker – Leading global manufacturer of power tools, hardware, home improvement products, fasteners, and accessories with more than $11 billion in annual sales

Challenge – Need for fast, cost effective production of early concept models

Solution – 3D printed models

Results - Shorter design cycles, improved product aesthetics and ergonomics

“While a design may look good on the computer screen, there is really no substitute for actually holding something in your hand. …we have been able to reduce model production time by as much as 75 percent in some cases.”

John Reed
Master Prototype Specialist
Black & Decker

Check out our website proxima3d.com for more information.


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