Yes, I like your idea of having a site from which to retrieve benchmark
parts. A university site is probably the best location for the benchmark
site. I think that Clemson U. has some of the benchmark parts in use
today at their web site. However, I think that it would be far more
useful if more than benchmark .STL files are available at such a site.
For example, I've been using a part and injection mold (developed from
the part) for benchmarking in rp for several years at Kodak. A modified
version of the mold was recently adopted by the 3D NASUG as a "user
mold" for benchmarking. It is available at GA Tech at
rpmi.marc.gatech.edu/~usermold. It is offered as a PRO/E "program" from
which a part or mold can be developed or as .STL files. Data points are
built into the part file to identify suggested points for measurement.
An Excel spreadsheet (still under development) is also provided for
measurement data reconciliation with the CAD points. If people have
PRO/E, there is flexibility in the program to choose the built-in
plastic mold shrinkage, some part features, and to further modify the
mold such as changing the size of the mold inserts to fit existing mold
bases. If one considers these kinds of issues along with the part
geometry in establishing a database of benchmark parts, there is a
better chance of having benchmark accuracy data that can be reported and
compared from many individuals.
Therefore, I recommend that a spec which details additional information
that needs to be contributed along with benchmark part geometry should
be generated for each contributor to follow. I am certainly willing to
help define the information.
-- Douglas A. VanPutte Manufacturing, Research, and Engineering Eastman Kodak Company Tel. 716.477.1492 1669 Lake Avenue Fax. 716.722.0810 Rochester, NY 14652-4102 E-mail: email@example.com
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