Why 3D print a tree frog? Well, because you can….
Spending the day yesterday with my friends at CEM-TEK at the SOCOM (SOUTHERN COLORADO MANUFACTURING EXPO) I was struck by the fact that I would delete email requests, and hide behind the water cooler from anyone who asked me to make a drawing of this tree frog.
So the reality is the defense & aerospace, automotive, and medical industry doesn’t make tree frogs as products, but they certainly DO create parts with complex surfaces.
So again, I would say to that boss who wanted this complex surface documented for manufacturing and probably for archive: “I’m going to give you a 3D model that will serve as the master geometry for this product. Then we will configuration manage it.”
I wouldn’t know how to begin to document this product with typical drawing orthographic views, never-mind the time spent to document it. Therefore, I am forced to use model-based methods that capitalize on 3D solid models. Eventually, our parts will become more organic looking, and many bio-medical products are already shaped to mate with body parts. Gone will be the days of perpendicular edges and easy to dimension surfaces, utilizing a 3D model will be the only way to document your design.
Of course, maybe your products already look like a tree frog…