Joe’s Corner #6 – Ma vie folle! (My Crazy Life)
Ma vie folle!
That is French for “my crazy life”… in context it will make more sense.
So, it’s been awhile… and no, I have not been on holiday on the French Riviera. I did get to spend time this week with my friends and colleagues from our reseller in Paris France. Their CEO had a saying this week: nous souffrons ensemble — “We suffer together”. The ‘suffering’ is maybe a bit dramatic, but I thought it would make for an interesting topic this week.
They are chasing a very high profile client this week and they were tasked with printing some very challenging parts. The client has very high expectations and the quality of the printed parts had to be spot on. After many failed attempts I was asked to offer some assistance / guidance to produce the parts. What made us suffer was in part geometry related, but mainly trying too hard to follow the customer’s rules. Unfortunately, I am under an NDA and I cannot share any images of these parts, but trust me they are level 10 nasty. The suffering finally ended once we went back to basics and printed the part with a strategy we knew would succeed.
As the person responsible for delivering any print, you need to maintain control of the process. The customer cannot dictate the process variables. That is up to you.
It would be like asking a chef to bake you a delicious cake, but you cannot use eggs, sugar, or flour. You might get a cake, but it might not be very edible. The same goes for 3D printing.
Instead of asking the customer questions like:
- What layer resolution do you want?
- What material do you need?
- What type of support material?
Ask them questions about the application like:
- What surfaces are critical?
- How and where will this part be used?
- Will there be extensive post finishing?
- How critical is print time?
By understanding the application you can start planning a print strategy. Don’t get handcuffed before you begin. Think about the end use and plan accordingly.
See you next week… unless ma vie folle gets in the way again.