If you only know three things about Cameron Williams, Senior R&D Engineer, let them be this: he is equally smart, creative, and competitive. When given an idea for a sample part, he’ll run with it, adding his own flair.
With that in mind, this month’s parts of the month are the 3D printed darts Cameron designed for Stratafest, an incredibly fun event we co-exhibited at last week. When we were asked to have an interactive element at our Stratafest booth, a heated debate occurred. Well, heated from Cameron’s side, and full of quiet Google searches from my side.
We settled on air hockey, and darts; both 3D printed. We’ll touch on air hockey in another post, but this post will focus on the three dart models Cameron created for the event.
The tactic was straightforward: buy some darts and recreate them in CAD. We kept the purchased off-the-shelf metal barrel and replaced the tips and flights with parts printed off the Stratasys H350. Cameron added threads to the 3D printed parts, so they would connect seamlessly with the metal barrel. (An unexpected bonus of this endeavor is that I now know the appropriate terms for different parts of a dart.)
As we were recreating something that exists, “there was a design envelope that we had to maintain. There needs to be a level of compatibility between what you design, and what you are making it for. So obviously I [Cameron] had to stay within the bounds of the original design. But within those bounds create something unique and cool, which I think we did.”
Cameron designed three different dart flights, pictured above. What was his favorite? “I like the styling of the middle one. It’s very Naboo Fighter, which was inspired by old Hot Rods originally, so it has that same kind of idea to it. But it has this ring on it, which reminds me of a long-distance travel spaceship.”
He generated two more designs, printed 75 flights and darts on the H350 in 4 hours, and the project was done.
Of the project, Cameron says, “I was pretty impressed with the durability of the tips, especially getting thrown 8 feet across the room into a dart board and being able to survive. Also, the parts are pretty impressive because they’re on the lower end of the thickness that we can print on the H350. Each vane is only 0.025” thick, pretty small. And they function extremely well.”
Here’s are my takeaways:
- The darts were fun.
- The darts were a good example of some of the key advantages of the H350: fine resolution, durable material, easy to prototype, easy to scale into low-volume production. (Or higher production – the 75 darts we printed only took up a small portion of the H350’s build platform.)
- I am lucky to work for a company that has creative engineers and a like-minded sales team.
- I truly am very bad at darts.
Meet Cameron Williams
Meet Cameron Williams, Senior Research & Development Engineer. Cameron works alongside the sales team, providing engineering design services and enabling customers in finding the right additive solution for their production cycles. What Cameron enjoys most about working at Purple is the projects he is exposed to – the wide varieties of projects make for a work environment that is constantly evolving, allowing a consistent cycle of learning.
Out of the office, Cameron enjoys learning new mechanical skills and wrenching on his Jeep in preparation of hitting the trails to a campsite. If you haven’t had the chance to meet Cameron, make sure to stop by the office to say hi or connect with him on LinkedIn!