AI In-situ Monitoring Detects Fusion Flaws in L-PBF Metal 3D Printing
In-situ process monitoring is the key for validating the quality of AM-made parts and minimizing the need for post quality control. In this collaborative research, in-situ datasets collected from a co-axial photodiode installed in an EOS M 290 were subject to a set of correction factors to remove chromatic and monochromatic distortions from the signal. The corrected datasets were then analyzed using statistical and machine learning algorithms. These algorithms were systematically tuned and customized to detect lack of fusion flaws.
Shell International deploys GE Additive Concept Laser M Line to additively manufacture oxygen hydrogen micromixer
GE Additive has unveiled a 3D printed oxygen hydrogen micromixer in collaboration with Shell International B.V. The joint design and engineering project was undertaken at Shell’s Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam (ECTA), with GE Additive’s Concept Laser M Line system utilised to additively manufacture the micromixer component.
300 Small Manufacturers In Michigan Got Free 3D Printers. What They Did With Them Might Surprise You.
Called Project DIAMOnD for Distributed, Independent, Agile, Manufacturing On-Demand, it is poised to become the world’s largest emergency-response network for 3D printing physical objects on demand. Locally, over the past two years, the program has helped small manufacturers realize cost savings and flexibility they didn’t know was possible with 3D printing. They’ve printed parts to keep their lines operational and versatile in the face of disruption and uncovered new business opportunities.
How This Startup Cut Production Costs of Millimeter Wave Power Amplifiers
Diana Gamzina is on a mission to drastically reduce the price of millimeter-wave power amplifiers. The vacuum-electronics devices are used for communication with distant space probes and for other applications that need the highest data rates available.
The amplifiers can cost as much as US $1 million apiece because they’re made using costly, high-precision manufacturing and manual assembly. Gamzina’s startup, Elve, is using advanced materials and new manufacturing technologies to lower the unit price.
It can take up to a year to produce one of the amplifiers using conventional manufacturing processes, but Elve is already making about one per week, Gamzina says. Elve’s process enables sales at about 10 percent of the usual price, making large-volume markets more accessible.
Design of a Ni-based superalloy for laser repair applications using probabilistic neural network identification
A neural network framework is used to design a new Ni-based superalloy that surpasses the performance of IN718 for laser-blown-powder directed-energy-deposition repair applications. Current high-performance engineering alloys commonly suffer from issues when processed using additive manufacturing methods. These include cracking, porosity, elemental segregation, and anisotropy. The computational method reported here enables the identification of new alloy compositions that have the highest likelihood of simultaneously satisfying a range of target properties, including criteria specific to additive manufacturing. The efficacy of this method is demonstrated with the design of a new alloy more amenable to laser-blown-powder direct-energy-deposition. The method may be readily extended to the optimization of other alloy types and process methods.
Automatically Weaving the Digital Thread in 3D Printing with Oqton
In the case of dental aligners, which rely on patient-specific 3D printed molds, the Manufacturing OS plays an integral role in enabling lights-out, automated production. Schrauwen explained that the Oqton Manufacturing OS “manages everything from scheduling to nesting to build preparation, managing the machines, tracking failures, tracking the CNC, trimming, laser marking—everything.”
By being integrated into every aspect of the production process, the Oqton Manufacturing OS offers benefits aside from AI-based automation. Specifically, it enables traceability for such highly regulated fields as medicine, aerospace/military, and oil and gas. Unlike some other MES providers, Oqton built material traceability into the core of its software because it wanted to target highly regulated industries early on. With this built-in traceability, fields that require a full accounting of a manufactured item can log into the Oqton Manufacturing OS to get a full report about a part all the way down to the sensor values and oxygen concentration thresholds used on the printer while it was being printed.
Psyonic makes advanced prosthetics accessible using additive manufacturing
The Ability Hand is designed and manufactured in-house at Psyonic with hybrid manufacturing methods, including 3D printing, injection and silicone moulding, and CNC machines. Psyonic says that the Ability Hand is promising to restore life and mobility back to what it was for patients.
Using the Formlabs SLA 3D printers, Psyonic says that it was able to create an FDA-registered, medicare-covered, industry-defining upper-limb prosthesis from scratch. The machine also allows for collection of customer feedback followed by rapid prototyping in-house to improve design and functionality.
Can Robots Fix Inflation, Supply Chain and Labor Issues? Singapore Thinks So
How Additive Manufacturing Can Help Design Engineers Meet Manufacturability, Sustainability, and Cost Initiatives
The right manufacturing insights software can lower manufacturing risks and facilitate sustainability efforts. Products like aPriori’s manufacturing insights platform foster collaboration earlier in design with sourcing and suppliers. As a result, manufacturers can look for more environmentally friendly materials and production methods.
Additive manufacturing reduces reliance on one specific supplier, material, or process. Consequently, supply chain risk is mitigated. Additive manufacturing reduces exposure for the manufacturer if any of the suppliers fail or disappear. More local suppliers mean a reduction in carbon footprints. Now, manufacturing software platforms enable them to improve workflow and collaborate better with all teams throughout the product development lifecycle. Additive manufacturing makes design to cost a more manufacturable and sustainable reality.
Breaking the Glass Ceiling of 3D Printing
Now having launched the S100, HP is anticipating a steady increase in the number of Metal Jet applications it has at scale. Pastor noted that it will take a process of ‘months and months’ to identify applications, assess the economics, carry out process development and then move forward. But he and HP are confident that, gradually, the technology will have a sizeable impact. “It’s not that this will be a ramp [with a steep ascent],” Pastor said. “And by the way, some of the 3D printing technologies, you have this step change [but] with a ceiling. Our approach is different. It actually will take time, but we will break this glass ceiling that 3D printing has right now.”
Metal Jet works by laying down a uniform, thin layer of metal powder across the build area before HP printheads jet binding agent at precise locations to define the geometry of parts. The liquid components of the binding agent then evaporate, with the process repeating until the build is complete. Once the build is complete, the powder bed is heated to complete the evaporation of liquid components of the binding agent and to cure the polymers to achieve high-strength green parts. Once cooled, the parts are removed from the powder bed via the depowdering process, with the green parts then moved into a furnace for sintering. When the sintering is concluded, the parts can undergo post-processing to meet dimensional and surface finish requirements.
Impeller Design & Optimization for Additive Manufacturing
Wärtsilä’s engineers redesigned the centrifugal pump impeller for additive manufacturing. Not only was the optimized turbomachinery component 44% lighter, but it was generated using an automated design process, enabling customization.
For this collaborative project, engineers from Wärtsilä’s additive manufacturing center in Finland joined forces with nTopology, SLM Solutions, and Oqton to create a digital workflow based on advanced engineering design and additive manufacturing technologies. The primary aim of this project was to replace the traditionally cast impeller.
Deere Invests Billions in Self-Driving Tractors, Smart Crop Sprayers
The company this year is rolling out self-driving tractors that can plow fields by themselves, and sprayers that distinguish weeds from crops. Deere, which helped make satellite-guided tractors ubiquitous in the U.S. Farm Belt over the past 20 years, is investing billions of dollars to develop smarter machines that the company said will make farming faster and more efficient than it ever could be with just farmers behind the wheel.
Whirlpool is utilizing Stratasys’ FDM, Neo SL and Origin 3D technology
What are the challenges around using additive manufacturing for production?
“A lack of workflow automation is just one factor affecting the relatively low throughput of current AM technologies. But, relatively high maintenance requirements also leads to an untenably low uptime of the capital equipment. Until real and reliable automation can be integrated into the end-to-end workflow, serial production with AM technologies will be limited to relatively low-volume production.”
Automation comes up frequently. Additive is a complex, multi-step process with several touch points along the way from setting up process parameters to material handling to the often-manual task of support removal. But automation comes with its own challenges. “Currently, it is more cost-effective for brands to mix and match production of parts between a number of big and small industry players,” Davey explained. “This makes automating the entire physical and digital flow much more difficult because integration can be complex. There are many nuances, such as geometries and post- processing requirements to name a few, that must be considered.”
Investing in Seurat’s AM Technology as a Pathway to Distributed Manufacturing and Industrial Decarbonization
Spun out of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Seurat Technologies has made its mission to break down the technical barriers of metal AM and facilitate a way for the approach to become a true successor to traditional manufacturing. Identifying the point-by-point raster-style printing method underlying all exiting laser-based metal AM as the key issue, co-founders James DeMuth (CEO) and Andy Bayramian (CSO) turned to the source of the problem — the laser.
Having already demonstrated their technology and rapidly scaling the method for industry use, Seurat is accelerating AM to deliver on its full potential. Their approach can enable production-level throughput without sacrificing resolution. Performance is maintained as well. Their approach facilitates full melt/full density part performance matching those produced by traditional metal forming methods like investment casting and forging. This unlocks new relevance to sectors like the auto industry which demand high precision and performance in both geometric tolerance and mechanical behavior at high production volumes.
Heat Exchanger Design with Additive Manufacturing
Heat exchangers (HEX) are crucial in many heat transfer applications, from cooling electronics to recuperating heat in industrial facilities. These devices are essential for thermal management as it ensures the product and processes perform as intended over their expected lifespan, and they are critical in energy production.
However, for many high-performance applications, we have reached the limit of what is technically possible using traditional manufacturing methods in terms of heat exchanger efficiency or size. This is where additive manufacturing technologies come into the picture. The design freedom of additive manufacturing allows you to create more innovative designs and empowers you to optimize heat exchanger performance.
Robot 3D Printing Makes Giant Industrial Mixer Blade
The Factory of the Future: Markforged and Guhring
Using artificial intelligence to control digital manufacturing
MIT researchers have now used artificial intelligence to streamline this procedure. They developed a machine-learning system that uses computer vision to watch the manufacturing process and then correct errors in how it handles the material in real-time. They used simulations to teach a neural network how to adjust printing parameters to minimize error, and then applied that controller to a real 3D printer. Their system printed objects more accurately than all the other 3D printing controllers they compared it to.
The work avoids the prohibitively expensive process of printing thousands or millions of real objects to train the neural network. And it could enable engineers to more easily incorporate novel materials into their prints, which could help them develop objects with special electrical or chemical properties. It could also help technicians make adjustments to the printing process on-the-fly if material or environmental conditions change unexpectedly.
From Boeing Starliner to Goodyear tire, 3-D printing is becoming manufacturing reality
By 2030, Goodyear aims to bring maintenance-free and airless tires to market, and 3-D printing is part of that effort for the Akron-based tire-making leader founded in 1898 and named after innovator Charles Goodyear. Currently, about 2% of its production is through additive manufacturing and more integration into the mix is in sight.
Humtown Products, a 63-year-old, family-owned foundry near Youngstown, Ohio, adopted 3-D printing in 2014 as an efficient way to make industrial cores and molds. Today, its additive manufacturing division accounts for 55% of overall revenue and is growing by 50% annually. Pivoting to 3-D printing was the company’s “Kodak moment,” said owner and president Mark Lamoncha. “If you are not in the next space, you are out of business,” Lamoncha said. “This industry is at a tipping point to commercialization and in many disciplines it is the equivalent of driving a race car,” he said.
“For industry, it’s most definitely a competitive advantage because you can design in ways that you can’t with traditional production,” said Melissa Orme, has been vice president of additive manufacturing since 2019, a role that cuts across Boeing’s three business units making commercial airplanes, satellites and defense systems. She works with a team of 100 engineers, researchers and other specialists in advancing the technology’s development. Orme cited advantages in reduced lead times for production by a factor of ten, streamlined design into one large piece for assembly, and increased durability.
Nano Dimension continues expansion with 12.12% stake in Stratasys
Investment in additive manufacturing continues as Nano Dimension has acquired a 12.12% stake in fellow 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys.
The strategic investment was certainly an unexpected one as Stratasys is one of the most seasoned veterans in industrial 3D printing. The companies may both be based in Israel, but their market segments couldn’t be more different: Nano Dimension specializes in Additively Manufactured Electronics (AME) while Stratasys operates almost exclusively in the polymer space with proprietary technologies like FDM and PolyJet.
Velo3D Gives Us a Backstage Tour of its New Facilities in Germany
Building the world’s most efficient air-conditioning system in the United Arab Emirates
We believe that by combining Algorithmic Engineering with industrial 3D printing, we can engineer A/C units that, over the cycle of a year, consume only 10% of the energy of a conventional device. After long discussions with Hans Langer, founder of AM giant EOS, I am now convinced that we can do it at scale, and at a price point that is competitive with traditionally manufactured units.
The cost to buy one and operate it for one year should not exceed the same amount of money that you need to invest in an off-the-shelf A/C. This is what’s needed for a tipping point — I think we can do it. It’s going to be super hard and take a lot of effort on many fronts – engineering, manufacturing and industrialization. We have our work cut out for us, and I sincerely hope, we will get it done.
3D Printed Injection Mold Tooling for Prototyping
Right to re-print: What role could 3D printing have in right to repair?
Where the volumes are right or a redesign beneficial, the case for AM can be made but for many parts, traditional methods of manufacture are still the way to go. Reeves recalls a visit to the warehouse of one of Europe’s largest white goods spare parts suppliers almost a decade ago. An analysis of the millions of SKUs on-hand was conducted but Reeves concluded “you could literally count on one hand the ones that were viable 3D prints.”
“The ‘right to repair’ legislation is likely to cause logistical headaches for manufacturers globally who face having to stock hundreds of thousands of spare parts,” Dickin said. “However, the law could also finally move the dial in reversing the “throwaway society” trend of the last 60 years by creating goods that last longer - producing savings for both the consumer and environment.
3D printing hits the spot: How PepsiCo is using AM to produce drink bottle tooling
Among those tools and capabilities is PepsiCo’s patented Modular Mold Set, which is compatible with most standard blow moulders and comprises an aluminium shell, dental stone, and 3D printed inserts for various bottle designs from 100ml to 3L. “The Modular Mold Set is a means for us to be able to very rapidly and quickly generate a customised mould that we can then utilise in our lab-scale or Pilot Plant scale stretch blow moulding equipment,” Rodriguez told TCT.
Previously, to get functional mould samples, PepsiCo would contract an external service provider who would leverage a subtractive manufacturing technique – CNC or EDM, depending on the complexity – and return the tool within two-to-four weeks at a typical cost of up to 10,000 USD.
How Is 3D Printing Different From Other Manufacturing Techniques?
Ultimately, the difference between 3D printing and other manufacturing methods is about how 3D printing builds parts in layers, and how 3D printing provides greater design freedom. From thickness and topology optimization to lattice formation, design for manufacturing (DFM) is different with 3D printing. This form of additive manufacturing also enables the design of single-piece parts instead of assemblies that require multiple components and fasteners.
Linex Manufacturing overcomes inspection challenges
BMW Creates Fully Automated Production Lines for 3D Printed Car Parts
By utilizing systems made up of laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) platforms, combined with AI and robotics, that it has developed, the IDAM consortium can print 50,000 series parts a year, as well as 10,000 new and individual parts. Opened in 2020, BMW’s campus at Oberschleißheim has 50 3D printers for both metal and plastics. Aside from investing in a variety of 3D printing startups, including Desktop Metal and Xometry, the company also employs HP MultiJet Fusion (MJF) and EOS machines, among other brands.
New Industrial Robot at Cornell can 3D Print Large-Scale Structures for the Construction Industry
A new 6,000-pound industrial robot at Cornell University can 3D print the kind of large-scale structures that could transform the construction industry, making it more efficient and sustainable by eliminating the waste of traditional material manufacturing.
When to use 3D printing for mass production
You should consider using 3D printing for mass production if: You need to produce customized goods, You need to start or shift production quickly, You need to meet variable demand, You’re planning a low-volume production run, You have a complex part that would be otherwise unmakeable.
We just built the world’s largest 3D-printed aerospike rocket engine
EOS sister company AMCM completed the print of the world’s largest aerospike rocket engine. It was engineered completely in Hyperganic Core using advanced software algorithms and has never seen a single piece of manual CAD. It’s likely the most complex AM part ever produced — it broke all conventional workflows. AMCM printed it in copper in their massive 1m build volume machine. The engine stands at 80cm tall.
The Relevance of Cost Per Part to Scale the Additive Manufacturing Industry
Today, the cost of 3D printing parts is still too high to be truly viable for many applications. To give an idea, the price of 3D printing is still between 10 to 100 times more expensive than injection moulding. It is therefore vital that all process efficiency losses associated with industrial 3D printing be minimized. In doing so, costs will not increase exponentially with expanding production, which will pave the way for AM factories to scale their operations while maintaining competitive price levels. A lower cost per part will also create pathways for new businesses and industries to invest in and adopt AM.
How IGESTEK Produces 40% Lighter Automotive Parts
Ford rolls out autonomous robot-operated 3D printers in vehicle production
Leveraging an in-house-developed interface, Ford has managed to get the KUKA-built bot to ‘speak the same language’ as its other systems, and operate them without human interaction. So far, the firm’s patent-pending approach has been deployed to 3D print custom parts for the Mustang Shelby GT500 sports car, but it could yet yield efficiency savings across its production workflow.
“This new process has the ability to change the way we use robotics in our manufacturing facilities,” said Jason Ryska, Ford’s Director of Global Manufacturing Technology Development. “Not only does it enable Ford to scale its 3D printer operations, it extends into other aspects of our manufacturing processes – this technology will allow us to simplify equipment and be even more flexible on the assembly line.”
At present, the company is utilizing its setup to make low-volume, custom parts such as a brake line bracket for the Performance Package-equipped version of its Mustang Shelby GT500. Moving forwards though, Ford believes its program could be applied to make other robots in its production line more efficient as well, and it has filed several patents, not just on its interface, but the positioning of its KUKA bot.
3Din30: What's Fueling Launcher's Race to Space?
How 3D printing improves sustainability across the supply chain
After analyzing several studies about energy efficiency of 3D printing, the answer is not as simple. Due to very individual use cases (machine, product and process characteristics), comparability of traditional methods and 3D printing is not always generally possible. While compared with subtractive methods, 3D printing can be more energy efficient (especially due to lesser material consumption). The energy consumption of 3D printing compared to injection molding is generally considered to be higher due to a way longer production time per part (less than a minute per part for injection molding, several hours for 3D printing). However, other factors such as the energy consumption for producing the mold, the production volume and material efficiency have to be taken into account. When looking into lower volumes, it becomes a fact that additive manufacturing is a more sustainable production method, regarding energy efficiency.
Additive Manufacturing Poised to Make a Value Impact on Oil & Gas Supply Chain
An end-to-end metal AM system allows OEMs to quickly manufacture mission-critical parts for O&G operators without extensive redesigns. Such a fully integrated solution consists of print preparation software that applies a generalized set of recipes based on the design’s native CAD file, a printer that executes the print file, and quality assurance software that ensures the health of the tool and monitors the build, layer-by-layer.
Additionally, the American Petroleum Institute has now published API20S, the first-ever O&G-industry sanctioned specification for metal AM. This spells out processes, testing, documentation and traceability, among other requirements, for manufacturers of metal AM components being used in O&G facilities of all types.
Riven Ramps Up Accurate Part Production with 3D Reality Intelligence
Riven is a cloud software company specializing in 3D reality intelligence that accelerates product introduction of high-accuracy, end-use additive manufactured parts. Riven’s software, using 3D reality data and proprietary algorithms, allows engineering and manufacturing teams to cut iterations and time to good parts while improving the customer experience.
Now, Riven has gone further and corrects these deviations by introducing Warp-Adapted-Models (WAM); Riven’s WAM corrects systematic warp, scaling and offset from all causes in minutes from a first printed part. Additive manufactured parts using Riven WAM are up to 10X more accurate than those printed with CAD. WAM is also scalable from singular high-value parts to series production. This improved accuracy helps solve the customer pain and problems from out-of-spec parts and enables exciting new end-use product applications for AM.
3D Printing Mock-Ups to Solve Problems with Equipment Placement in Factories
Alfonso Buonora is a mechanical engineer with 15 years of experience in working for ABLAB3D, a Design and Consultancy studio. He cooperates with various industries helping them to devise the most efficient layout of production lines within their factories. To do so, he designs and constructs mock-ups of whole industrial plants as well as individual machines that compose them. For both prototyping and manufacturing purposes ABLAB3D takes advantage of Zortrax M200. Here are the reasons for using 3D printing in Mechanical Engineering and the step-by-step process of developing a mock-up for food industry, commissioned to Alfonso by an Italian producer of canned goods.
U.S. Military To 3D Print Its Way Out Of Supply Chain Woes
Additive manufacturing enables the military to produce new products quickly and cost-effectively, on-demand and at the point of need, either at base, at sea, or on the frontlines. It bolsters the lifespan of legacy systems and vehicles that might otherwise be retired.
Radford uses 3D printing to customize automotive manufacturing
3D Printing in manufacturing is going supersonic
3D Printing Drives Growth In On-Demand Manufacturing
This new breed of on-demand digital manufacturing company is highly invested in software and digitally driven manufacturing technologies, such as industrial 3D printing. They not only promise faster and more efficient part manufacturing locally, but digital solutions that enable cost-saving product innovations and accelerated time to market for nearly any type of product.
The company’s newest microfactory on Chicago’s Goose Island features industrial 3D printers from Carbon and HP along side digitally integrated CNC machines, as part of Fast Radius’ Cloud Manufacturing Platform. The microfactory will produce component parts for companies across industries including electric vehicles, medical and healthcare devices, and consumer goods. The World Economic Forum named Fast Radius one of nine best factories in the world implementing “technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” or Industry 4.0.
Ocado showcases 3D printing innovation
Ocado has unveiled a new approach to building the robots in its fulfilment centres, which it hopes will dramatically improve efficiency and reduce operating costs. The company has developed a 600 Series bot, which it said can be built cheaper and is lighter than the current 500 Series bot. According to Steiner, the 600 Series grocery fulfilment bot “changes everything”. Ocado designed the 600 Series using topology optimisation, similar to the technique used in the aerospace sector to make aircraft parts strong but light. It then used additive manufacturing, in partnership with HP, to make 3D prints of the parts required to build the 600 Series.
Generative Design for Milling Lightweights EV Motorbike Part
Generative design software uses a set of user-input parameters and constraints to develop efficient part designs. These shapes are often organic forms no human would design on their own, and in its earliest years generative design was locked to additive manufacturing and production methods facilitated by additive manufacturing. Not long after Lightning and Autodesk developed their first iteration of the generatively designed motorcycle swing arm, Autodesk updated its solver to support milling and other conventional manufacturing methods. Design candidates generated for milling generally cannot reach the same level of optimization as their AM siblings, but they are much easier to manufacture while still reducing the weight of the part.
Additive Manufacturing: New Frontiers for Production and Validation
Additive manufacturing (AM) is a uniquely disruptive technology; 25-30 years ago, it changed the manufacturing paradigm by altering the way that manufacturers produced prototypes. Today, it is disrupting the way that manufacturers produce end-use parts and components, and is increasingly seen as a truly viable production technique. Now, the conversation among manufacturers is around the most judicious use of AM for production, its advantages, the sweet spot is in terms of production volumes, key opportunities, and barriers to entry. Many of these barriers relate to precision quality control of AM parts, which challenge traditional methods of surface metrology.
New Micro-3D Printing Technique Could Benefit Pentagon
For many pieces of equipment, such as lenses or sensors, there is a trend to make them smaller and smaller, he said. But traditional manufacturing techniques that have historically been used to make the parts don’t scale well and have other limitations. To address this, the company developed a process it calls projection micro stereolithography, he said. The technique allows for the rapid photopolymerization of a layer of resin with ultraviolet light at micro-scale resolution, allowing the company to achieve ultra-high accuracy precision and resolution that cannot be achieved with other technologies, according to Kawola’s slides.
Todd Spurgeon, a project engineer at America Makes, said he sees several ways the technology could be leveraged for the Defense Department. For example, it could be employed for higher-end electronics, circuits, small unmanned aerial vehicles and microneedle arrays for fast-acting medicines.
Merck Teams Up With Rival J&J to Help Produce Its Covid Vaccine
The New Space Race: How 3-D Printing Is Driving Current And Future Space Exploration
The ability to print parts is also helping reduce the complexity of rockets. Dubbed by some as “the most complex flying machine ever built,” the Space Shuttle used a staggering 2.5 million parts. Using 3-D printing, manufacturers can consolidate many of the complex components into multifunction assemblies, which can make them easier, faster and less expensive to produce, as well as more reliable to operate.
As the cost and complexity of manufacturing rockets and rocket engines have decreased in recent years, a number of private space exploration companies have emerged. Among the newest players in the field, our customer Privateer Space, co-founded by Steve Wozniak, is using 3-D printing to create small cube satellites that will monitor and remove debris from orbit.
Physics-Informed Neural Networks (PINNs) for Improving a Thermal Model in Stereolithography Applications
Stereolithography (SLA), additive manufacturing (3D printing) technique, is widely used nowadays for rapid prototyping and manufacturing (RP & M). This technique is driven by photo-polymerisation, which is an exothermal process. This may lead to thermal stresses significantly affecting the final quality of printed parts/products. To guarantee high-quality parts printed with the SLA technique, understanding the thermal behaviour is therefore crucial for optimizing the process. In this paper, the recent physics-informed neural network (PINN) methodology was employed to improve a physics-based model for predicting the thermal behaviour of SLA processes. The accuracy of the improved thermal model is demonstrated in this paper by comparing the predicted 2D temperature field with the 2D temperature field measured by a high-speed infrared thermal camera on parts printed on a production machine.
Benefits of 3D Printed End-Use Parts in a Yacht
3D printing allows the company to make any number of different parts to fit and match exactly with the various spaces onboard a yacht. The CAD model can be created according to the space allowed and fits the needed requirements. With the advancements in filaments and precise high-quality printers like the FUNMAT HT, Nick and Adam are able to have a high control on cost, produce parts faster than traditional manufacturing, and use materials that are better suited to the intended function than in conventional methods. The FUNMAT HT is an open material system that doesn’t come at an extra cost, thus allowing them to test many types of filaments.
Hexagon industrialises high quality additive manufacturing with open ecosystem strategy
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has revealed its plans to build the industry’s most flexible and open additive manufacturing (AM) ecosystem to help overcome complexities in 3D printing processes and support customers in effectively building their product development and manufacturing workflows.
“Just as large manufacturers drove the provision of open factory automation, it’s important we vendors now break down barriers to new manufacturing technologies that offer more flexibility and efficiency. Instead, open data standards should be seen as a growth enabler.”
Making the Call in Mass Production: 3D Printing or Traditional Manufacturing?
When focusing on plastic components and products, there are traditionally few manufacturing methods available, the oldest and most common being injection molding. While injection molding has dominated the manufacturing landscape for decades, newer techniques like 3D printing, have begun to gain traction by offering an alternative, as well as advantages over traditional methods; for example, a company may go straight to injection molding to manufacture plastic products in a high volume of 10,000 parts or more–or they may choose 3D printing for greater flexibility in making designs, multiple iterations, and the ability to make complex geometries not possible before.
“The key to scale is software. After all, additive manufacturing is inherently digital manufacturing. And make no mistake, Stratasys is a software company.” – Stratasys CEO, Dr. Yoav Zeif— Stratasys (@Stratasys) November 4, 2021
Machine-learning system accelerates discovery of new materials for 3D printing
The growing popularity of 3D printing for manufacturing all sorts of items, from customized medical devices to affordable homes, has created more demand for new 3D printing materials designed for very specific uses.
A material developer selects a few ingredients, inputs details on their chemical compositions into the algorithm, and defines the mechanical properties the new material should have. Then the algorithm increases and decreases the amounts of those components (like turning knobs on an amplifier) and checks how each formula affects the material’s properties, before arriving at the ideal combination.
The researchers have created a free, open-source materials optimization platform called AutoOED that incorporates the same optimization algorithm. AutoOED is a full software package that also allows researchers to conduct their own optimization.
U.S. Army’s New Expeditionary 3D Concrete Printer Can Go Anywhere, Build Anything
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Automated Construction of Expeditionary Structures (ACES) program is a game changer for construction in remote areas. The project will supply rugged 3D concrete printers that can go anywhere and print (almost) anything. The project started several years ago when concrete printers were very much in their infancy, but even then it was obvious that commercial products would not fit the Army’s needs.
ACES has produced multiple printers working with different industry partners. For example, ACES Lite was made in partnership with Caterpillar under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. It packs into a standard 20-foot shipping container and can be set-up or taken down in 45 minutes, has built-in jacks for quick leveling and can be calibrated in a matter of seconds, making it more straightforward than other devices. Overall the printer resembles a gantry crane, with a concrete pump, hose and a robotic nozzle which lays down precise layers.
The new technology is not magic, as 3D-printed construction is still construction. It does not do everything. A printed building still requires a roof and finishing touches like any other construction work. In areas with good logistics where equipment, labor and materials are all plentiful, there may be little advantage to the ACES approach. But in expeditionary environments, where all these things are likely to be in short supply, ACES could make a real difference.
Additive for Aerospace: Welcome to the New Frontier
Gao, a tech fellow and AM technical lead at Aerojet Rocketdyne, is particularly interested in the 3D printing of heat-resistant superalloys (HRSAs) and a special group of elements known as refractory metals. The first of these enjoy broad use in gas turbines and rocket engines, but it’s the latter that offers the greatest potential for changing the speed and manner in which humans propel aircraft, spacecraft, and weaponry from Point A to Point B.
“When you print these materials, they typically become both stronger and harder than their wrought or forged equivalents,” he said. “The laser promotes the creation of a supersaturated solid solution with fantastic properties, ones that cannot be achieved otherwise. When you combine this with AM’s ability to generate shapes that were previously impossible to manufacture, it presents some very exciting possibilities for the aerospace industry.”
Eric Barnes, a fellow of advanced and additive manufacturing at Northrop Grumman, says “Northrop Grumman and its customers are now in a position to more readily adopt additive manufacturing and prepare to enter that plateau of productivity because we have spent the past few years collecting the required data and generating the statistical information needed to ensure long term use of additive manufacturing in an aeronautical environment… In the future, you may be able to eliminate NDT completely. Comprehensive build data will also serve to reduce qualification timelines, and if you’re able to understand all that’s going on inside the build chamber in real-time, machine learning and AI systems might be able to adjust process parameters such that you never have a bad part.”
Improving the Manufacturing Process Through 3D Printing
Industrializing Additive Manufacturing by AI-based Quality Assurance
At Siemens we are aiming to significantly improve quality assurance in Additive Manufacturing (AM) with industrial artificial intelligence and machine-learning to accelerate the time from prototype to industrialization as well as the efficiency in large-scale serial production.
Data of all print jobs are collected in a virtual private cloud (encrypted and secured by two-factor authentication), which facilitates the analysis and comparison across multiple print jobs and factory locations.
A profile of the severity scores of the final prototype can be used to define upper control limits for the serial production, which are then the basis for an automatic monitoring of the printing quality in the industrial phase. This could include, for example, the automatic creation of non-conformance reports (NCR).
The application calculates a severity score per printed part on the layer and additionally a severity score for the whole build plate. The severity score per part is calculated on the area of the bounding box of every single part, which helps to focus on those issues in the powder bed that can negatively impact the part’s quality. It allows a detailed monitoring of every part during the print process and is used by technical experts to evaluate if further Non-Destructive-Evaluation (NDE) of the finished part is required.
In situ infrared temperature sensing for real-time defect detection in additive manufacturing
Melt pool temperature is a critical parameter for the majority of additive manufacturing processes. Monitoring of the melt pool temperature can facilitate the real-time detection of various printing defects such as voids, over-extrusion, filament breakage, clogged nozzle, etc. that occur either naturally or as the result of malicious hacking activity. This study uses an in situ, multi-sensor approach for monitoring melt pool temperature in which non-contact infrared temperature sensors with customized field of view move along with the extruder of a fused deposition modeling-based printer and sense melt pool temperature from a very short working distance regardless of its X-Y translational movements. A statistical method for defect detection is developed and utilized to identify temperature deviations caused by intentionally implemented defects.
The Genius of 3D Printed Rockets
Robotic 3D manufacturing providing greater flexibility
Robots are extending their reach. These multiaxis articulators are taking 3D manufacturing and fabrication to new heights, new part designs, greater complexity and production efficiencies. Integrated with systems to extend their reach even further, their flexibility is unmatched. Robots are virtually defying gravity in additive manufacturing (AM), tackle complex geometries in cutting, and collaborate with humans to improve efficiencies in composite layup. This is the future of 3D.
3D printing is already a multibillion-dollar industry, with much of the activity focused on building prototypes or small parts made from plastics and polymers. For metal parts, one additive process garnering lots of attention is robotic wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM).
The Challenge with AM Process Substitution
I have lost track of how many times I have stressed the economic (and technical) challenges companies face when attempting process substitutions with additive manufacturing (AM), or what I often refer to as “replicating” a part with AM. In short, everyone thinks a metal AM part is going to be cheaper than the machined, cast or forged version of the part (or as strong as the injection-molded part for those working in plastics) based on the hype, only to find that it is not. The “sticker shock” and disappointment that ensue often dampens the enthusiasm for AM and can undermine future AM investments, creating an uphill battle for AM.
The Journey of Additive Manufacturing and Artificial Intelligence
3D Search Unlocks Part Database Potential
A variety of digital formats can be leveraged as input, anything from CAD files to photographs, with the system’s algorithms that the Physna team developed creating a “digital fingerprint” of the 3D object. This fingerprint describes the object and enables the user to search a database of parts using a 3D part as the search term.
Physna is capable of interpreting assemblies and the parts associated with the assembly. In the 3D viewer, the user is able to inspect the assembly and search for similar parts from the database.
For instance, if an engineer at has modeled a flange that features a 1-inch ID, a common search using language would be “1-inch flange”, but if the engineer uploaded the model to Physna, the fingerprint would include aspects of the flange like its bolt pattern, whether or not it incorporated a bearing and contours of the flange design. This may lead to discovery of previously designed parts or even compatible third party parts if the database is connected to other vendors.
How startups can hit it big by thinking small
I estimated what the size of the market might be for seemingly impossible parts and calculated that the potential reward was worth the risk. Someone needed to undertake this quest. And even though it embarasses me now to think about how naive some of my original assumptions were, I decided that person should be me. So I launched Velo3D, aimed at using 3D printing to make the parts that innovative companies need to create the future.
We realized that we didn’t have to solve the entire problem. Instead, we could succeed with a much smaller focus by identifying the most valuable, specific problems to solve for customers and tackling those.
Suddenly our entire mindset changed. We were no longer looking for a solution to make any shape possible. We were looking for a way to create one specific type of turbopump. It sounds less exciting, I know. But it was the best thing we could have done.
BMW-led study highlights need for AI-based AM part identification
With time-to-market in the automotive industry steadily decreasing, demand for prototyping components is higher than before and the vision of large-scale production, delivering just-in-time to assembly lines, is emerging. This is not only a question of increasing output quantity and production speed but also of economic viability. The process chain of current available AM technologies still includes a high amount of labor intensive work and process steps, which lead to a high proportion of personnel costs and decreased product throughput. Also, these operations lead to bottlenecks and downtimes in the overall process chain.
Scientists Set to Use Social Media AI Technology to Optimize Parts for 3D Printing
“My idea was that a material’s structure is no different than a 3D image,” he explains. “It makes sense that the 3D version of this neural network will do a good job of recognizing the structure’s properties — just like a neural network learns that an image is a cat or something else.”
To see if his idea would work, Messner designed a defined 3D geometry and used conventional physics-based simulations to create a set of two million data points. Each of the data points linked his geometry to ‘desired’ values of density and stiffness. Then, he fed the data points into a neural network and trained it to look for the desired properties.
Finally, Messner used a genetic algorithm – an iterative, optimization-based class of AI – together with the trained neural network to determine the structure that would result in the properties he sought. Impressively, his AI approach found the correct structure 2,760x faster than the conventional physics simulation.
Nissan Accelerates Assembly Line with 3D Printing Solution
Previously Nissan outsourced all of its prototypes and jigs to mechanical suppliers who used traditional manufacturing methods, such as CNC and drilling. Although the quality of the finished product was good, the lead times were long and inflexible and the costs were high. Even simple tools could cost in the region of 400€ for machining. By printing some of these parts in-house with 3D printers, Nissan has cut the time of designing, refining and producing parts from one week to just one day and slashed costs by 95%.
Eric Pallarés, chief technical officer at BCN3D, adds: “The automotive industry is probably the best example of scaling up a complex product with the demands of meeting highest quality standards. It’s fascinating to see how the assembly process of a car – where many individual parts are put together in an assembly line – relies on FFF printed parts at virtually every stage. Having assembled thousands of cars, Nissan has found that using BCN3D 3D printing technology to make jigs and fixtures for complex assembly operations delivers consistently high quality components at a reduced time and lower cost”.
How 3D Printing Impacts The Maritime Industry
3D printing has penetrated a range of sectors and industries to a point where it is being adopted by mainstream organizations in their manufacturing processes. However, one sector that has been left behind in this adoption is the maritime industry.
There are a stream of applications for 3D printing in the maritime industry, such as product innovation and customization, spare part manufacturing, on-demand manufacturing, and much more.
3D Printing Technologies in Aerospace and Defense Industries
Currently, AI is an integral part of the design process for AM in aerospace. In designing parts for aircraft, achieving the optimal weight-to-strength ratio is a primary objective, since reducing weight is an important factor in air-frame structures design. Today’s PLM solutions offer function-driven generative design using AI-based algorithms to capture the functional specifications and generate and validate conceptual shapes best suited for AM fabrication. Using this generative functional design method produces the optimal lightweight design within the functional specifications.
Circular Economy 3D Printing: Opportunities to Improve Sustainability in AM
Within the 3D printing sector alone, there are various initiatives currently underway to develop closed-loop manufacturing processes that reuse and repurpose waste materials. Within the automotive sector, Groupe Renault is creating a facility entirely dedicated to sustainable automotive production through recycling and retrofitting vehicles using 3D printing, while Ford and HP have teamed up to recycle 3D printing waste into end-use automotive parts.
One notable project that is addressing circular economy 3D printing is BARBARA (Biopolymers with Advanced functionalities foR Building and Automotive parts processed through Additive Manufacturing), a Horizon 2020 project that brought together 11 partners from across Europe to produce bio-based materials from food waste suitable for 3D printing prototypes in the automotive and construction sectors.
How Materialise Research Makes Multi-Laser 3D Printers Accessible with Future-Proof Software
A major goal for many in the 3D printing industry is boosting productivity to ultimately scale operations. Materialise’s software research team predicts that multi-laser machines will be key in enabling 3D printing factories to accomplish this goal.
In this blog, we’ll dive into this topic with Tom Craeghs, Research Manager within our Central Research & Technology department. Read on to discover the advantages and challenges of multi-laser machines, as well as how advancements in software will enable these printers and their associated productivity to become a reality.
Exploring Additive Manufacturing Opportunities: Optimizing Production with Hyundai Lifeboats
This project was the epitome of Explore. Just as myself, Director of Innovation at Materialise, and others from the Mindware team, had no experience or knowledge of producing lifeboats, the Hyundai team was unaware of the capabilities and limitations of 3D printing. So, the first step in this project was bringing our two worlds together to pinpoint a relevant business challenge for Hyundai Lifeboats that we believed could best be solved via additive manufacturing.
Easier said than done. We dove into an interactive workshop session in which we discovered each side’s perspectives, expectations, and blind spots. We first discussed how AM could increase the boat’s value — with enhanced speed, performance, functionality — but we were met with hesitancy from the Hyundai team.
How Additive Manufacturing Adoption Brings Business Gains
Analysis from Jabil’s 2021 3D Printing Technology Trends survey revealed that additive manufacturing is already enabling unique and better ways for manufacturers to serve their markets. In the last few years, highly regulated industries with precise and rigid standards for safety and quality, such as healthcare, aerospace, defense and automotive, have positioned themselves enthusiastically among those championing the strategic benefits of additive manufacturing.
How Artificial Intelligence Can Automate 3D Printing Decision-Making
GE to advance competitiveness of wind energy with 3D printed turbine blades
The project will initially produce a full-size 3D printed blade tip for structural testing, in addition to three blade tips to be installed on a wind turbine, with the hope of reducing manufacturing cost and increasing supply chain flexibility for the components.
“We are excited to partner with the DoE Advanced Manufacturing Office, as well as with our world class partners to produce a highly innovative advanced manufacturing and additive process to completely revolutionize the state of the art of wind blade manufacturing,” said Matteo Bellucci, GE Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Leader.
Guide to Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D Printing
Selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printing is trusted by engineers and manufacturers across different industries for its ability to produce strong, functional parts.
In this extensive guide, we’ll cover the selective laser sintering process, the different systems and materials available on the market, the workflow for using SLS printers, the various applications, and when to consider using SLS 3D printing over other additive and traditional manufacturing methods.
Speeding the Adoption of Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing offers a number of potential innovations in product design, while its flexible manufacturing capabilities can support a distributed manufacturing model - helping to unlock new business potential. However, when companies begin to consider all that is needed to make additive a reality— such as generative design, part consolidation, and topology optimization—it becomes clear that the traditional ways of designing and manufacturing parts are falling away.
3D printing in metal resulted in fewer bacteria and greater food safety
3D printing in metal was chosen as a solution and Marel quickly began to redesign the support element specifically for 3D printing, so that it took full advantage of the technology’s possibilities. The support element is in direct contact with food, so bacteria can accumulate in all cleaves, joints and openings, and these bacteria can be transferred directly to the meat. That’s why we were really excited about the possibility of 3D printing the support element in one piece, and the weight reduction was also a positive element, as the support element moves MANY times a second, says Matias Taul Hansen, Technical Designer at Marel
3D printing is a much cheaper solution than cutting out the item, and compared to laser cutting, 3D printing is also preferable, as we avoid joints where bacteria can accumulate. By 3D printing in titanium, we also achieve a lower-weight item that is cheaper to produce and that can work faster, says Kristian Rand Henriksen, consultant at the Danish Technological Institute.