Renishaw’s Tempus: An Algorithm for Faster Metal 3D Printing
LPBF systems have a “recoater”, which is essentially a wide blade. It pushes fine metal powder onto the print area and ensures it is completely flat. Then the laser blasts areas to fuse some of the powder into the desired part. The process repeats, layer by layer until the entire object is built. The sequence of lasering and recoating occurs over and over during a print job, with each sequence contributing to a single layer. The total duration of the print job is the sum of both the laser activity time and the recoating time.
Tempus is a new laser scanning algorithm that’s implemented on the Renishaw’s RenAM 500 series of metal 3D printers. The idea of Tempus is to light up the lasers while the recoating is still ongoing. The result is that a portion of the recoating time is eliminated because the lasers become active earlier on each layer. Renishaw told us that the savings can be as much as nine seconds per layer. They said that while the speed up effect varies depending on the job, the average savings is about 30% for each job.
Tempus can be installed on existing machines with a firmware upgrade, and company representatives explained that it should be available towards the end of Q1 2024.
This 3D printer can watch itself fabricate objects
Researchers from MIT, the MIT spinout Inkbit, and ETH Zurich have developed a new 3D inkjet printing system that works with a much wider range of materials. Their printer utilizes computer vision to automatically scan the 3D printing surface and adjust the amount of resin each nozzle deposits in real-time to ensure no areas have too much or too little material.
Since it does not require mechanical parts to smooth the resin, this contactless system works with materials that cure more slowly than the acrylates which are traditionally used in 3D printing. Some slower-curing material chemistries can offer improved performance over acrylates, such as greater elasticity, durability, or longevity.
In addition, the automatic system makes adjustments without stopping or slowing the printing process, making this production-grade printer about 660 times faster than a comparable 3D inkjet printing system.
“They listened to everything we asked for.” – How Toyota helped shape the Stratasys F3300 FDM 3D printer
In the building of the F3300, Stratasys started from scratch rather than riff off the architecture of past FDM systems, integrating a tool changer that allows the user to deploy one of four extruders at a time. Tools can be changed within around 14 seconds, giving the user more flexibility in scenarios of extruder redundancy – one extruder can pick up the slack of another that has broken down – while also allowing them to print multiple colours in one part and even incorporate two different resolutions too. That latter feature was one Stratasys had been looking to achieve from the very beginning.
Stratasys went to the industrial leader in tool changer manufacture, ATI, and commissioned the company to build a custom product for the F3300. Since Stratasys expects users to do multiple tool changes in a build, they needed repeatability, reliability, and accuracy in the XY dimensions.
Per Martin, Stratasys’ tool changer is delivering on the promise. Martin works in Toyota’s TILT Lab and is responsible for delivering tooling, jigs, and fixture applications to his colleagues on the production lines. Around 5,000 cars come off these production lines every day, with Toyota harnessing FDM technology to produce manufacturing aids in materials such as PA12 CF and ULTEM 9085. Martin estimates the F3300 to be between 46-50% faster while maintaining the same resolution and accuracy as the F900.
HP and Materialise Partner to Drive Volume 3D Printing
As an HP preferred partner, Materialise will provide the industry with an end-to-end manufacturing solution that is integrated with an additive technology that is designed for productivity and scale — MJF and Metal Jet systems. As part of this partnership, HP will help customers identify meaningful use cases for the software platform, as well as showcase the solution at HP demo facilities and public events.
The seamless connectivity between HP AM technology and Materialise CO-AM enables users to create workflows that improve traceability, quality control, and machine utilization. Optimized 3D print job management allows production leads to track planned and actual printer activities and optimize machine time. To ensure continuous production, real-time machine monitoring provides operators and engineers with critical process data, including build status, material usage, and machine sensor data. This data can be collected and stored in log files of 3D-printed jobs to enhance traceability and quality control. In addition to their 3D printers, Metal Jet users can connect process-relevant HP machinery to the CO-AM platform, such as the Powder Management Station, Curing Station, and Powder Removal Station. This integration allows Metal Jet users to streamline the post-processing of metal parts within the manufacturing process.
HP partners with Elnik, GKN and Sandvik on Metal Jet
HP is focusing on further advancing and developing all aspects of its Metal Jet technology and, ahead of the Formnext show in Frankfurt, where the AM industry as a whole comes together to set the stage for the coming year, the company is presenting deals that are expected to improve various key aspects of the end-to-end metal binder jetting process. These include three key partnerships. The first is with Sandvik, one of the first companies to embrace metal binder jetting through partnerships with both ExOne (Desktop Metal) and GE Additive, on material development. Another one is with GKN Additive, a leading metal AM service that has been working with HP on Metal Jet from the get-go, on tooling and also material innovation (as GKN is also a provider of metal powders). And the third one is with Elnik, a leading manufacturer of furnaces for part sintering, to fine-tune this key aspect of metal binder jetting post-processing.
RIP 3D Printing: The Cart Before the Horse
For over a decade, the industry has largely relied on investor funding, but the time has come to focus on generating genuine revenue and profits. This presents a challenge. Few companies in the sector are highly profitable; others might be profitable but are burdened by debt. Additionally, there’s a limited pool of firms experiencing both high revenue and growth.
The most promising avenue for industry growth lies in “rapid applications.” These would allow consumers to easily purchase 3D-printed goods directly from the additive manufacturing (AM) industry itself. This approach enables quicker design iterations, leading to better products. Selling these products could generate revenue more rapidly than selling machines or services would, providing us with the funds needed to expand the industry based on these profitable applications.
Several challenges are holding the 3D printing industry back, as many have pointed out. One major hurdle is the limited accessibility of CAD software: it’s expensive, difficult to master, and complex. Because so few people can create CAD files, the vast majority can’t effectively use 3D printing or design the products that are needed. In fact, the number of people proficient in CAD is roughly equivalent to the number who speak Esperanto—another “revolution in stasis,” so to speak.
The issue is with the way the market operates. The pace of profit is glacially slow, akin to a drop of tree sap crystallizing around trapped prehistoric insects. We introduce a novel twist on an old concept—left-handed stereolithography with ovens, for thin items—and spend six months developing it. We then secure a million dollars from an individual whose primary talent lies in charming pension funds out of other people’s money. Obtaining funds from a sovereign wealth fund isn’t like taking candy from a baby; it’s like taking money from generations of unborn babies. This financing process alone can take months.
How Data-Powered 3D Printers Will Change Manufacturing
Similar to how autonomous vehicles collect and apply data to continuously improve a car’s ability to drive, connected 3D printers can use collected data for artificial intelligence-powered automation. During each print job, 3D printers produce large quantities of data that are sent to and stored in the cloud. The print job data—ripe for AI, machine learning, and automation-based product features—can then be fed to algorithms, which printers and users can access through the cloud. Among other things, these data help businesses make decisions about what parts to print and how best to print them, while improving the quality of print jobs.
Industrialization of Core Printing (ICP) - Pioneering additive serial production
Weeding Out Fake Parts: the Dark Horse of Killer 3D Printing Apps
One possible killer app that has nonetheless fallen relatively under-the-radar is comprehensive traceability of parts. Last week, for example, a Bloomberg article provided an update on a story from late August, about the discovery of years worth of phony certification documents for subpar spare parts. The spares were distributed by a small, obscure supplier of aerospace components based in London, AOG Technics Ltd. The discovery has inflicted chaos on the world’s largest aerospace companies, including Airbus, Boeing, and Safran, as they scramble for ways to undo the damage.
Whatever short-term solutions the aerospace giants may stumble upon, the only long-term solution may be comprehensive digitalization of supply chains. In addition to the fact that additive manufacturing (AM) technologies are uniquely suited to achieve that objective, the feasibility of an approach based on digitalization is suggested by the corporate players involved. Over the last decade or so, the aerospace sector’s largest companies (the ‘primes’) have achieved — and indeed, to a great extent have helped innovate into existence — some of the highest AM competencies in the world.
This New 3D Printable Wonder Material Could Help Propel NASA’s Future Missions Into Deep Space
Recognizing its potential, engineers with NASA’s Reactive Additive Manufacturing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (RAMFIRE) project decided to see whether aluminum could be engineered in such a way that it could become a viable material for use in 3D printing rocket components. The result was A6061-RAM2, a novel aluminum variant that, when paired with a specialized powder in a process known as laser powder-directed energy deposition, or LP-DED, succeeded in producing the RAMFIRE rocket nozzles.
Although conventional nozzles may require hundreds, or even close to a thousand small, conjoined parts, the RAMFIRE nozzles are single-piece constructions, which helps to significantly reduce manufacturing and assembly time.
Scalable in situ non-destructive evaluation of additively manufactured components using process monitoring, sensor fusion, and machine learning
Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) Additive Manufacturing (AM) is among the metal 3D printing technologies most broadly adopted by the manufacturing industry. However, the current industry qualification paradigm for critical-application L-PBF parts relies heavily on expensive non-destructive inspection techniques, which significantly limits the use-cases of L-PBF. In situ monitoring of the process promises a less expensive alternative to ex situ testing, but existing sensor technologies and data analysis techniques struggle to detect sub-surface flaws (e.g., porosity and cracking) on production-scale L-PBF printers. In this work, an in situ NDE (INDE) system was engineered to detect subsurface flaws detected in X-Ray Computed Tomography (XCT) directly from process monitoring data. A multilayer, multimodal data input allowed the INDE system to detect numerous subsurface flaws in the size range of 200–1000 µm using a novel human-in-the-loop annotation procedure. Furthermore, a framework was established for generating probability-of-detection (POD) and probability-of-false-alarm (PFA) curves compliant with NDE standards by systematically comparing instances of detected subsurface flaws to post-build XCT data. We also introduce for the first time in the AM in situ sensing literature the flaw size corresponding to a 90% detection rate on the lower 95% confidence interval of the POD curve. The INDE system successfully demonstrated POD capabilities commensurate with traditional NDE methods. Traditional ML performance metrics were also shown to be inadequate for assessing the ability of the INDE system’s flaw detection performance. It is the belief of the authors that future studies should adopt the POD and PFA approach outlined here to provide better insight into the utility of process monitoring for AM.
🖨️ Apple Tests Using 3D Printers to Make Devices in Major Manufacturing Shift
The new technique uses a type of 3D printing called binder jetting to create the device’s general outline at close to its actual size, or what is known in manufacturing as the “near net shape.” The print is made with a powdered substance, which afterward goes through a process called sintering. That uses heat and pressure to squeeze the material into what feels like traditional steel. The exact design and cutouts are then milled like in the previous process.
Apple and its suppliers have been quietly developing the technique for at least three years. The work is still nascent and, for the time being, will be reserved for lower-volume products. Most Apple Watch casings are aluminum, not stainless steel. The company hasn’t made headway on mass-producing 3D-printed enclosures with that material, which is also used for Macs and iPads, as well as lower-end iPhones. But the company is discussing bringing materials that can be 3D-printed, like steel and titanium, to more devices.
🖨️ EOS North America and 3YOURMIND Launch Rapid Part Identifier Program
EOS North America’s Additive Minds team and 3YOURMIND have partnered to accelerate additive manufacturing (AM) adoption through their Rapid Part Identifier program. Now, organizations can benefit from the rapid part screening of 2D and 3D files, augmented by AM engineering expertise to create a holistic industrial 3D printing strategy. This new partnership agreement helps quickly scale part identification for AM, supported by the strategy and engineering required to achieve successful production.
AI and AM: A Powerful Synergy
There’s an urgent opportunity, right now, to fully exploit the tools of computer-aided engineering (CFD, FEA, electromagnetic simulation and more) using the capabilities of AI. Yes, we’re talking about design optimization—but it’s optimization like never before, automated with machine learning, at a speed and level of precision far beyond what can be accomplished by most manufacturers today.
AI accomplishes this feat by solving the CFD or FEA equations in a non-traditional way: machine learning examines, and then emulates, the overall physical behavior of a design, not every single math problem that underlies that behavior.
AI Optimization: New Opportunities for 3D Printing
AI accomplishes this feat by solving the CFD or FEA equations in a non-traditional way: machine learning examines, and then emulates, the overall physical behavior of a design, not every single math problem that underlies that behavior. This uses far fewer computational resources while achieving an extremely robust evaluation of the design in every applicable environment. Hundreds of thousands of design candidates can be simulated and evaluated in less than a day. Bottom line: Applying AI amplifies the typical 10-20% performance improvements of simulation tools alone—up to 30% and higher. (Of course it follows that real-world testing of finished parts remains an essential task to ensure that all quality and performance metrics are met.)
Velo3D requested PhysicsX to design and simulate a solution. PhysicsX has deep experience in simulation, optimization and designing for tight packages (from considerable work in F1 racing and expertise in data science, machine learning and engineering simulation), plus proprietary simulation-validated tools that can automatically iterate on designs using machine learning/AI-based simulations. The PhysicsX approach involves creating a robust loop between the CFD, generative geometry creation tools and an AI controller to train a geometric deep learning surrogate. The surrogate’s speed, producing high-quality CFD results in under a second, is then exploited with a super-fast geometrical generative method in another machine learning loop, which deeply optimizes the design towards whichever multiple objectives the engineer decides are important. The fidelity of the deep learning tools and robust workflow enables a highly accurate solution for final validation of the results against the validated CFD model.
🖨️ Thermwood introduces large-format Cut Layer Additive manufacturing process
Thermwood has introduced a new approach to large-format additive manufacturing (AM), which it believes offers a lower cost route to leveraging the benefits of AM but with materials which can’t typically be 3D printed. Known for it’s Large Scale Additive Manufacturing Technology, the U.S.-based company has taken its 50 years of experience in building CNC control systems, and applied it to a process called Cut Layer Additive.
The real backbone behind the process appears to be its machine intelligence background. Claiming that Cut Layer Additive doesn’t require programming, ‘in the usual sense,’ Thermwood says it has taught its machine control technology to create Cut Layer Additive parts by simply sending a CAD file and telling it a set of desirables such as material choice, wall thickness, nesting layers, etc. The machine then automatically creates the additive part and layer segments needed to make it, nests them on your chosen material and creates an internal multi tool program to cut it out. The machine also provides information, including a QR code, to assist the operator with assembly, which can be done with bonding, screws, rivets and bolts.
Optimizing Agriculture’s Spare Part Production with 3D Printing
When it comes to integrating 3D printing in agriculture, there are three main options to consider, with the farmer integrating 3D printing, the farmer ordering the part via a 3D printing service, or the equipment manufacturer itself integrating the technology.
The third option of integrating 3D printing in agriculture involves the hardware producers themselves adopting a 3D printing platform. This option provides the added benefit of the hardware producer having complete control over the design and quality of the parts produced.
To streamline the process, companies can integrate a digital inventory platform such as Replique. This allows them to store all their 3D printable parts in one place, already ready for production with fixed print parameters. When a farmer orders a part, they can place the order via their usual ordering system, such as a webshop or ERP system. This order is then processed in the digital inventory, triggering the printing of the part at the print farm. Once printed, the part is shipped directly to the end-user.
Dissolving Molds: A New Way to Think About Injection Molding
Rather than mimic the conventional functionality of a tool, something new is in the game: dissolvable molds. The soluble tooling technology uses the same printer but different materials, allowing for a flexible workflow—from geometry to molds to parts.
The dissolving aspect provides design flexibility, Mason notes. Even for complex parts with undercuts and non-ideal parting lines, the mold design can be completed in 30 min., which eliminates the need to anticipate and address the pain points of a part before testing it. Mason says the speed of this approach is exceptional and molds are ready to use in less than an hour.
The dissolving aspect allows for experimentation and testing. Unlike traditional molds where changing the gate location can be costly, using the 3D printing process means each shot can have a different gate configuration. Mason says this is a liberating feature that enables a multitude of design iterations with minimal time and material costs.
SonoPrint: Acoustically Assisted Volumetric 3D Printing for Composites
Advancements in additive manufacturing in composites have transformed various fields in aerospace, medical devices, tissue engineering, and electronics, enabling fine-tuning material properties by reinforcing internal particles and adjusting their type, orientation, and volume fraction. This capability opens new possibilities for tailoring materials to specific applications and optimizing the performance of 3D-printed objects. Existing reinforcement strategies are restricted to pattern types, alignment areas, and particle characteristics. Alternatively, acoustics provide versatility by controlling particles independent of their size, geometry, and charge and can create intricate pattern formations. Despite the potential of acoustics in most 3D printing, limitation arises from the scattering of the acoustic field between the polymerized hard layers and the unpolymerized resin, leading to undesirable patterning formation. However, this challenge can be addressed by adopting a novel approach that involves simultaneous reinforcement and printing the entire structure. Here, we present SonoPrint, an acoustically-assisted volumetric 3D printer that produces mechanically tunable composite geometries by patterning reinforcement microparticles within the fabricated structure. SonoPrint creates a standing wave field that produces a targeted particle motif in the photosensitive resin while simultaneously printing the object in just a few minutes. We have also demonstrated various patterning configurations such as lines, radial lines, circles, rhombuses, quadrilaterals, and hexagons using microscopic particles such as glass, metal, and polystyrene particles. Furthermore, we fabricated diverse composites using different resins, achieving 87 microns feature size. We have shown that the printed structure with patterned microparticles increased their tensile and compression strength by ∼38% and ∼75%, respectively.
India’s First Large Scale Robotic FGF 3D Printing Facility unveiled in Bangalore by VOiLA3D
VOiLA3D, a organization in the field of robotic additive manufacturing, announced the launch of India’s First Robotic 3D Printing Facility in Bangalore. This facility is set to advance digital manufacturing in the country, opening up new opportunities for businesses and innovators.
As part of this launch, VOiLA3D has also announced the availability of on-demand Large Scale Robotic 3D Printing services to businesses across the nation. Startups, SMEs, Design Studios, and Large enterprises can now explore and harness the potential of Large Scale Additive Manufacturing for rapid prototyping, iterative product development, mass customisation for ‘markets of one’, and large tooling & molds.
Orbital Composites is using robots to 3D print giant wind turbine blades
One of the challenges of building a new wind farm is transportation: If a wind turbine blade is 200 feet long, or even longer, it can’t easily travel down highways. In fact, moving a wind turbine can take a year of planning.
The difficulty of delivery pushes up the cost of wind power. But one startup has designed a system to use 3D printing and robotics to manufacture wind turbines in the place where they will be used. “We want to be able to manufacture the foundation, the tower, and the blades all on-site, which is a radical shift from how it’s done today,” says Amolak Badesha, CEO of the startup, called Orbital Composites. Orbital Composites already uses its technology to print drones and satellite parts. To make blades for a wind turbine, it will 3D-print a giant mold, and then print the blade inside the mold. All of the equipment can be delivered to a site in shipping containers.
The company developed new tech that allows it to print composite materials at high speeds. Right now, the wind industry uses labor-intensive manufacturing techniques. “Most people don’t know this, but we actually have zero wind blade factories left in the U.S.,” Badesha says. “We used to have more, but they’ve all been offshored because of how manual this process is.” (To qualify for incentives for domestic manufacturing, he says, some companies bring the blades to the U.S. only for sanding and painting.)
🖨️🎛️ One-Camera Method Reveals Added Insights in Additive Manufacturing
We introduce an experimental method to image melt pool temperature with a single commercial color camera and compare the results with multi-physics computational fluid dynamic (CFD) models. This approach leverages the principle of two-color (i.e., ratiometric) thermal imaging, which is advantageous because it negates the need for a priori knowledge of melt pool emissivity, plume transmissivity, and the camera’s view factor. The color camera’s ability to accurately measure temperature was validated with a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) blackbody source and tungsten filament lamp between temperatures of 1600 K and 2800 K. To demonstrate the technique, an off-axis high-speed color camera operating at 22 500 frames per second capturing a 2.8 mm by 2.8 mm area on the build plate was used to image both no-powder and powder single beads on a commercial laser powder bed fusion machine. Melt pool temperature fields for 316L stainless steel at varying processing conditions show peaks between 3300 K and 3700 K depending on the laser power and increased variability in the presence of powder. Measurements of nickel superalloy 718 and Ti-6Al-4V show comparable temperatures, with increased plume obstruction, especially in Ti-6Al-4V due to vaporization of aluminum. Multi-physics CFD models are used to simulate metal melt pools but some parameters such as the accommodation and Fresnel coefficients are not well characterized. Fitting a FLOW-3D® CFD model to ex-situ measurements of the melt pool cross-sectional geometry for 316L stainless steel identifies multiple combinations of Fresnel coefficient and accommodation coefficient that lead to geometric agreement. Only two of these combinations show agreement with the thermal images, motivating the need for thermal imaging as a means to advance validation of complex physics models. Our methodology can be applied to any color camera to better monitor and understand melt pools that yield high-quality parts.
🖨️ AI and 3D printing: Ai Build’s Daghan Cam and Luke Rogers on simplifying large-format 3D printing with AI
Ai Build has already partnered with a number of leading 3D printer hardware manufacturers, including Hans Weber Maschinenfabrik, Meltio, KUKA, Evo3D, CEAD, and Massive Dimension. Through these partnerships, the company incorporates a wide range of large-format 3D printers into their Ai Lab workshop. Here, the hardware is used to test, develop, verify, and integrate Ai Build’s software for a growing range of applications. Whilst Cam could not disclose too many names, global engineering solutions firm Weir Group and aerospace manufacturer Boeing were pinpointed as key customers employing AiSync software.
Ai Build’s key product is its AiSync software, an AI-driven toolpath optimization and quality control platform. Regarding toolpath optimization, it was announced earlier this year that Ai Build had developed a process which allows users to create advanced 3D printing toolpaths using natural language prompts. This feature, called Talk to AiSync, allows users to input simple text, such as “slice the part with 2mm layer height.” This text is then translated into machine instructions to produce the desired 3D printed part.
Key to this feature is large language AI models. AiSync uses OpenAI on the back end, with GPT-4 running the software’s natural language processing. “With the addition of large language models, we are able to translate simple English words, plain sentences, into a stack of workflow that we create on our software,” explained Cam. “The goal is to make it super accessible to inexperienced users by making the user experience really smooth.”
🔋 The Race for Solid-State Batteries
Solid-state batteries could reshuffle the deck on the market for electric vehicles. Longer ranges, faster charging times, greater safety—solid-state batteries offer numerous advantages for electric cars. Many other applications are also conceivable, such as in aerial taxis, commercial vehicles, and buses, as well as stationary energy storage for renewables. The road to market readiness, however, is by no means clear. Six key tasks need to be solved for a breakthrough in the automotive industry alone: improving product properties, converting existing gigafactories to solid-state production, integrating the batteries into vehicle systems, establishing robust supply chains for new materials, reducing costs by enlarging cell formats, and funding the start-up stage.
While Asian manufacturers like CATL and LG dominate lithium-ion technology, most of the leaders in solid-state battery technology are start-ups in the USA. The established Asian players are not leaving the field without a fight, however. For example, leading cell manufacturers in Korea are forming close partnerships with their suppliers to drive the technology forward. The big carmakers appear to have learned their lesson from lithium-ion batteries. In order to prevent further dependence on Asian suppliers, they have been investing heavily in tech start-ups.
The Race to Automate Aerospace: A Talk with JPB Système CEO Damien Marc
“I took the decision to incorporate manufacturing into our core business. And that was a tough decision — our business is global, our competition is global, so we need to produce at the best quality and the best price,” explained Marc. “France was not necessarily the best choice in that sense, so I was going to look around and maybe buy a company. I didn’t find what I was looking for, but then I realized there was one other way I might be able to do it.”
Marc’s plan was to use CNC machines, with the business logic behind the idea that the equipment cost more or less the same no matter the country, but hiring the higher-salary workers in the French market could allow JPB to get the most value out of each machine. Marc quickly ran into trouble with this idea, as well. Much like in many of the other most heavily industrialized nations, good CNC operators that don’t already have jobs are just hard to come by. He finally settled on using CNC robots for the low-value tasks, so he could “center the operators in high-value operations.” This was a promising turning point, although it came with its own set of challenges.
“When I put two different machines in the workshop, they weren’t able to communicate with each other,” Marc said, referring attempts to connect his first CNC robot to an inspection machine. “There is no protocol. I was really surprised because my background is computer skills and electronics.” JPB ended up having to make its own programmable logic control (PLC) language in order to get the machines synced: “So, we created the communication between those two machines, and at the end, the machine for production was producing, the machine for inspection was inspecting, and the inspection machine was sending the offsets corrections to the production machine. We successfully created our first closed-loop.”
The Czingers disrupt manufacturing at top speeds — 253 mph, specifically
With a combination of innovative software and 3D metal printing, the Czingers have created a system to radically speed up and streamline the process of making vehicles, and potentially transform the automotive industry. It applies artificial intelligence to develop car parts, and 3D printing to manufacture them.
The Los Angeles-based company’s own Divergent Adaptive Production System (DAPS) was developed by a team that includes engineers formerly from Tesla, Apple, and other tech heavyweights. It’s a complete software-hardware solution designed to replace traditional vehicle manufacturing. With artificial intelligence, it can computationally design any structure, no matter how complex. The system then additively manufactures and assembles these parts, optimizing every component for minimum weight and maximum strength. And it can seamlessly switch from manufacturing cars to drones and beyond.
“That software designs the parts and designs it to be its most efficient and to print in the most effective way on our hardware,” said Lukas Czinger, who majored in electrical engineering as a student at Yale College. “Then it also designs it to be assembled in the lowest possible cycle time while meeting all the requirements of our modular, fully fixtureless assembly process. Those three things together — design software, printing, and assembly — is really what Divergent is.”
🖨️ When to Invest in 3D Printing: Timing is Everything
Small to mid-size manufacturers are at a disadvantage when it comes to determining if 3D printing is a viable option for their business model. Take Masterclock, a manufacturer of precise timing systems equipment in St. Charles, Mo. With 25 employees, the company designs and assembles printed circuit boards and then mounts those in various types of cases for environments and customers ranging from schools to airplanes. “We have been serving both markets with very high-quality metal cases and wanted to explore the potential of using 3D printing to reduce costs for markets that don’t need truly mission-critical timing,” he says.
Billo led the analysis, which considered current market conditions, and found that the cost of equipment required to 3D print the casements that house the display clocks Masterclock manufactures outweighs the potential savings. It is not the right time for this investment. Clark says, however, that the analysis did show him that many forms of 3D printing have reached the point that there’s parity or better—on a per-part basis—with fabricated parts, which is a potentially major leap forward for a company the size of Masterclock.
Accelerating AM with AI-Driven Design
🖨️ Work and play: How Mattel uses 3D printing to dream up new toys
“3D printing allows us to use our time more efficiently and effectively,” said Peach, Key Lead Innovation Engineer at Mattel. “We really don’t want to print every single concept that we brainstorm but when the idea is right, 3D printing is definitely a time saver, and allows us to focus on other aspects of the concept. Instead of manually fabricating it or working out toolpaths for the CNC, you can spend that time developing your concept pitch, or maybe working on the electronics, hardware, electronics software, or maybe the audio that’s going to go into that model. So you could be multitasking and then all your parts come off, you can put it together and you’re ready to go to show it to the brand team.”
While it may have offered its young customers the tools to print their own toys from home, Mattel isn’t currently deploying 3D printing for mass production applications, though Peach does have some interesting thoughts on how that could look. “I think maybe far into the future,” Peach says, emphasising the ‘far’, “perhaps we’ll have a virtuous cycle where toys can be printed at home and then played with and then the material could be recycled or part of it could be recycled and maybe you could reprint that into a new toy.”
While injection moulding may still be the way to go given Mattel’s huge production volumes – its products are available in 150 countries – Peach emphasises that for new toy development, which typically takes around 18 months depending on emerging trends and complexity, “3D printing has been a game changer.”
Apple will use 3D printing to make Apple Watch Ultra mechanical parts
The next edition of the Apple Watch Ultra will feature titanium mechanical parts where some have been produced by 3D printing to save time and cost, says analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Apple is not likely to be turning to consumer 3D printers for the new Apple Watch Ultra, but reportedly it will be moving away from its regular CNC machining process, at least in part. Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) is the process of taking CAD designs and automatically manufacturing the parts by cutting at the material.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple will continue to use CNC and that it will even be used to finish off elements of the 3D printed mechanical parts. But by moving to 3D printing, Kuo says that Apple can speed up the time taken for production — while simultaneously cutting down on costs.
🖨️ Visual quality control in additive manufacturing: Building a complete pipeline
In this article, we share a reference implementation of a VQC pipeline for additive manufacturing that detects defects and anomalies on the surface of printed objects using depth-sensing cameras. We show how we developed an innovative solution to synthetically generate point clouds representing variations on 3D objects, and propose multiple machine learning models for detecting defects of different sizes. We also provide a comprehensive comparison of different architectures and experimental setups. The complete reference implementation is available in our git repository.
The main objective of this solution is to develop an architecture that can effectively learn from a sparse dataset, and is able to detect defects on a printed object by controlling the surface of the printed object each time a new layer is added. To address the challenge of acquiring a sufficient quantity of defect anomalies data for accurate ML model training, the proposed approach leverages a synthetic data generation approach. The controlled nature of the additive manufacturing process reduces the presence of unaccounted exogenous variables, making synthetic data a valuable resource for initial model training. In addition to this, we hypothesize that by deliberately inducing overfitting of the model on good examples, the model will become more accurate in predicting the presence of anomalies/defects. To achieve this, we generate a number of normal examples with introduced noise in a ratio that balances the defects occurrence expected during the manufacturing process. For instance, if the fault ratio is 10 to 1, we generate 10 similar normal examples for every 1 defect example. Hence, the pipeline for initial training consists of two modules: the synthetic generation module and the module for training anomaly detection models.
How SLS 3D Printing Enabled the Mass Production of a Food Delivery Robot in Six Months
Machinist 3D Prints Money-Saving Fixtures Using Markforged University
Collins Aerospace Opens Additive Manufacturing Center, Expands Global Repair Capabilities At Monroe, N.C. Campus
Collins Aerospace today announced the opening of a new additive manufacturing center and the expansion of its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities at its campus in Monroe, North Carolina. The company completed a $30 million expansion of the site in 2021 and has since invested an additional $15 million as part of the Monroe City Council and Union County Board of Commissioners MAGNET100 economic development incentive program.
Collins’ new additive manufacturing center in Monroe includes two 3D printers with plans to add more in the future. The new facility will join the company’s existing global network of additive production centers in Iowa, Minnesota, and Singapore, and additive research centers in Connecticut and Poland, to support the next generation of aircraft with state-of-the-art systems and optimized designs.
3DGPT - your 3D printing friend & collaborator!
3Din30: How Its Made – the Evolution of Tooling
🖨️ How Will The Apple Reality Pro Headset Boost 3D Printing?
While most AR/VR companies certainly rely on 3D printing to some extent, at least at the level of product design, Apple’s latest product, specifically, may kickstart a niche segment of the industry known as “additively manufactured electronics (AMEs).” To those who have been following the 3D printing industry, the most obvious method for squeezing electronics into small spaces is to use AMEs. With 3D printing, it’s possible to spray conductive traces onto curved surfaces using a technology called Aerosol Jet, from Optomec, which allows electronic features to be incorporated into the structure of a product, rather than force entirely separate components into already tight spaces.
The Sandia National Labs spinout has sold Aerosol Jet printers to Google, Meta, Samsung and has all-but-confirmed that Apple is using the process, as well. By 2016, Taiwanese manufacturer Lite-On Mobile used these systems to spray antennas onto millions of mobile phones before its then-senior manager of Technology Development for Antennas, Henrik Johansson, left to work for Apple.
However, it isn’t Aerosol Jet alone that may be used by these companies to shrink devices. In December 2022, Meta acquired optics firm Luxexcel with a goal of using its lens printing process to create AR glasses. Luxexcel’s method produces optically clear polymers with the ability to integrate waveguides, necessary for transparent displays, into its lenses. It’s no coincidence then that the social media-turned-metaverse giant will be releasing the newest version of its Quest Pro headset late this year, a device said to rival Apple’s Reality Pro.
🖨️ Senvol to lead U.S. Army program focused on consistency of 3D printing performance
Senvol has announced that it has received funding from the U.S. Army to lead a program focused on demonstrating that consistent part performance can be achieved on different additive manufacturing machines located at different sites.
The program is titled “Applying Machine Learning to Ensure Consistency and Verification of Additive Manufacturing Machine and Part Performance Across Multiple Sites”, and commenced in March 2023, running through March 2025.
Aaron LaLonde, PhD, Technical Specialist – Additive Manufacturing at the U.S. Navy said “For additive manufacturing to be successfully implemented into the Army’s supply chain, it is essential to be able to produce parts of consistent performance even if different machines are used at different locations. Today, that is much easier said than done. During this program, we are pleased to work with Senvol to demonstrate the use of its machine learning technology to aid in achieving what everyone in the additive manufacturing industry strives for, a truly flexible supply chain.”
3D Printing Materials Explained: Compare FDM, SLA, and SLS
🖨️ The Transformative Power of Innovations in Additive Materials
The slow but steady ascent of additive manufacturing (AM) into mainstream production environments is changing how products of all kinds are designed, made, and delivered. The evolution of advanced materials is further elevating the industry by empowering end-use parts and products with improved physical properties for greater utilization at lower costs as well as faster delivery and less waste.
Many, if not all, of the most popular additive materials can be enhanced through refinement of polymer formulations and compounding processes. Highly specialized skills in controlling the morphology and particle crystallization are needed, requiring chemists and scientists to create and iterate new material formulas.
In the world of AM, breakthroughs in polymer innovations are being driven by the demand for more affordable, lighter and higher-modulus composites as well as the ability to print materials that previously were too difficult to integrate into additive processes Additionally, the incorporation of value-added attributes to existing polymers is ushering in a new class of engineered materials with special functionality, such as flame-retardant or resistant attributes; reinforced materials containing glass fiber, as well as mineral fillers, carbon fiber, or nanotubes.
The inclusion of conductive attributes also is on the rise to address Electrostatic Dissipative (ESD), EMI-shielded or electrically conductive materials. The need for lubricated materials also is vital to reduce part friction and wear, along with the addition of UV-stable materials to reinforce part longevity. Many of these attributes are designed to extend the usefulness of materials for traditional manufacturing and 3D-printing applications, and vice versa.
Enabling 3D Printing Automation with HP and Siemens
Why 3D printing is vital to success of US manufacturing
🖨️ Nagami, on printing the sustainable future of interior architecture
Nagami was founded in Manuel’s mind during a research cluster, focussed on searching for a more sustainable way of building, at The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment. While “rethinking architecture from the very core”, the team started to explore the use of automation within the industry, something that was already very much relied-upon in other industries such as car manufacturing. Naturally, the use of robots was a worthwhile direction of exploration.
Nagami’s team is currently working on a ‘furnishing and architecture as a subscription’ model. For example, a retail store that updates its physical space every six months or so can do so through a ‘Nagami membership’. At the end of the season, this offering will enable these companies to return the 3D printed panels to Nagami, where they will be recycled, and reprinted in the design of the new shopfit, at a discounted rate.
🖨️ On the Ground at Zeda’s New 3D Printing Facility with Shri Shetty and Greg Morris
Zeda, originally PrinterPrezz, primarily works with medical implants and related instrumentation, and Morris explained that when PrinterPrezz acquired his Vertex Manufacturing company, they were “brought on board to continue to do what we do with aerospace and the DoD, and energy, and other industries, but also a significant medical focus and making the actual cervical spinal implants and instrumentation.”
Walking through the large factory, Morris said that, save for a few aisles, the concrete floors would all soon be covered with epoxy, some of which you can see in the above image. In terms of automation being used, we passed by a Makino a51nx 4-axis CNC machining center, and a system of “carrier pallet mobile systems,” which allows operators to set up different jobs on the steel pallets. Morris said this was “a good example of trying to take and automate equipment in order to really perform lights-out manufacturing.”
Unlocking the Value Potential of Additive Manufacturing
Transitioning to AM requires not only a change in mindset but more importantly, the ability to quickly and easily identify which parts are best suited for the additive manufacturing process. This is where AI and machine learning are now bridging the gap between traditional AM –where most of its value materializes in the form of functional prototypes – and more advanced additive manufacturing operations. “We have upwards of a million part numbers,” said Werner Stapela, head of global additive design and manufacturing at Danfoss – an international leader in drives, HVAC and power management systems. “So, it would be impossible for us to manually analyze each one to determine whether additive manufacturing would either add value or reduce costs.”
“We have been utilizing 3D printing for decades, mostly for prototyping, but the Castor3D software allows us to focus on our end components and more specifically the costs associated with that,” added Stapela. The software’s algorithm and machine learning can scan thousands of parts at once by analyzing CAD files. It evaluates five factors: materials, CAD geometry, costs, lead time and strength testing to identify suitable parts for AM. The software can also make design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) suggestions regarding part consolidation and weight reduction opportunities.
3D Printing A Bridge With A Twin
The world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge showcases technology that could reduce the amount of material used in structures. It has a network of sensors that continuously feed data into a ‘digital twin’; that will monitor how the bridge behaves over time and help refine the design of similar structures in future. Hugh Ferguson reports and looks at how a similar approach to monitoring is being adopted across civil engineering projects.
The origins of this bridge lie within a small creative design studio in Amsterdam, Joris Laarman Lab, headed by designer and artist Joris Laarman. In about 2014, excited by opportunities presented by emerging technologies, the team decided to develop designs in 3D-printed stainless steel. This presented an immediate challenge: no-one had before produced large steel objects using 3D printing or additive manufacturing. The process requires molten metal to be deposited in multiple layers. At the time, there were already tools for metal inert gas (MIG) welding. In this arc welding process, a continuous solid wire – usually 1.2 millimetre in diameter – is electrically heated and fed from a welding gun. There were also robots on which the tools could be mounted. However, no-one had used robots with MIG welding. Robots were generally used for repetitive ‘pick and place’ tasks, rather than complex welding control.
🚀🖨️ Cheap, fast induction tech enables unlimited-size 3D metal printing
Arizona company Rosotics says it’s ready to revolutionize large-scale 3D metal printing, with a new “rapid induction printing” approach that can print parts of enormous size – with radical advantages in speed, cost, safety and energy efficiency.
Many of today’s metal-printing systems use lasers to heat and melt powdered metal feedstocks. Rosotics founder and CEO Christian LaRosa says there are a number of problems inherent in laser systems. Firstly, those powdered metal feedstocks are expensive and frequently hazardous – for example, powdered titanium is explosive. Secondly, the lasers are an inefficient means by which to translate power into heat. Large-scale laser-based systems can require special energy supply systems. Thirdly, they can be dangerous – even a reflected beam of that kind of power can be enough to blind someone if it hits them directly in the eye. And fourthly, parts created by these methods typically need to be heat-treated afterwards, meaning that you can only print parts as big as the oven you can bake them in afterwards.
🚀🖨️ Relativity Space launches world's first 3D-printed rocket on historic test flight, but fails to reach orbit
The Relativity Space rocket, called Terran 1, lifted off from Launch Complex 16 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 8:25 p.m. EST (0025 GMT on March 23), kicking off a test flight called “Good Luck, Have Fun” (GLHF). Terran 1 performed well initially. For example, it survived Max-Q — the part of flight during which the structural loads are highest on a rocket — and its first and second stages separated successfully. But something went wrong shortly thereafter, at around three minutes into the flight, when the rocket failed to reach orbit.
“No one’s ever attempted to launch a 3D-printed rocket into orbit, and, while we didn’t make it all the way today, we gathered enough data to show that flying 3D-printed rockets is viable,” Relativity Space’s Arwa Tizani Kelly said during the company’s launch webcast on Wednesday night. “We just completed a major step in proving to the world that 3D-printed rockets are structurally viable,” she added.
Materialise launches AI tool to save customers time and money
Materialise, a global leader in 3D printing software and services, has released its Process Control software for metal 3D printing and the Build Processor Software Development Kit (BP SDK). By utilizing automated quality control and configuring their 3D printer parameters, the new technologies enable additive manufacturing (AM) customers to take complete control of the 3D printing process.
AM service providers are pressured to fulfill escalating part quality and cost standards. Monitoring and regulating the 3D printing process is crucial to this endeavor. Still, AM users need the right tools to avoid failed builds, hidden flaws in their parts, and 3D printing settings that don’t work for AM applications. These problems waste machine time, materials, and post-processing capacity, resulting in extra expenses.
3-Step-Guide to Selecting the Perfect Parts for 3D Printing
3D printing (Additive Manufacturing = AM) has revolutionized the manufacturing industry, allowing businesses to create complex and customized parts with ease and move towards on-demand production. However, finding the right parts for additive manufacturing can be a challenging task, especially for those who are new to the technology. The quality of the parts chosen to print can greatly impact the outcome of the 3D printed part. In this article, we therefore want to give a 3-step-guide from a supply chain perspective that can help lead companies through the selection process and maximize the benefits of 3D printing, from the assessment stage to a technical validation and TCO analysis.
🖨️ 3D Systems Collaborates with TE Connectivity on Innovative Solution to Additively Manufacture Electrical Connectors
3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) today announced its collaboration with TE Connectivity, a world leader in connectors and sensors, to jointly develop an additive manufacturing solution to produce electrical connectors meeting stringent UL regulatory requirements. The solution comprising 3D Systems’ Figure 4® Modular, Figure 4 material, 3D Sprint® software, and services was designed to meet TE Connectivity’s unique requirements for material performance and high tolerance, reliable printing. The foundation of the solution is a newly developed photopolymer 3D Systems engineered specifically to meet TE Connectivity’s requirements.
🔏 How Secure Is Your Digital Additive Manufacturing Data?
Although additive manufacturing doesn’t inherently bring with it any extreme risks, it can be the first time a manufacturer is faced with digital processes and establishing secure IT systems. “We work with companies all the time that have a traditional manufacturing line where plans are still on paper, and the data is stored on a local hard drive,” says Hayes. “Implementing additive allows that company to jump steps ahead in the technology curve, and all of a sudden, they can have digitally connected systems and cloud networks.” Securing those networks is up to individual organizations, notes Hayes. “The security of any data inside of that EOS machine is as safe or as vulnerable as that organization’s overall IT security.”
🖨️ Design of additively manufactured moulds for expanded polymers
The traditional tools used in steam-chest moulding technologies for the shaping of expanded polymers can be replaced today by lighter moulds, accurately designed and produced exploiting the additive manufacturing technology. New paradigms have to be considered for mould design, assuming that additive manufacturing enables the definition of different architectures that are able to improve the performance of the moulding process. This work describes the strategies adopted for the design and manufacturing by Laser powder bed fusion of the moulds, taking into specific consideration their functional surfaces, which rule the heat transfer to the moulded material, hence the quality of the products and the overall performance of the steam-chest process. The description of a case study and the comparison between the performance of the traditional solution and the new moulds are also presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new approach. This study demonstrates that the re-design and optimization of the mould shape can lead to a significant reduction of the energy demand of the process, thanks to a homogeneous delivery of the heating steam throughout the part volume, which also results in a remarkable cutting of the cycle time.
🖨️ Nano Dimension Announces a New Patent for Its Cloud Manufacturing Platform by its AI/Deep Learning Group (DeepCube)
The granted patent relates to “Cluster-Connected Neural Network.” It includes an extensive list of claims involving training and deployment of neural networks. This patent and the technology around it allow DeepCube AI solutions to run more effectively on a distributed network of 3D printers deployed throughout the world. This model for manufacturing is ever more critical as the manufacturing enabled by Nano Dimension will be more and more decentralized; thus, the technology has to run effectively wherever it may be.
🖨️✈️ Lockheed Martin 3D Prints F-35 Simulator Cockpits
After years of hard work, the F-35 Training & Logistics team recently celebrated the shipment of the first two 3D printed cockpits, that were delivered to MCAS Cherry Point in 2022. Printing an additive cockpit is an intricate process that is performed at the Orlando, Florida, Rotary and Mission Systems site. The entire process takes about two months, but you can watch the print in less than a minute in the below time-lapse video.
This effort can reduce the total lead time to obtain conventional parts by 75%. It also reduces the total part count of conventional metal parts by 70%. This significantly simplifies the manufacturability of the FMS and allows the team to rapidly increase the speed at which simulators can be delivered to the warfighter.
🖨️ Venture Investors Are Pumping Capital Into 3-D Printing Startups. Here’s Why.
Investors are drawn to these companies because they are on the verge of being able to use their technology to manufacture components at scale for critical sectors such as semiconductors and aerospace. For many, that would mean transforming from being a niche product manufacturer to being a mass producer, investors say.
Investors are also attracted to these startups’ ability to provide industrial companies with a simpler supply chain, which could help them address parts shortages amid geopolitical challenges and reduce dependency on foreign suppliers, Prof. Toyserkani said. Additive manufacturing startups also say their methods can help companies cut costs and have lower environmental impacts because less waste goes into producing things, he added.
A 3D Printer Isn’t Cool. You Know What’s Cool? A 3D-Printing Factory
Instead of trying to build a single machine that can print three-dimensional objects, Freeform is looking to turn entire buildings into automated 3D-printing factories that would use dozens of lasers to create rocket engine chambers or car parts from metal powder. The company, which has never before discussed its approach publicly, says the technique could allow it to make metal parts 25 to 50 times faster than is possible with current methods and at a fraction of the cost.
Freeform is creating machines that can fill a warehouse. Its current factory, in Hawthorne, California, used to serve as Keanu Reeves’s motorcycle storage facility. (Freeform still ends up with some of the actor’s mail.) Inside, machines shuffle objects back and forth along rapidly moving conveyors, so the system can work on many things at once. Other companies have set up multiple printers in a single facility, but this strategy doesn’t improve their speed, it just increases scale by having them work in parallel. Freedom, by contrast, is redesigning the process by which 3D printing can turn raw materials into finished products. In a sense, it’s akin to the establishment of the assembly-line process pioneered by 20th century industrialists like Henry Ford. “We have to achieve a state of mass production to open this up to more industries,” says Palitsch. “And you simply can’t get there with a conventional machine.”
Additive Manufacturing For Batteries Of The Future: Will 3D Printing Transform Battery Making
Sakuú, a California start-up hoping to bring the main benefits of 3D printing to the battery market, plans to open its first full production factory this year. The company says its Swift Print battery cells can be manufactured in any shape or size and even customized to order on the company’s proprietary 3D printers. Complex shapes not possible with traditional manufacturing methods are a hallmark of 3D printing, which also enables production flexibility and speed because there’s no waiting for molds or manufacturing tools to be produced.
3D printed battery start-up Blackstone Technology says its approach is more sustainable than traditional methods because it can not only save on battery metals during manufacturing, but the process will use 25% less energy. Blackstone is further along in product maturity than Sakuú, having printed its first functional battery in 2021. Its technology, called Thick Layer Technology, is vastly different from Sakuú and relies on the 3D screen printing method. The company says the technology will be 30% cheaper than traditional battery manufacturing and can be used for both liquid-electrolyte and solid-state batteries.
Still in R&D, Photocentric’s technology, unlike Sakuú’s or Blackstone’s, is based on resin 3D printing using photopolymers Photocentric has, so far, developed polymer electrolyte binders, along with anode and cathode powders into a printable photopolymer resin. Its patent-pending approach promises to enable low-cost mass manufacture of lightweight batteries for the UK market.
Inside the Collins Aerospace Additive Manufacturing Center
Velo3D proves distributed manufacturing on a global scale
While conventional manufacturing technology has delivered in-country products on a global basis for decades – it has often involved dedicated, high-cost production assets and personnel that lack flexibility. Supply chain issues with procurement, as well as production lag times inherent to technologies like casting, can further add to costs and delayed delivery of conventionally manufactured products.
“We now have the confidence, whether it’s two weeks from now or two years from now, to print that same print file at any of these suppliers in the future,” said Zach Walton, director of technical business development at Velo3D. “With the Digital Product Definition, spelled out in API20S as a collection of data required to reproduce the additively manufactured component, unchanged from the 2021 project, this demonstrated the ability to not have to requalify or redevelop – which is a big win for the O&G as well as other industries trying to deploy distributed manufacturing.” These results are an important benchmark in demonstrating that distributed manufacturing using advanced metal laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) technology is achievable in the real world.
Lights-out Manufacturing with Athena 3D
How Toyota Factory Works with Zortrax 3D Printers
Toyota factories in Poland use a Zortrax M300 Plus 3D printer to make manufacturing jigs on demand. According to Toyota, investment in the 3D printing technology in automotive can pay for itself within one year. The key advantage of the Zortrax 3D printing technology, according to Toyota engineers are its agility.
“We have been using 3D printers for years now. They were already here when I came to work at Toyota four years ago.”, says Kondek. According to him, jigs that are 3D printed in automotive industry today used to be made by a separate tooling division equipped with CNC machines and other subtractive manufacturing tools. Fabrication of more demanding designs were simply outsourced to external subcontractors.
“Obviously, using such tools severely limited what we could do design-wise. Every time we thought about a new jig, we had to think twice about whether it could be fabricated or not. 3D printing in automotive sector solve this problem.”, explains Kondek. He adds that currently over 95% of the 3D printed jigs made at Toyota factory are manufactured in the LPD technology. The rest is 3D printed in other 3D printing technologies.
US Navy installs Phillips Additive Hybrid metal 3D printing solution on USS Bataan
A hybrid metal 3D printing solution from Phillips Corporation has been installed on the USS Bataan. The system combines Meltio laser metal deposition technology with a CNC control mill from Haas. The solution will be used for the manufacturing of spare parts and repairs on board the Bataan.
Phillips says that the TM-1 platform that is included in the hybrid system has been proven to operate reliably in an afloat environment aboard several aircraft carriers. Integrating additive and subtractive manufacturing technologies within one system increases efficiency and reduces waste when compared with traditional machining according to Phillips.
The US Navy advanced efforts to improve self-sufficiency for deployed ships and their crews, while reducing supply chain lead times by using AM. According to Phillips, this is the first permanent installation of a metal 3D printer aboard a ship.
This 3-D Printed Icelandic Fish-Gutting Machine Contains the Secret of a Future, Less-Globalized Economy
Tucked away in a nondescript 10,000-square-foot building there is a manufacturing facility that runs 24/7, producing parts for fish-processing machines in a way that was, even a few years ago, impossible. Elliði Hreinsson, the founder of Curio, which owns the building, says the machines he designs and makes would be difficult or in some cases impossible to produce without 3-D printing.
“In Iceland, we are a small stone in the ocean, and we cannot so easily run around to get help,” says Mr. Hreinsson. “You have to be able to do it all in-house.” His machines, which he sells to clients around the world, include more than 100 parts that he prints on seven 3-D printers made by a company called Desktop Metal. Printing the stainless-steel parts this way skips all the steps required for conventional manufacturing, from prototyping to casting or injection molding—the last of which generally happens in Asia, and can add weeks or months to the time between product design and delivery.
Fine-Tuning the Factory: Simulation App Helps Optimize Additive Manufacturing Facility
“The model helps predict how heat and humidity inside a powder bed fusion factory may affect product quality and worker safety,” says Adam Holloway, a technology manager within the MTC’s modeling team. “When combined with data feeds from our facility, the app helps us integrate predictive modeling into day-to-day decision-making.” The MTC project demonstrates the benefits of placing simulation directly into the hands of today’s industrial workforce and shows how simulation could help shape the future of manufacturing.
The team made their model more accessible by building a simulation app of it with the Application Builder in COMSOL Multiphysics. “We’re trying to present the findings of some very complex calculations in a simple-to-understand way,” Holloway explains. “By creating an app from our model, we can empower staff to run predictive simulations on laptops during their daily shifts.”
MIT Professor Neil Gershenfeld on How to Make Anything (Almost)
Virginia Tech Receives $800K DoD Grant to Research Friction Stir Metal 3D Printing
The US Department of Defense (DoD) has granted Virginia Tech $800,000 to research a form of metal 3D printing known as additive friction stir deposition (AFSD). Virginia Tech will use the funds, disbursed as part of the 2023 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP), to purchase a computerized AFSD machine that will be housed in the university’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
AFSD is unique amongst metal additive manufacturing (AM) techniques in that it can build end-parts using solid state metals as inputs, but without melting them. Instead, AFSD machines work by deploying a hollow, rapidly rotating cylindrical tool through which the materials are fed. The heat caused by the friction of the tool makes the metals pliable, thereby welding the new feedstock to the preceding layer.
UVA Research Team Detects Additive Manufacturing Defects in Real-Time
Introduced in the 1990s, laser powder bed fusion, or LPBF uses metal powder and lasers to 3-D print metal parts. But porosity defects remain a challenge for fatigue-sensitive applications like aircraft wings. Some porosity is associated with deep and narrow vapor depressions which are the keyholes.
“By integrating operando synchrotron x-ray imaging, near-infrared imaging, and machine learning, our approach can capture the unique thermal signature associated with keyhole pore generation with sub-millisecond temporal resolution and 100% prediction rate,” Sun said. In developing their real-time keyhole detection method, the researchers also advanced the way a state-of-the-art tool — operando synchrotron x-ray imaging — can be used. Utilizing machine learning, they additionally discovered two modes of keyhole oscillation.
Digitise and dematerialise: Divergent CEO Kevin Czinger on supplying automotive structures to the world's biggest brands
The manufacture of lithium-ion phosphate battery cells at Coda’s facility in China relies heavily on coal-fired power. And because of that, ‘well over’ 200 kilogrammes (kg) of Co2 per kilowatt hour (kWh) is being produced in battery manufacture. At this time, kg of Co2 per kWh is the most important metric on Czinger’s mind and the cogs whirring in his head only intensify as he does the workings out to reveal that these batteries and EVs aren’t having enough impact.
Post Coda, Czinger educated himself on lifecycle assessments, figuring only a holistic approach would return the energy emission reduction that is required in an era of climate emergency. He also came to realise that the way automotive structures are manufactured, and the costs required to do so, need optimising – particularly as EVs, hybrid cars and internal combustion engine vehicles (and all the tooling and fixturing to come with them) continue to emerge. “The amortisation period, the competition, the driving down of values, you’re looking and saying, ‘this is environmentally and economically broken,’” Czinger says.
Czinger and his team developed the Divergent Adaptive Production System (DAPS) to ‘digitise and dematerialise’ automotive production and provide the technical competency for the company, in time, to become a Tier One supplier to the automotive industry. What Divergent is willing to talk about, however, is how its DAPS workflow works. Its engineers start by understanding the static stiffness targets of a structure, then the typical load cases it will be exposed to, then what its boundary conditions are, then its crash requirements, durability requirements and dynamic stiffness response requirements. This information is the input for the Divergent design algorithm, which is where the company enters the concept phase. Here, Divergent gives the OEM ‘optionality’ to, for example, reduce stiffness in a certain area of the structure to reduce mass. After the concept phase comes the detailed design phase, and after that, it’s time to print the part.
John Deere Turns To 3D Printing More Efficient Engine Parts
The new thermal diverter valve on the latest versions of John Deere 6R and 6M tractors isn’t just an innovative application of increasingly accessible metal 3D printing technology, it’s the culmination of about two years of R&D. It started with a challenge to ensure John Deere tractors would perform in cold environments. Engineers were tasked with developing a valve that could maintain fuel temperatures without affecting engine performance.
Currently, more than 4,000 valves are being shipped from GKN to the John Deere tractor factory for final assembly at a price per part that is less than forging or milling. Tractors with this 3D-printed part are already in the field, literally. Müller says another benefit of 3D printing this particular part instead of using traditional methods, is added agility in the manufacturing process. Because 3D printing does not require molds or tools, part prototypes were faster and cheaper to create, which accelerated the design process. The design can be tweaked and improved at any time. Plus, when it comes to replacement parts, no standing inventory is necessary. The digital file of this value can be sent to any third-party manufacturer with HP Metal Jet technology and produced relatively locally and quickly.
3D Printing Helps Realize the Promise of Distributed Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing offers a solution to the challenges of distributed manufacturing by enabling local and highly flexible production of small quantities. For many use cases, additive manufacturing systems and processes are now technologically ready for small-series production. Applying 3D printing in distributed manufacturing will be most beneficial for producing high-value parts, such as those used in the aerospace and medical-technology industries, or low-volume replacement parts. These are among the transformative technology applications that constitute Industry 4.0.
In 2022, BCG undertook a study, in collaboration with RWTH Aachen University and the ACAM Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing, to capture insights into how the application of 3D printing in distributed manufacturing adds value and what the prerequisites are for successful use cases. The study included interviews with a panel of approximately 15 leading experts in business and academia, from a variety of countries.
ICON awarded $57.2 million NASA contract to develop lunar 3D printing construction system
The 57.2 million USD contract builds upon previous NASA and Department of Defense funding for ICON’s ‘Project Olympus’. The project’s goal is to develop space-based construction systems to support planned exploration of the moon and beyond. ICON’s Olympus system is intended to be a multi-purpose construction system primarily using local Lunar and Martian resources as building materials.
Supporting NASA’s Artemis program, ICON plans to bring its additive manufacturing hardware and software into space by a lunar gravity simulation flight. It also intends to work with lunar regolith samples brought back from Apollo missions and various regolith simulants to determine their mechanical behaviour in simulated lunar gravity.
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.
How Markforged Continuous Fiber Reinforcement Works
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.
Pioneering Scalable Composite Robotic Additive Manufacturing Carbon/Carbon
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.
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.
FreeFoam™ | a Revolutionary, Expandable 3D Printable Resin for Volume Production of Foam Parts
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
Making High-Performance Parts Inexpensive and Durable
In the past, these advanced materials were typically manufactured from powder that was poured into a die, subjected to high pressure and slowly heated in a process called hot pressing. However, hot pressing results in waste heat, contributing to high costs. Those costs have limited the widespread use of advanced materials in industries that manufacture everyday items such as automobiles.
More recently, engineers have developed a cost-saving process called spark plasma sintering (SPS). Instead of heat, SPS sends electricity through the die, and sometimes the material itself, to fuse the molecules of powdered metals, ceramics, or a mixture of both.
Now, Idaho National Laboratory has developed world-class capabilities to help industry design efficient SPS manufacturing processes. The lab’s newest addition, one of the largest machines of its kind in the world, makes it possible to manufacture new materials at industrially relevant scales. INL has designed and built four custom SPS machines that range from supporting small experiments on the bench-scale to industrial-scale, large-format, high-throughput systems.
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.
AM-Flow partners with Materialise as launching partner of Materialise’s CO-AM software platform
Dutch workflow automation company AM-Flow partners with Materialise to provide print users with fully integrated automated post-processing IT infrastructure to help scale AM factories.
Materialise has launched its software platform that allows AM-users to connect smoothly with various critical applications for workflow automation. AM-Flow, the current market leader in AM post-process workflow automation, is one of the launching partners on this platform allowing customers to plan, manage and optimize every stage of their AM operations. AM-Flow offers an open API-architecture connecting with multiple MES platforms, including the newly launched CO-AM.
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.