Approaching the Modernization of Manufacturing (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 48)

Upgrading to better standards and technologies is becoming easier than ever thanks to their decentralized and scalable nature, giving the opportunity to improve by gradual implementation and testing. There are many avenues of experimentation to consider. IIoT applications can be implemented as small, self-contained units, providing their own power and relaying sensible information where the most valuable data is to be found with a very small investment. Incorporating AM capabilities allows businesses to underpin numerous steps of traditional part production and logistics, assessing ROI that is clear from the start. However, the right software can sometimes be enough to jumpstart operational efficiency immensely, by automating and analyzing machine data with little effort and investment. Authentise very recently started integration of SLM machines data into its 3Diax platform. The digital age of manufacturing enables future-oriented actions to be taken at any business leisure.

Powering The IIoT With Industrial Grade Solar/Li-Ion Hybrids

[Small photovoltaic (PV panels) in combination with Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries], two well-proven and synergistic technologies are providing highly cost-effective solutions for both consumer and industrial grade applications, including many connected to the IoT and the IIoT. All sorts of industrial applications are currently deploying PV/Li-ion battery hybrid technology, including GPS sensors and asset trackers, environmental monitoring systems, smart agriculture (monitoring moisture, temperature, and rainfall), marine buoys, and many other M2M and systems control and data automation (SCADA) applications.

Read the full article at Sensors Online.

Sembcorp Marine To Apply AM In Shipbuilding Revolution

A LAAM made part on display at the Sembcorp Marine MOU signing. Photo via A*STAR

Sembcorp Marine is seeking to revolutionize the offshore & marine (O&M) sector by adding cutting-edge technologies to its shipbuilding and repair efforts. In collaboration with three partners across industry and the Singapore government, the company will develop water-tight production applications with a Digital TwinAM and drone assistance.

Read the full article here.

SLM Solutions: Cooperation agreement signed with Authentise Inc.

SLM Solutions Group AG , a leading supplier of metal-based additive manufacturing technology, has recently signed a cooperation agreement with Authentise Inc. Software developed by Authentise helps SLM Solutions customers expand additive manufacturing capacities through greater efficiency, transparency and quality in deploying SLM machines.

Read the full press release here.

 

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Counterfeiting within the new digital thread (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 47)

The augmented possibilities of 3D printing within the manufacturing industry hide new kinds of threats and dangers which should be confronted seriously. The nature of the new digital thread being formed within industrial businesses worldwide is such that new avenues of malicious interventions, theft or even sabotage become decentralized and digitized. CAD files can be corrupted remotely and invisibly; Intellectual Property (IP) can be stolen directly or be accessed by digitizing (3D scanning) physical assets; 3D printers’ firmware and control sensors can be compromised to alter the printing results invisibly to the human eye. Counterfeiting is high on the list of perils. The international community is moving to secure AM processes by installing safe practices within the thread. Authentise has very recently announced a partnership with Prototech to enable automatic watermarking of printed objects. New roads of securing 3D printed object are being explored, like leaving chemical signatures that are only readable through X-rays.

3D printing presents cyber security risks for aircraft manufacturers, says Atlantic Council report

The Atlantic Council, a Washington, D.C. think-tank has released a new report which outlines the benefits and risks of 3D printing within the aviation sector. The report is entitled “Aviation Security: Finding Lift, Minimizing Drag.” […] According to the report, additive manufacturing opens up the possibility for three main kinds of cyberattacks: deny, which consists of the disruption of deletion of firmware, software, and product designs; compromise, which is the theft of intellectual property and product design files; and sabotage, which refers to “undetected modification” of printing files with the intention of weakening parts and corrupting their functions.

Write the full report here.

ProtoTech Solutions and Authentise Enable Automatic Watermarks For 3D Printing

Authentise, a leader in process automation software for additive manufacturing, today announced that it has partnered with ProtoTech Solutions, a niche software development company in the CAD/CAM/CAE, 3D visualization and data interoperability domain, to help 3Diax customers automatically embed watermarks such as serial numbers into digital designs. This enables more efficient and reliable tracking and sorting of parts within factories. It also has the potential to significantly speed up the supply chain and reduce the number of counterfeit parts in circulation.

Check out the full press release here.

Chemical Ghost Signature Protect DED 3D Printed Parts From Counterfeiting

DED 3D printed titanium samples with varying taggant depths used in the InfraTrac study. Photo via 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing journal.

The solution proposed by Dr. Sharon Flank et al. from InfraTrac, is to add spectral signatures to the 3D printed parts that can only be read via x-ray. This technique is more cost effective than some of the other methods of experimentation as it can be conducted using off-the-shelf devices. […] In InfraTrac’s study, an Optomec M7 LENS system is used to 3D print titanium alloy samples. Chemical taggants are added to the parts at different depths, and scanned using x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy analysis in lab conditions.

Read the full article here.

 

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The opportunities of 3D printing organic compounds (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 46)

3D printing is still struggling to overcome issues regarding biodegradability and its ecological impact. We’ve been using materials for thousands of years that are of natural origin and can easily be disposed of. It’s been a challenge to translate that to the latest manufacturing tech around. Cellulose is having a comeback, as researchers are understanding how to create polymer structures from abundant and renewable raw materials. A new group of new biomaterials is being developed, some with transient properties, capable of degrading and dissolving on-demand. Nanocellulose has been invented in the 1970s as a food thickener and could be coming to a dish near you, made more palatable thanks to 3D printing. Advances in chemistry collide with the challenges of 3D printing to open the way for complex, smart and immensely useful organic materials.

MIT Develops Method To 3D Print Abundant Natural Polymer Cellulose

Diagram showing a) printing process b) process under a microscope c) extruded filament d) mini glasses e) mini rose. Image via Advanced Science News.

MIT scientists Dr. Sebastian Pattinson and Prof A.J. Hart have now published a possible method of 3D printing a derivative of cellulose as a substitute for environmentally problematic plastics, one which sidesteps previously encountered problems. […] As detailed in the research paper, after printing, the cellulose acetate parts can be converted to cellulose proper by de-acetylation using sodium hydroxide.

Read the full article here.

3D Printed Biomaterials Degrade on Demand

Biomaterials that can degrade on demand have been 3D printed by engineers at Brown University. The materials were fabricated by means of stereolithographic printing, which uses an ultraviolet laser controlled by a computer-aided design system to trace patterns across the surface of a photoactive polymer solution. The capacity of the materials to degrade is imparted by the development of reversible ionic bonds. Precursor solutions were prepared with sodium alginate, a compound derived from seaweed that is known to be capable of ionic crosslinking. Different combinations of ionic salts, including magnesium, barium and calcium, were then added to 3D print objects with varying stiffness levels, a factor which affected how quickly the structures dissolved.

Read more about the research here.

Can 3D Printed Nanocellulose Transform The Food Industry?

Cellulose is a natural ingredient, but would you necessarily want to eat it? Diagram of the nanocellulose extraction process via bio1151.nicerweb

The Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the latest institution to introduce a nanocellulose-based platform that promises “the 3D printing of personalized food” with the added ability “to cook, bake, fry and grill while printing at the three dimensional space.”

Read the full article here.

 

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Building an Industry: AM Strategic Initiatives (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 45)

Additive manufacturing is becoming established in the industrial world and businesses are realizing its potential through integration and experimentation. Nonetheless, the road ahead is still to be delineated: the technology will advance, that’s almost a given. It’s the underlying framework of education and collaborations that will make for fertile ground in its development. It is apparent that the manufacturing world needs a solid foundation of standards and practices, something that has already been addressed by the AMTS (Additive Manufacturing Technology Standards), NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and now the FAA is filing a strategic roadmap. Educational institutions around the world are starting to offer courses on AM technologies, even at MIT, to push the next generation of innovators into the fray. Just as important is the effort by businesses to offer opportunities to students and partnerships with research institutions, bridging the gap between skill and resources.

FAA To Launch Eight-Year Additive Manufacturing Road Map

GE Aviation's T901 Turboshaft engine for use inside the U.S. Army's Apache and Black Hawk helicopters. Image via GE Aviation

Filed for review in late September, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed a draft Additive Manufacturing Strategic Roadmap, advising businesses of adequate practice surrounding the different technologies in the industry. The roadmap features key regulation information covering emerging considerations around part and process certification, machine and part maintenance, research and development and the demand for doubled-down efforts in additive education and training.

Read the full article here.

Additive Manufacturing, From Prototyping to Production

This 90-minute online learning session is a fast, effective way to learn from MIT faculty experts in additive and smart manufacturing about the cutting-edge of industrial 3D printing – from new materials and processes to the latest applications and technology trends. Join Professor John Hart as you discover how additive manufacturing is being used to transform business models and revolutionize manufacturing at scale.

Register for this free web course here.

New Center Introducing ESA Projects and Space Firms to 3D Printing

ESA is establishing a new ‘one-stop shop’ covering 3D printing for space in partnership with the Manufacturing Technology Centre. The MTC research organization, based in Coventry and home to the UK National Centre for Additive Manufacturing, will manage the new ESA Additive Manufacturing Benchmarking Centre (AMBC), which will provide a simple and easy way for ESA projects and hi-tech companies to investigate the potential of 3D printing for their work.

Check out the full article here.

 

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Decentrailized manufacturing: how AM disrupts logistics (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 44)

Much of the activities surrounding an industrial operation require a lot of logistical effort to work efficiently. Just think about the amount of planning required beforehand to build a house and during construction to make every step slide into place. These activities take up a big chunk of the overall cost of operations but AM is poised to change things up. What this technology allows is to decentralize the manufacturing power, enabling its redistribution where and when it is needed. Going back to the building example, a 3D printer can be set up to take care of pretty much all the chores of constructing the essential structure: eliminating the need to organize bricks shipping and handling and much more, effectively working with raw materials that could even be sourced locally. Automotive businesses are already eyeing AM as a solution to its replacement parts stock problem. A 3D printer can manufacture any component a customer may need (even if it’s obsolete), taking away the need to maintain massive inventories, dislocating these factories so that shipping may not even be an issue. Closer to the production plant, the capabilities of AM render many of the steps included in the traditional pipeline redundant, essentially shrinking it and reducing costs and time.

 

World’s first 3D-printed bridge opens to cyclists in Netherlands

Dutch officials have toasted the opening of what is being called the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists. “The bridge is not very big, but it was rolled out by a printer, which makes it unique,” Theo Salet, from the Eindhoven University of Technology, told Dutch broadcaster NOS. Work on printing the bridge, which has some 800 layers, took about three months after starting in June and it is made of reinforced, pre-stressed concrete, according to the university.

Read the full article here.

 

Electrolux Trials 3D Printed Spare Parts On Demand With Spare Parts 3D

A spare parts warehouse, which Electolux looks to replace using 3D printing. Photo via Spare Parts 3D.

Electrolux, a Swedish domestic appliance manufacturer, is performing a series of tests and analyses ahead of producing on-demand 3D printed spare parts to its customers. […] Electrolux is attempting to address problems affecting both the manufacturer and consumer. For the manufacturer the problem is high production, inventory and maintenance costs for spare parts after the production of the actual appliances has stopped, yet they are still in use. For the consumer, costs of replacement increase after the product is no longer sold, and it often takes a substantial amount of time to process and ship replacement parts.

Read the full article here.

 

Ricoh To Replace Metal Tooling With Stratasys 3D Printed Equivalents

A 3D printed fixture in use on the workbench. Screenshot via Stratasys on YouTube

Electronics and imaging company Ricoh Japan has announced that it is replacing its traditional metal tooling with 3D printed jigs and fixtures made on a Stratasys Fortus 900mc system. By integrating 3D printed tools at the Production Technology Center in Miyagi prefecture, Japan, Ricoh is boosting operational yield, and creating a more cost-effective, streamlined assembly line.

Keep reading here.

 

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Automation is cause for unemployment, or is it? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 43)

There’s been massive outcry recently regarding the shift in automation employment in various industries, threatening nearly 40% of jobs by 2030. Factories are quickly implementing new automated systems for warehouse management, manufacturing and most menial tasks. Taking away manual jobs from the market, many are complaining it’s eroding the economy as a whole in the process. In fact, some countries are relying on industries that are seeing a massive shift to automation, effectively truncating and undermining their workforce. This is most dangerous to those regions struggling to rise above the poverty line, where traditional factories are being replaced by automated performance power-houses. Nonetheless, the data is showing automation is not characterizing unemployment as we feared. This is all the more pronounced in those countries where institutions have been put in place to enable the pursuit of more future-oriented occupations. If we look back at ATMs in the ’70s, we will see a decline in the number of employees per branch but the new system encouraged companies to build more and more branches, mitigating the effect. All in all, while automation is having an impact on unemployment per se, new possibilities are being created to make a smarter, more efficient system possible while keeping the economy machine churning.

 

This Economic Model Organized Asia for Decades. Now It’s Broken

Today, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Myanmar are in the early stages of climbing that ladder—but automation threatens to block their ascent. Instead of opening well-staffed factories in these countries, Chinese companies that need to expand are building robot-heavy facilities at home. “The window is closing on emerging nations,” says Cai Fang, a demographer in Beijing who advises the Chinese government on labor policy. “They will not have the opportunity that China had in the past.”

Keep reading at Bloomberg.

 

The rise of robots in the German labour market

Although robots do not affect total employment, they do have strongly negative impacts on manufacturing employment in Germany. We calculate that one additional robot replaces two manufacturing jobs on average. This implies that roughly 275,000 full-time manufacturing jobs have been destroyed by robots in the period 1994-2014. But, those sizable losses are fully offset by job gains outside manufacturing. In other words, robots have strongly changed the composition of employment by driving the decline of manufacturing jobs illustrated in Figure 1. Robots were responsible for almost 23% of this decline. But they have not been major killers so far when it comes to the total number of jobs in the German economy.

Read the full article here.

 

Chill: Robot-related job loss won’t be that bad (probably)

Chill: Robot-related job loss won’t be that bad (probably)

[…] the ATM was highly disruptive. You’d be tempted to equate this disruption with job loss, as fewer employees at bank branches meant thousands were suddenly without jobs.

But you’d be wrong.

Since ATMs made it much cheaper for banks to operate, it led to a boom, of sorts, in building new branches. From 1989 to 2004, banks opened 43% more physical locations than it did in the period before ATMs — leading to more jobs in banking, consequently.And that’s not even considering the additional skilled laborers needed to install, configure, and maintain over 400,000 ATMs installed nationwide since the 70s. Or, there’s the drivers and guards needed to fill them. There’s those who work in customer service, laborers who man the assembly lines, parts companies responsible for the pieces within them, ISPs (and their employees) who keep them online, security experts who lock down the network from hackers, and so on.

 

Read the full article at The Next Web.

 

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How the law can foster or hinder unprecedented industrial trends (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 42)

Uber’s current challenges in London and elsewhere show how governments and legislation can change the path of technology.

Industry 4.0 is no different. The technological trends that characterize the current industrial world have yet to be fully understood, both in terms of sheer research and in its spot within the law. Many issues are arising due to the intricately different nature of these technologies which pose new conundrums with regards to intellectual property (IP), operational and product safety standards and much more.

Nowhere this is more apparent than within the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) ecosystems, where its interconnected and decentralized nature makes it more susceptible to cyber-attacks and the new and overwhelming barrage of connected devices make the law-grounds much more difficult to thread. Is it all going too fast for legislators to keep up? It certainly seems so, as Southern China authorities have already issued the mandatory registration for all additive manufacturing industries citing “social security issues”. The trembling hand of these institutions, scrambling to grasp what they cannot entirely control, is starkly in contrast with many other countries where a race is on for the biggest slice of the innovation cake. They are putting together consortiums for the analysis and debugging of law-related issues and fostering the rise and gathering of activities which will, inevitably, spur consolidated operational standards, providing fertile grounds for them to grow.

How product safety will define the success of Industry 4.0/IIoT

Whilst safety protocols for IIoT equipment already exist within the Industrial Ethernet, from a product safety standardization perceptive, the challenges come when product advances outpace safety standards development. Then there’s the potential risk of fitting sensors to existing ‘redundant’ equipment to make these machines IIoT capable. In this scenario, the certified-design and safety parameters of the machine may be invalidated by making the device IIoT ready. Functional Safety for both hardware and software (to standard IEC 61508 and its associated standards) and Cybersecurity are also now defining factors when it comes to building in safety of an IIoT device. These aspects (and more) need to be carefully considered as early on in the design phase as possible.

Keep reading at Control Engineering Europe.

Chinese City Registers All Additive Manufacturing Industries To Ensure “Social Security”

Chongqing is an industrial and technological hub. Image via BASF.

Authorities in Chongqing, Southern China have announced that they will require all 3D printing companies based in the city to register with local police. Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported that the objective of the measure is to both keep dangerous and illegal products from the public, whilst also controlling the production and sales of digital blueprints and data files for important specialist components.

Read the full article here.

The Industrial Internet Of Things (IIoT) And The Law

There has been surprisingly little attention given by the legal community to the issues and implications associated with the IIoT, either generally or within the utility industry. Discussion of the IIoT in the electric industry has been the province of operational and engineering experts. But IIoT operational and engineering challenges will inevitably present novel and difficult legal issues.

Read the full article at Mondaq.

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How to overcome AM’s limitations (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 41)

We’ve heard so much buzz about how AM is poised to be the end-all be-all manufacturing technology. Alas, there are many things that it still can’t quite achieve and that is where we take a step back and either make do with what we have or invent our way into the unexplored. For example, very small-scale 3D printing is not yet deemed at high enough resolution for certain medical applications and doesn’t allow for the level of manufacturing flexibility it would require: that’s when MIT designed a new layer-based manufacturing method capable of overcoming AM’s shortcomings. Some other times it’s just a matter of resources, where AM is the pricier alternative, albeit unmatched in some cases. Arup has shown that AM can become a facilitator of older techniques like casting, providing complex shapes in the form of sand molds, chopping away at the expenses of direct metal printing. Likewise, hybrid manufacturing is giving businesses the flexibility to choose the most beneficial production method depending on the design and final use. More and more we are seeing the rise of big manufacturing power-machines, like the latest Fraunhofer/CMS 5 axis brainchild.

 

3D Fabrication Technique Allows for Multiple Vaccinations in Single Injection

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing a 3D fabrication technique that would allow multiple doses of a drug or vaccine to be delivered to a patient over an extended period of time. According to research scientist Ana Jaklenec, they were unable to create these structures using current 3D printing methods. Instead, the team used a new method called SEAL (StampEd Assembly of polymer Layers).

Check out the full article at All3DP.

 

Arup Develops Affordable 3D-Printing Sand Casts for Complex Steel Structural Elements

Arup Develops Affordable 3D-Printing Sand Casts for Complex Steel Structural Elements, © Davidfotografie

Working with the Anglo-Dutch company 3DealiseArup 3D-printed sand molds are used in the traditional casting process to create sophisticated, unique structural steel nodes as a certified material. Sand printing offers a quick technique that can reuse the materials and allows costs to be kept low.

Keep reading at Archdaily.

 

Fraunhofer IWU And CMD Partner To Make Mega 5 Axis 3D Printer Hybrid

3D Kreator concept. Image via Aerospace Manufacturing Magazine

The Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (Fraunhofer IWU) in Chemnitz, Germany, has entered into a partnership with Italian machine center makers CMS to research and develop a new hybrid CNC milling 3D printer. Operating beyond the bounds of typical XYZ directional 3D printers, the named CMS Kreator is capable of tool paths across 5 axis, bringing more freedom to the possibilities of FDM.

Read the full article here.

 

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Our quantifiable future: the industry’s hunger for data (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 40)

Data acquisition processing is changing the world and the impact will be felt on larger scales than industrial contexts alone. IoT and IIoT technologies are gathering data points on many human and machine related activities, quantifying the world more precisely and pervasively than ever before. At this point in time, there are a few questions that can help us define the future of these processes: what are the next steps forward in this hunger for data? Do we have a functioning framework from which to extrapolate insights in a secure fashion? What will happen when technology allows us to make *anything* quantifiable? New partnerships are making data acquisition ubiquitous in the AM industry. This data will be used in quality assessments to improve part production and pipeline efficiency. Security is still paramount and new businesses and research projects are ready to prove that we have the technology to make safe and efficient data processing a reality. Businesses need to protect themselves against cyberattacks now more than ever. GPS technology is not anymore up to the standards required in the industry and everyday applications. Company Humantics is promising a microlocation-based future, which applied to AI and machine learning algorithms can enable new, high-granularity controls and services.

Oak Ridge Partners With Senvol For 3D Printing Data Collection Project

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry views the 3D printed proof-of-concept hull for the Optionally Manned Technology Demonstrator (OMTD). (Photo courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Department of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), co-developer of the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) process and one of America’s leading technological research institutes, has signed a two-year research agreement with the Senvol additive manufacturing database. In the collaboration, ORNL will use Senvol’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to evaluate the best processes for data collection and apply it to quality assessment of 3D printer feedstock materials.

Read more here.

Three-Layer Technique Helps Secure Additive Manufacturing

[…] AM could become a target for malicious attacks – as well as for unscrupulous operators who may cut corners. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Rutgers University have developed a three-layer system to verify that components produced using AM have not been compromised. Their system uses acoustic and other physical techniques to confirm that the printer is operating as expected, and nondestructive inspection techniques to verify the correct location of tiny gold nanorods buried in the parts. The validation technique is independent of printer firmware and software in the controlling computer.

Read more about the system at RDMag.

Introducing Humatics: Revolutionizing How People and Machines Locate, Navigate and Collaborate

Imagine a tool that will only drill a hole at the exact right spot, a large format robotic 3D printer with unprecedented precision, a drone that hovers precisely indoors, and augmented reality glasses that project ultra-precise images onto the world you see. Now imagine AI and machine learning applied to every conductor, every factory worker, every robotic collaboration: technology placing our work within a broad human context. That’s where Humatics is going.

Take a look at Humantics at their website.

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3D printing & the environment: promises and limitations of AM (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 39)

There are a lot of manufacturing dynamics which 3D printing is upending. It goes beyond design freedom, AM technologies allow us to be a lot more conscious of our footprint on the environment. We are still testing new grounds and so far AM is revealing to be a less wasteful, smarter approach to manufacturing. Not only can we build structures that utilize the barest minimum in terms of material usage, entirely new materials and techniques allow us to tackle the problems of biodegradability and energy consumption. Nonetheless, AM still has a way to go before it can get to the level of manufacturing performance of traditional methods. Laser sintering still requires a great deal of electricity to fuse metal particles, most processes are imprecise by traditional standards and most groundbreaking AM applications are still very much R&D. This point reinforces the fact that AM should cover its role in a broader hybrid manufacturing system, in which the optimal outcome in terms of manufacturing footprint and item accuracy can be achieved. There is no holy grail solution in manufacturing, just an ever expanding toolset to give you the right means to get optimal ends.

3D Printhuset Lays Foundations For 3D Printed Office-Hotel in Copenhagen

A rendering of the finished BOD. Image via: 3D Printhuset.

Building on Demand (BOD), the latest venture of Danish firm 3D Printhuset, marks a major breakthrough for additive manufacturing in construction. The concrete office-hotel structure, occupying just under 50m of floor-space, is due to be 3D printed in Nordhaven, Copenhagen’s docklands area, and will be Western Europe’s first inhabitable 3D printed buildingJakob Jørgensen, Technical Manager at 3D Printhuset, explained in a press release that 3D printing the building over traditional construction meant that “complex forms can be entered at no additional cost”, while Michael Holm, the company’s development manager, emphasized the use of up-cycling and waste reduction in building materials.

Read the full article here.

3D Printed Biomaterials Degrade on Demand

Researchers 3D-printed intricate temporary microstructures that can be degraded on demand using a biocompatible chemical trigger. (Credit: Wong Lab / Brown University)

Biomaterials that can degrade on demand have been 3D printed by engineers at Brown University. The materials were fabricated by means of stereolithographic printing […]. The capacity of the materials to degrade is imparted by the development of reversible ionic bonds. Precursor solutions were prepared with sodium alginate, a compound derived from seaweed that is known to be capable of ionic crosslinking. Different combinations of ionic salts, including magnesium, barium and calcium, were then added to 3D print objects with varying stiffness levels, a factor which affected how quickly the structures dissolved.

“The idea is that the attachments between polymers should come apart when the ions are removed, which we can do by adding a chelating agent that grabs all the ions,” said assistant professor Ian Wong. “This way we can pattern transient structures that dissolve away when we want them to.”

Read the full at IEEE.

Research Breakthrough: Cold Sintering

Researchers in Penn State’s Materials Research Institute, led by Clive Randall, recently discovered a process that could revolutionize the manufacturing industry. Known as cold sintering, the process could be used for developing materials we use every day, such as bricks and glass, at a much lower energy cost than the process used today. The researchers have shown their new process can be used to make at least 50 materials, and they are continuing to expand their research to incorporate additional materials.

 

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