How large companies are (or plan to) leverage AM (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 74)

Big companies are the first to experiment and get to know the features of new technologies. Their job is to stay on top of the competition and new manufacturing techniques like AM are bringing new possibilities. However, part of the process is recognizing where the technology would be most beneficial. Right now, AM is being actively employed for prototyping and iterating the design of entirely new types of parts. Ford, for example, is experimenting with large-format 3D printing to bring to its car manufacturing. For other companies, where the runs are small and often full of complex parts, AM is a real game-changer. Airbus has been 3D printing panels for its A350 XWB model airplane, saving weight and money. Even though the dream of bringing AM to mass manufacturing plants is still a ways off, progress is being made to make it a reality. Adidas is testing the fast, production-level 3D printer from Carbon to produce as many as 100’000 AM-enabled shoe pairs by the year’s end.

3D printing: Ford pilot project goes large

The automaker is running a project with Stratasys, a manufacturer of additive manufacturing systems based in Eden Prairie, Minn., that’s testing the production of big, single-piece units as prototypes, auto parts and components. Ford recognizes the Stratasys system as a potentially more efficient and affordable way to create tooling, prototype parts, make components for low-volume vehicles (such as performance cars) and produce personalized car parts.

Read more at Plant.ca

Airbus saves 15% in material weight due to 3D printing

The European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, has been working with Materialise’s Certified Additive Manufacturing for two, creating plastic parts for aircraft through 3D printing. The manufacturer has noted the benefits of 3D printing for small batch production, enabling more customization whilst being time and cost-effective.

Read the full article here.

How Adidas Plans To Bring 3D Printing To The Masses

Adidas is not only planning to introduce by the end of this year 100,000 pairs of shoes with plastic midsoles made via a new 3D technology created by Silicon Valley startup Carbon; it’s also making moves to ramp up that production to millions in the coming years, said James Carnes, vice president of strategy creation for Adidas’s namesake brand.

“We have a really aggressive plan to scale this,” Carnes said in an interview. “We are scaling a production. The plan will put us as the (world’s) biggest producer of 3D-printed products.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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Autonomous robots: its more than just driving (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 50)

When you say autonomous one most commonly thinks of self-driving cars. Nonetheless, the movement to make robots survey and act on their own precedes driving around no-hands. Autonomous robots have the ability to adapt to various scenarios within their scope of purpose and, as such, are being developed for a host of different applications. What is largely proceeding out of the spotlight is an ever-increasing presence within plants and other work environments of robots that are providing the tendrils for the factory-wide brain of the IIoT. These robots can sense their environment, be in constant and instantaneous exchange of information with central processing systems and execute complex directives, managing the necessary sub-steps on their own. Adidas has created a factory that uses autonomous robots to drive on-demand sneaker production. Menial tasks can be done effortlessly and efficiently by robots that, through machine vision, can see and analyze their targets and act according to their AI directives. This is why Château Clerc Milon, renowned wine producer, has implemented robots to take care of vineyards. Autonomous robots are perfect for scenarios in which unfaltering machine vision and pattern recognition enable them to see what the human eye wouldn’t catch. Like for rediscovering long-lost ’50s prototype jet fighters out in the ocean.

Inside Adidas’ Robot-Powered, On-Demand Sneaker Factory

Called Speedfactory, the facility would pair a small human workforce with technologies including 3-D printing, robotic arms, and computerized knitting to make running shoes—items that are more typically mass-produced by workers in far-off countries like China, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

“What we enable is speed,” said Gerd Manz, vice president of Adidas’ innovation group. “We can react to consumer needs within days.”

Read the full article at Wired.

Bordeaux: Robot vineyard worker impresses at Clerc Milon

robot vineyard worker

Château Clerc Milon, under the same ownership as Château Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac, has tested a prototype vineyard robot named ‘Ted’ to help with soil cultivation and weeding in its vines.

Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s MD, Philippe Dhalluin, said, ‘We see robotics as an effective solution for the future.

‘As well as helping to make our vineyard work less arduous and respecting the soil, it will reduce our dependency on fossil energies and the harm caused by traditional agricultural machinery.’

Read more here.

Autonomous sub finds long-lost supersonic aircraft from the 50s

The "Raise the Arrow" team gathers for a photo behind the AUV

Fraunhofer is reporting that one of its DEDAVEs [unmanned submersible] has located a couple of sunken flight models of a famous Canadian jet fighter, the Avro Arrow. Billed as “the world’s first autonomous underwater vehicle [AUV] to be developed from the outset with a view to series production,” the DEDAVE is designed to be easily manufactured on an assembly line, and thus relatively inexpensive to buy. At less than 700 kg it’s also quite light for an AUV and can travel autonomously for up to 20 hours on one charge of its eight batteries, diving to a maximum depth of 6,000 meters.

Read more about the discovery here.

 

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Tackling AM bottlenecks (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 17)

AM is bringing unprecedented capabilities to the industrial world but its technologies are still mostly experimental and much is being researched. Nonetheless, these bottlenecks are being addressed as we speak through sheer research and, on a higher level, by achieving the proper certification to make it into the real world. Researchers are putting under the spotlight every step of the AM process and have discovered a flaw which, if fixed, could dramatically speed up the whole process.  Crucial certifications’ specifics have been met by the team at Norsk Titanium in providing flight proof structural aircraft parts, the first to ever do so. Similarly, the complex system for complete AM industrialization is being finalized by Adidas to bring 3D printed shoes to mass-production.

 

New Research Could Help Speed Up the 3D Printing Process

A team of researchers from Binghamton University, State University of New York and MIT have identified some bottlenecks in 3D printers, that, if improved, could speed up the entire process. “We found that the rate at which a polymer melts is limiting in many implementations,” said Scott Schiffres, Binghamton Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “The pressure required to push the polymer through the nozzle is a sharp function of temperature. If the core is not hot enough, the printer will not be able to squeeze the polymer through the nozzle.”

Read the full article here.

 

Norsk Titanium 3D prints world’s first approved, structural, titanium components for commercial flight

The 3D printed and finished 787 Dreamliner component. Photo via Norsk Titanium

Norwegian aerospace additive manufacturing specialists Norsk Titanium AS has released details of a parts order from multinational aircraft corporation Boeing. According to Norsk, the ordered components will make the Boeing 787 Dreamliner the “first commercial airplane to fly with certified additive-manufactured titanium parts in structural applications.”

Read the full article at 3D Printing Industry.

 

How 3D Printing Will Optimize Your Next Pair of Running Shoes

custom shoes 3D printing

In the second half of 2017, Adidas is bringing [a new] level of customization to the U.S. with its Speedfactory, a production facility in the Atlanta area. Its goal is to deliver cutting-edge manufacturing and produce more shoes with “advanced complexity in color, materials, and sizes” for U.S.-based retailers and consumers. “The vision of Speedfactory is about making customized and personalized footwear for all people,” says Ben Herath, vice president of global design. “We’re bringing shoe manufacturing closer to the people and speeding up the manufacturing time.”

See the development story of 3D printed shoes here.

 

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Go Big or Go Home (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 16)

AM has matured into a fully fledged industrial manufacturing technology. As its materials, processes and applications broaden the jump to full-scale implementation is getting more and more a feasible possibility. The potential to disrupt various industries is being recognized by nations all over the globe: South Korea is one such nation at the forefront of innovation and it has decided to invest 41.2 billion won (Approx. $37 million USD) to foster the development of AM as a key innovation technology. Adidas, on the other hand, seems ready to tackle the stagnating idea that 3D printing is “all hype”. It announced that its concept shoe Futurecraft 4D is ready to be mass-produced as early as 2018, proof that the technology is more than capable to sustain its reputation as a manufacturing game-changer. This is surely shaping up to be the year of the “Go Big or Go Home” mantra, for AM and other important trends. For example in IIoT, where  Ubicquia wants to apply its concept on a city-scale.

South Korea to develop nation’s 3D printing industry with investment of over 41 billion won

Central district district of South Korea's capital city Seoul, viewed from Mt. Namsan. Photo by zuk0 on Flickr

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning in South Korea has announced it will be spending 41.2 billion won (Approx. $37 million USD) of 2017’s annual budget to encourage the development of 3D printing across the nation. Kang Seong-joo, an official from the ministry, says: “The 3D printing industry is the core technology that will bring about innovation in the manufacturing realm and create a new market by changing the paradigm of the industry. It is important for ministries to cooperate to actively deal with the fast-changing global trend.”

Read more here.

Adidas Futurecraft 4D starts a new era of 3D-printed shoes

Capture

Adidas is back with another sneaker based on a 3D-printed midsole, but this time the company says it’s moving even closer to mass production. The Futurecraft 4D shoe will be the first one using Carbon‘s “Digital Light Synthesis” process. The Silicon Valley company’s tech creates 3D items by blasting liquid with light, which Adidas says will allow it to operate on “a completely different manufacturing scale.” […] its plan to scale up projects more than 100,000 pairs made with the Digital Light Synthesis method by the end of 2018.

Read the full article at Engadget.

Revolutionizing the IIoT Industry One Streetlight at a Time

Sao Paulo industrial IoT Kairo Ubicquia

When Zimmerman [co-founder and chief technology officer of Ubicquia, an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) provider] recognized that a light pole could potentially solve all three of those challenges [power, networking and cost], the idea for Kairo began to take form. Over several months, Ubicquia designed and built a wide range of microcontroller boards featuring a variety of sensors and actuators that could be housed in a form factor no larger than a soda can. Kairo empowered sensor and application data to be harnessed by myriad of smart-city applications, delivering improved operations and planning, as well as better decision-making by city government.

Read all about Kairo at Spectrum.

 

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