3D printing is enabling a new kind of space entrepreneurship (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #130)

3D printing is proving to be a transformational tool for the fresh players of the new space race. Iteration cycles for the aerospace industry are notoriously long: 3D printing enables the development of aerospace parts to be cut from months to just a few weeks. This is a boost for newcomers, shortening time to launch and enabling faster competitiveness in the global race. The rapid pace of technological change is forcing everyone to quickly adapt to new trends. These new companies are also the most pliable to changes to the supply chain, which will be stressed to accommodate new needs and technologies. It’s hard to predict future business opportunities, but new avenues of exploration are being researched through 3D printing. In-situ resource utilization is of great interest for any habitat, tool or even medical need future astronauts might have.

How additive manufacturing helped launch SpaceX

How additive manufacturing helped launch SpaceX

SpaceX has been using AM increasingly in its production to optimise processes and produce parts that aren’t possible with conventional manufacturing methods. SpaceX has been continuously evaluating the benefits of 3D printing and perfecting the techniques required to develop and manufacture flight hardware. With innovation and efficiency at the core of SpaceX, it’s no wonder its been one of the first companies in the sector to embrace AM as a major part of its production.

Read the full article at PES Media.

Supply chain expands to meet demand for 3D-printed space parts

It’s not clear whether the additive manufacturing supply chain will expand rapidly enough to meet growing demand for 3D-printed parts for spacecraft or launch vehicles. When companies are starting out, it’s easy for them to turn to additive manufacturing service providers for a few parts, said Scott Killian, aerospace business development manager for EOS North America.

“Once companies move into production, they’re going to have to figure out whether the supply chain can still meet their needs,” he added. “There’s a lot of ebb and flow right now on getting that supply chain to ramp up.”

Read more at Space News.

Scientists 3D-print human skin and bone for Mars astronauts

The European Space Agency’s 3D Printing of Living Tissue for Space Exploration project aims to print human tissue to help injured astronauts heal when they’re far, far away from Earth. Scientists from the University Hospital of Dresden Technical University in Germany bio-printed skin and bone samples upside down to help determine if the method could be used in a low-gravity environment. It worked. ESA released videos of the printing in action.

Read more at CNET.

Follow us on Twitter to keep updated on AM & IIoT related news as well as updates to Authentise’s services!

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.

Follow us on Twitter to keep updated on AM & IIoT related news as well as updates to Authentise’s services!

Week in Review: Aug 1st to 7th

We’re back. The Week in Review took an Hiatus but we’re back for more. Send us any news you have.

Loads of funding news this time. 3D Hubs landed $7m from Europeans, Formlabs closed on $35m mostly from Foundry (congrats to both teams, so well deserved. Amazing mgt and product!). Siemens Oil and Gas bought what it didn’t already own of a print bureau in the UK (see below).

Formlabs was called out for moving towards the industrial, but there’s a world between Formlabs’ definition of industrial and Siemens’s. 3D Hubs also called out more professional focus in a sign of the times but as Authentise learned the hard way its tough to swing from consumer completely the other way in this industry. They are ostensibly different markets. What do you think the secret ingredients to an industrial transition are?

More news:

Siemens Acquires Rest of UK Print Breau

siemens-acquires-85-percent-stake-british-3d-printing-firm-materials-solutions-ltd-2

Siemens has recently acquired the majority stake (85%) in AM materials manufacturer Materials Solutions. The UK based company specializes in selective laser melting (SLM) materials and the investment is part of a growing interest by Siemens in advanced manufacturing technologies. “With the acquisition of Materials Solutions, we are able to secure world-leading expertise in materials and AM process development with focus on high-temperature super alloys,” said Willi Meixner, CEO of Siemens Power and Gas Division. “The company’s strength is to turn models into high quality components in record time. Clearly Materials Solutions fits perfectly within our vision for growth and application of advanced technologies within our Power & Gas portfolio.”

Keep reading about it at 3Ders.

Vibration Absorption Through Lattice Structures.

3D-printed-lattice-structure-absorbs-vibrations-and-provides-support_popup-906x456@2x

Vibration absorption materials can offer good properties at the cost of stiffness and strength: now 3D printing can help solve this issue. Rigid vibration absorption lattice structures, created through 3D printing lattice of 3.5mm spacing and embedding steel cubes as resonators, provide efficient traps for vibration as well as high structural strength and optimal weight. Plastic and lightweight metals can be used, as long as the lattice structure and the resonators mass density ratio is preserved.

Read more here.

Raytheon Scaling up AM Deployments with $523m Missile Contract

rtn_250217

Arizona based Raytheon Missile Systems Co. got a $523 million contract from the Department of Defense for the manufacturing, test and delivery of 47 SM-3 Block IB missiles by the end of fiscal 2016. The contract could be replicated for a total of three option years and a yield of 52 missiles per option year. The contract is all based upon the company’s missile designs which incorporated 3D printing in many if not all aspects of manufacturing, including rocket engines, guidance and control systems and fins. Looking ahead, engineers at Raytheon are looking for effective ways to print electronic circuits and microwave components. “You could potentially have these in the field,” said Jeremy Danforth, a Raytheon engineer who has printed working rocket motors. “Machines making machines. The user could [print on demand]. That’s the vision.”

Read more at 3D Printing Industry.