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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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

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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.

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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

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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.