New design thinking is helping AM reach new heights (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 75)

AM is a fantastic piece of technology, but sometimes it can only go as far as the design behind it. That’s why, following the rise and promise of 3D printing techniques, new ways of designing by means of CAD and reasoning have been born, and they help boost the capabilities of AM in a number of ways. Take General Motors for example: through a technique called generative design, they are able to procedurally build the volume of a part to better address its functions and operational stresses, while at the same time saving precious weight. In other cases, new materials and design possibilities come together to enable unprecedented applications like, for example, a customized inflatable for future car interiors. With this kind of thinking, we start to see how this new wave of design methodologies is enabling AM processes to actually work. The 3D printed bridges and houses that we often hear about wouldn’t be much of a revolution by 3D printing alone, if not for a smart and optimized design that can make it work and excel.

GM and Autodesk Using Additive Manufacturing for Lighter Vehicles

GM is using Autodesk’s generative design technology and additive manufacturing to fabricate lighter automotive parts; this seat bracket is 40% lighter and 20% stronger than its predecessor. […] It uses cloud computing and AI-based algorithms to rapidly explore multiple permutations of a part design; it can generate hundreds of high-performance, often organic-looking geometric design options based on goals and parameters set by the user.

Read the full article here.

MIT’s 3D-printed inflatables could shape the interiors of cars in the future

Car interiors could morph into different configurations at the flick of a switch, using 3D-printed inflatable structures developed by researchers at the MIT. The Self-Assembly Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) worked with BMW on the project, called Liquid Printed Pneumatics. The German auto brand wanted to see how the lab’s experimental engineering techniques could help it realize some of the shapeshifting features imagined in its futuristic concept cars.

Keep reading at Dezeen.

Additive Construction: From the 3D-Printed House to the 3D-Printed High-Rise

AM has begun to affect nearly every industry, from healthcare to aerospace, making it possible to create unique geometries with unique properties. One industry where 3D printing’s impact is at an even more nascent stage in construction. There are firms and research groups exploring the use of 3D printing as a building technology, but additive construction is still so young that its exact purpose and benefits remain speculative and unclear. Why, other than for sheer novelty, squeeze concrete out of a nozzle to fabricate a building when you can rely on traditional methods?

Read the full article here.

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Big, Longshot Projects Pushing AM to the Limit (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 67)

Now that we have realized the potential of AM through a period of (still very much ongoing) experimentation, we are now starting to employ the technology on grand challenges never before considered. We’ve made AM flexible and adaptable enough to be used on very large, very demanding scales. Some of these projects have been in the works for quite some time, others have only as of lately become feasible as the technological basis supported the effort. Remember the 3D printed bridge by the MX3D people in 2015? It was finally completed, after a few hurdles and change of plans. Not 3D printed on location as it was originally planned, but the result is stunning nonetheless. In other news, CEO of Relativity Space affirms that the company is capable of 3D printing every part of a rocket, in just 60 days, cutting the number of total parts to 1/10 in the process. Sounds out of this world, but the company already raised $45M to prove its claims. In the racing world, they are accustomed to AM raising the performance metric. LEHVOSS Group wants to take it up a notch by 3D printing an entire sailboat.

 

Welding robots complete 3D-printed steel bridge

The bridge took four robots six months to print

Back in June of 2015, we heard about how Dutch 3D-printing firm MX3D was planning on printing a steel footbridge that would go across Amsterdam’s Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal. Well, construction of that bridge is now complete – although it still has to actually be placed over the water. The finished bridge is 12.5 meters long (41 ft), and took six months to print. It’s composed of 4,500 kg (9,921 lb) of stainless steel, along with 1,100 km (684 miles) of wire. Originally, MX3D hoped to print the bridge on location, with the robots starting at one side of the canal and then building their way across. This turned out to be impractical, however.

Read more about MX3D’s bridge at New Atlas.

 

A Fully 3D-Printed Rocket Is Not as Crazy as it Seems. Investors Agree.

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 1.55.18 PM

60 days. That’s how long it will take to produce and launch a rocket if the parts are 3D printed, according to the CEO of Relativity Space, a startup that seeks to do just that. Flying something made completely of 3D-printed parts into space sounds, frankly, pretty bonkers. But investors are on board. The Los Angeles-based startup recently secured $35 million to go ahead with its plan to produce a fleet of spacecraft using one of the largest 3D printers known to man, known as Stargate.

Read more at Futurism.

 

Lehvoss partners with Liverea Yacht to build 3D printed sailboat

Lehvoss 3D printed sailboat

The LEHVOSS Group announced March 14 it is partnering with Livrea Yacht (Palermo, Italy) to build the world’s first 3D printed sailboat. Since work began on the design in 2014, LEHVOSS Group has supported the process development and engineered its LUVOCOM 3F customized 3D printing materials specifically for the application.

According to Francesco Belvisi who is the CTO of OCORE, “The yacht will be highly competitive thanks to the light and strong 3D printed parts. 3D printing dramatically reduces the build time for the yacht and also makes it more economical. We are looking forward not only to building the first 3D printed boat but also to winning the competition in 2019.”

Read the full article here.

 

amug_logo_lgNext week, we are going to be at AMUG 2018, with a few sessions lined up on production AM! Check out the agenda for more information.

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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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We’ll be at Formnext 2017 between the 14th-17th of November! Come check us out at booth Booth # 3.1-A33.