What is the future of AM going to look like? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #106)

With AM, as with any other exponential technologies, it’s very hard to make a sound prediction on its future development, even in the next 5 years. However, there are clear indications that certain roadblocks will most likely be surpassed. Industrial settings will see reliable and large-scale AM technologies being pushed to the high standards required to being widely adopted. New materials with exciting properties will enable new, unthought of applications and provide sustainable new ways to drive AM production forward. All the while, new engines with record number of AM parts will keep being produced and new crucial precedents will be set for future developments to build upon.

HUST Researchers Iron Out Cracks Of 3D Printed Bulk Metallic Glass

SEM imaging of micro-cracks that form inside a BMG when 3D printed by SLM. Image via Materials & Design

A team of researchers led by Professor Ning Li at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), China, have discovered a way to scale-up 3D printing of bulk metallic glass (BMG). With a unique atomic structure, BMG alloys are highly resistant to wear and corrosion while maintaining the melted malleability of glass. However, micro-cracks that occur during 3D printing present a severe disadvantage to BMG utility. At HUST, Professor Li, Jianji Zhang, Wei Xing, Di Ouyang and Lin Liu have developed composite iron and iron-nickle BMG alloys that suppress these deal-breaking micro-cracks, with findings that provide general guidelines for processing BMGs via selective laser melting (SLM).

Read more about the study here.

Empa Cellulose 3D Printing Advances Yield Guidelines For Composite Material Tuning

Illustrations of the direct ink writing 3D printing process (left) and in situ polarization rheology (right) used in the Empa study. Image via ACS Nano

A group at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Empa, is investigating ways to 3D print cellulose. As the most abundant organic polymer in the world, the material is sustainable, and biocompatible, presenting great potential for medical research. Recent progress made at Empa demonstrates how to 3D print cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) as a material reinforcement. Experimentation also shows how to tune the orientations of these CNC “building blocks” to achieve different properties in a finished object.

Read the full article here.

Sunconomy To Develop 3D Printed Concrete Homes in Texas


Sunconomy, a U.S. construction company, has received permits to build its first 3D printed geopolymer additively manufactured house in Lago Vista, Texas.

Larry Haines, the founder of Sunconomy, stated, “We will be able to build the structure for a single family house in a day with virtually no waste, and built super strong and providing very low utility costs. Now that’s Sustainable!”

Read more here.

 

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Metal AM becomes feasible and affordable, and will change manufacturing (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 93)

Metal AM has been around for many years but we have since bumped into many problems that make it hard for the tech to scale up. The techniques required to deal with metal materials are still finicky and expensive. All this is gradually changing, as advances in material sciences and better industry know-how lead to machines that are cheaper yet performant enough to appeal to the Small Medium Business (SMB) market. We recently heard there are 160 metal 3D printing startups! Wohaa! New research into bulk metallic glasses are making it easier to work with metals, lowering the barrier to entry by aiming at less pricey technologies. At the same time, companies like HP and Desktop Metal are offering metal 3D printers at very enticing prices, sub $400K, which is a big deal. New entries in the printer market are geared towards production instead of simple prototyping, signalling that the shift is close to a scaled metal printing industry.

Use of Metallic Glass Simplifies 3D Printing of Metals

3D printed metallic glass

Researchers at Yale, MIT, and Desktop Metal have teamed up to simplify metal 3D printing, expanding its potential for use in industrial applications and the range of objects that can be printed using the process. The research, led by Jan Schroers, Yale professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, has taken a new approach to 3D-print objects from metallic glass—a relatively new material stronger than even some of the strongest metals, but with the pliability of plastic.

Read more here.

HP’s Metal Jet 3D printer may build your next car’s innards

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[…] printing giant HP announced it’s entered the market with the ambition to dramatically lower prices, courtesy of a $400,000 product called the Metal Jet.

“We’re really going to enable mass production for mainstream metals, in particular steels,” said Tim Weber, head of 3D metal printing for HP.

Read more at CNET.

Metal 3D printing startup Velo3D launches its first product

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[Velo3D] is finally ready to discuss what it’s been working on, just as it announces the availability of its first product. The Sapphire system utilizes a technology the company calls Intelligent Fusion. The system is capable of 3D printing complex metal objects by sintering a bed of powder with a laser, in a process similar to standard resin-based 3D printing systems. One of the more compelling aspects of the technology is its ability to create geometrically complicated objects without the need for the support structure most require.

Read the rest at Techcruch.

 

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