Unlocking AM’s potential through materials (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #124)

Material sciences are among the most prolific fields of studies within AM, and for good reason. When the technologies for 3D printing begin to crystallize among a selected few, innovative applications mainly spring up from exciting new materials, offering new possibilities. By 3D printing diamonds, for instance, a new shelf of ultra-durable tools can be designed from a terribly hard to shape material. Heightened knowledge of materials’ physical and mechanical properties is giving rise to interesting multi-material applications, enabling complex, functional products to be printed in one go with some surprising features to boot. Still, there is a lot of ground to cover. While we may know the fundamentals of how to print with some materials, we’re still far from a comprehensive understanding of said processes, so researchers will have their hands full for quite some time.

We can now 3D-print diamond material — but not for jewelry

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Sandvik, a Swedish company specializing in mining, materials science and metalworking, has developed a way to make diamond composite materials with the 3D-printing technology called additive manufacturing. The material can be formed into many custom shapes, but think of ultradurable drills, not exotic earrings.

Read the full article at CNET.

Collaboration sparks sustainable electronics manufacturing breakthrough

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Simon Fraser University and Swiss researchers are developing an eco-friendly, 3D printable solution for producing wireless Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors that can be used and disposed of without contaminating the environment. SFU professor Woo Soo Kim is leading the research team’s discovery involving the use of a wood-derived cellulose material to replace the plastics and polymeric materials currently used in electronics. Additionally, 3D printing can give flexibility to add or embed functions onto 3D shapes or textiles, creating greater functionality.

Read the rest at Eurekalert.

3D Printed Magnets – Is It Possible to 3D Print Them?

3D printed magnets are attracting attention throughout industry.

Bringing the power of 3D printing to magnet manufacturing is attracting a lot of interest. Magnets are made of critical rare earth metals, such as neodymium, which are in short supply and high demand in the current push for electric cars and alternative energy. 3D printing can help reduce overuse of this material with its ability to create efficiently-shaped and -sized magnets without the time or expense of tooling. This also helps to quickly bring new designs to market. So what’s the hold-up? Beneath the surface, the most powerful permanent magnets have an organized granular structure that’s a challenge to recreate with a 3D print head.

Read the interesting in-depth article at ALL3DP.

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How AM can help fight climate change (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 34)

Climate change is caused by a great many aspects of human activity and one of the most impactful is manufacturing. In 2015, 21% of total greenhouse gasses emissions by the US was due to the industry sector. The manufacturing economy needs to be drastically reshaped in order to hamper the effects of climate change. Thankfully, technologies like AM are providing new avenues of production to do that. 3D printing enables production lines to be more flexible, reducing manufacturing to its most essential. Nonetheless, studies report that the energy consumption of some 3D printing methods are not up to their reputation, still needing some development in order to deal with material and energy usage. All the while, biopolymers are taking a hold in AM, proposing improved mechanical properties with the much needed value of being biodegradable.

 

Who Needs The Paris Climate Accords When You Have 3D Printing?

At the center of [digital manufacturing] technologies is 3D printing, which uses digital files to drive smaller, more flexible production lines than are economical with conventional manufacturing. 3D printing is still developing and is only now spreading to mass production. But in the next five to 10 years it should account for a sizable share of industry. As it matures, it will improve companies’ environmental performance in multiple ways.

Read the full article at Forbes.

 

Discovering Opportunities For Biopolymers In 3D Printing

[…] the few printable thermoplastics made from biological materials have limited applications, leading to concerns over environmental issues similar to those faced in conventional manufacturing. New biopolymers currently in development for conventional manufacturing can provide interesting opportunities for expanding biopolymer use in 3D printing applications.

Read the full article here.

 

3D Printing: A Boon Or A Bane?

Good prints require a ratio of 20– 50% virgin material to previously used powder to avoid problems, so a significant amount of waste is generated with each build. Another common claim is that 3-D printers are more energy-efficient than other manufacturing technologies. This claim is highly questionable because 3-D printers vary so dramatically in their energy use. A 2011 study measured the electricity use per kilogram of material deposited using several different 3-D printing methods and found that some printers used up to 80 times more energy than others.

Read the full report here.

 

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