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.

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OTWorld 2018

Our CEO Andre Wegner will be in Leipzig, Germany to attend the OTWorld trade show.

if you’d like to meet, please contact info@authentise.com.

Safety and reliability of metal AM parts (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 60)

3D printed metal parts are already being employed in very real world situations, from aircraft engine parts to wind turbines. In order to be applicable for these high stress scenarios, metal parts need to comply with very stringent performance standards. 3D printed brakes have been deemed suitable for a Bugatti Chiron, the most powerful super car in the company’s history. You can bet they’ve made their homework prior to putting their whole line of $3M cars on the line. Hydraulic parts manufacturers are utilizing AM to produce components faster and more efficiently than ever before, capable maintaining peak performance in highly pressurized applications. The research is still ongoing, especially in the material sciences. Scientists at the University of Kassel have been able to use AM with a particularly strong steel alloy, which will greatly enhance the safety and reliability of metal parts.

SLM Solutions Metal 3D Printing Brakes The Most Powerful Car In Bugatti History

Bugatti's

[…] 3D printing is implemented for next generation development of the Bugatti Chiron – a car with a price tag close to $3 million. Measuring 41 cm x 21 cm x 13.6 cm (L x W x H) the part claims, by volume, to be “the largest functional component” 3D printed out of titanium. It is also 2 kg lighter than its 4.9 kg machined aluminum counterpart.

“Technically, this is an extremely impressive brake caliper, and it also looks great.” – Frank Götzke, Head of New Technologies in Technical Development at Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.

Read the full story here.

Aidro Uses Metal 3D Printing to Improve Hydraulic Components

Aidro was founded in 1982 by hydraulics engineer Paolo Tirelli. Today, they use metal 3D printing for making custom designs with complex geometries, lightweight parts, and rapid prototyping.

“With good design methods, we can 3D print a hydraulic manifold that can withstand pressure peaks in the system without any problems,” says Alberto Tacconelli, Managing Director. “We can increase the wall thickness and change the shapes of the channels where the FEM analysis indicates a potential failure.”

Read about in-depth examples at 3DPrint.

EBM 3D Printing Process Used to Process a Steel Alloy with High Damage Tolerance

For the first time, a research team at the University of Kassel in Germany has used additive manufacturing to process a steel alloy with extremely high damage tolerance, which will help in promoting safety and reliability of 3D printed metal parts. […] This type of alloy, thanks to its special deformation mechanisms, holds up very well, and the heat from the EBM process helps to avoid any unpredictable material properties, resulting in a significantly better inner material structure that protects against possible damage.

Read more about it here.

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Automation is cause for unemployment, or is it? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 43)

There’s been massive outcry recently regarding the shift in automation employment in various industries, threatening nearly 40% of jobs by 2030. Factories are quickly implementing new automated systems for warehouse management, manufacturing and most menial tasks. Taking away manual jobs from the market, many are complaining it’s eroding the economy as a whole in the process. In fact, some countries are relying on industries that are seeing a massive shift to automation, effectively truncating and undermining their workforce. This is most dangerous to those regions struggling to rise above the poverty line, where traditional factories are being replaced by automated performance power-houses. Nonetheless, the data is showing automation is not characterizing unemployment as we feared. This is all the more pronounced in those countries where institutions have been put in place to enable the pursuit of more future-oriented occupations. If we look back at ATMs in the ’70s, we will see a decline in the number of employees per branch but the new system encouraged companies to build more and more branches, mitigating the effect. All in all, while automation is having an impact on unemployment per se, new possibilities are being created to make a smarter, more efficient system possible while keeping the economy machine churning.

 

This Economic Model Organized Asia for Decades. Now It’s Broken

Today, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Myanmar are in the early stages of climbing that ladder—but automation threatens to block their ascent. Instead of opening well-staffed factories in these countries, Chinese companies that need to expand are building robot-heavy facilities at home. “The window is closing on emerging nations,” says Cai Fang, a demographer in Beijing who advises the Chinese government on labor policy. “They will not have the opportunity that China had in the past.”

Keep reading at Bloomberg.

 

The rise of robots in the German labour market

Although robots do not affect total employment, they do have strongly negative impacts on manufacturing employment in Germany. We calculate that one additional robot replaces two manufacturing jobs on average. This implies that roughly 275,000 full-time manufacturing jobs have been destroyed by robots in the period 1994-2014. But, those sizable losses are fully offset by job gains outside manufacturing. In other words, robots have strongly changed the composition of employment by driving the decline of manufacturing jobs illustrated in Figure 1. Robots were responsible for almost 23% of this decline. But they have not been major killers so far when it comes to the total number of jobs in the German economy.

Read the full article here.

 

Chill: Robot-related job loss won’t be that bad (probably)

Chill: Robot-related job loss won’t be that bad (probably)

[…] the ATM was highly disruptive. You’d be tempted to equate this disruption with job loss, as fewer employees at bank branches meant thousands were suddenly without jobs.

But you’d be wrong.

Since ATMs made it much cheaper for banks to operate, it led to a boom, of sorts, in building new branches. From 1989 to 2004, banks opened 43% more physical locations than it did in the period before ATMs — leading to more jobs in banking, consequently.And that’s not even considering the additional skilled laborers needed to install, configure, and maintain over 400,000 ATMs installed nationwide since the 70s. Or, there’s the drivers and guards needed to fill them. There’s those who work in customer service, laborers who man the assembly lines, parts companies responsible for the pieces within them, ISPs (and their employees) who keep them online, security experts who lock down the network from hackers, and so on.

 

Read the full article at The Next Web.

 

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The Hybrid Future in Human-Robot Relationships (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 29)

The manufacturing plant is now more than ever the product of synergies derived from multiple, different actors playing their part for the greater objective. There is no “killer app” in the manufacturing industry and AM will need traditional manufacturing just as much as robots will still need human input to get around their limitations. The non-zero-sum game nature of manufacturing is exemplified by the international efforts to find balances in which new production processes can get the best of both worlds. For example, 11 partner groups from Germany and the Netherlands are starting new research efforts to explore the potential of hybrid manufacturing, particularly helpful for complex products like electronics. On a broader perspective, human-robot relationships have never been stronger. Those people afraid of giving up their jobs to robotic counterparts can put their hearts at ease (for now): automation is bringing greater productivity by putting tireless androids able to execute the most boring tasks under the human supervision. Similarly, deep learning automation is helping businesses deploy their time and resources more intelligently, using machine vision and actuation where the humans could be better employed doing something higher level.

German company Neotech AMT announces two new fully additive 3D printed electronics projects

A circuit board created using 3D printing technology. Image via Neotech.

German electronic 3D printing company Neotech AMT GmbH has announced it will engage in two new projects to advance additive manufacturing. The first project, known as ‘Hyb-Man’, will bring together 11 partner groups from Germany and the Netherlands with the aim of developing hybrid manufacturing techniques. While the second project – AMPECS – will focus on the printing of ceramic substrates.

The resultant process lines will address the needs for low volume agile manufacture within a single platform. – Dr. Martin Hedges, Managing Director of Neotech

Read more about the projects here.

Online Retail Boom Means More Warehouse Workers, And Robots To Accompany Them

There’s a good chance something you’ve bought online has been in the hands of a “picker” first. These are the workers in warehouses who pick, pack and ship all those things we’re ordering. At Amazon and other companies, they’re working side by side with robots. Experts say while the robots are replacing some human workers, the machines aren’t quite ready to take over completely.

Read the full article at NPR.

Two Apple Engineers Want To Create The Brain For Fully-Automated Manufacturing

Assembling TV sets

Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, along with another former Apple engineer, Samuel Weiss, have founded manufacturing startup Instrumental. The Los Altos, California-based startup builds a camera system that takes high-definition pictures of the product during various stages of the assembly process and sends it back to the company. Instrumental software then lets companies remotely track how their products are being assembled. But the bigger picture vision for the company is introducing more automation into what is a still very manual process. Instrumental has begun deploying machine learning techniques to pick out any manufacturing anomalies and track where things go wrong.

Read more about Instrumental and their goals here.

 

We hope to see you again next week as we publish another edition of our News-In-Review! Also, check out our Twitter feed for more AM/Automation/IIoT related news and insights.

Automation, analyzing our hands-free future (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 26)

This week we are going to take a look at what automation is doing to our current socio-economical global landscape. It has pervaded the news with its most face-value effect of taking over manual human jobs, which it undoubtedly is: what the public is missing is a clear overview of the far-reaching effects. For example, automation will be able to provide a cushion for the ageing demographic of those countries who are dragging the economic growth. Presently, automation technologies and IIoT are bringing more to the table than raw workforce, exposing unconventional growth vectors to businesses. Automation is also hinting at a possible future in which jobs could be erased, urging a new definition of the individual’s social and economic contribution.

Robots May Help Defuse Demographic Time Bomb in Germany, Japan

robots welding at VW factory

Japan and Germany may be sitting on a ticking demographic time bomb where aging populations begin to drag down economic growth. Good thing they’re also prime candidates for robot revolutions. Increased automation and more use of robotic technology in these manufacturing powerhouses could help cushion the impact, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Moody’s analysts wrote in the report this month:

“To the extent that robots can undertake activity that require labor, they will compensate for the negative impact that a slower growth in labor force would have otherwise had on growth.”

Read more about it on Industry Week.

Driving Unconventional Growth through the Industrial Internet of Things

Screen Shot 2017-06-17 at 10.17.26 PM

The IIoT has been heralded primarily as a way to improve operational efficiency. But in today’s environment, companies can also benefit greatly by seeing it as a tool for finding growth in unexpected opportunities.
In the future, successful companies will use the Industrial Internet of Things to capture new growth through three approaches: boost revenues by increasing production and creating new hybrid business models, exploit intelligent technologies to fuel innovation, and transform their workforce.

Read the report by Accenture.

Technology Will Erase Jobs—But Also Make Everything Cheap or Free

At Singularity University’s Exponential Finance Summit in New York this week, [Peter] Diamandis talked about the broad and specific trends he believes are leading to a demonetized world. […] The counterbalance to technological unemployment, Diamandis said, is the demonetization of living—in other words, pretty much everything we need and do in our day-to-day lives is becoming radically cheaper, if not free, and technology’s making it happen.

Read the whole article at SingularityHub.

 

Hope to see you again next week for another installment of the News-In-Review, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and other social media for a more frequent flux of AM & IIoT news!

Governments Driving AM (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 10)

Hi everyone, here we go for another weekly News-In-Review!

This week we highlight, through our selected news, how AM is bringing the wind of change to countries’ industrial planning and policies and how its inclusion has driven economic growth. Through wise policy making and good support investments, countries like South Africa and England and enabling the creation of business ecosystems, both startups and well-established realities. Germany is already harvesting the fruits of long standing AM companies, with innovation driven partnerships in the automotive industry and beyond.

Here’s to more international effort to get into AM!

Let’s dig in.

UK publishes Digital Strategy outlining plans for Makerspaces, IP protection for 3D printing, and internationally connected Tech Hubs

Westminster, including London's Houses of Parliament. Photo by Ged Carroll, on Flickr as renaissancechambara

The UK Department for Culture, Media & Sport has released a Digital Strategy for economic, educational and infrastructural growth of the nation. The policy follows a seven prong plan touching on the concepts of Makerspaces, FabLabs, 3D imaging, intellectual property for 3D printing, and growing international Tech Hubs. In February 2017, London Mayor Sadiq Khan also announced plans for a hub of industry in East London. As part of a total regeneration of the area, Silvertown is expected to feature the largest 3D printing facility in the UK.

Read more here.

South Africa in talks with Airbus, Boeing to print 3D parts

An Airbus A400M military aircraft. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Officially launched in 2011 and backed by government, the Aeroswift research project last year produced its first three demonstrator parts – a pilot’s throttle lever, a condition lever grip which is part of the throttle assembly, and a fuel tank pylon bracket, in a digital process known as 3D printing, or additive layer manufacturing. […] South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in partnership with local aerospace firm Aerosud Innovation Centre, say access to vast titanium reserves as well as pioneering the world’s largest titanium powder-based 3D printing machine should give them a competitive edge.

Read the full article here.

Five Stories Indicating Auto 3D Printing Is Kicking into High Gear

A 3D-printed water pump wheel for use in a DTM racecar. (Image courtesy of the BMW Group.)

Although there are numerous stories regarding the use of additive manufacturing (AM) in aerospace, due to the specialty components needed for critical applications, AM is also becoming increasingly prevalent for end part production in auto manufacturing. Below are just five of the big automotive AM stories that demonstrate its potential for auto manufacturing.

Read about the five stories at Engineering.com

 

AERODEF 2017:  We have a session titled ‘Additive Manufacturing from Lab to Production Scale‘ on Thursday 3/9 at 10 am, room 102 at Aerodef. Come see us, we’d love to meet you!

This is it for this week, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and come back next week for the upcoming edition.