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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Additive-made tooling. The future? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #112)

Is 3D printing making traditional tooling obsolete? Yes and no. There are certain applications where the former is hands down beating the competition: things we are accustomed to hearing, better quality and performance and a faster turnout. Last week, we already featured a great example highlighting that drilling bits can be 3D printed. There are also new features that are making the shift even more appealing. A greater range of materials gives much more freedom to the engineers when dealing with tougher leagues, guaranteeing more longevity and reliability. However, as of today, the choice between 3D printing and, say, casting needs to be pondered on a per case basis. 3D printing is still more expensive when considering a production run of multiple pieces. The two technologies can be used together to confront this and provide the upsides of both. For example, 3D printing sand casts for injection molding (coupled with computer simulations) has been proved to improve the performance of the process, decreasing warping and thus increasing production reliability. At the end of the day, the idea still applies that 3D printing is to be considered a tool in the box among others, although this tool sure is shoving its way to the front row.

Lightweight CoroMill® 390 produced with additive manufacturing

Long overhang milling can be a vibration-prone application. The lightweight CoroMill® 390 cutter, in combination with Silent Tools™ adaptors, is developed to overcome this challenge. When designing lightweight CoroMill® 390, material has been tactically removed to create the optimal cutter design for minimizing mass. This makes it more compact and significantly lighter than a conventional cutter.

Tooling Manufacturer Brown & Holmes Expands Material Options With 3D Printing

Fixtures produced on the Stratasys 3D printers. Photo via SYS Systems.

Tamworth-based tooling manufacturer Brown & Holmes has added two Stratasys 3D printers to its operations. The 3D printers were acquired to expand the material choices Brown & Holmes offers to its various customers, and to replace parts used in its production solutions and fixtures.

Mick Waller, Brown & Holmes Engineering Manager, said “Our customer base is looking at us now for newer and different materials beyond the conventional. There are over 17 materials we can print between the two Stratasys machines, which has meant that we can adopt the newer carbon fibre-type material to replace metal parts in our production solutions.”

Read more about it here.

3D Printing Studied as a Way to Produce Tooling for Injection Molding

In a thesis entitled “Tooling for Injection Molding Using Laser-Powder Bed Fusion,” a University of Louisville student named Mohith Ram Buxani takes a closer look at using 3D printing to create tooling for injection molding. The injection molding industry has always suffered from high costs and long lead times for tool making. 3D printing is an alternative method of creating tooling, saving time and money.

Read more about the research here.

 

We are going to exhibit at AMUG! Come visit us at booth #37 from March 31st – April 4th.

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Sideways innovation: unexpected avenues of discovery (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #109)

Innovation isn’t always a straightforward process. Sometimes to even begin to diagnose the problems we need a new perspective on the system as a whole, and that might mean researching curious tangents. Take flying taxis as an example: in our quest to one day see them whizzing over us, we never considered the systemic bottleneck of the manufacturing of high-tech materials like carbon fibers. Insights like this happen when we look beyond sheer innovation, thinking holistically of the topic at hand and not being blindsided by the shiny new technological grail. IIoT may one day benefit greatly from the blockchain, but is it ready for prime time in cybersecurity applications? Should we look at more traditional and effective approaches while we crack the infrastructure that will make it viable? Let’s look beyond the initial goal, let’s find interesting tangents to our research. Old materials can be reinvented with 3D printing, one of the many technologies that give us the tools to question everything.

Blockchain May Be Overkill For Most IIoT Security

Blockchain crops up in many of the pitches for security software aimed at the industrial IoT. However, IIoT project owners, chipmakers and OEMs should stick with security options that address the low-level, device- and data-centered security of the IIoT itself, rather than the effort to promote blockchain as a security option as well as an audit tool.

Read the full article at Semiengineering.

The Need For Carbon Fiber Could Ground The Flying-Car Future

Icon’s struggle to ramp up production of an airplane it initially promised for $139,000 can be blamed mostly on its heavy use of carbon fiber—a material that cuts weight and adds strength, but also adds complexity and cost to the manufacturing process.

Read more here.

Dichroic 3D-printing material changes color with point of view

A miniature goblet printed from the new material appears both opaque brown and translucent violet

In use since at least the 4th century AD, dichroic glass displays different colors depending on how it’s being viewed. Now, Dutch scientists have produced the effect in a material that can be used to create 3D-printed objects – and it’s not just a novelty, as it could have practical applications.

Read the full article here.

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Materials: AM’s next frontier of flexibility (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 64)

3D printing has always been a wonderful platform for researchers and engineers to experiment on. The manufacturing concepts behind it make it a very flexible tool to create rapidly and cost-efficiently. Presently, the next frontier of 3D printing’s exploration lies in its materials. That’s because material innovation doesn’t only come from Chemistry (although that’s a major part of it). It also comes from physics – specifically driven by our increased ability through additive manufacturing to control the micro-structure of objects below even 1 micron. Already we are witnessing how the technology can help us envision new and improved ways to build or even react to disaster situations through properties that are commonly hard to apply case-per-case.

Plant Inspires 3D Printed Material for Cleaning Up Oil Spills

Using a method called immersed surface accumulation 3D printing (ISA 3D printing), the researchers [at the University of Southern California] were able to recreate this egg beater microstructure, called the Salvinia effect, using plastic and carbon nanotubes. The result was a material that was both highly hydrophobic and oleophilic, or oil-absorbing. The combination allows oil and water to be efficiently separated.

“We tried to create one functional surface texture that would be able to separate oil from water,” said Associate Professor Yong Chen. “Basically, we modified the surface of the materials by using a 3-D printing approach that helped us achieve some interesting surface properties.”

Read the full article here.

Researchers Use 3D Printing to Create Super-Strong Material

Engineering physics professor Roderic Lakes and graduate student Zachariah Rueger have 3D printed a material that behaves in a manner consistent with the Cosserat theory of elasticity, also known as micropolar elasticity. The theory factors in the underlying substructure of a substance when analyzing its performance in a high-stress environment. Lakes and Rueger used the theory to design a polymer lattice that is about 30 times stiffer when bent than would be predicted by classical elasticity theory.

Read more here.

Elastomeric bioink makes 3D printing more flexible

Optical and SEM images printed elastomeric scaffolds.

In a recent study, published in the journal Biofabrication, Burdick’s group carefully altered the viscosity of a biocompatible elastomer so that it could be extruded during printing. At the same time, the scientists formulated their ink to ensure that the material could still be cured effectively with light. If the viscosity was too low, the ink would run too rapidly – which would compromise the fixing stage of the process.

“Until this study, there were few examples of 3D printed elastomers, so it was encouraging to show that photocurable acrylated polyglycerol sebacate is a promising material for the fabrication of elastomeric scaffolds for biomedical applications,” said Jason Burdick of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Bioengineering.

Read the full article here.

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