AM is giving us the capabilities to drastically improve the performance of many of the parts and systems around us. This is because of its much greater design freedom, material choice, density control and other features that make AM a manufacturing game-changer. With this tool in our hands, we can really start to think taking mundane objects to the next level. Developing these applications shows where AM needs to improve to start making a dent. For example, special certifications need to be worked for it to be safely implemented pervasively. Currently there aren’t even 50 standards for the whole range of additive manufacturing materials. Even traditional glass blowing has over 100. The potential is there not only to get better performance out of every item, but to create a whole range of entirely smarter, more environmentally friendly products unthinkable in the past: Nuclear spare parts, efficient heat exchangers and wireless communication without electronics, to name but a few.
Westinghouse Looks to Advance 3D Printing in the Nuclear Industry
Now power company Westinghouse plans to be the first company to install a 3D printed fuel component in a commercial nuclear reactor.
Westinghouse is looking to lower the cost of replacement parts as well as to speed the qualification of 3D printed materials.
“These cost and lead time reduction estimates still look appropriate for certain replacement castings, using current cost estimates for AM casting moulds and the associated foundries/casting processes,” said Clint Armstrong, Advanced Manufacturing Expert at Westinghouse.
HiETA Uses Renishaw Metal 3D Printer to Take Heat Exchangers From Prototyping to Commercial Production
HiETA develops metal AM methods to produce lightweight, complex structures for heat-management applications, such as internal combustion engine components, turbo machinery, recuperators, and heat exchangers for fuel cells. The first successful 3D printed component was built in 17 days, which HiETA and Renishaw worked to bring down to eighty hours by optimizing the process parameters and improving both the software and hardware. According to tests, the component, which achieved 30% lower weight and volume, met the requirements for heat transfer and pressure drop.
University of Washington researchers have developed a way to 3D print plastic objects and sensors capable of communicating wirelessly with other smart devices, without the need for batteries or other electronics.
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This week we saw a lot of activity surrounding AM, and advanced manufacturing in general, with regards to its ability to bring about unprecedented performance and costsavings. We saw how Renishaw used AM to improve Land Rover’s yacht performance by decreasing the weight of its parts, how paradigm shifts in the factory of the future will reduce conversion costs up to 40% and how reduced lead times can greatly benefit from the horrendous costs of lost production time.
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Renishaw uses 3D printing to improve efficiency of Land Rover BAR yacht
British engineering company Renishaw has used its metal 3D printing expertise to improve the performance of the LandRover Ben Ainsley Racing (BAR) yacht. The boat now uses a 3D printed sheave case and other metal 3D printed parts. According to Land Rover BAR, the weight in a new AM manifold design for a particular part was reduced by 60%, with an increase in performance efficiency of better than 20% after implementing the custom-made 3D printed component.
Factory of the future will reduce conversion costs up to 40%: BCG
Manufacturers who invest in the factory of the future now can look forward to saving40% of their conversion costs in 10 years, says a study from The Boston Consulting Group. “The factory as we know it today will change radically: assembly lines will be replaced by flexible manufacturing islands, and work pieces will communicate even more extensively with production machinery,” says Daniel Küpper, a BCG partner and head of the firm’s Innovation Center for Operations.
Metal Additive Manufacturing Saves Time and Money in the Beverage Industry
If a plant is shut down due to a lack of spare parts, it can lose money extremely quickly – an hour of lost production can cost anywhere from €4,000 up to €30,000, as Packaging Europe notes. But 3D metal printing can ensure that won’t happen. An additive solution, coupled with a CAD design, meant that parts, or even entire assemblies, could be created as a one-shot design for Jung & Co.’s customers. “Manufacturing of the part by conventional means takes around 8-10 weeks including the procurement of the required precision cast part, whereas the Additive Manufacturing takes around oneweek” explains Thomas, Managing Director of Jung & Co.
This week there is a treasure trove of evidence that partnerships and collaborations really do make a difference and show a rapidly maturing industry. This week’s examples go full spectrum: Renishaw and Dassault bang brains together trying to solve AM design and optimization issues, a collaboration between Auburn U and Nasa seeks to push the limits of space exploration even further through AM creating and another collaboration has designed and printed the best golf driver in the world.
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Renishaw and Dassault Systèmes pool expertise for the integrated AM experience
Renishaw is collaborating with Dassault Systèmes, a world leading 3D modelling, simulation and industrial operations software provider, as part of its commitment to provide and enhance software for metal additive manufacturing (AM). “The 3DExperience platform coupled with QuantAM enables parts to be produced accurately from the outset, which is of tangible time and cost benefit to users. It marks the beginning of many enhancements we have in the pipeline to improve the AM user experience and streamline the front-end of the manufacturing process” explained Stephen Anderson, Renishaw’s Director of Group Software.
Auburn University and NASA sign Space Act Agreement on additive manufacturing
John Mason, Auburn’s vice president for research and economic development, recently signed a Space Act Agreement with Patrick Scheuermann, director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville to explore additive manufacturing applications using metals, polymers and ceramics. “Great partnerships like this will help us get to places where we’ve never been before,” Scheuermann says. “We can make rockets like our predecessors did . . . but it’s really important to infuse additive manufacturing so that the Space Launch System is affordable and sustainable for decades to come.”
Subtractive and additive manufacturing combined to craft world’s most advanced golf driver
Race car manufacturer, CRP Group and golfing manufacturer, KroneGolf have combined additive manufacturing and subtractive manufacturing techniques to craft what they believe is the world’s most advanced golf driver. The KD-1 is the first Windform SP 3D-printed driver clubhead with CNC machined titanium hitting surface. It is a composite driver clubhead where the different materials have a specific function and structural competence.