How pioneer projects have laid the foundation for the true AM revolution (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 96)

In the beginning of the AM craze, everyone thought that the future of manufacturing was right around the corner. Once the storm had subsided and everyone was back to reality, most of the projects that had sparked at that moment were gone, but some endured. What was the difference between those which never made it past the news and those that are now solid industrial realities? For Nike, it was a matter of testing the market’s appetite and iterate on a product (and a production line) that worked. Its new line of 3D printed shoes is the heir of a project that’s year in the making and is eyeing mass production only after making sure that the path was true. Others saw in AM an opportunity to disrupt the established manufacturing infrastructure, and gradually implemented a new system, tried and tested to now enable to approach things differently. GE is one such case, one of the first to adopt AM and now it boasts one of the most extensive portfolios of applications in the field. However, sometimes a project needs the right fertile ground of established research to start growing. As NASA and Lockheed Martin constantly bring new aerospace parts to the testing grounds, proving the liability of AM in such a high-stake industry, new companies like Relativity Space hope to push the endeavor even further, by printing entire rockets. We are very grateful to those entrepreneurs who had the courage to jump into uncertainty, some to success some to failure, and make the world of AM what it is today.

Nike’s 3D Printed Elite Shoe Preparing For A Wider Release

The Zoom VaporFly Elite Flyprint 3D. Image via Nike
Nike’s 3D printed shoe Zoom VaporFly Elite Flyprint 3D will soon get a wider release. The Flyprint 3D is the updated version of the famous 3D printed Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, designed with the help of Eliud Kipchoge, winner Berlin marathon 2018. The Beaverton-based footwear giant has worked to perfect the Vaporfly 4% since last year. For this purpose, the company once again recruited the help of Kipchoge. The Zoom Vaporfly is called “4%” because an independent research found that Vaporfly wearing runners can gain 4% of the lead time on their competitors.

Read the full article here.

GE Transportation To Introduce 250 3D Printed Locomotive Parts By 2025

According to reports in UK rail industry authority the Railway Gazette GE is looking to apply additive manufacturing to components for its locomotives. If all goes according to plan, this could mean that in the next seven years GE Transportation will have an inventory of up to 250 3D printed train components. A pilot initiative for 3D printing at GE Transport is underway as part of its Brilliant Factory model, combined with analytics and lean manufacturing in a Digital Thread.

Read more here.

Relativity Space’s Quest To 3D Print Entire Rockets

Even NASA has been dipping their proverbial toe in the additive manufacturing waters, testing printed parts for the Space Launch System’s RS-25 engine. It would be safe to say that from this point forward, most of our exploits off of the planet’s surface will involve additive manufacturing in some capacity. But one of the latest players to enter the commercial spaceflight industry, Relativity Space, thinks we can take the concept even farther. Not content to just 3D print rocket components, founders Tim Ellis and Jordan Noone believe the entire rocket can be printed. Minus electrical components and a few parts which operate in extremely high stress environments such as inside the pump turbines, Relativity Space claims up to 95% of their rocket could eventually be produced with additive manufacturing.

Read the full article here.

 

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Enabling Research Through AM (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 01)

Hi everyone, welcome back to the new year with a more weekly 3D printing news from Authentise!

Through AM scientists are able to go where traditional manufacturing simply couldn’t take them. NASA is keeping up the pace for the entirely 3D printed rocket by testing more and more components up for the challenge, ROSCOSMOS is planning to add a bioprinter to the ISS’s arsenal and test it at microgravity and, while we’re at it, stem cell research is getting a boost from 3D printing’s ability to create cartilage’s structures.

Are you aching for your daily fix of science with a side of AM? Let’s dig in.

NASA Engineers Test Combustion Chamber to Advance 3-D Printed Rocket Engine Design

Recent tests of a developmental rocket engine at NASA‘s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, produced all the performance data engineers were hoping for, along with the traditional fire and roar. But this engine is anything but traditional. Marshall engineers are designing each of the components from scratch to ultimately be made entirely by AM methods …The series of 12 test firings in late fall brought them a big step closer to that goal, said Andrew Hanks, test lead for the project. The fuel turbopump, fuel injector, valves and other major engine components used in the tests were 3D printed, with the exception of the main combustion chamber.

Read more of these test firings at NASA.

 

Russian space agency Roscosmos to 3D print living tissue on ISS

Russian scientists are planning to install and operate a 3D bioprinter aboard the ISS, according to an official source. They believe that microgravity conditions could actually improve the bioprinting process. […] They believe that significant progress in bioprinting can be achieved by placing equipment in microgravity conditions, since the lack of gravity could potentially help to keep deposited cells in place.

Read the full article here.

Scientists Are Creating New Ears With 3D-Printing and Human Stem Cells

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Inspired by the earmouse, doctors at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Regenerative Medicine have perfected a new technique to grow a fully formed human ear, using patients’ own stem cells. They begin with a 3D printed polymer mold of an ear, which is then implanted with stem cells drawn from fat. As these stem cells differentiate into cartilage, the polymer scaffold degrades, leaving a full “ear” made of mature cartilage cells. The new approach could “change all aspects of surgical care,” says Dr. Ken Stewart, one of the researchers and a plastic surgeon at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

Read the whole article at Smithsonian.

 

More next week