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.

 

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