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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The short, and long term planning for AM’s future (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #111)

3D printing is a technological trend and as with all trends, one should at least try to plan on its future development. So while we’re excited about every new applications, such as the rapid advances the industry is making to make the old traditional tooling industry much more efficient, we’re also excited about the medium term. That includes projects such as houses being 3D printed with biodegradable materials in record times – maybe not immediately relevant but clearly disruptive. Long term though, opportunities are even more disruptive. Our recently approved patent may be a while away from making us money, but importance and disruptive nature of distributed manufacturing is so significant that it’s worth investing every USD to make sure that people collaborate to make it happen. It is a stepping stone for a future infrastructure for production scale AM, one that’s made of building blocks yet to come. We are proud to give our work for the betterment of the industry as a whole, and excited to bring this vision to fruition along with other teams equally as hungry for innovation.

3D printed tool cuts through titanium, wins innovation prize

PhD candidate Jimmy Toton from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, has won the 2019 Young Defence Innovator Award and $15,000 prize at the Avalon International Airshow for the research, which was conducted with Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) and industry partner Sutton Tools.

“Now that we’ve shown what’s possible, the full potential of 3D printing can start being applied to this industry, where it could improve productivity and tool life while reducing cost,” Toton said.

Read the full article here.

 

3D-printed Gaia house is made from biodegradable materials

Gaia is a 3D-printed house by WASP made from biodegradable materials

Italian 3D-printing technology developer WASP, built the house to showcase the abilities of Crane Wasp, a modular 3D-printer that can create homes in a variety of formats and sizes. Called Gaia, the 30-square-metre house has a 3D-printed outer shell and internal timber beams holding a timber roof. It was printed on site in Massa Lombardo, a town in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, in October 2018.

Read the full article at Dezeen.

 

The Real Value Of 3D Printing Patents

[Image: Pexels]

Because patents are a business reality, filing one is a business decision. So when Authentise this week announced the approval of a new patent — for its “System, Method and Program Product for Digital Production Management” — the initial assumption was easy: they’ve decided to protect their IP. That’s not the whole case, though. Andre Wegner, Authentise’s Founder and CEO, confesses that as a rule he doesn’t “care much for patents.” So why file one?

It is ultimately a strategic move, yes, but not one that Authentise really plans for itself. Rather, it’s a move to prove a much larger business case for digital manufacturing.

“In other words,” Wegner explains in a thoughtful LinkedIn piece, “we see this patent as a shining ad to the industry as to where the technology is moving. To get there, we have to work together with others. To work with others, we have to show them there’s value in it. That we think there’s enough value to file a patent.”

Read the full article at Fabbaloo.

 

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

Follow us on Twitter to keep updated on AM & IIoT related news as well as updates to Authentise’s services!

Is 3D printing reinventing the automotive assembly line? (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 78)

Henry Ford was the first to envision a streamlined way of bringing quality automobiles to market. The idea behind his revolutionary vision was that technology enabled his workers to optimize their activities. That philosophy is still alive and well in the automotive industry and now, thanks to 3D printing, it’s experiencing a renewed sense of discovery. Currently, companies like Audi and GM are employing 3D printing to help speed up the design and prototyping cycle cutting lead times by more than 50% and saving over $300K on tooling. The bravest (or those with the most resources) are pushing 3D printing towards new applications and wild concepts for the cars of the future.

General Motors Saves $300,000 By Switching To 3D Printed Tooling

Zane Meike holds sample 3D printed tool at the Lansing Delta Township assembly plant in Michigan. Photo by Michael Wayland/Automotive News

The Lansing Delta Township assembly plant of American multinational vehicle manufacturer General Motors has reported an expected cost saving of over $300,000 since it acquired a 3D printer three years ago. Driving forward its 3D printing efforts, the plant eventually expects to create annual cost savings in the millions of dollars.

Read the full article here.

Shanghai Commits To Divergent 3D Printed Electric Vehicle Production

The Divergent 3D node-based additive manufacturing technology, used to make the Blade supercar, is to be the driver of a new electric vehicle (EV) production plant in Shanghai.

“The EV market in China is at an inflection point, with unparalleled growth in demand and government policy stimulus,” says Eric Ho King-fung, chairman of We Solutions in an article for the South China Morning Post.

Check out the rest of the article here.

MIT’s 3D-printed inflatables could shape the interiors of cars in the future

Car interiors could morph into different configurations at the flick of a switch, using 3D-printed inflatable structures developed by researchers at the MIT. The Self-Assembly Lab at MIT worked with BMW on the project, called Liquid Printed Pneumatics. The result is a stretchy, inflatable silicone prototype that can take on a number of different shapes depending on the level of air pressure inside. If turned into a car seat, it could quickly be tuned to different positions, or levels of springiness depending on user preference.

Read the rest at Dezeen.

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AM is moving transportation beyond traditional supply chains (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 37)

Transportation is victim to many of the issues plaguing many other industries: manufacturing lines are linear and dull and spare parts are manufactured in bulks. 3D printing is not only giving it tools to make many of these steps more efficient, it is also allowing startups to disruption the industry. Which do you think will be more impactful? Startups pursuing new business models or established companies using AM to fine tune theirs?

Siemens To Bring 3D Printed Parts To Dubai Metro

To keep trains running, and passengers happy, [Dubai’s] Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an MOU with the Middle Eastern branch of award-winning automation conglomerate Siemens. The agreement will enhance the RTA’s existing 3D printed spare parts initiative, contributing to the endeavor to become “the world’s smartest city” by the year 2020.

“The 3D printing technology would enable RTA to keep the Dubai metro assets in service longer while driving down the cost of parts and in turn passing this saving back to the customer.” – Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim Younes, CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency.

Read the full article here.

Daimler Starts 3D Printing Metal Replacement Parts for Older Mercedes-Benz Trucks

Daimler 3D-printed truck parts

Daimler has been 3D printing plastic spare parts for older commercial trucks for about a year, and now it’s moving on to metal parts. The company recently 3D printed its first metal replacement part, a thermostat cover for older Mercedes trucks and Unimog utility vehicles. Daimler believes 3D printing could be a cost-effective way to keep spare parts available indefinitely.

Read all about it at Digital Trends.

How an Autonomous Vehicle Maker Slashed the Supply Chain with 3D Printing

Visualising Olli on MakerBot print/image via MakerBot

A new case study shows how Local Motors, an autonomous and open source vehicle manufacturer, is using 3D printing to save time and money. This case study produced by MakerBot clearly illustrates some of the primary advantages of using 3D printing in a production setting. Firstly, tooling costs at Local Motors are down by a half as 3D printing is used to create to custom tooling for low volume production. Secondly, obtaining the necessary tools quickly can greatly reduce the production time. Thirdly, the tools that are 3D printed and used are optimised for their particular project improving both workflow and the durability of the tools.

Read the full article here.

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