New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in

New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in

Mar 22, 2018

By The American Chemical Society Featured on TechXplore.com A powerful new 4-D printing technique could one day allow manufacturers to produce electronic devices and their wiring in a single process. From moon landings to mobile phones, many of the farfetched visions of science fiction have transformed into reality. In the latest example of this trend, scientists report that they have developed a powerful printer that could streamline the creation of self-assembling structures that can change shape after being exposed to heat and other stimuli. They say this unique technology could accelerate the use of 4-D printing in aerospace, medicine and other industries. The researchers are presenting their work today at the 255th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). “We are on the cusp of creating a new generation of devices that could vastly expand the practical applications for 3-D and 4-D printing,” H. Jerry Qi, Ph.D., says. “Our prototype printer integrates many features that appear to simplify and expedite the processes used in traditional 3-D printing. As a result, we can use a variety of materials to create hard and soft components at the same time, incorporate conductive wiring directly into shape-changing structures, and ultimately set the stage for the development of a host of 4-D products that could reshape our world.” 4-D printing is an emerging technology that allows 3-D-printed components to change their shape over time after exposure to heat, light, humidity and other environmental triggers. However, 4-D printing remains challenging, in part because it often requires complex and time-consuming post-processing steps to mechanically program each component. In addition, many commercial printers can only print 4-D structures composed of a single material. Last year, Qi and his colleagues at Georgia Institute of Technology, in collaboration with scientists at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, used a composite made from an acrylic and an epoxy along with a commercial printer and a heat source to create 4-D objects, such as a flower that can close its petals or a star that morphs into a dome. These objects transformed shape up to 90 percent faster than previously possible because the scientists incorporated the tedious mechanical programming steps directly into the...

Metal 3D Printing Hits the Big-Time

Metal 3D Printing Hits the Big-Time

Mar 14, 2018

By Jeff Reinke, Industrial Equipment News Engineering powerhouse Roush explains their end-product manufacturing strategies after purchasing the largest metal additive manufacturing system of its kind. Livonia, Michigan-based Roush is a full-service product development supplier with over 4,000 employees throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The company is known for its innovative engineering, testing, prototyping and manufacturing services within the mobility, aerospace, defense and theme park industries. Oh, and then there’s Roush Fenway Racing, Roush Performance and Roush Cleantech that develops and manufactures performance vehicles and alternative fuel systems.  So, it’s safe to say that the company knows a thing or two about manufacturing and product development technologies. The company recently invested in the largest powderbed metal additive manufacturing system of its kind –  the Xline 2000R.  Made by Concept Laser, which was acquired by GE Additive in 2016, the machine features a build envelope of 800 x 400 x 500 mm production of parts as large as engine blocks. IEN recently interviewed Roush’s Brandy Badami to get some insight on the machine, how her company utilizes the technology, and the impact additive manufacturing could have on production strategies  Jeff Reinke, IEN editorial director: Could you offer a little background on Roush’s history with additive manufacturing and 3D printing technologies? Brandi Badami, Roush business development manager – additive manufacturing:Roush has over 20 years of experience with 3D printing/additive manufacturing, mainly in plastics/polymers. We started off with stereolithography (SLA), then selective laser sintering (SLS), then polyjet/objet technologies. Roush adopted 3D printing into our everyday practices with product development and rapid prototyping to support our design engineering and tooling groups.  As the technologies and materials advanced, we used additive manufacturing for functional prototypes, end-use components, fixtures, tools and gauges. Now, with the recent investment of new 3D printing technologies and equipment, including fused deposition modeling (FDM) from Stratasys and 3D metal printing (powder bed fusion) machines from EOS and Concept Laser (a GE Additive company), we are able to expand our reach within the aerospace, defense, entertainment and transportation industries. JR: How will the addition of this machine change things on a day-to-day basis? BB: The addition of the Xline 2000R has, and will continue, to open many doors for how...

Ultimaker’s New Strategy is Paying Off Far Faster…

Ultimaker’s New Strategy is Paying Off Far Faster…

Feb 26, 2018

“Ultimaker’s New Strategy is Paying Off Far Faster Than Expected” By Fabbaloo Call me surprised, but Ultimaker is moving ahead rapidly. The company embarked on a tricky strategic change a couple of years ago and now it seems to be paying off with a blockbuster announcement from Bosch. The giant manufacturer has agreed to equip their worldwide offices with Ultimaker 3D printers. This could amount of thousands of machines, creating massive market momentum for Ultimaker. The specifics of the deal are explained by Ultimaker: Robert Bosch GmbH, the leading global supplier of technology and services from Germany, will invest on a global scale in Ultimaker 3 Extended printers. After comparing several desktop 3D printers, the Additive Manufacturing department of Bosch selected Ultimaker as the most reliable, easy-to-use and professional machine. The printers will now be used in different locations across Germany, Hungary, China, India, the United States and Mexico for printing prototypes, tooling, jigs and fixtures—meant to boost innovation while cutting manufacturing and design costs. I am very surprised about this because it seems to be a kind of short-circuit for their intended strategy. If you recall, they announced the Ultimaker 3 some months ago, a desktop machine with a stealth feature. Well, the feature was that the machines could, on their own, network to each other to coordinate activities. One machine acts as the “master” and the others become “slaves”. The impromptu network is then operated as a single utility through their Cura Connect software. While this is obviously a useful feature, it had a subtly different, far deeper purpose: taking over 3D printing in larger corporations. If you haven’t worked in a large company, let me explain a phenomenon that is universal: No one wants to deal with the IT department. This is because the IT department is almost always viewed as a “cost center”, whose activities must be kept to a minimum. In reality, IT is very often the heart of a business, even if executives don’t actually understand that. Nevertheless, IT departments institute control regimes that drive down costs, but often dramatically reduce end-user flexibility, performance, quality of work and much more. It’s a very common organizational flaw. In companies...

How Team USA used 3D printing to build a better luge

How Team USA used 3D printing to build a better luge

Feb 15, 2018

By Brian Heater, TechCrunch   The quest for Olympic gold is the search for the slightest leg up — small changes that could ultimately shave fractions of a second off of one’s time. It’s an ideal platform for a technology like 3D printing, where the ability to customize products can have a dramatic effect on their physical qualities. No surprise, really, that more teams are turning to technology for a leg up. The United States’ luge team jumped on the bandwagon in the lead up to PyeongChang, enlisting the help of Stratasys to design a better sled. This week, U.S. Olympians Justin Krewson and Andrew Sherk will be riding sleds designed with help from the industrial-3D-printing giant. Stratasys applications engineer Dave Dahl tells TechCrunch that two former members of the team approached the company at the International Manufacturing Technology Show. “Essentially they said what we hear from a lot of clients: ‘We want to customize our tooling. We want it faster, we want it cheaper,’ ” he explains. “They need the tools to make one sled for one athlete. A lot of other manufacturing processes can be pretty wasteful, especially when you consider that any sort of optimization on the efficiency can make or break whether you get a gold medal or not.” The team created scans of the Olympians’ bodies and Stratasys created molds using its Stratasys Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology. The company says the primary advantage in using the tech over more traditional molding methods is the ability to iterate at a much faster rate, letting the team try out a variety of different versions of a sled ahead of the big show. For now, the technology is only being used as tooling for the manufacturing process, but the company says it plans to start building 3D-printed sleds in time for the next Olympics.   “Even though they’re competing now, we’ve provided them with different 3D-printed components to evaluate for actual portions of the sled,” says Tim Schniepp, Senior Director of Composites at Stratasys. “We’ll work our way up to more important parts. We’re absolutely working up to printing the sleds themselves.”...

ITAMCO Ramps up Additive Manufacturing with New…

ITAMCO Ramps up Additive Manufacturing with New…

Dec 20, 2017

“ITAMCO Ramps up Additive Manufacturing with New EOS Printer” Featured in Design-2-Part Magazine PLYMOUTH, Ind.—ITAMCO (Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies) is delivering components—made with its new EOS M 290 additive manufacturing printer—to the medical device industry, the company announced recently. The EOS printer was delivered in June 2017, and ITAMCO was shipping components to a medical device supplier in August. The fast ramp-up is partially due to the experience the ITAMCO team gained while contributing to the development of additive manufacturing software. The company was part of a consortium of manufacturers and universities that collaborated to develop the program through the multi-million dollar manufacturing initiative, America Makes, one of the 14 Manufacturing USA Innovation Institutes. The software, Atlas 3D, is now marketed through a division of ITAMCO. “The EOS printer is the right tool for our complex components made with DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering), and the EOS team trained our staff and got us up and running quickly,” said Joel Neidig, director of research and development for ITAMCO, in a statement. “The printer works seamlessly with Atlas 3D, too.” ITAMCO (http://itamco.com) reported that its technology team quickly built a good working relationship with the EOS sales and support team. Jon Walker, area sales manager with EOS North America, called ITAMCO an ideal partner for EOS. “ITAMCO is an ideal partner for EOS because three generations of ITAMCO leaders have supplied traditional subtractive manufactured parts to some of the best known organizations in the world,” he explained. “Due to their reputation, ITAMCO’s investment in additive manufacturing validates the 3D printing market, especially in highly regulated industries where testing and validation of components or devices is critical. We’re thrilled that they have invested in an EOS M 290 3D printing platform, smartly positioning themselves to become an additive manufacturing leader in robust medical and industrial markets for the next three generations and beyond.” The medical device industry is a relatively new market for the company that has serviced heavy-duty industries for decades. “Additive manufacturing is allowing us to do things we’ve not done before, like producing the smaller, more intricate components for the medical device industry,” said Neidig. ITAMCO sees its entry into the medical...