Butler Technologies Plays Key Role in Printed Heater…

Butler Technologies Plays Key Role in Printed Heater…

Apr 19, 2018

“Butler Technologies Plays Key Role in Printed Heater Technology for U.S. Olympic Team” By Mark Shortt, Design-2-Part Magazine Butler Technologies, Inc., a specialist in user interface design and printed electronics, has made great strides during its 28-year history. Founded in 1990 by William Darney (now deceased), and Nadine Tripodi, Butler began as a brokerage firm that represented board manufacturers and screen printing companies, before venturing into manufacturing in 1993. Although the company has expanded and enhanced its offerings through the years, it never lost its original core manufacturing focus as a precision printer. “That’s what we started as, and that’s where our true passion lies, in printing, and especially in conductive inks,” said Butler Technologies President Nadine Tripodi, in a phone interview with D2P in February. “We are, in most cases, a contract printer, and on top of that, a solutions provider for those of our customers who aren’t really sure what they want or what the best approach to a print solution might be, especially in user interfaces and different types of graphic overlays.” Today, Butler is heavily focused on printed electronics, a growth market that has the company designing and manufacturing a range of wearable electronics, capacitive touch circuits, and flexible printed heaters, among other products. The company supports its customers’ product design and development goals through the efforts of an approximately 10-member engineering design team that continues to grow. “That’s one place that in the past couple of years, we’ve really added more people, and they’re good—they really are,” Tripodi said. She credited Butler’s head engineer, Mike Wagner, as being instrumental in the company’s ability to offer leading-edge printed electronics. “He is the one who really has a penchant for this and has helped tremendously in getting us more ingrained in the printed electronics world.” Butler’s engineering team offers expertise in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and project management. Its electrical engineers can work with customers to design and integrate custom printed electronics that meet specific size, shape, and functional requirements of a given project, the company said on its website. Sometimes, customers come to Butler with a drawing showing exactly what they need, and don’t make any modifications or alterations to it. But...

Magna Puts a New Twist on Welding

Magna Puts a New Twist on Welding

Mar 9, 2018

Featured in Design-2-Part Magazine TROY, Mich.—Magna has put a new twist on joining thermoplastic materials in order to help automakers cut weight and costs: torsional welding. The torsional welding process, developed by Magna (www.magna.com) for automotive applications at its exteriors plant in Liberec, Czech Republic, presents a new way to join plastics. It features a high-speed twisting motion that creates enough friction-based heat to join a plastic bracket to a thermoplastic fascia. The innovative technology achieves an approximate 10 percent weight reduction because it allows thinner materials to be joined, which, in turn, reduces material costs. Torsional welding is currently used to make the front fascia of the 2017 Skoda Octavia, and it has potential for other applications where materials of similar composition need to be joined.   There may also be uses for torsional welding with the increase of advanced driver assistance systems and the development of self-driving cars. The trend will be for automotive fascias to become heavier with the increase in autonomous features, due to the addition of sensors. With torsional welding, it’s now possible to reduce weight on the outer skin and brackets so more sensors can be added without impacting the overall weight of the vehicle. The Society of Plastics Engineers’ Detroit Chapter recognized Magna’s torsional welding process with an innovation award at its TPO conference last fall in Troy, Michigan. “We seek every opportunity, from design and materials to enabling technologies, to help customers meet their lightweighting goals,” said Magna Exteriors President Grahame Burrow, in a press release. “We appreciate this recognition from SPE and look forward to expanding the use of this innovative process.”...

Airbus Installs First 3D Printed Titanium Part on Series…

Airbus Installs First 3D Printed Titanium Part on Series…

Feb 20, 2018

“Airbus Installs First 3D Printed Titanium Part on Series Production Commercial Aircraft” Featured in Design-2-Part Magazine NEW YORK—Several months ago, Airbus and Arconic achieved a 3D printing first—the installation of a 3D printed titanium bracket on a series production Airbus commercial aircraft, the A350 XWB. Arconic, a global technology, engineering, and advanced manufacturing company, announced in September that it is 3D printing these parts for Airbus’s newest widebody aircraft at Arconic’s additive manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas.  “Arconic is proud to partner with Airbus to advance aerospace additive manufacturing,” said Jeremy Halford, president of Arconic Titanium and Engineered Products, in a company release. “Our comprehensive capabilities, from materials science leadership to qualification expertise, helped make this achievement possible. We look forward to continuing to advance the art of the possible in additive for aerospace.” This first installation of a 3D printed titanium part on a series production Airbus commercial aircraft marks a milestone for additive manufacturing in aerospace. Although airplane makers have been using 3D printed parts for quite some time, largely for components inside the cabin, equipping airframes with metal parts produced via additive manufacturing is new. Airbus’s installation of this 3D printed titanium bracket on a series production commercial airplane, as opposed to a test airplane, is said to mark a significant step forward in the qualification of more complex 3D printed parts for production aircraft. 3D-printed parts, including metal printed cabin brackets and bleed pipes, are already flying on Airbus A320neo and A350 XWB test aircraft. The 3D printed titanium bracket is part of an ongoing partnership between Airbus and Arconic. In 2016, Arconic (www.arconic.com) announced three agreements with Airbus to produce titanium and nickel 3D printed parts for commercial aircraft, including the A320 platform and A350 XWB. Arconic’s 3D printing technology capabilities include laser powder bed and electron beam...

How Do You Optimize the Structure of the World’s Largest…

How Do You Optimize the Structure of the World’s Largest…

Feb 12, 2018

“How Do You Optimize the Structure of the World’s Largest All-Composite Aircraft?” Featured in Design-2-Part Magazine Manufacturers of the Stratolaunch air-launch platform used Collier Research’s automated sizing and analysis software to inform laminate design and production, optimize the fuselage and wing structure, and reduce weight. NEWPORT NEWS, Va.—When the Stratolaunch aircraft rolled out of the Mojave, California Air and Space Port hangar last spring in preparation for ground testing, it was a clear example of how far the design and manufacturing of composite materials have progressed in recent years. In September, the first phase of engine testing on the aircraft’s six Pratt & Whitney turbofan engines was completed.   The world’s largest aircraft by wingspan (wider than a football field is long) is almost entirely fabricated from composite materials, which provide light weight, high stiffness, and strength characteristics that are increasingly in demand in aerospace, automotive, sports, medical, and industrial fields. But when you’re building the world’s largest all-composite aircraft, how do you know it can carry the load? One option is to test the materials using HyperSizer, a computer-aided engineering (CAE) software product from  Collier Research Corporation. The simulation software has already been used to test materials used in Bell’s V280 helicopter, the NASA Orion crew module, the Ares 1, the Ares 5, and many commercial rockets across the globe. And recently, engineers used HyperSizer to simulate, analyze, and optimize the composite structures that make up most of the Stratolaunch aircraft. Stratolaunch (www.stratolaunch.com) is the brainchild of Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, and Burt Rutan, the noted aircraft designer who founded Scaled Composites. It is a 238-foot-long jet aircraft with two fuselages that are connected by a giant single wing. Designed to serve as a mobile launch pad for carrier rockets, Stratolaunch is powered by six engines that will enable it to take off from a runway carrying a payload of up to 550,000 pounds.  The plan is to fly to 35,000 feet, the cruising altitude of a commercial airliner, and release the launch vehicle’s payload, and then return to the airport for reuse. It is expected to operate in 2019. Collier Research’s HyperSizer optimization software was used extensively by Stratolaunch manufacturer Scaled Composites...

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...