Cummins sells first metal part from its own 3D printer, eyes high-volume production

Cummins has sold its first metal part printed on one of its own 3D printers, moving the company a significant step closer to the exciting potential of additive manufacturing.

The part was a low-volume bracket for a customer in Cummins’ New and ReCon Parts division and did not have a current supplier. The company is focusing first on printing low-volume parts as it studies how best to use 3D technology in higher volume manufacturing.

“With this technology you can really unshackle the designer to do things you just can’t do using traditional forms of manufacturing,” said Brett Boas, Director-Advanced Manufacturing at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.). 

Cummins employee Devin Hunter cleans a 3D printer at the Cummins Technical Center in Columbus, Indiana, before another round of printing.

Parts can be made lighter, stronger and more effective using metal 3D printing compared to parts created using more traditional methods that employ molds, molten metal and equipment to precisely cut and shape the part.

3D printing creates three-dimensional objects one ultra-thin layer at a time. If the part doesn’t come out quite right, the designer can simply change the computer design file and print it again; a much faster process than using traditional manufacturing techniques to build a test part.

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CNH Industrial 3D prints its first spare part

The company produced four spare parts for fitment on buses and agriculture equipment.

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According to Automotive Logistics, the company produced four spare parts for fitment on buses and agriculture equipment. Each product can be printed within 24-36 hours with the optimal amount of resources.At the time of this publication, CNH did not disclose which parts were made.

Since the spare parts were printed in plastic, CNH is now conducting tests to enable future production of metal components using the technology. 3D printing offers the benefit of local, on-demand manufacturing and removed the need for small-scale deliveries, maximizing efficiency in the aftermarket supply chain, Automotive Logistics reports. 

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Despite growth, 3D printing represents only 0.1% of global manufacturing

Interest in 3D printing technology is increasing across a variety of industries, as well as among hobbyists using it for their own projects—but this interest has not yet translated into mass adoption, according to the Q1 2019 3D Printing Trends report, published by 3D Hubs on Wednesday.

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The year 2018 saw a great deal of investment in 3D printing, according to the report, with companies interested in the technology investing in startups, while established firms like BASF acquired startups to bolster their own portfolio.

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3D printing and the power industry: How technology is transforming the sector

Investors, both public and private, will be able to buy tokens through an initial coin offering (ICO) that represent 1W of the solar power project.

3D printing or “additive manufacturing” is the process of joining materials to make objects from three-dimensional model data, usually layer upon layer.

In 2017 the 3D printing industry was worth $7bn, up from $3bn in 2013 and by 2025 it is expected to account for over $20bn all over the world.

Additive manufacturing (AM) has found its application in different sectors of the power industry, both in building prototypes and in mainstream production leading to process simplification and operational efficiency.

AM can produce components with complex geometries, consume fewer raw-materials, produce less waste, have reduced energy consumption and decreased time-to-market.

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3D printing and product liability: Interview with James Beck of Reed Smith

James Beck is the senior life sciences policy analyst at Reed Smith. James is specialized in product liability, personal injury, especially in very large and very complex cases. Active in law for over thirty years he has been involved in cases U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit and the Supreme Court. He is involved in mass torts, many amicus curiae briefs he is an award-winning expert in his chosen fields who writes often about the law. Over the past few years, James has taken an active interest in 3D Printing, especially with regards to product liability. He is part of Reed Smith’s 3D Printing team who take an active interest in all things printed. Reed Smith itself is a 1500 lawyer law firm with 28 offices around the world and over a billion dollars in revenue. It is both nice and significant when people like that take an active interest in our industry and technology. We interviewed James to find out more about 3D printing and the law, specifically product liability.

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Busses and tractors to receive 3D-printed spare parts

(Image courtesy of New Holland.)

One application primed for disruption by 3D printing technology is the production of spare parts. After all, why house a warehouse full of odd components for just the right moment when you or a customer will need one? 

This is especially true for large, unique systems and equipment, where mass production of individual specialty pieces is that much rarer. London and Amsterdam-based CNH Industrial has picked up on this insight and has begun fabricating spare parts for its industrial equipment.

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Lot of One: Will warehouses sit empty as 3D printing customization kills mass manufacturing?

John Jordan, of Penn State University, understands the vast implications of 3D printing technology on the world and industrial production. Manufacturing as we know it, along with how we create more complex geometries and present them, is being, and will be further disrupted by a technology allowing for innovations to be created faster, better, and more affordably—but also in ways we never expected before. Jordan focuses on the changes we will see in organizational design, concerning decisions in volume of production at the managerial level and which parts will be 3D printed, how options in customization will continue to grow, and what level of education will be required for businesses and their employees adopting new practices in the digital age.

Jordan is careful to evaluate 3D printing and its relative impact realistically, understanding there is no guarantee that it will ‘force a shift,’ or even begin to replace conventional mass production as we know it. He understands that humans, in their most basic forms of creating and manufacturing, have three choices: add, mold, or subtract. 3D printing and additive manufacturing have come along and offered us new choices for on-demand, on-site production—and often in remote locations; great examples of this are developing countriesmilitary installations, and the oil and gas industry.

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3D printed ears could help children with ear deformities avoid complex surgery

Children with ear deformities will soon be able to get printed ears made from their own stem cells, according to a team of Wollongong researchers working on new 3D bioprinting technology.

They claim their work represents a “huge breakthrough” in the field.

Two 3D printers sit in a lab.

The bio-printer, called 3D Alek, was developed at the University of Wollongong and is now being trialled at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA).
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