3D method uses patients’ own cells to repair tissue damage

OCTOBER 17, 2018: A technician at OrganOvo works with a bioprinter in one of the labs clean rooms to create a 3-D tissue sample. Courtesy of OrganOvo.Patients waiting for an organ transplant may soon have a new treatment option — print out the organ or tissue they need using a revolutionary form of 3D printing that may one may day eliminate the need to wait on transplant donations.

Organovo, a biotech company in San Diego is leading the revolution in bioprinting and Boston area researchers are weighing the benefits of 3D-printed tissue.

“It’s about personalized and customized treatment,” said Xuanhe Zhao, a professor of mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He said 3D printing could eventually eliminate the need for transplant donations.

Read more

Betatype’s volume additive manufacture of automotive headlight parts saves days in time and thousands of pounds

Betatype reduced costs by thousands, and time by hundreds of hours.

Betatype headlight component

Betatype, a provider of additively manufactured components, has produced 384 headlight parts in a single build using metal powder bed fusion, saving days in time and thousands of pounds.

Through this process, the company streamlined the production of large heatsinks for LED automotive headlights, which were identified by Betatype as well-suited to being additively manufactured with the powder bed fusion process. Betatype noted the process would be ideal for the specific geometry of these metal parts, since it can consolidate multiple builds into one.  

Read more

Webinar: Ready for flight: Gaining a competitive advantage using additive manufacturing

The ability to produce parts with repeatable characteristics and consistent quality is a key factor to the increased adoption of 3D printing in the multi-billion dollar aircraft interior parts segment. 3D printing aircraft interior parts can have key inherent benefits for both supply chain efficiency and for the product offering of aircraft interior manufacturers.

Hear from John Wilczynski, Deputy Director – Technology Development for the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining and Chris Holshouser, Director, Specialty Solutions at Stratasys, as they discuss the challenge of using FDM additive manufacturing for certified aircraft applications and the Stratasys solution that includes the new Aircraft Interiors Configuration Fortus 900mc.

Read more

What 3D printing holds for Indian automakers

Indian automakers such as Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki are riding the 3D printing revolution for prototyping of car models with the hope of eventually using it for manufacturing. 

What 3D printing holds for Indian automakers      

Looking for a spare part for your old Hyundai Santro or Chevrolet Beat that’s no longer in production, but haven’t had much luck so far? No worries. Automakers are working on a unique solution to help you out: three dimensional or 3D printing.

Huh? What does 3D printing have to do with car parts? You’ll be surprised, but global automakers are using the cool technology to produce spare parts for vintage models. If you’re still baffled and wondering how this works, it’s really quite simple. Basically, 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is the technology of assembling three-dimensional objects layer by layer using lasers or electron beams guided by a computer.

Read more

Hybrid AM Supply Chains: The future of manufacturing?

A map of proposed metal AM hubs based on demand patterns across the United States.

The proportion of the manufacturing market that can be addressed by 3D printing technology is growing by the day. Improvements in underlying additive processes have brought economic feasibility to applications across the entire spectrum of 3D-printable materials, but the trend has been most pronounced in metals. Up to now, metal AM’s strong ability to occupy an important place in the value chain for OEMs of all sizes hasn’t matched up with its relatively low levels of adoption. The issue can be summarized thus: the massive business advantages that incorporating AM might unlock remain off limits for most companies because the costs associated with bringing the technology in-house remains prohibitive.

Inspired by this challenge, a new research effort published earlier this summer in Additive Manufacturingtook a close look at a practical way to make the value of metal AM accessible to more companies. The paper, titled “Hybrid manufacturing—integrating traditional manufacturers with additive manufacturing (AM) supply chain,” imagines what it would look like to develop a system in which additive manufacturing “hubs” throughout the country were brought online by independent providers. These hubs would then be accessible as vendors for those OEMs that might have niche uses for metal 3D printing, but are unable to make the technology investment on their own. The study paints a tantalizing picture of how a hybridized supply chain might propel the manufacturing sector forward by democratizing access to this revolutionary technology.

Read more

Boeing invests in 3D-printed parts in wake of supplier shortfalls

Boeing has pledged to deliver 800 airliners this year, more than ever before, but a main hiccup causing delays is supplier shortfalls. 

New technology from startup companies like Digital Alloys could give Boeing more control over its supply chain. Boeing spokesperson Vienna Catalani told Supply Chain Dive the company is not yet certain how and if it will integrate Digital Alloys’ specific technology, but whether used internally at Boeing or in the hands of suppliers, 3D printers can produce metal parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Read more

3D printing shifts from carpet to concrete

Ultimaker’s North American president discusses the evolution of the desktop 3D printer and how they have immediate cost and time benefits on the factory floor.

John-Kawola-MLOTW

John Kawola began working in the additive manufacturing space in 1997, a time when decent 2D printer could cost several thousand dollars. He worked his way up the Z Corp ladder, residing as CEO for four years, until the company was acquired by 3D Systems in 2012. He left the 3D printing world to run an automation company and few other ventures. During his hiatus, 3D printing exploded. Hundreds of new companies, startups and crowdfunding campaigns sprang up, only to be clobbered back down by the reality that consumers weren’t ready for the manufacturing tech in their homes, and might never be. 

One of the last companies standing, Ultimaker, enticed Kawola back into the fold as their North American president in 2016. The Dutch-based company had always focused on catering to industrial applications, where additive manufacturing is mature enough to concretely provide instant value. By the end of the year, Kawola’s crew introduced two new desktop models, the Ultimaker 2+ and Ultimaker 3, now workhorses in many colleges, innovation lab, and even the factory floor itself. Last year, Volkswagen’s Portugal plant saved $377,000 last year by 3D printing wheel assembly jigs and fixtures, as opposed to waiting long periods while replacements crawl through the supply chain.

Read more

3D printing improves testing for gas turbine components

Gas turbines are complex components to manufacture, but additive manufacturing has been successfully utilized to accelerate design cycle times, reduce development test times, provide better test data and reduce the overall time to the release of the final component. It also allows for testing to be performed earlier, as early as the concept or preliminary design phases. This means that there is less likelihood that the entire component will have to be redesigned, as problem areas can be detected and eliminated early.

In a recent case study, a Siemens Energy SGT-A05 industrial gas turbine engine line was manufactured, and additive manufacturing was used for aerodynamic development testing within the preliminary design phase for boundary condition definition of new compressor static flow path components.

Read more

Lessons for medical device manufacturers using 3D printing

Last month, legal practitioners, industry, and academics gathered at The Legal, Regulatory and Business Conference on 3D Printing to discuss the legal, regulatory, and business issues that arise when products are manufactured using 3D printing or additive manufacturing techniques, rather than traditional manufacturing methods.

During the conference, 3D printing was described as the digital revolution, the fourth industrial revolution, a game-changer, and a disruptive innovation. Although the conference focused on all different types of 3D-printed products and uses, it is safe to say that the printing of medical devices falls under each of these descriptors, and may comprise some of 3D printing’s most innovative uses.

Read more

$10,000 Air Force toilet seat covers reduced to $300 thanks to 3D printing

Airmen wait to board a cargo aircraft. Photo via U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo.Following a letter from U.S. Senator, Chuck Grassley demanding justification for the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) expenditure on $10,000 military aircraft toilet seat covers, Airforce officials have announced that it will now pay $300 to produce the part thanks to 3D printing.

“You’ll think: there’s no way it costs that,” said Dr. Will Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics in a recent interview with Defense One.

“It doesn’t, but you’re asking a company to produce it and they’re producing something else. And for them to produce this part for us, they have to quit what they’re making now. They’re losing revenue and profit.”

Read more