MPA to launch on-port additive manufacturing facility in Singapore

The MoU signing ceremony. (L-R) Steen Brodsgaard Lund, SSA Councillor and Chairman of SSA Technical Committee, Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health, Ho Chaw Sing from NAMIC, Choy Sauw Kook, Assistant Chief Executive and Director-General, Quality and Excellence, Enterprise Singapore, Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA. Image via MPA The MoU signing ceremony. (L-R) Steen Brodsgaard Lund, SSA Councillor and Chairman of SSA Technical Committee, Lam Pin Min, Ho Chaw Sing from NAMIC, Choy Sauw Kook, Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA. Image via MPAThe Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), a statutory body under the Ministry of Transport of Singapore Government, has signed two memoranda of understanding (MoU) relating the country’s application of additive manufacturing in maritime.

The first MoU is signed with Port Singapore Authority International Pte Ltd (PSA), one of the largest port operators in the world, Singapore’s National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), and metal additive specialist 3D MetalForge Pte Ltd.

In the second MoU, the MPA enters into an agreement with NAMIC and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA).

Realizing the potential of 3D printing in the maritime industry, Ong Kim Pong, PSA’s Regional CEO Southeast Asia, said, “I am heartened that PSA, alongside MPA, NAMIC and 3D MetalForge can be pioneers in developing this technology for use in our industry,”

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The pros and cons of 3D printing

There are a number of challenges facing lab design/build experts—cost and availability of equipment and supplies, as well as ordering and transporting them, are among such concerns. Time is also a factor in many lab builds or renovations.

A relatively new innovation, 3D printing, could offer a solution to such challenges. First developed in the 1980s, 3D printing has picked up steam in recent years and has been used in a number of fields—medical devices and prosthetics, surgical models, dental molds, aircraft parts and entire, road-ready cars. Novelty keepsakes have also taken off, proving that such technology isn’t exclusively for big labs and major companies. For example, a coworker has a four-inch figurine of himself perched proudly on his desk. If you’ve got the cash, then a 3D printer could be yours. 

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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.

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3D printing companies take action against 3D guns amid debatable public safety threat

A 3D printer at work in Philadelphia's NextFab studios. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

At the South Philadelphia high-tech makers’ space NextFab, creators of all types work on projects using laser cutters, robots, and a room full of 3D printers.

Walt Barger, who manages the printing operations there, is standing between two printers the size of refrigerators, noting both their power and price tag.

“It’s an older printer, but it’s still a $40,000 machine,” he said, pointing to one. “And the one next to it, the ProJet, is a $100,000 machine.”

Lately, Barger has been extra vigilant about the kinds of things people are hoping to create here.

“Our staff is always monitoring. If we see anything that even looks like a gun, we’re going to stop the person,” he said.

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Will 3D printing disrupt the metalworking industry?

Based on the survey, machinery companies have high potential to realize great benefits with 3D printing.

Historically, metalworking has involved a process called subtractive manufacturing, where a metal block is put inside a computer-controlled machine. The machine cuts the block into desired shapes that later become automotive, aerospace, or electronic parts. In most cases, it takes multiple cutting steps and processes to create a component, given the complexity of the desired shape.

The advent of 3D printing (sometimes called additive manufacturing or AM) could potentially disrupt the traditional metalworking process. In 3D printing, powdered materials are joined to create a solid object in almost any shape. The technology poses a significant challenge to metalworking companies, given that metal parts can be printed in only a single step, resulting in lower cost per unit and lower lead time at low volumes.

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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.

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7 in 10 retail leaders say 3D printing results in happier, more satisfied customers

Satisfying consumer demands for rapid fulfilment and customisation, a new study commissioned by Ricoh Europe reveals the vital role retail business leaders see new printing technologies playing in driving their competitive advantage. 73% of those surveyed believe investments in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, directly lead to greater customer satisfaction.According to the research, 84% of retail leaders report a growing demand from customers for shorter delivery times and 74% say customers increasingly want more personalised products. With that in mind, 68% say new printing technologies provide a key source of differentiation for their business.

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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.

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Siemens touts 3D printing for turbine emissions reductions

3D printing of DLE pre-mixer simplfies production process, improves geometry of the component, allowing a better fuel-air mix

Siemens said it has successfully 3D-printed and engine tested a dry low emission (DLE) pre-mixer for the SGT-A05 aeroderivative gas turbine, saying it shows a potential for significant reductions in CO emissions.

“This is another excellent example of how additive manufacturing is revolutionizing our industry, delivering measurable benefits and real value to our customers, particularly as they look to further reduce emissions to meet environmental targets,” said Vladimir Navrotsky, chief technology officer for Siemens Power Generation Services, Distributed Generation. “Our achievements using AM are paving the way for greater agility in the design, manufacturing and maintenance of power generation components.”

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NextGen Supply Chain: Update on 3D printing, Part 2

Jabil is creating a digital network to manufacture 3D printed parts

Over the years, Jabil, the manufacturing solutions provider and one of HP’s partners in the production of 3D printers, has been recognized as a supply chain innovator by the likes of Gartner.  Today, it is in the process of creating what Jabil and John Dulchinos, the vice president of digital manufacturing, calls a digital supply chain.

As Dulchinos explains, that is one in which networks of digital printers are distributed to locations around the world, such as Singapore, where Jabil manufacturers HP’s 3D printers, while the design and process work is centralized in Silicon Valley. “We’re building production files in San Jose, and sending them to Singapore where we’re manufacturing them on 3D printers and then assembling the final product,” Dulchinos says.

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