3D metal printer to shorten military supply chain

In an attempt to shorten the U.S. military’s supply chain, the United States Army Research Laboratory has awarded a $15 million contract to 3D systems to develop a metal printing 3D printer.

The company will team up with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) to develop the “largest, fastest, most precise metal 3D printer.”

3d metal printer

The intent is to add capabilities to military supply chains developing and manufacturing combat vehicles, helicopters, missile defense capabilities, long rang munitions, and more.

The project is a part of the United States Army’s Additive Manufacturing Implementation Plan that uses 3D printing technologies to refurbish and create military parts and tools.

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Supply chain expands to meet demand for 3D-printed space parts

It’s not clear whether the additive manufacturing supply chain will expand rapidly enough to meet growing demand for 3D-printed parts for spacecraft or launch vehicles.

When companies are starting out, it’s easy for them to turn to additive manufacturing service providers for a few parts, said Scott Killian, aerospace business development manager for EOS North America. “Once companies move into production, they’re going to have to figure out whether the supply chain can still meet their needs,” he added. “There’s a lot of ebb and flow right now on getting that supply chain to ramp up.”

Many space companies work directly with EOS, a German manufacturer of 3D printing machines, or print parts on EOS equipment operated by additive manufacturing service providers. The only rocket customer Killian can discuss is Launcher. The New York company developing a 3D-printed copper bi-metal engine has agreed to a joint marketing campaign with EOS.

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Reimagining the future of manufacturing

Not since the first Industrial Revolution has the manufacturing industry transformed more than it has in the last 20 years. New technologies including robotics, computer-driven manufacturing, and data analytics have helped companies increase supply chain efficiencies to keep up with demand, but what if a bigger manufacturing industry transformation was on the horizon? Take a moment and imagine manufacturing becoming fully digital, allowing us to produce and distribute custom products to meet demand in near real-time.

Fast Radius - Carbon lab

That’s the vision that’s being brought to reality by Chicago-based additive manufacturer Fast Radius.

I recently had the privilege of visiting their facility in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood and spoke with Fast Radius Chief Executive Officer Lou Rassey and Chief Operating Officer Pat McCusker, learning more about the company, its vision and strategy, and expansive list of clients. I found the scope of what Fast Radius does stretches far past the incremental improvements in efficiency the manufacturing industry expects.

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Reimagining the future Of manufacturing

Not since the first Industrial Revolution has the manufacturing industry transformed more than it has in the last 20 years. New technologies including robotics, computer-driven manufacturing, and data analytics have helped companies increase supply chain efficiencies to keep up with demand, but what if a bigger manufacturing industry transformation was on the horizon? Take a moment and imagine manufacturing becoming fully digital, allowing us to produce and distribute custom products to meet demand in near real-time.

Fast Radius - Carbon lab

That’s the vision that’s being brought to reality by Chicago-based additive manufacturer Fast Radius.

I recently had the privilege of visiting their facility in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood and spoke with Fast Radius Chief Executive Officer Lou Rassey and Chief Operating Officer Pat McCusker, learning more about the company, its vision and strategy, and expansive list of clients. I found the scope of what Fast Radius does stretches far past the incremental improvements in efficiency the manufacturing industry expects.

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3D printing transformed from emerging tech to industry standard

Bilby 3D explains how 3D printers help manufacture products in new and cost-effective ways for more efficiency in facilities.

3D Printing is no longer an emerging technology reserved for the cutting edge development labs. It is industry standard and rapidly being adopted by Australian companies, micro to multinational, to dramatically shorten the time to market.

People might be surprised just how much 3D printing has touched the goods and services they use every day. From the design and development of household appliances and motor vehicles, to being used to manufacture on-demand warranty parts. When looking deeper into the companies, people are likely to find 3D printing incorporated somewhere in a product life cycle.

The maintenance of warranty parts has long been a hidden cost to manufacturers. Electrolux started trials within the Asia Pacific region in 2017, 3D Printing on demand spare parts. Porsche Classic, a division of Porsche, is similarly looking to 3D printing production of rare parts in small quantities. With a parts catalogue exceeding 52,000 parts, the cost savings have the potential to be considerable.

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Additive Success Brewing on Factory Floor: Ultimaker’s new president (AMERICAS) talks about a recent Heineken case study and how additive opportunities can could bubble up throughout enterprises.

Ultimaker-Heineken-promo.jpg

Having a 3D printer on the factory floor has always been an intriguing proposition, as who wouldn’t want to bypass the supply chain entirely and whip up a quick replacement part, or even better, a brand new optimized tool or maybe even specialized robot grippers, right then and there? That is perfectly reasonable and could do everything from truncate downtimes and lead to safer and more efficient operations. Several manufacturers have found certain 3D printers as invaluable new tools that cannot only create prototypes, but also the jigs, fixtures and tooling to enable production.

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3D Printing in the Supply Chain Industry Is Booming Across the Globe by 2025

“3D Printing in the Supply Chain Market – Global Industry Trend Analysis 2012 to 2017 and Forecast 2017 – 2025” is the latest addition to MarketResearchReports.Biz industry research reports collection.

The global 3D Printing in the Supply Chain Market, which is extensively assessed in the report contemplates the best need development angles and how they could affect the market over the figure residency under thought. The experts have taken careful endeavors to thoroughly evaluating every development factor of the 3D Printing in the Supply Chain Market, other than indicating how certain market restrictions could represent a danger to players in the coming years. In addition, the report additionally gives data on top patterns and openings and how players could take advantage of them to take up the difficulties in the market.

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3D printing could make inventory, returns less complex for retailers

Clothes shopping can be frustrating for people with uncommon shapes or understocked sizes; you rarely find what you want, and when you do, it rarely fits 100 percent comfortably. 3D printing may change the nature of the retail experience for that group — and for retailers who can’t always predict what their customers want.

Sample metamaterial manufactured by 3d printing

A lot of people are passionate about this tech,” says Fatma Baytar, an assistant professor in Cornell University’s department of fiber science and apparel design. “People are trying different ways to make it user friendly. It’s a neat idea.”

Some companies are already experimenting with 3D printing in the manufacturing process. Adidas began making customizable, 3D-printed midsoles for its running shoes in 2015 and is now using an advanced version of 3D printing that creates a finished product with more consistent quality and durability.

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The TRUE economics of metal additive manufacturing: What you need to know to succeed

Between enabling profound new designs and upending the traditional supply chain, the unlimited potential with metal 3D printing will transform the manufacturing landscape.  Indeed, the transformation has already begun. But, getting metal AM into production is taking a lot longer than many media pundits predicted. It’s even progressing much slower than many “in-the-know” industry insiders expected.

Why is mass adoption so slow with metal 3D printing, especially in production?  It really boils down to one word: economics. If the economics work, the application moves forward into production.  If not, it’s dead on arrival. The numbers need to work because when it comes to production competitive manufacturing, technologies come into play.  Customers start to say things like, “Well, if I make a couple of modifications to the design I can use CNC machining or metal injection molding and save a huge amount on the production cost.”

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Immensa recreates spare parts using 3D printing

Immensa Technology Labs, a regional additive manufacturing (AM) company, has been working closely with numerous UAE and regional organisations on projects related to AM and utilisation of the technology in their respective operations.

Outside the oil and gas sector, Consolidated Contractors Company began working with Immensa in 2017 and, by the third quarter of 2018, had implemented AM across various functions within its organisation. Other companies, including Victory Team in the marine sector, Dubai Health Authority in the healthcare sector and Etihad Group in aviation, have all embraced the technology and are leveraging the value of AM.

Industry specific

In oil and gas, several companies in the region have started exploring AM. Arabian Oasis Industries (AOI), a division of Dubai-based Al-Shirawi group, has engaged Immensa to identify how it can leverage AM in its business. Today AOI and Immensa are working on multiple projects falling into three categories: custom replacement parts, optimising existing parts and certification of industry-specific parts.
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