3D printing – don’t believe all the hype

A great article by Professor Richard Hague, measured in his assessment of the reality of additive manufacturing/3D printing.  

Prof Richard Hague, chair of the Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing International Conference, talks myths and modelling

Additive manufacturingAs someone who’s been living and breathing additive technologies for the best part of 20 years, it will come as no surprise that I am not a fan of all the hype surrounding consumer 3D printing. For me, it’s a relief to see a marked decrease in stories on the ‘wonders of 3D printing’ appearing in the tabloids and mainstream media on a regular basis.

Cynical as this may sound, I have good reason: we are still constantly dispelling the ‘plug-and-play’ myths that have led to frustration, disappointment and unmet expectations with the technology. However, in spite of the confusion it may have caused, I also acknowledge that much of the hype surrounding 3D printing has also played an important role in advancing the technology.

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HP opens lab for testing new 3D-printing materials

hp-3d-open-materials-development-lab.jpgIn a bid to strengthen its presence in the additive manufacturing industry, HP has officially opened its new 3D Open Materials and Applications Lab at its Corvallis, Oregon site this week.

The 3,500 square-foot lab will be used by HP and its partners to test new, powdered raw materials for use in HP’s 3D printers, and get real-time feedback from engineers.

“In order for 3D printing to go mainstream, you need the materials piece to take off with the technology, or the ecosystem won’t flourish,” said Tim Weber, global head of 3D Materials and Advanced Applications and general manager of the Corvallis site. “We want materials companies to work with their customers and drive innovation on our platform.”

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3D printing is a Top 5 Technology Trend set to transform the supply chain

According to BizVibe, and as reported by Yahoo Finance:


3D printing (additive manufacturing) reduces dependency on the use of large factories and assembly lines, which is a bonus for businesses dealing with a lack of resources and staff. 3D printing allows for on-demand production even for high-value and high-quality items, making it easier to satisfy customer and industry demands. In the near future, 3D printing could allow supply chains to remain local while also being globally connected, and will reduce the overall time to market for new products and designs.

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The Future of 3D Printing: How will it impact your life?

By 2020, more than 100,000 aeroplane parts will be 3D printed.

Do you travel by plane regularly for work or have family commitments abroad? In as little as three years, you’re going to be travelling in aeroplanes that are built using 3D printers. 3D printed plane parts will improve the efficiency and performance of planes, including making them significantly lighter in weight, as well as lead to new design features that will be simpler and more intricate than the planes we fly in today.

By 2025, 3D printers will print human organs.

Using the patient’s own DNA, it is predicted that 3D printers will create an unlimited supply of organs. The impact this will have on our healthcare is phenomenal; by being able to print human organs by using reprogrammed stem cells, we will be able to repair organs. This means that, if you or someone close to you suffers from a heart attack, or needs a transplant, then the heart can be repaired rather than replaced.

Want to find out about 2030 and beyond? Read more

GE plans to sell 10,000 3D printing machines in 10 years

General Electric Co. (Boston) intends to sell 10,000 3D printing machines in 10 years, building upon acquisitions it announced last year.

“It’s a big number,” Tim Warden, senior sales director of GE Additive, told a tour of people attending SME’s AeroDef Manufacturing show. “That’s why they’re investing heavily,” he said, referring to GE.

 GE last year announced the acquisitions of Concept Laser (Lichtenfels, Germany) and Arcam AB (Mölndal, Sweden). The tour took place at Concept’s Grapevine, TX, facility, near the AeroDef show in Fort Worth.

GE controls Concept after agreeing in October to buy an initial 75% stake in the German company, with plans to acquire the rest over an undisclosed number of years. The Boston company turned to Concept Laser after a previously announced deal with SLM Solutions fell through.

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Beyond the hype: What’s next for industrial 3D printing?

While not agreeing with the relevance of the opening point on consumer 3D printing, this is a timely overview of the state of industrial 3D printing from Vicki Holt at Proto Labs.

2017-02-14-1487107932-820418-ProtoLabs3DPrinters.jpgIt wasn’t long ago that 3D printing was one of the buzziest technologies around.

We watched as a 3D printer recreated a bust of Stephen Colbert on TV. We heard from industry analysts who were bullish on adoption of the technology. We imagined a future with a 3D printer in every home when major retailers began selling them online and in stores.

Fast forward to today. The potential of 3D printing remains enormous. Global spend on the technology is expected to climb from $11 billion in 2015 to nearly $27 billion in 2019. But with all of the early excitement now behind us, where does 3D printing stand today? And where will it go in the future?

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JABIL flexes 3D printing for manufacturing with HP’s Multi Jet Fusion

New changes to 3D printing technology are increasingly opening up the opportunity for making production parts, beyond prototypes.  HP’s new Multi Jet Fusion is one such new product now available.

John Dulchinos (left), VP, Global Automation and 3D Printing, and Bill Muir, COO, at Jabil’s San Jose additive manufacturing lab, next to one of the first production units in North America of HP’s Jet Fusion 3D Printer. (Image courtesy of HP.)From Engineering.com:

Last year, HP finally introduced its Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D printing technology to the market. With it, HP promised the ability to produce end parts with quality and efficiency unmatched by other additive manufacturing (AM) processes on the market.

If there’s one company that would be able to vouch for these claims, it’s Jabil Circuit, a massive contract manufacturer with 90 facilities across 23 countries and, also, HP’s foundational partner for MJF.

ENGINEERING.com spoke with John Dulchinos, VP of Global Automation and 3D Printing at Jabil, about how a large manufacturing services company like Jabil uses AM in house and MJF as a technology for end part production.

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How 3D printing could disrupt Asia’s manufacturing economies

A 3D printer creates a sophisticated geometric structure, developed by Silicon Valley startup Carbon. Credit: Reuters Objects of almost any shape or geometry can be produced by 3D printing. The technology could seriously disrupt not just manufacturing but related national plans for economic development.

From retail goods to medical implants and even food, 3D printing technology promises to change the way we think about everyday things. It’s difficult to predict what impact it will have on manufacturing but, whatever the precise effects, they are likely to be deep and permanent.

Also known as “additive manufacturing,” 3D printing refers to processes where an object is put together by layering materials under programmed commands. Objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and are produced from digital model data or other electronic data sources, such as an Additive Manufacturing File.

The advent of 3D printing opens the way for manufacturers to significantly reduce the production cost of their goods by eliminating many steps in the manufacturing process, such as casting and welding metal. It also reduces the complete production process to no more than three to four key players.

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How 3D printing technology can revolutionise sporting performance & equipment

After a record-breaking year for GB at Rio 2016, it was inspiring to see elite athletes achieve their dreams after years of intense training and pushing themselves beyond their limits. However, what really interests us at Cambridge Design Partnership, is how technology can help to squeeze out every last bit of performance.

With the developments in additive manufacturing (3D printing), it’s exciting to see new technology being implemented in the form of sports apparel that fit the athlete and meet their needs more precisely. Using the latest techniques to accurately scan an object and manipulate the data into a CAD system we are able to produce prototypes using 3D printing technology, which  has been particularly evident in the Paralympics. Prosthetics have been optimised and custom racing wheelchairs have been designed based on 3D scans of the athletes enabling enhanced usability that cater for an individual’s exact requirements.

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Manufacturers break through design limitations with 3D printing

monash-jet-engine-3D printed (computerworld) To help Malaysian manufacturers realise further productivity gains from 3D printing technology, The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) is offering a complimentary, half-day workshop themed ‘Concept to Reality.’

The workshop (scheduled for 29 September 2016 at Wisma FMM, Kuala Lumpur), is in the wake of the past year’s increasing adoption of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing.

Globally, 3D printing has been has been helping businesses improve the way they design and produce products.

Local manufacturers need to learn more about how simulation and 3D printing technology can advance product design and manufacturing and break through design limitations, said the organisers.

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