Industrial 3D printing has come a long way in recent years. More companies that ever use the technique to create parts and sometimes entire products.
The range of materials that can be used for 3D printing has also expanded. Plastics, metals and even composite and ceramic materials are all viable options. And online tools and resources make finding the right material for a particular application easier than ever.
Advanced technologies for 3D printing materials
The technologies for 3D printing materials are rapidly growing and covering the gap between prototype and end-use production. The new and innovative applications are driving development and helping machine manufacturers and third-party materials developers.
3D printing has come a long way from its origins in the 1980s, with a brief entry into the consumer space galvanizing its growth in the earlier part of the decade. Now, it seems as though mass production with additive manufacturing (AM) technology is just around the corner, as a number of companies introduce methods for batch 3D printing.
To learn how the AM space will change in the next year, engineering.com got feedback from several experts in the space, including those from exciting new startups that will break onto the scene in 2019.
Car radars, 5G communication systems and satellite-based atmospheric sensors could all be improved as a result of a UK project to develop 3D printed terahertz and microwave circuits.
Although 3D printing is widely used in many areas of manufacturing, its use in microwave and terahertz circuits has so far been limited by the level of precision required to build devices at such a small scale.
However, the accuracy of 3D printers has significantly improved in recent years, with some now able to print down to a resolution of five microns or less, according to Michael Lancaster at Birmingham University, who is leading the EPSRC-funded project.
A metallurgist shares insights on choosing the ideal metals for 3D metal manufacturing and ensuring quality production.
In this article, a brief introduction to commonly used metal and alloy powders for additive manufacturing (AM) is given. In addition, the reader will gain a basic understanding of metal structure, metallurgy, properties, and state-of-the-art in-process quality control measures used to reliably influence the performance of a part in service. For a more rigorous study of the AM process, structure, and properties of metallic components, the reader is referred to a recent review article1 and the comprehensive overview book on the fundamental elements and processes used to 3D print metal.
Russian researchers have used machine learning to make metal 3D printing more efficient.
3D printers require fine tuning of positioning and control algorithms using mathematical models to reach optimal performance. This is a lengthy and arduous process and it could take weeks to set printing parameters. Even then, the possibility of printing error is always present.
A new Additive Manufacturing (AM) Process Simulation solution for predicting distortion during 3D printing was announced by Siemens (Frankfurt, Germany). The product is fully integrated into the company’s end-to-end Additive Manufacturingsolution, which assists manufacturers in designing and printing useful parts at scale.
Building on Siemens’ comprehensive digital innovation platform and the Simcenter portfolio, the AM Process Simulation solution uses a digital twin to simulate the build process before printing, anticipating distortion within the printing process and automatically generating the corrected geometry to compensate for these distortions. This simulation is paramount for constructing a “first-time-right” print and necessary for achieving the efficiencies required of a fully industrialized additive manufacturing process.
“With dynamic routing and smart scheduling algorithms, Link3D aims to drastically improve the operational efficiency of additive production, particularly for OEM’s looking to adopt series production,” said Vishal Singh, Co-Founder and CTO of Link3D.
LONDON (ICIS)–The true take off for 3D printing is on the horizon but a lack of machinery capable of production is holding the technology back, according to Evonik’s head of new 3D technologies.
Sylvia Monsheimer said that, while the company is happy with the growth it has seen in the 3D printing industry in the last 20 years, there is a lack of machinery capable of production available on the market.
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.
Instead, innovation has been hamstrung by the age-old question: How can we make this concept come to life? Traditional manufacturing processes and speed to market are considerations that can be difficult to overcome.
Innovation in process manufacturing technologies hasn’t been hampered by creativity or design: The engineering minds that dreamed up wireless monitoring and rich analytics software are always churning out new ideas. Instead, innovation has been hamstrung by the age-old question: How can we make this concept come to life? Traditional manufacturing processes and speed to market are considerations that can be difficult to overcome.