MTC calls for contributions to stem additive manufacturing skills shortage

Wall of members at Coventry's MTC, including Rolls-Royce, Airbus, EOS and Autodesk. Photo by Beau JacksonThe UK’s Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) is where 3D printing and traditional manufacturing converge. Established as an independent Research & Technology Organisation (RTO) in 2010, the centre is the product of a collaboration between Loughborough University, the University of Birmingham, the University of Nottingham and TWI.

The centre’s privileged position in the market and well-cultivated contact list of over 100 industry members, places it in an ideal position for providing well-trained and talented individuals to the industry – a gap that the MTC struck upon in 2016 with the launch of the Lloyds Bank Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC).

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3D printing set to add mobility to medicine manufacturing

Prof Lee Cronin: “One day people might do this in their houses but not now.”

Picture this: you need a medicine but your illness is so rare that the required drug is extremely expensive and not widely available. Or maybe you are travelling and the drug you need can’t be easily shipped all the way to you. Could three-dimensional printing offer a solution? Could a local, 3D-printed mini-factory make medicine for you?

Three-dimensional printing, which builds up layers of materials to print a product, is making its mark in the world of medical devices, opening up new ways to make implants and biocompatible scaffolds.

Using the technology to manufacture medicines is still niche, but interest is there. A 3D-printed drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, and researchers are starting to prise open the potential of 3D printing low-cost equipment to build the chemicals needed for drugs.

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Deep diving into additive manufacturing for aerospace

Additive ManufacturingVanguard of the additive manufacturing industry Stratasys has seen its 3D printing technology take off in the form of in-flight parts on aeroplanes, and in June 2017 the company conquered additive manufacturing in aerospace by launching its Fortus 900mc Aircraft Interiors Certification Solution.

There is much more to additive manufacturing for aerospace than getting parts approved by the OEM for installation in a working aircraft. Eric Bredin, Vice-President Marketing EMEA for Stratasys, set out just what it takes to get a Stratasys-printed machine into the lower stratosphere.

“In general, aerospace is a very interesting segment as it’s a market in which we have a lot to play with,” he explained. “What we are trying to influence is concept design right through to production and there are many areas in this industry where we can be very active.”

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Porsche has started 3D Printing parts for classic cars

Porsche has a huge supply of spare parts to keep its classic cars on the road, but it doesn’t have everything. Supplies of certain components run out, and often, it’s way too expensive to build a bunch more, especially for limited-production cars like the 959. That’s why Porsche Classic has turned to 3D printing to make limited numbers of certain spare parts.

Right now, Porsche is manufacturing nine spare parts using 3D printers, and it’s testing 20 more for production viability. The parts offered now include the clutch-release lever for the 959, a crank arm for the 964, and others.

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Additive Manufacturing makes waves in industry

Over the past few years additive manufacturing (AM) technology has grown in popularity as companies explore its potential. Applying layer upon layer of polymers can create objects of almost any shape and geometry guided by design files, and now, recent developments have made it possible to print metal parts and components, making it a potentially disruptive innovation for the supply chain.

AM has already had an impact on other industries such as aviation—Airbus agreed in October to a deal to manufacture polymer parts for use on its A350 XWB aircraft—and now, as oil and gas companies look to adopt AM into their supply chain management, service companies are breaking through with new machines and processes that may facilitate larger-scale production of parts and components in the future. In addition, a new guideline has been established to help bridge the gap between the quality assurance of parts created by an AM process and those created through traditional manufacturing processes.

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3D printing helps Latécoère cut lead times

Latécoère is deploying Stratasys FDM additive manufacturing throughout its design and production process.

French aircraft design and manufacturing group Latécoère is deploying Stratasys FDM additive manufacturing throughout its design and production process. Latécoère – which services aerospace giants including Airbus, Bombardier and Dassault – is using its Stratasys Fortus 450mc Production 3D Printer for both rapid prototyping and production tooling. According to Simon Rieu, composite and additive manufacturing manager at Latécoère’s R&D and Innovation Center, the adoption of this technology has been transformational for both design and manufacturing.

“Additive manufacturing has integrated seamlessly into our design and production process, and has seen us enjoy improved lead-times, reduced costs and enhanced operational efficiency,” he says. “As the requirements of the aerospace industry become more demanding, we’re also mindful of the need to maintain our competitive edge, and Stratasys additive manufacturing enables us to meet that objective.”

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Brand owners should harness benefits of 3D printing

As 3D printing has not had the negative impact that was expected, brands should be harnessing the benefits of the technology, according to Justin Pierce, chair of Venable’s IP division.

Pierce says that “savvy brand owners and manufacturers can harness the benefits of 3D printing technology and offer a wide variety of product accessories, and efficiently offer replacement parts”.

“By proactively using 3D printing to both produce high-quality goods and enable greater consumer access to one’s brand, businesses have much to gain from an early investment in this market,” Pierce adds.

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Regulations, IP, Expertise on 3D Printing: Excellent interview with John Hornick

The recent inaugural Additive Manufacturing Strategies summit, hosted with SmarTech Markets Publishing, brought together experts in medical and dental 3D printing alongside legal and business leaders to share thoughts on the future of additive manufacturing in human healthcare. The event, rich in expertise, filled two days with insightful presentations and conversations in Washington, D.C., allowing for a unique opportunity to network and learn from leading minds in technology and regulation. When we initially announced the summit back in September, one of the first names added to the agenda was one familiar throughout the legal and 3D printing fields: Finnegan Partner John Hornick.

Hornick, who has been generous with his expertise in sharing his thoughts with us through previous interviews as well as thoughtful articles, has built up a strong background in intellectual property (IP) as it impacts the business of 3D printing. As an IP lawyer and highly regarded authorand speaker, Hornick has a well-established reputation as a thought leader; it was a pleasure to finally meet him face-to-face during the AMS summit last week. At the summit, Hornick spoke on a panel entitled “The Future of 3D Printing in Medical Markets” and moderated one called “Additive Medicine and Dentistry: Investment Industry and VC Perspective.” During these presenstations and in subsequent conversation, Hornick brought to the table a wealth of ideas regarding the future of 3D printing, as well as the customization and democratization of design and manufacturing allowed for through this advanced technology.

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A new standard adds dimension to 3D Printing

A New Standard Adds Dimension to 3D PrintingASME just released a standard that covers definitions of terms and features unique to 3D printing, and ASTM started a testing program for powder metal.

With additive manufacturing (AM) on the rise and, in turn, disrupting markets of all types, it can be hard to keep up with everything. Nonetheless, the AM industry isn’t sitting idly by, as it continues to work on developing standards to keep pace with the new materials and machines that seem to be launching every week.

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Additive Manufacturing Strategies Summit focused on the future of 3D Printing in Medicine and Dentistry

From Charles Goulding at 3dprint.com


I had the privilege of attending a two-day Future of 3D Printing in Medicine and Dentistry conference on January 22nd and 23rd in Washington, D.C. at the Army and Navy Club. The Additive Manufacturing Strategies summit was sponsored by SmarTech Markets Publishing and 3DPrint.com.

Day 1

3D Printing Medical Devices     

Day one was entitled 3D Printed Medical Devices. The opening keynote speaker was Lee Dockstader, Director of Vertical Market Development at HP Inc., whose thorough presentation set the stage for the entire conference. Dockstader wants to develop additive manufacturing in industries including Aerospace, Automotive, Medical, Dental, Life Sciences, Consumer and Retail.

Scott Dunham, Vice President of Research at SmarTech Markets Publishing, gave a comprehensive presentation that was particularly informative on the large production volumes occurring with certain non regulated low entry barrier products. The consensus estimate is that 300,000 low barrier medical devices are now 3D printed per day. Dr. Roger Narayan, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UNC, gave a detailed presentation on the technical and regulatory aspects of additive medical markets. 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize business models and provides access to custom and functional prosthetic and orthotic medical devices.

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