From beginning to end, take a look at all the components of 3D printing to ensure you are making the best possible products safely, quickly, and not wasting materials in the process.
3D printing is taking over the industrial world and new printers are always a source of excitement. But, what seems to rarely be a source for that same excitement, is all the components that actually go into completing the job. We’re talking about hazardous material clean-up, recycling old materials, software to get that precise cut, and cost-effective technology, to name a few.
A 3D printer has been adapted by a team at the US Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab to print 3D structures composed entirely of liquids.
The modified printer injects threads of water into silicone oil – sculpting tubes made of one liquid within another liquid.
The printer could be used to construct liquid electronics that power flexible, stretchable devices, the researchers said.
The scientists also foresee chemically tuning the tubes and flowing molecules through them, leading to new ways to separate molecules or precisely deliver nanoscale building blocks to under-construction compounds.
Low-cost lenses can now be 3D printed and used for a number of purposes including customised contact lenses for correcting distorted vision or turning iPhones into microscopes for disease diagnosis.
Developed by a team at Northwestern University, the customised optical component is 5mm in height and 5mm in diameter and can be 3D printed in about four hours.
“Up until now, we relied heavily on the time-consuming and costly process of polishing lenses,” said Cheng Sun, who worked on the project. “With 3D printing, now you have the freedom to design and customise a lens quickly.”
The customised lens was attached to an iPhone 6s and was able to take high-quality detailed images of a sunset, a moth’s wing and a spot on a weevil’s elyta.
Four out of five manufacturers say that they are using 3D printing today. At the same time, prototyping claims the lion’s share of the activity. We are at a tipping point where, over the next few years, 3D printing will likely change manufacturing and its supply chain dramatically.
Add New“The reality is that he cost of printing has come down so much in the past few years that it is easy for anybody to be at least be dabbling in 3D printing,” John Dulchinos, vice president, Digital Manufacturing at contract manufacturer Jabil told EBN. “A lot of it ends up being just that. However, anyone doing design work who isn’t using 3D printing is behind the curve.”
In short, the promise and complexities associated with 3D printing in manufacturing abound. “As one of the fundamental building blocks around 3D printing, additive manufacturing over time will have a profound impact on supply chain,” Dulchinos. “We were all starting at ground zero, though. There isn’t a lot of well-defined literature or history on using additive manufacturing for functional production parts.”
Researchers have developed a way to 3D print stainless steel that triples the strength of the material.
3D printing has been used in everything from printing meat substitutes to vehicle components and has also prompted entirely new business models based on blueprint sharing and outsourced printing services.
Companies including GE, Siemens, and HP are all placing their bets on the future of this manufacturing process, and while 3D printing is currently reserved most often for weaker materials such as paper or plastic, metal is also of interest.
HP recently hinted at the 2018 release of a platform designed to “transform [3D metal printing] into more mainstream, high-volume production,” and as a research team from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have now demonstrated, the future of our metal products can be improved no end by 3D printing methods.
Researchers from Michigan Technological University have conducted a study into the cost of 3D printing consumer goods using flexible filament. The researchers 3D printed 20 flexible products in NinjaFlex filament, analyzing the overall cost and technical feasibility of the 3D printed items.
Flexible filaments have opened up a world of opportunities for 3D printer users. Once faced with the prospect of brittle and breakable 3D printed parts, makers can now easily make rubbery 3D printed items for a range of practical applications: mechanical parts, soft grips, and even the tires of an RC car.
But are objects made from flexible 3D printing filaments as good as their molded, off-the-shelf counterparts? Moreover, are they worth the cost? Those are two questions that intrigued Aubrey L. Woern and Joshua M. Pearce, two researchers at Michigan Technological University who recently carried out a study into the effectiveness of functional objects made from flexible filament.
3D printing is a revolutionary advancement in the way industries design and manufacture products. For decades, 3D printing has been used for industrial purposes, to quickly produce parts for rapid prototyping before employing traditional manufacturing techniques. Now, with the increased precision of 3D printers and a dramatic increase in the lifetime durability of 3D-printed parts, many industries are adopting 3D printing as a form of just-in-time manufacturing to reduce design complexity and warehousing costs and to simplify supply chains.
For hobbyists, 3D printing allows the custom creation of parts to meet the needs of their projects, such as a plastic housing for a circuit board. Websites like Thingiverse feature crowd-sourced designs for replacement car parts to 3D printed art.
In a firsthand experience with 3D printing, engineering student Adam Beachy shares what he learned and what everyone should know about these machines.
The 3D printing experience for a consumer is one which will come with many different viewpoints and opinions. I was introduced to the 3D printing world around 10 months ago after purchasing my first 3D printer. My experience has been nothing short of a whirlwind. Like many other engineers I was intrigued by the idea of being able to design something and then have it created right in front of my eyes. The idea of actually owning my own 3D printer seemed outrageous and out of my budget. As I began to learn more about 3D printers, I soon realized there was a whole market of consumer printers available for a relatively low price. This is when I began to realize I might actually get the chance to own a 3D printer.
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick researchers are plotting what they call the “factories of the future” by developing 3D-printing technologies they said could pave the way for the next industrial revolution.
Mechanical engineer Ed Cyr is studying the applications of artificial intelligence in manufacturing 3D-printed materials as part of a $1.25-million innovation program from the McCain Foundation announced at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton Tuesday.
Cyr will spend his UNB fellowship, valued at $50,000, working to understand the behaviour of 3D-printed materials with the goal of harnessing their special properties to improve conventional methods of manufacturing.