3D Printing and the Automotive Revolution

What Does This Mean For Consumers?

Cars of yesteryear were heavier, slower, and took longer to build. This was partly due to technological limits of the era. However, materials also played a heavy-handed role.

Today, the steel used in auto manufacturing did not even exist 15 to 20 years ago, according to Dave Paratore, president and CEO of NanoSteel.

Along with newly manufactured high-density steel, composites, and adhesives, cars are being made faster, stronger, and lighter. As innovation carries auto manufacturing far into the future, 3D printing is now at the forefront of this endeavor.

 

The Age of 3D Printed Vehicles

Local Motors, an innovative automotive manufacturer with locations spanning Berlin, Knoxville, National Harbor, and Tempe, were at the forefront of the automotive revolution in respects to 3D printing.

In 2014, LM used an ABS carbon-fiber blend (about 80/20) to print the world’s first 3D printed car. The car is called [...]

China, the second largest economy on earth, and the United states, the first, are in a virtual arms race. A 3D printing arms race.

When it comes to military applications, 3D printing is an untapped wellspring of potential. Yes, the military uses 3D printing openly and for a great many applications. However, even in light of the grenade launcher, R.A.M.B.O., 3D printing technology has barely left the starting gate when it comes to the application possibilities.

In fact, militaries all over the world have been attempting to harness the power of 3D printing technology. Using it across the fold, developing prototypes, pushing the limits of printing technology, and even using printing product in vehicles, aircraft, weapons, and more.

When it comes to what 3D printing can create, the possibilities are virtually endless. And every military on earth knows this. This is why the two largest economies on the planet are currently going head-to-head in an [...]

How 3D Printing Is Revolutionizing Conventional Manufacturing

“3D printers will change manufacturing”

How 3D Printing Is Revolutionizing Conventional Manufacturing

A recent article by The Economist, “3D printers will change manufacturing” makes an incisive case that the applications of 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) will revolutionize conventional, assembly line manufacturing processes, drawing parallels to innovations in industrial methods and tooling in earlier eras of modern history. The article is subtitled, “Sceptics doubt the technology can be used for mass production. Just wait.”

As the column reminds readers:

“MANUFACTURING advances often take time to catch on. Only later does their real significance become apparent. The flying shuttle, invented in 1733 by John Kay, a British weaver, allowed the production of wider pieces of cloth. Because its movement could be mechanised, the shuttle later became one of the innovations which paved the way for the Industrial Revolution. [...]

Michelin Reveals Visionary 3D Printed Concept Tire

Michelin is pushing the limits of what’s possible for 3D printing
Michelin Reveals Visionary 3D Printed Concept Tire

Michelin is pushing the limits of what’s possible for 3D printing in automotive, unveiling a concept 3D printed tire called the “Michelin Visionary Concept,” the French tire company’s vision for the future of tires using 3D printing technology to create a tire that is both a wheel and tire at the same time.

The concept is the result of research on current and near-future 3D printing technologies and techniques, as well as extensive interviews with over ninety people from various fields and walks of life.

Airless, Durable, Retreadable, Recyclable

In theory the concept tire should be able to last the entire lifespan of the car itself without needing replacement. Also noteworthy, this tire is airless, and comprised of a biomimetic structure that can have its tread re-printed by a 3D [...]

3D Printing in Aerospace & Consumer Electronics to Reach $11 Billion by 2022

3D Printing in Aerospace & Consumer Electronics Will Grow 28.2%
"Industry leaders are keen to implement 3D printing technology in the aerospace..."

According to a report released Thursday, the research of one global market research company indicates that the market for commercial and consumer 3D printing solutions in aerospace and consumer electronics will likely grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 28.2% during the period six-year period from 2016 to 2022 and reach a total market value of $11 Billion (USD).

In the report, the research group stated that:

“Industry leaders are keen to implement 3D printing technology in the aerospace and consumer electronics domain to improve manufacturing processes and reduce inventory. Moreover, investment support from the government and smart initiatives from key industry players are driving this market.”

Some of key players in this emerging market are: 3D Systems, Stratasys, Boeing, Aerojet Rocket Dyne, GE Aviation, Optomec, XYZ Printing, HP Development Company, Rolls-Royce, Safran Turbomeca, and Airbus.

Many of these key players are commercial aerospace companies eager to harness the awesome, paradigm-shifting power of [...]

3D Printing Medical Solutions Helping Experts in Medicine Save Lives

3D printing medical devices and implants for patients is now rapidly proliferating through the field of surgical medicine, creating a sweeping revolution in modern medicine.

Presently, with the help of advanced 3D imaging technology and well-adapted GPU processors to capture and manipulate that information, many hearing aids and dental crowns are now being 3D-printed to a custom fit for the patient, as well as one-time use, custom surgical instruments and even prosthetic limbs for amputees.

The technical term for 3D printing is additive manufacturing, because it adds material in layers to manufacturer a complex 3D object of any shape from a digital design file on a computer.

The Medical Revolution

The 3D printing revolution in medicine is both just beginning and well under way: 28 percent of all medical technology and pharmaceutical companies are already using 3D printing, according to a recent survey of 12 [...]

3D Printing SLS Design Guide

Selective Laser Sintering Design Guidelines
SLS Design Guide Selective Laser Sintering Design Guidelines

This SLS Design Guide is to guide those interested in the layered Additive Manufacturing process known as Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) which allows for the direct digital manufacture of complex parts that may be cost-prohibitive and/or impossible to produce through traditional manufacturing processes. eg: internal features, undercuts, and negative drafts.

PRODUCTION PARTS

Meeting all design requirements including physical properties, dimensional tolerances, appearance and cost is what differentiates a prototype from a production part. Typically, prototype parts involve compromises in one or more areas and almost always involve compromises in physical properties.

SLS produces parts from impact-resistant engineering plastic, great for low- to mid-volume end-use parts, enclosures, snap-fit parts, automotive moldings and thin-walled ducting.While the SLS process has been around for years, recent advancements in materials and process control have resulted in parts that are suitable for many production applications.

BENEFITS & LIMITATIONS OF SLS PRODUCTION

PRO – Complex shapes can be [...]

Selective Laser Sintering with DuraForm® Flex TPU

3D printing helps New Balance fulfill “Always in Beta” tagline
Selective Laser Sintering with DuraForm® Flex TPU material delivers first 3D printed midsoles for a high-performance running shoe

In the summer of 2015, the 109-year-old sportswear manufacturer New Balance encapsulated its culture of relentless innovation with a fitting slogan: “Always in Beta.”

Nine months later, New Balance put pay to those words with Zante Generate, the world’s first high-performance running shoe with a full-length 3D printed midsole. In tribute to chairman Jim Davis’ 44 years of New Balance ownership, 44 pairs of the shoe were produced at the company’s Lawrence, Massachusetts, facility in collaboration with 3D Systems.

The Zante Generate was made possible by 3D Systems Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printers and DuraForm® Flex TPU material. For the day-to-day quest to fulfill the “Always in Beta” philosophy, New Balance relies on 3D Systems ColorJet Printing (CJP) for color and form prototyping.

3D Printed SLS New Balance Shoe Sole 

Just [...]

3D Systems to refine market focus

3D Systems New Board Members continue focus on Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Healthcare

3D Systems targets defense and automotive markets with new board appointments

Introducing The ProJet MJP 2500W

AFFORDABLE, PRECISION WAX PATTERN 3D PRINTING

If you’re simply trying to keep up with demand or leverage the latest manufacturing techniques while exploring ways to lower production costs, look no further. Skip the silicone rubber mold and shorten your jewelry design-to-manufacturing process by 3D printing detailed yet durable wax patterns quickly.

3D Systems | ProJet® MJP 2500W Wax Pattern 3D Printer

Directly produce high quality, intricate jewlery wax casting patterns with exact, razor-sharp edges, fine feature definition and the smoothest surface finishes to minimize hand finishing. Eliminate tooling time, costs and geometric limitations, and optimize parts and labor costs with automated and efficient processes – from file to finished direct casting pattern.

FAST PRINT SPEEDS – Get up to 10X faster print speeds compared to similar class solutions, with capability for short production runs throughout a work day.

HIGH CAPACITY – With a 3.7X larger build volume capability than alternative similar class printers, gain high productivity and efficiency with 24/7 operation.

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