NASA’s jump into deep-space is not only a significant step in the space race, but it also has implications for other industries. The 3D printing industry is one that will be watching the events of the coming weeks and months with special interest. The Orion capsule, which NASA is launching in 2019, will feature more than 100 3D printed parts.
Moon and Beyond
NASA’s Orion capsule is set to depart in 2019 when it will first take off for the moon. However, it is not the capsule’s final destination, with NASA hoping to push its capsule into deep space – areas where no capsule has gone before. It is a completely uncrewed mission, given the length of time and the potential risks involved. The flight is earmarked as Exploration Mission-1, or EM-1, by NASA.
The plan is to have a successful launch and exploration for EM-1, which could be a precursor to another launch [...]
The idea of affordable prosthetics was an alien concept a couple of decades ago – let alone customizable prosthetics that are tailored to each individual wearer. Open Bionics, a United Kingdom-based prosthetics company has taken the lead in producing prosthetics that are not only state of the art, but also within the budget of the average person. It is a revolution that could change the lives of children and adults with missing arms.
The “Hero Arm” is the latest 3D printed prosthetic to make the news. However, the major difference between this model and the others we have seen is its affordability. It is not a product that would cost tens of thousands of dollars. It is typical for a patient to pay through the roof for a prosthetic arm. Some are lucky enough to have good insurance coverage, while most have to put up the majority of the money out of pocket.
3D printing has been finding innovative, ergonomic and cost-effective ways into the global market for about three decades now. Industrially, it has proven to be extremely effective in meeting customer requirements, rapid mass manufacturing, and unmatchable production costs. Moreover, it is environment-friendly in the sense that it minimizes the machinery waste produced by reusing the raw products.
One of the ways in which this ergonomic process has made its mark is in the aerospace industry; in the building and remaking of machinery that is designed for aviation.
Contemporary Applicability of 3D-Printed Aerospace Machinery
In July 2016, Alcoa Technology, the world’s largest light metal research center, expanded its facility and adopted a 3D printing technique to develop the company. The very same year, a group of Idaho students designed and handcrafted the state’s first 3D printed satellite called MakerSat-0 which made its space debut through NASA in the year that followed.
The United States Air Force never stops working on strategy to make Americans safer. And a lot of the time, these strategies involve new technologies, or developing new methods of using existing tech. One of the resources that will prove very useful to the Air Force in the coming years is 3D printing. While most people think of 3D printing being used in commercial manufacturing or the healthcare industries, it also has a big impact on the military and Air Force. Everything from weapons parts to bombs to military gear could contain 3D printed components in the future.
Advanced Ordnance Technologies Program
There is a program in the United States Air Force referred to as Advanced Ordnance Technologies. The goal of the program is to ensure that future bombs are lighter, smaller and leaner – while still packing a devastating punch. Why? Because the lighter and smaller a bomb, the easier it is to deploy [...]
There was a time when 3D printing was an industry that had the entire business world buzzing in excitement. Everyone knew that 3D printing had so much to offer various industries and applications, but no one was sure how that impact would translate into the real world.
Now the 3D printing market is at a point where the spending is ramping up in a big way. In 2015, roughly $11 billion was spent on the technology. That figure will rise to approximately $27 billion in 2019, and the amounts are only expected to increase from there. But what does that mean? Where does 3D printing stand right now, and what does the future hold
Consumer Adoption is a Ways Away
One of the major issues associated with 3D printing is its consumer impact. While the spending on 3D printing [...]
3D Printing and Aerospace Technology: Going the Distance
The impact of 3D printing on the aerospace industry is hard to overstate. While the average consumer may not be very interested in buying a 3D printer for their home, major manufacturers and industries are taking a different route. These companies see 3D printing as a way to reduce the cost of production, improve existing technologies, and make new advancements. There is a real belief that an improvement and evolution in 3D printing technology will have a massive impact on the future of the aerospace industry.
3D printing is now responsible for the manufacturing of complex engine parts, cabin interior parts, and much more. The aerospace industry can use 3D printing to create parts that perform better, cost less and require less time to put together, and [...]
3D printing has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. We have seen the onset of automotive breakthroughs, breakthroughs in home construction, automation and in aerospace. The medical engineering space is no different.
However, now we are seeing yet another giant leap forward in the 3D printing world: Medical economics.
Through various means, 3D printing is now saving money for payers, patients, and providers across the board.
It does this through several processes.
The first of these process is streamlined development.
3D Printing and Accelerated Development
One of the most intriguing aspects of 3D printing, is its ability to develop fully functioning prototypes, as well as end-use products.
While 3D printing is not known for fast production when it comes to overly complex or large production models. However, when it comes to components and [...]
When people think about innovation in the design and manufacturing of cars, we are always thinking about futuristic possibilities. We begin to imagine cars that can fly, or drive themselves. But sometimes the innovation that we are seeing in auto manufacturing is not so obvious to the average customer.
Did you know that close to 50 percent of the steel that is used in modern vehicles did not even exist 15 years ago?
And now with the increasing popularity of 3D printing in auto manufacturing, we are reaching new heights when it comes to having stronger and lighter vehicles.
The year 2014 marked the first time a 3D printed car was created. Local Motors is responsible for that feat. The company 3D-printed a car using ABS carbon-filter blends, and called it Strati. There are three models of such vehicles now produced by the company, which shows how important 3D printing in auto manufacturing has become. [...]
While there are so many industries where 3D printing is making an impact, those impacts pale in comparison to how it could revolutionize the medical applications and healthcare industries.
There are a few different types of medical applications for 3D printing, and those include tissue and organ fabrication, customizable prosthetic creation, implants and anatomical models. Not all these methods are fool proof, but the progress that has been made over the past few years is very encouraging.
When most people hear about 3D printing, we think of smaller items that you can use around the house. But the concept of 3D printing is not limited to knick-knacks or products that you can use around the house. There are very real commercial and military uses for 3D printing – and the aviation industry is a great place to look for those answers. It is incredible how aero engineers are using 3D printing as a means for obtaining better product design and quicker manufacturing for military aircraft and accessories.
3D Printing and the Aviation Industry
It was in 2016 when we saw the first aircraft that was made using 3D printing. At the time, we did not realize the connection between 3D printing and military aircraft, but it was obvious. Airbus introduced us to an aircraft that was made exclusively with 3D printing. The entire structure weighed 21kg and was about four meters in [...]