;s get physical how 3D printing works

Lets get physical: how 3D printing works

Lets get physical: how 3D printing works

Forget Express Post: in the not too distant future you may be able to send a small gift to your grandchild by emailing her a 3D data file then having her manufacture it on the spot using a 3D printer in her lounge room. Give it a few minutes and shell have a physical toy to pick up and play with.

It may sound just a few steps short of teleportation but its already becoming a reality as highly-specialised fabrication equipment leverages new economies of scale to be delivered into the home.

Thats a big step from the design firms doctors scientists engineers and others who work with physical objects who have long tapped into 3D printing technology also known as additive manufacturing to build physical objects using blueprints produced by a 3D design program. Working one microscopically thin cross-section at a time the printer builds up the model using one of a variety of techniques that ultimately produce a high-resolution physical model that can be touched painted manipulated or whatever else is required.

3D printers have been around since the early 1990s but its only within the last five years that the technologies to make it happen have become sufficiently commoditised to allow businesses to purchase bespoke systems for on-the-spot manufacturing. Vendors like 3DSystems Objet Geometries Stratasys and Z-corp for example all offer industrial-sized systems with five and six-digit pricetags.

One 3D printing technique selective laser sintering (SLS) directs a powerful laser at a thin layer of powdered medium typically plastic metal ceramic or glass thats spread in a thin layer on a flat bed. The heat from the laser melts the medium in a precise pattern that is controlled by the computer-aided design (CAD) system and represents a cross-section of the item to be manufactured; the bed is then lowered by a miniscule amount and the process repeated.

Because fused layers are surrounded by unfused medium manufactured products dont have to be self-supporting and can include discontinuous elements for example an action figure with an arm pointing downward which when built from the ground up would require the hand to be effectively floating in space until the device reached the layer where the arm met the body.

Accomplishing this using other techniques requires a different approach. For example Stratasys developed a 3D printing technique that uses fused deposition modelling (FDM) techniques to extrude a plastic or wax compound (polymer polycarbonate acrylonitrile butadiene or other materials) from a fine nozzle thats guided by a computer around a table along two axes. Because the system works on a purely cross-section basis even machines with moving parts can be manufactured.

Layers as thin as 0.125mm are laid down with a complementary water-soluble material available to build up supports for floating elements of the model; this material can then be dissolved by agitating the model within a heated sodium hydroxide bath. That makes it easier than stereolithography another approach which uses a stereolithography apparatus (SLA) to build its 3D models.

SLA uses a vat of liquid photopolymer that goes hard when exposed to intense ultraviolet (UV) light. A UV laser is used to trace each cross-section of the design then the layer is swiped with a blade that re-coats it with new liquid and the process is repeated. Floating elements must be structurally strengthened using manufactured supports which are manually removed after the model is complete.

A spinoff of SLA uses a digital light processor (DLP) projector to project an image of each cross-section onto the surface of a liquid photopolymer bath. Exemplified in 3D printers like Z Corporations ZBuilder each burst of DLP light lasts for several seconds then the model is moved down by around 0.2mm and a new layer printed. This technique is faster than SLA which has become a high-volume workhorse but is still expensive: machines can cost more than half a million dollars and the polymer resin costs up to $200 per litre.

Because of its precision and the hardness of the models it produces 3D printing has become a favoured way of prototyping new products without going to the expense of setting up full manufacturing lines. Its particularly popular in short-run manufacturing since products that are printed using any of these processes are the same price whether one unit is printed or 100. Its also possible to make many small objects at once by designing plans that have more than one object side by side.

Ever-smarter 3D design software has facilitated the process. For example software innovations allow a model to be analysed and necessary support structures automatically generated to ensure the model can be built using the current technology.

Paired with a 3D object scanner its possible to quickly scan a physical object in three dimensions then adjust it however you want in three dimensions or not at all and make a 3D replica in a relatively short time. This opens up immense possibilities for small manufacturing organisations that used to send out designs and wait days for models to be manufactured and its spurring imaginations in new directions as artists start designing interesting new shapes that would be all but impossible to make using other techniques.

Galleries at sites likethisandthisshow some of the artistic creations to emerge as artists get their collective hands on 3D printing technology. Finnish 3D printed design specialistFreedom of Creationfor one envisions 3D printing as a way of helping stores reduce inventory by producing clothes on demand that would fit perfectly and be produced as theyre required. Others envision using a sugar-based substrate for the printing process which would allow the printing of edible delicacies or other foods in fantastic designs.

Its a dramatic change to the way things are manufactured and its getting easier as the concept hits the mainstream. Vendors are pushing down the price of basic systems with 3DSystems desktopV-Flash Personal3D printer kit-based RapMan and BfB 3000 offering personal 3D printing at manageable prices. Grassroots efforts also flourish with Bath University-originated providing free software and plans for several build-your-own models that can be made for around $475 and can even be used to make new RepRap machines for your friends.

RepRap spinoffMakerBot Industriesoffers a 3D printer kit capable of producing products up to 10 x 10 x 13cm and this year secured US$10 million in venture-capital funding. And rs plans and software for an inexpensive home 3D printer that its inventors say can manufacture objects out of silicone cement stainless steel cake frosting and cheese.

For those who arent of the build-your-own inclination 3D printing bureaux like Ponoko PrintTo3D RapidArch Sculpteo and Shapeways or Australian firms including Prototype Labs ThingLab Australia and CnCProtos will fabricate them on your behalf based on 3D models that you email to them. All you need is a file in the .STL format which was developed in the late 1980s by 3D Systems and delineates every vertex of the object in a standard albeit bulky format. Other 3D printing setups accept .OBJ files of the type generated by tools like Maya and free applications like TopMod and Googles SketchUp!

Put it all together and youve got the ability to design and manufacture just about anything you can imagine. 3D printing is still a niche area but with more DIY options than ever its within the reach of determined enthusiasts. Its still easier to buy that gift from a shop and mail it but the rapid pace of development means soon youll be able to download your design customise it and send that personalised gift to your loved one.

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How 3D Printing Works: Understanding Its Advantages

Where does 3D printing have an edge over traditional manufacturing?

On a high level, 3D printing is a layer-by-layer additive manufacturing process, meaning it builds objects one layer at a time — the opposite of subtractive manufacturing, in which a solid block of material gets cut or milled down into its final shape. This fundamental difference gives 3D printing certain advantages over subtractive manufacturing.

Compared to subtractive manufacturing, 3D printing doesnt require tooling to create objects, which can limit a parts geometric complexity. In other words, 3D printing invites complexity in manufacturing that would otherwise be impossible to produce with manufacturing techniques that rely on tooling.

In the following video, 3D printing specialist Steve Heller interviews Conor MacCormack, CEO at Mcor Technology, who has been part of the industry for the last decade, about what has changed in recent years, and some of the greatest advantages that 3D printing has over traditional manufacturing.

A full transcript follows the video.

Steve Heller:Hey Fools, Steve Heller here. Im joined today with Conor MacCormack, CEO of Mcor Technologies.

What Mcor does is they use ordinary copy paper as their feedstock, the primary material for 3D printing. Basically, it lowers the operating costs significantly, compared to other competing full color 3D printing technologies on the market there.

Conor, thank you so much for being here today.

Conor MacCormack:Its always a pleasure.

Heller:Great! Lets talk about the industry. Youve been in the industry for about 10 years now. What has changed so much? What can you really pinpoint as an inflection point in the industry at this point?

MacCormack:Its interesting. Theres been a lot of hype, obviously, about the 3D printing sector. I think theres been a real adjustment in whats gone on, as we know from some of the stock levels in some of the big companies.

But there is a real natural kind of a fork between enterprise and consumer. That happened a couple of years ago, and the fact thatGartnerand these other analysts realized that it is broken up into two.

I think youre starting to see real use cases. People, rather than a more scattered, shotgun approach, trying to sell a piece of machinery to everybody, theyre trying to be more focused on what markets they can be really strong at.

If anything, Id say that the difference is that people are trying to go deeper and more penetrative in a deeper subsegment, rather than trying to be a printer for everybody.

I know some of the big players are still trying to do that. Maybe they can do that because they have eight or nine different platforms, but other companies like ourselves, like Mcor for example, were going deeper in the verticals that we see ourselves being very strong.

For me, thats how I see the industry has changed a bit. People are getting more focused and getting real use cases of how theyre going to be used and not such hype, of printing mobile phones and being the Jetsons! Things are actually becoming more realistic.

Heller:Just thinking about the industry in general and 3D printing technology as a whole, I wanted to go through a SWOT analysis with you. Lets start with the strengths of 3D printing at this time. Whenever youre ready.

MacCormack:The strengths are always the same. When you really boil it down, theres a couple of ways you could look at it.

People always talk about complexity, that complexity is free. If you look at a piece of machining using conventional machining [manufacturing] methods, if you want to make something like a cylinder head of an engine and you want to make that with conventional methods, its all about the complexity of the object and how many molds you have to make if youre going to do CNC, or whatever.

Whereas, in 3D printing, its all about the volume. It doesnt really matter how complex it is as long as the printer can print it, so you can kind of say the complexity is free. Thats one very interesting avenue about the strength of 3D printing.

Another one thats very, very important when you think about it is that you dont need to have any engineering capability. A student that knows nothing about engineering or how to make anything, if they can generate the file or maybe get an image or scan something, they can just hit print and make an object.

That barrier has been broken down, of having to be able to make something with your hands, and letting the machine do it; that strength of 3D printing hasnt changed.

Id say thats one of the biggest strengths — complexity is free, and then you dont need any engineering ability to make an object — they still remain the same.

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Steve Hellerhas no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Gartner. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

Covering GE and 3D printing at the intersection of business, investing, and what it means for the future of manufacturing. Follow me on Twitter to keep up with the ever-changing 3D printing and industrial landscape by clicking the button below.Follow @3DFool

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HP Inc to Expand 3D Printing Footprint across Asia Pacific

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In a move to enhance the presence of its 3D Printing technologies globally,HP Inc.(HPQ-Free Report) recently made a series of announcements that will help in strengthening its foothold in the Asia-Pacific region.

The company is set to make the commercial availability of its award-winning HP Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution in the Asia-Pacific region by expanding HP Partner First 3D Printing Specialization program to over a dozen new partners across the region. The new partners include names like Aurora, AM Korea, ECSS, evok3d, Eye2Eye, Infinite 3D Printing, FormX, Huxen, Hyunwoo Data, Shining 3D ePrint, Trustworthy, Wenpoo, and 3D Pro.

Initially, the program will serve Greater China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Australia. With this partner expansion program, HPs 3D printing technology reach will extend its reach beyond North America and Europe.

Apart from this, the company declared partnering with two Chinese 3D printing services providers which have agreed to build a significant number of facilities.

The major one is Shining 3D ePrint, which has agreed to deploy HPs 3D printing solutions in over 50 locations across China, including its Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Nanjing, and Shanghai facilities. Notably, Shining 3D ePrint has more than 10,000 customers in over 70 countries across Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East.

Infinite 3D Printing is another leading Chinese 3D printing services provider, which has agreed to deploy HPs 3D printing solutions in locations like Suzhou and Qingdao.

HP also announced collaborating with Chinas Sinopec Yanshan Petrochemical Company, which will develop polyolefin-based powders for the companys Jet Fusion printing solution. Sinopec Yanshan Petrochemical will also join HPs partner program.

In addition to the aforementioned announcements, HP also noted that it is planning to open several 3D Printing Reference and Experience Centers, in collaboration with its partners. These centers will be located in Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Shanghai, Suzhou, Taipei, Tokyo, Singapore, and Melbourne.

HPs latest announcement signifies that the company is taking big steps to fortify its presence in this manufacturing sector hub region. Per Stephen Nigro, President of 3D Printing, HP Inc., the Asia-Pacific manufacturing sector is of about $6 trillion, which provides a number of opportunities for the 3D printing solution providing companies.

Nigro said that, We are excited to bring the industrys leading 3D printing technology, most robust partner community, and most innovative materials ecosystem to help this world-class manufacturing community accelerate their reinvention. Anchored by some of the most advanced companies in the world, the regions diverse and dynamic collection of global brands, large contract manufacturers, and materials leaders is primed to play a significant role in this global industry transformation.

Contract equipment manufacturer, Jabil Circuit Inc. (JBL-Free Report) , is among the early adopters of HPs Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology. John Dulchinos, VP of Digital Manufacturing, Jabil, stated, We are thrilled to see their [HP] expansion into Asia, home of some of the highest volume manufacturing.

Additionally, the 3D printing market presents remarkable long-term investment opportunities, as a large number of engineers, designers, architects and entrepreneurs are now turning to 3D solutions for primary designing and product modeling.

According to market research firm CONTEXT over half a million 3D printers have already been shipped across the globe between the 1980s and mid-2015, and the industry is currently on track to ship its millionth unit by 2017. Data from the Wohlers Report 2014 revealed that the worldwide 3D printing industry is anticipated to grow from $3.07 billion in 2013 to $12.8 billion by 2018, and will exceed $21 billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 34%.

For the past several quarters, HPs printing business has been facing challenges like sluggish demand and cut-throat competition in the space. In an effort to revamp its printer business, HP is looking at every aspect of growth, including product innovation and differentiation, and acquisition or expansion of 3D printing capabilities.

Over the last few quarters, the company rolled out creative products like Sprocket and acquired Samsung Electronics printer business to drive its printing segment.

Apart from this, the company is also trying to boost its 3D printing business capabilities, in an effort to revive tumbling sales. It should be noted that even though HP has been operating in this space for almost six years now, the company lags behind 3D Systems Corporation (DDD-Free Report) and Stratasys Ltd (SSYS-Free Report) .

Thus, in order to fortify its presence in this space, HP, last year, unveiled its Jet Fusion 3D Printing Solution with two models to choose from 4200 and 3200. Unlike 3D Systems and Stratasys, which target all kinds of consumers, HP emphasizes only on industrial markets because of their ability to afford a premium range of 3D printing solutions.

In our opinion, HPs efforts toward reviving its printing business have been commendable. Its strategy of focusing on product innovation and elevating 3D printing capabilities has helped in stabilizing declining revenues at its printer division as indicated by its last quarterly results where the segment witnessed 2% year-over-year growth.

Currently, HP carries a Zacks Rank 3 (Hold).

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Exclusive HP gives further details regarding expansion of Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer

Exclusive: HP gives further details regarding expansion of Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer

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Exclusive: HP gives further details regarding expansion of Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer

The past fortnight has been a busy time for HP. The U.S. company has made severalannouncementsrelating to the expansion of their Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing system in Japan and China.

I spoke to Ramon Pastor,vice president and general manager, HP Multi Jet Fusion, and several others in charge of HPs venture into 3D printing to find out more about how the roll out of Multi Jet Fusion is going and their plans for the future of 3D printing.

Significant increase in speed of Multi Jet Fusion with software update

Early customers are now placing repeat orders for 3D printers

3D prints produced to date on Multi Jet Fusion machines is over half a million

Open materials strategy to drive material cost down and improve economics of MJF

Next materials to be developed will be lower cost

HP strategy re: Industry 4.0 and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

HPs primary focus for the rest of 2017

Expansion into Asia Pacific and Japan

I asked Qun Zhang, head of HPs 3D Printing Sales for Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), about the companys expansion into the Asia-Pacific region and how HP is working on scaling of the 3D printing business. Zhang says, APJ is a very important place in terms of the manufacturing and the market. He continues, We have over 70% of the population globally, and this means in the area of customization of products would be key a market.

HPs 3D printing solution is, ten times the speed and half of the cost, says Zhang. In the long run were going to have the biggest variety of materials. All this combined were going to have the best choice for the manufacture of consumer products in the region.

An important driver of this will be the automotive sector according to Zhang, In APJ we have 60% of the global car manufacturing industry. In the long run APJ will probably outrun the U.S. and EMEA so this this is a great start for us.

Ramon Pastor gives further details about HP are handling the scaling of their 3D printing business, Since we started shipping, customers who have brought our systems have produced more than half a million parts.

Pastor adds that this,is remarkable given that we were scaling very slowly at the beginning and now we are ramping up in one of the most important regions in the world. The second thing is that we are having now an important number of customers with repeating sales.

These are customers that bought our products in the first months are now putting together important orders. These are customers who have used the system and verified that this is the production tool that they needed to scale their business.

User feedback on HPs Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers

Given that the HP 3D printing system has now been available for 6 months I asked Ramon Pastor about user feedback to date. He classes the feedback into 3 categories, productivity, accuracy and service and support.

Pastor says, Regarding productively, if you ask our early customers this is the thing that has struck them the most. This is even without the systems at full speed, this [full speed 3D printing] will happen with the latest release of the firmware.

The firmware update was scheduled to happen last week. 3D Printing Industry will be bringing youan update on user experience of HPs Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers soon.

Pastor says HP has received, A lot of feedback on the accuracy and the representations of very small details, that was something that they had never seen before. In terms of installations Pastor says customers have remarked upon, how quick it was to do the first production runs and any time we did more drops of functionality the feedback has been We are standing on something that really sets us apart from other vendors that they were used to deal with.

To grow the installed base further will require an expansion of the materials available for 3D printing with the Multi Jet Fusion. We truly believe that to scale the number applications we need a breadth of materials and basically to improve the break-even point of economics ultimately we need to drive material costs down. And this is really what is at the core of our open materials strategy, and we will deliver results with that, says Pastor.

Dr. Yi Feng, manager of 3D printing materials partners, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Inc. Dr Feng leads the materials partner business in Asia Pacific. Speaking about Sinopec joining HP materials partners including BASF and Evonik, he explains,

Sinopec is the first materials partner that we have brought on board in China to be part of the Open Materials Platform. We are working with the company to identify the potential material that is going to be compatible with our Multi Jet Fusion technology. So far we have already received the materials candidate from them and we already starting the initial screening of the material candidate.

The materials candidate in question is a polyolefin-based material. Compared with Nylon materials, 3D printing with Polyolefin material is anticipated to have a lower material cost. Dr. Feng says the material is, considered to be a commodity based powder. So 3D prints made with the powder should be a lower cost.

You canread more about HPs Open Materials platform here.

How does HPs Multi Jet Fusion compare to other 3D printing technologies?

I ask about how Multi Jet Fusion compares to other powder based 3D printers in the market. Ramon Pastor tells me,

In terms of powder management the way that we have engineered the system is in terms of an end-to-end perspective. So basically the customer receives powder in a package, they put it in the processing station and basically the print station automatically exacts the powder to the build unit. So basically when the build unit goes to the printer, the process station recycles the powder so actually you can virtually reuse all the powder that has not been solidified in a part. So really this is almost a closed system in terms of putting powder into the machine in terms of putting powder in. Feedback from customers is very good.

HP has previously called out the $6 trillion manufacturing sector in the APJ region as a major opportunity. I asked Ramon Pastor more about this opportunity, what the Fourth Industrial Revolution looks like, and HPs role within it.

When we talk about the Fourth Industrial Revolution it is really what in Europe we refer to as Industry 4.0. The manufacturing market is $6 trillion today in APJ. So really, our aspiration is to focus on how can move to a production paradigm that is more distributed, more personalised, more on demand and much nearer where the final customer is. We want to give the customer the tools to be able realise this change in manufacturing.

The key vectors HP is approaching are product performance, quality, speed, repeatability, material breadth, material cost is the main driver of driving the break even point to the hundreds of thousands of parts and beyond. So basically awareness of our customers to take full advantage design for additive and to create more efficient designs.

Eventually to help them to take advantage of distributed manufacturing to re-engineer how they design their supply chains, and finally we need to advance regulations and standards. These are really the factors and the vectors that we all pushing to accelerate this view of the Industry 4.0.

You can read more about HPs perspective on the future of 3D printing in our interview withHP CTO Shane Wall. Also,Tim Weber the Global Head of 3D Printing Materials and Advanced Applications at HPrecently gave ushis vision for the future of 3D printing.

With HP expanding rapidly into the 3D printing industry and the market now having had time to test Multi Jet Fusion, were taking a closer look at the technology. Sign up tothe most widely read newsletterin the 3D printing industry to learn more and follow ouractive social media accountsto be the first in the know.

Michael Petch is the editor-in-chief at 3DPI and the author of several books on 3D printing. He is a regular keynote speaker at technology conferences where he has delivered presentations such as 3D printing with graphene and ceramics and the use of technology to enhance food security. Michael is most interested in the science behind emerging technology and the accompanying economic and social implications.

GE announces development of ATLAS worlds largest powder bed metal 3D printer

Rize Inc. starts commercial shipments of the Rize One 3D printer

CEL RoboxPRO 3D printer technical specifications and pricing

First look inside Ackurettas dual build Diplo 3D printer

First SPEE3D cold spray metal 3D printer in Asia with $190,000 NAMIC grant for Singapore 3D printing RD

Apple 3D printer patent granted, full color 3D printing system

Mimaki enters additive manufacturing with industrial scale full color 3D printer

3D printing news Sliced Arcam, Optomec, TU Delft, Neri Oxman

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3D printing news Sliced Reebok, Carbon, Stratasys, GE Additive, 3D Systems and Shakespeare

Monoprice launches new 3D printers at CES 2018

DOBOT multifunctional 3D printing robotic arm honored at CES 2018

HP to launch metal Additive Manufacturing platform in 2018

Following HPs move into Additive Manufacturing with its high-speed polymer Jet Fusion 3D Printing systems, the company has announced plans to launch a new metal Additive Manufacturing platform in 2018.

Speaking at the HP Securities Analyst Meeting in Palo Alto, California, USA, on October 12, Stephen Nigro, HPs President of 3D Printing, announced the development of a novel metal AM approach which he called a major step for HP 3D printing aspiration.

The company hopes that the release of this new platform will transform 3D metal printing into more mainstream, high-volume production. Further details of HPs metal AM technology were not disclosed during the presentation, with Nigro stating that HP will make a formal announcement in 2018.

During the HP Securities Analyst Meeting Stephen Nigro, HPs President of 3D Printing, announced HP would introduce metal AM technology in 2018

Our latest issue is now available to download in PDF format, free of charge.

As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 120-page issue includes the following exclusive articles and reports:

Oerlikon: Swiss industrial group positions itself as a leading developer of AM components and materials

The 1st Munich Technology Conference: AM is on course for broad industrial use

Combining Metal AM and Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP): Application and process innovations

Costs and considerations when investing in a metal Additive Manufacturing system

Beyond particle size: Exploring the influence of particle shape on metal powder performance

POWDERMET2017: Developments in powder production methods for AM

Go to our download page for more information

Dr Axel Schulz will join the Management Board of SLM Solutions Group AG as Chief Sales Officer on February 1, 2018, the company has announced. Sch…

Researchers at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, have developed a method to produce permanent magnets by cold…

BEAMIT SpA, Fornovo di Taro, Italy, has expanded its heat treatment capability for the processing of metal additively manufactured components. In a…

Boeing and Norsk Titanium have been selected as one of the winners of Aviation Week & Space Technologys 61st Annual Laureate Awards, in the…

ArianeGroup, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, reports that its Vulcain® 2.1 engine has completed its first successful test firing at the German Aerosp…

Metal Additive Manufacturingmagazine focuses on commercial and technical developments in the metal AM industry.

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Volkswagen identifies key areas for metal Additive Manufacturing in automotive applications

Bugatti to trial additively manufactured titanium brake calipers

Boeing and Norsk Titanium recognised for metal additively manufactured structural components

Sciaky achieves record December with sale of four EBAM systems

Huisman load tests metal additively manufactured offshore crane hook

Höganäs acquires H.C. Starcks Surface Technology & Ceramic Powders division

Singapore Polytechnic awarded grant for high-speed metal Additive Manufacturing with SPEE3D

German Additive Manufacturing company receives FDA clearance to supply spinal cages to US market

Permanent magnets for electric motors by cold spray Additive Manufacturing

GKN confirms Anne Stevens as Chief Executive amidst plans to separate Aerospace and Automotive businesses

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3D Printing Works

How to 3D Bioprint Dental Body Parts

What are standard file formats for 3D Printing?

What materials are used for 3D Printing?

What is the best way to learn 3D Printing?

Why is 3D Printing disruptive technology?

3DP News:NASA, Industry Test Additively Manufactured Rocket Engine Injector,

NASA Press Release, PR Newswire, 11 July 2013. …[Read More]

3D Printing – What You Need to Know

tool-vendor-neutral web community dedicated to 3D Printing technologies and their practical applications.

The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.

3D Printing Worksprovides information about3D printers3D modeling/design software, 3D scanner,3D printing services, and3D printing training.

Since the site is tool-vendor neutral it emphasizesindustry-standard file formats (STL, OBJ, VRML. PLY), Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and Open Source Hardware (OSHW) to facilitate interoperability, fair competition and innovation across 3D Printing technologies.What is 3D Printing?3D Printing is anadditive manufacturingprocess that constructs three-dimensional (3D) solid object products from 3D digital models specified by 3D modeling and design software. 3D Printing is anadditiveprocess to the extent that, starting with a vacant build platform, it incrementally adds successful layers of manufacturing materials to the build platform until the object product specified by the the 3D digital model is complete.

This additive manufacturing process may be contrasted with traditional manufacturing processes, which rely on subtractive manufacturing processes such as cutting and drilling. Machines which facilitate 3D Printing are referred to as3D Printers.

For a fuller explanation and answers to other Frequently Asked Questions about 3D Printing, check out the3D Printing FAQpage.Why use 3D Printing?3D Printingis a key enabling technology forAdditive Manufacturing, a manufacturing paradigm that emphasizes the addition of materials via incremtenal layering and fusion, rather than the traditional subtraction of materials via cutting and drilling, throughout the manufacturing process.

Additive manufacturing is a disruptive technology for traditional manufacturers that rely on subtractive manufacturing techniques, since it will facilitate on-demand (just in time) custom manufacturing and substantially decrease time-to-market, material costs, and inventory costs.

For a fuller explanation and answers to other Frequently Asked Questions about 3D Printing, check out the3D Printing FAQpage.

process that constructs three-dimensional (3D) solid object products from 3D digital models by incrementally adding layers of manufacturing materials to a build platform until the product specified by the digital model is complete.

This additive manufacturing process may be contrasted with traditional manufacturing processes, which rely on subtractive processes such as cutting and drilling. Machines which facilitate 3D Printing are referred to as3D Printers. For a fuller explanation exploreWhat is 3D Printing?Why use 3D Printing?Who created 3D Printing?, and other Frequently Asked Questions about 3D Printing on the3D Printing FAQpage.

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How to 3D Bioprint Dental Body Parts

What are standard file formats for 3D Printing?

What materials are used for 3D Printing?

What is the best way to learn 3D Printing?

Why is 3D Printing disruptive technology?

Functional 3D Printing Processing and Design Perspective

Functional 3D Printing Processing and Design Perspective

Functional 3D Printing Processing and Design Perspective

Dr. Yong Chen is an associate professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (courtesy) at the

(USC). He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from

in 2001. Prior to joining USC in 2006, he was a senior Research and Development (R&D) engineer in

, the pioneer in 3D Printing industry. Dr. Chens research focuses on additive manufacturing (3D printing) in micro- and meso- scales, especially modeling, analyzing, synthesizing, and optimizing digital design and manufacturing. Dr. Chen has published more than 90 publications in refereed journals and conferences. Among them, he received over 10

in major design and manufacturing journals and conferences. Other major awards he received include the National Science Foundation

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award

Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award

from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). He was cited as one of the top young engineers (ages of 30-45) in USA through the invitation to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)

in 2009 and 2013, and chaired Advanced Manufacturing session in

China-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

in 2015. Currently he serves in the editorial boards of

ASME Journal of Computers and Information in Engineering

International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing

. He has served as conference/program chairs as well as keynote speakers in several international conferences, including the conference chair of the 2017 International Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC/MSEC/ICM&P) held in Los Angeles, California in June 2017.

The majority of 3D printing systems are designed to work with a single material at a time. Furthermore, the printed parts nearly always serve a structural function (e.g. plastic housings, titanium bone implants, etc.). A new generation of 3D printing technologies has started to emerge in which (a) multiple materials can be digitally blended to produce parts having heterogeneous properties, and (b) the deposited materials can serve more than just structural functions, e.g. electrical, thermal, optical, magnetic, chemical or other functions. While the applications for functional 3D printing are nearly endless, significant challenges remain to be addressed in order to achieve desired functions. This talk will start with an overview of 3D printing technology and some recent developments on functional printing. The challenges of developing functional 3D printing processes based on some of our recent work will be discussed. In addition, how to use functional and heterogeneous material property to realize design benefits will be discussed as well as some novel applications enabled by functional 3D printing. The talk will conclude with remarks and thoughts on future 3D printing developments and potential opportunities for design and manufacturing engineers.

What does HP

HP unveiled its partners for distributing its new series of 3D printer.

By teaming up with HP as the worlds first HP 3D Printing Master Partners, Mutoh and Ricoh will bring best-in-class expertise and knowledge of HPs Multi Jet Fusion technology to customers deploying the solutions.HP introduces its award-winning commerical 3D printing solutionJapanese businesses are starting to embrace the transformative potential of 3D printing, a market that saw more than 104 percent in revenue growth from 2015 to 2016, according to data from IDC. Its expected to reach $670 million in sales by 2020.

Not too surprising here, Ricoh and Mutoh have a large sales network, maybe two of the largest in Japan, already in place where they can push the printer into hands of their clients. My guess is that they want to show some quick sales on their books and will introduce a different printer down the road. Having seen the printer at expo, it offers a lot of great advantages, but not nearly as groundbreaking as people tend to make it out to be. I also think the price point is very good for small-medium businesses in Japan where it will be on the market for around 30,000,000 JPY + service agreements. Although, Im skeptical that it will have success in that market because the major challenges tend to be application engineering/how to actually use a 3D printer to make more money for a business.

HP seems to be aware of this issue when they write:

Mutoh and Ricoh are set to collaborate with HP to open a 3D Printing Reference and Experience Center in Tokyo that will showcase the HP Jet Fusion 3D printing solutions and enable deeper engagement with customers.

It is defiantly a step in the right direction a large part of the success will come down to execution. I think the big challenge is that most small-medium businesses in Japan are almost totally ruled by their CFO/finance department and tend to be rather short sighted about adopting new technical solutions. I believe most of this class tends to think that labor costs are cheaper than the technical solution, but that is typically only true on a marginal basis and overtime the whole company suffers and stagnates. Companies that do adopted HPs solution and take it seriously as a new capability and skill for their company will benefit greatly, but arguments like that are hard to quantify but these sorts of people get nervous when you say not everything can be quantified.

The 104% YoY growth for 3D printing revenue in Japan is totally bogus. Either it is wrong on factual merits or through tortured econometrics. Business 3D printing did grow but probably by 1/3rd of that and the desktop market either stayed the same or shrank. Either way, I dont think HP will be a big part of that market based on issues with applicability in Japan, but I hope Im wrong because it does offer a really good solution for some specific business needs.

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