In The News

GE Now Using A Concept Laser System For 3D Printing

GE Additive announced that its first Concept Laser M LINE FACTORY systems will finally be delivered to customers in Q2 of 2019.

The M LINE Factory provides excellent reliability and automation, which in turn drives scalable, economical series production on an industrial scale – something that most current standalone machine solutions cannot achieve. As the technology continues its transition from prototyping to production, the demand for quality 3D printers, along with operators to run them and floor space to house them, is rising.

“The positive impact the M LINE FACTORY can have on our customers’ operations and their bottom line is huge,” said Jason Oliver, the President and CEO of GE Additive. “It’s important we provide technologically advanced systems that are reliable and add value to our customers. M LINE FACTORY delivers on those commitments.”

The system is an important part of GE Additive’s focus on providing reliable, repeatable 3D printers that are ready for series production. The M LINE FACTORY has a maximum build envelope of 500 x 500 x up to 400 mm³ (x,y,z), and is optionally equipped with one to four laser sources, each one delivering 1,000 W of power.

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3D Printing For Metal And Glass

Jan Schroers, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Yale University and Desktop Metal, Inc., in Burlington, Massachusetts, USA, along with colleagues point out that 3D printing of thermoplastics is highly advanced, but the 3D printing of metals is still challenging and limited. The reason being that metals generally don’t exist in a state that they can be readily extruded.

“We have shown theoretically in this work that we can use a range of other bulk metallic glasses and are working on making the process more practical- and commercially-usable to make 3D printing of metals as easy and practical as the 3D printing of thermoplastics,” said Prof. Schroers.

Unlike conventional metals, bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) have a super-cooled liquid region in their thermodynamic profile and are able to undergo continuous softening upon heating — a phenomenon that is present in thermoplastics, but not conventional metals. Prof. Schroers and colleagues have thus shown that BMGs can be used in 3D printing to generate solid, high-strength metal components under ambient conditions of the kind used in thermoplastic 3D printing.

Read the full article here

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Posted in Industry Stats

3D Printing Trends To Watch For

Medical 3D printing and bioprinting
3D printing users have become so much more skillful with 3D printing over the past year that businesses need to experiment more with new 3D printing applications in order to stand out from the sea of experts. Medical 3D printing and bioprinting are two new forms of 3D printing. We wrote extensively on medical 3D printing on our blogs such as with topics on 3D printed kidneys and 3D printed hearts. Bioprinting is the process of 3D printing cells or other biomaterials that could be the future of finding new cures for diseases. Such a big development happened with the creation of a new bioprinter, which we wrote about here. Businesses such as 3D printing labs or businesses related to the medical field will find that they will be ahead of the game once they are better informed on these topics. 3D printing is cheaper than surgery and if we print from the recipients own tissue, there is no rejection!

3D printing for mass manufacturing
Will 3D Printing replace the assembly line? Maybe. In a survey people found that the basics such as accelerating product development (39%) and production flexibility (19%) are one of the top priorities but more interestingly, being able to offer customized products and limited series was a very important factor as well with 25% saying so compared to only 16% last year.

In the future, the top priority will be even more emphasized offering customized products and limited series with 26% expecting so. With more people and businesses owning 3D printers, having more experts in this field and with many new ways of being able to apply 3D printing, being able to offer a special product to your customer is key. 3D printing offers the ability to offer mass manufactured products without the major costs that come along with traditional manufacturing methods.

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3D Printing News – Who Is Using Additive Manufacturing at TCT Show?

With one week to go until TCT Show 2018, we have been taking a look at the technologies you can expect to see on the show floor from materials to software, 3D printing hardware and auxiliary technologies.

Of course, alongside a packed show floor with over 250 exhibiting companies, is the TCT Conference and the TCT content team has put together a stellar line-up of speakers including blue-chips, universities, SMEs and more across a three-day, multi-stage programme. Whether you’re keen to find out what’s next in additive manufacturing (AM) research or interested to learn how major organizations are applying 3D technologies to real-life applications, the TCT Conference Stage, Tech Stage and Introducing Stage will have you covered.

Learn what Airbus, BMW and Pepsi are doing with 3D Printing.

Take a look at the full article here

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3D Printing Trends – Volkswagen Using 3D Printing For Auto Parts

Volkswagen is moving more and more into 3D Printing. Part of this is the firm’s constant search for greater innovation. Part is due to VW’s constant search for efficiencies. And part is due to the labor laws..the difficulty in simply firming employees as American firms do.

Take a quick peek at this 3D Printing Video

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3D Printing Trade Association Shows 3D Printing Trends Happening Right Now

Trend #1!
The Number of Applications Will Grow

In 2018, more industries will find more ways to use additive manufacturing for more applications. Materials other than plastics, such as metals, will help facilitate these new uses, especially in industries such as the automotive and aerospace sectors. Researchers will also continue to work on printing biocompatible materials for use in the healthcare industry, and we may see some significant advances in this field.

Trend #2!
New and Better Designs Will Surface

3D printing will enable better product design as more companies start to use it during the design and prototyping process, along with Internet of Things technology. The speed and cost reductions that 3D printing provides in the prototyping phase will allow companies to test more versions of their design. It also allows them to easily save and access their designs, test out different ideas and combine aspects of various designs.

Trend #3!
Processes Will Accelerate

The speed of the 3D printing process will continue to increase, making it more competitive with traditional manufacturing methods. Experts expect this trend to be driven largely by software. Current players in the field will continue to improve their products’ speeds while research labs will continue to work on innovative new designs.

Trend #4!
Costs Will Continue to Fall

Another factor that will fuel increased adoption is the continued lowering of costs, while the technology keeps improving. While 3D printing has always been great for short-run production, the technology will start to emerge as a strategy for reducing expenses at a larger scale as printers become more readily scalable.

As technological advances allow manufacturers to print using more material types, companies will be able to save more money by reducing waste.

Learn more about the business of 3d Printing! Get the 3D Printing Online Course.

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Posted in Education, Industry Stats

The Automotive After Market Of The Future – In 3D Printing

The next time you have a car part that breaks, think of the auto parts store of the future. Instead of heading to the store and having the clerk comb through large boxes of inventory while using antiquated computer programs, there will be new solutions.

Let’s say your ashtray breaks.
We should be able to go online and find the ashtray you need. You then send it to a 3D Printing bureau. (It could even be within an auto parts or hardware store). You click a mouse and one prints for you, for delivery and pickup.

What if you can’t find the design online?

In most cars, you have more of than one ashtray. You will take out a 3D Scanner and scan one of the existing ashtrays. Or glue your broken ashtray together long enough to get a a few photos.

What if you don’t have a 3D Scanner? That is kind of like not having a bar code reader. Your phone’s camera will act as one eventually. In the meantime, there are many plug in scanners you can attach to your phone, ranging in price from thousands of dollars down to $100!

One you get a scan (it only takes a minute) you can send it to a printer. The printer can be on your desktop, at the local store, online at a service bureau or in a foreign country!

Imagine the convenience for the customer. Imagine the lack of inventory the store needs….the store can print on demand. We aren’t far from the auto firms certifying their images so that (e.g.) only “original Honda parts are used.”

In short, the scanner will be connected to your phone. Later, the scanner will BE your phone. The printer can be anywhere and the manufacturers get their cut.

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Posted in Manufacturing

3D Printed Guns A Reality?

No background check. No age check. No permission. No Screening. Just a 3D Printer, design, and the materials to do it.

In June, a gun-rights group, Defense Distributed, reached a settlement that allows 3-D printable gun plans online. The plan wasn’t supposed to be online until Wednesday but more than 1,000 people had already downloaded plans to print an AR-15 style semiautomatic assault rifle, according to the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

The settlement ends a multiyear legal battle that started when Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson posted designs for a 3-D printed handgun he called “The Liberator” in 2013. The single-shot pistol was made almost entirely out of ABS plastic — the same material Lego bricks are made from — and could be made on a 3-D printer. This no longer requires a lot of specialized materials.

Twenty-one state attorneys general sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday, urging the government to withdraw from the settlement.

Read the article and see the video on MSN.com

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3 3D Printing Trends To Keep Watch On

THE NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS WILL GROW
In 2018, more industries will find more ways to use additive manufacturing for more applications. Materials other than plastics, such as metals, will help facilitate these new uses, especially in industries such as the automotive and aerospace sectors.

NEW AND BETTER DESIGNS WILL SURFACE
3D printing will enable better product design as more companies start to use it during the design and prototyping process, along with Internet of Things technology.

PROCESSES WILL ACCELERATE
The speed of the 3D printing process will continue to increase, making it more competitive with traditional manufacturing methods.

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Posted in Industry Statistics

3D Printing News – Hollywood Is Loving 3D Printing Technology

Screenwriters in a jam can hit a new panic button. It’s the switch on the nearest 3D printer. This nifty new technology, which took its first substantial silver screen bow in 2006’s Mission: Impossible III, has surfaced in three recent motion pictures. And in each case not a moment too soon. It’s enough to make you think there’s a contraption somewhere in the Hollywood hills that spits out storytelling solutions.

Think back to early February and the release (more like escape) of The Cloverfield Paradox, a movie that announced itself fully formed on Netflix the night of the Super Bowl. It’s set 10 years in the future, aboard a space station (and in a parallel universe? Or were we the parallel universe?) where things go haywire in a knockoff Alien manner. A Russian engineer loses his mind a bit when he discovers interplanetary parasites under his skin (you blame him?) and when he is “contacted” by his alternate (evil?) self, he renders up a 3D-printed gun and bullets. Read more about Hollywood and 3D Printing here.

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