SLM Solutions, a German metal 3D printer manufacturer, has announced that it will integrate the digital security platform of San Francisco-based Identify3D into its workflow. The partnership is an effort to protect intellectual property (IP) in additive manufacturing.
CTO of SLM Solutions Dr. Gereon Heinemann, said, “SLM Solutions recognizes the trend as additive transforms manufacturing into a digital workflow.”
Founded in 2014, Identify3D aims to protect IP in 3D printing by encrypting the digital supply chain. The company is partners with several leading enterprises including 3YOURMIND, Renishaw, Siemens, and America Makes.
Ending the struggle to produce end-use 3D-printed aircraft products.
In the aerospace industry, everything needs to be done in compliance with a standardized, documented specification, or procedure. Material specifications cover all aspects of raw materials production (and testing) from paints and sealers to billets and forgings. Certifications or “certs” travel with these materials throughout the manufacturing lifecycle testifying that they are what they should be. Process specifications exist for every manufacturing process used to produce something. From soldering to caulking and from rivet installation to lockwire application everything has a well-documented way of doing it correctly.
And for good reason: Failure at 30,000 feet has dire consequences so everything must be done in a predictable and (statistically significant) safe manner. Most people have heard of AS9100 standards which are based on ISO 9001 requirements. AS9100 takes ISO 9001 even further with additional quality system requirements in order to satisfy DOD, NASA, and FAA quality requirements.
In the weeks surrounding Super Bowl LIII, there were myriad conversations about the head trauma that is intrinsic to the game of football. Nothing new there. We’ve been having the concussion discussion for years now.
But there was one storyline—a positive one—that bubbled up this year. California-based Carbon, a leader in the additive-manufacturing space, partnered with sports-gear manufacturer Riddell to launch a line of custom football-helmet inserts (shown above) intended to reduce the severity of hits to the head. “The tunable lattice liner also addresses precise needs related to movement, energy management, stability and comfort,” according to Riddell.
Translation: less bells rung. This newsworthy product launch is a win for wide receivers, of course, but also a bellwether for the maturation of additive manufacturing—the growth of strategic applications of 3D printing.
President Obama said in his 2012 State of the Union Address, “3D printing . . . has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.” Can there be any greater endorsement than from the world’s most powerful man? 3D printing is the commonly used term for additive manufacturing. It is a manufacturing technique which creates physical objects from digital designs. It uses a process called layering which produces multiple layers of material until the product is ready. It can be applied in a large number of diverse fields like aerospace & defence, retail, automobile manufacturing, fabrication as well as supply chain optimization. 3D printing in the supply chain market can have a profound impact on transforming this process. It allows weeks to be shaved off manufacturing time and also helps companies reduce their carbon footprint related to production and distribution. It produces very little waste, which makes it popular with environmentalists and the government. It enables manufacturers to “print on demand”, reducing both inventory cost and allowing customized products for individual customers.
Online platforms are changing 3D printing just as 3D printing is changing manufacturing. Here are the latest facts and figures.
Digital manufacturing technologies, with 3D printing as the forerunner, are changing the way products are designed and manufactured. New examples of industrial applications of 3D printing are revealed almost every week. These come mainly from the big names in the automotive, aerospace, and medical sectors.
However, a quieter revolution is happening online. Manufacturing platforms are changing the way engineers work by giving them access to the latest technologies and making outsourcing easier and faster.
3D printing is starting to break into the mainstream, and in 2018, the global additive manufacturing market was estimated to have generated revenues of $9.3 billion. By 2020, it could grow to nearly $14 billion. 3D printing is gaining popularity due to its ability to enable rapid prototyping, reduce production costs, increase supply chain efficiency and manufacture unique items. It also has the potential to be a more sustainable method of manufacturing.
3D printing i.e. additive manufacturing involves a layer by layer process to create physical objects out of digital 3D blueprints. It was mainly used for rapid prototyping in the late 1980’s. However, it has now become a next-generation technology which can produce localised, on-demand final products or even spare parts. 3D printing is possible with a range of thermoplastics, metal alloys, ceramics & various foodstuffs. It has seen an application in diverse areas like aerospace, retail, supply chain optimisation, & the medical industry. The 3D printed Hip & Knee Implants Market could dramatically improve both the effectiveness of surgery along with reducing the time taken to recover. It was pioneered by Dr Susannah Clarke and has already been used in hundreds of hip & knee surgeries across the world. It uses CAT scans to create a 3D blueprint of the damaged hip or knee joint to be replaced. Surgeons can then use this to practice the operation on a computer, deciding beforehand where to make incisions or how to realign the bone. The 3D printed hip & knee implant market will help to make replacement surgery much safer & quicker in the long run.
So, how can something almost 30 years old actually be a NextGen technology? Is that actually possible? Yes, especially if you’re talking about 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing.
Well known in automotive and aerospace circles, 3-D printing has long been standard fare there for prototypes and continues to slowly come into its own for certain, limited production parts. But it has never realized what anyone would call critical mass. However, that is changing as 3-D printing makes headway in industrial and consumer goods as well as health care. That means it’s still early for 3-D printing, making it a true NextGen technology.
“We are moving beyond science experiments and out of the hype cycle,” explains Scott Schiller, global head of customer and market development for 3D printing at HP. “In fact, there was a rapid pivot in 3D last year as we saw a fundamental shift in how people look at the technology for practical applications. And that shift is having an enormous and real-time impact on its adoption.”
3D printing is touted as one of the most disruptive developments in manufacturing and beyond. UK-based Simon Knowles, Chief Marketing Officer at Maine Pointe, reflects on the impact the innovative technology can have on supply chain management. He outlines potential benefits of the technology and five ways it will impact the supply chain.
Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing is a process which uses a three-dimensional digital model to create a physical object by adding many thin layers of material in succession, subsequently lowering cost by cutting out waste. This is radically different from current, subtractive production methods where up to 90% of the original block of material can be wasted. Although we tend to think of it as a new technology, the first 3D printer was introduced nearly 30 years ago.
So far, issues such as durability, speed and protection of intellectual property rights have prevented 3D printing from entering mainstream manufacturing. However, the industry is making rapid advancements and it’s only a matter of time before we see it significantly impacting global supply chains and operations. According to the Global Supply Chain Institute (GSCI), “some supply chain professionals predict 3D printing will eventually rival the impact of Henry Ford’s assembly line.” This technology has the power to help companies significantly reduce costs, overcome geopolitical risks / tariffs, improve customer service, reduce their carbon footprint and drive innovation for competitive advantage.
3D printing has opened a range of opportunities for a lot of sectors, improving the efficiency of the manufacturing and production process.
Talking about her business, Shoes by Shaherazad, which specialises in jewellery for shoes, Shaherazad Umbreen says: “I’ve experimented with 3D printing a lot, as it allows low-cost testing of product designs. In the past, going directly to metal-bashing techniques meant that if a design didn’t look right, then precious time (and costly metals) were lost.
“Now, I design in CAD, print in 3D, and only then when the design is just right do I then use the 3D mould to create a piece of jewellery. Many of my designs are in 22 carat gold, so this new process has saved me thousands of pounds and hours of time.”
In the jewellery industry, 3D printing works by using CAD to create 3D printed wax or resin models of jewellery. These are then used to cast delicate pieces with the fine metals — 3D printing with precious metals to begin with would be overly costly. These moulds mean that separate sections of metal don’t need to be soldered together, creating a more solid and complex piece of jewellery.