How 3D printing helps you become eco-friendly

The subject of this article compels us to dive into various concepts associated with 3D printing and how it helps to stay eco-friendly. So, is it true that 3D printing could help us sustain a healthy planet? Or, is 3D Printing technology purely Eco-friendly, or is it relatively Eco-friendly? Also, why not find out how additive manufacturing is better than other existing processes of manufacturing when vouching for a greener planet.

Eco-friendly manufacturing processes have been longed for from centuries. In order to find ways to produce items that humans need, in a manner that is safe for our environment, we do have researched a lot. By building an alternative way for conserving and preserving the inhabitants and resources of our planet that consume less non-renewable energy and produce less waste could definitely help us save our planet from the doom’s day. And, 3D Printing technology has given us hope that can create and produce without destroying!

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Manufacturing in 2021: six trends to keep an eye on

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The Association of Supply Chain Management, states that COVID-19 has provided “a glimpse into how 3D printing can be used temporarily to alleviate the strain on supply chains during demand surges and shortages, as it did with medical equipment.” 

With the effects of COVID-19, forcing many to rethink their design and manufacturing strategy, leaders in the industry expect the combination of 3D printing with traditional printing to drive better performance, sustainability and lower costs.

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What obstacles are in additive’s way?

Industry leaders discuss biggest obstacles facing the additive manufacturing space.

Mark Konig Ec Gv8s2 Ipg0 Unsplash

As the first two parts of this virtual roundtable discussed, 2020 was a milestone year for additive manufacturing and the industry has a solid future ahead. Of course, part of ensuring that the anticipated future becomes a reality rests with understanding the biggest challenges they will face along the way.

Read on to hear what industry leaders identify as the biggest remaining obstacles.

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Top 10 Supply Chain Trends in 2021

Whether it’s spoilage, delivery timetables, quality control or cyberattacks, successful supply chains can only support patients and customers if they are resilient.

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3D printing to the rescue. COVID-19 gave the world a glimpse of how 3D printing can be used temporarily to alleviate the strain on supply chains during demand surges and shortages as it did with medical equipment. Inventors are combining 3D printing with traditional processes creating unique combinations of parts that perform better with lower cost that can be manufactured closer to the customer, all while being more sustainable.

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Porsche is using 3D printing to make EV parts

This 3D printed electric drive housing is lighter, stiffer and easier to cool

Porsche is big into 3D printing at the moment. It’s already producing parts for its inventory of classic cars using an ‘additive laser fusion process’ and has tested 3D printed seats and pistons – both of which offer massive improvements over their standard siblings.

Whilst the process might not be ready to mass produce items just yet, there’s still plenty of room for testing. The latest Porsche-printed item, then, is a complete housing for an electric drive unit. 

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Bear with us though, because Porsche has found that using this additive manufacturing process allows the honeycomb-like aluminium housing to be 100 per cent stiffer, 10 per cent lighter and still more compact than a conventionally cast part. Impressive.

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Norsk Titanium delivers Boeing 787 3D printed components to Leonardo

Norsk Titanium delivered new Boeing 787 Dreamliner components to Leonardo’s Grottaglie Plant, based in South Italy and part of Leonardo’s Aerostructures Division. Norsk is a Norwegian-American firm providing additive manufacturing of aerospace-grade titanium components (using proprietary RPD technology).

This delivery adds a third production customer to Norsk’s growing commercial aerostructures customer base and represents Norsk’s first recurring production order from a European Union based Aerospace company.

“We are pleased to be Leonardo’s supplier,” said Karl Fossum, director of customer programs for Norsk. “This delivery marks a significant increase in the number of additively manufactured parts previously manufactured from titanium plate. It also is an important step towards our mission to provide an alternative to titanium forgings in aerospace applications.”

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How LFAM will make GE’s Haliade-X record turbines even more powerful

With blade diameter measuring more than two football fields, GE Renewables’ Haliade-X turbines are already the largest and most powerful in the world, capable of generating as much as 14 MW of energy. The ability to 3D print the turbine’s concrete base on-site, for direct transportation into the final at-sea location, will enable even larger systems to be built and deployed.

Haliade-X

This approach is expected to enable the production of much taller wind turbines because turbine producers will not be hindered by transport limitations—today, the width of the base cannot exceed 4.5 meters for transportation reasons, which limits the height of the turbine. By increasing the height, the generation of power per turbine can also be increased substantially: for instance, a 5 MW turbine measuring 80 meters generates about 15.1 GWh a year. The same turbine measuring 160 meters would generate 20.2 GWh per year, an increase of 33%. How that scale is expected to become even greater, with new turbines reaching heights of 260 meters and even more.

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Next in the print queue: critical engine parts

What was the last thing you printed? While for many of us it’s likely to be a work document or a pile of handouts, the research engineers at the Wärtsilä Hub for Additive Manufacturing (WHAM) has moved into another dimension – printing critical engine components and leading the way in 3D printing utilisation.

3D printing, the more well-known name for the additive manufacturing process, promises to revolutionise component production. It is already being used in industries as diverse as aerospace and healthcare and is a key element of the on-demand economy, where components are manufactured only when needed, reducing warehousing costs and cutting down delivery times. It can also make manufacturing easier, cheaper and faster, opening up the opportunity to produce components on-site, eliminating the need for transportation and therefore reducing transport-based emissions.

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GM opens 3D printing center for parts

General Motors announced the opening of the 15,000-square-foot Additive Industrialization Center, dedicated to productionizing 3D printing technology in the automotive industry.

Manufacturing engineer Benjamin LeBlanc inspects a 3D printer at the GM Additive Industrialization Center in Warren, Michigan.

General Motors recently opened its new, 15,000-square-foot Additive Industrialization Center (AIC), dedicated to 3D printing technology in the automotive industry. The AIC is the capstone of GM’s expertise and increased investment in 3D printing over the last several years.

“The core component of GM’s transformation is becoming a more agile, innovative company, and 3D printing will play a critical role in that mission,” says Audley Brown, GM director of additive design and materials engineering. “Compared to traditional processes, 3D printing can produce parts in a matter of days versus weeks or months, at a significantly lower cost.”

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‘When you find yourself 3D printing thousands of parts per week, you gain the kind of learning typically very few of your super users have’

It’s been quite a year. 

One of struggle, one of anguish, one of a technology that may have previously failed to live up to such lofty promise, perhaps now finding its role in the manufacturing landscape.

Though there were plenty of businesses in the 3D printing industry that had significant issues to encounter – GE in its AM-related goodwill impairment charges or Stratasys and 3D Systems in their workforce reductions – the technology itself comes out of 2020 with an enhanced reputation.

Nexa3D COVID app

It was responsible for millions of parts produced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to alleviate slightly the pressure that medical professionals and procurement personnel were under, while allowing manufacturers to pivot from what they typically produced to what, in that moment, we needed them to.

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