Multinational printing firm HP has made several announcements in the lead-up to this year’s Formnext trade show, the first of which concerns a new partnership with cosmetics giant L’Oréal.
Together, the two companies are seeking to enable more flexible cosmetics production and explore “entirely new” cosmetics packaging and applications. HP also announced the expansion of its Digital Manufacturing Network (DMN) of parts providers in order to accelerate the shift towards mass production, while the momentum of its Metal Jet 3D printing platform is continuing in advance of its commercial availability in 2022.
“3D printing is unlocking new levels of personalization, business resiliency, sustainability, and market disruption,” said Didier Deltort, President of Personalization & 3D Printing at HP. “HP is excited to reconvene with the additive manufacturing community at Formnext.”
- The oil and gas industry is finally getting in on the 3D printing revolution, using the technology to solve supply chain problems, lower costs, and reduce emissions
- The tech could save the oil and gas industry $30 billion annually
- The 3D printing revolution has been significantly bolstered by the global pandemic and supply chain issues, and it is now maturing into a major industry
Port congestion, delivery delays, and shortages have become a mark of the pandemic world that is not showing signs of going away anytime soon. It is in times like this that disruptive, transformational technology shines and 3D printing is no exception. Additive manufacturing, as it is also known, has been around for quite a while now, and while we haven’t yet reached the point of having 3D printers in every home, energy companies have been paying close attention and are now using the technology to cope with part shortages.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Chevron had turned to additive manufacturing to secure parts necessary for the maintenance of its $54-billion Gorgon LNG project. Chevron had to turn to additive manufacturing due to fears that maintenance would be delayed if the company had ordered ready-made parts.
“We’ve learned a lot from those parts. The most important thing is that we’ve shown that this flexible, right part, right time digital supply-chain approach can be successful, and it can meet our needs in a sort of reactive mode,” the WSJ quoted Chevron manager Robert Rettew as saying.
Automaker teams with Siemens, HP to make lighter components, with goal of 100,000 annually by 2025
Volkswagen has begun certifying prototype 3D-printed structural components, with the aim of producing 100,000 parts annually by 2025.
VW is teaming with Siemens and HP to industrialize 3D printing of structural parts, which can be significantly lighter than equivalent components made of sheet steel.
The automaker will use an additive process known as binder jetting to make the components at its main plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. HP is providing the printers and Siemens will supply the manufacturing software.
Cranes manufacturer Huisman said it has successfully tested four new 3D printed 350mt crane hooks under the supervision of the independent certification authority Lloyd’s Register.
The hooks are approx. 170 by 130cm in size, almost nine times larger than the first Huisman 3D printed crane hook, the company said. They have a weight of 1,700kg each and a loading capacity of 350mt. Each hook exists of approx. 90 kilometers of welding wire.
Huisman has been employing the 3D printing technique ‘Wire & Arc Additive Manufacturing’ (WAAM) to produce mid-size to large components with high-grade tensile steel. According to the company, an important benefit of using this technique for crane hooks is the significant reduction in delivery time at a cost that competes with forgings and castings, and a more consistent quality level.
Access to and use of additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, has increased in recent years due to the expiring of patents on techniques and technologies, says Hugues Greder, Lead Petroleum Engineer at Total.
Computing power is much more powerful and there’s also been an increase in the power of the lasers used in the AM process. While a large proportion of AM today is still for prototyping and tooling, about a third is for end uses, i.e. parts, he told the Underwater Technology Conference (UTC) in Bergen, Norway, earlier this year. And more is likely to come.
Total is keen to talk about AM after some recent success stories, including solving a problem during deepwater subsea pipeline commissioning that would have otherwise cost more than €10 million ($11.2 million) to rectify. The problem was found during the Egina field commissioning in 2018.
Unattended, low-volume production of functioning circuitry is now an option
It’s been a year of firsts for electronics 3D printing, with the launch of Lights-Out Digital Manufacturing (LDM), a manufacturing technology in which systems run with little or no human intervention around the clock. Here’s a quick look at LDM technology and the development of a variety of innovative 3D printed applications for printed electronics.
3D printing is transforming the way we design and manufacture electronics. It overcomes constraints in traditional approaches to the printed circuit board (PCB) and electronics production, regarding speed, complex workflows and resources. New designs can be quickly run through a more efficient in-house manufacturing process, providing faster execution of design, build, and test cycles.
This is enabling manufacturers to push boundaries, drive innovation and get to market faster than their competitors. However, with the coming digital manufacturing revolution, automation is increasingly pursued to extend the capabilities of additive manufacturing from rapid prototyping to low-volume, short-run manufacturing. The main goal is to increase factory output, reduce operational costs and produce unique functional electronic circuitry that is impossible to make with any other method.
Will 3D printing encourage companies to move to decentralized manufacturing or stick with centralized manufacturing?
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), could be a game-changer for manufacturing, enabling significant savings of cost, time, and materials. In traditional manufacturing, parts are made in large quantities at centralized factories, then shipped to consumers. But with the growth of 3D printing, many wonder if technology will cause a shift from this centralized model to a more distributed model, in which facilities in different locations coordinate to fill manufacturing needs.
A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s Engineering and Public Policy Dept. (EPP) and the University of Lisbon investigated how 3D printing could contribute to distributed manufacturing. They examined whether 3D printing will disrupt this central model, specifically in the context of spare parts for the aerospace industry, where being able to quickly print parts instead of stockpiling them would be attractive.
A feature in the March 2016 company magazine for Kongsberg Gruppen – one of Norway’s oldest and largest companies – delves into the future of 3D printing within the multi- faceted technology manufacturer.
The article focusses on the in- house 3D printing by the R&D team at Kongsberg Maritime. Using the now defunct 3D Systems Cube Pro, Kongsberg fit and form prototypes. In the article, Alf Pettersen, Technical Manager at Kongsberg Aerostructures reveals a reluctance to invest in a more industrial solution.
“3D printing has come a long way in terms of medical devices and prototypes, but mass production is still a problem. This is because of challenges relating to repetition and quality. It is not good enough in so many areas, particularly in the aviation industry, where there are extremely strict requirements governing quality and the qualification of methods.”
It may sound like science fiction but the beauty industry is experiencing a makeover and for the first time it’s not at the expense of animals
Back in 2015, L’Oréal announced that it was experimenting with printing human skin tissue on which to test its cosmetics. The French beauty giant – which owns Lancôme and Maybelline, among many others – was the first beauty conglomerate to announce such intentions. The same year, L’Oréal partnered with Organovo, a San Diego-based start-up that designs and creates functional human tissues using bioprinting technology. These 3D printed tissues, which Bloomberg predicts could be a reality by 2020, mimic the form and function of native tissue in the body and testing on them could signal a revolution in the world of cosmetic testing. ‘‘What was once a plot for a science fiction novel is now advancing our scientific research,’’ Taylor Crouch, Organovo’s CEO said to the Financial Times last year.
There are two types of skin tissues that can be created by bioprinting technology, according to Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist and the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital. One type of skin tissue is developed with an individual’s own cells and it can be used to treat burns or skin conditions that the subject may have. The second is a regular skin formed using a stock of genetic human cells. Here cells are taken from donor organs and plastic surgery leftovers and then turned into a printable bio-ink. It is this second type of tissue that could one day make animal testing obsolete.
With a plethora of companies using additive manufacturing in their production process, we want to identify industries that we believe benefit most from additive manufacturing. By looking at these industries, it’s easy to understand how and why 3D printers are changing manufacturing as a whole.