MakerBot, a global leader in the 3D printing industry, can be seen within the rapid prototyping processes of several industry powerhouses, such as Lockheed Martin and KUKA Robotics. Recently, MakerBot’s experts became concerned by the disparity between desktop and industrial solutions, and the impact this was having on the adoption of 3D printing. In this feature, Dave Veisz, VP of Engineering at MakerBot, discusses this technology gap and what the industry is doing to overcome it.
Rapid prototyping is a staple of every designer and engineer’s workflow—essential for testing new concepts, verifying designs, and meeting increasingly aggressive time-to-market goals. Regardless of the industry or product, all engineers must consider the speed, accessibility, cost, and output of these additive manufacturing equipment. Additive manufacturing technology, in its many forms, has been synonymous with rapid prototyping, and its prevalence has only increased as the technologies have improved.
What would you say is the sleeper technology of the decade? My vote goes to additive manufacturing, aka 3-D printing.
This technology is coming of age with interested businesses, via their R&D departments, primarily looking to accelerate their product development cycle according to data from The State of 3-D Printing from Sculpteo, but there is so much more to the story. Let’s take a look at how this technology is about to change the manufacturing world and beyond.
LONDON (ICIS)–The true take off for 3D printing is on the horizon but a lack of machinery capable of production is holding the technology back, according to Evonik’s head of new 3D technologies.
Sylvia Monsheimer said that, while the company is happy with the growth it has seen in the 3D printing industry in the last 20 years, there is a lack of machinery capable of production available on the market.
Instead, innovation has been hamstrung by the age-old question: How can we make this concept come to life? Traditional manufacturing processes and speed to market are considerations that can be difficult to overcome.
Innovation in process manufacturing technologies hasn’t been hampered by creativity or design: The engineering minds that dreamed up wireless monitoring and rich analytics software are always churning out new ideas. Instead, innovation has been hamstrung by the age-old question: How can we make this concept come to life? Traditional manufacturing processes and speed to market are considerations that can be difficult to overcome.
3D Hubs’ Q2 report shows what 3D printing processes and materials are being used and where.
In our previous coverage of 3D Hubs’ Digital Manufacturing Trends Q2/2018 report, we talked about the top-ranked 3D printers. However, the company kept tabs on more than just printers. By tracking all data on its platform, 3D Hubs has helped shine a light on the state of 3D printing itself. While powder bed technology is poised to grow, currently extruding standard black PLA is dominating this one online platform.
When the first 3D printed gun was fired in 2013, the blueprints were posted online for anyone to access. They were immediately taken down by order of the US government, but not before they had been downloaded nearly 100,000 times.
On August 1, plans for printable guns were allowed to be posted online once again. But attorneys-general in eight states, plus the District of Columbia, filed suits in an attempt to ban them. The court battle continues.
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is the production of an object using a digital blueprint. The latest 3D printers can fit on a desk and cost less than $1,000. So long as you can find the right design and materials, you can make previously off-limit objects in your own home.
MultiMechanics, a developer of multiscale material modeling and simulation software, and Fortify, a Boston-based additive manufacturing company specialized in composite material systems, have announced a strategic partnership to improve the predictability of composite 3D printing.
As part of the partnership, Fortify will use MultiMechanics’ flagship product, MultiMech, to predict the structural integrity of printed parts before printing, and to help optimize the design by controlling the fiber orientation throughout the structure.
“We see a definite need for better predictability of 3D printing, and we believe that our application poses a unique case for the MultiMech software,” stated Josh Martin, CEO of Fortify. “The resulting printed parts take full advantage of the strength-to-weight benefits of composite materials to a degree of resolution and complexity not possible before.”
Researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne have been using laser metal-deposition technology to build and repair defence aircraft in a process that’s similar to 3D printing.
The team believes the technology could be “game-changing” for the aviation industry
“It’s basically a very high-tech welding process where we make or rebuild metal parts layer by layer,” said Professor Milan Brandt who is working on the project.
How to leverage additive manufacturing to build better products
Architects don’t build without modelling. They create “blueprints,” produce renderings, and build 3D models. But while these planning tools may resemble the actual building in shape, there is no resemblance in size or materials. As a result, except in the case of manufactured or modular buildings, the finished product will be the first time that real building materials have come together in exactly that configuration. That is one of the reason that architecture tends to be conservative in its rate of change. Without real-world testing, big change is risky.
A useful reminder
With today’s increase in complexity for engineered products and the need for faster production of these products, manufacturers are having to choose between technologies. This paper will discuss and compare two of the methods used to produce parts, while recognizing that each has its place, and can complement each other in the design and manufacturing workflow. Download this paper to learn about the differences between 3D Printing and CNC Machining and when to choose each technique.