This crop of new 3D printing technologies and printers includes some that are truly boundary-breaking: a sophisticated new 10-plus materials bioprinter for under $10,000, the first industrial-strength silicone 3D-printing service for end-use parts as well as prototypes, and a clever twist on 3D printing and thermoforming for making high-quality realistic models.
We also include two new high-end additive manufacturing (AM) systems aimed very narrowly at either medical implants or aerospace parts, and some new desktops that make prototyping and model-making a lot easier. Most of these are available now or will be later this year. The thermoforming/3D-printing combo is a university R&D project with no hint yet of commercialization plans, but it's got great potential.
3D Printing's Brave New World. Ann Thryft will lead a panel discussion on one of the hottest topics in manufacturing: 3D printing. Come hear "3D Printing: The Brave New World of Manufacturing" at the Embedded Systems Conference, Sept. 21-22, 2016 in Minneapolis. Register here for the event, hosted by Design News’ parent company, UBM.
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Arcam's new Q10plus and Q20plus represent a significantly enhanced generation of its Q-series electron beam melting (EBM) systems for metals additive manufacturing (AM). They introduce Arcam xQam, an X-ray-based function for high-precision auto-calibration and improved beam control. They also include an all-new software platform called EBM Control 5.0, which adds functionality for more efficient and accurate beam control, as well as new melt strategies, improving build speed and precision. New electronics bring more efficient and accurate beam control. While the Q10plus is aimed specifically at medical implants, the Q20plus is designed for the cost-efficient production of aerospace parts, such as turbine blades and structural airframe components. Its build envelope is 350 mm x 380 mm (13.77 inch x 14.96 inch) for large components or for stacking smaller ones.
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Ann R. Thryft is senior technical editor, materials & assembly, for Design News. She's been writing about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for 29 years, covering manufacturing materials & processes, alternative energy, and robotics. In the past, she's also written about machine vision and all kinds of communications.