The key to a new Hewlett-Packard high speed printer is a very intricate injection molded ceramic part. As part of a $1.4 billion, five-year research project, HP design engineers approached a British ceramics company, called Morgan Advanced Ceramics, and asked if it could develop a piece that features 3,900 print nozzles. HP eyed ceramic because of its strength and hardness. Until recent years, ceramic was never a top choice for intricate, small parts because of the poor flowability of common ceramic compositions, and the expense of secondary machining. Morgan is now in full production of the component, which is part of a built-from-the-ground-up piece that rapidly distributes ink to paper, allowing full-color prints in 14 seconds.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
Siemens and Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology have achieved a faster production process based on selective laser melting for speeding up the prototyping of big, complex metal parts in gas turbine engines.
BMW has already incorporated more than 10,000 3D-printed parts in the Rolls-Royce Phantom and intends to expand the use of 3D printing in its cars even more in the future. Meanwhile, Daimler has started using additive manufacturing for producing spare parts in Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
SABIC's lightweighting polycarbonate glazing materials have appeared for the first time in a production car: the rear quarter window of Toyota's special edition 86 GRMN sports car, where they're saving 50% of its weight compared to conventional glass.
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