A metal laser sintering system may be coming soon to a dental office near you. Dental applications for rapid manufacturing equipment are exploding. Up to 500 bridges and crowns can be manufactured in a day in a single build on an EOS direct metal laser sintering system. EOS expects to ship 20 machines for dental applications in the next 18 months. So far, Europe is ahead in implementing the technology, with about 25 installed machines and only three in the United States. The metal used is a cobalt chrome alloy.
Dental implants traditionally have been made out of metal through a time-consuming casting process. A technician can produce about 20 dental frames per day. In the new approach, a dental technician can concentrate on post-processing the metal structure and its aesthetic upgrade: ceramic veneering.
The technology will also come into play for other types of implants, Martin Bullemer, the EOS account specialist for medical, told me today in a walk through the EOS stand at Rapid 2009 in Schaumburg, IL. The best fit will be for custom implants for spines. Cobalt chrome is widely used for knee and hip replacements, but they are mass-produced stock sizes.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Capping a 30-year quest, GE Aviation has broken ground on the first high-volume factory for producing commercial jet engine components from ceramic matrix composites. The plant will produce high-pressure turbine shrouds for the LEAP Turbofan engine.
Seismic shifts in 3D printing materials include an optimization method that reduces the material needed to print an object by 85 percent, research designed to create new, stronger materials, and a new ASTM standard for their mechanical properties.
A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.