New, tougher steels for landing gears are being developed at the Delft Technical University in The Netherlands using a novel engineering research approach. Researchers have identified alloys using artificial intelligence algorithms as opposed to traditional trial-and-error development systems that tinker with existing chemistries. The new system is faster, and at least ten times less expensive than the commonly used approach, says Sybrand van der Zwaag, a metallurgical professor who oversees the materials programs at Delft. Corus Steel in the United Kingdom is now producing trial lots of the new steel for testing. Delft professors reviewed new technologies in meetings with American technical reporters during an advanced materials review conducted by The Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency
How 3D printing fits into the digital thread, and the relationship between its uses for prototyping and for manufacturing, was the subject of a talk by Proto Labs' Rich Baker at last week's Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis.
How can automakers, aerospace contractors, and other OEMs get new metal alloys that are stronger, harder, and can survive ever higher temperatures? One way is to redesign their crystalline structures at the nanoscale and microscale.
Although a lot of the excitement about 3D printing and additive manufacturing surrounds its ability to make end-products and functional prototypes, some often ignored applications are the big improvements that can come by using it for tooling, jigs, and fixtures.
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