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Engineering Materials

Daimler Funds 3D Printer for Auto Production

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Jack Rupert, PE
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Re: Interesting development
Jack Rupert, PE   1/12/2013 2:55:43 PM
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Just read anuother article someplace else that alluded to the use of 3D printers for autos.  In that case, they were using them to make one-off parts for classic cars where you could no longer obtain the original.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Interesting development
Elizabeth M   1/14/2013 3:18:38 AM
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Really, Ann? That's incredible...but I guess I should't be so surprised...there is a lot of investment in this technology these days. We've certainly come a long way form the days of the dot matrix!! (Sadly, I am old enough to remember!)

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Interesting development
Ann R. Thryft   1/14/2013 4:36:32 PM
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Jack, the main use for 3D technology in auto production began with making one-off parts for high-end racing and/or classic cars. That's where this technology has been proven out for automotive uses. The main issues now are figuring out how to make machines that can participate in the high-speed, high-volume production environment of mainstream car manufacturing. The links at the end of this article will tell you more.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Interesting development
Ann R. Thryft   1/15/2013 12:18:12 PM
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Elizabeth, I think one of the things that makes it hard to wrap one's head around what this technology does, and can do, is calling it "printing." That label was applied for perfectly good reasons--the use of inkjet technology for laying down the layers--but it's also become confusing to many. OTOH, when I saw the first 3D models being made back in the late 80s, it was like looking at sci-fi ideas come alive. And that sense of wonder remains.

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More Blogs from Engineering Materials
These new 3D-printing technologies and printers include some that are truly boundary-breaking: a sophisticated new sub-$10,000, 10-plus materials bioprinter, the first industrial-strength silicone 3D-printing service, and a clever twist on 3D printing and thermoforming for making high-quality realistic models.
A team of researchers at Stanford University and IBM Research have developed a catalyst that could quickly and inexpensively generate biodegradable plastics derived from renewable materials.
Using simulation to guide the drafting process can speed up the design and production of 3D-printed nanostructures, reduce errors, and even make it possible to scale up the structures. Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a model that does this.
These new plastics are all aimed at cars, electronics and electrical components, plus medical devices, medical tool sterilization, and cleaning.
Engineers need workhorse materials with beefy mechanical properties for industrial designs made with 3D printing. Very few have been designed from the ground up for additive manufacturing, but that picture is beginning to change.
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