Great example of pushing the envelope with additive manufacturing technology. Would this be a method for producing one-off parts or as a replacement technique for pumping out commercial parts on a production scale?
Quite agree. This will get faster, cheaper and the build envelopes will grow.
The picture in the article gives the a nice illustration of the kind of formerly "impossible to manufacture" structures that can be created. Right now high demand applications like aerospace and auto racing, medical too, will push this forward.
From a design perspective the possibilities of combining this with FEA and/or CFD software is quite exciting. Could greatly reduce the trade-offs in a design.
The technique may also have applications in the field of powder metals:
These are used in several different component production processes, one of which is laser sintering, although not the 3D printing kind. The ability to alloy metals by blending them in powder form, instead of via melting at a later stage of the production process, saves a lot in waste, among other benefits. This could be yet another way of making those components.
I agree, it seems likely that this could be applied to higher volume manufacturing when the process has been refined. Although to date, AM techniques have at most produced low-volume parts, there are efforts afoot to make them capable of higher production volumes.
Really fascinating stuff! I am quite sure that the laser method of "curing" the amalgamation of powders is perhaps the best at this time. I look forward to reading the details in the metallurgical journal to learn more.
As the 3D printing and overall additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, standards and guidelines from standards bodies and government organizations are increasing. Multiple players with multiple needs are also driving the role of 3DP and AM as enabling technologies for distributed manufacturing.
A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
For vehicles to meet the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, three things must happen: customers must look beyond the data sheet and engage materials supplier earlier, and new integrated multi-materials are needed to make step-change improvements.
3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
More and more -- that's what we'll see from plastics and composites in 2015, more types of plastics and more ways they can be used. Two of the fastest-growing uses will be automotive parts, plus medical implants and devices. New types of plastics will include biodegradable materials, plastics that can be easily recycled, and some that do both.
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