A new Wohlers Report reveals that the rapid prototyping industry last year reversed its downward trend as revenues returned to levels of the past. "Low-end machine sales soared to unprecedented heights, with 3D printers becoming the crown jewel of the RP industry," says Terry Wohlers, principal author of the report and president of Wohlers Associates Inc. In the report, Wohlers explained that Stratasys is inching its way toward dominance as it unseats 3D Systems as the king of rapid prototyping machinery. And Z Corporation has moved up to the number two position in annual unit sales. Meanwhile, the U.S.continues to maintain its grip on both the production and consumption of RP systems. A table of contents, as well as additional information on the RP market and industry, are available at http://rbi.ims.ca/3850-574.
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.
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.