I am especially interested in the optimized support structure (slide 3) which shows a dramatically reduced amount of support structure material being used. This is can be very significant for certain applications. Not only will this save money (less material used), but will also allow for a much faster cleanup of parts (saves time). In addition to this, certain designs have very delicate features. By creating a minum amount of material to remove on these delicate features, part breakage and damage can also be reduced.
Although I listed it last, the ASTM standards effort to determine the mechanical properties of materials made with AM processes just might end up being the most important of these. There's continuing debate in the industry about the strength and durability of materials made by layering, and a metric for discussing and assessing them is a good start.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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