Tuesday, 30 June 2015

7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a 3D Printing Technology and Material

Additive metals, laser sintering, extruded filament, powdered plastics, alloys, photopolymers – the list goes on and on. Today there are a plethora of 3D printing processes and materials to choose from and it’s only growing. The dynamic additive manufacturing market is often difficult to navigate, especially if you’re still learning about the processes. To help you start to filter out certain processes and materials, the application engineers at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing has put together a selection methodology:



Application – What is the purpose of the end product? You may need to build a small volume of complex end-use parts which would require strong materials, dimensional accuracy and repeatability. Whereas a sacrificial investment casting pattern is one-time use and needs to burnout clean.

Function – What does the part need to do? It may just serve aesthetic purposes in which it just needs to look and feel like an end-use part. Or perhaps you have a hard-working part that needs to hinge, snap, or bear a load which requires an accurate process and stronger materials.

Stability – Where does the part need to function? For example, holding up and maintaining strength in high temperatures rules out a lot of processes and materials. Does it need to function outdoors? In that case you would need a UV-stable material. Will the part interact with the human body? Then your application requires a biocompatible material.

Durability – How long does the part need to last? Consider the number of use cycles and the application duration. For example, a mold or tool may need to go through hundreds of cycles and prolonged friction, but may only need to last a week for prototyping. Some 3D printing materials are very functional over a short period of time and others can maintain mechanical properties for years.

Aesthetics – How does the part need to look and feel? Photopolymer processes, such Stereolithography (SL) and PolyJet, can produce smooth parts right off of the machine, but aren’t the most stable and durable materials. While thermoplastic and powdered plastic processes like Laser Sintering (LS) and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) can create stronger and more durable parts, they often require finishing processes to achieve a smooth surface.

Economics – What is your budget and timeline? If you have a set budget and need to get a part for X amount, then your decision will weigh on price more than value. Time and quality can often contradict one another as well – if you need a quick-turnaround, it may be at the expense of a certain level of quality. However we have found ways to reduce lead time and cost without sacrificing quality, including batching, nesting, scaling, sectioning, shelling, ID-Light builds and adjusting orientation to reduce material consumption.

Priorities – What is the most important decision-making factor? Consider the primary objective and ultimate project goals. Often there are multiple, but your main priorities should drive your decision tree and filter the 3D printing technology and material options.

Here are some examples of how we have put this methodology to use with our customers:

Archie Handheld Studios



Application:       Investment cast metal trophy
Function:             Burned out pattern
Stability:              The pattern needed to hold shape and be water-tight
Durability:          One-time use
Aesthetics:         The pattern had to be completely smooth for the casting process
Economics:         Cost wasn’t a concern, but there was a short three week timeline
Priorities:            Surface finish and speed
Selection:           Stereolithography Investment Casting Pattern out of SC 1000

Read the full story: https://www.stratasysdirect.com/case-studies/pac-12-trophy/

NASA JPL Satellite Parts




Application:       Satellite antenna array
Function:             Holds radio antenna wires
Stability:              Exposure to extreme temperatures in outer space, and pressure and vibration on the space shuttle
Durability:          Indefinite lifespan
Aesthetics:         The parts had to be compatible with a protective paint
Economics:         The customer reduced lead time by consolidating multiple assemblies into one part design
Priority:               Stability
Selection:           Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and ULTEM 9085

Read the full story: https://www.stratasysdirect.com/case-studies/nasa-3d-printed-satellite/ 

Choosing the right additive manufacturing technology and material for your application is critical to part performance and results. The main thing to remember is “one-size-fits-all” doesn’t apply to additive manufacturing. It’s imperative to know the pros and cons of each process and material or partner with an expert who does. Asking yourself these qualifying questions will help you start to navigate the dynamic market.

Resource: Stratasys Direct Manufacturing Blog

Monday, 29 June 2015

3D Printing Goes Big on Vehicles

3D printer users are thinking big — really big — and taking on large, complex builds that point the way to a future of custom, printed vehicles.motorcycle

Earlier this year, sensor and antenna specialist TE Connectivity 3D printed a working motorcycle, which it unveiled at the Rapid 2015 show in may.



The design, based on the Harley-Davidson Softail bike, took 1,000 hours to build, weighs 250 lbs., and cost roughly $25,000 to construct. It includes a 750-watt, 1hp electric motor (purchased separately).

The frame was created via fused deposition modeling on Stratasys printers using ABS filament and Ultem 9085 resin, while the metal parts were created from bronze using direct laser sintering. The bearings are made of plastic as well, and have held up under rigorous testing. The motor, belt drive, mirrors, tires, battery pack, and kickstand were not printed. READ MORE >>

Friday, 26 June 2015

How Will 3D Printing Reshape Society?

At the recent Inside 3D Printing conference in Melbourne, we had time to sit down with Omer Krieger, Stratasys’ General Manager for Asia Pacific and Japan. We learned what excites him about 3D Printing’s future in Australia and beyond, and reading between the lines, where Stratasys will fit into the mix. This allowed us to think through Krieger’s ideas about how 3D printing will shape the ways we’ll be living next.



How we live by the goods we get
Before we get into the conversation with Krieger, consider that, over the last few centuries, a number of specific technologies have changed the patterns of production and trade. Shipping allowed access across the oceans, railways opened up continents, and highways allowed freight to find customers in ever-expanding cities and suburbs.

More recently, the trendy-again urban planning concept of ‘aerotropolis’ suggested that the new input-output interface of modern 21st century economies would be the airport. No longer would our intercity connections be defined by the land and sea. And, putting aside terrorism, climate change, and resurgent localist cultures, globalization was coming, again, and with wings on.

In this vision of the modern ‘aerotropolis’, airports function as physical hubs that grow cities around them, aided by internet-based commerce and vastly extended supply chains that crisscross along flight routes. Read More >>

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

10 Animals Who Got a 2nd Chance in Life with 3D Printing

Among 3D printing’s many applications, the one that always guarantees a warm and fuzzy feeling is when its used to improve the lives of warm and fuzzy animals. Particularly when its applied to 3D print prostheses that give deformed, damaged, or diseased animals (many on the verge of being euthanized), a second chance.
For the tens of thousands of years that animals and humans have been around, even if you start counting from when humans first domesticated animals (dogs) about 15,000 years ago, the notion of veterinary care only formalized in 1761 A.D. with the opening of a school for veterinary science in France. Our expertise in caring for animals began first with horses, cattle, and livestock and has since extended to companion animals, especially dogs and cats, as well as wild or exotic animals. With the advances in veterinary medicine, especially in custom prosthetics and implants, we can do more today for the well-being of non-human species than we ever could before. And, with 3D printing, we are doing more than we could have ever imagined possible. READ MORE >>

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

A NEW MINDSET IN PRODUCT DESIGN

3D PRINTING CAN HELP BRING BETTER PRODUCTS TO MARKET FASTER

The terms “3D printing” and “additive manufacturing” refer to processes that automatically build objects layer by layer from computer data. The technology is already well-used in many sectors including transportation, health care, military and education. Uses include building concept models, functional prototypes, factory tooling (such as molds and robot-arm ends), and even finished goods (such as aircraft internal components). The aerospace and medical industries in particular have developed advanced applications for 3D printing. 3D printing is sometimes referred to as “rapid prototyping,” but this term does not encompass all current uses for the technology. Materials used in 3D printing include resins, plastics and, in some cases, metal.



The earliest method, stereolithography, has been around since the late 1980s, but adoption was limited because of the toxic chemicals it required and the fragility of its models. Other technologies have evolved since then, including fused deposition modeling (FDM®). FDM, introduced in the early 1990s, lays down super-thin layers of production-grade thermoplastic, yielding comparatively durable models.

Since 3D printing’s inception, system reliability and model quality have increased, resulting in diverse applications. At the same time, prices have gone down to the point where some systems are affordable even for small businesses. In a 2011 report, Wohlers Associates predicted that worldwide annual sales of additive manufacturing systems will reach 15,000 units by 2015 — more than double the 2010 rate. Lower-priced professional systems will drive most of this growth.


Resource: Stratasys Whitepaper

Monday, 22 June 2015

3D-printed prosthetic jaw implanted in Melbourne man in Australian first surgery

Surgeons have successfully implanted a titanium 3D-printed prosthetic jaw in a Melbourne man in an Australian-first operation.

"It really makes the fit truly patient-fitted, truly customised, as opposed to 'we're close enough' and it's something that I think will become the norm in the future as technology has become cheaper."



It is hoped the success of the locally designed and tested part will lead to high-tech export opportunities.

The patient, 32-year-old psychologist Richard Stratton, was missing part of his jawbone including the left condile, the joint to the skull.

He believed part of his jaw never grew properly after he received a bad knock to the jaw during childhood.

In the past few years, he has suffered increasing pain while chewing or moving his jaw and he has not been able to fully open his mouth.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr George Dimitroulis designed a prototype prosthesis that was refined and tested by experts at Melbourne University's mechanical engineering department.
READ MORE >>

Friday, 19 June 2015

Objective3D Seminar success continues with another Full House in Perth, WA

With already impressive attendance in both Melbourne and Sydney, the Perth event played to an audience of 64 people from 52 companies. 

Hosted by the Central Institute of Technology (CIT) at their GreenSkills Training Centre, guests at the Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) seminar were treated to a wealth of information from professionals across all facets of the Additive Manufacturing industry. 



The focus of this series of Objective3D Seminars was how 3D Printers can augment and accelerate traditional manufacturing processes and production. Topics covered included an overview of the Stratasys 3D Printing Technologies in FDM and Polyjet by Objective3D local representative - Ben Gentry, 3D printing technology in DDM, a customer presentation from Mark Robinson from CIT featuring the application of the technology at CIT, leasing arrangements by David Roberts from Alleasing, as well as the capabilities and unique services offered by Objective3D parts, our 3D Printing division.  

Next stop in the Objective3D seminar series - Adelaide on 28th July. Stay tuned for more details

DATES FOR THE DIARY:
More seminars are planned throughout the year:
July 2015 - Adelaide
Aug 2015 - Melbourne 
Sept 2015 - Sydney

To make sure you receive an invite, subscribe to our mailing list here.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

RMIT produces 3D Printed medical models for Cancer Treatment

“Additive Manufacturing is the fastest growing sector of manufacturing globally. It is opening new product and market opportunities for Australian companies in a range of industry sectors, and RCAM researchers are excited to be helping industry partners develop new products and processes for their commercial benefit.” Milan Brandt, RMIT Centre for Additive Manufacturing (RCAM)


The Project: To create phantoms that accurately represent patient anatomy to enable best-practice radiation therapy for oncology patients. Phantoms are anatomical models which are embedded with sensors and subjected to radiation in order to identify the dosage required to target specific anatomical areas to ensure the most effective radiation treatment.

The Client: RCAM (RMIT Centre for Additive Manufacturing) brings together key research staff within several schools to generate critical research mass in Advanced Manufacturing Technology and design, helping industries to develop new products and processes based on Additive Manufacturing technologies and materials. READ MORE >>

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Disney Research Lab Creates 3D Printed Robots that Emulate Animated Characters



All of the segments were 3D printed using a Stratasys’ Objet260 Connex. The robot was then constructed fully by assembling the segments, aluminum frames, and actuators.

The research and design team has much more latitude these days, afforded by streamlined digital design and 3D printing of the robotic joints–meaning when they make an edit, it’s easy to re-print pieces on conceptual whim or editing requirements. And there are still some changes to be instituted in the design, according to the team.




As annual passholders to Disney, my family and I spend many weekends there getting more than our money’s worth of fun–as well as deep inspiration. While I lumber in the familiar heat, carrying our well-worn family backpack that weighs as much as a baby Chewbacca, I am peppered with lively, enthusiastic questions and comments from my mini-entrepreneurs and wannabe inventors as to how they do all that stuff.

My family often surmises as to what Disney would think if he could come back today and see how we’ve progressed–with the subject, not surprisingly, often turning to the amazing innovations we see now thanks to digital design and 3D printing. The general consensus is that even Disney would be incredulous. Read More >>

Monday, 15 June 2015

Stimulating Development with Stratasys 3D Printing

Koenigsegg realised that having a 3D printer onsite would speed up the prototyping process and therefore the development of its cars. After evaluating all printers available on the market and judging each one on performance, available materials, price and size, Koenigsegg purchased a Dimension SST 1200es printer. When asked about the merits of utilizing 3D Printing, Christian von Koenigsegg, founder and CEO at Koenigsegg Automotive AB, had high praise for the Stratasys machine.



Manufacturing and assembling each of the components of a Koenigsegg car is very labour intensive as more than 300 carbonfibre parts make up each high-tech supercar. The best method of designing a new car is to test the parts virtually and as true-to-life prototypes. By testing throughout the development cycle, Koenigsegg’s designers can determine which designs yield the best possible results. The team of six starts the development process by designing each individual part on its CAD system. They then ‘print’ a high density plastic model of each component to carry out various testing scenarios. If changes to the part are required, they can be made manually and then scanned from the altered model component. This scan is then used to make a new CAD model, which can be printed again for further testing. Read more >>


Friday, 12 June 2015

3D-Printed Parts from Eden Prairie Used to Build New Commercial Jetliner

When airplane parts didn't arrive on time, European Aerospace company Airbus was in a bind because it had a deadline to meet. Technology designed by a local Minnesota company saved the day and helped create a first-of-its-kind plane.

Airbus used more than 1,000 3-D printed parts to build their brand-new a350 XWB commercial jetliner thanks to a production system designed in Eden Prairie by Stratasys.



Dozens of parts that cover up something in the aircraft – like wires, cabling and brackets – were all made from a strong, uniquely-formulated, flight-approved material called ULTEM 9085, said Scott Sevcik, Aerospace and Defense business development manager at Stratasys. Read more >>

Thursday, 11 June 2015

3D Printing Advances to Outer Space


Launch vehicle costs can reportedly be cut by more than 50 percent using 3D printing to reduce part counts nearly 90 percent.


Late last year, one of the biggest news stories on the 3D printing/additive manufacturing front was the announcement that GE had successfully begun mass production of fuel nozzle interiors for the next-generation LEAP engine using 3D printing technologies. In this example, one of the key benefits of 3D printing the nozzle interior was that 20 individual parts could be combined into one, 3D printed part.  Read More >>

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Incredible Billion Oyster Pavillion is Constructed With the Help of 3D Printing




The earth is built of living systems which work together to make this planet the beautiful place it is. However, human behavior has played a large role in deteriorating many of these systems which have kept our species alive for years. We are finally beginning to realize that pollution and human interaction with our environment needs to be kept in check if we wish for our species and other species to continue living on this planet for the millennia ahead.

A great example of how human interaction and our neglect of nature has greatly effected another species, can be found in New York Harbor. The Hudson River estuary was once filled with an incredible 220,000 acres of Oyster reefs which provided extremely valuable resources to the harbor.

Read more >>

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

3D Printing Beats Steel for BMW Prototype: Clemson University Saves 75% on Costs for Deep Orange Project

In 2011, CU-ICAR kicked off its fourth Deep Orange project with a sponsorship from BMW Manufacturing, Co. who also provided the main project objectives. BMW required the Deep Orange 4 vehicle to be based on BMW X3, targeting a niche market of performance-oriented SUV customers who want both best-in-class utility and space as well as a luxury design and experience. BMW also required a cost-efficient, low-volume manufacturing plan that wouldn’t negatively impact its existing production processes.


Clemson University, one of the top 20 universities in the country according to US News and World Report, is home to the nations only graduate Department of Automotive Engineering located at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR).
In addition to excellent research and faculty, CU-ICAR attracts many students and employers with its Deep Orange project. Deep Orange is a two-year vehicle prototype project that students are required to complete in order to receive a masters or Ph.D. in automotive engineering. From the time they enter into the program until graduation, students are immersed in the hands-on process of vehicle design, engineering, prototyping and production. Read More >>