Additive manufacturing (AM) pioneer Charles Hull introduced the first commercial 3D printer, the SLA-1, in 1987. Jaws dropped, machinists wondered about their next career, pundits said it spelled the death of traditional manufacturing. None of that happened, thankfully; in fact, some said 3D printing was a bunch of hype, good for little more than investment casting patterns and proof of concept prototypes.
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The world of additive manufacturing (AM), commonly referred to as 3D printing, is quickly changing. The technology allows companies to manufacture products faster, with greater variation, and often with entirely new forms and functions.
Structured light systems measure surfaces by projecting a pattern of fringes, then using cameras and sophisticated software to convert them into point clouds of metrology data. Accuracy can reach the single-digit microns over millions of points.
My involvement in SME and its AeroDef event began in 2014, when I first presented an Adaptive Machining Overview at AeroDef 2014 in Long Beach, Calif. At the time, the conference was relatively small in terms of attendees and exhibitors in comparison to the explosion of other engineering conferences that began around that time.
Additive manufacturing (AM) in medicine continues to grow each year. It is a remarkable enabler, but the industry is fraught with barriers to adoption, slow for the sake of patient safety.
As one of the oldest and most prestigious research-lead universities in Europe, KU Leuven is an institution that is always seeking to innovate and stay on top of the latest trends and technologies.
Within the healthcare and medical sector, it is the orthopedic sector that continues to adopt additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, at an astonishing rate.
When injection molding is cost-prohibitive, medical equipment manufacturers are turning to a marriage of two advanced methods—urethane casting and 3D printing.
Metal 3D printing can enable rapid, low cost iterations of new medical devices, since no tooling costs are involved.
Beginning around six years ago, one machine tool builder after another added laser cutting and even welding to their products’ already impressive repertoires.