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.
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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.
To stay current with technology and peer into the future of manufacturing, take a look at our preview of IMTS—The International Manufacturing Technology Show, to be held at McCormick Place in Chicago from Sept. 10 through Sept. 15. In the following pages, ME provides in-depth examinations of each pavilion at IMTS, as well as previews of the products you will be able to see displayed at exhibitors’ booths.
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.
Ford Motor Co. unveiled the interior of its new Advanced Manufacturing Center on Tuesday, demonstrating how it’s looking to technology to improve its manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing holds potential for many possible new frontiers in the aerospace industry, and manufacturers in aviation and space flight are reaching for those new vistas. But they’re held back at less than warp speed due to a lack of awareness, unmet technological needs and the absence of a formal regulatory process in their highly regulated industry.
Desktop Metal, the company committed to making metal 3D printing accessible to engineers and manufacturers, today announced the launch of H13 tool steel for the Studio System, the world’s first office-friendly metal 3D printing system for prototyping and low volume production.
Additive manufacturing lets companies think “outside the box.” Engineers can now start to look at a part without restrictions on size, shape or material. Instead of taking 15 different CNC milled parts and brazing them together, these companies have reimagined the part entirely—to be built as one part.
Manufacturing Engineering last covered the pluses and minuses of combining additive and subtractive machining in detail in July 2017.
Over the past decade, IMTS has been a good indicator of the changing status of additive manufacturing. The show’s floor space devoted to 3D printing expanded from 2014 to 2018, reaching pavilion status at the most recent show. It had been scheduled to grow even more at IMTS 2020 before the show’s cancellation.