Years ago, when I worked in New York City, I bought a Sony Walkman for my daily commute. It was cutting edge technology and I was an early adopter. I imagined that I looked pretty cool, listening to tunes I organized myself on a mix tape. Fast forward to today, where music is everywhere, on every conceivable device.
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There will be a lot of success stories coming out soon featuring hybrid additive/subtractive machine technology. Still in its early development stages, hybrid machine technology is carving out—after carefully building up layer by layer—examples of complex parts, large repaired workpieces, and molds with process-enhancing conformal cooling channels designed in.
Additive manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3D printing, is a vibrant and dynamic field. Each year, developments in AM allow organizations to create products that were previously unthinkable.
Should the US Copyright Office oversee whether 3D printer operators can use feedstock not approved by their machine’s maker to turn out medical devices or airplane parts, or is that the role of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), respectively?
PERFECT-3D might not appear to be an acronym, but it is, standing for Process Enabled Repeatability For Extended Life & Consistent Tools. PERFECT-3D’s process for 3D printing of ceramics for complex components resulted from the collaboration of its parent company, Renaissance Services Inc. (Fairborn, OH), with the US Department of Defense, a major investment casting company, a large chemical company, and an aircraft engine manufacturer.
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.
Oerlikon and Boeing to create standard processes for 3D-printed structural titanium aerospace. Five-year agreement supports creation of standard titanium additive manufacturing processes. Boeing has 50,000+ 3D-printed parts on commercial, space and defense products flying today.
Roush Enterprises (Livonia, MI) decided to go big with 3D printing. The company spent $4.5 million over 14 months on five additive manufacturing machines, software, facility upgrades and engineering personnel and equipment.
Fluence Analytics (formerly Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies), a manufacturer of smart industrial and laboratory monitoring systems, recently released the third generation of its ACOMP, an automated system that performs continuous, real-time monitoring and characterization of polymers for 3D printing and other uses during manufacturing and post-processing.
Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, is a fast-growing field that offers many advantages over traditional techniques. It can create more complex parts than either machining or casting, can fuse different materials together, and is sometimes less expensive in low-volume or prototype applications.