Deloitte University Press will host a massive open online course (MOOC) on the business implications of additive manufacturing. 3D Opportunity: The Course on Additive Manufacturing for Business Leaders is said to be the first course of its kind and is designed to help educate the market on the business drivers of additive manufacturing.3D Opportunity explores the business drivers of additive manufacturing. Mark Cotteleer, a research director with Deloitte Services LP and former business school professor at Marquette University and the University of Chicago, is teaching the course. Cotteleer will be joined by specialists from Oak Ridge National Lab and America Makes during the course. Deloitte University Press also collaborated with 3D Systems for the MOOC, whiich comprises 26 mini-lectures organized into five modules and featuring high-quality video lectures, motion graphics, and assessments. Most lectures are between 5 and 7 minutes in length. Short lecture quizzes will be used to help students assess their retention of the material. To deepen their understanding and further explore how additive manufacturing applies to their own organizations, students can optionally perform "take-home" assignments that will be evaluated by peers taking the course. Participants who complete the course and receive 70% or better on the module-ending quizzes will receive a certificate of completion. 3D Opportunity is free and open to the public and will be available through August 8. To register, visit here.
Optomec, which makes a 3D printing system for metals, recently began a project with America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, called “Re-Born in the USA. ” The project will focus on advancing additive manufacturing technology for the repair of aerospace metal components for the U.S. Air Force. The effort will use LENS 3D metal printing technology to devise a way of replacing conventional repair processes such as manual welding with metal 3D printing. The goal of the project is to develop a set of specifications and a knowledge base of best practices. This includes definition of optimum powder feedstock qualities, improvements in process monitoring and control, and recommendations for part repair and sustainment applications specifically for the Air Force.
At the core of the project is Optomec’s LENS metal 3D printing technology. Unlike “powder-bed” additive manufacturing approaches, the LENS process can add metal onto an existing substrate of almost any 3D shape. LENS machines are already in use around the world conducting repairs of ground based high value components for defense and other industries.
Local Motors in Arizona, billed as a crowd-source automotive firm, is working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) to build a production-level 3D printed car. The company launched a crowd-sourced challenge to design a vehicle with minimal parts, to reduce production costs. It received 207 submissions from around the world. The winner, Michele Anoé of Italy, will receive a $5,000 cash prize and see his concept built from scratch at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in September 2014. The contest was made possible by a Technical Collaboration between Local Motors and the MDF to develop 3D printing technology.
DoE says the Local Motors’ collaboration with its MDF gives the company access to material science expertise and cutting-edge advanced manufacturing techniques that can help make the company more competitive and energy efficient. There were six other concepts that earned runner-up honors. Their features may also be integrated into the ultimate prototype. Each of the designers of these vehicles will also receive a $1,000 from Local Motors for their efforts.
Lawrence Livermore National Lab researchers say they've developed an efficient way of identifying optimal parameters to print 3D high-density metal parts. Their work, titled "Density of additively-manufactured, 316L SS parts using laser powder-bed fusion at powers up to 400 W," recently published in the International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology. The paper explains a way of selecting parameters for higher-power SLM machines using simple, computational simulations to explore the process parameter space. The simulations are used to compute the dimensions of the melt pool, the pool of liquid formed when the laser melts the metal powder particles. The resulting melt pools are just deep enough to melt through the powder into the substrate below. The researchers say they use simulations to guide a few single-track experiments to quickly arrive at parameter values that result in high-density parts.
Kamath and her colleagues, who are part of LLNL's Accelerated Certification of Additively Manufactured Metals (ACAMM) Strategic Initiative (acamm.llnl.gov), are using simulations at various scales to gain insight into the SLM process.
"We found that the metal density reduces if the speed is too low, due to voids created as a result of keyhole mode laser melting, where the laser drills into the material," Kamath wrote. "At the same time, too high a speed results in insufficient melting. The key is to find the right parameters where the melting is just enough."
The LLNL team found that the use of different powders affected densities at lower power, but not at higher power.
"Furthermore, for 316L stainless steel, at higher powers, the density is high over a wider range of scan speeds, unlike at lower powers," the article states. "This would indicate that higher powers could provide greater flexibility in choosing process parameters that optimize various properties of a manufactured part."
Although 316L stainless steel was used in this experiment, Kamath said the team's approach can be applied to other metal powders as well.
LLNL's findings will eventually be used to help certify properties of metal parts built using SLM. The paper is the first step in understanding how we can exploit computer simulations and a small number of carefully chosen experiments to efficiently determine the process parameters, Kamath said.
Researchers from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) in Spain have devised a way of 3D printing a building through use of small robots. Only standing about a foot or two high, the "Minibuilders" each carry out specialized functions based on instructions from a central computer combined with input from sensors and local positioning systems. A "Supplier" robot provides the cement-like liquid building material to each of the others. A "Foundation" robot begins the building process by extruding the base material from its print head. Successive layers go down until the robot reaches the limit of its height. Next, a "Grip" robot attaches itself to the foundation layers using four rollers and lays down additional layers. It also contains heaters to dry the material. With the walls completed, the Grip robot then makes ceilings and ornamental features. Finally, a "Vacuum" robot attaches itself to the surface of the structure with a vacuum-operated suction cup, then moves up and down the structure repeatedly to print material perpendicular to the other layers as a means of adding reinforcement.
So far, researchers have used the robots to create a demonstration piece outside the Design Museum of Barcelona.
Arup, a structural engineering firm in the Netherlands, says it has come up with a way of 3D printing structural steel elements. The firm says it created a redesign of a steel node for a light weight structure using additive manufacturing, though it does not go into details about the technique used. It claims the complex geometry of these kind of nodes are an ideal showcase of the possibilities of this new technique. Arup funded the development work and collaborated with several firms to do the work, including WithinLab (an engineering design software and consulting company), CRDM/3D Systems (the additive manufacturing partner) and metal 3D printing machine maker EOS in Germany, which worked on the early development of the technology.
3D printer maker MakerBot has devised a developer program that tries to encourage app and game developers to include 3D printing capabilities in desktop, mobile, tablet, and console-based apps and games. The program gives developers access to tools and resources to use the MakerBot Replicator 3D Printing Platform for iOS, Android, Web, and more. MakerBot also devised a new 3D printing app for the iPad called Modio that lets users design fully poseable creatures and characters and then 3D print them on a MakerBot Printer. All MakerBot-Ready Apps will be certified to print easily on MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers.
As the app collection grows, MakerBot-Ready Apps will be indexed and searchable by category, making it easy to find new content for MakerBot Printers. With Modio, users can merge digital and analog play with features. Modio enables anyone to create customizable designs using a collection of interchangeable parts, templates and customization elements. The designs are created to 3D print without any rafts or support material. To simplify the 3D printing process, the app also provides a 3D printing visualization interface that lets users determine the size and layout of all the parts on the build plate of a 3D printer. Users can then simply upload their creations directly from the app to their MakerBot Cloud Library and 3D print them using the MakerBot Desktop App.
The Zeus from AIO Robotics is billed as a combo 3D scanner and 3D printer designed for industrial use. One claim to fame for this device is its built-in computer and touch screen operator panel, which lets it scan in a 3D design and then 3D-print a version of it without needing a connection to an external computer for a CAD file. It works with objects of up to 9 in. in diameter and 5 in. high. Scanning takes place using a scanning laser. The resulting data is stored either in on-board memory or on a MicroSD card. Scanned object data can also go via an internet connection to some other printer. The scanning process can take up to 30 minutes. The machine itself costs $2,499.
3D-printed cars, an additive-manufacturing themed MOOC, and metal parts for aerospace are among the recent developments making headlines in the emerging field of rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing.
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