Advanced ceramics, tooling study, and more will be covered in the October 4, 2023 edition of 3D Printing News Briefs.


Hey there, readers! We have some exciting news in the world of 3D printing to share with you today. Germany’s largest additive manufacturing (AM) bureau, FKM, has just made a significant investment in Dimensionics Density’s technology. This innovative technology automates various tasks in the AM process chain, such as part design optimization, slicing, material handling, 3D printing, post-processing, and validation.

By automating these tasks, FKM aims to reduce human error in manufacturing, increase production speed, and achieve higher precision, all while maintaining strict quality control. FKM covers the entire AM process chain, from design to post-processing, and the integration of Dimensionics Density’s technology will help them move towards a fully automated and streamlined workflow.

The benefits of automating the process chain are numerous. Not only does it help speed up production, but it also reduces waste, lowers costs, and enables the creation of complex geometries. These advantages make AM a more attractive manufacturing choice for various industries.

Stefan Behlert, Head of Quality at FKM, shared his thoughts on the investment, stating, “As more and more of our customers look to AM as a production technology, it is increasingly important for us to optimize an array of strict quality control processes, giving confidence in outcomes, and therefore cementing customer relationships. Considering the large number of build jobs and parts that we are producing every day, the need arises for a speedy and precise non-destructive density determination testing technology for AM.”

To verify the technology, FKM decided to assess Dimensionics Density’s technology by testing samples and calculating the return on investment (ROI) based on the number of samples FKM aims to measure each year. The results were convincing, leading to an order of one machine for FKM’s quality laboratory.

In other 3D printing news, two industry-leading companies, Sintx Technologies, Inc. and 3DCeram Sinto, Inc., are collaborating to develop novel resins and processes for additive manufacturing of ceramic products. Specifically, they are targeting the biomedical and investment casting industries.

Both Sintx Technologies and 3DCeram Sinto have a strong history in both additive manufacturing and advanced ceramics, and they plan to leverage their expertise to produce high-value resins, create 3D printed ceramic components, and subject the resulting components to advanced thermal processing.

The goal of this collaboration is to drive expanded geographical adoption of 3D printed advanced ceramics. The interest in such capabilities has been growing worldwide, and the combined efforts of Sintx Technologies and 3DCeram Sinto are expected to meet the market demand for components of superior quality.

Dr. Sonny Bal, CEO of Sintx Technologies, expressed excitement about the collaboration, saying, “We are excited about the possibilities of creating a silicon nitride-based resin for the biomedical market. With interest in silicon nitride medical devices continuing to grow rapidly, we believe 3D printed silicon nitride devices will play a major role in the future of medical and technical segments in which we participate.”

Lastly, let’s talk about a unique project that combines 3D printing and wood joining. Architects in Japan have used desktop 3D printing and wood joining techniques to create a beautiful tea house. This innovative approach allowed the architects to create intricate designs and structures that would be challenging to achieve using traditional methods alone.

Now, onto something even more unexpected. A YouTuber has managed to 3D print a plastic combustion engine. This impressive feat demonstrates the versatility and creative potential of 3D printing technology. It’s incredible to think about the possibilities that lie ahead as this technology continues to evolve.

That’s it for today’s 3D printing news. We hope you found these stories as fascinating as we did. The world of additive manufacturing is constantly evolving, and we’re excited to see what new innovations and possibilities it will bring in the future. Stay tuned for more updates!

A Tooling Study conducted with six select tool-making companies has successfully investigated the adoption of metal AM for mold making. The study, which involved Siebenwurst, Zahoransky, GIRA, Pöppelmann, Harting, and FRAMAS, aimed to implement the technical and economic advantages of AM for injection molds. One of the key findings was that PBF printing can be used to create complex cooling channels that can cool the surface of injected parts more homogeneously.

The participating companies identified their own case studies for parts traditionally made with conventional machining processes, and AddUp evaluated each one. The parts were then designed for AM and optimized for conformal cooling. They were 3D printed on the FormUp 350 and post-processed by either the WBA or the tooling companies themselves. The resulting ready-to-use molds were sampled on the companies’ production lines, and comparative data will be provided to the WBA for analysis.

The results of this Tooling Study are eagerly awaited and will be published by the WBA during its General Assembly in the 4th quarter of 2023. This study has the potential to revolutionize mold making by harnessing the benefits of AM technology.

In an unrelated development, researchers at China’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) have made a breakthrough in toilet technology. Yike Li and his colleagues have developed a new material that makes toilets extremely slippery, preventing anything from sticking to their surfaces, even after heavy use and abrasion. This innovation not only has the potential to reduce water usage for flushing but also eliminates the need for regular cleaning. The researchers used SLS 3D printing and a mixture of plastic and hydrophobic sand grains to create a miniature model of the toilet. The surface was lubricated with environmentally-friendly silicon oil, and various substances were tested, including milk, yogurt, honey, and synthetic feces. To simulate wear, the surface of the toilet was rubbed with sandpaper over 1,000 times, yet it remained just as slippery as when it was first created.

If this technology can be adapted for full-size toilets and made more cost-effective, it could have significant implications for public bathrooms, where toilets receive heavy usage. The reduced flushing volume would result in less wasted water during transportation to processing facilities, saving transportation costs and benefiting the environment.

Moving on to the field of architecture, the potential of digital fabrication through 3D printed elements has the power to revolutionize the construction industry. A prime example of this is the Tsuginote Tea House, a full-scale prototype pavilion erected at the Kanazawa Shrine in Japan. Architects Kei Atsumi and Nicholas Préaud spent three years researching 3D printing and its application in common-use architecture, particularly ancestral Japanese wood joinery. They utilized desktop 3D printers to create over 900 unique, double-curved pieces from a wood-based PLA filament. These pieces were then self-assembled using a patented joint system, eliminating the need for glue or metal fittings. By combining 3D printing and wood joinery, the architects have transformed the production of 3D printed architecture from a structure-oriented system to a module-oriented one.

This innovative approach has the potential to reduce material and labor costs, minimize the environmental impact of construction, and make unique structures more accessible. Atsumi and Préaud have filed a patent for their joint system and plan to continue their research by exploring larger-scale structural elements. Their joint system aims to eliminate the weaknesses found in traditional wood frame structure assemblies, providing a mountable and dismountable solution without the need for tools.

The Tsuginote Tea House project showcases the immense potential of 3D printed elements in architecture and paves the way for more sustainable and cost-effective construction methods in the future.

Wood fiber is typically considered an industrial waste product, but recently there has been a push to find new uses for this material. Researchers are now conducting experiments to determine the ideal composition of 3D printing filaments made from wood fiber. This innovative approach to construction materials could potentially allow for the creation of complex geometries through 3D printing.

One individual who has embraced the challenge of using unconventional materials for 3D printing is YouTuber Camden Bowen. Known for his penchant for “making the right things with the wrong tools,” Bowen recently set out to 3D print a functional combustion engine using mostly plastic. This project builds on his previous work with air-powered pumps, laying the foundation for this ambitious experiment.

Bowen’s goal was to replicate the functionality of traditional piston engines, from compressing fuel-air mixtures to igniting them and expelling exhaust. However, he soon encountered a number of challenges related to the limitations of plastic 3D printing. The critical components of the engine, such as the flywheel and crankshaft, proved to be too weak when made from plastic and required a stronger material like metal to withstand the stress.

Another issue arose with the fuel delivery mechanism, which utilized a butane lighter at the engine’s intake port. This system was not powerful enough, hindering the engine’s performance. Despite these setbacks, the engine did emit some pops and bangs, albeit inconsistently.

Bowen admitted that his experimentation process often leads to unintended destruction and the need for extensive rebuilding. As he reflected on the project, he acknowledged the imperfections but viewed the engine as a success in terms of quality. The engine featured smooth-running parts with tight tolerances, showcasing Bowen’s refined craftsmanship.

While he remains unsatisfied with the current results, Bowen is not ready to give up on the project entirely. He plans to revisit the 3D printed engine in the future when he has dedicated time to address the challenges and make further improvements. Despite the setbacks, Bowen is fairly satisfied with the progress he has made thus far.

As the 3D printing industry continues to evolve, it is important to stay informed about the latest developments. By staying up-to-date on the advancements in this field, individuals like Camden Bowen can push the boundaries of what is possible and explore new possibilities for unconventional materials in additive manufacturing.

Original source


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