Mainstream media can’t seem to make up its mind about additive manufacturing (AM). Sometimes it’s the best thing since sliced bread, sometimes it’s overhyped. Regardless of the current media take on the technology, it doesn’t take much effort to find AM at work and already making an impact in industries such as automotive, medical and aerospace.
Swedish auto manufacturer Koenigsegg used 3D printing for both the design and manufacturing stages of its newest sports car, the One:1. The company made heavy use of rapid prototyping to ensure various details of the car looked and felt exactly as it wished, including the pedals, foot rest and mirror housing. Every detail of the One:1 was engineered to be as lightweight as possible, following the company’s vision of the perfect vehicle. Continue reading
Every year thousands of innovators work to bring their ideas to fruition. Those who succeed do so through a combination of hard work, technical prowess and maybe a little bit of luck. Innovators can also receive a helping hand from a number of sources, including contests, angel investors, and crowdsource funding websites such as Kickstarter.
GIGTANK is a program designed to help new startups by offering them access to the tools, capital and connections needed to bring a product to market. Based in Chattanooga, TN, the name GIGTANK comes from the city’s status as one of the first US cities to offer a gigabit internet service. This year’s GIGTANK features 12 finalists, many of which involve additive manufacturing (AM). Continue reading
In the course of my diligent efforts to keep you good people up to date on the state of additive manufacturing (AM), I come across many interesting news items. I’ll gather them up every so often and present them in a Rapid Ready Roundup (like this one). You can find the last Roundup here.
Today we’ll start with a couple pieces of news from Stratasys. First up, the company has released a new AM material called Endur. The new material is a simulated polypropylene for use with all Objet EdenV, Objet Connex, Objet500 Connex3 and Objet 30Pro AM systems. According to the company, Endur offers both high impact resistance and elongation at break, and has a heat-deflection temperature up to 129°F / 54°C (HDT @ 0.45MPa per ASTM D-648-06). Continue reading
Everyone had a Rubik’s Cube when I was a kid, or least a Rubik’s knock-off. The news ran stories about people who could solve the Cube in under a minute, twisting and spinning the puzzle in their hands, while the rest of us could barely keep the colors in order. I solved the Cube only by taking the entire thing apart and putting it back together. Some kids peeled off the stickers.
I bet old Ernő Rubik (inventor of the Rubik’s Cube, if you hadn’t guessed) would have loved to have additive manufacturing to provide rapid prototyping services for him when he was designing the Cube. The current generation of 3D puzzles, the Marusenko Sphere, was lucky enough to have 3D printing around to assist with the design and prototype phases, greatly simplifying the production process. Continue reading
High-end 3D printing (aka, additive manufacturing) is fast becoming a fixture in the automotive design process. Now some car companies are trying to use the growing interest in consumer 3D printing to promote their car designs and manufacturing processes.
The latest company to draw a connection between their car designs and 3D printing is Honda Motor Co., Ltd., which recently released the 3D data for the exterior designs of several previously-released concept models as part of its “Honda 3D Design Archives,” campaign. The 3D-printable STL models, based on version 4.0 of Creative Commons licenses, can be downloaded from the Web, allowing interested parties to use their personal 3D printer to create their own novelty version of Honda’s concept cars. Continue reading