3D Printing Applications

Rapid Ready Roundup: Stratasys, 3D Systems, Project Ara

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

Additive Manufacturing Brings Marusenko Sphere 3D Puzzle to Life

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

Honda, Porsche and Ford Embrace Consumer 3D Printing to Promote Manufacturing

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

Artiphon and 3D Printing Make Sweet Music Together

If asked to list the fields in which additive manufacturing (AM) has had a big impact most people probably wouldn’t think to add music. 3D printed instruments are a thing, as are reproductions of vinyl records, and MakerBot is making the mixtape cool again by printing out a cassette tape body for a flash drive filled with music.

Artiphon is using AM to help create and share music with the introduction of the INSTRUMENT 1, a music machine that has carved out a new product category the company has dubbed the multi-instrument. With assistance from an iPhone or iPod, the INSTRUMENT 1 can be strummed like a guitar or banjo, placed on a musician’s shoulder like a violin, or placed flat across the lap to produce steel drum and drum pad sounds. Continue reading

EADS, EOS Pair for AM Sustainability Study

Regardless of how promising a new technology appears, most companies are going to want to test its capabilities before deciding to invest. The volume of research data increases every time another company decides to look at the technology, until eventually the technology is deemed right for the job at hand.

Perhaps taking their cue from companies like GE Aviation or Rolls Royce, EADS has paired with EOS to test the sustainability of parts made using additive manufacturing (AM). The results of that study were recently made public with the publication of a case study that pits direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) against rapid investment casting. Continue reading