3D Printing Applications

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

Rapid Ready Roundup: FIRST, Aerodef, Firearms, and Hershey’s

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.

We’ll start today’s Roundup with news from FIRST. If you haven’t previously heard of the organization, FIRST promotes STEM education with a number of different programs, the most popular of which is probably the robotics competition. Continue reading

Hero Forge is Game for Additive Manufacturing

A shift is coming to additive manufacturing (AM). Where AM systems were previously used mainly for prototyping or small part run needs, more and more of the business of AM is turning to end-use products. Whether it’s printed aerospace parts by the thousands or print-on-demand services from service bureaus, expect to see more 3D printed products in the future.

Of course, not every end-use product has to be serious business. Plenty of the designs on display at Shapeways are little more than novelty items. It makes perfect sense that some companies would turn to AM to create custom products for smaller market segments. Hero Forge is looking to use 3D printing to custom build miniatures for tabletop gaming. Continue reading

3D Printing Brings Prosthetics to Africa

The rise of 3D printing has made a different kind of manufacturing possible. Instead of parts being built in a dozen or more locations around the globe, then shipped to a final destination to be assembled, digital information is compiled and transmitted to any location with the capability to receive the data. Not only does this paradigm shift save companies money in shipping, it also makes it possible to set up end-use manufacturing shops around the globe.

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