3D printing is well on its way to revolutionizing manufacturing around the world. Rapid Ready provides near daily examples of breakthroughs in nearly every major manufacturing field, including automotive, aerospace and medical. While the technology has only gained some measure of popular appeal in the last few years, its roots go back 30 years and can be traced to 3D Systems’ founder and CTO, Chuck Hull.
This year Hull’s achievement will be officially recognized as he’s inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Hull’s name and likeness will join luminaries of invention such as Thomas Edison, Eli Whitney, and the Wright Brothers. The formal ceremony will take place May 21, at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA.
The word “slow” is relative. If you are stuck on a two-lane highway behind an old granny out for her Sunday drive, it feels like you are moving slowly, but it’s only very recently that a single human could dream of transportation that moved at such a rapid pace. So, when people claim additive manufacturing (AM) is slow, that too is relative. Compared to plenty of traditional manufacturing situations, AM is positively speedy.
But we always want to go faster. A new partnership between Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Cincinnati, Inc. hopes to result in a 3D printer that is 500 times faster than current AM systems, and offers an improved build area of up 10 times current volume. Continue reading
As ever growing numbers of additive manufacturing (AM) systems hit the market, the major dividing line is becoming materials. Soon enough you’ll be able to find material extrusion systems at brick-and-mortar stores, to say nothing of the availability online, and even stereolithography printers are becoming easier to acquire. 3D printers capable of building in materials other than plastic are a rarer, and more expensive, breed.
Gregory Mark, co-owner of Aeromotions, a company dedicated to building race car wings, noticed the lack of material options available for more modestly priced AM systems and decided to do something about it. He founded MarkForged with the intention of designing a 3D printer that could build in carbon fiber, and the Mark One is the result of that ambition. Continue reading
At SolidWorks World Stratasys Ltd. has launched the next generation of its Objet500 Connex line of 3D printers, the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D printer, which combines colors with multi-material 3D printing. Previous 3D printers, notably from 3D Systems‘ ZPrinter line and Mcor’s line of paper-based 3D printers, have been capable of 3D printing in multiple colors. Stratasys’ own line of Objet printers have been capable of producing 3D prints in multiple materials. However, the Connex3 is the first 3D printer to combine both in what the company calls “virtually unlimited combinations of rigid, flexible, and transparent color materials as well as color digital materials” in a single print run.
So you say you have no use for 3D printed cellphone covers, no desire for building statuettes in your own image, and see no practical value in owning a home additive manufacturing (AM) system? What if it could make your clothes? Real clothes, not like the crazy outfits you see on the catwalk.
Tamicare is well on its way to bringing 3D printed textiles to the public, but other companies are hard at work on the same project. San Francisco-based Electroloom is planning to bring together 3D printing and clothing design by the end of 2014, and to accomplish its goals in an environmentally friendly manner.