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.
Let’s start today’s Roundup on the right foot. Nike is using AM not only for prototyping, but to manufacture new shoes, specifically the brand new Vapor Laser Talon (VLT). The VLT (sounds like a sandwich) is a football cleat that has been optimized for the 40-yard dash, with selective laser sintered soles designed to help athletes keep the proper stride. Continue reading
While I enjoy breaking up all the tech heavy talk about additive manufacturing (AM) here at Rapid Ready with stories about how 3D printing is being used in unexpected ways, I haven’t forgotten that rapid prototyping is still the heart of the AM movement. Yes, on-demand manufacturing is growing by leaps and bounds, but, overall, most AM systems are still chugging away making prototypes.
The devil is in the details. I find snippets, here and there, from companies that mention they’ve begun using AM, but not much in the way of specifics. Until recently, it almost seemed like 3D printing was something businesses were trying to keep behind closed doors. That is beginning to change, and for the better. Continue reading
Additive manufacturing (AM) continues to chug along, building up momentum with each new technological innovation. Sometimes it’s a new material or AM system, other times it’s a refinement of an already existing product. Continuing research and development is what will bring 3D printing to the forefront of prototyping and manufacturing.
For that reason, Rapid Ready is always happy to look at a new AM system. EOS (company profile) has released the FOMIGA P 110, an updated version of the P 100. When you think of laser sintering, it may be in the context of working with metal. EOS has put the technology to use sintering plastic, using a 30 watt, CO2 laser. Continue reading
NASA has embraced the concept of additive manufacturing (AM) in a big way. The agency has looked to AM to build satellites in space, used it to create parts for the space exploration vehicle (SEV), and has investigated including a small 3D printer on board the SEV and future spacecraft flights.
That list doesn’t even include ideas to leverage AM to build small, unmanned rovers or creating end-use parts for its J-2X engine. Now, NASA is looking into the possibility of using lunar rocks to fuel 3D printers on the moon. Continue reading