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 Impresion 3D y otros avances en materiales

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MensajeTema: Impresion 3D y otros avances en materiales   Mar 26 Jul 2016 - 16:37


Agrego este tema porque creo que este es el camino que va a cambiar todo el futuro industrial del planeta y es importante considerarlo.

Para comenzar, incluyo un articulo de GE y los invito a reflexionar acerca del futuro de Fadea y Aerolineas Argentinas si siguen tardando mucho en invertir en este tema.



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MensajeTema: Re: Impresion 3D y otros avances en materiales   Mar 2 Ago 2016 - 17:53

NAVAIR Marks First Flight with 3-D printed, safety-critical parts


Story Number: NNS160729-25Release Date: 7/29/2016 3:26:00 PM

From Naval Air Systems Command Public Affairs

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland (NNS) -- Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) marked its first successful flight demonstration of a flight critical aircraft component built using additive manufacturing (AM) techniques, July 29.

An MV-22B Osprey completed a test flight outfitted with a titanium, 3-D printed link and fitting assembly for the engine nacelle. This link and fitting assembly is one of four that secure a V-22's engine nacelle to the primary wing structure and will remain on the aircraft for continued evaluation. The flight was performed using the standard V-22 flight performance envelope.

"The flight went great. I never would have known that we had anything different onboard," said MV-22 Project Officer Maj. Travis Stephenson who piloted the flight.

AM uses digital 3-D design data to build components in layers of metal, plastic and other materials. The metal link and fitting assembly for this test event were printed at Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Prior to this flight, multiple V-22 components built by Lakehurst and Penn State Applied Research Laboratory were tested at Patuxent River to validate performance.

"The flight today is a great first step toward using AM wherever and whenever we need to. It will revolutionize how we repair our aircraft and develop and field new capabilities - AM is a game changer," said Liz McMichael, AM Integrated Product Team lead. "In the last 18 months, we've started to crack the code on using AM safely. We'll be working with V-22 to go from this first flight demonstration to a formal configuration change to use these parts on any V-22 aircraft."

Naval aviation has employed additive manufacturing as a prototyping tool since the early 1990s and in recent years has begun the process of printing non-flight critical parts and tools. Today's demonstration is the first time a U.S. Navy aircraft flew with an AM part deemed essential to maintaining safe flight.

Navy officials envision a future where all parts can be made on-demand globally by fleet maintainers and operators, and our industry partners - stocking digital data instead of ordering, stocking and shipping parts. Today's flight is an important step toward achieving that vision.

Including the V-22 link and fitting assembly, McMichael and her team have identified six additional safety-critical parts they plan to build and test over the next year for three U.S. Marine Corps rotorcraft platforms: the V-22, H-1 and CH-53K. Three of the parts will be made out of titanium, while the other three will be stainless steel.

Even with the success of today's flight, NAVAIR officials advise that there is a lot work to do before deployed aircraft are flying in theater with 3-D printed, safety-critical parts.

"Our AM team has done some incredible work in a relatively short period of time - both internally through its production of aircraft components to be used in flight testing and externally through its liaison with industry and other government organizations," said Vice Adm. Paul A. Grosklags, NAVAIR commander. "Although the flight today is a great step forward, we are not trying to 'lead' industry in our AM efforts, but it is absolutely critical that we understand what it takes to successfully manufacture and qualify AM parts for flight in naval aircraft, which we expect will largely be manufactured by our industry partners. Where I believe we can 'lead' industry is in the development of the AM "digital thread," from initial design tools all the way to the flight line - securely maintained and managed through the life of an aircraft program."


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MensajeTema: Re: Impresion 3D y otros avances en materiales   Miér 3 Ago 2016 - 12:10

Makers On the Front Lines: The Army REF’s Ex Labs

Oct 23, 2013 22:49 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff

What do a fresh look at what “logistics” means, the ongoing electronics revolution, new manufacturing techniques, and the social norms and movements arising from these trends, have in common? Within the US Army, the answer is the Rapid Equipping Force’s new Expeditionary Lab (“Ex Lab”), which incorporates and fosters those trends on the front lines of combat.

In simple terms, Expeditionary Labs are containerized low-volume mini-factories with an accompanying power module, and satellite communications. Inside, Ex Labs feature a small 5-axis CNC machine, lathe and welding/ soldering equipment, a 3D printer for fast production of parts, sewing and kit work, and basic facilities for assembling and diagnosing electronics.

Outside, they feature an attached generator module; the next version will be a hybrid generator/ solar/ battery module that builds on USMC and US Army experiments at Afghan Forward Operating Bases. When demand is low enough for supplementary power to keep up, off goes the generator.

The 3rd component is the most important, and consists of 4 people. One is a combat soldier who accompanies field units on missions, in order to discover needs, evaluate options, and get feedback about fielded items. A pair of engineers are accompanied by a former Special Forces operator, who adds a constant presence with deep field experience to discussions and designs.

Need a radar rain shroud? Ok, try this one. Need a custom designed sensor that includes motion detection, a microprocessor, GPS, and a radio, in order to monitor roads, buildings, or other specific items of interest? They built that. They can build more, but they aren’t really about volume production, and would rather use their satellite reachback to send out the plans and get lot production handled elsewhere.

If you define logistics as the art and science of getting materiel to a place where it can be effective, the 21st century has a few new wrinkles for you. If manufacturing can be widely dispersed and networked, it becomes possible to move information about a thing at nearly zero cost, then produce it at or near its locus of effectiveness.

Logistics as we currently understand it is never going away, but if you think in these terms, it becomes easier to understand the buzz around hyped new technologies like 3D printing/ Additive Manufacturing, the rapid miniaturization and plummeting cost of advanced 5-axis CNC milling machines, and the growing popularity of social phenomena like “Maker’s Fairs.”

It’s true that the current state of these technologies doesn’t allow them to replace conventional manufacturing, and isn’t expected to do so for a few decades at least. But that isn’t the point.

Instead, the REF’s Ex Labs offer these technologies a beachhead, using them to perform important tasks that can’t be done any other way. A pair are currently deployed to Afghanistan, and another is in Fort Belvoir, VA.

The next step may be even more revolutionary, as Ex Labs serve as hubs for the REF’s new ArmyCoCreate.com online initiative. Think of it as a focused, facilitated kind of crowdsourcing from qualified audiences. The REF is adding a very strong form of feedback loop with this step, tapping straight into the heart of a generation that has grown up online, leans toward entrepreneurship, and is coming of age amid Maker Fairs.

A Pleasantly Disruptive Future?

During his AUSA presentation, new REF Director Col. Silwa was asked about the future of these technologies within the Army supply chain. Volume production isn’t within reach yet, but what about smaller spares that are only needed occasionally? Could a larger or more advanced variant serve the front lines as a provider of those spares, cutting them out of the logistics chain and reducing repair down-times?

Silwa replied that Army Material Command has already fielded an initial stab at this, with their Mobile Parts Hospital. He added that if people can afford 3D Printing machines in their home, it’s not unimaginable that we could see them at lower echelons in the Army. The challenges probably won’t be technology, so much as communications for reachback to huge libraries of parts plans, and questions about what plans the Army is and isn’t willing to store on site.

If so, Ex Labs will act as carriers for a standard disruptive technology pattern, which starts out with significant deficits vs. conventional options, but develops at a faster pace and begins moving up the value chain.

Makers, take your marks….


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MensajeTema: Re: Impresion 3D y otros avances en materiales   Miér 3 Ago 2016 - 12:19

New UAV Can Launch from Underwater for Aerial Missions

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, have developed an innovative unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can stay on station beneath the water, then launch into the air to perform a variety of missions.


The Corrosion Resistant Aerial Covert Unmanned Nautical System — or CRACUNS — is a submersible UAV that can be launched from a fixed position underwater, or from an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). A team from APL’s Force Projection Sector worked with fabrication experts in the Research and Exploratory Development Department to create a new type of unmanned vehicle that can operate effectively in two very different arenas: air and water.

“Engineers at APL have long worked on both Navy submarine systems and autonomous UAVs,” said Jason Stipes of APL’s Sea Control Mission Area, project manager for CRACUNS. “In response to evolving sponsor challenges, we were inspired to develop a vehicle that could operate both underwater and in the air.” The resulting CRACUNS prototype system was developed and tested using internal research and development funding.

CRACUNS enables new capabilities not possible with existing UAV or UUV platforms. Its ability to operate in the harsh littoral (shore) environment, as well as its payload flexibility, enables a wide array of potential missions.

The most innovative feature of CRACUNS is that it can remain at and launch from a significant depth without needing structural metal parts or machined surfaces.

To make that possible, the team needed to overcome two big challenges. First, the APL team leveraged advances in additive manufacturing and novel fabrication techniques available at the Laboratory’s extensive fabrication facilities. The team fabricated a lightweight, submersible, composite airframe able to withstand the water pressure experienced while submerged.

The second significant challenge was to ensure CRACUNS could not just survive, but operate effectively in a corrosive saltwater environment. To do that, the APL team sealed the most sensitive components in a dry pressure vessel. For the motors that are exposed to salt water, APL applied commercially available protective coatings. The team tested the performance of the motors by submerging them in salt water. Two months later, they showed no sign of corrosion and continued to operate while submerged.

“CRACUNS successfully demonstrated a new way of thinking about the fabrication and use of unmanned systems,” said APL’s Rich Hooks, an aerospace and mechanical engineer who was responsible for the novel additive manufacturing techniques used on CRACUNS.

CRACUNS gives sponsors and researchers access to possibilities that were previously unavailable. CRACUNS’ low cost makes it expendable, allowing for the use of large numbers of vehicles for high-risk scenarios.

“APL’s culture of innovation and mission-ready solutions continues to deliver success for our sponsors,” said Sea Control Mission Area Executive Christopher Watkins.


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MensajeTema: Re: Impresion 3D y otros avances en materiales   Miér 5 Oct 2016 - 15:00

Noticia vieja pero muy relevante para la Argentina

DUBAI: Stratasys UAV offers glimpse into printed future
10 November, 2015
| BY: Greg Waldron
| Dubai

US 3D printing specialist Stratasys is displaying what it calls the world’s fastest unmanned air vehicle produced with additive printing technology.

The company developed the jet-powered UAV with Aurora Flight Sciences, which specialises in designing and building special-purpose UAVs.

“This is a perfect demonstration of the unique capabilities that additive manufacturing can bring to aerospace,” says Stratasys executive Scott Sevcik. “This meant using different 3D printing materials and technologies together on one aircraft to maximize the benefits of additive manufacturing and 3D print both lightweight and capable structural components.”

Apart from the engines, avionics, and landing gear, all major parts of the aircraft were printed, namely the aircraft’s main body, wings, and wing extensions.

Speaking to Flightglobal, Stratasys executives says 3D Printing eliminates the need for tooling. It also results in a lighter aircraft than would be available using conventional technology.

Sevcik says that several elaborate, weight-saving structures of the UAV would have been impossible to make using traditional production technologies.

As to whether 3D printing is ready to tackle larger, manned aircraft, Stratasys executives are more guarded. They say the technology definitely has a role producing components for larger aircraft, but that a full-sized aircraft is not on the immediate horizon.

Stratasys is among several 3D printing companies at this year’s show, which are located in a special “3D Printshow” section of the hall.

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MensajeTema: Re: Impresion 3D y otros avances en materiales   Miér 5 Oct 2016 - 15:09

FARNBOROUGH: Norsk to open New York additive manufacturing plant
12 July, 2016
| BY: Jon Hemmerdinger
| Farnborough

Component manufacturer Norsk Titanium will build in New York what it calls the world's first industrial-scale aerospace metal additive manufacturing plant.

The facility – which will be located in Plattsburg and open by the end of 2017 – will initially house 20 of Norsk's so-called Merke IV rapid plasma deposition machines, says the company.

Eventually, the site could operate 40 of the machines, which transform titanium wire into structural and other components using plasma torches, says Norsk.

"Our researchers have spent 10 years pioneering the rapid plasma deposition process that is now ready to cut millions of dollars in cost from the world's premier commercial and military aircraft," says Norsk chairman John Andersen.

Also during the Farnborough air show, Norsk signed an agreement with Mecachrome under which the companies will jointly deliver structural titanium components to existing Mecachrome customers.

The long-term deal will involve integration of the companies' supply chains, with components being produced using the rapid plasma deposition process, Norsk says.

It adds that the parts will replace those currently supplied to OEMs and tier-one suppliers by Mecachrome.

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MensajeTema: Re: Impresion 3D y otros avances en materiales   Miér 12 Oct 2016 - 12:59

3D printing in the aviation industry
By Jade Fell
Published Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Aero engineers are turning to additive manufacturing for fast production and better product design. What will this mean for traditional aircraft?

At the 2016 Berlin air show in June, Airbus unveiled the first ever aircraft to be made using 3D printing. With a name derived from the phrase ‘Testing High-tech Objectives in Reality’, Thor weighs in at just 21kg and measures less than four metres in length. To observers, it resembles a large model aeroplane and was easily dwarfed by the other aircraft on show. But Airbus sees it as a testbed for a radical change in the way aircraft are built. Whereas traditional production methods such as milling involve manipulating a solid block of material, additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, ‘grows’ products by building up materials layer by layer. Taking this incremental approach, rather than using a solid block of material, allows for the creation of products with incredibly complex structures that would be very difficult to achieve, or in some cases impossible, using traditional methods.

Thor is not the only example of Airbus’s recent 3D-printed innovations - the company has also used 3D printing to attempt to replicate structures found in nature, and so create parts that are stronger yet lighter than is possible with traditional machining and assembly. “Nature has developed a lot of different design methods,” says Peter Sander, head of emerging technologies and concepts at Airbus.

For one concept part, an air spoiler, Airbus has turned to the giant water lily (Victoria amazonica) - a plant that sports leaves able to support the weight of a small child. A look at the underside of the leaves reveals a structure of various triangles and rectangles with the same skin size all over the surface to reduce weight. The Airbus team analysed the lily’s lightweight structure and the way in which it transfers loads.

Such designs can be applied across industries, but are particularly beneficial within aerospace, where reducing weight while maintaining strength are high on the list of priorities. It is an industry that constantly has to worry about fuel costs and will come under increasing pressure to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Each kilogram shaved off the total weight pays for itself time and again in terms of fuel savings over the aircraft’s service life.

Tom Edwards, North American president of engineering design business Cyient, says: “Weight reduction is vital in aerospace. With greater efficiency and reduction in fuel usage high on the agenda, every gram of weight saved counts.”

In recent years, the market for additive manufacturing has expanded, with many industries, including aerospace, adopting additive methods for creative product design and prototyping. As Edwards points out, additive manufacturing is now one of the fastest-growing production markets. “The global market is expected to increase from a 2013 revenue figure of $3.07bn to $12.8bn by 2018, and exceeding $21bn by 2020,” he says. The flight business is already a significant user: “Aerospace and defence production and maintenance, repair and overhaul applications currently account for around 15 per cent of the additive manufacturing global market,” he adds.

Aerospace companies have a number of 3D-printing techniques they can employ. One of the better known methods is the fused deposition modelling employed by home 3D printers. This creates plastic products by building up layers from liquefied material. But manufacturers have other options, such as laser and electron-beam manufacturing, which produce metal parts by fusing particles of metal powder in layers.

Honeywell Aerospace was one of the industry’s first big players to adopt additive manufacturing techniques and has so far invested in 3D printing labs in China, India, Europe and the US.

“Our developments in this field have already helped save time and deliver better solutions for our customers,” says Donald Godfrey, engineering fellow at Honeywell Aerospace. “As the aviation industry continues to grow, there’s an increasing need for more efficient and high-volume production processes to meet manufacturing deadlines and customer expectations.”

In the short term, additive manufacturing has proved successful at supporting the need for rapid prototyping during the design process. This allows engineers to check the physical behaviour of a design before production takes place, using specialised software to create a 3D model of the product and then print it.

“These new manufacturing techniques help streamline production lifecycles because they allow us to print components inhouse in a fraction of the time it takes today,” says Godfrey, pointing to Honeywell’s use of additive techniques to manufacture metal turbine blades quickly for use in prototype or test rigs. “These blades can be produced in just a few days, compared to between one and three years if cast,” he says.

Faster turnaround times for prototyping are supported by software. Examples of such products include the Functional Generative Design application offered by mechanical design tool supplier Dassault Systèmes. The application allows an engineer to develop components based on product-specific requirements and constraints, strength, load-bearing and space requirements, for a range of different materials.

Michel Teller, vice president of aerospace and defence at Dassault, says designing the product in such a way “means that a range of potential designs, from tens to hundreds, can be studied and compared that best meet business objectives”.

As well as reducing the weight of the parts themselves, 3D printing can cut waste by placing material only where it is required instead of having to machine it away from a solid block.

“Additive manufacturing processes are much more efficient in the consumption of raw materials,” says Teller. “The ‘buy-to-fly’ ratio, or the ratio of the amount of raw material to the amount of material contained in the delivered part, can vary by ten times or more when comparing a machined component with an optimised equivalent produced through additive manufacturing.”

“Further cost can be reduced due to the fact that the weight of an optimised additive manufactured part can be in the range of 50 to 80 per cent lighter than the equivalent machined component it replaces.”

While there are many obvious benefits to adopting 3D printing techniques within aerospace, the process is subject to strict regulatory constraints - regulators need assurance that the printed parts are as safe as those made by conventional means. “Organisations need to work closely with industry bodies to ensure they are up to speed with the regulatory environment, and are developing testing standards that will enable wider use of the technology,” says Maysoun Wahbeh, engineering and aerospace specialist at supply chain firm Vendigital.

For Honeywell, the first step towards getting 3D-printed products onto an aircraft is getting regulatory bodies, the industry and customers comfortable with the process. “In the aviation industry, technology has to earn its way onto an aircraft,” says Godfrey. “Every piece of technology Honeywell manufactures is subject to rigorous testing, and 3D-printed parts are no exception. For the foreseeable future, our focus is on using 3D technology to produce non-life-critical, non‑rotating components.”

Even for parts produced by more established methods, the technology is already contributing to reduced lead times. Godfrey says 3D technology can be used to build the ceramic casting cores needed to construct engine turbine blades for volume manufacture but without incurring the long lead times that it takes to build the moulds using wax tooling and other traditional techniques, which can be as much as three years.

Although the industry still has to demonstrate inflight safety for a wide range of components, progress is evident. This year, GE Aviation became the first aerospace manufacturer to gain approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a 3D-printed part in a commercial jet engine - a metal housing for the T25 temperature sensor located in the compressor inlet. The device will be retrofitted to over 400 GE90-94B jet engines on Boeing 777 aircraft.

Indeed, additive manufacturing is particularly attractive when it comes to maintenance and repair of aircraft, especially within older models where stock may be difficult to obtain from traditional manufacturers even while commercial aircraft remain in operation - which may be much longer than you think. The two most common passenger jets, which make up around 65 per cent of all commercial aircraft currently in deployment, are the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320, which were designed in the 1960s and 1980s respectively.

Although the overall designs of commercial aircraft have improved over time many of the components remain the same, with repairs carried out based on the original design. This is both costly and requires significant stock supplies. New repair techniques therefore come high on the list of priorities for aerospace manufacturers.

In response to this the European RepAIR project, a group of 12 partners including Boeing and Lufthansa Technik, was founded in 2013 to look into the potential for 3D printing to drive down costs in maintenance, repair and operations, and reduce overall aircraft downtime. The three-year project highlighted the potential for additive manufacturing processes to enable flexible on-time maintenance to take place, which could potentially go as far as fixing aircraft at the gate.

In the years since the consortium was established the use of additive manufacturing techniques in maintenance and repair operations has become increasingly attractive among some of the main aircraft manufacturers, while not yet being seen in the airport itself. Although Boeing became the first company to achieve FAA accreditation for a 3D-printed engine component to be used in its aircraft, other suppliers have begun sporting additional additive manufactured accessories.

For Airbus, 3D printing offered the ideal solution to supplying spare parts for some of its older aircraft that do not have the stringent structural requirements of airframe or engine components. In 2014, the company unveiled its first 3D-printed plastic spare part - a crew seat panel - for its old A310 aircraft.

“It’s a 30-year-old design, and we only need around 40 of these parts a year,” says Sander. The problem with small stock requirements such as this is that traditional manufacturers often have minimum purchase amounts, especially if the parts need to be specially manufactured. In this case, Sander points out, a minimum quantity of a thousand parts would last well over ten years, and take up significant warehouse space.

“For spare parts, additive manufacturing really makes sense,” says Sander. “Do a redesign, make it printable, qualify it and then you have a digital model which can be printed on demand without any need for inventory.”

According to RepAIR, on-demand printing of spare parts could have significant benefits for the aerospace sector, both in terms of dramatically improving turnaround time for the maintenance of aircraft and by reducing the money spent on shipment costs and storage space. The idea is that with an inhouse machine and the required materials, many parts could be manufactured in an airport hangar rather than relying on local stockholding or shipping parts out from a wholesaler.

Airbus is currently working on making on-demand printing a reality, by introducing qualified spare-part printing cells into its local storage areas across the globe, each of which currently stores a few thousand parts for maintenance purposes. Parts that are needed less frequently for repairs can be made on-site using 3D printing.

The limit to how many parts are made on demand is largely a factor of the amount of time it currently takes to produce 3D-printed components.

Sander points out that as additive manufacturing processes develop, production times will decrease and real-time on-demand printing for many more parts will become feasible.

In the medium-term the most attractive market for 3D printing in aerospace is within maintenance repair and operations procedures. In the future with developments in materials and production techniques, it may not be considered viable to keep old, heavy machines flying and we could see more additive manufactured products fitting into initial aircraft design.

Although the prospect of a 3D-printed commercial jet may seem far-fetched, the sector is developing, and quickly. Airbus’s 3D-printed mini aircraft could well offer a glimpse into the future of aircraft design.

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MensajeTema: Re: Impresion 3D y otros avances en materiales   Lun 7 Nov 2016 - 14:38

NBAA: GE predicts big advance in 3D printing
03 November, 2016
| BY: Stephen Trimble

More than one-third of the advanced turboprop engine under development by GE Aviation will be manufactured using 3D printers, the company says.

GE started using additive manufacturing techniques to build engine parts in 2010, beginning with the cobalt chromium fuel nozzles inside the CFM Leap-1 engine, which GE produces with joint venture partner Safran.

But the company decided to double down on additive manufacturing for the ATP that is selected to power the Cessna Denali single-engined turboprop.

As the ATP entered the design phase, GE engineers were testing an “additive demonstrator” of the CT7, the turboshaft engine from which the ATP is derived. The results achieved by the small team of eight engineers stunned chief engineer Mohammed Ehteshami. More than 900 non-rotating engine parts were reduced to just 16, resulting in a 35% weight reduction for the overall engine.

The results were so impressive that GE decided to halt the six-month-old design process, allowing engineers to insert a variety of 3D printed metallic parts.

When the ATP design re-appeared, 35% of the metal parts were intended to be 3D printed. Ehteshami says 855 parts were replaced with 12 made additively, including frames, combustor liners, sumps, exhaust case, bearing housings, stationary components in the flowpath, and heat exchangers.

The changes reduced the overall weight by 5% and improved specific fuel consumption by 1% compared with the original design, he adds.

Designers stopped short of using 3D printers for rotating components such as blades, discs and rotors.

GE has decided to assemble and test the ATP in Prague, Czech Republic, the site of a new centre of excellence for turboprop engines established by the company a year ago. It is still reviewing locations for building the 3D parts used in the ATP.

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MensajeTema: Re: Impresion 3D y otros avances en materiales   Jue 22 Dic 2016 - 14:35

3D Printing of Levitating Objects Patented by Boeing

Already known adopting 3D printing in various respects, aircraft manufacturer Boeing is driving 3D printing innovation further by patenting a new 3D printing technology that actually prints objects while they are floating in midair. That’s right; this newly patented technique is meant to 3D print objects while that particular object is simultaneously levitating …

This technology is like one I’ve never personally seen before, utilizing multiple 3D printers at once to extrude material with diamagnetic properties. Instead of using a build plate, Boeing’s technology creates magnetic fields that hold the first bit of 3D printed material (called the ‘nugget’ by Boeing) in place, which is then built upon by the multiple 3D printers involved in the process.

Boeing explained the need for this type of process within their recently published patent: “There is a need for an AM method and apparatus that eliminates the need for a platform and/or support materials to stabilize the part during the fabrication process, and which removes limitations on the types of features that can be formed, allowing full body 3D printing of complex parts.”

The 'nugget' is able to be rotated, while material can be added to bottom of the object surface.

Now, you may be wondering what the actual benefits of a levitating 3D printing processes may be in space, besides sounding really awesome. As a matter of fact, there are quite a few… Since the ‘nugget’ is held up by magnetic fields, the printers can deposit materials on either side of the base, unlike conventional 3D printers that use bottom-up printing. These magnetic fields also allow the 3D printed ‘nugget’ to be rotated in any direction, which allows for much more complex shapes and features within the 3D printed object. Another distinct advantage of Boeing’s new 3D printing technology is that, since it uses multiple 3D printers at once, the print speed is also greatly increased.

The patent, which was officially published early this month, is entitled “Free-Form Spatial 3-D Printing Using Part Levitation” and can be viewed in its entirety here. Boeing plans to further develop and utilize their new 3D printing process to 3D print aircraft parts. Patent Yogi has put together a great visual representation of how Boeing’s patented 3D printing technology works, which can be viewed above. It’ll be interesting to see in which ways this technology will improve the function of conventional 3D printing technology. Much like their high-flying aircraft, Boeing is making an exciting push towards literally taking 3D printing technology off of the ground (or off of the build plate, if you will).

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MensajeTema: Re: Impresion 3D y otros avances en materiales   Jue 22 Dic 2016 - 14:40

By Trevor Mogg — August 30, 2016 12:37 AM

Boeing’s new 3D-printed tool for making wings is so big it set a world record

Boeing and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have together landed a new world record for creating the largest solid object 3D-printed in a single piece.

The printed product, known as a “trim-and-drill” tool, will help create the wings of Boeing’s next-generation 777X jet.

The result of a joint project between Boeing and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, the record-breaking piece is 17.5 feet long, 5.5 feet wide, and 1.5 feet tall, and “comparable in length to a large sport utility vehicle,” the team said in a release. The tool was made with ABS thermoplastic composite materials and weighs around 1,650 pounds.

Guinness World Records judge Michael Empric confirmed the record measurement of 82.4 cubic feet at a special ceremony at the Oak Ridge facility on Monday where he also presented certificates to representatives from both ORNL and Boeing.

Large printer

Of course, a giant 3D-printed object like this requires a giant 3D printer, with Oak Ridge calling upon its Big Area Additive Manufacturing machine for the ambitious Boeing project.

Commenting on the new 3D-printed tool, Leo Christodoulou, Boeing’s director of structures and materials, said, “The existing, more expensive metallic tooling option we currently use comes from a supplier and typically takes three months to manufacture using conventional techniques.” The 3D-printed equivalent, on the other hand, took just 30 hours to construct.

Christodoulou said additively manufactured tools, such as the 777X wing trim tool, “will save energy, time, labor and production cost and are part of our overall strategy to apply 3D-printing technology in key production areas.”

Production of Boeing’s new 777X aircraft is scheduled to begin in 2017 with first delivery targeted for 2020. The trim-and-drill tool will be used at the plane manufacturer’s new production facility in St. Louis, Missouri, to secure the jet’s composite wing skin for drilling and machining prior to assembly.

The Boeing tool isn’t the first piece of work like this to come out of Oak Ridge. The team also hit the headlines in 2015 when it 3D-printed a sports car, while in the same year it used its printing kit again to create an integrated automobile and house.

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