There are currently two main uses for 3D printing: prototyping and production. The majority of additive manufacturing companies focus only on meeting prototyping needs because the material demands for strong physical properties are less rigorous. 3D Systems excels at both prototyping and production needs because they have put the time and effort into making sure each material delivers the quality expected from each part. In many instances, choosing production-grade materials is more cost efficient than only serving prototyping needs because the parts last longer without failing and that durability over time saves money and effort:
OMAX Corporation announced the release of the new ProtoMAX abrasive waterjet, a compact, self-installed cutting system ideally suited for prototyping and relatively low volume cutting of almost any material under 2” thick. The ProtoMAX brings all the versatility benefits of large abrasive waterjet cutters in a sleek and economic package that’s perfect for small job shops, engineering classrooms, makerspaces, and personal use. It’s also a handy addition for large shops and fabricators that need occasional waterjet capabilities to complement their other cutting systems.
Like many other cutting edge technologies – artificial intelligence, big data analytics – additive manufacturing (3D printing) has been incorporated into daily use at Land Rover BAR with the help of the team’s Technical Innovation Group (TIG). In this case, TIG partner Renishaw, a global metrology firm which manufactures metal additive manufacturing machines, as well as working with the more familiar 3D printing in plastics for its own prototyping.
Researchers at IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) have developed an innovative methodology based on CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and 3D printing techniques for the design and manufacture of a metal chemical reactor for the production of clean fuels. While metal 3D printing is already widely used by the aviation and automobile sectors, this is a unique technical feat for a chemical reactor operating under high pressure and temperature conditions, bringing into play reactions between gases, liquids and solids.
Stratasys Ltd. the 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company unveiled the enhanced Objet Connex3, with the goal of helping the additive manufacturing industry bridge the technology adoption chasm by making the power of multi-color and multi-material 3D printing more accessible to all.