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Hexagon And Stratasys Collaboration Delivers Holistic 3D Printing Solutions

Hexagon And Stratasys Collaboration Delivers Holistic 3D Printing Solutions

Through the virtual engineering and manufacturing support provided by the partnership, customers will be able to reduce a two to three-year timescale of designing and testing a part to six to nine months.


Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence Division has announced a new solution with Stratasys, a leader in polymer 3D printing solutions, to help manufacturers in the aerospace sector boost confidence in the performance and safety of 3D printed plastic components and compress time to market. Through the new partnership, users of Stratasys’ ULTEMTM 9085 filament can now use Hexagon’s Digimat material modeling software to predict how printed parts will perform.

Stratasys solutions deliver competitive advantages at every stage in the product value chain with innovative 3D printing solutions for industries such as aerospace, automotive, consumer products and healthcare.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE >> https://bit.ly/3nAguko

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Brose Turns To SLS 3D Printing To Produce End-Use Car Parts

Brose Turns To SLS 3D Printing To Produce End-Use Car Parts

Every other new vehicle worldwide is equipped with at least one Brose product, including various mechatronic components and systems, such as seat structures, door components, and various electric motors and drives.

Article by Formlabs.


As one of Germany’s most innovative companies, Brose is in an excellent position to integrate additive manufacturing (AM) into their products and manufacturing workflow. They use various AM technologies for prototyping, tools, and fixtures, and their next objective is to go into serial production. The latest addition to their printing fleet, the Fuse 1, the first benchtop industrial selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printer from Formlabs, is one of the tools that will support them on this path.

Using Fuse 1 in an Industrial Environment  >> https://bit.ly/3mf3pek

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3D Metal Printing In The Medical Industry

3D Metal Printing In The Medical Industry

Fast manufacturing and high precision of medical implants are crucial. Metallic additive manufacturing is opening new possibilities for medical and dental application. Article by CADS Additive GmbH.

The medical and dental industry face complex challenges. Fast manufacturing and high precision of medical implants are crucial.

First and foremost, the manufacturing of these implants requires a multitude of preparation and process steps, starting from capturing of patient-specific data using imaging techniques, through creation of implant geometries and their preparation for 3D metal printing, up to post-processing and finishing. New technologies and innovation drive these industries but also the companies themselves. Different demands call for different approaches and solutions.

Here, metallic additive manufacturing opens new possibilities for medical and dental application as well as for partners and suppliers of these industries. Nevertheless, one has to create and manage a large amount of data and map these as efficiently as possible through the whole process. To be successful, efficient data preparation for metal 3D printing is fundamental.

Software for Medical and Dental Technology

Founded as a Joint Venture in 2016, CADS Additive GmbH today is a fully owned subsidiary of the company CADS GmbH, both based in Perg, Austria. CADS Additive stands for developing outstanding software components and intuitive software solutions for 3D metal printing. As a manufacturer of high-performance data preparation and data management software solutions, CADS Additive is an innovative and competent partner in the field of industrial metallic additive manufacturing worldwide.

With the knowledge and expertise in developing intuitive software for medical as well as dental technology, they work with various companies to problem solve and deal with challenges, as well as find new opportunities within the industry.

“Our high-performance software solutions and components are game-changing for their decision on 3D metal printing software. What is further crucial for their 3D printing success,” Daniel Plos, Sales Director at CADS Additive, continues.For other exclusive articles, visit www.equipment-news.com.

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SLM Solutions’ Next Disruption In Additive Manufacturing Vows To Impress

SLM Solutions’ Next Disruption In Additive Manufacturing Vows To Impress

SLM Solutions invites the industry to a game-changing product launch on June 23 at 5pm CEST. The launch will take place digitally and will be accessible to everyone at SLM-SOLUTIONS.COM/THE-BIG-LAUNCH. The new product empowers the creation of metal components with previously impossible designs and unmatched productivity, reducing overall material usage and minimizing the end-part cost to achieve industrial-scale production.

Sam O’Leary, CEO of SLM Solutions, is enthusiastic about the upcoming product launch “Last year we introduced an industry gamechanger—the NXG Xll 600—but we won’t stop there. Today, after three years in the making and care of many of the world’s most visionary engineers, we are proud to add a new technology to our portfolio.”

The groundbreaking product has a record impact on part design and increases the productivity of the entire process by reducing powder consumption and scrap and shortening post-processing times. Likewise, improved thermal management will significantly shorten the build time while substantially reducing part stress. As a result, a surface finish like no other will soon be the new norm.

And—like almost everything they bring to life—it’s holistic. On this topic, O’Leary adds, “Why is it is available for most systems in our portfolio? Because we strive to make every new piece of technology meet the demands of every priorly-built machine. We believe that creating truly open architecture is the only way to bring additive manufacturing to its powerful potential.”

What’s more, the technology’s basic subscription will be completely free of charge. O’Leary explains, “The goal is to be relentless in innovation. It’s free because we want to empower our partners and customer base. Why should this remain an enablement of just a few when it can benefit all?”.

O’Leary concludes that “This new technology is another milestone, not only for us but for the entire industry. As a high-tech company, we are once again shaping the face of additive manufacturing with this product launch. It’s the next disruption in the manufacturing industry, so it’s worth attending.”

What does the next disruption of additive manufacturing look like? SLM Solutions’ industry experts will explain on June 23 at 5pm CEST at the online product launch that includes an open discussion. Participation is free of charge.

Sign up at SLM-SOLUTIONS.COM/THE-BIG-LAUNCH

 

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Additive Manufacturing Standards For Medical Production

Additive Manufacturing Standards For Medical Production

Dedicated standards for medical devices produced using Additive Manufacturing are already in preparation. Gregor Reischle, Head of Additive Manufacturing at TÜV SÜD highlights the importance of additive manufacturing standards for medical devices and what manufacturers need to consider before they start. 

Gregor Reischle

Dedicated standards for medical devices produced using Additive Manufacturing are already in preparation. In future, they will smooth the path for the implementation of new technologies as well as their assessment for approval. In this interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Gregor Reischle, Head of Additive Manufacturing at testing, inspection and certification services provider TÜV SÜD, shares what aspects need to be considered against this backdrop.

Why do we need standards to help us use AM technology for medical production?

Gregor Reischle (GR): Items that are already produced using Additive Manufacturing, such as protective face coverings, masks and visors or products for radiation treatment, are subject to particularly rigorous conformity and safety standards. However, assessment procedures for approval of these products take time – and time is of the essence in a pandemic. Standards help to ensure regulatory requirements are implemented reliably, promptly and cost-effectively, thus minimising risks. They also represent state-of-the-art solutions and serve to concentrate specific knowledge.

There are still no Additive Manufacturing standards designed specifically for medical devices. Where can manufacturers seek guidance in the meantime?

GR: We have drawn up checklists for all the most important requirements in the main standards and regulations relating to Additive Manufacturing, covering those that set out more general terms as well as the first more specific requirements. We are currently providing the checklists free of charge International standard organisations such as ASTM International and ISO are likewise providing access to relevant standards free of charge at the moment, for items such as personal protective equipment and medical devices. This benefits testing laboratories, healthcare specialists and the general public.

How widespread are 3D-printed medical devices?

GR: Conventionally manufactured products still make up the majority. Anyone using 3D printing today is pursuing strategic aims and is willing to invest a lot of time in such products. Additive manufacturing is only widespread in specific areas of medical engineering, like prosthetics and dental technology. In fact, probably all the major manufacturers in the dental industry now supply 3D printers, some of which can even be used in medical practices. 

What changes will the MDR introduce in this respect compared to its predecessor, the MDD?

GR: Under the Medical Device Directive (MDD), these “custom-made products” can be used without the need for CE marking. Although the same will apply under the Medical Device Regulation (MDR), manufacturers of class III implantable custom products will now need to call in a Notified Body to perform conformity assessment of their quality management system. Many products will fall into a higher class under the MDR, and this may require the involvement of a Notified Body in some cases. Custom-made products will be replaced by a common basic model which is customised for patient-specific use.

How will upcoming standards support the requirements to fulfil regulatory requirements such as MDR conformity? And which existing standards could already be useful?

GR: The requirements of the MDR state that a Notified Body must assess the manufacturer’s quality management system and verify compliance of its processes with the state of the art. DIN SPEC 17071—the specification for requirements concerning quality-assured processes at additive manufacturing centres—can usefully be applied here. The guideline is aimed at minimising risks stemming from parts and components produced using Additive Manufacturing, irrespective of the industry or sector. A project to transfer these findings to medical engineering is already under way, and a white paper on the subject will be published very soon. The DIN SPEC 17071 will also be advanced to reach the international ISO/ASTM level; the upcoming ISO 52920 and 52930 represent state-of-the-art quality assurance for AM production.

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Optisys Uses SLM Technology To Manufacture Parts For Space Missions

Optisys Uses SLM Technology To Manufacture Parts For Space Missions

Optisys is a revolutionary RF product development and manufacture company with a unique approach to creating highly integrated products, enabled by metal additive manufacturing. Its well-known customers rely on its broad spectrum of solutions, which includes feeds, slotted flat panels and phased arrays for antenna and radar applications used everywhere from sea to outer space.

With the SLM 500, the company now owns a high-tech metal additive manufacturing system; excellent for producing high-strength metal components. Janos Opra, Optisys CEO, explains: “We are a company that wouldn’t exist without additive manufacturing. The SLM 500 gives us exactly what we need, for example, to manufacture antennas used on space missions.” To do this, the components produced must be able to withstand the harsh conditions of the entire range of space environments from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to deep space probes. Opra explains: “The atomic oxygen in the atmosphere virtually sandblasts the parts. They also must withstand high heat loads, and extreme temperature cycling, on other planets. The SLM parts are not only lightweight, but they can also manage harsh conditions and are particularly robust with excellent performance.”

Compared to conventional manufacturing methods, SLM technology can produce lightweight components by integrating internal hollow structures while maintaining a consistently high component quality. Even small reductions in weight, through component integration, can lead to enormous cost advantages through a reduction in launch costs; which are priced per kg and are a major cost driver for space companies. Due to these unique advantages and the pressure to keep costs to a minimum, conventional manufacturing methods are hardly an option for major players in the space industry.

“Additive manufacturing technology ensures we can create the lightest, strongest and best performing RF products available,” continued Opra. “By coupling large aspects of the RF system into single components or repeatable tiles, our customers can reduce weight enormously over competing suppliers. This is of prime importance for many players in the ‘New Space’ market particularly.”

The SLM 500 is a multi-laser system with up to four 700W lasers working simultaneously. It features closed powder handling with automated powder sieving and supply during the build process without any powder contact. The ability to change the build cylinder minimises machine downtime, maximises productivity and reduces cost per part. Due to a smart assembly in the build envelope, Optisys produces several individual components in one build process with the SLM 500 – something that is particularly efficient and not possible with conventional manufacturing methods.

Sam O’Leary, CEO of SLM Solutions, emphasises: “We are proud that metal-based additive manufacturing is making such an important contribution to space missions. This deployment demonstrates how robust the parts produced with SLM technology are. Innovative, top-tier companies such as Optisys continue to drive additive manufacturing forward and bring it to other planets. It makes us proud to enable their success.”

 

 

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CNC Machining & 3D Printing: A Mixed Approach To Precision Manufacturing

CNC Machining & 3D Printing: A Mixed Approach To Precision Manufacturing

Peter Jacobs, Senior Director of Marketing at CNC Masters shares how a meaningful combination of CNC machining and 3D Printing can help manufacture even the most intricate parts and boost overall productivity.

The advancing 3D printing capabilities have made it convenient for manufacturers to use additive manufacturing to develop parts from a wide variety of materials. These materials include polymers such as ABS, PLA, TPE, and carbon fibre composites, polycarbonates, and nylon.

Alongside 3D printing, precision CNC machining also enjoys a crucial role in the additive manufacturing process, with a new process called hybrid manufacturing quickly assuming its hold in the industry.

Combining CNC machining and 3D printing can meet all crucial design requirements and eliminate limitations in these individual domains. 

Benefits of Combining Machining and 3D Printing

Here’s why the combination of CNC machining and 3D printing is relevant and the benefits that will follow:

  • Conservation of Time

The process of 3D printing a part and then having it delivered to the next section for CNC machining involves too many steps; however, this process is relatively less time-consuming relative to injection moulding.

In Injection moulding, the design and development of a specialised tool must go through every workpiece in the moulding process, making it more time-consuming.

While we can alternatively use 3D printed injection moulds to reduce production time, incorporating the potential of CNC machining can be more fruitful.

We can seamlessly tweak the digital files that end up getting 3D printed as prototypes rather than making alterations to an existing injection moulding machine tool.

  • Higher Tolerance Rate

3D printing has encountered hindrances in its progress due to the tolerances of modern 3D printers. Many end-use parts have specific tolerances and other vital requirements that are only feasible by incumbent manufacturing methods.

Unlike 3D printing, CNC machining is consistent. It offers a more refined product because its equipment does not exhibit sensitivity to heat as a 3D printer, which might warp and distort the product and result in uncertain runs of products.

Merging the two domains provides us with the perks of rapid prototyping brought to the table by 3D printers. It also enables us to dial in the tolerance from 0.1 mm to 0.3 mm as anticipated from a DMLS or SLS 3D printer to about 0.025 to 0.125 mm rendered by CNC Milling Machines.

  • Use a Bigger Workpiece

A congregation of these two domains involves 3D printing a part and then forwarding it to CNC milling to balance the final tolerances and providing it with the desired finish.

There has been excitements about merging these two technologies into one machine. This scenario could result in something that resembles the industrial-scale hybrid milling machines.

Such machines are speculated to harbour a build volume of about 40 feet in diameter and 10 feet in height. These hybrid 3D printing-milling machines can mill the surface of a new 3D print while the operation would still be underway.

With state-of-the-art CNC Benchtop Milling Machines, you can enjoy peak performance while occupying a minimum floor.

Likely Mergers of CNC Machining and 3D Printing

Some of the cases where we can successfully implement the merger of 3D printing and CNC machining for the manufacturing process includes:

  • Plastic Manufacturing

If we intend to develop a component from plastic, it is essential to consider that additive manufacturing might not adequately deliver the needed precision as we would require high tolerances.

In such cases, employing 3D printing to manufacture the component and then bring in CNC machining to trim it to the desired dimensions could be beneficial. This gesture can help dispose of any shortcomings that may have surfaced due to the additive manufacturing hardware.

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Integrating 3D Printing In Orthopaedic Implants Manufacturing

Integrating 3D Printing In Orthopaedic Implants Manufacturing

Matt Smith, New Technologies and Process Engineer at Corin Group shares how the company has integrated 3D printing into its orthopaedic implants production. Article by Markforged. 

The human body is all different shapes and sizes so for companies who specialise in making implants, streamlining the process for handling variants is important. 

Being involved in implementing new technology and creating new processes at the same time is an exciting role for any engineer. Ask Matt Smith, New Technologies and Process Engineer at Corin Group—an orthopaedic medical device manufacturer in the UK, who is well underway with his additive manufacturing programme. Matt began his project in early 2020 with a printer justification based on several new product introductions. 

Manufacturing Challenges

Matt and the team set about the task of introducing a new ‘stem’ and ‘femur’ and decided to see what new technology was available to help them do it in a timely manner. Each time a new product is introduced to manufacturing there are a large number of associated fixtures that come with it. Being able to make these in house was a clear benefit and offered some very reasonable cost savings, so it was the obvious place to start. 

“We decided that we needed to look at additive as a means of helping us be more agile when introducing new products. We believed there were many areas where we’d benefit, however as we progressed with the project, and more colleagues got involved, we began to realise the huge potential we had,” said Matt.

As the project was getting underway the world fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic and almost overnight facilities closed, including many of the supply chain at Corin Group. Matt and the team were faced with the almost impossible task of ensuring their new project was still delivered on time, whilst having to work with no raw materials, no sub-contract manufacturing and limited internal resources. As they sat and mused over the creation of all the machining and inspection fixtures required, for the 48 variants of their new stem, and 24 variants of femur they quickly identified a new challenge, their raw material deliveries of forgings and castings would also be delayed. Without the raw material it would be impossible to even test the developed fixturing. 

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Desktop Metal And Uniformity Labs Announce Breakthrough In Aluminium Sintering For Binder Jetting Technology

Desktop Metal And Uniformity Labs Announce Breakthrough In Aluminium Sintering For Binder Jetting Technology

Desktop Metal, Inc. (NYSE: DM), a leader in mass production and turnkey additive manufacturing (AM) solutions, and Uniformity Labs, a leading additive manufacturing company that is revolutionising industrial 3D printing materials and processes, has announced a breakthrough powder that enables aluminium sintering for binder jetting AM technology. This new powder is the result of a multi-year collaboration between the companies to develop a low-cost, raw material yielding fully dense, sinterable 6061 aluminium with greater than ten percent (10 percent) elongation and improved yield strength (YS) and ultimate tensile strength (UTS) versus wrought 6061 aluminium with comparable heat treatment.

“This breakthrough represents a major milestone in the development of aluminium for binder jetting and a significant step forward for the AM industry as it is one of the most sought-after materials for use in automotive, aerospace and consumer electronics,” said Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder of Desktop Metal. “The global aluminium castings market is more than $50 billion per year, and it is ripe for disruption with binder jetting AM solutions. These are the best reported properties we are aware of for a sintered 6061 aluminium powder, and we are excited to make this material available exclusively to Desktop Metal customers as part of our ongoing partnership with Uniformity Labs.”

“The introduction of lightweight metals to binder jetting opens the door to a wide variety of thermal and structural applications across industries,” said Adam Hopkins, founder and CEO of Uniformity Labs. “This innovation is a key step towards the adoption of mass-produced printed aluminium parts.”

This new powder enables the sintering of unadulterated 6061 aluminium and represents a significant improvement over prior techniques used to sinter aluminium, which required coating powder particles, mixing sintering aids into powder, using binders containing expensive nanoparticles, or adding metals such as lead, tin and magnesium. Critically, the powder also enables compatibility with water-based binders and has a higher minimum ignition energy (MIE) relative to other commercially available 6061 aluminium powders, resulting in an improved safety profile.

Desktop Metal and Uniformity Labs plan to continue to work together over the coming year to qualify the powder and scale production for commercial release. Once fully qualified, Uniformity 6061 aluminium will be available for use with the Desktop Metal Production System platform, which is the only metal binder jetting solution with an inert, chemically inactive processing environment across the printer and auxiliary powder processing equipment, enabling customers to achieve consistent, high-quality material properties across volumes of end-use parts with reactive materials, such as aluminium.

 

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