Materials, electroplating, consumer goods, and more are the topics covered in the August 26, 2023 edition of 3D Printing News Briefs.

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In today’s edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, we have some exciting updates in the world of materials. AddUp has added a new aluminum alloy by Constellium to its materials portfolio, enhancing its range of options for 3D printing. Motion plastics specialist igus has launched an online service that allows users to calculate the service life of their 3D printed components. Element, a leader in testing and certification, has received approval as a powder testing provider from GKN Aerospace Sweden AB, demonstrating its commitment to offering comprehensive powder characterization services. Now, let’s dive into the details.

AddUp, a global metal additive manufacturing OEM, has expanded its materials portfolio by adding the Aheadd CP1 aluminum alloy by Constellium. This high-performance alloy can be used with AddUp’s FormUp 350 range of 3D printers, offering an alternative to traditional grades like AS10 and AS7. Developed specifically for laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) additive manufacturing, the Aheadd CP1 alloy provides higher productivity for heat dissipation applications and better solderability, allowing users to increase laser power and scan speed. Post-build operations are also simplified with this alloy, improving the profitability of applications. Parts printed with Aheadd CP1 have mechanical properties similar to AS7 in terms of hardness, ductility, and fatigue resistance. Moreover, its higher thermal conductivity makes it an excellent choice for heat exchanger and aerospace applications. The alloy has recently been approved for use in motorsports as well. Frédéric Sar, Materials Officer at AddUp, stated, “To obtain the best mechanical properties using AS7 and AS10 grades, several long and expensive post-build treatments must be carried out. With Aheadd CP1, very similar material properties can be achieved with a simple heat treatment at 400°C.”

igus, a specialist in motion plastics, has introduced an online service that allows users to calculate the service life of their 3D printed wear-resistant parts. With over 30 years of experience in plain bearing technology, igus produces bearings using injection molding. However, when customers require parts that are more wear-resistant than usual, the company turns to 3D printing. The new online service leverages predictive analytics to estimate the service life of 3D printed components in just 30 seconds. By providing insights into material durability, the service makes it easier for individuals and businesses to choose the right material from igus’ extensive offerings. Users can upload the STL or STEP file of their product, and the service will display various materials, finishes, production options, feasibility analyses, cost estimates, and delivery timelines. To calculate the service life, users simply select the sliding surface of the part and input a few application parameters. The service utilizes an extensive database derived from thousands of abrasion tests to ensure accurate predictions. Tom Krause, Head of Business Unit Additive Manufacturing at igus, highlighted the importance of this service, stating, “Knowing the longevity of a component in advance, in addition to price information, makes it easier to choose the right material.”

Element Materials Technology, a leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC), has achieved a significant milestone in the field of additive manufacturing. Its Antwerp laboratory has received approval as a powder testing provider from GKN Aerospace Sweden AB, a prominent aerospace technology company. Element has heavily invested in the capabilities of its Antwerp and Teesside laboratories to provide customers from various industries with comprehensive powder characterization and metallic testing services. These services are aligned with ISO/ASTM 52907 standards, ensuring quality assurance in powder properties that can greatly impact 3D printing and the properties of printed materials. The labs are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and staffed by experienced experts who cover vital characterization aspects, including chemical composition, particle size distribution, contamination, and flowability. This approval from GKN Aerospace Sweden AB reaffirms Element’s dedication to delivering top-notch powder testing services to its customers.

That concludes today’s edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, where we have covered new materials, an online service for estimating service life, and a major achievement in powder testing. Stay tuned for more updates in the world of 3D printing!

In the ever-evolving world of technology and innovation, additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, continues to revolutionize various industries. Recently, Element, a leading testing services provider, received approval from GKN Aerospace Sweden AB, a respected leader in the aerospace industry. This is a significant milestone for Element, as it showcases their commitment to advancing additive manufacturing and providing exceptional testing services.

Matt Hopkinson, EVP of EMEAA at Element, expressed his excitement about this achievement, stating, “We are thrilled to receive approval from GKN Aerospace Sweden AB. This milestone highlights our dedication to providing exceptional testing services and advancing additive manufacturing. As 3D printing and additive manufacturing continue to expand across industries, our laboratories in Antwerp and Teesside are well-positioned to meet the evolving needs of the industry and contribute to the success of our customers.”

But 3D printing isn’t just limited to the aerospace industry. It has the potential to revolutionize the medical field as well. Bioengineers and biomedical scientists from the University of Sydney and the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) at Westmead have developed a groundbreaking method that brings us one step closer to 3D printing human organs.

Using 3D photolithographic printing, the researchers have successfully fabricated a complex environment that mimics an organ’s architecture. This environment helps stem cells derived from blood or skin cells develop into specialized cells that can assemble to form an organ-like structure. By strategically using chemical and mechanical cues at the nanoscale, the researchers were able to guide the cells to form realistic and organized structures.

This new technology has the potential to significantly improve the study and understanding of rare diseases by enabling more accurate tissue models. Dr. Peter Newman, co-research lead from the University of Sydney, explained, “Without specific instructions, the cells would likely group together unpredictably within the incorrect structures. What we’ve effectively done is create a step-by-step process that guides each building block to exactly where it should go and how it should connect with the others.”

3D printing is also making waves in the field of electrical applications. Siddarth Sreeram, a researcher with the Academies of Loudoun in Virginia, recently conducted a study on improving the electrical performance of 3D prints. Commercially available 3D printing filaments and methods often produce parts with high electrical resistance, limiting their usability in electrical applications. On the other hand, conductive materials like pure metals are not as lightweight or cost-effective.

Sreeram explored the combination of electroplating, which involves using metals to coat a substrate, and changing the infill parameters for 3D prints to enhance their electrical properties. By varying the infill parameters and electroplating the prints with copper, Sreeram found that the resistance of the prints changed. There was a significant difference in resistance between prints with different infill densities. This research opens up new possibilities for creating 3D prints with improved electrical performance.

The use of additive manufacturing, specifically 3D printing, continues to expand and advance across various industries. From aerospace to medicine to electrical applications, this technology is transforming the way we create and innovate. As we push the boundaries of what is possible, the potential for future breakthroughs and advancements in additive manufacturing is truly exciting.

Infographic created by Replique Digital inventory and 3D printing spare parts startup Replique in partnership with garden furniture brand Siena Garden. The infographic showcases the innovative use of 3D printing technology to manufacture over 1,000 foot caps for garden chairs.

The collaboration between Replique and Siena Garden is part of their joint Eternal Spare Parts concept, which aims to promote sustainability and a circular economy by offering continuous replacement parts throughout the entire lifespan of a product. By seamlessly integrating Replique’s platform, spare parts can be digitally stored and then 3D printed locally and on-demand, eliminating the need for large minimum order quantities and excessive inventory.

This initiative not only allows customers to keep their furniture looking fresh for many years but also contributes to waste reduction and cost savings. Additionally, with the expansion of the spare parts online shop, customers will have access to more 3D printed spare parts beyond the foot caps.

The foot caps themselves were fabricated using Forward AM’s new Ultrafuse TPU 64D, which ensures durability and longevity. The use of this material guarantees that the foot caps will withstand the wear and tear of outdoor use while maintaining their quality.

Peter Benthues, CDO of H. Gautzsch Firmengruppe, expressed his satisfaction with the collaboration, stating, “Replique was able to not only understand our 3D printing requirements but also implement them on the spot. The combination of Replique’s expertise and their secure and scalable platform was a game changer for us.”

This collaboration highlights the potential of 3D printing technology in revolutionizing the manufacturing industry. With the ability to create customized and on-demand spare parts, businesses can enhance their sustainability practices, reduce waste, and provide customers with long-lasting products.

This blog post showcases how innovative partnerships and technologies can make a significant impact on industries, enabling them to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing world. By harnessing the power of 3D printing, Replique and Siena Garden are setting a new standard for product longevity and waste reduction.

Stay informed about the latest news and developments in the 3D printing industry, and sign up to receive updates and exclusive offers from third party vendors. Together, we can embrace sustainable practices and contribute to a greener future.

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