We are all starting to realize that AM is becoming the game changer it promised to be. This week there are mind-blowing examples of the technology being used to radically change the game economically and logistically all across the board. What do you think will be the impact on the manufacturing industry now that players realize that AM can bring shave costs in the millions of dollars like Boeing had on its Dreamliner production in collaboration with Norsk Titanium? Or when serialized production turnaround happens in days instead of months like Oracle managed to achieve with Carbon technology? On a wider note, AM will radically transform planning for operations where in-situ manufacturing is possible, making it much more economically viable to make use of local resources, especially in space activities.
3D Printing Titanium Parts Could Save Boeing Millions on Dreamliner Production
A 3D printed structural titanium component made with Norsk’s proprietary Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) process.
Boeing hired Norsk Titanium to print the first structural titanium parts for its 787 Dreamliner, a shift that the Norwegian 3D printing company said would eventually shave $2M to $3M off the cost of each plane. Strong, lightweight titanium alloy is 7 times more costly than aluminum, and accounts for about $17 million of the cost of a $265 million Dreamliner, industry sources say. Boeing has been trying to reduce titanium costs on the 787, which requires more of the metal than other models because of its carbon-fiber fuselage and wings.
“This means $2M to $3M in savings for each Dreamliner, at least,” starting in 2018 when many more parts are being printed, Chip Yates, Norsk Titanium’s vice president of marketing, said in a telephone interview.
Read more about the collaboration here.
Carbon 3D print series of 10,000 parts for Oracle Labs servers
The 3D model (left) and a 3D printed branch (right) of the brackets stacked one on top of the other. Image & photo via Carbon
Oracle Labs, the R&D branch of multinational computer technology corporation Oracle, has used Carbon CLIP technology to 3D print a series of end-use brackets for use in its micro servers. 10,000 of the parts were needed to align circuit boards in the systems, and production was turned around within days instead of months. At first, Oracle planned on a component design reliant upon injection molding to hold the circuit boards. This method proved to be ineffective at producing such small parts within the required time frame, and the method didn’t support multiple design iterations.
“Instead of printing parts by inch CLIP let us print parts by hour. That’s game changing” – Craig Stephen, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Oracle Labs.
Read the full article at 3DPI.
Mining Materials for 3D Printing in Space
The first part 3D-printed from metal harvested from a meteorite. (Courtesy of Planetary Resources)
“Everything has a finite amount of resources. Everything has a cost and benefit”.
With limited resources, how can we populate multiple planets with only one livable environment? Fortunate for us, all of our resources originated in space. Planetary Resources made a point at the CES 2016 that mining asteroids was the future. It did this by using 3D printing and metal from a meteorite to produce a part. In addition, 3D printing may be the process of how things are built in space. Scientists have already 3D printed plastic objects in space, and they believe we can 3D-print metals. However, it might be simpler than this. If water freezes on the surface of the planets we are looking to build on, and there is hydrogen and water as a resource on these bodies, 3D printing ice in the shape of buildings might provide a robust housing. Sound nuts? NASA didn’t think so and awarded $25,000 to a team that designed a Mars Ice House for NASA’s 3D printed habitat challenge.
Read more about our space-faring possibilities at Machine Design.
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