Optomec releases new interchangeable LENS Deposition Head for optimized DED processing

Optomec, the Albuquerque-based company behind Aerosol Jet Printing technology, has introduced the Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) Deposition Head (LDH 3.X), which ensures optimized directed energy deposition (DED). “As metal additive manufacturing users continue to seek higher laser powers, faster speeds, and improved deposition rates to maximize production, they don’t want to sacrifice the quality of the build,” said Tom […]

SUTD and SUSTech researchers develop oscillation-assisted DLP 3D printing for fabricating microlens arrays

Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen, China, have proposed a method of fabricating microlens arrays using oscillation-assisted digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing. A microlens array consists of multiple micron-sized lenses with optical surface smoothness. Typically, most 3D printing methods have […]

Industrie 4.0: Mein Har(t)z Brennt Part 1

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

WB Yeats.

15 years after the Hartz reforms made Germany a tougher and more resilient place in which to work and live, decades-long semi-austerity has left the motor of the European economy coughing and sputtering in anticipation of a global Trumpcession. Amidst worldwide turbulence and upheaval, a baby boomer generation sets to retire, leaving the reins of Mittelstand companies in the hands of a TV generation trying to raise an internet generation. This could not have happened at a foggier time. China, the workshop of the world, is asserting itself and decidedly moving upmarket in many niches. Manufacturing excellence is not something that small German family firms put on awards on the wall, manufacturing excellence is the dream that one of the richest and most powerful countries in the world wants to attain. A million new immigrants have exposed long glossed over German societal fractures such as extreme right terror, nationalist violent groups of all stripes, a radicalized Antifa, new Germans not entirely absorbed and oops the ossi wessi divide or areas of economic backwardness didn’t disappear with the Trabant. Cooperation, social adhesion, catholicism, and identity; they are all ebbing or under siege. Even though roads seem in perennial repair; underinvestment in infrastructure has left the country looking less than spiffy.

It seems that if you move your government to Berlin, Berlin will look nicer while the country looks more like Berlin. Underinvestment in education has meant that in this area the nation lags European peers as well. Germany does invest cohesively in innovation but seems set to perennially lag behind the US and China on that front. Lack of VC capital, when compared to the US, means that there are far fewer startups, especially far fewer larger successful ones. Erstwhile staid institutions such as Deutsche Bank seem wobbly or indeed have been quite adept at carrying on as a giant hedge fund/Russian Money transfer scheme while masquerading as a boring financial institution. The Volkswagen scandal still weighs heavily on a collective culture of excellence and quality.

Over 100 years ago the German government had a goal for itself in the collective stumble to slaughter that was the First World War. The government’s goal was the: establishment of a Germany dominated customs union. 104 years on, two observations can be made:

  1. Germans are persistent
  2. Be careful what you wish for

Many people would have given up after the First World War, not the Germans. Many people would then have given up after the Second World War, not the Germans. They kept on going and finally after 100 years got their Germany dominated customs union. But, now what? A nation-state born out of a conflagration the German Federal Republic now has over 70 years of prosperity, growth, stability, and peace behind it. After turbulence and destruction, there was rubble and this was turned into a path to future riches and safety that would have seemed a feverish dream to those clambering through bomb crater hewn Allee’s. Germany is one of the most successful countries that the world has ever seen, but what is its place in a world that is seeing the demise of the nation-state and the rise of ultra-nationalism simultaneously?

Nihilism, apathy, and extremism grow as we enter the age of China and the caudillo. Civil society is for textbooks and what will the terrorists do once we’ve run out of acronyms for them? It is becoming increasingly clear that those left-wingers that shouted while standing on boxes for workers’ rights have essentially won, only to suddenly lose. All of their dreams from worker safety to pay, to vacations, to affordable housing have been granted. Meanwhile, the right has gotten its law and order with crime being reduced to next to nothing and violent crime being something you’re likelier to find on vacation than at home. Centrists have gotten their civil society a little bit of everything a la carte dream while länder press and public have power. Businesses are easy to start and are well regulated while labor unions have been so successful as to be useless. Essentially Germany has done such a good job of keeping its promises and attaining its dreams that it has no more hopes and dreams with which to feed a future thirst for that thing that is Germany.

Extremism is on the rise because they do manage to break through a cluttered media landscape with simple ideas and now it is Baader Meinhof Phenomena that dominate the things that we think about. Technocratic policies alienated many because they simply were too complex for a large segment of the populace  to understand. Embarrassed to ask, they become disenfranchised by the multisyllabic integrated policies and their fine-tuning. Alienated, they feel as if they were patronized by ‘adults in the room.’ Everyone, however, can join a discussion about what kind of headdress the supermarket check out girl should be allowed to wear. A resurgence is populism is therefore not because of the anti-immigrant, xenophobic, isolationist nature of these policies or indeed their objectives. Populism has grown due to the fact that it is simple to understand, talk about and spread in a confusing world. Populism is popular now because it is a series of hale spears designed to pierce the heart of modern democracy itself. Tossed by tossers who are nihilists themselves but do believe in their own call to power the populist policies are popular because they are simple, fit into a soundbite and are easy to talk about. As per Mr. Yeats, therefore, we can see ourselves in a place where indeed, the center is not holding and the good roam listlessly while the sheep are stirred by the truthful seeming simple burn that is hate.

How to counter this as a member of society which through policy and concerted effort has tried to create and maintain an equitable country for all? We must come up with new dreams as vibrant scary and hopeful as the ones of the past. From the land of Herder new ideas are emerging, in fact, that could, in fact, herd us all to a hopeful optimistic future where harmony reigns supreme. Having accomplished the rise of the human Germany now turns to the rise of the robot.

Images: Lisa, Trine, Cynthia, Stefan.

The post Industrie 4.0: Mein Har(t)z Brennt Part 1 appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

3DPOD Episode 16: 3D Printing Trends for 2020, with Xometry’s Greg Paulsen

Today Xometry’s Greg Paulsen is back and we geek out some more on 3D printing. We look at some anticipated trends in 3D printing for the next few years this time. Software is an integral part of the 3D printing experience and of getting the right parts made. Will we see more monitoring and control software in 3D printing? What new processes are we excited about? Are there new technologies coming to market at all? Which of these technologies excite us? What will the hurdles be and will they find adoption? Are there any materials that will make us all happy? Give the podcast a listen and tell us what you think! 6

The post 3DPOD Episode 16: 3D Printing Trends for 2020, with Xometry’s Greg Paulsen appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

BAC Works with MNL & RPS for Prototyping & Parts

Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) continues to put Britain in the lead for showing up other automotive manufacturers, promoting not only technological prowess with 3D printing but also excellence in design and prototyping. They are also experts in delegating necessary work out to other specialists such as Royal DSM—and when it comes to production of parts they are putting their trust in prototyping specialists Malcolm Nicholls Limited (MNL) and British 3D printer manufacturer RPS to provide 3D printed parts for the recently announced BAC Mono R—a project we have been following over past months.

The next generation Mono, a single-seater design, was revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, earlier this year, working from a prototype from MNL prototyping services via DSM. MNL is a well-known supplier of prototypes, not to mention the proprietor of the RPS NEO800—featuring an 800 x 800 x 600mm platform and DSM’s Watershed resin. This massive platform meant that MNL could produce each wheel arch in one build, featuring a smooth finish and requiring little need for extensive finishing time.

“The superb smoothness of the parts from this machine is a significant improvement over our previous ones, our high standard of finish can now be achieved more rapidly. Coupled with the extremely large build volume we are able to complete projects in even shorter timeframes,” said Ross Nicholls, Technical Director of Malcolm Nicholls Limited.

BAC Mono R Front Lense – Image from Malcolm Nicholls Ltd.

They were also able to produce other required larger parts on the NEO800, to include the:

  • Wide rear wing
  • Spine
  • Wing mirror stays
  • Front bezel lights
  • Rear light clusters

“BAC is showing classic British innovation and engineering excellence which is truly exemplified in the Mono R supercar development. We are thrilled that the NEO800 was behind the printed parts used on the car, and thankful to be involved in such an amazing project. Teaming up with the likes of Malcolm Nicholls and DSM meant the project was always in good hands and we hope to see further innovation from BAC soon,” stated David Storey, Director of RPS.

“We pride ourselves on being the ultimate pioneers at BAC, and joining forces with DSM, RPS and MNL meant we once again lead the way – this time in terms of additive manufacturing. Keeping the Mono R as light as possible was of paramount importance in its development, and by using 3D printing we not only keep the kilograms down, but also keep sustainability and safety on the up. Using additive manufacturing was crucial for keeping design-to manufacture times down and allowing us to meet tight deadlines with ample creative freedom – while the quality of the finished result is testament to the work of the NEO800.”

Lamp Assembly – Image from Malcolm Nicholls Ltd.

While we have been following the Mono R with great interest, 3D printing and the automotive industry have a long history together, and that means everything from racecars to large companies like Ford and even BMW.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts; join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: RPS]

The post BAC Works with MNL & RPS for Prototyping & Parts appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

Fraunhofer ILT: Making Tungsten Carbide-Cobalt Cutting Tools with LPBF 3D Printing

Obviously, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT does a lot of work with lasers, and, in the same vein, with metal 3D printing processes that use lasers. Now, it’s teaming up with scientists from the Institute for Materials Applications in Mechanical Engineering IWM and the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL, both at RWTH Aachen University, to investigate laser processes for the 3D printing of cutting tools made of tungsten carbide-cobalt (WC-Co).

The new AiF project – “Additive Manufacturing of Machining Tools out of WC-Co – AM of WC-Co” – began on October 1st 2019 and will last for 30 months; funding is provided by the Otto von Guericke e.V. working group of industrial research associations.

Cutting tools made of WC-Co are very heat- and wear-resistant, which is what one generally wants in this type of application, but it’s not easy to use conventional methods of manufacturing to create them. Complex sintering processes are currently used, but it’s not ideal, as only a restricted amount of geometrical freedom is possible, and it’s expensive and difficult to introduce complex cooling structures into the tools as well.

The process development aims to generate a homogeneous, almost dense structure of the WC-Co-composite, as shown here in this SEM measurement. [Image: Institute for Materials Applications in Mechanical Engineering IWM, RWTH Aachen University]

One of the project goals is to create cutting tools with integrated complex cooling geometries in order to ensure longer tool life. That’s why the Aachen researchers are looking into Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) 3D printing for WC-Co cutting tool fabrication, which offers near-net-shape production for generation of cooling structures within these tools, and far more design freedom. This technology requires users to carefully choose their process and material parameters in order to create components with strength that’s comparable to what could be achieved with conventional manufacturing methods.

For the past few years, Fraunhofer ILT scientists have been researching a major problem in the LPBF process – temperature distribution in the part. Conventional systems slow down the cooling process with a heated base plate, but with LPBF, the metal powder is melted where the laser touches it and cools down quickly, which can cause cracks and tension.

Fraunhofer ILT has been working with adphos Innovative Technologies GmbH on this issue, and together the two created a system which uses a near-infrared (NIR) emitter to heat the component from above to over 800°C. This system is what Fraunhofer ILT and its fellow Aachen researchers are using to process tungsten carbide-cobalt material for cutting tools in the “AM of WC-Co” project.

Under the scope of the project, the researchers are investigating the process route all the way from powder formation and 3D printing to post-processing and testing the components. Together, they will qualify the materials and processes that will replace complex sintering processes in fabricating these cutting tools.

Preheating the machining plane with the NIR module significantly reduces stresses in the laser-manufactured component. [Image: Fraunhofer ILT]

3D printed WC-Co cutting tools will have a hardness comparable to those made with conventional manufacturing methods, but because of the cooling structures that the LPBF process can be used to create, they will have a longer service life. Additionally, the NIR emitter system developed by Fraunhofer ILT and adphos can lay the groundwork for processing refractory alloy systems in the future.

At formnext 2019, in Frankfurt from November 19-22, you can stop by the Fraunhofer Additive Manufacturing Alliance booth D51 in Hall 11 to learn more about the collaborative “AM of Wc-CO” project.

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below. 

[Source: Fraunhofer ILT]

The post Fraunhofer ILT: Making Tungsten Carbide-Cobalt Cutting Tools with LPBF 3D Printing appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

How many Open-Source Prusa 3D printers are there? #OHM2019 #oshwa @ohsummit #opensource #opensourcehardware @opensourceorg @prusa3d @josefprusa

Started this post on the 15th of October about total open-source 3D printers, but after some news about LulzBot, decided to just make it about Prusa.

The Road to 100,000 Original Prusa 3D printers (video). That was June of 2019.

Prusa’s Manufacturing Capacity Is Incredible – Fabbaloo, November 2018.

…we were told they were producing an incredible 3,000 units per month. At that time the number was far larger than any other manufacturer we were aware of. To put this in perspective, MakerBot’s first 3D printer, the venerable CupCake, likely sold fewer than 2,000 units in total. Prusa now made that many machines in only a couple of weeks.

We were told Prusa now produces about 450 units per day.

If they’re running a seven-day-a-week operation, this is equivalent to 3,150 units per week, 13,500 units per month, or a staggering 164,250 units per year.

And from Forbes 30 under 30 European Technology List

In the last five years, Josef Prusa has grown his eponymous company from a bootstrapped enterprise to one of the largest 3D printer companies in the world. With Conan O’Brien and Wil Wheaton as fans, Prusa has shipped tens of thousands of printers to over 130 countries. In 2017, the company expects to do over €33M in revenue and Forbes Czech Republic estimated its valuation to be €236 million in 2016. Not only are his 3D printers one of the best-sellers around the world, they’re also “self-replicating”. Inside what Prusa calls “The Farm”, more than 300 printers are busy printing parts to construct new printers.

From the Prusa3d about page

Now, there are more than 300 people working in Prusa Research and we ship over 6000 printers worldwide directly from our HQ in Prague every month! We have become the no.1 fastest growing tech company in Central Europe (Deloitte 2018) with the growth rate of 17,118 % over the last four years!

In a May 31, 2019 post Prusa reported shipping 20,000 packages in one month. And in June of 2019 Prusa reported they have shipped over 130,000 printers.

So the number is probably at least up to 150,000 to 180,000 printers at this time October 2019 AND a new printer was released last week.

We will email a link to this article to Prusa and see if we can get an official number during open-source hardware month.


Open source hardware month @ Adafruit:


Ohm

October is open-source hardware month! Every single day in October we’ll be posting up some open-source stories from the last decade (and more!) about open-source hardware, open-source software, and beyond!

Have an open-source hardware (or software) success story? A person, company, or project to celebrate? An open-source challenge? Post up here in the comments or email opensource@adafruit.com, we’ll be looking for, and using the tag #OHM2019 online as well! Check out all the events going on here!