3D Printing News Briefs: December 3, 2019

We’re starting today’s 3D Printing News Briefs out with a new case study, and then concluding with some business. CRP USA has been working with additive manufacturing in the motorsports sector. Moving on, Gardner Aerospace has acquired FDM Digital Solutions Ltd. Finally, the Head of Engineering at Formlabs is joining up with Digital Alloys.

CRP USA AM in Motorsports Case Study

3D printed oil pan in Windform SP, University of Victoria’s Formula SAE race car 2019 version

The University of Victoria (UVic) Formula Motorsport team has been using 3D printed oil pans on their SAE competition cars for the last four years that were created with CRP USA‘s laser sintering process, and Windform TOP-LINE composite materials. As a CRP case study details, carbon-composite Windform XT 2.0 was used to print the oil pans for the race vehicles in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and while they performed “amazingly” the first two years, the engine overheated during a test of last year’s car, which caused the temperature of the oil to rise above what the pan could handle.

For this year’s vehicle, the team decided to use the carbon-filled Windform SP composite material to 3D print the oil pan, as it has a higher melting point. They also made the mating flange thicker to lessen the chances of failure, and both of these changes led to a better, more robust oil pan. At next week’s Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, CRP USA will be showing off some of the other 3D printed solutions it’s helped create for the motorsports industry at booth 1041 in the Green Hall.

Gardner Aerospace Acquires FDM Digital Solutions

Graeme Bond (FDM) & Dominic Cartwright (Gardner Aerospace)

Global manufacturer Gardner Aerospace announced its acquisition of FDM Digital Solutions Limited, one of the UK’s top polymer additive layer manufacturers. FDM was formed in 2012, and its business model of original design solutions, manufacturing capability, and customer collaboration is successful in the aerospace, automotive, medical, and motorsports industries. The company will now become part of the new Gardner Technology Centre business unit, which is focused on R&D and advanced technology.

“Gardner Aerospace is breaking new ground in terms of technology. The acquisition of FDM and the creation of our new Technology Centre business unit provides us with the perfect opportunity to expand our technical knowledge, R&D capability and product offering, and aligns us with our customers’ growing expectations on innovative solutions, continuous improvement and cost competitiveness,” stated Gardner Aerospace CEO Dominic Cartwright.

“The role of 3D printing within manufacturing is constantly expanding and this newly acquired additive layer manufacturing capability complements Gardner’s long-standing capabilities as a producer of metallic detailed parts and sub-assemblies.”

Formlabs’ Head of Engineering Joins Digital Alloys

Carl Calabria

Carl Calabria, an AM industry veteran and the Head of Engineering at Formlabs, is leaving the company to join Digital Alloys, Inc. as its CTO. The Burlington, Massachusetts-based 3D printing company introduced its unique Joule printing last year, which it claims is the fastest way to make the hardest metal parts, as the wire-feed process doesn’t require any metal powder. By adding Calabria to its team, where he will be responsible for the company’s research and engineering, Digital Alloys can accelerate the release of its high-speed metal AM process.

“Leaving Formlabs was a difficult decision, but I was drawn to the size of Digital Alloys’ market, the team, and the opportunity to use Joule Printing to deliver metal printing solutions that have the speed, cost and quality needed for volume manufacturing of larger parts,” said Calabria. “The remarkable technology is producing titanium and tool steel parts faster, and at lower cost than conventional manufacturing processes.”

Watch this video to see Digital Alloys’ Joule printing process in action:


What do you think? Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the comments below. 

The post 3D Printing News Briefs: December 3, 2019 appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

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CRP: producing excellence with additive manufacturing technology and high-performance materials

Energica Ego Corsa for FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup, with some 3D printed parts by CRP Technology














Since the mid-90’s, CRP Technology (headquartered in Modena, Italy) has been changing the rules of manufacturing.

Most in the manufacturing Industry may have only discovered the world of additive manufacturing and 3D printing in the last decade, but CRP Technology has been familiar with its most inner dealings since 1996, when the company created, in-house, one of the first 3D printing departments with professional printers, backed up by an R&D department for material development, capable of transforming rapid prototyping into rapid manufacturing.

Franco Cevolini, VP and CTO at CRP Technology, with Energica Ego

“We’ve always believed and invested in innovation and technology” commented Eng. Franco Cevolini, VP and CTO at CRP Technology “and we still do. Since the beginning of this fulfilling business experience, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge… and now we pave new roads in technological innovations which others try to pursue, setting rules that have been adopted by others in the 3D printing of polymers”.

“Since our debut in the new-born 3D printing market,” Cevolini added “we have been working for the elite of the most demanding industrial segments, such as Motorsports and Aerospace. At that time many 3D printing suppliers in the market were not dependable yet.”

Many years of experience have contributed to the creation of the “CRP Process”, which is synonymous with tangible, turnkey solutions which can satisfy any customers’ requirements”

How it all began

CRP Technology is part of the CRP Group.  Founded in the Early Seventies by Roberto Cevolini as a company for high precision CNC machining in the Motorsports field, the company has expertly evolved over decades, skilfully responding to the demands of the international market, anticipating the need for highly unique manufacturing solutions worldwide.

In F1, obsessive attention to details quite often makes the difference. There is continuous research for the next technological innovation to get that competitive advantage even of few hundredths of a second: the CRP Group’s F1 background helped CRP Technology become a leading company in the field of additive manufacturing and laser sintering materials.

Pioneering AM revolution: Windform® Top Line for LS technology

CRP Technology not only has been amongst the first to import additive manufacturing technology to Europe and Italy but also developed the Windform® Top Line family of materials for LS technology, some of the international market’s highest-performance laser sintering materials. In use for over 20 years in the Motorsports, space, UAV, medical and other most demanding sectors. Windform® was originally devised for use in Formula One Racing, first in the wind tunnel and then on the track.

Now the Laser Sintering (LS) polyamide-based glass or carbon fiber reinforced Windform® allow for the manufacturing of functional prototypes as well as finished, high-performance functional parts, that satisfy the needs of the most demanding industries for high-performance, durable, and detailed parts.

Windform® materials are approved for space applications by international space agencies (outgassing tests carried out by NASA, ESA, JAXA) and successfully have passed other testing, such as Flammability UL 94 and VUV.

The Windform® family composite materials for LS is constantly expanding: The Windform® Top Line is nowadays composed of seven different Windform® materials. Soon it will grow to eight, “when we launch new cutting-edge composite material, the first with exceptional properties in one. It will be unique.”


So much of CRP’s success in Aerodynamics and Entertainment fields is due to CRP USA, CRP’s US-based partner (Mooresville, North Carolina).

3D printed hybrid rocket engine manufactured by CRP USA using LS technology and Carbon-fiber reinforced Windform® XT 2.0 composite material

Under the guidance of Stewart Davis, CRP USA’s built up considerable experience supplying cutting edge solutions for key industry leaders that chose to manufacture in the Windform® family of materials.

Automotive Intake Manifold functional prototype made of Carbon-fiber reinforced Windform® SP composite material via LS technology

CRP USA contributes to mark new milestones in the most challenging and harsh 3D printed applications arena.

Constant investment in (new) technology

Tundra-M functional drone with 3D printed body and arms made of Carbon-fiber reinforced Windform® SP and Windform® XT 2.0 composite materials via LS technology

“Our aim is producing technological breakthroughs, constantly” added Franco Cevolini “and we invest in Research and Development as well as new technology: for that reason, CRP technology’s 3D printing department is expanding towards high-tech production. We are going to integrate in-house High-Speed Sintering, introducing the P line family of materialsWe will not stop here: we will continue our work on renewal and technological expansion in the field of Additive Manufacturing. Stay tuned!”

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CRP Technology, an Italian materials manufacturer, has announced that its proprietary Windform line of materials will not be available to 3D printing service bureaus anymore. On the formation of the new strategy the company stated, “The aim of CRP Technology is to ensure the highest quality in the manufacture of 3D printed components in Windform.” “For this […]

CRP Technology Used SLS 3D Printing and Windform XT 2.0 to Make Aircraft Model for Wind Tunnel Testing

The new AW609 wind tunnel model designed for Leonardo HD by Metaltech S.r.l. and 3D printed by CRP Technology

CRP Technology, part of the larger CRP Group, is well-known for its 3D printing applications in the automotive sector, but lest we forget that it is also accomplished in aerospace 3D printing, the company has come out with a new case study about its work creating a new 3D printed wind tunnel model (1:8.5 scale) of the Leonardo TiltRotor AW609 for the Leonardo Helicopter Division (Leonardo HD, formerly known as AgustaWestland).

According to the case study, CRP Technology was able to “highlight the perfect union” between its advanced SLS 3D printing technology and high-performance, composite Windform materials – particularly its Windform XT 2.0, a polyamide-based carbon fiber reinforced composite. Metaltech S.r.l. designed the model.

The goals of Leonardo HD’s project included:

  • design and manufacture an internal main structure out of aluminum alloy that can easily have new geometries added
  • complete the work in a very short timetable, but with an extremely high level of commonality and reliability
  • make components out of materials with high mechanical and aerodynamic characteristics

3D printed aircraft propeller spinners

These goals are why Leonardo HD was referred to CRP Technology – it would be able to meet these goals while 3D printing the external parts for the wind tunnel model, which was designed, manufactured, and assembled in order to complete a series of dedicated low-speed wind tunnel tests. Some of the parts that were 3D printed for the wind tunnel model include nose and cockpit components, fairings, external fuel tanks, rear fuselage, wings, and nacelles.

The level of detail that went into these 3D printed parts “is crucial to the applied loads to be sustainable,” as the wind’s aerodynamic loads in the tunnel are high. So load resistance was one of the more important project aspects, along with maintaining good dimensional tolerances, under load, of large components.

“It is important to remember that the performance of these components affects the final performance of the entire project, especially because the external fairings have to transfer the aerodynamic loads generated by the fuselage to the internal frame,” CRP Technology wrote in the case study.

3D printed tail fairing

The tests needed to cover the standard range of flight attitudes at Leonardo HD’s Michigan wind tunnel facility, in addition to Politecnico di Milano, and varying external geometries were changed during testing, so that technicians would be able to gain a better understanding of “aerodynamic phenomena.”

Today, the CAD-CAM approach is used to design models for wind tunnel testing, before an internal structural frame of aluminum and steel is milled and assembled. Then, 3D printing is used to obtain all external geometries. Because Leonardo HD used CRP Technology’s advanced 3D printing and Windform XT 2.0 material the project was completed much more quickly, with “excellent results and with high-performing mechanical and aerodynamic properties.”

CRP analyzed the dimensional designs that Leonardo HD had sent in order to make the best composite material recommendation: its Windform XT 2.0, with high heat deflection, increased tensile strength and modulus, superior stiffness, and excellent detail reproduction.

“The choice of the Windform XT 2.0 composite material was not casual, all the goals required by Leonardo HD were considered, such as the importance of a short realization time, good mechanical performances and also good dimensional characteristics,” CRP Technology wrote in the case study.

It was necessary to 3D print the single parts separately, as “some components were dimensionally superior to the construction volume of the 3D printing machines,” but CRP Technology was able to complete the project with no time delays. The company used CAD to evaluate the working volume’s functional measures in order to determine which parts to split, and to figure out how to maximize contact surface where structural adhesive would be added to the model.

3D printed aircraft nose and cockpit

It only took four days to 3D print the various parts of the components.

The case study noted, “Different confidential efficiencies, which are an integral part of CRP Technology’s specific know-how, allowed the reduction of the delivery lead time and allowed CRP to minimize the normal tolerances of this technology, and eradicate any potential problem of deformation or out of tolerance.”

The completed model underwent surface finishing, before it was assembled by Metaltech S.r.l. and mounted directly onto a rig assembly, so any small imperfections resulting from single components being put together could be optimized. Thanks to CRP Technology, this step was finished very quickly, and Leonardo HD was able to efficiently flatten the model’s surface and treat it with a special liquid to both prepare for painting and make the model waterproof.

Leonardo HD needed to review the behavior of the aircraft, and so completed a high-speed wind tunnel test campaign, which encompassed speeds Mach 0.2-Mach 0.6, on a new 1:6 scale model at NASA Ames Unitary Plan 11′ x 11′ transonic wind tunnel. The company called on CRP USA, based in North Carolina, to speed up the process, using its partner company’s SLS 3D printing and Windform XT 2.0 composite material to make the external fuselage and some additional components.

3D printed model installed in the 11’x 11’ test section at NASA Ames

While the architecture of the new 3D printed model, which spanned nearly 2 meters, is similar to the original AW609 version, some improvements were made so remote controls could be used for the wing flaperons and elevator surfaces. Additionally, by using four different 6-component strain gauge balances, all the loads were able to act on the complete model, the nacelle, the tail surfaces, and the wing alone.

The model was constructed in such a way as to be mounted in the transonic wind tunnel on a single strut straight sting support system.

Discuss this news and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.

[Images: Leonardo HD]

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