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I3DMFG EOS M400-4

By i3d

I3DMFG First With EOS M400.4 + White Paper

I3DMFG, Inc. has become the first Additive Contract Manufacturer in North America to put into operation an EOS M400.4.  Along with this announcement is a white paper discussing the disruptive nature of Additive Manufacturing and why this is critical for manufacturers, both additive and subtractive.

The EOS M400.4

An ultra-fast quad-laser system with a large building volume. It provides Additive Manufacturing for high-quality parts and is designed for speed and precision.

Four lasers for more productivity

  • Large building volume of 400 x 400 x 400 mm with four 400 watt lasers operating independently
  • The four precise 400 watt fiber lasers operate in a 250 mm x 250 mm square each with an overlap area of 50 mm
  • High build rate of 100 cm³/h

4 Lasers – First-class DMLS quality

  • Exceptional beam and power stability provides highest DMLS part quality
  • All processes running on the EOS M 290 can be transferred to the EOS M 400-4 and deliver equivalent part properties.
  • New and patented EOS ClearFlow Technology ensures consistent process gas management for ideal build conditions
  • Extensive monitoring features ensure high process stability and part quality

I3DMFG is happy to announce that they are the first Additive Contract Manufacturer in the U.S. to have the EOS M400.4 in production.

Additive Manufacturing Disruptive Whitepaper

EOS just released a new white paper discussing the disruptive nature of Additive Manufacturing. The white paper discusses how to approach Additive Manufacturing from three different angles.

One quote that stands out in the article is from Gungor Kara, Additive Minds:

Soon, there will only be two kinds of players – manufacturers who disrupt the market and those whose business is disrupted.

The paper introduces a best-practice approach to becoming an industrial champion in the decade to come as it relates to additive manufacturing and remaining competitive.

You can find the white paper here in our resource library.

 

By i3d

Reimagining Rocket Engine Design With 3D Printing

A UK Software company, Betatype, is pushing engineers to rethink and reimagine rocket engine design using 3D metal printing, or additive manufacturing.

The most recent example comes from a Betatype engineer, Marten Jurg, who has applied this philosophy while working on his postdoctorate degree.

Here’s exactly how they are pushing the boundaries of 3D printing:

  • They have successfully deployed an open file format called Arch which simplifies the handling of complicated CAD files
  • Engine processes an object for production in a powder bed fusion system.
  • Pilot assesses the optimal movements of a laser to produce fine details

Together, these components have allowed Jurg to integrate a fine lattice into the wall of an engine’s shell, resulting in an even cooling of the engine and its contents, typically fueled by liquid hydrogen that must be stored at −252.882 °C (−423.188 °F).

These “optimized” features of Betatype’s platform have enabled the engineers to create a sample of a scaled-down rocket engine printed in Stainless Steel 316L on an EOS M280 machine. Using a bigger machine, another company called AMAERO has taken Betatype’s platform and created an even larger version, bringing it to near operational capacity.

Betatype says this on their company blog,

PART OF OUR AIM WITH WORKING CLOSELY WITH PARTNERS SUCH AS MARTEN IS TO UNDERSTAND THE DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING CHALLENGES THAT EXIST WITHIN INDUSTRIAL ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING [….] BUILDING TECHNOLOGIES THAT DIRECTLY LEARN FROM EMERGING APPLICATIONS IS KEY TO UNDERSTANDING THE REAL CHALLENGES FOR AM TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE.

Featured image: Marten Jurg’s rocket engine design, 3D printed with a cooling mesh wall on an EOS M280. Photo via Betatype

3D rocket engine preburn

By i3d

Significant 3D Printed Rocket Engine Milestone Reached

Aerojet Rocketdyne is pushing the 3D printing envelope once again with their latest tests. They recently reported two milestones that have been reached in the development of the 3D printed AR1 rocket engine.

Due to the outcomes of their testing, the AR1 rocket engine is now slated for certification by 2019 which will replace the Russian made RD-180 engine.

According to Aerojet, the “AR1 is the lowest-risk, lowest-cost-to-the-taxpayer and fastest path to eliminating U.S. dependence on foreign suppliers.”

So what part of the engine are 3D printed? The preburner, which drives the engine’s turbomachinery and features Aerojet’s “proprietary Mondaloy™ high-strength, burn resistant nickel-based super alloy.”

This milestone by Aerojet Rocketdyne also moves them a step closer to fulfilling a congressional mandate to end U.S. dependence on Russian engine technology for military launches. The company says that 3D printing is what has enabled them to get to this point.

Passing this milestone was also significant because they had to complete the Critical Design Review phase which has traditionally been harsh to do in regards to 3D printing.  They were able to successfully pass that so it was a huge milestone not only for Aerodyne but for 3D metal printing/additive manufacturing

Aerodyne CEO Eileen Drake explains that this milestone means the engine design is now finalized and confirmed before stating the company is “ready to build our first engine for qualification and certification.”

Aerojet-Rocketdyne-3-D-Printed-Copper-Thrust-Chamber-Assembly

By i3d

Aerojet Rocketdyne Tests 3D Printed Thrust Chamber With Success

Aerojet Rocketdyne Tests 3D Printed Thrust Chamber With Success

Aerojet Rocketdyne, a California based company, announced that they have successfully completed a hot-fire test of their 3D printed thrust chamber.

After the test, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Manufacturing Program Manager, Jeff Hynes, said,

“truly transformative as it opens up new design possibilities and paves the way for a new generation of low-cost rocket engines.”

The hot-fire test was done on the RL-10 rocket engine and 475 RL-10 engines have flown to space since their introduction in 1963. There have been a lot of upgrades since then and 3D printing has now taken them into a new phase.

The test and the fact that the thruster was created using 3D metal printing, is truly transformative. The 3D printed copper thrust chamber replaces a series of complex stainless steel tubes which were formerly used. By using 3D printing the company managed to reduce the number of parts in the thrust chamber by 90% to just two components. The design also improves heat transfer within the part, and took only a month to 3D print, saving several months of lead time.

Christine Cooley, Director of the RL10 program, feels that the successful test of the thruster will move the company forward. She suggested that the addition of 3D printing and the need to be more efficient is a result of many factors including growing competition. Several other companies are exploring the use of 3D printed rocket parts and one such company, Rocket Lab, is looking to send a rocket with a 3D printed engine to the moon.

 

AFIT 3D Printing

By i3d

Air Force Institute Of Technology Unveils New 3D Printer

The Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) has been using additive manufacturing to build prototypes with polymers for quite a long time, so it seems fitting that they would unveil a new metal additive manufacturing system of their own.

The system that AFIT designed enables them to digitally fabricate aerospace metal parts and is called the Concept Laser M2 3D Metal Printer system.

The entire metal printing process that they have developed is fairly automated from start to finish, including the “sieving” at the end, where as other systems need a lot more manual user handling in order to complete the process.

AFTIT’s system will focus on advancing three primary aerospace metals: inconel, titanium, and aluminum. AFTIT is embarking on this endeavor so they can become experts in aerospace metal printing and inform the Air Force on the practical implementation of metal additive components for flight-critical air and space applications.

Maj. Ryan O’Hara, assistant professor, Gradual School of Engineering and Management at AFIT, says,

Ultimately, this is a capability that enhances the defense focused graduate research that we are already doing, whether that is to produce prototypes faster or get someone into the lab for practical experimentation – those are all things we’ve traditionally done in polymers to facilitate research and technology applications, and now we’re applying these techniques with metal

One of the main advantages of the metal additive manufacturing system is that it can produce internal structures to traditional metal parts that could not normally be machined.

There is so much that AFIT can do with additive manufacturing that the possibilities are endless, especially now that they can rapidly print parts they were never able to before at such low cost and speed.

Boeing 3D Printing

By i3d

The Use Of 3D Printing At Boeing

The Use Of 3D Printing At Boeing

The use of 3D printing at Boeing is alive and strong and here’s how they are using it. Leo Christodoulou is the Director of Structures and Materials, Enterprise Operations and Technology at Boeing  (NYSE:BA). During a presentation at the recent Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace, Defense and Space conference he gave insights into how 3D printing is increasingly used at the world’s largest aerospace company and the largest U.S. manufacturing exporter.

The Pentagon just recently awarded Boeing a $679 million deal for the Super Hornet spacecraft which features at least 150 parts made using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) metal 3D printing. To date, there are more than 50,000 additive manufacturing parts being used successfully on Boeing aircraft.

Christodoulou, explaining the advantages to additive manufacturing, said:

AM holds at least three promising advantages. First, AM enables designs with novel geometries that would be difficult or impossible to achieve using CM processes, which can improve a component’s engineering performance. Second, AM can reduce the “cradle-to-gate” environmental footprints of component manufacturing through avoidance of the tools, dies, and materials scrap associated with CM processes. Third, novel geometries enabled by AM technologies can also lead to performance and environmental benefits in a component’s product application.

The general belief from Boeing’s perspective is that 3D printing will dominate tooling and it can cut costs by up to 70% which is extremely significant.  Additionally, Boeing sees ways that additive manufacturing can actually begin to create new design innovations and architectures.

future of additive manufacturing

By i3d

The Future Of Additive Manufacturing

The Future Of Additive Manufacturing

Last year, GE made headlines in the Additive Manufacturing world when they announced the purchase of Arcam AB and Concept Laser. This was the largest deal to date in the 3D printing industry. GE, somewhat of a newcomer to 3D metal printing, is now helping to push and define the future of additive manufacturing.

GE’s current Chief Productivity Officer and Senior Vice President, Philippe Cochet spoke many years ago about how, “the application of insights from digital connectivity with intelligent devices will elevate the skills of our workforce.”

As GE has ventured into the industry, they have defined three levels of thinking about additive manufacturing at an industrial level:

  • Component thinking
  • Systems thinking
  • DfAM (tearing down the product and designing for additive manufacturing)

The well known CFM LEAP-1A Fuel Nozzle is classed as level 1 additive thinking. In this case additive manufacturing was applied to an existing multi piece part, reducing the number of components from 20 to a single piece. One particularly costly process that was eliminated by the move to 3D printing was that a nickel alloy brazed together with  foils using gold, in traditional nozzle method is no longer required.

An example of level 2 thinking is the CT7 Combustor. This was an 18 month project on an engine that powers fixed wing craft. By using 3D printing, over 100 pieces were consolidated into one. (systems thinking)

Level 3, however, is where GE is today. An example is the Advanced Turboprop engine (ATP). 855 parts were reduced to 12 and the new process eliminated structural castings (though some casting is still required). The ATP has 20% lowered mission fuel burn, 5% weight reduction and the test schedule was reduced from 12 to 6 months.

Achieving these types of results is what will be driving additive manufacturing and the future of the industry. This gives freedom to enterprises seeking to push the boundaries of what is possible.

By i3d

I3DMFG Featured On A2Z Manufacturing Magazine Cover

I3DMFG Featured On A2Z Manufacturing Magazine Cover

I3D Manufacturing is the feature story and on the cover of the latest issues of A2Z Manufacturing Magazine. The story begins on page 26 and can be read right here.

A2Z did an incredible 3-page story highlighting how I3D is leading the way for additive manufacturing as an ITAR registered company and supporting some of the largest aerospace customers with cost-effective, small batch complex and high-value metal parts.

I3D is currently in the process of certifying to AS9100 Rev. D, by Q3 of 2017.

You can find a copy of this entire article here in our DMLS library as well.

3D Printing Aerospace

By i3d

3D Printing Aerospace With Donald Godfrey

3D Printing Aerospace With Donald Godfrey

Donald Godfrey of Honeywell is a pioneer is the additive manufacturing segment, and more specifically the use of 3D metal printing (DMLS) for Aerospace parts at Honeywell. He recently sat down for an interview (podcast) and discussed 3D printing Aerospace in regards to how rapid prototyping is providing incredible time and cost savings as well as detailing what engineering students need to know and be doing in school right now if they want to pursue this field.

Don is the chair to the Honeywell Aerospace Intellectual Property Steering Committee for Additive Manufacturing Technology. He’s responsible for the integration of 3D printing into the business cultures, really trying to find ways to put that into different areas within the company.

During the interview, we learn that Honeywell has really been a huge champion for 3D printing and specifically in the aerospace segment.  Don gave a great example,

Let me give you an example. When we do turbine blades, we don’t do turbine blades and it’s not our intention to do turbine blades in production. But for prototype, we do. It may take three years to get your hands on a production blade. Typically, what happens is that after you get that cast blade and it’s machined perfectly to print, you’ll flow air through it or you’ll put it in an engine test. Some engineer will want to go and change it.

That is a real problem because the tooling, to get to that point, you’ve already spent $600,000, $700,000, you’ve waited three years and now somebody wants to go change it. That means that tool that you just spent three quarters of a million dollars on, somebody’s out there machining on it. With this technology, what I can do is print those blades in about two weeks.

I can print what we call a rainbow of blades. Meaning, I can make some just a little bit different than others. Maybe the openings are a couple of thousandths larger or maybe the shapes just a slight differentiation from the baseline. I can do all of that in less than a month. Then, I can, say, if I made five different shapes of blades, I can take the best blade and then take that CAD file, go back to the casting house and say, “Make this.”

That’s some really good insight into what the future of this industry is. Don had a lot more to say and some incredible examples of how DMLS is shaping an entirely new generation of engineers and manufacturing industries.  You can listen to the podcast here.

 

By i3d

3D Printing Will Change Design and Manufacturing In 2017

3D Printing Will Change Design and Manufacturing In 2017

While much of the focus lately has been on Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality as well as machine learning and big data, 3D printing (Additive Manufacturing) is developing into something just as significant.

In 2017, experts believe that Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing, will have a huge impact on how we design and make things; even more so than it already has. Additive Manufacturing works by depositing layers of material (generally metal or plastic), to a template, and then lasering that material into place and repeating the process to build the required product.

Using Additive Manufacturing you can make anything from jet engine parts to replacement body parts to bikes and firearms.

3D Printing has had a lot of attention on the consumer side, however, it is rapidly growing as a major player and potential replacement to manufacturing in industry.

Two recent examples reported in Forbes,

Computerworld reported that researchers at MIT have created 3D-printed graphene, the one-molecule-thick wonder material, to make a material that they say is “lighter than air” but 10 times as strong as steel. If it can be scaled up, it could help to lightweight products such as aircraft, cars and filtration devices, saving huge amounts of fuel, costs and carbon emissions.

At the other end of the scale, CNN reports on a Dubai-based start-up called Cazza that says it can 3D print 200m2 of concrete a day, using a 3D-printing crane it calls the “Minitank.” By automating the process, the company says it can build structures more than 50% faster than conventional methods allow.
Siemens is major player and has been leading the industry making 3D printed burners for its turbines which creates one component that originally took 13 different parts with traditional subtractive manufacturing.
3D printing is also set to revolutionize maintenance and repair operations as well.
It’s good to note that Additive Manufacturing is not the answer for every situation. It currently remains feasible for high-value, complex, limited edition products and components.
Experts generally agree that over the next five years, Additive manufacturing will allow industry to cut costs by 50% and dramatically increase innovation.
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I3DMFG EOS M400-4
I3DMFG First With EOS M400.4 + White Paper
Reimagining Rocket Engine Design With 3D Printing
3D rocket engine preburn
Significant 3D Printed Rocket Engine Milestone Reached
Aerojet-Rocketdyne-3-D-Printed-Copper-Thrust-Chamber-Assembly
Aerojet Rocketdyne Tests 3D Printed Thrust Chamber With Success
AFIT 3D Printing
Air Force Institute Of Technology Unveils New 3D Printer
Boeing 3D Printing
The Use Of 3D Printing At Boeing
future of additive manufacturing
The Future Of Additive Manufacturing
I3DMFG Featured On A2Z Manufacturing Magazine Cover
3D Printing Aerospace
3D Printing Aerospace With Donald Godfrey
3D Printing Will Change Design and Manufacturing In 2017