Apr 16, 2018 | By David
In case the speed of 3D printing developments is getting a little too much for you, we’ve got another news round-up to stop you from falling behind. The latest stories you might have missed out on include a new aluminium powder for AM developed by Aeromet International and partners, a new biocomposite from UPM, and many more besides.
1. A20X 3D printing material in further development by Aeromet and partners
Aeromet International is leading a group of major manufacturing and technology companies in a new project known as High Strength Aluminium Powder for Additive Manufacture (HighSAP). The other companies involved are Renishaw, Rolls-Royce and PSI. The aim of the project is to further the development of the innovative A20X advanced aluminium powder for additive manufacturing. The group was recently awarded funding from the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP).
”Renishaw is very pleased to be a part of this project and for the innovative new A20X aluminium powder to be further developed using Renishaw’s additive manufacturing systems and network of Solutions Centres”, said Dr Martin McMahon, business development manager of Global Solutions Centres at Renishaw. ”Renishaw’s state of the art metal AM systems features high power multiple lasers, class leading inert processing environment, and a unique open parameter development platform, making them ideal for investigating innovative new materials like A20X.”
A20X is a family of next generation high-strength aluminium alloy technologies, that was originally developed and patented by Aeromet International. The A20X family includes the Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardisation (MMPDS)- approved A205 casting alloy, as well as A20X powder for additive manufacturing. A20X is an aluminium-copper alloy with a highly-refined microstructure, and it has a unique solidification mechanism that gives it greater strength, fatigue and thermal characteristics compared to other alloys.
2. UPM Biocomposites releases new material for 3D printing
Helsinki-based sustainable materials company UPM Biocomposites has developed a new biocomposite material for 3D printing, known as UPM Formi 3D. The material brings together advanced cellulose fiber and biopolymer, and it will be produced and sold in granule form to producers of 3D printing filaments, as well as directly for large-scale printing from granules.
The Formi 3D material has been specially engineered to flow more smoothly through small nozzles, enabling finer details in print jobs. The material’s fast cooling and low shrinkage also ensures that parts will have improved dimensional stability, which makes it the ideal material for large scale printing. Post-processing of parts will enable a wood-like, organic finish, due to its biological basis. It is amenable to fine sanding and has reduced paint absorption compared to similar materials.
UPM Formi 3D will be presented at this year’s NORDIC 3D EXPO at the Dipoli Conference Center in Espoo in Finland, on April 18 and 19.
3. DSM partners with 3Dmouthguard for 3D printed mouthguards
Global health and materials company DSM has announced a new collaboration, with 3Dmouthguard. 3Dmouthguard is involved with the digitization and optimization of the mouthguard production process, and together the two companies will seek to develop customized 3D printed mouthguards for sports.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sports-related dental injuries account for more than 600,000 visits to the emergency room each year in the U.S. An average of 26 percent of all dental injuries are related to sports, particularly contact sports or those with a high risk of impact with balls or other hard equipment. Out of a total of 20 different sports contributing to dental injuries, basketball, hockey, martial arts, and boxing carry the highest risk.
This partnership will address this demand for dental protection, improving the safety of athletes at all levels of their game. 3Dmouthguard’s process involved video scanning and capture of the inside of the mouth in a high level of a detail, to ensure a personalized, accurate fit. The implementation of DSM’s Arnitel material will improve these mouthguards even further. Arnitel is a bio-based material, that meets all strength and flexibility criteria, as well as the important health requirements related to dental devices.
The development of these mouthguards will also involve participation from dental equipment and technology provider Carestream Dental, as well as Dutch applied sciences institution NHL Stenden Hogeschool. The first tests of the mouthguards will be carried out by athletes of Dutch field hockey clubs, and the data gathered will be used to further develop both the technical and marketing sides of the project.
4. V&A Museum uses 3D technology to expand reach of its collection
London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has been making use of 3D printing and scanning technology in order to help out its local community, particularly the younger members. Children’s hospital Great Ormond Street is running an arts programme in collaboration with the V&A, supported by The Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation. The aim is to help provide children admitted there with serious health problems to have some fun and be distracted from their treatments, as well as giving them the education and access to arts that other children are able to have.
The most recent project involved young people who are being treated in isolation while they undergo bone marrow transplants. They were able to access 3D digital versions of many of the museum’s pieces, and to play around with them in a virtual environment. This involved the use of various entry-level 3D design software applications, such as Sculptris and 3DBuilder. With the help of V&A volunteers, they were also able to print out some of their creations, using a Makerbot 3D printer.
5. EDEM partners with the Barnes Group
Edinburgh-based software company EDEM has announced a new partnership with the Barnes Group, a Pittsburgh-based global leader in technology, systems & economics for additive manufacturing. The collaboration will be focused on advancing the use of simulation to aid design decisions for equipment and processes in 3D printing technology.
The partnership between the Barnes Group and EDEM will leverage EDEM’s market-leading Discrete Element Method (DEM) software. This simulation solution is used for bulk material simulation, enabling improved virtual testing of equipment by manufacturers as well as mining companies and other industries.
Barnes Group recognized the potential for DEM software to be applied to various aspects of the AM process, including powder delivery, spreading, and cleaning operations. Existing 3D printing processes often rely on trial-and-error to find the optimal processing conditions and printer set-up, especially when trying out new materials. The use of simulation will drastically cut down on the amount of labour and time required to adjust operational approaches.
Posted in 3D Printing Materials
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