3D printing – still quite a young space

http://bgr.com/2015/08/25/3d-printer-multimaterial-3d-printing-breakthrough/

3D Printer

Major technological advancement yields a printer that could change the face of 3D printing

While the technology has certainly generated plenty of buzz over the past few years, 3D printing is still quite a young space. Advancements in 3D printing are coming hot and heavy — just think about how affordable this technology is now, for example. Nearly anyone with a need for a 3D printer can now purchase one for just a few hundred dollars.

But affordability is hardly the only area where huge advancements are being made in 3D printing.

A group of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a prototype of what may quite literally end up being a game changer for 3D printing.

“Multimaterial printing” is the term for a process whereby a 3D printer creates objects out of more than one material at a time. The most common use case involves colors — a printer might build 3D objects in two or three different colors at once, rather than forcing the user to create different colored piece separately and then assemble them.

Now, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have created a 3D printer with multimaterial support that can print with 10 different materials at once. Most interesting, perhaps, is the fact that the printer supports not just different colors, but also different plastics and metals.

So, with this new printer, users may be able to print fully assembled objects made of several different materials. But wait… it gets even better.

The team from MIT has managed to build machine vision into its new printer. Using this technology, the 3D printer can correct printing errors on its own, with no input needed from its operators. It can also scan objects that already exist and 3D print directly onto them or around them. For example, it can print circuit boards directly onto an object.

Or, as an extremely basic example, imaging placing your smartphone in the device and having it 3D print a protective case around it.

More information on the project, which is being spearheaded by MIT engineers Pitchaya Sitthi-Amorn, Javier E. Ramos, Yuwang Wang, Joyce Kwan, Justin Lan, Wenshou Wang and Wojciech Matusik, can be found by following the link below in our source section.

bgr.com

by  |

Advertisements

The first 3D printed car in the world

After only 45 hours, Local Motors successfully 3D printed the Strati, an electric two-seater which can drive for up to 120 miles before charging and hit a maximum speed of 45mph.

Interested in buying one? They’ll be available later this year, at a price ranging from $18,000 to $30,000.

http://bgr.com/2014/…/14/local-motors-strati-3d-printed-car/

Local Motors Strati 3D Printed Car

While some people have successfully 3D printed buildings, others have taken the same approach to the car manufacturing business, as a company has just come out with a car called the Strati that’s the first 3D-printed car in the world. Scientific American reveals that it took Local Motors only 45 hours to build the Strati, a two-seater “neighborhood” electric car that has a range of up to 120 miles and a maximum speed of 40 mph.

Interestingly, the company plans to start selling Stratis for anywhere between $18,000 to $30,000 later this year, as it further refines its 3D-printing procedure.

“We expect in the next couple of months [printing a complete car] to be below 24 hours and then eventually get it below 10 hours, [down from 45 hours currently]” Local Motors CEO John Rogers said. “This is in a matter of months. Today, the best Detroit or Germany can do is 10 hours on a [production] line, after hundreds of years of progress.”

The car’s design was chosen from over 200 proposals submitted by Local Motors’ online community and Rogers says that the main advantage of 3D printed cars is that local communities may adopt such procedures to build cars best fitted to the resources available to them.

“In the future, you’ll still have … your Detroits that make one product the same over a million units,” the exec said. “And then I think you’ll have examples of microfactories that do things profitably at lower volumes—10,000 units, 15,000 units per year—and show the mass factories what they ought to build next.”

Local Motors chose an electric engine for the Strati because an electric powertrain was simpler to construct. Another advantage the Strati has is that it’s made from thermoplastic using a “Big Are Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine,” which is a fully recyclable material, meaning that it can be easily “chopped up and reprocessed back into another car.”

Even so, while using 3D printing technology to build a car might lead to less wasted material, a lot of energy might actually be required to print such vehicles.

BGR.COM
by  |