3D printed parts for a car

http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/news/71751824/the-car-of-the-future-to-use-3d-printed-parts

Car parts could use 3D printing techniques in the future, according to BMW

The car of the future to use 3D printed parts

Car companies will soon make use of 3D printing to manufacture parts, bringing benefits in cost and strength that will improve the affordability and driving character of future vehicles, according to BMW’s head of lightweight design Florian Schek.

While most vehicle manufacturers use the advanced technology during the development and design phase to quickly create prototype parts or models, Schek believes it won’t be long before the technology is transferred into end-consumer production techniques.

He admitted that it is likely to be used on low-volume speciality vehicles first as the time needed to mass-produce parts by 3D printing is not as quick as conventional methods such as casting and forging for metals, or as affordable as plastics. But he said the rapid advances in the technology will ensure its future application is viable.

“We have that already in prototyping,” he told Drive.

“But there is definitely a future for it in mainstream production. It will come.

“I think it will take some time in high-volume production, but it is not that far away for specialist models like the i8. We can do some very interesting things with 3D printing that we cannot do with other methods and it is quite exciting about the benefits, both in terms of design and structure.”

Schek said the benefits of 3D printing structural elements – including major components such as shock absorber towers – could see improvements in weight reductions and rigidity, as the printing process could create components more intricately.

“With 3D printing we can see advantages in being able to build parts with strength where it is needed and not in places where it isn’t, and this will help improve decreasing weight. We can design the part according to the forces that are running through it, this will be a big step forward for some areas,” he told Drive during the launch of the all-new BMW 7-Series, which uses different materials in its skeleton – including steel, aluminium and carbon fibre – to reduce weight and increase overall strength.

“I can also see it eventually improving time to production in some circumstances too, because some components currently need to go through many processes to be ready for assembly whereas with 3D printing it is designed to be a finished product.”

stuff.co.nz

by ANDREW MACLEAN | 06:00, September 6 2015

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Eco-friendly 3D printed supercar!

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/12/us-usa-3d-printed-supercar-idUSKCN0Q91W020150812

Eco-friendly 3D printed supercar

A California automotive start-up is hoping their prototype supercar will redefine car manufacturing. The sleek race car dubbed ‘Blade’ didn’t come off an assembly line – but out of a 3D printer.

Kevin Czinger of Divergent Microfactories has spent most of his career in the automotive industry. One day he realized that no matter how fuel-efficient or how few tailpipe emissions the modern car has, the business of car manufacturing is destroying the environment.

“3D printing of metal radically changes that. By looking at 3D printing not for that overall structure but to create individual modular structures that can be combined, that 3D printing transforms everything,” said Czinger during an interview with Reuters in Silicon Valley.

According to Czinger, 3D printing transforms everything by changing the way the structural components of cars are fabricated. Currently cars are pieced together on long assembly lines inside large factories that use massive amounts of energy. Even the most fuel-efficient car has a large carbon footprint before ever leaving the plant.

Czinger and his team’s approach was to take the large plant out of the equation. To accomplish this they printed the modular pieces that are used to connect carbon rods that make up the Blade’s chassis.

“The 3D printed chassis is only 102 pounds and has the same strength and safety protection as a frame made out of steel,” said Brad Balzer, the lead designer on the project.

By using carbon fiber instead of steel or aluminum for the body, the entire vehicle only weighs 1400 pounds (635kg), giving it twice the weight to horsepower ratio of a Bugatti Veyron.

The Blade is fitted with a 700 horse power engine that runs on natural gas, reducing its carbon footprint even further.

Balzer says designing an eco-friendly speed demon supercar as their first prototype was intentional.

“We focused a lot on the aesthetics of this car because it is very important to capture the people’s imaginations, especially when we are talking about the core enabling technologies,” he said.

The core enabling technology, the ability to print out car components that can be easily assembled, is what Kevin Czinger hopes will revolutionize car manufacturing. He says electric cars are a step in the right direction, but alone they won’t be enough to curb greenhouse emissions given the projected rise in demand for cars globally unless the way they are manufactured changes.

“By constructing a car this way it has less than one third of the environmental and health impact than the 85 hours all electric car for example has,” he added.

Czinger and Balzer are starting small but they believe their new 3D printing method for car manufacturing will have a huge impact on how the cars of the future are built.

reuters.com

by BEN GRUBER | Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:14pm EDT

First 3D printed Supercar!

http://3dprint.com/74810/3d-printed-supercar-blade/

bladefeatured

World’s First 3D Printed Supercar is Unveiled – 0-60 in 2.2 Seconds, 700 HP Motor – Built from Unique Node System

The automobile industry has been relatively stagnant for the past several decades. While new car designs are released annually, and computer technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, the manufacturing processes and the effects that these processes have on our environment have remain relatively unchanged. Over the past decade or so, 3D printing has shown some promise in the manufacturing of automobiles, yet it has not quite lived up to its potential, at least according to Kevin Czinger, founder and CEO of a company called Divergent Microfactories (DM).

dm1

Today, at the O’Reilly Solid Conference in San Francisco, Kevin Czinger is about to shock the world with a keynote presentation he will give titled, “Dematerializing Auto Manufacturing.”

“Divergent Microfactories is going to unveil a supercar that is built based on 3D printed parts,” Manny Vara of LMG PR tells 3DPrint.com. “It is very light and super fast — can you say faster acceleration than a McLaren P1, and 2x the power-to-weight ratio of a Bugatti Veyron? But the car itself is only part of the story. The company is actually trying to completely change how cars are made in order to hugely reduce the amount of materials, power, pollution and cost associated with making traditional cars.”

The vehicle, called the Blade, has 1/3 the emissions of an electric car and 1/50 the factory capital costs of other manufactured cars.  Unlike previous 3D printed vehicles that we have seen, such as Local Motors’ car that they have printed several times, DM’s manufacturing process differs quite a bit. Instead of 3D printing an entire vehicle, they 3D print aluminum ‘nodes’ which act in a similar fashion to Lego blocks. 3D printing allows DM to create elaborate and complex shaped nodes which are then joined together by off-the-shelf carbon fiber tubing. Once the nodes are printed, the chassis of a car can be completely assembled in a matter of minutes by semiskilled workers. The process of constructing the chassis is one which requires much less capital and other resources, and doesn’t require the extremely skilled and trained workers that other car manufacturing techniques rely on. The important goal that DM is striving for, and it appears they have accomplished, is the reduction of pollution and environmental impact.

Individual 3D printed aluminum nodes

Today, Czinger and the rest of the team at Divergent Microfactories will be unveiling their first prototype car, the Blade.

“Society has made great strides in its awareness and adoption of cleaner and greener cars,” explains CEO Kevin Czinger. “The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly. At Divergent Microfactories, we’ve found a way to make automobiles that holds the promise of radically reducing the resource use and pollution generated by manufacturing. It also holds the promise of making large-scale car manufacturing affordable for small teams of innovators. And as Blade proves, we’ve done it without sacrificing style or substance. We’ve developed a sustainable path forward for the car industry that we believe will result in a renaissance in car manufacturing, with innovative, eco-friendly cars like Blade being designed and built in microfactories around the world.”

Assembling of the 3D printed nodes and carbon fiber tubing to construct the chassis

The Blade is one heck of a supercar, capable of going from 0-60 MPH in a mere 2.2 seconds. It weighs just 1,400 pounds, and is powered by a 4-cylinder 700-horsepower bi-fuel internal combustion engine that is capable of using either gasoline or compressed natural gas as fuel. The car chassis is made up of approximately 70 3D printed aluminum nodes, and it took only 30 minutes to build the chassis by hand. The chassis itself weighs just 61 pounds.

“The body of the car is composite,” Vara tells us. “One cool thing is that the body itself is not structural, so you could build it out of just about any material, even something like spandex. The important piece, structurally, is the chassis.”

Kevin Czinger, Founder and CEO, Divergent Microfactories, Inc. with the Blade Supercar

The initial plan is for DM to scale up to an annual production of 10,000 of these limited supercars, making them available to potential customers. This isn’t all though, as DM doesn’t merely plan on just being satisfied by manufacturing cars via this method. They plan on making the technology available to others as well. On top of selling these supercars, they will also sell the tools and technologies so that small teams of innovators and entrepreneurs can open microfactories and build their own cars, based on their own unique designs. Whether it is a sedan, pickup truck or another type of supercar, it is all possible with this proprietary 3D printed node technology.

Pre-painted Blade supercar

The node-enabled chassis of cars built using this unique 3D printing method, are up to 90% lighter, much stronger, and more durable than cars built with more traditional techniques. Could we be looking at a great ideology change within the automobile manufacturing industry? Lighter, stronger, more durable, more affordable, environmentally satisfying vehicles are definitely something that just about anyone should consider a step in the right direction.

3D printing has been touted as a technology of the future, for the future, enabling individual customization of many products. Now, the ability for entrepreneurs to enter an industry previously overrun by huge corporations could mean a future with individualized, custom vehicles which perform and appear just the way we want them. If Divergent Microfactories has a say, this will be our future, and that future isn’t too far off.

pre-painted Blade supercar

What do you think about this 3D printed supercar? Do you like the idea of entrepreneurs having an opportunity to fabricate their own line of vehicles? Is DM onto something with this unique method of automobile manufacturing? Discuss in the Divergent Microfactories 3D Printed Supercar Forum thread on 3DPB.com.

blade1

3dprint.com

by  | JUNE 24, 2015

3D printed model car shop

http://3dprint.com/72827/ford-3d-store-printed-cars/

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Ford Launches Online 3D Printed Model Car Shop – Print Your Favorite Ford Car or Truck Today

The automobile industry has long been known to be one of the most aggressive when it comes to using 3D printing technology. In fact, car manufacturers were some of the very first businesses to utilize 3D printing in order to rapidly prototype various automobile parts and designs. This has been going on literally for decades, but in recent times, we have begun to see car manufacturers take the idea of 3D printing a few step further. There have been car parts which have been completely 3D printed, entire cars — in the case of Local Motors — that have been printed in plastic, and various other innovations going on within the automobile industry. 3D printing certainly has its place not only in current car manufacturing but in the future as well.

ford1

Today, Ford Motor Company has informed 3DPrint.com that they are taking things to a whole new level when it comes to 3D printing. No, they aren’t 3D printing an entire car, nor are they allowing people to 3D print replacement parts, but what they are doing will certainly appeal to both fans of the company as well as car enthusiasts and collectors in general.

“Just in time for Father’s Day! Today Ford announced that it is the first automaker to open a one-stop 3D digital shop – the Ford 3D Store,” Ford Motor Company tells 3DPrint.com. “Now, with the help of Turbosquid, Ford fans can use advanced technology to make their own models of Ford vehicles or opt to purchase a 3D digital file from a growing library of more than 1,000 Ford vehicle images.”

Available to order models include the new Ford GT, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350R, Focus ST, and Fiesta ST with plenty more models coming in the very near future. These models are printed at 1:32 scale in plastic and are priced at $39.00. However, if you own a 3D printer yourself, or have access to one, you can purchase the 3D design files for a measly $4.99. This allows you to scale the car to whatever size you wish and print it out yourself.

fordnew

“3D printing at home is a growing trend, and it makes sense for us to offer our customers a chance to make their own 3D Ford models,” explained Mark Bentley, licensing manager of Ford Global Brand Licensing. “At Ford, we’re using 3D printing every day to rapidly prototype parts, and now we want to share that fun with our fans.”

So what exactly spurred Ford into making these incredibly detailed and accurate replicas available to 3D print? Seemingly it is the fact that researchers are predicting that sales of desktop 3D printers will exceed 1 million units within the next 3 years, over twenty times the number sold last year.

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The Ford 3D Store website has been built by Turbosquid, a company that specializes in selling 3D models and stock images. They have extensive experience when it comes to selling similar models which are capable of being 3D printed, so they have a clear understanding of IP laws and various methods of securing files. When users purchase a 3D model, they must agree not to distribute it elsewhere.  This has the potential of bringing up an issue which certainly has been looming for the 3D printing space for the past few years. It should be interesting to see how companies like Ford and Turbosquid ultimately deal with such IP conflicts that may arise if people begin to freely share these files, without providing Ford with any royalties.

“TurboSquid already allows customers to purchase more than 1,000 unique, licensed digital images of Ford products ranging from the Model T to the all-new Ford GT,” said Bentley. “We’re at the forefront of licensing 3D automotive images, and it made sense that TurboSquid help us complete that connection to the consumer.”

Without a doubt, this is huge news for the 3D printing space. The idea that individuals can now purchase 3D printed models of licensed replicas, or the design files for these vehicles and then print them out themselves, is something that no other car manufacturer has yet to do. It should be interesting to see how well this business model works, and we will certainly be keeping an eye out for future models which are released to the Ford 3D Store.

ford5

What do you think about this announcement? Will you be downloading and printing your own Ford vehicles anytime soon? Should other car manufacturers contemplate doing the same thing as Ford has? Discuss in the Ford 3D Store forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3dprint.com

by  | JUNE 11, 2015

3D printed estate set

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/03/americas/architect-3d-prints-luxury-estate/

An artists rendering of a 3D-printed estate which is set to be built by architect Adam Kushner in conjunction with 3D-printing firm D-Shape.

The luxury 3D printed estate set to be made from sand, dust and gravel

(CNN)There’s already a 3D-printed house being built in the Netherlands. In China, 3D-printed mansions are reportedly on the rise.

Now, a 3D printed estate featuring a swimming pool, jacuzzi, car port and 2,400 square foot house could be coming to a sleepy plot of land in upstate New York.

The ambitious project is being undertaken by New York City architect Adam Kushner, alongside partners including 3D-printing pioneer Enrico Dini and his D-Shape firm.

Kushner told CNN that surveying has already begun with excavation work also set to commence soon.

The swimming pool and jacuzzi are penciled in to be completed by December 2015 while construction of the house is expected to continue until the end of 2017, he says.

An artists rendering of the pool house which will be 3D printed by D-Shape.

But the project hinges on getting the giant 3D printer, which will be used to produce the digitally designed building blocks of the estate on-site, into the country.

The device is currently in Italy after it was originally being built for a project partly funded by the Italian defense agencies. Military clearance is now required before the green light is given to export the printer to the United States, Dini says.

The delay in receiving this clearance is part of the reason the project has been held up since it was first announced back in August 2014.

“We are now waiting (for) permission to borrow the printer (from the military),” Dini says. “If I had another printer I’d send it there tomorrow, but unfortunately we don’t have and must wait.”

The litmus test

Whatever the import-export issues, Kushner says he sees the estate project as a test of D-Shape’s printer technology and its distinctive method.

This practice entails collecting sand, dust and gravel on site and mixing them with a magnesium-based binding agent to produce the 3D-printed building blocks required to piece the estate together. According to literature on the D-Shape website, the material produced by the printer is “similar to marble” in its constitution.

This technique is vastly different from other 3D-printing methods, Kushner says, and enables the production of many more “sculptural forms” that simply aren’t possible with other systems.

If D-Shape can prove its technology works and is efficient for a project of this size, Kushner believes it could lead to all manner of possibilities in architecture and construction. Not only could it be faster and safer than existing construction methods, he says, it could also end up being cheaper, more streamlined and of higher quality.

A Dini 3D printer like this one will be used to construct Adam Kushner's 3D printed estate in upstate New York.

And although the 3D-printed estate is something only the very wealthiest would be able to replicate, Kushner sees D-Shape’s construction methods benefiting the less fortunate as well.

“This will serve as a way of using our project to … pave the way for more humanitarian purposes that we see as the highest and best use for our technology,” he says.

“If we can build a simple pool house, I can print thousands of refugee housings. If I can build a pool, I can print underwater reefs (which he says D-Shape has already done before) to repair bridges, piers and infrastructures.”

A technology on the rise?

Integrating progressively more advanced 3D-printing methods into the construction industry has been a topic that has generated many eye-catching headlines in recent years.

The process of contour crafting — where large 3D printers are assembled on a building site (much like what will happen on Kushner’s estate) and programmed to construct pre-designed concrete structures and their relevant sub-components — was put forward by Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California as far back as 2009.

Khoshnevis told industry website 3DPrint.com earlier this year that the first printers large enough for his version of contour crafting should become available within the next two years. He added that the method could even be used to build high-rise structures within ten years.

Chinese firm WinSun seemed to take inspiration from Khoshnevis’ methods when they claimed to have 3D printed a mansion and six-story tower block in the city of Suzhou, eastern China earlier this year.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, DUS Architects continue to piece together a 3D-printed house using its “KamerMaker” machine. Company co-founder Katherine De Wit described the DUS technique as being a potentially valuable tool that could be added to those already used to build homes.

An artists impression of the DUS Architects 3D printed house.

Other experts, however are more cautious about the immediate potential of 3D-printing technology in the construction industry.

In an interview with CNN in 2014, Dr. Phil Reeves, managing director of UK-based 3D-printing consultancy and research firm Econolyst, described 3D-printing a house on site like that planned by DUS as counter to existing building techniques which are already relatively efficient.

Then there are other fast-developing building methods like prefabricated construction which entails manufacturing components in a factory before transporting and rapidly piecing them together on a building site.

Chinese firm Broad Sustainable Building claimed to have used this method to piece together a 57-story skyscraper in just 19 days earlier this year.

For Kushner, however, the benefits of large-scale 3D-printing are many and will likely increase as the technology becomes more advanced.

“This is not superfluous, nor a lazy architects idyll,” he says. “I think it’s as important as the automobile was in changing the design of cities or how the printing press altered communication.”

“Why? Because it democratizes construction and architecture and puts it into everyone’s hands, just like the camera phone made everyone a photographer. Not everyone is good at it but everyone can become one.”

edition.cnn.com

3D printing a jet engine and car

http://singularityhub.com/2015/05/26/why-3d-printing-a-jet-engine-or-car-is-just-the-beginning/

Why 3D Printing a Jet Engine or Car Is Just the Beginning

The 3D printing (digital manufacturing) market has had a lot of hype over the past few years.

Most recently, it seems this technology arena has entered the “trough of disillusionment,” as 3D printing stock prices have taken a hit. But the fact remains: this exponential technology is still in its childhood and its potential for massive disruption (of manufacturing and supply chains) lies before us.

This article is about 3D printing’s vast potential — our ability to soon 3D print complex systems like jet engines, rocket engines, cars and even houses.

But first, a few facts:

  • Today, we can 3D print in some 300 different materials, ranging from titanium to chocolate.
  • We can 3D print in full color.
  • We can 3D print in mixed materials — imagine a single print that combines metals, plastics and rubbers.
  • Best of all, complexity and personalization come for free.

What Does It Mean for “Complexity to Be Free”?

Think about this: If you 3D print a solid block of titanium, or an equal-sized block with a thousand moving components inside, the time and cost of both 3D printings is almost exactly the same (the solid block is actually more expensive from a materials cost).

Complexity and personalization in the 3D printing process come for free — i.e. no additional cost and no additional time. Today, we’re finding we can 3D print things that you can’t manufacture any other way.

Let’s take a look at some of the exciting things being 3D printed now.

3D Printing Rocket Engines

SpaceX 3D printed main oxidizer valves (MOVs).

In 2014, SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket with a 3D-printed Main Oxidizer Valve (MOV) body in one of the nine Merlin 1D engines (the print took less than two days —whereas a traditional castings process can take months).

Even more impressive, SpaceX is now 3D printing its SuperDraco engine chamber for the Dragon 2 capsule.

According to SpaceX, the process “resulted in an order of magnitude reduction in lead-time compared with traditional machining — the path from the initial concept to the first hotfire was just over three months.”

On a similar note, Planetary Resources Inc. (PRI) is demonstrating the 3D printing of integrated propulsion and structures of its ARKYD series of spacecraft. This technology has the potential to reduce the parts count by 100x, with an equal reduction in cost and labor.

3D Printing Jet Engines

GE recently engineers recently designed, 3D printed, and fired up this simple jet engine.

GE has just demonstrated the 3D printing of a complete, functioning jet engine (the size of a football), able to achieve 33,000 RPM.

3D printing has been used for decades to prototype parts — but now, with advances in laser technology, modeling and printing technology, GE has actually 3D printed a complete product.

Xinhua Wu, a lead researcher at Australia’s Monash University, recently explained the allure of 3D printed jet engines. Because of their complexity, she noted, manufacturing jet engine parts requires on the order of 6 to 24 months. But 3D printing reduces manufacturing time to something more like one to two weeks.

“Simple or complex, 3D printing doesn’t care,” she said. “It produces [parts] in the same time.”

3D Printing Cars

Last year, Jay Rogers from Local Motors built a 3D printed car.

Local Motors 3D printed car.

It’s made of ABS plastic reinforced with carbon fiber. As they describe, “Everything on the car that could be integrated into a single material piece has been printed. This includes the chassis/frame, exterior body, and some interior features. The mechanical components of the vehicle, like battery, motors, wiring, and suspension, are sourced from Renault’s Twizy, an electric powered city car.”

It is called “The Strati,” costs $15,000, and gets 80 kilometers range on a single charge. Today, the car takes 44 hours to print, but soon the team at Local Motors plans to cut the print process to less than 24 hours.

In the past, producing a new car with a new design was very expensive and time consuming — especially when it comes to actually designing the tooling to handle the production of the newly designed car.

With additive manufacturing, once you’ve designed the vehicle on a computer, you literally press *print*.

3D Printing Houses

WinSun 3D printed house.

In China, a company called WinSun Decoration Design Engineering 3D printed 10 full-sized houses in a single day last year. They used a quick-drying concrete mixture composed mostly of recycled construction and waste material and pulled it off at a cost of less than $5,000 per house. Instead of using, say, bricks and mortar, the system extrudes a mix of high-grade cement and glass fiber material and prints it, layer by layer.

The printers are 105 feet by 33 feet each and can print almost any digital design that the clients request. The process is environmentally friendly, fast and nearly labor-free

Manufacturing Is a $10 Trillion Business Ripe for Disruption

We will continue to see advances in additive manufacturing dramatically changing how we produce the core infrastructure and machines that makes modern life possible.

singularityhub.com

by  | MAY 26, 2015

3D printed replica of Shelby Cobra

http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/videos/a25659/watch-the-government-3d-print-a-shelby-cobra-replica/

Watch the government 3D print a Shelby Cobra replica

Carbon fiber-reinforced plastic printing uses highly energy-efficient manufacturing techniques created at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

I’m not sure how this flew under our radar, but at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, back in January, the Department of Energy showed off an electric vehicle they’d 3D-printed out of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. It was inspired by the iconic Shelby Cobra, but it most definitely wasn’t a replica.

The folks at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory put it all together, to show off their Big Area Additive Manufacturing technology that could allow for rapid prototyping to fully move out of the clay-model era. The spokesperson for ORNL claims that their improvements on 3D printing with these materials substantially reduce energy use, and allow for energy-absorbing structures to be printed—technologies they think could prove revolutionary to the transportation sector.

roadandtrack.com

by  | APR 30, 2015  4:25 PM

3D printing capabilities and drones

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/drones-might-be-getting-smaller-3d-printing-technology-can-make-them-faster-lighter-1498237

Boeing and Sheffield University's 3D printed UAV

Drones might be getting smaller but 3D printing technology can make them faster and lighter

The past two years has seen the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry transform from being a military tool and a niche aerial hobbyist aircraft to a technology that has a wide number of commercial and consumer use cases.

This has come about due to the advent of much smaller UAVs, or rather drones that weigh less than 20kg, which has finally convinced authorities around the world that they are safe enough for widespread use.

However, although they are light, drones are about to get a lot lighter still as 3D printing technology is now being trialled to speed up prototyping and production, and the materials being developed are even better than those used in consumer and professional drone rigs today.

In the UK, aerospace and defence manufacturer Boeing is working with the University of Sheffield to research and develop complexly designed UAVs more cheaply using 3D printing, which is also known as additive manufacturing.

The engineers have succeeded in using Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), a type of 3D printing technology, to print out all the components needed in a drone, including the catapult rig used to launch it into the air.

The drone consists of nine 3D printed thermoplastic parts that snap together. It features blended winglets and is powered by an electric ducted fan propulsion system incorporated into the airframe’s central spine.

“We’d like to use this kind of thing to show novel manufacturing methods. It’s still heavier than drones that use a foam wing, but the benefit is that you can quickly change it,” Dr Garth Nicholson, principal design engineer of Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing’s Design Prototyping and Testing Centre, told IBTimes UK at the SkyTech 2015 drone trade show in London.

“We envision that in a humanitarian situation with a number of pilots who could only bring a limited number of spare parts of them, they could have a 3D printer in the field to print parts, or replace and put in different sensors that they need at the time.

“The benefit would be that you could also quickly rip it up, dispose of it safely and produce a new completely new rig in less than 24 hours.”

Using CarbonSLS to build drones

Other companies, such as Buckinghamshire-based firm Graphite Additive Manufacturing is looking into Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), another 3D printing technology, in order to produce lighter drones.

Drone 3D printed from CarbonSLS

“We’ve developed a material called CarbonSLS which uses a nylon powder with added carbon fibre strands. It was developed for use in Formula One racing cars, so it’s strong and it’s light,” Keith Haynes, project manager of Graphite Additive Manufacturing, told IBTimes UK, also speaking at SkyTech 2015.

“By using CarbonSLS, we were able to save at least 25% in weight by replacing the frame of this quadcopter drone with a frame made from our material.

“It flew just as well as the original, but even easier to control as it’s moving less weight around.”

The firm was set up two years ago by Kevin Lambourne, who formerly worked for Red Bull Racing to provide 3D printed parts to build Formula One race cars, so the materials developed have had to be very tough.

Haynes said: “We’ve come from a motor sports background and it’s not something we planned to go into, but we’ve had so many requests from the military, aerospace companies and small drone businesses about using our material to build drones that we’re now actively promoting it.”

ibtimes.co.uk

by at SkyTech 2015 | April 24, 2015 18:16 BST

3D printed a full-size working car !

http://3dprint.com/53532/chinese-3d-printed-car/

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Chinese Company 3D Prints a Full-size Working Car for Just $1770

3D printing is going big, not just in a metaphorical sense. We have seen 3D printed buildings and cars begin to emerge as innovators look to the potential that this technology could have in the future. We saw the world’s first 3D printed car, the Urbee created in 2013. Then last year, a company called Local Motors surprised us all by 3D printing their Strati car in record time. Since then, Local Motors has been quickly iterating upon the processes they use and have already accomplished the full 3D printing of the Strati in just 44 hours flat.  They are now in the process of opening up microfactories worldwide in hopes of 3D printing custom vehicles for clients.

car8

Now, one company based in Sanya City, China, called Sanya Sihai, has just accomplished the 3D printing of yet another car. This car’s body weighs an impressive 500kg (1102 pounds) and is completely electric powered. The manufacturers say that it took about a month and a half to build, with the 3D printing process taking about 5 full days. Unlike the Strati car though, the interior of this one is not 3D printed, nor does this vehicle compete with Local Motors when it comes to aesthetics.

“The density of the material is much lighter than that of the metal, only one-seventh or one-eighth,” explains Chief Designer Chen Mingqiao. “Lighter weight will help save energy in the future.”

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Printed in a “Tyrant Gold” filament, the car used an astounding 500kg of filament in the 3D printing process. In total, including 1000 yuan for electricity and labor, the car cost about 11,000 yuan ($1770) to build. The 3D printed body itself, is estimated to have cost about 10 yuan per KG of material, meaning it costs the manufacturer about 5000 yuan ($805) to fabricate.

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This “Tyrant Gold” car can seat two, and travel at speeds of up to 40km/h (25 MPH). It measures 3.6-meters long (11.9ft) and 1.63-meters (5.5ft) wide.  Obviously, this is a great accomplishment for the Chinese based company, but it doesn’t come close to competing with what Local Motors has done or continues to do with their vehicles. Not only does the Strati look better, and go faster (40 MPH), but it is also able to be 3D printed in just 44 hours, compared to this car which took 5 days to complete. The Strati also features many more 3D printed parts, other than just the car’s body, including its seats and chassis.

It should be interesting to see how quickly Sanya Sihai is able to develop this car further, and if they will actually mass produce these vehicles in the future. While Local Motors remains leaps and bounds ahead of them as far as 3D printed car manufacturing goes, it should be interesting to see how serious they are about creating their 3D printed vehicles. What do you think about this 3D printed car? Discuss in the Chinese 3D Printed Car forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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3dprint.com

by  | MARCH 25, 2015

Inspirations by nature

A Futuristic Concept Car Inspired by Nature

http://www.popsci.com/3d-printed-car-inspired-leaf-plant

German engineering firm EDAG took inspiration from the leaf of a plant for its 3D-printed Light Cocoon concept car, which debuts at the Geneva Motor Show, open to the public through March 15.

Rather than printing the entire body shell of the vehicle out of a rigid composite material, as startup Local Motors is doing with its 3D-printed cars, EDAG instead created a lightweight metal structure optimized to use material only where absolutely necessary.

This 3D-printed skeleton is so strong that it doesn’t require traditional sheet metal panels for strength. Instead, a much lighter, high-tech waterproof fabric from German outdoor apparel company Jack Wolfskin envelopes the rigid structure. This triple-layer polyester jersey fabric, called Texapore Softshell O2+, is stretchy and allows light from LEDs underneath to pass through, creating a cool visual effect.

EDAG says the Light Cocoon’s novel construction is much lighter than conventional steel or aluminum body panels, but it did not say by how much.

The company first came up with the spiderweb-like construction method of the Light Cocoon concept car when engineering an aluminum hood for a production vehicle (it didn’t say for which automaker), whereby a network of hollow tubes under the sheet metal provided support and rigidity. This construction method met all necessary stiffness and crash requirements, yet was 25 percent lighter than a conventional car hood, EDAG says.

Though a vehicle based on the Light Cocoon is not likely to see production, EDAG did say that it will continue to refine its 3D printing methods. The company plans to show several car hoods made out of various materials using different additive manufacturing methods at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

“With the futuristic concept of our EDAG Light Cocoon, we hope to stimulate the discussion about the future of lightweight construction and automobile production,” said EDAG CEO Jörg Ohlsen, in a statement announcing the concept car.

The Geneva Motor Show opened to the public March 5 following two press preview days. It runs through March 15.

POPSCI.COM
by Matthew de Paula | March 6, 2015