For this month’s first edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting with some 3D printing education news, then moving on to business and an aerospace industry announcement. MakerBot technology is being used in every school in a single New Jersey school district, while Praxair has introduced an additive manufacturing grant for North American universities. ITERATE was awarded an Innovate UK grant for an advanced 3D printing technology collaboration, and Techniplas will expand its additive manufacturing capabilities through a partnership with DWS-Digital Wax Systems. 3D Printhuset is hosting a large 3D printing construction conference later this month, and Sintavia has achieved an important industry certification. Finally, Orbital ATK had a successful test for its rocket with 3D printed components.
MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers Deployed Throughout Montclair Public School District
Back in 2015, MakerBot and the Montclair, New Jersey school district formed a partnership in order to set up the very first district-wide network of desktop 3D printers. There are 11 individual K-12 schools in the district and 6,625 students, so implementing lots of new, specialized technology was certainly not an easy task to undertake. But the district was committed to making sure its students, from elementary to high school, would graduate with 3D printing knowledge, and MakerBot built the industry’s first supported education solutions based on this need. Two years later, MakerBot and the Montclair school district discussed the impact that the 3D printing network is having on its students.
Dr. Joseph Putrino, Glenfield Middle School’s principal, said, “We brought in MakerBot to provide consistency and continuity for the program. Reliability was obviously a big factor, we didn’t want to bring something in that would fail – but we knew we’d be successful with MakerBot.”
Montclair educators make use of Thingiverse Education lesson plans, along with the recently released MakerBot Educators Guidebook. Additionally, the district’s STEM coordinator Daniel Taylor, who works at Buzz Aldrin Middle School in Montclair, offers support for all of the users and printers in the district.
Praxair Offering Additive Manufacturing Grants to North American Universities
Top industrial gas company Praxair announced that it will offer a limited number of in-kind additive manufacturing grants, through Praxair Surface Technologies (PST), to select North American universities. PST’s TruForm metal AM powder will be provided to grant recipients, along with consultations, material testing, and engineering assistance from PST to support metal AM courses and projects. You can fill out the grant application form here – applications will be accepted through December 31st, 2017, and recipients will be notified by February 28th, 2018.
“Each day, more and more universities are incorporating metal additive manufacturing courses into their curricula. We want to support growth in additive manufacturing projects within the academic community and believe that these grants will provide many new opportunities for students and teachers alike,” said Andy Shives, business manager for Additive Manufacturing at PST.
ITERATE Awarded Innovate UK Grant for Collaborative Research Project
Speaking of grants, design engineering company ITERATE has been awarded an Innovate UK grant to work on advancing 3D printing technology in a £1 million collaborative research project between Printed Electronics Ltd, the University of Warwick, and C Enterprise (UK) Ltd (CEL), makers of the CEL Robox. During the 18-month project, the partners will work to combine electrically conductive inks with a polymer-based materials deposition process, which could mean that wires would no longer be needed for electro-mechanical product assemblies. ITERATE will also be looking to work with product end users and manufacturers that could benefit from the new AM process.
“There are no machines on the market that accurately and reliably combine these two dissimilar materials to create production-grade results,” said Gethin Roberts, Managing Director at ITERATE. “Current 3D print technology is based on a Cartesian co-ordinate system (X,Y,Z), depositing one layer of material on top of another in a single plane to create a 3D object. This method has inherent limitations that affect surface finish, geometric tolerance and robustness. This project will overcome these challenges so that industry can cost effectively develop new products across an exciting array of market sectors – spanning military to healthcare.”
Techniplas Announces Partnership with DWS-Digital Wax Systems
This week, Techniplas announced a new partnership with DWS-Digital Wax Systems, an additive manufacturing leader with a range of precision stereolithography 3D printers and materials. DWS will help Techniplas expand its current additive manufacturing capabilities, bringing its professional 3D printing products to Techniplas’ open innovation program in California, which is quickly becoming an industry 4.0 collaboration hub.
“With this DWS partnership, we are accelerating the momentum and strengthening our commitment to design and develop the best digital manufacturing tools together with like-minded, industry leaders. DWS brings to this collaboration a comprehensive suite of precision printers capable of delivering high-volume metal castings and performance rubber materials that are ideal for automotive applications,” said Avi Reichental, Vice-Chairman, Techniplas, and CEO, Techniplas Digital.
3D Printhuset Hosting the Largest-Yet 3D Printing Construction Conference
In February, we heard about the first 3D printing construction conference in Scandinavia, hosted by 3D Printhuset and its consulting company Larsen & Partners in Copenhagen. As 3D printing continues to grow in importance in Europe, 3D Printhuset, together with the Danish Partnership for 3D Construction Printing, is organizing what it’s calling the largest 3D construction printing conference, again in Copenhagen, which will take place on November 30th, 2017. While Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis and his Contour Crafting will be the headliner, so to speak, conference attendees will also have the chance to visit The BOD (Building On Demand), Europe’s first up-to-code 3D printed building. In addition, representatives from the leading 3D construction companies from Europe, China, and the US, such as Apis Cor and Cazza Construction, will be on hand to present their views on 3D construction printing and its applications; 75% of the presentations will be in English.
“It is no surprise that the newcomers are praising 3D printing, but what we are starting to see now is that the conventional industry is also becoming involved either with own projects or with investments in the new-comers. That is why it is highly relevant to hear the views of the conventional construction industry,” Henrik Lund-Nielsen, CEO of 3D Printhuset, told 3DPrint.com.
You can sign up for the conference here.
Sintavia Achieves Industry Certification
Sintavia announced that it is one of the first aerospace manufacturing companies to achieve AS9100 REV D certification, which recently received new requirements. The updated wording of this standard focuses on methods for maintaining critical organizational knowledge and institutionalizing; Sintavia, which assesses both corporate risk and process risk, uses Granta software for this purpose. Sintavia, by meeting the new requirements for the latest AS9100 certification, will utilize risk-based thinking and maintaining organizational knowledge, among others, to improve its quality system.
Alex Bencomo, Sintavia’s Quality Manager, said, “Although passing the audit with zero findings was a rewarding accomplishment, we will strive for continuous improvement. It’s important that we stay focused on remaining the quality leader in the world of metal additive manufacturing.”
Orbital ATK Successfully Tests Prototype Rocket with 3D Printed Metal Components
Aerospace and defense technologies leader Orbital ATK announced that it’s completed a successful series of static test firings of a prototype tactical solid rocket motor that features 3D printed critical metal components. The perforated rocket motor igniter housing and nozzle weatherseal were both 3D printed, along with the single piece high strength steel rocket nozzle and closure structure, which should improve system affordability by lowering the parts count and system complexity. The motor was developed with the US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.
“Orbital ATK has been very successful in taking additive manufacturing out of the academic world and incorporating it into our industrial design and operations. Our goal is not just to create industry firsts, but to create practical, reliable solutions that increase our products’ effectiveness while reducing the time it takes to get them into the field,” explained Pat Nolan, Vice President and General Manager for Orbital ATK’s Missile Products Division, part of the Defense Systems Group.
The successful test firings were the first demonstration in the industry of a 3D printed complex rocket nozzle and closure assembly in a tactical class rocket motor. Orbital ATK will continue the work over the next five years.
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