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3D Printing News Briefs: October 3, 2019

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We’ve got a case study, 3D printing in electric applications, and some news on awards for you in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. CRP Technology helped rebuild a T-shaped bracket attachment using reverse engineering and 3D printing. A Nano Dimension customer used its DragonFly printer to 3D print embedded sensors in electrical packaging, and German RepRap’s printer was used to support the development of an electric vehicle. Finally, the winners of the third annual TCT Awards were announced.

CRP Technology 3D Printing T-Shaped Bracket Attachment

Italian company CRP Technology recently published a case study that explains how it helped reconstruct a T-shaped attachment bracket, demonstrating how advanced technologies such as reverse engineering and SLS 3D printing can be used to quickly replace spare parts and save companies time and money. The bracket in question was fixed to a linear actuator for large electro-mechanical blinds, but had broken into three parts due to wear and tear. CRP conducted a field test in fixing the part, and was able to use 3D laser scanning to reverse engineer it, as there was no 3D file of the bracket.

Once CRP Technology succeeded in creating the STL file, the company used its polyamide-based carbon composite Windform SP material from its TOP-LINE range to make the part with its SLS technology. During the validation phase, the 3D printed T-shaped attachment bracket was scanned to check for dimensional accuracy and make sure it conformed with the original part. The bracket was then mounted for field testing, and achieved excellent results.

IIT Uses Nano Dimension’s DragonFly to Print 3D Embedded Sensors

3D embedded sensor in electrical packaging 3D printed on DragonFly (bottom) as compared with traditional packaging (top)

Additive electronics provider Nano Dimension has announced that the Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies (CBN) of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) is using its DragonFly PCB printer to 3D print embedded sensors in electrical packaging for next generation MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) devices. IIT researchers exploited the system’s multi-material inkjet deposition system to embed the sensors – printing was paused so they could place them on pre-printed recesses, and then continued in order to seal the sensor. The packaging for rapid device and microsystem prototyping of wearable transducers and MEMS devices. IIT researchers plan to use their MEMS expertise to create energy harvesters and reliable real-time monitoring for longer battery life, or even battery-free device operation.

“One of the main breakthroughs achieved by the researchers was the procedure of embedding the sensors into the interior layers of the packaging, typically a complex, multi-stage process. 3D printing embedded sensors within electrical packaging avoids injection molding processes, reduces the need for human touch in assembly steps compared to traditional methods and eliminates wires, soldering and connectors. Placing the sensors into the interior layers of the package can also free up space, to make the structure smaller, lighter and less expensive to produce,” explained Nano Dimension’s CEO Amit Dror.

German RepRap 3D Printer Helps with Share your BICAR AG

The BICAR with inventors Hans-Jörg Dennig (L) and Adrian Burri (R)

The Centre for Product and Process Development (ZPP) of ZHAW (Zurich University of Applied Sciences) specializes in mechanical engineering product development, for which 3D printing has been used before. Share your BICAR AG, a university spinoff, has been working to create a sustainable electric vehicle in order to make a positive contribution to the climate change narrative, and the single-seat car features three wheels but is enclosed to offer safety and weather protection. A conclusion was reached that large-capacity 3D printing, with all its inherent design freedom, was needed for the purposes of customization, lightweight construction, and prototype production, so the company turned to German RepRap and its x1000 3D printer.

Adrian Burri, Managing Director of Share your BICAR AG, said, “With traditional processes, components with complex structures and bionic shapes, as shown on the BICAR, are usually very difficult or even impossible.”

The German RepRap x1000, with its open material platform, is fast and simple, and so perfectly fits the company’s needs.

TCT Award Winners for 2019

Last week, over 200 guests attended the third annual TCT Awards, held in Birmingham and hosted by technology journalist Georgie Barrat. During the prestigious event, in which collaborative projects, industry innovators and leaders, and new technology were lauded, the attendees learned the winners of the 15 competitive award categories and saw Gideon Levy – holder of more than 30 patents for SLS materials – inducted into the TCT Hall of Fame for his contribution to the industry. Additionally, this was the first year that the ‘Women in 3D Printing Innovator Award’ was presented in collaboration with the Women in 3D Printing network, and Professor Wai Yee Yeong was the lucky recipient for her work in 3D bioprinting and metal and electronics 3D printing research.

“It was an honour to share the evening with so many truly inspirational people from all sectors in the industry. I would like to personally congratulate all of the winners for their successes,” said James Woodcock, VP Content, Strategy & Partnerships at Rapid News Publications Ltd. “Professor Wai Yee Yong needs a special mention for her exceptional contributions and we are delighted to welcome Gideon into the Hall of Fame. We are proud to the development and success of the industry.”

You can see a full list of the 2019 TCT Awards winners here.

Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below. 

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