3D Printing News Briefs, May 14, 2020: DP Technology, Danish Healthtech, ORNL

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We’re starting with software in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, then moving on to a healthcare webinar and a 3D printed nuclear reactor. DP Technology is releasing new AM software for the powder bed fusion market, and Danish Healthtech is holding two webinars regarding 3D printing in the healthcare sector during a crisis situation. Finally, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working on a 3D printed nuclear reactor.

DP Technology’s New Powder Bed Fusion Software

CAM software developer DP Technology, the parent company of the high-performance ESPRIT CAM system, is releasing a new additive manufacturing software catered specifically to the powder bed fusion (PBF) market, called ESPRIT Additive for Powder Bed. This release comes as an add-in application for SOLIDWORKS, so it’s compatible with any SOLIDWORKS file, and the software’s patented Part-to-Build is a great new feature – the program automatically assigns exposure strategies when preparing a part for printing, based on simple user inputs. ESPRIT Additive for Powder Bed also features an incredibly accurate slicer, due to a parametric workflow model.

“This optimized workflow saves our users even more time by eliminating the need to repeatedly define the manufacturing information. Additive for Powder Bed Fusion improves consistency by ensuring a part is built the same way each time and maintains traceability by recording each step from the original 3D CAD file,” said Clement Girard, Product Manager for Additive Solutions for DP Technology.

3D Printing in Healthcare Webinar Series

Assistant Professor Shweta Agarwala

We must adjust and think differently to answer new challenges during a crisis, like the current COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why Danish Healthtech is holding two free webinars in order to offer learning opportunities, as well as motivate and unify the AM ecosystem, so we can safely increase the use of the technology in the healthcare field. The first webinar, held today, will provide insight into the healthcare system’s current situation as a result of the pandemic, and the Danish AM Hub, along with Assistant Professor from Aarhus University, will present their perspectives; Professor Agarwala will focus on how electronically functional textiles can help COVID-19 patients in the ICU.

The second webinar, on May 26, will be more solution-oriented, and participants can learn how protective equipment is tested and approved during a crisis. Danish Healthtech is offering all participants the chance to participate in its matchmaking platform at no cost, so they can find other webinar attendees with whom they’d like to have short, virtual meetings. You can schedule first match meetings after today’s webinar; create your profile here.

ORNL Designing 3D Printed Nuclear Reactor Core

ORNL scientists have selected and optimized a design for printing over a 3-month period, demonstrating the ability to rapidly produce a prototype reactor core. Credit: Brittany Cramer, ORNL, US Dept. of Energy

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee are working on a 3D printed nuclear reactor core, which could lead to a quicker, more economical path to nuclear energy. The Transformational Challenge Reactor (TCR) Demonstration Program’s lab has a goal of turning on the reactor by 2023, and even during the pandemic have kept up the pace, working remotely to scale up the additive manufacturing and creating ways to confirm the reliability of the 3D printed components. The TCR program has finished several related experiments already, and will introduce advanced materials and use integrated controls and sensors to create an optimized, efficient nuclear system. Now the focus is on refining the design and processes, using monitoring technologies to enable real-time qualification and performance analysis, and the TCR team is also completing post-build testing to “assess component performance.”

“We have been aggressively developing the capability to make this program a reality over the last several months, and our effort has proven that this technology is ready to demonstrate a 3D-printed nuclear reactor core. The current situation for nuclear is dire. This is a foundational effort that can open the floodgates to rapid innovation for the nuclear community,” stated Kurt Terrani, the TCR technical director.

“The entire TCR concept is made possible because of the significant advances in additive manufacturing process technology. By using 3D printing, we can use technology and materials that the nuclear community has been unable to capitalize on in the last several decades. This includes sensors for near autonomous control and a library of data and a new and accelerated approach to qualification that will benefit the entire nuclear community.”

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