3D Printing News Briefs, November 28, 2020: Thinking Huts, nScrypt, Alloyed, ASTM International


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We’re covering a variety of topics for you in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. A nonprofit organization is developing a pilot project to build a 3D printed school, while nScrypt is introducing an aerosol jet tool head and a new 5-axis 3D printer is available on Indiegogo. Alloyed has invested in an important technology for the analysis of metal 3D printing. Finally, we’ll give you a brief overview of last week’s ASTM International Conference.

Thinking Huts 3D Printed School Pilot Program

Colorado-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit Thinking Huts, which was founded by female entrepreneur Maggie Grout in 2015, uses humanitarian-driven technology to make education more accessible, and is partnering with sustainability-focused architectural design firm Studio Mortazavi to create a pilot project that aims to build what it says is the world’s first 3D printed school. The two plan on breaking ground for the school in the southern region of Madagascar sometime next year, and are using 3D printing to lower costs and time, while also showing that this more sustainable form of manufacturing can help support financial and geographic access to education in order to help break the cycle of poverty. Madagascar was chosen because of its potential for solar energy, political stability, and economic growth opportunities, and the pilot school in this program will be a hybrid design, with only the walls 3D printed (so not the entire building), and locally-sourced construction materials will be used to build the other parts of the school, like the doors and roof.

“We are thrilled to be working with Amir Mortazavi who is at the forefront of design and innovation, forming a strong partnership that values sustainability within the construction industry as we seek to increase access to education via 3D printed schools. We believe education is the vital catalyst to solving global issues ranging from gender inequality to poverty; achievable through local partnerships, we are building a future where communities have the necessary infrastructure to ensure that education is accessible to all,” said Grout.

nScrypt Introducing Aerosol Jet Print Head

Introduced in 2018, the Factory in a Tool (FiT) 3D printing system by nScrypt features multiple tool heads for a versatile manufacturing solution, and now it’s adding another one. The company has announced the availability of its new IDS aerosol jetting print head, the NanoJet, which is able to print features that are 10 µm to 200 µm wide in electronics applications, such as resistors, conductors, and dielectrics. By integrating aerosol jet 3D printing into its FiT systems, users will be able to print higher off the substrate, as they’ll be able to achieve a material dispensing range that’s further away from the print surface; this will be especially useful in applications that require thick films with varying features

“Our Factory in a Tool was already a powerful tool for printed electronics, combining our SmartPump TM and nFD tool heads for precision microdispensing and material extrusion, our milling and polishing tool head for fine features, and our pick and place tool head for adding electronic components. Next generation circuits will feature fine lines, both thick and thin, and substrates that are smooth and rough.  Our FiT now combines microdispensing for wide material choice and higher viscosity with aerosol jetting for fine features that benefit from thin, highly conductive lines.  Aerosol jetting expands our users’ options for 3D manufacturing complete electronic devices in a single build,” said nScrypt CEO Dr. Ken Church.

Indiegogo Campaign for 5-Axis 3D Printer

A team of designers, electronics engineers, machine operators, and programmers came together to form the Five-Axis 3D Printer project, in the hopes of opening up the rest of the world to the potential of five-axis additive technology. They created the Epit 5.1, a delta-style FDM printer with five working axes which enables support-less 3D printing, and are currently running a crowdfunding campaign for the system on Indiegogo, which ends on December 10th. The printer’s “desktop” is able to lean and turn to change its position in space, so supports aren’t necessary, and the team says that with the Epit 5.1, users can see an average of 26% less material costs. With a closed chamber, 240 x 240 x 240 mm build volume, and 130 mm/sec print speed, the Epit 5.1, which uses a slicer that the team also created, is currently presented in just one size, but the team is already working on requests for a version with a larger print area.

“According to our surveys among professional users of 3D printers, on average they use the supporting parts in 70% of cases, and spend up to 50% of the material on them. But this material means direct waste and makes you not only lose your money, but pollute the environment. At the same time, you need to spend time removing supports from your model in a way not damaging the part itself,” the campaign states.

The Epit 5.1 Indiegogo campaign ends on December 10th. The first buyer can get the five-axis 3D printer for €8,000, which is a savings of 33%.

Alloyed Invests in Metal AM Analysis Technology

ETMT hot sample

End-to-end metal additive manufacturing specialist Alloyed announced its latest strategic investment: it has acquired an Electro-Thermal Mechanical Testing (ETMT) machine for £300K, which makes it one of just a few private companies in the world to offer it as an in-house benefit for customers. The system was installed about one month ago at the company’s Oxford laboratory, where all Alloyed characterization, research, and testing take place, and means that Alloyed is able to offer its clients several metal tests that it would otherwise be unable to provide, such as fatigue tests, tensile and compression tests, and creep, or stress-rupture, tests. The Joule effect controls the temperature of the test sample, which means that it can achieve temperatures over 1000°C, and the ETMT is able to perform in-situ heat treatments and cycle the temperature, thanks to its ability to quickly heat up and cool down samples.

“While the ETMT machine adds hugely to our in-house technology portfolio used on behalf of an array of customers working on exacting AM and non-AM metal product applications, it is the combination of the technology with the vast experience of the Alloyed team that is the real strength,” stated Gael Guetard, Alloyed’s Rapid Alloy Research Centre Director. “Alloyed’s unrivalled expertise lies in using advanced metallurgy, the latest simulation techniques, and a profound understanding of the factors that drive alloy performance. The company focuses on multi-scale materials and multi- physics modelling, prediction and analysis of fatigue and failure (an area enhanced by the ETMT machine), and the optimisation of complex manufacturing processes, including AM. While many customers have come to us since we installed the ETMT machine to take advantage of its superior attributes, it is often a gateway for them to then take advantage of the array of services that Alloyed can offer for advanced metal manufacturing projects.”

Recent ASTM’s ICAM 2020 Featured 300+ Presentations

The ASTM International Conference on Additive Manufacturing (ICAM 2020), sponsored by ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) and 12 ASTM technical communities, took place last week, and almost 600 attendees, global industry experts, and leaders from over 30 countries attended the virtual scientific conference. It was ASTM’s fifth flagship event focused on certification, standardization, and qualification in the AM process chain, and more than 300 presentations and ten panel sessions discussed the role the technology plays in major industries like construction, energy, defense, transportation, aviation and spaceflight, oil and gas, and medical. Seven prestigious awards, such as the Award of Excellence in Research, were presented, as well as ten Young Professionals Awards. Out of 55 student presentations, four students received awards.

“This year’s record-breaking participation shows the widespread growth of the additive manufacturing industry. With close to 50% industry participation, this conference served as the perfect event for AM experts worldwide to further advance the field,” said Dr. Mohsen Seifi, ASTM International’s director of global additive manufacturing programs and conference co-chair.

ICAm 2021 will be held November 1-5, 2021, hopefully in-person this time.

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