Additive Manufacturing Strategies

3D Printing News Briefs, October 20, 2021: New Releases & More

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In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, Launcher announced a successful hot fire test of its 3D printed rocket engine at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. BCN3D Technologies has released its new cloud software for 3D printing fleet management, and Dyndrite released a new advanced toolpathing API. Finally, there’s a new standard for industrial additive manufacturing sites from TÜV SÜD.

Launcher Reaching Milestones at Stennis Space Center

Commercial space company Launcher conducts a hot fire test for its 3D-printed Engine-2 rocket engine in the E Test Complex at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. Credits: Launcher/John Kraus Photography

California startup Launcher, a small satellite launch company, is working to develop the most efficient rocket in the world to deliver small satellites to orbit around Earth, and knew that NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi would be the ideal testing location because of its highly secure facilities, expertise in testing full-scale rocket engines and components, and more. Thanks in part to a US Space Force Small Business Innovation Research (Phase II) award, the first testing campaigns of Launcher’s 3D printed E-2 liquid rocket engine at the premier rocket propulsion test facility were funded two years ago, and the startup has been reaching important milestones at Stennis ever since. The latest was a successful thrust chamber assembly hot fire test of the 22,000-pound-thrust engine in August, following successful testing of its E-2 liquid oxygen turbopump in April and the first full-scale test fire of the E-2 engine injector and combustion chamber last year.

“The opportunity to work with a world-class team and facility at Stennis has allowed us to achieve major milestones in the development of E-2. The Stennis team works hard to meet our testing needs, and the facility can provide us with large quantities of high-pressure gases and propellants, as well as a data acquisition system,” said Launcher Lead Engineer Andre Ivankovic. “These capabilities have been critical for us to achieve multiple test campaigns within the first year of becoming a commercial tenant.”

By the middle of 2022, Launcher hopes to conduct full-scale, full-duration testing of the 3D printed E-2 engine, with its integrated turbopump, at the Stennis Space Center.

BCN3D Releases New Cloud for 3D Printing Fleet Management

Barcelona-based 3D printing solutions manufacturer BCN3D has announced the release of its new web-based BCN3D Cloud platform, which will give companies the ability to manage their 3D printing fleets in real-time. The company spent the last few years focusing on its hardware offering, and decided to create software that would level up to their hardware solutions, which is how the new BCN3D Cloud came about. Built on IP by 3D cloud solutions developer Astroprint, which was acquired by BCN3D this year, this new on-demand, enterprise-grade solution centralizes all aspects of remote printer and resource management, which will make workflows more controlled and efficient and allow clients to scale up their AM operations through their choice of three different plans—Standard, Teams, and Private.

“For BCN3D’s current clients, the integration of AM processes in their business is becoming more critical as the applications are more demanding, an indicator of the tendency is that BCN3D machines are currently printing more than 12h a day on average,” said Daniel Arroyo, Chief Software Officer of BCN3D. “With such increasing printed part volumes, more people, and more machines interacting, the workflow needs to be robust and seamless. To support those customer needs, the vision of BCN3D is to provide software layers that add effective value on top of hardware, closing the circle of an enterprise-level solution.”

Dyndrite Releases New Advanced Toolpathing API

Speaking of releases, Dyndrite, a solutions provider for next generation AM hardware and software with its Accelerated Computation Engine (ACE), announced that its enhanced Raster and Vector Toolpathing API is now available. The API allows machine OEMs and advanced end-users to create and share print recipes for raster- (DLP, binder jetting, LCD) and vector-based AM processes ( SLM, SLS, DMLS) that were either difficult or impossible before now, without having to hire advanced software development teams or reveal their IP. In addition to the 3D Volumetric Part Segmentation capability, which uses the GPU-based voxel engine to enable true 3D geometric queries into any part, the new Dyndrite Toolpathing API enables quick qualification of new materials, machines, and geometries and allows for much more detailed assignment of parameters through the AM workflow, including offsetting outer contours and zones, machine tiling, merging, sorting, and filtering, and more.

“Generating toolpaths, or instructing a machine on exactly how to build your part, is critical to that part’s ultimate success, especially as the types of parts, materials, and machine capabilities advance,” explained Dyndrite’s CEO Harshil Goel. “Machine makers and their customers require more sophisticated tools to be able to consistently deliver quality parts, especially, for example, heat exchangers, turbines, and other difficult-to-print geometries, at faster speed. The innovations being delivered by Dyndrite far surpass the capabilities of even the most advanced OEM-developed software offered today, and is only the beginning of a much requested and long overdue industry shake up.”

TÜV SÜD’s New Standard for Industrial AM Sites

Finally, the Product Service of TÜV SÜD, which supports users, customers and manufacturers in AM quality assurance, has announced a new certification for industrial additive manufacturing sites in accordance with the new ISO/ASTM 52920 standard. Component stability can be poorly affected by even small deviations in machine calibration or feedstock, and as such, ISO/ASTM 52920 defines quality-related factors in the process chain, as well as processes at manufacturing sites. The standard is divided into three aspects: “Qualification of the additive system operations,” “Verification of the part requirements,” and “Quality assurance,” and TÜV SÜD’s new certification describes quality-assurance requirements. It adopts an integrated approach, rather than a product-specific one, which works for regulated sectors like aerospace and automotive and applies to all the methods included in the scope of the ISO/ASTM 52900 standard.

“Using the new standard, component manufacturers can streamline supplier audits to an enormous extent. This facilitates the auditing process and ensures the quality of industrial-scale additive manufacturing throughout the supply chain,” said Simon Schlagintweit, Lead Auditor Additive Manufacturing at TÜV SÜD.

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