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The Engineer's Notebook

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Where is 3D Printing Headed?

Posted December 09, 2015 8:10 AM by SavvyExacta

I caught part of a great webinar on 3D printing earlier this week. Why is 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, accelerating? Major patents are expiring!

Dr. Ron Aman from Rochester Institute of Technology and Steven Walker of North Carolina State University discussed the manufacturing scene and how their leading research institutes are developing pioneering approaches.

One example they walked through is how to choose whether to 3D print with plastic vs. going with a molded design.

They also shared the approximate number of 3D printed parts that Boeing has in each plane. Hint - it's a big number!

Key points discussed in the webinar:

  • Understand how research efforts are turning into commercial applications.
  • Gain insight into materials development for 3D printing.
  • Understand the dynamics around expiring patents and their impact on 3D printing adoption rates.
  • Learn about the growing interest in hybrid 3D printing techniques.

You can catch the free webinar, which was sponsored by Stratasys, on-demand for 90 days. In addition to viewing the webinar you'll be able to listen in on a 30 minute Q&A session where Ron and Steven go into more detail on some aspects of 3D printing.

View the list of upcoming webinars

If you watch the webinar, share your thoughts below!

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Guru
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#1

Re: Where is 3D Printing Headed?

12/09/2015 11:55 AM

I saw about 10 years ago Toys 'r Us had low resolution 3D printers... as toys

A friend of mine is buying a remanufactured Flash Forge for his kids. $800.00 (for him actually, but his boys would be excited, probably did it for justification).

With the new materials developing for this, this is fast becoming a common thing for each individual. Even the software, which a lot is free for the download. (Autodesk Fusion). as well as coming with its own.

Now combine it with the 3D scanning that's already available (prints on line if you may), and you now have a Replicator

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#2

Re: Where is 3D Printing Headed?

12/10/2015 9:22 AM

I'm interested from the standpoint of replacement of antique vehicle parts that are not obtainable. Most will have no drawing, so will depend on some sort of scanning/digitization. I call appearance items "cosmetic parts;" they could probably be plastic. But others, "structural parts," would have to be metal, because strength is needed. These replacements would also apply to industrial components. These uses are probably just a blip on the total use for manufacturing new parts, but they are important to keep old or historic objects going.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Where is 3D Printing Headed?

12/10/2015 11:32 AM

That would be a great application! Especially with 3D scanning, it will be easier to "copy" those old parts if you have even a damaged one to start with.

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Guru
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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Where is 3D Printing Headed?

12/10/2015 2:46 PM

Yes, damaged, broken and glued together, bent, borrowed, etc.

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