3D Printing Industry Review of the Year June 2018

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Moving on to June 2018 – 3D printing strengthened its position in the automotive industry and we took on the Ocean’s 8 diamond heist.

Within the 3D printing trifecta, materials started to take on a hold, and would continue to trend throughout trade shows and product announcements in the latter half of the year.

Soft and metal-multimaterial 3D printing 

In terms of social media shares, one of the the most popular 3D Printing Industry articles for June 2018 was a write-up of a Washington State University Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) project. By experimenting with this technique from Optomec, a group in the WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering succeeded in 3D printing multimaterial metal components joining copper with superalloy Inconel 718.

Staying with the materials trend, Carnegie Mellon University‘s materials characterization algorithm also proved popular this month. Named “Expert-Guided Optimization,” this method from the CMU College of Engineering is capable of calculating the perfect parameters for 3D printing soft materials like hydrogels.

Objects 3D printed using the EGO method. Each object is shown in standard PLA (left), epoxy, (center) and PDMS (right). Image via PLOS One Journal/CMU
Objects 3D printed using the CMU EGO method. Each object is shown in standard PLA (left), epoxy, (center) and PDMS (right). Image via PLOS One Journal/CMU

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also developed its own 3D printable concrete formulation in June.

Medical modeling on demand

In medical, 3D Systems launched its On Demand Anatomical Modeling Service to fulfill a growing demand within the industry.

And San Francisco biotechnology company Prellis Biologics reached record speed in tissue fabrication using its holographic 3D printing method to make a capillary-like structure.

Music to our ears

Through a collaboration between Canadian violin maker, Charline Dequincey, additive manufacturing network Canada Makes, and Winnipeg’s Industrial Technology Centre, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra commissioned the production of eight functional 3D printed instruments.

The four 3D printed violins, two violas and two violoncello da spallas, were played at a public event on 4 November 2018.

3D printed prototype of a violin. Photo via Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.
3D printed prototype of a violin. Photo via Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.

And, to mark the release of the “blockbuster” Ocean’s 8 film (which gained a “lukewarm” response from critics, potentially due to its questionable application of technology) we challenged several industry experts to to replicate a diamond necklace using consumer-grade 3D printing and scanning technology.

Secrets from additive manufacturing in automotive 

As an often reserved industry, automotive additive manufacturing announcements usually make waves across the industry. This month, the Lansing Delta Township assembly plant of American multinational vehicle manufacturer General Motors shared a $300,000 cost saving due to 3D printed tooling.

In the same vein, the Audi Pre-Series Center in Ingolstadt, Germany, announced that it would be switching to the Stratasys J750 for its prototyping needs.

And finally, an electric vehicle development venture between We Solutions, and Shanghai Alliance Investment announced that Divergent 3D node-based additive manufacturing technology would form a central role in a new car production plant.

The Divergent3D Blade at SLM Solutions booth. Photo by Michael Petch.
The Divergent3D Blade at SLM Solutions booth. Photo by Michael Petch.

Think these applications, 3D printing companies and stakeholders warrant a 3D Pritning Industry Award? Make your nominations now for 2019. 

For 3D Printing Industry updates throughout 2019 and beyond subscribe to our newsletter (it’s free!), follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Looking for a fresh start in the new year? Visit 3D Printing Jobs to get a head start.

Featured image shows 3D printing a capillary structure using Prellis Biologics’ holographic technology. Clip via Prellis Biologics.

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