CHANGE IS ADDITIVE—A 3D Printing News Series by FATHOM
European Space Agency 3D Prints Electrically Conductive Materials, Ford Shifts Towards Additive, 3D Printed Soft Robotics, Manufacturing Growth, “New Collar” Jobs
With so many weekly developments in a fast-changing industry like additive manufacturing, the headlines can really stack up. To cut through the clutter of 3D printing news, check out these staff picks of the week. What do you think is the most impactful development?
Turbine blades built by metal-based 3D printing can withstand extreme pressure and heat from full load engine conditions at 13,000 RPM, according to Siemens, who called recent tests a “breakthrough” // Watch Video
Soft robotics is a rapidly developing field that is changing the way we perceive automated systems. Soft robots deform continuously along their bodies, as opposed to at discrete joints like traditional rigid robots. In this video from UC-San Diego, researchers used multi-material 3D printing to fabricate a four-legged walking robot with bellowed soft legs. The robot is powered by pressurized air and is able to navigate a variety of terrain. The researchers claim the design is a step towards the development of a mobile soft system for applications including monitoring in hazardous environments and search-and-rescue operations // Read More // Watch Video
Ford has replaced retiring CEO and President, Mark Fields, with former Ford Smart Mobility boss, Jim Hackett, in a move expected to ramp up advanced manufacturing and 3D printing within the company. The company has already begun implementation of new technologies with its trial use of the Stratasys Infinite Build 3D printer. Ford Motors has tested the feasibility of 3D printing car interior modules using the large scale 3D printer and also expects the machine to speed up the prototyping and design phases // Read More
American manufacturing has been on the decline for decades, but a number of “maker cities” are aiming to reverse that trend. These cities focus on forward-looking industries in an effort to ensure that their industrial and educational bases are prepared for technological change and automation. Many of the jobs in the maker cities are in the advanced manufacturing sector // Read More
Manufacturing economic growth can be expected to continue through the rest of 2017, according to a forecast issued today by the Institute for Supply Management. The semi-annual forecast and report is based on a survey of purchasing and supply executives across 18 industries, including advanced manufacturing // Read More
The European Space Agency (ESA) reports it is 3D printing the bodies of CubeSats (miniature satellites) out of a modified and electrically conductive PEEK plastic. According to the ESA, the group is currently testing the use of a PEEK material, having collaborated with Portuguese materials company PIEP. By using the modified PEEK, conductive lines can replace the wire harness that is used to connect CubeSat subsystems. The European Space Agency has also revealed plans to develop a PEEK 3D printer that can operate in space in a similar way to the Made in Space 3D printer // Read More
This large robotic arm is fully 3D-printable and available on GrabCAD // Download
A collection of functional 3d-printed car engines and transmissions are available for download! // Watch Video
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