CHANGE IS ADDITIVE—A 3D Printing News Series by FATHOM
3D Printing Soft Robots, Additive for Self-Assembly, MIT Focuses on Architecture, 3D Printing Induction Coils, More Standardization for Additive Industry
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?
Using a multi-material 3D printer for manufacturing allowed researchers to fabricate the jumping robot in one uninterrupted job, seamlessly transitioning from rigid core components to a soft exterior in a single print session. It’s first ever robot to be 3D printed with layers of material gradients, making it extremely durable and giving the jumping robot a long lifespan of use, and could lead to a new class of functionally-graded soft robots // Watch Video
A team of scientists from ETH Zurich University in Switzerland are building a three-story house using only robots and 3D printers. The team claims the project, known as “DFAB House,” is the first home to be designed, planned, built using primarily digital processes. The project is unlike other 3D printed houses. Instead of using just one construction method, “DFAB House” brings together several digital-building technologies. For instance, a robot, standing more than six feet tall, is mounted on caterpillar tracks and lays a mesh framework for the house’s concrete walls. Then, a sand-based 3D printer created a ceiling slab for the home. Once “DFAB House” is completed next summer, it will serve as a residence for ETH Zurich researchers // Watch Video
What if a table or a bridge could build itself? If researchers at the self-assembly lab at MIT have their way, parts will someday put themselves together. Skylar Tibbits shows what a self-assembling future could look like // Watch Video
Stress Line Additive Manufacturing (SLAM) is an architectural 3D printing concept out of MIT. It challenges the typical FDM approach to construction, accounting for structural stresses caused by the act of depositing material layer-by-layer. In a study published in the journal 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, the shapes made for this purpose are gridshell structures. Dome-like in shape, the structures derive strength from curving lines arranged in a grid. In architecture, gridshells have been used to make enclosures and ceilings since the 1800s when they were first pioneered by Russian architect Vladimir Shukhov // Read More
Spanish company GH Induction has teamed up with additive manufacturing specialists Aidimme to 3D print copper induction coils. The two companies, both based in Valencia, Spain, have together developed a unique system for 3D printing copper coils. The process involves an electron beam melting (EBM) machine which is an additive manufacturing process that uses an electron beam to melt wire or powder into specified shapes. The novel copper production method has now been implemented by automotive companies Renault and Volvo // Read More
As part of its third annual Additive Manufacturing European Conference this past weekend in Brussels, the European Association of Machine Tool Industries (CECIMO) is pushing EU policy makers to see the bigger picture of 3D printing in Europe. Organized by CECIMO and co-hosted by members of the European Parliament Brando Benifei (S&D), Anthea McIntyre (ECR) and Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (ALDE), the Conference highlighted where the EU is currently excelling in industrial additive manufacturing, and addressed the existing challenges for its widespread adoption in Europe // Read More
“I love geometries inspired by the natural world, and this is a great example! I would opt to print this in on an SLA printer – the Accura Xtreme White material we typically use creates smooth, high-definition surfaces, but also has slight translucency for thin walls like these that I think would make for nice soft, diffused light.”-SmartQuote’s Ben Bradley // Download
To start a conversation about a project or discuss a quote for 3D printing, CNC machining, urethane casting, rapid tooling, injection molding, or R&D contract services, send us a request for quote. FATHOM is also an authorized partner of Stratasys. Get a quote for a professional 3D printer today!