Change Is Additive—Week of 6/23/2017

CHANGE IS ADDITIVE—A 3D Printing News Series by FATHOM

3D Printing in Aerospace Manufacturing, New Jet Engine Parts, FDA Approval on Additive Spine Implant, 3D Printing in the Architectural World

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?

Researchers Develop Hydrothermally Controlled 3D Printed Parts

Researchers at Georgia Tech report to have developed 3D printed objects that expand in hot water. Each hollow rod is connected with 3D printed elastic cables, and is composed of memory polymers that unfold and expand in heated water. Researchers believe this device could be used in space travel to create objects that compact for storage and expand for use //  Watch Video

Architecture Looks to Gothic Era for Inspiration

With heavy demand for geometrically complex modeling, the architectural field has long employed 3D printing as a tool for creating precise building simulations and architectural modeling. Additional research into techniques used in the construction of Gothic cathedrals across Europe show an advanced form of understanding structural integrity, which is being mimicked through modern 3D printing // Watch Video

3D Printing—The Patient Experience

In this video, find out how 3D printing is being used not only to train and prepare surgeons for procedures, but also as a patient prepping technique //  Watch Video

3D Printing Supersonic

Stratasys Unveils Aerospace Certification Solution and Technical Partnership with Boom Supersonic

Stratasys has announced a new aerospace 3D printing certification solution—the Fortus 900mc Aircraft Interiors Certification Solution. The aerospace solution is intended to simplify and speed up the process to get 3D printed interior parts certified by both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Stratasys has also announced a technical partnership with U.S. aerospace company Boom Supersonic, intended to support Boom Supersonic’s development of a commercial supersonic airliner // Read More

GE Unveils Plans for Largest Laser 3D Printer

GE has announced its plans to build the world's largest laser-powder additive manufacturing machine. The device, which will be developed through a new branch of the company called GE Additive, uses a laser to mold metal powders and will be able to build parts measuring up to 1 m3(35 cubic feet). "The machine will 3D print aviation parts suitable for making jet engine structural components and parts for single-aisle aircraft," says Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president and general manager of GE Additive. "It will also be applicable for manufacturers in the automotive, power, and oil and gas industries" // Read More

GE 3D Printing

3D Printing Spinal Implant

K2M Releases 3D Printed, Expandable Titanium Interbody Implant System Following FDA Clearance

K2M Group Holdings, Inc. is a global leader of complex spine and minimally invasive solutions focused on achieving three-dimensional "Total Body Balance" and the company recently announced that its MOJAVE™ PL 3D Expandable Interbody System has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). MOJAVE PL 3D is the first-to-market, FDA-cleared, 3D-printed expandable posterior-lumbar (PL) interbody system that features 3D printed titanium // Read More

Paris Air Show Sees $27 billion in Orders for 3D Printing-Enabled LEAP Engine

CFM International, a joint venture between Safran and GE, has taken orders for 1,658 LEAP and CFM56 engines at this week’s Paris Air Show. Valuing the orders at book value means the deals for the 3D printing enabled engines are worth over $27 billion. This takes the total number of LEAP engines on order to over 14,000.

The LEAP–Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion–engine features a number of advanced manufacturing technologies. The fan blades are fabricated with a 3D woven RTM (Resin Transfer Molding) carbon fiber composite. The engine is also the first to use fuel nozzles made using additive manufacturing. The fuel nozzles are 25% lighter than previous models and five times more durable than parts manufactured conventionally // Read More

Mohammad Ehteshami VP 3D Printing Integration GE

Welding of 3D Printed Carbon Nanotube–Polymer Composites by Locally Induced Microwave Heating

Researchers at Texas A&M report that "a key obstacle facing 3D-printed plastic parts in engineering applications is the weak weld between successive filament traces." The research team looked to improve on this, using "a novel concept for welding 3D-printed thermoplastic interfaces using intense localized heating of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by microwave irradiation. The microwave heating of the CNT-polymer composites is a function of CNT percolation, as shown through in situ infrared imaging and simulation. We apply CNT-loaded coatings to a 3D printer filament; after 3D printing, microwave irradiation is shown to improve the weld fracture strength by 275%" // Read More

Nanotubes 3D Printing

New 3D Printer Format Raises Production Capacity

Stratasys' new Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator printer technology aims to grow 3D printing in manufacturing with a cloud-connected system that improves speed and reduces costs. The Demonstrator uses arrays of FDM 3D printer cells that are connected by cloud software, which can run printing jobs from anywhere. It requires less intervention and pre- and post-processing of the printed parts, making it much faster and less costly to produce parts than other 3D printing technology systems // Read More

FATHOM's 3D Printing Demonstrator in Oakland


Flexible Pliers

Available for download from Cults 3D, these fully flexible 3D printed pliers demonstrate the potential for functional material design in 3D printing // Download

3D Printing Pliers

What is FATHOM working on in the day-to-day? Follow our social media pages to keep up with our latest projects // Facebook // Twitter // LinkedIn // Instagram // YouTube

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!

Imagery and News Sources:,,, Search Manufacturing ERP, Science Advances, VOA News, New Atlas, Globe News Wire, Stratasys, Texas A&M University, Cults 3D, K2M, GE, Boom Supersonic, Sydney LHD, Vocativ