3D Systems incorporates automation to its ‘future factory’ with Figure 4 and new metals printer

Published 17 November 2017

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: prototype, 3d printing, manufacturing, 3d systems, materials, additive manufacturing, metals, figure 4

3D Systems continues to push its plans for extended manufacturing with additive technologies, launching a new metals 3D printer ready for the automated production line.

Based on the company’s existing SLS metals technology, the DMP 8500 is a scalable, automated and fully integrated - from powder in to part out - metal additive manufacturing solution, with a build chamber 500 x 500 x 500 mm, the system is engineered to open up new applications for users.

The modular design, combined with practicalities for production line use, such as rear access and ability to be placed side-by-side with other 3D printers, while sealed, removable print units manage powder and part transport between printer, powder, and transport modules for a continuous production workflow.

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A return to desktop with FabPro 1000 sees 3D Systems try to take back small format 3D printing

Published 17 November 2017

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: 3d printing, rapid prototyping, 3d systems, formlabs, desktop printing, desktop, fabpro 1000, dlp

3D Systems is reentering the desktop 3D printing category with the introduction of the FabPro 1000, a sub $5,000 DLP printer that will form the starting point for its revamped professional range.

The resin 3D printer is billed as being between two and four-times faster than its competition - such as the Formlabs Form 2, although it does have a smaller build area - and 3D Systems says its technology and materials will delivers ‘up to 40 per cent lower part cost’.

As the name suggests, the FabPro 1000 is aimed professionals looking for detailed prototypes, and with a growing number of desktop SLA/DLP printers on the market 3D Systems hopes its speed and integrated pro software, 3D Sprint, will set it apart.

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Weekender // Guy in a tank on the telly

Published 17 November 2017

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: engineering, weekender, tanks, guy martin, jcb

A five-month project to resurrect a World War One British Mark IV tank is interesting enough, but throw in motorcycle racer and truck mechanic Guy Martin, and his genuine affliction for design and engineering elevates any programme.

Much of the work was performed by JCB for the authentic reproduction of the 30-tonne tank, built from scratch, the process began with CAD data drawn up by a hobbyist modeller, before JCB designers upgraded the model and used cutting-edge manufacturing techniques to recreate the chassis of the historic machine in just 8 weeks.

The completed chassis was transported to Norfolk tank museum, near Norwich, where the remainder of the project took place.

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STEM Returners programme looks to help those restarting their careers

Published 17 November 2017

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: engineering, jobs, education, stem

Helping STEM qualified people close their CV gap and get back into work

A CV gap, for whatever reason, is often an insurmountable barrier to recruitment, often viewed negatively by both employers and returners, yet a new scheme aims to help all candidates with a STEM background find a way back into work. 

Through a supported return to work scheme STEM Returners will also support those candidates who are interested in transferring to a different sector, but lack the relevant experience to apply through traditional recruitment channels.

Both the returners and employers will be fully supported throughout the programme which includes confidence training and coaching for the returner, a 13 week fully supported paid internship and a diverse and evolved mentoring scheme.

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HP opens up on future plans, including a new sub $100k 3D printer and importance of the Build Unit

Published 17 November 2017

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: hardware, 3d printing, manufacturing, hp, materials, metals

For the production printers, the future of its productivity might lie in the hands of the build unit

While much of HPs news from Formnext was already out in the open a week before, a few little snippets came to light on the show floor.

Most interestingly was the news that a smaller MultiJet Fusion printer, priced under $100,000 will be revealed in 2018 to target the functional prototyping market, and no doubt to push the adoption of the bigger manufacturing class machines as a result.

Secondly was a more immediate look into the existing machines, and the 4210 upgrade, which sees software upgrades, as well as hardware changes to the processing station and a few of the printer’s components - yet as the materials progress the biggest changes will come to the interchangeable powdbed build units.

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New materials partnerships are rife at Formnext as 3D printing vendors tie-up suppliers

Published 16 November 2017

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: 3d printing, manufacturing, hp, manufacture, materials, additive manufacturing

3D printing materials are key to advancing the processes and applications of the technology - these microscopic spherical materials from Dressler are set to aid the HP MultiJet Fusion technology

As important as the abilities of the machines themselves, the materials needed for 3D printing are a critical consumable, and one which the machine manufacturers were keen to tie-up partnerships for with suppliers.

While when compared to mature manufacturing processes like Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) demand is comparably low for 3D printing, but what 2017 has shown is that both vendors and materials suppliers are jostling for placement before the boom comes.

Metals powders proved most noticeable, as the sector for SLS metals 3D printing truly grew in the maturity and size of machines available, although plastics suppliers have also noticeably stepped up.

Below is a list of some of the key announcements from Formnext 2017:

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XJet’s Carmel 3D printer is ready for industry, multi-material metal and ceramic parts not far away

Published 16 November 2017

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: 3d printing, manufacturing, materials, additive manufacturing, xjet

The first of XJet’s nano-particle jetting 3D printers is already in a production setting with many more set to follow, as the Israeli company ramps up the production of its Carmel 1400 and 700 systems.

It’s an exciting technology, which it is hoped will soon make multi-material printing of metals and ceramic in the same part a possibility on an industrial scale.

Featuring the company’s patented NanoParticle Jetting (NPJ) technology, the printer eschews the costs and safety problems of 3D printing with powders and instead suspends the metal or ceramic particles in a solution, before layering them and a support material from high-resolution print heads.

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