The future of flight, space, motor transport –indeed all modes of transportation – is undergoing radical innovation, led by aerospace, automotive, and industrial designers who are turning 3D printed parts and complex final assemblies into significant material, production, time and cost savings on the factory floor.
Embedded Vision, 3D printing
June 5, 2016
This 3-D printer is basically a demo of the DLP Structured Light Software Development Kit designed for high accuracy and high-speed 3-D printed objects. The system features the programmable DLP® LightCrafter4500™ evaluation module to precisely expose object layers and the ultra-low-power MSP430™ microcontroller to synchronize layer exposure with motor control for flexible 3-D builds.
September 13, 2015
Mesopotamian craftsmen invented glass around 1600 B.C., creating glass vessels by pouring molten glass on clay core molds that were then scraped away when the glass solidified. The process has remained unchanged through centuries of production.
Now, researchers at MIT’s Mediated Matter group have developed the first molten glass material 3D printing extrusion system for the production of optically transparent components.
3-D printing is finding new applications virtually every day. There’s even a 3-D printer in space where NASA’s testing the notion that spare parts could be printed on flights, space stations or even on other planets. The obvious question: Can you 3D print a 3D printer? You could find out for yourself by building your own with Texas Instruments’ reference design and a kit of parts.
The design is a complete system for controlling a 3-axis, single extrusion-based 3D printer.
The parts include, of course, both the “backbone” (a stepper motor driver) and the “brain” (an ultra low power microcontroller with integrated USB) and other essential components:
A 3-phase brushless DC motor controller to drive a cooling fan for the extruder and the electronics;
A Hall-effect sensor that provides contactless detection of of the absolute position of the axis;
Three power MOSFETS as load switches – driven directly from the MCU — to control the extruder heater, hot bed heater and an external fan;
And, a very-essential low dropout regulator to step down the main power supply for the motors/heaters to 3.3V for the MCU and sensors.
Get the details here.
3D printing is not just changing how we make things, it’s changing the way we think about the very process of creation itself. 3D’s disruptive potential is mind-boggling, and so too are future-facing designs coming off the printing press.
Case in point, these five remarkable, 3D works-in-progress: all at the cutting edge of technology, all a quantum leap ahead of traditional design thinking in civil engineering; architecture; home, office, and furniture design; aerospace; construction; and tool making.
By Richard Wallace | July 6, 2015
The 3D printer boom has gone bust, and with it the hype that this transformative technology represents the next PC-like consumer tech craze. A major Wall Street correction has seen high flying stocks like 3D Systems (DDD) lose 65% of their value, Voxeljet (VJET) 77%, and ExOne (EXONE) 70%.
The failure mechanism? Over speculation about an emerging technology that may not be ready for prime time in the mass market.
Robotics & AI, 3D printing
June 24, 2015
Designers and architects the world over are taking to robotics and 3D printing to develop novel solutions to difficult construction and manufacturing problems. Today, 3D printers are used to print everything from artificial hands and other prosthetic devices to precision metal parts used in aircraft and automotive development.
Now a Dutch designer, Joris Laarman, has designed an ornate metal pedestrian bridge for an Amsterdam canal that will reportedly be built, on site, using robots and 3D printers.
May 28, 2015
The industrialization of 3D metal printing is getting a huge boost thanks to major new investments in next-generation laser and related technologies developed to print solid metal parts. Leading the charge are GE, international research organizations, and a diverse group of global industries.
An early adopter of 3D printing technology, GE recently disclosed creation of the world’s first, working, 3D printed jet engine.
By Richard Wallace | April 19, 2015
Gordon Moore’s contribution to modern industry as a technologist and co-founder of Intel is getting some well deserved attention these days in the business and popular press. It is Moore’s Law which states that: the number of transistors in integrated circuits (chips) roughly doubles every two years, while the cost per semiconductor chips remains constant.