World’s first 3D printed concrete cycle bridge opened in The Netherlands

World’s first 3D printed concrete cycle bridge opened in The Netherlands

Today world’s first 3D printed reinforced, pre-stressed concrete bridge was opened. The cycle bridge is part of a new road around the village of Gemert, in the Netherlands. It was printed at Eindhoven University of Technology. With the knowledge the researchers gained in this project, they are now able to design even larger printed concrete structures.

Five-ton load
The bridge is the first civil infrastructure project to be realized with 3D-concrete printing. The bridge is 8 meters long (clear span 6.5 meters) and 3.5 meters wide. As it is a ‘worlds first’, the developers did not take any chances and tested the bridge by putting a load of 5 tons on it, which is a lot more than the load the bridge will actually carry.

Thirty years
The bridge has to meet all regular requirements of course. It is designed to do its duty – to carry cyclists – for thirty years or more. With more cycles than people in the Netherlands, it is expected that hundreds of cyclists will ride over the printed bridge every day. It is part of a large road construction project, led by the company BAM Infra, and commissioned by the province of North-Brabant. Continue reading “World’s first 3D printed concrete cycle bridge opened in The Netherlands”

Can 3D Printing be turned into a truly productive technology with MES software?

Can 3D Printing be turned into a truly productive technology with MES software?

In the world of advanced manufacturing, the term MES to describe software based Manufacturing Execution Systems is already fairly common. However, it is only now beginning to be introduced to AM, leading us to coin a new “AMES” (Additive Manufacturing Execution Systems) acronym. This is occurring now because only recently did AM start to become a true batch and potentially even a mass manufacturing technology.

Major industrial software developers already provide several MES solution but only a few are able to adapt these solutions to the unique characteristics of the end-to-end 3D printing production cycle, integrating strictly digital elements such as quotation enginers all the way to ERP, CRM and even 3D file protecion features. Continue reading “Can 3D Printing be turned into a truly productive technology with MES software?”

Integrating AM into digital production workflow could bring level of automation to new heights

Integrating AM into digital production workflow could bring level of automation to new heights

SmarTech Publishing just released my latest AM market report, this time on AM workflow automation, that is automation of the AM production line. In this report, I tried to assess what the overall business volume could around the establishment, within tomorrow’s automated factories, of the fully digital production line which use AM as the core production process in an end-to-end production cycle.

For this report, I only considered automation of the mechanical processes involved. In other words that part of digital manufacturing that takes the product from a digital file ready to be 3D printed (so after it underwent CAD, CAE and CAM software processes) and before the distribution and retail phase (which is managed by CRM and ERP software). Continue reading “Integrating AM into digital production workflow could bring level of automation to new heights”

VTT Finland is developing 3D printing materials for wound care

VTT Finland is developing 3D printing materials for wound care

Cellulose nanofibrils have properties that can improve the characteristics of bio-based 3D-printing pastes. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is developing a 3D wound care product for monitoring wound condition in hospital care. However, the first commercial nanocellulose applications will be seen in indoor decoration elements, textiles and the production of mock-ups.

3D printing has proven to be an efficient manufacturing method for complex, customised and light structures. In addition to thermoplastics, 3D printing materials include metals, ceramics and foodstuffs. The range of biomaterials in 3D paste printing is still fairly limited, since pastes pose unique challenges: their structure must not collapse during printing and the objects manufactured must remain sufficiently strong, rigid or flexible after drying. In 3D biomaterial filaments, however, commercial products already exist. Continue reading “VTT Finland is developing 3D printing materials for wound care”

3D Scanning & 3D Printing to keep Dutch vessels at top condition

3D Scanning & 3D Printing to keep Dutch vessels at top condition

Keeping its vessels in top condition is a critical aspect of a naval force’s readiness, but to do so each part, little or big, needs full attention. Claire Apthorp looks at a project to scan the entire Dutch Navy in 3D.

The Royal Netherlands Navy contracts work for the maintenance of its vessels and submarines to Dutch organisation Marinebedrijf Koninklijke Marine. In addition to maintaining the vessels, Marinebedrijf Koninklijke Marine is responsible for creating new parts for the ships to replace damaged parts, and carrying out modifications to on-board components when required, from everything to the hull to weapons systems and engines.

In order to speed up its servicing, Marinebedrijf Koninklijke Marine turned to Artec 3D, a company that produces 3D scanners that allow maintenance personnel to reverse engineer parts for vessels that need to be replaced, for which the drawings or 3D CAD files are not accessible. Continue reading “3D Scanning & 3D Printing to keep Dutch vessels at top condition”

New 3D printed polymer that could be used in space, developed by Virginia Tech Team

New 3D printed polymer that could be used in space, developed by Virginia Tech Team.

Newswise — Virginia Tech researchers have created a novel way to 3-D print the type of high-temperature polymeric materials commonly used to insulate space craft and satellites from extreme heat and cold.

Previously, the polyimide could previously be made only in sheets.

The material, formally known as Kapton, is an aromatic polymer composed of carbons and hydrogens inside benzene rings, which provides exceptional thermal and chemical stability. But because of this molecular structure, the material is notoriously difficult to produce in any format other than thin sheets. Kapton often is used in the multi-layer insulation that forms the outer wrapping of spacecraft, satellites, and planetary rovers to protect them from extreme heat and cold. It often is mistaken for “gold foil.” Continue reading “New 3D printed polymer that could be used in space, developed by Virginia Tech Team”

Innofil3D BV will play a central role in BASF’s production of filaments for 3D printing

BASF New Business has acquired 100% of the filament producer Innofil3D, headquartered in Emmen, Netherlands. Approval from antitrust authorities is not required. “With this acquisition, BASF is moving one step further along the value chain and can now provide not only plastic granulate for 3D printing but also the next processing level: the filaments,” said Volker Hammes, Managing Director at BASF New Business.

Innofil3D is a leading producer of high-value customized filaments (long, thin plastic fibers) that are used in fused filament fabrication, a special 3D printing process that manufactures items layer by layer from meltable plastic. The functionality of the printed item is determined not only by the plastics, but also by the consistently high quality of the filaments. The Dutch company’s product range will add thermoplastic filaments for 3D printing to BASF’s portfolio. “Following the recently announced establishment of BASF 3D Printing Solutions, based in Heidelberg, Germany, this is another important step in strengthening our 3D business,” explained Hammes. Continue reading “Innofil3D BV will play a central role in BASF’s production of filaments for 3D printing”

Avio Aero to make 3D-Printed components for Advanced TurboProp engine

Avio Aero to make 3D-Printed components for Advanced TurboProp engine

Avio Aero, a GE Aviation business that designs, builds and maintains aviation engines, will produce, at its Brindisi plant, the additive-manufactured components of the General Electric ATP (Advanced Turboprop) engine, for the General Aviation market. The additive manufacturing machines will be installed at the Brindisi facility from 2018 and the first production activities will start between the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019.

The ATP, an all-European project led by the Centre of Excellence for engine development established in Italy, is the first turboprop to include 3D-printed parts: 13 components, ranging from the combustion chamber to various structural elements, which have reduced the total number of parts in the engine by about 30%.

After Cameri (Novara), which specializes in additive manufacturing using the EBM (electron beam melting) technology, Brindisi is the second Avio Aero plant to adopt an additive process, although this time using DMLM (direct metal laser melting). Continue reading “Avio Aero to make 3D-Printed components for Advanced TurboProp engine”

Panalpina, Shapeways ink strategic partnership for 3D Printing

For 3D printing Shapeways and Panalpina enter into strategic partnership. “3D printing is one of the most exciting frontiers of digital transformation,” says Mike Wilson, Panalpina’s global head of Logistics. “It stands for the convergence of the real with the virtual world – and it has the potential to dramatically change the traditional manufacturing and logistics industries.” Continue reading “Panalpina, Shapeways ink strategic partnership for 3D Printing”