We first talk about how to reduce the defects of metal 3D printing in today’s briefs on 3D printing, then we move on to 3D printed houses as a possible solution to help those displaced by the flood waters. The outdoor brand Vaude uses 3D printing to manufacture a recyclable mono-material backpack. Finally, an American doctor has broken a Guinness World Record for the tallest 3D printed sculpture of a human.
New Technique Reduces Metal AM Defects
First, a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison published an article about their work developing a unique method of 3D printing metal parts – using laser powder bed fusion technology ( LPBF) – with much fewer flaws. Their technique uses ceramic nanoparticles to control the instabilities within the LPBF process that cause the defects, like cracks and pores, in the first place. The LPBF melts thin layers of metal powder at specific locations using a high-energy laser beam, but the surface of the powder heats up to boiling when it interacts with the laser. This creates hot steam, which creates pressure that presses on the molten material and causes droplets to squirt out and cause those defects, which can compromise the durability and strength of the final part. But the researchers found that when they introduced ceramic nanoparticles, they created a coating that stabilized the weld pool and reduced spatter.
“Using metal 3D printing, we have not been able to consistently produce parts with the same quality and reliability as those made by conventional methods, which means we have great concerns about the use of 3D printed parts for critical or load-bearing applications where failure is not an option. This quality issue is the biggest barrier to the use of metal 3D printing in various applications,” said explained Lianyi Chen, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UW-Madison.
“We demonstrate a potential way to solve the quality problem by making metal 3D printing technology much more reliable, allowing it to produce consistent, defect-free parts. Thanks to our unique method, we were able to 3D print a metal part with very few defects and a quality comparable to a commercially manufactured part that you could buy off the shelf.
Helping displaced people with 3D printed houses?
Merritt, a city in Canada, has launched a pilot project with the University of British Columbia (UBC) investigating whether 3D-printed houses could be a real solution to help those displaced by floods in late 2021 The printer the city wants to buy costs over a million dollars and it costs about $30,000 to print each house, which is why Merritt has partnered with UBC, charities and can -even being at other levels of government to make this dream a reality. The entire project is dependent on the amount of funds raised at the Hell or High Water Fire and Flood Relief benefit concert at the city’s recent Rockin’ River Fest. If successful, the city could even begin 3D-printing 600-square-foot homes later this month.
“With funding, we could partner with different public and private consortia to find the funds to put the printer here and start printing these houses. We could do a printed house every five days or so, and what that you give is the walls. We still need to do more, but it’s definitely a viable option,” explained Greg Solecki, Recovery Manager.
“The roof comes later but we still have groups that can supply things like that after the walls are done.
“If we can generate the funds, UBC can match it and the feds can hopefully match that and eventually we’ll have the printer in place so we can start printing houses for people who have them. need.”
Vaude presents a 3D printed recyclable backpack
Sustainable outdoor brand VAUDE presented the Novum 3D, a 3D printed backpack that is fully recyclable and made from mono-materials. The prototype features strong honeycomb construction and a lightweight suspension system for maximum stability, and all parts of the bag, including back pads, straps, and backpack, are removable and 3D printed to from a thermoplastic TPU material. The open structure of the pack also allows ideal ventilation, and the different degrees of hardness of the Novum 3D allow excellent pressure distribution. VAUDE is committed to a responsible and sustainable design process to manufacture comfortable products, such as the Novum 3D backpack, while reducing CO2 emissions. The goal of Novum 3D is for it to be recycled and manufactured in a circular design loop.
“Ideally, a product should be completely returned to the production process at the end of its life cycle. It’s real recycling, but it’s still a big challenge for the textile industry right now. Many products are made up of at least 5-10 different materials or blended fabrics and therefore cannot be separated by type. For this to succeed, the entire product life cycle must be considered and rethought,” note the VAUDE designers on the brand’s website.
Tallest 3D-printed human sculpture wins Guinness World Record
Finally, California-based emergency physician Dr. Vinson Eugene Allen won a Guinness World Records title for the tallest 3D-printed sculpture of a human. Weighing around 680 kg and measuring just over 6 meters, the sculpture is almost twice as tall as the one 3D printed by the previous record holder. Dr Allen, who founded the Dusk to Dawn urgent care facility, said his ‘inspired statue’ was originally created to sit on a freeway billboard in Los Angeles in the part of an advertising strategy. After patients started commenting on his first trial, which didn’t quite meet the requirements for the record, Dr. Allen started to really think about breaking it in an effort to inspire, celebrate and empower his community. It took a team of nine people 12 weeks to print and assemble his second effort, after the giant sculpture was shipped in 45 parts from Minnesota to California, and Dr Allen says the victory is even more special for him as it was verified during Black History Month.
Dr Allen told Guinness World Records that “My advice to everyone is: Dream Big. Stay focused. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do!
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