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In this edition of Sliced, the 3D printing industry news digest, we cover the latest business developments, partnerships and acquisitions in the additive manufacturing sector.
Today’s edition features news from research into a new DED technology, an expansion of the 80-system print farm, various emerging energy and aerospace applications, and a colossal fully 3D-printed gas turbine engine. .
Read on for the latest updates from GE Aviation, NMIS, Airbus, Safran, Anycubic, Raise3D, Polymaker and more.
Prusa, GE Additive & SLM Solutions 3D Printer Sales
To kick off this week’s update with the latest system sales, Volkswagen subsidiary MAN Energy Solutions announced the installation of SLM Solutions’ NXG XII 600 3D printer. After using the SLM 280, the company now intends to deploy its more powerful twelve-laser unit, to meet the growing demand for larger format and mass production parts from its marine, energy and industrial customers. .
According to SLM Solutions, the NXG XII 600 is particularly well suited for deployment in the power industry, as it is able to produce components that meet the stringent mechanical property requirements of various heavy-duty applications, so it considers its last order as “indicative of the significant value proposition” that the machine offers in this area.
“Once again, we are delighted and proud to gain the trust of MAN Energy Solutions,” said Jonas Mersch, Product Manager at SLM Solutions, about the installation. “With the NXG Xll 600, MAN ES can provide innovative solutions to customers and industry, meet the needs of emerging markets and test new parts. We’re thrilled to see it meet and exceed those demands head-on.
Elsewhere, in a transaction between two GE subsidiaries, GE Aviation has acquired five new GE Additive Concept Laser M Line 3D printers. As part of the agreement, four of the machines will be installed at GE Aviation’s Additive Technology Center (ATC) in Ohio in 2022, and a fifth set will be installed at Avio Aero’s site in Turin, where it will be used to support GE’s Catalyst Turboprop production.
The move follows three years of collaboration between GE divisions, during which they reportedly made more than 300 design improvements to the machine, as well as improved several safety and software features. More recently, both have brought their expertise to ATC’s aerospace hardware development, an area in which its two new M Line systems are also expected to be deployed soon.
“The time and work we have invested collectively with our colleagues at GE Additive to define, shape and then refine the specifications and features of the M line means that we now have a scalable solution capable of building large components in a high-volume production environment, while meeting our cost eligibility goals,” explained Chris Philp, Site Manager at ATC.
“With the M line, we get all the capabilities we need to develop complex additive geometries on large structural components.”
Swedish design studio Lostboyslab also recently announced the expansion of its 3D printing capabilities with the acquisition of 80 new extrusion systems from Prusa Research. The machines, including the Prusa i3 MK3S+ and upcoming Original Prusa XL, will be used to bolster the company’s existing Alpha Zero print farm’s existing fleet of 140 machines and enable it to meet growing demand from its services.
“Prusa Research’s FDM 3D printers have just been proven time and time again to be the most reliable machines,” Stefan Larsson, Founder and CEO of Lostboyslab told 3DPMN. “Thanks to their open material system, they are ideal for additive manufacturing with all the recycled and sustainable materials we develop with our partners.”
NMIS launches sustainable manufacturing project
The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) has launched a new initiative through which it aims to develop a faster and less expensive hybrid DED process. Specifically, working with sixteen partner organizations, NMIS says it plans to deliver a “future-proof” production method that combines the cost, time, and customization advantages of forging, forming, and molding. 3D printing.
One particular area the project is expected to focus on is aerospace landing gear, which is normally created by forging and machining. However, by working with companies such as Airbus and Safran Landing Systems, program researchers believe it may be possible to develop a means of 3D printing directly onto forged surfaces, in such a way as to make them more material and more profitable to produce.
Led by NMIs, but conducted at the University of Strathclyde and the University of Cranfield, the first two phases of the project are already underway, with a planned demonstration for later this year. The third phase of the initiative, meanwhile, will focus on machining NITC of Queen’s University Belfast, while the final stage is to compare the effectiveness of traditional and alternative manufacturing methods.
“The use of AM in conjunction with forging and parallel kinematic machine technologies takes a transformative approach to this process, offering the potential to reduce lead times, production costs and material waste while supporting progress towards goals. net zero and creating a production model that contributes to a circular economy,” says Dr. Misael Pimentel, Manufacturing Engineer at NMIS.
Designer 3D prints entire gas turbine engine
Finally, in this week’s edition of Sliced, Ivan Korzhan, an engineer at Chinese gas turbine manufacturer Longjiang Turbine, unveiled a fully 3D-printed aerospace engine. Printed from Polymaker PLA using a combination of Anycubic and Raise3D systems, the model’s design is influenced by gas turbines built by GE, Siemens and Rolls-Royce.
Comprised of 2,000 individual parts and weighing around 18 kg, Korzhan’s impressive feat of endurance took him 5-6 months to construct, from his initial idea to the final construction. Although the talented design engineer’s model was never intended to fly, he says it will now take pride of place in his office, where it will serve as a showcase of the potential of desktop 3D printing.
Korzhan has now released a YouTube video explaining how he assembled his model engine, which can be viewed below or accessed here.
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Featured image shows the Sliced logo above a photo of engineer Ivan Korzhan and his 3D printed gas turbine engine model. Photo by Ivan Korjan.