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3D Printing News Briefs, January 20, 2024: FDM, LPBF, Underwater 3D Printers, Racing and More -

3D Printing News Briefs, January 20, 2024: FDM, LPBF, Underwater 3D Printers, Racing and More –

We’ll start with process certification in today’s 3D printing news brief, then move on to research into solute trapping and laser powder bed fusion, then move on to a partnership that will help advance 3D printed healthcare solutions. We finish with an underwater 3D printer and Formula Student racing.

Stratasys receives NOCTI validation for FDM process certification


According to the Manufacturing Leadership Council (MLC), additive manufacturing now accounts for about 1% of manufacturing, and the skilled AM workforce gap is expected to grow to 2.1 million unfilled positions by 2030. Stratasys announced that the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI – the nation’s leading provider of career and technical training – has validated its first Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process certification, marking an important step toward improving training and building a skilled workforce in the AM field. This certification means that students and professionals seeking a career in AM receive the best possible training for this field. Certification participants receive industry-recognized skills, and schools that receive FDM certification can apply for funding more easily to create even more learning opportunities. As part of the partnership, NOCTI is also introducing a general FDM certification exam.

“Stratasys is committed to advancing the additive manufacturing industry by not only providing cutting-edge technology, but also ensuring that students and professionals gain industry-recognized skills. “Our collaboration with NOCTI represents a deep commitment to education and workforce development, enabling individuals to succeed in the world of 3D printing,” said Rich Garrity, Chief Industrial Business Unit Officer of Stratasys.

Transport and solidification mechanisms of solutes in AM

Solute transport and solidification mechanisms in AM

The effect of solute trapping on solidification behavior and crack susceptibility. Schematic representation of the properties of the microstructure and the segregation pattern. Photo credit: Nature Communications (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-43563-x

A phenomenon in AM called solute trapping occurs when solutes (parts of a substance dissolved in a solution) become concentrated in specific areas of a solidification front, which can lead to unstable microstructures and defects such as cracks and porosities. Researchers from Queen Mary University of London, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China’s Center of Excellence and the University of Leicester have created a computational model to show how solute trapping occurs during the rapid solidification process in AM, and their study provides new insights into solute transport. They used their model to study the solute transport that occurs during the technology’s rapid and repeated thermal cycles and found that it is promoted by melting convection, which dilutes the distributed solute at the solidification front. The researchers believe their findings could help reduce cracking susceptibility in 3D printed parts by accelerating solidification and develop superalloys with better printability.

“Capturing solutes is like adding a secret ingredient to a recipe. By understanding how solute capture works, we can develop new materials and processes that can lead to stronger, more reliable and more complex 3D printed components,” explained Dr. Chinnapat Panwisawas, corresponding author of the study and lecturer in materials and solid mechanics at Queen Mary University of London.

EPFL researchers settle long-standing LPBF dispute over 3D printing

Listen for 3DP defects

A graphical representation of the experimental setup for listening to 3D printing errors. Image source: EPFL/Titouan Veuillet

Speaking of AM defects: In a new study, a team of researchers from the Laboratory for Thermomechanical Metallurgy (LMTM) at the EPFL School of Engineering, the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the Swiss Federal Materials Testing and Research Institute (Empa) have found that there has finally been a long-standing dispute via laser powder bed fusion 3D printing – using a novel technique that combines X-ray imaging and acoustic monitoring to detect defects and errors. Typical monitoring techniques such as machine learning and thermal imaging often do not detect or understand the defects, and acoustic monitoring – comparing the sounds the printer makes when a print is perfect with those when it has anomalies – has already been considered unreliable . But the researchers and their experimental design, which combines synchrotron X-ray imaging with acoustic emission measurements, have proven this theory wrong. The approach offers deeper insights into the physics of melting regimes and is also a more cost-effective way to monitor pressure.

“There is an ongoing debate about the feasibility and effectiveness of acoustic monitoring for laser-based additive manufacturing,” said Roland Logé, professor and head of the Thermomechanical Metallurgy Laboratory at EPFL. “Our research not only confirms its relevance, but also highlights its advantage over traditional methods.”

NTU Singapore and SGH establish joint research and development laboratory for medical 3D printing

NTU SG orthopedic implants

NTU’s Singapore Center for 3D Printing (SC3DP) is capable of printing titanium-tantalum orthopedic implants that can be customized to a patient’s individual anatomy, reducing hospital operating time. Photo credit: NTU Singapore

A partnership between Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) will establish a joint research and development laboratory to advance medical 3D printing applications such as personalized devices and implants. The facilities and combined expertise of the Singapore Center for 3D Printing (SC3DP) at NTU and the 3D Printing Center at SGH will be used to research and develop relevant technologies for point-of-care clinical applications. The Joint R&D Lab will focus on four research areas, starting with the development of modeling and AM approaches for prosthetics and orthotics; One of the main goals is to create design standards and specifications for these devices. The second is bioprinting for regenerative medicine and the third is point-of-care 3D printed implants made of metal and PEEK. The final area examines and improves the state of AM for the healthcare industry by finding and creating possible clinical applications, such as: B. flexible electronics and 3D printing of food.

“Through the combined medical expertise of SGH and the extensive knowledge of additive manufacturing and advanced materials of the NTU faculty, our collaboration aims to develop innovative solutions in the development of personalized prostheses and orthoses and explore new avenues for regenerative medicine,” said Professor Lam Khin Yong, Vice President (Industry) of NTU Singapore. “This collaboration will also greatly benefit the next generation of clinicians, academics and engineers through upcoming joint educational programs, shared resources and shared initiatives. NTU and SGH are committed to developing new talent who have the skills and knowledge required to navigate the ever-evolving medical landscape.”

CPSdrone manufacturers are building an underwater 3D printer

Underwater 3D printer

A screen capture of CPSdrone’s underwater 3D printer during a printing process. (Image credit: CPSdrone on YouTube)

Between 2018 and 2022, the creators of CPSdrone built around 15 prototypes of underwater drones and now want to teach others what they have learned. One of their most recent projects was not an underwater drone, but a 3D printer that could work underwater! Underwater 3D printing offers some advantages, including eliminating the need for cooling fans to dissipate heat, which could result in higher print quality, and an underwater 3D printer could be useful in industrial applications such as repairing seabed pipelines. To prepare it for underwater use, the CPSdrone team made many modifications to their custom printer – which looks like it’s based on a Prusa i3 – including keeping the display and power supply out of the water, and that several parts were waterproofed with different epoxy resins to avoid short circuits. Circuits and replacing some metal parts that would quickly corrode with plastic parts. The printer worked fine when tested in the aquarium, but when tested in the pool it began to stutter due to heavy rusting.

“The biggest takeaway is that while 3D printing underwater works (although even the best 3D printers would require significant modification), it doesn’t quite live up to the hype surrounding the video thumbnail (showing a print in a swimming pool). .” . Unfortunately, this achievement is actually outside the scope of what CPSdrone could achieve with this project despite their efforts,” wrote Christopher Harper for Tom’s Hardware.

You can watch the 17 minute video breakdown of this project here:

YouTube video player

The Munich Formula Student Racing Team uses Sintratec for prototyping

Sintratec SAE Racing Team Munich University

The munichmotorsport team was busy in the pits preparing the car for the dynamic disciplines. Photo credit: Sintratec

Every year munichmotorsport, the 40-person interdisciplinary SAE racing team at Munich University, designs and builds its own racing car for the Formula Student racing series. About 100 teams compete on the racetrack and in other disciplines such as marketing and business administration in one of the largest engineering competitions in the world. This team, like many others, uses 3D printing to produce race car parts, and munichmotorsport worked with Sintratec to produce rapid prototypes of these parts using SLS technology. This year, engineering student Niklas Rösler was responsible for the high-voltage system of the electric racing car and had to ensure the cooling of the system and safe storage of the battery cells. To regulate airflow and cool the system, he 3D printed PA12 spacers on the Sintratec S3 and used the same system and material to print casings that stabilized individual battery cells in the rear of the race car.

“SLS 3D printing is the most suitable prototyping technology for our racing team. We can use it in almost every situation involving the car,” said Rösler.

“Sintratec’s PA12 material covers most areas of application in racing cars. It offers the best mechanical properties and high dielectric strength for our purposes.”

Although there were some technical problems at the beginning, munichmotorsport was able to overcome them and took 20th place in its class out of 71 participating teams.

SLS 3D printing in the fast lane – customer story from munichmotorsport