3D printing is a good way to accelerate prototyping with faster iterations and testing. This is the first industrial 3D-printed prototype for an electric motorcycle. Using EOS M 400 in 30 micrometer layers, this design is able to save about 35 kg compared to other electric motorcycles. EOS generated this design, dubbed Light Rider, using AP works by Air Group.
Build space is an important consideration to 3D printing. While 3D printing’s strength is normally small complex parts, having a larger build space means you can print more small, complex parts in a single print. In addition, the bigger build space means you have more capabilities in case larger parts or prototypes are needed. The ,motorcycle part in front of this large BigRep 3D printer was designed by BMW, measures 40.5cm x 91.5 cm x 41cm, was printed in 1mm layers with Pro HT Black, and took 194 hours to print.
This heavy-duty tracker piece was used to reduce weight. The initial design was able to reduce the weight by 10%. By using 3D printing, the cast mold was generated with a binder jet process and saved an additional 20% from the new design. While too costly for mass production, Altair was able to prove the efficiency and creative ways 3D printing can improve performance in large, heavy-duty equipment.
Steel Propeller Prototype
A 39.4-in.-diameter steel propeller shows the different stages of a welding 3D-printing process called wide-arc additive manufacturing, or WAAM. After building up layers of material, a CNC machine process cleans up the part. This hybrid process allows for faster printing and higher tolerances. Hybrid techniques are becoming a handy way to have the best of both worlds.
Large metal printing is a trend, and a bridge is planned to be built over a canal in Amsterdam in early 2018. This 1:5 scale replica will be built in place with a 6-axis robotic arm using a MIG welding deposition process. Sophisticated algorithms are able to determine an appropriate design, and with topographical optimization, the stainless steel 308 used to build this bridge will be used as efficiently as possible, saving money and weight while not sacrificing strength.
X Vein Drone
After the earthquake that affected Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, Yuki Ogasawara and Ryo Kumeda were motivated to design a first-responder aerial drone. The design needed to be lightweight and strong, and it would be imperative to protect the blades of the drone as well as the electronics. Autodesk software (Autodesk Fusion 360 and Autodesk within) and 3D printing allowed an extended team of designers to develop iterations and test each one. This new team of software and processing shows off this relatively new and exciting path of product development.
HP Jet Fusion
HP has entered the 3D printing market with a bang. This powder printer was designed for streamline production. The two white boxes in the front of the machine pump materials into the printer. In the section to the left of the white material boxes, with the “hp” logo on it, is a processing station that can be swapped for a new one to keep the production moving, while the old station enters a post-processing station. The interesting this about this is that HP claims it will sift and mix used powder with virgin powder for the user. This is an important step. If done incorrectly, it could affect the part’s finished properties.