Browsing articles from "July, 2012"
Jul 23, 2012
Comments Off on Automotive components achieve pole position with Rapid Prototyping

Automotive components achieve pole position with Rapid Prototyping

Aston Martin LMP1 AMR-One Engine produced with Rapid Prototyping technologies

Aston Martin LMP1 AMR-One Engine produced with Rapid Prototyping technologies. (Source: formula1-directory)

Rapid Prototyping has grown in popularity within the Formula 1  industry over the past decade thanks largely to the new techniques pioneered in the aerospace industry along with ongoing research into the materials available. Today many Formula 1 teams run SLS brake ducts and air ducts in addition to many more components produced in SLA.

Operating within a highly competitive and time sensitive industry, Formula 1 teams fight to remain ahead in terms of design, wind tunnel testing and race track testing.  Rapid Prototyping or manufacturing decreases production lead times by allowing design errors to be identified and corrected within days making it a critically important tool in the development of Formula 1 components.

Capable of producing almost any shape Rapid Prototyping allows for teams to create even the most complex of geometries. Material developments have also lead to an increase in the range of applications available as materials such as Nanotool, CeraMAX and Bluestone offer the benefits of SLA components (smooth surface finish and high dimensional accuracy)  with the durability and thermal resistance required to withstand wind tunnel testing.  For Formula 1 teams running wind tunnels more or less 24 hours a day, these material advancements  mean it is possible source components for testing within days rather than weeks.

Leading Autosport teams such as Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin are both early adaptors of this technology. In 2011 Red Bull Racing opted to transport two Rapid Prototyping machines to the races inside the trucks. This move allowed the team to source components quickly with parts printed overnight and simply fitted into the cars on site the next day.  The same year Aston Martin’s LMP1 prototype car, AMR-ONE, raised one big question, just how did George Howard Chappel and the team develop a car from scrath in just six months. The answer through the use of 3D printing and Rapid Prototyping technologies.

Jul 16, 2012
Comments Off on Airbus designer unveils plans for 3d printed planes by 2050!

Airbus designer unveils plans for 3d printed planes by 2050!

Aerospace giant Airbus have unveiled ambitious plans for 2050, the creation of a 80 metre long 3D printed air plane. 

Concept model of Airbus 3D printed plane


Following two years of work on the concept Airbus employee Bastian Schafer has unveiled plans for a 3d printed plane by 2050. The project faces a number of key challenges the first of which lies in the creation of a 3D printer large enough to create the concept aircraft, as to create a plane entirely in 3d would require the development of a 3d printer the size of an aircraft hanger. The largest 3d printer in operation, has only ever printed structures of a  few metres high.

The plans for this new aircraft include the construction of the aircraft body from a transparent material, so passengers feel as though they are flying amongst the clouds. At present this transparent aluminium exists only in the imagination of the designers. A challenge Schafer and his team believe can be overcome through creation the bonding of different materials on multi material 3d printers.

Research into the future industry applications of 3D printing technology is not a new concept for parent company EADS (European Aeronautical Defence and Security company) who opened a £2.6 million Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing back in 2011 with the University of Exeter.  The centre which focuses on the exploration of 3D printing opportunities has already had considerable success in terms of producing 3D printed internal components for aircraft with Airbus planning on using 3d printed components in its A380s by the end of 2012.

While a 3D printed plane remains some way off, Schafer is currently focusing on internal components with plans to have 3d cabin seats installed by 2013.

Jul 2, 2012
Comments Off on 3D Printing takes centre stage this October

3D Printing takes centre stage this October

3D Print show highlights applications of 3D printing technology

3D Print show highlights applications of 3D printing technology

3D Printing is set to take centre stage in London this October with the 3D Print Show 2012.

With 3D printing technology still largely confined to the world of product design and development the 3D Print Show provides many with the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with 3D printing technology.  Organiser of the show Kerry Hogarth    hopes the show will inspire early adopters and educate the public on the range of applications for this emerging technology.

Visitors to the show will be able to view demonstrations from a range of 3D printing technologies including 3D scanning company EuroPac 3D, whose work includes the creating of computer-generated imagery through 3D scanning for the Harry Potter films. For anyone interested in 3D printing this exhibition is a must with applications ranging from Consumer Goods to Space Travel , Fashion to Architecture and everything in between on display.

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