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3D Printing is maturing very nicely...

3D Printing is maturing very nicely...

3D Printing is maturing very nicely...

(OP)
Case in point:

The World’s First 3D-Printed Rocket Is About to Launch

Relativity Space’s attempt to reach orbit heralds the increasing use of 3D printing in the space sector.


https://www.wired.com/story/the-worlds-first-3d-pr...

An update: Saturday's launch had to be scrubbed but not because of any problems with the rocket's structure. A new launch date hasn't been announced.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

Replies continue below

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RE: 3D Printing is maturing very nicely...

(OP)
And if anyone else has heard of or has direct experience with any leading edge uses of 3D printed parts, please post your stories here.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: 3D Printing is maturing very nicely...

3D printed air bearing casters.
The key feature of the printing process is to obtain a separation surface between the upper and lower faces of the caster, in order to get the flexible inflatable torus that makes up the caster.

prex
http://www.xcalcs.com : Online engineering calculations
https://www.megamag.it : Magnetic brakes and launchers for fun rides
https://www.levitans.com : Air bearing pads

RE: 3D Printing is maturing very nicely...

Yeah. I've been following it. Relativity Space is in the old C-17 building in Long Beach.

I'm proud to say my son (Phd Material Science) had a hand in developing 3D printing (titanium) for aerospace. He interned with NASA, GE, USAF, etc. He helped with 3D printing of engine fan blades. He also worked on the Orion capsule to fix seam welding issues.

The first time I saw a 3D printer was at Douglas Aircraft, 1986. Pretty cool.

Chris, CSWP
SolidWorks
ctophers home

RE: 3D Printing is maturing very nicely...

(OP)
I can remember the first trade show (can't recall the exact date, but it had to be in the late 80's) that I attended where 3D Systems showed off their early 'Stereolithography' system. Needless to say, it was the talk of the show. I was a product manager at the time in the McDonnell Douglas Unigraphics division and we had a booth at the show where we were demoing our CAD/CAE/CAM systems. I remember our CEO asking me to walk with him over to the 3D Systems booth so that I could help explain to him how it worked and what it might mean for our business. Note that this was while we were implementing our company-wide installation of software at GM and about a year or so later, one of their divisions, I think they did fuel systems, was an early adopter of 'Stereolithography', which by then was starting to be referred to as 'rapid prototyping', which at least was a better description of how people were using it. GM came to us and said that they needed us to add an 'SLA' interface to our CAD software. Their people had hacked together a crude piece of software but wanted something that was fully integrated and of course, was someone else's responsibility to develop and maintain. Since I was already involved in helping to roll-out our software at GM (note that in 1986-87, I had led the technical sales team that performed the demos and benchmarks which resulted in General Motors selecting Unigraphics as their corporate CAD/CAE/CAM system) I was assigned the role of product manager for our SLA interface module.

Over the next year or so, I made several visits to 3D Systems, which at the time was located in Valencia, CA, as well as a couple of facilities at GM where they were looking into the technology. I also visited a couple of other companies which were working on similar technology, the one that proved most interesting at the time was a company called Stratasys as their models were much more robust and could almost be confused with something that had been molded using conventional techniques, but the machinery was very large and complex, but it did lead to the so-called sintering techniques which are very common today when talking about producing production-ready metal parts.

Note that while the marketing types hit a home run, at least with the average guy on the street, when they started to refer to this technology as '3D Printing', the more common term out there in industry is 'additive manufacturing'.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: 3D Printing is maturing very nicely...

John,
At some point we probably crossed paths at McD.
Remember GDS? That is what I was using at the time.
The 3D printer I saw there was a 'Stereolithography' system. I saw it in action, but don't know what parts they made on it. It was big, so maybe some type of tooling.

Chris, CSWP
SolidWorks
ctophers home

RE: 3D Printing is maturing very nicely...

(OP)
Yes, vaguely. And yes, it's possible. I spent time with people in both Long Beach and Huntington Beach as well as of course, back in St. Louis.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: 3D Printing is maturing very nicely...

My experience with AM in metals is very mixed.
We had some fairly complex pieces, lots of internal machining and multiple pieces (maybe 20) brazed in an assembly.
This was a Ni alloy and the AM version worked great.
There were no real strength requirements and the reduction in machining and assembly issues alone made it worth while.
On the other hand we had a Ti parts that they wanted to make AM.
The original was a custom forging with a lot of machining work on it.
We built a section of the piece for some evaluation.
As we began testing we found that the strength, toughness, and modulus of the material varied depending on location and direction in the part.
This persisted even after re-heat treatment.
The strength variations we could have worked with, but differences in stiffness and impact toughness were deal killers.
We would have to have redesigned and added material to compensate for this.
My take away is if the part has a significant safety margin (>10x) then the AM version will likely work better than the original.
If you are anywhere near limits for strength or stiffness then don't bet on AM.
And then we can talk about NDT also. A whole 'nother issue.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

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