Apr 12, 2018 | By David

In case you missed out on any developments in the 3D printing world recently, we’ve got another round-up for you. The latest news includes Siemens 3D printing parts for an industrial steam turbine, Renishaw partnering with Cardiff University Dental Hospital, and much more besides.

1. Siemens 3D prints parts for industrial steam turbine

(credit: Siemens) 

Technology giant Siemens has reached a major milestone for the additive manufacturing world, completing the first 3D printed parts for an industrial steam turbine. The company is making use of 3D printing technology in order to achieve greater agility in steam turbine component manufacturing and maintenance, in a way that will set new benchmarks for industrial power plant services.

The industrial steam turbine in question was an SST-300 industrial steam turbine operating at the JSW Steel Ltd. plant in Salem, India, and it required replacement parts for its sealing mechanism. Two oil sealing rings, used to keep oil separated from steam inside the steam turbine using pressurized air, were 3D printed according to an improved design.

The 3D printing project was a major collaborative effort, with participation from Siemens engineers in Germany and India, as well as in Sweden, where the company operates its main Additive Manufacturing center of expertise. The functional enhancements added to the 3D printed components would not have been possible to make using a traditional manufacturing process.

2. First Standardized 3D Beam Lattice Extension released by 3MF Consortium

(credit: BusinessWire/AutoDesk) 

3MF Consortium has recently released its first standardized 3D Beam Lattice Extension. The extension presents a useful new method for storing and transferring lattice-type geometry information. By providing support for beam lattices in this way, 3MF will be solving a significant interoperability issue for the additive manufacturing industry.

''The 3MF Beam Lattice Extension simplifies creation of lattice structures for 3D printing in additive manufacturing environments,'' said Alexander Oster, chairman, 3MF Technical Working Group and director, Additive Manufacturing, Autodesk. ''The central idea of this extension is to enrich the geometry notion of 3MF with beam lattice elements that can represent small-scale lattices as well as larger truss structures – both of which are quite inefficient to handle with a mesh representation, especially in cases where the element count grows into large numbers.''

3MF Consortium was established back in 2015, as a project to achieve standardization of file formats across digital manufacturing. It hopes to define a 3D printing format that will allow design applications to send full-fidelity 3D models to a mix of other applications, platforms, services and printers. Founding members include 3D Systems, Autodesk, Inc., Dassault Systèmes, SA., EOS, FIT AG, GE Global Research, HP, Inc., Materialise, Microsoft Corporation, nTopology Inc., PTC, Shapeways, Inc, and more.


3. Renishaw partners with Cardiff University for 3D printed dentures

(credit: Renishaw) 

Precision engineering and additive manufacturing company Renishaw has announced a new partnership with Cardiff University Dental Hospital, in order to provide 3D printed dentures. The process will involve a Renishaw DS20 optical 3D scanner, which is used to create the initial dental scans. Following this, a Renishaw AM250 metal 3D printer will be used to fabricated the removable partial dentures (RPDs). The dentures are made from a cobalt-chrome material.

The aim of this new technique is to improve the accuracy of the denture manufacturing. The current casting method leads to almost 20 percent of dentures having to be recast, due to miscasts. 3D technology enables the digital design for the cast to be directly taken from the patient’s mouth, and then replicated in 3D printed form. This streamlined process will be much faster and more cost-effective, cutting down on waste and labour time. It will also enable modifications and refinements to be made much more easily, and multiple iterations to be tried.

4. Poly U develops intelligent 3D modelling technology

 (credit: PRNews/PolyU)

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, or PolyU, has pioneered a new system for modelling the human body. Its 3D modelling technology can use two full-body photos to digitally reconstruct the shape and size of a person, within 5-10 seconds.

Developed by Dr Tracy P.Y. Mok, Associate Professor from the Institute of Textiles and Clothing at PolyU, and Dr Zhu Shuaiyin, a PhD graduate of the same institute, the technology is designed to improve the online clothes shopping experience. Similar systems for online fashion retail already exist, but they tend to involve much more expensive and bulky equipment, as well as being much less accurate than this new technology.

The system makes use of deep-learning techniques based on large data sets gathered from over 10,000 3D scans of bodies, with their corresponding 2D images. This enables it to accurately reconstruct the 3D shape and extract over 50 size measurements of the different parts of a person, including the girth of bust, waist, hip, thigh, knee, calf and neck, as well as arm length and shoulder slope. Discrepancies were shown to be less than 1cm for tight-fitting clothing and less than 2cm for loose-fitting clothing. This meets fashion application requirements and is comparable to the results achieved from a full body scan.

"The output models can also enable customers to visualise try-on effects before purchases in online stores. This frees us from the limitations imposed by taking body measurements physically, helping customers to select the right size in online clothing purchases," added Dr Zhu.


5. French navy implements Prodways 3D printing technology

 (credit: Naval Group)

French naval company Naval Group, along with 3D printer manufacturer Prodways, will be experimenting with the use of 3D printing technology onboard naval vessels. The French Navy will embark with a 3D printer, in order to test out how it might be used to remotely produce necessary equipment and supplies

The project will consist of three main phases. Firstly, the navy crew involved will need to learn how to use basic CAD 3D design software, as well as learning how to operate the 3D printer. Next, the sailors will work out what kind of equipment is needed. After this is done, the information will be sent to Naval Group and Prodways in order to put together a CAD design for the required parts. They will be able to remotely define programming parameters of the onboard 3D printer, in order to let the crew manufacture the parts they need onboard.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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