Another week is over, and with it a lot of interesting news published referring to the topic of 3D printing. We just picked a palmful of what appeared especially worth mentioning to us. Enjoy the weekend!
Toyota Invites Customers to create 3D Printed Vehicle Parts
Last week we mentioned BMW’s racing team printing its first vehicle parts on a 3D printer. This week Toyota has announced it will launch its Open Road Project in Tokyo in July 2015.
As part of the Open Road Project, customers will get the opportunity to customize their own 3D printed vehicle parts for the new ultra-compact i-Road EV, an eco-friendly, single-person vehicle. Toyota describes this car as “designed to explore the way we move. It can travel up to 50km on a single charge. Its intuitive Active Lean technology makes it enjoyable nimble. The i-ROAD is built to the highest safety standards.”
The main aim of the Open Road project is actually to bring forward and share new ideas of the future of urban mobility by testing, prototyping and broadcasting new ideas. Of course customers won’t be able to customize engine components but they are allowed to design interior elements or exterior body panels as well as other elements that don’t interfere with the safety of the vehicle
First FAA Approved 3D-Printed Jet Engine Parts
Aviation seems to be a huge topic in 3D printing at the moment. Last week we reported on 3D printed rocket parts and this week the American multinational conglomerate corporation General Electric (GE) announced the approval of 3D printed commercial jet engine parts by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
GE is currently partnering with Boeing to install its laser sintered T25 housing for a compressor inlet temperature sensor in over 400 of Boeing’s GE90-94B engines used on the new high-tech Boeing 777 aircraft.
The new 3D printed part is five times as durable as ‘old-fashion’ produced once, 25% lighter and runs cooler because of an internal cooling structures.
GE describes the laser sinter technology as a breakthrough for their prototyping program. Bill Millhaem (GM for the GE90 and GE9X engine programs at GE Aviation) said GE would normal need several years to design and prototype this part, but the GE team was able to make it in a year. “The 3D printer allowed us to rapidly prototype the part, find the best design and move it quickly to production.”
The aerospace and aviation industry seems to become an early adopter of the proper industrial use of 3D printed parts. We are looking forward to hearing of more progress in other fields of industry.
New Line of Delta Printers Realized by Sandretto
Italy is back in the game for manufacturing 3D printers. Very well known Italian press and injection mold machine manufacturer Sandretto restarts with a new owner, new management and new headquarters, but of course still an Italian cultural identity. Sandretto seized its chance and presented its range of heavy-duty, industrial 3D Delta printers on the Plast Milan 2015 (May, 5-9) In comparison to other printers, “these printers have been specifically developed for heavy-duty industrial products” according to Roberto Moretti, Additive Manufacturing COO at Sandretto. They developed them in response to demand from their existing injection molding machine customers.
The Delta printers are currently available in 3sizes. The SND R250 is the smallest, measuring 25cm width and 45cm in height. The SND R400 measures 40x70cm while the largest printer, the SND R400, measures 70x120cm.
All machines are promised to be very reliable and can run continuously for 24 h. Furthermore, all of them can be used for PLA, ABS, TPU etc. and are only sold in sets of 10 machines for an affordable price of 20.000€. The set will enable the customers to print from 500 to 1.000 products within just 3 days.
A plus is the design of the machines. Just as lots of other products designed in Italy they look pretty racy, with a metal ceramic body covered in carbon fiber, available in white or black anthracite. Let’s see what the first tests will say about this new printer.
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