3D Systems announced a planned expansion of its Rock Hill, S.C., facility. The company will add 100,000 square feet to the existing campus in an effort to consolidate its materials manufacturing, quality and logistics operations with new and expanded materials-development laboratories to improve operational efficiencies, accelerate solution development and reduce time to market. In addition, 3D Systems will expand its customer collaboration and training facilities, as well as its advanced-manufacturing capabilities for both metal and polymer components. These capabilities are critical to accelerating the move from proof-of-concept for new customer applications to full-scale workflow definition and initial industrial production.
The ExOne Company reached a commercial license agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to 3D print parts in aluminum-infiltrated boron carbide (B4C). Researchers at ORNL developed the patent-pending method of 3D printing aluminum-infiltrated B4C on an ExOne M-Flex, a 3D printer that uses binder-jetting technology to 3D print objects in metals, ceramics and other powder materials.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded nearly $4 million in grants to help accelerate the adoption of new measurement methods and standards to advance U.S. competitiveness in metals-based additive manufacturing (AM). According to NIST, these projects will improve U.S. manufacturers’ ability to use metals-based additive manufacturing to make high-quality, innovative and complex products at high volume. Through its own research and with these grants, NIST is addressing barriers to adoption of additive manufacturing, including surface finish and quality issues, dimensional accuracy, fabrication speed, material properties and computational requirements.
If you’re at all like me, you wonder which articles get the most attention on our website. Every year we publish around 45 feature articles, and at the end of the year we gather statistics to see which ones get the most page views. So, without further ado, here are the five most-viewed articles on www.industrialheating.com based on page views. This ranking applies only to articles published in 2020.
General Motors announced the opening of its 15,000-square-foot Additive Industrialization Center (AIC), a facility exclusively dedicated to productionizing 3D-printing technology in the automotive industry. The AIC is the capstone of GM’s increased investment in 3D printing over the last several years. The facility in Warren, Mich., includes 24 3D printers that create polymer and metal solutions. GM’s additive design and manufacturing team leverages a number of processes at the AIC, including selective laser sintering, selective laser melting, multi-jet fusion and fused deposition modeling.
Liberty Powder Metals, part of the GFG Alliance, started commercial production at its new Teesside powder-metals facility, targeting fast-growing demand from the 3D-printing industry. The company will produce a range of stainless steel and nickel superalloy powders for precision components in the automotive, aerospace and engineering industries. Minute spherical powder particles are processed to the highest specifications in a vacuum induction argon gas atomizer, which Liberty Powder Metals says is the only one of its kind in the U.K.
Our take on metals additive manufacturing (AM) is that it has made it past the “valley of death” in the so-called hype curve. It is being used widely and sometimes for unexpected applications. For example, I was impressed to hear a presentation from the Sonova Group about printing custom hearing-aid earpieces in titanium, for which the unexpected benefit was much better robustness against being dropped on the floor and crushed underfoot.
Advanced Powder Products (APP) completed construction of a new 25,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Philipsburg, Pa. It will house a state-of-the-art quality laboratory, increased processing capabilities, automation development and a research-and-development center. APP plans on hiring skilled engineers, technicians and entry-level manufacturing support. The facility will support company growth by adding capacity. APP specializes in metallurgy, engineering, metal injection molding (MIM) and 3D metal printing to manufacture precision metal components for the medical device, industrial, automotive, aerospace and defense industries.
GE Additive announced that Sandvik Additive Manufacturing has become a strategic partner in its binder-jet beta partner program. Sandvik will work closely with GE Additive to become a certified metal powder supplier for a range of Osprey alloys that complement GE Additive’s own materials portfolio. Sandvik will also use GE Additive’s H2 binder-jet beta machine to support its internal and external customers. According to Sandvik, the materials collaboration with GE Additive provides opportunities to qualify its range of Osprey metal powders for the binder-jet platform and to improve product performance.
The ExOne Company was awarded a contract to develop binder-jet manufacturing processes for a novel steel alloy for the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Awarded by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), the contract aims to develop and qualify AF-9628, a high-strength steel developed by the Air Force, for binder-jet 3D printing.