News in brief about 3D printing, February 24, 2021: University of Auburn, vector photonics, Siemens Energy, Omegasonics, Bugatti, Hackaday –

We’re starting a 3D Printing News Briefs business today and we’re talking about Auburn University’s Additive Manufacturing Accelerator and Vector Photonics who lead the BLOODLINE consortium. I promise this is not as strange as the name suggests. Siemens Energy found a way to use 3D printing to upgrade turbine blades instead of repairing them, and Omegasonics has unveiled its updated ultrasonic cleaning equipment for 3D printed parts. Finally, the Bugatti Bolide hypercar comes with a variety of 3D printed components, and a Hackaday post describes how to make a DIY HEPA filter fan with some 3D printed parts.

Auburn University’s AM Accelerator targets 3D printing startups

Michael Zabala, professor at Auburn University, runs XO Armor in the university’s innovation park in the southwest of the city. (Courtesy Mike Eads, Opelika-Auburn News)

Officials from the city of Auburn, Alabama, are offering local entrepreneurs and Auburn University faculties the opportunity to help grow a new industry by joining the Additive Manufacturing Accelerator, a partnership program between the National Center for Excellence in Additive Manufacturing, the university and the city’s Training Connection, which runs through fall 2021. The accelerator is aimed at startups that use 3D printing and offers funding and advice, for example to set up manufacturing processes, hire employees and find customers. The aim is to help ten local companies and three startups and provide a new local industry and training opportunity for students. One of the accelerator’s first customers is Professor Michael Zabala from the University of Auburn, who teaches mechanical engineering with a focus on human biology. At the request of one of the university’s soccer coaches, he created bespoke padding for a player in 2019, and XO Armor was born. Athletes use the startup’s app to scan ankle, elbow, knee, and shoulder joints and then send the specs to XO, which then creates and delivers a pad or orthotic to distribute the energy before a field collision and that Protect joint.

“In biomechanics we analyze the human body, its movements and the forces and movements associated with it,” explained Zabala. “That’s the relationship between mechanical engineering and what we’re doing here: using 3D printing and other manufacturing techniques, devices can be made that work very well with the complex human body.”

The AM Accelerator will help Zabala create local jobs, create training opportunities for engineering students, and scale XO armor.

Leading BLOODLINE consortium for vector photonics

According to Vector, PCSELs solve the mystery of the performance and cost of semiconductor lasers.

According to SmarTech Analysis, the metal laser 3D printing market will grow to $ 10 billion by 2025. Therefore, Vector Photonics is leading an international consortium project funded by Innovate UK to develop metal 3D printing chips based on its own PCSELs (Photonic) crystal surface emitting lasers). Other partners in the £ 1.5 million BLOODLINE project, which stands for Bright Laser Diodes for Advanced Advanced Metal Manufacturing Systems, are the British Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult, a Japanese manufacturer of semiconductors, and a Japanese manufacturer of Industrial equipments. The PCSEL chips should be suitable for any 3D printer manufacturer.

“Metal 3D laser printers keep metal powder in a ‘powder bed’ just below the melting point. Currently, CO2 or fiber lasers guided by mirrors scan across the surface of the powder and melt the metal powder in what is known as the layer below, which is known as selective laser melting (SLM), ”explained Dr. Richard Taylor, CTO at Vector Photonics. and Enterprise Fellow at the Quantum Technology Enterprise Center.

“The PCSEL technology from Vector Photonics will revolutionize the SLM process. PCSELs offer a unique combination of increased laser power by scaling the PCSEL arrays. improved reliability by removing the mirror and offering and full solid state solution; and higher production efficiency – the result of higher resolution printing with less finishing work and faster print speeds.

“We believe that PCSELs will enable a whole new class of next-generation metal printers and will contribute to even greater market growth.”

Siemens is using hybrid 3D printing to add functionality to turbine blades

A SGT5-4000F gas turbine blade converts as much power into rotational energy as in ten Porsche 911 sports cars. Because of the high gas velocities and temperatures that occur when a gas turbine is operating, the blade tip often burns up, which can lead to gaps between the tip and the ring segment and reduce turbine performance. Siemens Energy’s AM and repair experts have discovered how a hybrid 3D printing process can be used to upgrade defective turbine blades rather than repair them by adding high-resolution cooling structures in key areas to prevent blade tip failure. The technology used here was metal 3D printing with laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF). This new design can help cool critical blade areas more effectively, thereby preventing material loss through burn-off.

The application of AM to existing components, called Hybrid L-PBF Repair or HybridTech, is still a new area that is currently being investigated and is being developed as part of a research project by the European Regional Development Fund. Turbine blades that have operated at high temperatures have different, individual shapes, making it difficult to complete the L-PBF repair. By combining 3D scanning and a new algorithm, Siemens Energy has developed a new digital CAD-CAM repair chain that automatically adapts the shape of the 3D-printed tip to the blade. The first sets of sheets have already been completed and the team is working on converting the standard repair procedures to add the new process so that it can be applied to other components in the future.

Omegasonics is updating ultrasonic 3D printing cleaning technology

California-based Omegasonics has released its updated ultrasonic cavitation equipment for cleaning 3D printed parts, which can result in faster, more accurate 3D printing. Once certain technical parts have been removed from the print bed, they usually need to be carefully cleaned and prepared. The manual, labor-intensive process with heated rotating disks can take up to 24 hours, depending on the size of the part. However, with the updated ultrasonic technology from Omegasonics, cleaning time can be reduced significantly. The process removes support structures from materials like nylon 12, polycarbonate, PCABS and ABS and keeps part quality high while reducing labor costs.

“It used to take a full day to manually remove the substrate from some 3D parts. Now let’s just put the parts in the ultrasonic cleaner and do something else while they are being cleaned. After three hours we have nice, clean parts, ”said Armen Boyajyan, Product Finishing Manager at Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, about the collaboration with Omegasonics.

This new technology is part of the company’s broader plan for 2021 to support its customers and introduce several new products, including a thermal dye station for 3D printed thermoplastic products and one to remove soluble carriers.

The lightweight 3D-printed components from Bugatti Bolide

The Bugatti Bolide Hypercar weighs only 1,240 kg with a powerful 8-liter W16 engine with four turbochargers and has an almost unheard-of power-to-weight ratio of 0.67 kg per horsepower, mainly thanks to the many lightweight metal 3D-printed components that make it sporty . The automaker has long used the technology to make components for its racing cars, and while the bolide is just a working concept right now, it’s no different. The new 3D printed titanium pushrods are hollow and although they weigh only 100 grams they can hold up to 3.5 tons of force, while the wheel-mounted centrifugal compressors that reduce lift and cool the brakes at high speeds are made with a 0 , 48mm thick 3D printed titanium central shell. The hollow front wing mount is also 3D printed with titanium, and the huge rear wing is held in place with a strong 3D printed titanium component. Last but not least, the Bolide steering column also has 3D-printed hollow parts. All of these parts help the Bugatti bolide get from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds.

“As a test vehicle in the form of a racing car, the bolide is not a show car. It is an uncompromisingly drivable extract from Bugatti’s extensive technological know-how. Bugatti enthusiasts will also find these cutting-edge technologies in other vehicles in the future, ”said Frank Götzke, Head of New Technologies at Bugatti.

“It is Bolide’s many technological highlights that make it so special. We are developing and working on this, because Bugatti has been characterized by impressive innovations for over 100 years – and will continue to do so in the future. “

3D printed parts for DIY HEPA fan

When you’re back in the office instead of working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be uncomfortable to spend so much time with other people in a tight space with just hand sanitizer and a face mask to keep you safe from germs protect. Hackaday posted an interesting DIY project for a HEPA filter fan by Thingiverse user jshanna which is quite easy to build and includes some black PLA 3D printed parts as well as some commonly available parts like nuts, washers, screws and brass threaded inserts and Furniture upholstery. It looks like a quick and easy way to get rid of the stale air in your office.

“The basis for this attractive and useful office must-have is an Amazon muffin fan with an optional variable speed controller,” says the Hackaday article. A long threaded rod runs in the middle of the HEPA filter and is attached like a lampshade. The fan sucks in air from below and blows it up through the filter into the room. If the HEPA filter is dirty, just take it out and wash it. “

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