at Fraunhofer IAPT have employed additive manufacturing (AM) design
methods to redesign a sports-car door-hinge arm, reportedly yielding a
part at half the cost of the equivalent milled part, and boasting weight
savings of 35 percent. Aided by software from 3D Spark (a Fraunhofer
IAPT spinoff), Fraunhofer engineers first identified a suitable
component for redesign from the ground up with AM in mind. Early in the
project, they determined the cost-optimal AM orientation of the
component and reportedly realized 15-perent cost savings. Then,
optimizing geometry reportedly reduced part weight by 35 percent.
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Desktop Metal announced qualification of pure copper (>95 percent) for AM on its Production System platform. “Copper has been a highly requested material from many of our customers and prospects, and has applications spanning a broad variety of industries, from thermal hardware found in air and liquid cooling systems to conformally cooled coils for transmission of high-frequency currents,” explains Jonah Myerberg, Desktop Metal co-founder and chief technology officer.
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A Nikon Metrology Model XT H 225 ST X-ray CT system installed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Nano-Engineering Research Core Facility (NERCF) helps perform fundamental research into the effects of component geometry on overheating during metal powder-bed AM. Analyzing porosity on an Inconel 718 sample, the CT system’s resolution of 15 μm/voxel has been able to determine from the circularity of a pore whether it was formed by escape gas trapped in the melt pool or by incomplete fusion of the powder.
Says Prahalada Rao, associate professor from the UNL Mechanical and Materials Engineering department: “(The system) allows manufacturers greater control over the quality of AM or machined parts by allowing them to see flaws that previously were expensive and difficult to find.”
the cusp of full-blown AM industrialization, to maintain the momentum
gained during the pandemic, several crucial process and ecosystem
evolutions must be more widely adopted to lower the barriers to AM.