Thursday, March 6, 2014

AM for custom designed medical components

Granite MEDSystems, a global healthcare design and manufacturing firm, announced today its new additive manufacturing (3D printing) service offering. This allows healthcare OEMs to leverage the increasing benefits and savings of additive manufacturing for the production of controlled, custom designed medical components.

“For healthcare OEMs, additive manufacturing will revolutionize the design, prototyping, and manufacture of parts and assemblies,” said Clint Hanson, vice president of operations, Granite MEDSystems. “The time and cost savings of this technology when compared to traditional manufacturing methods can be significant. Imagine producing a low volume of consistently high-quality parts without a capital investment. Or, making design changes during production, and receiving the modified parts in days instead of weeks—without incurring significant costs. We’re excited to combine this amazing technology with Granite’s healthcare industry expertise and ISO 13485 certified environment, to discover, side-by-side with OEMs, the extent of what’s now possible.”

In addition to additive manufacturing services for parts production, Granite provides healthcare OEMs with value-added services from a single ISO 13485 certified source, including: higher level assemblies; final assembly and test; inventory management; consolidation and shipping; custom support engagements; and, global supply chain solutions.

Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting

USPTO to Host Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting

Meeting will serve as a forum for sharing ideas and insights between stakeholders and the USPTO 
Washington – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host an Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital model. The technology is growing in use, including in such fields as jewelry, footwear, architecture, engineering and construction, automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries.

The meeting will serve as a forum for sharing ideas, experiences, and insights between stakeholders and the USPTO. Industry representatives will also provide an overview of the application of additive manufacturing in different technologies. Individual opinions are sought from varying participants, and the meetings are intended to be informal in nature. These partnership groups are formed with full recognition of the USPTO’s responsibility under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), and are not established as FACA compliant committees.
What:              Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting
When:             April 9, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET
Where:           USPTO Campus, Madison North Auditorium
                       600 Dulany Street
                       Alexandria, VA  22314
Space is limited and registration will be done on a first-come first-served basis. Please RSVP by e-mail, or by telephone to Jill Warden at (571) 272-1267 or Veronica Ewald at (571) 272-8519 to confirm your attendance.

Live demonstrations of 3D printing technology.

SYS Systems is set to wow the crowds at MACH 2014 with live demonstrations of 3D printing technology.
Skilled technicians will be on-site to show visitors how the process works using cutting edge Fortus and Objet additive manufacturing technologies from Stratasys.
Seen as the gateway to in-house digital additive manufacturing, the Stratasys Fortus 250 builds parts so durable and accurate that most customers find its use expands way beyond functional testing and into tooling, jigs, fixtures and more besides.
Designed purposely as an affordable production series machine, the Fortus 250 combines compact size and ease of use with sophisticated Insight software. And best of all, its ABSplusparts are accurate, stable, durable and repeatable. Three layer resolutions are available to let customers print in fine detail or at maximum speed. A free support removal system will be offered with any Fortus or Connex order placed at the exhibition.
The other machine in the spotlight on SYS Systems’ 18 sq m stand will be the Stratasys Objet 30 Pro 3D printer. This is the only desktop 3D printer in the world that can print in up to seven different materials, including transparent and high temperature photopolymers. A large tray size gets the most out of a small footprint, allowing users to create stunningly realistic models right in the office.
At MACH, the Objet 30 Pro will be performing live demonstrations of printing a closed case part – a component that highlights the fine production capabilities of this innovative desktop range.
Both machines are intended to underline the company’s main theme at MACH, which is to bring 3D printing in-house to save time and money in prototyping. The SYS Systems team will be on hand throughout the exhibition to show how much it costs to print in-house versus the use of bureau services. The company’s sales team will be happy to evaluate customer products and provide estimated cost and time savings which can be supported by future trials if requested.

AM exam programme now running

The US Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), along with the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and 3D printing institute America Makes, has put together a certified course and exam programme covering additive manufacturing (AM) technologies.
The additive manufacturing certificate programme could help applicants increase their knowledge, gain leadership recognition, obtain an extra career credential and validate their experience within the field.
The review course will cover basic additive manufacturing principles and will be supported by observation of additive manufacturing applications in action. Course attendees will participate in practice exercises that incorporate concepts and applications from the lecture and lab.
The $379 course is suitable for applicants already possessing the engineering basics. For more information go here.

Futuristic Factories

In the summer of 2009, Abu Dhabi-owned GlobalFoundries broke ground in upstate New York’s picturesque Saratoga County to erect one of the world’s largest advanced semiconductor production facilities. Today, the company’s 222-acre, futuristic Fab 8 campus in Malta, N.Y., employs some 2,200 operators, technicians, scientists, engineers and others, most of whom work in a 300,000-square-foot “cleanroom” making computer chips – the brainsrunning smartphones, satellites and other products. When fully completed in 2015, GlobalFoundries’ $8.5 billion investment will include a minicity of office buildings, larger cleanrooms, and utility and technology development facilities housing state-of-the-art production equipment.
Companies like GlobalFoundries are one of the reasons that “manufacturing has been growing on average almost twice the rate of the overall economy” since the recession ended, says Thomas Duesterberg, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Manufacturing and Society in the 21st Century program.
And leading the way is advanced manufacturing, a sector that has “a deep tie to innovation,” notes Patrick Gallagher, director of the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. It involves both innovating manufacturing processes and developing entirely new productsusing new advanced technologies. Examples: biotech firms producing new wonder drugs; companies using nanomaterials to develop high-efficiency solar cells, batteries or next generation electronics; and manufacturers using industrial robotics and automation to build better and more reliable products.
READ: Stop Trying to Make the ‘Manufacturing Renaissance’ Happen
In recent years, all kinds of manufacturers – ranging from automakers to diaper companies – have embraced new technologies to help make higher-quality everyday products at a lower cost. The resulting productivity gains arehelping fuel a U.S. manufacturing resurgence that has led foreign-owned companies like GlobalFoundries to invest in America.
The firm’s Fab 8 campus is expected to employ several hundred more people by 2015 and has already added an estimated 10,000 new indirect jobs to the local economy, not counting the 15,000 construction workers needed to build the semiconductor foundry. The Aspen Institute estimates that by 2025 the growing U.S. manufacturing sector will create nearly 3.8 million new jobs overall, and 2.7 million of these will come from advanced manufacturers in nearly all sectors, including defense, mining, hi-tech, chemical and aerospace.
ExOne, an additive manufacturing company based in North Huntingdon, Pa., is just one of these. ExOne designs and builds 3-D printers for sale and also produces compressor pump castings, rotors and other complex parts for automotive, aerospace, off-road construction and other manufacturers using its own in-house printers.
In 2007, explains David Burns, ExOne’s president and chief operating officer, the company was struggling as a manufacturing technology incubator, and shifted into 3-D printing – a process by which a special printer creates a three-dimensional digital model that is then layered with a special powdered material and a binding product to create various solid products, like compressor pump castings. Because 3-D printing can make higher-quality parts cheaper and faster than traditional methods, business has taken off. ExOne went public last year and is currently listed on the NASDAQ.
And 3-D printers are just one example of how advanced manufacturing has spurred improvements across all facets of the production process. Other innovations include the development of “smart machines that can talk to one another and ensure products are delivered on time and on schedule, not only in the same plant but in locations around the world,” says Brian Raymond,  a technology policy expert at the National Association of Manufacturers. But the continued growth of this sector will require cooperation by many stakeholders in the states and regions who hope to attract these businesses. To land GlobalFoundries, New York state officials had to put together a generous package of tax breaks and organize local government, business and education partners to meet the manufacturer’s needs. Virtually all advanced manufacturers require locales to develop or improve infrastructure – including roads, power, water, gas and sewer – as well as to provide a trained workforce.
This new breed of manufacturing companies require different skill sets than their traditional predecessors. They need more designers and specialists in process management, computer science and materials development and fewer floor workers and old-time craftsmen. To fill these needs, firms around the country are priming the pipeline by forging close relationships with local school districts, community colleges and universities.
OPINION: How Public Policy Destroyed Manufacturing
According to GlobalFoundries’ Russo, educational institutions like Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science played a role in the company’s decision to locate in upstate New York. “We require a great talent pool,” he says. “Knowing they were willing and able to work with us to develop programs to meet workforce needs as we grow and partner on R&D was a consideration.”
Today, high school diplomas will generally not be sufficient to get in the door at GlobalFoundries. Even entry-level technician positions require a two-year postsecondary degree. The company is looking for workers strong in math and science, with hands-on experience and more. “This is probably the most advanced industry in the world,” Russo notes. In addition to technical abilities, the company seeks workers with so-called soft skills – those who communicate well, think critically and creatively and are problem solvers. “Having soft skills is very, very important,” he adds.
The company, reflecting an approach used by other advanced manufacturers, currently taps into a high-functioning coalition of state and local officials, 20 local chambers of commerce, 13 county K-12 school systems, New York’s statewide community college system and area universities working in tandem to help meet its needs, including developing workers with the specialized skills to handle tasks like statistical process control, hydraulics and pneumatics.
Feeding into this strategy, the local Ballston Spa Central School District three years ago started the Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries Early College High School, or Tec-Smart, which allows 11th and 12th graders from area school districts to earn up to 25 credits toward an associate degree upon high school graduation.
Besides technical skills, such as computer programming or electricity fundamentals, “students are assessed on critical-thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity skills,” says district superintendent Joseph Dragone, who works closely with human resources reps at GlobalFoundries.
Recent graduate Ben Godgart, 18, says “Tec-Smart helped me get into the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering” at the University of Albany-SUNY. Godgart, who considers GlobalFoundries a potential future employer, chose to major in nanotechnology, which involves the ability to see, manipulate and control individual atoms and molecules on the microscopic level in order to make stronger, lighter and more precise products.
“We see that collaboration with New York’s K-12 schools, community colleges and universities as a competitive advantage,” says Russo. It’s not just upstate New York forging this kind of public-private partnership; others have been established all over the country, including in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Boston and throughout Arizona.
In some respects, the recession helped accelerate changes that have led to the U.S. regaining its competitiveness as “manufacturers have learned to become lean,” says Chad Moutray, chief economist at NAM. Traditional companies like Whirlpool Corp., a leading home appliance maker, are bringing innovation to their processes,helping them create smarter products, while increasing productivity.
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In 2012, for example, the company built a state-of the-art cooking products plant – one of the nation’s greenest facilities – to replace its 123-year-old Cleveland, Tenn., facility that was built originally to make wood stoves. With the new plant comes a new way of doing things. The plant has implemented new processes – from boosting quality control and reformulating finishes on its cookware and ranges to make them more durable – and has significantly reduced energy use and waste by using low-flow plumbing and outfitting the plant to reflect rather than absorb light.
Advanced manufacturing is also speeding innovation as designers, engineers and innovators are no longer separated from factory floor personnel. “Learning takes place as engineers and technicians on the factory floor come back with their problems to the design engineers and struggle with them to find better resolutions,” noted a recent MIT Task Force on Innovation and Production report on the innovation economy. The production-innovation connection also proves a crucial difference-maker as companies seek to make the next blockbuster drug or fighter jet – or to develop more efficient large-scale methods to manufacture products ranging from razor blades to diapers.
The pocketbook benefits of advanced manufacturing are clear too. The sector is responsible for the lion’s share of private-sector research and development, most of the nation’s patents, and the bulk of U.S. exports, notes Gallagher.
The sector also tends to pay decent wages. The typical U.S. manufacturing worker in 2011 earned $77,060 annually, including pay and benefits, compared to the $60,168 made by the average worker in all industries. In New York, GlobalFoundries has helped boost the typical manufacturing salary in the region from $56,089 in 2006 to $67,783 in 2012. “Our guys are making great money,” says Burns. At ExOne, shop floor workers make up to $60,000, while designers, engineers and others fetch more.  
Keenly aware of the benefits advanced manufacturing offers to the overall economy, the Obama administration last fall launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee “2.0,” to promote U.S. leadership in the sector. Since his first term, the president has pushed for the nation to invest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, advanced skills training and job preparation, while also seeding a fund to forge partnerships between community colleges and businesses, whose goal is to train 2 million workers for the advanced manufacturing sector and other high-growth industries.
Obama has also proposed (and started to implement) a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation – a series of 45 regional hubs, dubbed Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation, whose mission is to accelerate development and adoption of cutting-edge advanced manufacturing technologies to produce new, globally competitive products.
The first regional hub, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, now known as America Makes, was launched in August 2012 to strengthen the competitiveness of advanced manufacturers, to initiate new ventures and to boost the economies of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 
MORE: Businesses Added 139,000 Jobs in February, ADP Says
America Makes is comprised of 90 partners – from industry, academia, the government, nongovernmental agencies, and workforce and economic development resources – that work collaboratively to innovate and accelerate additive manufacturing and 3-D printing to deliver manufacturing solutions. These can range from transferring university-developed technology to the marketplace to helping smaller enterprises tap into funding from larger partners. Members include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, ExOne, Tobyhanna Army Depot, NASA and the University of Pittsburgh. Last month, America Makes awarded $9 million in funding on 15 projects – with $10 million in additional matched funds “for applied research and development projects,” according to America Makes director Ed Morris.
A second initiative led by the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh will “develop additive manufacturing methods to convert magnesium and iron-based alloys into biomedical devices, such as bone plates, tracheal stents and scaffolds,” says Morris.
ExOne is one of those partners. “As a collaboration center, it’s a great idea,” notes Burns. “We have development efforts going on that are a direct result of America Makes.”
Just this week, President Obama announced two new public-private Department of Defense-led manufacturing innovation institutes in Detroit, which will focus on  lightweight and modern metals manufacturing, and one in Chicago dedicated to digital manufacturing and design technologies. And last month, a Department of Energy-led Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute was announced “to jumpstart the next generation of smaller, faster, cheaper and more efficient power electronics for personal devices, electric vehicles, renewable power interconnection, industrial-scale motors and a smarter, more flexible grid,” according to an factsheet.
By rejuvenating America’s manufacturing sector, spurring innovation through multipartner collaboratives, and helping the nation address some of its most pressing challenges, advanced manufacturing offers a bright spot for the future.

New Home of Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute

The DMDI Institute will address the life cycle of digital data interchanged through design, engineering and manufacturing.

President Obama announced yesterday the selection of an Illinois consortium led by UI Labs, a nonprofit research and development group led by the University of Illinois, to lead the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDI).

UI Labs was awarded $70 million to fund the DMDI, which will leverage $250 million in commitments from leading industry partners including Council members General Electric, John Deere, Procter & Gamble and Lockheed Martin, as well as other academia, government and community partners to form a $320 million institute.

"Advanced manufacturing is a competitive game-changer, bringing our nation’s research, engineering, and production communities together in new and exciting ways," said Dr. Ray O. Johnson, Lockheed Martin senior vice president and chief technology officer.

"Specifically, the combination of advanced materials, high performance computing resources, modeling and simulation tools, and additive manufacturing practices is allowing large and small enterprises alike to design and build otherwise impossibly complex shapes and systems while significantly reducing manufacturing costs and cycle times,” Johnson added.

The DMDI Institute was established by formal solicitation through the Army Contracting Command - Redstone in support of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center located at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and managed and supported by a tri-service, interagency group composed of members from contributing agencies.

The DMDI Institute will address the life cycle of digital data interchanged among myriad design, engineering, manufacturing and maintenance systems, and flowing across a networked supply chain.

The National Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium, one of the partners will help firms to leverage high performance computing (HPC) for modeling, simulation and analysis (MS&A). This capability helps manufacturers to design, test and build prototype products or components much more rapidly – enabling them to bring innovations to market more quickly and less expensively.

The full list of partners is as follows:

41 Companies: 3D Systems, ANSYS, Autodesk, Big Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc., Boeing, Caron Engineering Inc., Caterpillar, CG Tech, Cincinnati Inc., Colorado Association for Manufacturing & Technology, Cray, Dassault Systems, Deere & Company, DMG Mori, Evolved Analytics LLC, General Dynamics - Ordnance & Tactical Systems, General Electric, Haas Automation, Honeywell, Illinois Tool Works, Imagecom Inc. (Aspire 3D), International TechneGroup Inc., Kennametal, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, MSC Software, North American Die Casting Association, National Instruments, Nimbis Services Inc., Okuma, Palo Alto Research Center, Parlec, Procter & Gamble, Product Development & Analysis, PTC, Inc., Rockwell Collins, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, System Insights, The Dow Chemical Company, UPS.

23 Universities and Labs: Colorado University – Boulder, Illinois Institute of Technology, Indiana University, Iowa State University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Notre Dame, Oregon State, Purdue University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Southern Illinois University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, University of Iowa, University of Louisville, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, University of Northern Iowa, University of Texas – Austin, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Western Illinois University.

9 Other Organizations: American Foundry Society, City of Chicago – Department of Housing & Economic Opportunity, Colorado OEDIT, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, MT Connect Institute, Reshoring Initiative, UI Labs

3D printing with haptic technology

Hyphen is bringing its 3D printing and prototyping capability to a technology-sharing partnership with the University of Guelph.
Hyphen, which operates a full-service, rapid prototyping and environmental testing centre in Kitchener, Ont., will get access to the university’s Digital Haptic Lab (DHL), a design and prototyping facility that focuses on the use of haptic devices that enable physical manipulation of digital information.
University researchers and students will get reduced rate access to Hyphen’s additive manufacturing technology and expertise.
“The use of 3D printing is applicable across all of the research streams we work with at the university, including art, engineering, robotics, biology, horticulture, and aerospace,” said John Phillips, DHL’s design engineer and manager.
“With our new partnership with Hyphen, we now have access to a greater set of tools so we will be able to offer a greater variety of solutions to our researchers. This will dramatically change the way we approach and tackle problems and opens up new possibilities for how we combine the use of 3D printing with haptic technology.”

Digital Wax Systems - 3D Printing

DWS was founded in Vicenza, Italy (near Venice), in 2007. Today, its goal is to streamline 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing or stereolithography technology). Their products are currently exported to over 60 countries around the world. In Chicago, however, they were introducing the U.S. to their DFab machines. These machines are ultra-fast 3D printers that can stand chairside or on a desktop. Designed to impress, these ultra-fast machines make the manufacturing of high-quality temporary restorations possible in a single appointment.
The quality crowns and bridges these machines can produce are impressive. DWS has applied sophisticated technology it developed from other industrial applications, particularly the jewelry industry, that required sophisticated laser and light curing methods in order to preserve precious metals.
Both the chairside and desktop DFab machines are compatible with the majority of intraoral scanners and open dental CAD/CAM solutions. Look for these to make their way across the Atlantic as the price comes down and practices become honed for speed and extreme patient satisfaction.

3D Printed Concept Car

At the Geneva Auto Show German automotive and aerospace engineering company EDAG has unveiled the Genesis, a visionary concept for the future of automotive design.
Built using 3D printing, the Genesis is a complete auto body that could ostensibly be produced by high-resolution fuse deposition modeling (FDM) machines in a single print run. At least that’s what EDAG envisions.
According to EDAG, “Unlike other technologies, FDM makes it possible for components of almost any size to be produced, as there are no pre-determined space requirements to pose any restrictions. Instead, the structures are generated by having robots apply thermoplastic materials.”
While thermoplastics might be key to reducing production costs, auto bodies are required to be strong, a fact not lost on the German firm. “By introducing endless carbon fibers during the production process, it is also possible to achieve the required strength and stiffness values.”
Although materials will deliver many of the solutions required to make the Genesis a reality, EDAG has also turned to nature to advance their automotive vision. Borrowing the geometry of a turtle’s shell the Genesis is transformed from a stiff, rigid metal sculpture to one that cushions and supports an interior carriage surrounded by reinforcing metals.

In the words of EDAG, the biomimetic concepts illustrated in the Genesis design cannot be manufactured by any means other than 3D printing. “The framework of the exhibit calls to mind a naturally developed skeletal frame, the form and structure of which should make one thing perfectly clear: these organic structures cannot be built using conventional tools! In the future, additive manufacturing could benefit designers and engineers by opening up enormous freedoms and new design options for development and production."Although EDAG’s vision for automotive design is likely a decade or more away from realization, its introduction at the manufacturer centric Geneva Motor Show represents another milestone for additive manufacturing and a clear vision for the future of safer, more economical automotive production.

3D Printers Used in School

A technology NASA will be sending into space later this year is being used by students in Middleton. Kromrey Middle School is one of few in Dane County to have 3D printers right in the classroom.
"I thought they were used by special effects crews," said 7th grader, Brandon Dunk.
So when Dunk found out he'd be using a 3D printer at school, he was thrilled.
"It's a real life object that forms right before you," said Dunk.
Dunk is part of Jeremy Dimpfl's technology class at Kromrey Middle School where two 3D printers were just introduced this year.
"It's a combination of a lot of parts," said Dunk.
He's been working on a canon he designed.
"It's very cool to see your dream being realized in a couple hours," said Dunk.
"As the 3D printer prints, it sends down layers," explained Dimpfl.
But this technology, also known as additive manufacturing, has even gone as far as creating a prosthetic hand for a 5 year old South African boy last year and will even be used in space this fall to create tools.
3D printers have been around since the 80s, but they're just now making their way into homes and schools.
"What's been cool lately companies have started making prints affordable for schools for homes," said Dimpfl.
"It's a special opportunity to have these here," said Dunk.
Dimpfl said the printers they have are between $1,500 and $2,700.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

2 Areas Where Traditional Manufacturing Dominates 3-D Printing

For 3-D printing to become more competitive against traditional manufacturing, the technology has to vastly improve in terms of speed and smoothness. It can take anywhere from hours to days for a single object to be 3-D printed, putting it's at a serious disadvantage against a traditional manufacturing process like injection molding, which can easily produce thousands of parts in a day. Additionally, 3-D printing is an additive manufacturing process, meaning it produces objects in a layer by layer fashion, which can create a "stair casing" effect where you can see ridges in the finished object.
Compared to the smoothness that consumers have grown accustomed to with injection molded parts, 3-D printed parts often come off as cheap looking. In order to address the issue of smoothness, companies like Stratasys offer high resolution printers that reduces the thickness of each layer. Stratasys' recently announced full-color multi-material Objet500 Connex3 can print in layers as thin as 16 microns.
Beyond Stratasys, Hewlett-Packard has plans to enter the 3-D printing space with a printer that emphasizes speed and overall part smoothness. Earmarked for the professional service center, Hewlett-Packard hopes its competitively priced 3-D printer will attract some attention in the crowded market place.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

3D Printing Market by Technology

The Market has been evolving as a technique to create 3D models and prototypes, in many industries, namely, automotive, aerospace, healthcare, and consumer products- in order to investigate the possibility of completing a project in lesser time and with few resources. However, in the last two decades, 3D printing has made a radical shift from rapid prototyping to rapid manufacturing”, mainly, because of its advantages over traditional manufacturing practices such as injection molding, CNC machining, and vacuum casting. These advantages include innovative designing, high adaptability levels, less time to market, and less tooling requirements. 3D printing manufacturing is also found to be quicker and less expensive. The ability of 3D printing to print almost any geometry with a variety of materials makes this technology a preferred choice, especially, in those markets which are characterized by high individualization, low volume, and high value; such as aerospace and healthcare. The major driving factors that support the exponential growth of the market include - the development of new and improved technologies, financial support from governments, large application areas, rapid product development at a low cost, and ease in development of custom products.
In this report, the global market is segmented on the basis of technology, material, application, and geography. The technology segment comprises of Stereo lithography (SLA), Laser Sintering, Electron Beam Melting (EBM), Fused Disposition Modeling (FDM), Laminated Object manufacturing (LOM), Three Dimensional Inkjet printing (3DP), and other proprietary technologies. The global market by material comprises polymers, metals/alloys, and others (ceramics, sand, and paper). The application segment includes aerospace industry, automotive consumer products, healthcare, government and defense, industrial/business machines, education & research, and others (arts, architecture). Health care and aerospace are the two fastest growing application areas for this market. The stringent requirements such as light weight and accurate & precise design requirements for airplanes parts are the major driving factors behind the growth of 3D printing in the aerospace industry, over traditional manufacturing methods. However, the increasing medical procedures’ volumes due to the growing population, rising income levels, low labor costs, and increasing health awareness are responsible for the tremendous growth of 3D printing in healthcare sector, as well.
The market is also categorized into four major geographic regions, namely Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World. Developing economies such as China and India provide tremendous growth opportunities for the market manufacturing technologies, majorly, due to the rise in lifestyle and general income levels. For instance, China is aggressively taking initiatives such as huge investment and government funding in R&D, to promote 3D printing technology as a manufacturing technique.
This report also presents a detailed overview of the overall market by enveloping all the major market segments with a detailed qualitative analysis at each and every aspect of the segmentation. All the numbers are forecast from 2013 till 2020, to give a glimpse of the possible revenue potential in this market within this period.
The competitive landscape segment in the report covers all the key growth strategies of several major players as well as startups in the global market; including 3D Systems (U.S.), Stratasys (U.S.), Renishaw (U.K.), EnvisionTEC (Germany), Optomec (U.S.), SLM Solutions (Germany), LayerWise (Belgium), ExOne (U.S.), EOS GmbH (Germany), Organovo Holdings (U.S.), and Arcam (Sweden), among others.
Scope of the report

This research report categorizes the market based on various applications, technology, materials, and geography; it also covers the revenue foretold from 2013 to 2020. It describes the demand for 3D printing technology in various regions. The report describes the applications mapping in the market with respect to the growth potential.

On the basis of the applications

It is used for various applications such as in the automotive, aerospace, consumer, healthcare, government & defense, industrial, and education and research sectors.

On the basis of the Technologies

In this research report, the market technology is segregated into Stereo lithography (SLA), Laser Sintering, Electron Beam Melting (EBM), Fused Disposition Modeling (FDM), Laminated Object manufacturing (LOM), Three Dimensional Inkjet printing (3DP), and the likes.
On the basis of the Materials

The materials used in 3D Printer are polymers, metals & alloys, powder, and others. The ‘metals’ based 3D printing technology holds the future prospect of the market.

On the basis of the geographical regions

Geographical analysis covers Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and ROW. In accordance with this report, the Americas, currently, leads the market. European region is the fastest growing market, and it is believed that it will surpass Americas in the near future.

First 3D printed production vehicle to be built

Local Motors Inc., co-creator of vehicles and related components with a global community of designers, engineers, fabricators and enthusiasts, today announced that AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology, which supports and promotes the US manufacturing technology industry, will be the first customer for its previously announced 3D-printed production vehicle.

Local Motors will build and deliver the first direct digital manufactured vehicle at IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 in Chicago, IL, on September 8-13, 2014. Designed by the company’s global community and built using the material science and advanced manufacturing techniques available at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Local Motors will produce an electric vehicle purpose-built for the urban transportation needs of Chicago.

IMTS, a large, long-running manufacturing technology trade show, is held every two years at the McCormick Place Exhibition Center. At IMTS 2012, Local Motors built its flagship Rally Fighter from the ground up in 5 days over the course of the 6-day show. This year, AMT and Local Motors have partnered to demonstrate how sustainable green technologies, utilizing advanced manufacturing techniques that are both additive and subtractive, can deliver stronger, safer, faster, more efficient vehicles.

“IMTS is the perfect venue on which to showcase the next evolution of Local Motors’ World of Vehicle Innovations,” said Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers. “To deliver the first co-created, locally relevant, 3D-printed vehicle on an international stage dedicated to celebrating cutting-edge manufacturing technology is powerful reinforcement of our commitment to driving the Third Industrial Revolution.”

“Local Motors is undeniably the first disruptive entrant into the US automotive industry in decades,” said Bonnie Gurney, director, communications for AMT. “The innovations they are driving in the design, manufacture, and sale of vehicles has been empowering individual innovators since 2007. Partnering with them to deliver safer, more functional, lightweight, and efficient vehicles via new, innovative manufacturing technologies is core to our commitment to bring global technology advancements to the local level.”

The finished vehicle will be used as an example of how sustainable green technologies can reduce life-cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions, lower production cost, and create new products and opportunities for high paying jobs.

Element Robot a 3-D printing company is gaining popularity in Moscow

A new start-up in Moscow is making a name for itself in the 3-D printing industry by making the futuristic technology more accessible.

Reporter Rachel Dubrovin introduces us to the University of Idaho graduate that created the company, and explains why printing in 3-D is more useful than you may think.

"I think additive manufacturing is, in a lot of ways, the future," said Element Robot Inc. CEO Chris Walker. 

Element Robot is a Moscow-based start-up that's out to prove "additive manufacturing" isn't just for engineers. 

"In other words… 3-D printing," said Walker.

"For me, I think the big reason behind why I think 3-D printing is so important is that it empowers people," said Element Robot Inc. Chief technical Officer John Feusi. "It allows anyone, anywhere to create whatever they want."

"I can make one, and it'll be just as expensive per-part as if I made a thousand, and I can give it all kinds of really complex features for free," said Walker.

So this is the 3-D printer. They call it 'Tritium,' and right now it's printing an iPhone case.

"That'll take about 45 minutes to an hour," said Element Robot Sales and Marketing Director James Prado.

"I built Element Robot to give as many people as possible access to 3-D printing because right now, only a very small portion of the population can really effectively use a 3-D printer," said Walker.

"Our main business right now is 3-D print vending machines," said Prado. 

Element Robot recently installed its first vending machine on the University of Idaho campus.

"Just go online, go to our website, upload whatever you want to print, pay for it there," said Feusi.

"Click on that machine, order your print, and the machine will tell you when it's complete, and you can go pick it up," said Prado. "So you don't have to have your computer tethered to the machine, or an SD card or anything."

"We want to give every student at the university access to a great 3-D printer," said Walker.

It’s still a small business with only three employees that rent office space from a motorcycle company, but they plan to sell more printers to universities and various companies as people learn about 3-D printing capabilities. 

"For people that, you know, they had a knob on their kitchen stove break, and they can replace it," said Feusi.

"So 3-D printing has gotten to the point where you can actually manufacture goods that are useable with a 3-D printer," said Walker. "They're accurate enough, they're strong enough, they're complex enough."

"You'll continue to see 3-D printing grow, and you'll see the materials and the styles and the uses grow as well," said Feusi.

Element Robot was created in 2012. Right now, you can find one of their 3-D printers on the U of I campus, and they hope to install one at Washington State University in the near future.

The 3D Printers Are Coming: Dig More Coal?

The 3D printers are coming.  And fast. The only debate is over how fast.
Velocity matters for stock pickers following the small world of pure-play public 3D printing companies.  It is also relevant for business analysts and, perhaps surprisingly, for energy forecasters.
3D printers will — as many have observed sometimes a tad too breathlessly — disrupt a lot of businesses.  They will enable and make more profitable many others, while also creating entirely new classes of businesses.  The 3D printing ecosystem will as well accelerate the new trend of rising foreign direct investment into the United States.  And 3D printing holds the potential to disrupt China.
Most importantly, 3D printing is yet another feature in the suite of new technologies promising rising productivity, and thus in due course both wealth and job creation.
And, contrary to the claims of Al Gore among others who believe that 3D printers will cause energy use to decline as a result of the “dematerialization” trope, energy use, electricity use in particular, will actually rise as the technology goes mainstream.
As a result coal use will increase too, perhaps by as much as one billion tons a year globally.  Print a toaster and burn ten pounds of coal.  Let me explain.
But first, we summarize the technology for those not familiar with the now maturing 25-year-old class of machines called 3D printers.  They work a lot like the 2D printers that render a PC’s words and pictures as images on paper.  A computer-generated image – in this case a detailed 3D map — of a product or object can be additively built up one thin layer at a time, right before your eyes.  Thus the original and still common alternative name of “additive manufacturing.”  The machine’s print head squirts and melts plastic or metal powders not only to specific dimensions and shapes but increasingly specific material compositions.  
Such a capability not only allows rapid prototyping from trial designs, but also extreme customization for complex components, and enables clever designs that are hard or impossible to produce with conventional machining, molding or casting.   And, just like the computers that they are symbiotically married to, all these machines get plugged into an electrical outlet. But more about energy in a moment.
We can parse the state of 3D printing today into three domains; niches, toys, and the promise of wildcards.  All applications emerge from the fact that 3D printing is a remarkably flexible and dynamic technology amenable to use on desktops and factory floors.
The first commercial applications are in niche markets using expensive machines.  Some applications are rapidly expanding, such as medical devices and implants from hip joints to entire titanium jaws.  A patient-specific scan allows the manufacture of a hyper-customized device. This is true as well for many niche industrial devices where small volumes can tolerate today’s machines very slow print speeds, such as rocket nozzles and some jet engine components.
You need to work in metal for nearly any serious mainstream application.  But today’s metal-capable 3D machines run $200 thousand to $1 million.  These are not the tools we see commonly touted in the press as the low-cost desktop manufacturing revolution.  World-disrupting potential comes when you can precisely print metal things at low-cost and high-speed.  That will happen, in due course, but the physics of metals and energy are stubborn.  Meanwhile, on average, 3D printing is still much slower, in some cases untenably slower, than conventional volume manufacturing (so far).
Most of the action today is around 3D plastic printers where we find what amounts to toys, mainly including hobbyists, experiments, designers, educators and artists.  This is the market that is currently driving the forecastthat 100,000 machines will ship in 2014.  Some of these plastic-printing machines sell for as little as $500, cheaper by far than first generation 2D paper printers.
Not to denigrate the utility of printing in plastic. In many cases fascinating and even life-saving uses are springing up everywhere from doctors printing a replica of a patients’ heart to better study a surgical procedure, to on-line computer gamers making physical models of their virtual ‘people’, to pregnant Japanese women offered life-size replicas of their unborn child from a high-res ultrasound scan.
The third domain is the promise for everything, from the untapped potential of high-speed low-cost metal printers, to using the technology to print organic things from food to human tissue, to complete printed products from guns (widely discussed) to bicycles and beyond.  (Though the latter really requires a hybrid of a 3D printer and 3D assembler.)
The business model for 3D printers will be as diverse as their applications.  From home printers to high-end machines that are already starting to show up in the equivalent of a FedEx-Kinkos service model – and why wouldn’t FedEx do it?  — where you can take your design to be fabricated, or your scan, say of your daughter’s face to be printed, eerily, as an American Girl doll.  Expect 3D machines in automotive dealers or pretty much any repair shop where printing a part from a computer file will be cheaper than buying inventory.
Some claim 3D printers will soon be as common in homes as computers.  A better analogy would be the dishwasher or clothes washer since you only need one per house.   One analyst calculated a homeowner could save $300 to $2,000 a year, all costs considered, printing rather than buying stuff.  They calculated this for a basket of products that included an iPhone case, garlic press, razor, spoon holder and, strangely, a perogi mold.   You just have to buy cartridges of plastics and metals for your 3D printer, and download (one assumes, pay for) the digital code for a specific product.
Which business model wins?  Odds are all of them will thrive.  Eventually 3D printers will be found in every factory, classroom, hospital, restaurant, nearly every business, and maybe even most homes.  Will the number of 3D printers shipped ever match the 120 million 2D printers now sold each year globally?  Perhaps.  There was a time not so long ago that no one had a printer. But even if 3D printers only hit a fraction of that scale, it will change a lot of things. But it won’t change the laws of physics.
3D printers still use materials and energy.   In fact, they will use roughly the same amount of material, and likely more energy than the process they replace.  How so?
It would be wildly unrealistic to think that 3D printers will only replace one-for-one things that are currently manufactured the old way, from bicycle pedals, buckles, fuel nozzles and jewelry to iPhone cases and perogi molds.  Even the few examples noted earlier make it clear that printers will be used increasingly to fabricate things that one just never bothered to manufacture or build before – and thus a lot of material and energy will end up being consumed to make things that are completely new.  But such a constellation of future demand is impossible to guess.  Who thought smartphones would end up replacing cameras and generate an astronomically higher volume of photography – which in turns consumes vast amounts of hardware and energy?
So for now we can only reasonably explore the energy implications of producing with 3D printers what is already fabricated.  Let’s look at the $2 trillion manufacturing sector in the United States.
Electricity and natural gas supply nearly 90% of the primary energy used for U.S. manufacturing; 37% from gas and 51% from kilowatt-hours.  Switching to 3D printers means replacing gas with electricity.  3D printers no more burn gas than does your PC.  You plug them in to map out and then heat, melt, fuse, bond and build raw materials into a finished product using electric heaters, or lasers and even electron beams.
Consider, for the sake of a ranging estimate, what happens if everything made in America were fabricated instead using 3D printers.  Exclude the production of stuff you can’t 3D print like raw chemicals, refined fuels and paper, and you find manufacturers burn about 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  You need at least the same amount of overall heat energy delivered into the raw materials inside the 3D printers (more on this in a minute) – but now it comes from electricity, about 600 billion kWh worth of it.  That amount would nearly double the quantity of electricity used for manufacturing today.  It would also, given the grid we have, lead to over 150 million tons more coal burned annually.
Extrapolate this result globally where total manufacturing output is 5-fold that of the U.S., and where coal’s share of the global grid is the same 40% as here (and will be in two decades still, according to the Energy Information Administration).  So if you were to 3D print everything that is today made conventionally, you increase the global coal burn by something approaching one billion tons a year.
Of course this is an overestimate since it is based on the zero chance we’ll see a 100% flip from conventional to 3D manufacturing.  But at the same time we are egregiously underestimating the actual electricity that will be needed when printing replaces burning, or incredibly efficient injection molding by assuming a one-for-one substation of heat energy.    3D printing a plasticobject uses 5 to 10 times more energy per pound compared to conventional industrial injection molding.  You have to make elliptical arguments about optimizing the utilization of 3D printers to offset that energy deficit.  Then there are the metals.
The energy needed to make a pound of metal into a product using a 3D printer can be as much as 100-fold greater than using conventional casting or machining. On average, printing metals requires 10 to 100 kWh per pound.  The world uses metals by the gigaton.  Do the math.
Nonetheless, 3D printing, when it is faster and cheaper, will be wildly embraced because it will be so productive for so many applications.  The extra electric cost for printing the perfect titanium hip joint is worth every dollar and kilowatt-hour.  So a lot more kilowatt-hours will get used when the technology spreads widely.
There are those, as earlier noted Mr. Gore amongst them, who claim 3D printing will offer energy savings because of their precise use of materials, eliminating waste; hence the “dematerialization” legend.   There is a two-fold problem with this argument. It ignores the remarkable and improving material efficiency of existing manufacturing.  And it ignores the unavoidable waste in 3D printers too, given practicalities of machines.  In fact, one detailedstudy of inkjet type 3D printing found some 40% of the non-recyclable ‘ink’ is wasted.  No conventional manufacturer would tolerate that.
But we should make the reasonable assumption that the efficiency of raw material use by 3D printers will, in due course, be no worse than today’s methods.  This is not to say there are no material savings: some will arise from eliminating production of spare parts.  Again this will be a bigger deal in economic terms and in convenience for repairs and spare-parts-on-demand.  It will be a de minimis energy benefit because, for example, there’s a lot more material in your car than in the pro rata amount of spare parts kept in inventory.
Anyway, in accounting for energy in the total fuel cycle we find most is used in the production of the raw plastic or metals in the first place, not in their fabrication into a final product.  And that remains the case no matter whether you choose to fabricate a part or product with 3D or old tech machines.  For plastic products, about 80% of total energy costs are tied up in producing the raw plastic itself.  It is thus relevant to note that one reason you can expect the 3D printing ecosystem to blossom in America is that $100 billion of new chemical production facilities are planned here now, because of the huge cost savings from the hydrocarbon shale boom.  But that’s another subject.
We should also dispose of the third in the triad of tropes about 3D printing and energy: savings in transportation.  You may have heard the claim that energy is ostensibly saved in printing the part on-site instead of shipping it to you.  Well, until physicists figure out how to convert energy into matter (we can do the opposite in nuclear reactors) the weight of the raw feedstock transported to your 3D printer is the same as the weight of a finished product carried by UPS or air lifted by an Amazon drone.
Productivity, precision, speed, convenience, and stunning flexibility… these are the metrics that matter and why 3D printing is taking off.  These are metrics that, in the underlying physics, extract an energy cost.  Always and everywhere.  None of this is news to serious students of energetics.
The environmental implications of 3D printing, because of its explosive growth, is becoming a subject of some academic interest.  See for example Robert Olson’s fine summary in the Policy Journal of the Environmental Law Institute3-D Printing: A Boon or a Bane? and Kath Kovac’s article in Australia’s national science agency magazine ECOSHow Green Is 3D Printing.
The how-green debate will doubtless continue.  The more interesting debate is found on the investment pages of Seeking Alpha where analysts argue over which, if any, company will emerge as the HP of 3D printing.  HP [NYSE:HPQ] has a 30% market share of the 120 million printers shipped globally that print 2D words and pictures on paper. So, portentously, HP has promised to soon announce a 3D printer of their own, bringing a giant player into the game dominated now by a phalanx of small companies.  Will HP also pursue an acquisition of one of the comparatively tiny but hyper-valued 3D companies? It should get interesting.
And for the energy analysts, consider that a home 3D printer uses 3 to 10 times more energy than does a paper 2D printer.
The fact that 3D printers will continue the global electrification macro should be unsurprising.  These machines are built from a combination of electric motors, electric heaters and lasers, and electric-powered computers, connected to an electric-fueled Internet.
If you listen to the enthusiasts, we are mere years away from the 3D printer becoming a standard appliance in every home.   Some claim the adoption curve could look the same as it did for PCs.  But the bigger economic story will come from the transformation of the manufacturing ecosystem.   It is not hyperbolic to consider that the 3D revolution of mass customization will be ultimately as impactful as the century-old revolution from mass production.
Investor note
According to industry analysts at Wohlers Associates, 3D printing is a $2 billion industry today and will grow to over $10 billion by 2021.  For those interested in investing in 3D printer stocks I commend the commentators, on both sides of the enthusiasm chasm, at Seeking Alpha.  Companies that are publically traded in this space include: 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD),ExOne (NASDAQ:XONE), Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS),Voxeljet (NYSE:VJET), Organovo Holdings (NYSEMKT:ONVO), andArcam  (NASDAQOTH:AMAVF).
Some 3D stocks are starting to exhibit Tesla-class [NASDAQ:TSLA] valuations and expectations.  But there’s a difference.  Tesla is competing in a field where extraordinarily talented and successful companies with deep engineering skills have played for a century.  There is no comparable competition in the 3D printing space.  The 3D printing industry is at the same stage of development as the auto industry was in 1914.