Desktop Metal introduces two metal 3D Printing Systems covering the full PLC from Prototyping to Mass Production
Metal 3D printers have been around for decades, however they have always been limited in terms of materials, fabrication speed and user-friendliness. Desktop Metal, a mere two-year-old startup, unveiled recently two new 3D metal printing machines, one of which can create prototypes and the other production parts faster and cheaper than existing technologies.
Microwave Enhanced Sintering
The novel metal printing technology is called “microwave enhanced sintering” by Desktop Metal. The printers put down layers of metal and ceramic powders, mixed in a soft polymer. The cartridges and alloys that work with the printers are made by Desktop Metal and other major providers in additive manufacturing.
Once the parts are printed, they go into a furnace where they are rapidly ‘cooked’: The heat simply burns away the polymer.
The metal is fused together but at a temperature that won’t make it melt and lose its shape. Wherever ceramic was laid down in a printed design, metal remains separated and doesn’t fuse. The created pieces can finally be separated by hand.
DM Studio System: Office-friendly Metal 3D Printing
Designed as an end-to-end solution, the Desktop Metal Studio System is the only way to print complex metal parts in-house. The system comes with purchase and subscription pricing options, and it is by far the only metal 3D printing system that is cost-effective for engineering teams.
DM Production System: Metal 3D Printing at Scale
Next to the DM Studio System, the Desktop Metal Production system delivers the speed, quality, and cost-per-part needed to compete with traditional manufacturing processes. Arriving in 2018, this breakthrough Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) process delivers speeds up to 8200 cm3/hr. It is 100x faster than laser-based systems. With zero-tooling needed, it’s the fastest way to manufacture complex metal parts.
The system runs low-cost with MIM powder, comes with a high throughput, and simple post-processing deliver per-part costs that are competitive with traditional manufacturing processes.
3D Printing Metal Breakthrough
A breaktrough in the world of 3D Printing Metal, which will offer great next advantages for the lighting industry. We keep following this young start-up with great interest!
ION 3D Printed Lampshade by David Münscher: Inspired by Curved Paper Folding
Designer David Münscher has created two lampion shaped lampshades, that use principles of curved paper folding to create a thin, but rigid light object. The ION 3D printed Lampshades are a great fit for any interior design!
ION – 3D Printed Lampion Shape
Due to the layer structure of the 3D printing process the resulting shade has a paper like structure, that reveals itself fully when lit.
The lampshade design draws its inspiration from a classic lampion shape, hence the name – ION.
Focused Spot & Dispersed Mood Lighting
During daytime the bright white, curved shape adds a clean, yet homely accent to an interior. When turned on in the evening ION illuminates the space with a warm, soft glow to the sides and
a focused spot of light underneath.
Floor and Table Lamp Flexibility
ION is available in two sizes and lends itself to be hung as a single lamp or in groups, forming lines or clusters. By the use of a lamp stand the shades can also be turned into a floor or table
Soft Shine and Evoked Fabric Feelings
The pendant light is 3D printed on demand in a thin nylon 3D printing material. The fine layers of the printing process produce a matt finished, paper like structure. Both, ION and the smaller ION S lampshades are now available via oxique.com.
Pictures in this post are courtesy of David Münscher.
U RoK Design Studio: Create Unusual Designs that please the World and Living Space around us
U RoK Design, a family-owned design-maker studio, is based in Stourbridge, UK. The practice was founded in September 2014 by the Latvian designer-maker Roberts Kulins. The author of ‘idea and concept’ is passionate about creating unusual design objects and finding new ways that make the world and living space around us more pleasant.
Nordic Asperity, Creativity and Style
Natural and sustainable materials feature, along with nature primordialism, Nordic asperity, creative and ascetic style all at the same time – it are the influences of the designer’s place of birth. The lighting products in this post are made by using cutting edge 3D printing technologies.
Hand Made 3D Printed Lighting
U RoK Design offers a wide variety of 3D printed lighting products. The collection varies from classic wooden suspension lamps to raw steel industrial style luminaries. The lamps fit equally well in the modern urban home as well as in a country cottage. The aim of U RoK Design is to create products that are pleasant in experience, suitable for every application, reasonable in price and an accessible for everyone.
Lighting made Perfect together!
U RoK Design provides tailored design products and services, and is always happy to work with customers that have special requests. Match products to specific customer desires and needs is their ultimate work.
All Kulins‘ products are handmade in the UK and as unique as your fingerprint!
Philips Lighting 3D Printing Research: Can novel AM Technologies boost a Declining Lamp Business?
Recently, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) Belgium investigated the value of additive manufacturing for Philips Lighting’s. The deep-going and multi-disciplinary Philips Lighting 3D Printing Research on the spare part supply chain, is an excellent example how additive manufacturing technologies could renew a traditional business. Therefore, we happily republish a part of the article as published by PwC, for your inspiration!
The Philips Lighting 3D Printing Research – Project Challenges
The fabrication of high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps is an activity within the lighting industry that declines by up to 20% per year. Thanks to the coming of more sustainable and even more powerful LED light sources, conventional lamps – especially those consuming a lot of energy and heat – face a huge backdrop in sales volumes. End users change ‘en-masse’ from energy consuming items to energy savers, a logical and ecology-friendly choice.
Philips Lighting Turnhout Challenges
It places Philips Lighting in Turnhout in front of serious challenges in how to turn it’s conventional HID business into a healthy one. The maintenance budget on its turn, mirrors the global drop in sales volumes. As a result, the business needs to get creative in finding ways to increase efficiency and decrease costs if it’s to not just maintain, but increase its share of the sector, and that’s where novel 3D printing technologies comes in.
Managing SKU’s and Site Complexity
Philips Lighting has a huge portfolio of over 46,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) that are required to keep the site in Turnhout operational. That ties up a massive 5% of the firm’s annual revenue in spare part inventory alone. Next to that, the site’s annual maintenance and repair budget is estimated at 3%. Not only is the massive stock costly keep and manage, it also creates complexity. And when machines are upgraded or changed, some parts become obsolete and can no longer be used, so are simply wasted.
Business Opportunities of 3D printing
To help find a solution – and free up financial resources to use elsewhere in the business, Philips Lighting asked PwC to investigate the business potential for 3D printing in its overall spare part supply chain.
PwC first mapped the supply chain to find where 3D printing could have an impact on supply chain processes. As a basis for the research, four main areas were identified:
Based upon this approach, it became very clear that 3D printing could indeed provide significant opportunities for optimising the spare part supply chain.
Enhanced Shape Complexity, increased Lifetime and Multi-Material Units
3D printing allows to create shapes that aren’t possible with traditional fabrication. It specifically means that functionality of products can be enhanced and the lifetime of a unit can be increased siginificantly. Moreover, it is now possible to create units by using less material, and have less waste at the same time, thus saving cost.
Additionally, units can now be made out of different metals or materials in order to increase the durability. It also contributes to reduce repair time for machines, as parts now get available on site in a minimum timeframe. 3D printing technology also enables rapid prototyping and more fast and flexible design iterations, helping shorten the product development cycle, all resulting in an improved design.
The Unique Capabilities of 3D Printing Applied to the Philips Lighting Business
With 3D printing, it’s also easier to involve internal and external stakeholders in the process. The ability to print a unit on demand as when required means there no longer needs to be a physical stock (the stock is digital, in fact), and no upfront investments are needed. This helps to reduce working capital, reduce the risk of obsolescence and easy iterations can be implemented when the design parts need to be changed, even during the product development cycle.
The short lead times of units is a significant benefit, and with that the need for transport of finished goods is cut away. One of the major advantages of 3D printing is that complex assemblies can be printed in one single process, eliminating points of failure where there were previously joins, again reducing repair time and costs. Complexity is free!
By applying the knowledge of the 3D printing business, as well as bringing the right market players together in this research, PwC proved its added value and expertise in the field of 3D printing technology. Amongst them providers of 3D Printing software, 3D printing services and a specialist in 3D printing materials, such as metals that enriched and facilitated the implementation of the research.
Putting Ideas into Practice
The entire Philips stock level of a total of 46,778 SKUs was filtered according to set criteria to identify which units could be positively impacted by additive fabrication. These criteria included:
♦ Lead time (until delivery);
♦ Minimum order quantity (MOQ);
♦ Intellectual Property (IP) ownership;
♦ Product size;
With such an immense amount of data to analyse, PwC called in their data analytics experts to help, which made the process very efficient and was much appreciated by the client.
The above criteria brought the viable number of units to 9% of the product portfolio, which make up 18% of the inventory value. From these, five spare parts were selected to trial, each with different supply chain drivers. For each of those units, the annual operational costs were mapped, the part redesigned (where deemed necessary), 3D printed and tested. Finally, the business case calculated.
Business Case: Proving the Point
The business case for the five 3D printed parts represented an expected 30% reduction in OPEX costs and saw an increase in the lifetime of the units and an improved quality process. As such, it’s shown that 3D printing offers significant potential to improve the spare part supply chain at Philips Lighting in Turnhout, from both technical and supply chain perspectives. However, given the specific nature of the project and parts in question, the results cannot be extrapolated to the rest of the inventory, each part needs to be investigated separately.
Future 3D Printing Development
The further development of 3D printing capabilities at Philips Lighting in Turnhout is still under investigation with technicians already looking for new units that may be positively impacted by the technology. The aim is to continue to build up a library of viable examples where 3D printing can positively influence the business and save much-needed costs, helping to further increase the buy-in of stakeholders.
Despite the impressive results of the Philips Lighting 3D Printing Research, there are still obstacles to overcome before 3D printing can be further implemented. It takes a lot of time to finalise a full spare part case due to the amount of time required for iterations, testing and capability building. However, the actual project was successful in demonstrating that 3D printing can transform the supply chain for spare parts over the longer term.
Project learnings are also being shared with other Philips Lighting facilities around the world to see if it’s viable to embed 3D printing into the company’s overall parts management approach.
The 3D Printing Eleven for Lighting Profs
Finally, we recommend you reading also The 3D Printing Eleven: a comprehensive range of articles covering the unique benefits of 3D printing for the lighting industry. The Philips Lighting 3D printing research is a perfect example of how lighting companies can optimally benefit from this new way of making. A better understanding of the 3D printing movement will certainly contribute in removing the ‘fear’ factor of the unknown for engineers working with 3D printing in your own company.
The reorganisation of Philips Lighting Belgium into a more efficient and future-oriented organisation also comes with the birth of new initiatives on the site, such as the inspiring Open Manufacturing Campus. High Tech Start-Ups, such as Luxexcel, find their way to the inspiring and well-facilitated industrial environment!
This article about the Philips Lighting 3D Printing Research was inspired by the official PWC publication, pictures in this post are courtesy of Philips Lighting / PWC and 3DPrinting.Lighting.
AE12 Binder Jetting: Extremely Economical Production of Functional Plastic Parts
Additive elements GmbH has presented development results at FormNext 2016. The new process enables the production of dense plastic parts using AE12 Binder Jetting 3D printers.
Currently, Binder Jetting lets you build only porous parts in gypsum or molding forms in sand. The process either needs a post building treatment, like the infiltration with epoxy, or is meant to create parts that are easy to destroy after casting procedures. This is where the new material system AE12 gets relevant. It enables the extremely economical production of functional plastic parts.
“AE12 BINDER JETTING system enable AN extremely economical production of functional plastic parts”
Finally it will be possible to use the Binder Jetting technology for direct additive manufacturing of high quality parts. “The biggest challenge was to reduce the porosity of the built parts to a minimum.” says development manager Johannes Günther.
The material system is based on PMMA, also known as acrylics. The binder is mixed with additives, that polymerize after the building process and close the part to create the highest possible density. The unprinted powder can be completely reused. That creates further advantages compared to existing 3D printing technologies.
The scalability to larger machines allows, in theory, to produce parts that are a few meters big – at the moment almost impossible in any traditional production process. Parts made in AE12 won’t be used for extreme mechanical use cases, but functional end products are definitely a target application.
AE12 was initially developed for Voxeljet machines, but will be useable on other Binder Jetting systems, too.
Beta Tests are Running
Beta customers are testing the material until in mid-2017 it will be accessible to the public. Samples are available on demand via Additive Elements. The process should let to additive manufacturing take the next step into the direction of serial production. Plastic parts will be producible at a fraction of costs of the established 3D printing technologies. For a lot of industries, this is the major criteria for adapting additive manufacturing.
Until market launch AE12 will be parametrized to even larger machines and different Binder Jetting systems.
Now on Kickstarter: LEDbits Toolkit for Creating a Personalized LED Lighting Experience
The ‘plug-and-play’ LEDbits Toolkit enables designers to create amazing lamps with a great and personalized user experience! Today, the concept was launched on Kickstarter after ramping up for launch for almost two years.
LEDbits: Mix and Match!
LEDbits modules are designed to be ‘worry-free’! The team behind the inventive concept spent months to make the concept as simple as possible. The individual build blocks quickly and effortlessly fit together, and can be easily swapped out.
LEDbits – How does it work?
Basically, the LEDbits system is designed for a great user experience. It all boils down to three simple steps:
Step 1: Choose Your Light Color
Making a night light? Choose a LED module that radiates cozy warm light! Building a lamp to light your office environment? Then go for a bright white light! Or just choose the blue one, and do something different!
Step 2: Shape your Beam
Combine the LED module with a lens that bundles the light into a spot, or go with a diffusive effect for an even smoother light distribution.
Step 3: Hook up your Controls
Finally, hook up a toggle switch, a rotary knob, capacitive touch or go crazy and program your own with Arduino. It is as easy as connecting one ‘plug-and-play’ LEDbits control modules.
The beautiful modules seamlessly integrate in your design. Makers can experience the ease of the wide variety of fixation possibilities designed into the modules and the supplied fasteners.
“The right toolkit for every type of maker”
LEDbits comes in a variety of toolkits to make it work for every type of maker. The system was thoroughly tested by a variety of designers and makers from the local community and perfectionized for almost two years before the launch on Kickstarter earlier today.
GrabCAD Print is now officially out of Beta Testing
Since the beta test program began for GrabCAD print five months ago, over 40 customer-driven enhancements were added by the GrabCAD team to make the package more smooth and functional operating. In addition to the capabilities that were originally roadmapped, new features were added to the program to make working with GrabCAD Print even more attractive.
Novel GrabCAD Print Features and Benefits
GradCAD Print is available for use on a growing list of Stratasys printers in nine languages. The smooth operation software allows you to print directly from your favorite professional CAD formats, saving hours of time usually spent converting and fixing STL files. The direct print to CAD software supports a variety of 3D printers, including uPrint, Dimension, Fortus 250, Fortus 380, and Fortus 450 with more coming in 2017.
Next to this, some business intelligence features on material usage and printer utilization were added to make working with the software even more attractive. Furthermore, scaling and orientation controls support features were added.
Powerful GrabCAD Cloud Application
GrabCAD unveils a cloud application that gives its users the power to work – and print – from any location. In places like job prep, scheduling, and monitoring the software will be most impactful.
Brainy collaboration is built right in for better application and printer data tracking. Want better tray utilization and advanced layout capability? No sweat. GrabCAD Print’s scaling and orientation support mean your printing efficiencies will go through the roof.
GrabCAD Print Certification Badge
With the release of GrabCAD Print, the company also launched a certification test that comes with it’s very own certification badge. From now on, you can show off to the rest of the community your supperior knowledge of GrabCAD Print.
The final launch of the platform is another step into the direction of making professional 3D printing more easy and accessible.
LPJacques Lacelamps: Wonders of 3D Digital Creation
Linlin and Pierre-Yves are French expert artists, actively involved in the field of Digital Creation. After creating and enjoying beautiful artworks all over the world in the past few years, they finally decided to create a new collection of 3D printed lighting products: the LPJacques Lacelamps.
3D Printing: A New Design Dimension
With the arrival of 3D printing, the works of both designers take on a next dimension. The Lacelamps designs are a fine blend of their common inspiration. Their work is also infused with the ambiance of design minded Paris, where they spend most of their time.
Lighting Research Center adds Additive Manufacturing to Course Content of LED Lighting Institute
Building upon the research expansion taking place in the SSL Program at Rensselaer’s Lighting Research Center, the LRC’s biannual LED Lighting Institute is also expanding its horizons with connected lighting and 3D printing for lighting professionals.
Connected Lighting and 3D Printing for Lighting Industry Professionals
The next course at the LRC, scheduled for Nov. 15-17, 2016, in Troy, New York, includes a 3-day seminar for industry professionals. The seminar covers the latest advances in LED and SSL technology. Next to that, it will include new content related to connected lighting and 3D printing – two up-and-coming fields where the SSL industry can add value and reap benefits for producers and the users of their equipment.
3D Printing of Lighting Components
To support the SSL industry through research that shows the value of lighting beyond energy savings, LRC has set a course in the last year. Embracing the trends toward customization and data analytics, SSL research is now evolving to include new developments such as connected lighting (Internet of Things (IoT), and 3D printing of lighting components. The LED Lighting Institute will highlight these growing trends in the SSL marketplace and help participants learn more about state-of-the-art research in these fields.
Lighting Beyond Energy Savings
With the core component of this course being LED and OLED technology, those who attend the LED Lighting Institute will learn the best methods for incorporating LEDs and OLEDs into architectural lighting fixture designs and lighting systems, and compare system components from a wide variety of manufacturers to determine operating characteristics, rated life, lumen output, distribution, and other important specification factors. The program culminates with participants designing, building, and evaluating their own lighting fixtures.
Workshop Popularity is Growing
This intensive workshop continues to grow in popularity, so early registration is recommended as enrollment is limited to 30 students. Meanwhile, over 800 people from around the globe have completed the course, which is held in spring and fall each year.
Lily by Janne Kyttanen: Paving the Way for Things to come in 3D Printing Lighting
In an exclusive movie by Dezeen, released earlier this month, Janne Kyttanen explains how he designed the flower-shaped ‘Lily’ lamp back in 2002 as a demonstration of how 3D printing could be used to create desirable lighting objects for the home.
3D Printing: From Prototyping Use only to End Product Fabrication
Back in 2002, 3D printing technologies were much more expensive than they are today. The key to the success of this particular product was making it small enough to be affordable, according to Kyttanen himself. On the contrary to what he expected – the fixture was originally designed for private use – the light caused a stir when it was in 2003 presented at Milan Design Week. By showing how 3D printing – previously considered a prototyping technology only – could be finally used to create consumer products as well.
Lily by Janne Kyttanen
Kyttanen’s Lily light, which he designed during his time in his studio ‘Freedom of Creation’ (Amsterdam, NL), is a lamp created by selective laser sintering (SLS). The form reminiscent of a water lily flower. It’s been made of polyamide, a very fine powder used for SLS processes.
When the light inside is turned on, the petals start to glow and reveal the tiny layers of plastic the lamp is composed of.
3D Printing at Home
While the Lily light itself is not currently available to be downloaded and printed at home, Kyttanen suggests the proliferation of affordable desktop 3D printers in the years since the light launched show his instincts about the future of 3D printing were right.
Lily: Designed by Janne – printed by MGX.Materialise
The Lily light is manufactured by the Belgian 3D printing company Materialise. The product – which comes in a table and floor-standing version – is still available for purchase.
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