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How 3D Printing Helps the U.S. Military

3D Printing in the MilitaryWe often hear how numerous sectors of our world economy are using 3D printing in manufacturing and it's important to highlight that the military is quickly embracing 3D printing as well. All branches of the service are utilizing 3D printing in manifold ways to produce many different things in widely different applications.

In fact, 3D printing helps the military gain a significant war fighting advantage and provide direct support to troops in the field.

Dr. Philip Perconti, Director of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, said in a recent article that the Army is at the vanguard of using 3D printing to aid troops in the battlefield and help deployed soldiers become self-sufficient in remote areas.
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How the Automotive Industry Uses Recycled Plastic for 3D Printing

How the Automotive Industry Uses Recycled Plastic for 3D PrintingThe globally competitive automotive industry faces many major challenges these days, including:

  • Increasing prices for raw materials
  • Sustainability and environmental pressures
  • Policy changes on recycling and reuse
  • Ever-changing technologies available to meet customer preferences

3D printing may just be one of the solutions that car companies can look towards to address some of these issues.
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Achieving Material Strength in 3D Printing with Titanium and Aluminum Powders

3D Printing with Titanium and Aluminum PowdersThe Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation’s National University of Science and Technology (NUST) conducted research to develop modifiers that help strengthen the stock material for 3D printing of complex aluminum composites for the aerospace industry.

By 3D printing with metal titanium and aluminum, researchers claim they are able to "double the strength of composites obtained by 3D printing from aluminum powder, and advance the characteristics of these products to the quality of titanium alloys.”
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How 3D Nanoprinting is Revolutionizing Microcircuit Design

3D nanoprinting is becoming popular as the technology makes inroads into some of the most microscopic venues. Alison Kay, a consultant with Ernst and Young, recently said that we can expect 3D printing to touch nearly every industry, directly or indirectly:

There is the potential for 3D printing to revolutionize the way we make almost anything. This year, I expect it will become faster and cheaper, with new materials that enhance commercial possibilities.

If 3D printing is disruptive, nanoprinting is potentially more disruptive.
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Developments in 3D Printing Help to Advance Green Electronics

In Switzerland, researchers and members of the Simon Fraser University research team have developed a very eco-friendly 3D printing solution that produces wireless Internet of Things (IoT) sensors that can be used and disposed of without contaminating the environment. Their strategy is to use a wood-derived cellulose material that replaces plastics and other polymeric materials that are currently used in electronics.

3D printing provides flexibility and adaptability to add or embed different functions into the 3D shapes or even textiles. This creates greater functionality and improves the overall utility of the finished part.

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3D Printing with Multiple Materials in One Process

A Wall Street Journal article in 2018 explored the then-shortcomings of 3D printing regarding the constraint that feedstock materials pose for fabrication and manufacturing.

They wrote:

Some plastics cannot be made in a form suitable for 3D printing or require specialized equipment. Metals are most commonly printed using metal powder. Since cross-contamination must be avoided, cleaning the equipment between runs of different materials is very time-consuming, so that most metal 3D printers run only one type of material.

This could be changing as researchers are now finding ways to alleviate this problem.

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How 3D Printing Provides New Hope for Spinal Cord Patients

Spinal cord injuries are severe. Approximately 300,000 Americans suffer from these injuries, with about 18,000 new occurrences each year. There's often little hope for these patients to regain their mobility and use of their limbs. However, a new technique that helps nerve cells bridge the damage by growing through a scaffolding structure might one day change that. Read the rest of this entry »