3D Metal Printing Newsletter


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September 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
 
3D Metal Printing - Monthly Newsletter
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3D Metal Printing - Monthly Newsletter
September 7, 2016
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GE to Buy Arcam and SLM Solutions Group
"Additive manufacturing (AM) is a key part of GE's evolution into a digital industrial company. We are creating a more productive world with our innovative world-class machines, materials and software. We are poised to not only benefit from this movement as a customer, but spearhead it as a leading supplier," says Jeff Immelt, GE chairman and CEO. With those words, GE announced that it plans to acquire two suppliers of AM equipment, Arcam AB and SLM Solutions Group AG, for $1.4 billion. The goal: boost GE's inhouse AM capability and develop and market such technology for use throughout the industry.

Arcam AB, based in Mölndal, Sweden, invented the electron-beam melting machine for metal-based AM, and also produces advanced metal powders. Its customers are in the aerospace and healthcare industries. SLM Solutions Group, based in Lübeck, Germany, produces laser machines for metal-based AM with customers in the aerospace, energy, healthcare and automotive industries.

Both companies will report into David Joyce, President & CEO of GE Aviation. Joyce will lead the growth of these businesses in the AM equipment and services industry. In addition, he will lead the integration effort and the GE Store initiative to drive AM applications across GE. The additive effort will be centered in Europe. GE will maintain the headquarters locations and key operating locations of Arcam and SLM, as well as retain their management teams and employees, according to GE officials.

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Shape-Morphing: Just Add Heat or Electricity
Though the materials themselves aren't metallic, researchers have demonstrated the 3D printing of shape-shifting structures that can fold or unfold to reshape themselves when exposed to heat or electricity. Termed 4D printing, the approach may complement or work in conjunction with 3D metal printing in medical and other applications.

A team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers created structures using a conductive, environmentally responsive ink using what the researchers refer to as shape-memory polymers. The ink, made from soybean oil, additional co-polymers and carbon nanofibers, is fabricated into a temporary shape at an engineered temperature. Heat or electrical current then produces the shape-morphing effect, which reverts the part's temporary shape back to its original shape.

The team produced several types of structures: a bent conductive device that morphed to a straight device when exposed to an electric current or heat, a collapsed stent that expanded after being exposed to heat, and boxes that either opened or closed when heated.

"It's like baking a cake," says lead author Jennifer Rodriguez, a post-doctorate in LLNL's Materials Engineering Division. "You take the part out of the oven before it's done and set the permanent structure of the part by folding or twisting after an initial gelling of the polymer."

Ultimately, according to Rodriguez, researchers can use the materials to create extremely complex parts. The technology could have applications in the medical field, in aerospace (in solar arrays or antennae that can unfold), as well as flexible circuits and robotic devices.

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Industry News
CCAT Named Rhode Island Innovation Center
rp+m Adds M2 Cusing Machine for Prototype and Production Support
DoE AM Lab Implements Sensor System to Help Optimize the DMLS Process
Additive Manufacturing to be Highlighted in Sept. Forging Tech. Conference
You Ought To Know

AMUG Conference Set for March in Chicago
The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has just announced that it will hold its 29th annual users-group conference at the Hilton Chicago, from March 19 – 23, 2017. The event draws novice and expert users seeking insights, assistance and guidance on 3D-printing technologies, applications and processes.

The AMUG conference, open to owners and operators of all industrial additive-manufacturing (AM) technologies, includes keynote presentations, technical sessions and hands-on workshops designed to help users get more from their AM technologies. Through technical competitions and AMUG's annual awards banquet, excellence in applying AM and contributions to the industry will be recognized. The five-day event also includes the two-night AMUGexpo, networking receptions and catered meals.

For more details, click here.

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In This Issue

Aluminum Guitar—A Study in Design and Post-Processing
This unique project underscores the importance of designing to make post-processing as efficient as possible.

Spotlight on Additive Manufacturing at IMTS
More than a dozen suppliers of additive-manufacturing technology will inhabit a new Additive Manufacturing pavilion at this year's edition of IMTS. Also on tap: a 1.5-day additive-manufacturing technical conference.

 

In The Next Issue
Focus on 3D Metal Printing in the Medical Industry

 

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See also: MSC Software Corporation, Nikon Metrology, Inc., 3D Systems