Researchers have confirmed a new way to help the airline industry save dollars while also saving the environment. And the solution comes in three dimensions. By manufacturing aircrafts' metal parts with 3-D printing, airlines could save a significant amount of fuel, materials, and other resources.
3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is the process of turning a 2D digital image into a 3D object through printing successive layers of materials until an entire item is created. Initial images are created in design software programmes before being realised through 3D printing. The advent of consumer 3D printing has the potential to revolutionise its use as a technology, but also opens up a whole host of intellectual property debates.
NASA and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, known as America Makes, are holding a new $2.25 million competition to design and build a 3-D printed habitat for deep space exploration, including the agency's journey to Mars.
Researchers investigated a new combination of 3-D printed microfiber scaffolding and hydrogels. The composites they tested showed elasticity and stiffness comparable to knee-joint tissue, as well as the ability to support the growth and cross-linking of human cartilage cells.
Manufacturing researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have scoped out the missing sections in current guidelines for powder bed fusion, the chief method for printing metal parts.
Researchers have whittled the cost of printing to ten cents per kilogram - down from $30 per kilogram. They made this leap by recycling plastic that had already been printed, using a recyclebot and plastic resin codes developed by the team.
A UC Berkeley research team unveiled the first and largest powder-based 3-D-printed cement structure built to date. The debut of this groundbreaking project is a demonstration of the architectural potential of 3-D printing.
The 3-D printing scene, a growing favorite of do-it-yourselfers, has spread to the study of plasma physics. With a series of experiments, researchers at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have found that 3-D printers can be an important tool in laboratory environments.