Cars and planes: technology begins in 3D printing

Development model for 3D printing. Graphic created by Jake Roberts. Image by Tim Sandals.

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a digital design. According to 3D printing specialist hubs.com, the technology industry is benefiting greatly from 3D printing.

In cars, aerospace and healthcare, these three major areas of 3D printing advancement are considered for development.

cars

The automotive industry is leading the way in applying 3D printing to car manufacturing. Here additive manufacturing is changing the manufacturing process, especially with regard to niche design.

3D printing is currently used to make low-cost parts and prototypes. However, some analysts believe that it will not take long for 3D printed cars to hit the city streets.

In 2015, former head of Divergent Microfactories Kevin Zinger introduced the Blade, the world’s first 3D-printed supercar. Since then, the automotive specialist has been busy building the Czinger 21C, which was unveiled earlier this year at the Festival of Speed. Developed with patented technology, using AI and 3D printing to build the model, all the parts used in this car are stronger, lighter and cheaper than their predecessors.

aerospace

When it comes to aerospace, there is increasing interest in 3D printed aircraft and rockets, as the technology is currently being used to manufacture complex parts in the aerospace, military and space sectors.

The aerospace industry is poised for growth in the coming years, as aerospace manufacturer Boeing first advances defense in 2021 by flight-testing a 3D-printed flight-critical component on a Chinook helicopter.

Airborne wind power company, Ampix Power, is also leading the way for change. 3D printing technology for manufacturing parts for prototypes has proven to be a major breakthrough, using autonomous aircraft and sophisticated software instead of wind turbines to produce renewable electricity.

There is also notable interest in 3D printed drones. Just last month (June 2022), it was announced that the Essentium HSE 3D printing technology will now be used to support the development of a US-made, 3D printed, fire-fighting drone to help combat wildfires. He is going.

Health care

Advances are being made in 3D printed healthcare technology that could change the future. It is currently being used for the development of new surgical cutting and drill guides, prosthetics, as well as making specific replicas of bones, organs and blood vessels. These recent advances have led to lighter, stronger and safer products, shorter lead times and lower costs.

In June 2022, doctors in the US successfully transplanted the world’s first 3D printed ear implant using patient cells. The “bio-printed living tissue implant” was printed in a shape that matched the patient’s other ear and would continue to regenerate cartilage tissue to help it look and feel like a real part of the body.

With the development of 3D printed dentures, 3D printing is also breaking new ground in the dental industry. With shorter turn-around times and more precise fits, the search for 3D printed dentures is growing rapidly, averaging 1,200.

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