3D printing is more accepted in small projects than in large industrial environments. Aspects such as the slowness of the process and the difficulty of regular finishing have hindered mass adoption. Sectors such as construction where results are already visibleOther fields will benefit from this technology, thanks to the latest technological breakthroughs. The latest to join the party is the automotive industry with new steel alloys for 3D printing.
New technology for 3D printing of vehicles
Tesla’s factories have applied the technology used to produce toy cars to their vehicles. That is, a metal casting process in which molten metal is poured into a mold to form an object. Known as the Gigapress, the machine weighs 9,000 tons and greatly reduces the number of parts required to manufacture the chassis. However, a metal cooling system and inert gas are required to speed up the process and achieve uniform results. So far the maximum weight of the part is 50 kg. But what happens when you use additive 3D printing?
This approach inspired two young MIT students to embark on a new project of iron printing in collaboration with advisors from the University of Paderborn, Germany. As a result, it won an award in the ASM Education Foundation 2022 design competition.
Based on a material property calculation system called CALPHAD, researchers have created a new steel alloy with ideal properties. After melting it and atomizing it into droplets, the droplets solidified to form a powder that was used as a raw material. Now it was enough to deposit a layer of steel powder and melt it with a laser.
The advantage of 3D printing is that the material cools much faster, resulting in better quality results and the ability to print more complex parts.The new alloy has already been patented and could soon be used in manufacturing more sustainable electric vehicles.
Printed with wood and light
Recently, a new 3D printing technology has blossomed that uses raw materials to replace plastic, cement, or resin. Here are some of the most impressive ones:
A revolutionary steel alloy isn’t the only 3D printing material from MIT’s lab. In fact, it is an innovative technology that creates a material with high hardness by growing like a plant.
To accomplish this, they used living cells from a plant called zinnia, transferred to a gel, and stimulated to accelerate growth by plant hormones. It is expected as a manufacturing technology for body-shaped furniture.
print with light
It’s not about raw materials, it’s about curing resin 100 times faster than traditional additive printing. As explained in this article, this system projects two of his beams of light onto the resin, causing it to solidify almost instantly in the polymerization process. In addition, the resulting pieces have no joints or bonding points, making them much more resistant than those obtained with traditional techniques.
3D printing with molecules
If the above example offers a new way to 3D print at the visible scale, researchers at the Jülich Institute for Quantum and Nanosciences in Germany are applying a similar strategy at the microscopic scale. In this case, they combined artificial intelligence with a tunneling microscope to move and position the molecules at will. This breakthrough opens the door to fabricating molecular transistors with applications in quantum computing.
The possibilities with 3D printing are endless. printing of structures, food and even living organs, they are one of the most promising means of colonizing other planets. I am exploring the possibilities of additive printing for If you would like to learn more about the possibilities of 3D printing and other technological advances, please subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.