Category Archives: Government

3D Printing and the Army

Since my last post about 3D printing in the Navy garnered more likes than any other post to date, I figured we should continue the military trend and discuss how the Army uses the technology.

Actually, the Army has just as many uses for similar applications of 3D printing.

State-of-the-art 3D printers cut costs, turnaround time

Much like isolated ships having trouble accessing key components on the high seas, forward Army bases often find themselves weeks away from their supply chains.

Recently, a shortage of parts was delaying delivery of Harris radios. The radios required the installation of small dust caps prior to shipping to the customer. Finding and getting the part from a vendor could have taken weeks; so instead, Mechanical Engineer Eugene Haikes designed a 3-D model of the part and the depot printed 600 dust caps in 16 hours.

“If the depot wanted to produce the dust caps but didn’t have a rubber mold for them, we could have expected to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 for the mold,” said Mead. “Because Eugene was able to come up with the model, we were able to produce the caps for only a dollar apiece while trimming days, if not weeks, off of our anticipated delivery date.”

Just like the Navy, advantages don’t stop there, as 3D printing can create objects too complicated for traditional machining and casting processes.

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3D Printing and the Navy

Navy, sea, ship, build, piping, ducting, parts, Proceedings

Even the Navy is getting involved in 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing.

Highlighted advantages include making complicated hulls with complex internal geometries in one fell swoop, as well as having print manufacturing on board vessels to deliver on demand replacement parts.

 

 

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RapidMade Speaking at the Northwest Machine Tool Expo

RapidMade, Inc. proudly invites you to attend a one hour seminar on 3D printing next Wednesday at the Northwest Machine Tool Expo starting at 9:30 AM.  Admission to the expo and seminars is completely free and the event takes place at the Oregon Convention Center (777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Portland OR.)

Erin Stone, president, and Matt Garrett, VP of Operations will give the presentation.  Topics covered include:

  • What is additive manufacturing (AM)?
  • Where has AM been and why is it getting so much attention now?
  • What’s new in AM technology & materials?
  • What does this mean for your business and how can you leverage AM for a competitive advantage?
  • Where does your business fit in the national and regional AM landscape?
If this topic is of interest to you (likely since you are reading this blog) and you can make it out (less likely), we would be happy to see you there!
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SBIR/STTR National Conference

The Micro-enterprise Inventors Program of Oregon (MIPO) and the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network (OSBDC) will host the SBIR/STTR 2012 National Conference Oregon at the Doubletree Hotel Lloyd Center in Portland from November 13-15th  2012.   This conference will provide critical information to small businesses competing for SBIR/STTR grants and contracts, which amount to approximately $2.5 billion in funding annually.  SBIR and STTR are competitive federal government programs that fund small businesses to develop innovative, high-risk technologies.  The 2012 National SBIR/STTR Conference is expected to draw nearly one thousand high technology entrepreneurs from across the U.S., along with federal and state agencies, business development executives and university researchers. Registration is now open for the event, to learn more about the conference visit the site at www.oregonsbir.com.

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Airbus Explores Building Planes With Giant 3D Printers

We already know that 3D-printing has revolutionized the way we can make everyday objects from Lego pieces, to guitars, and from car bodies to artificial livers. But the scale of this change could be much, much bigger if the “printers” themselves scale up enough to incorporate structures as large as airplanes.

Bastian Schaefer, a cabin engineer with Airbus, has been working for the last two years on a concept cabin that envisions what the future of flight would look like from the passenger’s perspective. From that came a radical concept: build the aircraft itself from the ground up with a 3D printer that’s very large in deed, ie. as big as an aircraft hangar. That probably sounds like a long shot, since the biggest 3D printers today are about the size of a dining table. But the Airbus design comes with a roadmap, from 3D-printing small components now, through to the plane as a whole around 2050.

Read the full article here!

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9 Ways 3D Printing Will Change the World

Do you remember when StarTrek or The Jetsons aired? Both shows seemed to have accurately predicted the way technology has advanced in the past decade with their replicator machines. Although this emerging form of technology is widely recognized as a way to produce mass amounts of prototypes and other forms of commerce, it’s potential reaches further than that. 3D printing is becoming a crucial part of manufacturing advanced systems and replacement parts for almost every industry.

1). Medical Industry

2). Advances in Research

3). Product Prototyping

4). Historic Preservation

5). AEC

6). Advanced Manufacturing

7). Food Industries

8). Automotive

9). Jewelry/Accessories

Read the full article here!

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3-D printing will remake U.S. manufacturing

About 20 miles east of Pittsburgh, the former heart of the nation’s steel industry, a small company called ExOne is churning out a new generation of stainless steel boat propellers, oil pump parts and door knobs. Manufacturers are increasingly using 3-D printers, made by ExOne in Irwin, Pa., to make production parts, rather than just product prototypes. But there are no clanging hammers, wheezing presses or even computer-controlled milling machines. Instead, a dozen 3-D printers quietly stitch together industrial parts by meticulously spreading hundreds or thousands of layers of powdered metal onto a canvas until they form three-dimensional shapes.

Read the full article here!

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Obama Announces Major Steps Forward to Advance Energy Efficiency Efforts

On June 26, 2012 the Obama Administration announced 36 new states, local governments, and school districts have joined President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge. These new commitments total nearly 300 million square feet in job-creating building energy upgrades. In addition, new public tax guidance issued today by the Department of the Treasury will make it easier for state and local governments to access more than $2 billion in existing low-cost financing to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs). QECBs provide state and local governments with access to low-cost financing to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

Read the full article here!

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The End of Chinese Manufacturing and Rebirth of U.S. Industry

We are beginning to see a push towards bringing American manufacturing back on American soil. There are a number of emerging technologies that are championing this movement such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, and nanotechnology. These have been moving slowly so far, but are now beginning to advance exponentially just as computing does. When the ruling corporations like Apple, Boeing, Caterpillar, and General Electric begin to bring their manufacturing back to America perhaps we will witness a domino effect that will bring family wage jobs back home where they should be.

Check out the full article here!

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Hacker Opens High Security Handcuffs With 3D-Printed And Laser-Cut Keys

Have you ever found yourself handcuffed to a bed post wishing you had a spare key? I hope the answer is “no,” but if you have then your in luck! A German hacker and security consultant demonstrated a looming problem for handcuff makers hoping to restrict the distribution of the keys that open their cuffs: With plastic copies he cheaply produced with a laser-cutter and a 3D printer, he was able to open handcuffs built by two of the largest security firms in Europe.

Check out the full article here!

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