Thermoplastics: The Strongest Choice for 3D Printing

Fused deposition modeling (FDM) gives you the option of making functional plastic parts with the most commonly used industrial-grade thermoplastics – the same types of raw materials found in injection molding facilities. That’s important because the best way to predict a product’s end performance is to prototype it with a material as similar as possible to the finished part.

Posted in: Dynamic White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Hot Isostatic Pressing of 60-Nitinol

The material 60-Nitinol (60wt%Ni-40wt%Ti) has a unique combination of physical properties, including high hardness, low apparent elastic modulus, and resistance to saltwater corrosion. These properties give the material tremendous potential for use in aerospace and defense-related components such as bearings, gears, and other apparatuses. Various methods of primary processing are being explored for fabrication of high-performance components that are free of metallurgical defects that might lead to premature failure. Hot isostatic pressing (HIP) is one process under consideration. The steps in the HIP process include (a) filling a sealed canister of the appropriate dimensions with powder, (b) heating the canister under vacuum to remove volatile and gaseous contents, (c) applying heat and pressure to the evacuated and sealed canister to consolidate the contents, and (d) removing the canister.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Fabrication, Materials properties, Reliability
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Logistics for Building Radiation Storm Shelters and their Operational Evaluation

Various habitat structures were tested for use in exploration activities.

Over the past three years, NASA has been studying the operational effectiveness and astronaut protection efficacy of numerous radiation protection shelters for use in space exploration activities outside of Earth's magnetosphere. The work was part of NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) RadWorks Storm Shelter project. Fabricated items were integrated into mockup deep space habitat vehicle sections for operational evaluations. Two full-scale human-in-loop simulations were designed, fabricated, and implemented. The goal was to provide design and performance assessment information for consideration by mission designers who must quantify the radiation protection characteristics of their exploration trade space.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Protective structures, Radiation protection, Spacecraft
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Vapor-Barrier Vacuum Isolation System

Applications include metal fabrication in the automotive, aerospace, sporting goods, and medical industries.

Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication, or EBF3, is a process that uses an electron beam gun, a dual wire feed, and computer controls to manufacture metallic structures for building parts or tools in hours, rather than days or weeks. EBF3 can manufacture complex geometries in a single operation, and provides efficient use of power and feedstock. The technology has a wide range of applications, including automotive, aerospace, and rapid prototyping. It can build large metallic parts measuring feet in length, and has been reduced in size and power to enable zero-gravity experiments conducted on NASA's Reduced Gravity aircraft.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, CAD, CAM, and CAE, Rapid prototyping, Fabrication, Metallurgy
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Products of Tomorrow: March 2017

This column presents technologies that have applications in commercial areas, possibly creating the products of tomorrow. To learn more about each technology, see the contact information provided for that innovation.

Posted in: Articles, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Product development, Research and development
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Silicon Micro-Emitters for Microfluidic Electrospray Propulsion Systems

Advances in microfabrication capabilities are enabling the development of micro-needles for highly compact electrospray systems.

JPL's Microfluidic Electrospray Propulsion (MEP) thruster design is based on a microfabricated electrospray system with a capillary-force-driven feed system that uses indium metal as the propellant. This architecture provides an extremely compact, modular system scalable to a wide range of applications from micro spacecraft to large, space-based telescopes.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Architecture, Microelectromechanical devices, Propellants, Spacecraft fuel, Silicon alloys
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Additive Manufacturing for Composite Tooling

Learn how 3D printing with FDM technology makes the production of composite tooling faster, more agile and less costly. Listen in as Tim Schniepp, Stratasys business development director for composite tooling, explains the benefits and capabilities of FDM composite tooling, including examples of customers who successfully use this application.

Posted in: On-Demand Webinars, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Smarter Prototyping — How Stratasys F123 3D Printers Make Rapid Prototyping More Accessible and Productive

3D printing’s contributions across the design, engineering and manufacturing disciplines are not new. The technology has been available for over thirty years and is often lauded as the next industrial revolution. Despite some inflated claims, there’s no denying that 3D printing has achieved its place as a valuable design and manufacturing methodology, and a cornerstone of rapid prototyping. It lives up to the promise of making businesses competitive by giving them tools streamline and enhance the product-creation processes. This white paper shows there’s never been a better time to invest in 3D printing, a fact made possible by the new Stratasys F123 3D Printer Series. These 3D printers were designed to remove barriers designers and engineers face by making the RP process more efficient and productive. Learn how the Stratasys F123 Series addresses typical rapid prototyping pain points and lets companies create better products faster, reducing the time to market.

Posted in: White Papers, White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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ANSYS Startup Program: Simulating the Future

Product innovation without foundational simulation practices is a recipe for disaster. Inside, you’ll read about how the “Startup Ecosystem” of entrepreneurs/startups, incubators, accelerators, and investors is viewing simulation as an “up-front must” in the new product design and innovation process.

Posted in: White Papers, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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Unified Approach Improves the Accuracy of Five-Axis Machine Tools

Ph.D. students Jennifer Creamer and Le Ma work in Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Precision Motion Control Laboratory. (Credit: Missouri S&T)

Five-axis machine tools are computer-numerically controlled (CNC) machines that can move, cut, or mill a part on five different axes at the same time. Because of inherent geometric errors, manufacturers must make adjustments when calibrating these machines. Several different approaches exist to help compensate for the errors, but none of them provides a complete picture. Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology set out to find a way to eliminate that piecemeal approach and develop a new way to capture complicated geometric errors and automatically generate compensation tables.

Posted in: News, Industrial Controls & Automation, Manufacturing & Prototyping
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