Re: 3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#16
Maybe someday they will use graphene. Society is sure taking its time introducing graphene. That would solve weight vs strength problems once and for all maybe. According to what I read, they are still trying to find ways to mass produce it effectively and discover even more properties to that metamaterial.

Re: 3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#17
Yes, they use it for support structures, etc. One of the examples my Prof likes to show off is 3 concentric lattice spheres, and a fully functional mini-wrench, both of which were formed in one piece, no assembly required. Which in an of itself can save companies thousands.

I agree with Gary, I'm sure there will come a point where we can make 3D-printed objects with similar strengths to steel. I believe there are already 3D printers that beat steel on a strength/weight ratio which are starting to be used for weight-sensitive applications like airplanes. It's a lot cheaper to form a complex 3D structure that provides optimal weight usage using a 3D printer than with traditional casting or CNC methods.
There's a lot of research going into Additive Layer Manufacturing for airframes - I just came back from a spectacularly boring trip to a PhD conference at Airbus in Filton (where they make bit of the A380 and A400, in particular), and a good percentage of the postgraduate student funding is going into ALM related projects. The / a main problem seems to be that a lot of the properties of such materials are unknown - for example, the way a lightning strike affects an ALM composite surface is vastly different to the effect on standard metal airframes.

Re: 3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#19
There's a lot of research going into Additive Layer Manufacturing for airframes - I just came back from a spectacularly boring trip to a PhD conference at Airbus in Filton (where they make bit of the A380 and A400, in particular), and a good percentage of the postgraduate student funding is going into ALM related projects. The / a main problem seems to be that a lot of the properties of such materials are unknown - for example, the way a lightning strike affects an ALM composite surface is vastly different to the effect on standard metal airframes.
You went to Airbus Filton? I'm jealous now, no matter how boring it was!

Kidding aside, a considerable number of airframe components are currently still made by CNC milling, so raw material costs are terrible on those. 3D-printing could improve a lot on that. And then there's the fact that you can easily make any complex shape you want, without manufacturing troubles or remaining stresses in the material. This has the potential to drive part numbers way down, and thus weight and complexity. And in general, even for parts that don't have these special issues: tooling, jigs, moulds etc. is still a large part of the manufacturing cost, as airplanes are made in relatively small series (a few thousand, max). 3D printing offers great cost reduction in that area as well, as the 'tool' (the printer) can be reused across different airplane series and even different industries altogeher (you could print car engine blocks together with landing gear parts, for instance).

The main thing with printed materials is that they're usually anisotropic, they don't have the same material properties in all directions. So they're more difficult to design with. And, like aldo said, there's still quite a lot to be researched on any new material. It's one of the main reasons why composites are taking a while, as well. That being said, the experience with composites should enable quicker spread of printed parts in the future :)

Anyway, back to topic: are those cruisers hollow inside? By the size of the supports, I would assume yes, but then again that would make them rather fragile, no?
Ancient-Shivan War | Hard-Light forums | FreeSpaceMods.net

Re: 3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#20
There's a lot of research going into Additive Layer Manufacturing for airframes - I just came back from a spectacularly boring trip to a PhD conference at Airbus in Filton (where they make bit of the A380 and A400, in particular), and a good percentage of the postgraduate student funding is going into ALM related projects. The / a main problem seems to be that a lot of the properties of such materials are unknown - for example, the way a lightning strike affects an ALM composite surface is vastly different to the effect on standard metal airframes.
You went to Airbus Filton? I'm jealous now, no matter how boring it was!
Yeah; it wasn't really my field (I'm doing AI - to put this in perspective, this was the first time I heard the term 'ALM', let alone found out what it entailed), but the two main strands of research on show seemed to be various ALM related work (simulating the effects of lightning, a new nanotech manufacturing process, etc) and alternate fuels (biofuels for aircraft and fuel cells for UAVs). I'm sponsored by EADS, the parent company of Airbus, so we had a bunch of people down on an Airbus junket to Bristol in order to do research presentations and listen to fairly boring speeches.

We had an, er, 'fascinating' field trip to view the (mostly empty) factory where they assemble the wings for the A400M (this thing - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A400M) and, more interestingly, to the building where they test and certify the A380 gears (basically, the entire landing gear suspended in a large rig, with complete hydraulics and controls. Nowadays, they use it mostly to track down reported faults and explain it to the airline why it's their fault and not Airbus).

You're not missing much, though. It's just a big bunch of factories; even the landing strip there is being removed.

Re: 3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#21
Anyway, back to topic: are those cruisers hollow inside? By the size of the supports, I would assume yes, but then again that would make them rather fragile, no?
You wouldn't expect models to be particularly durable would you? The cost savings by making them hollow is huge, as well. I'm sure if you wanted one it wouldn't be difficult to make it solid, if you paid the cost of additional materials. Which is yet another advantage of Additive Manufacturing: It's trivially easy to customize or change things when compared with casting, machining, etc.

Re: 3D-Printed Mini Ship Models!

#23
The Fenris is partially hollow, but that caused more problems than it solved, so the Aeolus is filled. However 'filled' doesn't quite mean 'solid' here - the printer can be set to lay down a 0-100% fill volume, where it lays down a kind of latticework interior to every layer.

I use 20% fill normally, but it's still producing surprisingly strong objects. For example, I'm not weak, but I'm completely unable to even get close to breaking a 20% fill component that's 10x3x1cm in size without tools. My main use of the printer is in fact actually for engineering applications. :)
Twisted Infinities

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

cron