Top 10 Posts of 2016: Personalized Cars, Lighter Weight Plane Parts and a New Look & Feel for Fashion

2016 was a big year for 3D printing, from breakthrough full-color multi-material solutions to new advanced materials for outer space and next generation 3D Demonstrators that enable new manufacturing paradigms.

We’re looking back at some of the most popular 3D printing stories and videos from the Stratasys Blog. Here are the 10 posts which epitomize additive manufacturing innovation. Let us know if you don’t see one of your favorites.

Don’t miss out on the news as we make it in 2017 – subscribe to the Stratasys Blog today and select the categories most relevant to you.

Aerospace

3D Demonstrators Designed for Bigger, Lighter Auto and Aerospace Parts

Back in September, Stratasys introduced two advanced 3D Demonstrators with the participation of Boeing, Ford and Siemens.

The Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator features a revolutionary approach to FDM extrusion that increases throughput and repeatability. The system turns the traditional 3D printer concept on its side to realize an “infinite-build” approach, which prints on a vertical plane for practically unlimited part size in the build direction.

The Robotic Composite 3D Demonstrator integrates core Stratasys FDM technologies with industrial motion control hardware and design-to-3D printing software capabilities provided by Siemens. It’s designed to revolutionize the 3D printing of lightweight composite parts.

The Airbus A350 XWB aircraft at Sydney Airport
The Airbus A350 XWB aircraft at Sydney Airport

Airbus Standardizes on Stratasys Additive Manufacturing Solutions for A350 XWB Aircraft Supply Chain

Leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced it was standardizing on ULTEM™ 9085 3D printing material for the production of flight parts for its A350 XWB aircraft. Stratasys’ ULTEM™ 9085 resin is certified to an Airbus material specification and is used in Stratasys’ FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) -based additive manufacturing solutions. By combining a high strength-to-weight ratio with FST (flame, smoke, and toxicity) compliance for aircraft flight parts, ULTEM 9085 enables the production of strong, lighter weight parts while substantially lowering manufacturing costs and production time.

Automotive

Daihatsu Copen owners will be able to choose from 10 Stratasys ASA 3D printing material colors and 15 base patterns to create their own signature designs
Daihatsu Copen owners will be able to choose from 10 Stratasys ASA 3D printing material colors and 15 base patterns to create their own signature designs

3D Printed Mass Customization for Daihatsu’s Copen Cars

Daihatsu Motor Company, known for manufacturing compact, lightweight cars, will offer customers customized design elements for car exteriors. Stratasys FDM 3D printing technology was used to “build” these three-dimensional patterns, called Effect Skins, for the front and rear bumpers of Daihatsu’s Copen 2-door convertible. “Using Stratasys 3D Printing technology to customize and supply parts to customers and to allow self-expression within a single car is, I believe, a first,” said Osamu Fujishita, General Manager, Corporate Planning Department, Brand DNA Office, Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.

The CR-21 Cyclone Race Car designed using Stratasys 3D Printing
The CR-21 Cyclone Race Car designed using Stratasys 3D Printing

Students Build Lighter, Faster Formula SAE Competition Cars with Stratasys 3D Printing

Each year, the prestigious Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) sponsors its international Formula car competition. Students are instructed to design, build and then test their open-wheel racecar, which is then raced against other collegiate teams. In 2016 students at Iowa State University (ISU) put the pedal to the metal with a Fortus 450mc 3D Printer fueled with ULTEM1010 material.  Considering the issues of weight optimization, complexity and stress, the students 3D printed three components for their Cyclone racer: the intake, the dashboard and the heel cups.

Healthcare

Stress loading and concentration analysis will allow for AFO part optimization, tailored for individual patient prescriptions
Stress loading and concentration analysis will allow for AFO part optimization, tailored for individual patient prescriptions

Transforming Orthotics with 3D Printing and Industry 4.0

The University of Michigan partnered with Altair Engineering and Stratasys to form the CYBER team – recently selected and funded by America Makes to work together on a solution that will leverage 3D printing and Industry 4.0 to transform the design, comfort, utility and customization of Ankle Foot Orthotics (AFO). This solution will incorporate digital design, additive manufacturing through 3D printing, and leverage industry leaders at the University of Michigan Orthotics and Prosthetics Center to deliver on emerging Industry 4.0 trends.

Design

Eyewear Icon Safilo Re-Invents Design, Boosts Time to Market for Fashion Frames with Stratasys 3D Printing

To overcome the bottlenecks associated with traditional manufacturing, Italy’s Safilo invested in a Stratasys J750 full color, multi-material 3D Printer. It not only enables the eyewear icon to streamline their prototyping workflow, but also brought with it the opportunity to achieve greater prototype realism than previous methods allowed – producing full-color prototypes with textures and intricate designs built into the plastic. Utilizing the 3D printer’s large build tray, the company can produce multiple variations of the frames in the same print job, increasing throughput and securing reduced developmental costs.

New Stratasys J750 Brings One-Stop Realism to 3D Printing

Stratasys once again transformed the impact of 3D printing on product development and delivery with the new Stratasys J750 3D printer. This breakthough solution enables customers — for the first time — to mix-and-match full-color gradients alongside a wide range of materials to achieve one-stop realism without post-processing. This, together with the system’s superior versatility, makes the J750 the ultimate 3D printing solution for product designers, engineers and manufacturers, as well as service bureaus.

Tooling and Prototyping

Multi-National Schneider Electric Plans Factory of the Future with Stratasys 3D Printing

Schneider Electric is a stellar example of a company implementing 3D printing strategically and methodically to achieve both short term and long term efficiency goals.  The muitl-natiional with headquarters in Grenoble, France is incorporating Stratasys FDM and PolyJet 3D printing across its manufacturing operations for everything from prototyping, assembly line tooling, and injection molds.  And 3D printing is slated to play a vital role in the company’s Factory of the Future vision, as it explores the opportunity of using Stratasys’ 3D Printing Solutions for final production, such as for spare parts and for low-volume requirements.

How Berker Made the Switch to Stratasys 3D Printed Injection Molds

Berker, a leading German designer and manufacturer of high-quality electronic switches and intelligent building management systems, produced a series of 3D printed injection molds using Stratasys PolyJet technology with Digital ABS™ material.  Each 3D printed mold, with a different geometry, was used to inject a different final part material:  ASA, PC and TPE. “This new flexibility enables us to try out two or three different solutions at the same time to get the best result,” said Andreas Krause, Head of Technical Department & Manufacturing, Berker. “The confirmed quality of our products produced using these functional prototypes has accelerated our R&D processes.”

Sodimas Elevators 3D Printing Prototypes, Jigs & Sales Tools

Innovation with Stratasys 3D printing is going up all over the world. Just take the example of Sodimas Elevators in Valence, France. They use their FDM-based Fortus 450mc 3D Printer from for three primary applications: functional prototyping, assembly and sales tools, and teaching aids. For example, it used to take Sodimas more than 2 weeks to get a conventional metal part prototype back to test for fit, form and function. Now, by 3D printing it in house,  they can have the part in just a few hours – an astonishing savings of 98%

Art and Fashion

New York Fashion Week: New Movement in 3D Printed Fashion by ThreeASFOUR, Travis Fitch and Stratasys

The New York Fashion Week premiere of two unique 3D printed dresses by breakthrough fashion designers threeASFOUR and Travis Fitch together with Stratasys created a new exciting reality in fashion and design. Both dresses – ‘Pangolin’ and ‘Harmonograph’ – form part of threeASFOUR’s ‘Biomimicry’ collection and were produced with Stratasys’ unique multi-material, multi-color Connex3 3D printing. A nano enhanced elastomeric 3D printing material gave the dresses both durability and flexibility – redefining what is possible in design, art, fashion and many other industries including education, consumer goods, consumer electronics, and medical devices.

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