The Cool Parts Show Releases New Episodes on the Advance of AM During Pandemic Crisis
Additive Manufacturing’s video series focused on industrial 3D printing releases special episodes showing how and why additive manufacturing is growing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Edited by AM Staff
The Cool Parts Show information can be found here.
The Cool Parts Show, the series from Additive Manufacturing Media about 3D printing for industrial production, has produced special episodes about 3D printing during the COVID-19 crisis.
“We didn’t plan more episodes during this time; we’re working on our next regular season,” says Stephanie Hendrixson, senior editor of Additive Manufacturing Media and co-host of the show. “But we kept hearing from companies we know from the show about different ways this moment is creating a context for their use of 3D printing to advance.”
The series of special episodes, dropping through May 2020 and posted at TheCoolPartsShow.com (where you can also find Season 1 and Season 2 of The Cool Parts Show), tells these stories of additive manufacturing moving ahead:
- 3D printed implant maker Tangible Solutions is responding to heightened demand as hospitals get ready for surgeries currently being delayed. As a result, the company is using metal additive manufacturing to realize the highest production volumes the company has seen so far.
- Drone engine maker Cobra Aero took advantage of its work interruption to experiment with new designs for engine components. Additive manufacturing allows for rapid prototyping and design investigation. Thanks to this exploration period, Cobra found a way to make its exhaust system through metal 3D printing instead of assembly to reduce cost and weight, improve performance and simplify manufacturing.
- 3D printed eyeglasses maker Fitz Frames’ expansion has not slowed despite the pandemic, as the company has diversified into personal protective glass for healthcare workers (often provided free of charge). Additive manufacturing is delivering on its promise to allow product designs, even radical ones, to be integrated into production quickly.
- Spectrum Dental is one of a number of 3D printing companies forming a virtual factory that will answer the need for test swabs by together printing
millions of them per week. The promise of additive manufacturing has always been scale production, and this response to the pandemic likely will represent the greatest scale production success so far.
“Additive manufacturing is a different form of manufacturing,” says Additive Manufacturing Media editor-in-chief Peter Zelinski, also a host of the show. “It is manufacturing without tooling, without setup, without delay — so it is manufacturing best able to pivot into taking advantage of the opportunities of this time. We shouldn’t have been surprised that part of what we’re seeing in this moment is additive manufacturing surging ahead.”
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GE engineers started with a radio-controlled engine and redesigned it for additive manufacturing. This model manufacturing exercise illustrates important real points about additive manufacturing as a production option.
Hip stem implants must support the mechanical loads of the patient’s lifestyle, but should also avoid stress shielding. A team from Altair leveraged simulation, topology optimization and 3D printing to design an optimized hip stem that meets both conditions.