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World’s Largest Printed Aerospike Engine Unveiled

May 15, 2022 |

May 13, 2022 Leave a Comment Traditional rockets are incredibly inefficient for a number of reasons, not least due to the fact that they are mostly disposable. But reusability aside, another reason that rockets are inefficient is the fixed geometry of the bell nozzle. Efficient rocket thrust is dependent on the exhaust gas going in the correct direction (opposite to direction of travel, ideally). A bell shaped rocket nozzle (also called a convergent/divergent, or “con-di” nozzle) shapes the exhaust gasses so they flow out in more or less a straight vector. But as it exits the nozzle, the flow encounters the atmosphere, which also shapes the flow. Aerospike engine (Image credit: Hyperganic) At low altitudes, the ambient pressure is enough to tame the flow into a straight path. However, once the altitude increases and the ambient pressure decreases, the pressure affects the flow less and hence the exhaust “expands” as…    read more 

Researchers 3D print self-sensing carbon nanotube materials with medical and aerospace promise

May 12, 2022 |

A research team led by the University of Glasgow has developed a 3D printable carbon nanotube-based plastic material capable of sensing its own structural health.  Inspired by porous cellular forms like beehives, sponges, and bone found in the natural world, the novel material is reportedly tougher, stronger, and smarter than comparable conventional materials, and could find new applications in medicine, prosthetics, automotive and aerospace design, where low-density, tough materials with self-sensing abilities are desirable.  “Nature has a lot to teach engineers about how to balance properties and structure to create high performance lightweight materials,” said Dr. Shanmugam Kumar of the University of Glasgow’s James Watt School of Engineering. “We’ve taken inspiration from these forms to develop our new cellular materials, which offer unique advantages over their conventionally produced counterparts and can be finely tuned to manipulate their physical properties.” The 3D printed nanoengineered designs. Image via University of Glasgow. 3D…    read more 

Braskem launches first sustainable 3D printing filament range

May 12, 2022 |

Brazilian petrochemical firm Braskem has released its first line of sustainable 3D printing filaments. Made up of three filaments produced from bio-based ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), recycled polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), the new range will be showcased at the upcoming RAPID + TCT trade show in Detroit.  “Braskem has a longstanding history of innovating and producing more sustainable bio-based polymer 3D printing filaments reaffirms our commitment to a more circular, carbon neutral future,” said Jason Vagnozzi, Braskem’s Global Commercial Director of Additive Manufacturing. “We couldn’t be more excited to present these newest additions to our 3D printing product portfolio at the RAPID + TCT 2022 conference as our clients seek more sustainability solutions for the future.” Recycled polyolefin filament with carbon fiber. Image via Braskem. Braskem’s growing AM materials portfolio Since its founding in 2002, Braskem has been developing plastics for new applications, particularly within the aerospace sector. The…    read more 

Researchers 3D print calcium phosphate graphene scaffolds for bone regeneration

May 9, 2022 |

A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the University of Connecticut (UConn) has 3D printed novel calcium phosphate graphene (CaPG) scaffolds that could be used for bone regeneration applications in the future.  The team sought to develop an alternative to traditional autogenous bone grafts that simply stabilize bone defects and injuries. The study saw the successful fabrication of a 3D bioprinted alternative that supports tissue regeneration at the defect site, and which possesses numerous desirable properties such as osteoinductivity, biological safety, a long shelf-life, and reasonable production costs.  Biomimetic 3D printed CaPG matrix design. Image via Nature. Challenges of 3D printing graphene While graphene’s lightweight properties, electrical and thermal conductivity, and mechanical strength make it a desirable material for applications within biomedicine, energy generation, and microelectronics, much of graphene’s potential comes from deploying the material in its monolayer form. This therefore presents a significant challenge when trying…    read more 

Taking back control: new 3D printed bracelet empowers the hand-impaired to play video games

May 6, 2022 |

Researchers at the University of Sydney have developed a 3D printed sensor bracelet that allows those with hand impairments to more easily use computers and play video games.  By detecting vibrations in users’ wrists as they move their fingers, the wearable is said to be capable of picking up inputs, before relaying these to a machine learning (ML) program that converts them into computational commands. Once they’ve perfected this process, the team intends to make the bracelet open-source, with the aim of improving smart device access for disabled people across the world. “Accessibility shouldn’t come at a huge cost,” explains Stephen Lin, the undergraduate honours student who led the project. “Our mission is to provide an affordable, easy-to-use solution to assist people around the world who are living with disability. We want this technology to be available to anyone who needs it, which is why we plan to release it…    read more 

Nexa3D Launches XiP Superfast Desktop SLA Printer

May 6, 2022 |

May 4, 2022 Leave a Comment Last week California-based printer company Nexa3D launched their XiP printer, which is generating quite a bit of interest in various circles. Let’s take this launch as an opportunity to look at the company and their high speed resin printers in some more detail. Nexa3D Nexa3D specializes in fast SLA printers, and was co founded by Avi Reichental who also serves as Chairman & CEO of Nexa3D. If that name sounds familiar to you, it should, because he previously served as president and CEO of 3D Systems. Nexa3D has until now offered a range of industrial resin printers that are capable of printing polymers faster than anything on the market. The company achieves this thanks largely to two proprietary technologies, namely Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing (LSPc) for photoplastics and Quantum Laser Sintering (QLS) for thermoplastics. For the sake of this article and the recently launched XiP…    read more 

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