Quality Inspection Blocks

We printed some blocks that are making quality inspection a breeze.

We have hundreds of small parts that have been printed and need to be quality checked. These blocks are individually sized to cover a particular quality check point. They have been super useful for helping us ensure that each part in this large production run is conforming to the correct specifications.

To learn more about our practices visit our quality page.


New 3D Printer For The Design and Fashion Industry

Designing Without Limits

There’s a new 3D printer specifically developed to meet the 3D printing needs of the high end design and fashion industry. The new printer is a polyjet technology by Stratasys, a leader in polymer 3D printing solutions to address the needs of manufacturers of premium textiles and clothing, including bags, shoes, and accessories. It’s called the Stratasys J850™ TechStyle™ 3D printer.

It is Startasys’s goal to offer fashion brands the option to differentiate their methods and practices via access to the versatility and productivity of their solution which includes their unique printer, workflow software and materials. As fashion manufacturers have their individual needs, design creativity, and goals, the TechStyle 3D printer solution opens up to them unlimited possibilities for customization of 3D printed fabrics and creative applications, including limited editions and digital automation. Best of all, the printer’s efficiency also reduces time-to-market factor.

Stratasys has also joined forces with some of the top fashion houses that tend towards excellence for evolving fashion technology, such as D-house in Milan. D-house is a top innovation center that uses 3D printing applications from design concept through production.

Startasys’s J850 TechStyle 3D printer is designed to print directly on a variety of fabrics and garments, including denim, cotton, polyester, linen and leather. It can handle work volumes from single pieces to the tens of thousands. It is also compatible with a variety of materials. Stratasys VeroVivid™ resin material allows printing on textiles in over 600,000 unique colors, with multiple shore values, simulating different textures and finishes.

This coming Milan Design Week from June 6 -12, 2022, the J850 TechStyle 3D printer will be on display. Likewise, the SSYS 2Y22 collection, an array of new works by seven top design teams will also be showcased, such as high-end dresses and suits, daywear, lighting, luxury packaging, handbags, accessories and shoes.


Towards More Innovations

When you are looking for more design flexibility, faster time to market, and low cost, come to 3D Composites for your ideas and plans.

Not Just Another 3D Printed Bike: It’s A Sustainable Bike

Looking At The Bike Of The Future

It started when the German magazine, Bike, posted a singular, central question: can a sustainable bike be possible? This is in hopes of supporting their “Ride Green” project.

In response to that, Canyon, a market-leading bicycle manufacturer, also born in Germany, came about with an interesting solution: creating a bike using additive manufacturing. There are many initiatives developing in recent times, though, where bike and equipment manufacturers are relying on 3D technologies to build custom-made, high-performance and more sustainable solutions.

Canyon’s prototype mountain bike, showcased for the first time only recently this year at the London Bike Show, had a frame created using a laser powder bed fusion solution, which printed the bike component in three parts. It was a more environmentally friendly bicycle, minimizing the amount of materials needed as well as promoting local production.

The design of the bike frame comes with a lattice structure. This allows using the most minimal amount of material while still maintaining high performance. The company opted for the Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) method which uses a laser to additively manufacture a metal part layer by layer. The option offers a geometric complexity not easily achieved using conventional manufacturing, at the same time reducing the final weight and the number of components to be assembled. Hence, production times are shorter and custom parts are very resistant. However, metal 3D printers and metal powders are very expensive and do not allow the manufacture of very large parts.

Canyon’s prototype bike was printed by the 3D printing service, Materialise. Each of the frame’s three parts required 6 hours of printing and the weight of the frame and fork is only 4 pounds. Several other brands provided the other components; each one was made with recyclable material. The company has no plans to market this mountain bike any time soon, but it’s still exploring other brands’ designing methods. Nonetheless, all concerned are looking into more sustainable approaches.


Towards More Environment-Friendly Options

If you are looking to make your ideas into real life with 3D printing, contact 3D Composites today!

Light Rays 3D Print Amazing, Tiny Glass Objects

Useful Applications For Glass Geometries

Over at UC Berkeley in California, developers were able to 3D print microstructures made of glass in a speedier, of higher quality strength and flexibility. It’s a new method in conjunction with the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany that the partnership was able to print in glass. The much finer features were a result of the process called computed axial lithography or CAL. They called the new system ‘micro-CAL’.

When creating complex microscopic models, such as lenses for high-end cameras, smartphones, and medical endoscopes, glass is usually the favored material to 3D print. Currently available methods of manufacturing these objects are quite expensive and time-consuming to produce, as well as slow to meet the industry’s soaring demands. They also result in rough surface textures. However, the CAL process features smooth surfaces and complex geometries, requiring no layers. CAL prints the entire object simultaneously. A laser is used to project patterns of light into a rotating volume of light-sensitive material, building up a 3D ‘light dose’ that solidifies in the desired shape.

The CAL process first came to light in 2019, printing microscale features up to a third of a millimeter in size, but micro-CAL can print objects in polymers with features down to about 20 millionths of a meter, or use glass, this time up to about 50 millionths of a meter.

To print the glass, a resin material containing nanoparticles of glass surrounded by a light-sensitive binder liquid is subjected to digital light projections from the printer to solidify the binder, then the printed object is heated to remove the binder and fuse the particles together into a solid object of pure glass that does not break easily.

What are the useful applications of the CAL 3D-printing method? Firstly, it can meet customer requirements for geometry, size and optical and mechanical properties. Manufacturers of microscopic optical components of compact cameras, virtual reality headsets, advanced microscopes and other scientific instruments, like microfluidic channels for research and medical diagnostics, can find potential in the new micro-CAL method. This research was published in Science.


3D Printing in Small Details

Great ideas can also come in small, intricate packages. When you have such an idea, come visit us at 3D Composites and find out why we make them faster, less expensive, and more durable.

Amazing 3D Printed Alloy is NASA’S New High-Performance Metal

Towards High Performance Aerospace Systems

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration or NASA, is coming out with an amazing and all-new metal 3D printed alloy that proved to be 1,000 times more durable than other available aerospace alloys. Know more about this wonder alloy and how it can propel NASA aerospace systems design to greater heights.

NASA’s latest innovation is the GRX-810 which is an example of an oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) alloy, and is 3D printable. The metal is composed of oxide particles in nano scale, more malleable than other alloys and can endure temperatures of over 1,090 °C. Hence, it affords both strength and durability to aerospace components. It is applicable for systems such as rocket engines and turbine engine combustors.

NASA R&D knows how harsh and unforgiving outer space is, therefore, under extreme environmental conditions, their materials must have mechanical properties that perform optimally. The GRX-810 has twice the fracture resistance, three and a half times the ductility and malleability, and over 1,000 times the durability under stress. NASA R&D looks into materials development, aiming for new types of materials, stronger, more lightweight, with the ability to stretch and bend before breaking while tensile strength is increased.

It is the nanoscale oxide particles that render the incredible performance benefits of this wonder alloy. It boasts of remarkable performance improvements, including improved fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs.

NASA’s new alloy development process resulted in GRX-810’s impressive blend of characteristics. 3D printing technology was combined with thermodynamic modeling to achieve the material’s breakthrough performance. Though ODS alloys are usually difficult, costly and time consuming to develop, NASA was able to leverage thermodynamic modeling and utilize laser-based 3D printing to bring down development time and accelerate development rate.


Changing The Future of Space Flight

Serving the aerospace community for the last three decades, your reliable 3D printing company, 3D Composites, is available for inquiries and discussions on your aerospace needs.