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The Future First Fully 3D Printed Rocket Has a New Home

Long Beach California Welcomes Relativity Space

Relativity Space is a private American aerospace manufacturer headquartered in Los Angeles, California, founded in 2015. It is developing its own launchers and rocket engines for commercial orbital launch services. Now it just secured its new headquarters in the hub of the aerospace community in Long Beach. The facility will be home to the company’s business operations and its fully automated, metal additive manufacturing production line, housing 300 employees.

Relativity Space plans to produce Terran 1, the world’s first fully 3D printed rocket by using machine learning, software, robotics, and additive manufacturing. The company is shaking 60 years of aerospace history with Terran 1 because it aims to push the rocket’s reliability with 100x fewer parts than traditional rockets and a flexible no fixed tooling and a simple supply chain. The lack of fixed tooling in its production facility will launch Relativity into an industry-leading position to meet the growing demands of the satellite market.

The rocket will be ready to launch in 60 days from its raw materials stage and that’s ten times faster production time. They say that the autonomous factory will become the future technology stack for the entire aerospace industry.

Spanning 120,000 square feet, the facility will have a ceiling of 36 feet high to facilitate the printing of tall structures. The floor space will be used to fully build Terran 1, the Aeon engine assembly, the integrated software, avionics, and material development labs.

What is the driving motivation of this aerospace company?

Relativity Space wants to showcase additive manufacturing’s true capabilities in space flight technology. Their vision is to build humanity’s future in space, starting with a fully 3D printed rocket to launch satellites into orbit with plans to initiate its first launch in 2021. Long Beach welcomes the addition of Relativity to its economic community and 3D printing industry, a groundbreaking for new jobs and new technologies in the space sector.



The New Boeing Plane and Its 300 3D-Printed Parts Engine

Largest Jet Plane Soon Flying

GE Aviation is a world-leading provider of commercial, military and business and general aviation jet and turboprop engines and components. It has announced recently that aerospace giant, Boeing, has commercially flown the world’s largest twin-engine jetliner and passenger plane for the first time on January 20, 2020. The 777X jet is powered by twin GE9X engines equipped with 300 3D printed parts.

The GE9X engine has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most powerful commercial aircraft jet engine after reaching 134,300 lbs of thrust in 2019. It is also the world’s largest commercial jet engine by GE, with a front fan measuring at 134 inches in diameter, fully equipped with 16 fourth-generation carbon fiber composite fan blades.

It wasn’t the first GE engine with 3D parts, though. GE Aviation has incorporated additive manufacturing in its preceding GE90 engine already. In 2016, 3D printing features heavily in the engine’s design, aiding engineers to manufacture parts with geometries that can’t be realized with traditional manufacturing. In 2017, further testing of its 3D printed components for the GE9X engine has been successful. It involved ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components and additive manufactured turbine blades featuring advanced cooling technology.

Two years later, the 777X test flight was being prepared. Around 300 3D printed parts made up a total of seven multi-part components. They included the famous GE 3D printed fuel nozzle; others included the temperature sensors and fuel mixers, the larger heat exchangers, separators and foot-long low-pressure turbine blades, helping to reduce the weight of the engine. Later in 2019, 27 Arcam electron beam melting (EBM) machines were added to produce titanium aluminide blades for the GE9X engine. According to GE, 3D printing has helped to make the GE9X engine 10% more fuel-efficient than the GE90.

The GE9X has gone through a total of 72 test flights, amounting to over 400 hours of flying in Victorville, CA. The program has completed more than 4,100 hours of ground and air testing, as well as 6,500 cycles. GE Aviation expects the engine to be certified in 2020. In support of the Boeing 777X test program, eight GE9X engines and two spares have been produced by GE Aviation. Boeing says that the GE9X is the most fuel-efficient jet engine that GE has ever produced, operating at 10% lower fuel consumption than competing engines. There are 2 variants of the 777X jet plane – the 777-8 has seating for 384passengers, the 777-9 has seating for 426 passengers. The new set of airplanes is expected to enter service in 2021.


3D Composites and the Aerospace Industry

3D Composites specializes in creating quality 3D printed prototypes with over 30 years experience in the aerospace industry.

3D Printing Makes Intricate and Personalized Chocolates

The New 3D Printing Chocolate Experience

Where do you find customized chocolate in complex shapes? Mostly in upscale or fancy restaurants exclusively crafted by seasoned culinary chefs. Soon that will change because for the first time these creations will be 3D printed on a large scale to be available to the general population. Barry Callebaut, the Swiss cocoa giant, will launch the world’s first under the brand, Mona Lisa, in Spain.

At a Barry Callebaut launch event, world renowned pastry chef, Jordi Roca, will showcase his own 3D chocolate piece called ‘Flor de Cacao’ that represents a cocoa bean that opens up like a cacao flower through contact with hot chocolate sauce. He said consumers will be amazed at this new way of making chocolates – the shapes are impossibly intricate and done with such precision.

Barry Callebaut has been working on 3D chocolate for a long time, and its latest technology is able to print thousands of pieces at a time while retaining a bespoke handmade appearance. Artisan chefs and chocolate manufacturers can work with the company to present their creations to a broader audience. The company will develop the software so that several companies can link their machine parts to build the 3D printer.

3D Chocolate

The big confectioners like Nestlé and Mondelēz will be mass-producing 3D chocolate through a partnership with Barry Callebaut. Some of the most popular chocolate shapes, such as chocolate bunnies and flowers, will be produced by Mona Lisa. More intricate designs like bunny hair can also be made. The shapes will depend on what the manufacturers will need for customization.

3D printing will allow Mona Lisa to add premium quality to its chocolates, and provide a unique experience to younger consumers who like to share pictures of food on social media. 70% of consumers want to try new chocolate experiences, and six out of 10 are willing to share it on social media. The new chocolates will be Instagrammable and very trendy. And 3D printing will make that possible.

In fact, Barry Callebaut has a strong innovation pipeline. They have already launched the fourth type of chocolate – the Ruby. That’s after dark chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate. They’ve also chocolates made from whole cacao fruit, as well as dairy-free chocolates. The company will continue to face the different challenges in this exciting industry.

It’s nice to think of the possibilities of customized chocolates and other foods made possible via 3D printing.


Human heart graphic illustration

A Case Better Than Traditional 3D Printing

A New Spin in Record Time

Anybody can imagine how 3D printing goes. A three-dimensional object results from a computer-aided design model by successively adding material layer by layer from the bottom up by a 3D printer. Thousands of ideas spanning different fields of manufacturing have seen fruition because of this method.

Did you know there’s now a completely new way of creating 3D objects that’s not like the traditional way? The results of the new way have remarkable resolution and can be accomplished in record time.

From Switzerland’s Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), researchers have developed a completely new way of creating 3D objects. The method draws on the principle of tomography – the technique for displaying a representation of a cross section through a solid object, using x-rays or ultrasound. To make an object, a photosensitive resin is illuminated from many different angles. The resin becomes solid with the accumulation of light. The object forms a solid structure within the resin in one sitting. It’s unlike traditional 3D printing where layer by layer printing is the norm.

Readily 3D, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, is the company that has been set up to develop and market the new system. It has its own unique advantages: printing speed is more than 10 times faster than existing layer-by-layer 3D printers; volumetric 3D printing does not induce any mechanical motion in the build volume, thus enabling to viably process shear-sensitive cell-laden materials; printing beds are not required to support overhanging structures, which allows for more design freedom and less parts’ post-processing. The laser hardens the liquid through a process of polymerization. Depending on what object is desired, algorithms are used to calculate exactly where to aim the beams, from what angles, and at what dose.

What use can this technology have?

There could be a wide range of uses, but its advantages now favor medical experts. The process could be used to make soft objects like “tissue, organs, hearing aids and mouthguards”. Printing is inside sealed, sterile containers, preventing contamination. Currently capable of making 2-centimeter structures with a precision of 80 micrometers, the process could also be used to quickly build small silicone or acrylic parts that don’t need finishing after printing.


More Precision and Speed in the Future

As 3D printing technology advances by leaps and bounds, it will be no surprise that this technology will be offering objects with more precision in less time.

Interior Design Is Getting A Boost From 3D Printing

Unleashing The Full Potential of Design

Interior design has just expanded its functionality. 3D printing has made it possible for interior spaces to be unique and changing, enabling interior designers to be innovative, competitive, and in-demand. In fact, 3D printing has taken interior design and architecture by storm.

Many experts and professional designers regard 3D printing technology as ideal for building custom spaces for brands, tailored according to their exact needs. The ability to create special focal points and statement pieces that provide completely new consumer experiences is what makes 3D printing highly effective for the retail landscape.

Whether an interior space is commercial, public, residential or private, 3D printed solutions can be applied. That is because 3D printing removes all conventional limitations by affording designers unparalleled liberty to try various printed patterns and make changes so that everything harmonizes.

3D printing digital production and design enables a faster and more flexible design process. Communication and product sharing allow for more flexible solutions with clients. A quick alignment is achieved because customers see the final product before it goes into production. A big advantage of 3D printing is the extremely high level of sustainability during the design and production phases.

With the most advanced 3D printing technology, designers can develop brand new typologies of products which can emphasize the benefits, features, and highlights of each product category. Because 3D printing can combine with traditional techniques, well-known and new materials with 3D prints, it’s possible to go one step further and create new tactile features and functions. Most of today’s prints are made of bioplastic, which leaves almost no waste.

3D printing offers many great advantages to interior designers aside from improved decision-making, high levels of accuracy, and the speed of design. It has many benefits, including the following. It reduces labor, material, and machine costs; it allows producing products much more quickly than before; it helps beat the competition by reducing the time it takes to deadlines; it allows for the highest level of efficiency in the manufacturing process by reducing the risk of errors; it increases the level of confidentiality since 3D printing is an in-house activity; finally, it delivers products on-demand. Certainly, 3D printing is a way to deliver the highest levels of customer experience and satisfaction.