Today’s 3D Printing News Briefs is a little bit of everything, starting with a research paper on 3D printing tungsten carbide surfaces with extreme wear resistivity. Moving on, a runner partnered with CRP Technology to 3D print customized athletic track shoes, and Optomec delivered a $1 million metal 3D printer for use in turbine repair. Laser powder bed fusion technology creates solid metal components by selectively exposing successive powder layers to a laser beam, but the high energy input from a laser on a very small area, paired with rapid cooling, can cause high temperature gradients, which then lead to residual stress and major deformations; that’s why LPBF technology uses support structures during printing and heat treatment post-print, the latter of which helps meet the demands of wear resistance. Venetian middle-distance runner Miro Buroni created a customized athletic track shoe, also called a spike shoe, called the Pleko, and worked with Italian sportswear and footwear manufacturing Diadora and CRP Technology to 3D print the midsole, outsole, pins, and ribbing of the shoe-in a single unit-in order to enhance the shoe’s performance. Moving on, Optomec has announced the delivery of a $1 million multifunctional metal 3D printer to one of its long-standing customers-a top supplier in the worldwide aviation engine Maintenance Repair and Overhaul market, which already has more than five other Optomec metal AM systems it’s using to repair a range of aircraft engine turbine components, in addition to industrial gas turbines. The company’s printers use Directed Energy Deposition technology, and the machine that was just delivered combines two turbine repair operations that are normally performed manually, which will improve the consistency and quality of the flight-critical procedures and lower the cost of engine overhauls. The endeavor was successful, and NABSON decided to expand its AM capability with the addition of an SLS 3D printer that could more accurately produce prototypes and small run parts; after plenty of market research, the company chose Sinterit’s LISA PRO. As the case study details, NABSON was asked to install a series of thermal switches in one product line, which would shut down power to the aircraft if the connector overheated, and the switches had to be encased in epoxy for their protection.

Read the full article at 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing