Small Scale Improvements – 3D printing’s large scale improvements?

Posted on May 1, 2011

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Review of “Rapid Prototyping Improves Fuel Efficiency.”

Many of the applications discussed and glorified in terms of the future for 3D printing include ‘grand’ uses – such as whole factories being circumvented to single unit assembly shops. This article touches upon the practical – baby steps – that demonstrate the current environmental uses for additive technologies easing current manufacturing practices.

This particular article focuses on the rapid prototyping technology that aides in the efficiency of fuel for cars. In order to make this effort worthy of exploiting, the technology by 3-Dimensional Services on a particular “oil flow testing system for a new axle design for cars and light trucks.”

The benefit of using the technology meant that they could craft their experimental pieces to their specifications and quickly make adjustments. For example, the entire operation – of testing and re-creating based on incremental specifications – took just three weeks. With this way of exploring problems and their solutions, the amount of time to adjust their product was quicker and more effective than traditional models.

In our project, we discuss many reasons and instances why 3D printing could help improve the creative process for industries, by bringing the factory of replacement parts to hyper-local scales. Many experts and enthusiasts cite the fact that this type of production will help improve the speed in which solutions are found among niche markets. In addition to helping on the small scale within these design explorations – reducing resources, etc. this particular application also helps improve the fuel efficiency of automobiles on a larger scale.

Just imagine if this could speed up the process for such grand-scale problems of our time. In fact, as a member of team Euclid, it would be wise to argue that the more incremental uses of this technology – the more responsive we could be to test out hypothetical solutions to todays most puzzling issues.

Submitted by Lauren Barnett

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Posted in: Bibliography, Reviews