At the two major 3D printing conferences this year, AMUG and RAPID, companies introduced new ways to additively make parts. Some of these new 3D printing technologies are available now. By next year, all will be available.
In some cases, these developments are the result of expiring patents. In others, they are the result of all the money that has been poured into this industry in research and development over the last few years. Researchers in 3D printing are definitely thinking outside the box. And much of the focus is on “how much faster can you make 3D printing?”
The use of materials knowledge to alter printable materials for speed or properties is a key trend for 3D printing/additive manufacturing. Carbon uses material science to speed up the development of parts built a layer at a time. HP Inc., uses chemicals to control thermal properties of plastics for parts. Chemistry is also behind the research into 3D printing electronics. Prodways uses “a high-performance resin” to print an 8.5 cm high part in 4 minutes and 15 seconds at a speed of 2 cm per minute. And researchers at Nano Dimension Technologies are working on a method to cure and sinter two types of ink (conductive metal ink and insulator ink) simultaneously when printing electronic circuits.