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3D Printing Makes an Impact on Apparel

July 1, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,future — Terry Wohlers @ 15:17

By Clare Scott

A lot of attention surrounding 3D printing has focused on industrial applications in industries such as automotive, aerospace, and medical devices. Another area where the technology is making an impact is in fashion and apparel. 3D-printed wearables have the potential to reduce material waste, create complex shapes and geometric features, and shorten time-to-market.

For a while, 3D-printed clothing was typically seen in high-fashion and on the runway rather than in clothing sold to the public. It often took the form of polymer accents and stiff garments that looked good but were impractical for everyday use. This is changing as the technology, materials, and applications advance.

3D printing supports mass customization through the Array material extrusion system from Mosaic. The company developed a method to 3D print name badges, numbers, and logos, called “tags,” for jerseys and other clothing garments. Mosaic is working with Athletic Knit, a large jersey manufacturer, which has historically used a time-consuming and labor-intensive process to make tags. Mosaic has designed an automated 3D printing process to replace this process. The company has created an adhesive filament that is printed on the first layer so the tags can be easily attached to the garments.

 Another company focused on this sector is Stratasys, which recently introduced its J850 TechStyle 3D printer, a PolyJet machine designed to print textiles. The printer uses Stratasys’ proprietary inkjet technology and specially developed materials to print directly onto different fabrics. This has led to new design flexibility and freedom. Designers can easily create optical illusions and custom garments. It may be a while until we see 3D-printed clothing in a store near you, yet the technology is moving toward greater accessibility.

Design for Additive Manufacturing

June 13, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,education — Terry Wohlers @ 07:22

By Olaf Diegel

Engineers tend to think the way they have been taught. It can be difficult to get someone to rethink how to design parts when they have been creating “conventional” designs for decades. They are often based on traditional thought processes, software, and methods of manufacturing. To get the most value from AM, it is important for engineers and designers to think differently and consider methods of design for AM (DfAM).

DfAM is not a theoretical subject. It is one that is best experienced in a hands-on way. For example, experiencing the removal of support material makes it easier to understand how important it is to design to reduce it to a minimum. Learning what drives the cost of AM is a big part of the DfAM process.  

After more than two years of pandemic, Wohlers Associates is resuming its DfAM courses. The first is being held in partnership with and hosted by America Makes. Participants will learn the thought process behind good DfAM practices. The three-day course involves the use of special methods and software tools for consolidating many parts into one and optimizing the strength-to-weight ratio of a design.

To learn more about the course, click here and register today because space is limited.

Wohlers Report LIVE

May 30, 2022

Filed under: uncategorized — Terry Wohlers @ 17:38

At RAPID+TCT 2022, we offered a “live” version of Wohlers Report 2022. The event built upon a similar all-day event held for top management for one of the largest companies in the AM industry. For five consecutive years, it was conducted for the top 30 managers and executives at the company. This year’s event bundled the report to help attendees prepare for the half-day program. It was open to the 93 co-authors and contributors of the report and several took advantage of the offer.

The program was designed to provide as much or more Q&A and discussion as presentation. Shane Collins, Joseph Kowen, Noah Mostow, and I presented, answered questions, and provided our thoughts and opinions on some of the most important trends in AM. Among them: 1) our methods of data collection, 2) the most popular AM processes and pricing of materials, 3) design for AM and scaling the technology, 4) process monitoring, 5) importance of industry standards, 6) investment and M&A, and 7) R&D and what the future holds.

The attendees were mostly veterans in the industry, so the discussions were advanced and interesting. We were exceptionally pleased with how it went. We plan to hold a similar Wohlers Report LIVE event to coincide with Formnext. Stay tuned for details.

At RAPID+TCT 2022, I presented key industry trends found in Wohlers Report 2022 each of the three days of the event. Among them: 1) a growing number of system manufacturers around the world, 2) growth and development of materials for AM, and 3) customer buying trends.

Doug Collins

May 15, 2022

Filed under: uncategorized — Terry Wohlers @ 07:45

I am having a hard time processing it. At 48, Doug Collins, design and additive manufacturing expert, died on May 1 of a sudden cardiac incident while mountain biking near Loveland, Colorado. He was founder and former owner and head of Avid Product Development of Loveland. He will be missed by many.

Doug and I became good friends over the past several years. He helped with two of our design for additive manufacturing courses in Frisco, Colorado, and contributed to Wohlers Report 2022. He and I spent time together skiing/riding and mountain biking, and he was an expert at both. In addition to the outdoors, Doug had a passion for design and manufacturing and making his customers and people around him happy.

Everyone I know that knew Doug loved the guy and so did I. His smile and upbeat attitude were contagious. He set an example of how to be a professional and friend. My heart goes out to his wife, Leslie, and his family and friends at Avid. We miss you, Doug.

Newest Member of Wohlers Associates

May 9, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,future — Terry Wohlers @ 09:45

By Stephan Mansour

Throughout my career, I have always enjoyed unique and challenging projects. My 17 years of experience in the construction sector for a major general contractor based in Athens, Greece, were no exception. My role involved exploring and enabling the adoption of innovative construction solutions that most notably culminated with a 3D-printed house project in Saudi Arabia in 2018. 

Additive construction is something I take to heart. It is the main reason I took it upon myself to create a global committee to set standards for the sector. Nothing in construction happens without standards. They will support adoption of 3D printing as a tool in construction and ensure the delivery of high-quality and safe structures.

The committee I convened officially became JG 80 under ISO/TC 261—ASTM F42 in March 2021. We are working toward publishing the standard by the end of 2022. This is notable because the process can take three to five years.

My involvement with additive construction standards evolved in mid-2021 with my appointment as vice chair to the ASTM F42.07.07 subcommittee. Several work items were recently registered as WK74302, WK77614, WK78110, and WK81114.

I am excited to be part of the esteemed Wohlers Associates’ team. I look forward to engaging in more challenging projects that advance the construction sector, specifically as it relates to additive manufacturing and 3D printing.

Lessons Learned After 35 Years in Business

April 20, 2022

Filed under: uncategorized — Terry Wohlers @ 14:10

The following is some of what I learned over my years in business. It is not comprehensive, so perhaps I will do “Part 2” at some point in the future. In the meantime, I hope you find the following useful.

Treat everyone with respect. You may not agree with someone’s views, but that is not an excuse to be disrespectful. Be kind to others and remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Luke 6.31

Give credit where credit is due. It is sometimes easy to take credit for someone else’s work. Almost without exception, recognizing someone’s work results in a win-win for them and you.

Be honest with everything you do. I cannot say more than this.

Improve communication skills. Most professionals communicate regularly. Constantly hone your writing, speaking, and listening skills. You and your organization will be judged on how well you come across.

Don’t be wasteful. More than ever, we need to recycle and reduce our trash and carbon footprint. I believe most of us want to leave a healthy and happy planet to our kids and their children.

Consider the upside. It is sometimes easy to be negative. Looking at the upside to an otherwise unpleasant situation is admired by others and can be contagious.

Exercise daily if you can. A good workout can help the mind as much as the body.

See the world. Meeting people in other places can be inspiring. Also, it gives you a better appreciation of others and their ways of life. It can result in an improved perspective and outlook.

I hope these eight lessons help. I do my very best to apply them every day and hope you will too.

ASTM F42 and ISO/TC 261 Meeting

April 2, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,education,event — Terry Wohlers @ 07:06

The spring joint meeting of the ASTM International Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies and the ISO/TC 261 Committee on Additive Manufacturing (AM) took place recently. It was held in Golden, Colorado at the Colorado School of Mines from March 28 to April 1, 2022. The meeting was held in hybrid format with both in-person and virtual options. About 100 people attended in-person and an estimated 200 virtually.

Many of those present spoke favorably of the in-person format after two years of virtual meetings. In the first few years following the founding of ASTM F42 in 2009, the focus of the joint meetings was meeting in person to discuss, draft, and proposed new AM standards. Today, the meetings consist largely of reporting of standards development between meetings. This reflects greater involvment and the large number of working groups engaged in the process. On the first day, the ASTM International AM Center of Excellence held a Snapshot Workshop on post-processing, inspection, and qualification.

ASTM International Snapshot Workshop

Meetings throughout the week included 18 ASTM sessions, four ISO sessions, and 15 joint ISO/ASTM sessions. Topics included applications, design, materials, processes, terminology, test methods, and environmental health and safety. Progress reports were the main purpose of the sessions. A total of 69 ASTM standards are in process and working their way toward balloting for the voting membership. An additional 13 standards are being developed by ASTM/ISO joint groups. The next joint meeting will be held September 18-23, 2022 in Augsburg, Germany.

Wohlers Report 2022

March 19, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing — Terry Wohlers @ 14:37

Creating Wohlers Report 2022 would have been impossible without our team of 93 experts and 250 contributing organizations from around the world. The publication requires months of a coordinated planning and effort among the principal and associate authors, contributors, and many others. A key differentiator of Wohlers Report 2022 is the 27 years of data and relationships used to create the undisputed, industry-leading report.

Securing industry data is one of the most challenging parts of creating the report, but also one of the most rewarding. All data received from organizations is confidential. The only exception is unit sales from system manufacturers. Over the history of creating the Wohlers Report, we have gained a trust from these organizations and they know their data is safe. We spend countless hours with the data better understand the additive manufacturing industry. We also use it to create composite totals and trends that are presented in many charts and graphs.

Another distinguisher ofthe Wohlers Report is the contributions from industry experts. For this year’s edition, we received sections from 85 people from 33 countries. Many focused on their country and what is happening on the ground. Our rule for the entire history of the report has been to be “short on words, but long on information.” The result has been succinct quantitative and qualitative information that cannot be found elsewhere. The contributions provide unparalleled insight from experts in many areas of research, technology development, hands-on practice, business, and government.

The report could not have been created without the fine work from our authors and editors. Ian Campbell coordinated the contributors and collected the most up-to-date information. Olaf Diegel focused mostly on Parts 3 and 4 and helped analyze a mountain of new data. Joseph Kowen collected additional information and insights, part of which was based on his weekly contribution to the Wohlers Weekly intelligence briefing. Ismail Fidan collected new information from academic and research institutions to create what is believed to be the largest collection of activities at these organizations. Technical editor Dave Bourell and proofreader Jenny van Rensburg worked tireless to ensure an interesting, and accurate, error-free report.

A big thank you to everyone that helped make Wohlers Report 2022 a reality. Order your report today.

Newest Member of Wohlers Associates

March 6, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing — Terry Wohlers @ 15:49

by Shane Collins

The first time I saw additive manufacturing (AM) was in late 1999 at 3D Systems in the Valencia, California. A stereolithography machine was near the end of a build cycle. I recall seeing parts rise out of a vat of liquid photopolymer. My first position in the AM industry was aerospace market segment manager at 3D Systems. I had previously been involved in high-tech scientific instruments.

My work in consensus standards started in 2009 while working at Arcam, later acquired by GE. I was told by several aerospace companies that for the adoption of electron beam melting, a material standard was needed. ASTM Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies was formed in 2009. As part of the committee, I registered the first work item (WK30522) for metal AM processes. The standard was published as F2924 in 2012.

I was appointed the chair of the F42.05 Subcommittee on Materials and Process in 2012. We developed many standards on materials and processes over the course of the next 10 years. In my spare time, I am currently the chair of the F42.07 Subcommittee on Applications in AM.

I was surprised but pleased to learn that ASTM acquired Wohlers Associates. It is giving me the opportunity to work with a talented team as a senior associate consultant. I plan to use my experience in polymer and metal AM to help companies prevent the mistakes others have made. I look forward to working with our new clients and talking additive manufacturing. 

3D Printing at the Winter Olympics

February 20, 2022

Filed under: 3D printing,additive manufacturing,event — Terry Wohlers @ 17:22

by Noah Mostow

This weekend marks the end of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. I am always impressed by the athletes. Nils van der Poel of Sweden broke his previous world record for speed skating the 10 km (6.2 miles). The U.S. team will return home with many metals in several events, including freestyle skiing and the monobob. Race times continue to improve, which makes me think about David Epstein’s 2014 TED Talk titled “Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?”

Most producers of athletic equipment are likely using additive manufacturing (AM) for prototyping but rarely for production. For the most part, the equipment is similar and highly regulated, so the performance of the athletes is ranked by talent and skill. However, I learned that this is not the case for some sports, such as bobsledding. Beyond baseline requirements, such as safety, weight, and some elements of design, the teams can work with engineers to improve the aerodynamics and features of the sled.

This was the first year for the women’s monobob. Women race at 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour) and all sleds are the same. The only differences are the women pushing and driving the sled. However, some athletes may gain some an advantage from their shoes. BMW Group has worked to optimize the spikes for the shoes. In the monobob, it may not have had a favorable impact because the U.S. won gold and silver and Canada won bronze. I like the excitement surrounding the Olympics and hope that as the equipment improves, every team can benefit from the new technology.

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