Stainless steel takes the heat off difluoromethylation

Continuous flow difluoromethylation with fluoroform

Researchers have 3D-printed a flow reactor out of stainless steel for performing a rapid exothermic reaction that turns a Teflon waste product into a synthetic building block.1

Led by Oliver Kappe at the University of Graz in Austria, the team made the metal reactor specifically to convert a known batch reaction – the difluoromethylation of a lithiated nitrile2 – to a scalable continuous process.

Fluoroform is a large-volume waste product from the production of fluoropolymers such as Teflon. While nontoxic and ozone-friendly, it’s also a greenhouse gas 11700 times more potent than CO2. Overcoming its very low reactivity for large-scale use in organic synthesis would reduce waste and pollution, but this requires harsh reaction conditions incompatible with polymer resins previously used to print bespoke reactors.

Instead, the team combined the flexibility of 3D printing with the high thermal conductivity of steel to make a flow reactor for a multistep nitrile lithiation and difluoromethylation with gaseous fluoroform. Including a cooling element in the reactor design made it possible to perform the process at cryogenic temperatures.

Audi takes additive manufacturing efforts up a gear with new EOS development partnership

Jan 25, 2017 | By Benedict

Car manufacturer Audi AG has started a development partnership with additive manufacturing specialist EOS that will see the latter providing additive systems and training to the former. Audi plans to 3D print tools, geometrically complex inserts for die casting molds, and more.

The EOS M 400 additive manufacturing system

Like most major car manufacturers, respected German automaker Audi has dabbled in additive manufacturing over the last few years, be it for the production of topologically optimized metal parts using SLM Solutions 3D printers, or for indulging in less serious activities like building a half-scale 1936 Auto Union Type C race car. Excitingly, a newly announced development partnership between the auto giant and fellow German company EOS could spark the ignition of a more comprehensive additive manufacturing strategy for Audi.

According to a press release, the EOS consulting division “Additive Minds” will be supporting Audi as it implements industrial 3D printing technology and develops a new 3D printing center in Ingolstadt, where the car manufacturer is headquartered. “The aim is to not only supply Audi with the right additive systems and processes but to also support them during applications development, when building up internal AM knowledge and training their engineers to become in-house AM experts,” said Güngör Kara, Director of Global Application and Consulting at EOS.

While the partnership is no doubt exciting news for the auto industry and fans of Audi’s distinctive vehicles, the new additive manufacturing facilities being implemented at Ingolstadt will not yet be used to make fully additive 3D printed cars. Instead, Audi will focus its early efforts on items such as 3D printed tools, with the company’s casting technical center also planning to make full use of the equipment, which “will make possible the production of [single-part] geometries that would have to be joined in conventional manufacturing.” Prototpyes and simple equipment, as well as small parts for motor sports vehicles, will be the first objects lined up for 3D printing.

“Audi was looking for a reliable development partner and has found that in EOS, which we are very happy about,” commented Dr. Stefan Bindl, Team Manager of the Innovation Center at Additive Minds, EOS. “The close cooperation concerning application and process development, as well as internal knowledge building, makes a significant contribution, which is why Audi can quickly achieve substantial gains for its own business by applying our technology.” Bindl added that the geographical nearness between Audi and EOS also proved helpful in establishing the partnership.

Could future versions of the Audi TT Roadster contain 3D printed parts?

Although EOS will be supplying the equipment and training for the Audi team at Ingolstadt, the car manufacturer will have to devote significant manpower in order to get acquainted with the new 3D printers. However, with its eye on the automotive future, in which additive manufacturing is sure to play an important part, committing bodies to the 3D printing cause is something that Audi is happy to do, and the company has even devoted a specific area of its premises to additive training.

“We have set up our own competence center for 3D printing in order to gain experience with the materials and the process, and to further develop them for series production,” explained Jörg Spindler, Head of Toolmaking at Audi. “With this technology we are able to integrate internal structures and functions in tools that we have not been able to create so far with conventional manufacturing methods. We can now quickly and economically produce lightweight components using this technology, especially in small batches.”

Other areas of interest for Audi include 3D printing inserts for die casting molds and hot working segments. According to the car manufacturer, it can improve series production by introducing 3D printed, component-specific conformal cooling channels throughout its molds. Because of the complexity of these channels, no other manufacturing method could be used to create them. Audi says the optimized cooling performance could lead to a reduction in production time by 20 percent, simultaneously producing a positive effect on the energy consumption and cost efficiency of the components.

With 3D printing becoming more important in the automotive industry, Audi might have found an incredibly valuable friend in EOS.

Posted in 3D Printer Company

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3DPrinterOS Takes the Ultimaker 2 Go on the Road with the Backpack Travel Case

Ultimaker-2-Go-Backpack@2xWe’ve written quite a bit about Ultimaker, with good reason, as they make excellent high resolution 3D printers. They’re so good in fact that the Ultimaker 2 series printers have changed very little over the past few years. The Ultimaker 2 and Ultimaker 2 Extended receive a bit of a facelift recently and were rebranded as the Ultimaker 2+ and Ulitmaker 2 Extended+. The update added interchangeable, easily removable nozzles with the built-in Olsson Block, a more powerful geared extruder and new fan shrouds to improve print quality. Ulimaker even made for their customers to upgrade their older Ultimaker 2 and Ultimaker 2 Extended printers with the Extrusion Upgrade Kit. Ultimaker’s commitment to their customers extends to their support of the open source movement. All files for the Ultimaker 2+, Ultimaker 2 Extended+, and Ultimaker 2 Go were released online and their free slicer program Cura has made 3D printing easy even for owners of 3D printers from other manufacturers.

And now Ultimaker has made transporting the Ultimaker 2 Go easier with the Backpack travel case.

Previously, Ultimaker stated that the Ultimaker 2 Go’s packaging could be used to protect the little printer on the road. The Ultimaker Backpack transforms the lightweight packaging into a useful backpack. There’s even space inside the casing for storing tools. 3DPrinterOS found the Backpack to be invaluable when teaching 3D printing classes around New York City with the Ultimaker Go. The 3DPrinterOS team collaborated with Ultimaker before offering free 3D printing classes at Brooklyn Public Library. They recently expanded their outreach, when they launched 3D Printing 101 to familiarize children and adults with 3D printing.

“Everyone is interested in this type of technology… classes bring people from all walks of life and that adds to the experience,” says Aaron Roy of 3DPrinterOS.

Seeing a 3D printer in action for the first time is unforgettable. It’s one thing to have someone explain the basic concept or to watch a video. But the true understanding and inspiration comes when you actually see a 3D printer in action. It’s that moment when you touch actual prints that you recognize the limitless potential for 3D printing.

The 3D Printing 101 class covers a brief history of 3D printing and how it works. Students learn how an idea is converted into a physical object. They get exposure to common materials used in desktop 3D printing, as well as an overview of the associated software and design tools. 3D Printing 101 guides walk through the process of creating their first print. No supplies, experience, or expertise are needed. Everyone gets hands-on experience using a 3D printer and learns how to go from having a great idea to producing a physical object. To provide this experience, 3DPrinterOS needed a stable, quality 3D printer that’s portable as well.

It turns out the teaching was easy. Printer maintenance proved to be the greatest challenge. Most of the machines 3DPrinterOS used were often out of order and they spent more time fixing and maintaining 3D printers than focusing on the teaching and classes. But their lives changed when they discovered the Ultimaker 2 Go. Not only did they find a printer that was reliable, but it was made to be portable.

The Ultimaker 2 Go is designed for life on the move. It is incredibly lightweight and yet has all the accuracy and reliability of its bigger brothers. It’s intuitive and prepares everything for print in no time. And thanks to its size, it’s printed really fast too. It’s built to be portable.

“(It) gives a peace of mind that makes me feel like I can move from place to place. The Ultimaker 2 Go looks like it is meant to be mobile, which is completely different than most 3D printers I’ve seen,” says Roy.

The Backpack travel case made it is super easy for 3DPrinterOS to take it on the go. They were able to organize classes, presentations, and workshops and plan their trips without worrying about their Ultimaker 2 Go getting damaged in transit. In fact, they dropped the little printer a few times without any ill effects. That’s what I call rugged!

Ultimaker is currently including the Backpack free with all orders of the Ultimaker 2 Go, but you’re going to act fast. Today, July 29th, is the last day of the promotion. After July 29th the Backpack travel case will be available for $69.00 excl. VAT.

Below is a video highlighting how the Ultimaker 2 Go and Backpack has helped 3DPrinterOS:

3D Printing Takes Car Customization To New Heights

Daihatsu is launching an automobile model that will let buyers order 3D-printed “skins” to customize parts of the body. It’s the next step in industrial additive printing.

Automobiles have come a long way since the time when you could have yours in any color, as long as it was black. Paint color has long been a way to customize a car, but paint color alone is so very 20th century.

Car buyers want more choices in personalized transportation, and Japanese automaker Daihatsu — which operates as a member of the Toyota Group — is launching a project to give it to them. The company’s Copen roadster will offer from-the-factory customization at a level previously unavailable in a mass market car, all courtesy of 3D printing.

(Image: Stratasys)

(Image: Stratasys)

For the Daihatsu Copen, designers have developed a library of 15 different textured components they call “skins.” These skins fit within the body shell on the nose and rear end of the car, and allow buyers to customize their auto in ways that previously required aftermarket parts.

Continue reading on EE Times’ sister site, Information Week.

MIT Multifab 3D Printer Takes 3D Printing To Another Level And Can Use Up To 10 Materials At Once

MIT Multifab 3D printer from the researchers of MIT is the world’s first 3D printer that can print up to 10 materials in one go.

Features of the Multifab 3D printer:

The new innovation from MIT has a self-correction and self-calibration feature. The MIT Multifab 3D printer is user-friendly and very cheap as compared to the already existing 3D printers.

The printer, besides being able to self-calibrate and self-correct, also has the ability to perform tasks that are complex. For example: You can print on top or around part that have already been printed. It can even print using different materials simultaneously.

MIT Multifab 3D printerImage Source:

Enormous differences between exisitng 3D printers and Multifab 3D printer:

The existing 3D printers could only print one and at most three material at once. These materials further had to be assembled manually. These 3D printers were too expensive at $250,000. Even after shelling out this huge amount, you still needed a human operator.

On the other hand, MIT Multifab 3D printer, built by CSAIL, which is the institute’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, is a lot less expensive and a lot more efficient. This printer prints up to one material at a time and only cost $7000. The difference in price is huge and speaks volumes of the talent at MIT and why it is one of the best institutes in the world

Special Feature:

If what you always wanted was an endless supply of customized mobile covers, then the MIT Multifab 3D printer is for you. It has sensors inside which use the 3D camera to analyze the geometry of any object or, here, your phone and can create a customized mobile case for you.