Additive Manufacturing

Thrashing the Future of Design With Topology Optimization and Skateboard Trucks

When it comes to skateboarding, flips and grabs are cool—but downhill longboarding is completely insane. Reaching speeds of more than 90 miles per hour, downhill longboarders combine skateboarding and surfing in an adrenaline blast that is all about speed. Clearly, keeping the wheels attached to the board is critical to these downhill daredevils.

The “truck” of a skateboard is that piece on the underside of the deck that the wheels are attached to. Made of axles, bushes, and pins, the truck is the interface between the wheels and deck that gives the rider the necessary control through shifts in weight, bending and reacting to the board’s travel. It’s a pretty important part, to say the least.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/skateboard-trucks-topology-optimization/.

Photo Credit: All of the lattice beams in Philipp Manger’s skateboard truck are less than 1 millimeter wide. Courtesy Philipp Manger.

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Layers of Innovation: A 3D-Printing Timeline

It’s hard to believe, but 3D printing has been around for almost 40 years. From Hideo Kodama’s vision for a rapid-prototyping system to the invention of the Darwin 3D printer, this video highlights the major milestones in the 3D-printing timeline that have brought the technology to where it is today.

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What’s almost 40 years old but looks brand new?

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/3d-printing-timeline/.
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No Grown-Ups Allowed: woom’s Lightweight Bikes Are Just for Kids

When a couple finds out they’re expecting a child, it’s not unusual for them to rush out and fill their home with little shoes, little clothes, little toys. When woom Bikes cofounder Christian Bezdeka found out his wife was expecting their first child, he went on another mission: to find the perfect little bike.

However, the Austrian designer returned empty-handed, finding that many of the existing options for kids were less than stellar. Undeterred, he went to work creating his own kid’s bike.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/woom-bikes/.
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The Big Trends Shaping the Factory of the Future

While machinery has drastically changed since then, the factory itself hasn’t quite caught up. For example, the typical factory often lacks the functionality to synchronize advanced machines, fully exploit machine data, and control factory assets. But new technology is starting to come down the line in three key areas, which will help manufacturers transform how factories are run. Together, these three trends will form the backbone of the factory of the future.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/factory-of-the-future/.

Photo Credit: The typical factory often lacks the functionality to synchronize advanced machines, fully exploit machine data, and control factory assets—but that’s about to change.

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New Metal Means a Wave of Additive Manufacturing Technologies (Not Limp Bizkit)

After 20 years of iteration on the same basic additive-manufacturing technologies for metal, a new wave of innovation is emerging. Lower-cost, safer processes are replacing the old ways of doing things, offering vastly different material properties through resolution, surface quality, and design freedom.

But first, a little 3D-printing history: Since the invention of the selective laser melting (SLM) process at the Fraunhofer Institute in 1995, metal additive manufacturing has relied primarily on three processes: the first, and most common, selectively melts a cross-section of a metal powder with a laser or electron beam, layer by layer, to build up a metal object in a range of alloys. The second, a lens/directed-energy approach, blows the metal powder into the path of the laser. And in the third, a powder-bed approach, the metal powders are glued together, then sintered to achieve metal-like properties.

As transformative as these processes have been in enabling custom and complex parts, they aren’t perfect: Using metal powder for additive manufacturing means handling potentially dangerous materials, and thermal-distortion issues have seen many prints relegated to the bin of broken dreams.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/additive-manufacturing-technologies/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy XJet

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Powder to the People: This 3D Printing Incubator Is Liberating Engineers

Hailing from the Outer Banks, a long, sandy necklace of islands off North Carolina’s coast, Jimmie Beacham knows something about witnessing history. When his grandfather, John, was a small boy, he watched one of the Wright brothers’ first attempts at flight in nearby Kitty Hawk, a feat that ultimately ended up changing how we live.

Now Beacham himself is in the vanguard of a revolution, one that is changing how we design and make things. It’s called additive manufacturing, which includes technologies like 3D printing.

As chief engineer for advanced manufacturing at GE Healthcare, Beacham, 43, is in charge of a futuristic laboratory in Waukesha, Wisconsin. His team of a dozen engineers is helping 70 GE factories sprinkled around world explore 3D printing, augmented reality, robotics, big data and other software and technologies. But it’s their convergence that really gets him excited. “This is a whole new ballgame,” he says. “For example, we can use robots to print sensors on machine parts and then analyze the data they produce to make them work better.”

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/powder-to-the-people-this-3d-printing-....

Photo Credit: GE Healthcare’s Stephen Abitz is holding a test sample used to develop the tungsten collimator. Image courtesy GE Reports.

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How to Become a Product Designer: A Medical Doctor Shifts Career From Academia to Shoe Design

D. Casey Kerrigan, MD, isn’t a product designer. And yet, that’s exactly what she is.

What sounds like a contradiction isn’t at all. Rather, it’s the axiom of a new era in product design—an era in which anyone can leverage technology to turn expertise into ideas and ideas into inventions. Anyone can learn how to become a product designer.

“I’m a good example of how democratization of design technology can allow a physician-scientist, with no prior background in design, to improve how shoes are designed and made,” says Kerrigan, who six years ago left her job as a tenured professor at the University of Virginia to establish OESH, a company that designs and manufactures “responsive” women’s footwear.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/how-to-become-a-product-designer/.

Photo Credit: D. Casey Kerrigan, MD, is founder and designer of OESH shoes. Courtesy OESHSHOES.com.

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3 Medical-Device Industry Trends Changing Design and Manufacturing

Wild transformations are underway for a swath of industries. Automotive . . . consumer electronics . . . architecture . . . even fashion.

Those industries are increasingly impacted by the accelerating pace of change thanks to new advancements in robotics, materials science, 3D printing, rapid prototyping, software/hardware convergence, software democratization, big data, and cloud computing.

But according to Katy George, McKinsey’s expert in its operations practice and pharmaceutical and medical products, there’s another important industry that’s being shaped as well—medical devices.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/medical-device-industry-trends/.

Photo Credit: Micke Tong

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