Digging Deep With Online 3D Printing Lectures

Screenshot of TTU Additive Manufacturing YouTube Channel
Tennessee Tech University YouTube Channel Featuring the Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series since 2016.

The College of Engineering at Tennessee Tech recently completed its well-known Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series for Fall 2020. Under Dr. Ismail Fidan and his team, four experts — from nearby Somerset Community College in Kentucky to institutions spanning the globe in New Zealand, Norway, and the Netherlands — presented this semester on advanced Additive Manufacturing topics.

With 45 lectures recorded since the Spring semester of 2016, there is a range and depth available for just about anyone interested in learning about Additive Manufacturing. We wrote about the Tennessee Tech Announces Fall 2020 Additive Manufacturing Lecture Series as the school year got started. Despite COVID-19 shifting the world into online classrooms, Dr. Fidan has been using this virtual method, via Zoom, since the start of the program. One could definitely say he is an early adopter and visionary for making learning accessible and increasing TTU’s Engineering student access to world-renowned experts.

Early in 2020, the team decided to launch a YouTube channel as a way to share all of these lectures to an even wider audience. You can access the full Additively Innovative Lecture Series Archive, but we list out the titles below so that you can get an idea of the topic and niche diversity. On the archive page, each title takes you directly to the YouTube video. Perusing the list on the YouTube channel is not as straightforward, in this editor’s opinion, and so your time may be better spent picking from the list of video links from the archive directly.

Again, Bravo to the TTU team and Dr. Fidan for a semester filled with knowledge sharing and deeper insights into what makes Additive Manufacturing (aka 3D Printing) useful, valuable, and world changing.

**Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to their new YouTube channel.

To the Archives!:

Fall 2020 Lectures (Please note these lectures may not all be uploaded to YouTube yet)

      • Mass Production and Decision Making with Low Cost Additive Manufacturing for Institutions and Small Businesses
      • Design for AM: The Key to the Industrialization of AM
      • New Product Development for AM: Methods and Tools
      • Machine Learning in AM

Spring 2020 Lectures

      • New Functionalities for Metal AM by Embedded Intelligence, Puukko Pasi, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Ltd.
      • A Holistic Approach to Achieving the Best Possible Component Quality for AM Architectures for Vat Photopolymer and Laser Powder Bed Fusion Systems, David Bue Pedersen, Technical University of Denmark
      • Additive Manufacturing with High Temperature Polymers, Oana Ghita, University of Exeter
      • From 3D Printing to Digital Manufacturing, Wenchao Zhou, University of Arkansas

Fall 2019 Lectures

      • Generative Design Will Change the Future of Manufacturing, Shashi Jain, Intel Corporation
      • Sustaining Accessibility for Kids’ Creativity with Additive Manufacturing, Pisut Koomsap, Asian Institute of Technology
      • Design and Additive Manufacturing of Porous Titanium Scaffolds for Optimum Cell Viability in Bone Tissue Engineering, Bingbing Li, California State University
      • FDM-based Metal Additive Manufacturing, Haijun Gong, Georgia Southern University

Spring 2019 Lectures

      • The Phantom Hole Technique, Improving Structural Performance in FFF/FDM 3D Printed Products, Eric Wooldridge, Somerset Community College
      • Understanding Powder Bed Additive Manufacturing, Josh Dennis, EOS North America
      • Preparing Your Model for 3D Printing, Adam Wills, Tennessee College of Applied Technology Nashville
      • Project iGen: Using Additive Manufacturing for Service Learning, Amy Fricks, DeKalb County High School

Fall 2018 Lectures

      • Functionally Graded Additive Manufacturing, Eujin Pei, Brunel University
      • Design for Additive Manufacturing: The Key to the Industrial Adoption of Additive Manufacturing, Olaf Diegel, Lund University
      • Where’s my Spare Part? Changing Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul through Additive Manufacturing, Brett Conner, Youngstown State University
      • Integrating Additive Manufacturing into CAD Courses, Tom Singer, Sinclair Community College

Spring 2018 Lectures

      • Dental 3-D Printing Overview, Frank Alifui-Segbaya, Griffith University
      • AM Research and Applications for Real World Production and Impact, Eric Wooldridge, Somerset Community College
      • Free and Easy Software for Designing for 3-D Printing, Tim Gornet, Rapid Prototyping Center, University of Louisville
      • Wire + Arc Additive Manufacturing: Enabling 10-Meter Parts, Filomeno Martina, Welding Engineering and Laser Processing Center, Cranfield University

Fall 2017 Lectures

      • Next Generation Manufacturing: Professional and Technical Skills for the 21st Century Workforce, Karen Wosczyna-Birch, Center for Next Generation Manufacturing
      • Using 3-D Printed Parts to Couple Festo Didatic’s MecLab Stations in an Assembly Process, Khalid Tantawi, Department of Career Readiness-Mechatronics, Motlow State Community College
      • 3-D Printing, Design Thinking, and the Entrepreneurial Mindset, Phan Tran, Center for Architecture, Design, and Engineering, Lake Washington Institute of Technology
      • Workflow of the Additive Manufacturing Process, Kyle Bates-Green, National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education

Spring 2017 Lectures

      • Bioprinting and Tissue Engineering, Yunzhi Peter Yang, Medical Scholar Program in Bioengineering Scholarly Concentration, Stanford University
      • Making It Work, Marilyn Barger, NSF Florida Advanced Technological Education Center, Hillsborough Community College
      • Additive Manufacturing: Instrumental Systems in Research, Education, and Service, Bahram Asiabanpour, Ingram School of Engineering at Texas State University
      • A Technique for Quick Introduction of 3-D Design and Prototyping, Hugh Jack, School of Engineering and Technology, Western Carolina University

Fall 2016 Lectures

      • Marketing Your Maker Business, TJ McCue
      • Content and Curriculum Development Efforts in 3-D Printing, Jesse Roitenbert, Stratasys
      • The Development of a Framework for 3-D Printing, Casting, & Entrepreneurship, Jay Watson, Cookeville High School
      • 3-D Printed Joints and Connectors for Assemblies, Nick Russell and Jacob Floyd, Tennessee Tech University

Spring 2016 Lectures

      • Mel Cossette and Robin Ballard, National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education
      • 3-D Printing – Future of Manufacturing: The 4th Wave of Human Civilization, Wenchao Zhou, University of Arkansas
      • Additive Manufacturing at the University of Waterloo, Ehsan Toyserkani, University of Waterloo
      • Opportunities in Additive Manufacturing, Amy Elliott, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
      • AM/3DP Point-Counterpoint: A Look at AM’s Place Among the Headlines, Business, and Industry, Peter Yang, Stanford University
      • Additive Manufacturing as a Force for Innovation, Ian Campbell, Loughborough University
      • Perspectives on Additive Manufacturing, Tim Caffrey, Wohlers Associates
      • History of Additive Manufacturing, David Bourell, University of Texas at Austin
      • Additive Manufacturing Today and in the Future, Terry Wohlers, Wohlers Associates

 

Mass Production And Decision Making With Low Cost Additive Manufacturing

With over 7,000 face shield assemblies 3D printed, 1,000 ear savers (that make it possible to get a mask strap off the back of your ears), and 272,000 grams of filament used, Somerset Community College’s (SCC) Additive Manufacturing Center (AMC) stepped up in a major way to 3D print personal protective equipment (PPE) for Kentucky’s first responders in this COVID-pandemic time of need.

Professor Eric Wooldridge recently spoke at the Tennessee Tech University Fall 2020 Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series on September 27, 2020 to encourage future 3D printing business owners and other academic institutions how they might leverage 3D printers in the future. For the SCC AMC, the majority of their printers cost less than $415 which helped them build a 24/7 production line of dozens of 3D printers, using two or less operators per day.

Wooldridge and SCC have received funding from the USDA Rural Development program as well as the National Science Foundation EPSCoR and ATE programs. The funding has been instrumental in building out a successful 3D printing training program as well as a robust production facility, as demonstrated by answering this call to serve first responders with PPE. The SCC Additive Manufacturing (AM) goal is to give Kentucky manufacturing an edge by helping to raise up a fully skilled AM-skilled workforce. A task that the SCC team seems well-prepared for after this PPE experience. 

In fact, that’s what the “Mass Production And Decision Making With Low Cost Additive Manufacturing For Institutions And Small Businesses” webinar offered. It gave an inside look at how a small team could scale up a 3D printer production line as a way to make new products. In the talk, Professor Wooldridge offered a variety of insights and technical tips as he walked attendees, including industry representatives, through decisions the AMC made, including mistakes they quickly corrected, in printing thousands of shields and parts. 

Low Cost Additive Manufacturing (LCAM)

First, what is a low cost 3D printer? SCC’s goal is to take a sub-$600 printer and show business owners how to make money with it. Once they demonstrate that, he sees owners take it from there. Low cost equipment can create a high quality production line. If they have 3D printers and 3D skills, it leads to innovation.

Before you jump in and start printing. Wooldridge believes you need to look at three main areas:

  • Design
  • Cycling
  • Maintenance

Part of these three areas involve asking four key questions (any company or organization would want to ask these):

  1. How big is your team? (Small businesses are often under-staffed, so this is important)
  2. What is your design flavor? (If you like to only create the models, that won’t work if you don’t like to print, too). You have control of the layout on the printer, the printer speed, are there non-essential features that are essential? 
      • Within design — you have to think about your production. 
        • Are you a “Fast Ninja”?  
        • Are you a “Slow Stacked” approach? 
        • Or in the middle is the “Flat Spread” type?
  1. Production cycling, what do you most care about?
  2. Do you want to do proactive or reactive maintenance? Which one will minimize your downtime? 

Wooldridge digs in and keeps the talk moving quickly with rapid fire answers to his questions. In this short 30-minute lecture, you will get lots of very specific technical advice in addition to broad ranging issues you should think about. 

An example: In the section on Cycling, he points out that one of the biggest enemies is runout; running out of filament. “Runout sensors that warn you that you are ‘about to run out’ of material are cool, but not the answer. The idea that your printer would warn you that you were running out of filament was not helpful in the middle of 20 or 30 printers going at once after 15 hours of run time. Quantity is the solution — getting large orders of filament with 3kg or 5kg rolls — what we call the Texas Size rolls (that’s where we ordered them from),” Wooldridge said.

The SCC team naturally found it was super rewarding to be able to help their community. Wooldridge closes the talk with how it was wonderful to be in a position to respond “with Additive to support our regions, we sent across state lines as well. It was great to be in the middle and answer that call.” 

Ultimately, he concludes: “This pandemic has been a real turning point for Additive. It has made people realize what is possible. And you can see it in the industry response. You see how many companies are starting to now buy into higher-level equipment, buying up printers. The number of print farms that are being setup is drastically increasing. People have realized that this technology has the potential to step in and fill gaps wherever they are. Or allow someone to startup with a brand new business with hardly any infrastructure to begin with, in terms of manufacturing.” 


Learn more about SCC and Professor Wooldridge’s efforts to increase workforce training and small business awareness of 3D printing as a way to grow a company and profits. 

You can also read posts on the NSF Research News page: College using 3D printers to make face shields for regional hospital or on the Somerset Community College news page: SCC 3D Printers Used for Face Shields to Help Ease Shortage Due to Virus. The project was funded under the NSF ATE program here: Mobile Additive Manufacturing Platform for 21st Century STEM Workforce Enhancement (#1902437).

Wohlers Report 2020 Shows Additive Manufacturing $12 Billion Industry Growth

Wohlers Report 2020
Wohlers Report 2020

Each year, the Wohlers Report highlights the growth of the additive manufacturing industry. The Wohlers Report 2020 revealed that the 2019 additive manufacturing (AM) industry, consisting of all AM products and services worldwide, grew 21.2 percent to $11.867 billion. 

In addition to all of the industry data, the report digs into three areas near to the hearts of AM News readers: TEAMM, Materials, and academic endeavors.

To start, Mel Cossette, Executive Director/Principal Investigator for the National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education (MatEdU) and TEAMM Project, provides an update of the TEAMM Network activities, including:

      • The TEAMM website has 11 curated educational modules, which help classroom teachers include approved AM content quickly in their curricula. Modules include Materials for 3D Printing by Fused Deposition and Additive Manufactured Polymers in Bending Stress. Both basic and advanced options are offered. These modules are freely available on the website with videos and other educational resources. 
      • TEAMM also continues to participate in the ASTM F42 Technical Committee on Additive Manufacturing Technologies and provides input on global AM standards. 

The Materials section of the Wohlers Report gives a comprehensive summary with highlights about a niche filament material maker, Taulman3D, which has been instrumental in bringing new 3D printing materials to market for the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) method. In 2012, material filament choices were ABS or PLA. Now, there are dozens of types of new materials and Taulman3D led the charge with a nylon copolymer. 

Dr. Ismail Fidan, Professor in Manufacturing and Engineering Technology at Tennessee Tech University, provides an international glimpse into the many activities happening at colleges, universities, and research institutes – almost 140 of them. Here are just a few examples:

      • The University of North Texas has established the Center for Agile and Adaptive AM with 2-year support of $10 million from the State of Texas Legislature.
      • HP, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and National Research Foundation Singapore have established the HP – NTU Digital Manufacturing Corporate Laboratory on AM, an $84 million project.
      • In Late 2019, the U.S. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for research and Engineering selected 7 awardees for the Manufacturing Engineering Education Program. These distinguished educational and Industry partners are receiving more than $32 million over a three-year period.

Although 2020 has presented some rather large challenges to financial growth, the future of additive manufacturing still has a bright future, partly due to the many initiatives that have shone a light on what 3D printing can do (as highlighted in recent AM News posts highlighted below). The Wohlers Report 2020 gives us evidence of the industry’s resilience and enthusiasm on both an individual and corporate level. There is hope and opportunity thanks to people who know how to create and make, no matter the circumstances or difficulties around them. 


Two posts highlighting the way 3D printing has helped during the Coronavirus pandemic:

An earlier version of this post was published at Forbes: Additive Manufacturing Industry Grows To Almost 12 Billion In 2019.

Disclosure: I received a media copy of the Wohlers Report to review.

Editor’s Corner: 3D Printers Rally To Help Stem COVID-19: Your Help Is Needed

COVID19, aka Coronavirus, is taking its toll on all of us, in a variety of ways. So as I kick off an Editors Corner post here on AM News, I want to use it to update you on positive news all across the Additive Manufacturing and Materials Science communities. 

People are coming together to 3D print, to sew (yes, handmade cloth DIY masks – more on this below, hang on), and explore and test materials for the certified N95 respirators and surgical masks. Plus, I will share a couple of stories from within our community of two educators working tirelessly to 3D print face shield parts for use by those on the front lines. 

At Tennessee Tech University, Dr. Ismail Fidan and team have turned the university makerspace, STEM Center, and department labs into 24/7 3D print shops for COVID-19 protective face shield parts. The University also has a very well-established Additive Manufacturing Coalition and Hub established with an NSF award. Their network is also supporting the university’s efforts.

So far, they have printed 381 masks (as of March 25) that went to the state directly for final assembly and distribution to healthcare professionals. The TTU Department of Manufacturing and Engineering Technology and College of Engineering are running 30-plus 3D printers across the two labs. (Short video with them loading up a box of parts.). The Tennessee Tech team plans to keep printing since there are still more production requests and needs from the state.

University of Louisville runs one of the top Additive Manufacturing programs and has an amazing 3D printing facility for training and workforce development. I spent time there a few years back visiting Ed Tackett who runs it when I happened to be driving across the country (not 3DRV, another time). You can read more about their COVID-19 efforts here: Students Producing 3D Printed Face Shields For Healthcare Professionals. Ed is helping nationwide with people trying to sort out how to print at the highest possible quality and speed. 

UofL AMIST 3D Printing Face Shield Parts
Graduate assistant and student Kate Schneidau oversees the 3D printing of face shields for local health care professionals in response to the shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Image Courtesy of University of Louisville.

Normally, I do not cross-link (although there’s nothing wrong with doing it) between my work at Forbes and my National Science Foundation grant project work, but we are in uncharted waters and all the resources we can share with one another, well, it may save a life. If you have a project you are working on related to COVID-19, please get in touch and we will consider adding it here. 

If you are looking for a way to get you or your students involved (great remote, work-from-home, learn-from-home potential), I encourage you to look over the different resources in these Forbes posts — there are many hands-on opportunities: 

As I explained in Forbes, “I had, like many of you, planned to attend the RAPID + TCT event in Anaheim this year. SME, the parent organization that creates the RAPID + TCT event, wisely postponed the event. I have attended several of the RAPID + TCT events and it is always amazing to connect with the community; it is more like a large family reunion, frankly…” But now, thanks to what SME has built, those same people are still coming together to solve one of the world’s greatest challenges.

If you ever wondered if 3D printing is all it claims to be, Coronavirus has helped settle that. 3D printers do all of this and more.”

Let’s close with two final examples of people coming together: 

    • MatterHackers, the largest distributor of desktop digital manufacturing equipment and materials in the USA, created an initiative called the COVID-19 Additive Manufacturing Community Response Hub and it will “connect those in the U.S. who need medical aid (Hospitals and Govt. Agencies) and those who can create it using Digital Manufacturing.” It has been live for three days and hundreds have signed up.
    • The N95 respirator mask is a one-time use item. But healthcare professionals are being asked, all around the world, to keep using the same mask repeatedly. Stanford University has helped answer the question pulling in materials scientists: Can Facial Masks be Disinfected for Re-use? Amy Price, DPhil (Oxon) and Larry Chu, MD on behalf of the Stanford AIM Lab and Learnly COVID-19 Evidence Service Stanford Anesthesia Informatics and Media Lab found that it is possible. See their PDF (linked in the title above) if you are involved in any efforts to help healthcare professionals get access to N95 masks. Hint: 70°C hot air in oven, 30min (not a home oven, to be clear!). Read the PDF with loads of technical details.
Stanford N95 Reuse Studies
Stanford N95 Reuse Studies

Although we are living in challenging times, educators and researchers in the USA and internationally are working incredibly long hours to help and save others. Many of the TEAMM network members are working round the clock to provide much-needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by 3D printing face shields based on an open source design using PETG filament material on a wide range of 3D printers.

Coronavirus may look like it is winning, but based on these stories and dedicated people, there is hope that it will soon be defeated.

SCC Metal 3D Prints Stainless Steel Parts With Modified $600 Desktop Printers

The additive manufacturing program at Somerset Community College (SCC) recently 3D printed numerous 316L stainless steel metal parts on multiple low cost desktop 3D printers. Metal 3D printing is typically an expensive process requiring metal 3D printers starting in the low six figures. SCC has created an impressive initiative to bring the cost down – way down.

SCC’s process is based on a relatively well-known method known as “Bound Metal Additive Manufacturing” (BMAM). It is also predicted by researchers to be one of the fastest growing methods of additive production over the next several years. The SCC AM program faculty and staff started with several low-cost or fused filament fabrication (FFF) (sometimes known as fused deposition modeling – however, FDM is a trademarked term) 3D printers, typically less than $450 each, then modified them for metal filament extrusion and better build plate adhesion for an additional $150 each (total price tag of $600 per printer). 

Once you print a part on one of the SCC machines, there are still multiple steps to completion. The team started with metal-infused filaments provided by Virtual Foundry and BASF. After accounting for shrinkage and other production issues in the design phase, the parts were 3D printed. SCC worked with sintering experts such as DSH Technologies to debind and sinter the 3D printed parts. Imagine that part is “green” and must be cured, similar to what you might do with a piece of pottery in a kiln (oversimplified, but you get the idea). Below, we link to a few additional resources from Virtual Foundry, BASF, and MatterHackers (a provider of filament).

With the material hardened into something closer to its finished metal state, the team had SCC’s Welding department work on the parts. Senior Welding Professor, Karl Watson, used Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW), also known as TIG welding. Several fillet and groove welds were applied to the original six pieces and the welding went very well.

Preliminary testing of the parts has also shown hardness values slightly less than stock 316L (stainless steel), but microscopic inspection after finishing work has not shown any inconsistencies thus far. Watson also noted that the heat dissipation during the welding process of the 3D printed stainless was higher than conventional stock stainless.

From this success, SCC’s goal now is to bring this low cost metal 3D printing technology to students, teachers, and the workforce throughout Kentucky. SCC will be providing training workshops across the state in the assembly and set up of low cost metal 3D printers for select educators in Kentucky high schools and community colleges. This work is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and EPSCoR (or Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) grants. 

Over the next few months SCC will be dialing in the equipment and their training process for the low cost metal procedures, as well as collecting data on product performance. Eric Wooldridge, Director of SCC’s Additive Manufacturing program, notes that “there is a lot for us to learn about practical welding of 3D printed metal parts, especially parts that have been produced on a desktop 3D printer. Factors of shrinkage, potential zones of weakness, and the best welding practices are still to be determined. These are very exciting but uncharted waters to be sure.” 

SCC will be working with partners across Kentucky, including the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky, to integrate skills in low cost BMAM into the workforce. SCC will also be working with Tennessee Technological University (TTU) to scale their work across state lines through the support of the Mobile Additive Manufacturing Platform for 21st Century STEM Workforce Enhancement grant from the NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program. 

SCC currently offers a certificate in Additive Manufacturing/3D printing and offers additional training through the college’s Workforce Solutions program. For more information, please visit SCC’s Additive Manufacturing program, or check out their YouTube channel, The Additive Guru, dedicated to 3D printing.

Additional Resources:

      • Virtual Foundry – makers of the sintering furnace
      • BASF – makers of the metal filament mentioned above
      • MatterHackers – a provider of filament and reseller of 3D printing machines and equipment. This link goes to a YouTube video overviewing the metal filament from BASF.