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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:21 pm 
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Reprocessing takes extra machinery, you'd need to be able to grind it back down, and track it so you don't overuse it.

My add makes me consider 3d printing techs as a business, my main focus would be on the poly chain and filling gaps. Make sure you have cheap and easy processes to go from raw materials to feedstocks and fill in the gaps in capability, from sheet metal to electronics.

Grain structure for sheet metal probably can't be achieved just by printing, but a powder fed sheet maker could work. A suitable thickness of powder is laid down, the flat pattern is melted together, and it goes immediately through rollers to the proper size. You then fold/stamp/form it to the desired final shape.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:06 pm 
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Kunkmiester wrote:
Grain structure for sheet metal probably can't be achieved just by printing, but a powder fed sheet maker could work. A suitable thickness of powder is laid down, the flat pattern is melted together, and it goes immediately through rollers to the proper size. You then fold/stamp/form it to the desired final shape.

Problem is that rolling metal is really, really cheap by comparison to 3D printing. If you're doing a stamping process afterwards, 3D printing becomes utterly pointless.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:31 pm 
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A sheet maker would be much simpler than an SLS type, it's just making flat patterns after all.

The point here is minimizing the supply chain. If a maker (or Mars colony) only has to stock (and manufacture) metal powders rather than a variety of sheet, rod, and other stock, some things become much simpler. You do need a few more machines in the makerspace, but the difference in the supply chain makes up for it.

When you have a large transportation network like we do, the economies of scale of conventional manufacturing offset moving things around. It's not very resilient though, and there are situations you don't have transportation.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:14 am 
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Kunkmiester wrote:
A sheet maker would be much simpler than an SLS type, it's just making flat patterns after all.

What do you think an SLS/SLM machine is? it just prints a load of flat patterns one on top of the other. All you're doing is increasing the number of times you have to EDM the sheets off the base plate.

Kunkmiester wrote:
The point here is minimizing the supply chain. If a maker (or Mars colony) only has to stock (and manufacture) metal powders rather than a variety of sheet, rod, and other stock, some things become much simpler. You do need a few more machines in the makerspace, but the difference in the supply chain makes up for it.

If you're limited, you'd just directly print the final part in the SLM machine rather than printing a flat sheet, rolling, stamping and then forming it. The process you've described makes no sense anywhere, ever.

Kunkmiester wrote:
When you have a large transportation network like we do, the economies of scale of conventional manufacturing offset moving things around. It's not very resilient though, and there are situations you don't have transportation.

Very rare ones, and 3D printing isn't necessarily the best solution to it in any case - it is much pickier about feedstock than other processes, and substituting for what you have available is much harder.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:41 am 
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Ford has something in works for forming sheets. It's kinda like a CNC English wheel; stick in a flat sheet and it forms your complex curves without a die. At least, I watched a video demo of it a couple years ago, where they were forming a hood from sheet steel for a concept car, instead of stamping it with dies.

The real takeaway is that broad regulatory approval of new methods, processes, and materials lags well behind the technical ability of industry to make and perform them. Aviation regulatory groups are extremely conservative, and seem to get more so as time goes on. New stuff has to meet standards the old stuff never did and never will.

Look at how difficult it's been to get electronic fuel injection into airplanes. The technology that's cutting edge in the homebuilt market (which leads the certified market in a lot of new tech) was old by the late 90s.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:34 am 
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https://youtu.be/TEL_GQsCnQk

Ford's machine is a variation on this tech, as I recall they've basically put another cnc underneath so they don't need a mold.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:21 pm 
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pdf27 wrote:
Kunkmiester wrote:
Grain structure for sheet metal probably can't be achieved just by printing, but a powder fed sheet maker could work. A suitable thickness of powder is laid down, the flat pattern is melted together, and it goes immediately through rollers to the proper size. You then fold/stamp/form it to the desired final shape.

Problem is that rolling metal is really, really cheap by comparison to 3D printing. If you're doing a stamping process afterwards, 3D printing becomes utterly pointless.


From experience, the lead time of steel coil is 16 weeks. Handling and processing it is in the region of a few coppers per lineal metre however.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:54 pm 
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Wow, four months. What's it like for odder alloys, like you'd be using in aerospace?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:57 pm 
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Craiglxviii wrote:
pdf27 wrote:
Problem is that rolling metal is really, really cheap by comparison to 3D printing. If you're doing a stamping process afterwards, 3D printing becomes utterly pointless.


From experience, the lead time of steel coil is 16 weeks. Handling and processing it is in the region of a few coppers per lineal metre however.


If I need to form a new rib for an airplane repair, I'm not placing orders for coils of material with the foundry. Assuming I don't have some already on hand, I'm ordering the appropriately-sized sheet from a convenient supplier who can ship it to me in a couple of days or less.

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/categorie ... minum.html

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:47 am 
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gtg947h wrote:
Craiglxviii wrote:
pdf27 wrote:
Problem is that rolling metal is really, really cheap by comparison to 3D printing. If you're doing a stamping process afterwards, 3D printing becomes utterly pointless.


From experience, the lead time of steel coil is 16 weeks. Handling and processing it is in the region of a few coppers per lineal metre however.


If I need to form a new rib for an airplane repair, I'm not placing orders for coils of material with the foundry. Assuming I don't have some already on hand, I'm ordering the appropriately-sized sheet from a convenient supplier who can ship it to me in a couple of days or less.

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/categorie ... minum.html

The real killer is that the cost saving from the reduced time is usually pretty trivial - for production items, it's the cost of capital you (or the supplier) has got tied up in the parts being made. For coil, that's maybe 1% of a few pence per metre. For prototype parts where getting them done quickly then you can save £££££ of engineering time - hence the major users of 3D printing at the moment being prototyping and Formula 1, both cases where time saved is worth a lot of money.

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