3D printing without platform or support: new technology patented by Boeing

US aircraft manufacturer Boeing uses 3D printing for making various components. It has taken its 3D printing innovation to a higher level with its patent on a new technology where the object is printed while levitating inside a magnetic field.

‘Nugget’: the start of something new

Boeing has developed a hi-tech way of 3D printing without a platform. The magnet fields hold the object, or ‘nugget’ - being the first part of the object printed in 3D - levitating in position during the production process. Various 3D printers are deployed simultaneously to create the final object. The ‘nugget’ can be rotated, allowing materials to be added to the underside of the object.

Printing technology with numerous benefits

This latest 3D printing technology has a number of unique advantages over the traditional ‘bottom-up’ method. Because several print heads are deployed simultaneously, this new technology works at a remarkably high speed. Moreover, the ‘nugget’ does not need a support surface during the printing process. This means that printing takes place around 360 degrees.

During the printing process the magnetic fields ensure that the object is continually kept in rotation. This way even more complex shapes and components can be created inside the 3D object. Boeing plans to continue developing this 3D printing technology and use it for manufacturing aircraft components more efficiently and faster.

Read more about 3D printing with magnetic levitation technology

 

foto: http://3dprintingindustry.com/2016/02/24/boeings-patents-new-technology-that-3d-prints-levitating-objects/