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We’ve reported before on the work of Finnish technology research centre VTT, which has used 3D printing for a range of applications such as bandages and food, as well as implementing plasma technology to improve metal AM. The latest breakthrough by the Espoo-based team is a proof-of-concept for a 3D printed ''smart'' metal part. The component is a shaft for a bearing, and it has a number of sensors embedded within it, which enable it to track its own performance.
VTT is one of the leading tech research centers in Europe, and its multi-disciplinary team is frequently involved with the development and implementation of cutting-edge developments, pointing the way forward to the future of various industries. This latest 3D printed smart component suggests a direction that metal AM and industrial manufacturing in general could soon be heading in.
Companies - Organizations - Parts - Manufacturers - Users
Many companies and organizations have been attempting to develop parts that can provide their manufacturers and users with feedback on their physical condition, in terms of wear and tear and other important things. They are also developing similar sensor systems that can be used to identify and authenticate a particular component and its origins. A majority of these projects are still working at the R&D phase, but VTT has succeeded in producing a working proof-of-concept metal piece for the first time.
According to Research Team Leader Pasi Puukko, "We performed a successful smart component demo, in which we explored potential technologies. During the manufacturing phase, we embedded an accelerometer and the necessary wiring into a 3D printed metal shaft...
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