Siemens Gas & Power saving Time & Money with Markforged Onyx Carbon Fiber Circular Saw Housing

 

The breakdown

The Challenge

Siemens Gas & Power keeps thousands of homes and businesses up and running. The Gas & Power division — one of three Siemens operating companies — owns compressors, turbines, and generators across the globe. When gas turbine housings need repairing, engineers at the Siemens Gas & Power division need to efficiently cut into them with a circular saw to maintenance the system. Since the housings have a complex contoured design, a standard flat-plated circular saw does not suffice. In the past, the team remedied this by purchasing standard circular saws, ship them to job shops in the Philippines for custom contoured plates, and then shipping them back to the United States for reassembly. This was not a scalable solution, as engineers would wait more than 3 weeks to receive their customized hand tools. (more…)


Shukla Medical: Using 3D Printing to Get Tools in Surgeon’s Hands Faster

The breakdown

Challenge

Shukla Medical, a wholly owned subsidiary of aerospace manufacturer S.S. White Technologies, designs and manufactures universal orthopedic implant removal tools such as the Xtract-All® Spine Universal Spinal Implant Removal System (see cover image). Their products are used by surgeons worldwide to efficiently take out old implants before replacing them with new ones — all while preserving the patient’s bone. Most orthopedic implant removal tools are complicated and require a significant amount of time to operate, whereas Shukla Medical’s universal instruments are known for their simple, intuitive design.

Shukla products are engineered for orthopedic surgeons, with time-saving features like quick-connections and multiple extraction options. “It’s generally known that every minute in the operating room is very expensive,” said Zack Sweitzer, Product Development Manager at Shukla Medical. “So any time you can save is extremely helpful.” Operating room costs can range from $35 to over $100, though it varies based on the hospital and surgical procedure. Shukla’s tools need to be quickly prototyped and tested by orthopedic implant surgeons to check for form and fit before the final product is fabricated. The team initially prototyped the parts using their CNC machine or sent the designs out to a third party, but found that long lead times were presenting major slowdowns in iterating on prototypes and preventing them from quickly getting their product to market.

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A video test of Markforged’s Onyx FR’s flame retardant capabilities

Putting feet to the fire: A video test of Markforged’s Onyx FR’s flame retardant capabilities.

Time to play with matches! Because of the huge potential of an affordable & Flame-retardant composite plastic that can be 3D printed, we decided to put Markforged’s Onyx FR to the test.

In the video, we hung up two sample prints: One of Markforged’s standard-issue, chopped carbon fiber “Onyx” material (labeled ‘O’), and one of Markforged’s brand-new Onyx FR (labeled ‘F’).

After taking a blowtorch to the original Onyx Material for nearly 10 seconds, we saw it catch fire and start dripping melted plastic before the 10 seconds was even over! Putting the FR material in the blowtorch’s “hot-seat” for over 10 seconds barely affected it! As soon as we pulled the blowtorch away, the flame flickered out – not even a second later!

Below, you’ll find a short video showing the aftermath: