ALTHOUGH it is the weekend, a small factory in the Haidian district of Beijing is hard at work. Eight machines, the biggest the size of a delivery van, are busy making things.
Yet the factory, owned by Beijing Longyuan Automated Fabrication System (known as AFS), appears almost deserted.
This is because it is using additive-manufacturing machines, popularly known as three-dimensional (3D) printers, which run unattended day and night, seven days a week.
The printers require an occasional visit from a supervisor to top them up with the powdered materials they use as their “inks”, or to remove a completed item, but apart from that they can be left on their own. They build up the objects they are making one layer at a time, as the ink is sintered into place with a laser in a way that creates little waste and can make shapes impossible to achieve using the traditional “subtractive” technology of lathes, milling machines and cutting tools.
Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground” – Adafruit’s Apps!
Maker Business — How Authority and Decision-Making Differ Across Cultures
Wearables — Template commitment
Electronics — Desolder with… more solder!
Biohacking — The TRI-Analyzer Turns Smartphones into a Mobile Lab
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.