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Peter Zelinski

Peter Zelinski has been a writer and editor for Modern Machine Shop for more than a decade. One of the aspects of this work that he enjoys the most is visiting machining facilities to learn about the manufacturing technology, systems and strategies they have adopted, and the successes they’ve realized as a result. Pete earned his degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and he first learned about machining by running and programming machine tools in a metalworking laboratory within GE Aircraft Engines. Follow Pete on Twitter at Z_Axis_MMS.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 31. August 2015

Additive Manufacturing Conference Speaker: Mark Norfolk

The largest ultrasonic additive manufacturing machine has a work envelope of 6 by 6 by 3 feet. Developed by Fabrisonic, the machine is being built by Ultra Tech Machinery, another Ohio company.

Mark Norfolk, president at Fabrisonic, will be one of the speakers at the upcoming Additive Manufacturing Conference. His company makes an unusual additive manufacturing machine that builds parts without changing the state of the metal—read more here. The conference—October 20-21 in Knoxville, Tennessee—focuses on industrial applications of additive manufacturing. Learn more and register to attend at additiveconference.com.

And speaking of additive … our Additive Manufacturing brand is about to grow. Soon, we will launch a new website devoted to additive manufacturing for industrial applicatons, and we will expand the publication that began as a small supplement into a full-size magazine. All of this will happen later this year. For now, stay apprised of these and other additive developments (and also give us a little encouragement) by joining us as one of the earliest followers of Additive Manufacturing on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 26. August 2015

Additive Manufacturing Conference Speaker: Jason Jones

Jason Jones of Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies accepted the International Additive Manufacturing Award for his company’s additive manufacturing head, which brings metal-layering capability to a standard CNC machine tool.

Jason Jones, cofounder of Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies, will be one of the speakers at the upcoming Additive Manufacturing Conference. His company won the first-ever International Additive Manufacturing Award for its development of a hybrid manufacturing head—read more about it here. The conference—October 20-21 in Knoxville, Tennessee—focuses on industrial applications of additive manufacturing. Learn more and register to attend at additiveconference.com.

And speaking of additive … our Additive Manufacturing brand is about to grow. Soon, we will launch a new website devoted to additive manufacturing for industrial applicatons, and we will expand the publication that began as a small supplement into a full-size magazine. All of this will happen later this year. For now, stay apprised of these and other additive developments (and also give us a little encouragement) by joining us as one of the earliest followers of Additive Manufacturing on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 24. August 2015

The Machinist Garden

Back when I visited East Coast Precision Manufacturing, one of the details I noted was the green wall. Company co-owner Nancy Rohlfs recently wrote me to describe another kind of green the company is experiencing—the staff’s green thumb. The shop now has a company-funded and employee-maintained vegetable garden on site. Here is Ms. Rohlf’s report:

Now in its second year, the garden has proved to be a great way for all who work at our shop to enjoy fresh produce during their lunch break, and to take some of the veggies they grow with them at the end of the work day to enjoy at home. “Two of our employees, Heather Temple and John Wright, have taken the lead on this initiative,” says East Coast President Mark Rohlfs. “I appreciate what they’re doing, and I was glad to encourage this healthy project when it first came together and to continue to support it at our shop.”

In 2013, several employees noted that the hillside behind the shop was covered in raspberry bushes, and they got permission from Mark to pick a bunch of berries. “We picked several quarts,” says Heather Temple. The next day, another colleague brought in home-baked angel food cake, which the staff shared and enjoyed with the fresh raspberries and engaged in a conversation about fresh fruits and veggies and gardening tips. The on-site gardening idea was born.

The first garden at the shop, tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash, was planted in 2014 on three raised beds and a flat growing area on a plot of land next to the shop. Mark, John Wright and a few others installed soaker hoses and established a timer system to regulate watering. John and Heather are paid for the time they put in, planting, weeding and making sure the crops are pest-free. “Our approach is as close to being organic as possible,” Heather explains. “Most of the seeds we use are organic, and we use fish emulsion as fertilizer.”

This year, in the early spring, Heather brought in seed catalogs, which she put on the conference table in the shop. “People read through them and cast their votes for what they’d like to have.” The result was a diverse selection for the 2015 East Coast Precision garden:  spinach; lettuce; tomatoes; kale; Brussels sprouts; squash; cucumbers; string beans; red peppers; basil; carrots; beets; and cantaloupe. “We are also trying watermelon,” says John Wright. “While Connecticut isn’t an ideal watermelon-growing climate, it can do OK here, under the right conditions.” The most popular crop? “It’s definitely the lettuce, which everyone likes to put on their sandwiches at lunch time,” says Wright. As the produce is picked, it is placed on a window shelf.

Though Wright is a long-time gardener and Heather Temple comes from a family of Pennsylvania farmers, other employees have also offered helpful insights on good-growing and garden-management approaches. “The garden has proved to be a great conversation builder,” says Mark Rohlfs. “It’s good for the folks who work here, and is proving to be a positive initiative for the company to keep doing, each growing season, moving forward.”

Read about East Coast Precision Manufacturing’s approach to micromachining in this article.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 19. August 2015

3D Printing for Space Station Freezer Interior

A 3D printing material known for its resistance to heat is being used in an application of continuous –80°C cold on the International Space Station. Fused deposition modeling (FDM) with Ultem 9085 material replaced conventional manufacturing with PEEK in the production of the liner for the “Polar” freezer transporting scientific samples into space.

The University of Alabama Birmingham Center for Biophysical Sciences & Engineering created the freezer. The challenge facing the team working on it was to make the freezer more space-efficient compared to previous designs. Machining flat pieces of PEEK and joining them created sharp corners that fit poorly in the rounded interior of the freezer unit. Thermoforming the liner in PEEK to match the curves necessitated the use of brackets and joining features, which also compromised space-efficiency.

When the team turned to 3D printing, mechanical engineer Daniel Sealy says the group was intially still thinking about it like conventional processes, expecting to have to grow several pieces and connect them together. However, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing was able to apply a large-platform FDM machine to build the freezer’s entire liner assembly in one piece. Freezers using the liner arrived at the International Space Station earlier this year.

Read a more detailed article from Stratasys Direct Manufacturing here.

And speaking of additive … our Additive Manufacturing brand is about to grow. Soon, we will launch a new website devoted to additive manufacturing for industrial applicatons, and we will expand the publication that began as a small supplement into a full-size magazine. All of this will happen later this year. For now, stay apprised of these and other additive developments (and also give us a little encouragement) by joining us as one of the earliest followers of Additive Manufacturing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Posted by: Peter Zelinski 17. August 2015

Additive Manufacturing Conference Speaker: Bruce Colter

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Bruce Colter, business development manager at Linear Mold, will be one of the speakers at the upcoming Additive Manufacturing Conference. See him in the video we filmed about additive manufacturing at Linear. The conference—October 20-21 in Knoxville, Tennessee—focuses on industrial applications of additive manufacturing. Learn more and register to attend at additiveconference.com.

And speaking of additive … our Additive Manufacturing brand is about to grow. Soon, we will launch a new website devoted to additive manufacturing for industrial applicatons, and we will expand the publication that began as a small supplement into a full-size magazine. All of this will happen later this year. For now, stay apprised of these and other additive developments (and also give us a little encouragement) by joining us as one of the earliest followers of Additive Manufacturing on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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