3D PRINT­ING: DO­ING A GREAT JOB

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Letters / What’s On Your Mind? - JO­HAN ELS PROJECT ENGI­NEER CEN­TRAL UNIVER­SITY OF TECH­NOL­OGY, FREE STATE LOURENS ODENDAAL CENTURION

Thank you for the out­stand­ing job Pop­u­lar Me­chan­ics has done over the year in terms of shar­ing rel­e­vant and in­ter­est­ing in­for­ma­tion. I re­fer to your Skills sec­tion, May 2016, specif­i­cally the sec­tion ti­tled “Get­ting started in… 3D Print­ing” on Page 87.

In my opin­ion as a project engi­neer in the 3D print­ing in­dus­try, you are sell­ing us as South Africans short in terms of com­mer­cial 3D print­ing ser­vices avail­able and where we are now with the tech­nol­ogy. There are a few 3D print­ing ser­vice cen­tres through­out South Africa. One of these is the Cen­tre for Rapid Pro­to­typ­ing and Man­u­fac­tur­ing (CRPM), lo­cated at the Cen­tral Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, Free State (CUT) in Bloem­fontein. The CRPM was es­tab­lished in 1997 as part of a re­search ini­tia­tive and grew to be­come a cen­tre that gives in­dus­try sup­port. A laser sin­ter­ing ma­chine was im­ported from Ger­many – the fifth 3D Print­ing ma­chine in South Africa. CRPM of­fers var­i­ous print­ing tech­nolo­gies (se­lec­tive laser sin­ter­ing, stere­olithog­ra­phy, di­rect metal laser sin­ter­ing and poly­jet) in a va­ri­ety of ma­te­ri­als (ny­lon, alu­minium filled ny­lon, poly­styrene, ABS sim­u­la­tion ma­te­rial, ti­ta­nium and tool steel) for any in­dus­try or in­di­vid­ual.

In 2012, the first South African 3D-printed im­plant (printed at CRPM) was suc­cess­fully im­planted in Pre­to­ria. This was a proud mo­ment for all con­cerned. Since then var­i­ous im­plants have been pro­duced and when the first mandible was im­planted in the Kim­ber­ley Hos­pi­tal in 2013, it re­ceived cov­er­age through­out South African and in the global me­dia.

CRPM has as­sisted 30 pa­tients, who un­der the present cir­cum­stances, would not have un­der­gone any pro­ce­dures to re­store their dig­nity and qual­ity of life.

CRPM has been au­dited and rec­om­mended to re­ceive ISO: 13485 (med­i­cal de­vice) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to man­u­fac­ture cus­tom im­plants, guides and mod­els in ti­ta­nium us­ing 3D print­ing. This will make CRPM the first 3D print­ing cen­tre in South Africa cer­ti­fied to pro­duce med­i­cal de­vices.

Send your let­ter to: Howard Place 7450, or e-mail

Please keep it short and to the point. Re­gret­tably, prizes can be awarded only to South African res­i­dents.

Re­mem­ber that your elec­tric­ity bill spec­i­fies the amount of en­ergy used, by stat­ing the amount of kwh units used and then bills ac­cord­ingly.

If a load de­mand­ing 0,5 MVA is con­nected to an al­ter­na­tor with a ca­pac­ity of 1 MVA, the load would have con­sumed 0,5 MVAH af­ter an hour. The ca­pac­ity of the al­ter­na­tor is still 1 MVA. (Ex­clud­ing losses and power fac­tor for in­duc­tive loads ) To sum­marise: An al­ter­na­tor will de­liver what the load de­mands at any in­stance, pro­vided that the load de­mand does not ex­ceed the rated ca­pac­ity of the al­ter­na­tor. The power con­sumed can then be re­lated to time for en­ergy cal­cu­la­tion pur­poses or billing pur­poses.

There­fore, I main­tain that the ca­pac­ity of any gen­er­a­tion plant can­not be time re­lated. Time comes into the pic­ture only when power is be­ing con­sumed.

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