3D Hubs

3D Hubs (6)

Eindhoven University of Technology is home to PhD candidate and Healthcare Flagship Program participant, Mark Thielen, who is on a mission to increase surgical and procedural success for neonatal patients. Using 3D printing and 3D Hubs, he’s creating the best possible training experience with lifelike newborns capable of intelligent sensor feedback with functional organs.

For surgeons and nurses, experiencing as close to the real thing as possible is incredibly important to the success of surgeries and medical procedures. Within the neonatal field, it’s incredibly difficult to practice correctly with the current state of practice mannequins which lack the complexity and feel of a newborn patient. Mark’s research is to develop manikins which have all their major internal organs functioning and equipped with sensors to monitor key measurements such as pressure, stress and impact during trial procedures (e.g CPR, intubation).

The reason 3D printing is being applied in this area is a combination of the vast materials available for testing and, most importantly, the organic shapes you can create with them. Mark explains why he’s using 3D printing:

“Without 3D printing, this work would have been impossible. The sheer complexity of human anatomy is very hard to recreate realistically with any other production method, not to mention the cost and time differences.”

In Mark’s quest to find the material that acts most like a newborn's internal structures, he’s gone through over 15 different materials, testing them to find out their properties under stress. Mark has used an array of 3D printing technologies, including Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), Laser Sintering (SLS) and Multi-Material Jetting (MJ). There are two key components to the mannequin: the ribcage/spine, which acts as the housing for the second component, the internal organs.

After testing various thermoplastic elastomers on his internal desktop FDM 3D printer to initially create the larger parts such as the rib cage, he arrived at 3D Hubs. As a distributed network of 3D printing services, 3D Hubs gave Mark to access a wider array of materials at services near to him. He ordered the rib cage and full internal structure in thermoplastic rubber again but used Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) thanks to accuracy and dimensional freedom of the technology:

“3D printing helped this research by enabling the synthesis of models for testing in a swift and detailed manner. As this research focusses on the physical realm, it is important that we work with physical models rather than just virtual ones. 3D Hubs allowed me to create the larger components locally and in a material otherwise not available to me.”

To create the functional organs PolyJet 3D printing was used to create molds instead of traditional methods because of the inability to rapidly change the molds if needed and also the shapes needed, Mark explains:

“​Due to the extremely small sizes of neonatal organs, as well as their minuscule detail, the only way to create a mold for these parts was to 3D print them.”

Material Jetting allowed Mark to combine materials (rigid and flexible plastics) when creating the molds. For example he created a heart that needed to have highly detailed working valves. The normal removal process for a mold (3D printed or not) would have damaged the intricacies of the heart model. Combining flexible materials at the points most sensitive to damage (the valves), it allowed for the heart model to be removed intact.

When the ribcage and organs are combined, Mark runs a fluid through the mannequin with two cameras and sensors installed, giving live feedback on every part of the mannequin throughout various trial procedures. The liquid acts as a signal when pressure is too much or too little alongside the cameras/sensors monitoring its flow around the mannequin.

Mark’s mannequins are still in development but the initial tests look promising. Bringing higher levels of training for medical professionals around the world and increasing procedure success. Mark’s research into the creation of hyper realistic mannequins doesn’t stop at neonatal patients though, with there being potentially wider applications. He goes on to explain:

“​I believe that developing and advancing what we started here can aid medical research in a broader scope. We could potentially create realistic patient models of other body parts to strengthen medical training for emergency procedures and pregnancies.”

3D printing is often talked about as a revolutionary technology, but without substance to the claim, here we can see it in its truest form: providing a solution that no other method could.

Friday, 04 November 2016 11:30

3D Hubs Acquires Printivate

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3D Hubs announced the acquisition of Printivate, a specialized service for optimizing and fixing 3D models. 3D Hubs will integrate Printivate in its platform to improve 3D file handling and printability prediction. Adrian Muresan, CEO and founder of Printivate, will join the 3D Hubs team as R&D lead at the Amsterdam office.

3D Hubs helps designers and engineers to 3D print their prototypes and end-parts through a local service provider. When going from a digital model to a physical 3D printed object many complex calculations take place that are relevant for the printability and quality of the final product.

“Printivate developed advanced computational software that allows 3D Hubs to simplify and automate this process. The automation will lead to faster turnaround times, lower failure rates, less handling and higher quality prints throughout the platform” says Muresan.

As one of the leading marketplaces for 3D printing services, 3D Hubs aims to automate the process of 3D printing as much as possible. By using automated, smart 3D model analysis, their 3D printing services will be able to streamline the incoming order flow, reduce handling and turnaround time per print, allowing them to take more orders at less cost. For the customer, potential failure rates drop dramatically while print quality improves.

With the data of over 500,000+ printed parts available, the impact of the automation on both the company as well as the user is expected to be significant. “Our goal is to build the most efficient 3D print solution for professionals working in design and manufacturing. We're going to achieve this by integrating advanced tools directly into the 3D Hubs platform. The acquisition of Printivate is another large step forward.” says Bram de Zwart, CEO of 3D Hubs.

The first functionality is expected to go live on 3D Hubs before the end of the year.

3D Hubs launched The Definitive Guide to 3D printing with the help of its 30,000 Hubs, educating professionals about the technology in an easily digestible format.

The Definitive Guide to 3D Printing was created as a starting point for those looking to find out more about 3D printing while acting as a point of reference for those in the know. It includes the humble beginnings of the first 3D printer all the way up to explaining how the most advanced technologies work through videos, examples prints and easy to understand illustrations.

3D Hubs worked with a selection of their 30,000 Hubs around the world to create the videos, images and knowledge base to help make the definitive guide contain the most accurate information possible.

Making the guide go beyond just information overload was important so we offer a plethora of resources on how to begin designing. Included is a top tips section, so whether you’re an industrial designer or drone enthusiast you’ll be provided with valuable advice on preparing and creating your model for printing.

3D Hubs is world’s largest network of local 3D printing services. Thanks to its local nature, 3D Hubs is the fastest and most affordable 3D printing solution for product designers and engineers that do prototyping and small series production. Today, the network consists of over 30,000 3D printing locations.

For more information, visit: www.3dhubs.com/what-is-3d-printing

At 3D Hubs, we've learned how inaccessible industrial-grade 3D printing can be – including long lead times, hard-to-reach support teams and high shipping costs. With the launch of 3D Hubs HD, we’re solving this by making it easy for designers to connect with industrial-grade 3D printers in their area.

Approved Hubs that can deliver industrial-grade prints are awarded the “3D Hubs HD” badge and will focus on direct communication with 3D Hubs customers to ensure accurate production and fast turnaround times. Industry leaders including i.materialise, Sculpteo and NRI will be amongst the first group of service providers to make industrial-grade 3D printing locally available.

Similar to the existing 3D Hubs experience, ordering through 3D Hubs HD providers is as simple as uploading a 3D printable file and choosing a nearby Hub.

“Through unlocking this tier of industrial-grade materials, we are now able to offer an end-to-end solution to our customers both large and small,” explains 3D Hubs co-founder Brian Garret. “By combining affordable desktop production with high-end industrial-grade services, the full spectrum of 3D printing is now becoming accessible.”

Following our existing model of distributed desktop 3D printing, we're kicking off 3D Hubs HD in 37 cities with the introduction of Strong and Flexible Nylon. This highly-functional material is popular for both Product Designers and Architects and is 3D printed through the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) additive manufacturing process. Over the next few months, we'll continue to unveil more HD materials and ramp up locations to bring local industrial-grade 3D printing to everyone around the world.

Through the end of October 2015, artists, designers, engineers and other 3D content creators are invited to try the Strong & Flexible Nylon with a 30% discount. Together with the 3D Hubs community, we’ll also be hosting a series of design workshops worldwide to get designers of all skill levels up to speed with printing their designs in HD materials - starting with the 3D Printing for Designers and Architects event in London on October 28, 2015.

For more information, visit: www.3dhubs.com/hd

Wednesday, 06 May 2015 16:38

3D Hubs and Thingiverse Announce Partnership

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3D Hubs and Thingiverse are excited to announce a new partnership to bring 3D printing to those who don’t own or have access to a 3D printer.

By connecting the world’s largest 3D print design community of Thingiverse to 3D Hubs, the world’s largest 3D printing network, we enable over 700,000 designs to be directly 3D printed at 15,000 locations worldwide.

A 3D print button will be featured on the Thingiverse website, which gives users the option to send desired designs directly to the nearest 3D printer via 3D Hubs and have it made straight away.

To kick off our partnership, Thingiverse has initially selected eight popular designers to integrate the 3D print button next to their designs and more will be added soon. These selected designers now have the ability to suggest a tip for using their design, which users can choose to pay within the purchase process on 3D Hubs. This fee goes directly to the designer as recognition and credit for their great work.

A 3D Hubs badge will be added to designs that are instantly printable via 3D Hubs.

“Working with 3D Hubs is a natural next step as we continue to grow our MakerBot 3D Ecosystem,” noted Joey Neal, Chief Experience Officer with MakerBot. “At MakerBot, we are continuing to look for ways to get 3D printing into the hands of more people. 3D Hubs has built an incredible network to fulfill 3D prints locally, which we see as a natural fit for integration into the Thingiverse community.”

“This collaboration marks an important step in striving to make 3D printing universally accessible,” said Bram de Zwart, CEO and co-founder of 3D Hubs. “By connecting our global 3D printer network to the world's largest 3D print design community, we enable people to 3D print almost anything, anywhere in the world. This is truly about bringing together creativity and production power.”

We believe this collaboration will increase consumer adoption of 3D printing, while recognizing designers creativity.

The eight designers that are participating in the initial launch of the Thingiverse 3D Hubs partnership are:

  • Arian Croft (aka Dutchmogel) – designer and creator of Pocket-Tactics and co-founder of Ill Gotten Games. Arian Croft is a prolific and popular 3D designer with more than 272 3D designs on Thingiverse.
  • Bold Machines – The Innovation Workshop at Stratasys that was created and founded by MakerBot co-founder Bre Pettis. Bold Machines partners with innovators to explore new approaches to industrial and personal applications and fabrication through 3D printing. Bold Machines is currently working on creating characters for a feature film developed from compelling 3D-modeled characters.
  • Isaac Budmen – designer of sculptures, mechanical parts and amazing architectural designs. and author of The Book on 3D Printing and
  • Laura Taalman (aka mathgrrl) – a self-proclaimed math geek and defender of the universe, Laura Taalman is also a professor, mathematician, blogger and hacktastic 3D design/maker who embarked on 3D printing a different math shape for every day of the year last year.
  • Nervous System – a unique design studio that works at intersecting science art and technology through 3D design and an assortment of jewelry, art and housewares.
  • Quincy Robinson (3DKitbash) – a toy industry professional with a history of award-winning and noteworthy innovations that cater to Fortune 500 companies.
  • Simplus Design – beautiful 3D printed housewares designed by Simplus Design founders Sebastian Misiurek and Arianna Lebed.
  • Walter Hsiao – Walter is a prolific 3D designer that specializes in 3D printable usable parts and accessories for everyday living.


Do you want to get the 3D print button next to your designs on Thingiverse? Visit www.3dhubs.com/3d-printing-designs/thingiverse and sign up now.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015 16:33

3D Hubs Announces Collaboration With BitPay

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Bitcoin payment service provider BitPay, and 3D Hubs, the world’s largest network of 3D printers, have just announced a collaboration that will integrate bitcoin payments through Adyen into 3D Hubs’ network of over 13,000 privately owned 3D printers globally. The partnership follows the recent news of Adyen’s integration of bitcoin.

3D Hubs is on a mission to make 3D printing accessible to everyone by connecting all the world’s 3D printers. The 3D Hubs model decentralizes production and promotes sustainability by eliminating the need for long distance shipping. Today, the 3D Hubs network is providing over one billion people with access to a 3D printer within 10 miles of their home.

3D printing began in the early 80s as a form of rapid prototyping. The original 3D printer, invented by Chuck Hull, involved using UV beams to solidify layers of liquid photopolymer in a vat. Since then, 3D printing has rapidly evolved, and 3D printers can now create products in a whole range of materials including plastics, resins, metals, ceramics, and even food. In fact, you can now create just about anything you can dream of.

This partnership connects bitcoin a decentralized currency to 3D Hubs’ decentralized manufacturing network, further strengthening the global movement towards decentralized industry.

3D Hubs is world’s largest and fastest growing network of 3D printers. By making 3D printing locally accessible to everyone 3D Hubs is changing the way products are being manufactured and distributed. Today the network is providing over one Billion people with access to a 3D printer within 10 miles of their home.

BitPay is the global leader in bitcoin payment solutions with offices throughout North America, Europe, and South America. The company has raised over $32 million from top investors including Index Ventures, Founders Fund, and Sir Richard Branson.

For more information, visit: www.3dhubs.com

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