Avante Technology, LLC, a company specializing in the development of advanced 3D printing materials and technologies, announced that it has successfully printed functional injection molding tools with its FilaOne™ GRAY High Performance Composite Filament for 3D printers. The mold was used to make ASTM test bars out of ABS, High Density Polyethylene and Polypropylene, three of the most commonly used thermoplastics for molding plastic parts."
“We have now demonstrated that it is feasible to print simple, short run injection molding tooling on a desktop FDM printer”, said Robert Zollo, President of Avante Technology.
“With a material cost for this mold of less than US $25.00, our advanced composite can save manufacturers thousands of dollars and weeks of time in producing small numbers of working prototypes and short run product parts.”
Injection molding tools typically require a using high performance industrial printer costing $75,000 or more. The mold was printed using an experimental desktop FDM printed de-signed and build by Avante Technology.
According to Zollo, ”This class of high precision desktop printer can be purchased from a number of manufacturers that sell in the $5,000 to $7,500 price range. We have proven feasibility of printing small injection molding tools at an investment savings of 90% or more compared with conventional industrial grade printers that support printing of tooling.”
The two part mold (2” high x 1.5” wide x 3.6” long) was able to handle molding process heat (up to 440º F) and pressure for more than 15 injection cycles without noticeable wear in the mold cavity. More testing is planned to determine the useful life of each mold."
“We plan to continue to test a range of materials on a number of part designs with the goal of achieving a useful life of 100 cycles for our printed molds” said Zollo. "We believe this will be achievable before the end of this year.”
Ogle Models & Prototypes helped revolutionize the way oceans are monitored for future weather reports when it developed a cutting-edge remote controlled drone which could be used at sea. Historically, recording data sourced from the sea is also how ocean mapping and marine biology studies are formed. Ogle was asked to create the intricate bow and tail fins for the unmanned surface vessel (USV), which needed to be precise so the model could be accurately tested.
Dave Bennion, Marketing and Sales Director at Ogle, said: “We understood the importance of accuracy on this project. There was no room for error because the parts we were asked to develop made up 30 per cent of the prototype. The material and production process also needed to guarantee that the final part would be non-porous which meant the model could be tested accurately. We are extremely proud to have been selected to produce these parts for the MOST Autonomous Vessels (AV), the leading innovator of autonomous drones. The company’s products have become so integral to research and understanding more about our oceans.”
Ogle used laser sintering (LS) which is one of the most accurate additive manufacturing processes available. It involves using a special laser which traces the required shape from a 3D CAD model across a compacted powder bed of material. The parts were then put through a vigorous process to ensure the quality of the surface finish was exact and water-proof.
Dan Alldis, who is Design Manager at MOST AV, said: “We have previously worked with Ogle on a number of different projects, but this was the first larger job. Their price was competitive and the range of machines and tools they have is extremely impressive. They have led the way in 3D printing for years, building a very impressive portfolio. It made sense to work with the experienced team at Ogle for this project. We have an order going through for three more parts since the completion of the bow and tail fins, and would not hesitate to work with them on future projects.”
The AutoNaut has since completed a four-day trial from Plymouth, UK carrying met office sensors, which were used to test the viability of collecting forecasting data in a new and more cost-effective method. Experts now predict that within five years, swarms of these remote controlled vessels will be at sea for months at a time gathering data from around the globe. It is thought they will provide a priceless resource to many of the world’s research industries.
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston is one of the world’s foremost curators of the innovative and the creative. In a recent exhibit, titled “#techstyle,” the MFA is featuring high fashion pieces developed through new technologies and methods of manufacturing. Some of the pieces are comprised of never-before-used materials, others are made from fully recycled materials, a few come in advanced materials directly off a 3D printer—like designer Francis Bitonti’s “Molecule” shoes.
In a collaboration with the renowned designer, FATHOM provided the 3D printing services for this installation at MFA. The piece and exhibit were covered by a number of publications including the Wall Street Journal, Interior Design, and Boston Globe.
Each pair of the Bitonti shoes are totally unique, and “grow” from a concept created by the designer himself. Pixel by pixel, an algorithm mimics the natural growth of cells, a digital recreation of the growth process seen in nature. The shoes take on a distinctly digital yet organic appearance, a reflection of the contrasting influences of their creation.
High fashion is just one of many applications of generative and organically-based design work made possible through 3D printing as a method of manufacturing. While unique outfits and accessories do not fit our everyday lives, the science and engineering work behind these artistic creations are pushing practical applications forward.
Pioneering works by Bitonti, as well as Neri Oxman and Anouk Wipprecht to name a few, represent serious developments in material science for 3D printing—all of which they share with the world through a passion for art and high fashion. Many industry-leading companies are experimenting with generative design and the advancements are being realized in industrial design today.
Although much of FATHOM’s work using generative design is under NDA, the team has made a few stories public such as creating the East Bay EDA Innovation Awards, Designer Aaron Porterfield’s Space-Frame table, and trophies for the 2015 Make The Unmakeable Challenge.
Reinforced composite materials that are used in the construction of car and wind tunnel parts and components for racing teams have taken 3D printing technology to new heights to produce parts for the Bebop 2 drone.
Bebop 2 offers very easy-to-use piloting and is powerful with impressive stability and maneuverability even in extreme conditions. Data collected by seven sensors are analyzed and merged thanks to the impressive calculation capability of its onboard computer. Bebop 2 integrates a front facing camera and the pilot can digitally change the angle of the camera by 180° by just sliding a finger on the screen of the piloting device.
Parrot has developed the final Bebop 2 version with the help of Windform GT material. The first Bebop 2 structure was built with injected parts made of polyamide based glass reinforced composite material. Parrot then moved to SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) technology in collaboration with CRP Technology in order to optimize the structural performance without the long lead time and high tooling cost.
Parrot carried out an original development approach based on an experimental diagnosis and FE model aimed at improving the quality of the video during flight, which is usually altered by the vibrations of the drone. The structure has been mainly developed according to that target and by using smart design to reduce weight. Parrot has established that the natural frequencies of the parts made with Windform GT were quite similar to those of parts obtained by injection molding of glass fiber reinforced polyamide.
Parrot was also able to evaluate toughness of the product structure as consumer drones such as the Bebop 2 fall quite often with beginners. Windform GT proved the only 3D printing material able to overcome the accidental test falls carried out by Parrot’s technicians. Parrot highlights others advantages obtained with additive manufacturing and Windform GT material including making small production batches to provide functional products to the team and good aesthetics feature.
3D metal printing enables incredible applications because it truly allows freedom of design. For the first time ever, a prosthetic titanium beak has been manufactured using 3D metal printing and implanted on Gigi, a blue macaw (a genus of the parrot family), in Brazil. This unusual prosthetic saved Gigi's very life, as macaws are unable to eat solid foods without a beak.
The illegal trade of wild birds is a sad story of greed, and it doesn't just happen in Brazil. The victims are magnificent creatures whose very beauty can end up being their downfall. During Gigi's captivity at the hands of illegal bird traders, poor housing conditions caused severe malformation of the bird's beak. Ultimately, Gigi was freed by the Brazilian police, but the magnificent bright blue and yellow feathered macaw could no longer be fed without a beak. A team of veterinarians, together with 3D printing experts from the Renato Archer Technology and Information Center (CTI) in Campinas, Brazil, developed an implant solution for the bird. The successful operation took place at the Animal Care Center in Ipiranga near Sao Paulo.
The artificial beak was created thanks to the cooperation of three specialists. The team, dubbed the "Avengers," was comprised of veterinarian Roberto Fecchio, 3D designer and facial-reconstruction specialist Cicero Moraes and veterinary dentist Paul Miamoto. The "Avengers" are pioneers in the use of 3D printing technology for saving the life of wild animals, having previously made a new shell for Freddy the turtle and a beak for an injured toucan. These prosthetics were made of plastic. In the case of Gigi, Plastic was not suitable. Macaws use their beaks to open seeds and break other hard shells, meaning that their beaks need to be extremely long-lasting and strong. This being the case, the team decided on titanium, known to be extremely durable. Titanium presented itself as the perfect solution, as it is biocompatible, lightweight and corrosion-resistant. Many prosthetics for people are produced using titanium today, so why not try using the material to help a wild bird?
Paul Miamoto began by taking a series of photographs of the malformed beak. From these, Cicero Moraes created a digital 3D model for the perfectly fitting prosthetic. The beak was then laser melted at the Renato Archer Technology and Information Center (CTI). Gigi's artificial beak was created using a Mlab cusing R from Concept Laser, with which especially delicate parts with high surface quality can be manufactured. The smallest system model from Lichtenfels proved to be the right choice for saving Gigi's life. The operation then took place at the Animal Care Center in Sao Paulo. Veterinarians Roberto Fecchio, Sergio Camargo, Rodrigo Rabello and Methus Rabello participated. The 3D-printed prosthetic was secured in place with bone cement and orthopedic screws. Just 48 hours after the operation, Gigi was able to try out the beak. She made a fantastic recovery at the Center for Research and Screening of Wild Animals (CEPTAS) at Unimonte University. Gigi is currently awaiting placement at a zoo, where visitors can marvel at the bird's one-of-a-kind beak secured in place with colorful rhinestone-styled screws.
All's well that ends well. Examples like Gigi show that 3D-printed medical technology isn't just capable of providing greater quality of life to people. The unlimited geometric freedom of the process enables the manufacture of perfectly fitting implants ideally suitable for each respective application. Ultimately, it was able to help a magnificent wild bird overcome injuries and deformities, so there is good news in our often uncertain and sometimes unsettling world.
UC San Diego’s Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS UCSD) successfully launched the Vulcan-1 rocket on Saturday, May 21, at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) site in Mojave, CA.
SEDS UCSD initially experienced some delays, but successfully launched just before 4 p.m. in heavily windy conditions, making them the first university group to design, create, and launch a rocket powered by a completely 3-D printed engine.
Vulcan-1 was 19 feet long and 8 inches in diameter, capable of 750 lb. of thrust. A cryogenic, bi-propellant, liquid-fueled blow down system, the rocket was powered with a combination of liquid oxygen (LOx) and refined kerosene. The rocket engine was sponsored by GPI Prototype & Manufacturing Services and 3D printed in inconel 718 at their facilities in Lake Bluff, IL.
The Vulcan-1 project began in 2014 and quickly grew into a team of over 60 student engineers. The team fabricated and tested the rocket at Open Source Maker Labs, a makerspace in nearby Vista, CA which provided equipment and support for the project. SEDS UCSD also received mentor support from NASA, XCOR, Open Source Maker Labs, and many other groups in the space industry.
“This sort of technology has really come to fruition in the last few years. This is proof of concept that if students at the undergraduate level could drive down the costs of building these engines, we could actually fly rockets and send up payload that is cheaper and more efficient,” said Darren Charrier, the group’s incoming president. “One day, we’d like to see this technology being implemented on large-scale rockets, which means that we could send satellites to provide internet for developing countries, we could mine asteroids, perhaps even go colonize Mars.”
SEDS UCSD is an undergraduate student-run research group that aims to advance the future of space exploration and development technology. SEDS has previously garnered media attention for being the first students to design, print, and test a 3-D printed rocket engine.
The iconic “Starry night” by Van Gogh reflects the best of the Dutch post-impressionist master’s unique style. It is known that Van Gogh “sculpted” texture onto his canvas with a thick layer of gesso (a type of white binding mixture used as a primer) prior to applying the colours. This technique allowed him to achieve his rich, signature impasto without overusing more expensive paints.
The Toronto-based 3D printing company, Custom Prototypes Inc. has produced an exact replica of this supreme artwork using additive manufacturing technology.
A high resolution image of the painting was scrupulously analyzed to create a CAD file of the “primed canvas”, simulating the technique Van Gogh used with gesso. The STL topography file turned solid during the 3D printing process. The use of a large format, high definition stereolithography machine played a key role in meticulously reproducing the texture.
With these steps completed to reproduce the image, the creative finishing began. Under the expertise of a professional art restorer, Custom Prototypes turned to the ages-old technique of oil painting. Again undertaking a thorough analysis of the original piece, many hours were spent reproducing virtually every point and colour on the surface. Final aging and a vernix coat were applied to the artwork to bring the painting to life.
To achieve the total effect, the “canvas” had to be protected by a period frame. An original 19th century European impressionist frame obtained from a local art dealer was 3D scanned and 3D printed hollow in another stereolithography process. The surface was finished using a combination of art paints, gold leaf and aging techniques.
The painting made its debut at this year's Additive Manufacturing User Group (AMUG) conference in St. Louis, Missouri, where it was awarded first place in the Advanced Finishing category of the AMUG Technical Competition.
The Berlin-based tech startup BigRep has printed the largest FDM-3D printed drone in the world: DUSTER. The market and technological leader for large-scale serial 3D printing has produced an ultra-light, stable and with carbon threads reinforced copter drone frame with the BigRep ONE, the world's largest serial 3D printer. With dimensions of 220x190x60cm, the drone's copter frame is designed to accommodate eight electric motors, each with up to 3.8kW. The load capacity of the DUSTER is 40 to 60kg. If this full capacity is utilized, the flight time is between seven and forty minutes; with the use of further batteries it can be extended up to seventy minutes.
The drone nicknamed DUSTER is officially called OIC Copter System # 42 OT. The "OT" stands for "organic tensegrity" and describes both the organic design of the 3D printed components that form the core of the copter frame, as well as the carbon threads absorbing the frame’s tension – both while the drone is stationary and in flight. The combination of the thin-walled, hollow 3D printed parts and the carbon threads is essential for the stability and function of a ultra-light drone of this size: The printed parts are particularly well adapted to absorbing high pressure but not at performing bending and pulling motions; however the carbon threads contribute enormously to handling pulling forces. By combining the two materials, the shortcomings of the individual materials are perfectly balanced, which enhances the advantages of both.
DUSTER was jointly developed with the drone specialist Robert Reichert of OiC Drones, the first full-service drone provider. The engineer and industrial designer experimented early on with systems that could carry cameras in the air in a stable manner. With OiC, he focuses on manufacturing highly specialized flying robots. So far, DUSTER is the largest drone, which Reichert has been involved in the construction of: "Without the BigRep ONE, producing a drone of this size would not have been possible. Large-scale 3D printing allows us to think of completely new dimensions when it comes to building drones. I am very proud to have been involved in the development of DUSTER, since this drone has established a completely new benchmark."
The 3D printed copter frame for the DUSTER is very versatile as a platform and is among other things particularly suitable for use in the industrial and agriculture sectors. In the latter, the drone could be utilized for a controlled, semi-autonomous delivery of fertilizers and biological pesticides. Moreover, the drone can be used for example in the sustainable cultivation of wine.
For more information, visit: www.bigrep.com
Ogle Models & Prototypes has been helping car manufacturing giant Honda with its push towards driverless technology. Ogle’s cutting-edge technology was used to create concept models for Honda as part of the Japanese multinational’s bid to develop autonomous driving technology.
The models were used for the ‘Honda. Great Journey.’ advertising campaign illustrating what self-driving cars could eventually look like. The car firm plans to put driverless vehicles on the roads by 2020. Each of the 1:24 scaled models, the size commonly used for toy cars, required precise production to accurately reflect the high quality of Honda’s vehicles.
Ogle’s stereolithography (SLA) machines were used to create the tiny component parts for the models and the firm’s team of model-makers painstaking put the pieces together.
Dave Bennion the Marketing and Sales Director for Ogle, said: “The accuracy demanded of our people and machines was significant. To achieve the required paint finishes and component parts for the models, there was no room for error. Each finish had to be executed to perfection, resulting in a seamless look when being filmed.
“We are extremely proud to have been selected to produce such intricate and unique models for such a household brand and were delighted to receive such positive feedback.
“Innovative solutions were sought throughout. For example, to create a hammock effect, a net finish was achieved by sourcing multiple net fabrics and lacquering the component parts, so that they were clear, before applying paint over the pattern of the fabric.
“A considerable amount of time was spent both in design and on the bench to create clearances for paint so that everything would fit and work after the parts had been painted.”
Some of the fine decorative touches were shaped by hand using stainless steel and copper wire to create a robust and realistic effect.
Ogle’s paint department were tasked with delivering finishes that had never been created before. The meticulous process included applying a guide coat of paint to each of the models to ensure all items were rubbed down correctly before being sandblasted to even all the surfaces and soften any remaining layers.
In the final assembly, all the parts were thoroughly tested to allow for the required movement within each model. Two of the seven models, The Mountain Climber and Jungle Jumper, went through even further inspection because many elements were functional and needed to move, so the overall balance and strength of the model had to be tested and maintained.
For more information, visit: www.oglemodels.com
Use of the X1000 3D printer from German RepRap has enabled TAKATA PlasTec GmbH to now considerably reduce development costs and time for prototype production. The samples have to be made quickly and inexpensively so that the customer can then use them for concept examinations. These are used to create equipment and supports for production simply and quickly. “The costs for the external value added are reduced and it is now possible to create parts which were previously unjustifiable due to the prohibitively high costs involved,” reports Kevin Rogers, manager of Application Engineering at TAKATA PlasTec GmbH.
The particular challenge when printing large components is the optimum print preparation. Run times can be kept to a minimum here by the skillful arrangement and positioning of the parts in the build envelope in order to thus improve the quality of the print result. “The X1000 is the first printer that is optimized for industrial use and covers the dimensions required for TAKATA components. Our many years of experience in the field of 3D printing has certainly helped here and we are pleased that TAKATA has chosen our X1000,” explains Florian Bautz, CEO of German RepRap GmbH.
TAKATA PlasTec GmbH is a development and series supplier for interior and exterior plastic systems in the automotive sector and serves customers like Daimler AG, SCANIA, DAF. This includes door panels, interior and exterior trims for trucks or plastic housing sections for consumer electrical equipment. Thanks to the 3D printer, sample parts can be created during development in order to implement installation trials or concept tests in-house or at the customer.
For more information, visit: www.germanreprap.com
Rinus Roelofs calls himself a ‘digital sculptor’: he creates sculptures on a computer. Mr Roelofs has been a pioneer in this field for over 20 years. He is also a mathematician, and his creations are inspired by complex mathematical structures.
Many of Mr Roelofs’ ideas are geometrically so complex that they are a challenge to realize in practice, particularly with traditional production methods. Mr Roelofs has been an enthusiast and early adopter of 3D printing for his sculptures. However, most 3D printers are unable to produce items that are large and firm enough for outdoor public display, such as in a museum garden.
3Dealise, the industrial 3D printing and 3D engineering company, has worked for some time with Mr Roelofs to bring his ideas to life. First, 3Dealise produced 400 mm tall prototypes of two designs for Mr Roelofs, to demonstrate what is possible. Then, the challenge was accepted to produce a giant 2.3 meters tall ‘cylindrical knot’ for Mr Roelofs. The shape was described by Mr Roelofs as ‘a tube that is knotted in an unconventional way’.
Mr Roelofs unveiled the sculpture at the RapidPro trade show for a crowd of enthusiasts and press. It was the first time that Mr Roelofs saw the structure himself, and he was delighted to finally see a life-size version of his idea that was conceived so many years ago. The sculpture is 2.3 meters tall and is made of approximately 600 kg of iron.
3Dealise uses a two-step process to produce large items. First, a giant 3D printer, capable of producing prints up to the size of a phone box (build volume 1800 x 1000 x 700 mm) within 24 hours, produces a mold for metal casting. Mold prints can be stacked like Lego bricks to produce larger shapes. The use of 3D printing in this step enables ‘freedom of design’, customization and other benefits of 3D printing. Second, a metal casting is made with the 3D printed sand mold. This second step uses a traditional casting process, producing high quality material with well-known materials and well-known material quality, that can be issued with a material certificate such as Lloyds 3.1.
Sculptor Rinus Roelofs commented: “I have had the idea for this sculpture for a long time, and only in the late ‘90s the software was advanced enough to be able to design it. Since then, I have tried to realize the sculpture, which has been a challenge. First, I made a version with digitally cut layers of wood glued together. 3D printing a small version in plastic became possible a few years back. And for the first time now, it has been possible to make a life-size version in one piece, as the sculpture was intended.”
3Dealise CEO Roland Stapper commented “This new technology is important for two reasons:
First, it demonstrates that ‘freedom of design’ is available for large items, such as this 2.3-metre-tall work of art. 3D printing is often associated with relatively small parts, but the benefits are equally available for large parts. A universe of new design possibilities is unlocked for artists and designers this way.
Second, because this technology is capable of producing large metal items, it shows that structurally strong and vandal proof items can be made with 3D printing. This is essential for outdoor display of works of art.”
Optomec, a supplier of production grade additive manufacturing systems for 3D printed metals and printed electronics, announced that Dr. Kurt Christenson, Senior Scientist for Optomec, will give a presentation titled “Aerosol Jet Printing of Antennas and Sensors for Smart Internet of Things (IoT) Devices” at the FLEX 2016 Conference in Monterey, California on Thursday, March 3rd.
Dr. Christenson’s presentation will provide information on the utilization of Aerosol Jet printing technology for mass production of a variety of 3D antennas, sensors and circuitry used for mobile and industrial Internet of Things applications. Material considerations and case studies will be presented, comparing Aerosol Jet printing to traditional fabrication methods. Examples of 3D printed short range and long range antennas, electrical and optical sensors, via filling, wrap-around printing, and five axis motion will be shown.
Optomec Aerosol Jet technology is used by a wide variety of industries to directly print functional electronic circuitry and components onto low-temperature, non-planar substrates, without the need for masks, screens, or plating. Optomec 3D printed electronics solutions are based on its industry proven Aerosol Jet technology for printing conformal electronic circuitry and components onto 3D structures. The Aerosol Jet process utilizes an innovative aerodynamic focusing technique to collimate a dense mist of material-laden micro droplets into a tightly controlled beam to print features as small as 10 microns or as large as several millimeters in a single pass. A wide assortment of materials can be printed with the Aerosol Jet system including conductive nano-particle inks, polymers and epoxies, along with dielectrics, ceramics, and bio-active materials. Aerosol Jet systems are currently in use for high volume, 24X7, production of consumer electronic devices.
Now in its 15th year, the 2016 FLEX conference is the premier technical event in the industry, focused on advancing technical and business interests in flexible, printed, hybrid electronics and their applications. Over 600 attendees are expected to attend the event at the Monterey Marriott, February 29 – March 3, 2016. The event, organized by FlexTech Alliance, a SEMI Strategic Association Partner, features market and technical presentations, short courses, poster sessions, exhibits and more–all focused on the creation of flexible, printed, hybrid devices, including new materials, processes, equipment, devices and products.
For more information, visit: www.flexconference.org
Planetary Resources, in collaboration with 3D Systems, have 3d printed the first part from asteroid metal powder.
The prototypes shown below were 3D printed from an actual asteroid that was, pulverized, powdered and processed on the newly released 3D Systems ProX DMP 320 metal 3D printer.
The meteorite used for the print material was sourced from the Campo Del Cielo impact near Argentina, and is composed of iron, nickel and cobalt. The composition is similar to refinery grade steel.
When Sibelloptics co-founder Steve Vetorino and his team required a robust, lightweight enclosure for a key feature of their Windimager® LIDAR wind measurement system capable of withstanding extreme temperatures anywhere on earth, they turned to Axis Prototypes, a company specializing in 3d printing and rapid prototyping. Comprising one of four main subsystems of the LIDAR (a remote sensing technology for measuring wind speed and direction by illuminating particles in the air with a laser and analyzing the reflected light), the hemispherical scanner for which the parts were printed, outputs a low-power, omnidirectional infrared laser beam consisting of a series of amplified pulses. Data regarding the frequency and range of the returning light (Doppler shift) is obtained by the system’s detectors and sophisticated software. Ultimately, highly detailed maps are created showing wind speed and direction at various distances. The field-tested Windimager® boasts a range of 10 km and can continuously monitor winds in a volume of atmosphere consisting of more than 2 trillion cubic meters.
Designed to protect the mirrors, motors, and slip-rings of the scanner, the parts were printed in Nylon using SLA technology and consist of a 24-inch diameter dome and a 9-inch diameter cowling. The parts were then primed and painted for aesthetics.
Due to the size and geometric intricacies of the parts, Steve conceded that the only way to produce them cost-effectively and to spec was through additive manufacturing: “Given the large size and internal features of the printed scanner enclosure parts, I know of no other means to create them other than through 3d printing.”
After a year in operation and being subjected to temperatures ranging from -17°F to +100°F at Sibelloptics’ testing facility in Berthoud, Colorado, the parts have met if not exceeded the client’s expectations. Steve commented that, “The 3D printed nylon dome and cowling have survived without a scratch, chip or dent. Without a doubt, the Dome and Cowling have exceeded our greatest expectations; their durability and resilience are truly remarkable! These features coupled with their light weight, great appearance, and cost effectiveness are why we will continue to use 3d printing technology for all future systems.”
Based in Montreal, Canada, Axis Prototypes provides 3d printing and rapid prototyping services to support low-cost, low-volume manufacturing operations across numerous markets, including aerospace, aeronautics, automotive, sporting and consumer goods, dental and medical, architecture, and telecommunications. Axis Prototypes operates production grade 3d printers to produce conceptual and functional prototypes from various polymer and metallic materials based on additive manufacturing technologies such SLA, DMLS, SLS, and FDM. Axis is a distributor of 3D SLA printers from Prodways, a leading 3d printer manufacturer in Europe. For more information, visit www.axisproto.com
Established in 2011, Sibelloptics of Boulder, Colorado provides robust remote sensing platforms that serve a variety of industries. Their staff has more than 100 years combined experience in developing state-of-the-art Lidar transceivers, telescopes, high energy lasers, and long range chemical detection sensors. Their first Windimager, delivered in February of 2014, was built for NASA to study aircraft wake turbulence. Their second system was recently installed on the island of Aruba to predict winds approaching a wind farm power installation. For more information, visit www.sibelloptics.com
Prototyping firm Ogle Models has come to the aid of a designer to create 3D printed shoes for Olympic gold medal winner Amy Williams.
The gold wedge shoes appeared on The Gadget Show as part of a feature emphasizing the use of 3D printing in the fashion industry.
The process involves making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital CAD file, typically by laying down successive thin layers of material.
The design house Julian Hakes turned to Ogle after facing the prospect of creating a unique design in a short time frame, and the company’s industrial 3D printing machines provided the solution.
Ogle marketing and sales director Dave Bennion said: “We’re delighted to be involved in such a unique project, especially honoring a British Olympian. The latest technology provided by 3D printing is enabling innovation across all kinds of industries.
“3D printing and additive manufacturing are terms that are, today, frequently used synonymously to denote a group of additive processes that produce – or print – parts directly from 3D CAD data, one layer at a time.
“These additive processes have emerged and been greatly developed during the last 20 years and have proved advantageous for a host of applications including concept models, functional prototypes, tooling patterns and, more recently, production parts.”
The team at Ogle printed the shoes using special technology called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) production, which gave a nylon-based print strong enough for walking in and bonded well to the leather upper.
For more information, visit: www.oglemodels.com
Stratasys has announced that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has acquired the much-acclaimed ‘Gemini’ chaise designed by Prof. Neri Oxman for its permanent collection. The purchase of Gemini, designed in collaboration with Professor W. Craig Carter with the 3D printed skin by Stratasys, is the most recent in a series of 3D printed art accessions by prestigious museums across the USA and Europe, which also include MoMA New York, Centre Pompidou Paris, Science Museum London, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and MAK Vienna.
Gemini is a semi-enclosed, stimulation-free environment designed to enhance vocal vibrations, which are thought to be healing, throughout the body. A biologically-inspired 3D printed skin lines the beautiful wooden chassis. The skin’s texture is an intricate design of tiny knobs, which provide comfort while maximizing sound absorption. The combination of a CNC milled wooden shell and the 3D printed lining creates an ideal acoustic setting for a single individual.
As the first project unveiled using Stratasys’ unique Connex3 triple-jetting technology, the 3D printed ‘skin’ that lines Gemini was created in myriad colors and materials. Combining three base materials – Stratasys’ rubber-like TangoPlus, rigid VeroYellow and VeroMagenta – the acoustic chaise included 44 different materials properties in varying shades of yellows and oranges with differing transparencies and rigidities, all produced simultaneously in a single 3D print. Surfaces that are more curved than others were assigned more elastic properties, thereby increasing sound absorption. The materials, shapes and surfaces of the 3D printed ‘skin’ enable a unique vibrational acoustic effect for a quiet, calming environment.
“No other manufacturing technology is able to provide such a variety of material properties in a single process. This makes Stratasys color, multi-material 3D printing technology very compelling for artists,” says Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director Art Fashion Design at Stratasys. “And that’s just one influencing factor in the recent growth we are seeing in museums advocating 3D printed artwork. We believe that the technology has substantial cultural impact and expect it to have a significant influence on buying habits and manufacturing industries. As museums strive for public engagement with art, this progressive technology provides an important cultural reference, which should be celebrated.”
According to Kaempfer, the trend for museums adopting 3D printed design affirms the longevity of 3D printing as an artistic medium and reflects a wider movement of artists celebrating the unique capabilities made possible with this technology.
“3D printing is at the very cusp of innovation, and Stratasys leads the way with new developments of its technology and a wealth of diverse materials. As such it provides an expression of novelty and a source of wonderment for many artists,” Kaempfer concludes.
Stratasys announced that it has teamed with Aurora Flight Sciences to deliver, what is believed to be, the largest, fastest, and most complex 3D printed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) ever produced. Unveiled for the first time at the Dubai Airshow, the high-speed aircraft is built using lightweight Stratasys materials to achieve speeds in excess of 150mph.
To realize the joint goal to design and develop an advanced 3D printed demonstration aircraft, the final UAV – which has a 3m (9ft.) wingspan and weighs only 15kg (33lb.) – leveraged 3D printing for 80 percent of its design and manufacture and is built on the expertise of Aurora Flight Sciences’ aerospace and Stratasys’ additive manufacturing.
According to Dan Campbell, Aerospace Research Engineer at Aurora Flight Sciences, the project achieved various targets. “A primary goal for us was to show the aerospace industry just how quickly you can go from designing to building to flying a 3D printed jet-powered aircraft. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest, fastest, and most complex 3D printed UAV ever produced.”
“This is a perfect demonstration of the unique capabilities that additive manufacturing can bring to aerospace,” says Scott Sevcik, Aerospace & Defense Senior Business Development Manager, Vertical Solutions at Stratasys. “This meant using different 3D printing materials and technologies together on one aircraft to maximize the benefits of additive manufacturing and 3D print both lightweight and capable structural components.”
For Aurora, Stratasys’ additive manufacturing solutions provided the design-optimization to produce a stiff, lightweight structure without the common restrictions of traditional manufacturing methods. This also enabled the cost-effective development of a customized – or mission-specific vehicle – without the cost constraints of low-volume production.
“Stratasys 3D printing technology easily supports rapid design iterations that led to a dramatically shortened timeline from the initial concept to the first successful flight,” adds Campbell. “Overall, the technology saw us cut the design and build time of the aircraft by 50 percent.”
According to Sevcik, the project exemplifies the power of Stratasys’ flagship Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printing technology.
“Aurora’s UAV is a clear evidence of FDM’s ability to build a completely enclosed, hollow structure which, unlike other manufacturing methods, allows large – yet less dense – objects to be produced,” he explains.
“In addition to leveraging FDM materials for all large and structural elements, we utilized the diverse production capability of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing to produce components better suited to other technologies. We elected to laser sinter the nylon fuel tank, and our thrust vectoring exhaust nozzle was 3D printed in metal to withstand the extreme heat at the engine nozzle,” Sevcik adds.
“Because Stratasys is able to produce parts that meet the flame, smoke, and toxicity requirements set by the FAA, ULTEM™ has become the 3D printing material of choice for many of our aerospace customers for final production applications,” he continues.
For Sevcik, this particular collaborative project with Aurora achieves one of the foremost overall goals among aerospace manufacturers, as well as those in other industries, which is the need to constantly reduce weight.
“Whether by air, water or on land, lightweight vehicles use less fuel. This enables companies to lower operational costs, as well as reduce environmental impact. In addition, using only the exact material needed for production is expected to reduce acquisition cost by eliminating waste and reducing scrap and recycling costs,” he concludes.
With a 3D printer, Audi Toolmaking has produced a model of the historical Grand Prix sports car “Auto Union Typ C” from the year 1936. The company is now examining further possible applications of metal printers for the production of complex components. At the same time, Audi is creating important synergies with toolmaking in other parts of the Volkswagen Group.
“We are pushing forward with new manufacturing technologies at Audi Toolmaking and at the Volkswagen Group,” stated Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, Audi’s Board of Management Member for Production and Head of Toolmaking at the Volkswagen Group. “Together with partners in the area of research, we are constantly exploring the boundaries of new processes. One of our goals is to apply metal printers in series production.”
The Volkswagen Group has a total of 14 toolmaking units in nine countries. Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Waltl, cooperative ventures have been arranged for research and development. The first focus of the cooperation is the implementation of metallic 3D printing and 3D printing in the sand-printing method. Audi Toolmaking has now used metal 3d printing to produce all the metallic parts of the Silver Arrow model “Auto Union Typ C” on a scale of 1:2.
For this purpose, a selective-sintering laser melted layers of metallic powder with a grain size of 15 to 40 thousandths of a millimeter, roughly half of the diameter of a human hair. The process therefore allows the production of components with complex geometries, which with conventional methods could either not be produced or only with great difficulties.
Audi Toolmaking is currently using 3D printing to produce components out of aluminum and steel. At present, this process can be used to produce shapes and objects with a length of 240 millimeters and a height of up to 200 millimeters. These printed components achieved a higher density than components made by die casting or hot forming.
Roland DGA has announced the availability of new PRF35-ST resin for use with its advanced monoFab ARM-10 3D printer. After curing, PRF35-ST delivers parts and prototypes with a better grip and greater elasticity than the company’s existing PRH35-ST (a standard hard resin), opening up new creative opportunities for ARM-10 users.
The addition of PRF35-ST to the Roland 3D product lineup enables engineers, product designers, educators, and hobbyists to easily produce flexible parts, such as grips, seals, gaskets and buttons, with the ARM-10 rapid prototyping 3D printer. Parts made with PRF35ST resin can be used independently, or in combination with more rigid parts created with PRH35-ST.
“This new flexible type resin further enhances the ARM-10 3D printer’s ability to turn ideas into reality,” said Will Seith, Roland DGA’s product manager, 3D solutions. “It allows the user to make models and prototypes that not only look real, but feel real as well.”
Roland’s ARM-10 is an advanced, precise and user-friendly 3D printer incorporating an innovative layered projection system that enables users to build complex parts and prototypes quickly and easily. Its suspended build system also keeps resin use to a minimum, making model production efficient and cost effective.
For more information, visit: www.rolanddga.com/products/3d/arm-10-rapid-prototyping-3d-printer
CI will demonstrate the versatility of additive manufacturing at Fabtech with displays featuring a full size Shelby Cobra automobile, a scaled fighter jet, a 12-ft. kayak, and a utility vehicle that were all produced using the new Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) system. The carbon and glass fiber reinforced ABS plastic materials for these displays were provided by SABIC and Techmer Engineered Solutions. The large-scale additive machine uses a steel fabricated chassis and advanced linear drive motors as the base, and extrudes hot thermoplastic to build parts, layer by layer. The machine, developed as part of a cooperative research and development agreement between CI and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, introduces significant new manufacturing capabilities to a wide range of industries including automotive, aerospace, marine, appliance and many more.
The BAAM machine on display at Fabtech has a work envelope of 65”x140”x34” and extrusion rate of about 38 lbs/hr and will be printing parts made with SABIC’s THERMOCOMP™ compound, an ABS carbon fiber material which provides excellent strength-to-weight ratio and high stiffness. CI makes a larger size that has a work envelope of 8 x 20 x 6 ft. with an extrusion rate of about 100 lbs/hr. The machine prints polymer components up to 10 times larger than currently producible, at speeds 1,000 times faster than existing additive machines. The machine’s extruder uses a wide variety of thermoplastics and fiber reinforced thermoplastics to meet the needs of a variety of commercial applications, including furniture and tooling.
“All of the displays will show the art of the possible with additive manufacturing,” said Carey Chen, President and CEO of Cincinnati Incorporated. “ The kayak display will be shown as 1/3 raw additive material (ABS carbon fiber), 1/3 filled with gel coat, and 1/3 finished and painted, demonstrating the phases of finishing 3D printed parts. These displays will have a huge ‘wow’ factor at the show because they show how large-part additive manufacturing can be applied in our daily lives.”
In addition to the four displays, the company will have two exhibits. The BAAM machine will be on display in booth N-9000 in the entrance to the North Hall of Chicago’s McCormick Place, while the new electric 40-ton GOFORM press brake will be demonstrated in booth S-2799 in the South Hall. The South Hall booth will include a large video wall with unique footage angles of CI’s laser cutting systems, automation, and press brakes.
For more information, visit: www.e-ci.com
“3D Europa” is a sculpture designed by the Portuguese artist Leonel Moura for ICT (Innovate, Connect, Transform), the biggest Information and Communication Technologies event in Europe. ICT 2015 is a European Commission initiative, this year co-organized with the Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia), that is underway in Lisbon, from October 20th to 22nd.
This impressive work of art was developed during the last 6 months and represents a new way of art, by combining creativity and technology with innovative methods of doing things.
The sculpture, all 3D printed in PLA, was supported by BEEVERYCREATIVE and 3D FACTORY, and has about 300 parts with fittings and is almost 5 meters tall. Leonel uses 8 permanent 3D printers and counts also with the community’s help to make it possible.
BEEVERYCREATIVE’s team 3D printed several parts and Leonel also uses BEETHEFIRST at his studio, since it has what he looks for in a 3D printer: reliability and usability.
Leonel Moura is a pioneer in combining art with robotics, artificial intelligence and now, 3D printing. His work is recognised on an international level, with exhibitions in the United States, where he has a robot-painter as a permanent exhibit in the New York Museum of Natural History, in Brazil, China, South Korea, Dubai, among others, as well as several European countries. In 2009, he was nominated as European Ambassador of Creativity and Innovation.
For more information, visit: www.beeverycreative.com
Stratasys Ltd. announced that its color, multi-material technology is being successfully deployed to aid cancer surgeons in treating patients. Physicians use the models during pre-surgery planning of complicated kidney tumor removal, helping to perform precise and successful kidney-sparing surgery and improving patient outcomes. The 3D printed models are also used to improve surgeon training, as well as enhancing the explanatory process towards patients.
The advanced surgical process, which utilizes transparent and color 3D printed models produced on Stratasys' color, multi-material 3D Printer, the Objet500 Connex3 , is being pioneered by the Department of Urology and Kidney Transplantation at the University Hospital (CHU) de Bordeaux, in France. According to CHU surgeon Dr Jean-Christophe Bernhard, this is currently the only hospital in France - and one of the first in the world - to deploy Stratasys' multi-color, multi-material 3D printing technology for complex kidney tumor removal cases.
"Having a 3D printed model comprising the patient's kidney tumor, main arteries and vessels - each in a different color - provides an accurate picture of what we will see during operations," says Dr Bernhard.
"Importantly, the ability to visualize the specific location of a tumor in relation to these other elements, all in three dimensions, greatly facilitates our task and is not something that is easily achievable from a 2D scan," he adds.
According to Dr Bernhard, the clearer view offered by the 3D printed model may increase the ability to perform precise and successful kidney-sparing surgery. The pre-surgery planning aids in identifying and avoiding damage to the delicate nearby arteries and vessels which can result in complete kidney removal. Sparing the patient's kidney is important because it reduces the chance of subsequently suffering from chronic kidney disease.
"3D printing technology has effectively heralded a new dawn," continues Dr Bernhard. "A scan gives us good information, but it's in 2D. This relies on the surgeon to mentally reconstruct the tumor volume in 3D and estimate its location inside of the total volume of the kidney. The same process has to be done to clearly understand the relations between the tumor, the vessels (arteries and veins) and the collecting system. As you can imagine, this is difficult and time-consuming for the surgeon.
"Conversely, having a 3D printed kidney model in your hands that corresponds specifically to that of the patient you're going to operate on quite literally offers me a view from a new perspective. The only thing more accurate than that is the patient himself," he adds.
The CHU de Bordeaux uses three Stratasys PolyJet materials: transparent VeroClear to show the volume mass of the kidney itself, red for the arteries and yellow for the excretory tract. The red and yellow is then mixed on-the-fly - unique to Stratasys multi-material capabilities - to produce the all-important orange color of the tumor.
"The Stratasys transparent material is of fundamental importance as it allows us to see inside and estimate the depth at which the tumor resides," explains Dr Bernhard. "It enables us to see the arteries and the cavities that collect urine, so we can see if any of the arteries are touching the tumor. We need to remove the tumor, but not at the expense of the other vital elements that together enable the kidney to do its job. Finding that balance is much easier to achieve thanks to 3D printing."
Dr Bernhard also believes that use of 3D printed models will not be restricted to kidney surgery, and sees them being equally useful for any organ sparing surgeries.
Stratasys 3D printing solutions also significantly strengthens the CHU's capabilities from an instructional standpoint. For Dr Bernhard, this is a fundamental benefit of 3D printing and one that he sees making a big impact within the medical sector long-term.
"I think this technology will be a big driver in terms of shaping the future of teaching and surgical training," he says. "Having access to a 3D printed model that is completely accurate to the one that you're going to operate, not only enables you to train yourself on the operation, but it also greatly improves our ability to more accurately convey surgical procedures to students - who of course are the surgeons of tomorrow."
Another major benefit for the CHU of Bordeaux and Dr Bernhard is the ability to use the 3D printed models to more easily explain procedures to patients prior to surgery, thereby offering increased reassurance.
"Describing kidney tumor removal with 2D scan or a diagram will invariably leave most patients somewhat bewildered," he explains. "Presenting them with a 3D printed model that clearly shows the tumor puts them at ease and enables the patient to grasp exactly what we're going to do. Indeed, research from patient questionnaires shows that having 3D printed models increases their understanding of the surgery by more than 50%, so it's a considerable benefit in terms of overall patient care."
Commenting on the use of 3D printing technology at the hospital, Scott Rader, General Manager of Medical Solutions at Stratasys, says, "By putting exactly what the surgeon needs to see right in his hands, the pioneering use of Stratasys color multi-material 3D printing technology at the CHU de Bordeaux demonstrates its capability to improve medical operations by decreasing complexities to make the surgeon's role easier. Moreover, by enhancing procedures in this way, the prospect of organ-conserving surgery is increased, resulting in a far more favorable outcome for patients."
4WEB Medical announced at the North American Spine Society annual meeting in Chicago that the company has launched its Posterior Spine Truss System in the U.S. market. The Posterior Spine Truss System is a comprehensive line of interbody fusion devices with applications across a wide array of posterior spine approaches including PLIF, TLIF, and Oblique procedures.
"The Posterior Spine Truss System represents a significant advancement in treatment options for my lumbar spine patients", said S. Babak Kalantar, M.D., Chief of Orthopedic Spine Surgery at Georgetown University Hospital. "The expansion of 4WEB's novel truss implant technology into posterior spine procedures will allow me to utilize an implant with proven clinical benefits across the majority of spine surgeries that I perform."
Encompassing 150 implants, the Posterior Spine Truss System affords surgeons a wide range of options that provide an optimal match for each patient's unique anatomy. The implants provide innovative functionality such as a biconvex web structure that distributes the load over a larger surface area at the endplate interface to minimize subsidence.
4WEB also has FDA cleared implants for cervical and anterior lumbar procedures. The company was the first medical device manufacturer to commercialize a 3D printed spine implant in the U.S. Since 2013, close to 6000 of 4WEB's 3D printed truss implants having been used in surgery worldwide.
"While many orthopedic companies are beginning to utilize 3D printing as a manufacturing process, they continue to produce antiquated annular designs that have been on the market for years," said Joseph O'Brien, M.D., Medical Director of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at The George Washington University Hospital. "4WEB is unique in that they are the only company in the spine implant market to maximize the opportunity that 3D printing affords by producing truss designs with distinct structural mechanics that have considerable potential to accelerate healing for my patients. These patented structures were not even possible to manufacture at this scale until only a few years ago. "
4WEB Medical is an implant device company founded in 2008 by Jessee Hunt in Frisco, Texas. Thirty years of research in topological dimension theory led to the discovery of a novel geometry, the 4WEB, that can be used as a building block to create high-strength, lightweight web structures. Mr. Hunt leveraged this breakthrough along with cutting-edge 3D printing technology to develop 4WEB Medical's proprietary truss implant platform. The 4WEB Medical product portfolio currently provides implant solutions for Neuro and Orthopedic surgeons. The platform includes the Cervical Spine Truss System, the ALIF Spine Truss System, the Posterior Spine Truss System and the Osteotomy Truss System. 4WEB is actively developing truss implant designs for knee, hip, trauma and patient specific procedures.
For more information, visit: www.4WEBMedical.com
3DKitbash's intergalactic universe of 3D-printable characters continues to grow with their latest line of evil monsters from the planet Filamento. As 3DKitbash's current Kickstarter explains, three gigantic evil monsters will teleport to Earth through the largest-format 3D printer known to humankind unless backers designate hundreds of desktop 3D printers to the cause, diffusing the monsters' power.
In 2014, 3DKitbash introduced Quin, the articulated, 3D-printable doll, from the planet Filamento. According to her story line, Quin invented teleportation through 3D printers. Since then she has gotten upgrades, such as the “To Infinity” UpKit, which includes ray guns, a jet pack, and moon boots, and she's gotten a brother named NiQ. Boon, Quin's plucky, articulated and pose-able pet T-Rex, also joined her on Earth.
With news that these dangerous monsters have discovered her teleportation secrets and are on their way to Earth, Quin recently invented RukiBot to help secure the planet. RukiBot army squads are being printed all over Earth with 3DKitbash supporters posting pics of their prints to the 3DKitbash Facebook page and Instagram feed, reporting, “South Africa secure!” “Honolulu secure!” and “London secure!”
3DKitbash builds stories around their 3D-printable toys in a familiar cult-classic way that is still unique within the 3D printing space. “It's fun to see supporters print the characters and post pictures of them participating in the story online using #QuinSaga. They become part of this ongoing mythos that we're all creating together,” said co-founder, Quincy Robinson. On Facebook and Instagram fans to post pictures of the Quins, NiQs, Boons, and RukiBots they have printed doing things like designing monster-destroying weapons and training for combat with stuffed animal stand-ins for the encroaching monsters.
With a little help from Quin's crew and the RukiBot Army, backers can help tell the #QuinSaga online by posting pics of the epic battles that are certain to ensue when the monsters teleport to desktop 3D printers around the world.
3DKitbash hopes to raise $4,000 by October 31 to further develop the #QuinSaga and to create these well-engineered, articulated, 3D-printable monsters that print support-free.
If successfully funded, the monsters will be made available for sale before the end of the year.
For more information, visit: www.kickstarter.com/projects/3dkitbash/3d-print-monsters-and-help-save-the-world-from-doo
Stratasys announced that worldwide moldmaker, HASCO, has developed a rapid, cost-efficient method to producing low volumes of injection molded prototypes by integrating Stratasys 3D printing with its K3500 quick-change mold system. Utilizing this innovative approach, molders can quickly change between inserts for different products, enabling them to cost-effectively produce low volumes of injection molded parts for samples, prototypes and small production runs.
HASCO 3D printed the inserts in Stratasys’ ultra-tough Digital ABS material using the Objet500 Connex Multi-material 3D Production System. With a 3D printed mold insert taking only hours to produce, molders can make design modifications to the product for a fraction of the time and cost of conventional tooling methods.
“With time-to-market cycles shorter than ever and production quantities dropping, our customers are now looking for solutions that enable them to deliver prototypes quickly and cost-effectively,” says Dirk Paulmann, Executive Vice President, Sales & Business Development at HASCO. “Compared with conventional metal or aluminum inserts, our new approach offers molders the flexibility to quickly produce and switch inserts, making them much more productive and profitable. Combining our longstanding heritage in mold making with Stratasys’ pioneering expertise in 3D printing injection molds, this best of both worlds technique is the future of prototype and low volume production.”
When producing a sealing plug for its industry-standard A8001 clamping fixture, HASCO identified that the walls of the ABS plastic sealing screw would need to be 12mm thick to seal the large number of threaded holes. Given this geometry, it was clear that that the screw could not be produced using the conventional injection molding process. With the level of intricacy enabled by Stratasys PolyJet 3D printing, HASCO redesigned the screw with a reduced wall thickness and subsequently 3D printed a mold insert to the new specifications in order to test the integrity of the design before mass production.
“The speed of the process was incredible,” explains Paulmann. “Using our Objet500 Connex 3D Production System, we produced the parts of the cavity that shape the polymer – such as the inserts and slides – in just six hours compared to the 24 hours it previously took. We then worked with prototyping specialists Canto Ing. GmbH, Lüdenscheid to finish the 3D printed inserts and test the sample mold. We were delighted with the result, the first sealing screws were produced ready for mounting on our clamping unit in a record time of only four days.
“Through the use of tried-and-tested standardized HASCO products and Stratasys state-of-the-art 3D printing, the project has proved that it is possible to implement this innovative rapid-technology application within the injection molding process. For the production of low-volume prototypes in the final product material, the ability to quickly change molds with a 3D printed cavity offers a rapid, low-cost alternative to conventional methods,” he adds.
Nadav Sella, Director, Manufacturing Tools, Vertical Business Unit, Stratasys, concludes, “We’re extremely excited about what this collaboration has done to advance the low volume injection molding process and the resulting manufacturing efficiencies that can be achieved by molders. We view this as an application area with significant potential and will continue to work with partners such as HASCO to further extend the benefits of additive manufacturing into the world of mold making and injection molding.”
For more information, visit: www.hasco.com
Australian Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane congratulated CSIRO on its role in an international collaboration that has led to a world-first in surgery, using a 3D printed titanium sternum and rib implant for a cancer patient. The titanium sternum and rib implant was designed and developed in Australia, in a collaboration between a Melbourne-based medical device company, Anatomics, and CSIRO’s 3D printing facility, Lab 22, at Clayton.
After being diagnosed with a chest wall sarcoma, the 54-year-old man’s surgical team made the decision to remove his sternum and a portion of his rib cage and replace it with an implant. The implant was designed and manufactured by medical device company, Anatomics, who utilised the CSIRO’s 3D printing facility, Lab 22.
The surgical team, Dr José Aranda, Dr Marcelo Jimene and Dr Gonzalo Varela from Salamanca University Hospital, knew the surgery would be difficult due to the complicated geometries involved in the chest cavity.
“We thought, maybe we could create a new type of implant that we could fully customise to replicate the intricate structures of the sternum and ribs,” Dr Aranda said.
“We wanted to provide a safer option for our patient, and improve their recovery post-surgery.”
That’s when the surgeons turned to Anatomics. After assessing the complexity of the requirements, Anatomics CEO Andrew Batty said the solution was metal 3D printing.
“We wanted to 3D print the implant from titanium because of its complex geometry and design,” Mr Batty said.
“While titanium implants have previously been used in chest surgery, designs have not considered the issues surrounding long term fixation.
“Flat and plate implants rely on screws for rigid fixation that may come loose over time. This can increase the risk of complications and the possibility of reoperation.”
Through high resolution CT data, the Anatomics team was able to create a 3D reconstruction of the chest wall and tumour, allowing the surgeons to plan and accurately define resection margins.
“From this, we were able to design an implant with a rigid sternal core and semi-flexible titanium rods to act as prosthetic ribs attached to the sternum,” Mr Batty said.
Working with experts at CSIRO’s 3D printing facility Lab 22, the team then manufactured the implant out of surgical grade titanium alloy.
“We built the implant using our $1.3 million Arcam printer,” Alex Kingsbury from CSIRO’s manufacturing team said.
“The printer works by directing an electron beam at a bed of titanium powder in order to melt it. This process is then repeated, building the product up layer-by-layer until you have a complete implant.
“3D printing has significant advantages over traditional manufacturing methods, particularly for biomedical applications.
“As well as being customisable, it also allows for rapid prototyping – which can make a big difference if a patient is waiting for surgery.”
Once the prosthesis was complete it was couriered to Spain and implanted into the patient.
“The operation was very successful,” Dr Aranda said.
“Thanks to 3D printing technology and a unique resection template, we were able to create a body part that was fully customised and fitted like a glove.”
Minister Macfarlane said this type of collaboration can transform the way industries operate and compete in international markets.
“Collaboration is the key to boosting Australia’s innovation performance. Initiatives like our Industry Growth Centres will foster these links and relationships which are critical to future successes like this,” Mr Macfarlane said.
For more information, visit: www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2015/Cancer-patient-receives-3D-printed-ribs-in-world-first-surgery
Stratasys announced that UK start-up company, Nipi Smart Cooler, has created a one-of-a-kind ‘smart’ cooler using 3D printing. Employed throughout product development, Stratasys’ technology has enabled Nipi to realize a functional prototype 75% faster than using traditional manufacturing methods. Aimed at the consumer market, the company has already surpassed its crowdfunding goal, and was recently backed by an Asian investor in order to accelerate the product to market.
Competing to be the world’s most diverse, multi-purpose cooler, Nipi is a solar-panel-powered cooler offering ice retention of up to six days and is packed with a host of features including a charging hub, internal and external LED lighting, a safe deposit, cup holders and chopping board. According to Luke Guttery, Product Design Lead at Nipi Smart Cooler, 3D printing was crucial in quickly converting Nipi from a concept into a working product.
“It’s amazing how quickly we could go from an idea on a piece of paper to a fully-functional prototype that we could test outdoors,” he says. “Without 3D printing, this simply would not have been achievable in the given timeframe. In just a few days we had already produced the main body in UV resistant materials to test the solar panels in the sun, and large-scale over-molded wheels with rigid interiors and rubber treads. Using this technology, we were able to develop a final working prototype in a just under a week, whereas with traditional manufacturing it would be closer to a month.
“For start-ups like us, I cannot overemphasize how important it is to quickly get to a stage where you can feasibly say whether your idea could be a viable product. Having access to this technology gives us the ability to make that decision faster than ever before,” adds Guttery.
In order to realize the initial concept designs as a 100% working prototype, Nipi turned to UK 3D printing service provider, 3D Print Bureau. Using both Stratasys’ FDM and PolyJet 3D printing solutions, the company produced a number of fully-functional parts during the development of Nipi to eliminate problematic design issues, before committing to final manufacturing.
With outdoor enthusiasts its core target audience, prototyping the main body of the smart cooler required a material that could endure the continued exposure to sunlight. Using Stratasys’ superior UV and heat resistant ASA thermoplastic material, 3D Print Bureau was able to produce a working prototype that could support the solar panel testing required in multiple outdoor environments. This enabled the Nipi team to make the design iterations required to ensure its fit-for-purpose for customers.
Stratasys multi-material 3D printing was used to produce over- molded parts, such as the handles and large tires that required accurate combinations of rigid and rubber-like materials. With the ability to 3D print these multi-material parts in a single build, as well as the capability to mix materials on-the-fly to create new material properties, 3D Print Bureau was able to quickly produce several variations in different levels of hardness for the Nipi team to test.
“Utilizing the best of each of Stratasys’ 3D printing technologies was integral to getting a fully-functional, test-worthy prototype to the Nipi team,” says Gary Miller, Managing Director of 3D Print Bureau. “With the ASA material, we were able to develop a fade-resistant prototype specifically designed for outdoor use. Using multi-material 3D printing, we could accurately validate the pull of the handle and its weight-bearing ability, as well as defining the exact tread of the tires required before moving to final production. In fact, the ability to over-mold using 3D printing was integral as it helped us determine the shape, thickness and style of the tread you see on Nipi today.”
Andy Middleton, President of Stratasys EMEA, concludes: “For many start-ups with great ideas, limited capital to supplement costly and time-consuming traditional manufacturing is often the reason some innovations fail to reach the marketplace. 3D printing grants product designers the means to quickly and cost-effectively determine whether their idea can function and perform as intended, and Nipi is the perfect example.”
The Dynetics and Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE:AJRD) team recently performed with its NASA partner, the second successful gas generator test series of the F-1 engine as part of the Space Launch System (SLS) Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction (ABEDRR) contract. This test series was unique, however, in that a key component of the gas generator was built using additive manufacturing – or 3-D printing – techniques. At 30,000 pounds, the component is among the highest thrust levels ever demonstrated for a 3-D printed part.
NASA awarded the ABEDRR contract in the fall of 2012 to reduce risks for advanced boosters that could help meet SLS's future capability needs. The team has performed a wide-ranging set of full-scale, system-level demonstrations on key advanced booster systems. Dynetics, the prime contractor, designed and fabricated a full-scale cryogenic tank that it tested last month to verify the structural design.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has applied state-of-the-art manufacturing methods to the Apollo-era F-1 rocket engine to demonstrate that a proven design can be built at a competitive cost. Among the new fabrication methods used was Selective Laser Melting (SLM), an additive manufacturing technique that has shown the potential for dramatically reducing cost and schedule for building rocket engine parts. SLM was used to build an F-1-based gas generator injector on the ABEDRR program.
In 2013, an F-1 gas generator made with 1960s-era parts was tested at new conditions to verify its applicability to the NASA SLS requirements. Testing the 3-D printed gas generator provided an opportunity for a one-to-one comparison of a part built with traditional manufacturing to a part built with the SLM process. The two test series were highly successful and the results were nearly identical, giving confidence in the new, lower-cost manufacturing methods.
The F-1 engine gas generator testing, as well as other recent tests with 3-D printed parts, is helping NASA and the aerospace industry gather data on these new manufacturing processes.
Dynetics CEO David King said, "The successful testing of this technology lays the groundwork for future rocket engine development – both for NASA and for others who want the most affordable space solutions."
"Testing of this hardware is just one more step Aerojet Rocketdyne is taking to develop affordable approaches to building complex, advanced rocket engine hardware supporting our current and future engine programs," said Brian Lariviere, F-1B engine program manager at Aerojet Rocketdyne. "The F-1 gas generator fabrication using the SLM process demonstrated part reduction costs by 50 percent and decreased delivery schedules from months to weeks."
Andy Crocker, ABEDRR program manager at Dynetics, said, "This test series is further proof that our team has been able to take successful designs from the past and apply the latest manufacturing methods to create the best of both worlds – a low-cost, proven engine component."
Crocker also said, "I want to compliment the test team from NASA Marshall and Aerojet Rocketdyne on this effort. They were prepared and efficient. They built on previous work in this area to quickly and effectively bring the tests to fruition."
A key part of the F-1 engine — the rocket engine that propelled the Saturn V and sent men to Moon -- just completed a series of tests that will provide new data for today's rocket engine designers. While this rocket engine component is not currently being flown, engineers were able to test a 1960's era rocket engine part, the gas generator, in 2013, and then make one with additive manufacturing and test it on the same stand - giving NASA engineers a direct one-to-one comparison of a key rocket component.
"This test gave NASA the rare opportunity to test a 3-D printed rocket engine part, an engine part for which we have lots of data, including a test done three years ago with modern instrumentation," said Chris Protz. "This adds to the database we are creating by testing injectors, turbo pumps and other 3-D printed rocket engine parts of interest to both NASA and industry."
Additive manufacturing layers metallic powders to form engine parts, but much is still unknown about the ability to produce rocket engine parts reliable enough for use on launch vehicles carrying humans. Over the last few years, NASA engineers have built and tested a variety of complex rocket components manufactured with 3-D printing processes. The part put to the test in this particular series, a gas generator, supplies power to fuel pump to deliver propellant to the engine.
The gas generator produces around 30,000 pounds of thrust and was fired up on the same test stands at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama where Protz and his team tested a vintage F-1 gas generator in 2013. New cutting-edge instruments on the stand measured performance and combustion properties, providing engineers with new data on old hardware. The gas generator tests allow a direct comparison of the F-1 engine component built with traditional manufacturing -- welding and forging -- to a similar F-1 engine component with parts built with additive manufacturing.
NASA conducted this test series for Dynetics in Huntsville and its partner Aerojet Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, California, who built the gas generator and is examining future technologies and their applicability to future propulsion systems.
The results from these tests of a 3-D printed F-1 gas generator adds more information to help NASA and the aerospace industry reduce the risks associated with using 3-D printing to make future engine parts, especially for future versions of spacecraft like NASA’s new Space Launch System.
The Space Launch System will provide an entirely new capability for human exploration, with the first version of the rocket, referred to as Block 1, capable of launching 70 metric tons to low-Earth orbit. This first configuration will be powered by twin boosters and four RS-25 engines. The next planned evolution of the SLS, Block 1B, would use a more powerful exploration upper stage to enable more ambitious missions with a 105-metric-ton lift capacity.
Ultimately, a later evolution, Block 2, will add a pair of advanced solid or liquid propellant boosters to provide an unprecedented 130-metric-ton lift capability to enable missions even farther into our solar system, including Mars.
“NASA is exploring many technologies to enhance the Space Launch System as it evolves for use in a variety of missions,” said Sam Stephens, SLS Advanced Development Task Lead at Marshall, where the SLS Program is managed. “If it proves to be a viable option, additive manufacturing may help us build future propulsion systems. With this testing, NASA is helping the community and the nation’s aerospace companies stay at the forefront of advanced technologies.”
Additive manufacturing is one of many technologies that could help provide affordable propulsion systems for the rocket that will take humans on the journey to Mars. This additive manufacturing test project is one of many projects from industry and academia SLS is funding to inform innovative and affordable solutions to evolve the launch vehicle from its initial configuration to its full lift capacity capable of sending humans farther into deep space than ever before.
For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls
3DP Unlimited recently 3d printed a life-size portrait of one of their employees on the large format 3DP1000 3D printer.
The full-size replica of Kecheng Lu, a marketing specialist at 3DP Unlimited, took 7 days to print. The 3d model was printed as an upper and lower body section and assembled to create the final statue.
Prior to printing, Lu was 3d scanned by 3D body scan company ESUN 3D+, which had a scanning booth at CES 2015.
The original scan was a 800GB object file, which was reduced down to 4GB by using ZBrush. Simplify 3D was used to assign 3D print process settings to the file and to slice it.
The project is a great example of how 3d printing is not limited by the build volume of a 3d printer. When enough build and assembly time can be allocated to a project, parts of any size are possible.
For more information, visit: www.3dpunlimited.com
The ExOne Company announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art Design and Re-Engineering for Additive Manufacturing (“DREAM”) center located within its North Huntingdon facility.
The DREAM center has been strategically developed as a physical and virtual site for collaboration with customers to explore and incorporate the benefits of ExOne’s binder jetting technology.
By providing global access to the Company’s creative technical expertise and offering the most advanced software currently available, the center will enable customers to create designs of metal components which maximize the benefits of additive manufacturing. It will be a catalyst for the 3D production of parts without the limitations of traditional manufacturing.
S. Kent Rockwell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The ExOne Company, commented, “As we focus on accelerating the adoption rate of our binder jetting technology for industrial manufacturing of metal components, we’re excited to launch our world-class DREAM center.
It is an integrated engineering environment supporting our customers, our production service centers, our research and development activities, and our global sales team. We believe the DREAM center will further facilitate customer training and design support, helping users optimize 3D printing and the benefits it can bring to their manufacturing processes.”
For more information, visit: www.exone.com
Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS) announced that Italian Service Bureau, ZARE, has halved production costs for its direct manufacturing customers in automotive and aerospace since investing in a fleet of Stratasys Fortus 3D Production Systems.
Following the longstanding success of using Stratasys PolyJet and FDM 3D printing for prototyping applications, the company now deploys its Fortus 3D Production Systems to expand its direct manufacturing services to customers. This spans a spectrum of traditional manufacturing applications, including injection molding, tooling and the production of final parts.
“After a steady decline in traditional manufacturing business, the introduction of Stratasys Fortus FDM technology has given us a significant edge over our competition and has enabled us to reduce manufacturing costs for our aerospace and automotive customers by 50 percent,” says Andrea Pasquali, R&D Manager of ZARE. “This has been key to revitalizing our direct manufacturing business, as we can quickly produce durable end-use parts for our customers in the final material. We have seen a substantial reduction in iteration costs and turnaround times, and we have reduced the cost per final part by around 30 percent.”
Pasquali explains: “For one customer, we tested a 3D printed prototype of an aerospace pipe that we produced in high performance ULTEM 9085 thermoplastic material. However, with the material’s high strength-to-weight ratio and FST (flame, smoke and toxicity) rating, we quickly realised that we could go beyond functional prototype testing and actually manufacture final-parts that match the strength of metal.
“By replacing metal-manufactured parts with high performance thermoplastics, our customers can meet a vital requirement of aircraft manufacturing by reducing overall weight, while maintaining production quality and adhering to passenger safety requirements. A great example of this is the use of additive manufacturing to directly manufacture lightweight air conditioning ducts for aircraft.”
The expansion of additive manufacturing services to include both prototyping and direct manufacturing has had a positive impact across the business, not only for aerospace, but also automotive manufacturing. According to Pasquali, applications for these two sectors now account for nearly 50 percent of ZARE’s operations thanks to the advanced 3D printing materials available from Stratasys.
Pasquali explains: “The wide range of materials at our disposal enables us to select characteristics that match those of traditional manufactured parts at a fraction of the weight and cost. For example, leveraging its high UV-stability, we now manufacture car bumpers in ASA and headlights in PC-ABS, which combines both the superior strength and heat resistance of PC and the flexibility of ABS.”
Davide Ferrulli, Stratasys' Italian Territory Manager concludes: “As ZARE demonstrates, the use of additive manufacturing for the production of production parts in key industries such as aerospace and automotive offers a fast and cost-effective way to improve areas of the traditional manufacturing process. With our materials advancing, customers are finding that they can build more parts than ever before with parallel strength and durability to those traditionally manufactured.”
For more information, visit: www.zare.it
Oxford Performance Materials announced that it has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its first-in-kind SpineFab® VBR implant system.
OPM's SpineFab system is the first and only FDA cleared 3D printed load-bearing polymer device for long-term implantation and represents OPM's third successful OsteoFab® regulatory clearance. OPM's first FDA clearance was for its OsteoFab Patient-Specific Cranial Device in February 2013, followed by its OsteoFab Patient-Specific Facial Device in July 2014.
"Receiving FDA clearance for our SpineFab system is a significant accomplishment for our team and a key milestone for OPM," said Scott DeFelice, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Oxford Performance Materials. "This clearance serves as further confirmation of our ability to repeatedly build fully functional 3D-printed parts and mission critical robust structures. The introduction of our SpineFab system represents exciting news for the Company's entry into the attractive spinal market, and this lays the foundation for future generations of load-bearing OsteoFab implants in the orthopedic industry."
OPM's SpineFab device is a vertebral body replacement (VBR) intended for use in the thoracolumbar regions of the spine to replace a collapsed, damaged, or unstable vertebral body due to tumor or trauma. To gain this FDA clearance, OPM's VBR implant system underwent extensive static and dynamic mechanical testing to assure it meets load and fatigue requirements as well as regulatory guidelines for its intended use.
"We have built a strategy with the patient in mind by working together with clinicians to bring innovative device solutions that anticipate improved surgical outcomes," said Severine Zygmont, President of OPM Biomedical. "Today we have achieved our goal to build the first 3D printed polymer implant that has been cleared for a load bearing indication. Our OsteoFab process, which combines 3D printing with a unique material chemistry, is causing the industry to rethink how implants are designed and manufactured. We can now envision devices that will promote bone tissue formation while being imaging friendly and anatomically desirable."
OPM's SpineFab VBR System implants will be 3D printed in 48 sizes by OPM Biomedical, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of medical devices. Using only biocompatible polymer and laser light, the OsteoFab laser sintering additive manufacturing process is an extremely clean implant production method. All SpineFab implants will be manufactured by OPM utilizing the Company's OsteoFab® process, which combines OPM's exclusive 3D printing technology with the Company's proprietary OXPEKK® powder formulation to print orthopedic and neurological implants. The result is a unique and beneficial set of attributes, including radiolucency, bone-like mechanical properties, and bone ongrowth characteristics.
OPM is currently in discussions with a number of distributors regarding sales channels for its SpineFab VBR system as well as partnership options for orthopedic devices in development. OPM's OsteoFab Patient-Specific Cranial and Facial devices are distributed exclusively by Zimmer Biomet.
For more information, visit: www.oxfordpm.com
LUXEXCEL, the first company to 3D print functional lenses, announced a €7.5 million series B funding. The first closure is done and the second closure will be finalized in 3 months’ time. The B-round was led by the Flemish investment company PMV, which included the firm’s existing investors, SET Ventures and Munich Venture Partners.
“We are very pleased to announce the completion of this B-round.” said CEO Eric Tierie. “The strong partners in this funding round share the vision that our technology and worldwide unique 3D printing service will offer new opportunities and novel optical products to many different markets”. With these investments, Luxexcel will be able to accelerate the growth of its 3D printing technology platform and develop extensive additional printing capabilities.
Roald Borré, PMV’s co-Head of Venture Capital, stated: “We’re excited to have the opportunity to invest in Luxexcel. We join Set Ventures and Munich Venture Partners in supporting this company with its innovative and unique 3D Printing capabilities. We’re convinced that the company will change the way optics are designed, produced, and digitally stored across many different market segments. Our team is looking forward to help Luxexcel to accelerate the digitization of optics manufacturing”.
Richard van de Vrie, President and founder of Luxexcel is excited about PMV joining Luxexcel. “This strong investor was already successful in developing companies in the 3D printing space. It is a great asset to have them on board. I am sure that with these investments Luxexcel will enhance its global leadership position in the Additive Manufacturing of lenses and optical components”.
Since the launch of the Printoptical Technology in 2010, Luxexcel has raised a total of € 17.5 million in funding. The company has grown to a team of 25 employees and recently started to build an online ordering platform to provide worldwide accessibility of its service, providing optical designers with a rapid path to lens design, prototyping, testing, refinement and manufacturing of custom optical components in a matter of days.
Luxexcel is headquartered in the Netherlands and offers a 3D printing service for products that demand the highest standard in transparency and smoothness. The company is the only company in the world able to Additive Manufacture lenses, directly out of the printer, without visible layering and post-processing. Luxexcel, has identified and is effectively eliminating the massive inefficiencies that are present in the lens manufacturing and development processes! Momentarily Luxexcel’s scalable technology, has a main focus on optical components for architectural lighting, automotive, aerospace, photonics and medical industries but with the fast increasing printing capabilities, many more markets and products will become able to benefit from Luxexcel’s Printoptical Technology
For more information, visit: www.luxexcel.com
Traditional robots are made of components and rigid materials like you might see on an automotive assembly line – metal and hydraulic parts, harshly rigid, and extremely strong. But away from the assembly line, for robots to harmoniously assist humans in close–range tasks scientists are designing new classes of soft–bodied robots. Yet one of the challenges is integrating soft materials with requisite rigid components that power and control the robot's body. At the interface of these materials, stresses concentrate and structural integrity can be compromised, which often results in mechanical failure.
But now, by understanding how organisms solve this problem by assembling their bodies in a way that produces a gradual transitioning from hard to soft parts, a team of Wyss Institute researchers and their collaborators have been able to use a novel 3d printing strategy to construct entire robots in a single build that incorporate this biodesign principle. The strategy permits construction of highly complex and robust structures that can't be achieved using conventional nuts and bolts manufacturing. A proof–of–concept soft–bodied autonomous jumping robot prototype was 3D printed layer upon layer to ease the transition from its rigid core components to a soft outer exterior using a series of nine sequential material gradients.
"We leveraged additive manufacturing to holistically create, in one uninterrupted 3D printing session, a single body fabricated with nine sequential layers of material, increasing in stiffness from rigid to soft towards the outer body,” said the study's co–senior author Robert Wood, Ph.D, who is a Core Faculty member and co–leader of the Bioinspired Robotics Platform at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, the Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and Founder of the Harvard Microrobotics Lab. 'By employing a gradient material strategy, we have greatly reduced stress concentrations typically found at the interfaces of soft and rigid components which has resulted in an extremely durable robot."
With the expertise of study co–author and Wyss Institute Senior Research Scientist James Weaver, Ph.D., who is a leader in high–resolution, multi–material 3D printing, the team was able to 3D print the jumping robot's body in one single 3D printing session. Usually, 3D printing is only used to fabricate parts of robots, and is only very recently being used to print entire functional robots. And this jumping robot is the first entire robot to ever be 3D printed using a gradient rigid–to–soft layering strategy.
The autonomous robot is powered – without the use of wires or tethers – by an explosive actuator on its body that harnesses the combustion energy of butane and oxygen. It utilizes three tilting pneumatic legs to control the direction of its jumps, and its soft, squishy exterior reduces the risk of damage upon landings, makes it safer for humans to operate in close proximity, and increases the robot's overall lifespan. It was developed based on previous combustion–based robots designed by co–senior author George Whitesides, Ph.D., who is a Wyss Institute Core Faculty member and the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University.
"Traditional molding–based manufacturing would be impractical to achieve a functionally–graded robot, you would need a new mold every time you change the robot’s design. 3D printing manufacturing is ideal for fabricating the complex and layered body exhibited by our jumping robot," said Nicholas Bartlett, a co–first author on the study and a graduate researcher in bioinspired robotics at the Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS.
As compared to traditional mold manufacturing, which uses fixed molds, the nature of 3D printing facilitates rapid design iterations with utmost ease, allowing faster prototyping throughout development.
"This new breakthrough demonstrates the power of combining insights into nature's innovations with the most advanced man–made technological advances – in this case 3D printing technologies – when trying to overcome technical limitations that currently hold back a field," said Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital and Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. "This ability to fabricate unitary soft robots composed of gradient materials that emulate natural stiffness gradients of living structures paves the way for mass fabrication of robots that can integrate seamlessly with people, whether in our homes, at work or in operating rooms in the future."
Former Wyss Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Michael Tolley, Ph.D., currently Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of University of California, San Diego, is a co–first author on the study. In addition, former Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS Postdoctoral Fellow Bobak Mosadegh, Ph.D., currently Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering in Radiology at Weill Cornell Medical College, is a co–author; Johannes T.B. Overvelde, a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard SEAS, is a co–author; and Katia Bertoldi, Ph.D., who is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Natural Sciences at Harvard SEAS, is a co–senior author.
This research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Images provided by Wyss Institute at Harvard University.
Sandboxr teams up with Amazon and 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) to launch Digital to Doorstep™, the first-ever 3D printing experience for fans of game and entertainment companies worldwide.
Utilizing Sandboxr’s unique 3D printing platform, game and entertainment companies can now provide their fans with one-of-a-kind figurines of their favorite characters by customizing them in game, 3D printing them in photorealistic color and delivering them to the consumer’s doorstep. Leveraging 3D Systems advanced ColorJet 3D printing technology on the ProJet x60 series and global fulfillment capabilities, Sandboxr is for the first time making high-quality collectibles available to video game fans around the world at an affordable, consumer price.
“We are incredibly excited to partner with Sandboxr and Amazon to enable gamers everywhere to bring their characters to life with stunning, fully-customizable 3D prints,” said Cathy Lewis, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, 3D Systems. “Sandboxr’s digital customization and fulfillment model is a perfect example of how our technology integrates into and enhances existing products and experiences, and we believe that their innovative and scalable video game platform will drive further awareness and adoption of 3D printing.”
“I believe the relationship between Sandboxr, Amazon and 3D Systems demonstrates how this disruptive 3D printing technology applies to the individual consumer,” said TJ Young, President and co-founder of Sandboxr. “We started Sandboxr four years ago with the dream of bringing customizable 3D printed content that was meaningful and interesting to millions of consumers worldwide. Launching our 3D printing Digital to Doorstep™ platform with Amazon and partnering with 3D Systems for global fulfillment now makes our original dream a reality.”
Game and Entertainment companies interested in learning more about launching a customizable 3D printing Digital to Doorstep™ offering for their fans can contact Sandboxr’s business development team.
For more information, visit: www.amazon.com/Sandboxr
Divergent Microfactories unveiled a disruptive new approach to auto manufacturing that incorporates 3D printing to dramatically reduce the pollution, materials and capital costs associated with building automobiles and other large complex structures. Highlighted by Blade, the first prototype supercar based on this new technology, Divergent Microfactories CEO Kevin Czinger introduced the company’s plan to dematerialize and democratize car manufacturing.
“Society has made great strides in its awareness and adoption of cleaner and greener cars. The problem is that while these cars do now exist, the actual manufacturing of them is anything but environmentally friendly,” said Kevin Czinger, founder & CEO, Divergent Microfactories. “At Divergent Microfactories, we’ve found a way to make automobiles that holds the promise of radically reducing the resource use and pollution generated by manufacturing. It also holds the promise of making large-scale car manufacturing affordable for small teams of innovators. And as Blade proves, we’ve done it without sacrificing style or substance. We’ve developed a sustainable path forward for the car industry that we believe will result in a renaissance in car manufacturing, with innovative, eco-friendly cars like Blade being designed and built in microfactories around the world.”
Divergent Microfactories’ technology centers around its proprietary solution called a Node: a 3D-printed aluminum joint that connects pieces of carbon fiber tubing to make up the car’s chassis. The Node solves the problem of time and space by cutting down on the actual amount of 3D printing required to build the chassis and can be assembled in just minutes. In addition to dramatically reducing materials and energy use, the weight of the Node-enabled chassis is up to 90% lighter than traditional cars, despite being much stronger and more durable. This results in better fuel economy and less wear on roads.
The centerpiece of the Divergent Microfactories announcement is Blade, the world’s first 3D-printed supercar. Designed and built using Divergent Microfactories’ technology, the prototype is one of the greenest and most powerful cars in the world. Equipped with a 700-horsepower bi-fuel engine that can use either compressed natural gas or gasoline, Blade goes from 0-60 in about two seconds and weighs around 1,400 pounds. Divergent Microfactories plans to sell a limited number of high-performance vehicles that will be manufactured in its own microfactory.
In addition to unveiling its technology platform and prototype, Divergent Microfactories announced plans to democratize auto manufacturing. The goal is to put the platform in the hands of small entrepreneurial teams around the world, allowing them to set up their own microfactories and build their own cars and, eventually, other large complex structures. These microfactories will make innovation affordable while reducing the health and environmental impacts of traditional manufacturing.
For more information, visit: www.divergentmicrofactories.com
3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced that it has partnered with e-NABLE Community Foundation (ECF) to support e-NABLE, the global network of makers, inventors and designers using 3D printing to make functional, prosthetic hands that are donated to people in need. Building upon 3DS’ mission of Making Good, this partnership leverages the company’s 3D digital fabrication products, services and expertise to expand access to, improve the capabilities of, and educate the public about these life-changing assistive devices.
“Our technology unlocks everyone’s potential to transform great ideas into real outcomes,” said Avi Reichental, President and CEO, 3DS. “By teaming up with the e-NABLE community, we are giving more people the means and the skills to improve lives.”
3DS and ECF announced four key areas of collaboration as part of their partnership. Specifically,
• 3DS will collaborate with ECF to design an all-new hand. This design will be free, publicly-shared, customizable for sizing and optimized for printing on the Cube®, CubePro® and EKOCYCLE™ Cube®. To encourage and support greater community participation, 3DS and ECF will publish a video tutorial on how to print and assemble the free hand file.
• 3DS will provide technical advisory, aiding ECF with key industry and technical expertise on 3D technology, prosthetics design and more.
• 3DS and ECF will identify four or more university-based labs to qualify them as e-NABLE partners. These will be equipped with 3DS’ digital fabrication tools, including CubePro 3D printers, premium material cartridges, Sense™ 3D scanners, design software and the Touch™ 3D stylus.
• 3DS and ECF will collaborate to develop learning materials for formal and informal educators, introducing and facilitating 3D design and printing relating to ECF’s mission of sharing 3D-printed assistive technologies.
“We are excited to welcome 3D Systems into partnership with ECF and look forward to leveraging their solutions and expertise to further our reach and impact,” said Jon Schull, Enable Community Foundation President. “It's notable that 3DS has the vision to open-source their K1 hand so that all sorts of people can use it and learn from it."
The 3DS and ECF partnership will be celebrated at the upcoming Capitol Hill Maker Faire on June 11 and the National Maker Faire on June 12 and 13 at the University of the District of Columbia, where ECF will host workshops using 3DS’ Cube 3D printers.
At both Maker Faire events, 3DS will showcase its new prosthetic hand design, which was optimized for printing on the Cube and CubePro 3D printers. The stunning prosthetic was designed by 3DS’ industrial designer Evan Kuester. Kuester also designed the “Iron Man” prosthetic for the University of Central Florida that was presented to a young boy by Robert Downey, Jr. Kuester and other 3DS experts will be on hand to support the e-NABLE workshops and provide technical advice at both events.
For more information, visit: www.enablingthefuture.org
American Standard Brands has cemented its position as a true innovator in faucet design and engineering with the launch of the first commercially-available faucets created with additive manufacturing, better known 3D printing.
What makes the new DXV faucet designs unique?
Additive manufacturing opens up new possibilities for the design and function of faucets, enabling new ways to present water and completely reinventing the user’s experience.
How do you “print” a faucet?
There are different types of 3D printing. The process for printing the DXV faucets is called laser sintering:
Haven’t there already been 3D printed faucets?
3D printing has been used to create plastic faucet models and concepts for years, using another 3D printing process called fused deposition modeling. It’s the additive manufacturing process most people are familiar with, layering plastic in rows to build an item. American Standard and others have used fused deposition modeling in faucet design concepting for years.
The DXV faucets are the first ready-for-market working faucets to be printed in metal.
Where can I buy one of the new DXV 3D Printed Faucets?
These new DXV faucets will be available through an exclusive network of showrooms, likely within the next 12 months or so. The estimated retail price will be somewhere between $12,000 - $20,000.
Do they meet US code approvals?
All three DXV faucets have received NSF certification. Iconel does not contain any lead, so we easily passed all low-lead code approvals. The faucets meet the water-saving standards of the WaterSense® label, and will be submitting to them for approval.
How will 3D printing impact the design and construction Industry?
3D printing will have a major disruptive effect on the design and construction industry, and DXV by American Standard is the first plumbing manufacturer to introduce a product for commercialization.
The process democratizes design and decentralizes manufacturing, which will eventually upend the design and construction industry, along with many others. A new, more efficient business model for bespoke design could be on the horizon. This would reduce the inventory pressures that arise from mass production of personalized products, while opening up a new world for both design and construction.
For more information, visit: www.americanstandard-us.com
When Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse, he didn't give much thought to how he might bring his character to life in the real world. But robotics now puts that possibility within reach, so Disney researchers have found a way for a robot to mimic an animated character's walk.
Beginning with an animation of a diminutive, peanut-shaped character that walks with a rolling, somewhat bow-legged gait, Katsu Yamane and his team at Disney Research Pittsburgh analyzed the character's motion to design a robotic frame that could duplicate the walking motion using 3D-printed links and servo motors, while also fitting inside the character's skin. They then created control software that could keep the robot balanced while duplicating the character's gait as closely as possible.
"The biggest challenge is that designers don't necessarily consider physics when they create an animated character," said Yamane, senior research scientist. Roboticists, however, wrestle with physical constraints throughout the process of creating a real-life version of the character.
"It's important that, despite physical limitations, we do not sacrifice style or the quality of motion," Yamane said. The robots will need to not only look like the characters, but move in the way people are accustomed to seeing those characters move.
Yamane and Joohyung Kim of Disney Research Pittsburgh and Seungmoon Song, a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, focused first on developing the lower half of such a robot.
"Walking is where physics matter the most," Yamane explained. "If we can find a way to make the lower half work, we can use the exact same procedure for the upper body."
They will describe the techniques and technologies they used to create the bipedal robot at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2015, May 26-30 in Seattle.
Compromises were inevitable. For instance, an analysis of the animated character showed that its ankle and foot had three joints, each of which had three degrees of freedom. Integrating nine actuators in a foot isn't practical. And the researchers realized that the walking motion in the animation wasn't physically realizable - if the walking motion in the animation was used on a real robot, the robot would fall down.
By studying the dynamics of the walking motion in simulation, the researchers realized they could mimic the motion by building a leg with a hip joint that has three degrees of freedom, a knee joint with a single degree of freedom and an ankle with two degrees of freedom.
Because the joints of the robot differ from what the analysis showed that the animated character had, the researchers couldn't duplicate the character's joint movements, but identified the position trajectories of the character's pelvis, hips, knees, ankle and toes that the robot would need to duplicate. To keep the robot from falling, the researchers altered the motion, such as by keeping the character's stance foot flat on the ground.
They then optimized the trajectories to minimize any deviation from the target motions, while ensuring that the robot was stable.
For more information, visit: www.disneyresearch.com/publication/development-of-a-bipedal-robot-that-walks-like-an-animation-character
Materialise launched the 3D Printed DINO clothes rack as an outcome of a recent collaboration with the Finland-based design studio KAYIWA. The DINO clothes rack blurs the line between design and art. While keeping aesthetics at the forefront of their design, the DINO rack serves as a functional furnishing piece that fits in a foyer, lounge, cloakroom, walk -in closet, wardrobe, or a fashion boutique. The sophisticated and eye-catching design of the DINO rack works to aesthetically enhance any space.
“During the last decade, 3D printing technology advanced considerably, which allowed the true vision for DINO to be realized,” says Lincoln Kayiwa, Designer and Founder of KAYIWA design studio. “In line with KAYIWA’s sustainability values, hangers are produced only to meet the exact demand. The remaining polyamide powder from the laser-sintered parts is reused. Nothing goes to waste.”
Suspended along an electro-polished stainless steel bar with spacers in between, hangers remain organized and comfortably swing back and forth and/or move side-to-side for efficient hanging and clothing removal. The hangers can be made in varying heights, leaving hanging space for long coats or making them easy to reach for children and people on a wheelchair. In addition, hangers can be hung on the bar in any order, according to your preference and their textured finish and ergonomic shape ensures the secure holding of clothes.
For this project, KAYIWA worked closely with the design and engineering team at Materialise. “Design is often the key to success for a 3D Printing project. Together with the customer, we modified the original shapes in order to come to designs that are ready for additive manufacturing. This guaranteed a perfect and repeatable quality that meets KAYIWA’s standards,” says Karel Honings, Project Manager at Materialise.
The DINO clothes rack is now available in three versatile models: straight, wavy and modular, and in the eight KAYIWA standard colors (black, blue, green, orange, red, violet, white and yellow). Nevertheless, the DINO rack can also be customized to match your room’s current style and it is even possible to incorporate your company’s brand identity through a specific logo or color scheme.
For more information, visit: www.kayiwa.fi/product-category/clothes-racks
A patient in Argentina required a particularly large cranial implant after stroke-related surgery, placing stringent requirements on the manufacture of the prosthetic. Naturally it needed to fit precisely, but in this case it also had to be permeable to allow brain fluid to pass through. Minimal heat conduction to the cerebral tissue was important, especially in a sunny climate. Additionally, biocompatibility was needed to allow the bone to grow into the edges of the implant.
A titanium alloy lattice structure secured by screws directly into the skull was deemed to be ideal. It was additively manufactured layer by layer from metal powder in a machine produced by German firm, EOS, whose UK subsidiary is on the Warwick Technology Park.
The one-and-a-half-hour surgical procedure was carried out successfully in May last year (2014). The patient left hospital after two days and the wound healed within three weeks. Since that time there have been no complications and the patient has been able to lead a normal life.
Several stringent mechanical requirements had to be met to ensure a successful result and technological advances in additive manufacturing allowed them to be achieved. The pores in the implant are approximately 1 mm across, while the links are about 0.2 mm thick, resulting in 95 percent porosity. To achieve such a fine mesh in a rigid structure to tight dimensional and profile tolerances would be impracticable using conventional, subtractive production techniques.
Time was of the essence in producing the implant. The process was started by Novax DMA in Buenos Aires, which specialises in developing and supplying medical implants for traumatology, orthopaedics and craniofacial surgery. For the 3D design of the implant, software was employed from UK company, Within, which allowed the basic form and porous structure to be defined quickly.
As soon as the CAD work was completed, Alphaform AG, near Munich, manufactured the implant in a matter of hours in an EOSINT M 280 metal additive manufacturing machine from EOS. The implant was in the operating theatre less than three weeks later, with transportation consuming one-third of that time.
Christoph Erhardt, Director of Additive Manufacturing at Alphaform, commented, “We had already successfully completed many additively manufactured products in the EOS system.
“However, we are particularly proud of this implant, not only because of the precise realisation of the form, but also because we were able to optimise the porous structure and the difficult process of cleaning the small interior spaces.
“We developed a multi-step process of abrasive and mechanical cleaning, rinsing and ultrasonics to arrive at the required level of medical purity, which is vital as particles can dislodge with the slightest movement, leading to the possibility of infections or rejection.”
The level of cleanliness was verified by extensive tests, including particle and cytotoxicity testing. Gas-chromatography analysis was also performed. Other tests confirmed that the implant fulfilled the necessary requirements to stabilise and protect the patient's skull.
Daniel Fiz, CEO of Novax DMA, added, “We have been supplying medical implants since 1995. Additive manufacturing represents a new milestone for patients. It offers optimal biomedical characteristics together with the highest levels of compatibility, thereby having a lasting effect on improved quality of life.
“For these reasons, we have applied the technology with success to other areas of the body. Alphaform has also manufactured jaw implants for us, as well as a hip joint and a spinal implant. For the latter, we are currently considering series production using additive manufacturing.”
Christoph Erhardt concluded, “For us, additive manufacturing and EOS are synonymous. We have already produced an enormous number of parts for many companies. Both we and our customers are continually amazed by the application possibilities and the high-quality production that can be achieved.
“That was once again the case here. We were able to help a person to live a normal life, on an ongoing basis, despite their having suffered a very serious injury.”
When you think of copper, the penny in your pocket may come to mind; but NASA engineers are trying to save taxpayers millions of pennies by 3-D printing the first full-scale, copper rocket engine part.
“Building the first full-scale, copper rocket part with additive manufacturing is a milestone for aerospace 3-D printing,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Additive manufacturing is one of many technologies we are embracing to help us continue our journey to Mars and even sustain explorers living on the Red Planet.”
Numerous complex parts made of many different materials are assembled to make engines that provide the thrust that powers rockets. Additive manufacturing has the potential to reduce the time and cost of making rocket parts like the copper liner found in rocket combustion chambers where super-cold propellants are mixed and heated to the extreme temperatures needed to send rockets to space.
“On the inside of the paper-edge-thin copper liner wall, temperatures soar to over 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and we have to keep it from melting by recirculating gases cooled to less than 100 degrees above absolute zero on the other side of the wall,” said Chris Singer, director of the Engineering Directorate at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where the copper rocket engine liner was manufactured. “To circulate the gas, the combustion chamber liner has more than 200 intricate channels built between the inner and outer liner wall. Making these tiny passages with complex internal geometries challenged our additive manufacturing team.”
A selective laser melting machine in Marshall’s Materials and Processing Laboratory fused 8,255 layers of copper powder to make the chamber in 10 days and 18 hours. Before making the liner, materials engineers built several other test parts, characterized the material and created a process for additive manufacturing with copper.
“Copper is extremely good at conducting heat,” explained Zach Jones, the materials engineer who led the manufacturing at Marshall. “That’s why copper is an ideal material for lining an engine combustion chamber and for other parts as well, but this property makes the additive manufacturing of copper challenging because the laser has difficulty continuously melting the copper powder.”
Only a handful of copper rocket parts have been made with additive manufacturing, so NASA is breaking new technological ground by 3-D printing a rocket component that must withstand both extreme hot and cold temperatures and has complex cooling channels built on the outside of an inner wall that is as thin as a pencil mark. The part is built with GRCo-84, a copper alloy created by materials scientists at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, where extensive materials characterization helped validate the 3-D printing processing parameters and ensure build quality. Glenn will develop an extensive database of mechanical properties that will be used to guide future 3-D printed rocket engine designs. To increase U.S. industrial competitiveness, data will be made available to American manufacturers in NASA’s Materials and Processing Information System (MAPTIS) managed by Marshall.
“Our goal is to build rocket engine parts up to 10 times faster and reduce cost by more than 50 percent,” said Chris Protz, the Marshall propulsion engineer leading the project. “We are not trying to just make and test one part. We are developing a repeatable process that industry can adopt to manufacture engine parts with advanced designs. The ultimate goal is to make building rocket engines more affordable for everyone.”
Manufacturing the copper liner is only the first step of the Low Cost Upper Stage-Class Propulsion Project funded by NASA’s Game Changing Development Program in the Space Technology Mission Directorate. NASA’s Game Changing Program funds the development of technologies that will revolutionize future space endeavors, including NASA’s journey to Mars. The next step in this project is for Marshall engineers to ship the copper liner to NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, where an electron beam freedom fabrication facility will direct deposit a nickel super-alloy structural jacket onto the outside of the copper liner. Later this summer, the engine component will be hot-fire tested at Marshall to determine how the engine performs under extreme temperatures and pressures simulating the conditions inside the engine as it burns propellant during a rocket flight.
For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov
The University of California, San Diego chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS@UCSD) conducted two hotfire tests of their second 3D printed rocket engine on April 18, 2015 at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry test facility in the Mojave Desert.
The rocket engine, named Ignus, was sponsored by and completely metal 3D printed at the facilities of GPI Prototype in Lake Bluff, IL. The rocket engine utilized liquid oxygen and kerosene as its propellants and was designed to achieve 750 lbf of thrust, a stepping stone in the club’s goal of producing larger and more powerful rocket engines. The design and testing of this engine is part of a larger project for the students guided and mentored by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center along with Dr. Forman Williams of UCSD.
As members of UC San Diego’s Gordon Engineering Leadership Center, leaders of the club were encouraged to pursue tough and challenging projects to prepare them for their lives post-graduation.
The engine was the product of a year and a half of work that the students put in to design and fabricate both the engine and the test system. This is the students’ most notable headline since they made national news with the first test of a 3D printed engine by a university, in October 2013.
“Seeing the engine roar to life was real validation to the thousands of man hours and sleepless nights designing, building, and preparing the rocket engine and the test stand. It was a testament to our determination and passion for space technologies”, said Deepak Atyam, Club President and Gordon Fellow.
“We aim to align our research so it is compatible with the needs of the aerospace industry. 3D printing has significant benefits including huge cuts to the cost, time to fabricate, and weight of rocket engines.”
The SEDS chapter conducted this research with the support of various organizations including GPI Prototype, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Lockheed Martin, the Gordon Engineering Leadership Center, and XCOR Aerospace.
Jeremy Voigt, design and test engineer at XCOR, assisted with the testing procedures and explained “There are not many people that can do what they have done, let alone as students, in regards to successfully test firing an engine on the first try. They not only accomplished that, but did it twice in one day, and with the new technology of 3D printing. That’s nothing short of amazing.”
Ignus is the first engine that was tested in a series of hot fires of different engine designs that the club plans to do in a lead up to their eventual rocket launch later this year at the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition. The competition will be held in Green River, Utah June 24-27, 2015. That rocket, named Vulcan1, would be one of the first rockets powered by a 3D printed engine in the world. In order to fund the fabrication and launch of their rocket, the students have launched a KickStarter campaign.
The club would like to personally thank Carl Tedesco of Flometrics; Jeremy Voigt, Patrick Morrison, and Tony Busalacchi of XCOR Aerospace; and Wyatt Rehder of Masten Space Systems for their help during the testing procedures.
For more information, visit: seds.ucsd.edu or www.3d-rocket.com
A new type of graphene aerogel will make for better energy storage, sensors, nanoelectronics, catalysis and separations.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have made graphene aerogel microlattices with an engineered architecture via a 3D printing technique known as direct ink writing. The research appears in the April 22 edition of the journal, Nature Communications.
The 3D printed graphene aerogels have high surface area, excellent electrical conductivity, are lightweight, have mechanical stiffness and exhibit supercompressibility (up to 90 percent compressive strain). In addition, the 3D printed graphene aerogel microlattices show an order of magnitude improvement over bulk graphene materials and much better mass transport.
Aerogel is a synthetic porous, ultralight material derived from a gel, in which the liquid component of the gel has been replaced with a gas. It is often referred to as “liquid smoke.”
Previous attempts at creating bulk graphene aerogels produced a largely random pore structure, excluding the ability to tailor transport and other mechanical properties of the material for specific applications such as separations, flow batteries and pressure sensors.
“Making graphene aerogels with tailored macro-architectures for specific applications with a controllable and scalable assembly method remains a significant challenge that we were able to tackle,” said engineer Marcus Worsley, a co-author of the paper. “3D printing allows one to intelligently design the pore structure of the aerogel, permitting control over mass transport (aerogels typically require high pressure gradients to drive mass transport through them due to small, tortuous pore structure) and optimization of physical properties, such as stiffness. This development should open up the design space for using aerogels in novel and creative applications.”
During the process, the graphene oxide (GO) inks are prepared by combining an aqueous GO suspension and silica filler to form a homogenous, highly viscous ink. These GO inks are then loaded into a syringe barrel and extruded through a micronozzle to pattern 3D structures.
“Adapting the 3D printing technique to aerogels makes it possible to fabricate countless complex aerogel architectures for applications such as mechanical properties and compressibility, which has never been achieved before, ” said engineer Cheng Zhu, the other co-author of the journal article.
Other Livermore researchers include Yong-Jin Han, Eric Duoss, Alexandra Golobic, Joshua Kuntz and Christopher Spadaccini. The work is funded by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program.
For more information, visit: www.llnl.gov
Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS) announced that its technology is illuminating the stage in the opening song of US pop star, Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour with vibrantly colored 3D printed mohawks produced by leading Hollywood special effects company, Legacy Effects.
Inspired by the plume of an ancient Roman’s imperial-centurion helmets, the mohawk’s main structure is manufactured using Stratasys 3D printing and features captivating colorful programmed lighting in the peak. With the prominent theme of color running throughout the tour, the headpiece wows audiences with a spectrum of bright lights, igniting an explosion of spectacular pyrotechnics in the opening song.
Set to feature throughout the year-long world tour, the mohawks are personalized to perfectly fit the individual backing dancer, ensuring that they remain in place throughout the renowned opening song, Roar.
“When Katy Perry’s art assistant gave us the brief with such a short turnaround time, we knew instantly that creating something so complex and visually striking, with the need for durability, could only be achieved with 3D printing,” explains Jason Lopes, Lead Systems Engineer at Legacy Effects. “Traditionally, it’s virtually impossible and very costly to produce such complex personalized pieces by hand, taking into consideration the time to work out the programming of the lighting elements. With Stratasys 3D printing technology, we were able to develop fully-illuminated pieces with a lightning fast turnaround of under a week. For developing one-off props for the music industry, this is revolutionary.”
Given the need of the eye-catching headgear to withstand continual use throughout the world tour, Legacy Effects opted to 3D print the outer crest in robust ABS-M30 FDM thermoplastic, ideal for holding the whole unit together. Similarly, thanks to its high dimensional stability and fine detail visualisation, the inset of the mohawks was produced in Stratasys’ rigid VeroGray material.
“We wanted to amplify the bright colors of the mohawks to complement the dance routine and lighting throughout the performance and we knew that PolyJet’s ability to house a sheet of acrylic inside would ensure that the contrast in colors was emphasized regardless of the spectators’ position in the arena,” explains Lopes.
Lopes concludes: “This is hugely exciting for us as Katy is such a high profile client, but it also represents how 3D printing is enabling us to meet the complex demands of projects like these immediately and providing our clients results within a day. To see 3D printed end-use parts in action during a live concert performance is something else!”
Gilad Gans, President of North American Operations, Stratasys, concludes: “We are seeing more and more of our customers using 3D printing beyond just a prototyping tool, but as a way to directly manufacture some of the most complex parts as final products. In the case of Katy Perry’s head pieces, the ability to 3D print personalized one-off parts, customized to each dancer, is a perfect example of how the future of manufacturing is moving towards mass customization.”
For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com
Monster Mascots has discovered a way to combine desktop 3D printing with traditional manufacturing to produce collectible figures in the USA. On January 28, co-founders Natalie Mathis and Quincy Robinson launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowd-fund the first batch of their licensed University of Kentucky Wildcat Monster Mascots.
Robinson has over ten years of experience inventing and sculpting for the toy industry. Using software, Robinson created a negative of each section of the UK Wildcat figure. He then 3D printed each negative section in square blocks on desktop 3D printers. The blocks were taken to a local aluminum sand casting facility, where they were turned into a metal mold.
Originally, the co-creators set out to create the USA-made figures using only traditional manufacturing techniques. "We priced a facility in New York, and the cost of manufacturing them was prohibitive for small quantities," Mathis said. “3D printing the blocks ourselves reduced the cost of the mold by thousands of dollars and enabled us to afford-ably produce small batches of the Wildcat.”
Next, the local rotational molding facility attaches the mold to a large metal disk, puts a plastic powder inside, and rotates the mold. After baking at a high temperature, the UK Wildcat is pulled out, cleaned, and assembled by hand, adding to each figure’s uniqueness.
After the Kickstarter ends on March 3, Monster Mascots plans to continue to acquire licenses from other universities to produce more figures in the series. “We started with UK because Natalie and I are both from Kentucky,” Robinson said. “We hope people love these guys and that eventually we can make other teams' Monster Mascots!”
For more information, visit: www.kickstarter.com/projects/3dkitbash/university-of-kentucky-wildcat-monster-mascots
In 1941, Arthur M Young demonstrated a model helicopter flying on a tether while working for Bell Aircraft Corporation and just five years later, Bell Helicopter received the first-ever certification for a commercial helicopter. The Texas company has now made and sold more than 35,000 of the aircraft worldwide.
For some years, the company has used additive manufacturing (AM), otherwise known as 3D printing, to produce prototype components but wanted to use the technology to build functional parts. It turned to nearby AM bureau, Harvest Technologies, which uses more than 40 AM machines, to provide the expertise.
Before production could begin, Bell Helicopter and Harvest needed to prove out the processing capabilities of the latter’s EOSINT P 730 plastic laser-sintering machine from EOS that would be used to make the helicopter parts and to certify the platform for use in the aerospace industry. Heat distribution, powder degradation, dimensional accuracy, repeatability, component quality and performance, and the economics of manufacture were all examined.
Elliott Schulte, Engineer III at Bell Helicopter said, “We characterised the mechanical properties of each additively manufactured build so that we could confirm that the EOS system met our specification requirements and produced the same quality product each time.
“The systematic testing was done with a number of different materials and across a series of individual builds to establish that EOS technology was robust and highly repeatable.”
Subsequently, Bell Helicopter and Harvest began the meticulous process of manufacturing aerospace hardware, taking advantage of the freedom of design that comes with applying AM.
Christopher Gravelle, head of Bell Helicopter’s rapid prototyping lab commented, “Material characterisation is a critical consideration for us during design. For instance, if we are creating bosses for attachment points in additively manufactured nylon rather than metal, it is a new material and process and you cannot just use the same configuration.”
After a final review of the first component design for producibility, Bell Helicopter sent a 3D CAD model to Harvest to develop a build strategy. Before each batch was produced, rigorous pre-production inspections were carried out by Harvest, including checking that nitrogen leak rate was low, which is important for reducing waste and ensuring part quality.
Caleb Ferrell, quality manager at Harvest added, “After every build, we test for tensile and flexural properties of the components. This is a requirement for process assurance that we continuously monitor.
“The parts that we get have very good feature definition and the mechanical properties have been good as well. We are especially happy with the larger platform size and the nestability we are achieving.”
Currently, the helicopter manufacturer 3D prints parts mainly for its environmental control system (ECS) using EOS technology, but AM production is expanding. Bell Helicopter is interested in employing 3D printed components throughout the aircraft systems of its commercial helicopters.
Schulte added, “The ECS engineers who have gained experience with the material and the process are now communicating with teams involved in other functions, and those teams are starting to incorporate additively manufactured hardware into their assemblies.
"The EOS technology produces a robust and highly repeatable process that complies with our specification. We have done a number of conversions of aircraft parts from previous processes to AM. With the EOSINT P 730, we often discover that the production cost per piece is substantially reduced compared to conventional manufacturing methods.”
Bell Helicopter will also be evaluating AM of high-temperature plastics intended for more demanding roles and environments.
Ferrell explained, “In addition to the design advantages, there are significant manufacturing benefits with EOS technology. Tool-less manufacturing means you do not face certain limitations or up-front costs.
“If you need to change something, you can build new revisions simply by changing the CAD file – no moulds, no new machining tool paths and very little wasted time and money.”
“Because of the large build platform in the EOSINT P 730, we can print bigger components in one piece rather than in sections, eliminating assembly costs.”
Another advantage of the EOS system is the clean surface it produces, according to director of business development at Harvest, Ron Clemons. He explained that the EOSINT P 730 incorporates a software fix that provides crisper detail and smoother surfaces. As a result, there is relatively little peripheral powder melting and adhesion, so the desired quality of finish is achieved. There is consequently a saving in post-processing cost compared with the bureau’s other AM systems and lead-times are shorter.
An important secondary benefit of EOS technology is increased recyclability of the plastic powder. Other AM processes used by Harvest leave behind a significant amount of partially melted and therefore unusable powder, whereas more of the EOSINT P 730’s leftover powder can be reused.
Harvest has since acquired a second EOSINT P 730 and an EOSINT P 760 and is currently working with Bell Helicopter to implement the manufacture of one-off or two-off orders for spares, nested within the build volumes of existing batch production.
For more information, visit: Aerospace Case Study - Bell Helicopter
With a 3-D printed twist on an automotive icon, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is showcasing additive manufacturing research at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
ORNL’s newest 3-D printed vehicle pays homage to the classic Shelby Cobra in celebration of the racing car’s 50th anniversary. The 3-D printed Shelby will be on display January 12-15 as part of the show’s inaugural Technology Showcase.
Researchers printed the Shelby car at DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL using the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine, which can manufacture strong, lightweight composite parts in sizes greater than one cubic meter. The approximately 1400-pound vehicle contains 500 pounds of printed parts made of 20 percent carbon fiber.
Recent improvements to ORNL’s BAAM machine include a smaller print bead size, resulting in a smoother surface finish on the printed pieces. Subsequent work by Knoxville-based TruDesign produced a Class A automotive finish on the completed Shelby.
“Our goal is to demonstrate the potential of large-scale additive manufacturing as an innovative and viable manufacturing technology,” said Lonnie Love, leader of ORNL’s Manufacturing Systems Research group. “We want to improve digital manufacturing solutions for the automotive industry.”
The team took six weeks to design, manufacture and assemble the Shelby, including 24 hours of print time. The new BAAM system, jointly developed by ORNL and Cincinnati Incorporated, can print components 500 to 1000 times faster than today’s industrial additive machines. ORNL researchers say the speed of next-generation additive manufacturing offers new opportunities for the automotive industry, especially in prototyping vehicles.
“You can print out a working vehicle in a matter of days or weeks,” Love said. “You can test it for form, fit and function. Your ability to innovate quickly has radically changed. There’s a whole industry that could be built up around rapid innovation in transportation.”
The Shelby project builds on the successful completion of the Strati, a fully 3-D printed vehicle created through a collaboration between Local Motors and ORNL.
The lab’s manufacturing and transportation researchers plan to use the 3-D printed Shelby as a laboratory on wheels. The car is designed to “plug and play” components such as battery and fuel cell technologies, hybrid system designs, power electronics, and wireless charging systems, allowing researchers to easily and quickly test out new ideas.
The ORNL booth at NAIAS highlights additional research and development activities in manufacturing and vehicle technologies including displays on energy absorption, composite tooling, printed power electronics and connected vehicles.
The project was funded by the Advanced Manufacturing Office in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and ORNL’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program.
For more information, visit: web.ornl.gov/sci/manufacturing/media/news/detroit-show
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120™ CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System™ (CHAMPS™). The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief Technologist's Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development and awarded out of NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center. The test was conducted in Redmond, Washington.
"Aerojet Rocketdyne continues to push the envelope with both the development and application of 3-D printed technologies, and this successful test opens a new paradigm of possibilities that is not constrained by the limits of traditional manufacturing techniques," said Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of Space Advanced Programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne.
"The MPS-120 hot-fire test is a significant milestone in demonstrating our game-changing propulsion solution, which will make many new CubeSat missions possible," said Christian Carpenter, MPS-120 program manager. "We look forward to identifying customers to demonstrate the technology on an inaugural space flight."
The MPS-120 contains four miniature rocket engines and feed system components, as well as a 3D-printed titanium piston, propellant tank and pressurant tank. The MPS-120 is designed to be compatible with both proven hydrazine propellant and emerging AF-M315E green propellant. The system is upgradable to the MPS-130™ green propellant version through a simple swap of the rocket engines. The entire system fits into a chassis about the size of a coffee cup.
"Demonstrating the speed at which we can manufacture, assemble and test a system like this is a testament to the impact that proper infusion of additive manufacturing and focused teamwork can have on a product," said Ethan Lorimor, MPS-120 project engineer at Aerojet Rocketdyne. "The demonstration proved that the system could be manufactured quickly, with the 3D printing taking only one week and system assembly taking only two days."
The MPS-120 demonstrated more than five times the required throughput on the engine and several full expulsions on the propellant tank. This demonstration test brought the system to Technology Readiness Level 6 and a Manufacturing Readiness Level 6. The next step in the MPS-120 product development is to qualify the unit and fly it in space.
This application of Additive Manufacturing (AM) is one example of Aerojet Rocketdyne's numerous efforts to apply existing AM techniques. It's a fully integrated cross-discipline effort ranging from basic process development to material characterization. The application also uses rigorous component and system level validation, enabling the benefits of AM with the reliability expected of traditional Aerojet Rocketdyne systems.
While the MPS-120 is Aerojet Rocketdyne's first 3D-printed integrated propulsion system, the company has previously conducted several successful hot-fire tests on 3D-printed components and engines. Those tests include an advanced rocket engine Thrust Chamber Assembly using copper alloy AM technology in October 2014; a series of tests on a Bantam demonstration engine built entirely with AM in June 2014; and a series of tests in July 2013 on a liquid-oxygen/gaseous hydrogen rocket injector assembly designed specifically for additive manufacturing.
For more information, visit: www.rocket.com/cubesat/mps-120
3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced that it has successfully outfitted Derby the dog with 3D printed prosthetics, allowing him to run down the street for the first time ever. Derby was born with a congenital deformity characterized by small forearms and no front paws. While always cheerful, Derby was, until now, only able to get around on soft surfaces. Hard surfaces, like sidewalks, cause severe abrasions on his front extremities.
Having fostered Derby through the dog rescue group Peace and Paws in Hillsborough, N.H., Tara Anderson decided to help. Tara, as a 3D Systems employee, knew that 3D printing afforded an unmatched level of design freedom, functionality and speed. Using 3D technology, she knew it would be possible to rapidly design and manufacture prosthetics customized to Derby's morphology.
Marshaling help from Derrick Campana, a certified Orthotist at Animal Ortho Care in Chantilly, VA, and 3DS designers, Kevin Atkins and Dave DiPinto, data of Derby's forearms and 3D scan data of a cup design, created by Campana, were used to create the 3D design. The team utilized Geomagic Freeform, 3DS' digital sculpting platform, which allowed them to create perfect organic shapes and smooth curves for Derby's shape.
The ProJet 5500X delivers multi-material 3D printing in a single build, so Tara and the designers could build complete prosthetics with comfortable cups in rubber and rigid spokes and base. Ready in a few hours, the prosthetics were shipped to Derby for testing.
"The beauty of 3D printing is that if the design needs to be adjusted, we don't have to wait for time-consuming and expensive traditional manufacturing processes, we can simply print out a new set," said Buddy Byrum, Vice President of Product and Channel Management, 3DS. "The dovetailing of 3D scanning and design with the ProJet 5500X multi-material 3D printing allowed for the creation of complete prosthetics printed in a single build, custom-fit to Derby."
Through the power of 3D, Derby is now able to run alongside, and sometimes past, his newly adoptive owners, Sherri and Dom Portanova.
""He runs with Sherri and I every day, at least two to three miles," said Dom Portanova. "When I saw him sprinting like that on his new legs it was just amazing."
For more information, visit: www.3dsystems.com
History was made on the International Space Station (ISS) early Tuesday morning when the first 3D printer built to operate in space successfully began manufacturing. This is the first time that hardware has been additively manufactured in space, as opposed being launched from Earth.
“When the first human fashioned a tool from a rock, it couldn’t have been conceived that one day we’d be replicating the same fundamental idea in space,” said Aaron Kemmer, CEO, Made In Space, Inc. “We look at the operation of the 3D printer as a transformative moment, not just for space development, but for the capability of our species to live off Earth.”
The first part made in space is a functional part of the printer itself - a faceplate for its own extruder printhead. “This ‘First Print’ serves to demonstrate the potential of the technology to produce replacement parts on demand if a critical component fails in space,” said Jason Dunn, Chief Technical Officer for Made In Space.
For the entirety of the space program, tools and parts have been built on Earth and required a rocket to get to space. The presence of a 3D printer onboard the ISS will allow hardware designs to be made on Earth and then digitally beamed to the space station, where the physical object will be created in a matter of hours. “For the first time, it’s no longer true that rockets are the only way to send hardware to space,” said Mike Chen, Chief Strategy Officer for Made In Space.
The “3D Printing in Zero-Gravity Experiment” is being jointly conducted by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and Made In Space, which designed and built the 3D printer for NASA through their Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
“The ISS has provided us with an ideal laboratory for demonstrating this game-changing technology that will not only benefit the station, but will also enable sustainable deep space missions,” said Niki Werkheiser, program manager for the project at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Following the initial printing phase, NASA and Made In Space will be conducting additional additive manufacturing experiments onboard ISS. A second printer will be launched to the ISS next year, which will serve as an invaluable tool for astronauts, government and also commercial businesses on Earth.
“In 1957, Sputnik became the first man-made object in space and, 12 years later, that led to humans setting foot on the moon,” said Kemmer. “Now, in 2014, we’ve taken another significant step forward – we’ve started operating a machine that will lead us to continual manufacturing in space. Decades from now, people will look back to this event…it will be seen as the moment when the paradigm of how we get hardware to space changed.”
For more information, visit: www.madeinspace.us/nasa-and-made-in-space-inc-make-history-by-successfully-3d-printing-first-object-in-space
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have developed an efficient method to measure residual stress in metal parts produced by powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing.
This 3D printing process produces metal parts layer by layer using a high-energy laser beam to fuse metal powder particles. When each layer is complete, the build platform moves downward by the thickness of one layer, and a new powder layer is spread on the previous layer.
While this process is able to produce quality parts and components, residual stress is a major problem during the fabrication process. That’s because large temperature changes near the last melt spot -- rapid heating and cooling -- and the repetition of this process result in localized expansion and contraction, factors that cause residual stress.
Aside from their potential impact on mechanical performance and structural integrity, residual stress may cause distortions during processing resulting in a loss of net shape, detachment from support structures and, potentially, the failure of additively manufactured (AM) parts and components.
An LLNL research team, led by engineer Amanda Wu, has developed an accurate residual stress measurement method that combines traditional stress-relieving methods (destructive analysis) with modern technology: digital image correlation (DIC). This process is able to provide fast and accurate measurements of surface-level residual stresses in AM parts.
The team used DIC to produce a set of quantified residual stress data for AM, exploring laser parameters. DIC is a cost-effective, image analysis method in which a dual camera setup is used to photograph an AM part once before it’s removed from the build plate for analysis and once after. The part is imaged, removed and then re-imaged to measure the external residual stress.
In a part with no residual stresses, the two sections should fit together perfectly and no surface distortion will occur. In AM parts, residual stresses cause the parts to distort close to the cut interface. The deformation is measured by digitally comparing images of the parts or components before and after removal. A black and white speckle pattern is applied to the AM parts so that the images can be fed into a software program that produces digital illustrations of high to low distortion areas on the part’s surface.
In order to validate their results from DIC, the team collaborated with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to perform residual stress tests using a method known as neutron diffraction (ND). This technique, performed by LANL researcher Donald Brown, measures residual stresses deep within a material by detecting the diffraction of an incident neutron beam. The diffracted beam of neutrons enables the detection of changes in atomic lattice spacing due to stress.
Although it’s highly accurate, ND is rarely used to measure residual stress because there are only three federal research labs in the U.S. -- LANL being one of them -- that have the high-energy neutron source required for this analysis.
The LLNL team’s DIC results were validated by the ND experiments, showing that DIC is a reliable way to measure residual stress in powder-bed fusion AM parts.
Their findings were the first to provide quantitative data showing internal residual stress distributions in AM parts as a function of laser power and speed. The team demonstrated that reducing the laser scan vector length instead of using a continuous laser scan regulates temperature changes during processing to reduce residual stress. Furthermore, the results show that rotating the laser scan vector relative to the AM part’s largest dimension also helps reduce residual stress. The team’s results confirm qualitative data from other researchers that reached the same conclusion.
By using DIC, the team was able to produce reliable quantitative data that will enable AM researchers to optimally calibrate process parameters to reduce residual stress during fabrication. Laser settings (power and speed) and scanning parameters (pattern, orientation angle and overlaps) can be adjusted to produce more reliable parts. Furthermore, DIC allowed the Lawrence Livermore team to evaluate the coupled effects of laser power and speed, and to observe a potentially beneficial effect of subsurface layer heating on residual stress development.
“We took time to do a systematic study of residual stresses that allowed us to measure things that were not quantified before,” Wu said. “Being able to calibrate our AM parameters for residual stress minimization is critical.”
LLNL’s findings eventually will be used to help qualify properties of metal parts built using the powder-bed fusion AM process. The team’s research helps build on other qualification processes designed at LLNL to improve quality and performance of 3D printed parts and components.
Wu and her colleagues are part of LLNL’s Accelerated Certification of Additively Manufactured Metals (ACAMM) Strategic Initiative. The other members of the Lawrence Livermore team include Wayne King, Gilbert Gallegos and Mukul Kumar.
The team’s results were reported in an article titled “An Experimental Investigation Into Additive Manufacturing-Induced Residual Stresses in 316L Stainless Steel” that was recently published in the journal, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions.
For more information, visit: acamm.llnl.gov
RedEye, a Stratasys Company (Nasdaq:SSYS) has partnered with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to 3D print 30 antenna array supports for the FORMOSAT-7 Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC-2) satellite mission.
Scheduled for launch in 2016, the COSMIC-2 mission marks the first time 3D printed parts will function externally in outer space. The antenna arrays will capture atmospheric and ionospheric data to help improve weather prediction models and advance meteorological research on Earth.
In order to keep the project on time and on budget, JPL needed an alternative to machining the parts out of astroquartz, the material traditionally used for the arrays. They turned to RedEye to produce 3D printed parts that could handle the complex array designs and also be strong enough to withstand the demands of outer space.
RedEye built the custom-designed parts using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), the only additive manufacturing process able to meet the project’s strength and load requirements. JPL chose durable ULTEM 9085 material, a thermoplastic that has similar strength to metals like aluminum but weighs much less.
“Using FDM for a project like this has never been done before and it demonstrates how 3D printing is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry,” said Jim Bartel, vice president and general manager at RedEye. “If this technology can be validated for use in the harsh environment of outer space, its capabilities are seemingly endless for projects here on Earth.”
While ULTEM 9085 has been well-vetted in the aerospace industry and is flammability rated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), it has not previously been used or tested for an exterior application in space. The material passed qualification testing to meet NASA class B/B1 flight hardware requirements. To protect the antenna array supports against oxygen atoms and ultraviolet radiation, a layer of NASA’s S13G protective paint was applied to the parts.
“The intricate design of the arrays and the durability of ULTEM 9085 made additive manufacturing a perfect choice for this project,” said Joel Smith, strategic account manager for aerospace and defense at RedEye. “Not only did it prove the strength of 3D printed parts, but using FDM to build these supports significantly reduced time and cost.”
Learn more about how RedEye and JPL used FDM to build parts to meet these unique specifications by reading the case study.
For more information, visit: www.redeyeondemand.com/3d-printing-case-studies/nasa-3d-printed-satellite
Today’s innovations in science and technology are being driven by new capabilities in additive manufacturing. Also known as 3-D printing, this approach is changing the speed, cost and flexibility of designing and building future machines for space and earth applications.
NASA’s Game Changing Development Program in the Space Technology and Mission Directorate has been actively funding research in 3-D printing and co-funded a recent groundbreaking test series with Aerojet Rocketdyne (AR) at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. Recently, AR in partnership with NASA, successfully completed the first hot-fire tests on an advanced rocket engine thrust chamber assembly using copper alloy materials. This was the first time a series of rigorous tests confirmed that 3-D manufactured copper parts could withstand the heat and pressure required of combustion engines used in space launches.
In all, NASA and AR conducted 19 hot-fire tests on four injector and thrust chamber assembly configurations, exploring various mixture ratios and injector operability points and were deemed fully successful against the planned test program.
“The successful hot fire test of subscale engine components provides confidence in the additive manufacturing process and paves the way for full scale development,” says Tyler Hickman, lead engineer for the test at Glenn.
The work is a major milestone in the development and certification of different materials used in this manufacturing process. According to AR, copper alloys offer unique challenges to the additive manufacturing processes. The microstructure and material properties can be well below typical copper. So they have worked through a regimented process to optimize and lock down processing characteristics and have performed rigorous materials tests to know how the alloy performs structurally.
“Additively manufactured metal propulsion components are truly a paradigm shift for the aerospace industry,” says Paul Senick, Glenn project manager. “NASA and its commercial partners continue to invest in additive manufacturing technologies, which will improve efficiency and bring down the cost of space launches and other earth applications.”
For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/home
CSIRO, St Vincent's Hospital and Victorian biotech company Anatomics have joined together to carry out world-first surgery to implant a titanium-printed heel bone into a Melbourne man.
Printed using CSIRO's state-of-the-art Arcam 3D printer, the heel bone was implanted into 71-year-old Len Chandler, a builder from Rutherglen Victoria, who was facing amputation of the leg below the knee following a diagnosis of cancer of the calcaneus, or heel bone.
St Vincent's Hospital surgeon Professor Peter Choong was aware of CSIRO's work in titanium 3D after reading about our work producing an orthotic horseshoe in 2013, and contacted CSIRO's John Barnes in early June about his vision for a metallic implant which would support the body's weight.
At the time, CSIRO happened to be working with the Victorian-based biotech company Anatomics on metallic implant technology and CSIRO brought Anatomics into the discussion with Professor Choong to draw on their experience as a certified custom medical device manufacturer.
Working from Anatomics' schematics for the calcaneus heel bone, teams at Anatomics and CSIRO developed the design requirements with Professor Choong's surgical team.
Included in the design were smooth surfaces where the bone contacts other bone, holes for suture locations and rough surfaces to allow tissue adhesion. Anatomics and CSIRO produced three implant prototypes in the days before the surgery.
In the space of two weeks, from first phone call to surgery, CSIRO and Anatomics were able to custom-design and present an implant part to the St Vincent's surgical team, in time for the surgery on the second week of July.
Mr Chandler returned to St Vincent's Hospital this week for a check-up and said he was recovering well, and able to place some weight on his implant.
"The customisation of 3D printing is good in emergency situations such as these," a member of CSIRO's titanium printing team Dr Robert Wilson said.
"Custom designed implants mean job opportunities in this area as these types of surgeries become more commonplace."
CSIRO is working with a number of major companies and SMEs across Australia to build capacity in biotech and manufacturing.
"3D printing is a local manufacturing process, meaning Australian companies produce implants for our own patients for our own doctors to use," CSIRO's Director of High Performance Metal Industries John Barnes said.
"We would no longer have to rely on imported parts that slow the process down and is less personal for the patient.
"At some point in the future we expect that local for-profit businesses will have the capacity to work on projects like this, and meanwhile the CSIRO is here to help local industry grow and build momentum."
For more information, visit: www.csiro.au/Organisation-Structure/Flagships/Future-Manufacturing-Flagship/Ti-Technologies.aspx
History will be made when the world’s first 3D-printed car drives out of McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. During the six-day IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014, the vehicle will be printed over 44 hours then rapidly assembled by a team led by Local Motors with the historic first drive set to take place the morning of Saturday, September 13.
Called the Strati, the vehicle will be 3D printed in one piece using direct digital manufacturing, (DDM), which is the first time this method has been used to make a car. Mechanical components, like battery, motor, wiring, and suspension are sourced from a variety of suppliers, including Renault’s Twizy, a line of electric powered city cars.
“The Strati was designed by our community, made in our Microfactory and will be driven by you,” said John B. Rogers, Jr., CEO of Local Motors. “This brand-new process disrupts the manufacturing status quo, changes the consumer experience and proves that a car can be born in an entirely different way.”
The innovative and bold vehicle uses the material science and advanced manufacturing techniques pioneered at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
“This project represents the unique opportunity DOE’s National Laboratory System offers to the industry, to collaborate in an open environment to deliver fast, innovative, manufacturing solutions,” said Craig Blue, Director, Advanced Manufacturing Program and Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. “These partnerships are pushing the envelope on emerging technologies, such as large scale additive manufacturing, and accelerating the growth of manufacturing in the United States.”
“The Strati will be showcased in AMT’s Emerging Technology Center. The ETC was created to present manufacturing ‘technologies of the future’ from leading companies, universities and government research labs,” notes Peter Eelman, Vice President – Exhibitions and Communications, AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. “This feature returned IMTS to its roots as a forum where the latest technologies are first seen. This year is no exception, and we are confident that this will be the most exciting ETC effort yet.”
“The BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) machine can be used for actual production. The deposition rate of 40 pounds per hour of carbon reinforced ABS plastic and the large size mean that large parts, like a car, can be produced using additive technology,” said Andrew Jamison CEO of Cincinnati Incorporated.
The vehicle proves the viability of using sustainable, digital manufacturing solutions in the automotive industry. Local Motors plans to launch production-level 3D-printed vehicles that will be available to the general public for purchase in the months following the show.
For more information, visit: www.localmotors.com/3dprintedcar
Oxford Performance Materials, Inc. (OPM), a leading advanced materials and additive manufacturing (3D printing) company, announced that it has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its 3D printed OsteoFab® Patient-Specific Facial Device (OPSFD).
OPM's facial device is the first and only FDA cleared 3D printed polymeric implant for facial indications, and follows FDA clearance of the first and only 3D printed polymeric implant, OPM's OsteoFab Patient-Specific Cranial Device, which was granted in February 2013.
"There has been a substantial unmet need in personalized medicine for truly individualized - yet economical - solutions for facial reconstruction, and the FDA's clearance of OPM's latest orthopedic implant marks a new era in the standard of care for facial reconstruction," said Scott DeFelice, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Oxford Performance Materials. "Until now, a technology did not exist that could treat the highly complex anatomy of these demanding cases. With the clearance of our 3D printed facial device, we now have the ability to treat these extremely complex cases in a highly effective and economical way, printing patient-specific maxillofacial implants from individualized MRI or CT digital image files from the surgeon. This is a classic example of a paradigm shift in which technology advances to meet both the patient's needs and the cost realities of the overall healthcare system."
The OPSFD will be 3D printed by OPM Biomedical, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of medical devices utilizing the company's OsteoFab® process, which combines laser sintering additive manufacturing technology and OPM's proprietary OXPEKK® powder formulation to print orthopedic and neurological implants. These implants are biocompatible, mechanically similar to bone, radiolucent, and support bone attachment (i.e. osteoconductive).
OPM technology is also designed to reduce the overall "cost of ownership" to the customer by decreasing operating room time, hospital length of stay and procedure complications. In addition, OsteoFab customers do not pay a premium for the individualized 3D printed implant.
"An exciting aspect of our technology is that additional complexity does not increase manufacturing cost, and having both cranial and facial devices cleared now enables us to answer ever more complex cases where upper facial structures can be incorporated with cranial implants as a single device," added Severine Zygmont, President of OPM Biomedical. "As a result, additive manufacturing has the potential to not only improve patient outcomes, but fundamentally improve the economics of orthopedics on a global scale – for developed and developing countries. These are disruptive changes that will allow the industry to provide the finest levels of healthcare to more people at a lower cost."
Biomet, Inc., a leading distributor of advanced technologies for the treatment of arthritis, joint and spine related injuries and facial reconstruction, will be the exclusive global distributor of OPM's OPSFD. Biomet is also the exclusive global distributor of OPM's OsteoFab Patient-Specific Cranial Device.
Oxford Performance Materials (OPM) is a recognized leader in 3D printing and high performance additive manufacturing (HPAM™). OPM has developed a range of advanced materials technology focused on a high performance polymer, poly-ether-ketone-ketone (PEKK), and delivers enterprise level, functional end-use products to the biomedical, aerospace and industrial markets as the first company to successfully apply additive manufacturing solutions to PEKK. A pioneer in personalized medicine, OPM became the only company to receive FDA clearance to manufacture 3D printed patient-specific polymeric implants for its cranial prostheses line in February 2013, and its Biomedical division received a second 510(k) for its patient-specific facial implants in July 2014.
For more information, visit: www.oxfordpm.com
By the end of September, NASA aerospace engineer Jason Budinoff is expected to complete the first imaging telescopes ever assembled almost exclusively from 3-D-manufactured components.
“As far as I know, we are the first to attempt to build an entire instrument with 3-D printing,” said Budinoff, who works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Under his multi-pronged project, funded by Goddard’s Internal Research and Development (IRAD) program, Budinoff is building a fully functional, 50-millimeter (2-inch) camera whose outer tube, baffles and optical mounts are all printed as a single structure. The instrument is appropriately sized for a CubeSat, a tiny satellite comprised of individual units each about four inches on a side. The instrument will be equipped with conventionally fabricated mirrors and glass lenses and will undergo vibration and thermal-vacuum testing next year.
Budinoff also is assembling a 350-millimeter (14-inch) dual-channel telescope whose size is more representative of a typical space telescope.
Budinoff is developing both to show that telescope and instrument structures can benefit from advances in additive manufacturing. With this technique, a computer-controlled laser melts and fuses metal powder in precise locations as indicated by a 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) model. Because components are built layer by layer, it is possible to design internal features and passages that could not be cast or machined using more traditional manufacturing approaches.
The goal isn’t to fly them, at least not yet. “This is a pathfinder,” Budinoff said. “When we build telescopes for science instruments, it usually involves hundreds of pieces. These components are complex and very expensive to build. But with 3-D printing, we can reduce the overall number of parts and make them with nearly arbitrary geometries. We’re not limited by traditional mill- and lathe-fabrication operations.”
In particular, the 2-inch instrument design involves the fabrication of four different pieces made from powdered aluminum and titanium. A comparable, traditionally manufactured camera would require between five and 10 times the number of parts, he said. Furthermore, the instrument’s baffling — the component that helps reduce stray light in telescopes — is angled in a pattern that instrument builders cannot create with traditional manufacturing approaches in a single piece.
When he completes the camera’s assembly at the end of the fiscal year — ready for space-qualification testing — the project will have taken a mere three months to complete for a fraction of the cost. “I basically want to show that additive-machined instruments can fly,” he said. “We will have mitigated the risk, and when future program managers ask, ‘Can we use this technology?’ we can say, ‘Yes, we already have qualified it.’”
Budinoff also wants to demonstrate that he can use powdered aluminum to produce 3-D-manufactured telescope mirrors — a challenge given how porous aluminum is, which makes it difficult to polish the surfaces. Under his plan, a 3-D-manufacturing vendor will fabricate an unpolished mirror blank appropriate for his two-inch instrument. He then will place the optic inside a pressure chamber filled with inert gas. As the gas pressure increases to 15,000 psi, the heated chamber in essence will squeeze the mirror to reduce the surface porosity — a process called hot isostatic pressing.
“We think this, combined with the deposition of a thin layer of aluminum on the surface and Goddard-developed aluminum stabilizing heat treatments, will enable 3-D-printed metal mirrors,” Budinoff said.
Should he prove the approach, Budinoff said NASA scientists would benefit enormously — particularly those interested in building infrared-sensing instruments, which typically operate at super-cold temperatures to gather the infrared light that can be easily overwhelmed by instrument-generated heat. Often, these instruments are made of different materials. However, if all the instrument’s components, including the mirrors, were made of aluminum, then many of the separate parts could be 3-D printed as single structures, reducing the parts count and material mismatch. This would decrease the number of interfaces and increase the instrument’s stability, Budinoff added.
Next year, he also plans to experiment with printing instrument components made of Invar alloy, a material being prepared for 3-D printing by Goddard technologist Tim Stephenson. The 100-year-old iron-nickel alloy offers extreme dimensional stability over a range of temperatures. The material is ideal for building super-stable, lightweight skeletons that support telescopes and other instruments.
“Anyone who builds optical instruments will benefit from what we’re learning here,” Budinoff said. “I think we can demonstrate an order-of-magnitude reduction in cost and time with 3-D printing.”
For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov
Army researchers are investigating ways to incorporate 3-D printing technology into producing food for Soldiers.
The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center's, or NSRDEC's, Lauren Oleksyk is a food technologist investigating 3-D applications for food processing and product development. She leads a research team within the Combat Feeding Directorate, referred to as CFD.
"The mission of CFD's Food Processing, Engineering and Technology team is to advance novel food technologies," Oleksyk said. "The technologies may or may not originate at NSRDEC, but we will advance them as needed to make them suitable for military field feeding needs. We will do what we can to make them suitable for both military and commercial applications."
On a recent visit to the nearby the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory, NSRDEC food technologist Mary Scerra met with experts to discuss the feasibility and applications of using 3-D printing to produce innovative military rations.
"It could reduce costs because it could eventually be used to print food on demand," Scerra said. "For example, you would like a sandwich, where I would like ravioli. You would print what you want and eliminate wasted food."
"Printing of food is definitely a burgeoning science," Oleksyk said. "It's currently being done with limited application. People are 3-D printing food. In the confectionery industry, they are printing candies and chocolates. Some companies are actually considering 3-D printing meat or meat alternatives based on plant products that contain the protein found in meat."
A printer is connected to software that allows a design to be built in layers. To print a candy bar, there are cartridges filled with ingredients that will be deposited layer upon layer. The printer switches the cartridges as needed as the layers build.
"This is being done already," Oleksyk said. "This is happening now."
"It is revolutionary to bring 3-D printing into the food engineering arena," Oleksyk said. "To see in just a couple of years how quickly it is advancing, I think it is just going to keep getting bigger and bigger in terms of its application potential."
Oleksyk believes her team is the first to investigate how 3-D printing of food could be used to meet Soldiers' needs. The technology could be applied to the battlefield for meals on demand, or for food manufacturing, where food could be 3-D printed and perhaps processed further to become shelf stable. Then, these foods could be included in rations.
"We have a three-year shelf-life requirement for the MRE [Meal Ready-to-Eat]," Oleksyk said. "We're interested in maybe printing food that is tailored to a Soldier's nutritional needs and then applying another novel process to render it shelf stable, if needed."
Oleksyk said they are looking at ultrasonic agglomeration, which produces compact, small snack-type items. Combining 3-D printing with this process could yield a nutrient-dense, shelf-stable product.
"Another potential application may be 3-D printing a pizza, baking it, packaging it and putting it in a ration," she said.
Currently, most 3-D printed foods consist of a paste that comes out of a printer and is formed into predetermined shapes. The shapes are eaten as is or cooked.
Army food technologists hope to further develop 3-D printing technologies to create nutrient-rich foods that can be consumed in a warfighter-specific environment, on or near the battlefield.
Nutritional requirements could be sent to a 3-D food printer so meals can be printed with the proper amount of vitamins and minerals, thus meeting the individual dietary needs of the Warfighter.
"If you are lacking in a nutrient, you could add that nutrient. If you were lacking protein, you could add meat to a pizza," Oleksyk said.
Scerra said individual needs could be addressed based on the operational environment.
"Say you were on a difficult mission and you expended different nutrients...a printer could print according to what your needs were at that time," Scerra said.
In the future, making something from scratch may have a completely different meaning.
"We are thinking as troops move forward, we could provide a process or a compact printer that would allow Soldiers to print food on demand using ingredients that are provided to them, or even that they could forage for," Oleksyk said. "This is looking far into the future."
Oleksyk, who was skeptical when she first heard that 3-D printers could be used to engineer food, now marvels at the possibilities.
"I've been here long enough to see some of these 'no ways' become a reality. Anything is possible," Oleksyk said.
This article appears in the July/August issue of Army Technology Magazine, which focuses on 3-D printing. The magazine is available as an electronic download, or print publication. The magazine is an authorized, unofficial publication published under Army Regulation 360-1, for all members of the Department of Defense and the general public.
The Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.
For more information, visit: usarmy.vo.llnwd.net/e2/c/downloads/354586.pdf
Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS) announced it has collaborated with the Stan Winston School of Character Arts, Legacy Effects, Condé Nast Entertainment and WIRED to create a 14-foot tall giant creature which will be showcased at the Comic-Con International 2014 conference. The conference takes place July 24-27 in San Diego, California.
The giant creature was designed by artists at the Stan Winston School. Engineers and technicians at Legacy Effects — the studio that brought to life Iron Man, Avatar, Pacific Rim and RoboCop characters — worked closely with Stratasys to build dozens of 3D-printed parts to create the character.
“Everything about the giant creature project was ambitious, including size, weight, delivery schedule and performance requirements,” said Matt Winston, co-founder of the Stan Winston School. “Without the close involvement of our partners at Stratasys, whose 3D printing technologies are, in our view, revolutionizing not only the manufacturing industry but the entertainment industry as well, none of it would have been possible.”
More than one third of the giant creature was 3D printed, including the chest armor, shoulders, arms and fingers. A variety of Stratasys 3D Printers were employed in the build process, including the Fortus 900mc which uses FDM 3D printing technology to build durable parts as large as 36 x 24 x 36 inches.
The parts were created using ABS-M30 thermoplastic material, which has excellent mechanical properties suitable for functional prototypes, jigs and fixtures and production parts.
In addition to 3D printed parts, the creature integrates a variety of video and sensor technologies to offer attendees at the event, as well as fans online, a unique interactive experience with the character.
“The main advantage to 3D printing was going directly from a concept design to an end use, physical part, helping avoid any interpretation by hand or casting in a different material,” said Jason Lopes, lead systems engineer at Legacy Effects. “There is a reason why Legacy Effects has always been a Stratasys house, and this giant creature build shows why.”
"We are excited to debut the series, How to Make a Giant Creature on The Scene with our partners. With last year’s success, we are eager to provide audiences with something bigger and better, which this new creation definitely is,” said Michael Klein, Executive Vice President, Programming and Content Strategy, Condé Nast Entertainment.
During last year’s Comic-Con International, the Stan Winston School and Legacy Effects also collaborated with Stratasys, WIRED and YouTube to introduce an interactive robot suit, which incorporated several 3D printed parts primarily for the robot’s facial structure.
“3D printing is opening up an entirely new world of possibilities in nearly every industry, including entertainment,” said Gilad Gans, President, Stratasys North America. “The giant creature represents the perfect marriage of technology and art coming together in an innovative way.”
For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com
RedEye, by Stratasys (Nasdaq: SSYS), one of the world’s leading additive manufacturing service bureaus, recently partnered with Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems Company (SSC) to 3D print two large fuel tank simulators for a satellite form, fit and function validation test and process development. With the biggest tank measuring 15 feet long, the project marks one of the largest 3D printed parts RedEye has ever built.
With RedEye’s Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology, the team developed the fuel tanks within a highly condensed time frame and at about half the cost of machining the parts. These rapid prototyping advantages will help Lockheed Martin bring its new design to market faster in a competitive contract bid process.
“With RedEye’s machine capacity and engineering support, we were able to successfully build these tank simulators in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost,” said Andrew Bushell, senior manufacturing engineer at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.
The larger tank was built in 10 different pieces and the smaller in 6 different pieces using polycarbonate (PC) material. Combined, the fuel tanks took nearly two weeks to print, taking roughly 150 hours per section. Based on the sheer size of the parts, customized fixtures were required to support the structures as they were bonded together and shipped to be machined to meet specifications. Once all of the pieces were machined, the final assembly required 240 hours.
“This project is unique in two ways – it marks the first aerospace fuel tank simulation produced through additive manufacturing and is one of the largest 3D printed parts ever built,” stated Joel Smith, strategic account manager for aerospace and defense at RedEye. “Our ability to accommodate such a large configuration and adapt to design challenges on the fly, demonstrates that there really is no limit to the problem-solving potential when you manufacture with 3D printing.”
Lockheed Martin first embraced the design benefits of additive manufacturing with RedEye in 2012 and has invested in in-house 3D printers from RedEye’s parent company, Stratasys. RedEye has worked with Lockheed Martin on various tooling and additive manufacturing projects that support its Space Systems Company. The organizations are expected to partner on more 3D printing projects later this year.
For more information, visit: www.redeyeondemand.com/3d-printing-case-studies/lockheed-martin-3d-printing
Stratasys, Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS) announced the debut of "Gemini", a two-part chaise lounge designed by Neri Oxman, Architect, Designer and Professor of Media, Arts and Science at MIT, in collaboration with Professor W. Craig Carter, Department of Materials Science and Engineering of MIT, using Stratasys' Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer and CNC milling by Le Laboratoire.
Conveying the relationship of twins in the womb through material properties and their spatial arrangement, Gemini combines both traditional and innovative manufacturing processes and was unveiled at the "Vocal Vibrations" exhibition at La Laboratoire in Paris, France.
The two piece cocoon-like structure combines subtractive and additive manufacturing and continues Oxman's exploration of the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printing technology, which enables a variety of material properties and color combinations to be printed in a single build.
"The twin chaise spans multiple scales of the human existence extending from the warmth of the womb to the stretches of the Gemini zodiac in deep space. It recapitulates a human cosmos, our body, like the constellation, drifting in quiet space. Here the duality of nature is expressed through the combination of traditional materials and state of the art 3D printing," says Oxman. "Stratasys new multi- material color 3D printing capability has allowed me to create a rich dialog between sound and light, rigid and flexible, natural and man-made materials and high and low spatial frequencies in ways that were impossible until now".
In a design commission to explore how materials interact with the human body, the twin chaise features an enclosure which cushions the body within a colored, multi-material 3D printed cocoon, replicating the tranquillity of the womb. A solid wood shell house provides the protective exterior. Lining Gemini from the inside are 44 composite PolyJet digital materials, including color. The 3D printed 'skin' uses Stratasys' unique triple jetting technology and combines three base materials: Stratasys' rubber-like TangoPlus, rigid VeroYellow and VeroMagenta, forming varying shades of transparent and opaque yellows and oranges, in different rigidities. The materials, shapes and surfaces of the 3D printed skin enable a unique vibrational acoustic effect for a quiet calming environment.
"Gemini is fundamentally about the complex and contradictory relationship between twins, which is mirrored in the geometrical forms of the two-part chaise and the dualities that drive their formation, such as the combination of natural and synthetic materials," explains Professor Oxman. "The Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer and technology enabled us to print 44 material combinations that not only target specific pressure points on the body to form a sensorial landscape, but also act as a soundproof anechoic chamber, an architecture for quieting the mind."'
Gemini features separate, independent parts that together form an enclosure: Gemini Alpha and Gemini Beta. They are inspired by the mythical relationship between the Dioskouri twins, Castor, born of man (named Gemini Beta after the star in the Northern constellation of Gemini) and Pollux born divine (named Gemini Alpha after the second brightest star in the constellation of Gemini).
In keeping with Greek mythology, the first piece, Gemini Alpha recapitulates the form of a swan, as it is believed that Leda, the twins' mother, became pregnant with Pollux after being seduced by Zeus in the disguise of a swan. Inspired by the lingual root of the word 'swan', "sound" or "to sing," Gemini Alpha includes a sound enclosure featuring a range of Stratasys 3D printed PolyJet digital materials with varying elastic and acoustical properties. Surface features that are more curved than others are assigned more elastic properties thereby increasing sound absorption around local chambers.
"I wanted to reproduce the calming and still ambience of the fetus' prenatal experience," explains Professor Oxman. "The 3D printed sound-proof skin brings the whole concept to life, transporting the visitor once seated within the chaise to ultimate serenity."
Gemini Beta, to be unveiled at the Laboratoire Cambridge exhibition in October 2014, is designed to complete its twin, creating a full enclosure, however it can also function as an independent chaise when positioned upside down.
Commenting on Gemini as a key aspect of Vocal Vibrations, David Edwards, founder and director of Le Laboratoire, Paris, says, "We are delighted to be collaborating with Neri Oxman, whose ground-breaking creations continue to wow audiences while demonstrating the dramatic potential of 3D printing within the design world. In fact, this will be the first time that Le Laboratoire has featured a 3D printed piece and we expect the Gemini chaise will prove to be an attention-grabbing aspect of Vocal Vibrations."
"Once again Professor Neri Oxman has demonstrated her ability to push the boundaries of design and manufacturing with the help of Stratasys color multi-material 3D printing," says Arita Mattsoff, Vice President Marketing for Stratasys. "This is a truly unique, functional piece of art that combines traditional manufacturing techniques with cutting edge 3D printing technology. We are seeing more and more designers embrace 3D printing as a powerful new creative tool, enabling them to bring designs they never thought possible to life in a matter of hours."
For more information, visit: www.lelaboratoire.org/en
Motorcyclist Stephen Power was severely injured in an accident near Cardiff, UK. He broke both arms and his right leg was damaged so badly it required a bone graft. Stephen also suffered major injuries to his head and face. He regained consciousness after several months in the hospital.
Consultant maxillofacial surgeon Adrian Sugar explains that a specialist team at the Morriston Hospital in Swansea, UK, successfully dealt with all facial injuries, with the exception of his left cheek and eye socket. The patient’s cheekbone was too far out and his eye was sunk in and dropped. Due to the close proximity of critical and sensitive anatomical structures, the team applied a more accurate expertise approach. This strategy ensured no further damage to his eye in order to maintain his eyesight. The expertise approach entailed the latest 3D computer-aided practices applied by PDR and innovative 3D printing of the titanium implant and fixation plate by LayerWise.
LayerWise manufactured the implant and fixation plate in medical-grade titanium (Ti6Al4V ELI) in accordance with the ISO 13485 standard. “The 3D printing technology mastered by LayerWise is perfectly suited for producing this kind of ultra strong, precise and lightweight titanium implants,” says Peter Mercelis, Managing Director of LayerWise.
“The reconstructive orbital floor plate plays an essential role in the repositioning of the eye in light of the targeted facial symmetry and eye alignment,” explained Romy Ballieux from LayerWise’s Medical Business Unit. “LayerWise produced the floor plate, and polished its upper surface to minimize friction with soft tissues. The floor plate was fixated to the zygomatic bone through the plate’s dedicated slip with attachment holes. The digital 3D printing technology successfully maintained the accuracy of the precise medical imaging data, pre-operative planning and implant design. The 0.1 millimeter (4 mils) geometric accuracy of the floor plate’s freeform surfaces could not be achieved using traditional manufacturing methods.”
Accuracy is even more critical with regard to the fixation plate. This fairly long, slim, curved 3D printed plate requires precise positioning to be able to tie together many fractured bone pieces of the cheek region. A custom-fitting guide was used to fit securely around the anatomy, with slots located to guide the surgeon’s movement when positioning the plate. The fixation plate restored the correct anatomical connection between the frontal, zygomatic and temporal bone. This connection contributed to the successful reconstruction of the patient’s anatomy, providing the best possible facial symmetry.
Ballieux noted: “Dedicated medical engineering specialized in the production aspects of metal 3D printing were key in achieving the impressive facial reconstruction in such a short timespan. The digital process resulted in the 3D printed implant and fixation plate produced in a single manufacturing step in only a couple of hours.”
After his recovery, Stephan Power experiences the results of the surgery as ‘totally life changing’. Instead of using a hat and glasses to mask his injuries, he is now able to do day-to-day things, go and see people, walk in the street, and even go to any public areas. The improved facial symmetry and alignment of his eyes, achieved with the LayerWise implant and fixation plate, clearly made a big difference to the patient. “We are confident that our metal 3D printing technology is capable of improving the quality of life of many more patients,” Ballieux concluded. “The fast-turnaround digital process, from medical imaging up to the finalized 3D printed implants, delivers the required implant geometry and precision to obtain such great facial reconstructions.”
These implants were the result of a close collaboration beween LayerWise specialists and PDR design experts Sean Peel and Dr. Dominic Eggbeer. PDR has a formal collaboration with the Maxillofacial Unit at Morriston Hospital: cartis (Centre for Applied Reconstructive Technologies in Surgery).
LayerWise’s Medical Business Unit aims at providing maximum patient comfort through serial and patient-specific implant manufacturing. The metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) process mastered by LayerWise yields fully anatomic implant shapes offering increased functionality and esthetics as well as improved osseo-integration. LayerWise offers cost-effective manufacturing of orthopedic, cranio-maxillofacial, spinal and dental implants and instruments.
LayerWise also built the world’s first patient-specific lower jaw using metal 3D printing.
For more information, visit: www.layerwise.com/medical
Renishaw has collaborated with a leading British bicycle company to create a 3D-printed metal bike frame. Empire Cycles, located in Northwest England, designed the mountain bike to be stronger and lighter, using a process called topological optimization and employing Renishaw’s AM250 additive manufacturing system. The additive process offers design, construction and performance advantages that include: blending complex shapes or hollow structures with internal strengthening features, flexibility to make design improvements right up to the start of production, and the convenience of making one-off parts as easily as batches, which allows for customization. The new titanium alloy frame, about 33% lighter than the original, was manufactured in sections and bonded together.
The two companies originally agreed to optimize and manufacture only the bike’s seat post bracket, but after the part’s successful production, improvement of the whole frame became the new goal. Empire started with a full-size 3D printed replica of its current aluminium alloy bike and the frame was sectioned into parts that could be formed in the AM250’s 12-in. (300-mm) build height. The design was updated with guidance from Renishaw’s applications team and an optimized design – one that eliminates many of the downward facing surfaces that require wasteful support structures – was created using topological optimization.
Topological optimization software programs use iterative steps and finite element analysis to determine the “logical” material placement. Material is removed from areas of low stress until a design optimized for load bearing is created, resulting in a model that is light and strong. Historical challenges in manufacturing these computer-generated shapes are overcome through the additive manufacturing process.
The AM250 uses a high-powered fiber laser to produce fully dense metal parts direct from 3D CAD data. Parts are built layer by layer, in thicknesses ranging from 20 to 100 microns, using a range of fine metal powders melted in a tightly controlled atmosphere. A fully welded vacuum chamber and ultra-low oxygen content in the build atmosphere allow processing of reactive materials, including titanium and aluminum.
The key benefit to Empire Cycles is the performance advantages derived from the additive process. The design has all of the advantages of a pressed steel “monocoque” construction used in motorbikes and cars, without the investment in tooling that would be prohibitive for a small manufacturer. “As no tooling is required, continual design improvements can be made easily, and as the component cost is based on volume and not complexity, some very light parts will be possible at minimal costs,” said Dave Bozich, Business Manager, Renishaw.
The original aluminium alloy seat post bracket is 12 oz. (360 g) and the first iteration of the hollow titanium version is 7 oz. (200 g), a weight savings of 44%. Comparison of the entire frame has the original bike frame weighing in at 4.6 lbs. (2100 g), with the redesigned additive-made frame at only 3.1 lbs. (1400 g), a 33% weight savings. “There are lighter carbon fiber bikes available, but the durability of carbon fiber can’t compare to a metal bike,” said Chris Williams, Managing Director at Empire Cycles. “They are great for road bikes, but when you start chucking yourself down a mountain you risk damaging the frame. We over-engineer our bikes to ensure there are no warranty claims.”
Titanium alloys have more density than aluminium alloys, with relative densities of around .14 lb/in3 (4 g/cm3) and .11 lb/in3 (3 g/cm3), respectively. Therefore, the only way to make a titanium alloy part lighter than its aluminium alloy counterpart is to significantly alter the design and remove any material not contributing to the overall strength of the part. The companies believe further analysis and testing it could result in further weight reduction.
In addition to durability and corrosion-resistance, titanium alloys have a high Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) of more than 900 MPa, when processed using additive manufacturing. With near perfect densities – greater than 99.7 percent – the process is better than casting and the small, spherical nature of additive-part porosity has little negative effect on strength. The seat post bracket was tested using the mountain bike standard EN 14766, and it withstood 50,000 cycles of 270 lb ft (1200 N). Testing continued to six times the standard without failure.
Empire is passionate about partnering with top British engineering companies to create elite products. Research into bonding methods resulted in Mouldlife providing the adhesive, which was tested by technical specialists at 3M test facilities. The wheels, drivetrain and components required to finish the bike, were provided by Hope Technology Ltd.
Empire and Renishaw plan to continue testing the completed bicycle frame in the laboratory, using Bureau Veritas UK, and in the field, using portable sensors in partnership with Swansea University. “We plan to develop this further, in partnership, to look at iterative improvements in bonding methods, such as specific surface finishes,” said Bozich. “This project demonstrates that excellent results can be achieved through close customer collaboration.”
For more information, visit: www.renishaw.com/empire
With its latest exhibit, "EDAG GENESIS", EDAG offers a visionary outlook for what might well be the next industrial revolution in automotive development and production. Current advances in additive manufacturing now allow a component, module, or even a complete, one-piece vehicle body to be produced in one single production process.
At the EDAG stand in Geneva, the company will be presenting a futuristic vehicle sculpture "EDAG GENESIS". Using the example of a body structure, the sculpture was designed to demonstrate the revolutionary potential of additive manufacturing including bionic lightweight principles, topological optimisation and load-conforming design strategy.
Our exhibit, "EDAG GENESIS" can be seen as a symbol of the new freedoms that additive manufacturing processes will open up to designers and engineers in development and production. Additive manufacturing will make it possible to come a great deal closer to the construction principles and strategies of nature.
"EDAG GENESIS" is based on the bionic patterns of a turtle, which has a shell that provides protection and cushioning and is part of the animal's bony structure. The shell is similar to a sandwich component, with fine, inlying bone structures that give the shell its strength and stability. In "EDAG GENESIS", the skeleton is more of a metaphor; it is there to ensure not mobility, but passenger safety. The framework calls to mind a naturally developed skeletal frame, the form and structure of which should make one thing perfectly clear: these organic structures cannot be built using conventional tools!
The immense potential of additive manufacturing inspired us to define and analyse the current status quo of the latest technologies, and then assess the extent to which it might be possible to use them in vehicle development and production. What process offers the best prospects for being able to produce structural parts with the required product properties in a single production step, without the use of tools?
A multi-disciplinary team of EDAG designers and specialists from the EDAG Competence Centre for Lightweight Construction took a close look at the potential of a number of promising processes, and discussed them with research and industrial experts. Possible candidates for the situation analysis of additive manufacturing were technologies such as selective laser sintering (SLS), selective laser melting (SLM), stereolithography (SLA), and fused deposition modelling (FDM).
In the assessment, a specially developed evaluation matrix was used to quantify the structural relevance of the technologies. How wide is the range of materials that can be used, and what degree of complexity and lot sizes are involved in producing structural parts? The processes were also assessed and classified with regard to part size, tolerance, ecological performance and manufacturing costs.
Apart from SLM, the generative process already industrially available today, with its portfolio of weldable metals and plastics, a refined FDM process also looks to be a promising candidate for the future-oriented subject of additive manufacturing.
Unlike other technologies, FDM makes it possible for components of almost any size to be produced, as there are no pre-determined space requirements to pose any restrictions. Instead, the structures are generated by having robots apply thermoplastic materials. Complex structures are built up layer by layer in an open space - without any tools or fixtures whatsoever.
Metallic SLM aside, most of the high-performance plastics used in additive manufacturing processes do not yet achieve the strength, stiffness and energy absorption values generally required in the industry. This is remedied in the FDM process by the parallel addition of an endless carbon fibre to the production process. One of the central characteristics of FDM is its potential for the incorporation of fibre reinforcements to systematically increase strength and stiffness.
Even though industrial usage of additive manufacturing processing is still in its infancy, the revolutionary advantages with regard to greater freedom in development and tool-free production make this technology a subject for the future. From today's point of view, the production of components, and in the next stage modules, is certainly feasible. As for the target of using additive manufacturing to produce complete vehicle bodies: there is still a long way to go before this becomes an industrial application, so for the time being, it remains a vision.
For more information, visit: www.edag.de
Solid Concepts has manufactured a 3D printed metal gun using a laser sintering process and powdered metals. The gun, a 1911 classic design, functions beautifully and has already handled 50 rounds of successful firing. It is composed of 33 17-4 Stainless Steel and Inconel 625 components, and decked with a Selective Laser Sintered (SLS) carbon-fiber filled nylon hand grip. The successful production and functionality of the 1911 3D printed metal gun proves the viability of 3D Printing for commercial applications.
“We’re proving this is possible, the technology is at a place now where we can manufacture a gun with 3D Metal Printing,” says Kent Firestone, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at Solid Concepts. “And we’re doing this legally. In fact, as far as we know, we’re the only 3D Printing Service Provider with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Now, if a qualifying customer needs a unique gun part in five days, we can deliver.”
The metal laser sintering process Solid Concepts used to manufacture the 30+ gun components is one of the most accurate additive manufacturing processes available, and more than accurate enough to build the interchangeable and interfacing parts within the 1911 series gun. The gun proves the tight tolerances laser sintering can meet. Plus, 3D Printed Metal has less porosity issues than an investment cast part and better complexities than a machined part. The 3D Printed gun barrel sees chamber pressures above 20,000 psi every time it is fired. Solid Concepts chose to build the 1911 because the design is public domain.
“The whole concept of using a laser sintering process to 3D Print a metal gun revolves around proving the reliability, accuracy and usability of metal 3D Printing as functional prototypes and end use products,” says Firestone. “It’s a common misconception that 3D Printing isn’t accurate or strong enough, and we’re working to change people’s perspective.”
The 3D Printed metal gun proves that 3D Printing isn’t just making trinkets and Yoda heads. The gun manufactured by Solid Concepts debunks the idea that 3D Printing isn’t a viable solution or isn’t ready for mainstream manufacturing. With the right materials and a company that knows how to best program and maintain their machines, 3D printing is accurate, powerful and here to stay.
For more information, visit: www.solidconcepts.com
The horse, dubbed by researchers as ‘Titanium Prints’, had its hooves scanned with a handheld 3D scanner this week. Using 3D modeling software, the scan was used to design the perfect fitting, lightweight racing shoe and four customised shoes were printed within only a few hours.
"3D printing a race horseshoe from titanium is a first for scientists and demonstrates the range of applications the technology can be used for," said John Barnes, Titanium Technologies Theme Leader.
Traditionally made from aluminium, a horseshoe can weigh up to one kilogram but the horse’s trainer, John Moloney, says that the ultimate race shoe should be as lightweight as possible.
“Any extra weight in the horseshoe will slow the horse down. These titanium shoes could take up to half of the weight off a traditional aluminium shoe, which means a horse could travel at new speeds.
“Naturally, we’re very excited at the prospect of improved performance from these shoes,” John Moloney said.
CSIRO’s Titanium expert, John Barnes, said that 3D printing a race horseshoe from titanium is a first for scientists and demonstrates the range of applications the technology can be used for.
“There are so many ways we can use 3D titanium printing. At CSIRO we are helping companies create new applications like biomedical implants and even things like automotive and aerospace parts.
“The possibilities really are endless with this technology,” he said.
The precision scanning process takes just a few minutes and for a horse, shoes can be made to measure each hoof and printed the same day.
For more information, visit: www.csiro.au
A group of engineering students at the University of California, San Diego tested a 3D-printed rocket engine made out of laser sintered metal at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry testing site in the Mojave Desert.
To build the engine, students used a proprietary design that they developed. The engine was primarily financed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and was printed by Illinois-based GPI Prototype and Manufacturing Services using direct metal laser sintering. This is the first time a university has produced a 3D printed liquid fueled metal rocket engine, according to the students, who are members of the UC San Diego chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.
“We’ve all been working so hard, putting countless hours to ensure that it all works,” said Deepak Atyam, the organization’s president. “If all goes well, we would be the first entity outside of NASA to have tested a liquid fueled rocket motor in its entirety. We hope to see all of our hard work come to fruition.”
The engine was designed to power the third stage of a rocket carrying several NanoSat-style satellites with a mass of less than a few pounds each. The engine is about 6 to 7 inches long and weighs about 10 lbs. It is designed to generate 200 lbs of thrust and is made of cobalt and chromium, a high-grade alloy. It runs on kerosene and liquid oxygen and cost $6,800 to manufacture, including $5,000 from NASA. The rest was raised by students through barbeque sales and other student-run fundraisers.
A 3D printed metal rocket engine would dramatically cut costs for launches, said Forman Williams, a professor of aerospace engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, who is the students’ advisor. Williams admits that he was skeptical at first as the design of liquid-propellant rockets is very complex and detailed, but the students surprised him.
For more information, visit: seds.ucsd.edu
Designer François Brument takes a close look at the possibilities of digital design when it comes to the creation of living spaces. He breaks with traditional approaches to architecture, interior design and furnishings and created separate self-enclosed areas using additive manufacturing. Brument melds these areas into a one unit system including rooms, walls and furniture items.
His carte blanche project titled 'Habitat imprimé' (printed living space), is the result of a collaborative effort with Sonia Laugier. The exhibit on display is a real model of a bedroom with integrated shower and walk-in closet, which visualises the possibilities of additive technologies. The room can be divided as required, shelves can be integrated into walls, surfaces can be structured in any manner desired – the restrictions that formerly set limits to the creativity of builders, architects and designers have been removed.
Looking for a way to turn his vision into reality, Brument contacted voxeljet in May 2011. He was very excited about the technical possibilities offered by 3D printing and after extensive discussions with voxeljet's experts, it was clear that the Augsburg-based company could provide the perfect solution for his project. The visionary was particularly impressed with the large-format VX4000 printer at the voxeljet service centre, which can print very large moulds with a maximum volume of eight cubic metres.
Once the CAD data was forwarded to the service centre, it was time to "print" this unique project. The VX4000 built the entire living space, including furniture, shelving, wash basin and all technical installations, in a total of 64 moulds, which only had to be assembled into a unit.
"As a manufacturer of 3D printers with an attached service centre, our ideas are anything but conventional. Still, we were both surprised and inspired by François Brument's creative approach. The 'Habitat imprimé' project is a milestone for the 3D print technology and drives forward our activities for the development of printing systems for concrete," says voxeljet-CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer.
For more information, visit: www.voxeljet.com
Global athletic leader New Balance is proud to announce a significant advancement in the use of 3D printing to customize high performance products for athletes. Utilizing a proprietary process, the brand is able to produce spike plates customized to the individual needs and desires of their elite athletes. At the New Balance Games in January 2013, Team New Balance athlete, Jack Bolas, became the first ever track athlete to compete in customized, 3D printed plates.
New Balance has developed a proprietary process for utilizing a runner's individual biomechanical data to create hyper-customized spike plates designed to improve performance. The process requires race simulation biomechanical data which the New Balance Sports Research Lab collects using a force plate, in-shoe sensors and a motion capture system. Advanced algorithms and software are then applied to translate this data into custom 3D printed spike designs.
For the production of the custom plates, New Balance uses selective laser sintering (SLS) to convert powder materials into solid cross-sections, layer by layer using a laser. SLS printing enables the customization process by allowing for complex designs that could not be achieved through traditional manufacturing methods. Additionally, SLS printing greatly accelerates the turnaround time from design to functional part.
"Utilizing our Team New Balance Athletes to develop the customization process was extremely helpful", says Sean Murphy, New Balance's Senior Manager of Innovation and Engineering. "We are impressed with their precise ability to identify and speak to the differences in the custom options provided. They are acutely aware of what is happening in their shoes".
NB Athletes involved in the development of this process included: 2008 and 2012 US Olympic Athlete and current 1500m World Champion gold medalist Jenny Barringer Simpson, 2012 US Olympic Athlete Kim Conley, 2012 Great Britain Olympic Athlete Barbara Parker and 4 time All-American runner in the 800m, 1500m and the Mile Jack Bolas. These athletes provided key feedback in order to develop spike plates that spoke to each individual athlete's personal preference, biomechanics and specific race needs.
In addition to printing semi-rigid parts like spike plates for track runners, New Balance is working on softer SLS printed components that mimic the cushioning properties of foam midsoles. This initiative will be critical to bringing the customization process to a broader audience of athletes .
"With 3D printing we are able to pursue performance customization at a new level to help our elite NB athletes and eventually all athletes. We believe this is the future of performance footwear and we are excited to bring this to consumers," says New Balance President and CEO Robert DeMartini. "As the only major athletic brand to manufacture shoes in the U.S., we are proud to invest in American workers. Developing our printing capabilities could ultimately help us further invest in the American worker by adding highly technical positions to our already skilled labor force in Massachusetts and Maine."
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance is currently the only athletic shoe company that manufactures footwear in the U.S. with 25% of our U.S. footwear shipments produced at five New England facilities. The company also operates a manufacturing facility in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 4000 associates around the globe, and in 2012 reported worldwide sales of $2.4 billion.
For more information, visit: www.newbalance.com
RedEye On Demand, a rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing service, and its parent company Stratasys, Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) announced a collaboration with KOR EcoLogic to produce URBEE 2, the first road-ready, fuel-efficient car built using 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, technologies. Targeted to hit the road in two years, URBEE 2 represents a significant milestone in the world of traditional assembly-line manufacturing.
“A future where 3D printers build cars may not be far off after all,” said Jim Bartel, Stratasys vice president of RedEye On Demand. “Jim Kor and his team at KOR EcoLogic had a vision for a more fuel-efficient car that would change how the world approaches manufacturing and today we’re achieving it. URBEE 2 shows the manufacturing world that anything really is possible. There are few design challenges additive manufacturing capabilities can’t solve.”
The KOR EcoLogic team will fully design URBEE 2 in CAD files, sending them to RedEye On Demand for building through Stratasys’ Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process. This unique process applies thermoplastics in layers from the bottom up, yielding parts that are durable, precise and repeatable. The finished two-passenger vehicle will comprise 40 large, intricate 3D-printed parts compared to hundreds of parts in the average car. The strong, lightweight vehicle will be designed to go 70 mph on the freeway, using a biofuel like 100 percent ethanol. The goal is for URBEE 2 to drive from San Francisco to New York City on only 10 gallons of fuel, setting a new world record.
“As a mechanical engineer, I’ve always believed we could use technology to help us solve some of society’s greatest challenges, like minimizing our dependence on oil and reducing ozone emissions. How cool is it that American manufacturing can evolve to tackle these challenges head-on? Our team is excited to launch URBEE 2, putting a next-generation vehicle on the road that will eventually be sold to the public,” said Jim Kor, president and senior designer for Winnipeg-based KOR EcoLogic.
URBEE 2, which stands for urban electric, follows in the tracks of its conceptual predecessor, Urbee 1. Produced in 2011 as a partnership between KOR EcoLogic, Stratasys and RedEye On Demand, Urbee 1 proved that 3D printing could in fact produce large, strong parts that meet accurate specifications of a car body. URBEE 2 will take the basic concepts of Urbee 1 to a higher level, including features like a fully functioning heater, windshield wipers and mirrors.
“With the Urbee 1 project, I learned that product design is nearly unencumbered by considerations on how parts can be made with digital manufacturing. That liberation is incredibly powerful and holds a lot of potential for the future of manufacturing,” said Kor.
For more information, visit: www.urbee.net
Physicians at Weill Cornell Medical College and biomedical engineers at Cornell University have succeeded in building a facsimile of a living human ear that looks and acts like a natural ear. Researchers believe their bioengineering method will finally succeed in the long quest by scientists and physicians to provide normal looking "new" ears to thousands of children born with a congenital ear deformity.
In their PLOS ONE study, the researchers demonstrate how 3D printing and new injectable gels made of living cells can be used to fashion ears that are identical to a human ear. Over a three-month period — the length of the study — these flexible ears steadily grew cartilage to replace the collagen that was used to help mold them.
"I believe this will be the novel solution reconstructive surgeons have long wished for to help children born with absence or severe deformity of the ear," says the study’s co-lead author, Dr. Jason Spector, director of the Laboratory for Bioregenerative Medicine and Surgery (LBMS) and associate professor of surgery of plastic surgery in the Department of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University. "A bioengineered ear replacement like this would also help individuals who have lost part or all of their external ear in an accident or from cancer."
Currently, replacement ears are constructed using materials that have a Styrofoam-like consistency or, sometimes, surgeons will build ears from rib that is harvested from a young patient. "This surgical option is very challenging and painful for children, and the ears rarely look totally natural or perform well," says Dr. Spector, who is also a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "All other attempts to 'grow’ ears in the lab — including one 1997 study widely publicized by photos of ears implanted on the backs of mice — have failed in the long term."
This Cornell bioengineered ear is the best to date in appearing and acting like a natural ear, the researchers report. Also, the process of making the ears is fast — it takes a week at most.
"This is such a win-win for both medicine and basic science, demonstrating what we can achieve when we work together," says the study’s other lead author, Dr. Lawrence J. Bonassar, associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University.
Scanning, Printing and Molding a Human Ear in a Week
The deformity that both Dr. Spector and Dr. Bonassar seek to remedy is microtia, a congenital deformity in which the external ear is not fully developed. Although the causes for this disorder are not entirely understood, research has found that microtia can occur in children whose mothers took an acne medication during pregnancy. Typically, only a single ear is affected.
The incidence of microtia varies from almost one to more than four per 10,000 births each year. Many children born with microtia have an intact inner ear, but experience hearing loss due to the missing external ear structure, which acts to capture and conduct sound.
Dr. Spector and Dr. Bonassar have been collaborating on bioengineered human replacement parts since 2007, and Dr. Bonassar has also been working with other Weill Cornell physicians. For example, he and Weill Cornell’s neurological surgeon Dr. Roger Härtl are currently testing bioengineered disc replacements using some of the same techniques demonstrated in this current study.
The researchers specifically work to develop replacements for human structures that are primarily made of cartilage — joints, trachea, spine, nose — because cartilage does not need to be vascularized with a blood supply in order to survive.
To make the ears, Dr. Bonassar and his colleagues first took a combination laser scan and panoramic photo of an ear from twin girls, which provided a digitized 3D image of their ears on a computer screen. That took 30 seconds, and did not involve any ionizing radiation. The researchers then converted that image into a digitized "solid" ear and used a 3D printer to assemble a mold of the ear. The mold is like a box with a hole in the middle that is in the shape of the mirror image of the ear, say researchers.
They injected animal-derived collagen into that ear mold, and then added nearly 250 million cartilage cells. The collagen served as a scaffold upon which cartilage could grow. Collagen is the main structural protein in the body of every mammal. Animal-based collagen is frequently used for cosmetic and plastic surgery. This high-density collagen gel, which Cornell researchers developed, resembles the consistency of flexible Jell-O when the mold is removed.
"The process is fast," Dr. Bonassar says. "It takes half a day to design the mold, a day or so to print it, 30 minutes to inject the gel and we can remove the ear 15 minutes later. We trim the ear and then let it culture for several days in a nourishing cell culture medium before it is implanted."
During the three-month observation period, the cartilage in the ears grew to replace the collagen scaffold. "Eventually the bioengineered ear contains only auricular cartilage, just like a real ear," says Dr. Spector. Previous bioengineered ears have not been able to maintain their shape or dimensions over time, and the cells within them did not survive.
The researchers are now looking at ways to expand populations of human ear cartilage cells in the laboratory so that these cells can be used in the mold.
Dr. Spector says the best time to implant a bioengineered ear on a child would be when they are about 5- or 6-years-old, because at that age, ears are 80 percent of their adult size. "We don’t know yet if the bioengineered ears would continue to grow to their full size, but I suspect they will," says Dr. Spector. "Surgery to attach the new ear would be straightforward — the malformed ear would be removed and the bioengineered ear would be inserted under a flap of skin at the site."
Dr. Spector says that if all future safety and efficacy tests work out, it might be possible to try the first human implant of a Cornell bioengineered ear in as little as three years.
"The innovation in this study is two-fold," says Dr. Bonassar. "The use of imaging technology to rapid and accurately make the shape of the ear implant is new, as is the high-density collagen gel for the mold."
"These bioengineered ears are highly promising because they precisely mirror the native architecture of the human ear," Dr. Spector says. "They should restore hearing and a normal appearance to children and others in need. This advance represents a very exciting collaboration between physicians and basic scientists. It is a demonstration of what we hope to do together to improve the lives of these patients with ear deformity, missing ears and beyond."
Other co-authors of the study are Dr. Alyssa J. Reiffel, Dr. Karina A. Hernandez, and Justin L. Perez from the Laboratory for Bioregenerative Medicine and Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College; and Concepcion Kafka, Samantha Popa, Sherry Zhou, Satadru Pramanik, Dr. Bryan N. Brown and Won Seuk Ryu, from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University.
For more information, visit: www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0056506
CSIRO scientists are using 3D printing to build a new generation of hi-tech fish tags made of titanium. The aim is to use the tags to track big fish such as marlin, tuna, swordfish, trevally and sharks for longer periods.
CSIRO is printing the tags at its Lab 22 facility in Melbourne. The tags are printed overnight and then shipped to Tasmania where marine scientists are trialing them.
Tags are made of titanium for several reasons: the metal is strong, resists the salty corrosiveness of the marine environment, and is biocompatible (non-toxic to living tissues).
One of the advantages of 3D printing is that it enables rapid manufacture of multiple design variations which can then be tested simultaneously. "Using our Arcam 3D printing machine, we've been able to re-design and make a series of modified tags within a week," says John Barnes, who leads CSIRO's research in titanium technologies.
CSIRO's 3D printing facility prints metal items layer by layer out of fused metal powder. Had the scientists been using conventional tags which are machined out of metal blocks, it would have taken a couple of months to design, manufacture and receive the new designs for testing.
"Our early trials showed that the textured surface worked well in improving retention of the tag, but we need to fine-tune the design of the tag tip to make sure that it pierces the fish skin as easily as possible," says John.
"The fast turnaround speeds up the design process – it's very easy to incorporate amendments to designs. 3D printing enables very fast testing of new product designs, which why it's so attractive to manufacturers wanting to trial new products."
Scientists from a number of agencies, including CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, use fish tags to track movements of individual marine species and increase understanding of their behavior. Tracks of selected marine animals tagged by CSIRO and partner agencies can be viewed on the CSIRO Ocean Tracks website.
Medical implants such as dental implants and hip joints are made of biocompatible titanium with a surface texturing which speeds healing and tissue attachment after implantation. Scientists hope that a similar rough surface will help the tag to stay in fish longer.
"A streamlined tag that easily penetrates the fish's skin, but has improved longevity because it integrates with muscle and cartilage, would be of great interest to our colleagues conducting tagging programs across the world," said CSIRO marine researcher, Russell Bradford.
CSIRO's Lab 22 3D printing facility was established in October 2012 and has been used to manufacture a range of prototype products including biomedical implants, automotive, chemical processing and aerospace parts.
For more information, visit: www.csiro.au/TitaniumTechnologies
Rapid News Communications Group, publishers of TCT Magazine, the publication for Additive Manufacturing and Industrial 3D Printing have turned their attention to the consumer market as the holiday season approaches.
With winter in full flow the focus naturally turns to the festive period. Times of joy and celebration epitomised by the tradition of gift-giving. The Personalize by TCT collection brings you the 40 hottest 3D printed gifts this season — from the useful to the purposely useless; from the most staggeringly complex to the most beautifully simple.
Group Editor and curator of the publication James Woodcock comments, “Increasingly 3D printing is inspiring designers to push boundaries, change direction and experiment in areas such as architecture, fashion, jewellery and interiors. In fact, we believe that 3D printing is as much an excuse for designers to do something different as it is the enabling technology — in no way is this a bad thing, we all need an excuse to let loose once in a while.
“Whether you are looking for a unique and inspirational gift for friends and family or simply want to have the coolest digital coffee table publication to share this holiday season you have found your solution in Personalize by TCT. From established brands such as Freshfiber and Freedom of Creation from 3D Systems to smaller independent designers, we’ve got something from them all in this publication.”
Personalize by TCT is available from today as a free download within the TCT Magazine app.
For more information or to download the app, visit: itunes.apple.com/gb/app/tct-magazine/id561028586?mt=8
Imagine landing on the moon or Mars, putting rocks through a 3-D printer and making something useful – like a needed wrench or replacement part.
"It sounds like science fiction, but now it’s really possible,’’ says Amit Bandyopadhyay, professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University.
Bandyopadhyay and a group of colleagues recently published a paper in Rapid Prototyping Journal demonstrating how to print parts using materials from the moon.
Approached by NASA
Bandyopadhyay and Susmita Bose, professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, are well known researchers in the area of three-dimensional printing for creation of bone-like materials for orthopedic implants.
In 2010, researchers from NASA initiated discussion with Bandyopadhyay, asking if the research team might be able to print 3-D objects from moon rock.
Because of the tremendous expense of space travel, researchers strive to limit what space ships have to carry. Establishment of a lunar or Martian outpost would require using the materials that are on hand for construction or repairs. That’s where the 3-D fabrication technology might come in.
Three-dimensional fabrication technology, also known as additive manufacturing, allows researchers to produce complex 3-D objects directly from computer-aided design (CAD) models, printing the material layer by layer. In this case, the material is heated using a laser to high temperatures and prints out like melting candle wax to a desired shape.
Simple shapes built
To test the idea, NASA researchers provided Bandyopadhyay and Bose with 10 pounds of raw lunar regolith simulant, an imitation moon rock that is used for research purposes.
The WSU researchers were concerned about how the moon rock material - which is made of silicon, aluminum, calcium, iron and magnesium oxides - would melt. But they found it behaved similarly to silica, and they built a few simple shapes.
The researchers are the first to demonstrate the ability to fabricate parts using the moon-like material. They sent their pieces to NASA.
"It doesn’t look fantastic, but you can make something out of it,’’ says Bandyopadhyay.
Tailoring composition, geometry
Using additive manufacturing, the material could also be tailored, the researchers say. If you want a stronger building material, for instance, you could perhaps use some moon rock with earth-based additives.
"The advantage of additive manufacturing is that you can control the composition as well as the geometry,’’ says Bose.
In the future, the researchers hope to show that the lunar material could be used to do remote repairs.
"It is an exciting science fiction story, but maybe we’ll hear about it in the next few years,’’ says Bandyopadhyay. "As long as you can have additive manufacturing set up, you may be able to scoop up and print whatever you want. It’s not that far-fetched.’’
The research was supported by a $750,000 W.M. Keck Foundation grant.
For more information, visit: www.mme.wsu.edu
Innovative 3D printing technology from Augsburg-based voxeljet is on display in the newest James Bond film Skyfall – more specifically in the scene when James Bond's car explodes in flames. A total of three Aston Martin DB 5 models were created at the company's service centre. The models double for the now priceless original vehicle from the 1960s in the film's action scenes.
Action scenes in expensive film productions such as a James Bond film must look as realistic as possible. For the model builders working behind the scenes, the high demands of film makers translate into more requirements and detail work. Therefore companies such as Propshop Modelmakers Ltd., which specialises in the production of film props, are always on the look-out for trend-setting manufacturing methods.
The fact that the British company selected the 3D printing technology of a German provider is a special honour for the Augsburg company. "Of course only state-of-the-art technology was used for the new James Bond film Skyfall. To be considered a benchmark by the model builders from the Pinewood Studios is evidence of the performance and position of our 3D printing system in terms of global ranking," says voxeljet CEO Dr. Ingo Ederer.
voxeljet is considered a pioneer in the area of 3D printing. At its service centre, which is the largest in Europe, the Augsburg-based company has specialised in the on-demand production of sand moulds for metal casting, as well as plastic moulds and 3D functional moulds. Small-batch and prototype manufacturers in a variety of branches of European industry appreciate the fast and cost-effective manufacture of their casting moulds and 3D models based on CAD data. At the same time, the internationally active company has also made a name for itself as a manufacturer of high-resolution 3D printing systems. voxeljet moulds are very precise and rich in detail – properties that also impressed the British model builders.
Aston Martin from a 3D printer
"Propshop commissioned us to build three plastic models of the Aston Martin DB5. We could have easily printed the legendary sports car in one piece at a scale of 1:3 using our high-end VX4000 printer, which can build moulds and models in dimensions of up to eight cubic metres. But the British model builders were pursuing a different approach. To ensure that the Aston Martin was as true to detail as possible, and for the purpose of integrating numerous functions into the film models, they decided on an assembly consisting of a total of 18 individual components. The entire body is based on a steel frame, almost identical to how vehicles were assembled in the past," says Ederer.
voxeljet started the printing process once the CAD data for all components were available. The models are produced with the layer-wise application of particle material that is glued together with a binding agent. The plastic material PMMA is used for this purpose; it is ideally suited for precisely these types of tasks. The individual components that are made of PMMA feature outstanding attention to detail, but are also very stable and resilient, which means that they are well suited for mechanical post-processing.
Following the unpacking process, which involves the removal of unbound material from the finished components, voxeljet's service centre looked very much like a body shop. A total of 54 individual parts for the three vehicle models, including mudguards, doors, bonnets, roofs and more, now had to be safely packaged and transported to Pinewood Studios near London.
Elaborate detailed work
The model builders at Propshop then meticulously assembled and finished the components, painted them in the original colour and added chrome applications along with realistic-looking bullet holes. The special effects that can be seen in Skyfall confirm the perfection in execution of this work. After the finishing process, it is impossible to distinguish the Aston Martin models made with the voxeljet printer from the original, even in the close-up shots. And: The priceless Aston Martin DB5, which was already used in the first James Bond film exactly 50 years ago, remains unscathed, while one of the elaborately and meticulously constructed models explodes in flames in the film. An expensive crash, since one of the three models was auctioned off by Christie's for almost USD 100,000.
For voxeljet, participating in a James Bond production was of course anything but a normal contract, and it also opened up an entirely new industry for the company: "In addition to the automotive industry, foundries, designers and artists, the film industry represents an entirely new customer base for voxeljet. 3D printing is on the cusp of a great future in the film industry. The technology offers fantastic opportunities, since it is usually much faster, more precise and more economical than classic model construction," says Ederer.
voxeljet specialises in 3D print technology. This globally operating high-tech company is a well-respected manufacturer of 3D print systems that are suitable for industrial applications. At the same time, the company operates one of Europe's largest service centres for the "on-demand production" of moulds and models for metal casting.
For more information, visit: www.voxeljet.com
Around the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus, professor Denis Cormier’s reputation has earned his rapid prototyping course a wait list. Industrial, mechanical and manufacturing engineering students line up in hopes that they will be included in the discussion of 3D-printing technologies.
With all the buzz 3D printing has earned recently, students are increasingly aware of it, and they want to understand what is possible and how they can use the technology. Joe Noble, a mechanical engineering undergraduate, said, “I knew that 3D printers existed, but I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about them.”
Cormier changes that. “Because of this course, we now have the exposure to advanced and innovative techniques that we could use in the future,” said Jeet S. Mehta, a graduate student pursing a master’s of science in mechanical engineering.
In one quarter, Cormier introduces students to the processes, materials, capabilities and limitations of a broad range of 3D-printing technologies. He concludes with a description of what is on the horizon. Betsy Khol, an undergraduate in the industrial engineering program, said, “At the end of the quarter, the course was all about where we could take 3D printing and where the technology was going, which was really exciting.”
The course challenges students to put their new-found knowledge into practice. “Our assignment was to design, build and play a musical instrument,” said Noble. He and teammates Mehta and Khol created a ukulele and built it on a Dimension 3D Printer. “The ukulele was a practical decision; we could tune it.”
But that simple idea morphed into something more. “We had a unique opportunity to take advantage of what the 3D printer could do. So we incorporated a 3D, color version of the RIT tiger,” said Khol.
Although they had options for automated color 3D printing, the team devised a series of interventions to make its Dimension 3D Printer build a multicolored instrument. According to Mehta, “The key reason for selecting the Dimension machine for printing our part was the plastic material that it uses. Since we had to play the instrument, the strength and integrity of the part was very important.”
With one small prompt from Cormier, the team got creative. “When Dr. Cormier informed us that we could pause a build and swap material cartridges to change colors, that’s when everything came together. Now we could print the ukulele in one go without having to assemble different pieces,” said Mehta.
According to Noble, the process was quite easy. “We designed the tiger face to have an even number of layers for each color. In the Catalyst setup program, we oriented the ukulele with the tiger facing down. Then all we had to do is insert pauses between the layers where there was a color change.”
At the Dimension printer, the team waited 20 minutes for the first color to complete then swapped material cartridges and repeated that for the remaining colors. After that, they left for the day and had a 3D printed ukulele waiting for them when they returned to class. After soaking the ukulele to remove support structures, the team attached the mounting pegs, added strings and tuned it for their big debut.
The final test was a humble, eight-note rendition of “Jingle Bells.” For their work and innovation, Cormier gave them an A. He said, “When fellow students and guests heard Joe playing the team’s 3D-printed ukulele, there were plenty of grins and ‘cool’ comments throughout the auditorium.”
According to Noble, “It was one of my favorite classes that I’ve taken at RIT. I now have a whole other dimension to the possibilities of prototyping. It is a very intriguing field. If I ended up working in it — in the actual development of the processes — I’d be stoked.”
When University of Virginia engineering students posted a YouTube video last spring of a plastic turbofan engine they had designed and built using 3-D printing technology, they didn’t expect it to lead to anything except some page views.
But executives at The MITRE Corporation, a McLean-based federally funded research and development center with an office in Charlottesville, saw the video and sent an announcement to the School of Engineering and Applied Science that they were looking for two summer interns to work on a new project involving 3-D printing. They just didn’t say what the project was.
Only one student responded to the job announcement: Steven Easter, then a third-year mechanical engineering major.
“I was curious about what they had to offer, but I didn’t call them until the day of the application deadline,” Easter said.
He got a last-minute interview and brought with him his brother and lab partner, Jonathan Turman, also a third-year mechanical engineering major.
They got the job: to build over the summer an unmanned aerial vehicle, using 3-D printing technology. In other words, a plastic plane, to be designed, fabricated, built and test-flown between May and August. A real-world engineering challenge, and part of a Department of the Army project to study the feasibility of using such planes.
Three-dimensional printing is, as the name implies, the production or “printing” of actual objects, such as parts for a small airplane, by using a machine that traces out layers of melted plastic in specific shapes until it builds up a piece exactly according to the size and dimensions specified in a computer-aided drawing produced by an engineer.
In this case, the engineers were Easter and Turman, working with insight from their adviser, mechanical and aerospace engineering professor David Sheffler, a U.Va. Engineering School alumnus and 20-year veteran of the aerospace industry.
It was a daunting project – producing a plane with a 6.5-foot wingspan, made from assembled “printed” parts. The students sometimes put in 80-hour workweeks, with many long nights in the lab.
“It was sort of a seat-of-the-pants thing at first – wham, bang,” Easter said. “But we kept banging away and became more confident as we kept designing and printing out new parts.”
Sheffler said he had confidence in them “the entire way.”
The way eventually led to assembly of the plane and four test flights in August and early September at Milton Airfield near Keswick. It achieved a cruising speed of 45 mph and is only the third 3-D printed plane known to have been built and flown.
During the first test, the plane’s nosepiece was damaged while the plane taxied around the field.
“We dogged it,” Easter said. “But we printed a new nose.”
That ability to make and modify new parts is the beauty of 3-D printing, said Sheffler, who works with students in the Engineering School’s Rapid Prototyping Lab. The lab includes seven 3-D printers used as real-world teaching tools.
“Rapid prototyping means rapid in small quantities,” Sheffler said. “It’s fluid, in that it allows students to evolve their parts and make changes as they go – design a piece, print it, make needed modifications to the design, and print a new piece. They can do this until they have exactly what they want.”
The technology also allows students to take on complex design projects that previously were impractical.
“To make a plastic turbofan engine to scale five years ago would have taken two years, at a cost of about $250,000,” Sheffler said. “But with 3-D printing we designed and built it in four months for about $2,000. This opens up an arena of teaching that was not available before. It allows us to train engineers for the real challenges they will face in industry.”
MITRE Corp. representatives and Army officials observed the fourth flight of Easter and Turman’s plane. They were impressed and asked the students to stay on through this academic year as part-time interns. Their task now is to build an improved plane – lighter, stronger, faster and more easily assembled. The project also is their fourth-year thesis.
“This has been a great opportunity for us,” Easter said, “to showcase engineering at U.Va. and the capabilities of the Rapid Prototyping Lab.”
For more information, visit: www.mae.virginia.edu/NewMAE
3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced the exclusive availability of the first-ever line of 3D printed electric and bass guitars, designed by Olaf Diegel on Cubify®. Starting today, eight unique electric and bass guitar designs including the Scarab, Atom and Spider will be available for purchase on Cubify.
Professional guitarists and enthusiasts alike will be able to work directly with Diegel to customize their instrument for a personalized look and unique sound. Everything from adding your or your band’s name to picking your preferred neck and pick-ups will be customizable. Priced from $3,000 USD and printed exclusively by Cubify, Olaf Diegel guitars are sure to provide musicians with a premium experience.
Recognizing the scarcity of exotic and premium wood material for the construction of high-end guitars, 3D Systems believes that 3D printing offers a musically comparable experience that is sustainable and cost-effective.
“My passion for 3D printing created one of those rare opportunities to combine my engineering design background and love of music into a new product line that breaks the mold of conventional thinking,” stated Olaf Diegel. “Partnering with 3D Systems and Cubify presents the perfect combination for manufacturing the instruments and reaching the market through an innovative channel."
“We are absolutely thrilled that Olaf has chosen Cubify as the exclusive marketplace for his gorgeous guitars,” said Abe Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems. “Beyond providing guitar lovers the opportunity to create and make their custom instrument, we are proud to deliver a sustainable and responsible alternative to harvesting exotic wood.”
ODD guitars are a range of personalizable, customizable guitars that explore the limits of 3D printing technologies and applications. 3D printing allows designs to be created that could not be manufactured through traditional means. The 3D printing technology used in ODD guitars is Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). ODD was started by Olaf Diegel, a long-standing design engineer, with a passion for 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing technologies. As his real job, Olaf is professor of mechatronics at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand.
For more information, visit: www.cubify.com/products/guitars/index.aspx
Award-winning water pump and heating system manufacturer, Whale, today announced an increase in new business following the purchase of an Objet Connex multi-material 3D Printer for its headquarters in Bangor, Northern Ireland. The introduction of Objet Connex multi-material technology means the company can now prototype design concepts with supreme accuracy and undertake robust testing using watertight digital materials - helping the company to bring its products to market quicker than ever before.
"We saw Objet Connex multi-material technology as a means to provide a broad capability," comments Richard Bovill, Whale Design Engineering Manager. "The range of materials from rigid to rubber gives us a great advantage when recreating production parts, especially the water tight material, as it allows us to carry out robust tests that can reduce the product development process by weeks or even months."
Over the past three years Whale has issued 15 worldwide design patents, driven by its culture of innovation throughout the business, supplying first class products to the marine, caravan and motorhome, shower drainage and industrial markets. To maintain its leadership in these markets, Whale added an Objet Connex 3D Printer to its portfolio of rapid prototyping solutions to expand its capabilities when designing new products and making improvements to current solutions.
"Using Objet Connex multi-material technology we can now produce rubber, over-molded, transparent and waterproof models, allowing us to recreate design faults and identify ways we can improve our products in a much more cost effective and timely manner," says Managing Director Patrick Hurst. "This has enabled us to increase our existing business and create new business opportunities, whilst maintaining the level of innovation our customers are accustomed to."
With the Objet Connex multi-material 3D Printer currently in operation 24 hours a day, Whale are using a large variety of materials to deal with the demand and diversity of its customer's design projects.
"Having such a wide range of shore hardness and the ability to print rubber parts, means that it is like having three machines in one. We can now deliver our customers a finished high quality model in as little as 24 hours," concludes Hurst.
Whale purchased the Objet Connex 3D Printer through Objet UK distributor HK Rapidprototyping. Nigel Bunt, Sales Director at HK Rapidprototyping, adds: "The Objet Connex provided Whale the ideal solution for their product design projects. Whale has now become more flexible and thus increased its workflow capacity."
For more information, visit: www.whalepumps.com/technical-services/home.aspx
Objects created using 3-D printing have a common flaw: They are fragile and often fall apart or lose their shape.
"I have an entire zoo of broken 3-D printed objects in my office," said Bedrich Benes, an associate professor of computer graphics at Purdue University.
The printed fabrications often fail at points of high stress.
"You can go online, create something using a 3-D printer and pay $300, only to find that it isn't strong enough to survive shipping and arrives in more than one piece," said Radomir Mech, senior research manager from Adobe's Advanced Technology Labs.
The 3-D printers create shapes layer-by-layer out of various materials, including metals and plastic polymers. Whereas industry has used 3-D printing in rapid prototyping for about 15 years, recent innovations have made the technology practical for broader applications, he said.
"Now 3-D printing is everywhere," Benes said. "Imagine you are a hobbyist and you have a vintage train model. Parts are no longer being manufactured, but their specifications can be downloaded from the Internet and you can generate them using a 3-D printer."
The recent rise in 3-D printing popularity has been fueled by a boom in computer graphics and a dramatic reduction of the cost of 3-D printers, Benes said.
Researchers at Purdue and Adobe's Advanced Technology Labs have jointly developed a program that automatically imparts strength to objects before they are printed.
"It runs a structural analysis, finds the problematic part and then automatically picks one of the three possible solutions," Benes said.
Findings were detailed in a paper presented during the SIGGRAPH 2012 conference in August. Former Purdue doctoral student Ondrej Stava created the software application, which automatically strengthens objects either by increasing the thickness of key structural elements or by adding struts. The tool also uses a third option, reducing the stress on structural elements by hollowing out overweight elements.
"We not only make the objects structurally better, but we also make them much more inexpensive," Mech said. "We have demonstrated a weight and cost savings of 80 percent."
The new tool automatically identifies "grip positions" where a person is likely to grasp the object. A "lightweight structural analysis solver" analyzes the object using a mesh-based simulation. It requires less computing power than traditional finite-element modeling tools, which are used in high-precision work such as designing jet engine turbine blades.
"The 3-D printing doesn't have to be so precise, so we developed our own structural analysis program that doesn't pay significant attention to really high precision," Benes said.
The paper was authored by Stava, now a computer scientist at Adobe, doctoral student Juraj Vanek; Benes; Mech; and Nathan Carr, a principal scientist at Adobe's Advanced Technology Labs.
Future research may focus on better understanding how structural strength is influenced by the layered nature of 3-D-printed objects. The researchers may also expand their algorithms to include printed models that have moving parts.
For more information, visit: www.purdue.edu
A 7,000 year old technique, known as Egyptian Paste (also known as Faience), could offer a potential process and material for use in the latest 3D printing techniques of ceramics, according to researchers at UWE Bristol.
Professor Stephen Hoskins, Director of UWE's Centre for Fine Print Research and David Huson, Research Fellow, have received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC to undertake a major investigation into a self-glazing 3D printed ceramic, inspired by ancient Egyptian Faience ceramic techniques. The process they aim to develop would enable ceramic artists, designers and craftspeople to print 3D objects in a ceramic material which can be glazed and vitrified in one firing.
The researchers believe that it possible to create a contemporary 3D printable, once-fired, self-glazing, non-plastic ceramic material that exhibits the characteristics and quality of Egyptian Faience.
Faience was first used in the 5th Millennium BC and was the first glazed ceramic material invented by man. Faience was not made from clay (but instead composed of quartz and alkali fluxes) and is distinct from Italian Faience or Majolica, which is a tin, glazed earthenware. (The earliest Faience is invariably blue or green, exhibiting the full range of shades between them, and the colouring material was usually copper). It is the self-glazing properties of Faience that are of interest for this research project.
Current research in the field of 3D printing concentrates on creating functional materials to form physical models. The materials currently used in the 3D printing process, in which layers are added to build up a 3D form, are commonly: UV polymer resins, hot melted 'abs' plastic and inkjet binder or laser sintered, powder materials. These techniques have previously been known as rapid prototyping (RP). With the advent of better materials and equipment some RP of real materials is now possible. These processes are increasingly being referred to as solid 'free-form fabrication' (SFF) or additive layer manufacture. The UWE research team have focused previously on producing a functional, printable clay body.
This three-year research project will investigate three methods of glazing used by the ancient Egyptians: 'application glazing', similar to modern glazing methods; 'efflorescent glazing' which uses water-soluble salts; and 'cementation glazing', a technique where the object is buried in a glazing powder in a protective casing, then fired.These techniques will be used as a basis for developing contemporary printable alternatives
Professor Hoskins explains, “It is fascinating to think that some of these ancient processes, in fact the very first glazed ceramics ever created by humans, could have relevance to the advanced printing technology of today. We hope to create a self-glazing 3D printed ceramic which only requires one firing from conception to completion rather than the usual two. This would be a radical step-forward in the development of 3D printing technologies. As part of the project we will undertake case studies of craft, design and fine art practitioners to contribute to the project, so that our work reflects the knowledge and understanding of artists and reflects the way in which artists work.”
The project includes funding for a three-year full-time PhD bursary to research a further method used by the Egyptians, investigating coloured 'frit', a substance used in glazing and enamels. This student will research this method, investigating the use of coloured frits and oxides to try and create as full a colour range as possible. Once developed, this body will be used to create a ceramic extrusion paste that can be printed with a low-cost 3D printer. A programme of work will be undertaken to determine the best rates of deposition, the inclusion of flocculants and methods of drying through heat whilst printing.
This project offers the theoretical possibility of a printed, single fired, glazed ceramic object - something that is impossible with current technology.
For more information, visit: www.ahrc.ac.uk/News-and-Events/Watch-and-Listen/Pages/3D-Printing-in-Ceramics.aspx
How fast can 3D Printing (and stereolithography in particular) go? The answer, according to the 2012 Formula Group T team, is - more than 140 km/h!
Competing in the prestigious Formula Student 2012 challenge, a 16-man strong team of next-generation engineers from Group T have unveiled the world’s first race car created in great part through 3D Printing: the Areion. Named after the divinely-bred, extremely swift, immortal horse of Greek mythology, the Areion is a powerhouse of innovation and green technology. On July 31st, it lived up to its name on the Hockenheim race circuit by going from zero to 100km/h in just 4 seconds and achieving a top speed of 141km/h on the track. Cutting-edge technologies incorporated into their eco-friendly race car included an electric drive train, bio-composite materials, and of course, Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) on a grand scale with Materialise.
Big Ideas Brought to Life with Mammoth Technology
Using Materialise’s appropriately named Mammoth stereolithography machines it is possible to manufacture parts of up to 2100x680x800mm. With a build envelope that massive, the Formula Group T team recognized the possibility to not only print the entire body of the car, but to also integrate some unique features directly into the design. Therefore, working in close collaboration with engineers at Materialise, this is exactly what they achieved: going from initial shell design to a fully finished 3D Printed car body in just three weeks.
The Greatest Shell in Racing since Mario Kart
Starting from Formula Group T’s design for the outer shell, engineers at Materialise quickly got to work. Within a week, Materialise engineers had applied their experience from other projects to the creation of an intelligent 3D Printed car body with integrated clips and connection points. This allows for the easy assembly of the shell and therefore, faster access to the inner workings of the car when maintenance is needed.
Like a Shark through Water
Printed directly onto the nose of the race car is a shark skin texture, similar to that found on high-tech competition swimsuits. As with the swimsuits, the aim of the teeth-like ridges is to reduce drag, increase thrust, and improve performance on race day. Whether or not the texture helped the Areion cut through the air is still to be determined, but one thing is for sure – the shark skin made the nose of the car look great!
The Coolest Side Pods on the Track
Both the right and left side pods were designed and printed with complex cooling channels. Printed into the left side pod are a nozzle behind the radiator and a diffuser, which optimize cooling by creating the ideal flow of air through the radiator. A fan is installed behind the radiator in order to do this even at low speeds and while the car is stationary. In the right side pod, complex channels were developed and printed to create a cyclone effect that removes water and dirt from the air before it enters the engine compartment.
The Results are in
With two races completed, the Formula Group T team is already the proud winner of two awards and an impressive ranking for a first-time team in the competition. While in the UK at the Silverstone racing circuit, the team was honored with the Best Teamwork Award by Airbus and Koen Huybrechts, who was responsible for the drivetrain, won the Craig Dawson most valuable team member award. While in Germany on the Hockenheim racing circuit, the team finished in a well-deserved 11th position and found themselves among other top teams in this international competition.
For more information, visit: www.formulagroupt.be or manufacturing.materialise.com/mammoth-stereolithography-0
3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced today the immediate availability of Cubify® Bracelets another personalization app designed specifically for printing on its Cube® 3D printer. Cubify Bracelets makes it possible for anyone to create and 3D print their own individualized bracelets at home.
Designed to be stylish, chunky and colorful, Cubify Bracelets come in three sizes and sixteen styles so kids and adults alike can enjoy customizing and accessorizing. Adding a whole new meaning to friendship jewelry, now everyone can create secret messages or place their name on the inside or outside of the bracelet along with special characters and symbols.
“Cubify Bracelets is another fun and playful app that unleashes everyone’s creativity to instantly make and print custom jewelry that expresses their personality and style,” said Cathy Lewis, Vice President of Global Marketing for 3D Systems. “With every new app, our rapidly expanding Cubify community gets to celebrate their creativity and share their amazing tags, rings, bracelets and earrings with their friends and family.”
Be the first to register and start making your custom bracelets on Cubify today.
For more information, visit: www.cubify.com/store/app.aspx?app_url=http://www.apps.cubify.com/CubifyBracelets
Aurora Flight Sciences' 3D wing, designed by Aurora and built with additive manufacturing technology developed by Stratasys Inc., was showcased at the announcement of the new National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) by senior officials of the Obama administration.
The announcement of the new manufacturing technology center was made by Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology along with Rebecca Blank, Acting Secretary of Commerce and Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, on August 16 in Youngstown, Ohio. The event was also attended by United States Senator Sherrod Brown and United States Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio.
Aurora Flight Sciences and Stratasys fabricated and flew a 62-inch wingspan aircraft with a wing composed entirely of additive manufactured components. The wing was designed by Aurora and manufactured by Stratasys utilizing their Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM®) 3D printers.
The Stratasys FDM printer fabricated Aurora's wing using a 3D design model, by depositing layers of high-performance thermoplastic material. This manufacturing approach reduces some of the design constraints engineers face when using traditional fabrication techniques. FDM offers unparalleled capabilities for rapid prototyping of small aerospace structures.
The design of the wing's structure was optimized to reduce weight while maintaining strength. "The success of this wing has shown that 3D printing can be used to rapidly fabricate the structure of a small airplane," said Dan Campbell, Structures Research Engineer at Aurora. "If a wing replacement is necessary, we simply click print and within a couple days we have a new wing ready to fly."
Aurora and Stratasys will continue to work together to develop additive manufacturing for aerospace applications. "In the aerospace industry, additive manufacturing has the benefits of reducing material usage, doing away with tooling, reducing part count, and simplifying assembly," said Bill Macy, Application Development Lead at Stratasys. "These benefits allow the manufacture of a low quantity of products at lower cost, in less time, with competitive performance."
Aurora Flight Sciences designs and builds aerospace vehicles for commercial and military applications. Aurora is headquartered in Manassas, VA and operates production facilities in Bridgeport, WV and Columbus, MS as well as a Research and Development Center in Cambridge, MA.
For more information, visit: www.aurora.aero
Protos, a San Francisco-based company, launched its first collection of 3D printed sunglasses. In a region abundant with software tech magnates, they've proven technology can also be used to make ground-breaking eyewear.
Protos offers designs that can only be made by leveraging the most cutting edge software and 3D printing technology. Though many have claimed to do so, they are one of only a small handful of companies that have created something refined enough to truly be sold as a usable, lasting product. Each pair of sunglasses purchased from Protos is produced via laser sintering, which builds each frame layer by layer of material. The properties of this intricate layering process are leveraged to result in bold and striking designs that are unachievable through standard manufacturing methods.
This first collection showcases the realm of possibilities with 3D printing. The debut line includes the Hal Pixel, which has gained praise and recognition from the industrial design community.
"Protos Eyewear [is] a radically different approach to eyewear that opens the frontiers to limitless fun," says Phnam Bagley, Founder and Design Director at Eternal Luxe. Protos will soon offer custom eyewear with a tailored fit based on an individual's facial measurements and dimensions.
For more information, visit: www.protoseyewear.com
3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced that the company's ZPrinter® 650 is the first ever full color 3D printer used in a stop-motion animated film, ParaNorman, produced by Portland, Oregon based animation studio LAIKA. Known for integrating innovation with the hand-created artistry of the stop motion technique, LAIKA utilized 3D printing to create over 31,000 individual, color facial parts for production.
3D Systems' ZPrinter technology allowed LAIKA animators to quickly and accurately print hundreds of facial features and expressions for each of the film's 62 characters.
"ParaNorman is an enduring and emotional story that is driven by strong characters and exquisite designs," says Brian McLean, LAIKA's Creative Supervisor of Replacement Animation and Engineering. "In order for us to give the characters the facial expressions and emotional range needed to support such a wonderful story, we needed to try something unprecedented. By using a color 3D printer we were not only able to push facial performance to new levels, but we were also able to achieve a level of detail and subtlety in characters' faces that a few short years ago would have seemed impossible. This technology, combined with a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication from talented artists and technicians, has created something truly unique and beautiful."
"We are absolutely thrilled to partner with the ground breaking team at LAIKA as they utilize our full color 3D printing technology to revolutionize storytelling," said Cathy Lewis, Vice President of Global Marketing for 3D Systems. "We look forward to ParaNorman being a great success with global audiences."
ParaNorman premieres nationwide in theatres August 17, 2012.
For more information, visit: www.paranorman.com or www.zcorp.com/en/Products/3D-Printers/ZPrinter-650/spage.aspx
3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced today the immediate availability of Cubify® Tags, another new app designed specifically for printing on its Cube® 3D printer. Cubify Tags makes it possible for anyone to design their own tags and pendants and 3D print them at home.
Simply choose a shape, then drag and drop characters and letters onto it for a unique, inspired design. These colorful tags and pendants make a personal statement and can be worn as necklaces or used to personalize everyday items from luggage, backpacks and key chains to cool tags for the family pet.
“We are thrilled to bring another intuitive and fun app to Cubify. Boys and girls of all ages can instantly make and print their unique creation to wear, give as gifts and exchange with their friends,” said Cathy Lewis, Vice President of Global Marketing for 3D Systems. “Our enthusiasm continues to build with each amazing new app we introduce to our growing Cubify community.”
Be the first to register and start making your custom tags on Cubify today.
For more information, visit: www.cubify.com/store/app.aspx?app_url=http://www.apps.cubify.com/CubifyTags
Objet Ltd., will be showcasing its advanced 3D printing solutions by highlighting the impact on Hollywood films at SIGGRAPH 2012 from Aug. 7-9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Jason Lopes, Lead Systems Engineer at Legacy Effects, will discuss the intersection of 3D printing and Hollywood on Aug. 8 at 10 a.m., in Room 301B. He will demonstrate how 3D technology is used in the design and prototyping of characters for Hollywood films. Some of the 3D-printed models of Legacy characters on display during the presentation, as well as in Objet's Booth (#235) throughout SIGGRAPH, include the Hulk from "Marvel: The Avengers" and Wahoon and John Carter from "John Carter."
The models demonstrate the breadth and versatility of Objet's industry-leading 107 digital materials, which are capable of simulating properties ranging from varying grades of rubber to ABS-grade engineering plastics, as well as simulating clear transparency. In Booth #235, Objet will be showcasing these materials on three of its printers: the Objet24 desktop, the Objet Eden260V professional and the Objet Connex350 multi-material 3D Printers.
"Objet's technology has allowed us to bring creativity and imagination to life in ways we never thought possible," Lopes said. "Anything we can think up, Objet 3D printers can prototype in a matter of hours."
Bruce Bradshaw, Objet
Jason Lopes, Legacy Effects
3D Printing's Impact on Hollywood Blockbusters
Los Angeles Convention Center
Jason Lopes presentation - Aug. 8, 10-11 a.m. in Room 301B
Hollywood Models on display - Aug. 7-9 in Objet Booth #235
For more information, visit: s2012.siggraph.org
University of Washington mechanical engineering students braved uncharted waters as they paddled to the finish line at the annual Milk Carton Derby at Green Lake in Seattle in what they believe is the world’s first boat made using a 3-D printer.
The new UW student club Washington Open Object Fabricators (or WOOF) built the boat as its inaugural project. The club’s blog describes the undergraduate members’ 10-week quest to make equipment and develop techniques to be first to print a seaworthy craft.
Judges weren’t sure how to qualify the UW entry, which used recycled milk cartons for its buoyancy but not quite in the way that contest organizers had envisioned. In the end, the boat raced as an unofficial entry in the adult open category, where it placed second.
Faculty adviser Mark Ganter, professor of mechanical engineering, experiments with unconventional methods and ingredients for 3-D printing (including ceramics, glass and cookie dough) in the UW’s Open3DP Lab, which he operates with colleague Duane Storti, associate professor of mechanical engineering.
Printing a boat “is a historic first,” Ganter said. Two other UW groups have tried and failed at the same task, he added, and making it out of recycled milk jugs is an added challenge.
“Frankly, milk jug material is an awful material to work with,” he said. “It shrinks, it curls, it doesn’t want to stick to itself. Overcoming all those parts of the problem was part of the achievement.”
Ganter teaches a course in Computer-Aided Technology that uses his lab’s 3-D printers. The student club was formed in the spring by Bethany Weeks, club manager; Matt Rogge, club president; and Adam Commons, vice-president. It has now grown to about 20 active members.
Some experts predict 3-D printers will revolutionize manufacturing by allowing people to buy a design online and then immediately print out a physical object. The process takes instructions from a computer to print a solid object in layers, using a machine similar to an inkjet printer. High-end machines have long been used in manufacturing, but lower-cost versions are increasingly being used by hobbyists and educational groups.
The UW club hopes to continue printing using recycled materials, building large-scale printers and developing low-cost 3-D printing techniques.
“I hope that the club gets printers in the hands of as many students as possible,” Rogge said. “People are intimidated because they think 3-D printing is complicated, or expensive, and it really doesn’t have to be.”
Photos were taken by club co-founder and manager Bethany Weeks.
For more information, visit: www.uw.edu
The moment Megan Lavelle saw the device, she knew it would change her daughter’s life. Lavelle is an energetic, unstoppable mom whose youngest daughter, Emma, was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC). At a Philadelphia conference for AMC families, Lavelle learned about the Wilmington Robotic Exoskeleton (WREX), an assistive device made of hinged metal bars and resistance bands. It enables kids with underdeveloped arms to play, feed themselves and hug.
AMC is a non-progressive condition that causes stiff joints and very underdeveloped muscles. Emma was born with her legs folded up by her ears, her shoulders turned in. “She could only move her thumb,” says Lavelle. Doctors immediately performed surgery and casted Emma’s legs. The baby girl went home with parents determined to provide the best care.
Medical experts warned that AMC would prevent Emma from ever experiencing any sort of normalcy. She developed more slowly than an average child and spent much of her first two years in casts or undergoing surgery. Unable to see Emma play and interact with her environment in ways her older daughter had, Lavelle privately wondered whether Emma’s cognitive ability would be hampered as well.
Determined to Grow
But Emma progressed, slow and steady. As she grew and became able to move about with the help of a walker, it became clear that her mind was sharp and her determination on par with her mom’s. At two years old, she still couldn’t lift her arms, and the smart little girl wanted more. “She would get really frustrated when she couldn’t play with things like blocks,” Lavelle says. And so the mom would be Emma’s arms for her; playing with blocks, eating, brushing teeth.
Then came the WREX, demonstrated at the conference by an 8-year-old AMC patient lifting his arms and moving them in all directions. Lavelle met with the presenters, Tariq Rahman, Ph.D, head of pediatric engineering and research, and Whitney Sample, research designer, both from Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. Rahman and Sample had worked for years to make the device progressively smaller, serving younger and younger patients. Attached to a wheelchair, the WREX worked for kids as young as six. But Emma was two, small for her age, and free to walk.
In Sample’s tool-and-toy filled workshop, the team strapped Emma’s little arms into a small but awkward trial WREX attached to a stationary support. “She just started throwing her hands around and playing,” Sample says. Megan brought Emma candy and toys and watched her lift her arms toward her mouth for the first time.
For Emma to wear the WREX outside the workshop, Rahman and Sample needed to scale it down in size and weight. The parts would be too small and detailed for the workshop’s CNC system to fabricate. But humming along near Sample’s desk was a Stratasys 3D Printer, which can build complex objects automatically from computer designs — like an inkjet printer but in three dimensions. Sample often used it to work out ideas with physical models, so he 3D printed a prototype WREX in ABS plastic. The difference in weight allowed Sample to attach the Emma-sized WREX to a little plastic vest.
The 3D-printed WREX turned out to be durable enough for everyday use. Emma wears it at home, at preschool, and during occupational therapy. And the design flexibility of 3D printing lets Sample continually improve upon the assistive device, working out ideas in CAD and building them the same day.
Fifteen kids now use custom 3D-printed WREX devices. For these littlest patients, Rahman explains, the benefits may extend beyond the obvious. Prolonged disuse of the arms can sometimes condition children to limited development, affecting cognitive and emotional growth. Doctors and therapists are watching Emma closely for the benefits of earlier arm use.
Emma quickly grew to love the abilities WREX unlocked in her. “When she started to express herself, we would go upstairs [to Sample’s workshop] and we would say, ‘Emma, you know we’re going to put the WREX on.’ And she called them her magic arms,” Lavelle says.
The little girl’s approval is a fitting reward for her determined mom and dedicated researchers. Sample says: “To be a part of that little special moment for someone else, can’t help but tug at your heart strings.”
It is 2.30 metres high, 50 centimetres wide, weighs almost 20 kilograms and is the largest spoon that WMF has ever produced. Both its purpose and its manufacture, in which 3D printing plays a central role, are anything but normal.
Of course the giant specimen is not meant for conventional use but rather has been designed to highlight an optical phenomenon that anyone who has experienced the reflections and optical distortions of looking into a polished bowl of a spoon (the concave front of a spoon) would be familiar with. People interested in an explanation for this special optical feature will want to check out the "Viseum", the museum for optics and precision mechanics in Wetzlar. This is where the EUR 10,000 WMF exhibit can be found, and it demonstrates the origin behind these reflections in XL format, so to speak.
Just as impressive as the spoon itself is the process of how it was made, most of which took place at the WMF model building studio in Geislingen. "While the manufacture of single oversize cutlery pieces is not unusual, we have never made anything of this size to date. However, not least due to 3D print technology, this project was completed quickly and without any problems", says Gerd Greiner, manager of the model building studio.
The well-known "Palma" WMF cutlery served as a template for the giant spoon. As part of a first step, the CAD data of the original Palma spoon was adjusted to the required size on the computer. This data was then transferred to the voxeljet service centre, where a high-performance printer using the 3D printing method produced a plastic model of the bowl of the spoon, which was used as the original model. This process did away with the elaborate construction of a negative mould, resulting in significant cost and time savings. The printed PMMA model, which impressed with a high degree of mechanical stability and attention to detail, was used to quickly generate a sand mould that was cast in bronze. Subsequently the bowl was finished and coated with nickel, and finally attached to the spoon handle, which was made of brass and also coated with nickel. "The WMF spoon is another successful example of the ever increasing popularity of 3D printing beyond conventional application areas. We are really impressed with the creativity shown by users in applying 3D technology, which is still a fairly young method", says Rudolf Franz, COO of voxeljet technology GmbH.
For more information, visit: www.voxeljet.de
A group of graphics experts led by computer scientists at Harvard have created an add-on software tool that translates video game characters—or any other three-dimensional animations—into fully articulated action figures, with the help of a 3D printer.
The project is described in detail in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Transactions on Graphics and will be presented at the ACM SIGGRAPH conference on August 7.
Besides its obvious consumer appeal, the tool constitutes a remarkable piece of code and an unusual conceptual exploration of the virtual and physical worlds.
"In animation you're not necessarily trying to model the physical world perfectly; the model only has to be good enough to convince your eye," explains lead author Moritz Bächer, a graduate student in computer science at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). "In a virtual world, you have all this freedom that you don't have in the physical world. You can make a character so anatomically skewed that it would never be able to stand up in real life, and you can make deformations that aren't physically possible. You could even have a head that isn't attached to its body, or legs that occasionally intersect each other instead of colliding."
Returning a virtual character to the physical world therefore turns the traditional animation process on its head, in a sort of reverse rendering, as the image that's on the screen must be adapted to accommodate real-world constraints.
Bächer and his coauthors demonstrated their new method using characters from Spore, an evolution-simulation video game. Spore allows players to create a vast range of creatures with numerous limbs, eyes, and body segments in almost any configuration, using a technique called procedural animation to quickly and automatically animate whatever body plan it receives.
As with most types of computer animation, the characters themselves are just "skins"—meshes of polygons—that are manipulated like marionettes by an invisible skeleton.
"As an animator, you can move the skeletons and create weight relationships with the surface points," says Bächer, "but the skeletons inside are non-physical with zero-dimensional joints; they're not useful to our fabrication process at all. In fact, the skeleton frequently protrudes outside the body entirely."
Bächer tackled the fabrication problem with his Ph.D. adviser, Hanspeter Pfister, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at SEAS. They were joined by Bernd Bickel and Doug James at the Technische Universität Berlin and Cornell University, respectively.
This team of computer graphics experts developed a software tool that achieves two things: it identifies the ideal locations for the action figure's joints, based on the character's virtual articulation behavior, and then it optimizes the size and location of those joints for the physical world. For instance, a spindly arm might be too thin to hold a robust joint, and the joints in a curving spine might collide with each other if they are too close.
The software uses a series of optimization techniques to generate the best possible model, incorporating both hinges and ball-and-socket joints. It also builds some friction into these surfaces so that the printed figure will be able to hold its poses.
The tool also perfects the model's skin texture. Procedurally animated characters tend to have a very roughly defined, low-resolution skin to enable rendering in real time. Details and textures are typically added through a type of virtual optical illusion: manipulating the normals that determine how light reflects off the surface. In order to have these details show up in the 3D print, the software analyzes that map of normals and translates it into a realistic surface texture.
Then the 3D printer sets to work, and out comes a fully assembled, robust, articulated action figure, bringing the virtual world to life.
"With an animation, you always have to view it on a two-dimensional screen, but this allows you to just print it and take an actual look at it in 3D," says Bächer. "I think that’s helpful to the artists and animators, to see how it actually feels in reality and get some feedback. Right now, perhaps they can print a static scene, just a character in one stance, but they can’t see how it really moves. If you print one of these articulated figures, you can experiment with different stances and movements in a natural way, as with an artist’s mannequin."
Bächer's model does not allow deformations beyond the joints, so squishy, stretchable bodies are not yet captured in this process. But that type of printed character might be possible by incorporating other existing techniques.
For instance, in 2010, Pfister, Bächer, and Bickel were part of a group of researchers who replicated an entire flip-flop sandal using a multi-material 3D printer. The printed sandal mimicked the elasticity of the original foam rubber and cloth. With some more development, a later iteration of the "3D-print button" could include this capability.
"Perhaps in the future someone will invent a 3D printer that prints the body and the electronics in one piece," Bächer muses. "Then you could create the complete animated character at the push of a button and have it run around on your desk."
Harvard’s Office of Technology Development has filed a patent application and is working with the Pfister Lab to commercialize the new technology by licensing it to an existing company or by forming a start-up. Their near-term areas of interest include cloud-based services for creating highly customized, user-generated products, such as toys, and enhancing existing animation and 3D printer software with these capabilities.
The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, Pixar, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
For more information, visit: seas.harvard.edu
3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced the immediate availability of its new Cubify® toy robots designed specifically for printing on Cube®, the world’s first home 3D printer. The entire collection can be downloaded and printed at home on your Cube 3D printer.
Cube printed robots are also available for home delivery through Cubify and come individually packaged or in sets of three with exciting options to choose from like ray-guns and rocket-packs.
Cubify® robots are moveable, poseable and printable in colorful, lego-like plastic. Printed parts can be snapped together, swapped and colors mixed to create an amazing new robot, or an entire crew. With thousands of possible combinations, Cubify robots provide hours of educational and creative fun for kids and adults alike.
“We are thrilled with these cute, playful new Cubify robots. Kids of all ages can collect the entire series as they create unique configurations to amaze their friends,” said Cathy Lewis, Vice President of Global Marketing for 3D Systems. “Our excitement continues to build with each new toy and app we make available to our growing Cubify community.”
For more information, visit: www.cubify.com/store/creation_list.aspx?searchtext=&minprice=&maxprice=&category=Toys%20and%20Games&creator=cubify&tag=cube-print
Researchers are hopeful that new advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine could one day make a replacement liver from a patient’s own cells, or animal muscle tissue that could be cut into steaks without ever being inside a cow. Bioengineers can already make 2D structures out of many kinds of tissue, but one of the major roadblocks to making the jump to 3D is keeping the cells within large structures from suffocating; organs have complicated 3D blood vessel networks that are still impossible to recreate in the laboratory.
Now, University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed an innovative solution to this perfusion problem: they’ve shown that 3D printed templates of filament networks can be used to rapidly create vasculature and improve the function of engineered living tissues.
The research was conducted by a team led by postdoctoral fellow Jordan S. Miller and Christopher S. Chen, the Skirkanich Professor of Innovation in the Department of Bioengineering at Penn, along with Sangeeta N. Bhatia, Wilson Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and postdoctoral fellow Kelly R. Stevens in Bhatia’s laboratory.
Without a vascular system — a highway for delivering nutrients and removing waste products — living cells on the inside of a 3D tissue structure quickly die. Thin tissues grown from a few layers of cells don’t have this problem, as all of the cells have direct access to nutrients and oxygen. Bioengineers have therefore explored 3D printing as a way to prototype tissues containing large volumes of living cells.
The most commonly explored techniques are layer-by-layer fabrication, or bioprinting, where single layers or droplets of cells and gel are created and then assembled together one drop at a time, somewhat like building a stack of LEGOs.
Such “additive manufacturing” methods can make complex shapes out of a variety of materials, but vasculature remains a major challenge when printing with cells. Hollow channels made in this way have structural seams running between the layers, and the pressure of fluid pumping through them can push the seams apart. More important, many potentially useful cell types, like liver cells, cannot readily survive the rigors of direct 3D bioprinting.
To get around this problem, Penn researchers turned the printing process inside out.
Rather than trying to print a large volume of tissue and leave hollow channels for vasculature in a layer-by-layer approach, Chen and colleagues focused on the vasculature first and designed free-standing 3D filament networks in the shape of a vascular system that sat inside a mold. As in lost-wax casting, a technique that has been used to make sculptures for thousands of years, the team’s approach allowed for the mold and vascular template to be removed once the cells were added and formed a solid tissue enveloping the filaments.
“Sometimes the simplest solutions come from going back to basics,” Miller said. “I got the first hint at this solution when I visited a Body Worlds exhibit, where you can see plastic casts of free-standing, whole organ vasculature.”
This rapid casting technique hinged on the researchers developing a material that is rigid enough to exist as a 3D network of cylindrical filaments but which can also easily dissolve in water without toxic effects on cells. They also needed to make the material compatible with a 3D printer so they could make reproducible vascular networks orders of magnitude faster, and at larger scale and higher complexity, than possible in a layer-by-layer bioprinting approach.
After much testing, the team found the perfect mix of material properties in a humble material: sugar. Sugars are mechanically strong and make up the majority of organic biomass on the planet in the form of cellulose, but their building blocks are also typically added and dissolved into nutrient media that help cells grow.
“We tested many different sugar formulations until we were able to optimize all of these characteristics together,” Miller said. “Since there’s no single type of gel that’s going to be optimal for every kind of engineered tissue, we also wanted to develop a sugar formula that would be broadly compatible with any cell type or water-based gel.”
The formula they settled on — a combination of sucrose and glucose along with dextran for structural reinforcement — is printed with a RepRap, an open-source 3D printer with a custom-designed extruder and controlling software. An important step in stabilizing the sugar after printing, templates are coated in a thin layer of a degradable polymer derived from corn. This coating allows the sugar template to be dissolved and to flow out of the gel through the channels they create without inhibiting the solidification of the gel or damaging the growing cells nearby. Once the sugar is removed, the researchers start flowing fluid through the vascular architecture and cells begin to receive nutrients and oxygen similar to the exchange that naturally happens in the body.
The whole process is quick and inexpensive, allowing the researchers to switch with ease between computer simulations and physical models of multiple vascular configurations.
“This new platform technology, from the cell’s perspective, makes tissue formation a gentle and quick journey,” Chen said, “because cells are only exposed to a few minutes of manual pipetting and a single step of being poured into the molds before getting nourished by our vascular network.”
The researchers showed that human blood vessel cells injected throughout the vascular networks spontaneously generated new capillary sprouts to increase the network’s reach, much in the way blood vessels in the body naturally grow. The team then created gels containing primary liver cells to test whether their technique could improve their function.
When the researchers pumped nutrient-rich media through the gel’s template-fashioned vascular system, the entrapped liver cells boosted their production of albumin and urea, natural components of blood and urine, respectively, which are important measures of liver-cell function and health. There was also clear evidence of increased cell survival around the perfused vascular channels.
And theoretical modeling of nutrient transport in these perfused gels showed a striking resemblance to observed cell-survival patterns, opening up the possibility of using live-cell data to refine computer models to better design vascular architectures.
Though these engineered tissues were not equivalent to a fully functioning liver, the researchers used cell densities that approached clinical relevance, suggesting that their printed vascular system could eventually be used to further research in lab-grown organs and organoids.
“The therapeutic window for human-liver therapy is estimated at one to 10 billion functional liver cells,” Bhatia said. “With this work, we’ve brought engineered liver tissues orders of magnitude closer to that goal, but at tens of millions of liver cells per gel we’ve still got a ways to go.
“More work will be needed to learn how to directly connect these types of vascular networks to natural blood vessels while at the same time investigating fundamental interactions between the liver cells and the patterned vasculature. It’s an exciting future ahead.”
With promising indications that their vascular networks will be compatible with all types of cells and gels, the team believes their 3D printing method will be a scalable solution for a wide variety of cell- and tissue-based applications because all organ vasculature follows similar architectural patterns.
“Cell biologists like the idea of 3D printing to make vascularized tissues in principle, but they would need to have an expert in house and highly specialized equipment to even attempt it,” Miller said. “That’s no longer the case; we’ve made these sugar-based vascular templates stable enough to ship to labs around the world.”
Beyond integrating well with the world of tissue engineering, the researchers’ work epitomizes the philosophy that drives much of the open source 3D printing community.
“We launched this project from innovations rooted in RepRap and MakerBot technology and their supporting worldwide communities,” Miller said. “A RepRap 3D printer is a tiny fraction of the cost of commercial 3D printers, and, more important, its open-source nature means you can freely modify it. Many of our additions to the project are already in the wild.”
Several of the custom parts of the RepRap printer the researchers used to make the vascular templates were printed in plastic on another RepRap. Miller will teach a class on building and using these types of printers at a workshop this summer and will continue tinkering with his own designs.
“We want to redesign the printer from scratch and focus it entirely on cell biology, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications,” Miller said.
In addition to Miller, Chen, Bhatia and Stevens, the research was conducted by Michael T. Yang, Brendon M. Baker, Duc-Huy T. Nguyen, Daniel M. Cohen, Esteban Toro, Peter A. Galie, Xiang Yu and Ritika Chaturvedi of Penn Bioengineering, along with Alice A. Chen of MIT. Bhatia is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Penn Center for Engineering Cells and Regeneration and the American Heart Association-Jon Holden DeHaan Foundation.
For more information, visit: www.upenn.edu
Objet Ltd., the innovation leader in 3D printing for rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, today announced it is cooperating with world-leading consumer products company Keter Plastic Ltd to create an exhibit of 3D-printed art pieces as part of an innovative project to highlight young designers' talents and support at-risk youth.
For the project, 70 art pieces were designed by d-Vision, the design internship program by Keter Plastic and then 3D printed by Objet. The art pieces will be exhibited at the Holon Design Museum, one of the leading museums for design and contemporary culture, on May 30th. The art pieces will be auctioned at a special gala event to benefit ELEM and 'Mifalot Chinuch Chevra', both non-profit organizations that seek to help at-risk youth.
The designers at d-Vision developed their concepts in 3D CAD software and then 3D printed them on Objet's 3D printers. Created in rigid opaque materials, Objet's high resolution 3D printers were able to precisely create real-life 3D renditions of the designs - creating true works of art.
"This project brings together many elements that are central to d-Vision: outstanding design and art, advanced technology, and commitment to our community," said Professor Ezri Tarazi, head of the d-Vision program. "We were delighted to see how our young designers' artistic ideas turned into spectacular reality through the high-quality 3D printing capabilities of Objet. We are looking forward to seeing how our combined efforts will eventually help make a difference in young people's lives, through the money raised by auctioning the art pieces for ELEM and Mifalot Chinuch."
Commenting on the project, David Reis, CEO for Objet said: "We are delighted to be participating in this very prestigious design project and proud to be contributing to the commendable work of ELEM and Mifalot Chinuch in working to ensure a better future for our youth. By pairing d-Vision's innovative and artistic designs with Objet's advanced 3D printing technology, we have created a powerful platform to expand the boundaries of art and design while contributing to the betterment of the community."
d-Vision was established in 2005 and is a unique internship program and the first of its kind in Israel, for product development and design. The project was envisioned by Sami Sagol, owner and chairman of Keter Group, with the aim of integrating between Academy in industrial design, product engineering and technology to the needs and future development of industry. Its focal point is to fill the missing link between Academia and Industry, with the aim of cultivating the next generation of excellent young designers and product developers that combine creativity with technology application.
Every year 15 outstanding design graduates are selected from the Design Academies in Israel: Bezalel, Shenkar, Holon Institute of Technology and Hadassa. During the two year program they get professional experience in product development for the international market.
The interns also develop innovative concepts, new and cutting-edge technologies are introduced to renowned designers and visit professional international fairs.
d-Vision exhibited in international fairs such as Salone Satellite in Milano, in the Dutch Design Week and others.
Prof. Ezri Tarazi and Ms. Tzipi Kunda head the program.
The program includes sponsored Masters Degree in Designing and offers job positions in Keter to the graduates of the program.
The program also promotes contribution to the community and each team engages in a special community project. This year the program managers decided that the contribution will focus on two organizations: "Elem, Youth in Distress" and "Education and Social Projects".
World-renowned dental implant specialist, Andrew Dawood, bought an EOS plastic laser-sintering machine in 2009 for his Wimpole Street company, Cavendish Imaging, so that data from CT (computerised tomography) scans could be used to make anatomical replicas of a patient's jaw and teeth. The purpose was to be able to plan and carry out complex dental procedures such as zygomatic implant placement more efficiently and accurately.
After the needs of his own dental practice and those of others locally had been met, the service was extended to assist other medical professionals. A recent, high profile job was the production of surgical planning models from MRI scans taken of shared blood vessels within the skulls of Sudanese baby twin girls, Ritag and Rital Gaboura, who were conjoined at the head. Last September (2011), doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital separated the girls and they survived against incredible odds.
There was still spare capacity on the EOS FORMIGA P100 laser-sintering machine, which automatically builds finely detailed models from successive 100-micron layers of fine, white nylon powder in a process sometimes referred to as 3D printing. So Mr Dawood decided to start another firm, Digits2Widgets, to offer a similar service to designers, initially mainly in the conceptual arts and architecture.
The enterprise has seen the machine produce a wide variety of prototypes and finished products. Work includes helping with customisation of dolls' faces, and 3D scanning, digital modification and small production runs of items such as innovative jewellery and spectacle frames, either directly in plastic or in metal via lost wax models.
Another project involved the limited production of plastic 'clones' – modified pine cones containing a light – that appeared in the list of best Christmas tree decorations 2011 published by The Guardian newspaper.
The area of London around Wimpole Street is at the epicentre of world renowned schools of Architecture, such as the Architectural Association, Westminster University, The Royal College of Art and the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture. The latter also operates a FORMIGA P100 as well as a larger plastic laser-sintering machine from EOS. Mr Dawood therefore took the logical decision to employ a qualified architect to help expand the design side of his business.
That person is Jonathan Rowley, BArch, DipArch, ARB, who joined Digits2Widgets in August 2011 and has since been responsible for producing several scale models of buildings in multiple sections for architectural practices and students.
He commented, "The big advantage of laser-sintering as a 3D printing method is that the parts produced are robust and fully functional, unlike with some other additive manufacturing methods.
"Once the 3D model has been sliced horizontally and the data downloaded to the FORMIGA control, the build process continues automatically around the clock, layer by layer, until the process is complete. You then simply lift out the hopper, allow it to cool and extract the components, dusting off the powder residue.
"Different parts can be fitted together in our CAD (computer aided design) system and produced simultaneously within the machine's 200 mm x 250 mm x 330 mm build volume in one cycle, so productivity is high, allowing us to keep down costs.
"We still have spare capacity on the machine to offer to firms in the London area, nationwide or even internationally, and may well invest in another, larger EOS 3D printer as business increases."
When it comes to the manufacture of designer furniture in small batches, more and more providers are relying on 3D print technology, which can be used to produce spectacular designs at economic production costs, as evidenced by the Batoidea chair.
Batoidea, or stingray, is the name of a designer chair created by Belgian star designer Peter Donders. One look at this refined piece of furniture reveals the idea behind the name, as the design really does conjure up the image of an elegantly gliding stingray, visualising lightness and airiness, and impressing with its elegance. The production of this chair, which breaks with convention and is made of aluminium casting, would have been virtually impossible in terms of economic aspects without the use of 3D print technology.
Peter Donders was able to implement his unconventional ideas inspired by nature on a technical level using a computer and the well-known Rhino3D modelling program. The great advantage of this progressive work method: The CAD data set required for 3D printing was automatically available upon completion of the work on the computer.
The production of the generously sized chair with its complex stingray design required a total of five sand mould parts, which were manufactured at voxeljet's service centre in Augsburg. The largest mould part measured 1,105 x 713 x 382 millimetres – a size easily handled by voxeljet's high-performance printers. The largest voxeljet 3D print systems can accommodate shapes with a maximum volume of eight cubic metres.
The chair production process places great demands on 3D printing and the cast, as the design consists of a very thin-walled aluminium cast structure. The casting process is followed by grinding and polishing work, before a high-quality varnish is applied to the Batoidea chair.
Objet ltd., the innovation leader in 3D printing for rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, is to be an official sponsor of the ‘Multiversités Créatives’ exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, starting May 2nd 2012. The exhibition features pieces from Neri Oxman, Artist, Architect, Designer and Assistant Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose work has been created using Objet multi-material 3D printing – a capability unique to Objet Connex technology.
The Centre Pompidou is one of the most visited attractions in France with some 3 million visitors every year. This year's ‘Multiversités Créatives’ exhibition (May 2nd – August 6th) focuses on the future of industry and deals with new creative tools. Visitors will be drawn by 15 different projects created by a new generation of young designers exploring the intersection of technology and art.
“The sponsorship of this exhibition is momentous for our business as a broader awareness of 3D printing technology is key to the industry’s future rapid growth,” states David Reis, Objet CEO. “The 3D printing industry has the potential to invigorate how we think about product design, art and engineering. The process enables artists, designers and engineers to rapidly create whole assemblies, unique artistic geometries and functional prototypes straight from a 3D design.”
Objet is inviting the media to attend its Private VIP Media Event on Friday 4th May, which includes a guided tour of the‘Multiversités Créatives’ exhibition, accompanied by Neri Oxman. Taking place from 8.30-11.00am at the Centre Pompidou, the event starts with a VIP breakfast buffet in the Restaurant Georges on the 6th floor, with panoramic views of the Paris skyline. The Objet Media Event is by free invitation only; as number of participants is limited, to get your personal invitation early registration is required*:
For more information, visit: www.objet.com/pompidou-media-event