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It’s the Achilles’ heel of every car restoration, whether you are a casual enthusiast restoring a 70’s Mustang or a professional readying a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing to show at Concours: that hard-to-find part that you have been searching for—for years—with no success.
While using new, old-stock parts is the gold standard for restoration, that is often not possible when only 30 parts were ever made… in the 1920’s. Genuine second-hand parts may be of varying quality. A master craftsman may be able to produce a part that looks like the original, but this can be an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. 3D printing can be a compelling solution.
The idea of 3D printing spare parts for classic car restorations is not new – Porsche Classic made a splash several years ago when it announced it was using 3D printing to recreate parts for classic car collectors. However, advancing technology means it’s being done more effectively than ever before. As we announced this week, comedian Jay Leno is actively using Stratasys 3D printing to create a digital inventory for his own car collection, and now there are even 3D printing startups replacing traditional fabricators for creating aftermarket parts for the high-end car restoration market.
So, what’s changing? First, materials development has come a long way in the last decade, and there are options available that perform far beyond what ASA and ABS plastic can provide. If you need rigidity, look to carbon fiber-filled nylon. If you need heat and chemical tolerance, there’s Antero 800NA, which is a PEKK-based thermoplastic. Small manufacturers are using aluminum and steel to print carburetor parts. High-performance wishbones are even being printed in titanium.
Second, the tools to create CAD, 3D scanning tools, have advanced massively. Meticulously measuring every dimension will never produce an adequate CAD drawing of a hand-crafted part. But when you can 3D scan at 50,000 points per second at a resolution of 160,000 dots per inch, you can create 3D models of parts that capture every discernable detail. Along with an understanding of “Design for Additive Manufacturing,” engineers today not only create parts that are almost indistinguishable from the originals, but redesign them for higher performance.
Jay Leno, well-known as a lover of classic cars, owns 200 cars and 150 motorcycles valued at more than $50 million. He describes 3D printing as integral to his operation and a viable option for sourcing parts that are either extremely rare or simply no longer exist. He’s used 3D printing to create a timing belt cover for his 1960’s Pontiac Firebird. For his 1934 Rolls-Royce Merlin 12, his team created a set of valve cover breather tubes and carburetor spacers using 3D printing that would have been extremely difficult for all but the most masterful craftsmen to make. When he added a 7-liter Roush V8 engine to his 1966 Ford Galaxie 500, his engineering team used the design freedoms of 3D printing to create a new air intake plenum that provided a better fit and more air flow while not having to change the stock hood appearance.
Low volume manufacturing was identified by Stratasys’ consulting group, Blueprint, as one of the six business drivers of 3D printing. In particular, low-volume spare parts is a use case that is being discovered across industries. It’s exciting that the technology is finally in a place where it can deliver for car enthusiasts and provide a path to get that “unobtanium” part they have been searching for.
And as any car enthusiast will tell you, finding that last piece of the puzzle is invaluable; it’s where the satisfaction, pride, and, yes, money is. Whether that last part is the difference between an incomplete restoration and showing the car at Concours, or simply a father passing his first car onto the next generation, 3D printing provides an avenue to realize the dream of getting your classics out of the garage and onto the road.
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Adidas is killing off its Speedfactories. Yes, the 3D printing hypebeast itself, shoe manufacturer Adidas has decided to end its Speedfactories local manufacturing initiative. Just a few years ago the firm wanted to bring localized shoe manufacturing back to Europe by producing, in a highly automated way, close to the consumer. One of the major technologies that was to make this happen was 3D printing, more specifically Carbon. The Speedfactories were initially launched in 2017 with Adidas.
“To reduce manufacturing times and production periods, Adidas will use 3D printing or additive manufacturing methods as the core technology of its factory. By mid-2017, the German sportswear giant aims to produce roughly 500,000 pairs of shoes annually – nearly 1,370 pairs of shoes on a daily basis. In order for Adidas to match its global production level of 300 million pairs of shoes, the company will use high performance and enterprise-grade 3D printers.”
“the Adidas Speedfactory will replace thousands of human workers with robots, to automate some of the manual processes in the manufacturing phase. In comparison to its Asian factories, which house thousands of human workers, the Adidas Speedfactory will be run by around 160 employees.”
In April of 2017 the first athletic shoe to be printed at scale was announced. Eric Liedtke, Adidas Group Executive Board Member Responsible For Global Brands, had this to say,
“With Digital Light Synthesis, we venture beyond limitations of the past, unlocking a new era in design and manufacturing,” said Liedtke. “One driven by athlete data and agile manufacturing processes. By charting a new course for our industry, we can unleash our creativity- transforming not just what we make, but how we make it.”
When the Futurecraft 4D was launched, Ben Herath, VP Design for Adidas Running, stated that,
“FUTURECRAFT 4D demonstrates the potential of Digital Light Synthesis in unlocking a new era in sport performance design. One driven by athlete data and incomparable precision to provide the best for the athletes, enabling them to make a difference in their run. This innovation changes how we design and free ourselves from limitations of the past. The possibilities of what we can now create with this technology to push the boundaries of performance is truly endless.”
It seems that this era is now at an end. Or is it? I’ve always been skeptical of Adidas’ hype creation in athletic shoes, and I got a lot of flak for pointing out that a cost estimate on the Carbon sole would be $43 per midsole. I was also skeptical about the longevity of the soles.
“This is a part that is put under continual mechanical stress. It is not a unidirectional stress as in a lab test however but under complex multidirectional stresses. If the 3D printed shoe sole part is under repeated strain will the residual stress of the previous step cause the sole to eventually shear? “
“I’m at present skeptical that the resin material would perform for long periods as a functional shoe sole.”
Now Adidas, according to Reuters, seems skeptical too.
” Adidas plans to close high-tech “robot” factories in Germany and the United States it launched to bring production closer to customers, saying on Monday deploying some of the technology in Asia would be “more economic and flexible”.
Martin Shankland, Adidas head of global operations, said the factories had helped the company improve its expertise in innovative manufacturing, but applying what it had learnt with its suppliers would be “more flexible and economic”.
A few things could be going on here:
1. 3D Printing is not suited for prime time. 3D printing is just not ready to produce an athletic shoe, individualized shoes are dead and there are no performance benefits to be had.
Pro: 3D printing can not produce the entire shoe. Athletic shoes have dozens of materials and dozens of production steps, we can not yet mimic these materials fully. Our materials and processes are generally too expensive and not automated enough. Typically if the redesign does not add sufficient value, the part will be more expensive than conventional manufacturing and not make sense.
Con: Adidas has focused on the midsole and was looking to other manufacturing technologies to automate the entire shoe production meaning the onus is not entirely on us. Nothing in Adidas’ disclosures or media statements ever gave any credence to the company solving the core manufacturing challenges of assembling a shoe out of dozens of disparate parts that are then automatically joined by some magic.
2. Carbon is not a viable manufacturing technology. Since Adidas partnered with and invested in Carbon, which got $682 million in funding, this is essentially a public admission by Adidas that Carbon is not a suitable manufacturing technology.
Pro: The sensibility of using a nonrecyclable thermoset material for an athletic shoe was long in doubt as was the high cost of Carbon as technology. Perhaps the real-world performance of the Futurecraft or other shoes was lacking, or the cost picture just didn’t add up?
Con: Many in the industry are skeptical of Carbon but this may be just a hiccup and an internal Adidas thing and have nothing at all to do with Carbon as a technology. Or indeed it could be a decision taken for a whole host of other reasons.
3. Industrie 4.0 is despite all the hype and subsidy dead. The Germans are, through one of their most internationally known and largest firms, publicly now stating that Industrie 4.0 was a subsidy trough and after eating their fill Adidas is indicating that manufacturing will in fact not return to Europe.
Pro: This is an embarrassing thing publicly for a large German firm to disclose. After years of Made in Germany, Industrie 4.0 press release nonsense, this is the nail in the coffin. Why else would Adidas do this if Industrie 4.0 wasn’t dead?
Con: Maybe Adidas doesn’t have the technological expertise to do this and does not believe enough in manufacturing in Europe? If this were true than other companies with more manufacturing and technical prowess could make European manufacturing viable again.
4. 3D Printing and Carbon may still be viable but for the foreseeable future manufacturing in Asia is here to stay. This would be quite the shocker to the automated production, lights out factory Industrie 4.0 Seminar crowd.
Pro: We know that support removal is a third of part costs in 3D printing in plastics. I estimated “7 minutes per sole to do all of this, that would add $12.60” for support removal, cleaning, and washing per sole. Maybe the robots are just not there yet and we can’t do this adequately and it could make sense to not do the Speedfactory thing. Maybe the Industrie 4.0 thing is bull and Asia will always be cheaper? This would have profound implications for the European Union not to mention put a few question marks round much of the Union’s subsidies in local manufacturing research.
Con: Why not keep selling high-cost high margin shoes in limited quantities for the marketing value and to be “first in the water.” Adidas could continue making 100,000 pairs a year or so until the economics were better.
5. Eric Liedke Will Leave. Last month Adidas and Carbon Board Member Eric Liedke stated that he is leaving Adidas at the end of the year. Eric was put on the Carbon board and is seen as the person who created the Carbon Adidas relationship. Perhaps his leaving the firm meant that a new faction at Adidas took over and wanted to move away from Eric’s direction. Or perhaps the too-cozy relationship with Carbon or the Speedfactory project itself was a reason for him to get kicked out.
Pro: This would be by far the simplest explanation, Icarus flew too close to the sun and his digital wings light synthesized making him fall earthward.
Con: It is still embarrassing for Adidas especially since none of their press on this move puts a positive spin on it at all or replaces it with an alternative. The firm could have simply put an “Addidas Speedfactory set up in Vietnam” approach on this instead. In and of itself it doesn’t explain much and they could have continued this if it were viable.
UPDATE: Adidas reached out to us and said that,
“Closure of the Speedfactories is limited to shoes with Boost midsoles. adidas 4D (Carbon) production remains unaffected. In fact we will concentrate our resources and capacities even more on using 4D technology in footwear production and we’re actively scaling our volumes over the next couple of years. Adidas is invested, committed and believes in the Carbon Digital Manufacturing Platform and technology. And Eric’s departure from adidas is not connected to adidas’ partnership with Carbon. The partnership is as strong as ever.”
Meltio has entered the 3D printing market to meet the needs of industries that have been waiting years for a reliable, accessible, and hassle-free solution to implement direct metal 3D printing into the production process.
Thanks to an exclusive development, Meltio’s unique patented technology brings many advantages compared to existing technologies in the industry. It’s what the company has called 3E Metal Deposition Technology: Easy, Efficient and Expandable.
Meltio defines its technology as easy because it avoids the inconveniences of existing metal 3D printers. The outer dimensions of the hardware are significantly compact (550x600x1400 mm), without the typical hassle of common and bulky industrial hardware, which usually needs special facilities and infrastructure. The multi-laser printhead, which is in fact the core of this technology, is able to manufacture with metal wire, which makes the operation clean and safe and with 100% material utilization.
Apart from this, the printers are able to fabricate parts with metallic wire, powder, or by combining both materials in the same part and without changing the nozzle, which is an industry first. The result is 100% dense metal parts made of any material commonly used in welding: titanium, steel, copper, aluminum, Inconel, etc.
The new development will also allow many companies to integrate metal 3D printing in their workflows, by lowering traditional access barriers in terms of pricing. The acquisition cost of hardware is about 50% to 75% lower than current market prices and material cost is up to 10 times lower, which is a significant step towards massive adoption of direct metal 3D printing.
Moreover, the possibilities of Meltio’s 3D printing are easily expandable thanks to the integration of 3D printing modules (Meltio Engine) with CNC, robotic, or gantry systems. This way manufacturing possibilities range from small parts to parts of several meters in size, turning traditional systems into hybrid ones with metal deposition capabilities. This makes the technology easily adaptable to multiple applications across various industries including aerospace, automotive, and large scale manufacturing.
How it works
3E Metal Deposition technology works with a multi-laser printhead with a high-power capacity (0.6 to 6 kw). The highly compact deposition head (150mm width/depth x 265mm height) features three independent diode lasers (although more lasers can be added as an upgrade for more power). The printing takes place within an argon chamber that only requires a small amount of gas or in an open atmosphere with just nozzle argon shield gas coverage. Furthermore, changing materials is automatic and accomplished in seconds without the risk of contamination, unlike powder bed fusion technology where it is necessary to perform time-consuming decontamination between material changes.
The system features active process control, which automatically sets the nozzle to part distance for each layer and also manages process parameters throughout the print based on sensor feedback.
Meltio’s unique laser technology allows the production of metallic alloys which are usually difficult to weld. In addition, more applications can be used besides 3D printing: repairing of existing parts through additive manufacturing, cladding, welding (autogenous and with filler), curing, texturing and polishing.
This technology has a significant endorsement through ArcelorMittal, the world leading steel manufacturing company, which has participated in the company since its formation.
Meltio is a new joint venture with the participation of Additec, an American company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Sicnova, a Spanish company with a vast history in the 3D field. its inception has been an international company with a clear global vision and offices in United States and Spain. The main headquarters and factory are located in Linares, Jaen (Spain), with R&D centers in both, the US and Europe.
Meltio’s new metal 3D printer, the Meltio M450, and the Engine deposition modules for hybrid manufacturing and robotic applications, will be showcased at Formnext November 19th-22nd (Hall 12.1, booth C111). The stand will also feature other additive manufacturing and 3D digitalization solutions from Meltio’s portfolio.
In the recently published ‘Functional evaluation of a non-assembly 3D-printed hand prosthesis,’ authors (from TU Delft) Juan Sebastian Cuellar, Gerwin Smit, Paul Breedveld, Amir Abbas Zadpoor, and Dick Plettenburg outline their recent development efforts in 3D printed hand prosthetics—along with their plans for extending their use to developing countries.
As the authors investigated statistics on amputees, they discovered that most frequently, individuals tend to lose limbs due to issues like trauma, disease, infection, and more. What is most surprising, however, is that while tens of millions of people have lost limbs—only 5-15 percent have access to prosthetics. In developing countries, healthcare is spotty, and while it may be available to some in larger cities, transportation from rural areas is obviously challenging. Treatment options are scarce, as are follow-ups for amputees.
With the advent of 3D printing, however, and especially the progress being made with medical devices like prosthetics and orthotics, the researchers see great potential for developing countries. Recognizing the number of groups and non-profits already responsible for distributing a variety of 3D printed prosthetics, the authors have taken note of the many benefits that make such technology suitable for developing countries—beginning with affordability and speed in production. Customization is also key, however; for example, in more conventional medical settings, kids may grow out of their prosthetics before they are even delivered. 3D printing allows for patient-specific treatment and much easier adjustments.
Here, the researchers created a new approach for providing 3D printed hands to amputees in developing countries—re-working both design and fabrication, as well as mechanics and function. They based their new design on the following requirements:
The design consists of four fingers and a stationary thumb, with the fingers—moving in a rotated motion with one degree of freedom—connected to the palm via a hinged joint. The fingers are connected via a ‘whippletree arrangement,’ then move through a force transmission scheme that also includes the main driving link and links to each finger.
“The hand is actuated by a Bowden cable attached to the main driving link that can go on a linear motion following the movement of the cable. Return forces that permit hand opening are generated by leaf springs connected on one end to the base of the fingers and on the other end to the whippletree mechanism,” explain the authors.
“The leaf spring configuration is designed as a series of curved thin 3D-printed plastic sheets that allow elastic bending and work as pulling elements at the same time. When the fingers are activated, the pulling forces drive the leaf springs to unbend and deform to a straight configuration. As the leaf springs return and recover from the deformation, spring-like behavior is provided, combining actuation and a return spring in one non-assembly 3D-printed element.”
The researchers depended on an Ultimaker 3 printer, using PLA, for production of the hand, with the entire mechanism printed at once to avoid complex post-assembly.
“The hand was 3Dprinted with the circular cross-section area of the hinges of the fingers parallel to building plate of the 3D printer. In this way, the layers that form the leaf springs, the whippletree mechanism, and the driving link are deposited along the perpendicular direction of their moving direction during the hand prosthesis activation,” explained the researchers.
Although the 3D printed hand is only composed of two parts, it is still successful in adaptive grasping. Overall, the researchers found the design to be very promising, especially due to the equipment needed for production, which was not only affordable but accessible. They did find the leaf spring in need of further refinement, due to its lack of ability to withstand much cyclic loading. Other materials could solve this problem, however.
Along with the level of functionality found here, the researchers point out that rarely—if ever—are 3D printed hand prosthetics produced with accompanying evaluation. In this study, they were able to make a difference by offering metrics and data to be used as a base for further developments.
“Direct comparison with other existing 3D-printed hands was not possible given the lack of data in the literature. The results presented in this study can be used as a starting point for future developments on 3D-printed prosthetic hands,” concluded the researchers.
“The non-assembly design achieved a comparable level of functionality with respect to other BP alternatives. Taking into consideration that most ADLs require low gripping forces and adding an increased accessibility provided by the advantages of the nonassembly and 3D printing approach, we consider this prosthetic hand a valuable option for people with arm defects in developing countries.”
3D printing of prosthetics continues to evolve around the world, and with users on many different levels; for instance, many students are involved too in creating devices for limb replacement, from forming their own charities to providing aid to amputees in Haiti. Organizations like e-NABLE are also famous for their efforts, helping those in need from Florida to Nigeria. Find out more about the efforts from TU Delft here.
What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source / Images: ‘Functional evaluation of a non-assembly 3D-printed hand prosthesis’]
In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re talking a little business, then moving on to some medical news. Volkswagen has achieved a major metal 3D printing milestone with HP, and BASF has certified a 3D printed autoclave as pressure equipment for the first time. BRECA Health Care has renewed its 3D printed medical device license in Europe, and 3D Systems’ NextDentR Denture 3D+ has received FDA clearance.
Volkswagen Reaches Milestone with HP Metal Jet Printing
In 2018, Volkswagen chose to adopt HP’s Metal Jet 3D printing technology to help achieve its three-phase strategic roadmap to functional AM production. Soon, it will reach a production run of over 10,000 high-quality metal parts 3D printed by HP and GKN Powder Metallurgy, just in time to support the launch event of its ID.3 electric vehicle – the first fully electric production car with a CO2-neutral footprint. Over the next two phases of its plan, Volkswagen will quickly integrate Metal Jet 3D printed structural parts into its next generation of vehicles, with a goal of continually increasing the part size and technical requirements. The company is partnering with GKN to 3D print functional metal parts for auto and industrial leaders on HP’s Metal Jet factories, as well as thousands of ID.3 models for the marketing campaign.
“Our vision to industrialize additive manufacturing is quickly becoming a reality with HP Metal Jet, it is a game changer for the automotive industry. The pace of innovation by HP and advanced capabiltiies of the technology have exceeded our expectations. We are meeting our milestones and are actively identifying and developing functional parts for production,” said Dr. Martin Goede, Volkswagen’s Head of Technology Planning and Development.
“What better way to showcase the innovation of Volkswagen than to use our own technologies in the marketing campaign for the premiere ID.3 launch. We are extremely pleased with the technical features and the speed, quality and low-cost per part that HP Metal Jet has provided. The surface quality and feature resolution enabled great attention to detail and made it possible to add a special touch to this important company milestone.”
BASF Manufactures and Certifies First 3D Printed Pressure Equipment
Chemical company BASF uses 3D printing to optimize components, which in turn improves chemical processes. Recently, the Technical Inspection at BASF SE, in its role as Notified Body (user inspectorate), certified the first 3D printed autoclave as a pressure equipment. BASF used SLM technology to manufacture the austenitic stainless steel component, which conforms to the European Pressure Equipment Directive (2014/68/EU), meets Category III requirements, and allows for faster temperature cycles. This is pretty important, as an autoclave is a container inside which a reaction between chemical components is triggered by pressure and temperature. BASF is now the first company to execute a certification process which includes a procedure qualification for 3D printed pressure equipment.
“We use additive manufacturing technology when it offers added value compared to conventional manufacturing methods,” said Dr. Alba Mena Subiranas, Maintenance & Reliability Solutions. “Pressure equipment poses a special challenge, particularly in design, manufacturing and certification.”
BRECA Health Care Renews License for 3D Printing Medical Devices
Granada-based BRECA Health Care is continuing toward its goal of widespread 3D printing adoption in hospitals. Founded in 2011, the company has been something of a pioneer in terms of the technology’s use in clinical cases, and is working to become a leader at managing its use in hospitals, having performed hundreds of cases in countries ranging from Belgium and Saudi Arabia to Mexico and its native Spain. Now, BRECA announced that it’s had its license renewed to continue 3D printing custom medical devices in Europe until 2025. With this in mind, the company has also launched a service to help create an internal 3D printing laboratory in hospitals.
“We are very happy to be able to continue doing this type of reconstructions,” said José Manuel Baena, PhD in Biomedicine and Industrial Engineer and founder of BRECA Health Care and REGEMAT 3D. “The first license was given to us in 2014 and needs to be renewed every 5 years. In 2014 it was quite complicated since there was practically no information and the autonomous communities did not have a very established process, since they were based on the licenses that are given to orthopaedics to customize technical aids and the implantable products are very different. Now the process is much more defined and even hospitals are trying to get this license to make some products in house.”
NextDentR Denture 3D+ Receives FDA clearance
3D Systems announced that its biocompatible NextDent Denture 3D+ material has officially received 510(k) clearance from the FDA. The material – the latest in the company’s portfolio of NextDent dental resins – has great mechanical properties, and helps dental labs and clinics produce dentures at a 90% lower cost and 75% faster. By combining the material with the company’s NextDent 5100 dental 3D printer and intra-oral scanning and dental software solutions, you’ve got a great end-to-end digital dentistry solution that ensures efficiency, cost savings, and properly fitted devices.
“With 3D Systems’ Digital Denture Workflow, dental laboratories and clinics are now able to produce dental devices at dramatically increased speed while reducing material waste and capital equipment expenditure as well as reliance upon milling centers. FDA clearance of NextDent Denture 3D+ is the last piece that creates a trusted end-to-end workflow – giving prosthodontists a competitive advantage while improving the patient experience,” said Rik Jacobs, Vice President and General Manager, Dental, 3D Systems.
Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.
The post 3D Printing News Briefs: November 12, 209 appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.
In ‘Inversely 3D-Printed β-TCP Scaffolds for Bone Replacement,’ German researchers predefined pore structures in scaffolding to explore different cell growth behaviors. Using FDM 3D printing and PLA, the team of scientists created molds to direct bone growth.
Although 3D printing is lending new technology and techniques for bone regeneration, the researchers remind us that there are still many challenges, and mainly because bone tissue engineering is a difficult area of science regardless of method or material. Most importantly, biomechanical systems are complex and must encompass biocompatibility, suitable mechanical properties, and pore size.
While historically scaffolds have been 3D printed, here the researchers endeavor to define the pore structure within a 3D construct. They printed the scaffolds with PLA, using calcium phosphate (CaP) as biomaterial due to its biocompatibility, after which the β-TCP scaffolds with preset pore structure were characterized.
“To obtain the final bioceramic scaffolds, a water-based slurry was filled into the PLA molds. The slurry contained 70 wt% of β-TCP and 1 wt% based on solid content DOLAPIX CE64 (Zschimmer & Schwarz, Lahnstein, Germany) as a dispersant. The grain sizes of the β-TCP powder ranged from 0.6 to 40 µm (d10 = 2.0 ± 0.04 µm; d50 = 5.27 ± 0.08 µm, and d90 = 14.84 ± 0.09 µm),” explained the researchers.
“Samples with strand widths of 500, 750, and 1000 µm were produced with the 3D printer, filled with ceramic slurry, and sintered according to the above protocol. In the following, the designations 500, 750, and 1000 µm remained, which herein refer to the empty spaces between the β-TCP strands for the differentiation of the samples.”
β-TCP scaffold samples were weighed and measured, with surface roughness averaged from all values.
“The scaffolds with a strand width of 1000 µm showed the highest roughness on the surface of 9.61 ± 2.02 µm. The 750 µm scaffolds has the lowest surface roughness of 7.97 µm ± 1.54 µm. With p > 0.05 the surface roughness values showed no significant differences,” explained the researchers.
Overall, the team was able to prove that different strand distances do influence scaffolds, with the 500 µm scaffolds showing the greatest compressive strength and exhibiting the best potential for being used in bone replacement.
“The biocompatibility of β-TCP was also successfully tested. The cells showed a high proliferation rate on the scaffolds, and no cytotoxicity was measured from the material. In addition, the degradation of the material, which is important for bone replacement, could be demonstrated with the help of simulated body fluid,” concluded the researchers.
“β-TCP showed an incipient degradation of the material after a 28-day incubation in an SBF solution, which could be detected by the formation of HA crystals on the samples. In conclusion, it can be said that β-TCP is biocompatible and thus a suitable material, and the inverse FDM printing process with subsequent slip casting is a suitable method for use in bone replacement.”
Although researchers soldier on within the bioprinting realm—amidst all the challenges found there—bone regeneration continues to be fraught with obstacles; however, scientists continue to create a variety of scaffolds, experiment with materials like hydroxyapatite, as well as coatings. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source / Images: ‘Inversely 3D-Printed β-TCP Scaffolds for Bone Replacement’]
A new material has been developed that is ideal for use as a general-purpose water-soluble support for additive manufacturing (3D printing). Its thermal stability and robust adhesion characteristics make it an ideal support system for a wide array of build materials.
Most manufacturers understand how 3D printing enables them to produce stronger, lighter parts and systems. Although many different materials can be used to create 3D-printed models, thermoplastics like acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polylactic acid (PLA) and polycarbonate (PC) are the most commonly used.
Complex thermoplastic parts and structures have bridges or overhangs that require support during printing. Since these support structures are not part of the model, they need to be removed after printing. This post-processing step is important, because it affects the printed part’s final surface finish, strength and color. However, it can be tedious, require the use of harmful chemicals, damage the model’s surface and reduce productivity. That’s why it’s critical to select the right material for 3D printing support structures.
BREAKAWAY VS. SOLUBLE SUPPORT STRUCTURES
Two basic categories of materials are available for support structures: breakaway and soluble. Breakaway support structures are often constructed from a material that is similar to the printed object. After printing, the support is removed by trimming, mechanical breakage, or abrasion.
All of these steps add work, and therefore time and cost, to each piece. In addition, removing the 3D printing support structures can leave blemishes on the model surface or break off part of the model along with the structure. Also, removing breakaway supports is generally more difficult when working with high-temperature materials.
Alternatively, soluble support materials can be removed by placing them in water or a solvent after printing. Using solvents is undesirable because they are generally volatile organic compounds that are unfriendly to printers and the environment. But water-soluble support materials can also be tricky to work with. For example, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) absorbs water vapor from the air, doesn’t stick very well to print surfaces, and is temperature sensitive, which can cause jams. Also, water-soluble support materials have been exceptionally challenging to develop.
DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES OF SOLUBLE SUPPORTS
Developing water-soluble supports is challenging for many reasons. First, there are a limited number of commercially available resins that are truly water-soluble. Many water-soluble polymers are very brittle, which prevents their conversion to filament. In addition, plasticizing using traditional additives often inhibits thermal stability and adhesion, which severely limits their use in 3D printing.
The first generation of soluble supports had a variety of issues. Some used harmful chemicals or highly acidic or highly basic solutions. Although some of these are still widely used, resin technology has advanced, and there are now a plethora of soluble support materials on the commercial market including:
• Highly proprietary resins (Stratasys SR30, SR35, SR100, etc.)
• Resins based on commonly available PVA or polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)
• Cellulosics like hydropropyl methylcellulose (HPMC)
• Exotic polybutenediol vinyl alcohol (BVOH)
Yet none of these products is ideal for filament because they are not thermally stable. Now there is a better material option.
WATER-SOLUBLE RESINS THAT ARE TOUGH ENOUGH FOR FILAMENT
Infinite Material Solutions recently developed a composite material that is both water-soluble and thermally stable. This “outside the box” resin is formulated from a naturally occurring carbohydrate blended with a polymer that is flexible, tough and water-soluble. The new material (branded AquaSys 120) is unique because it is tough enough to be used as support filament.
This formulation is surprising because many pure carbohydrates and water-soluble polymers are far too brittle to form a usable filament. Over the years, formulators have made many attempts to plasticize water-soluble resins so they could be converted to filament. However, adding plasticizers often dramatically reduces the thermal stability of the base resin. Also, plasticizers can inhibit the adhesion between materials, severely limiting their use for 3D printing. AquaSys 120 uses a highly complex process to produce 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm diameter filament that can be used successfully for a variety of 3D printing platforms and materials.
MATERIAL BENEFITS AND COMPATIBILITY
The individual components of this new material are widely used in industry for a variety of applications ranging from packaging and drug delivery to cosmetics and personal care products. The material is hydrophilic, biocompatible, biodegradable, nontoxic, and noncarcinogenic, based on information available for all the individual components.
This new filament material can be used for the most common 3D printing technologies including fused filament fabrication and direct material extrusion. It is also compatible with a broad range of materials including polypropylene and hydrophilic and hydrophobic polymers. It shows excellent thermal stability and other advantages over traditional PVA that make it a more versatile, robust, and environmentally friendly material for support filaments.
These advantages include:
• Dissolves in water much faster than pure PVA
• Can be printed with a wider range of materials
• Has enhanced adhesion properties
• Is more quickly biodegraded than PVA
THERMAL STABILITY AT MUCH HIGHER TEMPERATURES
A leading brand of PVA filament prints at 215-225 ºC and a maximum build plate temperature of 60 ºC. Alternatively, AquaSys 120 filament prints at 240-245 ºC and a maximum build plate temperature of 130 ºC.
Being able to build materials that can adhere to soluble supports, or vice versa, is of critical importance to achieving a successful 3D print. Poor adhesion between adjacent layers of support and build materials causes sloughing off and print failures.
The new material was engineered with enhanced adhesion properties to address this problem. It is compatible with a wide range of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic materials used in filament-driven 3D printing platforms and continues to be used with new build materials.
To date it, AquaSys 120 has been successfully printed with polyamides (nylon), co-polyester (CPE), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), polycarbonate (PC), and polyolefins like polypropylene (PP). This offers a significant advantage over traditional PVA filament, which has limited adhesion to CPE, ABS, TPU, PC, and PP.
In head-to-head dissolution trials of identically printed parts, the new filament material dissolved twice as fast as a leading brand of PVA at room temperature (22 ºC) and over six times faster at elevated temperatures (80 ºC). Figure 1 shows its dissolution kinetics versus PVA. Unlike PVA, which can form gels prior to dissolution and especially at elevated temperatures, the new material dissolves cleanly with no gelation at temperatures >35 ºC.
DISPOSAL AND BIODEGRADABILITY
The new composite material is based on a naturally occurring carbohydrate that is very rapidly mineralized in the environment. Mineralization of this carbohydrate component can take several hours or days. The remaining components of the material biodegrade more slowly, but like PVA, they are considered to be ultimately biodegradable based on respirometric mineralization tests using acclimated sludge from wastewater treatment facilities.
A new water-soluble support material is now available that solves a number of challenging issues in additive manufacturing. This carbohydrate composite capitalizes on the unusual thermal stability and outstanding water solubility of a naturally occurring saccharide blended with a flexible and tough water-soluble polymer. This unique material provides advanced adhesion to a wide variety of build materials, a broad processing window and improved aqueous dissolution performance without the use of solvents or harsh chemicals.
By: Nathan W. Ockwig, Gavriel DePrenger-Gottfried, Brandon Cernohous, Philip J. Brunner, Jeffrey J. Cernohous
The Chinese 3D printers manufacturer Anet has made a name for itself in the world of 3D printing over the past few years with the Anet A8. Its low price and competitive printing quality made it very attractive for many people and it became very popular in a short time. But sometimes cheap can be expensive in the long run, and the dream of the Anet A8 became a bit of a nightmare when some users reported that their 3D printers started catching fire. But that is in the past and this year a new and improved A8 plus is on the market and seems that they have invested in security features. I also think that it is time to give another chance to Anet now that a new promising printer is on the market, the Anet ET4. As they say it is “Designed with safety in mind. The embedded thermistor and heater on the extruder are specially fixed.”
What do I want from a 3D printer? I am a designer, what is important for me primarily is the print quality, consistency and that the printer is easy to use. I don’t want to know much about how 3D printers work, software hacks and workarounds. I want a reliable machine, that has good print quality and doesn’t give me too much trouble.
The ET4 is a DIY desktop 3D printer, once you get it home you have to assemble it. Because of its modular design, it doesn’t take a lot of work to start printing. When you open the box for the first time the assembly is mostly intuitive. It doesn’t have many parts, most of them are built into 3 separate blocks that you can assemble together with a few screws. I just had to check the instructions a couple of times. Unboxing, set up and getting to your first print is very simple overall.
I like the fact that this printer is built on a full-metal frame. It is an aluminum frame that makes it easy to move around since it is not too heavy. It gives a sense of durability and has a compact design that makes the printer quite steady and resistant to vibrations. Although as we have mentioned before the Anet A8 made us feel a bit uneasy when we left a printer home alone working, the ET4 seems quite solid.
Once you turn it on you can control some of the printing features through a 2.8 inch touchscreen that is placed in the base of the printer. I do not like to have my computer connected to the printer all the times so for me the use of the screen on the printer is a must, it makes the work much easier to control. It also lets me check what the settings of the printer such as nozzle and print bed temperature, files to be printed and how long it will take etc. The controls and software were easy enough to use and clear. The UI on the machine was clear enough as well.
One other feature that I find quite handy is the “Resume Printing”: in case the printing is interrupted suddenly the resume printing feature lets you continue the print from where it stops. It comes in quite handy in case of a power outage or some similar issue. But it is not as simple as it sounds, it is true that you can continue the print job but when the machine goes off, the filament, still warm, keeps coming out of the nozzle onto the piece. So this must be scraped away. 3D printing is still a mix of the future and an artisanal craft. In this case, I had to use a very sharp knife to take off that little knot of plastic. Filament end detection on the printer works as advertised.
One of the features that didn’t satisfy me is the auto-leveling. It is quite common in FDM 3D printers nowadays but the ET4 didn’t quite nail down this feature. It has 25 checking points along the print bed, which makes it seem quite promising. For the first print, I did manual leveling, and from then on, I tried to use only the auto-leveling but it didn’t always work properly. In the end, what worked for me was to do manual leveling and then on top of that some auto-leveling. The manual leveling itself is easy to do and works reliably. The retraction settings in the software were reversed but I told the company and this should be fixed soon. I was surprised that no one caught this issue earlier. Loading and unloading new filament, feeding it all went off without a hitch.
Another important aspect for me is the noise level that the printer makes. The Anet ET4 is quite silent, it doesn’t bother me at all to have it in the background printing while I am doing some other work, and I am quite picky about noise. The ET4 has the option of choosing between two stepper drivers, the A4988 and the TMC2208, I got the second one which makes the printer almost silent. You can get the latest updated driver is through their official website. I would definitely recommend spending $15 more for the TMC2208 version of the ET4 if you buy this printer. The quieter drivers make the printer much easier to live with.
And now my favorite part, the print quality. It is the most important aspect for me and I was positively surprised by the results. I use 3D printing to make molds for ceramics but also to 3D print final pieces so I need the results to look professional. With the right print settings, you can get neat results. The printing resolution really delivers, especially for a printer at this price point. I was also very happy with the printing of textures, I have had troubles before with other printers. Sometimes textures can look a bit clumsy or the machine starts making strange noises when making short and fast movements to print small textures. This wasn’t the case here. I was able to, quietly, obtain very high detailed textures for both small and larger parts using this machine. Yes, the printer isn’t perfect but its a good machine for the price.
After over 100 hours printing with the ET4, I am confident in saying that if you are thinking to buy a printer and your budget goes from $200-300 you might want to consider getting one of these. The ET4 is a good choice for a low-cost desktop 3D printer.
3DPrint.com was not paid for this review and I received no money from this review from Anet. Anet did provide me with a review copy of the printer to keep. Other sites charge thousands of dollars for 3D printer “reviews.” We do not do this. We also do not receive money from affiliate marketing from this article. You may disagree with my findings but these findings and opinions are made honestly and with a sincere wish to help you buy a printer, not with an ulterior motive.
MakerBot Continues to Expand the METHOD Platform with New Nylon Material MakerBot Nylon enables advanced functional prototyping and end-use part Continue Reading
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AM POLYMERS GmbH expands its powder portfolio for laser sintering with a new polypropylene powder. In contrast to most of the materials on the market, the material has exceptionally high elongation at break of more than 200 %. At the same time, the material has excellent processing conditions on common machine systems.
AM POLYMERS GmbH presents its fourth series material from the ROLASERIT® family at FORMNEXT 2019 in Frankfurt and starts the BETA phase for the newly developed ROLASERIT® PP03O. This extends the material range for laser sintering to include a material with outstanding ductility and injection moulding properties. For the first time, a lower elongation at break has not to be accepted, as is generally the case in additive manufacturing.
With an elongation at break of more than 200 %, the material is a pioneering role in the field of materials for laser sintering. Most materials only have elongations at break in the range of less than 50 %. The processing of the material has already been tested successfully and without problems on common laser sintering systems. In accordance with the company philosophy of selling only plug-and-play materials, only short running-in times on the machines are necessary. Thus, the production of customer parts is possible within a few days. The application spectrum of manufactured components is diverse and ranges from simple housings to function-integrated parts with film hinges. Based on its high ductility, the ROLASERIT® PP03O is also ideally suited for series production.
Visit us at FORMNEXT 2019 booth 11.1 A79 to learn more about ROLASERIT® PP03O.
In addition to polypropylene PP01, polyethylene PEGR01 and TPU PB01, PP03O now forms the fourth thermoplastic powder available as series material, which AM POLYMERS has developed for laser sintering or for powder bed fusion and sells under the brand name ROLASERIT®.
AM POLYMERS GmbH will also be presenting other powder materials at FORMNEXT 2019. The newly developed ROLASERIT® PP04 is designed to offer a polypropylene with increased stiffness and strength requirements compared to PP01 and PP03. The ROLASERIT® PA FLEX01 is intended for applications with a requirement profile with low stiffness and simultaneously high ductility in laser sintering. The polyamide material has been specifically optimized for this special application.
AM POLYMERS GmbH with a headquarters in Willich was founded in 2014. The company is specialized in the development, production and distribution of laser sintering materials. The company’s team can look back on many years of experience in the field of additive manufacturing. The founders, Dr.-Ing. Andreas Wegner and Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Gerd Witt have twelve and more than twenty years of experience in laser sintering of plastics. Timur Ünlü, a specialist of many years experience in the field of powder production, joined the company in 2018. Since 2019 a new production and development site for the production of plastic powders has been established in Willich.
In addition to the commercialized products, other important standard thermoplastics such as PA6 or PBT are developed for laser sintering. The current state of development already shows promising properties of these future products.
AM POLYMERS GmbH
Dr.-Ing. Andreas Wegner
tel.: +49 174 2174251
The post AM POLYMERS GmbH: New Polypropylene ROLASERIT PP03O for Laser Sintering with 200 % Elongation at Break and Other New Materials appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.
A new edition of the 3D Printing Congress in Argentina wrapped up last Thursday after two days of workshops, supplier stands and speakers talking about the challenges and solutions of manufacturing using 3D printing. From biomaterials to resins, 3D printing in the automotive industry, 3D medical simulators and biomedical inventions, some of the most innovative uses for the technology show that it is advancing in the country, albeit somewhat slower than expected.
Sergio Cavaliere, Product and Applications Manager for Advanced Machine Systems (AMS), said to 3DPrint.com: “The local market is volatile, complex and caged by controls, yet at the general manufacturing level we notice that companies have begun acquiring additive manufacturing technology, perhaps not at the hyper expectation levels we forecasted five years ago, still, they know that if they don’t begin to use 3D printing, they will lose competitiveness.”
Held 6 to 7 November in the City of Buenos Aires, the event gathered more than 3,500 3D printing enthusiasts, professionals, and researchers who eagerly discussed how to achieve better, cheaper and more efficient results, as well as what’s on the horizon for local 3D printing companies. This year’s main themes focused on 3D printing in industry and biomedicine.
Last year, when the Mercedes Benz plant in Buenos Aires was looking to improve its production line of trucks and vans, they consulted Cavaliere and AMS. The manufacturing process specialists recommended they acquire an additive manufacturing machine to accelerate production. The local branch of the German vehicle maker soon began using a Stratasys F270 24/7 and in only 23 days created the devices needed for the manufacturing engineering of the assembly line.
“In general and around the world, almost 70% of all 3D printing is used for prototyping. However, this is not the case for Argentina, where industries are searching for ways to use the technology in manufacturing aids–like jigs, fixtures, platforms and tools (mainly in automotive). This means that they require more durable materials with high thermal and impact resistant qualities. And while most machines sold locally today are PLA printers that are very common for prototyping, they are not useful in manufacturing. That’s the reason our product sparked a lot of interest among attendees at the Congress,” suggested Demian Gawianski, CCO of Kodak 3D Printing during an interview with 3DPrint.com.
Gawianski considers that 3D printing know-how has been growing in recent years, more focused on industry and engineering applications. In 2012, Argentina-based Smart International began developing and manufacturing 3D printers, and in 2018 released Kodak’s Portrait 3D printer, a new professional 3D printing solution developed through a global brand licensing agreement.
Furthermore, the team behind Kodak showcased parts that are being produced as part of their new segment, an alliance with renowned polymer manufacturers worldwide, such as BASF, Owens Corning, Clariant, and DSM.
“The pieces printed with our machines using BASF stainless steel are very alluring for manufacturers because they have 80% stainless steel and 20% of a polymer which after a few post-processes becomes 100% stainless steel,” explained Gawianski. “Our machines are certified to work with already established materials from large manufacturers, allowing our customers to develop engineering pieces with high resistance.”
Not to be missed was Juan Manuel Romero’s talk about his Game of Thrones spoons, made earlier this year exclusively and in partnership with HBO Latin America, just in time for the premiere of the world-wide awaited sixth and final season of the show. The innovative development even competed at Cannes’ International Festival of Creativity during the 2019 award season.
“3D printing offers infinite novel possibilities for jewelry creations, characterization, and improved quality. The precision approach of the machines is an advantage to more traditional methods of creating jewelry,” said Romero to 3DPrint.com. “Back in 2014 we realized that we needed to scale production without losing the design edge, and 3D printing gave us all that and more.”
Romero, the owner of Quimbaya, has been a goldsmith jeweler for over 10 years, yet he learned quickly that using 3D printing to go from design to molding makes a big difference towards his end product. He states that “morphologically, the jewelry design has no limit, while with conventional methods, the same level of accuracy could never be achieved.”
For his Game of Thrones spoons, he used Photocentric’s Precision 1.5 machines to create the prototype and the molds that were then used to make the metal spoons. The four spoons (representing the most iconic houses of the series: Stark, Lannister, Targaryen, and Greyjoy) traveled from Argentina to Europe with HBO, and became a very popular and desirable item due to the visibly unique quality, traits and intricate work.
One of the most popular booths among attendees was PrintaLot. The company director, Mariano Perez, has underlined the success of his filaments, stating that: “Our client portfolio used to be made up mainly of hobbyists, and today we mostly get industrial market orders from companies that are driving the digital transformation of the industry”.
In this sense, he adds that “we began working with other markets in the region, like Brazil, which has a big demand for our products.” One of the biggest orders the company got from Brazilian clients was a request for a new PLA color, the green-blue shade made famous by jewelry maker Tiffany.
“3D printing machines and materials are changing the production processes of different economic sectors and creating new business models. We also began reselling Wiiboox Sweetin, the gourmate food 3D printer, and Ultimaker, because we noticed many local entrepreneurs were searching for this type of solutions,” Mariano told 3DPrint.com.
In addition to the increasingly popular local 3D printer suppliers exhibiting the latest from MakerBot, Formlabs, BCN3D, and Trideo (one of the most popular local brands), new and creative applications drew big crowds. Examples include a surgical simulator; 3D bioprinters to treat wounds in diabetic patients; bespoke 3D printed titanium implants; and the WalkingMaker, a 3D printer with wheels that extrudes material obliquely.
Nicolas Meer, co-creator of a pediatric surgical simulator for medicine residents, said: “we spoke to pediatric surgeons who suggested the best way to teach the techniques of laparoscopy to students and future doctors was through a simulator, instead of waiting for a real case or practicing with animal parts. I have been working with 3D printers since 2012 so I decided to design and print a small simulator that wouldn’t cost more than $500.”
Even though spirits run high during the event, the landscape ahead is looking dim for the technology locally. With few endeavors and a complex economical situation, startups that once bet on creating their own technology, quickly noticed that it was better to import the printers from other countries. As is usual in the Latin American region, most of the machines being used come from Europe, Asia, and the US. Some of the best selling brands include Formlabs, Photocentric, MakerBot, and on the high end, Stratasys. Nonetheless, both political and economic uncertainty tends to drive up job losses, hold up the economy and seriously affect growth, so we can expect local companies will begin to look to other countries and regional markets to expand. Funding is limited and international investors are carefully looking at the local scenario ahead. However, interest is rising and every year, more people become knowledgeable of the technology, looking at the field as a reliable, creative and fundamental part of their work.
It’s been 10 weeks since the NFL 2019 season began and already dozens of players have suffered soft tissue injuries. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk is recovering from an ankle sprain while T.Y. Hilton from the Indianapolis Colts re-aggravated a quadriceps strain he sustained earlier this year just five weeks into the season. But this is just one sport were injuries run high and the risk of re-injury is even greater, especially since many try to return too quickly to the field. Sprains, strains, and contusions, as well as tendinitis and bursitis, are common soft tissue injuries in most contact sports, like football, rugby, ice hockey, soccer and more. Australian experts suggest that soft tissue injuries are the most common injury in sport, and they should know better since Australian Rules football and soccer had the highest population-based age-standardized rates of injury hospitalization. Soft tissue includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, nerves, fibrous tissues, fat, blood vessels, and synovial membranes, so it’s not really just sports players that need attention. Anyone can suffer from soft-tissue injuries, and even with the appropriate treatment, they may require surgery.
Yet, the challenges behind creating soft tissue have advanced slower than expected, with scientists even looking to develop tissue in space, using microgravity to accelerate development. However, last July, a team of researchers found a potentially transformative opportunity: applying 3D printing and non-woven fiber manufacturing to create new tissues that can grow in the human body. The Forging Interdisciplinary Bio-inspired Engineered Regenerative Science (FIBERS) team of researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been exploring 3D printing strategies to make tissues such as the meniscus and tendons. One of the most significant advances so far has been a 3D biomedical fiber printer used to create biocompatible scaffolds.
NCSU states that while a 3D printer can precisely reproduce the shapes and structures in an MRI image or a CT scan, traditional 3D printers may not appropriately capture features at the tiny scale that tissue engineering demands. The difference between traditional devices and the FIBERS advanced 3D printer is the way it forms fibers: in offering more variety in the size, shape, and orientation of the layers of fibers that form an object, matching the natural fibers they’re aiming to replace and regrow.
“With conventional 3D printing, that’s where you run into roadblocks. The feature sizes that you can make can be an order of magnitude too large,” said Rohan Shirwaiker, an NCSU associate professor of industrial and systems engineering.
The 3D printer was built with support from the Game-Changing Research Incentive Program (GRIP), a partnership of the NC State Office of Research and Innovation; RTI International; and the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science. They have a patent pending on the features of the process and have also applied for a second patent on the specific fiber geometry they have been able to produce with the machine.
“What we learned on the GRIP machine we could never do on a big pilot machine easily,” said Benham Pourdeyhimi, executive director of the Nonwovens Institute and the principal investigator for the FIBERS project. “So for me there were a couple of ‘AHA!’ moments. ‘Wow, if I could do that on a larger scale, it opens up opportunities outside of this domain for other applications.’”
According to NCSU, two questions have led the team’s work: How can you manufacture tissues at several scales, from micro to nano, with speed and repeatability? And what should those scaffolds be made of? So the focus has been on creating scaffolds, which give both form and direction to tissue growth.
“In the absence of scaffolds, we could still get bone cells and grow them on a petri dish. And they will multiply, but they won’t really grow and form the bone tissue that we need,” explained Shirwaiker.
Pourdeyhimi suggested that a scaffold’s mission is fleeting and sensitive so that once implanted, it needs to carry the load, then spark and shape cell growth, recruit other cells from inside the body, and finally disappear when the new tissue is able to function alone. And it needs to do all that without disrupting any of the cells and systems around it.
“We’re learning how to process materials that we’ve never processed before,” Pourdeyhimi said. “We’ve learned how to manipulate them and use more biofriendly types of polymers that the industry would need to use.”
NCSU informed that in order to meet the challenges facing tissue engineering, the FIBERS team had to draw knowledge and expertise from biomedical and industrial engineering, textiles and veterinary medicine. Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) assistant professor Matt Fisher’s long-standing work on 3D printing tissues fits right in with the FIBERS initiative. Together with Shirwaiker, they were then invited to form the core team for the FIBERS project by BME Professor Frances Ligler and Pourdeyhimi.
Ligler claims that today, most transplanted tissues come from cadavers or the patients themselves, and there has been progress on using stem cells to repair damaged tissues, but neither approach delivers the level of customization that the human body demands.
“Once we get a handle on both the materials and the manufacturing, we can really leapfrog what’s going on in the regenerative medicine community,” Ligler suggested.
So far, the research team’s work has focused on innovations that would improve the quality of life for the hundreds of thousands of people who get replacement soft tissues each year. Also, FIBERS investigators have recently requested funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) with a bigger mission in mind: to establish a national hub for regenerative tissue engineering at NCSU. Currently, 114,000 Americans are waiting for organ transplants, and the donor options are limited, so engineered tissues and organs hold the greatest promise for them.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.[Images: North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]
It’s rare for camera companies to give people the chance to develop their own 3D printed accessories to use around the camera’s body. One camera company that has recently done this is Sigma, with their FP camera. Sigma has uploaded the 3D models for the FP camera body on their official website, which are available for everyone.
The FP camera is Sigma’s first L mount camera, the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera with interchangeable lens. FP was first announced at Photokina 2018 and this tiny camera seems to be pretty powerful. The FP is one of the most anticipated cameras of the last few years and is a small very compact full-frame camera. The camera is capable of shooting 12-Bit Cinema DNG RAW to an external SSD. It also has multiple 1/4-20″ threaded sockets, one underneath the camera for mounting a tripod, and one on each side. Central to the camera is the idea that it is a single module in a wide array of accessories that can be used to optimize it for, say, use as a video camera in a studio or through other optimized configurations.
The 3D models for the camera body are useful for manufacturers that want to develop their own products such as grips, cages, and other accessories, to fit around the FP camera. Inventors and creative people at home could also use them to adapt the Sigma to their world.
It’d be nice if more camera companies started offering their camera’s 3D models for buyers who would love to do more with them. We know that 3D printed camera accessories are already a “thing” and there are some pretty creative minds out there.
Photographers like Mathieu Stern, from France, created a lens made out of ice for his camera. Stern modified his Sony camera in order to fit and hold the ice lens by creating a 3D printed body. To accomplish the ice lens, Stern went to Diamond Beach, located in the east of Reykjavik, Iceland. There, he found an iceberg and, using a ball maker, he was able to extract a piece of ice. Later, after many tries, he created the ice lens and fit it into the lens holder he had 3D printed. With the ice lens, he achieved foggy and surreal images.
Hobbyist Alexander Gee, who appreciates film cameras, is almost done creating something a bit different, the LEX camera. As Gee describes, “the LEX is a camera which lets you use your E-Mount lenses with your favorite film emulsions”. Gee likes to use a Sony E-Mount with native E-Mount lenses to shoot, but sometimes he likes the aesthetic film cameras provide, which are hard to find these days. The problem is that Sony is the only camera company that has never built a film camera, so Gee knew what it was needed to be done. According to him, he created “the world’s first Sony E-Mount 35mm film camera” by mixing 3D printing with soldering and electronics. By using the shutter mechanism from a Sony A7, he built the prototype of the LEX together with a 3D printed body of the camera with SLS nylon, which he later dyed and coated as to prevent any ambient light from entering the camera.
But Gee is not the only one who loves a good film camera. Dora Goodman makes open-source 3D printed cameras, as well as camera straps and other accessories. Goodman is part of a movement that is dedicated to making high-quality 3D printed projects with other design and photography enthusiasts in order to share their concepts and ideas with creative minds around the world. One of Goodman’s project is the Goodman One Camera, a camera she has been working for a long time. Her idea was to make a modular camera that could easily accept leaf shutter lenses, to dress up the classical film cameras in a more modern look. The open source projects are available to anyone with access to a 3D printer through the Goodman Lab website.
If other camera companies follow Sigma’s steps into releasing their cameras’ 3D models to everyone, people like Gee, Goodman, and Stern could create interesting and innovative accessories for cameras that can be used by anyone. Right now, Sigma has released 13 3D models and we can already appreciate users on DPReview discussing about the FP camera, and sharing creations with the rest of the community.
One of DPReview’s user, “JMA60”, has created and 3D printed a grip for the FP camera. This user used Sigma’s 3D models and adapted it according to his needs. As the user shared, he was looking for something “more suitable for one-handed grasping”. Could this lead to more people participating in producing new camera accessories now that Sigma shared its 3D models? Hopefully, more camera companies will follow Sigma’s steps and will let anyone with a 3D printer design a better experience for using their cameras.[Sources: Sigma, DPReview, Cinema5d]
The post Sigma Releases 3D Models For Its FP Camera appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.
Importing design file without any errors is an art form. There’s been a lot of time we’ve wasted on fixing printing errors and details after converting a design to STL. And then still getting a frustrating message that “computer says no.”
Sound familiar? You’re not alone: more than 50% of models are not ready for printing once imported to STL format.
What if that step of getting your design print-ready could be that much easier and faster? What if you could make your prints cheaper?
Take the pain out of 3D printing by using three steps to prepare your files for printing like a pro using Magics Essentials – made by i.materialise’s parent company, Materialise.
Step 1: Fix errors easily
Magics Essentials has two functions to help you quickly identify and correct errors that we’re all plagued with, including disjointed, misaligned, or overlapping pieces. You’ll find both tools in the “Fix” ribbon in Magics Essentials.
To see how to use these tools, check out this tutorial.
Step 2: Perfect colors and textures
One great thing about Magics Essentials is that you can map the colors and textures directly from your CAD file – just make sure to check the two boxes when you import. This can save you tons of time when you’re working with a multi-colored design. But remember, this is only applicable if you want to print in plastics. You’ll find all the options to finesse these aspects in the “Textures” ribbon:
Check out this video to see it in action.
And in case you’re curious, you can check out the full i.materialise range of plastics and color printing options. Between the tools and the materials, you can truly create the look, feel, and function to bring you design to life.
Step 3: Optimize for printing
Now you’ve waved some digital wands and got your design almost ready to print, you can think about the last few practicalities of your print.
For this last step, you’ll be working in the “Tools” ribbon.
Here, there are two particularly important key features:
And there you have it. Three key steps, intuitive tools and time saved. Now press “upload” and check out as usual on the i.materialise website.
Just think, using these steps, you can spend more time doing the things you love – whether that’s sculpting amazing pieces or solving problems for your customers in the blink of an eye.
And don’t worry if you haven’t got Magics Essentials yet – try out the software free on a 30-day trial, then if you love it as much as we think you will, here’s 30% off your first purchase: YOURLUCKYDAY
Click here to get the free trial from the Magics Essentials webpage!
Please read these conditions for more details: