Results of Xometry’s interesting vibratory test [Source: Xometry]
USA Materials Expands With Laser Cut Metals For Making Low-Cost Functional Parts
While we talk a lot about using laser cut acrylic and wood for building engineering projects, making robots and designing signs, sometimes you simply need strong, functional parts for internal construction—no pretty finish needed.
Hello laser cut and engraved metal.
We’ve expanded our USA materials lineup to include three new metals—standard aluminum, carbon steel and stainless steel—that can be laser cut and engraved. Upload the design file for your parts,
The post Introducing Online Sheet Metal Laser Cutting And Engraving appeared first on Ponoko.
Stereolithography, the technology behind most resin 3D prints, is often referred to as ‘the mother of all 3D printing technologies’ and is considered one of the most widely used techniques for producing high-quality 3D prints. Here at Materialise, we have been using Stereolithography since 1990. Time to talk a bit more about this technology and our latest resins.
The technology behind (most) resin 3D prints is known as Stereolithography. And here’s the one-minute explanation of how Stereolithography works:
The following video will give you a better idea of how this 3D printing process works:
There is more than one material used with this technology. In fact, we offer four different Stereolithography-based resins that all come with their own characteristics. However, these resins also share some attributes: they feature smooth surfaces and are great for post-processing.
Mammoth Resin: Mammoth Resin is printed on one of the biggest printers out there… you guessed it, the Materialise Mammoth printers (that’s also the printer shown in the video above). Previously this resin was known as Paintable Resin. These printers can print large parts up to a size of 2100x700x800 mm, which can be spray-painted in several colors.
Transparent Resin: Also printed on our Mammoth printers, Transparent Resin is (surprise, surprise) transparent and can be ordered in several colors. In fact, it is the only transparent material that we currently offer at i.materialise.com. It can also be ordered for parts up to a size of 2100x700x800 mm.
Gray Resin: Gray Resin is the great all-rounder. It comes with a great level of detail, is suitable for small- and mid-size models, and features a smooth, gray surface. This gray color makes it perfect for hand- or spray-painting jobs. That’s why this resin is so popular among the scale modeling community.
Standard Resin: Our newest addition to the resin family. Standard Resin comes at a low-budget price while delivering very detailed results. To save some more money, you can even order Standard Resin with support structures, meaning less time spent in post-processing.
Statistics regarding amputees, discussed in the recently published ‘Functional evaluation of a non-assembly 3D-printed hand prosthesis’ are disturbing, as nearly 40 million people are in need of prosthetics today and only five to fifteen percent of them are granted the proper access and affordability necessary for replacement limbs.
While some modicum of healthcare may be accessible for patients in big cities of developing countries, those who live in more isolated areas may find transportation challenging—not to mention expenses all around. For those who attain healthcare, the chances of them returning for follow-up care are slim.
3D printing has been shown to offer positive benefits for healthcare in rural areas, from offering diagnostic devices often in the form of 3D printed smartphone attachments, for testing and treating of parasitic infections, cancer, malaria, and more. As for prosthetics, organizations like e-NABLE have also been behind the design and fabrication of countless prosthetic devices, often for children in need.
Relatively easy to master and affordable to purchase, 3D printers offer undeniable potential for developing countries; however, complex assembly could be an issue—leaving the researchers to design a prosthetic that can be fully printed. One of the most realistic scenarios involves the completion of 3D prints of prosthetics by servicers, allowing delivery to the end-user through local organized networks.
For this study, the researchers designed a prosthesis with the following features:
Each hand prosthetic is made up of four fingers and a thumb, with the fingers connected to the palm and then joined via a whippletree design.
“All fingers in motion are activated by a force transmission scheme which is made out of a main driving link, the whippletree arrangement, and the links that connect the four fingers,” explain the researchers. “The hand is actuated by a Bowden cable attached to the main driving link that is allowed to go on a linear motion following the movement of the cable.”
The leaf spring configuration consists of 3D printed plastic sheets that both bend and pull, driven by activation of the fingers.
“When the fingers are activated, the pulling forces drive the leaf springs to unbend and deform to a straight configuration,” explain the researchers. “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.
“In order to achieve non-assembly fabrication of the concept, a number of design guidelines were used using the advantages of 3D printing for design versatility while circumventing many of its shortcomings.”
Customized samples were printed on an Ultimaker 3, using PLA, testing the leaf spring and movement of the hand in five different experiments. The designs were tested using both the Box and Blocks Test (BBT) and the Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP) test as 20 healthy students were enlisted from the Delft University of Technology to participate in the testing portion of the study, simulating use of the prosthetic.
The hand was fabricated with almost no assembly required—aside from the removal of supports and one ‘snap-fit step.’
“The hand achieves adaptive grasping even though it is made out of only two parts,” explained the researchers. “We argue that such a design and fabrication approach can increase accessibility of hand prostheses since easily accessible low-cost equipment (an Ultimaker 3 3D printer) was used together with low-cost material (PLA).”
There were some challenges, in the end, however, as the material for the leaf spring was deemed ‘not suitable’ for durability and reliability over the long term.
“… the 3D-printed hand evaluated in this study shows comparable performance with just a small friction enhancement on the finger pads. Yet, grasping and functionality can be improved by increasing the pinch force. Moreover, it is worth noting that most ADLs require low grip forces,” 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,” concluded the researchers.
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’]
Zavřel, M. Michalák, and T. Vampola, researchers from Czech Technical University in Prague, delve further into 3D printing with hydrogels—outlining their findings in the recently published ‘3D printer modification for printing of HEMA hydrogel.’ It’s notable that the University which sits in the home city of Prusa Research did not use a Prusa machine but rather a Velleman.
Working with a popular medium today—especially for a wide range of bioprinting as hydrogels are fabricated with complex gradients, used in direct ink writing, experiments with conductivity, and more—the authors are impressed with the versatility of hydrogels, and motivated to modify 3D printing techniques to better match the performance potential of the materials.
The open-source community in regard to 3D printing offers enormous latitude to users, and especially researchers who are now able to make changes as needed—and affordably so, when previously budget issues may have prohibited certain studies or desired modifications during experimentation.
Made up of HEMA (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate), a crosslinker (about 0,5 % of ethylen dimetacrylate – EDMA) and an initiator (activator), hydrogels may also be enhanced with water for required swelling.
“Depending on the composition of the hydrogel, the polymer is then able to absorb from 10 % to 600 % water relative to the dry weight,” explain the authors. “These properties are crucial to successful 3D printing.”
Hydrogels are used in 3D printing most frequently via extrusion, with water added for more complex geometries to add stability for support structures. Hydrogels may also be connected to inkjet printheads as an alternative technique, mainly for fabrication of smaller objects with defined features.
For this study, the researchers worked with—and customized—a Velleman K8200. In extrusion, the research team relied on a thin-needle syringe, filled with hydrogel. Droplets were extruded, and the fabricated form was then cured by UV light.
To accentuate the hardware for better printing with hydrogels, the team modified the extruder, along with refining the firmware. G-code was modified, and conversion software was created, allowing for a new translation of lines, arcs, and more. Overall, the amount of work the researchers had to do was considerable, and as they referred to it, ‘lengthy.’ The MATLAB control software allowed for better previewing and online changes to the G-code.
“A simple object was chosen to test the functionality of the hydrogel printer. Fig. 4 [below] shows the droplet formation at the end of the needle as well as the printed line. This type of printer is suitable for printing larger objects that do not require high printing accuracy. The resolution is dependent on the size of the droplet and thus the inner diameter of the needle. However, this dimension is closely related to the need to accurately meter the amount of extruded hydrogel that limits the use for detail printing,” concluded the researchers at the end of their study.
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: ‘3D printer modification for printing of HEMA hydrogel’]
We’re starting with some business news, and then finishing with 3D printed fashion in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. XYZprinting just opened a new 3D printing facility in Ridderkerk, and Ultimaker has added to its leadership team in order to support its global growth. Popular designer Julia Daviy recently presented her collection of Art Bags, made with sustainable technologies like 3D printing, at New York Fashion Week.
XYZprinting Opens New 3D Printing Facility
Earlier this week, XYZprinting opened a new 3D printing facility at its Ridderkerk headquarters in the Netherlands, which will showcase its advanced ecosystem of desktop and industrial 3D printers. This new in-house facility will support the development of its 3D printers, and the company’s client base across Europe, and will give current and prospective resellers the chance to test some of its available 3D printers, learn about system operations, and several post-processing techniques. The facility will host several workshops for SMEs, and will also house the company’s current 3D printer models, such as its da Vinci range and the binder jetting PartPro350 xBC, as well as future systems.
“From building the next generation of sustainable and functional materials, to facilitating precision across different sectors, 3D printing is entering the mainstream of manufacturing. To make sure that we keep up with that demand, we are proud to open our facility’s doors and to be one of the few 3D printing brands with an on-premise demo facility like this that will help resellers explore our advanced ecosystem of 3D printers,” stated Fernando Hernandez, EMEA MD of XYZprinting. “It’s important for resellers and end users in the industrial sector particularly to see and feel the product they are buying, but the size and requirements of the printers doesn’t always make that feasible, so we’re looking forward to engaging and educating more business in 3D printing over the years to come.”
Ultimaker Expands Leadership Team
In order to further support, and continue driving, its regional commercial success in the APAC, EMEA, and US, Ultimaker has expanded its leadership team by four. Sebastiaan Verhaar, Ultimaker’s new Chief Commercial Officer (COO), has over 16 years of experience working with large companies like Google, setting up and growing business development teams and international sales in multiple sectors, including SaaS, IoT, and telecommunications. He will help to motivate the company’s global sales efforts. To support Ultimaker’s ambitious plans for growth and help strengthen its global organization, Mariska van IJzerloo has been appointed as the Chief People Officer (CPO), responsible for Sustainability, HR, and Leadership Development. She believes that “steep organizational growth” can only occur if the people at the organization are also growing.
Siebe Beintema, the new CIO at Ultimaker, will help define the company’s IT strategy so that it better supports the IT-related teams’ growth and development. He was previously the CIO, and in IT Management, for companies like Thomas Cook and Lefebvre Sarrut Group/Sdu, and will be responsible for Ultimaker’s web development, software and services delivery platform, IT management, and web development. Beintema will be working closely with Paul Heijmans, who has been appointed the company’s VP Application Software R&D. He has over 20 years of experience in software engineering, including such skills as building software products and developing custom software, and will work to develop Cura and shape and execute Ultimaker’s software strategy.
Julia Daviy’s 3D Printed Handbag Collection at NYFW
Ecologist, clean technology industry manager, and clothing designer Julia Daviy has been creating innovative, sustainable garments, using 3D printing, over the last three years. At the September 2018 New York Fashion Week (NYFW), Daviy released the first wearable fashion collection in the US that only uses large-format 3D printing, and at this month’s Flying Solo Show at NYFW 2020, she stunned us all again with her new Morphogensis collection of 3D printed luxury bags. Linking couture fashion with theoretical biology – the morphogenesis process basically develops an organism’s shape – the sustainable bags can be considered functional objets d’art, and were all produced using 3D printing processes, including SLS, SLA, or Multi Jet Fusion. A simple line unifies the collection, and Daviy created different variations on that motif for all the bags, which feature a more than 92% carbon footprint reduction when compared with traditional leather bags.
“For some time, I have been looking to achieve zero- or even positive impact towards natural ecosystems through the transformation of standard manufacturing processes. Working in this direction, I discovered immense potential in the intersection of additive manufacturing technologies, computational design and an environment-centered approach,” said Daviy, who was inspired by Alan Turing’s 1952 research into the chemical process of morphogenesis. “The Morphogenesis collection is about far more than mimicking the natural patterns. It is rather about the solutions we use today to radically sustain the products in the fashion industry.”
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: February 19, 2020 appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.
GKN Aerospace is just one aspect of the powerhouse of manufacturing activity emanating from GKN—a company rich in history—with origins founded as far back as the 1700s. Overall, GKN presents a huge emphasis on 3D printing and additive manufacturing processes that only continues to grow within all of their main divisions featuring aerospace, automotive, powder metallurgy, and wheels and structures. With main headquarters in the UK, GKN Aerospace continues the overall forward momentum as CTO Russ Dunn opens the latest Additive Industries Process and Application Centre close to Bristol.
So far, other Additive Industries centres have been opened in Eindhoven, Los Angeles, and Singapore. Each facility offers its ‘own specialism’ related to AM processes. The UK & Ireland Process and Application Centre is situated at Filton Aerospace Park, famously known as the site of the Concorde’s development and production in the 60s and 70s. Other important aerospace activities are currently taking place there, as well as engineering and manufacturing, with industry leaders like Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and GKN working nearby.
The site, now completely renovated and ‘in line with all the highest standards,’ has been used for numerous aerospace projects in the past, as well as lightning strike tests. The Additive Industries facility at this site will allow for a focus on both the production of new materials as well as continued process development.
On March 12th, Russ Dunn, CTO of GKN Aerospace, Dr Mark Beard, Additive Industries’ Global Director Process & Application Development and General Manager of the Centre, and Daan Kersten, CEO of Additive Industries, will oversee the official opening ceremony of the facility.
The opening ceremony and event will run from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. There will be a full schedule, featuring presentations and announcements. During the afternoon, those attending can expect the following:
Both GKN and Additive Industries continue to be a powerful—and advancing—presence within the AM field, around the world. GKN has collaborated with other companies like GE Additive and Porsche, and recently they purchased Forecast3D. Additive Industries has also been in the 3D printing news headlines as they partnered with APWorks, Volkswagen, the Switzerland-based Sauber F1 Team, and more.
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: Additive Industries]
On Monday, Feb. 10, Stratasys extended its J8 series with a new 3D printer, the J826, making full-color, multi-material 3D printing more accessible for more product design applications. On Tuesday, at a media luncheon with dozens of journalists from around the world, Otter Products Principal Engineer Richard Vinson said these benefits are literally visible to his team and customers.
Otter Products, LLC, provides premium accessories for mobile technology and outdoor adventures through its OtterBox, LifeProof, and Liviri brands. In fact, OtterBox is the No. 1-selling smartphone case in the United States, offering a wide variety of protective options for devices as well as outdoor products. LifeProof is the No. 1-selling waterproof case in the U.S. with protection from the elements on any adventure. (Source: NPD Group)
It’s through a commitment to innovation that the company has grown to that leadership position, and that means a steady stream of new product development projects. Particularly with mobile phone cases, there’s not much time to bring them to market, yet compromising design isn’t an option.
“With PolyJet 3D printing, we can generate color parts, including graphics, within the manufacturing tolerances of our color specifications,” Vinson says. “This ability can and has facilitated better and more through communication with key decision-makers internally and externally, ensuring expectations can be met.”
Vinson says Otter will actually 3D print 100 copies of prototypes for use in consumer insights studies, in which consumers can physically hold and experience a product early in the design phase. Getting feedback like this early, while adjustments and changes are still easy to make, is crucial and lets the company explore multiple iteration paths.
“With PolyJet, part tolerance is virtually the same as molded production parts,” Vinson says. “This allows Otter to make changes in CAD, rather than in steel tooling. It’s currently the only technology to meet Otter’s requirements for resolution and tolerances in multiple materials, let alone in multi-color prints.”Photo: Otter Products
3D printing has been a journey for Otter Products, never mind for Vinson, who 3D printed his first part 25 years ago. Otter started with SLA technology as early as 2007 before turning to PolyJet technology starting in late 2012.
The company made an exciting step forward about four years ago with the addition of a Stratasys J750 full-color, multi-material 3D printer supported by GrabCAD Print software. PANTONE color validation is important to ensure they can match their colors for realistic graphic prints. “This improved trust with our customers,” Vinson says. “They know we will deliver on what they see.”
Last year, Otter Products 3D-printed 2,000 parts on the J750 alone. That’s several parts every single day!
The post Otter Products Turns to Stratasys to Bring Design Intent to Life appeared first on Stratasys Blog.
Boston-based startup Markforged is growing rapidly, pulling in a whopping $82 million investment in March 2019. Now, the 3D printer manufacturer is getting some additional funds, though this time the amount won’t be disclosed because it comes from the highly secretive In-Q-Tel, Inc., the venture capital arm of the CIA.
Markforged announced that is has signed a strategic investment agreement with In-Q-Tel. The investment company, launched by the CIA in 1999, is involved with (sometimes controversial) projects across the government intelligence and security community. As we discussed in our series on In-Q-Tel, the company does not usually make public how much it invests in startups nor the specific role that it plays with those firms in which it invests.
However, our research suggested that average funds range between $500,000 to $3 million in exchange for equity in the company and an advisory role on the startup’s board. This allows In-Q-Tel to potentially guide product development and learn of any news before the public does.
While Markforged has seen its technology deployed across a variety of industrial sectors, its low-cost metal 3D printing and fiber reinforcement systems have had strong success in the military and weapons sectors. According to the company, the U.S. military has hundreds of Markforged machines in operation, including the “first forward-deployed metal system to support combat operations and now has expanded its support operations to three continents.”
Given the sheer size of the U.S. military, it has funds to explore a wide range of 3D printing applications. Specifically, the III Marine Expeditionary Force is using the Metal X 3D printer as part of its repair services for U.S. occupation in the Asia-Pacific region. Having already worked with the U.S. military, then, it seems natural that Markforged would accept an investment from In-Q-Tel.
In-Q-Tel’s interest in Markforged also seems natural, as the investment vehicle has already provided funds for other startups in the space, including Voxel8, Fuel3D and Arevo. In particular, Arevo develops continuous carbon fiber 3D printing technology, though of a different variety than Markforged’s. Whereas Markforged has so far only released desktop-sized systems capable of continuous fiber reinforcement 3D printing, Arevo is focused on machines capable of printing entire bicycle frames. Moreover, Arevo uses a laser-mounted robotic arm to deposit pre-impregnated fiber reinforcement, while the Markforged process is more akin to traditional desktop FDM/FFF 3D printing.
The news comes on the heels of other exciting stories from Markforged, that include the recent release of pure copper for Metal X and the use of Metal X for 3D printing custom cutting tools for Guhring UK. At the beginning of February, Markforged became the first and, so far, only AM company to receive the ISO/IEC 27001 security certification, international standards signifying the ability of the company to ensure privacy, confidentiality, integrity, and availability across its product line. This includes its Eiger cloud printing platform, hardware, fleet management software, and information governance policies. Surely the startup was pursuing the certification ahead of its investment by In-Q-Tel, but it likely doesn’t hurt any interest the U.S. intelligence community might have had in Markforged.
The post CIA’s In-Q-Tel Invests in Markforged appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.
Despite the fact that its most recent CEO, Vyomesh Joshi, has headed for retirement, 3D Systems is continuing in his vision for vertically integrated industrial 3D printing. The company has announced a new solution for batch production of 3D printed orthodontic models.
Ahead of LMT Lab Day 2020, the company announced a software workflow for 3D printing up to 30 orthodontic models in a single print using its NexDent 5100 3D printer, NextDent Model 2.0 Software, and 3D Sprint software. Altogether, 3D Systems suggests that dental labs and clinics could potentially produce 120 models in just eight hours, depending on the size and geometry of the models.
The heart of the workflow is a new auto-stacking feature within 3D Systems’ 3D Sprint software, which makes it possible to automatically prepare and place dental models on the build plate with a single click. The tool includes smart nesting and proprietary support structures that are meant to result in less material use and easy-to-remove supports, while ensuring high precision. The auto-stacking feature is set to be available to NextDent 5200 users in the second quarter of this year.
Also to be presented at the Lab Day event is 3D Systems’ NextDent Denture 3D+ biocompatible denture material, which recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance. The company claims that 3D printing a denture using this material as the base and NextDent C&B MFH for the teeth using the NextDent 5100 3D printer reduces denture fabrication expenses by 90 percent and production time by 75 percent compared to traditional methods.
None of these products would be possible without 3D Systems’ 2016 purchase of NextDent parent company Vertex Global-Holding B.V. Nor would it be possible without the commercialization of 3D Systems’ Figure 4 technology. The NextDent 5100 3D printer relies on the continuous digital light processing technology behind Figure 4, packaged for the dental industry.
All of this is part of Joshi’s plan to establish strong foundations for the company in various verticals, ensuring streamlined and effective divisions for each. The first was medical and dental, which involved building off of the existing success of 3D Systems’ Healthcare, at which point the company would extrapolate the model deployed there over to aerospace and other divisions. The modular Figure 4 system has the potential to be used across all verticals, with individual Figure 4 systems like the NextDent applicable to small operations and a complete factory solution ideal for larger production scenarios. Now that Joshi is leaving the company, we will see if his successor can take the reins and follow through on that vision.
Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.
by Arno Gramsma, AMPC Solutions b.v.
Industrialising Additive Manufacturing, what about the value chain? where is the value and where does it need more value?
What drives you?
Challenge is my main driver, it is a combination of people, technology and business.
Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
Get insight in the AM value chain and, come up with new ideas.
What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Integrating all the technologies in the market into safe and sustainable production solutions.
What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
I expect new Business models will be created to jointly benefit from Additive Manufacturing.
What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Lack of joint efforts.
They said it can’t be done, but we will do it anyway!
About Arno Gramsma
A result- and people oriented professional with a passion for winning, strategic/conceptual thinking, strong communication and problem solving and an overall orientation to action with a strong drive to improve business, networker, pragmatic, stimulates people’s personal growth.
About AMPC Solutions b.v.
Industrial solutions for Additive Manufacturing Printfarms.
AMPC Solutions is accelerating industrial Additive Manufacturing of functional polymer and metal parts by offering modular, end-to-end Production Cluster.
AMPC provides a safe quality environment with an integrated software platform.
The post Printerfarms and the impact on the 3D Printing Value Chain appeared first on 3D Printing Event.
Chinese researchers are expanding on new materials and technology for improving surface quality in metal 3D printing, outlining their findings in ‘Laser Polishing of Ti6Al4V Fabricated by Selective Laser Melting.’ SLM technology allows for fabrication of complex parts and is becoming increasingly more popular due to the latitude allowed for designers and researchers, as well as greater efficiency in production.
In this study, the researchers focus on the positive benefits for bioprinting, and the versatility offered for fabrication of implants related to bone fusion. Inferior surface finish is one of the greatest challenges, however, resulting in the following issues:
“Various conventional post-processing treatments, such as sandblasting, chemical polishing, electrolytic polishing, machining, ultrasonic polishing, and oxidation have been used on metallic AM (Additive Manufacturing) components to reduce their surface roughness. However, several drawbacks, such as being time-consuming, it is difficult to obtain machine precision components, chemical risks, and low efficiency, limit the clinical application and development of these treatments,” explain the authors.
Laser polishing can solve some of these problems, working with smaller, complex parts that require accuracy, and offers the capability of high-speed polishing at lower cost. Laser polishing also refines mechanical properties, offering improvement which is of ongoing interest to users around the world whether in experimenting with composites, color, 4D materials, or more.
“A comprehensive analysis of the roughness, porosity, fatigue behavior, and biocompatibility, along with the relationships between them, of components after LP should be conducted prior to applying LP technology to implantable medical devices,” explained the researchers regarding the motivation for their study, as they worked to improve on surface roughness and resulting finish.
“The findings of this study can play a guiding role in other processes that involve biomedical materials,” said the researchers.
All samples, created with Ti6Al4V alloy, were polished in a rectangular cavity with argon, used to decrease the possibility of oxidation on parts.
During analysis, samples displayed metallic ‘globules,’ which the researchers noted were ‘only loosely bonded during additive manufacturing processes. Small particles and microcracks persisted, however, displayed on the LP-1 sample, while the LP-2 sample was polished with no defects. For sample LP-3 there was concern over reconstructed islands and cracks.
While laser treatments caused changes that affected wettability, the authors note that some previous research has shown a positive connection related to surface topography. In evaluating pore distribution, samples were analyzed as the researchers sliced then from a variety of lengths from the surface. All samples displayed mechanical properties that were similar, in terms of tensile and yield strength and elongation. With the exception of the high-cycle fatigue test, fatigue behavior was almost the same in all samples.
“The cell experiment showed that the LP-2 parameters improved cell adhesion and exhibited cell proliferation. The results indicate that LP improved the cell biocompatibility, while hydrophilicity positively affected early cell adhesion,” concluded the researchers.
In the recently published ‘Radiological Characteristics of Materials Used in 3-Dimensional Printing with Various Infill Densities,’ researchers from the Veterans Health Service Medical Center in Seoul, Korea are assessing new materials for 3D printing.
With a focus on how infill densities affect 3D printing techniques, the research team considered a wide variety of materials, evaluated by examining their Hounsfield units—a measurement commonly used in the radiology field to measure radio density.
In this study, the researchers are even more specifically concerned with radiation oncology and the fabrication of improved compensators—tools that help target the exact areas where radiation is to be delivered to tumors. The key is to kill the tumor while preventing as much of the surrounding organs as possible from being exposed to radiation.
The technology of 3D printing offers great results in the medical field today by way of 3D printed medical models, devices like implants, prosthetics, and more, and a variety of guides. Here, metal compensators are fabricated after being completely customized to the patient’s shape, refining the uniformity of dosage—and offering an improvement over conventional methods.
3D printed models may also be used to target the radiation at the skin’s surface. The researchers point out that many efforts have been made so far to create better quality assurance in radiation therapy too by making phantoms, derived from CD data converted into 3D printing files.
While 3D printers play an obvious and enormous role in digital fabrication, the science of materials is one of great study today and of critical importance in making medical models and devices.
Six different materials were assessed regarding the effects of infill density with a Zortrax M300 Plus:
With Z-suite software designed for the Zortrax printer, the researchers could print with various infill densities, allowing them to make a variety of samples: 4×4×2 cm rectangles made from HIPS and PLA
For the study experiments, samples were created as follows:
“… six printing materials, each at an infill density of 60%. ABS, ULTRAT, HIPS, PETG, PLA, and FLEX had HU values of −535±12, −557±10, −542±7, −508±20, −530±25, and −633±15, respectively. The HU values were similar regardless of the specific density of the materials.”
Values of HIPS and PLA were evaluated, with the scientists considering also how long it took to 3D print each material at a specific infill density, as follows:
“Considering that the volume of each prepared cube was 32 m3, a printing time of 12 hours and 45 minutes could be considered quite wasteful. Using 100% infill density should therefore be carefully considered while manufacturing patient-specific human phantoms,” concluded the researchers.
“The results suggest that using optimized infill densities will help improve the quality of radiation therapy by producing customized instruments for each field of radiation therapy.”
A handheld 3D skin printer developed by the University of Toronto (UoT) and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre engineering researchers recently demonstrated accelerated healing of large, severe burns. According to the research recently published in the IOPscience Biofabrication journal, titled “Handheld instrument for wound-conformal delivery of skin precursor sheets improves healing in full-thickness burns,” the scientists suggest that the cell-containing biomaterial sheets are placed on the wound like a ‘paint roller’, covering an area with a uniform sheet of skin, stripe by stripe, as well as their successful in-vivo trials on full-thickness wounds.
The creators claim that some of the best parts of the surgical instrument include a design that allows for easy portability, the flexibility of replacing sterile microfluidic cartridges, and the capacity to pattern soft materials with high fidelity on physiologically relevant surfaces in a clinical setting.
The UoT’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering reported that the compact instrument uses a roller to dispense bioink that is composed of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) — stem cells that differentiate into specialized cell types depending on their environment– which promotes skin regeneration and reduces scarring.
The project is led by Richard Cheng, a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) of the UoT, and is under the supervision of Axel Guenther, an associate professor at the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering of the UoT, and in close collaboration with Marc Jeschke, director of the Ross Tilley Burn Centre, and his team at Sunnybrook Hospital.
The first prototype of the skin printer was unveiled in 2018, and its creators believed it was the first device of its kind to form tissue in situ, depositing and setting in place in two minutes or less.
As stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), burns are a global public health problem accounting for an estimated 180,000 deaths every year. In India alone, over 1,000,000 people are moderately or severely burnt every year; while in countries like Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, and Pakistan, almost 20 percent of children with burns have a temporary disability. Moreover, UoT reported that for patients with deep skin wounds, all three skin layers — the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis — may be heavily damaged and the current preferred treatment is called split-thickness skin grafting, where healthy donor skin is grafted into the surface epidermis and part of the underlying dermis. However, they claim that split-thickness grafting on large wounds requires enough healthy donor skin to traverse all three layers, and sufficient graft skin is rarely available, leaving a portion of the wounded area ungrafted or uncovered, which results in poor healing outcomes.
Back in May 2018, Guenther indicated that “most current 3D bioprinters are bulky, work at low speeds, are expensive and are incompatible with clinical application.” The research team believed that their in-situ skin printer would be a platform technology to overcome the barriers for better patient solutions in burn injury while improving the skin-healing process.
“Previously, we proved that we could deposit cells onto a burn, but there wasn’t any proof that there were any wound-healing benefits — now we’ve demonstrated that,” indicated Guenther in a UoT statement.
Since 2018, the printer has gone through 10 redesigns as the team moves towards a model they envision surgeons using in an operating room. The current prototype includes a single-use microfluidic printhead to ensure sterilization and a soft wheel that follows the track of the printhead, allowing for better control for wider wounds.
But how does it work? According to UoT, “two motors individually control the flow rate of the bioink and crosslinker filled syringes. The bioink then travels through the microfluidic cartridge and initiates gelation at the device exit after contact with the crosslinker. Rotational flexibility of the printhead allows homogenous printing on non-flat human surfaces, and a deformable wheel dissipates the pressure on the fragile wound bed while maximizing traction.”
The team chose enzymatically and thermally gelled fibrin and collagen biomaterials for their relevance in burn wound healing. Additionally, components in direct contact with either cells, biomaterials, or the wound, like the wheel, printer cartridges, and syringes, can be disposed of after a single use.
In porcine pre-clinical models of full-thickness burn, the team of researchers delivered “mesenchymal stem/stromal cell-containing fibrin sheets directly to the wound bed, improving re-epithelialization, dermal cell repopulation, and neovascularization, indicating that this device could be introduced in a clinical setting improving dermal and epidermal regeneration,” UoT states.
Victims of severe burn injury suffer from intense pain and require special treatment at specialized burn centers, usually involving medications, wound dressings, therapy, and surgery, to control pain, remove dead tissue, prevent infection, reduce scarring risk and regain function. The researchers at UoT’s one-step in situ formation of cell-containing biomaterial sheets using a handheld instrument that accommodates the topography of the wound is a breakthrough development that could help burn victim-survivors decrease a lot of the pain and suffering associated with post-burn treatment which leaves serious scarring, both physically and psychologically.
by Cesar Stupp, Brightlands Materials Center
Additive manufacturing (AM) techniques have been extensively explored in the last decades due to their potential to transform existent production technologies. Fused filament fabrication (FFF) is a very versatile AM technique, although it is widely used for prototyping due to their limited mechanical properties, especially in between layers. To approach this matter, a novel technique was developed in which the strength in between layers was increased in 184%. Also included in the topic are embedded continuous carbon fibers with unique functionalities, used to monitor the structural health of 3D printed parts in real time, decreasing the need for periodical inspections.
What drives you?
The belief that we can develop extremely powerful technologies in a sustainable manner.
Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
Additive manufacturing is one of the most sustainable forms of production. With 3D printing, we explore manufacturing one step ahead, adding unique functionalities to this very promising and environmentally friendly way of developing new ideas.
What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
All technologies that are in line with current needs. The most special one is the need for a healthy environment and therefore, circular technologies and the ones that are able to reduce, reuse and recycle are always going to be on top, especially on the long run.
What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
A considerable decrease not only in the amount of waste produced, but also in the overall amount of waste.
What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
The urge of the majority: power and profit.
Additive manufacturing not only can reduce dramatically the amount of produced material, energy and waste, it is also a very powerful tool in which beyond all advantages, sustainability is key.
About Cesar Stupp
Mr. César Stüpp has a Materials Science and Engineering background. Soon after bachelor, he started a Master degree, working on the development of a novel biodegradable hydroxyapatite reinforced magnesium composite. Later on, he started a Professional Doctorate in Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. During this period, the final assignment resulted in enhancing significantly the overall properties of fused filament fabrication (FFF) printed parts, reducing its anisotropy. To continue working on the development of FFF and help bringing this technology to all applicable areas, he works now as a scientist in the additive manufacturing group in Brightlands Materials Center.
Materials play an important role in our societies. Careful use of valuable raw materials sources and a circular economy are of great importance for a sustainable future. Brightlands Materials Center offers a meeting place to accelerate these transitions. It works together with a global network of leading companies along the value chain and with renowned universities and institutes to make this happen. In shared research programs focusing on clear market needs , scientists, technicians and students work together to develop innovative materials solutions for a sustainable future.
by Jules Harings, Maastricht University, Aachen Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials
Additive manufacturing is a technology that develops rapidly as a niche within the field of discrete manufacturing. Unique products of high added value rely on customisation and nearly endless design flexibility and are progressively introduced in automotive, aerospace, art and medical industiesy. Nevertheless, despite successes with metals and living materials, a mismatch in product quality and expectations has been the Achilles’ heel in the mass adoption of thermoplastics in 3D printing, especially in fused deposition modelling (FDM).
In comparison to other, successful construction materials such as metals, the long nature of polymer molecules and the consequential entanglements are on one hand the origin of the praised mechanical properties that are accessible via melt shaping under relatively mild conditions, but tremendously reduce the time-scales of filament fusion, molecular mixing and crystallization on the other hand. Inadequate alignment of these chemically controlled time-scales with printing parameters are the cause of internal stresses, inferior (durable) mechanical properties in especially the build direction, and short- and long-term distortion in geometry (warping).
By means of controlled chemistry and advanced analytical techniques we will (i) highlight the relevant time-scales from molecular, structural as well as processing perspective, and (ii) its technical implications on enhancing ultimate thermoplastic performance.
About Jules Harings
Jules Harings is associate professor Macromolecular Physics & Technology at Maastricht University. He received his PhD in Polymer Technology from Eindhoven Technical University under supervision of Prof. S. Rastogi and Prof. P.J. Lemstra (2009). Currently he chairs the board of examiners Masters Systems Biology and BioBased Materials and coordinates several BioBased Master courses. His focus as principle investigator in the Aachen Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials is studying, understanding and technically exploiting the behavior of macromolecules in (i) additive manufacturing and fiber spinning in e.g. regenerative medicine, and (ii) water actuated structural refinement, functionalization and biodegradability for timed polyamide performance.
About Maastricht University
Maastricht University (UM) is the most international university in the Netherlands and, with 18,000 students and 4,400 employees, is still growing. The university stands out for its innovative education model, international character and multidisciplinary approach to research and education.
Thanks to its high-quality research and study programmes as well as a strong focus on social engagement, UM has quickly built up a solid reputation. Today it is considered one of the best young universities in the world.
Do you need to 3D print several small parts at once? Grid containers are a useful way to keep costs low and make sure nothing gets lost in the powder. We’ve now added Polypropylene to our easy-to-use, automatic grid container generator on our online 3D printing platform. Find out how it works!
Polypropylene is a translucent, off-white material with properties comparable to injection-molded PP. As a tough, fatigue-resistant, and durable material, it is suited for semi-rigid, functional prototypes in a large range of applications with snap-fit assemblies or living hinges.
A grid container is a box which is designed around multiple shells or parts. Used only with Laser Sintering and Multi Jet Fusion technologies, it allows you to print several models in one go, while keeping costs low and making sure that all your parts stay together in the powder bed of the 3D printer.
We have just added Polypropylene as an option for our automated grid container generator! All you need to do now is upload your models, and let our software create a grid container around them. Of course, you can still upload your own grid container, but you might as well let us do the work for you!
Grid containers also keep costs low. For every separate model you upload to our platform, there is always a fixed part handling cost. This is because we need to check the printability of each design, and finally clean, finish, and perform a quality check on the part after it has been 3D printed.
When you group several models in a grid box container, you’ll only be charged once for the entire container instead of for every separate model. The grid container will be shipped to you unopened so this means that we won’t be able to perform quality checks.
4. Let our improved wizard guide you through the rest of the process
5. Upload your filled grid container on our 3D platform and send it off for 3D printing!
It’s now February 11th, and it still seems that the year just started. My draft goals for the year that I wrote up in my notebook are apparently permanent, and things seem to be in full-swing. Here’s a couple highlights since my last digest post:
While I didn’t write this one, I was contacted by Hackspace about having my ClearCrawler appear as a feature. Naturally I was thrilled. The magazine is available for purchase now, and the online version is available for free. As of this writing, there’s even a direct link to the feature there!
One of the cooler things I got to write about recently was this “Harmonicade” MIDI instrument. The device runs on a Teesy 3.6 board, and costs around $650 to build, mostly owing to the 214 arcade buttons used!
Last month I completed a 2-part series on how having a 3D-printere opens up all kinds of possibilities for making your own tools, storage solutions etc.
Seen in the little excerpt to the right is my Dyson vacuum holder, seen previously on YouTube, but there are a bunch of other items in the article that make my life just a little bit easier!
I’m currently giving away a Google Coral Edge TPU board on Twitter, which has been quite popular. Who knew that people liked free stuff? I’ll choose a winner some time toward the end of the week, so be sure to enter if you haven’t!
As always, I’ve got about 10 irons in the fire. A few things are in the works for Arrow.com that should be interesting, including a getting started article on the ESP32-CAM device. I also recently ordered and put together my first PCB. I’m planning a video on that, as well as an article on Embedded Computing Design, though I’m not sure which one will come first.
I’m also supposed to be at the USF Engineering Expo in Tampa later this month for a few hours. I’m sure I’ll get to meet some interesting people there!
It was a pleasure to have Andy Storm, president and CEO of Eckhart, sharing his company’s extraordinarily extensive work applying 3D printing to tooling applications at the ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Fla., this past week. The theme of the conference was driving digital transformation in industry, and additive manufacturing is certainly having a very tangible impact on how Eckhart engineers industrial solutions that improve the effectiveness of production lines while enhancing operator safety.
One of Storm’s key messages is that additive manufacturing is a significant journey. “You don’t buy a 3D printer, wake up the next day, and begin designing and printing additive solutions,” he says. So looking for some simple wins can help the organization gain confidence and experience as it begins to “think additively.”
Everything Eckhart does with 3D printing revolves around aiding in one or more of three benefits: quality, productivity, and safety/ergonomics for operators. In fact, those pillars are arguably at the core of any factory around the world.
Here’s a look at three tooling solutions Eckhart developed using Stratasys FDM 3D printing technology, with comments from Andy Storm:Nylon 12 carbon fiber printed on a Fortus 450mc system, 0.5 lbs (.23kg)
“This particular tool we developed with Stratasys technology to eliminate rework while installing a brake pedal under the dashboard of an automobile. The 3D printed tool provides a consistent and fixed position for the assembler to positively locate the pedal in the correct position every time. The tool also holds the pedal in the correct orientation so the assembler can secure it without having to hold the pedal at the same time the fastener is being tightened. Imagine trying to position the clutch and brake and getting them to mount correctly for safe operation. With an additive based assembly aid like this, it snaps into place. The tool allows the operator to repeatedly slide the pedal into position every time with very little effort.”
“When tasked with doing first article tests on newly commissioned production lines, it is often challenging to get big OEM customers to share surrogate parts. In the absence of waiting weeks for parts, with additive manufacturing, you can get the 3D math model from the OEM customer, 3D print the part and run off the system, instead of having to wait.”
“Here’s a wiper install tool. If you’re the assembler, it’s an ergonomic nightmare to install a wiper blade onto the new vehicle entering your station every 45 seconds. To help one of our OEM customers, we partnered with Stratasys to develop a 3D printed jig that locates off the motor body of the wiper and allows the operator to suction the tool to the vehicle’s windshield. This establishes a firm, fixed location for the assembler to consistently install the wiper blade onto the wiper motor, eliminating rework and quality issues downstream.”
The post 3D-Printed Jigs and Fixtures Help Eckhart Boost Productivity, Safety and Quality appeared first on Stratasys Blog.
When soldering something, it’s much easier if you have a “helping hand” to keep things in place. Unfortunately, these helpers tend to be too light and slide around, so I made one out of concrete with a 3D-printed mold. Print files are available on GitHub, and you can see the build process in the video below:
Last night in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Tim Borden and three others broke the world’s record for the largest ever firework. A Guinness World Records official attended the event and said the 157-cm (62-inch) diameter shell was indeed the largest. The shell of nearly 1,270 kg (2,800 lbs) launched out of the mountain at 483 kph (300 mph). Mortar weighing seven tons and buried nearly 8 meters (26 feet) in the ground at Howelsen Hill near downtown Steamboat served as the propellent that hurled the shell out of the ground.
Seeing it live was spectacular! It lit the sky in a bright orange that I had never seen before. The event was part of Steamboat Springs 107th Winter Carnival. The firework came after a failed attempt in 2019 when it exploded prematurely in the ground. It resulted in a fountain of fireworks at the surface of the mountain that was seen for miles.
Attending the carnival was my first. The record-setting firework was the grand finale, but everything leading up to it was also impressive. People from age 5 to adults, lit up in colorful lights, performed skiing maneuvers and stunts on the mountain. It was really extraordinary to see.