Good news for 3D printing community. After announcing a steep titanium price drop in 2016, and an aluminum price drop earlier this month, we’ve got the next surprise in store: our alumide prices just dropped by 15%!
In order to give every designer, artist, tinkerer and creative mind access to our cutting-edge 3D printing technologies and materials, we are happy to announce that alumide prices just dropped… significantly.
Over the last months, we have been working hard on optimizing our printing facility and have acquired some of the most advanced 3D printers in the world – which allow us to print at much lower prices as of today! Of course, you will benefit from these savings as well.
The exact percentage of the price drop depends on the volume of your 3D model. Looking at our order history we can say that– on average – our customers will save 15% on their alumide prints from now on. To find out your new price, upload your model(s) now and start saving big time!
Alumide models are constructed from a blend of gray aluminum powder and white polyamide (nylon) powder on laser sintering 3D printers. Alumide is a strong, somewhat rigid material that can take small impacts and resist some pressure while being bent. The surface has a sandy, granular look and is slightly porous.
The color of the material is matte gray with sparkling aluminum particles. To add some color to your design, your design can be dyed in 5 different colors.
According to Yale School of Medicine, a physician assistant or associate (PA) is a state-licensed or federally-credentialed healthcare professional that practices medicine with physician supervision. Yale goes on to say that in clinical practice, PAs perform an extensive range of services in nearly every medical and surgical specialty and healthcare setting.
The profession has grown dramatically in the U.S. In fact, CNNMoney ranked it as the number one fastest-growing field, with a 49.7% job growth over a period of 10 years. Yet PAs are not well known outside the U.S. When speaking to friends and business associates in other countries, I find that most are not familiar with the profession. Even with such impressive growth, it is almost non-existent beyond U.S. and Canadian borders.
On Friday, our daughter, Heather, graduated from South University (Tampa, Florida) as a PA after a very intense program. We are very proud that she made it into the program and graduated. Only 24 out of 1,000+ applicants were accepted into the program. As part of the graduation ceremony, each of the graduates received a long white coat, a tradition that signifies completion of a PA program. While working as a student, they wore waist-length white coats, so receiving the longer version is very special.
All 24 students successfully completed the program and graduated on Friday, but all of them have one more very important step: to take the national exam. Those who pass it become a certified PA and can practice medicine. Those who do not can try again in three months.
While working at a medical clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital, a PA typically becomes increasingly autonomous. They see patients, prescribe medicine, and perform medical procedures such as suturing open wounds and surgically removing tissue. PAs do a large percentage of what a doctor does, but without the legal liability and sometimes odd and challenging hours. For many PAs, it can be more of an “8-5” job, although many work in urgent care, ER, or surgery where hours can be long and irregular.
We are incredibly proud of Heather, not only for completing the PA program, but also for going into a profession that truly helps others. Graduation ceremony keynote speaker Elliott Cazes, MD, said the most important instrument a medical professional can use is not a stethoscope or ophthalmoscope, but rather his or her ears. It is vitally important to carefully listen to a patient to fully understand their situation. Given what I’ve learned about the PA profession and Heather’s outlook on practicing medicine, she and her 23 fellow PAs will follow his advice and contribute a great deal to the field of medicine and the U.S. healthcare system.
The surface of Materialise engineer Giovanni Vleminckx’s desk is covered in stone-grey 3D prints. Gears, hinges, interlocking links. Meet the first test prints of the widely anticipated HP Jet Fusion 3D printer! Announced last autumn, the news of the HP Multi Jet Fusion technology quickly spread waves of excitement throughout the 3D printing world — and Materialise, the mother company of online 3D printing service i.materialise, is privileged with early access to the new technology. Giovanni, as a researcher and engineer in our production unit, got the opportunity to run frequent tests on the machine. Here’s what he thinks and what the first test prints look like.
“When I saw the machine first at formnext, in November 2016, I was quite impressed already because of its compactness and neatness. I’m used to large-scale industrial printers that don’t really prioritize a tidy look, so it was a nice surprise,” says Giovanni. “Now that I’ve had the chance to work together with HP on testing, I’m excited to have early access to the technology and help identify areas of future development. The machine scores high on usability and reliability. It’s only been a few weeks of testing but I feel confident leaving the machine to its own devices. It doesn’t need constant monitoring once the build is in progress.”
HP Multi Jet Fusion, as a 3D printing technology, is powder-based and does not use lasers. The powder bed, housed in a large chamber, is heated uniformly at the outset. A fusing agent is jetted where particles need to be selectively molten, and a detailing agent is jetted around the contours to improve part resolution. While lamps pass over the surface of the powder bed, the jetted material captures the heat and helps distribute it evenly. Since the powder bed is already heated and melting is not based on laser movement, each printing layer takes the same time, leading to foreseeable build times.
At present, the material used by the machine is PA 12, a polyamide. “The material has a very fine powder grain, enabling the production of very thin layers of 80 microns,” explains Giovanni. “That means the same material leads to high-density parts with lower porosity than it would with thicker layers. The fine grain of the powder would be especially suitable for detailed features and high-complexity parts. The surface finish is quite fine even without post-production finishing, and I can imagine that functional parts in the future may not need additional smoothing. Straight out of the machine, parts are a stone-grey color that takes well to color dyeing.”
In the early weeks of the testing process, HP has been working closely with two teams here: Materialise Software and Materialise Manufacturing. At the outset, Materialise Software worked with HP to develop a Build Processor that connects HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology to the Materialise suite of software for 3D Printing.
“The HP Build Processor seamlessly integrates 3D printing software with the printer, allowing the user to assign a machine-specific build style to the platform, as well as slice and export data to the machine,” explains Giovanni. “Being involved in a software capacity at this early stage has afforded us a great opportunity to give Materialise software users a head-start on this technology.”
HP and Materialise engineers then came up with a pool of testing parts, each with a specific ‘control factor’: a single-build hinge to test dimensional accuracy (if the accuracy is too low, the moving parts of the hinge would fuse together); a textured sample to check surface quality; a few identical parts oriented differently at various areas on the build platform to test build uniformity.
For Giovanni, the regular feedback rounds with HP to present findings have been a fruitful exercise in defining priorities on both sides and identifying the most critical areas for future development. “We’ve worked together on expanding the optimal build area of the build platform, on improving the dimensional accuracy. In parallel, there’s a similar process of research and validation on the Software side with our Build Processor team. I’m very happy with how our findings are handled; HP has a large and eager support team that values our feedback.”
Recently, the Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation (VACI) launched the first nationwide medical 3D printing network through a collaboration with Stratasys, one of the largest manufacturers of 3D printers globally. As part of this effort, five Stratasys 3D printers were installed in VA hospitals across the country- Seattle, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Boston and Orlando – building upon the incredible work of existing 3D printers across the VA. Dr. John Hoy (Associate Chief of Staff, Radiology at the Orlando VA) has been working with his dedicated team to envision best-practices for connecting hospitals across the country so physical resources (such as printers) and VA employee expertise are available to all Veterans. This will allow Veterans to access customized 3D printed anatomical models, assistive technology devices, orthotics, and other tools- empowering them to do things they love.
Already, the power of these new 3D printers and connectivity of the network are being demonstrated in two distinct examples of multi-site collaboration:Hand model 3D printed on Stratasys technology to aid teaching, diagnosis and procedural planning.
Gary Brayshaw, a Veteran in Washington state, is an avid outdoorsman. Chopping wood was a daily occurrence and a way of life before his hand contracture made this impossible. A determined occupational therapy hand specialist, Mary Matthews-Brownell, contacted the Seattle VA 3D printing leadership and explained her vision for a custom 3D printed splint for her patient. Seattle leadership then identified the ideal network specialist for the project – BenGary with his occupational therapist Mary, testing fit of prototype orthotic – 3D printed with Stratasys technology.
Salatin, clinical rehabilitation engineer at the Albuquerque, NM VA hospital. Ben and Mary worked together bringing her vision to life – a rugged 3D printed custom orthotic enabling this Veteran to confidently pick up an axe again. Mary’s original hand crafted orthotic was CT scanned in Seattle and this digital file was sent to Ben who optimized design and 3D printed a fit test prototype. As Gary liked the fit, the final orthotic will be printed from a softer, more rugged material. If the orthotic does break, Gary doesn’t need to have a new one hand fabricated. A perfect replica orthotic can be 3D printed from the digital design file and mailed to Gary – saving him travel time and allowing Mary to serve other Veterans.
Ismael Baca, a Veteran living in Albuquerque, NM, recently suffered a spinal cord injury. Upon visiting theVeteran Ismael Baca is happy with the performance of his new Stratasys 3D printed toggle switch.
Albuquerque VA hospital’s Spinal Cord Injury Center for therapy, Ben Salatin (a clinical rehabilitation engineer and 3D printing project co-lead) noted his difficulty activating toggle switches on the wheelchair joystick due to lack of finger function.Before and after installing 3D printed toggle switch adapters – powered by Stratasys.
The switches could have been bypassed with external buttons placed elsewhere on Ismael’s wheelchair, but this added complexity. Ben designed and 3D printed a press-on adapter to enlarge the toggle switch so Ismael could easily access the controls directly. After a week of testing, Ismael pronounced the design a success. This design will now be shared with other VA hospitals for Veterans to leverage. With only a few quick design changes, it can also be customized to fit the unique needs of any Veteran.
The overarching vision for 3D printing is universal availability at all 168 VA hospitals across the country – accelerating development of personalized healthcare, tools and technologies for Veterans and their families.
You can read more about the VA’s current work in 3D printing at the McGuire VA hospital in Richmond, VA in this blogpost.
The post Engineering the First Nationwide 3D Printing Network for the Veterans Health Administration – Part 2 appeared first on Stratasys Blog.
For the 5th year, Fab Lab Hub is bringing together people from around the world who are using tools like lasers and 3D Printers to change their world.
From a mobile Humanitarian Fab Lab in refugee camps that uses laser cutting for building temporary housing to 3D Printing on the International Space Station, Digital Fabrication is changing almost every aspect of our lives. On March 30 and 31, 2017 at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge, MA, visionaries at DigiFabCon will explore the opportunities and challenges found in bringing these CAD based technologies to new, exciting arenas. Whether for manufacturing workforce training, K – 12 education, rapid prototyping, re-designing standard products, improving surgical procedures, or fostering entrepreneurship, the tools of digital fabrication are impacting entire communities.
DigiFabCon will feature keynotes from Sherry Lassiter, Director of the Fab Foundation and Dale Dougherty, founder of Maker Media which includes MAKE: Magazine and Maker Faires. They will give an overview of the compelling digital fabrication stories from Fab Labs and makerspaces around the world. Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, Director of the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, will discuss technical advances that are making digital fabrication tools accessible to “anyone who wants to make (almost) anything”. This includes work in his lab on Machines that Make Machines, although Dr. Gershenfeld always says the impact of these tools is social, not technical!
The interactive program includes
The program includes a Fab Festival where participants can get hands-on demos in 3D Printing, laser cutting, CNC machining, CAD and much more. Preliminary exhibitors include ShopBot Tools, the Roxbury Innovation Center, 3D Print Life, Limitless Child International, and Fab Lab Hub. The Festival will also feature book signings by Dale Dougherty, founder of Maker Media, and Rachel Ignotofsky author of Women in Science. Generous sponsorship from Chevron, Microsoft, and ShopBot Tools keeps DigiFabCon registration to just $49.
This year, a pre-conference short course has been added. LEAN 101 is a hands-on workshop to introduce manufacturing managers, startup founders and entrepreneurs, and makers to methods for improving time to market, production cost and product quality through a simulated, hands-on making exercise. Our instructors are LEAN gurus of the first rank. Joe Rizzo, CEO of Lean is Green, previously ran factories for GE when the legendary Jack Welsh was CEO and Scott Gauvin, CEO of Macresco, focuses on creating high performing, humanistic workplaces.
For details and to register, please go to www.DigiFabCon.org.
SHEYN, a jewelry company based in Vienna, creates outstanding wearable 3D-printed design pieces that highlight the beauty of unconventional geometries. Meet Nicolas Gold, the “wild” part of SHEYN, an architect with an incredible passion for jewelry design, and Markus Schaffer, the “down-to-earth” manager and CEO, who helped turn SHEYN into a 3D printing success story.
Nicolas Gold, an Israeli designer and the co-founder of SHEYN, had already developed a strong passion for complex geometries and digital design during his architecture studies at the Tel Aviv University. Later, he deepened his knowledge in this area when he did his master’s degree at the studio of the internationally renowned architect Zaha Hadid in Vienna. He noticed quite early that he was the most passionate about geometrical representations of architecture and therefore he found himself applying all his well-established design techniques to a field where the esthetic of the shape is its most important quality: jewelry design. And that is where it all started.
In 2016, Nicolas decided it was time to challenge himself and start his own jewelry company. He knew he needed a strong partner to do this and found an Austrian entrepreneur, Markus Schaffer, to complete the team as SHEYN’s CEO and manager. As Nicolas told us: “While I am the “wild” part of SHEYN, Markus is more thoughtful, maintains everything and brings me back down to earth.” The success of SHEYN is based on this incredible combination of two guys that have a completely different perspective on life.
But, how did SHEYN come to life? They strongly believed that the name of their company needed to evoke the description of their designs, as well as the connection between the both of them. “SHEYN” is the Yiddish word for “schön”, which means “beautiful” in German. Also, every single piece in their collections receives a unique Yiddish name such as “Eidel”, “Gitel” or “Sender”. But, why Yiddish? Yiddish is a language that blends together Hebrew and German and it perfectly resembles the connection between the Israeli designer, Nicolas, and the Austrian manager, Markus. This blend represents what SHEYN is all about: a small but dedicated design studio that merges different worlds. They couldn’t have come up with a more suitable name for a jewelry brand.
Nicolas’s inspiration for his designs comes from the new wave of digital design tools and latest technologies. He applies all the knowledge he gathered during his architectural education to every design. He likes to describe SHEYN’s philosophy as “a formalistic and artistic approach towards design”.
When Nicolas is working on a new design, he uses digital design software that originated in movie character design and applies it to the design of jewelry. Each time the results are surprising, as the geometries are not at all conventional. Nicolas focusses on researching forms that evoke emotional reactions. He is continuously exploring new techniques and tools in order to be able to develop new aesthetics that can be applied to wearable pieces. The results are wearable 3D printed design pieces that highlight the beauty of human morphology. He considers this methodology endless, and the final pieces reflect a small number of snapshots in this process. That is what you call a truly innovative designer!
Five years ago, Nicolas designed his first jewelry pieces while he was working on his thesis project at Tel Aviv University. The designs were a result of the process of 3D mapping a professional dancer performing on stage. It was at that time that he came across 3D printing technologies for the first time. He was immediately fascinated by the possibility of creating incredible details on such a small scale. Nicolas told us that ever since that moment, 3D printing has played a crucial role in his design process. The duo uses 3D printing not only for their final jewelry pieces (which are 3D printed in precious metals) but also for prototyping the pieces to perfection. For this, they use the technology of stereolithography. Sometimes they even print more than 50 iterations of one single design until they find the perfect proportions for the final shape.
If you would like to see more of SHEYN’s stunning jewelry, don’t forget to visit their website. Did you get inspired to print your own designs? Upload your 3D model, choose your favorite material and get an instant price quote. If you don’t know how to create a 3D printable model yet, get in touch with our freelance 3D designers and don’t let that stop you from turning your idea into reality. Good luck!