In The News

3D Printing Trends To Watch

In a recent survey conducted by Jabil, we discovered that in just over a year, the number of companies utilizing 3D printing as well as the variety of applications rocketed dramatically; the percentage of companies using additive to manufacture production parts rose from 27 percent to 52, bridge production increased from 23 percent to 39, and repair went from 14 percent to 38. Although the 3D printing industry is currently worth around $9.3 billion, a report by Smithers Pira predicts that the additive manufacturing industry will be worth $55.8 billion by 2027

What does this mean for 3D Printing enthusiasts?  Growth!

The future of 3D printing is bright and is an increasingly important pillar in the manufacturing renaissance. With the increased usage of the technology, conversations about additive manufacturing are a lot more tangible than they were just two years ago. Before, we were debating whether there is a financial or technological case to convert from traditional, high volume processes to an additive printer.

 

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Posted in Education, Industry Statistics, Industry Stats

3D design environment developed by MIT

Nowadays,  it is possible to 3D print a wide variety of objects from the comfort of your home: owning a home desktop printer allows virtually anyone to manufacture a toothbrush or a toy for example. However, oftentimes, the tricky part is to add electronics to your 3D printed pieces. Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a unique 3D design environment: called MorphSensor, it enables users to digitally model not only the physical form of an object, but also its electronic function.

Embedding electronics such as sensors, chips, and tags typically means that you need to design them separately, making it difficult to create items where the added functions are integrated with the form. Can that change with the invention of MorphSensor? Lead author on a paper about the project, MIT PhD student Junyi Zhu, says: “MorphSensor fits into my long-term vision of something called ‘rapid function prototyping’, with the objective to create interactive objects where the functions are directly integrated with the form and fabricated in one go, even for non-expert users. This offers the promise that, when prototyping, the object form could follow its designated function, and the function could adapt to its physical form.”

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Posted in Education

3D Printing Advances And Usage During Covid 19

Well, its easy to see that the less humans we need, the less there is a chance of passing Covid 19 to each other! 3D Printing can help mitigate the risk and the contact.

The global uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world into a crisis that is still unfolding. Logistical challenges owing too disruptions in manufacturing and transportation, together with pushbacks against globalization and free trade, have constrained supply chains, resulting in critical shortages of essential goods. . Crisis-response efforts are in motion to alleviate shortages of much-needed medical supplies.

There is a need for factories to manufacture, on demand, materials and devices for a range of essential services, in particular for healthcare. In this context, a resilient advanced manufacturing network enabled by a distribution of 3D Printing factories has great potential.

The digital versatility and quick prototyping of 3D printing empowers a swift mobilization of the technology and hence a rapid response to emergencies. Even during severe disruptions in supply chains, critical parts can be manufactured on-demand by any decentralized 3D-printing facility in the world by leveraging designs shared online. Moreover, the additive nature of 3D printing enables product customization and complex designs. The broad spectrum of 3D-printing applications in the fight against COVID-19 includes personal protective equipment (PPE), medical, medical technologies, personal accessories, visualization aids and emergency dwellings…not to mention the advances in Bioprinting

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Posted in Health, Industry Statistics, Manufacturing

3D Printing Trade Association – Can We 3D Print Hair?

Over the last few decades hair transplantation surgery has rapidly evolved, becoming more sophisticated and successful, however the process has still fundamentally relied on hair follicles being redistributed from one part of the body to another. Growing human hair follicles in laboratory conditions has proved challenging for researchers, ultimately limiting the efficacy of hair restoration surgery, especially in patients without hair already present that can be grafted.

This new breakthrough brings together a couple of recent innovations. First, the researchers created a unique plastic mold using 3D printers. The moulds are designed to resemble a natural micro-environment stimulating hair follicle growth through tiny extensions just half a millimeter wide.

“Previous fabrication techniques have been unable to create such thin projections, so this work was greatly facilitated by innovations in 3D printing technology,” explains first author on the study, Erbil Abaci.

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Posted in fun, Health

3D Printing And Covid 19 – What Is The FDA Doing?

The FDA continues to take creative and flexible approaches to address access to critical medical products in response to COVID-19. Researchers at academic institutions, non-traditional manufacturers, communities of makers, and individuals are banding together to support and fill local and national needs. The FDA is actively engaged across this spectrum and developing ways to assist and support people who are looking to help their communities in these ways. Our goal is to help expand the availability of certain products in ways that are consistent with FDA’s public-health mission.

For example, the FDA is working in partnership with the NIH, VA, and America Makes to support non-traditional manufacturing approaches, such as 3D printing, to address devices shortages including personal protective equipment (PPE). Through this partnership, 3D-printable designs for COVID response are given a clinical assessment by the VA and the NIH posts them on the 3D Print Exchange. FDA has, among other things, provided information on labeling and testing for face shields and face masks.

This page provides an update on how this partnership has contributed to the number of medical devices—including PPE—and parts available to support the COVID-19 response since it was launched in March 2020. For example, 31 community-submitted designs passed the testing performed by VA clinics and were given clinically reviewed status in the first three months. In addition, this effort has so far matched more than 500,000 3D-printed face shields and more than 348,000 3D-printed face masks with health care providers and others in need.  FDA has issued a temporary policy for face masks and respirators during the COVID-19 public-health emergency.

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3D Printing Trade Association And The FDA Working Together

The FDA continues to take creative and flexible approaches to address access to critical medical products in response to COVID-19. Researchers at academic institutions, non-traditional manufacturers, communities of makers, and individuals are banding together to support and fill local and national needs. The FDA is actively engaged across this spectrum and developing ways to assist and support people who are looking to help their communities in these ways. Our goal is to help expand the availability of certain products in ways that are consistent with FDA’s public-health mission.

For example, the FDA is working in partnership with the NIH, VA, and America Makes to support non-traditional manufacturing approaches, such as 3D printing, to address devices shortages including personal protective equipment (PPE). Through this partnership, 3D-printable designs for COVID response are given a clinical assessment by the VA and the NIH posts them on the 3D Print Exchange. FDA has, among other things, provided information on labeling and testing for face shields and face masks.

This page provides an update on how this partnership has contributed to the number of medical devices—including PPE—and parts available to support the COVID-19 response since it was launched in March 2020. For example, 31 community-submitted designs passed the testing performed by VA clinics and were given clinically reviewed status in the first three months. In addition, this effort has so far matched more than 500,000 3D-printed face shields and more than 348,000 3D-printed face masks with health care providers and others in need.  FDA has issued a temporary policy for face masks and respirators during the COVID-19 public-health emergency.

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Posted in Announcements, Bioprinting, Health

3D Printing Trade Association Discusses 3D Printed Chicken!

3d printed chicken

KFC has been experimenting with food innovation process for a while now, including the introduction of plantchicken nuggets last year. But a new effort in Russia might just be the Louisville-based company’s most ambitious project yet.

KFC is launching the development of innovative 3D bioprinting technology to create chicken meat in partnership with 3D Bioprinting Solutions research labs based in Moscow, Russia. Mmm 3D Printed Chicken.

The project aims to create the world’s first laboratory-produced chicken nuggets, using chicken cells and plant material. According to a release on KFC’s website, the idea of ​​crafting the “meat of the future” arose among partners in response to the growing popularity of a healthy lifestyle and nutrition, the annual increase in demand for alternatives to traditional meat and the need to develop more environmentally friendly methods of food production. Can we get these 3D Printed to look like someone we know?

“At KFC, we are closely monitoring all of the latest trends and innovations and doing our best to keep up with the times by introducing advanced technologies to our restaurant networks,” said said Raisa Polyakova, general manager of KFC Russia & CIS, in the release. “Crafted meat products are the next step in the development of our ‘restaurant of the future’ concept. Our experiment in testing 3D bioprinting technology to create chicken products can also help address several looming global problems. We are glad to contribute to its development and are working to make it available to thousands of people in Russia and, if possible, around the world.

Read the full article here

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Posted in Bioprinting, fun, Makers

3D Printing Trade Association – Can 3D Printing Help The FDA?

The FDA continues to take creative and flexible approaches to address access to critical medical products in response to COVID-19. Researchers at academic institutions, non-traditional manufacturers, communities of makers, and individuals are banding together to support and fill local and national needs. The FDA is actively engaged across this spectrum and developing ways to assist and support people who are looking to help their communities in these ways. Our goal is to help expand the availability of certain products in ways that are consistent with FDA’s public-health mission.

For example, the FDA is working in partnership with the NIH, VA, and America Makes to support non-traditional manufacturing approaches, such as 3D printing, to address devices shortages including personal protective equipment (PPE). Through this partnership, 3D-printable designs for COVID response are given a clinical assessment by the VA and the NIH posts them on the 3D Print Exchange. FDA has, among other things, provided information on labeling and testing for face shields and face masks.

This page provides an update on how this partnership has contributed to the number of medical devices—including PPE—and parts available to support the COVID-19 response since it was launched in March 2020.

Read the full article here

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Posted in Announcements, Health

3D Printing Rocket Ships – 3D Print Materials Copyright Law Battle

The Dark Side of 3D Printing - 3D Printing Controversy

Interview: Relativity CEO Tim Ellis on 3D Printing Rocket Ships

We sat down with co-founder Tim Ellis to talk about the 3D printing process, and the new space industry…

 

3D Print Materials Copyright Law Battle

Micheal Weinberg writes of an interesting legal battle taking place over use of third party 3D print materials.

New York-based Weinberg often writes on the legal issues facing the 3D print industry, of which there are many. The revolutionary technology, combined with the modern world of networking, social media and cloud-based systems has exposed quite a number of puzzling situations where the law is far behind…

READ MORE

 

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Posted in Legal, Space

3D Printing Trade Association Overview Of 3D Printing Software

3d printing trade association

by Alex Huckstepp

Effectively implementing 3D printing in a production environment requires software tools for design, simulation, pre-processing, distribution, manufacturing, inspection, and quality. Printer manufacturers (OEMs) provide software with their printers, but it often does not include all the functionality necessary for industrial scale additive manufacturing (AM). This post covers the different categories of 3D printing software, how they fit together in an AM workflow, and the leading companies providing commercially available solutions.

The 3D printing software workflow starts with design and ends with final quality approval. In between are many (not always consecutive) steps including simulation, processing, printing, inspection, and data analysis. The diagram directly above highlights the major categories of software tools used along the 3D printing working flow. We will examine them one at a time.
Design (CAD)

Computer-aided design (CAD) software is used by engineers and designers to digitally define a part’s 3-dimensional geometry. In most cases, the CAD software used to design parts for 3D printing is the same used for conventional manufacturing. Companies which produce CAD software include Dassault Systemes, Siemens, PTC, and Autodesk. For certain applications, AM specific design software is used to generate surfaces and structures which are optimized for 3D printing. Examples of such geometries include complex lattices, hollow features, and digital textures. Some of the companies which produce AM focused CAD tools are Materialise, nTopology, and Zverse.

There is a special class of design software referred to as “generative design” or “topology optimization” (GD/TO) which optimizes part geometry to achieve a desired performance given a defined loading scenario, boundary conditions, and design constraints. This software relies upon iterative computer simulations to refine the part geometry, combining CAD design rules with simulations from computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools. Leading providers of GD/TO software include Altair, Autodesk, and Paramatters.

Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) is the use of software to control manufacturing equipment such as machine tools. CAM software takes CAD and CAE data as inputs and creates machine instructions (g-code) which program manufacturing equipment to perform an exact process. When “setting up a build” in CAM software, there are five key steps involved:

Determine Part Orientation:
The best way to orient a part within the build depends on a variety of factors such as accuracy and surface finish requirements, process physics, support structures, and optimal nesting (see below). CAM can suggest optimal orientations but usually requires user input.

Support Generation
There are many different approaches to supporting a part. The optimal support structure depends on its geometry, the process, material, and other variables. This step is largely automated in most CAM software.
Near-net-shape

Expansion:
For near-net-shape processes and applications, additional material (“stock”) is often defined in CAM to be added to surfaces with high surface finish and accuracy requirements. The stock material is removed through post-processes like machining.

Nesting:
Some 3D printing processes can accommodate printing many parts at once, distributed across the print plate and even stacked in the z-axis. CAM software helps to nest parts in order to maximize the number of parts per build without sacrificing the quality which is impacted by the build layout.

Slicing and Toolpath Generation:
Once all the above steps are complete and any custom print parameters selected, CAM software generates g-code which is sent to the printer to perform the printing process.

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