The Chinese Polymaker and Italian designer X is creating the first road worthy 3D Printed Car. The car is a Smart-sized model called the LSEV that’s made almost entirely using 3D-printing technology.
A few components of the car still have to be made by conventional methods, such as the chassis, the windows and the tires, but the vast majority of the car is made by 3D printing. Although it would probably be easier, quicker and cheaper at the moment to use conventional production methods, the real point of 3D printing is that it dramatically reduces the amount of waste material produced during the production process. This has led the boss of Polymaker, Xiaofan Luo, to predict that the project will “inspire more [car] companies to adopt 3D printing.”
A further advantage of 3D printing in this application is that it allows the manufacturer to greatly reduce the number of parts used, and therefore reduce the environmental impact of car production. In this particular case the number of plastic parts was just 57, compared to the 2,000 it would have taken if conventional manufacturing methods were used.
The prototype of the LSEV has a claimed range of 93 miles on a single charge, a top speed of 43 mph, and it weighs-in at just 450 kg, which is around half the weight of a Smart Fortwo. The car is currently on display at Shanghai’s China 3D-printing Culture Museum and will be making an appearance at the Beijing motor show next month.
See the rest of the article here
“Our goal is to heal the defect or fracture site rapidly, as if nothing ever happened,” said Dr. Varanasi. “We want to develop these methods and materials so that someday we can treat certain types of bone defects like they are dental fillings. Principally, these become out-patient procedures where the patient goes home to heal with the support of their loved ones and with reduced medical expenses owed to extended hospital stays.”
The efficacy of bone scaffold substitutes is limited by the rate of bone formation, scaffold-defect mismatch and scaffold displacement during implantation. However, additive in-situ 3D printing can overcome these limitations by printing scaffolds that conform to the dimensions of the defect site.
While this seems heavy, the premise is simple: 3D Printing can print skull parts on site, instantly, and save lives! Read the full article here
The concept of wearable everyday AR glasses or “smart glasses” is a fun one: imagine looking around you and getting up-to-date digital information about everything you see. Unfortunately, the reality of walking downtown with the impossibly nerdy Google Glass on your face can seem about as appealing as walking into work naked. They’re not the most stylish accessories.
A new AR sunglasses prototype from audio specialist Bose might not be as high-tech as Google Glass, but it’s certainly a lot more discreet. That’s because the high-tech specs provide audio information rather than visual information about the surrounding environment, whispering things in your ear rather than projecting them in front of your eyes.
In a way, that makes them a bit less exciting than mega-futuristic products like Google Glass, but probably much more appealing for non-specialist tasks such as looking at landmarks on holiday.
read the full article here
Remember Kodak? Remember Polaroid? As far as Kodak goes, it has unveiled its first 3D printer. As presented in CES, Las Vegas, the “3D Printing Ecosystem” consists of the Kodak Portrait, a software and a specialised 3D printing material. Kodak’s 3D printer has a large volume of 200 x 200 x 250 mm, a filament detector and a double extruder. If it proves successful, perhaps it will make our list of the best dual extruder 3D printers. Kodak also announced a partnership with Twindom to release their Kodak full body 3D scanner.
Remember Polaroid? At CES Polaroid presented several 3D printers they have created, designed for the democratization of additive manufacturing technologies. Polaroid released 4 newly designed machines, inclduing the Polaroid Nano Duo, with extruder and WiFi connectivity ($1,849); the Polaroid Nano Mini, perfect for beginners in 3D technologies ($349); and the Polaroid Nano Glide with a higher print volume ($479) and the Polaroid Nano ($549).
It’s great to see the 3D Printing industry staring new firms, as well as reviving old ones!
Researchers are looking to bring color-changing properties to the 3D-printing process in an attempt to help reduce material waste. This is pretty hard to believe for many, but it seems pretty interesting as it will help build the consumer market.
The process uses UV light to cure a liquid resin into a solid object. But the new change is the addition of photochromic dyes. Once added to a print, the inks create a surface that turns different colors, based on the kind of light it’s exposed to. The researchers call the technology “ColorFab,” playing on a pretty standard 3D-printing naming convention.
Read the full article here
Apple now has have an approved patent for a color 3D Printer, making Apple’s entrance to the market likely. What’s more, they are showing interest in color printing systems.
The name of the patent is “Method and apparatus for three-dimensional printing of colored objects”. The illustration of the printer itself shows what one would expect of an FFF printer but with a color nozzle as well. The patent also includes a number of ways that the color printer could operate.
One of these ways was illustrated a flowchart that shows that the machine would add colors after the printing the object. It uses a “non-transitory program storage device” that reads the object file, automatically applies colors and sends it to the printer. Another version has an active color nozzle working alongside the print process. A third proposal outlines a “computer-implemented method of printing a custom manufactured object”. There are very few details on how this method works.
Will Apple take on the HP’s of the world?
You will see names you recognize, such as Autodesk, GE Ventures, 3D Systems, & Stratasys. But you will also see some new names, or names you didn’t think of, such as: Lowe’s BMW, and Seimens. See the diagram of 3D Printing Ventures
The experts weigh in and point to these 5 trends:
New and Improved Metal 3D Printing
Polymers and Other 3D Printing Materials
Increased Speed and Productivity
From a 3D printing perspective, the are positive.
In particular, a slew of new metal 3D printing technologies were unveiled, including the Metal X 3D printer from Markforged, two new processes from Desktop Metal, a cheaper metal 3D printer from Xact Metal and a faster metal 3D printer from SPEE3D.
Formlabs introduced a desktop selective laser sintering (SLS) system, while Carbon introduced a new 3D printer and part-washing package. 3D Systems’ new CEO began implementing his vision for the company, while HP saw its Multi Jet Fusion make its way into the marketplace.
We also can’t forget the impact that GE Additive has had on the industry.
However, my own personal bias that none of the roundtable experts mentioned is the increased use of 3D scanning. More and more handled scanners will hit the market, but they will occur in terms of software. Software that will be used with your smart phone.
One of the main complaints about 3D Printing technology has been speed. Enter a new technology which uses laser generated hologram images to speed the process up quickly. There are some big research names behind this: Lawrence Livermore National Lab, along with collaborators at UC Berkeley, the University of Rochester, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They claim this is the next biggest breakthrough in the 3D Printing industry.
To see more on the subject click here for this 3D Printing Video.
According to the abstract on Science Mag:
“Despite recent advances to control the spatial composition and dynamic functionalities of bacteria embedded in materials, bacterial localization into complex three-dimensional (3D) geometries remains a major challenge. We demonstrate a 3D printing approach to create bacteria-derived functional materials by combining the natural diverse metabolism of bacteria with the shape design freedom of additive manufacturing. To achieve this, we embedded bacteria in a biocompatible and functionalized 3D printing ink and printed two types of “living materials” capable of degrading pollutants and of producing medically relevant bacterial cellulose. With this versatile bacteria-printing platform, complex materials displaying spatially specific compositions, geometry, and properties not accessed by standard technologies can be assembled from bottom up for new biotechnological and biomedical applications.”
What this means is a) Size of print b) the use of living materials!
Read the full article here