The most common types of 3D printing involve either extruding melted plastic or using a laser to solidify tiny particles, layer by layer, to slowly build up a solid object. But researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found a way to radically change that process by 3D printing liquids inside other liquids—and it could mean major advancements. Imagine having the power of chemistry combined with 3D Printing!
The printer itself is an off-the-shelf model that the researchers were able to modify by replacing the extruder with a syringe pump feeding a very fine needle that squirts water instead of molten plastic. The machine was then re-programmed to create three-dimensional patterns, as many 3D printers typically only make two-dimensional movements as they build up each layer of a model. This is a game changer. Read the full article here
Human waste is rarely as interesting — or as versatile — as it is in space. Earlier this there was a NASA-funded research project which aims to turn astronaut excrement into an edible paste that is high in both protein and fat. Now, researchers from the University of Calgary have developed a way to use space poop as a crucial ingredient for 3D printing in the stars. Wow! This has great ramifications for earth as well as space. The process could theoretically provide astronauts with an abundant source of material for making whatever plastic tools they need during their voyage. This could include possible future missions to Mars.
3D printing is not just a cool technology for rapid prototyping, modelling and specialist one-off products. It is a fundamental building block of the ‘4th industrial revolution’ that has the potential to transform the way in which production and consumption are connected. This talk explores how this is happening using examples from medical prosthetics, aerospace, disaster relief, and education.
Dr. Tim Minshall is a Reader in Technology and Innovation Management at Cambridge University Engineering Department and a Fellow of Churchill College. His research, teaching and outreach is focused on open innovation, the adoption of new technologies, the development of engineering skills, and the growth of the Cambridge high tech cluster.
Amazon is acquiring a majority stake in Shapeways, a world-leading provider of B2B and B2C 3D printing services.
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apr. 1, 2018– Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ:AMZN), today announced that it has acquired a controlling stake in Shapeways, a leading global provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing services. The unprecedented move from AWS, represent’s the first venture into physical services for Amazon’s cloud platform. Shapeways will leverage the breadth and depth of AWS services—including machine learning, analytics, databases, and containers—to innovate faster than ever before and to meet the needs of its customer growth around the world. AWS will enable Shapeways to accelerate the delivery of its products and services, and easily deploy them globally in minutes, to its customers worldwide.
Shapeways has been an active adopter of containerized applications, and will now leverage AWS’s Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS). This fully managed service will allow Shapeways to run its many Kubernetes workloads on AWS without change, since Amazon EKS is fully compatible with any standard Kubernetes environment.
This acquisition shouldn’t surprise people…as Amazon is already the leader in Print On Demand books. Is this another industry Amazon will conquer?
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.
“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.
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.
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.