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3D Printing in September 2017

This month, as with any other, 3D printing tackled a tremendous variety of industries, around the world.  Let’s start with the motor industry in Britain.

Digital Trends has recently reported how a British Shop used the wonders of 3D printing to save the rarest of Jaguars.  The 1954 Pininfarina-bodied XK120 is a one-off, and probably the rarest Jaguar in the car company’s history.

Back in 1954, the XK120 was “delivered to a high-profile owner in New York City.  The one-of-a-kind car changed hands numerous times over the subsequent decades, and it ended up the worse for wear.  That’s when modern tech came to the rescue.”

More specifically, a British shop known as Classic Motor Cars “spent a whopping 6,725 hours restoring every single part of this car to like-new condition.”

The team began by stripping the car down to bare metal.  “Its one-off status complicated the task considerably because there are no blueprints or reference guides to rely on.”  So when it came to the challenge of finding the parts that were missing, 3D printing was the ideal tool.

“Using photographs taken over the course of the car’s life, Classic Motor Sport re-manufactured the front and rear bumpers, which are specific to this car, and made mock-ups of the lights using a 3D printer.  Some of the missing bits and pieces were also 3D printed.”

“This is clearly a technology that changes the way we restore cars; even big manufacturers are using it.  And while we can’t 3D print glass parts yet, 3D scanning technology was used to reproduce the rear window.”

And now, thanks to 3D printing, this Jaguar purrs like a kitten once more.

3D printing isn’t all about luxury vehicles, though, of course.

3Ders caught wind of the winners of Mercedes-Benz’s second annual ‘Hack My Van’ Competition in Australia.  Mindkits, based in New Zealand, has been awarded a brand-new van by the German automobile manufacturer.

Mindkits is run by Tim Carr and Fay Cobbett and has been running educational 3D printing workshops in New Zealand since 2008.  Their goal has been to teach “young people the basics of 3D printing technology in schools that have access to a 3D printer.  Cobbett has always recognized the limitations of this approach, however, as many schools in less socio-economically successful areas of the county lack the funds or resources to introduce 3D printing technology.”

By winning this ‘Hack My Van’ Competition, Mindkits can now expand its operations by using “the van to set up a mobile educational 3D printing workshop, bringing 3D printers to more under-privileged children.”  As Carr explains, “there are plenty of keen kids that are out there in lower socioeconomic areas without the resources and funds to participate, so this is a way we can take what we’ve been doing and totally democratize the technology and make it available for everyone.”

In order to win the competition (and the van), the Mindkits team had “to explain how the new van would add to the growth of its business…Carr and Cobbett overcame these obstacles and won the contest, impressing a panel of judges that included LaunchVic chief executive Kate Cornick, Blackbird Ventures partner Nick Crocker, award-winning chef Shane Delia, stylist Megan Morton, and Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Diane Tarr.”

Following their triumph, “the Mindkits team is now preparing to refurbish the van, ready to test out their concept for real.  They intend to start out back home in New Zealand before moving over to Australia, and perhaps even further afield.  Hopefully as many as 120 children a day will be able to participate in their new mobile 3D printing classes.”

Tarr concludes: “Mindkits…are already providing such a valuable service to school children in New Zealand by delivering hands-on STEM learning experiences.  We cannot wait to see them achieve their dreams of taking their workshops on the road to more kids and more schools.”

From kids dreaming, to the heights of the heavens, 3D printing knows no limits.  3D Printing Industry reports on the successful launch of Russia’s first 3D printed spacecraft.  This launch was carried out by cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin:

“During a spacewalk from the International Space Station with fellow Roscomos cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, [Yurchikhin]” deployed the Tomsk-TPU-120 satellite by hand.  The 3D printed satellite will spend the next 5 months in the void of space.

The Tomsk-TPU-120 satellite “has no engines, and exposed to the gravitational pull of the Earth’s gravity, its orbit will decay, eventually burning up in the atmosphere.”  This nanosatellite, or “CubeSat, has a 3D printed hull, and numerous parts and components are 3D printed.  The satellite measures approximately 300 x 100 x 100 mm, and also uses an electric battery, which reportedly has made use of 3D printing with zirconium for the first time ever.”

“Alongside the temperature sensors and other monitoring equipment, the satellite is equipped with a transmitter that will broadcast a recorded message.  The greeting was recorded by students of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), where the satellite was designed and made.  The signal is repeated in 10 languages – including English – every minute at the frequency of 145.8 MHz and 437.025 MHz.”

As TPU Rector Petr Chubik explained following the launch: “I have unusual feelings because the world’s first 3D printed nanosatellite, [complete] with [a] Tomsk Polytechnic University label went into outer space.  The event we waited for a year and a half has just taken place…This is a truly historic event.”

Vladimir Solntsev, the Director General of RSC Energia, one of TPU’s partners on the project, concluded: “now Tomsk can call itself ‘a space land’.”

Never to be outdone by the Russians, America’s military is also getting in on the 3D printing action as well.

The U.S. Army has recently announced the development of an additive manufacturing roadmap.  As the press release for the roadmap explains, “additive manufacturing will allow Soldiers deployed in remote outposts around the world to ‘print’ virtually anything they need, from food to shelter to weapons or even the printing of new skin cells to repair burned skin.”

Military commitment to this industry illustrates just how valuable 3D printing can be.  The U.S. Army states that its Additive Manufacturing Technology Roadmap has been “merged into the overarching Department of Defense (DOD) Roadmap that comprises common requirements and technical objectives across all service branches.”

“The DOD roadmap also identifies current and future capabilities that are needed to enable additive manufacturing and areas for collaboration.  These common standards set out in the roadmap will enable the DOD, industry, and academia to effectively use additive manufacturing.”

Within this roadmap, “the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command is developing additive manufacturing in three phases: Phase One will use additive manufacturing to repair or replace existing parts, Phase Two will reduce multi-part assembly from a series of parts to one part, and Phase Three will use additive manufacturing to create new parts that do not already exist.”

As the U.S. Army concludes, 3D printing is important to their operations because it “has the ability to improve the performance of Army weapon systems on the battlefield.  Additionally, 3D printing gives the Army a tactical advantage by providing the ability to manufacture and produce items as close to the point of need as possible.  This will not only lighten the logistics burden but also improve the efficiency of the acquisition process.  By simplifying the process of repairing or producing spare parts, the Army will make critical gains in readiness.”

The world of 3D printing is always exciting and surprising – who knows what other innovations it will provide us with next month…

Image Courtesy of Digital Trends

Quotes Courtesy of Digital Trends, 3Ders, 3D Printing Industry, and the U.S. Army

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First Russian 3D Printed Spacecraft

3D Printing Industry reports on the successful launch of Russia’s first 3D printed spacecraft.  This launch was carried out by cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin:

“During a spacewalk from the International Space Station with fellow Roscomos cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, [Yurchikhin]” deployed the Tomsk-TPU-120 satellite by hand.  The 3D printed satellite will spend the next 5 months in the void of space.

The Tomsk-TPU-120 satellite “has no engines, and exposed to the gravitational pull of the Earth’s gravity, its orbit will decay, eventually burning up in the atmosphere.”  This nanosatellite, or “CubeSat, has a 3D printed hull, and numerous parts and components are 3D printed.  The satellite measures approximately 300 x 100 x 100 mm, and also uses an electric battery, which reportedly has made use of 3D printing with zirconium for the first time ever.”

“Alongside the temperature sensors and other monitoring equipment, the satellite is equipped with a transmitter that will broadcast a recorded message.  The greeting was recorded by students of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), where the satellite was designed and made.  The signal is repeated in 10 languages – including English – every minute at the frequency of 145.8 MHz and 437.025 MHz.”

As TPU Rector Petr Chubik explained following the launch: “I have unusual feelings because the world’s first 3D printed nanosatellite, [complete] with [a] Tomsk Polytechnic University label went into outer space.  The event we waited for a year and a half has just taken place…This is a truly historic event.”

Vladimir Solntsev, the Director General of RSC Energia, one of TPU’s partners on the project, concluded: “now Tomsk can call itself ‘a space land’.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3D Printing Industry

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3D Print Using Human Remains!

The world of 3D printing does not shy away from dipping its toe into the weird and grotesque…

According to Vocativ, a “Spanish company called Narbon has developed a ‘3D Memories’ service, [which] allows customers to create ceramic objects that are 3D printed using the ashes of the deceased.”

Many may find even the thought off-putting, but on the other hand, there is something sweet about it.  Additionally, it is always fascinating the breadth of material you can 3D print with!

Narbon’s “clients choose a design and color for their selected item and ship the ashes in an urn to Narbon’s facilities.  The ashes are then mixed with porcelain and other materials which can then be 3D printed into a stand-alone object or a piece of jewelry.”

Vocativ put it best: “instead of wearing grandma’s antique ring, you can just wear grandma!”

Shudder.

Video, Image, and Quotes Courtesy of Vocativ

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US Navy 3D Prints Submersible

The Verge reports on a brand-new concept submersible the US Navy just recently 3D printed: “the US Navy has partnered with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop a proof-of-concept submersible that was printed in under four weeks.”

This submersible was “developed by a team from the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) and Carderock Division’s Disruptive Technology Laboratory (DTL), and comes with the…Optionally Manned Technology Demonstrator, which is based on a submersible currently used by Navy SEALs.”

The submersible was brought into the world with the help of “a massive industrial 3D printer called Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) [which manufactured] six carbon fiber sections, which were then assembled into the 30-foot-long vehicle.”

“The team was given four weeks to develop the hull, spending the first week designing it, and began printing the components a week later.  It’s now the Navy’s largest 3D printed asset…according to the Department of Energy, a traditional hull ‘ranges from $600,000 to $800,000 and typically takes 3-5 months to manufacture,’ while this [3D printed] version was 90 percent cheaper and produced within ‘a matter of days.’”

For now, this submersible is merely proof-of-concept.  Regardless, the team did earn the NAVSEA Commanders Award for Innovation for their success, “and are now planning on printing up a second, watertight version of the sub that will undergo practical water testing, with ‘fleet-capable prototypes,’ [which] could potentially be introduced for use as early as 2019.”

Video, Image, and Quotes Courtesy of the US Navy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and The Verge

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Stratasys’ Handiwork Features in TV Advert for Zoopla

Last month, Stratasys proudly boasted of a new TV advert featuring the work of their 3D printers.  “Special effects company Artem Ltd. overcame traditional design challenges to create highly realistic miniature houses and shells for [Zoopla’s] ‘Crab World’ TV campaign, thanks to Stratasys multi-material, multi-color 3D printing technology.”

Zoopla is a property website featuring real estate in the UK.  This particular ‘Crab World’ advertisement was shot “on a beach in Costa Rica and features numerous hermit crabs ‘moving into’ shells topped with miniature houses.  All the shells and houses were 3D printed using Stratasys’ multi-color, multi-material 3D printing capabilities.”

As Artem Ltd.’s Owner, Creative Director, and Designer. Simon Tayler, explains, “[once Artem was tasked with creating small, highly detailed, realistic models], I knew this was a job for 3D printing.  It would have been impossible to achieve the level of realism required with conventional, hand model-making.”

“We were keen to do all we could to ensure these shells weren’t rejected and would not harm the crabs.  With Stratasys’ multi-color, multi-material 3D printing, we were able to mirror every curve, bump, and nook of a shell’s natural shape, including the interior.”  Tayler and his team used Stratasys’ tough Digital ABS plastic material.

“In total, the team produced over 20 model houses for the top of the shells, comprising of numerous different shapes and sizes.  Each model mirrors an architectural style currently popular in the UK.”

As Tayler elaborates: “with 3D printing, we could work with minute details like individual tiles or roof or brick texture that was only 30mm across without losing any element of realism.  Thanks to the capabilities of the Stratasys Connex3 3D Printer and respective materials, each house was 3D printed in an impressive 16-micron resolution for incredible accuracy.”

Astoundingly, the Artem team only had one month to create these miniature wonders, which they produced with stupendous accuracy – and to top it all off, the crabs accepted them and looked great wearing them in the advert!

Videos, Image, and Quotes Courtesy of Stratasys, Artem, and Zoopla

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Markforged Announces Two New 3D Printers

Tech Crunch reports on a new announcement by Boston-based 3D printer manufacturer Markforged.  Towards the end of last month, Markforged stated they would be releasing two new 3D printers: the X3 and X5.

“Both of these printers are designed to create carbon fiber-infused objects using a standard filament printing system and both can produce items that can replace or are stronger than steel objects.  Both printers have auto-leveling and scanning systems to ensure each printed object is exactly like every other.”

Both the X3 and X5 also make use of Markforged’s “special thermoplastic fiber filament, while the X5 can add a ‘strand of continuous fiberglass’ to create objects ‘19x stronger and 10x stiffer than traditional plastics.’”

The X3 and X5 were designed with local manufacturers in mind.  The X3 will cost $36,990 while the X5 will cost $49,900.  CEO Greg Mark explains: “customers can now, with ease, print same-day parts that optimize strength and affordability for their specific needs.”

The X3 and X5 are part of “Markforged’s effort to create a real ‘teleporter.’  Thanks to the complex scanning and measurement systems built into these units, users can receive a 3D printer model and print it to exacting specifications.  The system also has a failsafe mode that restarts at any time as the laser scanner can check to see exactly where the print stopped.”

“The company is also hard at work on some impressive metal printing technologies that turn out parts that are usable in complex machines.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Tech Crunch

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U.S. Army Develops Additive Manufacturing Roadmap

The U.S. Army has recently announced the development of an additive manufacturing roadmap.  As the press release for the roadmap explains, “additive manufacturing will allow Soldiers deployed in remote outposts around the world to ‘print’ virtually anything they need, from food to shelter to weapons or even the printing of new skin cells to repair burned skin.”

Military commitment to this industry illustrates just how valuable 3D printing can be.  The U.S. Army states that its Additive Manufacturing Technology Roadmap has been “merged into the overarching Department of Defense (DOD) Roadmap that comprises common requirements and technical objectives across all service branches.”

“The DOD roadmap also identifies current and future capabilities that are needed to enable additive manufacturing and areas for collaboration.  These common standards set out in the roadmap will enable the DOD, industry, and academia to effectively use additive manufacturing.”

Within this roadmap, “the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command is developing additive manufacturing in three phases: Phase One will use additive manufacturing to repair or replace existing parts, Phase Two will reduce multi-part assembly from a series of parts to one part, and Phase Three will use additive manufacturing to create new parts that do not already exist.”

As the U.S. Army concludes, 3D printing is important to their operations because it “has the ability to improve the performance of Army weapon systems on the battlefield.  Additionally, 3D printing gives the Army a tactical advantage by providing the ability to manufacture and produce items as close to the point of need as possible.  This will not only lighten the logistics burden but also improve the efficiency of the acquisition process.  By simplifying the process of repairing or producing spare parts, the Army will make critical gains in readiness.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of the U.S. Army

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Made In Space Successfully Tests Archinaut

Scientific American reports on yet another breakthrough brought about by the intersection of the space and 3D printing industries.  Made In Space, the company which built the first two 3D printers to be sent (and used) in space on the International Space Station, has just recently announced even more exciting news:

“a 3D printer built by the California-based company churned out multiple polymer-alloy objects – the largest of which was a 33.5-inch-long (85 centimeter) beam – during a 24-day test inside a thermal vacuum chamber (TVAC) in Silicon Valley at NASA’s Ames Research Center in June.”

As Made In Space representatives proudly pointed out, “this milestone marks the first time a 3D printer has created ‘extended structures’ in a space-like environment.”

This 3D printer “is a component of Archinaut, a robotic system that Made In Space is developing under a NASA ‘tipping point technologies’ contract.  Archinaut will also feature robotic arms, which will work with the 3D printer to build and assemble structures in the final frontier…such technology will allow for the design and manufacture of much larger and more ambitious spacecraft, since they won’t need to fit inside a rocket’s nose cone and survive the rigors of launch.”

As NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate Head Steve Jurczyk explains: “we do believe that in-space robotic manufacturing and assembly is going to revolutionize the way we design and deploy and operate systems in space.  Archinaut could enable a wide range of in-space manufacturing and assembly capabilities.”

Indeed, without Archinaut, NASA missions “would take multiple launches of partially assembled systems, which would be expensive.  Archinaut would make things much easier and cheaper.  Mission managers would just have to launch feedstock material to the three-armed spacecraft, which would build [large structures] in orbit.”  Archinaut could also repair and augment existing objects in space.

“Based on what he’s seen, Jurczyk estimates that Archinaut could be up and running by the mid-2020s.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Space.com and Scientific American

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3D Printing Saves Rare Jaguar

Digital Trends has recently reported how a British Shop used the wonders of 3D printing to save the rarest of Jaguars.  The 1954 Pininfarina-bodied XK120 is a one-off, and probably the rarest Jaguar in the car company’s history.

Back in 1954, the XK120 was “delivered to a high-profile owner in New York City.  The one-of-a-kind car changed hands numerous times over the subsequent decades, and it ended up the worse for wear.  That’s when modern tech came to the rescue.”

More specifically, a British shop known as Classic Motor Cars “spent a whopping 6,725 hours restoring every single part of this car to like-new condition.”

The team began by stripping the car down to bare metal.  “Its one-off status complicated the task considerably because there are no blueprints or reference guides to rely on.”  So when it came to the challenge of finding the parts that were missing, 3D printing was the ideal tool.

“Using photographs taken over the course of the car’s life, Classic Motor Sport re-manufactured the front and rear bumpers, which are specific to this car, and made mock-ups of the lights using a 3D printer.  Some of the missing bits and pieces were also 3D printed.”

“This is clearly a technology that changes the way we restore cars; even big manufacturers are using it.  And while we can’t 3D print glass parts yet, 3D scanning technology was used to reproduce the rear window.”

And now, thanks to 3D printing, this Jaguar purrs like a kitten once more.

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Digital Trends

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Penn State Shenango Opens Start-Up Incubator

TCT Magazine reports on a new development coming out of Penn State Shenango, which is a Commonwealth Campus of Pennsylvania State University.  Earlier last month, Penn State Shenango “opened a business incubator which comprises of two start-up companies and a pair of 3D printing machines.”

This VenturePointe Incubator is located in Germitage, Pennsylvania, and was “launched after a $50,000 seed grant from Invent Penn State, a Commonwealth-wide initiative focused on entrepreneurial endeavors.”

“VenturePointe has welcomed two start-ups, Guardians Nest and ATP Resources…Guardians Nest is a non-profit organization and was conceived by Penn State Shenango’s human development and studies graduate, Brian Flick.  His aim is to create a social services, information, and referral hub to the 11,000 U.S. Veterans residing in Mercer County.  Meanwhile, ATP Resources, led by Jacob Linzenbold, a recent Penn State business major, will harness 3D printing to develop and distribute medical devices.”

As Penn State President Dr. Eric Barron explains: “the community support for VenturePointe has been extraordinary, and it has created the type of entrepreneurial environment needed for breakthrough innovations.  This is what we envisioned when we launched Invent Penn State nearly two years ago, and I’m thrilled to celebrate the early success with our Shenango students, faculty, staff, and community.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of TCT Magazine

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MindKits Expands Reach of Portable 3D Printing Workshops

3Ders caught wind of the winners of Mercedes-Benz’s second annual ‘Hack My Van’ Competition in Australia.  Mindkits, based in New Zealand, has been awarded a brand-new van by the German automobile manufacturer.

Mindkits is run by Tim Carr and Fay Cobbett and has been running educational 3D printing workshops in New Zealand since 2008.  Their goal has been to teach “young people the basics of 3D printing technology in schools that have access to a 3D printer.  Cobbett has always recognized the limitations of this approach, however, as many schools in less socio-economically successful areas of the county lack the funds or resources to introduce 3D printing technology.”

By winning this ‘Hack My Van’ Competition, Mindkits can now expand its operations by using “the van to set up a mobile educational 3D printing workshop, bringing 3D printers to more under-privileged children.”  As Carr explains, “there are plenty of keen kids that are out there in lower socioeconomic areas without the resources and funds to participate, so this is a way we can take what we’ve been doing and totally democratize the technology and make it available for everyone.”

In order to win the competition (and the van), the Mindkits team had “to explain how the new van would add to the growth of its business…Carr and Cobbett overcame these obstacles and won the contest, impressing a panel of judges that included LaunchVic chief executive Kate Cornick, Blackbird Ventures partner Nick Crocker, award-winning chef Shane Delia, stylist Megan Morton, and Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Diane Tarr.”

Following their triumph, “the Mindkits team is now preparing to refurbish the van, ready to test out their concept for real.  They intend to start out back home in New Zealand before moving over to Australia, and perhaps even further afield.  Hopefully as many as 120 children a day will be able to participate in their new mobile 3D printing classes.”

Tarr concludes: “Mindkits…are already providing such a valuable service to school children in New Zealand by delivering hands-on STEM learning experiences.  We cannot wait to see them achieve their dreams of taking their workshops on the road to more kids and more schools.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3Ders

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Oxford University Team 3D Prints Living Tissue

Phys.org reports on new research recently published in the journal Scientific Reports:

“An interdisciplinary team from [hailing from the University of Oxford’s] Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics…and the Centre for Molecular Medicine at Bristol, demonstrated how a range of human and animal cells can be [3D] printed into high-resolution tissue constructs.”

This approach has the potential to “revolutionize regenerative medicine, enabling the production of complex tissues and cartilage that would potentially support, repair, or augment diseased and damaged areas of the body.”

These teams were led by Hagan Bayley, who is Professor of Chemical Biology in Oxford’s Department of Chemistry.  They “devised a way to produce tissues in self-contained cells that support the structures to keep their shape.  The cells were contained within protective nanoliter droplets wrapped in a lipid coating that could be assembled, layer-by-layer, into living structures.”

Because the teams printed the tissues in this way, the tissues had an improved survival rate “and allowed the teams to improve on current techniques by building each tissue one drop at a time to a more favorable resolution.”

“The researchers hope that, with further development, the materials could have a wide impact on healthcare worldwide.  Potential applications include shaping reproducible human tissue models that could take away the need for clinical animal testing.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Phys.org

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