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3D Printing in September

This month, we begin our discussion of the world of 3D printing in Sierra Leone.

Longitudes reports on how the nation of Sierra Leone is using 3D printing in conjunction with data analytics to visualize information.

In fact, Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has just used “a 3D printer to create a map of his country, illustrating the distribution of the number of girls not attending primary school.”

Apparently, “the idea evolved over lunch at Sierra Leone’s State House, where senior government officials were discussing the status of education within the country.  The president wondered about ways in which existing complex data could be made more interpretable, so anyone could understand the challenges facing the education sector.”

Due to the lack of screens present at that discussion, it was difficult for everyone to fully participate.  Consequently, “the Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation (DSTI), located in the State House, engaged immediately to calculate the distribution of out-of-school girls in each chiefdom and generated an accurate representation of the analyses in a 3D model.”

Following this, “President Bio 3D printed the model for use in a policy discussion with the head of the UK’s Department for International Development, Mary Hunt.”

As Hunt elaborates on the benefits of using such a 3D printed model: “the fact you can pick it up and turn it around to see different aspects of the map makes you feel like you are there – in Kenema, Kabala, or Bonthe – seeing the challenges in people’s lives and what needs to change.  I was drawn to its clarity and potential.  I had to ask the president if I could take it with me – I wanted to share it with others.”

President Bo and his government also printed several other models, including “a representation of the relative distances children must walk to access schools in their chiefdoms…and the ideal locations of new schools to be built.”

These models will prove to be immensely helpful in establishing which areas in his country have the most educational needs.

Elsewhere, 3D Print reports on a scintillating avian-themed story spilling out of Singapore.  Apparently, researchers at Jurong Bird Park have 3D printed a beak for a great hornbill bird.

This 22-year-old male great hornbill “was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the casque (or the bill).”  So, “researchers and veterinarians in Singapore began working together to create an artificial replacement.”  This was so they could “offer a better quality of life for the bird as a portion of the bone of his beak was cancerous – a common affliction for such birds, with medical treatment usually proving to be ‘unrewarding.’”

After they decided “to excise the tissue (as there were no signs of the cancer having metastasized), the researchers went on to design and 3D print a customized surgical guide for the procedure and then a prosthesis – allowing the bird to go forth as comfortably and naturally as possible.”

“The team decided to fit the 3D printed prosthesis after excision, taking great care to create a design identical to the beak in order to avoid any effect on acoustic functionality of the casque area.  Both the surgical guide and the prosthesis were created on an EOS P396 3D printer, with around 12 hours printing time required.”

The result?  Success!

According to the team: “observation of this bird in his usual captive environment suggests there is complete acceptance of the 3D printed prosthesis as part of its own body. This is evident from hornbill’s displaying natural coloration behavior, which coupled with the ability of the material used to take up biological pigments, enabled the prosthetic casque to appear similar in color and texture to the original rhinotheca.”

The team concludes, based on the outcome of this process, “medical imaging and 3D printing can be considered a useful approach in the design and production of customized surgical cutting guides and prostheses in veterinary surgery.”

Additionally, “collaboration between designers, engineers, and veterinarians throughout the design process can result in a customized prosthesis permitting natural behaviors with good acceptance.”

3D printing and its possibilities is not only impacting humans and birds on earth, though…

The International Business Times reports on a recent development made by NASA’s International Space Station (ISS).

Apparently, the ISS “has teamed up with a medical institute to explore the possibility of creating 3D-printed human organs in space. If successful, the study would revolutionize the fight against diseases.”

This initiative was spearheaded by the Director for the University of Pittsburgh’s McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine William Wagner.  The focus of Wagner and the ISS’s project “will be to create organs in space using stem cells”

As Wagner elaborates: “one of the possible early applications of 3D printing in the biomedical industry would be the creation of miniature versions of full-sized organs.  These small versions, which can handle a portion of the real organs’ functions, could be used to analyze exactly how they are affected by diseases.  In turn, pharmaceutical groups could turn to these 3D printed organs to develop specific disease-fighting drugs.”

Other applications could include “the creation of replacement organs.  This would certainly end the problem of donor shortages affecting organ transplants.”

Wagner hopes “this upcoming project, as well as future research regarding 3D printed organs, will gain enough financial support in order to push through and succeed.” It remains to be seen if the full funds will materialize for Wagner’s team and NASA.

Finally, 3D Printing Industry reports on biodegradable 3D printed Sandals created by Lucie Trejtnarova in conjunction with Fillamentum.

Trejtnarova, who is a postgraduate student at the Faculty of Multimedia Communication at Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic, teamed up with materials manufacturer Fillamentum. As a result of their collaboration, they have “developed the Organic 3D printed shoe collection.”

This shoe collection “was created in an effort to create sustainable footwear and accessories. The experimental sandal line integrates 3D printed outsoles from TPU-based Flexfill 98A, Malai, also known as coconut leather, and Piñatex, a natural fabric made from pineapple leaves.”

As Trejtnarova explains: “if I buy or make a product, it’s important to know the story behind it, how it can help somebody, and how it could disappear. We are responsible for each of our steps. Shoes from the Organic collection are based on a simple principle: at the end of their life, you can divide both parts, the upper in a compost and the sole you can recycle, to use again.”

Trejtnarova was inspired by “a trip to Southern India. During an internship at biomaterial design studio Malai Design & Materials, Trejtnarova was introduced to the raw materials Malai, which would help form the Organic footwear brand.”

“Malai is a 100% biodegradable material known to be flexible, durable, and water resistance. It is wholly natural from coconut with a texture comparable to leather. Furthermore, Piñatex, deriving from pineapple leaf fiber, an agricultural waste product, is used as an alternative for leather. With these materials, Trejtnarova chose to create sandals to suit the warm and wet conditions of India.”

Then all Trejtnarova needed was 3D printing: “I first got in touch with 3D model making and using 3D printers at the University, [which] was a completely new challenge for me.”

It would appear the challenge paid off.

Tune in next month for more 3D printing updates!

Image Courtesy of The International Business Times

Quotes Courtesy of Longitudes, 3D Print, The International Business Times, and 3D Printing Industry

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XJet: NanoParticle Jetting Technology

Forbes recently spoke with XJet CEO Hanan Gothait, who is overseeing the company’s NanoParticle Jetting Technology, which is helping in the fight against cancer.

XJet, based in Israel, “has developed a unique technology, NanoParticle Jetting, which allows its 3D printers to handle both metals and ceramics with an extremely high degree of accuracy and some of the highest densities on the market.”

This “allows XJet’s machines to seamlessly distribute distinct physical properties along different parts of the same object.” Thus, XJet’s machines “have already been adopted in a range of industries: aerospace, automotive, and the medical industry.”

Indeed, “XJet’s printers now build components for a new breast cancer treatment, a potentially life-saving new solution, which would not be possible without XJet’s technology. XJet is also set to help accelerate the 5G communication revolution through 3D-printed antennas, which boost the signal in a cost-effective way.”

To explain how exactly this NanoParticle Jetting technology works, Gothait explains: “the printing material comes in the form of solid nanoparticles floating in liquid and sealed in protective cartridges. The special liquid protects the nanoparticles from the risk of oxidation, and avoids the need to handle potentially hazardous powders as in other 3D printing technologies. The printheads then start jetting out the content of the cartridges at a rate of 120 million drops per second; high temperatures cause the protective liquid to evaporate, leaving the solid nanoparticles to deposit in fine layers of extremely high density”

“Our customers sometimes send us crazy ideas for new geometries and new materials, and we try them out. Sometime next year, XJet will be able to unveil some science fiction materials.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of XJet and Forbes

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Longer3D Launches Longer Orange 10

3DPrint reports on the launch of the Longer Orange 10 by Longer3D. The Longer Orange 10 is an entry-level SLA 3D Printer.

Among the Longer Orange 10’s many features, the machine boasts: “automatic supports to ensure the success rate of complex models, ultra-fast slicing system allowing makers to cut 100M files in tens of seconds, a 2.8 inch full-color touch screen, and high-temperature warning functions.”

The Longer Orange 10 has a print size of 98x55x140mm. This machine can also “print multiple custom products in batches in a matter of hours.”  The Longer Orange 10 is made “entirely of sheet metal, making it more durable than plastic-body SLA printers.”

“With a Z-resolution of 10 μm, the Orange 10 can print castings, architectural models, jewelry, auto parts, just to name a few useful applications. This precision printing is made possible by SLA technology. Whereas FDM printing is achieved through the nozzle, SLA printing instead uses photochemistry to create models, prototypes, patterns, and production parts.”

To explain SLA printing: “the liquid resin material is hardened by a highly focused surface light source, layer by layer. This helps to achieve accurate details and deliver higher quality prints than are possible using FDM. New SLA resin materials offer high performance and durability making them suitable for industrial use.  Adding mineral oil can lubricate the surfaces of the 3D print and hide discoloration.”

While “SLA 3D printers generally range in price from $430 to as high as $5,000, the average price of an SLA 3D printer on the market today is $1,800. But the Longer Orange 10 is currently available for just $268, an affordable enough price point, which could convince 3D printing enthusiasts to switch from FDM to SLA technology.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Longer3D and 3DPrint

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3D Printed Bird Beak

3D Print reports on a scintillating avian-themed story spilling out of Singapore.  Apparently, researchers at Jurong Bird Park have 3D printed a beak for a great hornbill bird.

This 22-year-old male great hornbill “was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the casque (or the bill).”  So, “researchers and veterinarians in Singapore began working together to create an artificial replacement.”  This was so they could “offer a better quality of life for the bird as a portion of the bone of his beak was cancerous – a common affliction for such birds, with medical treatment usually proving to be ‘unrewarding.’”

After they decided “to excise the tissue (as there were no signs of the cancer having metastasized), the researchers went on to design and 3D print a customized surgical guide for the procedure and then a prosthesis – allowing the bird to go forth as comfortably and naturally as possible.”

“The team decided to fit the 3D printed prosthesis after excision, taking great care to create a design identical to the beak in order to avoid any effect on acoustic functionality of the casque area.  Both the surgical guide and the prosthesis were created on an EOS P396 3D printer, with around 12 hours printing time required.”

The result?  Success!

According to the team: “observation of this bird in his usual captive environment suggests there is complete acceptance of the 3D printed prosthesis as part of its own body. This is evident from hornbill’s displaying natural coloration behavior, which coupled with the ability of the material used to take up biological pigments, enabled the prosthetic casque to appear similar in color and texture to the original rhinotheca.”

The team concludes, based on the outcome of this process, “medical imaging and 3D printing can be considered a useful approach in the design and production of customized surgical cutting guides and prostheses in veterinary surgery.”

Additionally, “collaboration between designers, engineers, and veterinarians throughout the design process can result in a customized prosthesis permitting natural behaviors with good acceptance.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3D Print

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3D Printed Finger Implant

3D Printing Industry reports on the first 3D printed finger implant in the US.

This implant, performed on “Robert Smith, an iron worker from St. Petersburg, Florida…was performed by Dr. Daniel Penello from Alexander Orthopedic Associates and a team from Additive Orthopedics, a New Jersey-based medical technology company.”

These partners collaborated in order to “create the custom 3D printed bone replacement. The alternative for Smith’s injury would have been amputation.”

As Dr. Penello explains: “In 2017, Smith crushed the middle finger on his left-hand’s at work. Completely shattering the bone, the injury drastically hindered his ability to grab, grip, or clasp. Initially, as an operation would have been too complicated, Smith was given the option to either live with the broken finger or have it amputated, which stopped him from returning to work. Thankfully, [I] offered a third option through additive manufacturing. In partnership with Additive Orthopedics a 3D printed finger implant was created to fit Smith’s left hand and return its mobility.”

Additive Orthopedics “recently won FDA clearance for its patient-specific 3D printed locking lattice plates which align, stabilize, and fuse fractures and other problems found in small bones. This technology has been previously used to create 3D printed titanium hammertoe implants.”

“This lattice design, which was incorporated into the 3D printed finger implant, has smaller external pores and larger internal pores, enabling for more efficient healing.”

“Two months after the FDA-approved surgery, Smith has regained some movement in his finger which was previously not possible.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3D Printing Industry

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3D Printed Graphene Arch

Graphene Info reports on a recent 3D printed graphene arch created by the global infrastructure services firm Aecom.  Apparently, this arch will be “one of the UK’s first 3D printed commercial products made from graphene-reinforced polymer.”

Using additive manufacturing to create this graphene arch, Aecom believes “the method could reduce the time and cost of installing digital signaling systems and transform the digitization of transport networks.  The 4.5-meter high, lightweight arch is being tested on outdoor track at Network Rail’s workforce development center in Bristol.”

The arch, dubbed CNCTArch, “is designed to drive down the costs associated with installing digital signaling systems on transport networks. Using a graphene arch, which sits over rail tracks eliminates the need to attach new digital equipment to existing infrastructure.”

The CNCTArch was developed by Aecom engineers “in response to the company’s transport clients’ challenges around the cost and time of digitizing the signaling systems on their networks. The company looked at replacing the traditional bolt and screws method of deploying digital systems in tunnels, which takes four shifts to install, by developing an arch on which the digital technology is attached, which doesn’t bolt to any existing infrastructure and takes only one shift to install.”

The CNCTArch was designed with versatility in mind.  Indeed, it “can be used in both tunnels and open environments and has the potential to transform the deployment of digital traffic management systems.”  The Arch is currently undergoing a six-month trial period.

“Aecom has partnered with UK engineering firm Scaled to develop the detailed design and prototypes of the CNCTArch using large-scale 3D-printing techniques. Scaled uses its 3D printer, one of the largest in Europe, to print the product in the new graphene-reinforced polymer, which is supplied by Aecom’s materials partner Versarien.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Graphene Info

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3D Printed Titanium Brakes

Popular Science reports on how Bugatti plans to brake their $3 million Chiron supercar. Aluminum brakes weren’t going to cut it for this 1,500-horsepower behemoth, so Bugatti went with 3D printed titanium brakes.

Indeed, “stopping the $3 million, 1,500-horsepower, 16-cylinder, 4,500-lb. Bugatti Chiron from its mind-boggling 261-mph top speed requires locomotive-scale brakes. But big, heavy calipers hinder crucial performance characteristics like ride and handling, so Bugatti has pioneered development of a laser-sintered, 3-D-printed titanium component, which will slash the weight of the Chiron’s monstrous brake calipers by 40 percent.”

These titanium calipers weigh just 6.4 lbs. each, “compared to 10.8 lbs. for the current aluminum units.” These 3D printed titanium calipers “are the world’s first to be 3D printed and the largest functional titanium 3D printed components.”

Due to “titanium’s extra strength, it is impossible to make titanium calipers using the same milling and forging techniques as employed for the supercar’s aluminum parts. By switching to 3D printing, it is possible to create very complex [and lighter] shapes.”

As Bugatti Automobiles Engineering’s Head of New Technologies in the Technical Development Department Frank Gotzke explains: “in terms of volume, this is the largest functional component produced from titanium by additive manufacturing methods. The first part took only three months. German additive manufacturing specialist Laser Zentrum Nord handled the production with what was the world’s largest titanium 3D printer at the time. It is outfitted with four 400-watt lasers for melting 2,213 layers of the titanium powder over 45 hours.”

Gotzke concludes: “everyone can and should benefit from our projects. This is also part of Bugatti’s role as the Volkswagen Group laboratory for high-tech applications.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Bugatti and Popular Science

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500 Sq. Ft. House 3D Printed in Less Than a Day

Engineering reports on a Long Island, N.Y.-based startup, S-Squared 3D Printers (SQ3D), which has completed construction on a 3D printed 500 square foot home in Patchogue, N.Y. Apparently, the entire process only took 12 hours. Innovations such as this would help “drop the cost and danger of construction significantly.”

SQ3D was founded in 2014 “as a manufacturer of desktop filament extrusion 3D printers…while the company still ships about one printer a month, they began investigating the idea of additive construction about two to three years ago.”

Speaking on the company’s construction-scale 3D printers, SQ3D’s Chief Engineer Kirk Andersen elaborates: “The entire machine is made out of aluminum and stainless-steel construction.  We’re using very accurate parts, linear rails. We’ve developed our own gear ratios to hold up the large gantry.”

“The result is the Autonomous Robotic Construction System (ARCS), for which SQ3D has filed a patent. Due to the proprietary nature of some of the firm’s technology, Andersen wasn’t able to go into all of the specifics with regard to the extruder and cement mixture, except to say a large volumetric mixer was required for the sheer amount and reactivity of the mixture, which cannot be made manually. The cement pump, too, has been modified.”

In the future, “SQ3D will be exploring various reinforcement techniques, such as introducing reinforcement fibers to the concrete itself. Additionally, the firm may also look into geopolymers which could be used in place of concrete, which, if it were a country, would be the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide behind the U.S. and China.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Engineering

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Sierra Leone: Using 3D Printing to Visualize Data

Longitudes reports on how the nation of Sierra Leone is using 3D printing in conjunction with data analytics to visualize information.

In fact, Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio has just used “a 3D printer to create a map of his country, illustrating the distribution of the number of girls not attending primary school.”

Apparently, “the idea evolved over lunch at Sierra Leone’s State House, where senior government officials were discussing the status of education within the country.  The president wondered about ways in which existing complex data could be made more interpretable, so anyone could understand the challenges facing the education sector.”

Due to the lack of screens present at that discussion, it was difficult for everyone to fully participate.  Consequently, “the Directorate of Science, Technology, and Innovation (DSTI), located in the State House, engaged immediately to calculate the distribution of out-of-school girls in each chiefdom and generated an accurate representation of the analyses in a 3D model.”

Following this, “President Bio 3D printed the model for use in a policy discussion with the head of the UK’s Department for International Development, Mary Hunt.”

As Hunt elaborates on the benefits of using such a 3D printed model: “the fact you can pick it up and turn it around to see different aspects of the map makes you feel like you are there – in Kenema, Kabala, or Bonthe – seeing the challenges in people’s lives and what needs to change.  I was drawn to its clarity and potential.  I had to ask the president if I could take it with me – I wanted to share it with others.”

President Bo and his government also printed several other models, including “a representation of the relative distances children must walk to access schools in their chiefdoms…and the ideal locations of new schools to be built.”

These models will prove to be immensely helpful in establishing which areas in his country have the most educational needs.

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Longitudes

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3D Printing Organs…In Space!

The International Business Times reports on a recent development made by NASA’s International Space Station (ISS).

Apparently, the ISS “has teamed up with a medical institute to explore the possibility of creating 3D-printed human organs in space. If successful, the study would revolutionize the fight against diseases.”

This initiative was spearheaded by the Director for the University of Pittsburgh’s McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine William Wagner.  The focus of Wagner and the ISS’s project “will be to create organs in space using stem cells”

As Wagner elaborates: “one of the possible early applications of 3D printing in the biomedical industry would be the creation of miniature versions of full-sized organs.  These small versions, which can handle a portion of the real organs’ functions, could be used to analyze exactly how they are affected by diseases.  In turn, pharmaceutical groups could turn to these 3D printed organs to develop specific disease-fighting drugs.”

Other applications could include “the creation of replacement organs.  This would certainly end the problem of donor shortages affecting organ transplants.”

Wagner hopes “this upcoming project, as well as future research regarding 3D printed organs, will gain enough financial support in order to push through and succeed.” It remains to be seen if the full funds will materialize for Wagner’s team and NASA.

Image and Quotes Courtesy of The International Business Times

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Customized 3D Printed Prosthetics

3D Print reports on SHINING 3D, which is a Chinese 3D printer company “pioneering independent research and the development of 3D digitizing and 3D printing technologies.”

Currently, SHINING 3D is hard at work developing customized prosthetics with their 3D printers and EinScan 3D scanners. These are “ideal tools for industries, which often struggle with traditional CAD design methods.”

This is because, “while the functionality of a prosthetic limb is its most important feature, the fit and form of the prosthetic can be just as important for the user. The comfort a well-fitting prosthetic provides can make a world of difference as does the confidence provided by a prosthetic limb that suits its user’s appearance.”

3D scanners allow for infinite realms of customizability. “The EinScan Pro line of handheld 3D scanners, and the SHINING 3D industrial 3D printers, make 3D scanning and 3D printing for medical applications more accessible than it has ever been.”

The scanners are able “to scan larger objects with ease and make scanning human body or human body parts a simple task.”  Indeed, “SHINING 3D’s flagship scanner, the EinScan Pro 2X Plus, can scan a human leg in a matter of seconds and the captured scan data can be processed, customized, and 3D printed faster than has ever been possible.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of SHINING 3D and 3D Print

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Biodegradable 3D Printed Sandals

3D Printing Industry reports on biodegradable 3D printed Sandals created by Lucie Trejtnarova in conjunction with Fillamentum.

Trejtnarova, who is a postgraduate student at the Faculty of Multimedia Communication at Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic, teamed up with materials manufacturer Fillamentum. As a result of their collaboration, they have “developed the Organic 3D printed shoe collection.”

This shoe collection “was created in an effort to create sustainable footwear and accessories. The experimental sandal line integrates 3D printed outsoles from TPU-based Flexfill 98A, Malai, also known as coconut leather, and Piñatex, a natural fabric made from pineapple leaves.”

As Trejtnarova explains: “if I buy or make a product, it’s important to know the story behind it, how it can help somebody, and how it could disappear. We are responsible for each of our steps. Shoes from the Organic collection are based on a simple principle: at the end of their life, you can divide both parts, the upper in a compost and the sole you can recycle, to use again.”

Trejtnarova was inspired by “a trip to Southern India. During an internship at biomaterial design studio Malai Design & Materials, Trejtnarova was introduced to the raw materials Malai, which would help form the Organic footwear brand.”

Malai is a 100% biodegradable material known to be flexible, durable, and water resistance. It is wholly natural from coconut with a texture comparable to leather. Furthermore, Piñatex, deriving from pineapple leaf fiber, an agricultural waste product, is used as an alternative for leather. With these materials, Trejtnarova chose to create sandals to suit the warm and wet conditions of India.”

Then all Trejtnarova needed was 3D printing: “I first got in touch with 3D model making and using 3D printers at the University, [which] was a completely new challenge for me.”

It would appear the challenge paid off.

Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3D Printing Industry

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