3D printed titanium bike!

http://www.cnet.com/news/how-a-3d-printed-titanium-bike-points-the-way-to-products-custom-fit-for-you/

How a 3D printed titanium bike points the way to products custom-fit for you

Design firm Industry has developed a bike that demonstrates how the lines are blurring in design, engineering and manufacturing. This shift will ultimately allow companies to tailor products to individuals.

PARIS – The Solid is an unusual bicycle: it’s 3D-printed out of titanium, it’s unusually streamlined, it will take you on routes designed to help you discover a city and it tells you where to turn by buzzing signals in the handlebars. It’s also a harbinger of how products will be built in the future.

But the Solid, designed by a Portland, Ore.-based firm called Industry and unveiled Thursday here for the Connected Conference, is unusual in another way, too. It’s not a product to be sold, but instead a project to help Industry figure out the future of design and manufacturing.

Figuring out that future is tough. In the old days, designers would come up with a product’s look on paper or clay, then hand it off to engineers who’d try to make it work in the real world. Nowadays, designers and engineers work simultaneously, scanning sketches, printing prototypes in plastic and iterating from one possibility to the next as fast as possible. And 3D printers, which fuse raw materials layer by layer into metal or plastic components, will open the door to new levels of customization.

The end result may not mean you can buy the Solid in a bike shop next year. But according to Industry co-founder Oved Valadez, it will completely transform the products you do buy.

“The future is about bringing ‘personal’ back to service,” Valadez said. Instead of buying something in size small, medium or large, you’ll buy it in “size me,” he said.

That approach will apply to footwear, bicycles, cars and more, he predicted. “You’ll scan yourself with your handheld [phone], and it’ll give you a recommendation about what is your perfect size.”

Valadez’s profession changed dramatically decades ago with the gradual spread of computer-aided design (CAD) and manufacturing (CAM), but the arrival of 3D printers means the technological transformation isn’t over. Another big shift is the spread of computing hardware and software beyond personal computers and smartphones and into cars, toys, thermostats, streetlights, traffic signals and myriad other devices – a trend broadly called the Internet of Things.

Competitive pressure

The computing industry’s appetite for competitive, fast-paced change also has helped bring the once-separate disciplines of design, engineering and manufacturing closer together, said Marc Chareyron, co-founder of French design firm Enero.

“If you have a designer who hands the work to an engineer who hands it to the software engineer, then the iterations are so long, it takes years to build something,” Chareyron said. That’ll doom a project: during that wait, products will be overtaken by competitors’ models or by new technology trends.

For Valadez and Industry, the Solid bike project was a way to bring new hardware, software, and collaborative approaches into the business. They’d photograph life-size sketches and import them into Autodesk‘s Fusion 360 and Alias software. They’d make old-style cardboard and use new-era 3D printers to create components for the bike. And when it was time for manufacturing, they combined 3D printing with traditional hand-finishing and hand-welding techniques drawing on the expertise of titanium bike frame maker Ti Cycles.

“It’s the new way. It’s more iterated and collaborative. It allows you to quickly bring form and function to the same level,” Valadez said. “Unlike 10 years ago, utility and beauty are now one.”

They built a bike with software, too. A smartphone app lets people select routes through a city that spotlights interesting attractions, shopping areas, restaurants. And inside the bike itself is an Arduino-based electronics board that handles the bike’s GPS position tracking and signals to the rider when it’s time to turn right or left by buzzing the appropriate handlebar grip.

Among Industry’s clients are Nike, Intel, Starbucks and InCase, a maker of bags and cases for carrying delicate electronic products.

3D printing still immature

3D printing is good for making prototypes, but the technology can’t handle everything yet when it comes to manufacturing, he said. There are size limits to fusing parts out of titanium powder, for example, and 3D-printed parts still require a lot of finishing.

But 3D printing opens up new options. For one thing, it permits much more complicated shapes that can do multiple jobs. Some of the Solid’s components have interior walls that both increase strength in high-stress areas and serve to route brake and gear-shifting cables internally for a sleek look, for example.

Building complex parts that serve dual or triple functions is important, especially in areas like the automotive industry where durability is important. A part that serves multiple jobs means designers can avoid bolting together components that over time can rattle loose and break.

For Industry, the 3D printing was a learning experience — for example in understanding how much the titanium needed to be finished with grinders and bead-blasting and how much that would change the dimensions of the product.

Despite the rough patches, though, Valadez is a convert. As with early technologies like molding and computer-controlled machine tools, 3D printing is maturing. “There are limitations,” Valadez said, “but it is the future.”

cnet.com

by | May 28, 20155:30 AM PDT

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Mini Jet Engine

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2015/05/11/ge-engineers-3d-printed-a-working-mini-jet-engine/

GE Engineers 3D Printed A Working, Mini Jet Engine

As a tech demonstration, researchers at GE recently built a miniature, backpack-sized jet engine that they made entirely from 3D-printed parts. And not just for looks, either. They were able to fire it up and get it moving to 33,000 rpms.

The engine was built over the course of several years, using a 3D printing technique that melted thin layers of metal powder one on top of each other to build each individual part of the engine. Once all the parts were manufactured, the engine was then assembled. The final product was about eight inches tall and a foot long.

Once the engine was completed, the engine was placed into a test cell that would be used for any other jet engine and fired up.

The engine before assembly. (Credit: GE Reports)

It’s worth noting that this isn’t just a cool thing that GE has put together. It goes to demonstrate just how far 3D printing has come in the aerospace industry.

“This is much more that a stunt,” said Terry Wohlers, a 3D-printing analyst for Wohlers Associates. “It shows what’s possible with additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing technology, especially for very demanding applications. GE Aviation will be producing tens of thousands of fuel nozzles by AM for its new-generation LEAP engine in the coming months and years. Airbus has also produced complex metal AM parts that have flown on the new A350.”

forbes.com

by Alex Knapp | MAY 12, 2015 @ 12:14 AM

3D printing industry to quadruple by 2020

http://www.rt.com/business/253785-3d-printing-industry-growth/

Reuters / Pichi Chuang

Wave of future: 3D printing industry to quadruple by 2020

3D printing can produce almost everything from human stem cells to a car,and is at its most popular in the industry’s 29–year history. It has grown by 35.2 percent in 2014 and is expected to become a $20.2 billion global industry by the end of the decade.

The global industry for 3D printing, or additive manufacturing as it is sometimes called, was worth $4.1 billion last year, following a 34.9 percent growth on 2013, according to Wohlers Report 2015. The industry has experienced a compound annual growth rate of 33.8 percent over the last three years.

It’s impossible to find another industry with more than 25 years of experience that could have such kind of growth, says consultancy founder Terry Wohlers, who has been tracking the growth of the additive manufacturing industry since the 1980s.

The 3D printing technology industry began in 1986, and was worth just $295 million in 1995. The worldwide market for 3D printers, associated materials and services is expected to grow by 56 percent this year to $5.2 billion compared with $3.3 billion in 2014, according to the data from research firm Canalys.

“As we expected, the 3D printing market has grown substantially over the past few years. We have seen improving print speeds, a wider range of materials and new forms of additive manufacturing methods,” Joe Kempton, Canalys research analyst says. He pointed to the increase in vendors from Asia, which is taking on dominant existing markets, such as Germany and the US.

3D printing is a technology which allows designing objects using software and then manufacturing using a layering technique. It is a prototyping process where a real object is created from a digital 3D-model, which can be a scan of 3D images or can be drawn using computer-assisted design or simply can be downloaded from the internet. People in 3D printing usually say “If you can draw it, you can make it”.

An estimated 526 additive manufacturing (AM) systems were sold in 1995 from 15 system manufacturers located in the US, Germany, and Japan. In 2014, 49 system manufacturers in 13 countries produced and sold an estimated 12,850 industrial 3D printing systems. Last year hundreds of mostly small companies worldwide produced and sold nearly 140,000 desktop 3D printers that sell for less than $5,000 each.

Promising future

3D printing, combined with the internet, can rewrite history say experts. Now everything can be downloaded and printed at home. Additive manufacturing allows people to print real-life products and part replacements in their home or office. The only requisite is a 3D printer which allows printing the object in three dimensions, and printing materials such as plastics, waxes, ceramic, and metal. However, the process is a long one, it takes hours or even days to print a 3D model and often a tiny error can make the entire print useless. The high cost of a 3D printer is also a big drawback for the individual home user; home 3D printers today vary in price from £300 to £3,000.

READ MORE: Wi-Fi EYE: Scientists developing 3D-printed eyeballs with filters & camera

The 3D printing revolution is expected to continue and to challenge not only traditional manufacturing but also to have a remarkable effect on automotive, medical, and other industries. Sixty-seven percent of manufacturers are already using 3D printing according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

One of the most important applications of 3D printing is in the medical industry. With 3D printing, surgeons can produce mockups of parts of their patient’s body which need to be operated on. Almost everything from aerospace components to toys will be possible to build with the help of 3D printers. 3D printing is also used for jewelry and art, architecture, fashion design, art, architecture and interior design.

3D printers will continue to fall in price and improve in speed and quality. The aerospace, automotive, and medical sectors will continue to be the major revenue drivers going forward over the next five years, according to Canalys.

With 3D printing, companies can now experiment with new ideas and numerous design variations with no extensive time or tooling expense. General Electric, Boeing, and BMW have already invested millions of dollars into the technology which is considered by some as the most interesting of our time.

References:

rt.com

http://www.rt.com/business/253785-3d-printing-industry-growth/

Rise of the 3D printing machines

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fc2b257a-d90f-11e4-b907-00144feab7de.html#axzz3WzqJMGIV

Rise of the 3D printing machines

‘Terminator’ technology threatens manufacturing pioneers.

From a red puddle of liquid plastic, a three-dimensional sphere of connected hexagons and pentagons begins to rise, taking only six minutes to be lifted by mechanical arm into its final geometric form.

It is a phenomenon known as “continuous liquid interface production”, and has been developed by Carbon3D — a Silicon Valley start-up backed by technology investment group Sequoia Capital. But while it was inspired by a scene from the science fiction film Terminator 2, when the T-1000 android rises from a small pool of metallic liquid, the new technique is very much a reality — and set to shake up the 3D printing industry by making the process of forming plastic objects up to 100 times faster.

Since 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, was pioneered in the 1980s, it has been widely expected to revolutionise the manufacturing of complex components, from medical implants to jet engine parts. But growing competition from start-ups, such as Carbon3D, and household names such as HP, is now putting pressure on the tech companies that developed the fledgling industry.

Two of the largest 3D printing companies, US-based 3D Systems and Israel’s Stratasys, are already finding that investors are questioning their continued dominance. 3D Systems shares have fallen 71 per cent, from a high of $96 at the start of 2014 to $28 today. Similarly, Stratasys’s Nasdaq-traded shares are down 61 per cent over the same period, from a high of $136 to $56.

“There’s a possibility that you look at the current crop of public 3D printing companies and they will be like the computer companies of the 1980s — brands that are footnotes in computer history,” warns Carl Bass, chief executive officer atAutodesk, the US-listed software company.

“It’s not obvious that being first to market really means you lead forever.”

Both 3D Systems and Stratasys, as well as their smaller rivals ExOne, Arcam and Voxeljet, have endured a tough 15 months, in which their revenue growth has failed to live up to the hype.

Pieter Busscher, manager of the RobecoSAM Smart Materials fund, says they failed to live up to their stock market valuations. “Essentially, what we saw up until 2014 was a bit of a bubble in the works. Multiples at the end of 2013 were anywhere between 60-100 times earnings.”

Slower than expected revenue growth also coincided with a need to spend more to sustain their competitive positions, notes Scott Schmitz, an analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Over the past three quarters, organic revenue growth at 3D Systems has been between 7-12 per cent, well below guidance of 30 per cent. Stratasys achieved a better organic growth rate of 31 per cent in 2014.

However, it unveiled an accelerated investment plan that is likely to keep operating margins in the 10-14 per cent range for the next couple of years, compared with its own long-term guidance of 18-23 per cent, Mr Schmitz points out.

Nevertheless, these margins and growth rates have still been enough to attract the attention of conventional printing groups.Hewlett-Packard has revealed plans to enter the sector in 2016, with a 3D printer that it claims will be faster and cheaper than existing machines.

Pete Basiliere, an analyst at consultancy Gartner, believes HP is not the only household name eyeing up the space. “By the end of 2016 we’ll see at least three of the big printer makers in the market with their own branded 3D printer,” he predicts.

But with at least a year until these rival products appear, competitors have time to respond, Mr Schmitz says. “HP needs to develop new go-to-market channels as 3D printers target a different audience than PCs and office printers.”

3D Systems and Stratasys have so far tried to maintain their competitive position by buying up other companies, making about 60 acquisitions between them in the past five years — including providers of 3D printing materials, hardware and software. In 2013, Stratasys bought MakerBot, a New York start-up that produces cheap, easy-to-use 3D printers, for about $403m, although it has since booked a $100m impairment charge following disappointing performance.

Both companies require the use of their own materials with their printers, but Weston Twigg, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities, suggests that in future there will be separate specialists selling printers, software and materials.

He points to Germany’s SLM Solutions, which focuses on making metal printers and partners with various materials companies. It increased its unit orders by 138 per cent in 2014, and its revenue by 56 per cent. Conversely, software provider Autodesk is adopting an open approach by teaming up with materials and printer companies.

Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates, a 3D printing consultancy, agrees that it will become increasingly difficult for companies to compete with products that are “closed and locked to prevent third-party products and solutions”.

However, the big incumbents will be reluctant to open up their business models while they can achieve such high profit margins on materials sales. In 2014, 3D Systems achieved a margin of 73 per cent on materials, compared with 36 per cent for its printers.

And demand for 3D printing materials is only going to rise. Gartner expects worldwide shipments of 3D printers to reach 217,350 units in 2015, and then take off to 2.3m by 2018.

ft.com

by Tanya Powley, Manufacturing Correspondent | April 9, 2015 11:55 am

The fully-body Iron Man suit!

An Incredible 1.8 Miles of Filament Were Used to Create This Fully-Body Iron Man Suit!

http://3dprint.com/48264/3d-printed-iron-man-suit/

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One of the areas which has seen substantial benefit from 3D printing is that of the prop and costume industry. Whether created for movie and set production or printed out as simply a hobby, the design attributes that 3D printing has to offer are taking prop and costume making to the next level.

Over the last 13 months we have seen numerous body suits and masks from popular movies 3D printed. We’ve seen entire 3D Printed Alien Xenomorph suitscreated, as well as life-sized suits such as the Hulkbuster from the Iron Man movies 3D printed and then painted. Additive manufacturing enables fine intricate details which could not have been accomplished without great expense using traditional forms of subtractive manufacturing.

In what may be one of the most detailed and largest prop/costume projects we have seen to date, a 20-year-old Marvel Comics enthusiast named Ross Wilkes has created a 3D printed life-sized Iron Man suit.

The project — which Wilkes started way back in 2013 as part of his odd, yet very creative, New Year’s resolution — has taken 14 months to finally culminate in a complete suit reminiscent of Tony Stark’s famous armor.

“Building my own Iron Man suit has been an incredible challenge,” says Wilkes. “Before I could start, I had to learn the basics of 3D printing and was able to pick up the rest along the way. I’m thrilled with what I’ve been able to create using only a 3D printer, and to be able to see the complete suit now is incredible.”

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‘Incredible’ may be an understatement. Wilkes, who used only one 3D printer, a Velleman K8200, which was purchased in kit form back in 2013 and assembled soon thereafter, used quite a bit of filament for this project. A total of 32 1kg-spools of filament were used, equating to approximately a 1.8-mile-long strand. Because the Velleman 8200 has a build envelope of just 20 x 20 x 20 cm, Wilkes had to 3D print the suit in hundreds of separate pieces before fusing them all together, sort of like a puzzle.

Velleman 8200 3D Printer

Three different colors of filament were used for the main body of the suit — red, gold, and gray — and it even features the familiar chest repulsor transmitter, centered at the sternum area. Unlike many past projects we have seen, Wilkes did not paint or use any finishing techniques on this project, relying on the colors of the filament to do their job. As you can see from the images provided to us by Wilkes, he’s done a remarkable job at realizing an accurate rendition of the suit, one which appears to be 3D printed, yet still remains a very accurate representation of the suit we are all familiar with from comic books and movies.

Let’s hear your thoughts on this incredible 3D print in the 3D printed Iron Man Suit forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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3DPRINT.COM
by  | MARCH 3, 2015

World’s largest 3D printing conference

Stay Up-To-Date With the Latest From the Brightest Minds in the 3D Printing Industry.

http://goo.gl/P0KBAS

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I recently attended EuroMold 2014, the world’s largest 3D printing conference, held in Frankfurt, Germany. Here are nine things I learned about the industry.

1. The conversation around 3D printing is maturing, but awareness remains in a bubble.
The conversation among EuroMold attendees appears to be maturing compared to previous years. It’s become less about explaining what 3D printing is, and more about howand why 3D printing can be used to benefit an operation. Put another way, 3D printing appears to be more widely accepted as a technology than ever before, but this observation only seems to ring true in certain circles. Outside of 3D printing, prototyping, and manufacturing circles, the underlying consensus is that general awareness of 3D printing is still lacking. Ultimately, driving long-term adoption will depend on first creating greater awareness.

2. Metal 3D printing is an exciting, high-growth area that’s still in its infancy.
According to 3D printing insights firm Wohlers Associates, the metal 3D printing industryexperienced 75.8% annual growth in 2013, equating to 348 metal 3D printers being sold worldwide. Despite its relatively small size, metal 3D printing was a major focus at EuroMold, because the expectation is that it will grow to represent a larger percentage of the overall 3D printing market as more manufacturing-related applications take hold. After all, General Electric has plans to metal-3D-print more than 45,000 mission-critical jet engine fuel nozzles per year by 2020 — a feat that is likely to make history as the largest-scale mission-critical 3D printing application ever. Metal 3D printing players seem to be banking on the likelihood that GE will fuel increased adoption across the industry.

3. Academia is also driving 3D printing innovation.
Research and development isn’t only coming from 3D printing companies — it’s also coming from academic and government-funded research organizations that want to push the boundaries of the technology. Research organizations often demonstrate a proof of concept at 3D printing conferences as a way to attract collaborators for commercialization or licensees.

At EuroMold, TNO, a research organization based in the Netherlands, showcased a “racetrack” 3D printing platform concept, whereby print beds visit various 3D print-head stations, boosting print speeds by up to 10 times compared to conventional 3D printing methods — in an extremely similar manner to 3D Systems‘ own “racetrack” 3D printing concept. For me, TNO’s display acted as a great reminder that competitive threats can come from unusual places.

4. HP entering the 3D printing market is both validating and frightening.
From an industry perspective, it’s validating that Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) hasannounced plans to enter the 3D printing space in 2016 with a homegrown inkjet-based technology it’s calling Multi Jet Fusion, which it claims is up to 10 times faster than the two leading 3D printing technologies on the market today: material extrusion and selective laser sintering.

At the same time, it’s frightening for industry prospects that HP is entering the space, because HP brings decades of inkjet-based experience, has nearly five times as much cash on hand as the industry generated in worldwide revenues last year, and comes armed with an extensive reseller network. Although entrenched 3D printing companies have time to respond to the threat that HP poses by introducing 3D printers that are faster and more versatile before it enters the market, it may prove to be an uphill battle.

5. The use cases for consumer 3D printing are lacking.
Beyond education and children, the use cases for consumer 3D printing applications are lacking, especially after taking into account that a typical consumer-oriented 3D printer can easily cost upward of $1,000 — not exactly in the “impulse buy” category. There also doesn’t appear to be a clear consensus across the industry of what will help drive consumer adoption. I’ve heard various factors like ease of use, falling prices, and killer applications as ways to help drive consumer adoption to new heights, but how everything comes together in a cohesive way for consumers seems to be a big question mark.

6. Direct 3D printing manufacturing will be a major driver of future industry growth.
A prevailing belief at EuroMold was the idea that 3D-printed parts will increasingly end up in final products and eventually represent a significantly larger market than today’s prototyping market. The issue with this belief is that 3D printing was initially built as a rapid prototyping process, and the path that industry takes to expand into direct manufacturing applications won’t necessarily be a straight line.

From what I’ve gathered, it seems likely that certain 3D printing applications will be better suited than others at first for direct manufacturing. For instance, personalized healthcare devices and low-volume aviation components may pioneer direct 3D printing manufacturing applications well before larger-volume 3D printing applications become candidates for direct manufacturing.

7. The 3D printing industry appears ripe for disruption.
As a technology, 3D printing is relatively immature compared to traditional manufacturing, with its biggest limiting factors being speed, running cost, and ease of use. Considering that the industry is expected to grow from generating about $3 billion in worldwide revenues in 2013 to over $21 billion by 2020, there certainly appears to be an attractive opportunity for a new entrant or technology to address these unmet needs. After attending EuroMold and seeing a host of 3D printing companies offering very similar products, I became increasingly convinced that the threat of disruption isn’t a matter of if, but when.

8. Pricing pressures aren’t pervasive… yet.
Despite the allure of attractive growth rates, expiring patents, and increasing competition, 3D printing average selling prices haven’t really had a negative effect on the industry at large. Thus far, the majority of pricing pressures appear to be at the lower end of the spectrum, around the highly competitive consumer segment. Although 3D printer average selling prices are expected to decline further in the coming years, the industry has yet to acknowledge these potentially difficult-to-manage headwinds.

9. New materials are expected to expand the use cases for 3D printing.
Another key focus at EuroMold was the emphasis on new materials that are aimed at expanding applications and functionality of 3D printing to become more competitive against traditional manufacturing processes. I fully expect to see 3D printing companies continuing to develop proprietary materials as a way to remain differentiated in the coming years.

FOOL.COM
by Steve HellerFool Contributor | Jan 18, 2015 at 12:34PM

3D printing reduce fossilfuels

Here’s a look at how 3D printing can be used to develop cars that run on less fossil fuels.

http://3dprint.com/25431/3d-printing-reduce-fossilfuels/

oil-well-art-d0e8499fbec07478

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you know that there are a lot of people screaming and yelling about oil prices and fossil fuels in general. Some are frightened because they see the prices rising, others because they worry that the supplies will run out leaving us empty handed, and still more are concerned about the very nature of the fossil fuels’ extraction and usage.

Without wandering down the path toward a college course in economics, there has been a shift in attention from the non-negotiable (or nearly so) supply side approach to the problem to an emphasis on the level of demand. When concentrating on supply, concerns arise such as the growing belief that the Saudis don’t have as much oil as has been believed, or the failure to discover any new large oil reserves. When the focus is on the demand side of the oil equation, efforts are aimed at reducing the amount of oil that is used.

That doesn’t always take the form of calls to live off the grid eating only what we can farm and forsaking the glories of the iPod and gas-powered vehicles in favor of drum circles and walking. When companies produce goods that require consumers to purchase fuel, they must respond to the concerns expressed by those customers and create products that are more fuel efficient. It’s less of an energy revolution and more a case of making modest cutbacks. It isn’t quite as exciting, and it may not save us in the long run, but it does possibly prolong the period before crisis.

14-11-17-Ford-634

One of the ways that companies are responding to consumer distaste for high oil prices is through the creation of more fuel-efficient vehicles. This where 3D printing arrives on the scene. The creation of vehicle components through 3D printing has allowed for a marked decrease in the weight of those components. Less weight means less energy is required to move, et voilà: increased fuel efficiency.

Ford is creating a new model of F-150 that is 300 lbs lighter than the models manufactured previously. Some of the vehicular weight loss is a result of using lighter carbon-fiber materials for a variety of its components. It has been estimated that the amount of lightweight materials integrated into vehicle manufacture will more than double in the coming decade. Part of that rapid weight loss will come from lessons learned from aviation. Manufacturers of today’s airplanes are using 3D printed parts that are created in a single piece to eliminate the added bulk that came from using bolts and screws to hold multiple components together. This shift in manufacturing techniques from machining to 3D printing will allow Airbus to soon produce a plane that is nearly 30% lighter than conventional aircraft.

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With auto manufacturers responding even more directly to consumer desire for more fuel-efficient vehicles, we will definitely see them take a tip from aeronautics’ playbook in the near future.

Now, we just need a print bed large enough to turn me into the ultimate additive manufacturing/soccer mom on the block.

What do you think? Will 3D printing lead the charge to increase fuel efficiency and lightweighting? Let us know your predictions in the 3D Printing and Oil forum thread at the forums at 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | NOVEMBER 18, 2014

3D printed ears to transplant

3D printed ears are going to be transplanted on children in India, hopefully restoring their hearing!

At this rate it looks like in a number of years we might be able to order 3D printed body parts online and having them delivered to our local hospital/clinic for transplants 🙂

http://3dprintingindustry.com/…/scientists-transplant-3d-p…/

The BBC will be airing an exciting special BBC Inside Out London special in which the show’s host, Dr. Ranj Singh, pays a visit to the lab of Professor Alex Selfalian at University College London where he and his team are in the process of 3D printing ears made from real human tissue.

As you’ll see in the preview clip below, the lab uses uses accurate scan data to 3D print an ear replica from a nanopolymer.  The print is then sterilized and implanted under the skin of a patient’s forearm, where it acts as a scaffold for human tissue.  Skin and blood vessels grow in around the print over the course of four to eight weeks, at which point, a plastic surgeon removes the ear and places it on the head.

3D printed ear transplanted into rat skin

The scientists at UCL have already tested the growth procedure on rats and, in the next few months, they hope to perform their first human trials in Mumbai, India, where twelve children are awaiting the surgery.  If the implants are a success, the procedure could replace the current method for handling this congenital deformity, which requires shaping rib cartilage into the shape of an ear and three or four different surgeries.

3DPRINTINGINDUSTRY.COM
by  | OCTOBER 6, 2014