The future of 3D printing

http://3dprint.com/54120/3d-printing-future-2/

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3D Printing: The Next 5 years

The 3D printing field is expected to grow more than 14% annually to become an $8.4 billion industry by 2020, according to a 2013 report by MarketsandMarkets. Currently, North America and Asia-Pacific are the two largest 3D printing markets. Europe is following close behind and expected to overtake North America by 2020. 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is poised to reinvent the way our culture brings an idea to life, shifting how we think about ideation and production. Let’s take a look at 3D printing and how additive manufacturing will revolutionize the technological futures of countless industries.

Disruptive Technologies

You can’t explore the use of 3D printing throughout industries without addressing disruptive innovation, the process of replacing old technologies by completely eradicating or coexisting with what existed before. Disruptive technology is defined as technology designed to create a new market by generating a unique set of standards that eventually overtake the existing market. 3D printing joins a list of disruptive technologies that includes smartphones, the Internet, cloud technology, and laparoscopic surgery.

For example, when Ford introduced the mass-produced automobile, it changed the horse and buggy culture of the Western world. Subsequently, electric cars are changing the future of today’s gasoline cars. The outcome influences the current market, but it’s the change in the ideation process that creates revolutionary effects.

User Convenience

“3D printing empowers the user — not just the business owner and investor,”according to Apple Rubber, a leading designer and manufacturer of rubber compounds and sealing technology. Apple Rubber’s manufacturing process doesn’t quite align with 3D printing just yet, due to price and the need to produce custom parts for specific applications. But as a proponent of 3D printing, the company is keeping a close eye on how evolving 3D technologies can enhance Apple Rubber’s future and advocates its benefits.

“Inventors now have everything they need,” informs Andrew Rich, an Apple Rubber project engineer. “People can now design on their own home computer and print it out—not pay thousands of dollars to have larger companies make prototypes. Manufacturers may end up touching it in the production phase, but not early on. 3D printing is bringing innovation to the general public.”

3D printing provides equal opportunities and even consumer convenience. The technology enables consumers to go online where they can find prototypes and print the schematics right from their home. Being able to create your idea in the comfort of your home is shifting the creative assets of the world away from singular companies.

The New DIY

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Since 3D printing allows prototyping to be accessible to individuals, it takes the first steps to democratize manufacturing. We can shift away from big business manufacturing to economical do-it-yourself production. For example, instead of a big biomedical firm investing millions into development, doctors at St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals in Manhattan were able to 3D print a trachea for implantation at a fraction of the cost, the Daily News reported. Using stem cells and 3D printing technology, Dr. Faiz Bhora created bioengineered tracheas. Dr. Faiz Bhora and his team printed a 3D silicone model of the trachea created from biologic material and based on CAT scan data, using a Fab@Home 3D printer (in only 15 minutes). The vision is to implant these 3D trachea models in human patients within a few years.

Even jewelers like David Wilkinson use 3D printing to render models of design concepts. The jewelry designer created a one-of-a-kind custom Legend of Zeldaengagement ring. The engagement ring was initially designed in Wings3D to replicate hero Link’s iconic weapon. Wilkinson refined the design and used a Minitech milling machine to give it a detailed 3D render. The band was cast in 14K white gold and the three-pronged Triforce head was made with 14K yellow gold. White stone diamond baguettes sparkle in each link along the band, and the lab-grown yellow sapphire stands out as the ring’s focal point.

Mainstream Resistance

The adoption of additive manufacturing is increasing dramatically, but there is still an overall resistance to its place in mainstream companies. Estimates vary, but all show that less than 10% of companies use additive manufacturing technologies, according to the report “Fostering Mainstream Adoption of Industrial 3D Printing.” Much of this has to do with the effect it will have on the process of idea generation and fulfillment. Using a 3D printer, a developer can go directly from idea to functional prototype without the need for a mockup team, parts runners, or interim managerial approval. It diminishes the strength of large companies and uses staff-intensive supportive departments. It places feet under smaller businesses embracing rapid innovation.

The Internet of Things

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Our new digital world links human behavior to the devices we use every day. A smartphone can control our TV watching, the environment of our homes, and how often we work out. This Internet of Things is predicted to have 26 billion devices attached to it by the year 2020. Additive manufacturing is the development arm of the IoT — an interconnection of computing devices inside the framework of the Internet. IoT aims to enable automation through advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services, from human heart monitor plants to field operation tools, explains 3DPrint.com.

In our “How Nano 3D Electronics Printing Will Drive the Internet of Things,” TE Edwards delves into how plastic printed electronics produced by 3D printing technologies are critical to developing IoT advancements. Within 10 years, plastic circuits could operate at the same performance levels of today’s silicon circuits. Also, plastic printed transistors will be essential for creating wearable electronics and other IoT innovations.

Terminator-Inspired 3D Printing: From Liquid to Object

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Recently, developments in 3D printing have even innovated continuous liquid interface production. Materializing objects out of a pool of liquid can increase the production speed to up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing, according to the startup Carbon3D. The CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production) technique uses photochemistry. Designs come from liquid resin, and the media is solidified into the object using light and water, according to IFLScience.com.

CLIP produces complex objects that can have microscopic features and incredible geometries crafted at radically fast speeds. “Growing” objects out of a pool of liquid opens a world of opportunity. In medicine, for example, this type of 3D production could even produce custom stents to treat weakened arteries.

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Speed, opportunity for innovations, and the ability to design remotely position additive manufacturing as the most game-changing disruptive technology of our future. Let us know your thoughts on the future of 3D printing in the Disruptive Technology forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

3dprint.com

by  | MARCH 28, 2015

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3D printed telescope

The University of Sheffield has released photos taken by a 3D-printed telescope, costing £100, which according to them has a quality rivaling conventional telescopes that cost 10 times as much!

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-29244429

Picture of the moon

A university has shown the first photographs taken by a £100 telescope built from parts made by a 3D printer.

The University of Sheffield researchers behind the project claim the image quality from the PiKon telescope compares to models costing 10 times as much.

Plans are available online allowing anyone to download and print the components needed to build the device.

The telescope’s images were unveiled as part of a science festival in the city.

It captured numerous pictures of the moon’s surface during its first use.

One of the Pikon’s developers, physicist Mark Wrigley, said he hoped the new telescope would be a “game changer”.

‘Democratising technology’

“We hope that one day this will be seen on a par with the famous Dobsonian ‘pavement’ telescopes, which allowed hobbyists to see into the night skies for the first time,” he said.

“This is all about democratising technology, making it cheap and readily available to the general public.”

At the heart of the telescope is the camera module of a Raspberry Pi, the cheap, barebones, British built computer.

Based on Isaac Newton’s reflecting telescope design, a concave mirror focuses an image directly onto the Pi camera sensor, which is mounted onto components created by 3D printing.

Other parts such as the lens and the mirror can be bought from online suppliers.

Because of the small size of the Raspberry Pi camera, it is possible to mount it directly in front of the mirror.

PiKon Telescope

The PiKon telescope has a magnification of times 160, which means that on a cloudless night it will allow detailed views of the moon’s surface, as well as galaxies, star clusters and some planets.

Mr Wrigley said that the designers would use public feedback to improve the telescope and develop new products.

Other events in the university’s Festival of the Mind, include a live musical performance by 150 musicians of Gustav Holst’s symphony The Planets in a pop-up planetarium and an interactive video game art gallery.

References:

3D printed hands

Adding a superhero’s touch to prosthetic hands 🙂

http://techcrunch.com/…/3d-printed-hands-just-got-better-t…/

What could be better than giving disabled kids a new pair of hands? How about slapping a set of claws on those hands!

Aaron Brown, a maker and volunteer for the group Enabling The Future, has been building 3D printed prosthetic hands for kids who are missing fingers. These hands are given away for free and the group has made countless children quite happy.

Now they can be happier. Brown built a set of Wolverine claws that are compatible with the free prosthetic hand plans available on Thingiverse.

“The Comic loving nerd inside of me (along with some Facebook friends) said there is no way I can make a Wolverine hand without CLAWS…so I modeled some in Sketchup the morning before the makerfaire, printed ‘em, spray painted ‘em silver and velcro’d ‘em on there. Turned out pretty darn cool!” said Brown.

“I worked for about 7 years in nightclub security, with a few less exciting factory jobs before that.
Playing around with technology has always been a passion and hobby on the side and when my grandfather passed away unexpectedly last year, I was left with a small amount of funds in his will – just enough to start building my own business,” he said. Now he is working on a small 3D print shop and has been building Wolverine-themed hands for kids since he showed the first hand at the Grand Rapids Maker Faire.

It’s great to see 3D printing become truly useful and it’s even more exciting to see folks who can move from part-time nightclub bouncer to full time maker with a little time and effort.

TECHCRUNCH.COM
by  | Sep 6, 2014