3D printed models for kids’ operations

http://www.engadget.com/2015/08/01/boston-childrens-hospital-3d-printing/

Surgeons practice on 3D-printed models for kids’ operations

Surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital started using 3D-printed copies of patients’ affected body parts to prepare for procedures last year. Now, that move has helped save the lives of four children aged two months to 16 years old who suffered from life-threatening blood vessel malformation in their brains. Their condition gave ride to distinctive anatomies that one of the hospital’s neurosurgeon, Edward Smith, said were really tricky to operate on. So, the doctors used a combination of 3D printing and synthetic resins to conjure up copies of the kids’ deformed vessels, along with nearby normal counterparts and surrounding brain anatomy. That gave them the chance to practice extensively beforehand and reduce possible complications on the operating table.

Smith said the models allowed them to “view [the formations] from different angles, practice the operation with real instruments and get tactile feedback.” It was especially beneficial for three of the four patients, as they had arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) — their arteries and veins were all tangled up – that required the surgeons to cut blood vessels as quickly as possible, and in a certain sequence. Thanks to their preparations, the surgeons managed to fix the kids’ distorted blood vessels and cut surgery time by 30 minutes each. Smith and his colleague Darren Orbach now plan to use 3D printing to train younger doctors and for even trickier cases in the future.

engadget.com

by Mariella Moon | August 1st 2015 At 3:33am

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http://www.pymnts.com/in-depth/2015/3d-printing-may-make-the-warehouse-a-thing-of-the-past/#.VdXcMPntmkp

Innovation

3D PRINTING MAY MAKE THE WAREHOUSE A THING OF THE PAST

Not long ago, during his 2013 State of the Union Address, U.S. President Barack Obama called attention to 3D printing, saying it “has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.” While the c is expected to alter the way consumer goods are made, 3D printing could also affect the entire supply chain—from warehousing to profit models.

Collapsing the Supply Chain

In the not-so-distant future, manufacturing may no longer be associated with warehouses filled with stacks of finished products waiting for shipment. Instead, 3D printing allows manufacturers to easily produce goods to order.

According to Ed Morris, director of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, 3D printing brings an on-demand business model to suppliers. “Whenever you need a product, you just make it,” herecently told third-party logistics company Cerasis. “That collapses the supply chain down to its simplest parts, adding new efficiencies to the system.” This simplification will spread throughout the entire supply chain, from assembly and carrying to distribution.

The value of 3D printing is maturing from its early days of product prototyping and expanding into the realm of finished products. Currently, finished products make up just 28 percent of the money spent on printing technology. That figure is expected to jump to 80 percent by the end of the decade. For manufacturers looking to cut costs, the advantages of moving toward 3D printing are numerous. On-demand printing requires little physical storage space, allowing manufactures to reduce overhead by moving production closer to the intended market, and shortening the length of the chain.

Printing is also well suited for low-volume and specialized products, particularly replacement parts. Shifting this segment of work to printers from factory floors frees up traditional manufacturers to focus their time, energy and talents on other goods. Some experts expect the change to be drastic. Cutting the need for high-volume production facilities and low-level assembly workers, 3D printing effectively cuts out half of the supply chain in “one single blow,” according to Cerasis.

Caution: Bumps Ahead

Despite the advantages and positive growth, the expense of 3D printing machines, materials and maintenance is slowing mass adoption. Printers now range from $1,000 to over $1 million. The price of materials remains high. Data collected by Supply Chain Quarterly with the Center for Supply Chain Research at The Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business revealed 3D polymers can cost up to 104 times more than the polymers used in injection molds. Metals also cost more, some 7-to-15 times more than metals used in traditional manufacturing methods.

But 3D printing can reduce the expense and complexity of production, lowering the cost of entry for new manufacturers. Printing allows for low-cost prototyping and the ability of small orders opening up the market for new companies to challenge legacy companies or to cater to a niche market. The increased level of competition could force suppliers and manufacturers to find ways to differentiate themselves or offer additional value-added services.

Profit-making potential expands beyond the classic buyer-seller relationship in the new 3D printingsupply chain. In its review of the disruptive forces that accompany the 3D printing revolution, McKinsey & Company highlighted the option for businesses to sell blueprints to be printed somewhere else. As the tools needed to print products become more widely available, buyers could print aftermarket or replacement parts on their own equipment using data supplied by manufacturers.

The on-demand wave has hit many aspects of B2B transactions, from credit cards to business travel, as buyers demand to do business in real-time. Now, that wave is washing over manufacturing, too – and the opportunity could be quite lucrative. McKinsey Global Institute research estimates 3D printing could have a yearly impact of $550 billion on the manufacturing process alone by 2025. But for now, high costs are likely to keep 3D printing a pipedream for many manufacturers today.

References:

pymnts.com

by  | 8:15 AM EDT April 28th, 2015

3D printed giant star system

Astronomers Whip Up Tangible Models from Supercomputer Simulations of 2 Massive Stars

A 3D-printed model of the Homunculus Nebula is compared to a Hubble Space Telescope image of the object.

Most astronomers rely on flat images to study cosmic objects, but a group of researchers is taking an alternate approach: They’re creating 3D-printed models of a giant star system in order to study its physical characteristics and investigate its mysterious past.

Eta Carinae is the brightest and most massive star system within 10,000 light-years of Earth, and consists of two stars surrounded by luminous shells of gas. A group of scientists looking to better understand how this system formed created complex computer simulations that predicted how the gas should move and change as the stars orbit each other. The science team also created a video detailing their discoveries about Eta Carinae, based on their findings.

But the simulations were difficult to decipher on a computer screen, so the scientists used a 3D printer to bring features of Eta Carinae to life in three dimensions. The researchers plan on making the 3D printing plans available to the public, so anyone with a 3D printer can hold this complex star system in their hands. [10 Ways 3D Printing Can Transform Space Travel]

The same group of astronomers have been studying Eta Carinae with a variety of telescopes in order to probe its past and make predictions about its future. Examining the system with the instruments revealed shells of gas from previous explosions racing away from the most massive star at a million miles an hour.

The new data allowed the researchers to track the cosmic wind coming off the primary star, and reveal expanding claw-like structures. At the same time, the 3-D printer turned up previously unseen fingerlike protrusions in the region where the winds from both stars collide. Together, the variety of methods produced the most comprehensive picture of the binary system to date.

The results were presented by a research team coordinated by Theodore Gull, of NASA Goddard, last month at the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle.

3D printing for science

The two massive stars of  Eta Carinae orbit each other once every 5.5 years and are located about 7,500 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Carina (The Keel).  In their orbit, the stars can be as far apart as the sun and Neptune, or as close as the sun and Mars. Two massive shells of expanding gas called the “homunculus” race away from the central stars, most likely resulting from an explosive event that caused the system to shine almost as brightly as Sirius in the 1840s.

In 2009, Theodore Gull of NASA Goddard began to study Eta Carinae’s two massive stars and the gas lobes extending away from them in both directions with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. He turned up several unusual features in the gas lobes, including one that he compares to a Maryland blue crab.

The “crab,” with its clawlike features, is a remnant from more than 10 years ago, or about twice the time it takes the two stars in Eta Carinae to orbit each other. Observations reveal the diffuse gas bubbles expanding outward with time, racing away from the stars at about one million miles (1.6 million kilometer) per hour.

“The Hubble/STIS is really resolving what I would call fossil winds,” Gull said, terming his work of excavating structures from past cycles as ‘astroarchaeology.’

Eta Carinae's great eruption in the 1840's created the billowing Homunculus Nebula, imaged here by the Hubble Space Telescope. The expanding cloud contains enough material to make at least 10 copies of our sun. Astronomers don’t yet know what caused the e

It was these observations that led Gull down the path of creating a three-dimensional model of Eta Carinae.

First, theorist Thomas Madura, also of Goddard, used the detailed observations of the astronomical hourglass to build a three-dimensional supercomputer simulation of the central interacting binary. But the structures continued to remain elusive. Madura turned to a commercial 3D printer to probe the distant astronomical object.

“As far as we are aware, these are the world’s first 3D prints of a supercomputer simulation of a complex astrophysical system,” he said.

The team created printed models of Eta Carinae at three different times during its orbital cycle — when the stars were farthest apart, when they were closest together and three months after their closest approach. The result led to a surprising scientific find.

“As a result of doing this 3D printing work, we actually discovered these fingerlike protrusions that extend radially out of the spiral collision region,” Madura said.

“These are features that we didn’t really know existed.”

The scientists think that the features, which are too small to resolve with current telescopes, are real features that arrive from physical instabilities that result when gas streaming from one star essentially collides with a wall of gas from the winds of its companion.

The printed 3D models should help the team and other scientists gain a better understanding of what is going on at the heart of Eta Carinae, as well as at its surface. A paper detailing this research was published in the July 8, 2014 issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The team intends to place the 3D print files on a website and make them available to the general public. Anyone with access to a 3D printer will be able to hold physical models of Eta Carinae in their hands. These 3D models could be helpful for educational purposes, as well as for the visually impaired, Madura suggested.

“It’s a great way to communicate complicated scientific results to nonexperts and the general public,” Madura said.

A new shape model of Eta Carinae's exterior gas shell reveals protrusions, trenches, holes and irregularities in its molecular hydrogen emission. The scientists who created the 3D computer simulations also created 3D printed models of the luminous star sy

Rushing winds

The brighter of the two stars in Eta Carinae — the primary star — is estimated to have the mass of 90 suns while shining more than 5 million times as brightly. The system shines so brightly that the second star wasn’t found until 2005, and characterizing it has remained a challenge.

“Eta Carinae itself is so luminous that we can’t really clearly see the second star,” said Madura. The research team suspects that the star has about 30 solar masses and emits the light as strong as a million suns.

Although most scientists suspect that the brighter star had the eruption that created the gas lobes, Madura said, “We don’t actually know which star had the eruption.”

The closeness of the two stars means that the stellar winds, full of material from the surface of the stars, stream outward and slam into one another.

The dense wind from the primary star travels at nearly a million miles (1.6 million km) per hour. When it collides with the thinner wind from the secondary, which travels about six times as fast, the rapid deceleration produces a bow shock around the dimmer star. The shockwave creates bright x-ray light that changes over the orbital period of the stars, spiking upward only to fall as the dim companion moves behind the brighter star.

Over several 5.5-year orbital periods, astronomers led by Michael Corcoran, of the Universities Space Research Association in Maryland, used two NASA satellites — the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) and the X-ray telescope aboard the Swift satellite — to monitor the changes in brightness of the system over the past 20 years. [The X-Ray Universe Revealed in Photos]

Although the brightness fluctuations are similar in each cycle, they correspond to material flowing off the star and so are not identical. In 2009, the dip in brightness recovered faster than it had in previous cycles. The most recent cycle offered another surprise — in July 2014, the X-ray signal was brighter than previous observations, according to Corcoran. Despite the jump, the drop back to the lowest point remained consistent with previous observations.

The changes are important because they reveal how much material streams away from the pair.

“For stars, mass determines their destiny, but for massive stars, mass loss determines their destiny,” Corcoran said.

“By looking at these X-ray variations, we can tell something very important about how these stars are changing.”

In addition to studying Eta Carinae in the X-ray, Mairan Teodoro of NASA Goddard and a group of professional and amateur astronomers studied the system in a single wavelength of blue light emitted by helium atoms that have lost an electron. Light from the atoms tracks the conditions of the wind from the primary star.

But these emissions can be very faint, and difficult to cull from the rest of the light waves emitted by the star. In 2009, Teodoro led the first international effort to track the helium signature across the southern hemisphere, collecting contributions from at least five observatories. In 2014, the team collected even more observations. Together, the data included over 400 observations by amateur astronomers. Studying the wide variety of data collected, the team was able to conclude that there were no significant changes in the brightness of Eta Carinae in the past 5.5 years.

The steadiness of the wind from the secondary star is somewhat surprising, given that the larger, brighter primary is thought to be more stable.

The deeper insights into what is going on around the visible edges of the binary stars may help put to rest concerns that the two may suffer a violent death in the near future. Like most massive stars, the pair found in Eta Carinae will end their lives in a supernova blowout. The timing is based on how quickly they lose their matter before they reach the point where they are no longer stable.

“What determines the eventual state of the star is what’s going on deep in the core,” Corcoran said. The mass loss the team has observed takes place at the surface, not in the interior. However, that surface activity should be indicative of what is happening in the heart of the stars, according to Corcoran.

At the moment, the surface activity seems rather steady on both stars.

“We don’t really expect [either star] to be a supernova,” Gull said. “However, we can always be fooled.”

SPACE.COM
by Nola Taylor Redd, SPACE.com Contributor   |   February 24, 2015 01:30pm ET

3D printed tekken model of ‘Yoshimitsu’

A Breathtaking Recreation of Tekken Fan Favourite Yoshimitsu

http://goo.gl/2C1Ytg

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As a child, I was quite the collector of action figures and models. Whether it was my vast collection of G.I. Joes, my complete set of every Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle available, my Starting Lineup models, or my sparse collection of random figurines from Ghost Busters, American Gladiators, and He-Man, I never had a problem finding something to do. Now with the advent of 3D printing, action figure hobbyists and model collectors have yet another avenue to trek when it comes to acquiring their favorite characters from movies, TV shows, and/or video games.

It seems like it was only a little over a year ago that we began seeing designers start 3D printing their own custom figurines. The ability to design characters from the ground up, and then bring them to life through 3D printing, means the possibilities are really endless.

Thijs de Bruijn

For one Dutch designer, named Thijs de Bruijn, 3D printing was just the avenue he needed to create a model figurine with the detail and customization that he wanted, although he never really set out to have his model 3D printed.

“Initially I wasn’t even planning on ever having it 3D printed. I entered a 3D modelling contest of which the goal was to make fan art of a character from any fighting game,” Bruijn tells 3DPrint.com. “In my opinion it would be kind of pointless to just blatantly recreate an already existing design, therefore I decided to make my own design from the ground up. The character I picked was ‘Yoshimitsu’ from the game Tekken. I thought he was really interesting in his previous designs and he also has a somewhat interesting backstory.”

Bruijn started his design by sketching the really basic proportions in Photoshopwithout any line-work. He then browsed the internet looking for pictures that had interesting shapes. These shapes can literally be anything imaginable. He took these pictures and overlaid them on his Photoshop sketch to find interesting lines which he could then trace.

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“This is a great way to come up with design elements that you could never think of yourself,” Bruijn tells us. “The next step is to take the design and quickly sculpt that in Zbrush.”

Bruijn uses Zbrush but says that any sculpting software could work. He then took a snapshot of the 3D model back to Photoshop and repeated his original step until he was happy with his overal design. Because most 3D printers are not large enough for the printing of full sized models, Bruijn had to cut his model apart. When it came to 3D printing his model, a Hong Kong-based company called Ownage was just the right fit.

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The Yoshimitsu model was 3D printed with parts printed on several different machines. Most of the parts are made hollow and then filled with a heat resistant plaster to give the model a more solid feel and provide it with a bit of weight. When complete, the Yoshimitsu model measured 9.84 inches tall (25 cm).

It took Bruijn a little less than two months to complete this project from start to finish, with the painting process taking two whole weeks. In the end, it was well worth the time he spent, as the model turned out amazing.

I’m a 27 year old artist with a background in game-art, I have several years of experience in the field and went on to do freelance work since about a year ago. I also have degree in Game-Art (graduated at MediaCollege in Amsterdam). I’m located in Monnickendam, the Netherlands, which about 15 minutes away from Amsterdam!

Bruijn is a 27 year-old artist with a background in game art, as well as a degree in the subject from MediaCollege in Amsterdam. He has several years of experience in the field, and currently lives in Minnickendam, the Netherlands. More details on Bruijn’s other design work can be found on his website.

What do you think about this incredible Yoshimitsu model? Was it worth the two month time frame it took Bruijn to create? Discuss in the 3D Printed Tekken model forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Check out some more photos of Bruijn’s model below.

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3DPRINT.COM
by  | JANUARY 22, 2015

3D printed car models from children’s sketches

Breathing Life Into Simple Sketches: A Japanese Company is Making Every Child’s Dream Come True!

http://3dprint.com/32854/3d-printed-cars-kids-designs/

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The future of 3D printing lies in the hands of our youth. It will be today’s school-aged children who grow up understanding the concepts behind 3D modeling and 3D printing better than most of us who are currently employed in the workforce. Hopefully with 3D printing curricula in schools, and a growing understanding that the technology holds tremendous potential, our children will be the ones to really reap the rewards of the technology. It will be these same children who will be working for the companies that do for 3D printing what the Googles, Apples, and IBMs did for personal computing.

In Japan, 3D printing is beginning to really take off. One company, called t-o-f-u design, understands the importance of teaching children about this technology. In collaboration with Inter-Culture, at the 2014 Maker Faire in Tokyo, t-o-f-udecided to try something very unique, when it comes to 3D printing. They allowed 11 children, between the ages of 4 and 8 years old, to design a side view of a car that they would like to have fabricated on a 3D printer. They were merely asked to draw a profile of a vehicle from one side, and then t-o-f-u and company were to do the rest.

 

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“We are actually full time car designers [for a] major Japanese car company,” Park tells 3DPrint.com. “We created this design unit to create fun and meaningful educational workshops for kids and also to do more collaboration projects with other creative talents. It is part of our learning experience as well.”

Using Autodesk Alias, t-o-f-u was able to create digital 3D models of the kids’ cars. They then had INTER-CULTURE 3D print the designs using a 3D Systems Sinterstation HiQ. Once the cars were 3D printed, the kids were then asked to color them using special markers.

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The end result? 11 separate 3D printed cars that featured moving wheels, and an individuality about them only possible via 3D printing. The cars, which were exhibited at the Tokyo Maker Faire, garnered quite the attention from show attendees.

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The children were also able to push their cars around a track to see just how fast they could go.

“Since we made only a one course race track, we could not race them, but all the cars drive perfectly,” explained Park. “So we had [the kids] drive them one by one, and they were super excited to see their own designed cars moving!”

Now with this project complete, t-o-f-u is looking toward future projects, including collaboration with other large 3D printing companies. Park tells us that they are in talks with Materialise Japan, and they are in the process of working on another kids design workshop that will take place in the middle of January.

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What do you think about this unique way of using 3D printing to get kids involved with and excited about the technology? Discuss in the 3D printed kids cars forumthread on 3DPB.com.

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3DPRINT.COM
by  | DECEMBER 23, 2014

First 3D printed chocolate exposition

This One’s for the Chocaholics – Hershey’s are Unveiling the World’s First 3D Printed Chocolate Exposition. Shame the Models aren’t Edible!

http://3dprint.com/31758/hersheys-3d-printing-exhibit/

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When it comes to the 3D printing of food, probably the most popular, easiest, and most delectable food to print with is chocolate. We’ve seen numerous companies, both large and small, experiment with the process, and in fact there are several chocolate printers in production as we speak, which are capable of intricate fabrication of unique chocolate objects.

Out of all the companies out there, one instantly pops into most individual’s heads when they think of creamy, rich chocolate, and that is Hershey. With the history, the market reach, and the drive within the company, it was only a matter of time before the Hershey, Pennsylvania-based chocolate producer would integrate 3D printing into its operations in some way, shape, or form. Today is that day!

Teaming up with 3D Systems, Hershey has announced that on December 19th they will debut the 3D Chocolate Candy Printing Exhibit at the Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction. Here, visitors will have the opportunity to watch and interact with scientists at the company as well as 3D printers spewing out the rich creamy candy.

“We are now using 3-D technology to bring Hershey goodness to consumers in unanticipated and exciting ways,” said Will Papa, Chief Research and Development Officer, The Hershey Company. “3-D printing gives consumers nearly endless possibilities for personalizing their chocolate, and our exhibit will be their first chance to see 3-D chocolate candy printing in action.”

Hershey will use the feedback and insight gathered from visitors at the attraction to gauge their entrance into the space, with ultimate plans to utilize 3D printing to create an experience, and possibly products, like none other. The visitors will actually be the ones who, perhaps unknowingly, shape the future of commercial chocolate 3D printing.

“We are committed to democratizing 3-D printing, making this game-changing technology accessible and engaging for everyone,” said Chuck Hull, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, 3D Systems. “Our partnership with Hershey, the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and confections, allows us to create unique, exciting and personalized edible experiences, and this is a great way to showcase the power and possibilities of 3-D printing.”

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The 3D Chocolate Candy Printing Exhibit will allow visitors to get scanned and then be transformed into a chocolate-looking sculpture on screen. They will also have the opportunity to watch live as one of the most advanced chocolate printers in existence works its magic.

If you happen to be in the area and want to stop in, Friday of this week will be the grand opening of the 3D printing exhibit. The address of Hershey’s Chocolate world is 251 Park Boulevard, Hershey, PA. Let us know if you have the opportunity to stop in. Take some pictures and document your experience in theHershey 3D Printed Chocolate Exhibit forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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3DPRINT.COM
by  | DECEMBER 17, 2014