3D printed steel pedestrian bridge

http://3dprint.com/72682/amsterdam-3d-printed-bridge/

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3D Printed Steel Pedestrian Bridge Will Soon Span an Amsterdam Canal

The oldest of Amsterdam’s approximately 1,280 bridges in use dates back to 1648. The city is famous for its beautiful canals and waterways, and Dutch engineers have long made their names in constructing ways around the “Venice of the North.” Tourists are encouraged to visit one particular bridge on the Herengracht canal, from which they can see 15 bridges in one view. In addition to bridges, the Netherlands has been gaining fame across the board for its reputation in the global 3D printing arena.

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Now, the two are being brought together in an amazing feat of engineering prowess asHeijmans, MX3D, and Joris Laarman Lab collaborate on a first-of-its-kind project: a 3D printed steel pedestrian bridge that will span one of Amsterdam’s historic canals.

“We came to the conclusion that a bridge over the old canals of Amsterdam would be a fantastic metaphor for connecting the technology of the future with the city’s historic past, in a way which would reveal the best aspects of both worlds,” said Joris Laarman, who is designing the bridge. “I strongly believe in the future of digital manufacturing and local production – it’s a ‘new form of craftsmanship’. This bridge can show how 3D printing has finally entered the world of large-scale functional objects and sustainable materials, while enabling unrivalled freedom of design.”

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The ambitious project centers on startupMX3D’s technology, which uses 6-axis robotic machines to create structures from steel literally in mid-air. Plans for building the bridge involve using two (or more) of these machines to effectively begin construction on either bank of the canal and build toward one another, meeting in the middle.

While plans for the bridge’s location have not yet been made public, MX3D will, along with the city of Amsterdam, soon make this announcement. A visitor center will also be open to the public with extensive information available, starting in September.

“What distinguishes our technology from traditional 3D printing methods is that we work according to the ‘Printing Outside the Box’ principle,” said MX3D CTO Tim Geurtjens. “By printing with 6-axis industrial robots, we are no longer limited to a square box in which everything happens. Printing a functional, life-size bridge is of course the ideal way to showcase the endless possibilities of this technique.”

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For its part, Heijmans says, it will “contribute its knowledge of and experience in construction and technology to print the bridge.” Among other supporters in this project are Autodesk, whose technology Laarman has been using in the design process, as well as sponsors including ABB, Air Liquide, Delcam, Lenovo, and Within, and public partners Amsterdam City Council, AMS, and TU Delft.

Have you heard of other large-scale, usable construction projects going up around the world that rely on 3D printing technology? Let us know about them in the 3D Printed Pedestrian Bridge in Amsterdam forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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3dprint.com

by  | JUNE 11, 2015

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3D printed estate set

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/03/americas/architect-3d-prints-luxury-estate/

An artists rendering of a 3D-printed estate which is set to be built by architect Adam Kushner in conjunction with 3D-printing firm D-Shape.

The luxury 3D printed estate set to be made from sand, dust and gravel

(CNN)There’s already a 3D-printed house being built in the Netherlands. In China, 3D-printed mansions are reportedly on the rise.

Now, a 3D printed estate featuring a swimming pool, jacuzzi, car port and 2,400 square foot house could be coming to a sleepy plot of land in upstate New York.

The ambitious project is being undertaken by New York City architect Adam Kushner, alongside partners including 3D-printing pioneer Enrico Dini and his D-Shape firm.

Kushner told CNN that surveying has already begun with excavation work also set to commence soon.

The swimming pool and jacuzzi are penciled in to be completed by December 2015 while construction of the house is expected to continue until the end of 2017, he says.

An artists rendering of the pool house which will be 3D printed by D-Shape.

But the project hinges on getting the giant 3D printer, which will be used to produce the digitally designed building blocks of the estate on-site, into the country.

The device is currently in Italy after it was originally being built for a project partly funded by the Italian defense agencies. Military clearance is now required before the green light is given to export the printer to the United States, Dini says.

The delay in receiving this clearance is part of the reason the project has been held up since it was first announced back in August 2014.

“We are now waiting (for) permission to borrow the printer (from the military),” Dini says. “If I had another printer I’d send it there tomorrow, but unfortunately we don’t have and must wait.”

The litmus test

Whatever the import-export issues, Kushner says he sees the estate project as a test of D-Shape’s printer technology and its distinctive method.

This practice entails collecting sand, dust and gravel on site and mixing them with a magnesium-based binding agent to produce the 3D-printed building blocks required to piece the estate together. According to literature on the D-Shape website, the material produced by the printer is “similar to marble” in its constitution.

This technique is vastly different from other 3D-printing methods, Kushner says, and enables the production of many more “sculptural forms” that simply aren’t possible with other systems.

If D-Shape can prove its technology works and is efficient for a project of this size, Kushner believes it could lead to all manner of possibilities in architecture and construction. Not only could it be faster and safer than existing construction methods, he says, it could also end up being cheaper, more streamlined and of higher quality.

A Dini 3D printer like this one will be used to construct Adam Kushner's 3D printed estate in upstate New York.

And although the 3D-printed estate is something only the very wealthiest would be able to replicate, Kushner sees D-Shape’s construction methods benefiting the less fortunate as well.

“This will serve as a way of using our project to … pave the way for more humanitarian purposes that we see as the highest and best use for our technology,” he says.

“If we can build a simple pool house, I can print thousands of refugee housings. If I can build a pool, I can print underwater reefs (which he says D-Shape has already done before) to repair bridges, piers and infrastructures.”

A technology on the rise?

Integrating progressively more advanced 3D-printing methods into the construction industry has been a topic that has generated many eye-catching headlines in recent years.

The process of contour crafting — where large 3D printers are assembled on a building site (much like what will happen on Kushner’s estate) and programmed to construct pre-designed concrete structures and their relevant sub-components — was put forward by Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California as far back as 2009.

Khoshnevis told industry website 3DPrint.com earlier this year that the first printers large enough for his version of contour crafting should become available within the next two years. He added that the method could even be used to build high-rise structures within ten years.

Chinese firm WinSun seemed to take inspiration from Khoshnevis’ methods when they claimed to have 3D printed a mansion and six-story tower block in the city of Suzhou, eastern China earlier this year.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, DUS Architects continue to piece together a 3D-printed house using its “KamerMaker” machine. Company co-founder Katherine De Wit described the DUS technique as being a potentially valuable tool that could be added to those already used to build homes.

An artists impression of the DUS Architects 3D printed house.

Other experts, however are more cautious about the immediate potential of 3D-printing technology in the construction industry.

In an interview with CNN in 2014, Dr. Phil Reeves, managing director of UK-based 3D-printing consultancy and research firm Econolyst, described 3D-printing a house on site like that planned by DUS as counter to existing building techniques which are already relatively efficient.

Then there are other fast-developing building methods like prefabricated construction which entails manufacturing components in a factory before transporting and rapidly piecing them together on a building site.

Chinese firm Broad Sustainable Building claimed to have used this method to piece together a 57-story skyscraper in just 19 days earlier this year.

For Kushner, however, the benefits of large-scale 3D-printing are many and will likely increase as the technology becomes more advanced.

“This is not superfluous, nor a lazy architects idyll,” he says. “I think it’s as important as the automobile was in changing the design of cities or how the printing press altered communication.”

“Why? Because it democratizes construction and architecture and puts it into everyone’s hands, just like the camera phone made everyone a photographer. Not everyone is good at it but everyone can become one.”

edition.cnn.com

The stories of 3D printing

http://3dprint.com/57322/stories-we-missed-april-11/

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3D Printing: The Stories We Didn’t Cover This Week – April 11, 2015

This week’s 3D printing stories we didn’t cover run the gamut from quite serious to whimsical, beginning with serious news of an MIT student’s use of 3D printing to document his brain tumor diagnosis and treatment, to a new Minecraft-inspired 3D design app, more Ultimaker files released, Taiwan’s new Fab Trucks, an Instructable for a homemade 3D scanner, and fun printed fashion and food news, too.

MIT Doctoral Student Documents Brain Tumor

Steven Keating, an MIT doctoral student in the Mediated Matter Group, used 3D printing to document his experience during the diagnosis and treatment of a tennis ball-size brain tumor. Keating’s experience and background in data management and additive manufacturing was used to create digital and 3D printed models of his tumor, brain, and skull surgery. Not only did he intend to share important medical knowledge with people in similar situations, but he also wanted to show how 3D printing can help people take charge and be centrally involved in their own medical treatment. And he did just this. His surgery was videotaped and he’s advocating an open approach to usually private medical information in the spirit of collaboration, with 3D printing centrally involved.

Minecraft-Inspired 3D Design App Launches

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A Minecraft inspired UNTITLED Creator app created by Thailand-based Treebuild makes 3D design more fun and user-friendly at the same time. You can use theLUBAS app to make pixelated artwork while also nostalgically indulging in Minecraft-esque imagery. Even better is that you can easily export your designs or choose to save the work into STL, OBJ, X3D, 3DDOM, HTML, or VRML. You can also send them to a 3D printing service that can print the design and ship them to your doorstep. We covered its beta release last month, and now the app is up and running.

Ultimaker Releases More Open Source Files

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3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker has gone out of its way to facilitate its customers’ central involvement in the making and upgrading of their 3D printers. The company continues to show its commitment to the open source movement and the maker spirit, recently launching its Ultimaker Original+ and Ultimaker heated bed upgrade files, which you can access on GitHub.

Printer manuals, assembly instructions, and mechanics are all improved with the launching of these files, and the company continues to express its dedication to customers as the 3D printing technology develops and evolves.

Taiwan’s Fab Trucks for 3D Printing High School Education

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Taiwanese officials have shown great support for 3D printing technology, and in a recent turn of events, the country has decided to dedicate resources over the next two years to ensure more high school age students gain exposure to 3D printing. Fab Trucks — maker labs on wheels — will visit almost 500 high schools throughout Taiwan, reaching 160,000 students and teachers. The Ministry of Education has spent $224K (USD) on the six laboratory trucks equipped with professional 3D printing-related equipment. This equipment includes DLP (light curing) and FDM 3D printers, laser cutters, a CNC milling machine, and additional accessories and materials. Students will be encouraged to use the trucks as much as possible when they are available on their campuses in the hopes that Taiwan and the world will see a new generation of makers and 3D printing innovators on the horizon.

FIT Student 3D Prints Captivating Fashion Piece

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The relevance of 3D printing for a growing number of students can also be found in a Fashion Institute of Technology student’s project that used 3D printing to make an elaborate neck and matching dress piece. Rachel Nhan took her class assignment theme “Mad Max Meets the French Court” to heart as she designed a piece that perfectly merges these seemingly disparate themes into one captivating design.

After considering 25 different design concepts, Nhan used Autodesk Maya to create the selected model, which was split into 14 pieces and 3D printed by FIT’s PrintFX Lab on a uPrint Stratasys Machine with a 6″ x 8″ x 6″ printing bed. Nhan reports having some difficulty fitting the different components onto the print bed, but you would never know she had any difficulties by looking at the finished product. Capturing the Mad Max/French Court theme quite well, Nhan’s piece is also a reminder of 3D printing’s growing popularity in the fashion design world, as more and more people rely on it to realize their own customized, outlandish, and futuristic fashion visions.

Danish Teacher Makes 3D Scanner

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While students (like FIT’s Nhan) continue to use 3D printing in a wide variety of applications, teachers are also a standout source of knowledge and innovation in the 3D printing scene. Using webcams, a video projector, and other household items, Danish teacher Hesam Hamidi has made a perfectly functional structured light 3D scanner — a scanning device that measures objects’ three-dimensional shapes using a camera system and projected light patterns. This project is called “HHSL3DS” and Hamidi, who has been working in Denmark’s Copenhagen Fablab for some time, shared all of his designs and even the software and code he has written for it online. You can find entire tutorial, as well as all the downloadable files, on Instructables.

World’s First 3D Printed Food Conference in Netherlands

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For those who get excited about the merging of culinary arts and 3D printing technology, good news: the world’s first 3D printed food conference will take place in Venlo, the Netherlands on April 21, 2015. This conference promises to bring printed food from “hype to reality,” while addressing important questions such as: “Which industries will be influenced by the technology?” “Which food components can be printed in the near future?” “Which aspects should be taken into account to ensure safety and maintainability of 3D printed food?” Also, topics to be explored, which are also listed on the official conference website, include: food components (protein, carbohydrates, and fats); custom nutrition; food processing and design; safety issues; new value chains; applications for the elderly and the health care industry; hardware and software developments; business models and legal issues. There’s still time to register on the conference website if you are in that growing group of 3D printed food fans!

That covers all the stories we missed this week! Let us know what you think of them in the Stories We Didn’t Cover forum thread at 3DPB.com.

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3dprint.com

by  | APRIL 11, 2015

Eco-friendly bicycle

A Dutch Woodworker Has Created an Eco-Friendly Bicycle Created Entirely Out of Aluminium and Wood

http://3dprint.com/50131/bike-from-wood-and-3d-print/

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Oh, the joys of cycling — and of collecting bikes. If you know a bicycle enthusiast (or are one), you are probably aware they rarely just have one, and if said person lives in a city they usually have several bikes meant for every cycling scenario imaginable piled up in their living room, kitchen, or bedroom for safekeeping. Moving them or paring down the collection is simply not a thought that has crossed their minds whatsoever as they might need a commuter, a mountain bike, a hybrid, or a more customized bike that’s lighter in weight for going greater distances.

If you live with someone who is encroaching on your space with bikes, the advent of 3D printing might be even greater cause for you to worry if they are handy and technically savvy. The bikes could begin multiplying, as they 3D print out parts in delight, with Amsterdam designer Paul Timmer as the perfect role model.

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Timmer has recently designed and built a bicycle completely out of wood and 3D printed aluminum parts. Timmer, obviously not just a woodworker and cyclist, but also a great artist, has constructed a streamlined design with the innovative technology of 3D printing and the superior quality of solid ash.

Featuring an extremely eco-friendly design — not to mention all recyclable — with the aluminum parts and solid ash wood, the bike weighs in at a mere 11 kilograms, which is equal to 24 lbs or so. This makes a normally constructed bike seem pretty clunky in contrast to Timmer’s sleek design, which is meant as an all-terrain means of transportation.

While not the only creatively constructed wooden bike on the market for sure, Timmer’s is the only one (that we know of so far) that employs 3D printed aluminum parts as a means of stability and added strength.

“The main advantage of the wooden frame is the exceptional comfort. All vibrations, due to bumps in the road, are instantly absorbed,” said Timmer. “Wood is the best construction material available. This bike can be as strong as a steel one, but it has to be designed better than a steel one.”

Why does someone stray off the beaten path so far with these types of materials for a bike? Timmer wanted a top-of-the-line ride and he just so happened not only to know how to build one but also how to create custom 3D designs for everything on the bike that wasn’t wood, and he had the resources to 3D print them.

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Using ‘forks’ to form a triangle from the handlebar area down to the mechanics of the 3D printed chain, which is made out of a clean belt drive, keeps the wood grain as pristine as possible, and increases durability. As Timmer states on his website, the bike “becomes strong enough by extraordinary attention to detail.”

With 3D design, Timmer was afforded the freedom to tweak and refine parts and 3D print them out as needed rather than having to order something or rely on someone else to make it. That’s the beauty of 3D design and 3D printing as we know it. And while this design is currently the only one of its kind, Timmer has plans to produce them for other biking — and 3D printing — enthusiasts soon.

Is this a bike that interests you for your cycling needs? How do you think the combination of wood and 3D printed aluminum parts can be more helpful? Tell us your thoughts in the 3D Printed Bicycle with Wood forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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3DPRINT.COM
by  | MARCH 11, 2015

First 3D printed shoulder prosthesis

The influence of 3D printing on medicine just keeps on increasing in leaps and bounds!!!

http://3dprint.com/9048/3d-printed-shoulder-prosthesis/

Shoulder and Glenoid Cavity

3D printing in the medical field is really beginning to hit its stride lately. Whether it is the use of 3D printing to create models for surgeons to study, using 3D printers to create prosthetic hands or arms, or actually 3D printing replacement parts for the body, we are getting ever so close to a time when 3D printing will be used on a daily basis in every hospital around the globe.

The latest bit of news comes out of the Netherlands, where a patient at the Rijnland Hospital in Leiderdorp is set to receive a 3D printed shoulder & glenoid cavity prosthesis, with the help of orthopedic surgeon Dr. Cornelis Visser. The 3D printing of the prosthetic shoulder, in theory should allow the patient to get full range of motion back in his shoulder.

3D printing has allowed doctors to create a totally unique prosthesis that will fit the patient’s anatomy almost perfectly.

“A few weeks before the operation, we take a CT scan of the shoulder of the patient,” explained Dr. Cornelis Visser (translation). “This produces a 3D image. From this image, the optimum position of the prosthesis is determined, and a custom-made mold is printed in the United States. Previously, the position of the prosthesis was only determined during the operation, by the naked eye.  Now I use this unique (3D printed) mold. This allows me to connect to the unique anatomy of the patient, by using the entire prosthesis.”

Once the surgery is complete, the patient’s new shoulder should feel more natural than that of traditional shoulder replacements. The prosthesis should move better, and there should be an equal distribution of force on the joint, when the shoulder is in use. Because of this equal distribution of force, the life-span of the prosthesis should last longer than traditional replacements, although there is no historical data to confirm this, since 3D printing is so relatively new for medical prostheses.

This is the first case in the Netherlands where a 3D printed shoulder replacement has been used in surgery. Previously this same technology has been used in the creation of knee prostheses.

What do you think? Will this technology become more common in the coming years? Discuss in the 3D printed shoulder prosthesis forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | JULY 13, 2014