Eco-friendly 3D printed supercar!

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/12/us-usa-3d-printed-supercar-idUSKCN0Q91W020150812

Eco-friendly 3D printed supercar

A California automotive start-up is hoping their prototype supercar will redefine car manufacturing. The sleek race car dubbed ‘Blade’ didn’t come off an assembly line – but out of a 3D printer.

Kevin Czinger of Divergent Microfactories has spent most of his career in the automotive industry. One day he realized that no matter how fuel-efficient or how few tailpipe emissions the modern car has, the business of car manufacturing is destroying the environment.

“3D printing of metal radically changes that. By looking at 3D printing not for that overall structure but to create individual modular structures that can be combined, that 3D printing transforms everything,” said Czinger during an interview with Reuters in Silicon Valley.

According to Czinger, 3D printing transforms everything by changing the way the structural components of cars are fabricated. Currently cars are pieced together on long assembly lines inside large factories that use massive amounts of energy. Even the most fuel-efficient car has a large carbon footprint before ever leaving the plant.

Czinger and his team’s approach was to take the large plant out of the equation. To accomplish this they printed the modular pieces that are used to connect carbon rods that make up the Blade’s chassis.

“The 3D printed chassis is only 102 pounds and has the same strength and safety protection as a frame made out of steel,” said Brad Balzer, the lead designer on the project.

By using carbon fiber instead of steel or aluminum for the body, the entire vehicle only weighs 1400 pounds (635kg), giving it twice the weight to horsepower ratio of a Bugatti Veyron.

The Blade is fitted with a 700 horse power engine that runs on natural gas, reducing its carbon footprint even further.

Balzer says designing an eco-friendly speed demon supercar as their first prototype was intentional.

“We focused a lot on the aesthetics of this car because it is very important to capture the people’s imaginations, especially when we are talking about the core enabling technologies,” he said.

The core enabling technology, the ability to print out car components that can be easily assembled, is what Kevin Czinger hopes will revolutionize car manufacturing. He says electric cars are a step in the right direction, but alone they won’t be enough to curb greenhouse emissions given the projected rise in demand for cars globally unless the way they are manufactured changes.

“By constructing a car this way it has less than one third of the environmental and health impact than the 85 hours all electric car for example has,” he added.

Czinger and Balzer are starting small but they believe their new 3D printing method for car manufacturing will have a huge impact on how the cars of the future are built.

reuters.com

by BEN GRUBER | Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:14pm EDT

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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

Filaments recycled

A Terrific Example of 3D Printing’s Sustainable Qualities!

http://goo.gl/woybZ2

cruncher plastic waste recycler

Any time I’ve seen a new technology meant to bring 3D printing to the masses, my initial response has been: “Do we really need more low-quality plastic crap in our houses?” But I’m excited by rapid prototyping as a much less materially intensive way to design and redesign products, and experiments in the healthcare sector, such as printing replacement organs, are awfully cool. But, of course, all of that testing out and experimenting will involve failures — should those bad prints just go to the landfill? Not if startup Extrusionbot has its way. I originally published the following post at sustainablog on February 6th, 2015.

Recycling Those 3D Printing Fails: The Cruncher

I’m still not sold on the idea that 3D printing is a useful consumer-level technology, but it’s definitely got its uses for designers and researchers. Regardless of who’s using the technology, though, there will be failures. With 2D printing, you can just throw the paper into a recycling bin. With 3D printing, the type of resin used, and the ability to break it down in a useful manner, determines recyclability. And using recycable plastic in the first place makes for a greener process overall.

So, I was intrigued when I came across a press release for The Cruncher, a machine designed to recycle 3D printing fails, or prints that are no longer useful. Created by Extrusionbot, a company that launched its signature EB2 filament extruder through a successful Kickstarter campaign. The new device will work right alongside the earlier product, but can also work with other extruders. In short, The Cruncher breaks down prints and other plastic materials that makes them ready for reuse.

If this just addressed the issue of 3d printing waste, The Cruncher would be a good thing, but fairly limited in its impact. But in addition to turning existing prints and prototypes back into usable plastic pellets, The Cruncher can also process other plastics, like used bottles and other waste materials. That’s kind of exciting… still limited in terms of impact, but conceptually promising. Why not use plastic waste that may well end up in landfills or oceans otherwise?

I’m pretty sure this one’s going to hit its funding goal: it’s already well on the way. It’s clearly designed for use beyond the consumer audience. I like the idea of reuse and recycling as an integral part of 3d printing, and hope not only that this campaign succeeds, but the concept catches on in the niche.

Work with 3D printing? Would a product like this help your efforts? Share your thoughts with us…

CLEANTECHNICA.COM
by  | February 12th, 2015

The World’s tallest building!

Another Sensational Milestone in the World of 3D Printing – The World’s Tallest Building Built from Recycled Construction Waste

http://goo.gl/IUVlcQ

image from http://mp.weixin.qq.com

A Chinese company has used 3D printers to create five-story homes using construction waste. The project architects say this is the world’s tallest building constructed using this technology.
The new project is the brainchild of Shanghai-based WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co, who also managed to use 3D printing technology to create a 1,100 square meters villa in the Suzhou industrial park of China’s Jiangsu Province. It is not known how comfortable the buildings will be to live in, but one cannot argue with the cost, the villa complete with interior decoration cost a little over $160,000.
image from http://mp.weixin.qq.com
According to the 3D printing website 3ders.org, it took the company a day to print one level of the building and another five to put it together. In order to undertake the mammoth task, the company used a massive 150-meter long and 6 meter high printer. They use recycled building waste for the materials or ‘ink’ which also contain glass fiber, steel and cement and special additives. The process works by secreting layers of construction material on top of each other to create densely packed building blocks.
image from www.yhbm.com

The company says the buildings are perfectly safe to live in, and are expanding their horizons and hope to build housing blocks as tall as 12 stories in the future.

WinSun estimates 3D printing technology can be very savvy: it may save between 30 and 60 percent on building materials with costs slashed by 50 percent up to 80 percent. The firm said that it may also shorten production time by 50 to 70 percent.

The company has been building up a reputation. In April, it managed to print 10 full-size houses in a day.

References:

Top 10 3D printing ventures in pictures

Brush Up on Your 3D Printing Knowledge! Here’s a Quick Look at 2014’s Top 10 3D Printing Ventures in Pictures.

http://goo.gl/pwyWco

In 2014, 3D printing burst onto the scene in fields ranging from medicine to music. Here’s a look back at the best projects in 10 categories.

Medicine

Certainly the most noble applications of 3D printing came from the world of medical science this year. Because of its ability to produce parts as unique as our own bodies, the technology has enormous potential in this field. In 2014 alone we saw the first step toward a 3D-printed bionic eyeand the development of a 3D-printed airway splint that is now helping a baby breathe by keeping his airways — which were prone to collapsing — open. It was also the year in which exact replicas of a patient’s brain tumor and heartwere made so that surgeons could practice on them before performing real surgeries.

Our winner in this category, though, goes to the woman who received an entire 3D-printed skull back in March to relieve pressure from her swelling brain. The operation was a success, and the woman was back at work shortly after it was completed.

Speaking of implants, we were also wowed by the 3D-printed face implants that recently got approval from the FDA. Called the OsteoFab Patient-Specific Facial Device, the implants truly highlight the customizability of 3D printing, as they can replicate the exact bone structure underlying that most distinct feature we all possess – our face.

Recreation

While not as serious as the medical applications of 3D printing, we did see the technology get put to recreational use in some fields in 2014. There was a nearly indestructible ping pong ball, a 3D-printed chess set and even a 3D-printed version of Cyvasse, the table game from “Game of Thrones.” There was also this awesome 3D-printed kayak, which is the winner of this category because, well, it’s a kayak!

Food

Food is about to get a lot more fun as 3D printers work their way into both professional and home kitchens. The most fun application of the technology to food we saw this past year comes from a group of MIT students who developed a machine that could 3D-print ice cream. Yup, ice cream.

Other contenders in this category include mini 3D-printed sculptures made from sugar, a 3D printer that spits out “fruit” and the promise that someday we’ll be able to 3D-print pasta in any shape we want. There’s also this super-cool open-source printer that can make pancakes in pretty much any design you can dream up.

Although not actually made of something edible, another invention that needs to be mentioned in this category is the 3D-printed doodad that helps eliminate that watery squirt of ketchup that has plagued mankind since the tomato paste was first invented. God bless technology.

Animals

Humans aren’t the only ones who benefitted from 3D-printing technology in 2014. The lives of our animal friends improved as well. There was the penguin who had his life saved through a 3D-printed beak; a duck named Buttercup who got a new 3D-printed flipper foot; and this little guy,TurboRoo. The puppy, who was born without his front legs, had a special cart 3D-printed for him by Mark Deadrick, the president of a 3D-printing company called 3dyn, who then affixed some skate wheels to it so that the little guy could get around. 3D-printing technology will allow new, cheap iterations of the cart as the puppy grows.

Exoskeletons, prosthetics & more

While the items in this category could all technically have gone under “Medicine,” we had to create a separate one because there were just so many of them made in 2014. There were the custom-made braces for scoliosis patientsthat promise to be more effective and more comfortable; the 3D-printed leg known as Roboleg; the 3D-printed exoskeleton that has helped a paralyzed skier to walk again; and the 3D-printed ultrasound cast that just might become a fashion accessory.

Although it’s hard to choose a favorite from the amazing breakthroughs in this category, we are going with the prosthetic arms made by Not Impossible Labs for victims of the violence in South Sudan through Project Daniel. The arms can be made in just six hours and cost only $100, which, through fundraising, means they can give hope and dignity back to thousands of amputees.

Architecture

2014 is the year in which a 20-foot-tall 3D-printer in Amsterdam began producing an entire house and, for that, it is the head-and-shoulders winner in this category. 3D printing holds a lot of promise in the field of architecture not only because of the customization available (like this castlethat came to 3D-printed life in 2014), but because many predict it will be able to quickly and cheaply put up structures — especially in underprivileged areas or places struck by natural disaster.

And what do you fill a 3D-printed house with? 3D-printed furniture, of course.

Fashion

There were so many applications of 3D printing in the world of fashion in 2014 that my CNET colleague Michelle Starr will be putting together a separate gallery to highlight them all.

Still, any comprehensive wrap-up of 3D printing technology in 2014 couldn’t leave out this vital category, so for it I nominate this fashion-forward invention. It’s a 3D-printed dress that has 20 reactive displays built into it that become transparent as the wearer reveals more data about herself online. The concept causes us to rethink technology — especially the wearable kind — even while employing it to bring the project to life.

Automobiles

2014 is the year in which the world’s first 3D-printed car design competition was held, and the company behind that competition, Local Motors, took the winning design by Michele Anoé of Italy into production. The car itself was unveiled at Chicago’s International Manufacturing Technology Show in September. They are now signing up interested parties on their website who will be alerted once the car is ready for mass consumption.

While that’s certainly cool, we had to give this category to another vehicle — the Bloodhound SSC. While it isn’t entirely made from 3D-printed parts, it does have its share of them and, well, it just looks super cool. That, and it’s powered by a jet engine and rocket cluster that will allow it to top out at 1,000 MPH.

Cradle to grave

I know this isn’t a typical category for a list like this, but we covered two things that fit so perfectly here I just had to give them their own space. (Warning: I could have easily named this category “The Creepiest Uses of 3D Printing.”)

The first is this life-size figurine of your unborn baby. That’s right, if you just can’t wait to hold junior in your arms, a company called 3D Babies (of course), will use ultrasound data to recreate your in-utero tike’s head and put it on one of four bodies available in three different skin tones.

If that sounds a little creepy, wait till you get ahold of this one: It’s an urn to hold your loved one’s ashes that looks just like the head of, um, your loved one. That’s right, a company called Cremation Solutions promises to be able to make the urn using just a few photos of the deceased. A small urn costs $600 and will hold a portion of the ashes, while a full-sized version that can hold all of the ashes will run $2400. But really, can you put a price on something like this?

Music

While 2014 did see its share of 3D-printed instruments come to life — like this saxophone and these super-cool instruments, we’re going to award this category to someone who used a 3D printer to make music in an entirely different way — by playing it on the printer itself.

That’s right. A YouTuber called Zero Innovations figured out how to rig a Simple Metal Printer from Printrbot to play “The Imperial March” from Star Wars using the sounds of the motors that move the printhead. While this also deserves a “Most Creative Use of a 3D Printer Award,” instead I’ll name the piece the official song to The Year of 3D Printing. Nicely done Zero Innovations. Nicely done.

CNET.COM
by Michael Franco | December 18, 2014 8:57 AM PST

The next 3D printing revolution in space

The European Space Agency has stated that 3D printing a moon base is possible within the next 40 years, and is looking into developing the project, which is still in its planning phase, further.

3D Printing: one of the first exported skills from Earth! 🙂

http://rt.com/news/203643-moon-base-3d-printer/

A possible image of a base on the moon (Image from www.esa.int)

he European Space Agency (ESA) has proven that its project to 3D-print a base on the Moon is possible. In a latest video the agency shows how 3D-printing robots may be used to build the base using lunar material.
The ESA started investigation of the lunar base possibility in 2013, working alongside its industrial and architectural partners. The creation of the reliable semi-spherical structures on the surface of the moon could be fulfilled within the next 40 years, and 90 percent of the materials needed would be derived from the moon itself.

The latest details of the new concept, which is, however, still “firmly on the drawing board,” were discussed at a conference this week at ESA’s technical center in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

“3D printing offers a potential means of facilitating lunar settlement with reduced logistics from Earth,” Scott Hovland, of ESA’s human spaceflight team, said in a statement.

“The new possibilities this work opens up can then be considered by international space agencies as part of the current development of a common exploration strategy,” he said.

An inner view of a human settlement on the moon (Still from YouTube video/European Space Agency)

As planned, the location of the settlement would be at the “peak of eternal light” – that is, along the rim of the Shackleton Crater on the south pole of the moon. This location was also chosen previously by NASA for its intended human settlement base, as it would mean near-constant solar power.

A 3D-printing robot (Still from YouTube video/European Space Agency)

The structure of a living pod would be formed by the habitation capsule and a dome, which would be covered by a protective shell made of lunar dust “cement” by two 3D-printing robots. It will be vital to protect people – up to four astronauts would become the first moon settlers – from radiation, meteoroids and temperature jumps – functions that on Earth are carried out by the atmosphere.

A living pod is protected by a concrete layer made of moon dust (Still from YouTube video/European Space Agency)

The moonbase plans are by no means the first attempt to apply 3D-printing to space technologies. This September, the International Space Station welcomed a high-tech 3D printer, aimed at creating tools and supplies for astronauts.

References:

First 3D printed rocket

Human-sized and weighing 3kg, this £6,000 project is the world’s first 3D printed rocket. Will its maiden voyage be the success that its team hopes it to be?

http://www.taipeitimes.com/…/biz/arch…/2014/10/13/2003601926

Fueled by beer and the enthusiasm of amateurs, a British team on Friday said it was preparing to launch the world’s first ever 3D printed rocket.

Showing off the human-sized rocket in a central London office, Lester Haines, head of the “Special Projects Bureau” at technology magazine The Register, described the technical challenges and “big future” of 3D printing in aeronautics.

“You can do highly complex shapes that simply aren’t practical to do any other way,” he said, dressed in a white lab coat sporting the project motto “Ad astra tabernamque,” which means “to the stars and the pub.”

“NASA are already 3D-prinsting metal rocket parts, so it’s obviously got a big future,” he said.

The project — sponsored by German data analytics firm Exasol AG — was suggested by readers of The Register and goes by the grand title “Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator,” or LOHAN for short.

It took 30 committed team members, including doctorate aeronautical engineers, four years to build the rocket.

The biggest challenge was getting the standard hobbyist rocket motor to fire at high altitudes, Haines said.

The team said it plans to launch the rocket from Spaceport America, the home of Virgin Galactic in New Mexico, later this year, after securing the £15,000 (US$24,000) needed for liftoff on crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

A huge helium balloon will lift the rocket 20,000m into the stratosphere, at which point the onboard GPS is set to ignite the engine, catapulting it to speeds of about 1,610kph.

The 3kg rocket, which cost £6,000 to print, is then scheduled to use an onboard autopilot to guide it back to Earth, all captured by an onboard video camera.

Haines explained how 3D printing’s main advantage was in speeding up the process of refining prototypes, requiring only a tweak to the computer-aided design plans that instruct the printer.

He called LOHAN “a because it’s there project,” which had no commercial value, but added that the number of potential uses for similar unmanned aerial vehicles was “endless.”

With the countdown on, Haines dispelled any suggestions the crew was feeling the pressure.

“We got some of the team turning up for a beer tonight,” he revealed. “It’s going to get really messy.”

References: