A brief history of 3D printing

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/the-evolution-of-3d-printing

A 3D printer used by a clinic in France to create skull and facial implants.

A brief history of 3D printing

On that evening, more than three decades ago, when he invented 3D printing, Chuck Hull called his wife.

She was already in her pyjamas, but he insisted that she drive to his lab to see the small, black plastic cup that he had just produced after 45 minutes of printing.

It was March 19, 1983. Hull was then an engineer working at a U.S. firm that coated furniture with a hard plastic veneer. As part of his work, he used photopolymers — acrylic-based liquids — that would solidify under ultraviolet light. Hull thought the same sort of process might be used to build a three-dimensional object from many thin layers of acrylic, hardened one after another, with targeted UV light from a laser beam.

Hull pursued his research on nights and weekends until finally sharing his eureka moment with his wife, Anntionette.

“I did it,” he told her simply.

Chuck Hull, inventor of the 3D printer

Hull took out a series of patents on his invention and went on to co-found a company, 3D Systems, that remains a leader in the field. Last year, the 75-year-old was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Hull’s invention launched a wave of innovation. Design engineers embraced 3D printers as the answer to their prayers: Instead of waiting weeks or months to have new parts produced, they could design them on computers and print prototypes the same day.

3D printers have since evolved and can now use all kinds of materials, including metals, ceramics, sugar, rubbers, plastics, chemicals, wax and living cells. It means designers can progress rapidly from concept to final product.

Advances in the printers’ speed, accuracy and versatility have made them attractive to researchers, profit-making firms and even do-it-yourselfers.

The cost of the machines has also dropped dramatically, which means it’s easy for home inventors to enter the field. Home Depot sells a desktop version for $1,699 while Amazon.com markets the DaVinci Junior 3D printer for $339.

The machines have been used to print shoes, jewellery, pizza, cakes, car parts, invisible braces, firearms, architectural models and fetal baby models (based on ultrasound images).

The wave of innovation triggered by the 3D printer is only now beginning to crest in the field of medicine. Researchers are racing to engineer implantable livers, kidneys and other body parts with the help of 3D printers.

In Canada, scientists are using 3D bioprinters as they work toward creating new limb joints made from a patient’s own tissue, and implantable skin for burn victims.

ottawacitizen.com

by Andrew Duffy | August 28, 2015 2:00 PM EDT

Advertisements

3D printed organs!

http://www.businessinsider.com/3d-printed-organs-challenges-2015-8

Bioengineer reveals the biggest challenge to 3D printing organs

http://www.techinsider.io/3d-printed-organs-challenges-2015-8#ooid=tpcDNrdjowZcDnCdKyehG_RwH-9ZlGhg

Researchers at Bighamton University are working on a 3D printing process that will allow them to build tissues and organs in a lab. This could save lives as people who need an organ transplant would no longer have to wait for a suitable match to be found.

Video courtesy of Binghamton University and Andrew Hatling.

Follow Binghamton University: On Facebook and Twitter

Follow TI Video: On Facebook

References:

businessinsider.com

http://www.businessinsider.com/3d-printed-organs-challenges-2015-8

New optical fibre 3D printing technique!

http://www.itproportal.com/2015/07/03/new-optical-fibre-3d-printing-technique-being-researched/

New optical fibre 3D printing technique being researched

New optical fibre 3D printing technique being researched

The researchers at the University of Southampton are currently investigating a new way of manufacturing optical fibre. And that is through 3D printing, or, in other words, additive manufacturing.

This new research could potentially pave the way for more complex structures that can be capable of unlocking a host of applications in many different industries, such as telecommunications, aerospace, biotechnology, etc.

As of now, there are a couple of ways to manufacture optical fibre. One of them is with the help of a piece of glass from which the optical fibre is drawn. This gives manufacturers a consistent length and shape of the fibre. In the case of 3D printing, it is difficult to control the shape and composition of the fibre, which results in limited flexibility in design and the capabilities that the fibre can offer.

The new additive manufacturing technique is currently being developed by Professor Jayanta Sahu, along with his colleagues from the University of Southampton’s Zepler Institute and co-investigator, Dro Shoufeng Yang from the Faculty of Engineering and Environment. We believe that the new manufacturing technique will help manufacture preforms that are far more complex and have different features along their lengths.

Professor Jayanta Sahu says that “We will design, fabricate and employ novel Multiple Materials Additive Manufacturing (MMAM) equipment to enable us to make optical fibre preforms (both in conventional and microstructured fibre geometries) in silica and other host glass materials.”

Professor Sahu further says “Our proposed process can be utilised to produce complex preforms, which are otherwise too difficult, too time consuming or currently impossible to be achieved by existing fabrication techniques.”

One of the most challenging things of 3D manufacturing optical fibre, is making the preform, especially when it has a complex internal structure. Consider the photonic bandgap fibre for instance. It is a new type of microstructed fibre that is anticipated to revolutionise the telecoms and datacoms industries in particular.

With the help of the new additive manufacturing technique, the researchers will be able to design and manufacture the complex internal structure of the optical fibre using ultra-pure glass powder. And as is the case with 3D printing, the researching will be able to manufacture a complex preform, layer by layer, gradually building up the shape of the optical fibre.

There are still numerous challenges that they will have to face, such as the high melting temperature of glass, the need for precise control of dopants, refractive index profiles, waveguide geometry, etc. any changes in those things will result in the alteration of the fibre.

itproportal.com

by Nabil Ansari | 03/07/2015

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

Disney develops 3D printed 2-legged robot!

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150527-disney-develops-2-legged-3d-printed-robot-that-walks-like-an-animated-character.html

Disney develops 3D printed 2-legged robot that walks like an animated character

There are just a few companies in the world that need no introduction, and Disney is one of them. After all, who didn’t grow up watching Disney classics? But did you know that Disney does more than shoot box office hits, record terrible catchy songs and avoid theme park-related lawsuits? They also have an active Research Department charged with creating actual, rather than digital, creations which can be used for throughout the Disney imperium. And the department’s latest achievement is impressive: recreating the walking movements of animated characters in bi-pedal robots, which they have done using 3D printing technology.

As three scientists attached to the department in Pittsburgh – Seungmoon Song, Joohyung Kim and Katsu Yamane – explain, they set out to develop robotics that can be used to make Disney’s theme parks and toys more realistic and magical. After all, fit young heros from Disney’s movies and TV shows don’t exactly perform well when moving as stiffly as paraplegic grandmothers. ‘Creating robots that embody animation characters in the real world is highly demanded in the entertainment industry because such robots would allow people to physically interact with characters that they have only seen in films or TV. To give a feeling of life to those robots, it is important to mimic not only the appearance but also the motion styles of the characters,’ they write.

But this isn’t easy. As they write in an article entitled ‘Development of a Bipedal Robot that Walks Like an Animation Character’, the field of robotics struggles to capture life-like movement. ‘The main challenge of this project comes from the fact that the original animation character and its motions are not designed considering physical constraints,’ they write. And of course trying to tackle quirky and fast animated characters is even more difficult, as they movements are not typically designed to be physical correct. ‘[But in recent years] animation characters have evolved to be more realistic. Using computer graphic techniques, we can design 3D characters, and generate more natural and physically plausible motions with them.’

And you might be surprised to learn that their solution is somewhat similar to what you and I would do for a project: just 3D print it and add some servo motors. Of course it isn’t quite so simple, but to capture the exaggerated gait and movement of animated characters they first 3D printed leg components to match the structure of their potato-like character, which you can see in the clip below. ‘We start from animation data of a character walking. We develop a bipedal robot which corresponds to lower part of the character following its kinematic structure. The links are 3D printed and the joints are actuated by servo motors,’ they explain. All these parts were 3D printed using Stratasys’ Object 260 Connect 3D printer in RGD525 material.

Of course these need to be very specifically angled and positioned to ensure that 3D movement can be recreated. And Trajectory optimization software does most of the rest. ‘Using trajectory optimization, we generate an open-loop walking trajectory that mimics the character’s walking motion by modifying the motion such that the Zero Moment Point stays in the contact convex hull,’ they write. Now this process is more difficult than it sounds, but for a full description of data extraction and installing the mechanics you’ll have to dive into the full scientific article here.

But the results are obvious, though not perfect. The robot can definitely walk well, but doesn’t reproduce the digital models perfectly and has a tendency to wobble. ‘When we play back the optimized trajectory, the robot wobbles forward. It is because the robot does not produce the motion perfectly. For example, the stance leg flexes more and scuffs the swing foot at the beginning and end of the swing phase. This causes the swing foot to push against the ground and the stance foot to slip, which results in unstable walking,’ the scientists write.

One solution for this is slowing down the process. ‘We observed that the robot slips less as we play back the optimized motion slower, and the resulting walking looks closer to the optimized walking,’ they write, but conclude that the system just isn’t working optimal for now. While there are few options for more progress – including investigating structural materials and replacing 3D printed parts – it looks like we’ll have to wait a few years before running into mechanically-sound walking Disney characters at Disney world.

3ders.org

by Alec | May 27, 2015

http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150527-disney-develops-2-legged-3d-printed-robot-that-walks-like-an-animated-character.html

3D printed titanium jaw implant for a sea turtle

http://3dprint.com/65476/sea-turtle-3d-printed-jaw/

turtleani

Turkish Turtle Receives 3D Printed Titanium Jaw

3DPrint.com head office is stationed in sunny Florida, I’m here in northeast Ohio, where we’re still waiting in mid-May for spring to settle in for sure. Back in February, I skipped out on Cleveland’s -20°F cold front and hopped a plane down to visit a friend in south Florida for a week. As my fiancé and family continued to freeze, my friend asked if I wanted to go down to the ocean one evening, so we could see if the sea turtles were coming in. Aside from my obvious cheer at weather that was actually a ‘real feel’ of a solid 100° temperature difference (it’s a different world, going from -20° to 80° in one day) and frolicking beachside, I was so excited to go see the turtles–few animals in nature are quite as impressive, long-lived, and stately as the sea turtle.

Seven species of sea turtle currently live around the world, and four are classified as either “endangered” or “critically endangered,” with another two being “vulnerable” to joining their ranks. One of the endangered species, the Caretta caretta or loggerhead sea turtle, has a lifespan of up to almost 70 years and can be found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea–all places where, especially since they need to lay their eggs on land, they are unfortunately susceptible to the negative environmental influence brought about by humans.

turtle

In Turkey, a loggerhead sea turtle was recently brought to the Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center at Pamukkale University (PAU). The turtle, which they called AKUT3, had significant damage to its upper and lower jaws, and the team at PAU noted that the turtle was unable to feed on its own in the wild.

The Sea Turtle Research, Rescue and Rehabilitation Center at PAU was quick to help, and it turned out that the turtle’s best chance for healing came courtesy of 3D printing. The Center’s director, Prof. Dr. Yakup Kaska, noted that 3D technology proved to be the best hope for the turtle–and this particular operation would represent the first time in the world that a sea turtle would benefit from the technology.

btech

BTech Innovation, “the first private R&D corporation in Turkey,” has extensive experience with 3D technology for medical applications–creating medical-grade implants, models, and prostheses–and came to the turtle’s aid. Using CT scans from the turtle’s veterinary care, the BTech team used the Mimics Innovation Suite from Materialise to create a 3D model of the affected areas of the turtle’s jaws. Ultimately, BTech took the models created to design an implant for the turtle, 3D printing it in titanium.

jaw closeup

The surgery was a success and the patient is recovering quite nicely, though that process is sure in itself to require some time. The turtle’s veterinary surgeon, Prof. Dr. Anas M. Anderson, noted that the turtle did not show any signs of rejecting the implant, following a post-op examination 18 days after the procedure.

While I didn’t actually get to see any sea turtles on my Floridian jaunt a few months ago, it’s wonderful to know that thanks to the efforts of caring veterinary teams around the world, there will still be more chances to see these incredible, endangered gentle giants as their health needs can be met and their lives saved.

Have you heard of similar stories of 3D printed implants in the veterinary world? Let us know what you think of this one in the 3D Printed Titanium Jaw Implant for a Sea Turtle forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

turtle jaw

btech

3dprint.com

by   | MAY 14, 2015

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/