Objects that couldn’t be made before 3D printers existed!

http://gizmodo.com/objects-that-couldnt-be-made-before-3d-printers-existed-1718072112

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

Objects That Couldn’t Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

3D printing isn’t just for making unique stuffed animals or weird fake meat. It allows us to fabricate objects we never could with traditional manufacturing. Here are some of the incredible things we can print now, which were nearly impossible to make before.

Personalized Car Parts

3D printing can make car parts that are custom-built for the driver’s body and comfort: an ergonomic steering wheel, for example. Last month, Fortune reported Ford’s partnership with California-based 3D printing company Carbon3D. The automakers themselves can benefit from 3D printed parts, too. Instead of the ol’ Ford assembly line, engineers can make manufacturing and design more iterative with 3D printed materials, since prototyping suddenly becomes faster and cheaper and testing becomes more frequent and thorough.

You see, many products—from drinking cups to video game consoles to car parts—are created in a process called “injection molding.” That’s when a material, like glass or metal or plastic, is poured into a mold that forms the product. But with 3D printing, you can design a crazy object on your computer, and it can be turned into reality.

“3D printing bridges the gap between the digital and the physical world,” says Jonathan Jaglom, CEO of 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot, “and lets you design pretty much anything in digital form and then instantly turn it into a physical object.”

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

Lighter Airplanes

There have been lots of materials used to make planes lighter, and thus more fuel efficient and greener. But 3D-printed materials can cut weight by up to 55%, according to Airbus, which announced its involvement with 3D printing last year.

In February, Australian researchers unveiled the first 3D-printed jet engine in the world.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

3D-printed polymers often have “high strength to weight ratios,” says Kristine Relja, marketing manager at Carbon3D, the same company that’s working with Ford on the 3D-printed car parts. 3D-printed plane parts use that strength-to-weight ratio to their advantage. It gives them an edge over traditional materials, like the aluminum often found in seat frames.

“If the arm rest of each seat of a plane were replaced with a high strength to weight ratio part, the overall weight of the plane would drop, increasing fuel efficiency and lowering the overall cost of the plane,” Relja says.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

Detailed Molds of Your Jaw

Possibly the arena 3D printing handedly dominates is personal health. Our bodies are unbelievably individualized, idiosyncratic flesh bags filled with biological items uniquely shaped to each person. Since customization is so critical, especially in surgical implants, 3D printing can really shine here.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

Let’s start with dental trays: Those molds of your chompers that’re made with gross cement stuff that you have to leave in your mouth for minutes on end. They’re useful because they can help dentists and orthodontists create appliances like retainers or braces, and can give them a three dimensional, kinesthetic mold of your mouth.

Over at Stratasys, the 3D printing company that owns MakerBot, 3D-printed dental trays are going from CAD file to model, blazing trails in orthodontics. It gives orthodontists and dentists a cheap, accurate glimpse into a patient’s maw. It’s way easier than those nasty physical impressions with the cement, and way less gag-inducing.

Customized Surgical Stents

Stents are those little tubes surgeons stick in the hollow parts of your body—a blood vessel or artery, say—to hold it open and allow it to function properly. Usually, they’re mesh, but stents that are 3D-printed can have an edge, since they’re able to be customized more and are made with cheaper, flexible polymers that can dissolve safely into the bloodstream in a couple years.

At the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in the Detroit Medical Center, a 17-year-old girl was suffering from an aortic aneurysm, a potentially fatal heart condition that was discovered with a precautionary EKG. That’s when Dr. Daisuke Kobayashi and his team turned to 3D printing. A 3D printed model of her heart allowed the doctors to know exactly where to put stents in an otherwise delicate operation for a young patient.

In other cases, the surgical stents themselves are 3D printed: University of Michigan doctors have also implanted 3D-printed stents just above infant boys’ lungs to open their airways help them breathe normally on their own. The advantage of using 3D printing here is that doctors were able to create custom stents that could fit the kids’ individual anatomies, quickly and cheaply.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

Buckyballs

No, not the tiny magnetic choking hazards. We’re talking about models of Buckminsterfullerene, the molecule. It’s every chemistry teacher’s dream. 3D printers can produce tangible, big models of molecules. And they’re accurate, too. This type of complex geometry is really hard to pull off with injection molding. The closest thing we had before was basically popsicle sticks and Elmer’s.

3D printing not only helps us learn more about what molecules look like by making lifesized models of them—it also helps us make actual molecules. Earlier this year, Dr. Martin Burke at the University of Illinois led the construction of a “molecule-making machine”: It’s a machine that synthesizes small, organic molecules by welding over 200 pre-made “building blocks” and then 3D printing billions of organic compound combinations. This could “revolutionize organic chemistry,” the paper in the journal Science reported, significantly speeding up the process to test new drugs.

What’s cool about 3D printing is that it makes ambitiously designed objects way more feasible. Specifically, 3D printing can make those “complex geometries” that injection molding can’t: That is, stuff that’s in obscure shapes, like long twisty mobius strips or zillion-sided polygons.

Replacement Parts for Your Organs

3D printing can be used to make surgically-implanted hardware that protects or supports damaged organs. This could lead the way to custom repairs for damaged tracheas or windpipes, for instance. Sometimes part of a windpipe needs to be removed, but the two remaining ends need to be joined together—if they can’t be joined together, the patient may die.

3D bioprinting to the rescue! It can replicate the mechanical properties of the trachea. That’s right: a living, biological tracheal replacement can be made from a mix of 3D printing and tissue engineering. That’s what the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research did. They modified a 3D printer to use a syringe filled with living cells that produce collagen and cartilage. Within hours, bioengineered tracheas can be created on-the-spot quickly and cheaply. And that’s a key strength for 3D printing: fast prototypes.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

Organs and Bones

The most futuristic use of for these magical printers? They could, one day, create internal organs. That’s a literal lifesaver for folks who need an organ transplant. Also possibly available: eyes, blood vessels, noses, ears, skin, and bones. Even hearts.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

And this isn’t just science fiction. In 2013, medical company Organovo started selling 3D-printed liver tissue. It’ll be a while before a fully functioning liver can be printed, but it’s a big step in the right direction, even if it just means prototypes and experimental liver-like structures.

As if that wasn’t incredible enough, we can also create replicas of people’s existing internal organs. With the help of CT scan data, docs can whip up three dimensional, touchable copies of individuals’ guts, in all their nuanced, unique glory. This can help medical professionals better find tumors or other irregularities. (Not to mention it could possibly take the gross awesomeness out of biology class dissections.)

And already, companies are creating cheap, 3D-printed prosthetic limbs for kids. A whole generation is growing up with 3D printing — not just as a toy, but a vital part of their bodies.

Objects That Couldn't Be Made Before 3D Printers Existed

gizmodo.com

by Bryan Lufkin | 8/11/15 4:34pm

3D printed “photosynthetic wearable”

http://www.dezeen.com/2015/06/01/neri-oxman-3d-printing-photosynthetic-wearable-host-living-organisms-mit-mediated-matter/

Neri Oxman 3D prints “photosynthetic wearable” to host living organisms

Designer and researcher Neri Oxman has successfully 3D-printed one of her“wearable skins” and filled its hollow tubes with a luminescent liquid to represent how it could host photosynthetic organisms (+ slideshow).

During a TED talk in Vancouver earlier this year, Oxman demonstrated that she and members of the Mediated Matter group at MIT Media Lab were able to produce Mushtari – one of four wearable pieces in her Wanderers range.

The wearable structures in the collection were designed to facilitate synthetic biological processes that might one day allow humans to travel to and survive on other planets.

Using triple-jet technology supplied by 3D-printing company Stratasys, the team was able to create the sculpture in one piece from a combination of different plastic materials that produced various densities and transparencies.

“This is the first time that 3D-printing technology has been used to produce a photosynthetic wearable piece with hollow internal channels designed to house microorganisms,” said Oxman.

Neri Oxman's photosynthetic wearable

The structure’s series of channels are designed to allow liquid to flow through. The idea is that they could house photosynthetic organisms, which would generate energy from light and somehow pass this onto the garment’s wearer.

“Inspired by the human gastrointestinal tract, Mushtari is designed to host synthetic microorganisms – a co-culture of photosynthetic cyanobacteria and E. coli bacteria – that can fluoresce bright colours in darkness and produce sugar or biofuels when exposed to the sun.”

“Such functions will, in the near future, augment the wearer by scanning our skins, repairing damaged tissue and sustaining our bodies, an experiment that has never been attempted before,” she added.

The 58 metres of fluid channels that are wound within the structure have an inner-channel diameter ranging from 1 millimetre to 2.5 centimetres.

Neri Oxman's photosynthetic wearable

Translucent and transparent sections of the tubes allow light to penetrate into the interior so the organisms could use it to photosynthesise.

Oxman’s team has managed to flow liquid containing cyanobacteria – bacteria that obtain energy through photosynthesis – through a small section of the tubes. The team has not yet demonstrated that the bacteria can photosynthesise while inside the structure, but is continuing to test the compatibility of the printed materials with the microorganisms.

“In the end, it is clear that the incorporation of synthetic biology in 3D-printed products for wearable microbiomes will enable the transition from designs that are inspired by nature, to designs made with and by nature, to, possibly designing nature herself,” Oxman said.

References:

dezeen.com

Neri Oxman 3D prints “photosynthetic wearable” to host living organisms

3D printed functioning motorcycle

http://www.gizmag.com/te-3d-printed-motorcycle/37729/

The 3D-printed motorcycle, on display

TE Connectivity 3D prints a functioning motorcycle

Unveiled at Rapid 2015 in Long Beach, California, TE Connectivity’s exercise in 3D printing demonstrates the ability to design a motorcycle on a computer, print it in plastic, add tires and a motor, then take it for a spin. While the result may not quite be ready to hit the highway, the concept is still nothing short of exciting.

The steering head is the most heavily stressed part of the frame in any motorcycle, yet this plastic one can handle two-up riding Printing a wheel rim strong enough to hold an inflated tire is not an easy task This V2 is just a plastic mock-up, the real motor is hidden in the fake "oil tank" behind it All the electrical components work properly on TE's prototype motorcycle

Considering that fundamental parts such as the frame and wheel bearings are entirely printed in plastic, one would agree that TE’s goal to show that the technology can be used to manufacture load-bearing production parts has been achieved.

Modeled in a Harley-Davidson Softail fashion, the motorcycle measures around 8 ft (2.4 m) long, weighs 250 lb (113.4 kg) and consists of more components than its designers can account for. Its frame, printed after a process of trial and error, can support a total of 400 lb (181 kg) – that would be two adult passengers. Apart from the small electric motor and tires, some other outsourced parts include the braking system, electrical wiring, battery, belt drive, mirrors, sidestand and some bolts.

The highlight is, of course, its fully functioning status. A small 1 hp (750W) electric motor can power a 15 mph (24 km/h) ride for several minutes. Though this may not sound ground-breaking, it doesn’t necessarily need a bigger battery or a stronger engine to make a point as a showbike at a conference on printing, scanning and additive manufacturing. All that matters is that, after some 1,000 work hours and US$25,000, TE Connectivity has come up with a proper motorcycle indeed.

The main load-bearing parts were constructed with Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology, the process of injecting layer upon layer of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic enriched with the heat resistant resin Ultem 9085. With this process, TE printed several parts with complex dynamic properties, such as the frame.

The wheel bearings sound tricky to fabricate, especially the rear one that was printed into a single piece with the hub and the drive sprocket. After some testing miles, both bearings reportedly held up against the load they must bear and the heat generated in the process. Equally difficult work has probably been involved in the fabrication of the wheel rims, which have to support real motorcycle tires with fully-inflated tubes.

Some metal parts like the headlight housing were printed in bronze through Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS), where a laser melts the desired shape out of several layers of metal powder.

Apparently this is the second prototype or, more precisely, a rebuild of the first after it suffered some damage during transportation. Thankfully creative minds saw this as an opportunity rather than a calamity, finding the chance to make some improvements on the original design.

Although it seems highly improbable for an electronic connector and sensor manufacturer to build any more motorcycles, TE Connectivity’s achievement highlights some promising prospects. Already several DMLS applications are available to the automotive and aerospace industries though companies like EOS. Stratasys, whose printers worked overtime for this project in TE’s labs, is currently in a partnership with Ducati advising the Italians on developing in-house FDM prototyping. By printing functional prototype engines, Ducati has been able to cut the development time of a new Desmosedici race engine for MotoGP from 28 to only eight months. Benefits from this process are expected to reach production models sooner or later.

TE Connectivity initially thought of printing a model of a motorcycle as a display of sculpting skills. This had already been done, several times over. The idea of a functioning bike was born in the process, probably out of the realization that it could actually be done. After all, the first printed car was unveiled and driven in public just last September.

3D printing technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, having progressed in just a few years from forming simple ornamental plastic parts to generating dynamic structures that function within moving mechanisms. In this sense, this motorcycle that looks like a child’s toy may well prove to be a landmark product.

gizmag.com

by  | May 29, 2015

A tour of London’s 3D print show

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32843270

A tour of London’s 3D Print Show

There has been plenty of hype around 3D printing, but is all the fuss justified?

Well some of the biggest names in the business have been showing off their wares at the London 3D Print Show.

The BBC’s Theo Leggett has been to take a look.

He met up with Dr Muhanad Hatamleh of Kings College Hospital and Nicole Clement, a marketing director at Stratasys.

References:

bbc.com

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32843270

The two technologies of tomorrow

3D printing and wearable technology (accessories with a digital element to them) fit each other like a glove! Follow the link below to read more!

http://3dprint.com/11959/3d-printing-wearable/

star_trek_voyager_sevenofnine_jerryryan_desktopwallpaper_800

Wearable technology is the name given to clothing or accessories that incorporate digital elements, whether practical or for purely aesthetic reasons. The famous Google Glass technology is one example but things such as smartwatches or the coyly named CuffLinc, which contains a tiny wireless device allowing users to send signals to their contacts at the touch of a button, are becoming more and more common. The days of the Star Trek Cyborg are not yet upon us but only just…

On a more earthly note, the design consultancy firm zero360 and the companyIndustrial Plastic Fabrications have teamed up to create a prototype for a wristband that can detect the biosigns of its wearer. Using an Object500 Connex3 Color Multi-Material 3D Printer from Stratasys, designers were able to choose from a multitude of colors for the wristband. A total of 10 color palates were created for the bands and those palates can be further combined to create 46 different options.

It’s no surprise that more and more companies are becoming involved in the wearable technology market. ResearchMoz, home of the world’s fastest growing market research reports collection, predicted that by 2018 the global wearable technology market will reach approximately $5.8 billion.

biodata-wristbands

It’s not all about the way these things look, however. Ergonomics plays an important role in the design and production of wearable technology. Director of Product Design at zero360, Luke Guttery, discussed the relationship between materiality, comfort, and 3D printing in a recent interview with TCT magazine:

“Comfort is a really important factor in sustained engagement, so being able to rapid prototype these is a key part of the development process. Also, the Objet Connex’s flexible material is very durable and is as good as casting, which is a massive plus, as it’s quicker to produce.”

If time is money, the use of 3D printing to create these objects really is a worthwhile investment as it takes only a few hours to print one of the wristbands from zero360. In addition, by making use of the Objet500 Connex3’s capacity for printing in multiple colors, any one print can run 46 colors in multiple materials. This flexibility allows for many different multi-material design variations to be prototyped at the same time.

Beyond the timesaving, there is also less material wasted when producing the wristbands in this way. In fact, Guttery estimated that there is approximately an 85% savings in material used when compared to casting as a production method.

Whether used as a method for prototyping or to create a finished product, we can expect to see more 3D printing in the process of creating wearable technology, significantly expanding both the ergonomics and the aesthetics of these functional fashion statements. Let’s hear your thoughts on this story in the3D printed wearables forum thread on 3DPB.com.

3DPRINT.COM
by  | AUGUST 15, 2014