Medical & Dental

3D printing news Sliced: 3D Systems, Optomec, Luxexcel, Local Motors

Today in Sliced, our regular 3D printing news digest, we feature new 3D printing university courses, fiber-reinforced filament, cutting edge additive manufacturing research, the future of 3D printed electronics and an autonomous vehicle challenge.

Read on for the latest news form 3D Systems, the University of Plymouth, Becton, Dickinson and Company, Optomec, Luxexcel, Local Motors and more.

3D printing skin, ligaments and implants

The 3D Systems NextDent 5100 3D printer has been won the 2018 “Best of Class Technology Award” from dental consultancy firm Cellerant. Dr. Lou Shuman, a member of the jury for the prize, said “The Cellerant Best of Class Technology Award continues to highlight the innovative dental technologies that will help shape the future of our profession.”

Christina Salas, Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, has been $150,000 grant to support 3D printed ligament research.

A project at the University of Plymouth in the UK is evaluating the 3D printing potential of materials made from plants and seaweed sourced in Cornwall. The project is part of the £10 million Agritech Cornwall fund, and is seeking to use the materials to develop skin cultures.

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) is using Carbon 3D printers for medical device development.

And American medical device manufacturing company Nexxt Spine has commenced the MATRIXX Trial – clinically evaluating its 3D printed lumbar implant relative to those made from PEEK.

A MATRIXX 3D printed cervical interbody cage. Photo via Nexxt Spine
A MATRIXX 3D printed cervical interbody cage. Photo via Nexxt Spine

Building a 3D printing skilled workforce

Gujarat Technological University (GTU) in Ahmedabad, India, is to start offering a course in 3D printing, through a partnership with the US Institute of 3D Technology. Outlining the initiative Navin Sheth, Vice Chancellor of GTU, said, “Our mission is to prepare Indian youth for the ongoing technological revolution […] USi3DT will offer various certificate programmes to GTU students; the mobile 3D printers will also come from the US. Our students and faculty will get hands-on experience of the nuances of 3D printing technology.”

Elsewhere in education, the U.S. National Science Foundation has granted $20 million to NH BioMade, a specialty 3D bioprinting lab at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).  U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., said:

“This funding will be used to establish a new facility to research and assemble state-of-the-art biomaterials and will support the hiring of 11 new faculty researchers across our state,”

“From orthopedics to trauma treatment, these new compounds have the potential to revolutionize surgical and other life-saving procedures.”

Optomec, Luxexcel, WATT and 3D Printhuset surpass milestones

LMD and electronics additive manufacturing company Optomec, headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has launched an EMEA Operations Center in Switzerland. The center will be located at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology Empa, an affiliate of ETH Zürich.

Following $13.9 million in series C funding and the appointment of a new CEO, 3D printed optical lens company Luxexcel has opened a Customer Demonstration Lab in Atlanta, Georgia, housing a complete Luxexcel VisionPlatform™.

WATT Fuel Cell Corporation has fulfilled the first commercial orders for its Imperium Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) system, which is made using 3D printing. Multiple shipments of the system have been delivered to motorhome manufacturer Erwin Hymer Group North America to be used aboard the E-Trek autonomous RV.

Danish 3D printing reseller, service provider and developer 3D Printhuset has launched new company solely for 3D printing in construction. COBOD International will now handle all matters related to the BOD 2 3D construction printer, and Building On Demand (BOD) architectural projects.

Interior and exterior of The Bod 3D printed office. Photos via 3D Printhuset.
Interior and exterior of The BOD 3D printed office. Photos via 3D Printhuset.

Open source and fiber reinforced materials

The Ultimaker global material alliance has introduced profiles for DSM and Owens Corning filaments to its 3D printers. To support the use of Owens Corning and others’ fiber reinforced feedstock, the company has also introduced the print core CC Red 0.6 head.

Carbon fiber reinforced material is now available for the Small Area Additive Manufacturing (SAAM) system from Cincinnati Incorporated.

And Lulzbot 3D printer manufacturer Aleph Objects is now selling IC3D open source PETg filament.

Sample PETg 3D prints. Photo via IC3D
Sample PETg 3D prints. Photo via IC3D

An AV challenge the future of 3D printed electronics 

According to Mike Newton, head of the Cyberfacturing Center at micro-dispensing and 3D printer manufacturer nScrypt, direct digital manufacturing will one day mean that electronics can be produced within a single tool. Speaking at the 2018 Electronics Packaging Symposium, Newton said, “direct digital manufacturing is done today, but mostly in a 2.5D approach on a single plane. The next generation is 2.5D printing conformally on complex structures, which will be followed by true 3D printing.” Newton’s statement echoes sentiments posed by Simon Fried, CBO and co-founder of PCB 3D printing company Nano Dimension, in relation to non-planar electronics.

And finally, newly-formed LM Industries, parent company of low-volume vehicle manufacturer Local Motors, has launched its autonomous fleet challenge. Open to applicants in Phoenix and Sacramento this first challenge is seeking for inventive pitches to win a 3 month trial of the company’s 30% 3D printed Olli bus.

The 3D printed autonomous vehicle Olli at IMTS 2018. Photo by Michael Petch.
The 3D printed autonomous vehicle Olli at IMTS 2018. Photo by Michael Petch.

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Featured image shows Sliced logo over Makerbot 3D printed miniature Olli buses. Photo via Local Motors