3D Printing

3D printing news Sliced Lockheed Martin, Aurora Labs, MyMiniFactory, Robo 3D, BMW

How can architecture inspire 3D printed fashion pieces? When will we be able to 3D print buildings? Are self-correcting 3D printers right around the corner?

This edition of 3D printing news Sliced features Aurora Labs,GE, MyMiniFactory, Smet Construction Services, Inc., Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3D, Autodesk, Faro and more.

AM in art & crafts, architecture, and construction

Zaha Hadid Architects, a London-based architectural studio, has designed and 3D printed a hat after the famous High Line building in New York. Dubbed as the 3D printed H-Line hat, designers used an asymmetrical V-shaped pattern which raises up above the wearer’s face then falls into the back to mimic the different levels of the skyscraper.

The 3D printed H-Line hat. Photo via Zaha Hadid Architects.

MyMiniFactory has partnered with American media conglomerate Turner to exclusively release 3D printable designs of characters from Cartoon Network’s hit television series Adventure Time. The designs include Lumpy Space Princess, Jake the Dog and Marceline the Vampire Queen.

The third edition of the 3D Pioneers Challenge (3DPC), an international design competition held at Germany’s Rapid.Tech + FabCon 3D ends successfully after organizers and sponsors commend high standard of submissions.

 “That was the strongest 3D Pioneers Challenge since their launch,” said 3DPC organizers Simone and Christoph Völcker.

“So many world-class projects – from architecture, design, and fashion to materials, sustainability and software. We are clearly feeling the opportunities that additive manufacturing processes will offer us in the future and what big steps development will take year after year.”

Experts from the multinational automotive BMW Group Additive Manufacturing Center and BMW Motorrad have created individualized radiator covers using additive manufacturing for the motorcycles participating in the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Central Asia 2018.

Using a generative design algorithm, the rider’s names and start numbers were placed unto the existing CAD data of the radiator covers, then printed using the SLM process.

Participants of the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Central Asia 2018 place their personalized 3D printed radiator covers onto their bikes. Photo via BMW Group.

Smet Construction Services, Inc., Wisconsin-based building contractors, plan to embrace the undeniable changes in construction technologies, that is, large-scale additive manufacturing and its concrete extrusion methods.

“Already we are seeing the advent of automated milling and the prefabrication of framed components for construction projects. Extrusion construction technology will simply add another process into the equation,” stated Scott Smet, President and CEO of Smet Construction Services, Inc.”

The Technical University of Munich’s Formula Student racing team,TUfast, have used metal additive manufacturing to create an improved cooling structure that will optimize the performance of their go-karts. This new aluminum housing is designed to cover the vehicle’s electric motor to prevent it from overheating.

Patrick Stefanski, robotics expert and Star Wars enthusiast, has recreated the movie’s L3-37 droid using 3D printing and Amazon’s Alexa.

Exclusive software adoptions and investments

Global security and aerospace company, Lockheed Martin, has invested $100 million into the New York-based AM software company nToplology to help streamline its design and manufacturing processes.

“Our focus is on finding and investing in companies developing cutting-edge technologies that will grow our business and disrupt our industry,” stated Chris Moran, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures.

At the College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), researchers have created a machine learning algorithm within metal 3D printers that practices process monitoring with laser bed fusion technology. This development can potentially lead to self-correcting 3D printers.

Leading provider of enterprise-class engineering software Altair has added GE’s Flow Simulator software to the Altair Partner Alliance (APA). Flow Simulator is a design software that offers mixed fidelity simulation capabilities that can optimize machine and systems design.  

Autodesk and Faro, a world-leading 3D measurement and imaging company, have examined smart metrology for the additive manufacturing industry in a new white paper.

Advances in materials

Aurora Labs, an Australian-based company at the forefront of metal 3D printing technology, has produced laboratory test-scale powder from its prototype powder production unit (PPU) for use with 3D metal printers.

The high-quality powders produced from the PPU can be made at substantially lower costs than existing processes.

To meet the increasing demands of high-performing powders, Arkema, a specialty chemicals and advanced materials company, will invest an estimated $20 million to expand its global specialty polyamides powders capacities at its chemical plant in Mont, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France.

Philament, a Hungary-based filament producer, has introduced its newest filament for high-performance application, Philament Engineering. This PLA-based filament is shockproof and extremely heat resistant reaching temperatures up to 140°C.

Philament’s newest filament, Philament Engineering. Image via Philament.

A team of researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ N.D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry has published a research paper entitled “the improvement of quality of 3D printed objects by elimination of microscopic structural defects in fused deposition modeling.”

3D printing and healthcare

Fahad Ali, champion Emirati wheelchair racer, and long-term amputee is now able to walk with complete anatomical function thanks to new custom-built 3D prosthetics from Mediclinic, an international private healthcare service group and Immensa Technology Labs, a Dubai-based 3D printing company.

“The 3D prosthetics make me feel like I’ve got my legs back, it’s simply incredible. I can do more sports, and wear shorts without people staring at me,” stated Ali.

Fahad Ali, (left) compares conventional prosthetics with his new 3D printed prosthetics with Sebastian Giede, a certified orthopaedic prosthetist with Mediclinic. Photo via Dubai Health Authority.

The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Taiwan has collaborated with Mackay Memorial Hospital to develop 3D printed hand aid devices. Executive Vice President of ITRI Chang Pei-zen believes that these devices will contribute significantly as an assistive medical gadget for the welfare of special needs patients.

A team of Swiss researchers from the Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology (ICBT) has developed a microplate system for 3D printing engineered muscle and tendon tissue. This study can be found via the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS)

Robo 3D acquires MyStemKits

Previously seeking $4 million, California-based 3D printer manufacturer Robo 3D has announced the acquisition of the 3D printing education kit developer, MyStemKits for $2 million (USD). Robo3D also announced a capital increase of $2.6 million (USD).

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Featured image shows Sliced logo covering the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Central Asia 2018 participant’s 3D printed radiator covers. Photo via BMW Group.