3D Printing

Sliced 3D Printing Digest: Renishaw, GE Ventures, crash-test dummies, Formlabs, Senvol and more

Our review of 3D printing news so far this week features: crash-test dummies, Renishaw, University of Michigan, Senvol and America Makes, Formlabs, GE Ventures, and Xometry.

New crash test dummies 

Researchers at the University of Michigan have used 3D printing to create larger, heavier crash test dummies. According to the University traditional crash test dummies don’t truly reflect the way an average person looks, aside from the lifeless aesthetic the dummies generally have quite an athletic physique.

The Michigan researchers set out to create a more accurate dummy for testing by creating models that are more in tune with the current population. The average person is both larger and older than the current model being used for dummies. Furthermore, obese drivers are reportedly more likely to suffer fatal injuries following a car crash.

The dummies have been created with US crash-test dummy creators Humanetics. The University of Michigan provided CT scans which were then used to create the 3D printed models. One of the new models represents an obese male who weighs in at 273 pounds, which is over 100 pounds than its slimmer counterpart. While the other is the model of an elderly overweight woman.

Chris O’Connor, president and chief executive officer at Humanetics, spoke about the need for the new dummies,

As the population changes, we must have test equipment that resembles consumers today.

The two new larger models on the left-hand side. Screenshot via Michigan Medicine.
The two new larger models on the left-hand side. Screenshot via Michigan Medicine.

Renishaw create new North American headquarters

British industrial 3D printing company Renishaw are moving into a new 133,000 sqft facility in West Dundee, Illinois. The building will be their new North American headquarters and “includes space for product development, testing, warehousing and distribution.”

Howard Salt, President of Renishaw Inc., spoke about the news,

With the popularity and adoption of Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory philosophies, our products and services are relevant to a larger and more diverse group of manufacturing operations. These new facilities makes it more feasible, logistically, for us to work cooperatively with customers and potential customers in North America, and develop solutions specific to them.

An opening event will take place in March with the North American branch of the company hoping to be fully relocated by October.

Blind student uses 3D printed map to find his way around 

Students at a specialist college in the UK have used 3D printing to create a personalized 3D map of their college residence. The guide has been created for their blind friend, Elliot, who is unable to navigate his residence, Elizabeth House independently. However, following the creation of this map by his friends, it is hoped he will be able to get from the elevator to his room and bathroom by himself. The map was 3D printed following a charitable donation by Renishaw. Which was used by the college to purchase an Ultimaker 3D printer.

A spokesman from Renishaw said,

The Renishaw Charities Committee is delighted that the 3D printer it funded at the National Star College is being put to such good use to assist Elliott.

Blind student Elliot (centre) and his yellow 3D printed map. Photo via the National Star.
Blind student Elliot (centre) and his yellow 3D printed map. Photo via the National Star.

Senvol partners with ASM International and America Makes

Senvol, the creators of an additive manufacturing database first launched in 2015, have partnered with America Makes and ASM International “to create learning tool exercises for additive manufacturing machine and material selection.”

The Senvol database lists additive manufacturing machines and materials and has 30 different searchable categories. The online database is free to use. Senvol have now broadened this idea to create learning tools with these new partnerships.

Leanne Gluck, Deputy Director of Workforce and Education at America Makes, commented,

The Senvol Database is a tremendous resource for the entire industry, and with the addition of these learning tool exercises, we are furthering our commitment to expand mission critical knowledge and training on additive manufacturing.

trinckle announce collaboration with Conrad Electronics

3D printing company trinckle have announced a new collaboration with Conrad Electronics to create Conrad’s new 3D printing service. This will enable trinckle to access Conrad’s industrial clients and provide industrial quality 3D prints.

Bastian Krä, Project Manager and Team Member at the Conrad Technology Center, explained the new service,

With their help, we will be able to offer our clients top quality and truly high-end results. 3D printing offers almost unlimited new possibilities, and thanks to this partnership with trinckle we will be able to leverage them for our customers.

Some of trinkle's 3D printed creations. Photo via trinkle.
Some of trinkle’s 3D printed creations. Photo via trinckle.

Formlabs release new resin 

3D printing company Formlabs have released a new engineering resin. The ‘Durable Resin’ is a plastic “that’s both stiff and flexible.” The resin is made from the thermoplastic polypropylene and has high impact strength as well as a glossy finish.

GE Ventures helps Xometry reach $23 million investment fund

North American 3D printing company, Xometry, has raised $23 million in funding following investment from GE Ventures. The company act as a network between 3D printing engineers, designers and bureaus.

Randy Altschuler, co-founder and CEO of Xometry, said,

We created a marketplace by creating price clarity where none existed. We thought if you can buy groceries and order a car off the internet, then why not custom parts? Xometry is now home to the fastest-growing software driven marketplace of manufacturers. We can now accelerate our investment to meet more of our customer’s needs.

While Ralph Taylor-Smith, Managing Director of Advanced Manufacturing, of GE Ventures, explained the investment,

GE has been a customer of Xometry for several years and we’ve been impressed with the high quality of parts delivered by the network and easy-to-use interface. We’re thrilled to see local manufacturers across the country build their businesses by being a part of the Xometry Partner Network and securing orders from coast to coast.

3D printing the internet in Space

Finally, to end on a slightly bizarre note. Majestic, who are a British company specializing in surveying and mapping the internet, have recreated the internet using 3D printing in space. The PR stunt was made possible by Made In Space’s zero-gravity 3D printer. We spoke to Made In Space recently to hear about their plans for the future.

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Featured image shows the Sliced logo over a Yoda Groot Benchy. 3D printed by Tessa Nesci, photo via Facebook.