Month: October 2015

3D Printing Materials: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

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3D Printing Materials Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

ABS is a petroleum-based plastic.  ABS is non-biodegradable.  ABS is a strong and durable material.  Therefore it is used in various products including protective headgear, golf club heads, carrying cases, enclosures for electronic assemblies, kitchen appliances, and toys including Lego bricks.  ABS is soluble in acetone, i.e., nail polish remover.

ABS is extruded at temperatures of 210-250°C.  Heating up ABS causes fumes to be released.  These fumes are usually tolerable but may cause irritation in people with chemical sensitivities.  These fumes include chemicals that are known to be carcinogenic.  Therefore, 3D printing using ABS should be performed with caution and in places with adequate ventilation.


Wikipedia: ABS

3D Printing For Beginners: What Material Should I Use For 3D Printing?

Protoparadigm: The Difference Between ABS and PLA for 3D Printing

MakerBot: ABS Filament

3D Printing 101: PLA or ABS?


3D Printing Materials: Poly Lactic Acid (PLA)

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3D Printing Materials Poly Lactic Acid (PLA)

Poly Lactic Acid or PLA is made from organic material, for example, cornstarch, tapioca, or sugarcane.  PLA is used in the production of bags, food packaging, disposable utensils, plastic bags, and so on.  PLA is used as surgical implants such as anchors, rods, pins, or plates, since it.  If inserted in the body, PLA breaks into harmless lactic acid within 6 months to a couple of years.  The slow degradation helps the body to slowly take over the role of the implanted structure as it recovers.

Since PLA is made from renewable resources, it is one of the most environmentally friendly materials used for 3D printing.  PLA is extruded at a temperature of 160°C to 220°C.  Since PLA has a low melting temperature, parts made from PLA can warp under heated conditions.   When heated for 3D printing, PLA emits a sweet smell similar to corn.  These are not harmful fumes and therefore PLA can be used for 3D printing indoors.  PLA comes in most colors including translucent and glows in the dark. PLA cools slowly and therefore some 3D printers install a fan to cool down the 3D printed material.  When PLA cools down it is tough but rather brittle.  PLA has become a popular choice of material for 3D printing due to its environmental friendliness and low toxicity.

Wikipedia: Polylactic acid

3D Printing For Beginners: What Material Should I Use For 3D Printing?

PLA Filament from MakerBot Store

Flashgamer: 3D printing with Color


Organovo: 3d Printing Living Tissue

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Organovo 3d Printing Living Tissue

According to the Organovo,” This is a medical research company headquartered in San Diego which designs and develops three-dimensional human tissue. The living 3D printed tissue can be used for testing drugs before giving the drugs to a real person.  Organovo uses a proprietary bioprinting platform called NovoGen for 3D printing tissue.

Pharmaceutical companies conventionally perform testing on animals or on cells in Petri-dishes.  Both methods of testing are very different from testing on a living person.  Therefore several clinical trials fail when tried on living person even if they were considered successful on animals or cells in petri-dish.  Organovo technology bridges this gap by providing 3D tissue models that are much closer to a living person.  Pharmaceutical companies can use the 3D tissues developed using this technology for testing.

In 2014 Organovo announced the commercial release of exVive3DTM Human Liver Tissue for preclinical drug discovery testing.  In April 2015, Organovo presented results of 3D printing in vitro 3D kidney tissue at the 2015 Experimental Biology conference in Boston.  In 2015 L’Oreal signed an agreement with Organovo to produce 3D printed skin for use in testing of cosmetics.  The long-term goal of Organovo’s 3D bioprinting technology is to be able to create organs for transplantation”.:)

Orgonovo Company Profile Video



Youtube video of interview with Keith Murphy, CEO of Organovo

Youtube Video: 3D Bioprinter


Yobi3D: A Search Engine for 3D Models

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According to Yobi3D,” this is a Search Engine for 3D Models, which allows users to perform the keyword search for 3D models on the Internet. Yobi3D provides a built-in viewer that allows users to see 3D models from different angles using the browser.  Users can rotate the 3D model in any direction using the cursor. Users can also zoom in and zoom out, view a wireframe of the object, and go to the website where the model can be downloaded.  Yobi3D has been considered the Google of 3D models.  Advanced search parameters can be specified, for example, minimum or maximum number of vertices, minimum or maximum number of polygons, type of license, file formats, level of difficulty for printing (easy, medium or hard), and so on.

Yobi3D was founded by Jessy Lee, Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.  Yobi3D is headquartered in Taiwan”.:)

Yobi3D Facebook Page

Yobi3D Youtube Video





Fab@Home: The DIY 3D Printer from Cornell

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Fab@Home: The DIY 3D Printer from Cornell

According to the Fab@home,” it was one of the first two open sources for do-it-yourself (DIY) 3D printer (the other open source DIY 3D printer was RepRap. The Fab@Home 3D printer utilizes syringe tools that can make objects out of multiple materials.  The first version of the Fab@Home print head had two syringes.  Later versions of Fab@Home 3D printers had more syringes going all the way up to eight syringes that could be used simultaneously.  Fab@Home 3D printers could be used with several materials including epoxy, silicone, food materials such as chocolate, cookie dough, and cheese, among others.

The Fab@Home project was started by Hod Lipson and Evan Malone of the Cornell University Computational Synthesis Laboratory in 2006.  Before the release of open source 3D printers the 3D printer market was dominated by industrial 3D printers.  The goal of Fab@Home was to make 3D printers more popular and accessible for common people.  The project was continued until 2012.  The project was considered complete when the rate at which do-it-yourself 3D printers and consumer printers were being distributed exceeded the rate of industrial 3D printers”.:)

CoLiDo Technology Making it Easy to Remove Printouts from 3D Printers

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According to the CoLiDo Technology,” it is easy to remove printouts from 3D printers. 3D printers print objects on a build tray.  The filament used for 3D printing objects (for example, PLA filament) is melted for creating the 3D printed objects and cools down on the build tray.  As the melted filament cools down, the generated object sticks firmly to the build tray.  Removing the object can be messy.  It often requires tools like cutters, knives, or hammers.  In the process, the object can break or the build tray can get scratched.

Colido 3D printers address the problem of the melted  filament sticking to the tray.  CoLiDo 3D printers use a patented glass platform that is coated by a material that prevents the melted filament from sticking to it.  This allows the 3D printed object to be removed easily.  CoLiDo printers show the temperature of the build tray so you know if it has cooled down.  Once the tray has cooled down sufficiently, one can remove the object with bare hands.  Any waste remaining on the tray can be wiped clean.

CoLiDo 3D printers and filaments are powered by Print-Rite.  Print-Rite is a leader in the aftermarket printer consumable industry.  Print-Rite is headquartered in Hong Kong and has manufacturing facilities in Zhuhai, Shanghai.  Print-Rite has over 1,800 patents in aftermarket printer consumables. Print-Rite provides information for the CoLiDo brand of 3D printers and related products through”.:)

Comparing 3D printout removal of CoLiDo 3D Printers with other 3D Printers

CoLiDo on Facebook
CoLiDo Blog


3DPrint360: Providing Affordable Access to 3D Printers

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3DPrint360: Providing Affordable Access to 3D Printers

According to the 3DPrint360,” it is a New York-based startup that aims to provide affordable access to 3D printers for schools, homes, and businesses.  3DPrint360 provides access to new, refurbished, and used 3d printers as well as 3D printing materials, installation and servicing agreements related to 3D printers.

3DPrint360 works with schools to ensure that they procure the right 3d printers, materials and tools for their needs.  They provide schools with a dedicated installation and maintenance agent that provides any needed support and maintenance help. For people who are not ready to purchase and own a 3D printer, 3DPrint360 provides access to 3D printer rentals (presently for customers in Tri-State area).

According to Zach Lichaa, Founder and CEO of 3DPrint360 “It is our simple belief that more interaction with 3d printing will positively affect industry, education, the environment and society as a whole. Accordingly, we work every day to provide knowledgeable, affordable and welcoming access to the technology for our clients around the world”.:)

3DPrint360 Brings 3D Printing Full-Circle with Used 3D Printer Marketplace

NASA Demonstrates 3D Printing in Zero Gravity

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NASA Demonstrates 3D Printing in Zero Gravity

According to the NASA,” performed 3D printing under zero gravity in space to demonstrate that 3D printers work normally in space.  The International Space Station manufactured the first 3D printed object in space in November 2014.  NASA collaborated with Made In Space, Inc., to design, build and test the 3-D printer used in space.  Therefore, the first 3D printed object in space was a faceplate engraved with names of NASA and Made In Space, Inc.  NASA considers this experiment as the first step towards evolving use of additive manufacturing in space missions.  3D printing can be used as a fast and inexpensive way to manufacture parts in space, for example, to make repairs on International Space Station”.:)

first, 3D printed object in space

3D Printing In Zero-G Technology Demonstration by NASA

International Space Station’s 3-D Printer

The Effects of Microgravity on Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing   Read More:


3D Printed Custom Insoles from SOLS

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3D Printed Custom Insoles from SOLS

According to the SOLS,” this is a New York-based startup that provides 3D printed custom insoles.  To purchase SOLS’ custom insoles, a customer uses to take photos of their feet.  The customer also provides information such as height, weight, length of each foot and so on.  SOLS recommends taking help from a buddy to take photos and measurements.  SOLS takes this information and generates a 3D model of the custom insoles for the customer.  The 3D model is used to 3D print the custom soles for the customer. The insoles generated are thin and can be work in any kind of shoes.  One can also include the width of the shoe to make sure the custom insoles work well with the shoe.

SOLS provides SOLS Flex and SOLS Rx.  SOLS Flex are custom insoles for daily use. SOLS Rx is prescription insoles for hing with aches and pain of feet.

Soles was co-founded by Kegan Schouwenburg in 2013.  SOLS has raised almost $20 Million from investors”.:)

SOLS’ Facebook Page

PRNewswire article on SOLS

CBS Article on SOLS

ConforMIS: Customizing Knee Implants using 3D Printing

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ConforMIS: Customizing Knee Implants using 3D Printing

According to the ConforMIS,” this is a company headquartered in Bedford Massachusetts that designs and manufactures customized knee implants for patients  A CT scan of a patient’s knee is taken and a 3D model of the patient’ knee is created.  Using the 3D model, designs of implants customized to the patient are created.  3D printing technology is used to manufacture implants that are specific to that patient.  As a result, knee implants that are customized for a specific patient are generated.

Traditional knee replacement surgery is based on off the shelf implants.  A surgeon makes adjustments to the implants for a patient.  These adjustments may not result in a perfect fit for a patient and the implant can be either too big or too small.  In contrast, customized implants generated by ConforMIS’ technology are made to fit the knee of each patient.  Customized knee implants have been found to result in faster recovery, higher satisfaction, and improved ability to perform normal day to day activities.

Dr Philipp Lang, MD, MBA is the CEO and co-founder of ConforMIS.  ConforMIS owns or licenses approximately 470 patents and pending patent applications”.:)






DeeGreen and DeeRed 3D Printers from be3D

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DeeGreen and DeeRed 3D Printers from be3D

According to the be3D,” this is a 3D printer manufacturer headquartered in the Czech Republic and founded by David Miklas.  be3D started developing 3D printers in 2012.  be3D started with a 3D printer DeeOrange, a small personal 3D printer.  Based on experiences learnt from DeeOrange, be3D developed a new model, the DeeGreen 3D printer.

Currently, be3D offers two types of 3D printers: DeeGreen and DeeRed.  DeeGreen is an environmentally friendly 3D printer targeted towards schools, households, hobbyists, fashion designers, and so on.  DeeGreen uses Polylactic acid plastic made from cornstarch that is environmentally degradable.  DeeGreen is intended for office and home use.

DeeRed is a professional 3D printer with a spacious press chamber intended for industrial enterprises.  DeeRed is capable of 3D printing using different polymers.  DeeRed printer has two nozzles that allow it to print using two colours or two material.

Both DeeGreen and DeeRed are enclosed in a chassis for reducing the risk of injury while 3D printing.  Both 3D printers are designed to be intuitive and easy to use and come with a  touchscreen panel. The touch screen allows a user to use the printer without connecting it to a computer.

In 2014, Y Soft, a Czech company acquired 52% share of be3D.  Y Soft also provides SafeQ print solution that allows organizations to manage and optimize their printing, copying and scanning.