Panthers’ linebacker Thomas Davis injured his arm before the Super Bowl 50 game. He had surgery to put metal plate and screws in his arm. He said “I’ve got two weeks to heal up. Come on, you know me. I ain’t missing the Super Bowl, you know that.” However, he may get some help from a 3D printing company Whiteclouds.
Whiteclouds, a 3D printing company obtained a 3D scan of his arm and 3D printed arm brace for him. The arm brace is made from a blend of plastic and rubber. The arm brace was 3D printed in 30 hours using Stratasys Connex machines. Whiteclouds is based in Ogden, Utah.
Dalit Peleg, an Israeli fashiondesigner has 3D printed entire fashion collections using small consumer 3D printers. She experimented with different printers and different materials. She realized that materials like PLA are inflexible and not suitable for use as fabric. However, she found a material FilaFlex which is flexible and strong. She 3D printed a red jacket using a Witbox3D printer and FilaFlex material. Once she figured out how to 3D print textile, she started creating full collections including shoes. She has shown that we can design our own textile and manufacture clothes from our home using 3D printing.
XYZ Printing announced the da Vinci mini 3D printer at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held this year (2016). The da Vinci mini will be available for $269. It is an easy to use device and includes support for Wi Fi and USB. It has received awards from Reviewed.com, Tom’s Guide, and TWICE. XYZ Printing provides other models of 3D printers that are in the affordable price range. XYZ Printing brings new technology to consumers in the form of easy to use and affordable products.
J R Bedard, a software engineer from Montreal, Canada, 3D printed a replica of the BB-8 robot from the new Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The 3D printed replica runs on wheels and is remote controlled. Bedard 3D printed the body of Bb-8 and hand painted it with nail polish.
ETH Zurich and a startup called Scrona Ltd. have been announced world record holders for the smallest inkjet-printed color image. They used 3D NanoDrip printing technology to print a tiny image of clown fish around a sea anemone. The image is of the size of a cross section of a human hair. The image is 0.0092 mm2 in area and can only be seen under a microscope.
The image is printed using nano particles called quantum-dots. Quantum-dots can emit lights of different colors depending on their size. Layers of red, green, and blue quantum dots can be created to generate different colors.
Scrona also developed µPeek, a credit card sized microscope that can be used to see the tiny image. The microscope can be interfaced with smartphones allowing you to see it using the smartphone and to take pictures of the image.
The 36th Annual National FETC 2016 is being held in Orlando, Florida from January 13-15, 2016. The FETC 2016 Expo Hall showcases latest products and technologies from over 500 manufacturers. These include 3D printing, robotics, software and various technologies related to education.
Inside 3D Printing Singapore will feature two days of seminars and exhibitions presenting the latest 3D printers and services. Attendees will have valuable networking opportunities. Inside 3D Printing will be held concurrently with RoboUniverse Conference and Expo and the Virtual Reality Summit.
According to 3D printing,¨using plastic has limited scope due to the fragile nature of plastic. Any serious manufacturing is not possible without using metal. 3D printing using metal or Metal Additive Manufacturing has seen significant growth recently. Metals are 3D printed by melting metal powder using a laser beam to fuse it into a solid part. Metals used for 3D printing include stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, copper, silver, gold, alloys of titanium, cobalt, titanium, nickel, among others.
3D printing of metals is used in several industries including aerospace, automobile industry, jewelry, medical, among others. The medical industry, for example, dental and orthopedics benefits from the ability to customize parts for specific individuals. The quality of the 3D printed metal objects is comparable to objects made by conventional manufacturing processes. Manufacturing based on 3D printing results in very little waste compared to conventional manufacturing. Therefore Metal Additive Manufacturing continues to grow and become a significant part of manufacture.¨
Based on materials analysis, Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) is a type of petroleum-based plastic that is water-soluble. It is biodegradable and recyclable, and non-toxic. It can be extruded at temperatures of 190-210 deg C. It is relatively expensive compared to materials such as PLA and ABS. Due to its ability to dissolve in water, PVA-based material must be stored carefully, away from water and moisture. For example, it can be stored in sealed bags with silica gel. Once removed from its packaging PVA can absorb moisture.
Since PVA is water-soluble, it is used for providing support for overhanging portions of objects being 3D printed. The 3D printer has to be capable of extruding two materials. A PVA-based structure is 3D printed before the overhang portions. The overhang portions are 3D printed, with support from the PVA-based structure. The final 3D printed object is put in water to let the PVA-based support structure dissolve. After the PVA-based support structure dissolves, what remains is the 3D printed object with overhangs.
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