3D Printing News

A note of caution to our viewers: many of these products are only available for pre-ordering and have yet to be manufactured. Others are only hopes/dreams. Hyperbole is the language of choice, so be careful!

Additionally, be forewarned that some of the materials you intend to work with, as well as particles and fumes from the printer itself, may be toxic. You may want to read this article for a further discussion of the potential problems.

Electric hyper autos are the goal of several companies rught now, meaning cars that can travel up to 250 mph. In fact Croatia has a company called Rimac working on that very project. In Italy Peninfarina is developing a vehicle called "the birth of a beautiful dream", while Tesla is perfecting its Roadster which can accelerate to 60mph in fewer than 2 seconds. This revolutionary move away from the internal combustion engine is made possible by a number of factors including the use of fewer components and the growing availability of 3D printing.

Highly personalized medical devices are advancing rapidly, thanks to the plethora of new materials being developed at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At this University, scientists have been developing mesh materials in which toughness is accompanied by flexibility. Stretchy meshes in wavy patterns, imitating the structure of collagen, allow devices to mimic soft tissue. Rather than having layers bonded to each other, the new meshes are able to move in relation to one another. When more strength is required, an elastic mesh is covered with stainless steel and then another elastic mesh is applied, adding to a supply of materials that interact with the human body.

With ground-breaking already behind it, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York is working with LimaCorporate to build an on-site 3D printing center. Lima's EBM (Electronic Beam Melting) technology has already been tested using the GE Additive company Arcam. Warning: It has just been disclosed that 35% of titanium hip replacements, a material that Lima has been using, are leaking cobalt and other heavy metals and have to be redone surgically. I don't know if Lima's hip cup is one of those affected.

Researchers from Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina have created a portable 3D printer that can print bi-layered skin directly onto a wound with almost immediate healing. The scientists extract the patient's own cells from an uninjured part of the body. One exciting feature of this machine is that it can be rolled right up to the patient's bedside.

Inkbit, an offshoot of MIT, is attempting to add "eyes and brains" to its 3D printers by incorporating machine-learning and machine-vision. Its multi-material printers scan each layer of the piece being printed and make real-time corrections. The data gleaned is then used to predict warping problems and thus perfect the final output. The company has only one operational system at the moment but has a contract with Johnson and Johnson to begin selling its machines next year.

Autodesk is offering some instructions on getting the most out of your 3D printer. The article covers such topics as preheating filament, multi color, getting a knitted effect or even a spider web effect.

A group of researchers at Tufts University has developed a new metamaterial with unusual optical properties. In one example, they copied the compound properties of the eye of a moth to create a hemispherical object that can accept electromagnetic signals from multiple directions at varying wavelengths. The process worked out at Tufts incorporates 3D printing, metal coating, and etching to end up with "complex geometries and novel functionalities". They have assigned the acronym MEGO to their process (as in metamaterials embedded with geometric optics.) They also use stereolithography and two photon polymerization to get the resolution down to 200 nanometers. The engineers emphasize that the full potential of this new process has barely begun to be realized.

Ikea and Uniq have collaborated on new ergonomic products aimed at the world of gaming. Available in 2020, the designs are geared to the 2.2 billion gamers around the world who populate the $130 billion dollar video gaming industry. The products have an industrial look and can be personalized to the individual's body.

H and H 3D Plastics has announced their new series of industrial-sized spools aimed at large format 3D printers, particularly those that rely on filament. The new filaments include natural and black PETG at two different diameters, with larger custom sizes available to order.

Two Korean biotechnology companies, T&R Biofab and SCM Life Science, are partnering on regenerative products in the field of cell therapy and cell patch products. They have now patented an artificial skin, using dermal and epidermal cells that embody a porous composition resembling human skin. The basis of their work evolves from research in human stem cell technology.

Creativebloc offers their view of the best 3D modeling software on the market now, from beginning users to more experienced ones. They start out with the high-end programs like Maya and Houdini, to the less costly 3D Coat. The list is followed by their suggestions for the best free 3D modeling software.

A tagging process called LayerCode has found a way to embed bar codes during the printing. Information about parts and objects will be available without affecting the final print. The tags are compatible with SLA-based printers as well as FDM printers. Their study tested some 4800 prints, with a success rate of 99%.

Let's go to the movies, in this case to see 3D printed soft robotic muscles that are said to be 3 times stronger than human muscles.

And finally, take a look at these 3D printed chairs designed by Zaha Hadid architects.(Scroll down to see the chairs).

We review many hundreds of articles each month, culling the most significant for you. We also welcome suggestions from our viewers for products and processes that we may have missed.

c.Corinne Whitaker 2019