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.

A NASA engineer became tired of seeing porch thieves steal packages, so he invented a glitter bomb inside of a gift box to deter them. First the package, when opened, covers the robbers in glitter. Then they are sprayed with a fart-like scent. Included in the parcel are 4 cameras, GPS tracking, and a motor, all enclosed in a 3D printed surround.

A fashion designer from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem has created a new 3D printed shoe called "Between the Layers". Ganit Goldstein says she was inspired by a Japanese weaving technique called "IKAT weaving". Working with Stratasys she has created 3 sets of shoes. The shoes are quite futuristic in design and will be shown at the International Trade Fair for the skilled trades happening in Munich, Germany between March 13 and 17 2019.

A 3D printed robot hand has learned to play simple tunes on the piano by moving its wrists. Scientists at the University of Cambridge 3D printed all the bones and ligaments in the human hand, without the tendons or muscles. They were surprised at the range of motion that was available with this limited architecture.

A new DLP (Digital Light Processing) printer made of aluminum appears to be sturdily made and can print detailed objects with relative ease. The AnyCubic Photon uses liquid resin with far fewer moving parts than the traditional FDM printer. Reviewers found the machine easy to use, with 2 caveats: you will have additional cleaning up of the surplus resin, and the resin tends to be expensive. The resin is available in numerous colors, while the left-overs can be reused, with a 12-month shelf life.

Scientists from the University of Girona in Spain have been able to 3D print a scaffold that can isolate breast cancer stem cells for patients with triple negative breast cancer. The researchers hope to develop specific drugs for the targeted cells that will not damage normal cells.

Those amazing engineers at MIT have come up with an antibacterial 3D printed cellulose. They chose cellulose because it is biodegradable, inexpensive, and is chemically versatile. Because cellulose tends to disintegrate when heated, it was thought to be unavailable for 3D printing. However the researchers found that they could use cellulose acetate to overcome the problem.

Rotobox is well known in Slovenia for their lightweight 3D printed wheels. The company has now produced a complete supermoto, made with the Yamaha Austria Racing Team. Called Splice, the motorbike weighs 119 kg fully fueled, but it carries a pretty hefty price tag: roughly $40,000. USD.

Scientists at the European Space Research and Technology Center in the Netherlands are experimenting with the use of bioprinting and regenerative medicine to treat astronauts on extraterrestrial flights. Among their study plans are a 1000-day trip to Mars, including a 400-day sojourn on the red planet, and a 180-day stay on the moon by a crew of 4. Medical emergencies are also under review, since deep space missions wll not have telecommunications available. One solution proposed involves robot surgeons using Artificial Intelligence.

A partnership between CELLINK in Sweden and Prellis Biologics in San Francisco is planning to develop a $1.2 million USD high-resolution holographic and micro-printing capability. Their goal is to bioprint prevascularized tissue structures that can support tissue growth. The process is known as holographic 3D bioprinting and is used to 3D print fine capillaries that deliver nutrients to cells, and scaffolds that support the growth of cells into 3D tissue. Involved are cell transplantation, therapeutics screening, and sophisticated 3D culture development. The Holograph-X Bioprinter is expected to be commercially available early next year.

A Netherlands scientist has partnered with a Chinese technology company to 3D print food products from left-over food. Elzelinde van Doleweerd began this research with her Upprinting Food project while studying at Eindhoven University of Technolgy. The concepts work with pastes made from purple sweet potatoes and rice as well as boiled vegetables and fruit peels which are mashed together and sieved. The paste is then thoroughly dehydrated so that no water remains to create bacterial activity.

An Italian bioengineer working with a Spanish start-up called Novameat has used vegetable proteins to invent the "world's first" 3D-printed meat-free steak. Vegan ingredients like rice, peas and seaweed are turned into a paste that is then 3D printed.

A senior Ocean Engineering student at the University of Rhode Island is experimenting with 3D printing on an ocean vessel using an SLA style printer (Stereolithograhy Apparatus.) Some of the issues being tested include distortion caused by the moving vessel and testing for tensile strength.

A company called Trumpf is using green laser technology to 3D print copper and gold. The 3D printing process involves little waste. The laser light in the green wavelength spectrum can handle reflective materials like copper and gold, whereas the usual infrared laser beams have wavelengths that are too long.

Clean2Antartica is a dream that was born in 2015 when Edwin and Liesbeth realized how much plastic waste they were trashing. They decided to 3D print a solar-powered truck that would go with them to the cleanest place on the planet, the South Pole. Antartica does not belong to anyone. It holds 90% of the planet's ice and by law has no waste. This is the story of their amazing adventure, from initial thought, to project plans and fabrication, to the 2400 km journey to an icy terrain where the sun never goes down.

Note: we review 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 2018