Copper3D Antimicrobial Filament Device Attempts To Reduce HIV Transmission From Breastfeeding

3D printing startup Copper3D, based in Chile and the US, uses nano-copper additives, and adds antimicrobial properties to polymers like PLA and TPU to create antibacterial 3D printed objects. Last year, Copper3D partnered with NASA to study microbial risks in outer space, but now the startup is working on an important project that’s a little closer to home.

According to UNICEF, the number of children and adolescents living with HIV in 2017 reached 3 million, with 430,000 newly infected people and 130,000 deaths from AIDS-related causes. UNAIDS reports that in 2018, 26,000 new HIV infections among children up to the age of 14 resulted from withdrawal of treatment during pregnancy, and breastfeeding. But even with this knowledge, the World Health Organization reports that 37.9 million people around the world were living with HIV at the end of 2018, 8.1 million of which didn’t even know they had the disease to begin with.

Companies and scientists around the globe are working to use technology to help control dangerous bacteria and viruses with high replication rates, like HIV. Copper3D has created a 3D printed device, with its copper nanotechnology, that can effectively inactivate the HIV virus under the right conditions on certain objects- a project that the startup’s Director of Innovation Daniel Martínez tells us is “the result of more than one year of research in antimicrobial polymers and the role on inactivating high replication rate viruses like HIV.”

Dr. Claudia Soto, Copper3D’s Medical Director, said, “Understanding the global problem behind the HIV statistics and analyzing the role that our antimicrobial materials could have in containing the transmission of HIV virus led us think that we could develop some kind of device that acts like an interface between mother and child to prevent the spread of this virus through breastfeeding, which is one of the main routes of infection.

“The initial idea is based on some of the few available studies that establish that copper based additives and filters can inactivate HIV virus in a solution of breastmilk, acting specifically against the protease (essential for viral replication) where copper ions non-specifically degrade the virus phospholipidic plasmatic membrane and denaturalize its nucleic acids; nevertheless, several issues such as toxicity levels, milk nutritional degradation, time for virus inactivation, or the optimal size/form of these filters remain unsolved.”

3D concept of the Viral Inactivator (patent pending)

Copper3D, led by co-founders Martínez, Dr. Soto, and CEO Andrés Acuña, began work on a project with, as the startup stated in a release sent to 3DPrint.com, “two lines of research.” Last year, they submitted a patent application for the project, called Viral Inactivation System for a Breastmilk Shield to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV. First, the viral inactivation effectiveness of its PLACTIVE material was tested with samples of HIV-infected breast milk, and then the team designed an object that optimizes the “viral inactivation of HIV” in the milk, acting as a mother-to-child interface during breastfeeding.

“Our purpose as a company has always been related to make a global impact through innovation in materials and nanotechnology. This line of research of active/antimicrobial medical devices and applications that opens with these studies, fills us with pride as a company. We believe that we are marking a before and after in the industry and we take this honor with a great sense of responsibility,” stated Acuña. “We will continue on the path of applied innovation, always thinking of playing an important role in the most urgent global healthcare challenges, where our antimicrobial materials, intelligent 3D designs, rigorous processes of technical validations and laboratory certifications, can generate a new category of antimicrobial/active devices that can avoid infections at a global scale and save millions of lives.”

Virology Laboratory at Hospital Clínico Universidad de Chile

The startup commissioned a proof-of-concept laboratory study at the Hospital Clínico Universidad de Chile’s Virology Laboratory to validate PLACTIVE’s potential HIV viral inactivation capacity. The study used a split-sample protocol to test and treat 20 sub-samples of HIV-1 (subtype B, cultivated from infectious clone NL4-3, with CXCR4 co- receptor).

The sub-samples were randomized into different groups: A, B, and Control. Samples for A and B were placed in either a green or blue 3D printed box, with and without the nano-copper additive; for a proper blind study, the researchers did not know which was which. The samples were exposed to the medical device for 15, 60, 120, and 900 seconds, and then cultured with HIV-1 Jukat reporter cells LTR-luciferase Cells (1G5); Copper3D performed culture measures on the samples 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours post-treatment.

“The preliminary results showed a reduction of viral replication up to of 58.6% by simply exposition of the samples to the 3D printed boxes containing copper nanoparticles. Fifteen (15) seconds of exposition were enough to achieve such a reduction. These data allow us to infer that by increasing the contact surface by a factor of 10X, we could obtain much higher inactivation rates, very close to 100% (log3) and according to our calculations, most probably in less than 5 seconds,” explained Martínez. “These results are coherent with the hypothesized reduction times proposed by Borkow, et. al. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first essay aiming to study the inactivation of HIV virus by using this new kind of polymers with antimicrobial copper nanotechnology in 3D printed objects.”

3D model of the Viral Inactivator (patent pending)

These results are pretty promising, which bolstered the team as they moved on to the second part of the study – designing a device, with a surface of contact expanded 10X, for HIV-contaminated milk, that’s embedded in nano-copper for use during breastfeeding.

“Like any innovation project, this is a constantly evolving process. We have learned a lot along the way, and we will continue designing, iterating, testing, validating and learning about antimicrobial materials and devices in the future. The preliminary results obtained in the first phase of our investigation with viral inactivation on active/antimicrobial nanocomposites materials gives us a great drive to continue in that line of research,” said Martínez. “We hope in the coming months to conclude the second phase of this study. For these purposes we develop a new antimicrobial flexible TPU based material (MDflex), with the same nanocopper additive as PLACTIVE, to test with new iterations of the design of this viral inactivation device with expanded surfaces of contact that we believe will be much more effective. These new insights will allow the development of a whole new range of active medical devices and applications, with incredible capabilities to interact with the environment, eliminating dangerous bacteria and viruses and protecting patients and users around the globe. This second and final phase of the study will be concluded in Q2 of 2020.”

Copper3D’s concept for its Viral Inactivator is to study how the antimicrobial capacity of its nano-copper materials impacts HIV inactivation, and how different shapes and designs for the 3D printed device can increase the surface of contact with breast milk, while using the nano-copper to enhance effectiveness. The device was made with various layers and “rugosities” in order to imitate what has been observed in the human gastrointestinal tract.

Collaborators at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Department of Biomechanics will perform mechanical characterization testing of Copper3D’s prototype.

“Copper3D has once again disrupted the field of medical devices by creating this revolutionary device that can have a tremendous impact in reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV,” said Jorge Zuniga PhD, Associate Professor of Biomechanics with the university. “Our laboratory is fortuned to partner with Copper3D, in such an impactful project.”

Concept of applications with the Viral Inactivator

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PERI Group to 3D Print Walls of Small Home Each Day at Bautec Construction Exhibit

Any lingering questions related to the future of 3D printing in construction should be answered this year for visitors at the international Bautec construction exhibit in Berlin. Germany’s PERI Group will not only be in attendance showing off the COBOD BOD2 3D construction printer, but they will be doing something very new and unusual for a construction exhibit: 3D printing the walls of a small house in real time every day of the show!

Running from February 18-21, Bautec brings together many different areas of construction all at once in their trade fair—from planning and operating, to building and housing, and more. The COBOD 5x5x5 BOD2 3D construction printer—one we have covered previously regarding two-story construction prints, a European building fabricated in three days and more—will be set up at the PERI booth where visitors can watch live 3D printing of a home every day from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.

During the international Bautec construction exhibition in Berlin with over 30.000 visitors from more than 40 countries COBOD and PERI is not only showcasing COBOD’s BOD2 3D construction printer, but is actually live printing a small house every day of the show, February 18-21. Visitors are invited to come and see for themselves.

“It is so easy to video film a 3D construction printer in action and then edit out anything unplanned occurring during the printing to produce a nice-looking video in the end,” said Henrik Lund-Nielsen, CEO of COBOD.

“There are so many examples out there with heavily edited and manipulated content, far from what is happening with the same printer in real life printing. When you print live, it is not possible to hide anything. With this live printing we are documenting that our technology has the quality, robustness and stability to perform hour after hour, day after day. We plan to print the walls of a small house each day just during the opening hours of the exhibition, and everybody is invited to follow the process.”

PERI acquired a significant stake in COBOD in 2018, and serves as the distributor for the BOD2, which commenced in shipping in January 2019. Seven of the 3D printers have been sold so far, establishing the BOD2 as ‘the most sold construction printer in the world,’ according to the press release COBOD sent to 3DPrint.com.

Featuring a modular build (with the capability to be extended to 2.5 meters in width, length, and height), the BOD2 is meant to run at a maximum speed of 100 cm/second; however, the COBOD team has been forthcoming about challenges in material and pumping mechanisms that have limited speed to 40 cm/second—a speed they explain has still ‘not been beaten by any other provider so far.’

Additional improvements have been made to the BOD2 since last year, beginning with a refined extrusion system that prints smoother walls. COBOD has also streamlined the set-up time of the printer, reducing it by 50 percent—meaning that when traveling to another site, the hardware can be set up in just four hours.

“We use this occasion to also show some of the improvements, that we have made since we launched the BOD2 last year. Especially I am glad to show, that our finishing quality of the 3D printed walls now is so good, that only minimal plastering is needed afterward to arrive at the desired quality,” said Henrik Lund-Nielsen.

“All in all we are very happy to be able to showcase our technology live here at Bautec and by the many visitors we have here spending half an hour or more on taking videos and photos, I do believe the visitors are also very happy with what they see.”

“We would of course have liked to bring an even bigger printer but printing here during the exhibition has meant some limitations. Consequently, we are only printing a very small one-bedroom house of approximately 4 meters by 4 meters. Also, when it comes to the speed, we have had to restrict ourselves,” explains Tilmann Auch, COBOD product development engineer.

“During Bautec we are only printing with 25 cm/second. This is due to the EU robotics directive, that requires a safety fence around the printer, if we were to print faster. We surely did not want to put a fence up, as it would too much block the visitors’ possibility to see the printer in action, which is the very reason why we are here. “

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: COBOD]

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Korea: Improving Implants for Knee Arthroplasty with Titanium Porous Coating in Direct Energy Deposition

Korean researchers are looking for ways to improve the materials used in total knee arthroplasty procedures. Design and technique have improved considerably in the past 30 years, but here the authors investigate the use of new materials for implants, outlining their findings in the recently published ‘Titanium Porous Coating Using 3D Direct Energy Deposition (DED) Printing for Cementless TKA Implants: Does it Induce Chronic Inflammation?

While cementless fixation was meant to be a progressive technique promoting better bone to implant and growth and longevity, there have been concerns due to ‘poor clinical outcomes,’ as well as failure overall.

The researchers point out that there have been developments in 3D printing via direct energy deposition (DED) with the use of titanium. It may be considered ‘inferior’ to powder-bed-fusion; however, not for use in creating knee implants where it offers high mechanical strengths. In this study, the authors assess the use of Ti-coated on CoCr alloy, and how effective it is in stimulating an inflammatory reaction in both in vitro and in vivo models.

The team coated a CoCr substrate with a porous layer of pure Ti, creating a structure meant to match cancellous bone. Three samples were created, representing smooth and sand-blasted for comparisons and then DED surfaces as potential implants.

“Three types of specimens (n = 54; diameter: 14.6 mm; height: 3 mm fitted for 24 well plate), namely smooth (n = 18), sand-blasted (n = 18), and DED Ti-coated (n = 18), were manufactured for in vitro studies. Similarly, for in vivo studies, three types of specimen discs (diameter: 6 mm; thickness: 3 mm) were manufactured (n = 36): (1) smooth (n = 12), (2) sand-blasted (n = 12), and (3) DED Ti-coated (n = 12),” explained the researchers.

(A) schematic of a specimen used for experiments (A) smooth, (B) sand-blasted, (C) direct energy deposition (DED)-Ti coated (black color: cobalt chrome alloy, red color: Ti powder coating).

Thirty-six mice were added to the research project too, with each of them receiving the various sample implants.

(A) The experimental specimen was inserted into the dorsal subcutaneous layer. (B) After inserting the specimen into the mouse. Specimens were not inserted in the sham group after incision as the control group.

Viability of cells was examined on days 1,3,5, and 7, showing cytocompatibility for all surfaces. DED samples showed slightly elevated cell viability but not significant enough to make a difference. The researchers did note the same type of growth in ongoing experiments over the five-day period. There were no ‘statistically significant differences’ for in vivo immune profiling or in the concentration of inflammatory cytokines when compared to the sham group.

CCK-8 assay results for each specimen in a time dependent manner. The positive control, sand-blasted, and DED Ti-coated groups reached near their maximum value on day 7. However, the smooth group showed relatively low viability, but were not statistically significant (day 5 P = 0.1, Day 7 P = 0.1).

Results of re-testing using low ((A): 3 × 103 cells) and high ((B): 1.2 × 104 cells) concentrations of cells to determine the effects of initial cell concentration. All four experimental groups showed similar viability pattern and there were no statistically significant differences.

Overall, the researchers considered this process to offer great benefits, allowing it to surpass previous challenges in surface coating methods—with little chance for formation of Ti nanoparticles. Mechanical stability is high, and there is improved bonding between the Ti and CoCr alloys. Surface characteristics are easily manipulated for pore size, porosity, and the ultimate level of roughness. The researchers noted that DED techniques used in creating implants also show strong potential for decreasing ‘risk of inflammatory pathway.’

“… further research is needed to compare DED Ti-coated with TPS and PBF, which are the current technology used in vivo model. Finally, the inflammatory reaction in human and mouse could be different, thus there are limitations in applying our results obtained from mouse model directly to humans,” concluded the researchers.

“Moreover, our sample size was relatively small because of experimental ethics. In fact, most of the animal studies share these limitations, therefore our DED implant needs to be carefully evaluated on middle- and large-sized animal studies before clinical trial.”

Evaluation of the degree of inflammatory cells by semi-Quantitative Grade System. Representative images of smooth (A) and DED Ti-coated (B) at 4 weeks after implantation. Macrophage (Green arrow head), lymphocyte (blue arrow), granulocytes (white arrow heads), and monocytes (white arrow) were observed in both specimens, however, not more than 10% of all cells. Both representing zone evaluated as grade 1. The result of semi-Quantitative Grade analysis represented at 4 weeks (C) and 8 weeks (D). The expression level of inflammatory cells was decreased at 8 weeks (D) compared with 4 weeks (C), however, there was no statistically significant difference (smooth group P = 0.413, DED Ti-coated group P = 0.219). There was no significant difference between the smooth and DED Ti-coated groups at 4 (P = 0.551) and 8 weeks (P = 0.755).

3D printed implants and other devices are used for a wide range of procedures today, from the fabrication of 3D printed medical models for hip surgeries, to pre-planning systems for shoulder surgeries, total knee replacements, and more.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: ‘Titanium Porous Coating Using 3D Direct Energy Deposition (DED) Printing for Cementless TKA Implants: Does it Induce Chronic Inflammation?’]

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Brazil: Experimenting with Recycled ABS & PLA for Dosimetry

Brazilian researchers seek an environmentally friendly method not only for 3D printing but to put discarded plastic to use in dosimetry, a method for measuring radiation therapy. Outlining their findings in the recently published ‘Reuse of 3D printed materials for dosimetry purposes,’ the authors focus on ABS and PLA.

Material (PLA) prepared for the application of the recycling tests.

While a huge variety of materials are now available on the market, ABS and PLA still prevail due to their accessibility and affordability. 3D models can be easily created and while they are helpful in the medical field for everything from educating patients to being used for diagnosing, treating, and surgical planning, they can also be used as phantoms for ionizing radiation dosimetry.

Schematic assembled for obtain Kerma rate values.

While there is a need for characterization of 3D printed samples, the researchers considered the true feasibility of recycling plastic filament for use in dosimetry. In this study, the team attempted to re-use transparent PLA and black ABS.

Characterization of radiation quality series RQT

The researchers printed two samples with recycled PLA and ABS materials for experimentation, measuring 7cm in diameter and 9mm in thickness. The images were analyzed in a CT scanner, targeting one area of interest and measuring Hounsfield units (HU).

Overall, the team reported PLA as the winner in terms of offering ‘better performance’ due to homogeneity; even so, ABS performed fairly well despite a make up of petroleum. Heading into the experimental phase with materials, the research team had expectations that there would be problems with the ABS materials; however, the team reported ‘satisfactory’ results.

“After the readings with the ionization chamber, correction factors were applied, in order to obtain the Kerma values to evaluate the materials,” explained the team.

measured values in Hounsfield units for each sample

Ultimately, the researchers came to the conclusion that the variations found in the samples could have been a consequence of material density that resulted from the recycling process. There were numerous questions surrounding the use of typical parameters, as well as how they cause different reactions due to the differences in the material once it has been recycled.

Samples printed in transparent PLA and black ABS for comparison with recycled samples

“Different printing parameters may be applied during prototype acquisition, which influence the amount of material deposited on each printed layer and, depending on the type of printer used and the print setting, these layers may have air holes between them,” concluded the researchers the end of their study.

“Although high quality printing parameters were chosen in this paper, the results for the samples point to a difference between the densities of recycled and printed PLA/ABS samples. For more inclusive analysis, studies can be performed with samples from different printers to define the best print resolution to compare with samples of fused materials.”

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: ‘Reuse of 3D printed materials for dosimetry purposes’]

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New Partnership: BEGO’s Dental Materials Allow Formlabs Customers to 3D Print Crowns & Bridges

BEGO, headquartered in Germany, has been a leader in the dental field for 130 years—and as pioneers in 3D printing for the last two decades, they now specialize in all types of dental fabrication techniques for prosthodontics and implant dentistry. Today, they have announced a partnership with Formlabs, the US-based designer and manufacturer of 3D printing systems—along with a wide-ranging product line and other strong partnerships around the world.

This alliance, just announced, means that Formlabs dental customers will be able to make on-demand dental products for their patients–using BEGO’s dental materials to 3D print both temporary and permanent crowns and bridges.

Formlabs customers who are already using the Form 3B and Form 2 3D printers will have access to fabricating permanent single crowns, inlays, onlays and veneers, and temporary crowns and bridges. Appreciating many of the benefits of 3D printing, they will be able to save on the bottom line, while making customized products, faster—and better.

“Directly printing temporary crowns and bridges are one of the most sought-after applications from Formlabs customers. By partnering with BEGO and leveraging their 130 years of dental experience, we will be able to not only address this need but take it a step further by offering materials for permanent crowns. We are excited to see how this partnership can continue to advance the dental industry and overcome the major challenges labs and dentists face as digital dentistry becomes a standard for patient care,” said Dávid Lakatos, Chief Product Officer at Formlabs.

Patients will enjoy:

  • Excellent aesthetics
  • Less tendency for dental work to age and discolor
  • Low-plaque accumulation
  • More comfort, thanks to less cold and heat sensitivity

“The ability to use completely digital dental workflows with 3D printed temporary restorations will enable a rapid, low cost, iterative process that improves patient care and case acceptance rates,” states the BEGO team in a press release sent to 3DPrint.com.

Dávid Lakatos, Chief Product Officer at Formlabs with Axel Klarmeyer, Chief Executive Officer of BEGO Dental

The two companies will be in attendance at LMT Lab Day in Chicago from February 21-22, presenting materials for attendees to see and feel, as well as showcasing their new partnership, which is also part of the ‘natural evolution’ of the also recently announced Dental Business Unit and Form 3B, meant to ensure that dentists are able to offer their patients the best in care.

“We could not be happier to partner with Formlabs, especially at this time, where digital dentistry is reaching a breakthrough. It took some time and a lot of effort and commitment of all involved people to be able to offer to the market a fully validated workflow for final restorations. This partnership underlines BEGO’s leading position in the dental 3D printing materials market,” said Axel Klarmeyer, Chief Executive Officer of BEGO Dental.

Find out more about these products here, and please visit BEGO and Formlabs at LMT Lab Day at Formlabs booth (#P-1) and BEGO booth (#H-13).

Both BEGO and Formlabs stay in the news with continue product development and successes from BEGO’s recent launch of the Varseo XL to new resins and other recent acquisitions by Formlabs.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: BEGO]

 

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Kentucky’s Somerset Community College 3D Prints in Metal on Modified FDM 3D Printers that Cost $600 Each

While 3D printing, 4D printing, bioprinting, and additive manufacturing processes abound in the US and around the globe, some programs are not previously as well-known but are also real powerhouses of digital fabrication. Offering two main campuses and four centers, the Kentucky-based Somerset Community College has just announced that their additive manufacturing program has completed the successful 3D printing of numerous 316L stainless steel metal parts on multiple desktop 3D printers that cost only $600.

Modified low cost desktop 3D printer producing infused stainless steel plate

Bringing affordability and accessibility to their student base in an extraordinary way, the SCC AM faculty and staff began the program with several FDM 3D printers costing less than $450 each. They continued with customizations, including upgrading the machines to accommodate metal filament extrusion (with metal infused filaments provided by Virtual Foundry and BASF). They also modified the 3D printers for improved build plate adhesion. While normal issues such as shrinkage had to be accounted for, parts were soon 3D printed.

Stainless steel parts produced on a desktop 3D printer, with the back left and right plates having been welded together after printing

“This project is one of the first applications where fully metal parts that were 3D printed on a sub $600 desktop printer have been successfully welded together using conventional welding techniques,” stated the SCC team in their recent press release sent to 3DPrint.com. “SCC’s process is based on Bound Metal Additive Manufacturing (BMAM), predicted by researchers to be one of the fastest growing methods of additive production over the next several years.”

SCC sought help for the de-binding and sintering process, working with DSH Technologies. In the final phase of production and post processing, senior Welding Professor, Karl Watson of the SCC Welding Department, and his team ‘worked their magic’ using gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) on six samples, adding fillet and groove welds.

Watson noted that the finished parts have not shown any inconsistencies despite some tests showing hardness values slightly less than stock 316L. Welding of stainless materials also yielded higher levels of heat dissipation than normal.

“The welds flowed very smoothly and we had very good penetration control,” said Watson. “Because of the nature of 3D printing and research we have seen around the concept of welding such parts, I expected to see more porosity in the weld, but that wasn’t the case with these specimens at all. I am looking forward to doing some bend tests to determine the potential malleability as well as welding other samples using SMAW, GMAW, and FCAW.”

SCC Professor Karl Watson TIG welding the 3D printed parts together

On the heels of this successful project, SCC states that their goal now is to offer 3D printing technology with metal to both schools and the workforce throughout Kentucky. SCC plans to provide workshops, as well as offering setup of 3D printing equipment for ‘select educators’ in high schools and other community colleges, all funded by the Kentucky National Science Foundation (NSF) EPSCoR (or Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) grant, titled Kentucky Advanced Partnership for Enhanced Robotics and Structures.

SCC will also be partnering with Autodesk to provide training in advanced AM design processes, integrating the use of Fusion 360’s Generative Design suite. They will also partner with both the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky for introducing low-cost BMAM skills, with the Tennessee Technological University (TTU) for assistance in working over state lines, and then they will be choosing training sites for instructors to educate interested members of the Kentucky workforce.

“We are so very grateful for all of the funding and support we have received from the NSF, USDA Rural Business Development, Southeastern Kentucky Economic Development (SKED), the Office of Career and Technical Education and Student Transition at the Kentucky Department of Education, and the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, as well as the support from local businesses that fully understand the disruptive power of additive,” says Eric Wooldridge, Director of SCC’s Additive Manufacturing program. “Being able to bring truly low cost metal 3D printing and advanced product design directly to schools and colleges across Kentucky is a chance of a lifetime opportunity for us, and we are very excited to get started.

“There is a lot for us to learn about practical welding of 3D printed metal parts, especially parts that have been produced on a desktop 3D printer. Factors of shrinkage, potential zones of weakness, and the best welding practices are still to be determined. These are very exciting but uncharted waters to be sure,” continued Wooldridge.

The ultimate goal of SCC is to see that individuals working in AM processes with metal and polymers find it to be ‘the norm and not the exception.’ Their plan is extensive, meant to establish programs in schools, and then they will seek added funding to begin working with businesses and entrepreneurs.

“When you look at all the big investments in additive manufacturing by the aerospace and automotive industries, the announcements from the Department of Defense, and the number of products already on the market that are produced using 3D printing technology,” says Wooldridge, “practical skills in this technology are what any advanced workforce needs. Having a state-wide workforce that is capable of 3D printing metal parts at a fraction of the typical cost; that’s just an innovation revolution waiting to happen.”

Find out more about SCC’s Additive Manufacturing program here or check out their YouTube channel, The Additive Guru. Somerset Community College is a comprehensive two-year institution of higher education. SCC has campuses in Somerset and London, and centers in Clinton, McCreary, Casey, and Russell counties.

TIG welded specimen, with a corner joint and fillet weld

TIG welded specimen; butt joint with groove weld

Close up of several stainless steel 3D printed parts, including a ball valve housing and a planetary gear assembly

Schools at all levels today are engrossed in teaching 3D printing and AM processes to their students, and many young innovators are soaring to new levels with their imaginations as they enjoy workshops, learn to bioprint, and even create visual aids for their own classes. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts; join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: Somerset Community College]

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How Shapeways’ Software Enables 3D Printing at Scale

While most news about the 3D printing industry focuses on advancement in hardware and materials, software has played a crucial role in the democratization of 3D printing. Companies like Shapeways have delivered software to generate 3D files, prepare and optimize them for printing, and manufacture and distribute.

This article was written by Matt Boyle, VP of Architecture at Shapeways, for Stack Overflow. See the full blog post here

A decade or two ago, getting a custom part manufactured required you to have your own workshop or to make a visit to a factory floor. Today, you can create your own 3D model, upload it to a website, and have a functional product delivered to your door within a few days—a turn around time unimaginable just 20 years ago.

While most news about the 3D printing industry focuses on advancement in hardware and materials, software has played a crucial role in the democratization of 3D printing. Companies like Shapeways have delivered software to generate 3D files, prepare and optimize them for printing, and manufacture and distribute.

Shapeways’ primary technology offerings can split into two categories—the ability to upload, repair, price, and purchase 3D models in a variety of materials, and back-end systems driving the manufacturing, distribution, and fulfillment of our orders at a global scale. I’m going to discuss three distinct pieces of software that occur in separate steps in the buying process: one that help customers upload designs and make purchases: Model Processing; one that securely shows the customer the final printable model: ShapeJS; and one that helps us manufacture, distribute, and fulfill those design purchases: Inshape.

Processing customer models

Our first contact with a customer’s order is when they upload a 3D model. We have no control over the quality and printability of the model, so our software repairs errors during model generation where it can and analyzes their printability in a wide variety of materials. This is a very compute-heavy process—we calculate the model surface area and volume, determine the number of parts that the model is composed of, and examine the model for errors and attempt to repair them, all within a mean time of 25 seconds.

In order to deliver these results, we needed to build a system that leverages parallelism and provides easy scalability to handle fluctuations in load without breaking our SLA. To start, we decided to build individual services that are each responsible for evaluating different components of printability. These services fall into three categories: model validation, model pricing calculation, and model repair.

continue reading

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Formlabs and BEGO announce partnership to advance temporary and permanent dental restorations

Massachusetts-based SLA giant Formlabs has announced a partnership with BEGO, a German pioneer in dental 3D printing, that will see BEGO’s new leading dental materials being used with Formlabs’ resin printers. Dental professionals using Formlabs’ Form 3B and Form 2 systems will now be able to 3D print temporary and permanent crowns and bridges directly […]

3D Printing News Briefs: February 21, 2020

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re talking about new products and materials, an industry event, 3D printed electronics, and education. 3Doodler announced a new product, and Essentium will be showcasing two new materials at RAPID + TCT. The 4th annual AM Cluster of Ohio conference is coming up in July, and nScrypt is microdispensing 50um dots for 3D printed electronics. Finally, Penn State University is investing in Roboze technology.

3Doodler Introduces New 3D Build & Play

At the New York Toy Fair, February 22-25 at Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Center, 3Doodler will be showcasing its latest device – the 3D Build & Play, perfect for preschoolers and kindergartners to use. The pen was designed for users as young as four years old, and introduces growing children to 3D printing technology in a way that promotes cognitive and fine motor skills development, hands-on learning, story telling, and three-dimensional thinking. The 3D Build & Play is kid-safe, extruding low-heat, BPA-free, non-toxic, biodegradable plastic, and comes with a story-based Activity Guide so parents and kids can create together. Currently available for pre-order, 3D Build & Play will have an MSRP of $29.99, and major retailers, like Amazon, are also expected to carry the product in Q2 2020. Visit 3Doodler in Booth #2771 at the New York Toy Fair to learn more.

“3D Build & Play brings the creative fun of our Start pen without the learning curve for the youngest users. The system we have developed, that lets kids crank and create in 3D, is a major benefit for parents looking to improve their children’s basic motor skills. The included molds make it easy to create 3D objects by simply filling and popping them out. There’s nothing on the market today that makes 3D creation this simple or fast for young creators,” said 3Doodler’s CEO Daniel Cowen.

Essentium’s New Materials for High-Temperature Applications

At RAPID + TCT 2020 in Anaheim this spring, 3D printing solutions provider Essentium will introduce new ULTEM AM9085F and ABS materials for high-temperature industrial AM applications. These high-performance materials, which will be showcased on the company’s High Speed Extrusion platform at the event, provide high strength and have excellent resistance to heat and chemicals at high temperatures, so they can be used for applications in the aerospace, automotive, industrial, and medical industries.

According to a survey commissioned by Essentium, 51% of executives believe that the high cost of materials is a major obstacle when it comes to adopting 3D printing for large-scale production purposes. The new ULTEM AM9085F and ABS materials were created to give manufacturers a more cost-effective solution when compared to expensive closed-system materials. Learn more at Essentium’s Booth #3400 at RAPID + TCT in Anaheim, CA, April 20-23, 2020.

4th Annual Additive Manufacturing Cluster of Ohio Conference

The Additive Manufacturing Cluster of Ohio, powered by organizations such as America Makes and the Youngstown Business Incubator, has announced that its 4th annual conference will take place this summer in Cleveland. Cluster members work together to create a supply chain of interconnected institutions and businesses to advance regional growth in 3D printing. This conference, to be held on Thursday, July 30, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Cleveland Rockside, will be the first cluster event of 2020, and will give Ohio manufacturers of multiple business models and sizes perspectives on available opportunities for adopting 3D printing into their process chain over the next five years.

The website states, “The program will look at similarities and differences across several selected manufacturer types and will identify strategies ranging from low to high risk. Attendees will leave with actionable strategies and information about regional resources to help them remain competitive in the evolving manufacturing landscape.”

nScrypt Working with 3D Printed Electronics

Orlando company nScrypt is working with precision microdispensing, an additive method of dispensing pastes, inks, and other fluid materials, to create adhesive dots with volumetric control, in the 50 micron range, for 3D printed electronics and flexible hybrid electronics (FHE). Microdispensing gets much closer to the substrate surface when compared to methods like jetting, and the closer the nozzle is to the surface, the finer the features of the 3D printed parts. The team used the nScrypt SmartPump, a silicone adhesive, a conical pen tip, and Heraeus SAC305-8XM8-D Type IX solder paste, and tested the consistency and repeatability of ~50µm Type IX solder and adhesive dots.

These tests showed a consistent average dot diameter of 51.24 microns, with a 6.42 micron (13%) standard deviation. These results support the fabrication of 3D printed electronics through the use of direct digital manufacturing (DDM), which allows printing to both planar substrates and the non-planar world of Printed Circuit Structures, which prints the housing or structure of an electronic device as well as placing the electronics conformally. In the future, the team plans to conduct a larger solder and adhesive dot study, in order to test required downtime, long-term reliability, and the frequency of clogging.

Penn State University Invests in Roboze Technology 

Penn State, a 3D printing leader through its Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D), has invested in a new FFF solution in order to expand its AM capabilities. The ROBOZE One+400 Xtreme 3D printer, which was designed to create high performing, functional finished parts in advanced composite materials, will help the university increase its development of high performance plastics for 3D printing, and will be housed in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Students will be able to test out new polymers on the system, and develop new formulations to provide 3D printed parts with multi-functionality. These parts will be used to advance research in applications like chemical reactors.

“ROBOZE One+400 Xtreme will be used to examine novel polymers to help to fundamentally understand the 3D printing process and as a tool to enable custom equipment more cost effectively than can be obtained with machining metals while also allowing for designs not possible with traditional manufacture. The ROBOZE One+400 Xtreme will allow Penn State to leverage its expertise in materials science, engineering and characterization to enable new solutions to problems through additive manufacturing,” said Professor Bryan D. Vogt from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

“The ability to use custom filaments and control the print processing was a critical factor in selecting ROBOZE. The flexibility allowed by ROBOZE along with its excellent printing capabilities is well aligned with the discovery-oriented research mission of the university to expand knowledge and its application. Moverover, our prior 3D printer had issues printing high temperature engineering plastics like PEEK with severe deformation of the structure generally observed. After challenges with printing PEEK with standard belt driven systems, the novel direct drive approach with the ROBOZE was an added bonus.”

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