Designer Creates Unique 3D Printed Homeware Collection for Cooper Hewitt Showcase

From cookie cutters, vases, and gardening collections to clothing hangers, lamps, and kitchenware, it seems that 3D printed homeware is all the rage these days. New York designer Joe Doucet, referred to as “the Living Blueprint for the 21st Century Designer” by Forbes, recently used the technology to create a new collection of 3D printed homeware for a brand new exhibition at the city’s Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.

Doucet designed the 3D printed set of knobby, greyscale cookware, cutlery, serving, and storage capsules specifically for the museum’s Tablescapes: Designs for Dining Showcase. The understated yet attractive collection, according to a statement from Doucet, was “designed with limited resources in mind” in order “to represent dining in the 21st century.

In addition to co-founding the OTHR design brand in 2016 and being named the only ever AvantGuardian for Design by Surface Magazine, Doucet also received an honor in his field last year: he was named the 2017 winner of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award as Product Designer.

“We are an award-winning multidisciplinary practice who believe that design is a tool to create opportunities,” Doucet’s website reads. “We believe that creative vision can transform an object into an obsession, a product into a paragon and a business into a brand. We believe that by partnering with the world’s most exciting brands, we can create innovative ways for product design, packaging, architecture, retail design, furniture and technology to shape tomorrow.”

The Cooper Hewitt, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, is a big fan of Doucet’s work, and commissioned the 3D printed prototypes in the collection for the Tablescapes showcase, which will be available to view at the museum until April 14, 2019.

The 3D printed vessels can actually be used to perform several different functions for food service and preparation; for instance, the lids are used as normal to seal the bowls in order to keep their contents fresh inside, but they can also be used as trivets and plates as well.

Doucet explained, “By creating hybrid vessels, which act as cooking, serving and storage for food, we eliminate the need to use separate items for each step and avoid wasting potable water to clean each item between uses.”

The full 3D printed collection was made out of two different polymers by New York-based Shapeways. Shapeways also lent the museum its 3D printing equipment in order to demonstrate the process during the exhibit.

Doucet told Dezeen about the 3D printed prototype vessels, “They are envisioned to be in 3D-printed steel and 3D-printed glass in the near future, but the prototypes were made with current commercial technology.”

Doucet created some of his own pieces for the 3D printed product range, such as way-finding running gloves, and asked others, such as Yonoh, Phillippe Malouin, and Claesson Koivisto Rune to help add to the homeware collection as week.

The knobbly bumps that cover the entirety of the 3D printed vessels help provide grip, and are also meant to evenly spread heat during cooking, and then dissipate the warmth quickly during serving.

The 3D printed homeware collection also promotes cross-cultural dining, as it also includes a set of chopsticks in addition to the more typical Western utensils.

This is not Doucet’s first experience with 3D printing. The designer has used the technology in the past, such as when he created a capsule collection of 3D knitted ties with Thursday Finest. 3D printing makes it possible for items, such as utensils and dishes, to be customized specifically for the user, in terms of both scale and the hand they use to eat.

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[Images: Donatello Arm]

Tunable Bioprinted Tissue Using SLA May Lead to 3D Printed Tissue Engineering Using This Method

Cardiovascular disease such as hypertension and others are frequently caused by hardened blood vessels, and finding a way to replace those vessels has been a challenge in the past. But researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a 3D printing technique that allows for localized control of an object’s firmness, which could open up new possibilities for the 3D printing tissue. One future possible application of this technology is in the creation of artificial arteries and organ tissue. The research is documented in a paper entitled “Orthoganal programming of heterogeneous micro-mechano-environments and geometries in three-dimensional bio-stereolithography.”

The research features a layer-by-layer printing method with fine-grain, programmable control over rigidity, which allows the researchers to mimic the complex geometry of highly structured yet pliable blood vessels.

“The idea was to add independent mechanical properties to 3D structures that can mimic the body’s natural tissue,” said Xiaobo Yin, an associate professor in CU Boulder’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and the senior author of the study. “This technology allows us to create microstructures that can be customized for disease models.”

To overcome the traditional challenges involved in engineering blood vessels, the researchers found a way to take advantage of oxygen’s role in setting the final form of a 3D printed structure.

“Oxygen is usually a bad thing in that it causes incomplete curing,” said Yonghui Ding, a postdoctoral researcher in Mechanical Engineering and the lead author of the study. “Here, we utilize a layer that allows a fixed rate of oxygen permeation.”

By keeping tight control over oxygen migration and its subsequent light exposure, the researchers can control which areas of an object are solidified to be harder or softer, while keeping the overall geometry the same.

“This is a profound development and an encouraging first step toward our goal of creating structures that function like a healthy cell should function,” Ding said.

The researchers demonstrated their technique by 3D printing three different versions of a simple structure: a top beam supported by two rods. Each structure was identical in shape, size and materials, but varied in rod rigidity: soft/soft, hard/soft and hard/hard. The hard rods supported the top beam while the soft rods allowed it to collapse. The researchers then repeated the exercise with a small Chinese warrior figure, making the outside hard but the inside soft.

The 3D printer used by the researchers is capable of printing biomaterials as small as 10 microns, or one-tenth the width of a human hair. The researchers believe that they can further improve their technique with future work.

“The challenge is to create an even finer scale for the chemical reactions,” said Yin. “But we see tremendous opportunity ahead for this technology and the potential for artificial tissue fabrication.”

One in every four deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease, totaling over 600,000 deaths per year. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women, but the discovery of a way to 3D print healthy blood vessels could make a tremendous difference. Having said that there are many other tissue printing technologies that are making strides. Tunable geometries and gradient materials are already possible with other technologies and in other materials in bioprinting. We’re saddened that so many media have misreported this story and overstated the claims as expressed by the researchers in their work. This paper gives us a great new path forward to tissue engineering but the media should be careful to read the papers that they write about. For SLA and tissue engineering this is a good step forward but it is wrong to speculate so widely and make unassociated claims especially when the researchers in question express themselves so succinctly and clearly in the paper.

Authors of the study include Hang Yin, Yonghui Ding, Yao Zhai, Wei Tan and Xiaobo Yin.

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Titomic and TAUV sign $1.8 million MoU to 3D print UAV’s and soldier systems

Titomic Limited, a Melbourne-based manufacturer of metal AM systems, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the TAUV, a company applying additive manufacturing to applications including smarter armour for defence, law enforcement and civil industry. The $1.8 million deal will see the two companies manufacture Unmanned Armed Vehicles (UAV), soldier systems, and soldier sensors, […]

3D Printing News Sliced: Senvol, Betatype, Additive Industries, Hasso-Plattner Institute

Today in Sliced, 3D Printing Industry’s news digest, we ask: how sharp can you make a 3D printed knife? Is it possible to 3D print PEEK in space? What’s new in metal additive manufacturing? And, where can you get a 3D printed watch? Read on for all the latest developments from the University of Sheffield, Hasso-Plattner Institute, Rocket […]

The 3D Printed Future of Pharmaceuticals

What an interesting TedTalk given by Daniel Kraft!

via TED

We need to change how we prescribe drugs, says physician Daniel Kraft: too often, medications are dosed incorrectly, cause toxic side effects or just don’t work. In a talk and concept demo, Kraft shares his vision for a future of personalized medication, unveiling a prototype 3D printer that could design pills that adapt to our individual needs.

See more.

Project Nitrous Uses 3D Printing to Help People with Disabilities In Egypt

In 2016, Mohamed El-Hossary and Ahmed Mohsen were running a 3D printing service and marketplace called Etba3ly. When they decided to attend a Maker Faire, things changed for them. At the faire, El-Hossary met Jon Schull, CEO of e-NABLE, which famously makes 3D printed prosthetic hands for those in need around the world. The meeting made El-Hossary and Mohsen realize that there were thousands of people in Egypt who needed prosthetics and were unable to access them. Mohsen’s own father, in fact, owned a wood factory where workers sometimes sustained serious injuries to their hands and arms.

Schull pointed out how easy it was to create prosthetics using the equipment that El-Hossary and Mohsen already had at Etba3ly. Excited, they decided to open an Egyptian branch of e-NABLE, testing their first prosthetic hand on an engineer who volunteered to act as a trial subject. The device was a success, and the two Etba3ly founders began making more prosthetics.

Once word got out about what El-Hossary and Mohsen were doing, organizations such as NGOs, charities and student organizations began reaching out to help support the project. In late 2017, Giza Systems recognized the project, and a few months later, Project Nitrous was born, an organization to support and boost the work being done for people with disabilities (PwDs).

The key to Project Nitrous is that it empowers people with disabilities by making them part of the development process for their own assistive devices.

“Of course, not everyone wants to learn these skills and are interested in the digital fabrication steps, but we still serve them just the same,” said Project Nitrous engineer Islam Mohamed. “Helping the people is only one of our two objectives.”

The project is not without its challenges. Paperwork, legality and imports had to be dealt with – the 3D printers and supplies used for the project often get stuck in customs for months. There are also class issues that make it harder for the founders to reach those in need.

“It’s sufficient to say that it’s already hard for the PwDs to cross the highway road to reach our premises, so we have to hop in our cars to get them, let alone the other residence and logistical issues that arise as well,” said El-Hossary. “Ahmed Said, one of our engineers, had to meet with one of the PwD at a local cafe because transportation was too expensive for the PwD.”

Sometimes the people that the organization work with are full of doubt that Project Nitrous can be any help to them.

“They [PwDS] have been promised countless times by senior engineering students that their graduation projects will change their lives, and in the end, the PwD is extremely disappointed, and long forgotten,” said Esraa Mahmoud, the Community Outreach specialist. “Most people we reach out to are skeptical that we can help them. They too often tell us ‘you are like the senior Engineering Students who claim they can help us but forget about us once they are done with their graduation projects,’ so we understand where their doubt is coming from.”

Sometimes there are further communication issues when a spokesperson is designated to relay the needs of a person with disabilities.

“In order to design a suitable tool for the PwD, we have to talk to the person himself/herself, and listen to their needs first-hand,” Mahmoud continued. “We can’t find a solution if the person-in-contact won’t allow us to speak the PwD we are designing the tool for.”

Despite the difficulties, however, the people of Project Nitrous consider what they’re doing to be more than worth it.

“One of the people we were working with mentioned that he was facing difficulty tying the buttons of his shirt right before he left our lab after hours of working with him, so without much thinking, we gave him a kit that we had already designed for that specific function,” said Mahmoud.

The next day, the man called to thank Project Nitrous and to express his joy.

“We changed his life by helping him tie the buttons of his shirt,” said Mohamed.

Project Nitrous is extending its work into four main tracks:

  • Creating assistive devices
  • Giving people with disabilities the technical knowledge to design their own tools
  • Creating a startup extension of the project run by people with disabilities
  • Providing a blueprint for others who want to start similar businesses and creating an open-source community where designs and tools are accessible to all

Project Nitrous was officially born in February 2018, and has helped 23 people so far, with 18 additional projects currently in progress. The stories are varied, but all result in people being able to do things they weren’t able to do before, from buttoning the buttons on a shirt to returning to school to continue education.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts below. 

[Source: Egyptian Streets/Images: Project Nitrous] Interviews Experienced 3D Printing Executive and Metal 3D Printing Pioneer David Burns

Back in the 3D printing dark ages, 2005, David Burns joined ExOne to make manufacturing using 3D Printing a reality. In the ensuing thirteen years a lot of things have changed. We’ve seen a lot of 3D printing companies come and go. In 2005 “3D printing for manufacturing” was cute and only a few solitary voices were crying out that this was going to happen, David’s was among them. He and ExOne were tackling quality control, reliability, and repeatability back then; and trying to make 3D printing an industrial process. They were starting to manufacture tens of thousands of low-cost metal parts for customers. They along with Voxeljet were the only metal inkjet companies as well, whereas now there are over a dozen people in various stages of commercializing metal inkjet 3D printing technologies. Entire choruses, unburdened by knowledge or experience, are now crying out that 3D printing for manufacturing is the future. David meanwhile, was doing the heavy lifting (and an IPO) while many of you had probably never heard of 3D printing. Now that he’s an independent board member, advisor and consultant its time for him to reflect on his time in the 3D printing trenches with some insightful answers to’s questions.

You came to 3D Printing in 2005 from a background in manufacturing. What was the 3D printing landscape like back then?

In the life of products, 2005 seems like a century ago. We used to laugh, as we evangelized for this “ground breaking” technology, that people used to pat us on the heads and say ”oh, that sounds nice.” There is no doubt that in 2005, the general sentiment was that 3D printing was a curiosity and not a serious technological thrust. This impeded progress in many ways, not the least of which was that critical R&D dollars were slow to flow to 3D printing.”

And now?

“Oh, how the landscape has changed. The sentiment among end-users is no longer about “if we will succeed”, but rather a clear sense that “we will succeed”. On a global basis, we can see a determination (and almost desperation) to fund emerging ideas and to see them through to either success or failure. Of course, that applies as well to all of the supporting and enabling technologies that surround 3D printing, like software, materials, inspection, sensor technology, data transmission and storage, etc. Clearly, we need success in all aspects of this technology circle to develop simultaneously.”

What are the most significant improvements over the time frame?

“The last few years have seen the emergence of some pretty surprising innovations in 3D Printing itself. This includes a really impressive array of machine-based approaches, often combined with robotics and AI to fully integrate functionality within lines. And, there has been an interesting but quiet trend to “hybridize” traditional manufacturing technology approaches with additive approaches.”

There is still a lot holding back 3D printing in manufacturing today. What are some of the main issues?

“Well, one of the most important elements of an effective and robust manufacturing environment is a commitment to continuous improvement. So, in that context, I see two short term areas of focus that would really help.

The first would be investment in process stability. It has become a source of pride in many manufacturing environments that the basic deviation patterns of outcomes is well understood and controlled. Most 3D Printing lacks the basic process stability that is so necessary for volume production.

The second would be the need to extensively (and rapidly) expand the suite of material that can be effectively printed. The good news on the material side is that 3D Printing allows for new, customized materials to emerge.

I want to be sure that I make one point, though. I see these issues as eminently solvable. With a robust R&D funding environment, these basic challenges will be overcome. It is simply a function of the quantity and speed of investment that will determine how fast that we overcome them.”

QA seems very poorly developed in 3D printing?

“I want to change the language of that question a bit. Continuous improvement methodologies exist which can be directly applied to 3DP and to move it forward, in the QA sense. You can see mounting evidence that it works….but I do want to provide a caution here. We need entrepreneurs to understand that there are well-proven processes within manufacturing that cannot be ignored. I do worry, a bit, that some companies are trying to approach the industrial marketplace with little experience, or little sense of the long manufacturing journey toward optimization.

I do understand why it may feel as if QA is lagging in 3DP, since there are consistent deviations in even part-to-part characteristics. But, with the application of continuous improvement processes, and the injection of research dollars at the right time, these knotty problems are resolvable.”

In metals, a lot seems to be going on right now, with investment pouring in and much excitement. What are the companies that you are closely watching?

“Part of my work involves being a general advisor to AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology. But part of my time is allocated to providing advisement services directly to manufacturing companies, some of which are 3DP companies. So, it is probably not fair for me to specifically name companies that I find exciting. That said, manufacturing is a broad-based, global activity. I do tend to get excited by metal printing companies that are clearly focused on end-user needs, and not simply enamored by their own technologies. I also do not see the need for emerging companies to feel the need to print the toughest materials, in the toughest applications. There are a myriad of opportunities for companies that want to compete on the well-established measures for manufacturing – cost, quality, and on-time delivery.”

I’m a little more skeptical than most about binder jetting metals. Won’t shrinkage continue to be problematic? Or will they solve these issues?

“Well, questions about binder jetting hint at some of the things that we just discussed. Some binder jet companies are, in fact, looking to the MIM world for ideas about controlling the sintering process. And there are surely helpful answers there. Others have invested significant dollars and have found ways to increase density and lessen distortion. I think that offline sintering can pose a significant challenge – but that sufficient research can find innovative solutions. I am not entirely sure that the challenges posed by off-line sintering imply significantly more part-to-part variation than some of the other powder bed based processes. And I do see cost advantages in binder jetting. I think that there will be a healthy number of applications for which binder jet will be appropriate.”

We’re seeing new companies try to tackle low-cost metal parts. Which kinds of parts will be industrialized first?

“Well, the low-cost marketplace poses some challenges. Material and energy-related costs present initial hurdles that need to be overcome. That said, there are lots of parts which run in relatively low volumes and that require significant fixturing and changeover on traditional machines. These are good targets. As well, many of those sorts of parts have been sourced from remote locations, for reasons that we all understand. If we do a realistic analysis of true supply-chain costs, including communications, working capital, quality resolution, etc., then I see abundant opportunities for 3D Printing.”

Do you think that in the near term there will be direct competition between the new binder jetting companies and the DMLS (Powder Bed Fusion, Selective Laser Melting) companies?

“Perhaps not in the very near term. The strengths of each process are currently a bit different. That said, as more materials become available, and as the part-to-part consistency improves, competition will (and should) develop. Remember, the annual market for traditional manufacturing technology products (on a global basis) is between $90 – 100B. Inside of that is a massive market for machines. While some of those machines are for specialty purposes, the vast majority are “part agnostic”. That is, they can be used for a wide range of parts. I think that this is the inevitable evolutionary path for machines used for metal 3DP.”

How do you think the metal printing market will develop?

“I think that the answer to that may vary by region of the world. In the US, which imports massive numbers of metal parts from other places, I think that the acceleration will be rapid. I can easily see where service bureaus that have broad-based capabilities (including traditional processes, inspection, and certification) will grow very rapidly, as the supply chain adjusts to the power of integrated digital manufacturing technologies. I think that OEM’s may invest more slowly than service bureaus, but it does not matter. What matters is that the supply transitions to embrace these new, integrated manufacturing technologies. In other countries, the transitional challenge may be different. In countries that are heavily invested in manufacturing infrastructure, the decision to disinvest in their well proven, highly capitalized processes could be harder. Clearly, the emergence of product offerings that are full lines (many recently) are reactions to the challenge of displacing well-developed, effective manufacturing processes.”

Whats the thing that surprised you most in 3D printing?

“That is a hard question. I became interested in, then immersed in, 3DP quite a long time ago. I perhaps saw the immense potential, from a high-level perspective. But, with a background in traditional manufacturing (which is quite effective and which I greatly respect), it was not clear how 3DP would ever become robust enough to displace that traditional structure. Especially when I thought about the immense quantity of investment that would be required. I think that a key transitional element has become the willingness of OEM’s to take a leadership role in the development of advanced manufacturing technologies. In the past, these same companies were relatively content to allow the supply chain to evolve manufacturing technologies. Nowadays, you have end users directly involved in funding and guiding that development. The final surprise, for me, is actually how powerful this combination of software, hardware and materials can be in changing our world. The applications that have emerged and are stunning and make the world a better place. I cannot wait to see what happens next.”

Robot Factory Sliding-3D Prints Continuously With Conveyer Belt

For the aspiring manufacturer, 3D printing has often been lacking a certain aspect of the factory floor. Aside from production speed, additive manufacturing companies have been trying to establish continuous infinite build workflows for years now. The newest novel approach appears to be in the form of the Robot Factory Sliding-3D printer. The belt system […]

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GKN Aerospace’s first repair facility in Malaysia focused on 3D printing

GKN Aerospace, a British aerospace supplier, has opened an aerospace-engine research and repair facility in Johor, Malaysia. The new site will be the company’s first of its kind facility in the Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on the application of 3D printing in repair and research. The project is a joint effort between GKN, industry partners, […]

ICON raises $9 million in funding to build sustainable 3D printed houses around the world

ICON, a Texas-based construction technologies company, has raised $9 million in seed funding to reinvent the construction of affordable homes with the use of “3D printers, robotics, and advanced materials.” Led by Oakhouse Partners, an early stage venture capital firm based in California, this financing is said to be one of the largest seed rounds […]