NEW GUIDE: Stream Deck controlled RGB Message Panel using Adafruit IO #Adafruit #AdafruitLearningSystem #AdafruitIO @elgatogaming @Adafruit @MakerMelissa

A new guide in the Adafruit Learning System: Stream Deck controlled RGB Message Panel using Adafruit IO.

If you’ve ever done any live video streaming before, you may have heard of the Stream Deck. It allows you to customize the live streaming experience for your viewers such as showing the number of viewers, running custom keyboard commands, or showing animations. It allows you to customize the buttons too with whatever graphics you want.

But did you know there’s other non-streaming uses for the Stream Deck such as controlling lights in a house, open applications, or open web pages in a browser window? You can even write custom plugins to extend the capabilities.

This project uses a custom Stream Deck plugin to communicate directly with the Adafruit IO REST API. It works by posting a specific value to a feed and each button will post a different value to the feed allowing you to easily change messages.

See the new guide now…

Arcam EBM Center of Excellence: GE Additive Expands Additive Manufacturing Site by Three Times

If you had any questions regarding a potential slow down in 3D printing or additive manufacturing endeavors around the world, industry leaders like GE Additive should put those to rest, evidenced by a momentum that just doesn’t quit. Now, they are announcing the opening of another facility dedicated to AM, at the Arcam EBM Center of Excellence in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Featuring 15,000 square meters, the new site is centered in the Mölnlycke Business Park, within the Härryda municipality, southeast of Gothenburg. Up to 500 employees are expected to be working at the center, offering three times as much floor space as their previous building in Mölndal—and housing all production, research and development, and training and support divisions in one place.

GE Additive will now be able to place an even stronger focus on lean manufacturing, maximizing operations and production capacity, along with inviting more of their customers to learn about and make the transition to serial manufacturing with Arcam EBM systems. The plan is to continue expanding their ‘footprint’ in manufacturing, along with increasing research and development in both Europe and the US.

Today, GE Additive is comprised of Arcam EBM, Concept Laser, and additive material provider AP&C. Their highly integrated team is made up of experts in additive manufacturing, offering advanced technology and materials—all encouraging the clients they work with to strive for innovation within their industries, focusing on:

  • Solving manufacturing challenges
  • Improving business outcomes
  • Helping change the world for the better

“The Arcam EBM team in Gothenburg is energized to be in its new home—a dynamic, sustainable workplace—in a great location.  We will harness that energy and continue to research, innovate and drive EBM technology further,” said Karl Lindblom, general manager GE Additive Arcam EBM.

“Throughout, we have benefited immensely from GE’s experience and know-how in applying lean manufacturing. Customers joining our annual user group meeting next month will be the first to see our Center of Excellence—which we hope will become a focal point for the entire additive industry,” added Lindblom.

Both GE Additive and Arcam EBM continue to contribute innovations to both the 3D printing and additive manufacturing realm, from opening a variety of new facilities around the world to working with others in many projects, ranging from development of combat vehicles to 3D printed high fashion, and much more, including accelerating the industry with other partnerships.

Established in 1997, Arcam AB began working with EBM 3D printing technology and delivered their first system in 2003. Just acquired by GE Additive in 2017, they have made huge strides in strengthening their offerings with EBM, along with offering metal part production in volume—and a technology that promotes latitude in design, strong material properties, and stacking ability.

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.

The new Arcam EBM facility interior

[Source / Images: GE Additive]

The post Arcam EBM Center of Excellence: GE Additive Expands Additive Manufacturing Site by Three Times appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

Singapore Researchers 3D Print Beak for Great Hornbill at Jurong Bird Park

While the medical field serves humans with a wide variety of new technologies and techniques, much of this is not lost on the veterinary aspect either; after all, animals also need nursing back to good health in many different scenarios. As a Great Hornbill at Jurong Bird Park was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the casque (or the bill), researchers and veterinarians in Singapore began working together to create an artificial replacement.

Outlining their findings in the recently published ‘The use of a 3D printed prosthesis in a Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) with squamous cell carcinoma of the casque,’ the authors explained how they offered a better quality of life to a 22-year-old male great hornbill as a portion of the bone of his beak was cancerous—a common affliction for such birds, with medical treatment usually proving to be ‘unrewarding.’

Upon deciding to excise the tissue (as there were no signs of the cancer having metastasized), the researchers went on to design and 3D print a customized surgical guide for the procedure and then a prosthesis—allowing the bird to go forth as comfortably and naturally as possible.

A: Sagittal image showing the mass, the destruction of the casque and the irregular soft tissue band extending up to the rostrodorsal aspect of the beak (the arrows indicate the plane sections of the images B, C, D, E and F); B: Transverse image at the level of the irregular band of abnormal soft tissue located dorsal to the beak (R: Right); C: Transverse image showing the destruction of the casque; D: Transverse image showing the amorphous appearance of the mass at its rostral aspect and the thickening of the nasal turbinates at the right ventral aspect of the mass; E: Transverse image showing the well-defined appearance of the mass at its caudal apsect; F: Dorsal image of the mass and casque.

Strategizing on how to treat the bird successfully, the researchers considered medications based on the squamous cell carcinoma noted in the biopsy, and then went on to consider how to deal with the size of the excision—realizing it would leave a large portion of the casque exposed. The team decided to fit the 3D printed prosthesis after excision, taking great care to create a design identical to the beak in order to avoid any effect on acoustic functionality of the casque area. Both the surgical guide and the prosthesis were created on an EOS P396 3D printer, with around 12 hours printing time required.

A: Surgical cutting guide; B: Prosthesis; C: Cutting guide on the testing model; D: Prosthesis on the testing model.

“To evaluate the fitting of the customized cutting guide and prosthesis, a replicated full dorsal maxillary beak and casque model which the area of the planned surgical margins was removed was 3D printed,” stated the researchers. “The testing demonstrated that the surgical cutting guide and the prosthesis matched the anatomy of the patient and the planned surgical margins were matched appropriately.”

As the procedure progressed, the guide was placed on the bird’s maxillary beak and casque and used to assist in removing the cancerous tissue. The 3D printed prosthetic was fixed in place with screws, and dental acrylic used as a sealant to eliminate any gaps. Surgery went smoothly, and the researchers were able to remove all cancerous tissue.

“Observation of this bird in his usual captive environment suggests that there is complete acceptance of the 3D printed prosthesis as part of its own body. This is evident from hornbill’s displaying natural coloration behavior, which coupled with the ability of the material used to take up biological pigments, enabled the prosthetic casque to appear similar in color and texture to the original rhinotheca,” concluded the researchers.

“Based on the outcome of this case, medical imaging and 3D printing can be considered a useful approach in the design and production of customized surgical cutting guides and prostheses in veterinary surgery. Collaboration between designers and veterinarians throughout the design process can result in a customized prosthesis which permits natural behaviors with good acceptance.”

As 3D printing sweeps through the medical realm offering widespread innovation and overwhelmingly positive impacts, digitally fabricated prosthetics are changing the lives of so many, and of all ages, but for many different species too—from dogs receiving 3D printed prosthetic legs to baby chicks, ducks, and even sheep. 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.

A: Anesthetised patient before receiving the surgery; B: The patient with the 3D printed surgical cutting guide; C: The tissue affected by carcinoma was removed; D: The 3D printed prosthesis was placed and secured using cortical screws to cover the surgical wound.

 

A: Dorsoventral view of the postoperative radiograph; B: Lateral view of the postoperative radiograph; C: The patient immediately after the surgery; D: The patient two months after the surgery.

[Source / Images: ‘The use of a 3D printed prosthesis in a Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) with squamous cell carcinoma of the casque’]

The post Singapore Researchers 3D Print Beak for Great Hornbill at Jurong Bird Park appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

EWF launches additive manufacturing qualification system for operators and engineers

The European Federation for Welding, Joining and Cutting (EWF) has launched an international education, training and qualification system for additive manufacturing personnel. Divided into two levels, one for operators and one for engineers, the system currently provides qualifications relating to the application of DED and PBF. One of the main benefits of this system is that […]

UK patient becomes sixth person in the world fitted with 3D printed rib cage implant

Surgeons at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK, have fitted a 3D printed sternum implant in a patient to help repair their breastbone.  Linda Edwards, a 52-year-old mental health support worker from Fleetwood, Lancashire, suffered from a collapsed breastbone following complications in a previous surgery. She was told, shortly after, that it could not be […]

Interview with Ralph van der Borst of colorFabb

A long long time ago Ralph and I were part of the super fun super crazy, hard-working rollercoaster that was Philips spinout Shapeways. Ralph was great to work with, a no-nonsense guy who got stuff done. He was supposed to do some IT stuff then did supply chain stuff and then web stuff and then was managing customer service and later on became the HR manager of the startup. It was hectic but Ralph was a rock during all of the crazy storms and constant scaling. I was happy to learn that after leaving 3D Printing for a while Ralph was back in the industry, working in business development for colorFabb. Dutch filament maker colorFabb is a real innovator in making new kinds of filament such as their metal filled filaments and their color on-demand technology. I really wanted to find out what Ralph was up to so we interviewed him.

What do people find difficult about 3D printing?

3D printing in general. What you can do but most importantly what you can’t do. A lot of people are still not familiar with the technique and what it can do for them. Those who are aware, have challenges in designing for the specific materials. We are still at the forefront of this new industrial revolution. In order to achieve mass adoption, we need to wait for software tools to get easier or for our mobile phones to get 3D cameras which will allow us to take a picture and have it converted into a 3D print file on the spot.

What has changed in 3D printing since you’ve gotten involved?

A lot actually especially in the ease of use. Desktop 3D printers have evolved a lot over the past years. The same goes for industrial printers. Tray sizes have increased, printing time reduced. We have also witnessed the rise of new materials (Carbon fiber, 18 karat gold, Porcelain, conductive materials, stainless steel and aluminum). All of this wasn’t possible or- widely available when I started in 2008. Besides this we have seen an increase in general awareness of what 3D printing is.

I can’t be the only one to have closely studied colorFabb’s spooling equipment to find out who their supplier was.

What is holding 3D printing back? 

Simplicity, general knowledge, costs, accessibility and the learning curve. An easy way for people to make a 3D print file who are not familiar with 3D printing would help a lot. Right now you need to have technical knowledge before you can start printing. Although we see a decrease in costs it is sometimes still cheaper to buy, let’s say an iPhone case, instead of 3D printing it.

What common errors do you see? 

Wrong expectations about what 3D printing can and can’t achieve. Design flaws. Models having thin walls, non-manifold issues etc. You will need to design your model specifically for the material you would like to have it in. Not having the correct printer settings for desktop printers is also a common mistake.

What are you excited about in 3D printing? 

The future of it. Mass adoption. Other specific things such as the 3D printing of DNA strings excite me as well. Low costs customized prosthetics is another area. This 4th industrial revolution is going to be life-changing.

Why did you join colorFabb?

For several reasons actually. In the world of filaments colorFabb materials are considered to be the best ones when it comes to quality. colorFabb is in the forefront producing these new materials in house, which is awesome to be a part of. This in combination with the high energy environment, the awesome colleagues, the mission & vision of the company and the growth the company is going through, made it an easy decision.

What is colorFabb?

colorFabb was founded by Ruud Rouleaux, CEO of Helian Polymers in 2012. With extensive knowledge of the (bio)plastics industry, colorants and additives it was a logical next step for him to explore opportunities in the world of 3D printing. After rigorous testing and experimenting in the fall and winter of 2012 a new grade of PLA (PLA/PHA) was developed and it became commercially available in March 2013.

Later in 2013 the first special filament, woodFill, was launched. Half a year later a truly unique material was developed: bronzeFill, the first filament with actual bronze particles in it resulting in truly stunning prints when post-processed.

2014 also saw the expansion in production from one production line to four (currently 7), as well as the move to a new building. More important, colorFabb announced its joint development agreement with Eastman Chemical Company in September of that year, which has resulted so far in four grades of filaments, based on Eastman’s Amphora 3D Polymer range of materials.

Due to the rapid growth of the 3D printing market colorFabb has been expanding its production capacities, logistics department and team ever since the beginning. The colorFabb team consists of extrusion operators ensuring quality control, a logistics department that ships to over 100 countries worldwide every year, 3D print engineers who test all filaments and many more professionals. All of them dedicated to the quality and service the colorFabb brand is known for.

Why should I buy colorFabb filament? 

colorFabb has established itself as a market leader through the release of innovative materials, high-quality production and strategic partnerships (Ninjatek, Stacker, Eastman, Covestro). We are often the first to bring new materials (Bronzefill and LW-PLA) and Color on Demand (RAL) where customers can purchase the RAL color they want and need in PLA as from one 750gram spool. colorFabb is unique in the world by offering this service.

What exciting new products are you offering?

Our latest release is called Light Weight -PLA. LW-PLA is the first filament of its kind using an active foaming technology to achieve lightweight, low-density PLA parts. At around 230C this material will start foaming, increasing its volume by nearly 3 times. Users can decrease material flow by 65% to achieve lightweight parts, or use the expanding properties to effectively reduce print time by using big layer heights or single extra thick perimeters.

Are you focusing more in the desktop or on the industrial market?

Both markets are not mutually exclusive. We see a wide adoption of FDM desktop printers in a lot of companies and industries looking for material solutions which colorFabb can offer.

Why did you move more into offering 3D printers also? 

  • We feel that offering a complete package has added value. colorFabb as a company in focusing on these 3 pillars as their business model:

  • Materials (Filaments)

  • Hardware (3D printers)

  • Application center (Design/3D print services)

What is happening in the filament market?

More diversity and focus on functional filaments by an ever more demanding market.

Will PLA stay our most popular filament? 

It is an easy to use filament that works on practically all printers. It will therefore remain the go-to filament for a lot of users. However, due to increasing demand for more functionality (which PLA lacks) there will be other contenders for the pro-users. It is hard to asses which material that will be. In general we are focusing on custom made filaments which can be used by our customers for all kind of purposes.

Will FDM switch to granulate? 

Maybe for large scale models. For the desktop industry we don’t see the granulate replacing FDM because of the level of control needed over the flow of the material.

The post Interview with Ralph van der Borst of colorFabb appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

4D Printing in China: Shape Memory Polymers and Continuous Carbon Fiber

Researchers have been looking further into the benefits of shape memory polymers (SMPs) with the addition of raw materials in the form of continuous carbon fiber (CCF). Authors Xinxin Shen, Baoxian Jia, Hanxing Zhao, Xing Yang, and Zhengxian Liu have studied mechanical properties in composite samples, along with performance—outlining details in the recently published ‘Study on 3D printing process of continuous carbon fiber reinforced shape memory polymer composites.’

SMPs are a ‘hotspot in academic research’ today as scientists embrace a growing fascination with materials that can deform and return to their natural state as required by users. Refining SMPs continues also, especially with materials like carbon fibers for overcoming challenges regarding strength and stiffness. While continuous fibers have been shown to be more effective than short fibers, the authors point out that forming processes are complex, and better ways are needed for creating continuous carbon fiber-reinforced composites. Here, they turn to FDM 3D printing as a solution:

“The composite 3D printer was mainly composed of motion platform, printing nozzle, fiber feeding mechanism and control system,” stated the researchers. “Compared with conventional printers, the nozzle of this printer can feed resin and fiber from two channels simultaneously and extrude them from the same nozzle.”

Printing principle of continuous carbon fiber reinforced SMP composites.

“In addition, the fiber feeding mechanism was designed to continuously feed the fiber at a suitable speed by adjusting the rotating speed of the stepping motor to avoid breakage of the fiber during printing.”

Four ply angles of carbon fibers, (a) 0° (b) 90° (c) 0° /90° (d) ±45°.

In using orthogonal experimental design, the authors studied influences such as:

  • Printing temperature
  • Printing speed
  • Scanning pitch
  • Ply angle

Partial printed specimens with different process parameters.

In examining issues with mechanical properties further, the researchers found that the ply angle of carbon factors was a key factor. As they varied ply angles, changes in tensile strength and modulus of the specimens resulted, showing tension along the fibers at 0 degrees, but at 90 degrees it was perpendicular, opening the potential for problems with adhesion.

The study also showed that mechanical properties were more suitable at about 200℃, with excessive printing speed affecting ‘impregnation’ of fibers and resin. The authors also noted little effect on SMPs due to changes in fiber content.

SEM of fracture cross section of specimens under different temperatures

“The rapid manufacture of shape memory carbon fiber composites has potential use in the field of aerospace,” concluded the researchers.

While researchers, engineers, designers, and users around the world still may have yet to scratch the surface of the potential of 3D printing, many are delving further into the next level with materials that are able to morph to their environments, from soft actuators to 4D printing with wood composites, to exceptional new metamaterials.

Find out more about carbon fiber and SMPs 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.

Shape memory performance test with different fiber contents.

[Source / Image: ‘Study on 3D printing process of continuous carbon fiber reinforced shape memory polymer composites’]

 

The post 4D Printing in China: Shape Memory Polymers and Continuous Carbon Fiber appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

INTERVIEW: Gantri integrates proprietary quad extrusion 3D printer to table lamp production

Gantri, a California-based light manufacturer, has unveiled its own 3D printer named Dancer. Using a patent-pending process based on an FDM multi-gantry system, the Dancer is designed for the production of the company’s light fittings. It leverages a total of four gantries alongside a rotating circular build plate. Manufactured at the company’s San Leandro facility, the […]

3D Printing Industry News Sliced: KUKA, AIDRO, Spatial, GEFERTEC, Anisoprint, Polymaker

In this edition of the 3D Printing Industry news digest Sliced, metal additive manufacturing enables a disabled pilot to fly again; the functionality of color 3D printing is explored; and automation is used to advance aerospace parts. Read on to learn about updates from AIDRO, KUKA, HP, Spatial Corp, GEFERTEC, Anisoprint, Polymaker, ADDere and more.  […]

Optical Machine Learning with Diffractive Deep Neural Networks #MachineLearning #3Dprinting #DeepLearning #NeuralNetworks #TensorFlow @InnovateUCLA

From techxplore.com. Credit: UCLA Engineering Institute for Technology Advancement

 

The Ozcan Lab at UCLA has created optical neural networks using 3D printing and lithography. TensorFlow models were trained on the MNIST, Fashion-MNIST, and CIFAR-10 data sets using beefy GPUs. The trained models were then translated into multiple diffractive layers. These layers create the optical neural network. What the model lacks in adaptability it gains in speed as it can make predictions “at the speed of light” without any power. The basic workflow involves passing light through an input object which is filtered through the entire optical neural network to a detector which captures the results.

…each network is physically fabricated, using for example 3-D printing or lithography, to engineer the trained network model into matter. This 3-D structure of engineered matter is composed of transmissive and/or reflective surfaces that altogether perform machine learning tasks through light-matter interaction and optical diffraction, at the speed of light, and without the need for any power, except for the light that illuminates the input object. This is especially significant for recognizing target objects much faster and with significantly less power compared to standard computer based machine learning systems, and might provide major advantages for autonomous vehicles and various defense related applications, among others.

If you’d like to learn more about Photonics checkout the research happening at the Ozcan Lab. If you’d like more details about diffractive deep neural networks checkout this publication in Science or the most recent Ozcan Lab publication on the topic.