Polyga Releases Professional Handheld H3 3D Scanning System

In 2018, Polyga Inc., a Canadian developer of 3D scanning and mesh processing technologies, introduced its HDI Contact series of easy-to-use 3D scanners. Now, the company has released its new high-accuracy H3 handheld 3D scanning system, what the company frames as a professional, all-purpose scanner that can produce 3D scans with the kind of high quality you would expect from stationary scanners.

Powered by FlexScan3D software, like all Polyga’s stationary 3D scanners, the H3 was created with agility in mind. According to the company, the 3D scanning experience you get with the H3 is seamless, as the responsive device can help you complete 3D scanning projects in far less time, thanks to its high-processing speed all the way from data capture to post-processing.

“Leveraging the technology and experience in developing Polyga’s stationary 3D scanning systems, the 280 x 200 x 60 mm H3 produces one of the highest accuracy in a single-shot scan for a handheld system in its class,” the Polyga H3 brochure states. “The Polyga H3 is simply an all-round professional handheld 3D scanner that’s easy to use, portable, and high-accuracy—all at an affordable price.”

Polyga named its new H3 well, as the name is mean to represent the 3D scanner’s most prominent features: handheld, high-accuracy, and hybrid. First, the H3 system offers convenient point and shoot scanning, and it’s easy to pack up and take with you to off-site projects. With an accuracy of up to 80 microns, the new device can produce up to 1.5 million points per scan. Finally, and I think this is the best part, you can actually mount the H3 on a tripod to transform it into a hands-free stationary 3D scanner. A rotary turntable provides automated 3D scanning for those times when you need your hands for something else.

Stationary mode

“We wanted to create a handheld 3D scanner that produces scan data as good as our stationary 3D scanners. This professional handheld system uses our proprietary, multi-image scanning patterns for 3D capture that we’ve traditionally used with our stationary 3D scanners,” explained Polyga Inc.’s President Thomas Tong. “That’s why the H3 captures high-accuracy scans in a single shot. The system produces equally high-quality data in both handheld and stationary modes.”

The handheld Polyga H3 scanner is meant to work quickly, capturing physical objects and turning them into digital 3D models in only minutes, thanks to dual industrial-grade cameras, encoding data at a high speed of 700 frames per second. This is definitely in line with the company’s mission to provide equipment that’s not only easy to use but also provides high quality, in order to give users a good experience.

The H3 is optimal for a variety of industry applications, such as archaeology, art, computer vision, design, manufacturing, medical, and research. It can scan many different objects that are roughly 10 cm to 2 meters in size, such as artifacts, mechanical parts, and even people. Paired with the Polyga software, the device can turn those items into accurate, digital 3D models. Additionally, the Polyga H3 is available in several options ranging from monochrome to color, when you need to capture high-quality color and texture scans.

The handheld Polyga H3 3D scanner is immediately available for purchase, at a price of $9,990. The company refers to this as an affordable scanner, and it does seem comparable in price compared to several other handheld 3D scanning systems, like the EinScan Pro 2X Plus, Faro Freestyle3D, the Artec Eva Light, and Thor3D’s Calibry.

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(Images provided by Polyga)

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Lung Cancer Treatment: 3D Printing Molds for Personalized Airway Stents

Australian scientists are working to improve medical devices for lung cancer treatment, sharing the outcome of their recent study in ‘Incorporating Chemotherapeutic Drug into a Personalizable Silicone Airway Stent for the Treatment of Lung Cancer and Tracheobronchomalacia.’

With a focus on relieving serious symptoms like central airway obstruction (CAO), the research team experimented with 3D printing molds to produce drug-eluting personalized airway stents, incorporated with chemotherapy drugs like Paclitaxel that inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Interior view of current Y-stents used today, including the metallic Wallstent™ [A] and the Novatech® Dumon™ silicone stent [B] used in many CAO treatments, which do not correlate well with unique patient airway geometries [C].

Because diseases like lung cancer may leave patients struggling to breathe, pharmaceutical treatments and the use of effective devices can be critical to the quality of their lives—and even saving them in some cases. The researchers note that there are challenges with airway stents being used today due to a lack of personalization for patients, resulting in airway stent therapy that is often not effective. There may be other issues too, such as stent migration cased by improper fit.

“Unfortunately, airway stents have not developed, in large due to low relative prevalence of surgery and poor outcomes, since the release of Montgomery and Dumon stents during 1965 and 1989 respectively, despite leaps in 3D imaging and drug release technologies,” explain the researchers.

Drug-eluting stents offer potential in eliminating toxicity in delivery, as well as offering much-needed customizations for patients for better fit—reaping the rewards of one of the greatest benefits of 3D printing for the medical arena today with patient-specific treatment rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ premise for everyone. These benefits are heavily evidenced today in areas like prosthetics, heart valves, bio-active patches, and more.

Concentrations used during testing of drug elution from silicone stent materials.

Paclitaxel was added to the silicone molds, leaving the team of researchers to then perform a detailed assay on the Beas-2B cells derived from healthy patients and H23 adenocarcinoma cells derived from nonsmall cell lung cancer patients. The drug was insoluble in PBS, while ‘highly soluble in ethanol.’

Difference (f1) and Similarity (f2) factors used to determine the significance of the difference between release rates of paclitaxel concentrations and formulation methods in cured silicone coupons.

Variances in release rates of drugs demonstrate the potential for further manipulation, with adjustments to the paclitaxel in silicone coupons or via other techniques. The authors reported that there has been similar success with other stents.

Percentage of drug, paclitaxel, released from 250 mg silicone coupons in ethanol at 37°C, over 72 hours (n=3). Table 1 denotes A, B, C, D, E, and F silicone coupon conditions.

Cell viability for Beas-2B and H23 immortalised cell lines, grown on paclitaxel eluting silicone coupons, over 72 hours (n=6). An 80% cut-off was used to determine cellular viability.

“The implications of characterizing a successful controlled release of paclitaxel from cured liquid silicone rubber will allow clinicians to personalize treatment depending on airway geometry and control for the targeted dose of paclitaxel to the area of interest, thereby reducing the side effect profile of paclitaxel and its excipients (i.e. ethanol and polyoxyethylated castor oil) in systemic circulation,” stated the researchers.

“Further assessment in the comparability of paclitaxel release into lung-like environment is needed to characterize the effectiveness of drug release.”

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[Source / Images: ‘Incorporating Chemotherapeutic Drug into a Personalizable Silicone Airway Stent for the Treatment of Lung Cancer and Tracheobronchomalacia’]

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Syndaver launches its first 3D printer, the SynDaver Axi

Syndaver, the US-based manufacturer of synthetic humans and animals for surgical training and simulation, has launched its inaugural line of 3D printers, the Axi.  Having used additive manufacturing extensively within its existing business, the company has now launched a desktop extrusion machine of its own. Aimed at prosumers and hobbyists, the US-made 3D printer is […]

Researchers 3D print high-performance anti-buckling panels using FFF

Researchers from Marche Polytechnic University, Italy have 3D printed a set of isogrid panels – a type of anti-buckling structure – using fused filament fabrication. The carbon fiber reinforced polyamide panels were then subjected to a number of axial compressive loading tests and the effects of their geometric parameters on their structural integrity were investigated. […]

3D Systems expands material selection for Figure 4 platform and SLA 3D printing

U.S. 3D printer OEM 3D Systems has announced an expansion to its portfolio of plastics materials, in order to increase the breadth of their applications for manufacturers in the 3D printing industry. The materials included in the expansion include Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK, Accura Fidelity, Accura Bond, Accura Patch, and Figure 4 JEWEL MASTER GRY. Each […]

CSIRO 3D Prints First Self-Expandable Stents from Shape-Memory Alloy Nitinol

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a condition which sees fatty deposits collect and lower the blood flow in arteries outside of the heart, most commonly in the legs. Those suffering from PAD will often experience pain while walking, and could even develop gangrene if the case is serious enough. Over 10 percent of people in Australia are afflicted with this painful condition. To treat it, a stent can be temporarily inserted inside the blood vessel to keep it open.

We’ve seen 3D printing used to fabricate stents before, which can help improve sizing options and allow for patient-specific diameters and shapes. But ,until now, there hasn’t been a way to print a self-expandable stent made of shape-memory nickel and titanium alloy nitinol. The material is superelastic, and metallurgists have had a difficult time trying to figure out a way to 3D print a self-expandable nitinol stent without compromising the unique properties of the metal alloy.

But researchers from Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), together with its Wollongong-based partner, the Medical Innovation Hub, have finally made it possible.

Vascular surgeon Dr. Arthur Stanton, the Chief Executive of Medical Innovation Hub, explained, “Currently, surgeons use off-the-shelf stents, and although they come in various shapes and sizes, overall there are limitations to the range of stents available. We believe our new 3D-printed self-expanding nitinol stents offer an improved patient experience through better fitting devices, better conformity to blood vessel and improved recovery times. There is also the opportunity for the technology to be used for mass production of stents, potentially at lower cost.”

Stent model

The first 3D-printed nitinol stent is a major medical breakthrough for PAD patients, as surgeons have had to use off-the-shelf, non-custom stents for these procedures in the past. But with 3D printing, individual nitinol stents can be made right at the hospital, with the surgeon there to offer instructions—saving time and money, and reducing inventory, as well.

According to Australia’s Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, 3D printing could mark a major paradigm shift in the $16 billion worldwide stent manufacturing industry:

“This is a great example of industry working with our researchers to develop an innovative product that addresses a global need and builds on our sovereign capability.”

The proof-of-concept stents offer the potential for customization to individual patient requirements, but are equally as suitable for mass production.

Back in 2015, CSIRO opened the Lab22 Innovation Center. The specialist researchers there are focused on creating value for Australia’s manufacturing industry by developing future developments in metal additive manufacturing. CSIRO’s Lab22 collaborates with industry partners, like the Medical Innovation Hub, to build important biomedical parts, like the first 3D-printed sternum and titanium heel, and now the first 3D-printed nitinol stent.

CSIRO Principal Research Scientist Dr Sri Lathabai said, “Nitinol is a shape-memory alloy with superelastic properties. It’s a tricky alloy to work with in 3D printing conditions, due to its sensitivity to stress and heat. We had to select the right 3D-printing parameters to get the ultra-fine mesh structure needed for an endovascular stent, as well as carefully manage heat treatments so the finished product can expand as needed, once inside the body.”

The team used selective laser melting (SLM) technology to successfully fabricate the complex mesh stent structures. Due to the level of geometric accuracy that 3D printing achieves, the stents can be made for specific patients, and nitinol allows them to expand once inside the body. CSIRO has established a new technology company, Flex Memory Ventures (FMV), to help commercialize the technology.

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3D Systems: New 3D Printing Materials for Figure 4 & SLA

3D Systems continues to add to its material offerings for customers worldwide with a variety of new choices in their plastics portfolio, which now includes Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK, Accura Fidelity, Accura Bond, Accura Patch, and Figure 4 JEWEL MASTER GRY.

Meant to accompany 3D Systems Figure 4 and SLA printing techniques, industrial users will be able to expand with different applications in manufacturing.

Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK (Production-grade rubber suitable for multiple industrial applications): 3D Systems adds to its range of production-grade materials, offering an elastomer with mid-tear strength and high elongation at break. Suitable for applications like seals, air and dust gaskets, vibration dampeners and pipe spacers, this material is also biocompatible (per ISO 10993-5 and ISO 10993-10) allowing for other critical parts to be made such as handles, grippers, and medical padding used in both splints and braces.

Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK also offers:

  • Long-term environmental stability
  • High accuracy
  • Minimal scarring from supports
  • Faster production than other materials requiring secondary thermal post-cure

 “As a mechanical engineer and designer of medical devices, I can think of many uses for a robust elastomeric material such as Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK,” said Matthew Cavuto, mechanical engineer, Imperial College London. “Custom sealing grommets, damping elements, or even soft-touch grips are just a few of the applications that come to mind – all of which would expand the capabilities and streamline my process of prototyping on the Figure 4. Functionally, Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK is quite impressive. When matched with the right part and application, it has great tear strength and exceptional print quality.”

3D Systems created this new material to adhere to customer requirements in terms of production performance properties, mechanical properties, and testing standards. Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK will be available late June 2020.

3D Systems also introduced Accura Fidelity, an SLA resin which is antimony free and features ultra-low viscosity. Users will be able to fabricate patterns for a range of different castable metals, like titanium and aluminum. Casting yields are improved as the new material allows for quick production of patterns that are easily handled. This product is already available.

When used as part of 3D Systems’ QuickCast process, Accura Fidelity enables rapid creation of medium to large, lightweight, and easy-to-handle casting patterns – leading to increased casting yields.

“The new Accura Fidelity material for stereolithography printing has improved the post-processing of our QuickCast investment casting patterns,” said Nancy Holt, director of operations, 3D Systems On Demand. “The low viscosity of this material facilitates better drainage and faster cleaning of the patterns, resulting in an expected increase in throughput by up to 30% as we move into full production with this material. The ultimate test is in its castability, and our foundry customers are providing very positive feedback. One customer, SeaCast, said the QuickCast pattern with Accura Fidelity casted extremely well with their process and they were very pleased with the final metal part.”

Accura Patch and Accura Bond are also being introduced, for use with 3D Systems SLA resins. The product names speak for themselves as pattern drain holes can be filled in post-processing, and materials can also be joined to create one larger pattern. Both of these materials will be available in July.

Figure 4 JEWEL MASTER GRY: meant to expand options for jewelry makers, this new material improves workflows in jewelry casting, master patterns for molds, and prototype/fit check models. This material meets biocompatibility standards (ISO 10933-5) regarding cytotoxicity. 3D Systems expects it to be available in late June.

Figure 4 JEWEL MASTER GRY – a versatile master pattern material for high volume jewelry silicone molds and for prototype/fit models.

“Our team has continued developing new materials across our plastics portfolio to address a broader set of production applications and providing data sheets with key test results and performance specs to make it easy for our customers to make the optimal material choice for their needs,” said Menno Ellis, SVP and general manager, plastics, 3D Systems. “Our material scientists and technical experts have leveraged decades of experience to engineer these high performing materials to deliver accurate, economical, and repeatable results to enable our customers to maintain competitive advantage.”

These new materials will be on hand at the virtual ‘Go Digital, Stay Agile’ event on July 8th. The event will focus on how 3D printing and conventional manufacturing methods can complement one another in business. Individuals attending will be able to meet with experts and discuss specific applications. See 3D Systems for more information.

3D Systems continues to innovate, offering new software, new technology, 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.

Parts produced using Figure 4 RUBBER-65A BLK and 3D Systems’ Figure 4 technology can be produced faster than other similar competitive materials that require a secondary thermal post-cure.

[Source / Images: 3D Systems]

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Solving An Urgent Need: Shapeways Produces Hard Hat Shields for Plant Workers

Shapeways hard hat shield, front view
Shapeways 3D Printing Technician, Conor Scourby, wearing the hard hat face shield

The spread of COVID-19 has led to closures all over the country, but meat and vegetable processing plants have been ordered to remain open and the CDC has made wearing face shields mandatory for plant workers. Since they haven’t had to source these face shields in the past, many don’t know where to turn when their usual PPE suppliers are out of stock. The medical face shields could be made to work in some instances but were not ideal, as plant workers must wear hard hats and the medical shields’ band makes for an uncomfortable and awkward fit. The food production plants then put out a request for a better fitting shield solution that could work with a hard hat or a bump cap. We reached out directly to the plants to supplement this sudden need for more suitable protection in their work environment during a global pandemic.

Hard Hat Shield Design Conception

The hard hat face shield was designed by our Shapeways team that includes Thomas Brown, 3D printing engineer in the SLS department, Kyle Jaworowski, 3D Printing Engineer, and Juan Mercedes, Production Manager.

“The three of us collaborated on the design of the face shield,” said Thomas. “Kyle designed the fasteners to integrate a more comfortable strap to replace the rubber bands that were originally used, while Juan and I focused on material and machine volume usage to optimize the end price.” Using the Shapeways Face Shield v2, a modification of the Prusa RC2 Face Shield developed by Prusa Research, the team modified the previous face shield design to integrate with existing hard hats.

Our team used the MSA VGuard hard hat as the basis for the design because, based on our conversations with plant managers, this is the more universal option in the industry. Using the hard hat has worked out better than a traditional bump cap, because of the ability to clip the face shield frame to the sides of the hard hat.

The Prototypes

We designed and produced the first hard hat shield prototype in two days. We then made adjustments to the measurements to achieve a more uniform fit and to the attachment pegs to keep the visor more securely in place. After no more than three revisions the hard hat shield’s final design was complete.

The Finished Hard Hat Shield

Side view of the hard hat face shield

The final iteration consists of a plastic band with protruding pegs for the attachment of a clear visor. The assembled face shield can then be clipped onto the bottom of the hard hat’s brim on the sides. We printed the hard hat shields using SLS plastic for affordability and versatility. The entire designing, prototyping, and printing process took two weeks.

Available for On-Demand Orders

These hard hat shields are made to suit the unexpected and immediate needs of essential plant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The hard hat shields can be printed as needed and fulfill a more functional alternative to typical face masks in the food production environment. 3D printing offers immediate solutions to urgent needs for PPE during the COVID-19 crisis and can fulfill that need until the regular sources are able to provide the necessary supplies again.

These hard hat shields can be used as additional protection for workers in any environment where hard hats are worn. To place an order for these face shields please contact our Shapeways sales team directly at bizdev@shapeways.com.

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Turkish university researchers assess 3D printing applications in spinal surgery 

A group of Turkish university researchers has assessed the viability of using 3D bioprinting technology to enhance success rates in spinal surgery.  By combining CT scanning and 3D bioprinting technologies, the research team was able to rapidly convert anatomical images into a series of guides and 3D models. The novel components could allow for new […]

Zurich researchers create universal carrier bioink for 3D printing

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) have produced a universal nanocarrier ink platform, that provides tailored rheology for extrusion‐based 3D printing, and facilitates the formulation of biofunctional inks.  The Universal Nanocarrier Ink (UNI), can be combined with a range of functional secondary polymers, to enable the stabilization of printed constructs via […]