Once a novelty in many classrooms and makerspaces, 3D printers are again flourishing as valuable classroom tools thanks to advanced technology, lower costs and more products and services geared toward K–12 education.
Both manufacturers and educators are leveraging the benefits of 3D printers in education. 3D modeling and printers can bring almost any educational concept to life, while building practical skills such as problem-solving, creative coding and design.
Germany-headquartered Nanoscribe has just announced the formal release of their Quantum X device, presenting the new technology at the LASER World of Photonics in Munich (running from June 24-27). Continuing in their mission to target industrial users engaged in microfabrication endeavors, this launch expands on their additive manufacturing systems for nano- and microscale projects.
The Nanoscribe development team created Quantum X specifically for highly-precise micro-optics, offering a powerful combination with grayscale lithography and two-photon polymerization technology.
“Quantum X provides a more flexible, straightforward and cost-effective maskless lithography solution for various use cases,” reports Nanoscribe in their latest press release sent to 3DPrint.com. “Within its compact housing, prototypes of refractive and diffractive microoptics, as well as, polymer masters are produced. The system features an industrial form factor with intuitive and ready-to-use interfaces for process control.”
Nanoscribe created this new technology in response to the high demand for manufacturing in applications like:
Quantum X is Nanoscribe’s new maskless lithography system for the fabrication of refractive and diffractive micro-optics with the highest precision.
Microfabrication work can be completed quickly and accurately, relying on three cameras for live monitoring and process control. Users can look forward to benefits like faster development, shorter design iteration cycles, greater affordability, rapid production, and a more expedient printing process overall. Nearly any 2.5D shape can be created on the microscale, a feat Nanoscribe states was previously impossible, now ‘paving the way to new or strongly enhanced optical elements from imaging, illumination, to sensing.’
Multilevel diffractive optical elements (DOE) are produced in one scanning plane, as laser power is modulated—resulting in excellent contouring capabilities for more efficient fabrication of:
Single optical elements
Spherical and aspherical lenses
Arrays with high fill factors up to 100 percent
“Quantum X developers have put great effort to excel in advanced user-machine interactions,” states the Nanoscribe team.
A touchscreen is built-in for monitoring jobs, adjusting parameters, and seeing the print in real time—along with a software wizard that guides users through the entire cycle of a print job. The software will accept images of optical designs up to 32-bit resolution like BMP, PNG, or TIFF. A wide range of feature heights are possible in each scan field, and quasi-continuous topographies can be manufactured in one step. The AM approach allows users to expand beyond traditional limitations in height, throughput, and resolution.
Quantum X intuitive touchscreen panel offers process control, job status and print job queue. (Photo: Chris Frühe)
“The fabrication process with Quantum X allows a wide range of substrates, including transparent and opaque ones, accepting sizes of up to six-inch wafers. Working with this new device avoids costly mask fabrication, spin-coating, and pre- or post-baking when used with Nanoscribe photoresins. These resin materials are easy to handle, allow high aspect ratios and enable high structures, approaching the limits of the physically possible,” states Nanoscribe.
Micro-optics directly printed on a two-inch wafer without the need for additional lithography steps or mask fabrication.
Micro-optics directly printed on a two-inch wafer without the need for additional lithography steps or mask fabrication.
Nanoscribe has been a dynamic presence in the world of printing and microfabrication for years, growing with one innovation after another—from extensive collaborations to a variety of different technologies and processes. 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.
Recently, HP released its sustainable impact report for 2018, which is the first item we’ll tell you about in our 3D Printing News Briefs. Then it’s on to more good news – the 3D Factory Incubator in Barcelona is reporting a very positive first 100 days in business, while AMUG has named the winners from its Technical Competition. We’ll close with some metal 3D printing – Nanoscribe published a fly-over video that illustrates the design freedom of nano- and microscale 3D printing, and Laser Lines is now a UK reseller for Xact Metal.
HP Releases 2018 Sustainable Impact Report
HP recycling bottle shred: Through its recycling programs, HP is transforming how we design, deliver, recover, repair, and reuse our products and solutions for a circular future.
HP has released its Sustainable Impact Report for 2018, which talks about the company’s latest advancements in achieving more sustainable impact across its business, as well as the communities it serves, in order to create a better green future. Its sustainability programs drove over $900 million in new revenue last year, and the report shows how HP is using 3D printing to drive a sustainable industrial revolution, such as reducing the amount of materials it uses and expanding its recycling program. The report also states new commitments the company set for itself in order to drive a low-carbon, circular economy.
“Companies have critically important roles to play in solving societal challenges, and we continue to reinvent HP to meet the needs of our changing world. This isn’t a nice to do, it’s a business imperative,” explained Dion Weisler, the President and CEO of HP Inc. “Brands that lead with purpose and stand for more than the products they sell will create the most value for customers, shareholders and society as a whole. Together with our partners, we will build on our progress and find innovative new ways to turn the challenges of today into the opportunities of tomorrow.”
To learn more about HP’s efforts to reduce the carbon footprint, such as investing in an initiative to keep post-consumer plastic from entering our waterways and the recycling program it started with new partner SmileDirectClub, visit the company’s dedicated Sustainable Impact website.
Successful First 100 Days at 3D Factory Incubator
On February 11th, 2019, 3D Factory Incubator – the first European incubator of 3D printing – was officially inaugurated in Barcelona. It’s now been over 100 days since the launch, and things are going very well. In that time period, the incubator is reporting a total of 15,000 3D printed pieces, and 20 incubated companies, and still has room for more interested projects, though all its private spaces are now occupied. The original goal is to incubate 100 companies in 5 years, and it seems as if 3D Factory Incubator is well on its way.
Located in the Zona Franca Industrial Estate, the unique initiative is led by El Consorci de Zona Franca de Barcelona (CZFB) and the Fundación LEITAT, and has received an investment of €3 million. The goal of the incubator is promote the growth of 3D printing initiatives, and there are a wide variety of companies hosted there, including consumer goods, a logistics company, healthcare companies, design initiatives, and mobility.
AMUG Technical Competition Winners Announced
(top) Erika Berg’s digitally printed helmet liner components and Riddell’s SpeedFlex Precision Diamond Helmet; (left) Maddie Frank’s cello, and (right) Bill Braune’s Master Chief reproduction.
At the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Conference in April, 17 entries were on display to compete for the gold in the annual Technical Competition of excellence in additive manufacturing. The winners have finally been announced, and it seems like the panel of judges had a hard time deciding – they were unable to break the tie in the Advanced Finishing category. Maddie Frank of the University of Wisconsin, with her 3D printed electric cello, and Bill Braune of Met-L-Flo, with his 30 inch-tall model of “The Master Chief” Halo video game character, are co-winners in this category for their attention to detail and “exceptional execution,” while Erika Berg of Carbon won the Advanced Applications category with her digitally printed helmet liner for Riddell’s SpeedFlex Precision Diamond Helmet.
“The 17 entries in the Technical Competition were amazing in their beauty, innovation, and practicality,” said Mark Barfoot, AMUG past president and coordinator of the Technical Competition. “Our panel of judges deliberated at length to make the final decision.”
The winners each received a commemorative award, as well as complimentary admission to next year’s AMUG Conference.
Nanoscribe Shows off Design Freedom in Fly-Over Video
The versatility sample impressively illustrates the capabilities of Photonic Professional systems in 3D Microfabrication.
German company Nanoscribe, which manufactures and supplies high-resolution 3D printers for the nanoscale and microscale, is showing the world how its systems can up many opportunities in 3D microfabrication, with a new fly-over video, which truly highlights the design freedom it can offer when making 3D microparts with submicron features. The video shows actual scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of extreme filigree structures that were 3D printed on its Photonic Professional GT2.
From a variety of angles, you can see diverse geometries, which show off just how versatile Nanoscribe’s high-resolution 3D printing can be – all 18 of the objects and structures were printed in just over an hour. The company’s microfabrication technology makes it possible to create designs, like undercuts and curved shapes, and customizable topographies that would have been extremely difficult to do otherwise. To streamline the microfabrication process for its customers, Nanoscribe offers ready-to-use Solution Sets for its Photonic Professional GT2 printers, which, according to the company, “are based on the most suitable combination of precision optics, a broad range of materials and sophisticated software recipes for specific applications and scales.”
Xact Metal Names Laser Lines New UK Reseller
Pennsylvaniastartup Xact Metal welcomes Laser Lines – a total solutions provider of 3D printers and laser equipment – as a UK reseller for its metal 3D printers. These machines, which offer extremely compact footprints, are meant for customers in high-performance industries that require high-throughput and print speed, such as medical and aerospace. Laser Lines will immediately begin distributing the Xact Metal XM200C and XM200S systems, as well as the XM300C model once it becomes available next year.
“We are delighted to be the chosen UK supplier for Xact Metal, whose metal printing systems are establishing new levels of price and performance. Making quality metal printing accessible requires innovation. Xact Metal’s printing technology is built on the patent-pending Xact Core – a high speed gantry system platform where light, simple mirrors move quickly and consistently above the powder-bed on an X-Y axis. It’s another step change for our industry and opens a whole range of exciting opportunities,” stated Mark Tyrtania, the Sales Director at Laser Lines.
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In 2017, GE Additive created its Education Program (AEP) to provide schoolchildren around the world with access to 3D printers and AM curriculum. By September, AEP will have given over 1 million students access to 3D printing as another 982 schools across 23 countries receive their packages. “This year’s education program will focus only on […]
After debuting it on the trade-show circuit, FlashForge is now releasing the Creator3. The independent dual extruder-based printer brings in a relatively high-temperature nozzle and a wide range of materials. It bring in a versatile level of functions and, according to the company, can operate in a wide breadth of industries. With a portfolio of […]
3DCompare, a London-based on-demand manufacturing platform, has raised £150k in a seed funding round. The funding will be used to continue development of 3DCompare’s web-based quotation tool for on-demand manufacturing. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of 3DCompare, Alex Ziff, said, “These are exciting times for 3DCompare. The potential of what we […]
Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) and Ames Laboratory are researching X-ray imaging to examine metal parts during the laser powder bed fusion process. The research paper is part of a partnership between the laboratories to identify the causes of defects in metal 3D printed parts and understand how those flaws […]
Californian metal additive manufacturing technology company VELO3D has announced a partnership with Boom Supersonic, a Colorado-based aerospace company, to 3D print flight hardware for the XB-1 aircraft. As the first independently-developed supersonic jet traveling at Mach 2.2 (1687mph), the XB-1 comprises of over 3,700 parts including custom composite structure, tricycle landing gear, flight control actuators, […]
Metal 3D printing startup VELO3D came out of stealth mode last year with its innovative, support-free laser powder bed fusion process that offers a lot more design freedom than most metal systems. Since the company commercialized in 2018, it’s made known that aerospace manufacturing is one of its largest target markets, and since that time at least two OEMs in that industry are using its Sapphire 3D printing systems to make parts. Now, it has just announced a partnership with Colorado-based Boom Supersonic – the company working to build the fastest supersonic airliner in history.
“Boom is reimagining the entire commercial aircraft experience, from the design, build, and materials used. Our technology is designed to help innovators like Boom rethink what’s possible, empower advanced designs with little or no post-processing, and enable an entirely new approach to production,” said VELO3D’s CEO Benny Buller. “Boom needed more than just prototypes and we’re thrilled to help them create the first 3D-printed metal parts for an aircraft that will move faster than the speed of sound.”
Boom, founded in 2014 and backed by several investors, employs over 130 people to help realize its vision: use supersonic travel to make the world significantly more accessible to the people who live in it. The company wants to bring businesses, families, and cultures closer together, and has recognized that 3D printing will help speed up the process. Recently, Boom renewed its existing partnership with Stratasys in order to create 3D printed parts for its XB-1 supersonic demonstrator aircraft, which is exactly what VELO3D will be doing as well.
“High-speed air travel relies on technology that is proven to be safe, reliable, and efficient, and by partnering with VELO3D we’re aligning ourselves with a leader in additive manufacturing that will print the flight hardware for XB-1. VELO3D helped us understand the capabilities and limitations of metal additive manufacturing and the positive impact it would potentially have on our supersonic aircraft,” said Mike Jagemann, the Head of XB-1 Production for Boom Supersonic. “We look forward to sharing details about the aircraft development and improved system performance once XB-1 takes flight.”
The 55-seat, Mach-2.2 (1,687 mph) aircraft is the first supersonic jet to be independently developed, and is made up of over 3,700 parts, combined with multiple advanced technologies, such as a refined delta wing platform, an efficient variable-geometry propulsion system, and advanced carbon fiber composites. Because the demonstrator aircraft – a validation platform called the “Baby Boom” – has such demanding precision, performance, and functional requirements in order to reliably provide safe and efficient travel, Boom is using VELO3D’s Intelligent Fusion technology to make the metal flight hardware for the jet, as it offers more design freedom, process control, and quality assurance; these qualities are essential in challenging design environments.
Boom is also working with VELO3D in order to leverage its customer support partnership, market expertise, and ability to guarantee consistent production quality. The supersonic flight company hopes that by utilizing metal 3D printing, it will be able to improve system performance and speed up the development of its XB-1 – which should eventually fly at twice the speed of sound – and any future aircraft as well.
The two companies have already conducted validation trials together, which were successful in their accurate performance and achieving the desired results. VELO3D developed two 3D printed titanium flight hardware parts, which will be part of the ECS system and make sure that the supersonic aircraft is able to conduct safe flights in any conditions; these parts will be installed on the prototype aircraft early next year.
In addition, the company also 3D printed some engine “mice” for Boom, which were used to validate the additive process.
Engine “mice” as 3D printed on the VELO3D Sapphire system
“The mice allow for high engine operating line testing, ensuring we can achieve safe flight at all conditions,” Ryan Bocook, a manufacturing engineer at Boom Supersonic, said in a VELO3D blog post.
“The 3D printed mice helped Boom execute the test plan and validate predictions, and furthers the success of the program.”
These mice helped to facilitate testing, which included flow distortion simulation at the inlet, by decreasing the nozzle area in order to help simulate stall conditions while the engine is running from part power to mil power.
Not only did Boom Supersonic receive 3D printed flight hardware out of its partnership with VELO3D, but the company’s engineers also had the chance to familiarize themselves with the limitations and capabilities of 3D printing in terms of supersonic aircraft.
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Marco Valenzuela is a designer who specializes in crafting innovative and new 3D printed products. Originally coming from the gaming world, his Additive Design Studio now is focused on using Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing exclusively in product design. The team works with Design for Additive Manufacturing methods and also works with services to deliver parts to customers in FDM, SLA, Polyjet, MFJ, and metals. Valenzuela made a pipette for a customer and this new design for a tried and true lab stalwart really interested us. We really believe that a wave of innovation will come to medical devices, medical supplies and even things like disposables through 3D Printing the right solution in medicine, and spoke with Valenzuela about his creation.
Why did you print it?
The dual pipette was designed and 3D printed to fulfill specific needs in the fluid piping process. These needs were previously met. However the process was time consuming. The combining of the two pipettes into one provides for a speedy and more efficient workflow when processing large amounts of medicine.
The need was for two different functions:
1.The ability to suction a single fluid mixture into separate reservoirs for individual ejection into separate containers.
2.The ability to suction two different fluid mixtures separately and eject them into a single container together.
How does it work?
The dual pipette utilizes the same principles of pulsion and suction as a common syringe. The plungers are pulled up to create a vacuum and draw fluid up the spout and pressed down to eject fluid from the spout. The 3D printed plungers are fitted with normal rubber plunger tips to ensure an air-tight seal.
What is different about it?
The pipette is a 3d printable, simplistic design. The primary difference is the ability to 3D print this pipette quickly. This means that we’re producing copies without the need for large-scale manufacturing. Reducing production time and availability to technicians by weeks.
What materials and processes were used to print it?
A variety of materials have been experimented with. The most suitable 3D printed material for the device will be EnvisionTEC’s E-Shell 200. A liquid photopolymer designed for DLP 3D printers that produces strong, tough, water-resistant ABS like parts with high detail that are Class IIa biocompatible according to ISO 10993/Medical Product Law and are CE certified for use as hearing aid products, otoplastics, and medical devices.
What software did you use?
I utilized a variety of 3d CAD design software in the development process. The final design was created in Lightwave 3D. I find a mix of traditional CAD and Polygon based modeling software helps me produce better more ascetic product designs.
Why is it a good design?
I enjoyed the creation of the dual pipette and consider it a good design because it has succeeded in fulfilling a specific need without otherwise costly measures. The dual pipette design aids in the development of medicines related to many medical treatments including Cerebral palsy.
We think that there is a bright future for 3D printed medical devices and medical supplies. Yes, this is a high touch regulatory environment so operating in it will never be simple. Medical supplies and devices have a lot of niche products however and a lot of comparatively low volume high priced goods. On the whole it will be exciting to see real low-cost innovation come to the medical world via 3D Printing.