3D Printing News Briefs: May 30, 2019

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, euspen plans to hold a Special Interest Group meeting in September centered around additive manufacturing, and an adjunct professor completed a comparison between a small SLS 3D printer and a large one. Moving on to interesting 3D printing projects, an artist teamed up with Mimaki to use full-color 3D printing to make a stage prop, a reddit user created an anti-cat button for an Xbox system, and an imgur user created a modular 3D printed fashion system.

euspen to Hold Special Interest Group Meeting on AM

The European Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (euspen) will be addressing the factors which are influencing an uptake of the use of additive manufacturing as a production technology at a Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting in September. The meeting, which will be co-hosted by the American Society of Precision Engineering (ASPE), will analyze the barriers to, and the opportunities for, the adoption of AM in production. It will be held from September 16-18 at the École Centrale de Nantes in France.

At the AM SIG meeting, issues that are, as euspen put it, “critical to the viability of AM as a production technology,” will be addressed. The co-chairs of the meeting are Professor Richard Leach from the University of Nottingham and Dr. John Taylor from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Local hosts and the organizing committee include Professor Alain Bernard from Centrale Nantes, Dr. David Bue Pedersen from the Technical University of Denmark, Professor Leach, and Dr. Taylor.

Comparison of Small and Large SLS 3D Printers

3D printers are often used in educational settings these days. Piotr Dudek, an adjunct professor at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Poland, runs a 3D printing lab at the school that both students and researchers frequent. While many technologies are used in the lab, SLS is the one that most interests Dudek, who decided to compare a big SLS system from EOS with the smaller Sinterit Lisa.

We are using the big EOS SLS 3D printer for a long time and we wanted to compare it with Sinterit Lisa, check the possibilities of it. In SLS technology every detail matters. The temperature of the printing chamber, powder distribution system, heating or laser moving mechanism are very precise and important features. We wanted to test if Sinterit’s device is the valuable solution,” Dudek stated.

Larger 3D printers obviously have higher print volumes, but the down sides include difficult calibration, specialized training, and higher costs. In addition, it’s easy to mess up the calibration of a large 3D printer during transport. The Lisa 3D printer uses a gantry system, which comes pre-calibrated to save time, and it also uses less material, which means less money. The desktop printer is also much more student-friendly, making it the better choice for 3D printing labs like the one Professor Dudek runs.

Full-Color 3D Printed Stage Prop

A few months ago, 3DPrint.com heard from 3D printing specialist and Post Digital Artist Taketo Kobayashi, from the Ultra Modelers community, about an art exhibit in Japan that he helped organize which featured colorful, 3D printed works created on the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 full-color 3D printer. Recently, he reached out to us again with news of his latest Mimaki Engineering collaboration – a stage prop for the Japanese artist Saori Kanda, who performed with techno/trance band Shpongle at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado.

“It is a artwork,” Kobayashi told 3DPrint.com, “but also a utilization of full color 3D printing to entertainment field.”

The “Shpongle Mask,” which took 28 hours to print and mixed in Asian details, was worn onstage by Kanda as she performed her painting live with the band.

3D Printed Anti-Cat Xbox Button

reddit user Mbiggz was getting sick of their cat turning off the touch-sensitive button on the Xbox console while it was in use, which I can understand, having two cats of my own. So Mbiggz came up with the perfect solution – a 3D printed cover for the button. The design can be found on the maker’s Tinkercad account, as Mbiggz originally made the design for a Digital 3D class.

“Adhesive goes on the back part (it is labeled in the print). I’m a newcomer in terms of this so it’s not perfect,” Mbiggz wrote on Tinkercad. “Also, the door doesn’t open all the way, so you can fix it so that it does if you want to (even though it doesn’t really matter, there’s not really a need for it to open it all the way).”

3D Printed Modular Fashion System

hunter62610, a young imgur user, designed and 3D printed a Lego-like modular fabric system, which was featured in his school’s fashion show. He made two dresses that are made with a 3D printed prototype fabric pattern called Escher, which was designed to be “put together and taken apart” hundreds of times. It took him just two weeks to make the material, which the two young ladies who modeled the dresses said was fairly comfortable.

“The idea of the system is that theoretically, one could buy a fashion catalog filled with designs, and say 5000 links. Once could make every clothing item in the catalog, based on there needs. Perhaps that’s a pipe dream, but it’s a fun idea,” hunters62610 wrote.

“The Escher system is quite versatile. Each link acts like a free flowing Equilateral triangle, and has a male and female ball joint on each side. Every individual link is theoretically compatible with every other link. Special links are stored in the middle of this pouch that are really 3 merged links with a screw hole. If needed, these links can be used as elastic tie down points or buttons, if you screw in the buttons i made.”

A Makerbot Replicator Plus was used to print the fabric links in unique, small panels.

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3D Printing News Briefs: April 6, 2019

We’re starting off today’s 3D Printing News Briefs with a product launch announcement – 3YOURMIND launched the full version of its Agile MES software software this week at AMUG 2019. Moving on, Sintratec will present its latest SLS 3D printer at RAPID + TCT next month in Detroit, Tiamet3D has joined Ultimaker’s material alliance program, and Sciaky entered into an agreement with KTM Consultants. Xometry just announced some important certifications, and nScrypt is 3D printing titanium parts. Moving on to the world of art and theatre, the Zurich Opera House is 3D printing props, and artist Andrea Salvatori worked with WASP to create a 3D printed art collection.

3YOURMIND Launched Agile Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Software

After spending five years providing order management systems to scale for some of the industry’s AM leaders, 3YOURMIND has finally moved its software solutions to a production environment with the launch of its Agile Manufacturing Execution System (MES) earlier this week at AMUG 2019. The software uses smart part prioritization, rapid scheduling, order tracking, and custom AM workflow creation to improve machine utilization and make production more efficient, and an Early Access Program (EAP) allowed the company to receive direct feedback on its Agile MES software from representatives at companies like EOS and Voestalpine. The next step will be working to finalize machine connectivity.

“For Agile Manufacturing, the Agile MES will need to both GET and PUSH data from all major AM machines and post-processing systems. We are already integrating the data from several vendors into our software and expect to support all major machines,” explained 3YOURMIND’s CEO Stephan Kühr. “Receiving and processing machine data allows us to provide the documentation that is needed for quality assurance and to increase the repeatability of additive manufacturing. Pushing data directly to machines will be the key to automating production.”

Sintratec Showcasing New SLS 3D Printer at RAPID + TCT

A few months ago, Swiss SLS 3D printer manufacturer Sintratec introduced its scalable, modular Sintratec S2. Now, the company will be presenting the printer in the US for the first time next month at RAPID + TCT in Detroit, which will also be Sintratec’s first time attending the massive event. What makes the Sintratec S2 stand out is its closed-loop workflow, as the complete system covers every process with its three modules: the Laser Sintering Station (LSS), the Material Core Unit (MCU), and the Material Handling Station (MHS). The 3D printer offers quick material changes, a 4K camera for print monitoring, improved ergonomics, and effective heat distribution through its cylindrical printing area and ring lamps.

“The Sintratec S2 will boost the design of applications and gives the user the opportunity to set foot in small series production as well. And that for an unusually attractive price-performance ratio,” said Sintratec CEO Dominik Solenicki.

“With the Sintratec S2 solution we will be opening new opportunities for companies of any size.”

The price for the Sintratec S2 starts at $39,900, and you can see it for yourself at Sintratec’s booth 1753 at RAPID + TCT from May 20-23.

Tiamet 3D Joins Ultimaker’s Material Alliance Program

Last year, Dutch 3D printing specialist Tiamet 3D, founded in late 2014, worked with Finland-based Carbodeon to develop the first nanodiamond-enhanced 3D printing filaments, which went on the market in September. Now the company has joined Ultimaker as a partner in its Material Alliance Program. Together, the two will offer end-users simple one click downloads of Tiamet’s ULTRA Diamond material profile, which is now available on Ultimaker’s Cura software. This collaboration is formally backed by Tiamet’s manufacturing partner Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers (MCPP Netherlands).

Reid Larson, the Director and Co-Founder of Tiamet 3D, told us about some of the highlighted specs of its ULTRA Diamond material, including no additional nozzle wear, 6300 mpa stiffness, low moisture absorption and friction, improved thermal conductivity, and twice “the temperature resistance of normal PLA, Annealed goes to 125C HDT.” You can purchase one kg of ULTRA Diamond filament for €59.

Sciaky Increasing Sales Efforts Through New Agreement

In an effort to increase the sales efforts of its Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) solutions in Australia, the Middle East, and New Zealand, Sciaky, Inc. has entered into an agreement with KTM Consultants, founded by metallurgist Trent Mackenzie in 2015. In terms of sheer work envelope, Sciaky’s massive EBAM systems are the industry’s most widely scalable metal 3D printing solution, able to produce parts ranging from 8 inches to 19 feet at gross deposition rates of up to 25 lbs of metal an hour. Additionally, its Interlayer Real-time Imaging and Sensing System (IRISS) is the metal 3D printing market’s only real-time adaptive control system capable of sensing and digitally self-adjusting its deposition.

“I was immediately drawn to Sciaky’s EBAM technology because of its unique and robust capabilities. Industrial manufacturers of large metal parts need to explore the significant advantages that technologies like EBAM offer. It is truly a game-changer,” said Mackenzie.

Xometry Announces New Industry Certifications

Digital manufacturing marketplace Xometry announced that it has just received ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D certifications – some of the most rigorous, widely-recognized quality management designations in the industry. ISO 9001 helps organizations meet the needs and expectations of their customers in terms of quality management, while AS9100 meets customer demands in the exacting aerospace and defense industries. The company went through a major audit as part of the process, and its achievement definitely reflects how committed Xometry is to providing quality.

“We are thrilled to receive this designation. Our team members have a passion for providing great customer service while following the disciplines that give our customers peace of mind regarding on-time delivery, quality, and continuous improvement. It is yet another step towards achieving industry “best in class” status and being able to meet the expanded needs of our customers,” stated Xometry COO Peter Goguen.

nScrypt Develops Proprietary Method for 3D Printing Titanium

nScrypt 3D printed titanium gear, dogbone, and block

Florida manufacturer nScrypt, which develops high-precision Micro-Dispensing and Direct Digital Manufacturing equipment and solutions, is now focusing on repeatable 3D printing of metals for the medical, defense, and aerospace industries. The company has created a proprietary method for 3D printing titanium parts, which tests have shown display densities comparable to wrought parts. This method could easily work with other metals as well, such as copper, Inconel, and stainless steel, and nScrypt’s Factory in a Tool (FiT) systems can finish or polish areas with high tolerance features using its integrated precision nMill milling head. nScrypt’s Brandon Dickerson told us that the company expects to release more details on this later in 2019.

“The parts were printed with our SmartPump™ Micro-Dispensing tool head, which runs on any of our systems,” Dickerson told 3DPrint.com. “The parts shown in the photos were printed on our DDM (Direct Digital Manufacturing) system, also known as our Factory in a Tool (FiT) system, which can run 5 tool heads at the same time, including our Micro-Dispensing, Material Extrusion, micro-milling, and pick-and-place tool heads.  The parts were sintered after the build and the current densities are in the high 90% range.  We expect our system to appeal to customers who want to do Direct Digital Manufacturing and need strong metal parts, but cannot build them with a powder bed system (for example, if the geometry would trap powder inside) or prefer not to use a powder bed system (for example, if they want a cleaner system).”

Zurich Opera House 3D Printing Props with German RepRap

Finished tutu for “The Nutcracker”, which was produced with the help of the x400 3D printer

Switzerland’s largest cultural institution, the Zurich Opera House, puts on over 300 performances a year, but the behind-the-scenes magic happens in the studios and workshops, where the props and costumes are made. The opera house uses the x400 3D printer from German RepRap, with assistance from Swiss reseller KVT- Fastening, to support its creative work by fabricating props and molds. This affords the institution more creativity and flexibility, as they can design objects to their exacting needs in 3D modeling programs, which also helps save on time and money. The opera house currently uses PLA, which is easy to handle, offers a variety of colors, and is flame retardant – very important in a theatrical setting.

“Often, the wishes and ideas of costume and stage designers are very diverse and sometimes extraordinary. It often happens that props are not available in the way designers have it in their minds. This is where the 3D printer is perfect for,” said Andreas Gatzka, director of theater sculpture at the Zurich Opera House.

“There are a lot of great benefits. Special wishes of stage and costume designers can be realized quickly as well as a short-term change of the objects, for example larger, smaller, longer, shorter, or whatever is needed.”

3D Printed Art Collection

Artist Andrea Salvatori 3D printed the eye-catching pieces for his new collection, titled Ikebana Rock’n’Roll, using the Delta WASP 40100 Clay 3D printer – designed by WASP to be used by ceramic and clay artists. The collection just opened on stage at THE POOL NYC in Milan last week, and will be available to view until May 31st. With these 3D printed vases, Salvatori wanted to use “a miscellany of ceramic insertions” to mess with the high quality shapes 3D printing can achieve by adding asymmetry.

“The process of depositing the material and setting the spheres is a central theme in the Ikebana Rock’n’Roll collection, to the point of convincing Salvatori to name the works “Composition 40100”, as if they originated from a musical dialogue of the most varied tones. The artist upsets the algorithm reiterated slavishly by the machine with imperfect musical accents, the result from time to time of spontaneous actions and reasoned processes,” WASP wrote in a blog post.

“The ikebanes, proposed by Andrea Salvatori in the exhibition, transcend the experimental limits of an abstract investigation, representing a concrete territory in which 3D printing and ceramic art co-exist synergistically. The Master challenges the confrontation with the public, becoming also in this sector, precursor of a new genre in which WASP feels itself fully represented.”

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A Look Into Some Movies That Have Used 3D Printed Props

Since the 1990’s 3D technology has gone hand in hand with the film spurned by the with the growth of special effects. CGI has become commonplace in movies and is used to create designs of characters, creatures, objects, explosions, planets, entire universes even. But movies are not just CGI. Props are an important part of filmmaking which help sets and even characters come to life. There is no doubt that the use of 3D printers in the film industry is becoming more promising: producers, filmmakers, propmakers and costume designers are lately utilizing 3D printers to save time and money while creating astonishing effects for us to enjoy.

Mixing real objects, accessories, and costumes with CGI is essential to get optimum results, but it means that studios and investors need more and more money, and making films has become very expensive. 3D printing can in these cases be used both to augment special effects, create inexpensive props, be used for stop motion and generally can be used to save costs.

During the last couple of years 3D printed props, models and costumes made their appearance in movies. One of these movies even won an Oscar last weekend for Best Costume Design while another won an Oscar for best special effects. Here are some of the most interesting uses of 3D printin in the movies:

First Man (2018)

Image provided by BigRep

First Man is a biographical drama film directed by Damien Chazelle and written by Josh Singer. The film is based on the book “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” by James R. Hansen. The film follows the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon in 1969, and to bring this to life, 3D printers were used.

First Man’s production designer Nathan Crowley came across a BigRep 3D printer printing a chair while strolling through the Brooklyn Navy Yard during the shoot for The Greatest Showman in the fall of 2016. He did not get to use a 3D printer for said movie, but he was sure he wanted to for his next movie.

Image provided by BigRep

For First Man, Crowley rented two BigRep One 3D printers to create an accurate scale replica of the Apollo 11 capsule and Saturn V rocket, along with other crucial props, in less than six months. Although the crew already had some experience with 3D printing, BigRep One was nothing compared to what they have used before, thus BigRep’s senior 3D printing specialist Michael David helped the crew with the installation and training. You can read more about it here.

 

Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it tells the story about T’Challa who is crowned king of Wakanda following his father’s death, but his sovereignty is challenged by an adversary who plans to abandon the country’s isolationist policies and begin a global revolution. Black Panther has recently won an Oscar for Best Costume Design for Ruth Carter’s amazing work.

Photo: Kwaku Alston

The movie takes place in a technologically advanced environment with several futuristic gadgets, therefore, it was important that costumes reflected that aesthetic. Carter, in charge of the movie’s costume design, created a series of sketches, illustrations, and digital patterns. To bring them to life, Julia Koerner, an inter-disciplinary designer specialized in 3D printed wearables helped Carter. Koerner collaborated with Materialise, a Belgian 3D printing company, on creating a collection of cutting-edge accessories fit for Queen Ramonda played by actress Angela Bassett.

 

Jurassic World (2015)

From the classic Jurassic Park film series, Jurassic World is a science fiction adventure film directed by Colin Trevorrow and written by Derek Connolly. The movie takes place 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park, in the fictional Central American island of Isla Nublar, where a theme park of cloned dinosaurs has operated for nearly a decade.

Jurassic World got closer to reality thanks to 3D printing. The team used 3D scanning and 3D printing to create replicas of prehistoric artifacts by 3D scanning original bones and fossils and to help them create 3D printable models.

Source: 3D World Magazine Issue #182

Thanks to 3D printers, the team had the chance to print dinosaur skeletons. By doing some modification on their 3D files, they were able to create males, females, and adolescents. Additive manufacturing gave them a lot of freedom to adjust the design of dinosaurs to make them look as realistic as possible.

 

Chase Me (2015)

Chase Me is a 3D printed film created by the French digital artist Gilles-Alexandre Deschaud. The short film was entirely made from 3D printed parts. The story begins with a girl playing the ukulele as she walks through a magical forest. As she walks, her shadow evolves into a monster that chases her through the woods. Every frame of the film was first designed by the artist in CG and later processed into 3D prints.

This short animated film took a total of two years to make, ten months of nonstop 3D printing, four months of CG animation, and 2,500 3D printed pieces. The set and characters were printed in 100 micron resolution, and bigger pieces, like the tree in the forest, were printed in 22 individual parts and later assembled.

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a space opera film produced, co-written and directed by J. J. Abrams. The Force Awakens is set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, the film follows Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron’s search for Luke Skywalker and their fight alongside the Resistance, led by General Leia Organa and veterans of the Rebel Alliance, against Kylo Ren and the First Order, a successor to the Galactic Empire.



A lot of props and costumes have been 3D printed for this Star Wars movie and all of them were created under the supervision of practical special effects and costume design Michael Kaplan. The famous Stormtroopers helmet, large portions of the shiny chrome Stormtrooper armor, Kylo Ren’s red lightsaber, and some parts of C3PO have been manufactured using 3D printers. The main advantage of using 3D printers was that this manufacturing technique allowed the movie to get props quite quickly and with great accuracy.

 

ParaNorman (2012)

ParaNorman is a stop-motion animated comedy horror film produced by Laika and Directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler. It is the first stop-motion film to use a 3D color printer to create character faces, and only the second to be shot in 3D. The film tells the story about Norman, a young boy who can communicate with ghosts, is given the task of ending a 300 year-old witch’s curse on his Massachusetts town.


The team that worked on this movie wanted to create various facial emotions for the same character. To do this, they used 3D printers to create all  the faces with different facial emotions. Norman was then capable of 1.5 million expressions. For the 27 characters with 3D printed faces, the rapid-prototyping department output 31,000 parts, which they were stored and cataloged in a face library. One 27-second shot required 250 different faces for a single character, so each face was marked by tiny fissures where the components fit together. Later on, a “seam team” removes the fine lines in postproduction.

 

[Sources: ChaseMeFilm, Variety, PopularMechanics]

Weta Workshop Acquires Massivit 3D Printer for Creation of Giant 3D Printed Movie Props

Massivit 3D, as its name suggests, is known for its massive 3D printers, and they’ve traveled around the world and participated in some truly fascinating projects, such as the restoration of an Italian palace and a fully 3D printed pop-up shop. Now Massivit is getting its big break in Hollywood. Weta Workshop, the Academy Award-winning design studio behind such blockbusters as Lord of the Rings and Avatar, has acquired a Massivit 1800 3D Printing Solution, which has been installed at its Wellington, New Zealand headquarters.

“We manufacture super-sized, hyper-realistic human figures, creatures, vehicles, and other huge props for film and television and have always been on the search for technology that can produce large parts at a high speed,” said Richard Taylor, Weta Workshop Co-Founder, CEO and Creative Director. “For 15 years, we have dreamed of a day when a printer would provide super large scale, speed, and build strength at low print costs, in equal measure. The Massivit 1800 has delivered this for us. With the Massivit 1800, our team has been able to redefine what is creatively possible for our large-scale manufacturing projects. It is a powerful and versatile machine that has transformed the way we work and has supercharged our output. It really is a dream come true.”

According to Pietro Marson, Workshop Operations Analyst at Weta Workshop, the company has used smaller 3D printers before, along with CNC routers and industrial robots; however, these technologies have their limitations when it comes to producing bigger props.

“We’re often required to create 8- or 9-meter-tall (26.2 or 29.5-foot) sculptures and mannequins, which means we need to print multiple parts and then manually fit them together,” he said. “Needless to say, this is both time-consuming and expensive. The largest commercially available SLA 3D printer in the country has a maximum print volume of 60 x 60 x 40 centimeters, whereas the Massivit 1800 allows us to print up to 1.8-meter-high [5.9-foot] components. We can also print much more quickly and with far greater geometry freedom than with CNC machining.”

Weta Workshop believes that it will save thousands of dollars by using the new large-scale 3D printer. The Massivit 1800 has already been especially useful on a recent project that required the production of large-scale molds. It would have been a challenge to produce these molds using CNC technology, due to the molds’ size and the inability of CNC routers to create complex, deep intrusions.

Richard Taylor [Image: Massivit 3D]

“The Massivit 1800 has surpassed our expectations insofar as the added capabilities and extra efficiency it delivers our operations,” said Taylor. “Since its installation, it has stimulated a lot of creative thought and our teams are buzzing with what we will be able to achieve with it moving forward.”

3D printing has already appeared in several popular movies, from the costumes in Black Panther to the stop-motion images in several LAIKA films. Weta Workshop has not revealed which upcoming movie will be the first to feature large-scale props made with the Massivit 1800, but it’s almost a guarantee, given the studio’s past work as well as Massivit’s capabilities, that they will be impressive.

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