3D Printing News Briefs: February 4, 2020

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re covering a range of topics. First, Digital Alloys is sharing a guide on the cold spray metal 3D printing process. UPM just launched its new GrowInk Bioinks product range. STPL3D offered its 3D printing expertise to help with a complex orthopaedic surgery, and the Smithsonian Institution is using Mimaki’s full-color 3D printer to make virus models for an exhibit. Finally, 3D printing was used to give an ancient mummy a voice…sort of.

Digital Alloys’ Cold Spray Guide

Massachusetts-based Digital Alloys has been publishing a Guide to Metal Additive Manufacturing, and the 16th part is all about Cold Spray technology, which was used as a coating process for many years before it was adapted into a metal 3D printing technology for rapid fabrication of near-net-shape parts. The technology uses pressurized gas to rapidly fire metal powders through a nozzle, aimed at the deposition point, with high enough velocity to create a metallurgical bond on impact but without melting the material. High-pressure Cold Spray systems allow for the processing of heavier materials, like steel and titanium alloys, while low-pressure systems use ambient air as a propellant, making them better for more ductile metals, like copper and aluminum.

“Cold Spray’s advantages include compatibility with heat-sensitive materials, low thermal stresses, and the ability to operate in an open (non-inert) environment. Disadvantages include restrictive part geometry, low density and accuracy, and material embrittlement,” the blog post states. “This post provides an overview of Cold Spray metal AM technology: how it works, geometry capability, material compatibility, economics, applications, and current state of commercialization.”

UPM Launched GrowInk Product Range 

Biomaterials company UPM, which introduced the biocomposite 3D printing material Formi 3D two years ago, is now launching a new line of hydrogels. The GrowInk 3D printing product range, which consists of non-animal derived, ready-to-use hydrogels, was introduced at the recent SLAS2020 conference. These bioinks, made up of water and nanofibrillar cellulose, support cell growth and differentiation by mimicking the in vivo environment, and are compatible with a wide range of 3D printers.

GrowInk Bioinks provide excellent imaging quality, and are perfect for many different 3D bioprinting applications, such as scaffold preparation and cell encapsulation for drug discovery, regenerative medicine, and tissue engineering. Additionally, UPM is also expanding its GrowDex product range with the sterile hydrogel GrowDex-A, which was created to debind biotinylated molecules, like antibiotics and peptides.

STPL3D Provides 3D Printing Help in Orthopedic Surgery

In December, 14-year-old Aaska Shah from India sustained multiple fractures to her left elbow while playing, and at her young age, a prosthetic implant would only compromise her natural movements. So doctors were left with no choice but to operate, using clamps to keep the bone pieces in place. Aaska’s surgery was denied because of how complex it would be, but Dr. Jignesh Pandya took on the task, and partnered up with Agam Shah from 3D printing service STPL3D to create a 3D printed resin model of the patient’s fractured elbow bone for surgical planning.

“Dr Pandya and his team first reviewed x-rays and 2D scans of the patient and reviewed their surgical plan. The doctors were a little concerned because there are a frightening amount of things that can go wrong during the operation but refused to give up hope,” an STPL3D blog post states. “The doctors have faced many challenges during the operation like deciding the clamp length and attaching points in the bone but the surgeries were successful largely thanks to the skilled surgeons.”

The doctors said the 3D model gave them “greater confidence,” and the patient was also on the operation table for roughly 25% less time.

Smithsonian Institution 3D Printing Full-Color Virus Models

This image shows the Influenza virus model, created using the Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer, in an opened position. The clear disk that contains the eight purple capsids and the eight yellow RNA strands has been removed from the green envelope. Image credit: Carolyn Thome/SIE

The world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, the Smithsonian Institution, is working with Mimaki USA to help with art, cultural, educational, and science exhibits and experiences. The Maryland-based Smithsonian Exhibits’ (SIE) studios works with the Institution’s offices and museums, and the federal government, to help plan engaging exhibits, as well as create models for research and public programs. The SIE team is using the full-color Mimaki 3DUJ-553 3D printer to create detailed, 3D printed models of enlarged viruses for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World exhibition.

“We are pleased to be a part of the Smithsonian Institution’s efforts to engage and inspire audiences through the increase and diffusion of knowledge. This printer will enable the Smithsonian to use new technologies to produce exhibits in new ways, particularly for creating models and tactile elements that help bring exhibits to life for all visitors,” stated Josh Hope, Sr. Manager, 3D Printing & Engineering Projects at Mimaki USA.

3D Printed Vocal Tract for Mummy

The 3D printed trachea and mouth of Nesyamun. (Credit: David Howard/Royal Holloway, University of London)

We’ve seen 3D printing used multiple times to help bring the mysteries of mummies into the modern world, but here’s a new one: a team of researchers from the UK used 3D printing to help an ancient mummy speak. Together, they published a paper, titled “Synthesis of a Vocal Sound from the 3,000 year old Mummy, Nesyamun ‘True of Voice,’ about their work creating a 3D printed vocal box for the mummy. Nesyamun was an Egyptian priest who lived and died over 3,000 years ago, during the reign of Ramses XI. A scribe and incense-bearer who likely sang and chanted prayers at the temple in Thebes, his sarcophagus features an epithet that translates to “true of voice,” because as a priest, he would have said that he lived a virtuous life; this is the reason the researchers gave for their work being ethical. In 2016, the mummy was sent to a facility for CT scanning, which discovered that, while his soft palate was gone and his tongue was shapeless, his larynx and throat were still in good condition – perfect for an experiment to replicate his vocal tract and help him “speak.”

Egyptologist Joann Fletcher said, “The actual mummification process was key here. The superb quality of preservation achieved by the ancient embalmers meant that Nesyamun’s vocal tract is still in excellent shape.”

The team 3D printed a copy of Nesyamun’s vocal tract between the larynx and lips on a Stratysys Connex 260 system. The horn portion of a loudspeaker was removed and replaced with the artificial vocal box, and then connected to a computer to create an electronic waveform similar to what is used in common speech synthesizers. This setup was able to help produce a single vowel sound, which you can hear for yourself here.

Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.

The post 3D Printing News Briefs: February 4, 2020 appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

3D Printing News Briefs: December 3, 2019

We’re starting today’s 3D Printing News Briefs out with a new case study, and then concluding with some business. CRP USA has been working with additive manufacturing in the motorsports sector. Moving on, Gardner Aerospace has acquired FDM Digital Solutions Ltd. Finally, the Head of Engineering at Formlabs is joining up with Digital Alloys.

CRP USA AM in Motorsports Case Study

3D printed oil pan in Windform SP, University of Victoria’s Formula SAE race car 2019 version

The University of Victoria (UVic) Formula Motorsport team has been using 3D printed oil pans on their SAE competition cars for the last four years that were created with CRP USA‘s laser sintering process, and Windform TOP-LINE composite materials. As a CRP case study details, carbon-composite Windform XT 2.0 was used to print the oil pans for the race vehicles in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and while they performed “amazingly” the first two years, the engine overheated during a test of last year’s car, which caused the temperature of the oil to rise above what the pan could handle.

For this year’s vehicle, the team decided to use the carbon-filled Windform SP composite material to 3D print the oil pan, as it has a higher melting point. They also made the mating flange thicker to lessen the chances of failure, and both of these changes led to a better, more robust oil pan. At next week’s Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, CRP USA will be showing off some of the other 3D printed solutions it’s helped create for the motorsports industry at booth 1041 in the Green Hall.

Gardner Aerospace Acquires FDM Digital Solutions

Graeme Bond (FDM) & Dominic Cartwright (Gardner Aerospace)

Global manufacturer Gardner Aerospace announced its acquisition of FDM Digital Solutions Limited, one of the UK’s top polymer additive layer manufacturers. FDM was formed in 2012, and its business model of original design solutions, manufacturing capability, and customer collaboration is successful in the aerospace, automotive, medical, and motorsports industries. The company will now become part of the new Gardner Technology Centre business unit, which is focused on R&D and advanced technology.

“Gardner Aerospace is breaking new ground in terms of technology. The acquisition of FDM and the creation of our new Technology Centre business unit provides us with the perfect opportunity to expand our technical knowledge, R&D capability and product offering, and aligns us with our customers’ growing expectations on innovative solutions, continuous improvement and cost competitiveness,” stated Gardner Aerospace CEO Dominic Cartwright.

“The role of 3D printing within manufacturing is constantly expanding and this newly acquired additive layer manufacturing capability complements Gardner’s long-standing capabilities as a producer of metallic detailed parts and sub-assemblies.”

Formlabs’ Head of Engineering Joins Digital Alloys

Carl Calabria

Carl Calabria, an AM industry veteran and the Head of Engineering at Formlabs, is leaving the company to join Digital Alloys, Inc. as its CTO. The Burlington, Massachusetts-based 3D printing company introduced its unique Joule printing last year, which it claims is the fastest way to make the hardest metal parts, as the wire-feed process doesn’t require any metal powder. By adding Calabria to its team, where he will be responsible for the company’s research and engineering, Digital Alloys can accelerate the release of its high-speed metal AM process.

“Leaving Formlabs was a difficult decision, but I was drawn to the size of Digital Alloys’ market, the team, and the opportunity to use Joule Printing to deliver metal printing solutions that have the speed, cost and quality needed for volume manufacturing of larger parts,” said Calabria. “The remarkable technology is producing titanium and tool steel parts faster, and at lower cost than conventional manufacturing processes.”

Watch this video to see Digital Alloys’ Joule printing process in action:


What do you think? Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the comments below. 

The post 3D Printing News Briefs: December 3, 2019 appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

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RAPID 2019: Opening Day and Opening Ceremony

The first day of the RAPID + TCT conference was bristling with activity. The first day mostly consists of lectures and workshops. At some other conferences, this is a secondary affair but here in Detroit we’re really seeing this to be the meat and bones of the conference on day one. There were a tonne of conference events and workshops today from the very general to the highly specific. There were workshops on casting materials for automobiles, implementing quality systems for medical devices, metal printing, and how to use 3D printers in hospitals and biomaterials. A lot of these were almost all day events with multiple speakers that were almost conferences in and of themselves.

Professor Hart’s Workshop

Professor John Hart gave a great presentation on applying materials and processes to making 3D printed parts throughout the life cycle. This workshop was great for people trying to start business cases internally with 3D Printing. It covered things such as costing and the relationship with the design to the final part. Walking around through all the workshop rooms I was really spoilt for choice. I really do believe that the “workshop day” at Rapid is underappreciated and under-visited. There are people here and there is knowledge here that you really can not find anywhere else. Do not miss this first day if you want to come next year! Having said that there were thousands of attendees for the different workshops and the first day already felt like a big conference.

Things started to get much bigger when we went to the Ballroom for the main opening ceremony.

Erika Berg of Carbon and Vitorrio Bologna of Riddell

Erika Berg of Carbon and Vitorrio Bologna of Riddell keynoted on how their companies were working together to try to make individualized mass customized helmet liners for football helmets. Individual helmets and other sports gear could become a huge application for 3D printing. Using one build of a Carbon L1 3D printer all of the distinct parts of a helmet liner can be produced. The data comes from a scan of a players head which is now done by 3D scanners but Riddell wants to go to a home scan solution for that in the future. The data gets sent to Carbon which then calculates the optimal design of the helmet cellular structure which may have 140,000 struts. Riddell already has 4000 3D scans to work with as well as thousands of readouts of player crashes to tell them how to design the helmets. In the future, the team wants to put accelerometers and other sensors in all helmets to acquire more data that would let them produce better helmets. They want to implement this for all football players from the Pro’s and college to the youth level. All in all the approach with cellular structures and data gathering seems very sound and this is a huge application for 3D printing if it goes forward. I just have questions with the Carbon business model. If Riddell leases the printers if Carbon slices the files if Carbon determines the optimal structure of the helmet then what is Riddell?

If we look at firms such as Nike: Nike is the brand, they design the shoes and know how to market and brand them. Others manufacture. Now Riddell is outsourcing key ownership of the core design competency that they and firms like Nike have. Won’t they be tied to Carbon forever? Isn’t the core part of their helmets the connection between the “crash test data”, head scans and how to create the cellular structures for the helmets?

Carl Dekker of Met-L-Flo then came on. He is the current ASTM 42 Chairman and Advises SME. He presented awards on the best research paper and project. Fast Robotic Soft Matter 3D Printing for Neurosurgical Phantoms Fabrication by Michael Chang was the winner of the Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper Award. On the 23rd you can see him present it. On the research project side the winner was The Copper Cooler: Heat Sink for CPU’s by Lisa Brock and Gitanjali Shanbhag.

Industry consultant Todd Grimm then took us through the companies that had applied for the innovation award and revealed that 48 out of 400 exhibitors would be on a list to be considered. He then went on to detail all of the firms and their particular innovation in order to tell everyone “What’s New” at Rapid. I thought that this was a particularly helpful presentation for visitors. He also mentioned that the finalists for the innovation award would be: Digital Alloys, e3D, Fabrisonic, Formalloy, NXT Factory, Rapidia, Sigma Labs and Sintratec. I for one really can’t choose there are a number of very deserving firms there and also some very sympathetic teams. Usually one could guess but this time its wide open as far as I’m concerned.

Then the SME Industry Achievement Award was revealed. The winner was Ely Sachs. Ely was a Desktop Metal co-founded but also a core inventor of the “MIT patent” inkjet head based 3D printing technologies years earlier and a more than deserved winner! This was a very exciting almost my brain runneth over first day here in Detroit and I can’t wait to discover more.

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