Sintratec: Hybrid Materials Laboratory Case Study Focuses on Porous Ceramic Structures

“We will benefit more and more from the possibilities of additive technologies,”           –  Professor Alberto Ortona

Sintratec has just released a case study featuring The Hybrid Materials Laboratory at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) and their latest work as they create new 3D printing composites. Headquartered in Ticino, Switzerland, SUPSI used a variety of different equipment during their extremely sophisticated development phase, to include the Sintratec Kit.

With a focus on reusability, especially for applications like aerospace, Professor Alberto Ortona, head of the Hybrid Materials Laboratory at the Institute for Mechanical Engineering and Materials Technology (MEMTi) at SUPSI, explains why they are engaged in their current research:

 “A space vehicle enters the atmosphere from a low earth orbit with a speed of roughly 30’000 km/h. The vehicle is then decelerated by the friction of air which converts its kinetic energy into heat. As a result, the outer surface gets extremely hot.”

Professor Alberto Ortona, Director of the Hybrid Materials Laboratory at the Institute for Mechanical Engineering and Materials Technology (MEMTi) at SUPSI

The MEMTi team realized that new hybrid materials needed to be developed to prevent structures from burning on their re-entry mission; for example, parts made from advanced ceramics can tolerate harsh environmental conditions over the long-term, like high temperatures and thermal shock. These types of materials can also be re-used from mission to mission, rather than replaced after every single expedition.

Simone Vitullo, Research Assistant at MEMTi, at his workplace in the Hybrid Materials Laboratory.

Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) are comprised of high-quality, lightweight lattices that often cannot be produced through any other method than additive manufacturing; in fact, for some of the new parts they are creating there is simply no other route than through additive manufacturing.

The team was also involved in THOR, an EU research project. They developed a series of ‘complex sandwich structures’ from ceramics, meant to be cooled via gas flows—further allowing space vehicle parts to be manipulated through thermal protection systems.

Prototypes of catalyst substrates which swirl the exhaust gas flow: The two gyroid structures have the same size but are 3D printed with different parameters. This leads to diverse micro-porosities and mechanical properties.

Currently the researchers are creating composites far beyond the norm, and even with porous materials, all useful in applications such as:

  • Heat exchangers
  • Heating burners
  • Solar systems
  • Catalytic converters
  • Water filtration systems

SLA 3D printers have been available at the Hybrid Materials Laboratory for 15 years, but at this point the researchers point out that they require new AM processes—like selective laser sintering (SLS) for fabrication of more complex designs like their porous ceramics and parts called gynoids.

“Thanks to the open parameters of the Sintratec Kit, we were able to define the 3D printed objects with the best properties required to apply the ceramic coating optimally to the template,” said Oscar Santoliquido, research assistant at MEMTi. “The SLS technology allows us to create complex grid structures quickly and easily.”

The Sintratec Kit is designed for use in the following fields:

  • Medical
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Industrial design
  • Durable spare parts
  • Education
  • Research
  • Model building

Find out more about the case study here.

Ceramics have been associated with 3D printing now in many different projects, from bioinspired materials to parts produced on the nanoscale, other composite materials, 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

[Source / Images: Sintratec]



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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 “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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Sintratec Unveiling the Modular Sintratec S2 Industrial SLS 3D Printer

Swiss 3D printer developer and manufacturer Sintratec, which has been busily adding resellers around the world in countries like France, Germany, and South Korea this year, is at formnext 2018 in Frankfurt this week, like most of the rest of the 3D printing industry. The company is presenting its new compact, industrial 3D printer – the Sintratec S2 – which, like its predecessors the Sintratec S1 and the Sintratec Kit, is based on SLS technology.

The modular system is interesting in terms of SLS technology in that it integrates, and semi-automates, the laser sintering, de-powdering, material preparation, and surface treatment processes. The end-to-end solution allows users to benefit from economic operation with decreased down times, precisely 3D printed objects with freedom of form, and no more annoying cleaning processes. This could reduce cost per part.

Not only is the new Sintratec S2 good for optimizing application designs of small- and medium-sized series production, but it’s also a great method for manufacturing prototypes. The smart system has a modular construction, with the build chamber located inside the Material Core Unit, but easy to remove from the Laser Sintering Station. The unit also comes with an integrated powder mixing function for convenient powder handling. To process different materials, users need only expand the Sintratec S2 with an additional Material Core Unit.

If SLS components require better surface qualities once off the print bed, the blast cabinet Sintratec Blasting Station can take care of it, while the Sintratec Polishing Station – a magnetic tumbler – helps to seal surface impurities and give the completed parts a smoother finish. In addition, the Sintratec Material Handling Station cleanly collects both used and excess 3D printing material sieves it for reprocessing.

The 3D printer’s Sintratec Laser Sintering Station comes with a cylindric printing area, made up of a new heating and ventilation concept, so it can receive consistent, homogeneous print results. It comes with an integrated 4K camera to control print jobs and evaluate each layer’s surface in real time, and its laser scanning system offers a faster print speed and enhanced process repeatability. The Sintratec S2 is fully operated through an intuitive touchscreen.

The Sintratec S2 allows users to focus on the applications of tomorrow, and tap potential for professional prototyping purposes. It is well-suited for developing more complex components, which can provide designers and engineers both economic and creative benefits.

Thanks to its modular design, users of the Sintratec S2 can expand their production capacity by adding specific modules, and achieve high-quality SLS prints. The company is now accepting purchase reservations for its new Sintratec S2 3D printer, and you can see it for yourself this week at formnext, which ends on Friday, at the Sintratec booth G79 in Hall 3.1. If you’re unable to make it to Frankfurt, you can also see the SLS system in action by watching the video below:

Discuss this news and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

[Images provided by Sintratec]

3D Printing News Briefs: July 27, 2018

We’ve got plenty of awards and other business news for you today in 3D Printing News Briefs. Sinterit and ViscoTec each received awards for their technology, while Arkema announced that it is opening a 3D Printing Center of Excellence at its Pennsylvania facility. Vectary and Sketchfab are integrating, and Xometry is now offering SLA 3D printing. Finally, OPEN MIND Technologies has introduced its latest hyperMILL CAM software.

Sinterit Lisa Receives Award from All3DP

Sinterit, one of the fastest growing manufacturers of SLS 3D printers, just received the “Best Desktop SLS 3D Printer Summer 2018” award for its Lisa 3D printer by All3DP. The award shows that the company is moving in the right direction, and confirms that the Lisa is the perfect choice for 3D printing professionals looking to upgrade to SLS technology without breaking the bank. Even better for Sinterit: the award was announced in the final week of a pre-order period for its upgraded Lisa model, which will feature better hardware, bigger 3D prints, and easier maintenance.

“All3DP is happy to present the Sinterit Lisa with the award for Best Desktop SLS 3D Printer on the market. We recognize the Sinterit team for their tremendous work in making SLS 3D printing technology more affordable and accessible,” said Tyler Koslow, Editor at All3DP. “Additionally, their recent update to the Sinterit Lisa and development of the new Sinterit Lisa 2 PRO suggests that they will remain a market leader for a long time.”

ViscoTec Awarded Special Title Two Years Running

Georg Senftl (holding certificate) and Martin Stadler (holding lion) accepted the award on behalf of all ViscoTec employees.

For the second year in a row, German company ViscoTec, which specializes in pump and dose technology and has 3D printing viscous liquid products for silicone and other materials was awarded the “Bayern’s Best 50” title. For 17 years, the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs has honored the 50 most dynamic, medium-sized companies in Bavaria, and the jury considers criteria such as number of employees, turnover, and social and economic contributions. ViscoTec, and the other 49 winning companies were personally awarded the title, a certificate, and a Bavarian porcelain lion by Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Energy and Technology Franz Josef Pschierer at a recent event in Schleißheim Castle.

“Our employees all over the world actively help us to be such a successful company every day and that we will continue to develop very well in the future. Special thanks also go to our partners and customers. Their partnership with ViscoTec is constantly driving us forward. This motivates us not to stand still, to open up new possibilities and to find solutions for the daily challenges,” said Georg Senftl, Commercial Director of ViscoTec Pumpen- u. Dosiertechnik GmbH. “Last but not least, the innovative climate in the Inn-Salzach region contributes to the continuous development of companies like ViscoTec.”

Arkema to Open 3D Printing Center of Excellence

3D Printers and Post-Processing Machines for UV-Cured Resins at Arkema Center for Excellence.

This Monday, July 30th, speciality chemical and advanced materials developer Arkema will be holding the grand opening for its new 3D Printing Center of Excellence. The center will be located at the Exton, Pennsylvania facility of its Sartomer subsidiary, which designs engineered resins for UV-curable additive manufacturing under its N3xtDimension brand. The 3D Printing Center of Excellence will work to advance 3D printing resins technology and be home to most UV-based 3D printing technologies, such as Digital Light Processing (DLP), stereolithography (SLA), and HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF). It will offer a collaborative space for developing custom resins, and complete the company’s worldwide R&D network, which is dedicated to developing advanced 3D printing materials.

“Sartomer is a historic partner for 3D printing pioneers. We’re launching the 3D Printing Center of Excellence to deepen our support of the visionaries working to develop innovative 3D printed materials,” said Sumeet Jain, Global Director, 3D Printing at Sartomer.

Vectary Integrates Sketchfab

Online 3D design tool Vectary is giving its users access to thousands of new 3D models, as it has now integrated Sketchfab, the world’s largest platform for interactive 3D content. Vectary users can connect to the Sketchfab library and import hundreds of thousands of 3D models with one click, as well as export, publish, and even sell their own 3D work on Sketchfab. Vectary CEO Michal Koor, who co-founded the tool in 2014 with Pavol Sovis said, “Easily importing Sketchfab 3D models in the Vectary 3D tool can be a great way to create design concepts and bring more inspiration to their work. Exporting their Vectary models to Sketchfab gets them exposure to a larger audience, which can mean an increased customer base and new income possibilities by selling their work on one of the best 3D marketplaces available.”

Xometry Adds SLA 3D Printing to List of Services

3D printing service provider Xometry has added stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing to the list of 3D printing processes it provides. Versatile SLA technology offers higher resolution 3D printing, which will allow Xometry’s customers to achieve prints with good surface finish and fine detail – perfect for production parts and prototypes. The technology also enables you to print large products and parts and can create complex parts, to meet tolerances of +/- 0.004” or +/- 0.001” per inch, in a single operation.

Xometry also offers plenty of SLA-friendly materials, such as the Accura and Somos brands. Try it out today – upload your 3D CAD file to Xometry now to get an instant SLA quote.

New Version of hyperMILL CAM Software Released

3D Z-Level Shape Finishing

Germany CAD/CAM software solutions develop OPEN MIND Technologies AG has released the latest version of its advanced CAM software, hyperMILL 2018.2, which provides more machining efficiency and several new enhancements and features. 3D Z-level Shape Finishing, available in the hyperCAD -S module, now comes with automatic face extension to automatically extend selected milling surfaces during CAM programming, and can now also support conical barrel cutters.

This version also provides a “V sketch” command, which allows users to make easy changes to turning contours and milling boundaries by assigning geometric constraints to 2D contours. Other enhancements to the -S module include being able to measure and record distances between two shapes, like meshes, solids, and face models.

Alan Levine, Managing Director of OPEN MIND Technologies USA, Inc., said, “Keeping the hyperMILL suite at the forefront of CAM technology, we are pleased to offer our customers improved CAM strategies and enhanced CAD tools for even greater machining productivity through our new release of hyperMILL 2018.2.”

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3D Printing News Briefs: July 17, 2018

In Today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re covering a lot of business and a little medical news. AMFG is partnering with a top UK bearings manufacturer to help automate its digital manufacturing workflows, while Segula Technologies has begun an industrial 3D printing partnership with digital manufacturing company Multistation. Techniplas has completed a deployment of Sharebot 3D printers to its 14 manufacturing facilities around the world, and the winners of the SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition have been announced. Finally, a pediatric cardiologist used the Sinterit Lisa to create a 3D printed model of a newborn boy’s heart to plan his risky surgery.

Bowman International Announces Partnership with AMFG

Bowman’s bearings

Automation software specialist AMFG, which recently launched a new AI software platform, has partnered with Bowman International, one of the top bearings manufacturers in the UK, as it works to grow its 3D printing capabilities through its Bowman Additive Production (AP) division. Bowman AP has several MJF and SLS 3D printers available for its use, and uses 3D printing to design and produce its end-part bearings, which has helped increase their load bearing capacity by up to 70%.

In the meantime, Bowman International’s goal is to use AMFG’s AI-powered production automation software to oversee production of said bearings, by automating production job scheduling, optimizing digital CAD files for production with printability analyses, and creating a custom digital part catalog.

“We’re very pleased to be partnering with AMFG and using their automation software to scale our already expanding AM facility,” said Jacob Turner, the Head of Additive Production at Bowman International. “Additive manufacturing is transforming the way bearings are manufactured, and we aim to continue to be at the forefront of innovating the production of bearings using AM. AMFG’s automation software will enable us to achieve this by significantly increasing the efficiency of our production processes.”

Multistation Partners with Segula Technologies

Another newly announced 3D printing partnership is the one between international engineering group Segula Technologies and Paris-based 3D printing company Multistation. The two are working together to further develop the potential of 3D printing in the industrial sector, which will allow both companies to increase their offerings and provide customers with excellent services along the AM value chain. Segula will bring its design, product-process qualification, and technology integration in industrial environments to the table, while Multistation will share and apply its expertise in AM design and simulation by determining any potential parts that could be 3D printed instead of fabricated with a more traditional method of manufacturing.

“Additive manufacturing is an integral part of a value chain within which Multistation provides a comprehensive offering; Segula Technologies was an obvious partner of choice to enable our Additive Consulting division to address manufacturers’ concerns more effectively,” said Yannick Loisance, the CEO of Multistation. “We will thus be able to supply them not just with software packages, machines and materials, but also with a more comprehensive range of high-quality engineering services that are suited to a host of different business sectors.”

Techniplas Adds Sharebot 3D Printers to Its Manufacturing Facilities

This fall, Italian professional-grade 3D printer manufacturer Sharebot joined the open innovation program at Techniplas, a top automotive design and manufacturing provider. Now, as part of its own continuing digital transformation, Techniplas has deployed Sharebot 3D printers to all of its 14 manufacturing facilities across five continents. This move will allow the company to 3D print the majority of the manufacturing products it uses every day on-site, which will equal major cost and time savings as Techniplas previously used only third-party providers for this task.

With Sharebot 3D printers installed in all of our manufacturing facilities worldwide, we are taking decisive steps toward fabricating the majority of our manufacturing line assembly tools, jigs, fixtures, gauges and even robotic arm attachments in-house. Based on our experience with Sharebot printers thus far, we expect to significantly reduce our development time and annual assembly line tooling costs in each manufacturing facility over time,” said Techniplas COO Manfred Kwade.

Winners of the SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Competition Announced

For the fourth year running, advanced manufacturing technology industry organization SME and Stratasys have co-sponsored the SkillsUSA Additive Manufacturing Contest, held during the annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville. The winners of this year’s student contest, which asks contestants to solve real world problems with 3D printing, were just announced. This year, entrants had to design an adaptive device for a veteran, who had endured a traumatic thumb amputation, so he could keep playing his PlayStation 3. Prizes include RAPID + TCT conference passes, SOLIDWORKS’ 3D-CAD design software, SME Education Foundation scholarships (for high school participants), a one-year Tooling U-SME subscription, and a MakerBot Mini 3D printer.

“The SkillsUSA contest is designed to help students and educators realize the power of additive manufacturing to drive innovation. This year’s competition was particularly meaningful as it directly resulted in enhancing a veteran’s life with a custom solution not possible without additive manufacturing,” said Gina Scala, the Director of Marketing, Global Education at Stratasys.

The high school winners include:

  • Gold medal: Getty George and Sam Green, Martin Luther King High School, Riverside, California
  • Silver medal: Noah Logan and Johnathan Urbani, Stafford Tech Center, Rutland, Vermont
  • Bronze medal: Andrew Daddone and Layke Martin, Frederick County Career & Tech Center, Frederick, Maryland

The college winners include:

  • Gold medal: Adolfo Vargas and Alexander Kemnitz, Central Community College-Hastings, Hastings, Nebraska
  • Silver medal: Deema Al Namee and Aric Donerkiel, Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center, Vermont
  • Bronze medal: William Swaner and Ashton DeZwarte, Tenneseee College of Applied Tech-Nashville, Nashville, Tennessee

Watch a video about the 2018 competition here, and check out the winning designs here; you can also view SME’s Flickr album for more competition photos.

Surgeon 3D Prints Pediatric Heart Model with Sinterit Lisa

Desktop SLS 3D printer manufacturing Sinterit has seen its flagship Lisa 3D printer, which went through a recent upgrade, used to save lives in multiple ways, from fighting wildfires and protecting the faces of children to providing assistance in a tough pediatric cardiac surgery.

“Delivering desktop SLS 3D printer for more than three years caused that our clients send us tonnes of useful and exciting cases. Writing about all of them is hard, if not impossible, but when 3D printing helps saving lives, especially those most fragile, we feel proud, and also a duty to share it with you,” Michał Krzak, Sinterit’s Marketing Communication Manager, told

A newborn’s heart can weigh barely 20 grams, and fits in the palm of an adult’s hand, so you can imagine that surgeries on such a delicate organ are exceedingly difficult. Jarosław Meyer-Szary, MD, from the Department of Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart Defects at the University Clinical Center in Poland recently turned to Sinterit’s Lisa 3D printer to save the life of Kordian, an infant less than one month old suffering from a potentially fatal heart disease called interrupted aortic arch.

Meyer-Szary created 3D printed, life-size model of Kordian’s tiny heart, and SLS technology was able to recreate each intricate artery and vein. The model not only helped him plan the surgery ahead of time, but also helped Kordian’s mother gain a more thorough understanding of her son’s condition. Kordian is now a thriving and happy 18 month-old, thanks to Sinterit’s SLS technology.

Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts in the comments below.