Chinese scientists conduct ceramic 3D printing tests for off-world construction

Scientists at the Technology and Engineering Center for Space Utilization of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have successfully completed an experiment to 3D print ceramic parts containing lunar dust under microgravity. Using Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology on board the Airbus ZERO-G parabolic flight aircraft run by Novespace of Switzerland. The 3D printing experiment further explores […]

Shanghai commits to Divergent 3D printed electric vehicle production

The Divergent 3D node-based additive manufacturing technology, used to make the Blade supercar, is to be the driver of a new electric vehicle (EV) production plant in Shanghai. The forthcoming factory is a joint development between EV investment firm We Solutions, and Shanghai Alliance Investment, a private equity and venture capital arm of Shanghai Municipal Government. […]

SUTD Uses Fungal-like Additive Material to Create Bio-degradeable Plastic

Plastic waste causes a lot of headaches for a wide range of organisations and governments. Proposed solutions usually note the need to decrease usage, however, a university in Singapore may have found another alternative. According to research by SUTD (Singapore University of Technology and Design), they may have cracked the code on bio-degradeable plastic. Javier […]

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3D Printing Makes it Rain in Touring Theatrical Production

In Stijn Devillé’s Gesprek met de Regen, which translates to “Conversation with the Rain,” a couple grieves the loss of their daughter during the monsoon season in Singapore. The play’s setting required a lot of rain, which is a challenge in a theatre, but the theatre company Het Nieuwstedelijk worked closely with KU Leuven and Materialise to not only create rain, but to do it in an extremely artistic way.

KU Leuven student Arne Broeders designed the rain machine for his Master’s thesis in Industrial Engineering: Electronics and ICT. 8.5 meters long and spanning the entire length of the stage, the machine not only creates indoor rainfall but also creates images, patterns and words in the water – somewhat similarly to a Spanish art installation created a couple of years ago. Broeders developed the software program that would allow the images to appear, along with designing and building the machine itself.

The machine needed to be constructed in a way that would allow it to be lightweight and easy to move between venues. Techniques like CNC milling would have created a machine that was much too heavy to be hung up in a theatre, as well as too expensive. So Broeders turned to 3D printing, which allowed him to integrate the internal channels right into the rain machine’s design. Materialise advised the designer on the best method of 3D printing for the project, which turned out to be Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), thanks to its ability to 3D print complex designs at low cost.

Materialise’s Design and Engineering team also helped Broeders alter the design to create a more open structure, reducing material costs and allowing for more thorough removal of unused powder. The file was then prepared with Materialise Magics software.

“After a few test prints on the campus, we realized we had to move towards larger entities which were completely sealed, which wasn’t possible with FDM,” said Broeders. “That’s how we ended up with Materialise, the only company around Leuven capable of printing plastic on an industrial scale. They advised us about using the Laser Sintering technique and the results were amazing; the entire structure was watertight and our valves were easily able to operate the nozzles.”

Actors Tom Van Bauwel and Sara Vertongen

The final product was employed to impressive effect, releasing rain down onto the stage and revealing brightly lit words and images rendered in water. In a way, the rain machine is itself a printer, releasing water in pre-programmed shapes to form fleeting but memorable works of art. It likely would not have been feasible to create such a machine without 3D printing, which allowed it to be lightweight, inexpensive, and built in the complex geometry that was required. Broeders’ design won the Leuven MindGate Crossover Contest and will be touring with the play across Europe, showing audiences another example of how 3D printing intersects with art. In addition to seeing a moving story, audiences will be treated to the best of technology.

Gesprek met de Regen premiered in Genk, Belgium on May 30th and will be touring all over Europe.

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[Source: Materialise/Images: Katrijn Van Giel]

 

Tax Credit Aspects of 3D Printed Ice Cream, Cones and Gelato

Among dessert items, ice cream ranks one of the most popular frozen treats in the United States. Over the past several years, the ice cream industry has consistently produced well over 1 billion gallons of ice cream each year with the average person consuming 6 gallons yearly. The ice cream industry, for the most part, uses traditional methods for making ice cream; however, the recent rise of 3D printing in the food industry has allowed for 3D printed ice cream, cones, and gelato to break through. New 3D printing methods being utilized by chefs, engineers, and businesses have allowed for new food products to be developed, creating opportunities for valuable R&D Tax Credits.

The Research & Development Tax Credit

Enacted in 1981, the federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit allows a credit of up to 13 percent of eligible spending for new and improved products and processes. Qualified research must meet the following four criteria:

  • New or improved products, processes, or software
  • Technological in nature
  • Elimination of uncertainty
  • Process of experimentation

Eligible costs include employee wages, cost of supplies, cost of testing, contract research expenses, and costs associated with developing a patent. On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the bill making the R&D Tax Credit permanent. Beginning in 2016, the R&D credit can be used to offset Alternative Minimum tax and startup businesses can utilize the credit against $250,000 per year in payroll taxes.

Robots in Gastronomy

Robots in Gastronomy is a Barcelona-based research group specializing in additive manufacturing for food products. The group created a 3D printer called the FoodForm that is capable of printing soft-serve ice cream in simple shapes such as a star, a swirled circle, and other shapes. The FoodForm can print delicate ice cream treats with a high rate of precision and is even capable of catering to personalized and custom treats.

Pixsweet

Pixsweet is a Los Angeles-based company focused on customizing and personalizing nearly anything into a 3D printed popsicle. Pixsweet began using 3D printing as a way to supply local stores with options that can be both affordable and more original than the average ice cream snack. The company uses their own 3D printing technology to combine raw food materials with virtually any image found online to create a charming and tasty frozen treat.

MELT

MELT is a new company based in Amsterdam, Netherlands focused on creating the Icepop Generator 3D printer for specially designed on-site ice creams.  The idea behind the 3D printer development is that it can be used at festivals and events where visitors can draw up their own design, at which point the Icepop Generator 3D printer will drill a sculpture into a block of ice. The unique 3D printer is actually a CNC machine that features a built-in glass freezer to allow full visibility of how the ice cream is made.

Drip Drop

Drip Drop is a Denver startup that uses 3D printing to develop molds for a one of a kind ice cream cone. The Drip Drop cone is a circular ice cream cone to prevent excessive dripping from frozen treats. Drip Drop is working with mold manufacturers and 3D printers to develop silicone templates of the cone, soon to be available for wholesale and retail across the country.

Dream Pops

Dream Pops is a Los Angeles-based company that deploys all-natural ingredients for ice cream into 3D printing to create a delicious and nutritional popsicle. Dream Pops consistently strives to develop new popsicle designs never before seen and enlist the help of an Ultimaker 2 3D printer, which creates the unique silicone molds that will form the ice cream.

Conclusion

The future of 3D printing looks increasingly brighter as the use of additive manufacturing is expanding into numerous fields, especially the culinary industry. Companies are adopting 3D printing techniques and adding their own innovation to further drive the seemingly endless possibilities provided by 3D printing. Continuous experimentation has brought incredible culinary results as now even real ice cream is capable of being produced along with a plethora of other complex foods with the potential to change our entire food landscape and how we think about food.

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Charles Goulding & Ryan Donley of R&D Tax Savers discuss 3D printed ice cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Siemens Releases Solid Edge 2019, Packed with New Tools and Updated Features

Siemens has been delivering its Solid Edge software for several years now, enabling engineers and designers to create in CAD/CAE easily yet professionally. The company has now introduced the latest iteration of the software, Solid Edge 2019, and it reliably includes plenty of new features as well as upgrades to existing ones, in categories including mechanical design, electrical design, manufacturing, simulation, technical publications, and data management.

Users can now reverse engineer imported objects and take advantage of new features such as convergent modeling, generative design, and advanced flow simulation. An impressive array of PCB design tools are also included.

“The global market requirement to develop and deliver increasingly complex products in shrinking timeframes has created many new challenges for our customers, as well as new opportunities to differentiate,” said John Miller, Senior Vice President, Mainstream Engineering, Siemens PLM Software. “I’m confident that the integration of leading technologies and the next-generation design capabilities delivered in the Solid Edge 2019 portfolio will empower our customers to innovate in the new era of digitalization.”

New tools are available for convergent modeling, allowing engineers to incorporate mesh models directly into their workflows. The tools also support milling, casting and molding of generative designs, so that users can model and simulate the entire process, not just the final product. On the electrical engineering side of things, Solid Edge Wiring Design offers design tools that can be used to rapidly create and verify the flow of wiring through electrical systems.

Solid Edge Harness Design adds harness and formboard design using automated part selection, verification and report generation. In addition, Solid Edge PCB design enables the intuitive creation and schematic capture of printed circuit board layouts, including sketch routing, hierarchical 2D/3D planning, and ECAD-MCAD collaboration.

Solid Edge CAM Pro is a new system that allows users to program CNC machine tools, and supports both simple NC programming and high-speed, multi-axis machining. On the additive manufacturing side of things, automated print and color preparation allow designs to be sent directly to the 3D printer. Multi-color and multi-material 3D printing are both supported.

P&ID Design and Solid Edge Piping Design tools offer improved modeling, simulation, and automated placement of piping systems. These systems allow for automated 3D piping design and fully automated isometric drawing output for plant design. There is also a 3D parts library included. These tools, according to Siemens, can help reduce design errors and ensure efficient piping design in the oil and gas industries.

General improvements include better control over shapes, weight and strength. Free cloud-based collaboration tools are included as well, allowing users to work in real time from anywhere with browser-based access to CAD files.

You can learn more about the new features here, as well as check out buying options. Several discount bundles are available at the moment, for a limited time.

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[Source: Graphic Speak/Images: Siemens]

 

Using 3D Printing to Sample the Ocean Floor

When we think of biodiversity, we may think of forests with wildly differing species of birds, insects and other animals, or seas with wide varieties of fish. Sometimes biodiversity is easily visible in these larger species, but often it can only be measured on a very small scale. Dr. Matthew Cannon, a research associate in the lab of Dr. David Serre at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Genome Sciences, is interested in measuring biodiversity using DNA from environmental samples such as fresh or marine water, sediments or soils.

The analysis of environmental DNA, or eDNA, is an effective technique of measuring biodiversity. Organisms living in a particular area can be identified and characterized by the cells and hair they leave behind, or their decaying remains, all of which contain DNA and can reveal to scientists the types of creatures that are present in any given location. Special tools are required for this kind of analysis, especially for the type of work that Dr. Cannon wants to do, which involves taking samples from deep underwater locations.

Methods of sampling eDNA from deep underwater locations are limited by the volume of water that can be collected, or because of potential contamination from surface water. The possibilities presented by collection of eDNA from these deep-water locations are intriguing, however, because a single sample can give researchers an idea of the total biodiversity of a site without direct organism sampling. These locations are difficult to explore; traditional methods such as collecting samples in trawl nets or expeditions with remotely operated vehicles are expensive and can miss organisms that can’t be captured by a net or that avoid the lights of a rover.

Therefore, Dr. Cannon wanted to explore alternative options for deep-water eDNA sampling. He designed and 3D printed a device that houses a water filter and pump, controlled by an Arduino, that can collect samples at any depth. The device allows for the collection of large samples, limited only by filtering time.

“3-D printing is allowing us to develop a prototype water sampler that might not have been practical to imagine or design a few years ago,” Dr. Cannon said.

Dr. Cannon used the 3D printer at the Health Sciences/Human Services Library Innovation Space to create his prototype, which he is now testing to ensure that the parts work well together. It only takes a few hours to 3D print each prototype, allowing him to quickly develop new iterations.

The University of Maryland prioritizes technological advancement; towards the end of last year the university opened a new center dedicated to bioengineering, and was one of the earlier schools to open a MakerBot Innovation Center. The school is responsible for some advanced 3D printing-related research, and Dr. Cannon’s work will put the university on the map once again for its use of technology to gain new insight into areas that have previously been unexplored.

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[Source/Images: University of Maryland]

 

Ogle 3D Prints Car Parts For Arizona Racing Team

The IMechE Formula Student racing event features all kinds of custom-made single-seater cars. The goal is not just to produce a competent race car, but also one that is reliable, easy to maintain and low-cost. This year, its 20th anniversary, an Arizona racing team from Coventry University brought Ogle Models and Prototypes’ expertise to their […]

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Architecture Firm Uses 3D Printing For Renovating Buildings

3D printing for concrete has undergone massive leaps and bounds in recent years. So, it was only natural that it would come to repair and renovation, as opposed to just construction. Taking this concept to it’s natural conclusion, architecture and engineering firm EDG have stepped up to the plate. Calling this style, “Modern Ornamental”, the […]

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