ICON raises $9 million in funding to build sustainable 3D printed houses around the world

ICON, a Texas-based construction technologies company, has raised $9 million in seed funding to reinvent the construction of affordable homes with the use of “3D printers, robotics, and advanced materials.” Led by Oakhouse Partners, an early stage venture capital firm based in California, this financing is said to be one of the largest seed rounds […]

University of Leeds’ Concept System to Use Drones and 3D Printing to Repair Pot Holes #drone #droneday

From University of Leeds on YouTube:

A system to use drones to scan and then repair pot holes in roads using a 3D printing attachment was demonstrated by a team from the University of Leeds as part of the Robots for Resilient Infrastructure Robotic Challenge Event that took place on 27 to 28 June at Weetwood Hall, Leeds.

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Welcome to drone day on the Adafruit blog. Every Monday we deliver the latest news, products and more from the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), quadcopter and drone communities. Drones can be used for video & photography (dronies), civil applications, policing, farming, firefighting, military and non-military security work, such as surveillance of pipelines. Previous posts can be found via the #drone tag and our drone / UAV categories.

NScrypt Introduces New Factory in a Tool

Orlando, Florida-based nScrypt is a manufacturer of micro-dispensing and 3D printing systems, and it has just announced the release of its new Factory in a Tool (FiT) for Direct Digital Manufacturing. Factory in a Tool is an integrated system that can digitally fabricate anything from 2D and 3D printed circuits to biological structures, and can be used almost anywhere on the digital manufacturing floor.

The FiT is offered in three base models of different sizes, as well as multiple configurations: two base models for solder, vias, and adhesives, and three for Direct Digital Manufacturing. There are two basic hardware configurations: the 3Dn-Tabletop, which is based on a precision ball screw motion system and the 3Dn-300 or 3Dn-500, which are linear gantry systems. The 3Dn-300 has 300 millimeters of travel in the XY axis and the 3Dn-500 has 500 millimeters of travel in the XY axis. If two or more systems are lined up, it creates what nScrypt calls a Factory in a Line.

The 3Dn-300 and 3Dn-500 run five tool heads for Direct Digital Manufacturing without tool changes. The tools and configurations all share a user-friendly and customizable graphical user interface (GUI), z-tracking/High sensing, precision motion control, and common software and electronic controllers, which simplify operation, maintenance, servicing, training and reconfiguration.

The Factory in a Tool uses multiple tool heads, including the nFD for material extrusion, the SmartPump for Micro-Dispensing, the nMill for micro-milling, and the nPnP 360 for pick and place of electronic components and subassemblies. These tools operate in series or parallel on a fast, precise linear motion gantry, alongside multiple cameras for automated inspection and computer vision routines, a point laser height sensor for mapping surfaces for conformal printing, an automated PulseForge 1300 photonic curing system and a femtosecond laser for cutting or sintering materials.

The SmartPump has pico-liter volumetric control that eliminates dripping and can work with the widest range of materials available for any Micro-Dispensing system – more than 10,000 commercially available materials, in fact. It can print everything from thin materials like water to thick material like peanut butter or thicker.

The nTip, which is used on the SmartPump tool head, has the smallest commercially available pen tip diameter at 10 microns, one-tenth the diameter of a human hair. The smallest competitive pen tips, according to nScrypt, are 100 microns.

The nFD extruder tool offers the widest range of thermoplastics and can also print composites and continuous carbon fiber. If a material is not available in a filament format, the nFDh unique hopper option is capable of loading thermoplastic and composite injection molding pellets.

nScrypt has been around for longer than a decade and in 2003 won the R&D 100 Award for producing the first commercially available bioprinter. Next year, its zero gravity bioprinter will travel to the International Space Station.

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

[Images: nScrypt]

 

3D Printing in Construction: ICON Seed Funding Yields $9 Million

3D printing continues to grow around the world, not just in popularity with makers in the mainstream, but also in a wide range of different important industries. The technology of 3D printing is making significant impacts in the way many of us create and are inspired today, as well as manufacture products. While in many cases they already have, these relatively new processes will continue to pass down many benefits to consumers, whether they are buying household products, new cars, or even new homes.

And now, ICON will have more of a chance than ever not only to advance beyond their competitors in progressive ideas for homebuilding, but also to continue innovating in the areas of making new 3D printers, robotics systems, and advanced construction materials. Recently, they completed seed funding that yielded $9 million. Oakhouse Partners led, while the following other national homebuilders also contributed:

  • R. Horton
  • Emaar
  • Capital Factory
  • CAZ Investments
  • Cielo Property Group
  • Engage Ventures
  • MicroVentures
  • Saturn Five
  • Shadow Ventures
  • Trust Ventures
  • Verbena Road Holdings
  • Vulcan Capital

Based out of Austin, Texas, ICON’s mission is to meet the needs of the construction industry and their consumers in the future:

“Through advanced robotics and cutting-edge materials, we are able to provide sustainable solutions to a number of our world’s most pressing issues, including the pandemic of homelessness in the developing world, the difficulty of constructing off-planet space habitats, and the exorbitant cost of customized housing,” states the ICON team on their website.

“ICON has developed cutting-edge materials tested to the most recognized standards of safety, comfort and resiliency and is designed to function with nearly zero waste production methods and work under unpredictable constraints (limited water, power, and labor infrastructure) to tackle housing shortages.”

Their goal is to begin fabricating homes that can be 3D printed in 24 hours, with their proof-of-concept, 350-square-foot home constructed in less than 48 hours and costing less than $10,000. These homes are expected to be high-performance, using ‘zero energy,’ and presented in a flexible design platform leaving an infinite number of design opportunities open to prospective homebuyers. The homes are thermally efficient, comfortable, and most importantly—affordable.

ICON has been working with the Y Combinator-backed non-profit organization New Story, including the concept-home project and their mobile 3D printer currently in development. New Story focuses on using progressive technology for building facilities in developing countries that include schools and clean water, along with the potential for jobs.

“For home and community initiatives to be successful, they must be designed with the input of the people who will be living in them. This is called participatory design,” states ICON. “ICON technology enables unprecedented design collaboration and customization for New Story initiatives, increasing community buy-in.”

Find out more about 3D printing in construction at 3DPrint.com, where we have followed many different projects, from plans to build homes everywhere from Dubai to the Netherlands. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source: PE Hub Network / Images: ICON]

Researchers Bioprint Brain Tissue Creating Functional Neural Network

One of the great advantages of bioprinting is the ability to create functional test models. In one such new case, researchers from Tufts University have created a functional neural network of brain cells. The ability to bioprint brain tissue will allow them to experiment with treatments for various neural disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to create […]

The post Researchers Bioprint Brain Tissue Creating Functional Neural Network appeared first on 3D Printing.

MX3D Metal 3D Printed Bridge on Display in Eindhoven During Dutch Design Week

MX3D has been working for a number of years on a metal printing technology specifically for bridges and large metal items. Incorporating machine learning and AI into the build process the company uses robot arms to layer by layer deposit metal. The company is using off the shelf robots and welding technology in combination and they can deposit over one Kilogram per hour per robot arm. By using six axis robots they tout their degrees of freedom they will have with these robots but they could potentially not be accurate (stiff as well as positioning accuracy) enough to give really stellar results.

What is very interesting is that they say that their printers are significantly cheaper and that they also use steels that are $5 per kilo. Started by Joris Laarman and supported by Autodesk MX3D is a very interesting technology for large outdoor objects. I really like it as a technology for printing rebar like structures for reinforced concrete and think that this is a great application for it. In addition to Autodesk, the company also works with Lenovo, Arcelor Mittal, ABB, Air Liquide and Arup the engineering company that makes starchitect’s dreams come true. Especially that partnership and the one with ABB who are giants in robot arms and other industrial automation give MX3D a real leg up on the competition. Dutch Design Week is one of the largest design events in the world, taking place every year in Eindhoven it has over 300,000 visitors attending the hundreds of design events and showcases each year.

MX3D today has showcased its bridge on the Ketelhuisplein in Eindhoven so people can see the future of construction up close. It is not huge but it is very impressive. Competition in house and outdoor printing will be heating up over the next few years. Many more players want large-scale objects that are not viable with current industries. Especially in shipbuilding, industry, construction and oil and gas, this is a wish. Few 3D printing technologies are designed to be economical as well and this will greatly increase application areas for this technology. For large scale printing, the most players either seem to be focussed on polymers, metal welding or concrete.

The problem with the polymers is shrinkage, lack of control, rough and ugly objects and reinforcement. Essentially they’re using off the shelf materials to try to make outdoor structures which is silly. Instead they need to make materials specifically for outdoor 3D printing applications. In that way, they can insulate, build faster and build more functional objects. In welding process control is a real problem and objects are barely held together cheez whiz metal kinds of things.

Better closed loop type things and advances in machine vision and controlled cooling need to happen here. In concrete 3D printing, there are more liars than actual practitioners and we will need to lose the tricksters for that market to advance. Apart from that lack of good layer adhesion is an issue here. If this is the year of metal printing can 2020 be the year of large-scale printing?

#3DPrinted Sony Camera & GoPro Fusion 360 Dual Mount #celebratephotography

NewImage

From lsummers on Thingiverse:

We’ve spent the last 3 years building our own VR content company (http://www.redironlabs.com). During this time, we’ve created many of our own parts for various things. I figured it was time to start sharing those here for everyone 🙂

OK – this is a fun one. We have to do a fair amount of 4k 360 videos over the next while but I like to have a nice 1080p standard video with them. To cut down on the number of tripods we need to carry, this lets us mount a small (sony handycam in this case) camera on the bottom, and a gopro device (gopro 360 fusion in this case) on the same tripod!

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Photofooter

We #celebratephotography here at Adafruit every Saturday. From photographers of all levels to projects you have made or those that inspire you to make, we’re on it! Got a tip? Well, send it in!

If you’re interested in making your own project and need some gear, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to check out our Raspberry Pi accessories and our DIY cameras.

3D Printing News Briefs: October 20, 2018

We’re starting with some information about a couple of upcoming shows in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, followed by some business and aerospace news. Sinterit is bringing its newly launched material to formnext, while Materialise has announced what products it will be presenting. Registration is now open for AMUG’s 2019 Education and Training Conference. Moving on, Sciaky sold its EBAM and EB Welding System to an aerospace parts manufacturer, while final assembly has been planned for the Airbus Racer, which features a 3D printed conformal heat exchanger. The Idaho Virtualization Lab is a leader when it comes to 3D printing dinosaurs, and the recently released movie First Man used 3D printed models during filming.

Sinterit Launches New PA11 Powder

Military glass case 3D printed with PA11 Onyx

Desktop SLS 3D printing company Sinterit has launched a new material – PA11 Onyx – which it will be bringing to formnext next month, along with its Lisa and Lisa 2 Pro 3D printers. According to Sinterit, this is first powder that’s ready for use in desktop SLS 3D printers, and it delivers excellent thermal, chemical, and abrasive resistance, along with better flexibility and impact resistance. PA11 Onyx is a high performance, lightweight, polyamide-11 bioplastic produced from plant-based renewable resources. In addition, the material also has high elongation at break, which means that durable finished products, like a military glass case and custom casings, can be opened and closed thousands of times without getting damaged.

“Our clients use a lot of electronic devices, like Raspberry Pi, that need a proper, individually made housing that can endure in unfriendly conditions. They are looking for durable materials but also require some elasticity and high-temperature resistance,” said Sinterit Co-Founder Konrad Glowacki. “PA11 Onyx delivers that.”

Come visit Sinterit at booth G41 in Hall 3.1 at formnext, November 13-16, to see its 3D printers and newly launched powders, which also include Flexa Black and Flexa Grey TPU materials.

Materialise Announces formnext Product Introductions

Materialise Magics 23

Speaking of formnext, 3D printing leader Materialise will also be attending the event in Frankfurt, and has just revealed what new product introductions it will be displaying at its booth C48 in Hall 3. Some of the highlights include new plastic and metal materials, like Inconel, Polypropylene, and Taurus, automotive applications, and the Materialise Magics 3D Print Suite; this last includes a new Simulation Module, the E-Stage for Metal 1.1 automatic support structure generation upgrade, and Magics 23, the latest software release.

Additionally, there will also be presentations from Materialise partners and the company’s own experts, like Lieve Boeykens, the Market Innovation Manager for Materialise Software. Boeykens will be presenting on the TCT Stage about “Reducing Costs and Speeding Up the Validation of AM Parts” on November 15 at 4 pm. Visit the Materialise formnext site for updates.

AMUG Conference Registration Open

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) just announced that online registration is now open for its 2019 Education & Training Conference, which is now in its 31st year and will be held in Chicago from March 31-April 4. The conference is open to owners and operators of industrial 3D printing technologies for professional purposes, and welcomes designers, educators, engineers, plant managers, supervisors, technicians, and more to share application developments, best practices, and challenges in 3D printing. The program has been adjusted to include more hands-on experiences and training, and will include workshops, technical sessions, and even a new Training Lab. There will also be networking receptions, catered meals, the two-night AMUGexpo, a Technical Competition, and the fifth annual Innovators Showcase, featuring special guest Professor Gideon Levy, consultant for Technology Turn Around.

“As the AM community evolves, so will AMUG,” said Paul Bates, the President of AMUG. “We are excited to present the new program with the goal of continuing to act on our mission of educating and advancing the uses and applications of additive manufacturing technologies.”

Sciaky Sells EBAM and EB Welding System to Asian Aerospace Parts Manufacturer

VX-110 EBAM System

Metal 3D printing solutions provider Sciaky, Inc. has announced that an unnamed but prominent aerospace parts manufacturer in Southeast Asia has purchased its dual-purpose hybrid Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) and EB Welding System. The machine will be customized with special controls that allow it to quickly and easily switch from 3D printing to welding. The system will be used by the manufacturer, remaining anonymous for competitive purposes, to 3D print metal structures and weld dissimilar materials and refractory alloys for said structures, as well as for other aerospace parts. Delivery is scheduled for the second quarter of 2019.

“Sciaky is excited to work with this innovative company. This strategic vision will allow this manufacturer to reduce operating costs by combining two industry-leading technologies into a single turnkey solution,” said Scott Phillips, President and CEO of Sciaky, Inc. “No other metal 3D printing supplier can offer this kind of game-changing capability.”

Airbus Plans Final Assembly for Racer

Scale model of the Airbus Racer on display at Helitech International 2018. The manufacturer is aiming for a first flight of the demonstrator in 2020. [Image: Thierry Dubois]

Together with partners of its Racer demonstration program, Airbus Helicopters explained that it definitely expects to meet performance targets, and complete the first flight of the compound helicopter on time in 2020. The 7-8 metric ton aircraft, in addition to a targeted cruise speed of 220 knots and 25% lower costs per nautical mile compared to conventional helicopters, will also feature several advanced components, including a three-meter long lateral drive shaft. Avio Aero was called in to 3D print a round, conformal heat exchanger for each later gear box, which will help achieve reduced drag.

The preliminary design review was passed last July, with final assembly targeted to begin in the fourth quarter of 2019. The flight-test program will likely be 200 flight hours, with the second part focusing on demonstrating that the Racer will be able to handle missions like search-and-rescue and emergency medical services. The program itself is part of the EU’s Clean Sky 2 joint technology initiative to help advance aviation’s environmental performance.

Idaho Virtualization Lab is 3D Printed Dinosaur Leader

The Idaho Virtualization Laboratory (IVL), a research unit housed in the Idaho Museum of Natural History on the Idaho State University campus, has long been a leader in using 3D printing to digitize and replicate fossils and skeletons. Museum director Leif Tapanila said that IVL’s 3D printing program has been ongoing for the last 15 years, and while other labs in the country are more driven by research, the IVL is operated a little more uniquely – it’s possibly the only program in the US that goes to such great extent to 3D print fossils.

Jesse Pruitt, lab manager of the Idaho Virtualization Lab, said, “Everybody does a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but no one really does [everything we offer].

“We do our own internal research, we digitize our collections and we also do other people’s research as well.

“It’s not something you see at a smaller university. For this to exist at the level that it exists here is pretty remarkable in my mind.”

The IVL is also one of the only programs to have a large online database of the 3D models it creates, and works to spread knowledge about its 3D printing processes to students and researchers.

3D Printed Models for First Man Movie

Lunar module miniature [Image: Universal Pictures]

While many movies swear by CGI to create special effects, there are some directors and production crews who still prefer to use old school miniatures and models. But old school meets new when 3D printing is used to make these models for practical effects. Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle used some 3D printed miniature model rockets for his new movie First Man, which was just released a week ago and is all about Neil Armstrong and his legendary first walk on the moon. The movie’s miniature effects supervisor Ian Hunter, who won an Oscar for Visual Effects for Interstellar, was in charge of creating and filming the models, which included a one-thirtieth scale miniature for the giant Saturn V rocket and one-sixth scale miniatures of the Command/Service Module and Lunar Excursion Module.

“We had banks of 3D printers running day and night, running off pieces. We also used a lot of laser-cut pieces,” Hunter said about the Saturn V rocket miniature. “The tube-like shape of the rocket came from PVC piping, with the gantry made of acrylic tubing, along with many 3D printed and laser cut parts.”

The 3D printed model of the Saturn V rocket even made it into one of the trailers for the film, and the film itself.

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