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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University of Nottingham investigates secret information storage using 3D printing

A new, 3D printable smart material developed at the University of Nottingham in the UK has presented researchers with a novel way of storing, and hiding, information. Laden with photochromic particles, the material changes color in reaction light, then turns back again when exposed to air. “In theory,” explains project co-lead Dr. Graham Newton, “it would […]

HP opens production-grade 3D printing center in China

With plans to expand its Asia-Pacific Japan (APJ) headquarters in the world’s largest manufacturing market HP, the Multi-Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D printing technology company, has unveiled a new production-grade 3D printing center in Foshan, China. Guangdong Lanwan Intelligence Technology Company, an open application service platform and 3D printing solution provider, will operate the facility in collaboration […]

3D Systems launches on demand medical 3D printing service

From the landmark case of the conjoined McDonald Twins, to 3D printing over 600,000 medical devices to date, 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) has launched its On Demand Anatomical Modeling Service. A service for medical professionals, On Demand Anatomical Modeling makes custom 3D printed models to be used in surgical planning and patient education. “For more than 25 years, […]

Norsk Titanium leads aerospace production as New York site is officially added to Boeing’s Producers List

Norsk Titanium, a Norwegian company that supplied the world’s first aerospace-grade, 3D printed titanium components for Boeing, has been officially added to the Qualified Producers List (QPL) for the multinational aircraft corporation through its Plattsburgh, New York Development and Qualification Center (PDQC). This milestone follows a string of successes for Norsk, including the approval from the […]

US Marines Using LulzBot 3D Printers to Successfully Continue Their Mission

3D printing in the military isn’t just about fabricating weapons like grenades, missiles, and warheads. The US Marine Corps has embraced the technology with enthusiasm, using it to research and complete a wide variety of projects. These days, logistics in particular is a fairly complicated defense sector, and investing in 3D printing has allowed the Marines to learn how to travel lighter to missions, with more adaptability…par for the course for this branch of the military, which counts “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome” as its unofficial motto.

The USMC’s Next Generation Logistics Innovation group (NexLog) was established in 2015 to advocate for the use of modern technologies, such as 3D printing, on the front lines. The initiative, led in part by Col. Howard Marotto and Captain Matthew Friedell, speeds up development and integration of these technologies within the Marine Corps, and gives the Marines a way to develop solutions to problems directly affecting them and their environment.

“We see it as being absolutely transformative. It’s not just about untethering yourself from the supply chain,” Marotto said. “It’s also about being able to rapidly innovate to the threat in the field.”

Cpl. Christopher Bigham and Col. Farrell J. Sullivan. [Image: Cpl. Jon Sosner]

The Marine Corps is more than ready to use 3D printing in any way they can, and LulzBot 3D printers from Aleph Objects are now being used by Marines in their important mission: to help build and grow a more innovative culture.

When the US military first got wind of 3D printing, the technology originally provided the perfect solution to a long-time problem: a continuing shortage of available spare and replacement parts for equipment that was getting older, thus more difficult to maintain.

Marotto explained, “A lot of our older equipment in the Marine Corps, nobody wants to make those items or parts for. So we might have to become our own manufacturers on certain low-demand, obsolete type items because the industrial base won’t support us, because there’s no money in it.”

3D printed handles [Image: Lance Cpl. Andrew Huff]

In one of the many ongoing efforts to use the technology to “Charlie Mike” (Continue Mission), the Marines have started to design and 3D print replacement handles for their Humvees on LulzBot 3D printers. The standard vehicle handles are extremely fragile – not good if you’re on the front lines and need to get up and moving quickly.

LulzBot 3D printers have been a good choice for the Marines, thanks in large part to the LulzBot MOARstruder Tool Head – a popular option for applications that require strong parts and rapid prototyping capabilities.

“I use a MOARstruder on the thing and it prints in an hour, and you can’t break that thing…that’s my favorite example of using a LulzBot and more specifically, the MOARstruder,” said Friedell.

Another application for 3D printing in the Marine Corps is providing solutions in expeditionary environments.

“It’s stuff like buckles that you don’t think would be very valuable, but they’re huge in an expeditionary environment,” Friedell said. “If your buckle breaks that’s holding your weapon, your life is gonna suck for the next 10 miles or 3 weeks until you can get a new plastic buckle. So having that ability is huge.”

A recent example is a small snowshoe clip, 3D printed using a strong, flexible resin, that the Marines developed at the Mountain Warfare Training Center (MWTC) in northern California. Marines are now extensively training in very cold environments, which can cause a slew of new problems for their important gear.

Friedell said, “We have a snowshoe in our inventory and Marines keep breaking small retaining clips. So we had Marines redesign them and we’re actually able to 3D print them and throw them on the snowshoes, and now we have snowshoes that don’t fall off our feet.”

The Marines were able to call on their trusty LulzBot 3D printers to come up with a fast, inexpensive solution to this particular problem.

“I’ve been a big proponent of LulzBot [3D Printers] because it’s just bulletproof, and that’s the reason we put it out there. We literally load them up in [watertight] cases, unbox them…. they level themselves, and they’re printing in five minutes. So the durability of them, the flexibility of them, is awesome,” Friedell said.

Because LulzBot 3D Printers are so reliable, durable, and easy to use, Marines stationed in difficult environments all around the globe can put them to work in tasks ranging from mission-critical to simply making everyday life more convenient.

To learn more about the Marine Corps’ use of LulzBot 3D printers, check out the video here.

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3D Systems Offers New On Demand Service for 3D Printed Anatomical Models

3D Systems is deeply involved in the medical industry and is using 3D technology to change and save lives, whether it’s through virtual surgical planning or 3D printed implants, bioprinting or 3D printed surgical models. Now the company is sharing its medical model expertise with a new On Demand Anatomical Models service. The service allows medical professionals to order 3D printed anatomical models from their own medical files, enabling them to better plan surgeries and educate patients or trainees.

The service is simple to use: all a user has to do is upload a 3D model file in STL, OBJ or PLY format to the new website. Customers can prepare their files for 3D printing using 3D Systems’ D2P software if they so choose, or any other commercially available software. The user then selects which materials they want their models to be 3D printed in, as well as areas to highlight, and requests an instant quote. The order can then be placed with one click, and the 3D printed model will arrive in approximately five business days.

3D Systems has also created a seamless connection between its D2P software and the On Demand Anatomical Models website, so medical professionals can quickly and easily create 3D models from their medical imaging data. D2P now has a module for Volume VR, allowing the user to upload and launch entire patient scans into a 3D virtual reality environment without any pre-processing of the data. The user can then “walk” through their scans and see an enhanced view of their patient’s anatomy, control layer visualization, and cut cross sections in any direction. Additional updates include improved mesh creation options, import and alignment of external mesh file into patient scan, and 3D PDF generation.

“For more than 25 years, 3D Systems has assisted medical professionals through the combination of our anatomical modeling experience and our 3D printing expertise,” said Katie Weimer, Vice President, Medical Devices, 3D Systems. “The healthcare industry is seeing the benefits provided through 3D printed anatomical models, and we are dedicated to continuing to expand our healthcare offerings to meet market needs. With the launch of our new On Demand Anatomical Modeling Service, we are making 3D printed models easier and more accessible to a broader range of the healthcare community.”

3D Systems will continue to offer its virtual surgical planning and anatomical modeling services in addition to the new service. The company also offers a Patient Specific Anatomical Modeling option, in which medical professionals provide CT or MRI scans to the team at 3D Systems’ Littleton, Colorado Healthcare Technology Center. The biomedical engineers at the center will then process the data, design the model, 3D print it and ship it to the customer. Whichever option medical professionals choose, 3D Systems is continually offering easier ways to obtain detailed, patient-specific 3D printed medical models for surgical planning, training and education.

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[Images: 3D Systems]

 

HP Opens New 3D Printing Center in China Featuring Multi Jet Fusion Technology

The world’s largest manufacturing market is in China, so it would make sense that 3D printing companies would want to set up operations there. Since it joined the 3D printing world with the introduction of Multi Jet Fusion technology in 2016, HP has been expanding its 3D printing presence all over the world, with expansions into Japan, India and many other locations across the globe. Now HP has partnered with Guangdong (Dali) 3D Printing Collaborative Innovation Platform to open a new 3D printing center in the manufacturing hot spot of China.

The new Lanwan Intelligence – HP Multi Jet Fusion Technology Mass Manufacturing Center opened over the weekend in Dali, Foshan, a major manufacturing hub in Guangdong Province. It will be powered by 10 HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing systems and will exclusively use HP technology to provide production-grade applications at scale for major customers in the automotive, consumer goods and other industries.

The new center’s opening ceremony was attended by senior representatives from national and local governments, businesses and academia. HP also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Guangdong Lanwan Intelligence Technology and the Institute of Foshan, Nanhai Guangdong Technology University. The MoU will promote the adoption of 3D printing technology in Southern China.

[L to R]: Yang Haidong, Director of the Institute of Foshan, Nanhai Guangdong Technology University, Stephen Nigro, President of 3D Printing, HP Inc., and Luo Jun, Executive Director of China 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance and President of Guangdong Lanwan Intelligence Technology

“Everything starts with applications – and digital manufacturing innovators are leading the transformation of the $12 trillion manufacturing sector by producing industrial-grade parts across industries on HP Multi Jet Fusion,” said Stephen Nigro, President of 3D Printing, HP Inc. “We are thrilled that Guangdong (Dali) 3D Printing Collaborative Innovation Platform is deploying HP Multi Jet Fusion technology at factory-scale to drive its business growth and accelerate industry innovation. HP is committed to helping our global digital manufacturing partner community expand and thrive.”

While HP has already established a large 3D printing presence in the Asia Pacific and Japan region, this is company’s largest deployment of production-grade 3D printing in the region so far. The Mass Manufacturing Center is being established to meet the growing demand for production-grade parts and functional prototypes – Multi Jet Fusion technology’s claim to fame. HP’s release of the technology marked a turning point in the 3D printing industry, at which 3D printing began to become less of a simply prototyping technology and more of a means to actually create end-use parts.

“The demand for 3D-printed production-grade parts will grow exponentially over the next few years as we shift from analog to digital manufacturing,” said Luo Jun, Executive Director of China 3D Printing Technology Industry Alliance and President of Guangdong Lanwan Intelligence Technology. “By deploying HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology in our new digital manufacturing center in China, we can better – and more quickly – deliver cost-effective and production-grade parts to our customers.”

China’s focus on 3D printing has been increasing lately, with other 3D printing centers opening and regulations being created. The country is a smart choice for HP as a location in which to create a new 3D printing hub, especially such a large one. As HP continues to expand, it continues to cement its position as a leader in production-grade 3D printing across the world.

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[Images: HP]

 

3D Systems Looks to Increase 3D Printer Efficiency with Aquant’s AI Platform

For the last two years, 3D printing industry giant 3D Systems has been looking into product launches in hardware, materials, and workflow, in order to create more opportunities for additional applications. 3D Systems President and CEO Vyomesh Joshi (VJ) mentioned this strategy again at RAPID + TCT in Texas last month, and highlighted a few examples.

For instance, the company has been focused on applications in the medical and dental fields for a while, and both the US Air Force and the US Navy will be utilizing its technology to reproduce older plane components and qualify metal 3D printing for warships. 3D Systems also recently introduced a new metal 3D printing system, along with an integrated metal 3D printing software platform.

Never one to just sit back and rest on its laurels, 3D Systems rallied after disappointing Q3 17 financial results and outlined a fairly aggressive approach to keeping its market leadership position. In keeping with the plan, the company recently made its newest announcement – it’s chosen the Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform by New York-based Aquant to increase field service efficiency through parts prediction.

“Advanced technology is key to continued growth for our business. By applying Aquant’s AI technology to our service processes, we believe we are taking a major step towards the vision of providing our customers with zero unplanned downtime,” said Mark Hessinger, the Vice President of Services for 3D Systems.

Aquant, an enterprise AI platform, learns the unique language of other enterprises through machine learning, and uses this knowledge to increase equipment uptime – what it refers to as Uptime as a Service. Its machine learning can provide a step-by-step troubleshooting process, which allows its customers to make faster, smarter decisions, driven by hard data, by taking Aquant’s recommendations for “predictive actionable service.”

The company uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms to quickly convert both historical unstructured and structured data into a helpful knowledge base. Aquant’s predictive AI can help elevate organizations by increasing first-time fixes on machines, which completely negates unplanned downtime.

Shahar Chen, Aquant’s CEO and Co-Founder, said, “We are honoured 3D Systems, one of the leading 3D printing companies in the world, has decided to partner with us. Our technology will allow 3D Systems to leverage all of the data they’ve gathered over the years to create an immediate improvement in speed and accuracy of issue diagnosis, achieve a significant increase in machine uptime, reduce operational costs and provide fast ROI.”

3D Systems will maximize its 3D printers’ uptime through Aquant’s innovative AI platform, which will allow the company to diagnose machine failures more accurately and quickly. Thanks to its increased productivity, 3D Systems will be able to save money by cutting out repeat service visits. In addition, Aquant analyzes historical item usage, so it’s better able to forecast any future demand.

According to the Aquant website, “Even the best experts cannot predict the exact parts and skills necessary to complete each job. In order to maximize machine uptime and increase first-time fix rate, Aquant’s machine learning algorithms predict which parts and skills are required for the job.”

The technicians at 3D Systems can call on Aquant’s technology to quickly diagnose 3D printer issues based on their report symptoms. In addition, the company will be able to better predict which parts will need service calls, escalate complex problems to the next level without delay. – basically letting Aquant take care of all of the heavy lifting.

It’s smart decisions like this – teaming up with Aquant to reduce 3D printer downtime – that keeps 3D Systems on top.

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