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3D printing with metal: The final frontier of additive manufacturing

3D printing with metal: The final frontier of additive manufacturing
The holidays are a great time to sit back, relax, and watch the world happen around you. Few areas of technology have seen as much development in one year as that of 3D printing. Undoubtedly, the most dramatic and challenging has been printing with metal. The first attempts to print with metal can be traced back to the 1880s when the first welders used carbon electrode arcs to fuse two pieces of metal. The real breakthrough that has enabled 3D printing for the masses has been the laser. NASA recently used a technique called selective metal melting (SLM) with great success to build rocket motor components out of steel. To compete with modern manufacturing methods, perhaps the fastest method of metal printing is to deposit a powder metal matrix that contains binders. One of the premier organizations to capture public attention is Shapeways, which has streamlined the process to be able to provide a (metal or plastic) printed part in the shortest time possible. Related:  Additive Manufacturing Technologies3D future

A brief review of the 3D printers of 2012 - Design World The avalanche of popular news stories has propelled 3D printing into the minds of consumers. However, the major manufacturers of 3D printers have released a number of systems for professional uses. Here’s a quick look at what became available this year. A number of technical advances are demonstrated by this year’s new 3D printing systems. Sheet lamination using paper entered the market. Sheet lamination According to the ASTM International standard definitions, sheet lamination is a process in which sheets are bonded together to form an object. Primarily geared to form and fit applications, some industries can have paper objects serve as the final product. A Selectable Layer Thickness (S.L.T.) technique allows the printer to run in two different modes, draft or presentation. The company also announced the Mcor IRIS, which prints in full 600 dpi color. Matrix 300+ Technical Specs Build Size: A4 Paper: 256 x 169 x 150 mm; Letter Paper: 9.39 x 6.89 x 5.9 in. Laser sintering Stereolithography

What is 3D printing? 3D printing is a method of manufacturing everything from shoes to jewelery, to guns and aerospace parts, using a computer-controlled printer. The fundamental rule of 3D printing is that it’s an additive manufacturing technique, unlike machining, turning, milling, and sawing which are subtractive. While there are different kinds of 3D printing, all 3D objects are generally built out of layers. A 3D printer starts with the bottom layer, waits for it to dry or solidify, and then works its way up. Industrial vs. commercial While consumer- and small business-oriented 3D printing is only just taking off, mostly thanks to the MakerBot and RepRaps, 3D printing has been used in an industrial setting for 30 years. Consumer-oriented 3D printers are cheaper, smaller, slower, and are usually lower resolution than their industrial counterparts. Different printing techniques Fused deposition modeling – The most common 3D printing method is fused deposition modeling (FDM). The future of 3D printing

Africa: Climate Conversations - Could 3D Printing Be a Climate Revolution? Dissertation student Jan Torgersen of Vienna University of Technology tries to make a laser beam visible on a newly developed 3D laser printer, in Vienna March 29, 2012. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer Humanity has lived through many ages and transformations. But as we stare at our computer screens, a new age is sneaking up on us quite unexpectedly - one that combines the durability and strength of the industrial age with the flexibility and adaptability of the virtual age. It is an age that will be built not with hammers, but with printers - 3D printers. And these 3D printers could play a role in addressing complex 21st century challenges such as climate change. 3D printing, also known as "additive manufacturing" is the printing of physical 3D objects from a digital plan. Additive manufacturing allows designers to create intricate structures that in some instances would be impossible to construct otherwise. A notable use of the technology is by the U.S. military's new Expeditionary Lab - Mobile.

The first 3D-printed human stem cells The shortage of transplantable organs has spawned a fascinating science and market. A liver, for example, is often split among two recipients, while for a cystic fibrosis patient in need of two lungs, it is technically preferable to just swap out both the heart and lungs as a combo unit. The extra heart can then be domino donated to a third party. Bioprinting complete organs en masse is a tough proposition because the identity expressed by each component cell must be individually programmed. It was announced at the end of last year, that Autodesk, the makers of CAD software like AutoCAD, would be partnering with a new startup by the name of Organovo to make 3D organ printing a reality. So, in 20 years, will replacement organs be printed, grown, or built? While stem cells from a mouse have been printed before, human stem cells have proven to be a bit more fragile and generally more difficult to work with. Now read: The first open-source 3D-printed gun

3D Printing Pioneer Joins Harvard Faculty A leader in 3D printing and bio-inspired materials, Jennifer Lewis’ research explores microscale 3D printing for engineering and translational biology. CAMBRIDGE/BOSTON, MA– Jennifer A. Lewis,an internationally recognized leader in the fields of 3D printing and biomimetic materials, has been appointed as the first Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and a Core Faculty Member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Lewis is the first senior faculty to occupy a Wyss-endowed professorial chair. 3D printing—also known as additive manufacturing—is the process of fabricating three-dimensional solid objects from digital computer models. Lewis’ research, however, has expanded 3D printing to a far more sophisticated level. “We are delighted that Jennifer is joining us,” said Cherry A.

3D Printing: What You Need to Know They're not your granddad's daisy wheel printer, or your mom's dot matrix. In fact, they bear little resemblance to today's document or photo printers, which can only print in boring old two dimension. As their name suggests, 3D printers can build objects from scratch out of a variety of materials. They're going mainstream, showing up at retailers such as Staples, Best Buy, and Home Depot, and you can buy numerous 3D printers and their supplies on and through other online outlets. Though still mostly found on shop floors or in design studios, in schools and community centers, and in the hands of hobbyists, it won't be long before 3D printers are found on workbenches, in rec rooms, and even in the kitchens of homes near you—if not your own. What Is 3D Printing? Is 3D Printing Even Printing? From a technological perspective, 3D printing is an outgrowth of traditional printing, in which a layer of material (usually ink) is applied. How Does 3D Printing Work?

How 3D Printing Is Revolutionizing Affordable Housing As 3D printing solutions advance in terms of available materials and scale, architects are beginning to adapt the on-demand technology for use in the construction of dwellings and other structures, ushering in the next stage of prefab buildings. Whether creating the units in pieces or in some cases, pre-assembled wholes, the on-demand nature of architecture is changing the pace at which areas can be developed, while reducing associated labor and costs. Here are two of the best examples that PSFK Labs has seen around the theme of click-to-print housing. Open Source Platform Allows Users To Design And Print Pre-Fabricated Homes WikiHouse is an open-source construction system that allows anyone to download and ‘print’ CNC-milled wooden components, which can be quickly and easily assembled into homes without formal skills or training. 3D Printer Constructs Eco-Friendly Buildings From Sand See a video of the robot in action below. PSFK Labs

First inkjet-printed graphene computer circuit is transparent, flexible You can add another crazy characteristic to graphene’s ever-expanding list of “wonder material” properties: It can now be used to create flexible, transparent thin-film transistors… using an inkjet printer. The discovery comes from researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, who were trying to ameliorate the lackluster performance of existing inkjet-printed electronics. As we covered last month, it’s possible to print standard CMOS transistors using different ferroelectric polymer inks, but the resultant circuit is so slow that it can’t actually function as a computer. If graphene could replace or augment the interconnects or transistors, these circuits would be a lot faster — and that’s what these Cambridge engineers have done. The actual meat of the discovery is that graphene has been successfully chipped off a block of graphite using a chemical solvent. These flakes are then filtered to remove any larger, print head-clogging chunks, and then turned into a polymer ink.

Lasersaur by Nortd Labs Lasersaur The Lasersaur is an open source laser cutter. We designed it to fill the need of makers, artist and scientist who wanted a safe and highly-capable machine. Since its conception, Nortd Labs and the Lasersaur community has generated knowledge to develop a comprehensive system. How can you Contribute? Unlike software, hardware RD is costly even when living off of Ramen. Short on cash? $32 Beta Access: Support the project and get full access to design documents, community (mailing list), and software before the project goes fully open source. $(any) Project Support: Simply want to support the project? We Accept Bitcoin! Credits Mad props to,,, grbl,, and their giants' shoulders.

3D Printing You are in: Future Technologies : 3D Printing 3D Printing Imagine a future in which a device connected to a computer can print a solid object. A future in which we can have tangible goods as well as intangible services delivered to our desktops or highstreet shops over the Internet. Such a future may sound like it is being plucked from the worlds of Star Trek. The following provides an overview of 3D printing technologies and their present and likely future application. Current Technologies 3D printing is an additive technology in which objects are built up in a great many very thin layers. Another 3D printing technology based on the selective solidification of a tank of liquid -- or 'vat polymerization' -- is DLP projection. A final 3D printing technology that creates objects by using a light source to solidify a liquid photopolymer is known generically as 'material jetting', or commercially as 'polyjet matrix'. Commercial 3D Printers and Online Services Personal 3D Printing Finally(!)

Stereolithography An SLA produced part Stereolithography (SLA or SL; also known as optical fabrication, photo-solidification, solid free-form fabrication and solid imaging) is an additive manufacturing or 3D printing technology used for producing models, prototypes, patterns, and production parts up one layer at a time by curing a photo-reactive resin with a UV laser or another similar power source.[1] History[edit] The term “stereolithography” was coined in 1986 by Charles (Chuck) W. Technology[edit] Stereolithography apparatus After the pattern has been traced, the SLA's elevator platform descends by a distance equal to the thickness of a single layer, typically 0.05 mm to 0.15 mm (0.002" to 0.006"). Advantages and disadvantages[edit] One of the advantages of stereolithography is its speed; functional parts can be manufactured within a day. See also[edit] References[edit] Notes[edit] Kalpakjian, Serope and Steven R. External links[edit]

Stanford creates touch-sensitive, conductive, infinitely-self-healing synthetic skin Stanford University material scientists have devised the first synthetic, plastic skin that is conductive, sensitive to touch, and capable of repeatedly self-healing at room temperature. The most immediate applications are in the realm of smart, self-healing prosthetic limbs that are covered in this synthetic skin — but in the long term, the plastic might be used to make self-healing electronic devices, or you might even elect to replace your fingertips (or other piece of skin) with the synthetic, bionic equivalent. There are two important innovations here: a synthetic material that can repeatedly self-heal, and the fact that it’s electrically conductive — meaning it can detect changes in pressure and temperature (i.e. it’s sensitive, like real skin). We’ll tackle the self-healing bit first. The Stanford team, led by Zhenan Bao, started with plastic polymer that’s held together with hydrogen bonds. To make the plastic conductive, the team simply mixed in some microparticles of nickel.

MakerBot Industries MakerBot Industries is a Brooklyn, New York-based company founded in January 2009 by Bre Pettis, Adam Mayer and Zach "Hoeken" Smith producing 3D printers. MakerBot builds on the early progress of the RepRap Project. History[edit] Smith was one of the founding members of the RepRap Research Foundation,[1] a non-profit group created to help advance early research in the area of open-source 3D printers.[2] The company started shipping kits in April 2009 and had sold approximately 3,500 units as of March 2011. Demand for the kits was so great in 2009 that the company solicited MakerBot owners to provide parts for future devices from their own MakerBots.[3] Seed funding of $75,000 was provided by Jake Lodwick ($50,000) and Adrian Bowyer and his wife Christine ($25,000).[4] In late 2010 MakerBots bought out 3DWorldWide, merging the two teams. 3DWorldwide was the early innovator of 3D computer components and slowly gained popularity. Products[edit] A MakerBot printing a cylindrical object