3D Printing Industry Review of the Year August 2018


The month of August welcomed various medical innovations within the 3D printing industry. The automotive and aerospace sector also further integrated additive manufacturing through Bugatti’s latest supercar, the Divo, and NASA’s cube satellite set for space from the Hindustan Institute of Technology and Sciences.

Moreover, Reebok and BASF  began production of its 3D printed sneaker, the Liquid speed.

Medical 3D printing innovations

In a proof-of-concept project, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for military healthcare began applying 3D printing to develop artificial lungs. Upon developing 3D printed chips devices for organs, Dr. Joseph Potkay, a biomedical engineer at the VA Ann Arbor Health Care System, Michigan, said:

“The flexibility in design afforded by 3D printing gives us more freedom and thus the ease to build artificial lungs with a small size and pressure drops that are compatible for operation with the body’s natural pressures.”

Biomedical engineer Dr. Joseph Potkay, with the VA Ann Arbor Health Care System, displays a 2D prototype of an artificial lung. A 3D version is in production. Photo by Brian Hayes/VA

In other news, the University of Sydney’s Save Sight Institute received a $1.15 million (AUD) grant from the New South Wales (NSW) Government’s Medical Devices Fund (MDF) to progress commercialization of its 3D corneal biopen.

Dubbed as the “iFix Pen”, the hand-held co-axial 3D printer is capable of extruding bioink directly onto an eye to aid in the regeneration of cells on corneal ulcers. The pen also creates a biological barrier towards ongoing cornea damage caused by infections.

The BioPen, developed by researchers from the UOW-headquartered Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), will give surgeons greater control over where the materials are deposited while also reducing the time the patient is in surgery by delivering live cells and growth factors directly to the site of injury, accelerating the regeneration of functional bone and cartilage. Photo shows Dr. Stephen Beirne of the Australian National Fabrication Facility with the bio pen.
Dr. Stephen Beirne of the Australian National Fabrication Facility and UOW with the iFix Pen. Photo via Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES).

Similarly, the McAlpine Research Group from the University of Minnesota (UMN) successfully 3D printed optoelectronic devices using polymer photodetectors on hemispherical surfaces. This development was marked as a significant step towards “bionic eyes” to aid the visually impaired.

The 3D printed optoelectronic "bionic eye" device. Photo via UMN/McAlpine Group.
The 3D printed optoelectronic “bionic eye” device. Photo via UMN/McAlpine Group.

Investments and aerospace

Within business, the city of Querétaro, Mexico, became the host of the first Additive Manufacturing Consortium (Conmad) in Latin America. Investing over $13 million, the Conmad includes Cinvestav, Mexico’s National Center for Research and Advanced Studies, CIATEQ an Advanced Technology Center, and CIDESI, a Center for Engineering and Industrial Development.

The main aim of Conmad is to validate and explore viable 3D printing technology for production to implement new additive manufacturing infrastructure in North-Central Mexico.

Additionally, Digital Alloys, a Boston based developer of metal 3D printers, received a $12.9 million investment during a series B financing including G20 Ventures, Boeing HorizonX Ventures, Lincoln Electric, and Khosla VenturesThis financing is being used to develop Digital Alloys’ new metal additive manufacturing approach called Joule Printing.

Joule Printing allows additive manufacturing of metal components. Photo via Digital Alloys.
Joule Printing allows additive manufacturing of metal components. Photo via Digital Alloys.

Developing one of the lightest satellites in the world, Indian 3D printer manufacturer 3Ding, and students at the Hindustan Institute of Technology and Sciences, created a 3D printed a cube satellite set for launch on a NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility at Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

Known as Jai Hind 1-S, the cube, weighing 33.3 grams, was crafted as a submission for Cubes in Space, a free, global competition for students ages 11-18.

The Jai Hind 1-S. Photo via 3Ding
The Jai Hind 1-S. Photo via 3Ding.

The Liquid Factory

Causing excitement in both the 3D printing and fashion industry, Reebok and its materials provider BASF released details about its Liquid Factory sneaker 3D printing technology. Acting as a step towards production, Reebok opened a Rhode Island facility where 3D printed shoes will be made.

The white model of Reebok’s new “Liquid Speed” branded shoe. Photo via Reebok.

The Bugatti Divo

Also drawing attention to the capabilities of additive manufacturing at the Quail, A Motorsports Gathering.was the Bugatti Divo. With a price tag of €5 million, the Bugatti Divo supercar displayed 3D printed fin taillights, which were designed for optimum handling performance on winding roads.

“The Divo is a further example of our design philosophy ‘Form follows Performance‘. In this case, the engineers and designers aimed to create a vehicle focusing on cornering speeds and lateral dynamics,” said Achim Anscheidt, Director of Design at Bugatti.

The Bugatti Divo. Photo via Bugatti.
The Bugatti Divo. Photo via Bugatti.

Facebook’s stance on 3D printed guns

Contributing to the debate over 3D printed guns, social media giant Facebook became the latest organization to weigh in on the discussion in an update to its Community Guidelines. The platform stated: “Sharing instructions on how to print firearms using 3D printers is not allowed under our Community Standards,” much to Cody Wilson’s dismay.

The Plastic Liberator 3D printed gun. Photo by Lorenza Baroncelli
Banned from Facebook: The Plastic Liberator 3D printed gun. Photo by Lorenza Baroncelli.

Finally, in hardware developments, Aleph Objects, the Colorado-based manufacturer of the LulzBot range of desktop 3D Printers, unveiled a new, high-precision tool head at SIGGRAPH 2018 in Vancouver –  the LulzBot Aerostruder v2 Micro.

A penny-sized octopus printed using the new Aerostruder v2 Micro Tool Head. Photo via Aleph Objects.
A penny-sized octopus printed using the new Aerostruder v2 Micro Tool Head. Photo via Aleph Objects.

Who made the best contribution to the 3D printing industry? Make your nominations now for the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2019.

Also, for the latest 3D Printing Industry news throughout 2019  subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Looking for a fresh start in the new year? Visit 3D Printing Jobs to get a head start.

Featured image shows the Bugatti Divo, complete with 3D printed taillights. 





Source link

Leave a Reply