New frontier in 3D Printing materials: fur, brushes and bristles (Video)

These days, it may seem as if 3-D printers can spit out just about anything, from a full-sized sports car, to edible food, to human skin. But some things have defied the technology, including hair, fur, and other dense arrays of extremely fine features, which require a huge amount of computational time and power to first design, then print.

Now researchers in MIT’s Media Lab have found a way to bypass a major design step in 3-D printing, to quickly and efficiently model and print thousands of hair-like structures. Instead of using conventional computer-aided design (CAD) software to draw thousands of individual hairs on a computer — a step that would take hours to compute — the team built a new software platform, called “Cilllia,” that lets users define the angle, thickness, density, and height of thousands of hairs, in just a few minutes. Continue reading “New frontier in 3D Printing materials: fur, brushes and bristles (Video)”

Polaroid becomes first global household name to launch 3D printer range

Polaroid, one of the world’s most trusted brands, has confirmed a three-year partnership with UK manufacturer Environmental Business Products (EBP).

EBP is Europe’s largest and longest established collector and remanufacturer of inkjet cartridges with over 20-years experience and credibility in the print industry. In 2014, the company diversified into the 3D printing market introducing the technology to their European customers. Continue reading “Polaroid becomes first global household name to launch 3D printer range”

Gripping Developments by ABB and Materialise: 3D printed robotic grippers ‘YuMi’ (Video)

If you want to visualize the supermarket of the future, you need the tools of the future. At the EXPO MILANO 2015, the Future Food District featured all kinds of new technologies working on different areas of the food chain. Among them, we saw ABB’s exhibit YuMi, originally designed to automate small parts assembly in the consumer electronics industry. And Materialise’s 3D-printed grippers are giving YuMi a hand. (For a deeper look into how we designed the grippers, check out our case study!) Continue reading “Gripping Developments by ABB and Materialise: 3D printed robotic grippers ‘YuMi’ (Video)”

New 3D Printing Process for Bioceramics Presented by Multistation

High-performance ceramics are seen as the next frontier for industrial rapid prototyping, some manufacturing and also, as we have begun to see recently, for biofabrication and 3D bioprinting. Biocerawax, a new AM process which is being presented by French 3D printer distributor Multistation, focuses on this latest aspect by introducing a new method for low-cost, bioceramic 3D printing based on Solidscape’s DoD (Drop on Demand) high-res, wax-based AM process. Continue reading “New 3D Printing Process for Bioceramics Presented by Multistation”

Johannes Overvelde, Harvard University, Presents: “Embracing compliance in robots to achieve function”

Johannes Overvelde, Harvard University, will speak about “Embracing compliance in robots to achieve function” during the 3D Printing Materials Conference, January 26-27, 2016.

Soft robots and devices have the potential to be more robust, adaptable, and safer for human interaction than traditional rigid systems. State-of-the-art developments push these actuated systems towards applications such as rehabilitation devices, exoskeletons for increased strength, and grippers that can handle very diverse objects. We have just started to explore the possibility of 3D printing in these systems. Think for example of an untethered soft robot that comprises 3D printed functionally graded material to solve problems related to interfacing rigid driving components to soft materials. In coming years, the fast developing field of 3D printing will likely result in completely soft robots that do not require any assembly.

Continue reading “Johannes Overvelde, Harvard University, Presents: “Embracing compliance in robots to achieve function””

3D Printed Hair: Fused Deposition Modeling of Soft Strands, Fibers, and Bristles (Video)

Gierad Laput, Xiang ‘Anthony’ Chen, Chris Harrison (UIST 2015)

We introduce a technique for furbricating 3D printed hair, fibers and bristles, by exploiting the stringing phenomena inherent in fused deposition modeling 3D printers. Our approach offers a range of design parameters for controlling the properties of single strands and also of hair bundles. Continue reading “3D Printed Hair: Fused Deposition Modeling of Soft Strands, Fibers, and Bristles (Video)”

Stratasys invests in a seed-stage startup that is working on a metal inkjet 3D printer

The most common 3D printers we currently read or hear about print with plastic in some form. Due to its less-durable reputation, compared to metal, the perception exists that the outcome, the printed part, is cheap or useless for anything other than a trinket, keepsake, or prototype model. While that perception is untrue, or inaccurate, many people believe 3D printing will not achieve real market penetration until a metal printer becomes affordable like the popular thermoplastic printers today. Continue reading “Stratasys invests in a seed-stage startup that is working on a metal inkjet 3D printer”

New Compact Printer Can 3D Print a Building in One Day (Video)

At first glimpse, the world of 3D printing does seem magical, as do the projections for the future. This includes every level, from manufacturing to the desktop. It would seem that one day, thanks to many thousands of innovators creating and competing around the world, there will be a 3D printer and a material for meeting our every personal and very customized need. With new processes in manufacturing and production that offer greater quality, speed, and affordability, our lives will become different–and better–due to greater efficiency and the ability to be more independent and self-sustainable. And the bottom line is, we will do a lot less waiting. Continue reading “New Compact Printer Can 3D Print a Building in One Day (Video)”