What do Nike shoes, chocolate, robots, nylon glue and new medical technologies all have in common? They are all featured stories in this week’s stories we weren’t able to fully cover. We begin with the fact that Nike is closer to 3D printing shoes on a mass scale with the news that it filed its patent for 3D printing technology about three years ago. And, you may need those Nike shoes to work out more since the 3D printing of chocolate is becoming more refined with the release of a new printer from Choc Edge. A successful Kickstarter campaign for an easy to make Lego-like robot kit may include 3D printing if it hits its $300,000 goal, and taulman3D has filled a market niche by manufacturing a new nylon glue. Two 3D printing medical operations–OCTE Technologies and 4WEB Medical–continue to expand: one in the US and one in India. And finally, Sculpteo has added a grey plastic material to its printing options, so it doesn’t have to be white all the time anymore!
Nike Patented its 3D Printing Technology
It seems like it was quite the week for 3D printing and athletic shoe companies.We have recently covered Adidas’ intention to scan people’s feet in stores and then have their new shoes 3D printed, and Nike COO Eric Sprunk addressed GeekWire Summit and stated that 3D printing shoes was not that far off. Next in Nike news it appears that the company is even closer to this possibility than many realize. On October 13, 2015, soon after Sprunk’s comments about 3D printing, Nike was awarded its patented for its 3D printing technology. This patent, detailing the mechanics and technology that will be involved, was filed in September of 2012: almost three years ago. So, the possibility of bringing a file into a store, and ordering a pair of printed shoes to your exact measurements, or even printing at home, appears closer than many of us thought.
Choc Creator 2.0 Gains More Edge in 3D Printed Chocolate
Devon, UK-based Choc Edge will release its chocolate printer at London’s Chocolate Show October 16-18, 2015. The first version was created in 2012, and revealed a demand for such a printer, and the latest version comes with some upgrades like a 30mL stainless steel syringe with removable nozzle, to control the temperature, chocolate flow, allow the machine to run longer, and make larger and more precise prints. It has a touch screen, and can work independent of a computer. Also, with a smaller footprint and a larger platform–it can print bigger designs, which is good news for people who want to make chocolate art projects and not just dessert. This new machine will be marketed for chocolatiers, bakers, chefs, marketing firms, and retailers who have all shown an interest in the idea. We’ve been following the updates on the Choc Edge devices, and surely this latest will only bring us closer to that perfectly printed chocolate.
Kickstarter Campaign for Robot Wunderkind Offers New Possible 3D Printable Option
Programmable robots that work like Legos with 3D printable open source accessories? No wonder people are pledging so much! The creators of Robo Wunderkind, a robot that’s easy to build, wanted to reach their $70,000 Kickstarter goal by October 30. And they passed this by raising almost triple the amount with about two weeks to go! Now, if they reach $300,000 they are setting their sights on offering 3D printable accessories and a platform for users to share accessory designs. Apparently, the idea of a Lego-compatible modular and colorful robot kit that is easy to code has struck a chord, and even better–it is designed for children 5 years old and up! With an app (for iOS and Android phones with a Word app due out in September of 2016) that introduces the concept of coding to children, the technology is very accessible. The robot can be programmed to play recorded messages and music; respond to light; solve mazes; drive around while avoiding obstacles; blink when lights are turned off; and much more… If you are interested in this educational and fun new kind of toy, that may include 3D printable elements if they raise about $89,000 more, head on over to the Kickstarter page and check out what you can get for pledging.
taulman3D Produces New Nylon Glue
When taulman3D started producing their nylon materials, they also learned that two manufacturing companies halted production of their nylon glue products. So, the next thing to manufacture is nylon glue, right? Right. ComPlete, a modified Cyanoacrylate adhesive, comes in 20g bottles, and meets ASTM standards of strength of joints. (None of the glued joints broke before the nylon material broke during testing.) These tests were performed on actual 3D printed ASTM samples. Most 3D printed surfaces are polymer rows, and so the contact area can be ribbed and is almost never truly flat–making it difficult to glue together parts while retaining smooth surfaces. An effective glue has to “secure the mated pieces even at minimal total contact area.” And this is exactly what the people at taulman3D report their new glue does!
OCTE Technologies Brings Bioprinting to India
Organ, Cell and Tissue Engineering or OCTE Technologies, which is an associate of Sahas Softech LLP, is a new 3D printing venture focusing on the medical/healthcare sector. The first of its kind in India to work on bioprinted products, we first covered this group when they successfully printed a heart model for a complex pediatric surgery. It has already been widely discussed how these models, exact replicas of the organs being operated on, help prepare surgeons for surgeries. They also save valuable time, which could be lifesaving, if the procedure is complex and time-sensitive. Now, OCTE Technologies wants to further its reach into medicine and healthcare by offering a more concentrated focus on bioprinted models. In order to announce its new, more concentrated focus, on 3D printing for medicine, OCTE has released a YouTube video that features many professionals, professors, and physicians extolling the virtues of the wedding of engineering and medicine. Check the video out to see what OCTE Technologies is all about.
4WEB Medical 3D Prints Posterior Spine Truss System for Faster Healing
In more 3D printed medical news, 4WEB Medical was the first US medical device manufacturer to make a 3D printed spine implant and now it is moving forward with a 3D printed Posterior Spine Truss System. The system, which has 150 different implant options, is comprised of devices with applications across a wide array of procedures. Simply stated, with this many options, physicians are better able to help patients by finding the best fit for a patient’s exact anatomy. One surgeon, Joseph O’Brien, MD, Medical Director of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at The George Washington University, remarked that 4WEB has produced “truss designs with distinct structural mechanics that have considerable potential to accelerate healing for my patients.” Founded in Texas in 2008, 4WEB’s 3D printed truss implants have been used in surgery worldwide about 6000 times since 2013. The company has produced many incredible medical firsts that we have been following here at 3DPrint.com.
Sculpteo Adds Plastic Grey Material as an Option
When you want something that’s printed in a color, the steps Sculpteo takes is to print it in white plastic nylon and then sandblast and possibly dye the model. But it you want something grey throughout, you can do that now. Sculpteo has recently announced that it has added a plastic grey material as an option, instead of white. And this material is more resistant to friction and aging: it has more longevity. If you print a model in white and dye it, that color pigment you’ve chosen isn’t infused into the material. The color is on the surface instead. The substance of both the white and grey material is the same: it’s a polyamide (PA 12) used in Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printing. If you order something printed in the new grey, expect a delay between 4-8 days. Once your print arrives, you can play with it, touch it, or stick it in a sunny window–Sculpteo claims the color won’t wear off! So get busy thinking about how you can use the new color in something you want to have around a long time!
These stories round out some of this week’s news we didn’t cover! Which were your favorites? Let us know in the 3D Printing Stories We Missed forum thread on 3DPB.com.