On this week’s edition of “The Stories We Missed This Week,” we’ve got a fresh stack of 3D printing industry news from all over the world. For starters, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer were given a tour of the new Innovation Centre developed by the 3D printing tech company Renishaw. Machinists in Chongqing, China are utilizing 3D printing technology to help repair bullet trains. The 3D printing service bureau Materialise just opened a new medical 3D printing facility in Japan, as well as a new office in Sydney, Australia. Eighth grade students from the Himalaya Public School in Dehli successfully created a working 3D printed robot hand. The Italian filament producer TreeD has just released their new P-LENE polypropylene filament, which aims to provide users with injection molded strength. Lastly, Sculpteo gives us an inside look at their 3D printing factory through a video performance of the viral “Mannequin Challenge.”
UK Prime Minister Pays Visit to Renishaw’s New Innovation Centre
Known for their expertise in using metal 3D printing for healthcare solutions, Renishaw has become a pioneer for new technological developments in the United Kingdom. This past week, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond visited the 3D printing company’s Innovation Centre to get a firsthand look at their work in precision measurement, metal 3D printing, and healthcare. Prior to the visit the Prime Minister announced a new Industrial Strategy for the UK, which includes a commitment to increase government investment in research and innovation to £2 billion per year by 2020. During the tour, the government officials were given a look at how Renishaw’s metal 3D printing technology is used for various healthcare applications, including neurosurgery, dentistry, and custom medical devices for facial reconstructive surgery.
Sir David McMurtry, Renishaw’s chairman and chief executive, said: “It was a pleasure to host the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer and to be able to show them how a long-term commitment to research and development, backed up by large investments in manufacturing, marketing and skills development, has enabled Renishaw to sustain success for over 40 years.”
Machinists in Chongqing Use 3D Printer to Repair Bullet Trains
One of the most efficient and widely utilized modes of transportation in all of China is the high-speed train system. This past week, news surfaced that a young machinist named Xu Mingze had built and utilized a 3D printer to help repair potential faults in bullet trains from the city of Chongqing. The project began while the young engineer was searching online for 3D model train parts he could print. After studying these model parts, Xu and his colleagues were able to figure out the internal structures of the trains, allowing them to fix and improve them for the future. Xu constructed a delta-style 3D printer to print the models, though it’s unclear which kit was used. Regardless, the study on high-speed trains by Xu Mingze and his colleagues showcases how valuable 3D printing technology is to manufacturing and maintaining methods of transportation.
Materialise Opens Medical 3D Printing Factory in Japan, Office in Australia
This past week was filled with some major international expansions by the Belgium-based 3D printing service bureau Materialise. First off, their office in Japan announced the opening of a new medical 3D printing facility, which will act as a localized service for patient-specific surgical guides and anatomical models for orthopedic and cranio-maxillofacial surgeries. The project, which was spearheaded by Materialise’s medical production manager Toshihiko Kawamura and business development manager Hiroaki Ozaki, will allow customers in Japan to receive their product in a much faster and less costly manner.
Additionally, Materialise also made a big splash in the land down under by opening a new local office in Sydney, Australia. The new localized center will be dedicated to providing Australian customers with better service and customer support. They will focus on planning tools in the fields of Orthopedics and CMF, as well as patient-specific guides and implants for complex surgeries. The new staff includes Operations Manager Mei Khing Ong, Business Development Manager Ashok Ilankovan, Clinical Engineer Helina Yusof, and Clinical Engineer Johnathan Ell.
Eighth Grade Students in Dehli Create Functional 3D Printed Robot Hand
All throughout the world, 3D printing technology is being increasingly utilized as an educational tool for kids of all ages. The latest example of this comes from the Himalaya Public School in Delhi, India, where an eighth grade class and their teachers successfully 3D printed a functional robotic hand. The project, completed with educational 3D printing service bureau 3Dexter, was started to help the students harness their problem solving and critical thinking skills, and points to the potential that 3D printing has to reshape the way teaching in India is conducted. For their next project, the students involved plan to design and 3D print an electronic curtain roller and wall clocks that can be used in their classroom.
“With the help of 3D printing students are able to give shape to their imagination and create designs without any restrictions. 3D printing is helping them think beyond the regular designs and create something out of the box. This robotic hand is their first creation and they have a long way to go,” said Raghav, a 3Dexter teacher.
TreeD Releases Powerful P-LENE Polypropylene Filament
Aiming to overcome the issue of material functionality in 3D printing, the Italian filament producer TreeD has just released the new P-LENE Polypropylene filament. The polypropylene-based material is a thermoplastic polymer widely known for its high resistance and rigidity, but hasn’t been reformulated for 3D printing until now. According to TreeD, the P-LENE filament offers 95% of the material characteristics of injection molded objects, including high mechanical strength, toughness, wear proof, and chemical resistance. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the new filament, TreeD has also created the LENEPLATE build plate. The solid metal print plate alleviates the need for adhesive solutions, and has been specifically developed for use with their P-LENE filament. The recommended print settings for the filament are quite standard, suggesting a build plate temperature of around 100°C, a nozzle temperature of 245°C, and a print speed of 60-70 mm/s. In addition to providing high impact and chemical resistance, P-LENE also prevents water absorption and doesn’t break under stress.
Sculpteo Gives Inside Look at 3D Printing Factory with Mannequin Challenge Video
Lastly, thanks to the viral sensation of the “Mannequin Challenge,” the French 3D printing service bureau Sculpteo gave us an inside look at the daily operations of their factory (along with some shenanigans). The cameraperson introduces us to each motionless employee as they showcase the daily procedure within their 3D printing factory. The video is filled with awesome 3D printing equipment, nerf guns, and quite a few good laughs. Check it out below!
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