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3D Printing: The Stories We Missed This Week — December 24, 2016


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Even with the holiday season here, the 3D printing industry has still been in full swing this past week. On this week’s festive edition of “The Stories We Missed,” we’ve got everything from charitable toy drives to reindeer—ehem—deer antlers. For starters, the MakerHealth Space at the University of Texas Medical Branch has been 3D printing toys for the local Pediatrics Toy Drive. Scientists from the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) are turning to 3D printing to learn more about the toughness of deer antlers. Avante Technology has unveiled their new Fabricatus High Precision Desktop 3D printer, engineered to produce injection molds and reasonably priced at $3,750. The Springfield, Massachusetts-based Orthotics & Prosthetics Labs has upgraded their practice with 3D scanning and 3D printing systems. The 3D printing retailer iMakr doubled their sales in 2016 by implementing an application-specific strategy for their customer base. MakerBot has expanded their reach by appointing the technology solutions provider Arkinfo as an authorized 3D printer distributor in India. Lastly, the Italian rapid prototyping service Juno Design drops a rocking promo video to showcase their integration of 3D printing technology into their production workflow for motorcycle parts.

University of Texas MakerHealth Space 3D Prints Toys for Holiday Drive

swm-makerspaceWith the holiday season in full effect, what better way to use a 3D printing makerspace than as a toy factory? That’s exactly what the MakerHealth Space at the University of Texas Medical Branch transformed into this past week. At night, the healthcare-driven space was used to 3D print toys for the Pediatrics Toy Drive. As shown in the video below, the space has been using an Ultimaker 2 Extended to 3D print little elephants, frogs, and much more. The collaboration between the Medical Branch and Department of Pediatrics was coordinated by Tanya Vasquez. The toy drive will benefit the UTMB Children’s Hospital, pediatric patients, the Maternal-Child HIV Program, and Childhood Cancer Connection. Watch the MakerHealth Space transform into Santa’s 3D printing toy factory below!

Scientists Use 3D Printing to Study Toughness of Deer Antlers

swm-deerA group of researchers from Queen Mary University of London’s School of Engineering and Materials Science will be using 3D printing technology to help figure out what makes deer antlers so tough. The scientists have utilized computer modeling and x-ray technology to study the antler structure at the nano-level, which led them to discover that the fibrils in the antlers are staggered instead of aligned. This also allows the antlers to absorb brash impact endured from clashes with other deer. The research, published in the ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering journal, uses the information gathered on deer antlers to learn more about the structural modeling of bone. According to co-author Dr. Ettore Barbieri, the next step for the research team is “to create a 3D printed model with fibres arranged in staggered configuration and linked by an elastic interface.” The next step is to prove that 3D printing technology is capable of producing a damage resistant composite material similar to these resilient deer antlers.

The New Fabricatus High Precision Desktop 3D Printer Produces Injection Molds at a Low Cost

fabricatus-printer-low-resThe Cheyenne, Wyoming-based 3D printing company Avante Technology has just unveiled the new Fabricatus High Precision Desktop 3D Printer. The desktop machine is capable of 3D printing injection molds, compression molds, fixtures, and other high-performance parts. The retail price for the Fabricatus is just $3,750, and includes two reels of FilaOne high performance composite filaments and Emendo STL file repair software. According to Avante Technology, their new printer is engineered to produce injection molds in a much quicker and cost-efficient way. The printer is equipped with dual independent hot ends and high torque stepper motors that are able to extrude high performance and engineering-grade plastics. Additionally, the desktop machine prints with exceptional precision, touting a .05 mm layer height and 40 mm per second print speed. As a special promotion, the Fabricatus will be priced at $3,250 until January 15, 2017.

“This printer is targeted at tooling and manufacturing engineers who seek to design, build and revise tooling, molds and fixtures faster and cheaper than using conventional means,” said Robert Zollo, CEO of Avante Technology. “This is the first, high precision plastic mold printing solution available for under $5,000.”

Orthotics & Prosthetics Labs Acquires 3D Scanning and Printing Technology


The Spectra 3D scanner

Based out of Springfield, Massachusetts, Orthotics & Prosthetics Labs made some major upgrades to their facility with a whole array of 3D technology. The lab has recently acquired Vorum’s new Spectra 3D scanner and Canfit software, as well as Create Orthotics and Prosthetics’ 3D printing system. The medical practice will use the Spectra 3D scanner to create a highly accurate 3D model of the patient’s limb within a matter of minutes. The scan will then be adjusted in the Canfit software to properly fit a prosthetic before it’s 3D printed. After utilizing Vorum’s 3D scanner and software, the prosthetic will be printed with the application-specific Create Orthotics and Prosthetics 3D printer. The technological enhancements will allow Orthotics & Prosthetics Labs to increase productivity and produce a better fitting prosthetic, while also eliminating the time-consuming need to physically redo casting. Vorum has also helped bring 3D printed prosthetics to Uganda.

“Spectra and Canfit have given us a new way to enhance a patient’s experience,” said Jim Haas, certified orthotist and president of Orthotics & Prosthetics Labs. “A previously time-consuming process is now completed in just a few hours, translating into better patient care and superior outcomes.”

iMakr Doubles Sales in 2016 by Focusing in on Application-Specific 3D Printing

imakrIt’s been a busy year for 3D printing retail chain iMakr, from hosting their own desktop 3D printing shows to launching a 3D printing service bureau called UrbanManufacturing. The hard work seems to have paid off, as iMakr recently announced that they have doubled their sales in 2016. The company attributes their successful fiscal year to their new market strategy, which was to focus in on individual sectors for their multi-application customer base. The company extended their reach into the healthcare market by launching iMakr Med, featuring the Rokit Invivo bioprinter and the B9Creator Dental DLP printer. Additionally, iMakr also added the EinScan-Pro handheld 3D scanner, plus eco-friendly filaments from TreeD, the Cubicon 3D printer line, the MiiCraft DLP printer series, and more to their extensive product range.

MakerBot Expands in India With New Authorized Distribution Partner Arkinfo

makerbot-logo-kickstarter-1.originalThis past week, MakerBot Asia Pacific & Japan expanded their reach in India by appointing the technology solutions provider ARK Infosolutions Pvt Limited—better known as Arkinfo— as a new authorized distributor for their 3D printing products. The new partnership will give MakerBot the opportunity to increase their local footprint in the country by offering 3D printing solutions tailored for professionals and educators. Arkinfo will sell the MakerBot Replicator+, MakerBot Replicator Mini+, MakerBot Slate Gray Tough PLA, and more. The New Dehli-based distributor is known to provide support to local schools, and thus will give MakerBot an opportunity to spread their education-focused products. The distribution deal has already had an impact on India’s educational landscape, as MakerBot will be utilized to support Arkinfo’s creative education program called Mindbox. All in all, the announcement proves that the Stratasys subsidiary seems to be focusing on the sector where they excel best: education.

“3D printing technology is rising to become one of the backbones to transform India’s design and manufacturing landscape, and it is important that we provide the community and equip our next generation to prepare for this transformation. We are happy to partner with MakerBot, a premium provider of desktop 3D printing technology, to our portfolio, thereby fulfilling our vision, giving students first-hand experience of product design through an engaging and interactive way,” commented Binish Parikh, Vice President, ARK Infosolutions Pvt Ltd.

Juno Design Uses 3D Printing to Help Produce Motorcycle Parts

junoThis past week, Italian-based rapid prototyping firm and MakerBot reseller Juno Design, a spin-off of Studio Pedrini, released a kickass promo video to showcase how they’ve used desktop 3D printing to help produce parts for motorcycles. The video features insight on how Juno has integrated 3D printing technology into the production workflow for parts. Backed by roaring rock music, the team redesigns and prototypes motorcycle parts with a MakerBot Replicator Z18. Watch the promo video below! Discuss in the Stories We Missed forum at




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