3D Printing News Briefs: May 26, 2017


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There’s a lot going on in the 3D printing world this week! In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’ll cover everything from 3D printed clothing to 3D printing materials and 3D printers themselves. The ShareCloth team is announcing its new software solution for fashion 3D printing, while MIT researchers have developed a moisture-responsive workout suit, and Nano Dimension has another new beta customer for its DragonFly 2020 3D printer. i.materialise has increased its 3D printing size for aluminum parts, and Shapeways has improved the pricing structure for its Frosted Ultra Detail material. Finally, the affordable BuildOne 3D printer by Robotic Industries hits Kickstarter, and Impossible Objects’ Model One 3D printer won big at the recent RAPID + TCT event.

ShareCloth Announces Fashion 3D Printing Software Solution

Manufacturing clothing through 3D printing allows for new design paths, and adoption of the technology is quickly growing in the fashion industry. In order to enable customized creations and product design for fashion innovators, ShareCloth has announced a new software solution for 3D printed garment designers. Typically, when fashion designers are working with 3D printing, they have to use complex 3D editors that are more suited for other 3D printing tasks. ShareCloth’s new application, the Windows and OS X-compatible ShareCloth editor, allows these designers to optimize their unique fashion designs for 3D printing, even including the import of more traditional clothing patterns.

The application, scheduled for release this September, has many helpful features, including:

  • detailed virtual fitting
  • direct G-code generation
  • DXF support
  • digital fabric settings

ShareCloth has collaborated with some young designers, and is working within the Moscow Design Biennale framework, to present a capsule collection of basic 3D printed clothes, using traditional garment patterns.

MIT Researchers Develop Moisture-Responsive bioLogic Workout Suit

An MIT research team, supported by the MIT Media Lab and the Singapore-MIT Alliance, has designed a breathable, moisture-responsive workout suit, featuring ventilating flaps which open and close in response to the wearer’s sweat and body heat. The flaps are lined with live microbial cells that shrink and expand in a response to humidity changes, basically acting as sensors and actuators.

Some living things and their components, like microbial cells and pine cone scales, can change structure or volume due to a change in humidity, and the MIT team came up with a hypothesis that natural shape-shifters, like bacteria, could be used to develop moisture-responsive fabrics. The researchers used a cell bioprinting method to print lines of engineered common E. coli onto latex sheets, and exposed the fabric to varying moisture conditions to test its capabilities. Then they worked the biofabric into a garment. The team also developed a running shoe with the biofabric, which has an inner layer of cell-lined flaps that can air out and wick away moisture. The team’s work on the bioLogic project was recently published in a paper in Science Advances.

Xuanhe Zhao, a co-author on the paper and the Robert N. Noyce Career Development Associate Professor in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering, said, “This work is an example of harnessing the power of biology to design new materials and devices and achieve new functions. We believe this new field of ‘living’ materials and devices will find important applications at the interface between engineering and biological systems.”

Nano Dimension Announces Latest Beta Customer

Israel-based 3D printed electronics company Nano Dimension, which recently announced that it had hit its Q1 beta customer goal for 2017, just delivered its flagship DragonFly 2020 3D printer to its latest beta customer, a renewable energy company in the field of solar energy, also located in Israel. The company delivered the 3D printer, which is designed for printing multi-layer PCBs and advanced nanotechnology-based conductive and dielectric inks, to a total of six beta customers in 2016, and with this latest company, has already surpassed that number for 2017.

This newest beta customer will follow its predecessors and examine Nano Dimension’s technology by leasing the DragonFly 2020 and using it to speed up its own product development cycles and shore up its in-house innovation capabilities, while also qualifying the technology and giving Nano Dimension feedback that will be used for later product development.

i.materialise Increases 3D Printing Size for Aluminum Material

It’s been nearly a year since Belgium-based online 3D printing service bureau i.materialise introduced its aluminum 3D printing material, shortly after it had added its Chrome-Plated Brass material. The service, which also offers several other metal 3D printing materials like titanium and steel, noticed that its customers were often requesting aluminum as a 3D printing material for larger objects. That’s why i.materialise announced that it has decided to increase the printing size for aluminum prints by a whopping 162%.

Nothing else changes – you can still upload your 3D file, choose aluminum from the list of materials, and place your order. But instead of the old maximum printing size of 250 x 250 x 295 mm for aluminum prints, you can now order them up to 500 x 280 x 345 mm.

Shapeways Improves Pricing Structure for Frosted Ultra Detail Material

Many designers who have used the Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) family of 3D printing plastics by Shapeways have asked that the material be more competitively priced, and Shapeways listened. The 3D printing service bureau wants to improve the material overall, and is starting with its approach to pricing FUD. The new pricing structure is a direct result of balancing requests from Shapeways community members with the material properties, in order to get a better price for FUD models. In order to lower prices on at least 70% of the FUD models Shapeways sells, the more granular pricing breakdown, which will make some larger models more expensive but most smaller models less so, takes into account five main elements that all FUD models possess.

Starting this week, when Shapeways users visit their My Products page, a downloadable CSV file will be available, to show how much the model prices will change. Shapeways is also offering some helpful tips to design cheaper FUD products within the new pricing structure, and will soon be introducing a new ready-to-paint FUD option, as well as a tool so users can set the print orientation for their models.

Robotic Industries Launches $99 BuildOne 3D Printer on Kickstarter

A team of industry and Kickstarter veterans make up Robotic Industries, which just began a Kickstarter campaign for its BuildOne consumer 3D printer. The modular 3D printer, which features auto bed leveling, WiFi, and mobile support, only weighs four pounds and costs just $99, and also comes with plenty of affordable add-ons, like a full enclosure and a PEI bed.

Erik Kettenburg, the BuildOne team leader, told 3DPrint.com, “The features and quality of the BuildOne greatly exceeds printers many times the cost and the BuildOne has been designed to be very easy to use, requiring no leveling or calibration.”

The BuildOne prints with PLA material, and can also use ABS with a heated bed, and has a 125 x 125 x 125 mm print area. The printer comes flat packed, only requiring mild assembly, and uses open source software. The campaign will end on June 22, but has already surpassed its original goal. For a pledge of $114, you can get the BuildOne Plus Edition, which comes with an upgraded PEI build plate, and the Deluxe Edition, for $149, also includes a heated bed and display upgrade. Shipping for the BuildOne 3D printer is expected to start this September.

Impossible Objects Wins RAPID + TCT Innovation Award

At this month’s RAPID + TCT 2017 event, Illinois-based Impossible Objects formally introduced its pilot Model One machine for the first time, with its innovative composite-based additive manufacturing (CBAM) method. The judges were obviously impressed by the Model One, as it’s just been announced that the machine received the RAPID + TCT Innovation Award, beating out dozens of other 3D printing companies and experts at the event. This award is given to the new product, or service, exhibited at RAPID that the judges deem to be most impactful in the industry.

Chris Williams, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech and one of the judges, said, “The judges awarded the 2017 RAPID Exhibitor Innovation Award to Impossible Objects CBAM technology as its novel layer-wise composites processing technology offered an innovative solution that could provide significant value to its customers and to the industry as a whole. The award was well-deserved given CBAM’s potential for high-speed production of high-strength composite parts with complex geometries.”

Impossible Objects’ Model One 3D printer, together with its CBAM technology, will allow companies to create stronger parts faster, and at scale, with a wider range of high-quality materials, including Kevlar and carbon fiber. Additionally, the company announced its Model One pilot program at RAPID, and has rolled out the printer to select Fortune 500 customers, including Jabil; it will become generally available to the public by early 2018.

Discuss these stories in the News Briefs forum at 3DPB.com.


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