Happy Halloween! To celebrate, check out our 3D Printing News Briefs – we’re starting with some virtual reality research, then moving right along with all sorts of new innovations and products in the 3D printing world. European researchers are working on VR that won’t make users feel ill, while a hospital in India sets up a 3D printing lab and ELIX Polymers has launched new medical 3D printing filaments. Kodak is entering the 3D printing arena, a Polish SLS 3D printer will be introduced at formnext, and a Swedish design studio is selling 3D printed decorative designs. Finally, BB-8 builder Matt Denton offers up more details on his latest 3D printed LEGO project.
Case Study About Non-Queasy Virtual Reality Experience
Optimal VR experiences are both quick and visually sharp, but the lag between our eye movement and when a VR display changes, called latency, can make users feel nauseated. Researchers with Brunel University London, Saarland University, and Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences carried out a user case study of a novel image rendering technique they created that can reduce this latency. Participants wore Oculus Rift DK2 VR headsets and watched nearly 100 8-second-long VR videos while a tracker mapped their eye movements; then, they were asked if the video they just saw had any flickering edges and blurriness.
“Our method can be used to generate visually pleasant VR results at high update rates,” said Thorsten Roth, with Brunel’s Department of Computing. “This paves the way to delivering a real-seeming VR experience while reducing the likelihood you’ll feel queasy.”
The technique builds on foveated rendering – the center of the field of vision is called the fovea, and offers the sharpest visuals, with visual acuity lessening as it reaches the outer regions of the field. Results of the study showed a ‘sweet spot’ where the image quality was good, but where more detail wasn’t necessarily an improvement. To learn more about the study and the technique, you can check out the paper the researchers published.
3D Printing Lab in Indian Hospital
After using the Materialise HeartPrint solution for two successful congenital heart defect (CHD) surgeries, the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) in India decided to set up a dedicated 3D printing lab, becoming one of the first hospitals in the country to do so. AIMS hopes that by doing so, it can strengthen patient care in the country, which sees a high amount of CHD cases.
“I was constantly challenged by patients with very complex heart diseases, especially pediatric cases where children grew up with several congenital defects, as these cases may become increasingly difficult to understand and plan a surgery for,” said Dr. Mahesh Kappanayil. “For these cases, 3D Printing is a true game-changer because 3D-printed anatomical models give me the information I need to better understand the issues and cardiac pathology, and I can use these insights to plan the best approach.”
AIMS worked with Materialise to integrate 3D printing technology into the daily workflow, and is now using Materialse Mimics inPrint to prepare virtual 3D model files for 3D printing. These are used for trainee courses, and have been integral to the success of ten recent pediatric heart surgeries.
ELIX Polymers Introduces New Medical Filaments
Speaking of 3D printing in the medical field, at last week’s Fakuma plastics processing trade show, specialty ABS manufacturer ELIX Polymers showcased its range of global filament grades for healthcare applications. The company offers over 130 colors of filament that are approved for use in medical devices and have been used in respiratory devices, product housings, infusion systems, and auto-injector devices. The grades have excellent chemical resistance, a well-balanced property profile, and good flow behavior.
“ELIX medical ABS grades meet the stringent requirements of the medical device industry. Our range includes two USP Class VI and ISO 19993 biocompatibility grades, which have registered device and drug master file approvals for use in medical and food-contact applications in Europe and the USA. We supply leading medical injection moulders and global pharmaceutical companies on both continents,” said Aurelie Mannella, Industry Manager Healthcare.
The company recently launched ELIX M545TF, a medical grade material that can be used in products that come into contact with food, and biocompatible ELIX ABS-3D FC filament for FFF 3D printing.
Kodak Introducing 3D Printer and Materials
This week, imaging technology company Kodak signed Smart International as its global brand licensee for 3D printing, which will expand Kodak to the 3D printing world. The KODAK 3D Printing Ecosystem is for professional 3D printing, and includes the company’s new KODAK Portrait 3D Printer, which can produce eye-catching prints for classrooms, architectural studios, and creative workspaces. Additionally, Kodak is also releasing its 3D Printing Filament, featuring a high melt flow index, low moisture content, and a precise diameter and roundness for making quality prints.
“Professional 3D printing is a fast-evolving growth category Kodak has had its eye on for a while,” said Joel Satin, VP Director of Brand Licensing for Kodak. “We are happy to add a strong and innovative licensee like Smart International to our portfolio of brand licensees.”
The KODAK Portrait 3D Printer won’t be available until Q1 2018, but KODAK 3D Printing Filaments can be purchased starting this December.
Polish SLS 3D Printer at formnext
Polish engineers have developed what is being called the country’s first industrial SLS 3D printer, the SONDASYS 01, which will have its worldwide premiere in a few weeks at formnext. With the exception of high temperature powders, the printer can work with any material, and comes with a model cleaning station and powder mixer. It also has a patented, variable build system – the chamber starts with a 250 x 250 x 350 mm capacity, and can be scaled up to 350 x 350 x 600 mm.
The SONDASYS 01 is supported by dedicated print process control software, with a user-friendly interface, and has the most advanced optical system on the global market. It also supports WiFi, and has Ethernet and USB access. You can see the printer for yourself at booth 3.0 G-16 at formnext.
PRIMITIVS Decorative Design Products
Swedish design studio TOMLIN has launched a future-proof design decoration product called PRIMITIVS as a way to explore making sustainable choices while still having fun and indulging in curiosity for new things. The first product series is called MINIMAL, which features 19 different 3D printed ceramic decoration pieces. In the PRIMITIVS web shop, you can piece together your own collection, choose a kit that’s already been put together, or start off with a pack of pieces that you can build. Then, you can arrange the pieces into different combinations to serve various purposes, like vases and candle holders.
All 162 of the PRIMITIVS pieces (78 single pieces and 84 kits) are 3D printed on demand, to cut back on waste while still keeping a wide range of products available. All of the MINIMALIST series pieces are available in six different colors: beetle black, gravel grey, gecko green, punky pink, winter white, and yolk yellow.
Matt Denton Shares More Details About 3D Printed LEGO FORKLIFT
Matt Denton, one of the original BB-8 builders, decided to 3D print the pieces for an old LEGO Technic go-kart, and his eight-year-old nephew built the original. They had so much fun that they decided to take on another 3D printed LEGO project – a much larger forklift. Over 500 hours, Denton scaled up and 3D printed all 216 pieces on a LulzBot TAZ 6 and a TAZ 5, using LulzBot Flexystruder and MOARstruder tool heads. Once everything was printed, Denton’s nephew helped him piece it all together.
Denton recently posted a new YouTube video that reveals more details about the 3D printing techniques and materials he used in this new LEGO project.
“Most of the yellow is PLA, apart from the really long technic beams on the fork,” Denton explains about the pieces. “So I switched to PLA for a couple of reasons on this particular project. I did the go-kart entirely in ABS, but I was struggling with the corners warping and lifting off the bed, particularly on the longer parts.”
You can check out the full video below to learn more about Denton’s 3D printed LEGO forklift project.
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