We’re starting things off on today’s 3D Printing News Briefs with a little business and a little software, before moving on to more cool 3D printing projects and products. NextFlex has announced its Project Call 4.0, and we’ve got a closer look at a 3D print filament recycling system that was introduced at the Barcelona Maker Faire. OnShape has announced the latest updates to its CAD system. A university student 3D printed a car muffler, and Printable Science presents its 3D printed safety razor.

NextFlex Project Call 4.0

Last month, the NextFlex consortium, one of the leaders in the Manufacturing USA network, announced the award recipients of $12 million in funding for the latest round of its extremely successful Project Call program for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) innovations. This week, the consortium announced the $10 million funding round for its Project Call 4.0, which has a “very diverse scope of needs” that represent gaps in capabilities and technology in multiple application areas. Proposals should focus on several manufacturing thrust areas (MTA), such as flexible battery integration, FHE device encapsulation, evaluating and developing connectors for e-textiles and FHE devices, and advanced 3D electrical design software, among others.

“NextFlex’s Project Call process has proven to be extremely successful. We continuously tackle member-identified FHE manufacturing challenges, and with 31 projects already underway from three previous project calls, we expect this to garner even more interest from the FHE community,” said Dr. Malcolm J. Thompson, the Executive Director of NextFlex. “Topics in Project Call 4.0 build upon successful developments and learning from our previous project calls.”

OUROBOROS 3D Printing Recycling System

The Barcelona Maker Faire was held earlier this summer, and one of the many innovations on display at the event included an all-in-one recycling system for 3D printing called the OUROBOROS. The system shreds used plastic and extrudes the material into a 3D printable filament. According to YouTube user Joan Cullere, the OUROBOROS system includes a prototype shredder with a 24 V motor that’s almost completely 3D printed itself.

In addition to the economic and compact shredder prototype, the OUROBOROS 3D printing recycling system features a user-friendly filament extruder with better cooling, a new spooling system, and an optimized filament path. To see the new system for yourself, check out the video below.

Onshape System Updates

Modern CAD platform Onshape introduced the premium edition of its software in May, and delivers automatic upgrades to the system every three weeks. The latest updates, from July 12 and August 1, include many new improvements to the Onshape CAD system.

For instance, the July 12 update introduced a feature for adjusting the line thickness in drawings, which allows users to define the thickness for tangent, hidden, and visible edges. This update also added a new Drawing Properties panel icon, which replace the wrench icon and includes several new features. The August 12 update made it possible for users to change existing parts or assemblies to a revision, which means every stage of the workflow can be changed. In addition, users can now enjoy significant rebuild time improvements in the system’s complex multi-part Sheet Metal Part Studios. The next updates should arrive on August 23rd.

3D Printed Car Muffler

University student and YouTube user Cooper Orrock was inspired by another maker’s DIY project – a duct tape and cardboard car muffler – to make his own 3D printed version. He designed the two-component automotive part and 3D printed it in plastic; then, with the help of some friends, he prepared the part for installation on a vehicle. This included clearing out some of the holes on the rim of each part so it could be screwed together, and removing the original muffler from the car.

“Part of me thinks that it could possibly melt just because of all the heat from the engine and stuff, but part of me thinks it could work,” Orrock said.

To see if his prediction came true, check out the video below.

3D Printed Safety Razor

Printable Science, which creates “all the science that’s fit to print’ according to its Patreon page, creates all sorts of nifty 3D printed projects, like a socket nut driver, a mini hacksaw handle, and a USB microscope stand. Now, it’s moved on to a 3D printed, four part plastic safety razor.

“Forget the dollar shave club… forget paying shipping and handling… 3D print your own safety razor and be part of the 29 cent shave club,” a member of Printable Science said on the YouTube video.

He explained that the basic design of the safety razor has been mostly unchanged for about 150 years, and that with the design for this razor, you can make your own for just 19 cents. However, this isn’t the first 3D printed razor we’ve seen – in fact, the Gillette Company filed a patent for a 3D printable razor cartridge a few years ago, and was also one of the co-creators of a challenge to design a 3D printed razor handle. To see how Printable Science’s 3D printed plastic safety razor compares, check out the video below.

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