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For this week’s first edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, EOS is introducing its latest 3D printer at IMTS this week, while CRP Technology’s Windform RL 3D printing material is a finalist for the upcoming TCT Awards. The first product line of 3D printed eyewear in the UAE just launched, researchers at the University of Southern California are using a robot arm for non-planar 3D printing, and the BAAM system at ORNL is 3D printing construction molds. The 3Doodler Start STEM Series just introduced a tutorial for making a mechanical bird, which makes us wonder just how useful 3D printing pens are. Finally, a maker posted a YouTube video of a project that illustrates a truly practical application for 3D printing. Will we all sit up and take note?

EOS Introduces New 3D Printer at IMTS

This week at IMTS 2018 in Chicago, EOS is showcasing its latest 3D printer, the EOS M 300-4, which increases the company’s portfolio of Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) systems. The M 300-4 is the first system in the company’s new 3D printer series – the broader, modular metal 3D printing platform EOS M 300 for digital industrial AM production. The 3D printer, with a build volume of 300 x 300 x 400 mm, has a configurable and scalable equipment architecture, and will be compatible with EOS Shared Modules, where automated or manual peripheral modules and transport logistics supply multiple EOS metal 3D printers. The EOS M 300-4 provides full field overlap with four scanners, so that its four lasers can reach all spots on the build plate; in the future, it will be able to offer variable laser power sources as well. When compared to the EOS M 290, the new 3D printer increases productivity by a factor of 4 to 10, which equals major cost per part savings.

“With its modular set-up and its scalable and flexible concept, the new system line clearly focuses on the high customer demands for AM production,” said Dr. Tobias Abeln, the company’s CTO. “It sets a clear focus on productivity, and lowest costs-per-part and was developed for automation and (software) integration in current and future factories. The EOS M 300 series is the only 3D printing solution for digital industrial production and specifically meets the demanding requirements in a production environment. It offers industrial-grade and integrated data, powder and part flow and can be easily incorporated into production facilities. We bring this technology into smart factories.”

Visit the EOS booth #432007 in the West Hall at IMTS this week to see the EOS M 300-4, and the company’s other products, for yourself.

Windform RL Material Shortlisted for TCT Awards

For the second year in a row, CRP Technology is a finalist for the TCT Awards. After a review by the TCT Expert Advisory Board, the company announced that its durable thermoplastic elastomer material, Windform RL, is on the shortlist for the Materials Award – Polymers at this month’s TCT Show. The durable, rubber-like material has good mechanical properties, which make it well-suited for 3D printing applications that need flexible characteristics and complex geometries. It has excellent stability, combines burst strength with superior tear resistance, and accommodates chemical and heat resistance.

“We are very pleased to have been selected for the TCT Materials Award – Polymers 2018. It is a very important recognition for the work carried out by our CRP Technology’s R&D Department. Moreover, it is a privilege to be listed in such important category along with such important 3D printing companies,” said CRP Technology’s CTO Franco Cevolini. “We created Windform RL to provide completed and tailored end-to-end service to meet all customers’ needs. Choosing Windform RL, customers will benefit from higher quality guaranteed by the experience and reliability of Windform and CRP Group brands.”

The TCT Awards 2018 will be held on the evening of Wednesday, September 26th at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

Immensa Technology Labs Launches First 3D Printed Eyewear Line in the UAE

United Arab Emirates 3D printing company Immensa Technology Labs, which opened the first 3D printing facility in Dubai last year, is now launching the first 3D printed eyewear product line in the UAE. To do so, the company announced that it had established a partnership with Dubai-based Monogram Eyewear. The two companies have spent over a year working through internal tests and prototypes, but the frames, 3D printed with an industry-established material and a unique blend of titanium alloy, are now ready for the market. In a statement, the company said they will represent the first regionally 3D printed commercial product.

“We are delighted and proud to be introducing the first 3D-printed eyewear to Dubai, set to revolutionise the regional optical market,” said Bassel Kabak, the Founder and Managing Director at Monogram Eyewear. “Conceived and created at Immensa, these frames are in line with the ‘Dubai 3D Printing Strategy’ and will offer a sustainable and innovative approach to the age-old industry.”

The 3D printed frames, which will range in price between AED1,300 and AED1,650, will come in four colors and 15 pre-set designs.

Robotic Arm for Non-Planar 3D Printing

Four researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering recently received the Best Paper Award at the ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference for their paper, “Trajectory Planning for Conformal 3D Printing Using Non-Planar Layers.”

This month, some of the same researchers, with USC Viterbi’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM), are still working with non-planar 3D printing, and posted a video on YouTube showing a Yaskawa Motoman GP12 robot arm, complete with an FDM extruder with a 1 mm nozzle diameter, completing some non-planar 3D printing. Once the specific part was designed, simulation of the tool path for each layer was completed. The part was 3D printed, with 4 mm thickness, in 102 minutes using PLA material.

3D Printing Construction Molds at ORNL

Someday soon, the construction industry could reap the benefits in lowered production time and costs from using 3D printed molds to make concrete facades. Most molds are handmade from wood and fiberglass coatings, and need to be resurfaced after 20-30 pours. But 3D printed molds could actually cast up to 200 pieces. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee have been evaluating the performance of 3D printed molds to precast concrete facades in a 42-story building. They used the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) system at the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility to make the molds.

But concrete facades aren’t the only molds ORNL researchers are working on. The BAAM is also being used to 3D print a construction mold for the Xplora 34′ power catamaran out of carbon reinforced polymer feedstock – a perfect example of using 3D printing to create large tooling.

Just How Useful are 3D Printing Pens?

Recently, 3Doodler published a YouTube tutorial about using its award-winning Start 3D printing pen, which is designed for younger kids, to make a flapping, mechanical bird as part of its STEM series. In addition to the 3Doodler Start Pen itself, you’ll also need a ruler and the Start Science & Engineering Activity Kit to make the movable bird. The STEM tutorial goes through all of the steps required to make the bird, and the finished product looks pretty nifty. But this leads to a larger question – just how useful are 3D printing pens?

Often, the things I see people make with 3D printing pens are toys and other small objects, jewelry, and art, which, while awesome, are maybe not the most useful items. But, in terms of something like this 3Doodler mechanical bird project, kids can learn how to make working models of real mechanisms they might encounter in the real world. So while maybe the specific objects one can make with a 3D printing pen aren’t particularly useful, the lessons they teach kids certainly are.

Practical 3D Printing Application – Replicating Broken Parts

Now, on to 3D printing something we can all agree is practical, or at least those of us who love popcorn as much as I do – a broken plastic part for a popcorn maker. YouTube user Eman2000 completed the project for a co-worker, and also took the opportunity to show his followers how “3D printing can be used to replicate a broken plastic part,” which is a good example of a truly useful and immediate application for 3D printing. He modeled the piece in Fusion 360, and decided he would 3D print it using ABS, as it would be more flexible than PLA, which “should allow the screws to bite in without having any major issues with the plastic cracking or anything like that.”

“So that whole process since I started recording has taken about 36 minutes, so roughly, you know, less than an hour to hopefully at least fix something like this to completely design and model and print this.”

Once installed on his co-worker’s popcorn maker, the 3D printed replacement part worked perfectly. So for everyone out there interested in purchasing a home 3D printer, but can’t quite justify the cost if all you think you’ll use it for is to make Pokemon prints, this is the most practical use of desktop 3D printing I’ve seen in a long time.

Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

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