3D Printing News Briefs, April 18, 2021: Dyndrite, Carbon, KAUST, Art Institute of Chicago


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It’s business and materials for starters in this week’s 3D Printing News Briefs, and then on to 3D printing for cultural heritage. Dyndrite has added two new members to its Developer Council, and Carbon introduced a new material, while KAUST is 3D printing peptide-based hydrogel scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. Finally, a 3D storytelling project at the Art Institute of Chicago could also be a good opportunity for institutional accountability and reconciliation with indigenous communities and artists.

Dyndrite Developer Council Welcomes Two Companies

The Dyndrite Developer Council is a main part of the company’s Developer Program, which offers community, resources, and tools to OEMs, independent software vendors, and service providers that are developing on its platform. Dyndrite, which providers the core accelerated computation engine that creates next-generation digital manufacturing software and hardware, has announced the addition of Xaar and Essentium Inc. to the council, bringing the total number to 25. UK company Xaar is a leader in inkjet technology for high-resolution 2D printing, and launched its first high viscosity capability for 3D jet printing platforms in 2019, while Texas-based Essentium began working in materials research in 2013 and launched its High Speed Extrusion (HSE) 3D printing platform in 2018. As members of the Dyndrite Developer Council, vendors can gain early access to new technologies that the company is developing, as well as collaborate on industry standards.

“Xaar is looking to deliver greater 3D printing productivity through print heads by exploring the new Accelerated Computation Engine software from Dyndrite. We are excited to work closely with Dyndrite and its developer council members to advance the industry,” said Gareth Neal, Customer Applications, Advanced Applications, Xaar.

Hear what Essentium co-founder and CEO Blake Teipel has to say about this news in the video below:

Carbon Makes EPU 41 Material Available in Black

3D technology company Carbon announced that its signature Elastomeric Polyurethane (EPU) 41 material is now available in black. The original engineering-grade, dual-cure EPU 41 resin has been used in several major high-volume AM projects, such as the Fizik adaptive bike saddle, thanks to its unique features, like high elasticity, tear resistance, and good surface finish. With the same mechanical properties, the new EPU 41 Black has several improvements over the original, with higher accuracy and faster print speeds on many complex geometries. It’s a good material choice for applications that need cushioning and high resiliency, and customers can start to look into elastomeric lattice applications with EPU 41 Black through the company’s Carbon Design Engine.

“With the release of EPU 41 Black, we stay committed to bringing our core innovations to all Carbon customers so they can deliver better products to market in less time. And thanks to our connected 3D printers and over-the-air software updates, we’re able to provide immediate support for new materials, as well as extensive training and real-time troubleshooting, so our customers can quickly start printing engineering-grade parts,” the company wrote in a blog post.

KAUST Bioprinting Ultrashort Peptides for Tissue Engineering

Researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have developed an automated process for bioprinting a hydrogel scaffold, based on ultrashort peptides, with uniformly distributed cells. Many synthetic polymer hydrogels require harsh chemicals, and feature conditions that threaten the survival of cells, but apparently these scaffolds hold their shape, and facilitate good cell growth, so they’re beneficial for tissue engineering. The team published a paper on their work, titled “Ultrashort Peptide Bioinks Support Automated Printing of Large-Scale Constructs Assuring Long-Term Survival of Printed Tissue Constructs,” and designed three different peptides using various combinations of cyclohexylalanine, isoleucine, lysine, and phenylalanine amino acids. A novel triple-inlet nozzle was used: the peptide bioink goes in one, a buffer solution in another, and the cells are then added through the third, allowing the peptide ink to gradually mix with everything else. Once the final ink is ejected, it solidifies instantly, and captures cells within the structure. 

KAUST bioengineer Charlotte Hauser, who led the research team, said, “Our next step is to bioprint 3D disease models and miniature organs for high-throughput drug screening and diagnosis. These could help reduce the time and cost of searching for more effective and personalized drugs.”

Art Institute of Chicago’s 3D Storytelling Project

Ancient Egyptian Statuette of a Jackal. Image courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

A lot has been said over the years about the ethics of 3D scanning and 3D printing cultural artifacts—on the one hand, the technology makes it possible for the public to get a closer look at pieces they ordinarily would never be able to handle, but on the other, there is a lack of standards concerning the ownership of this digital 3D data. The Art Institute of Chicago is joining the conversation in a big way with its new 3D storytelling tool, which could help in building collaborative relationships with indigenous artists and communities, as well as introduce the possibility of institutional accountability and reconciliation in the scope of the imperial and colonial history of the pieces. The museum’s executive creative director Michael Neault explained that four years ago, the imaging department and the Experience Design team thought up the tool that could use a moving camera to zoom in and move around an object, from any magnification and angle, to help drive the narrative; the project was officially announced in September of 2020. A few of the museum’s 3D models, both of a secure provenance, are available for free download via Sketchfab, which is also the case for many other museums.

But, the larger issue here is that some pieces in museum collections can be traced back to looting practices, but it’s also extremely difficult to actually prove that the cultural artifacts were in fact looted. Additionally, sometimes laws allow museums to keep these pieces regardless of whether or not it feels ethical. While many think it’s a democratic act when museums upload free scans onto the internet, it can actually muddy the waters more in terms of ownership. However, regardless of who owns the cultural heritage, the pandemic has definitely increased the use of the Art Institute’s 3D storytelling project, as museums struggle to find ways to continue safely engaging with visitors. The opportunity exists here to build stronger relationships with source communities, so that they could more easily access information about their heritage, and then in exchange, offer the museum knowledge about the pieces.

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