3D Printing News Briefs, January 26, 2022: Metals, Video Game Controllers, & More


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We’re talking about metal 3D printing first in this week’s 3D Printing News Briefs, with pure copper powder that can be processed with SLS technology and the latest material for Desktop Metal’s Production System. Moving on, Darling Ingredients’ health brand is partnering with the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation, and there’s a new plastic upcycling partner program for makerspaces and 3D printing services. Finally, a maker and YouTuber 3D printed an adapter so you can control PS5 games with just one hand!

3D Printing with Pure Copper

Heat exchanger element (made from INIFINITE POWDER Cu 01)

Due to its high thermal and electrical conductivity, pure copper is a highly sought after material in the manufacturing industry, but its strong reflectivity makes it difficult, though not impossible, to use in 3D printing. Copper alloys, such as CuCrZr or CuNiSiCr, have been used, but the results aren’t great, because they have much lower conductive properties than pure copper. Smart materials company Infinite Flex, based in Neu-Isenburg, Germany, developed and recently launched a pure copper powder, called INFINITE POWDER Cu 01, that can supposedly be processed easily with standard SLS 3D printers. The company says that its new pure copper powder offers “excellent material properties,” including >220 tensile strength, <0.1% pore density, >360 thermal conductivity, and a 24% elongation at break, all of which make the material well-suited for 3D printing applications such as induction coils and heat exchangers.

“INFINITE POWDER Cu 01 has been successfully tested on the SLM systems from EOS (EOS M290) and Trumpf (TruPrint 1000) and is now commercially available,” the company wrote in a press release.

Desktop Metal Introduces DM HH Stainless Steel

Tight Clearance Offset Socket

Speaking of metal AM material, Desktop Metal (NYSE: DM) recently released DM HH Stainless Steel (DM HH-SS) for its Production System. The custom high-strength alloy is heat treatable, and pairs improved hardness with the ductility, tensile strength, and corrosion resistance of 13-8 PH stainless steel, all properties that make it a good choice for the mass production of corrosion- and wear-resistant components for automotive parts, consumer products, medical devices, and more. Now that it’s been qualified and characterized for 3D printing on the Production System, the metal can be used for applications such as offset sockets for spaces with tight clearance.

“Our materials science team is working diligently to develop innovative materials that meet the demanding applications needs of our customers in a cost-effective way. DM HH-SS is a compelling alternative to 17-4 PH stainless steel that improves upon its mechanical properties while maintaining corrosion resistance, making it suitable for critical components that previously required the use of low-alloy steels for their high hardness and strength,” said Jonah Myerberg, Co-Founder and CTO of Desktop Metal. “The Production System allows customers to go to market at scale with this material and eliminate operations, such as plating, which can create supply chain complexity and also be harmful to the environment.”

The addition of DM HH-SS means that the Production System can now print ten qualified metal materials.

Darling Ingredients’ Rousselot Partners with TIBI

X-Pure GelMA

Moving on, Darling Ingredients Inc. (NYSE: DAR) a top producer of organic ingredients, announced that its collagen-based solutions Rousselot Health brand has entered into a strategic partnership with California-based Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI), a non-profit research organization that focuses on regenerative medicine. Rousselot developed X-Pure, a range of biomedical gelatins and modified gelatins with high purity and consistency, and its X-Pure GelMa has been tested and recognized for its excellent quality. Together, Rousselot and TIBI will work on developing gelatin-based therapies and their translation to the clinic, with the Darling Ingredients brand supplying the research organization with its X-Pure modified gelatins. The partnership will initially last two years, and Rousselot and TIBI will share insights on how the gelatins behave during research and clinical trials.

“We are excited to partner with Rousselot and to be able to use Rousselot’s modified gelatins for our research. Modified gelatins have proven to be powerful biomaterials in the regenerative medicine field, and we have been using them heavily over the past few years. I am certain that high-quality, purified GelMA will support both our in vitro and in vivo research and development,” said Ali Khademhosseini, CEO of TIBI. “With X-Pure GelMA, we will be able to make further strides in the clinical translation of our research to accelerate the development of new therapies.”

Carbon Source Begins Plastic Upcycling Partner Program

Carbon Source Inc., a wholly owned, US-based subsidiary of CarbonMeta Technologies Inc. (OTC PINK:COWI), has begun a Plastic Upcycling Partner Program to help reduce waste plastics that are disposed in landfills. Through the program, 3D printer services and makerspaces that upcycle waste plastics through Carbon Source will receive discounts of up to 15% on filaments purchased through the Carbon Source online store; additionally, partners in western Washington will be eligible for free one-day delivery. The first Plastic Upcycling Partners in the new program will be Seattle Makers and SnoCo Makerspace.

“This Plastic Upcycling Partner Program provides incentives that encourage makerspaces and 3D printer services to upcycle their waste plastics and better steward thermoplastic materials. This program will improve traceability of Carbon Source’s plastic production with its partners, which is the first step toward certifying and tracking waste plastics in a manner that is similar to tracking carbon credits,” said Lloyd Spencer, the Chairman and CEO of CarbonMeta Technologies and President of Carbon Source.

Carbon Source also announced an Upcycling Classroom Grant Program, where students in schools and youth organizations in the US are encouraged to come up with new upcycling solutions to help reduce or eliminate waste plastics that are disposed of in waterways and landfills.

3D Printed DualSense Controller Adapter

(Photo: Akaki Kuumeri/PrusaPrinters)

Finally, maker Akaki Kuumeri, who posts YouTube videos about his various projects, has created a 3D printed adapter that makes it possible to play games using the Playstation DualSense Wireless Controller with one hand. Apparently, he wanted to play a game called It Takes Two, and his adapter allows him to use both the left and right-hand versions of the DualSense controller at once to play. Kuumeri’s 3D printed snap-on adapter was impressive enough to feature as an entry in the PrusaPrinters Snap-On Controller Mods contest.

The adapter has two sections, with the main one making it possible to control thumbstick functionality with your thigh by pushing left, right, up, or down; it also moves the shoulder buttons to the pad’s other side. Its second section clips on top of the first one, and converts D-pad input into four triggers that are off to the side of the face buttons. If you print the left-handed version of the adapter, the face buttons are converted to triggers. If you want to make the adapter yourself and play one-handed Playstation games, Kuumeri made the files available for download, and included full assembly instructions and advice as well.

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