3D Printing: The Stories We Didn’t Cover This Week — February 8, 2015


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This week’s 3D printing stories we didn’t cover spans a diverse array of topics. We have the benefits of open source sharing highlighted as we can 3D print race cars and syringe pumps (at exorbitant savings estimates in the case of syringe pumps), there’s a 3D printed corset featured just in time for Valentine’s Day, and we also see how 3D printing overlaps with Microsoft’s new HoloLens headset. In order to stay on top of new industry developments, and there are many, Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) is offering two scholarships for its spring conference in Jacksonville, Florida. And student opportunities remain in the news as we consider the innovative 3D printed designs of a Polish team that caught some NASA judges’ attention. Then coming back to Earth, in the world of filament, Proto Crate is offering a monthly filament subscription service that keeps the filament flowing in your direction for all of your printing needs and experiments. Finally, edible chocolate filament is unveiled at a Dutch grocery story in Einhoven, used by a newly designed 3D chocolate printer called “ByFlow.”

3DRacers Launch Indiegogo Campaign

There are 3D printed toys and then there are 3D printed toys that move. There’s a time and a place for both, and 3DRacers are seeking to expand your racecarsoption in the “printed toys that move” category. More to the point, “toys that really race” is a more apt description of the new project 3DRacers, featuring 3D printable race cars.

3D Racers has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $25,000 so that more people can access 3D printable race cars that are powered via a pre-programmed Arduino Mini (v0.5, v0.6, or vl), with a battery and charger, motor control, lights, DC motor, a Bluetooth, and a servo. The Bluetooth allows you to control the cars using a 3D printed controller, and you also have the option of using your phone.

The 3DRacers is the invention of two Italians — Marco D’Alia and Davide Marcoccio — who wanted to create customized 3D printed race cars and tracks that really race with unpredicatble outcomes. An early bird pledge of $39 will get you what you need for a 3D printed race car that you can control with your phone.  Several 3D models of these cars are available here.

3D Printed Red Corset

From racing items to racy items, 3D printing is taking new turns in the field of corsetfashion, too. We are inundated with sexy lingerie ads to the point of absurdity near Valentine’s Day, so why not go for something more original than the usual Victoria’s Secret? On her Facebook page, German fashion designer Lilah LeValle has detailed her process of designing and 3D printing an unusual red corset. Sharing this project with her boyfriend, they initially 3D scanned a mannequin and then used SolidWorks to trim the outside dimensions — adding the internal design structure. Next they published the initial 3D digital design concept as polygonal mesh. Shapeways printed the corset using 3 mm thick SLS nylon, which allows the corset flexibility with the wearer’s body shape. Finally, the corset is designed with holes in the sides for fastening ribbons and holes in the front for your stash of Swarovski crystals!

Open Source Syringe Pump Could Save Millions

Less playful than cars and corsets, but hugely important, are syringe pumps. Syringe pumps are widely used to administer gradual doses of medicine toDouble-pump patients in hospitals, and they are a quite common form of hospital equipment due to the high demand for administered medications. They are also used in scientific and medical research labs. Michigan Technological University’s Joshua M. Pearce is convinced that through free open source hardware (FOSH), labs can reduce their spending on syringe pumps, and devote more resources to innovative research instead.

The savings Pearce estimates is a staggering $800 million, arriving at this estimate through a series of calculations he describes in a paper “Quantifying the Value of Open Source Hardware Development.” Putting aside some of the more confusing calculations here, Pearce’s calculations state that the average open source syringe pump (OSSP) costs between $97 and $154 to 3D print, while a traditionally manufactured syringe pump ranges from $260 to $1,509: dual pumps can go up to $2,606. It’s even been stated that the OSSP is more versatile and works better than the traditionally manufactured pumps, too. Pearce claims that an OSSP saved his own lab tens of thousands of dollars; if you multiply that against the number of labs in the US, we begin to see how Pearce reached his staggering estimate of almost $1 billion in savings.

Quadcopter 3D Printed by Zortrax using Microsoft’s HoloLens

Shifting from the scientific mode to almost science fiction, Polish 3D printer manufacturing company Zortrax has contributed to demonstrating reality computing by 3D printing theholo Quadcopter that was featured in Microsoft’s recent HoloLens demonstration. The HoloLens is a wearble headset that allows the wearer to interface with the digital world. At Microsoft’s Windows 10 press event, a woman used HoloLens to design a Quadcopter using CAD software. Zortrax decided to actually 3D print the Quadcopter to show their own enthusiasm for the HoloLens technology, since it overlaps with 3D printing technology. Microsoft explains that with its new HoloLens technology, you can “build 3D in 3D.” This makes the HoloLens a perfect fit for 3D printing.

Additive Manufacturers User Group Offers Two Conference Scholarships

With all of the new inventions in 3D printing/additive manufacturing, you could blink and miss something. That’s why it’s good to get out there and see foramug_logo_lg yourself what’s on the horizon. Conferences and conventions are a perfect place to catch up on new developments, and Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has announced two scholarships to attend — all expenses paid, including travel, accommodations, meals, and registration fees — their annual conference in Jacksonville, Florida April 19-23, 2015. The annual AMUG Conference provides workflow and process training on new additive manufacturing technology, as well as other educational presentations.

The scholarships — one for a professor and one for a student — are offered in memory of two individuals who were very active in AMUG: Guy Bordeau and Randy Stevens. AMUG members are leaders in the additive manufacturing industry, including: Stratasys, Concept Laser, 3D Systems, ExOne, Renishaw, HP, GE, and SLM Solutions. This is a great opportunity to get out there and see what’s developing in additive manufacturing/3D printing: you can apply for the scholarships — there’s a February 27, 2015 deadline — here.

A 3D Printed Inflatable Mars Home?

Scholarship opportunities for students are so integral to exposing more young aspiring engineers — like the students in this next story about innovative space travel design — to the world of 3D printing. Just three years from now the chance to travel to Mars and back in only 501 out1days will arrive due to the literal aligning of the planets. NASA’s “Inspiration Mars” mission wants to send one man and one woman within 100 miles around Mars — leaving January 5, 2018. They won’t have the chance to do this again until the planets align again in 2031.

The mission is “a platform for unprecedented science, engineering and education opportunities, using state-of-the-art technologies derived from NASA and the International Space Station.” And NASA had the good sense to sponsor a recent Inspiration Mars competition inviting international engineering students to propose architectural design concepts for the mission. The contest is open to university engineering student teams, professors, staff and alumni.

It’s no surprise that at least one competing team included 3D printing in their design concept. Although they did not win the competition, one team of Polish students from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Technical University at Wroclaw –the “Space is More” team — worked with 3D printing specialists Three Dimensions Lab to create a 3D printed plastic model of a single Mars living unit called OutPost (printed at a scale of 1:10). The catch is that the furniture would be made from inflatable capsules made of 3D printed metal that has the opportunity to grow in scale once inflated as needed.

Using a free inner-pressure deformation technique, this technology uses thin metal plates and welds the edges together. They can then be inflated to form various shapes. The outcome uses little material: the sheets can be made as thin as 1 mm. While the technique is still in its experimental phases, it still presented enough of a possibility to capture NASA’s judges’ attention.

ProtoCrate Offers Monthly Filament Delivery Service

I know some people who get their organic vegetables delivered in crates, or belong to a microbrew or wine of the month club because they like to be surprised, but the idea of delivering filament is a new one: and its time has come. For $49.99/month (includes shipping), ProtoCrate is offering topro conveniently ship 1kg (either 1.75 or 3 mm diameter) of a varied selection of filaments straight to your door step. Not only is this a convenient service, but the monthly supply is valued at over $60 as you will receive a spool from an established international filament brands (such as Proto-pasta, NinjaFlex, and colorFabb) and some more exotic filament samples, like LayWood or bronzeFill. You will also receive tools, a list of proven 3D printable models, and a pre-printed sample of the featured model.

If you think about the amount of money you can spend on filament, this could be just the service for you. Or maybe you need to indulge in the guilty pleasure of having a bit more filament laying around your 3D printer. Either way, ProtoCrate is anticipating that a simple monthly service may satisfy the 3D printing needs of a range of users.

Dutch Chain Unveils In-Store Chocolate 3D Printer

One day, as chocolate printing grows more popular, a company like ProtoCrate may have to include the edible substance in its monthly filament subscription. And speaking of edible and delicious filaments, a Dutch grocery chain has unveiled the first in-store chocolate 3D printers that customers can use to design on-site cake decorations. First extruding the yummy hazelnut-chocolate spread Nutella onto edible paper, then switching to printing white and darker chocolates after a few days, the Albert Heijn chain in Eindhoven, Netherlands is introducing the public to its non-commercial chocolate 3D printer. If the public likes it — why wouldn’t they? — then the printing will become a permanent feature of the store’s bakery section.

Floris Hoff, a young Dutch 3D printer, has had much exposure to 3D printing through his father’s FabLab Mastricht. Hoff’s new printer, ByFlow, is a design initially intended as a plastic and portable FDM 3D printer that was modified and simplified to print paste-like materials by the uninitiated people who may end up operating it. Customers also have the opportunity to use Doodle3D to make their own cake designs, exposing them to the full extent of the customizable world of 3D printing. What is not to love about this arrangement? It sounds like the ByFlow chocolate printer is just the thing all bakeries need around Valentine’s Day…

That’s all the news we didn’t cover this week, from new 3D printable items like race cars and racier corsets, to the expanding world of filament — both edible and non-edible alike. Let us know what you thought about these stories in the Stories We Missed forum thread on 3DPB.com.


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