3D Printing: The Stories We Didn’t Cover This Week — February 14, 2015


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This week’s stories we didn’t cover emphasize the technical and international sides of 3D printing with stories about the 3D printers and design software featured at international trade exhibits in Munich and Brunei. Also, Israeli firm Pzartech has launched its beta phase with a small selection of designs including one for Valentine’s Day. In medical news, Belgium’s Materialise details how it 3D prints human heart replicas, and we also include here some lighter notes about new curved Lego style Technic beams that can be used to create stunning effects and how 3D printing is music to the ears with Olaf Diegel’s latest 3D printed semi-acoustic guitar. Read on…

3D Printed Semi-Acoustic Guitar

Olaf Diegel, already well-known for his forays into 3D printed musical instruments, has now unveiled the semi-acoustic “American Graffiti” design that is inpsired by americangraffiticloseupsmallthe film of the same name and emblazoned with the 50’s era artwork of Ron Van Dam. The art design features imagery of dice, Ray Bans, autos, Mel’s Diner, microphones, and a jukebox. Also, the Neil Young lyrics — “My my hey hey, rock and roll is here to stay. It’s better to burn out than to fade away” — are included around the guitar’s body.

The American Graffiti is printed by 3D Systems with selective laser sintering, using Duraform PA nylon with a layer thickness of .1mm. A wooden hollow box connects the guitar’s neck and the bridge — providing the unique acoustics. You can see more of Diegel’s instrument at his website.

LEGO Technic Beams Create Interesting Visual Displays

Steve Medwin, creator of a 3D printed curved lego kit, now offers “different customizable-curved-lego-technic-beams1curved beams that work with LEGO Technic.” The idea is quite simple: you print up a variety, connect them using small LEGO pins, and create an array of stunning visuals. There are a variety of designs to choose from; the designs vary in hole numbers and the angle between adjacent holes, determining the beam’s radius. There’s also an option to make your own beams by choosing number of holes and the degrees between holes.

The OpenSCAD file is availble for downloading and tweaking as well here.

Human Heart Replica 3D Printing Process Revealed

Belgium’s Materialise uses a special software program called SurgiCase to help create exact 3D printed human hearts models to help prepare surgeonsbelgian-printing-provider-materialise-reveals-how-it-prints-replicas-2 for risky surgeries. And these heart replicas have to be 100% accurate, as a fault could result in the death of a patient.

SurgiCase is an online platform that facilitates the sharing of data between medical case engineers and Materialise. The whole process to print a heart in resin requires many support structures and can take up to 1,900 layers for about 18 cm. It can take almost 50 hours to complete. Post-processing of the heart replica includes removing support structures, washing, polishing, and curing the replica, but all of this hard work proves worthwhile. Surgeons who have used the replicas claim they are far more accurate than previously relied upon CT scans.

DELCAM’s Jewelry 3D Printer Unveiled in Munich

In Munich, Germany from February 20th through 23rd, the Inhorgenta Munich trade jewelsmith-screenshow for jewelry and watches will feature DELCAM’s new ArtCAM JewelSmith software for 3D printing elaborate jewelry using Autodesk’s new jewelry printer, Ember. The JewelSmith software provides more powerful tools aiding efficiency in design. The software features a new putty tool for real time modeling options, a gem library, and it allows for viewing of pieces in life-like high resolution using the Keyshot rendering system.

The new software will be used with Autodesk’s new Ember, a Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printer with a print resolution that has an X and Y axis of 50 microns and a Z axis of 50-100 microns. Ember is faster than SLA printers with a print speed of 15mm per hour at 25 micron layer height, but it has a small build volume. It appears that the new ArtCAM software, coupled with Autodesk’s Ember 3D printer, provides jewelry printers with more design and printing options than ever before.

Brunei Has its 3D Printing “Moment”
While the almost $6,000 Ember is rather pricey, the much more affordable South Korean produced 3D printer, the Moment, hasmoment recently received critical acclaim as it entered the Brunei technology market through the Consumer Fair of Brunei (January 28-February 1). This fair takes places twice a year in Darussalam, Brunei and is Asia’s largest trade and consumer event with over 300 boths and about 150,000 attendees.

The Brunei Minister of Industry and Primary Resources was very impressed with the Moment’s plug-and-play operations. For a relatively inexpensive $1,800, customers get a lot for their buck with this printer. With a maximum resolution capacity of 50 microns and an interior build area of 145 x 150 x 165 mm, the Moment has a solid metal extruder and a hot end, which makes it user friendly for common filaments. It comes with its own software, Simplify 3D, and is compatible with either Mac OS or Windows systems through USB and SD connections. DotRoot Technology distributes the printers in Brunei, and they are very optimistic that the Moment will be successful in Brunei’s growing tech market.

Israeli firm Pzartech Launches Design Selection

In more international 3D printing news, Israeli firm Pzartech — a 3D design marketplace blueand local printing platform — has recently received recognition as a top qualifier in a Paris start-up competition. Now it has entered its beta phase and launched some limited designs including one just in time for Valentine’s Day. The Valentine’s Day design is a “custocase” smartphone case in red featuring the message “Love You” alongside your name and a cutout heart emblem. Other designs include a vase, lampshade, bracelet, earrings, and a vacuum extension — but more are sure to follow!

While the 3D printing world keeps spinning, these are the stories we didn’t have time to cover for you this week.  Discuss them in the 3D Printing Stories We Missed forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Happy Valentine’s Day!


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