MIT offers online certificate program for Additive Manufacturing

After a successful run earlier this year, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will offer another session of its online  Additive Manufacturing course, led by Professor A. John Hart.

Learn how to design for additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) has applications across manufacturing, and Additive Manufacturing for Innovative Design aims to help learners understand how AM will transform the way products are designed and delivered.  The syllabus is designed to prepare professionals for implementing 3D printing processes in their own organizations, bridging the gap between the opportunities enabled by AM and the skills necessary to implement it across multiple industries.

The video below, one of more than 80 videos featured in the course, illustrates both the course’s production quality and its core pedagogy: the most successful learning experiences are those which connect the engineering principles behind each process with its capabilities, demonstrated using real-world examples and detailed examination of the components made by AM.

Over the course of 11 weeks, participants will learn:

– The AM vocabulary and workflow.

– The fundamentals of each major AM process, and its associated materials and performance metrics.

– The applications and unique value propositions of AM, spanning from prototyping to production and service operations.

– The design and performance space of AM, including generative design and lattice structures.

– How to design AM parts for production by combining engineering intuition with AM-specific knowledge and AM process, using advanced, cloud-enabled software tools.

– How to prepare parts to be 3D printed.

– How to evaluate the cost and performance value of producing parts via AM, using quantitative models unique to the course.

– A future-forward perspective on how AM, and the broader digitization of production, will change the dynamics of supply chain

Enroll online now for Additive Manufacturing for Innovative Design and Production at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Image via MIT
Enroll online now for Additive Manufacturing for Innovative Design and Production at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Image via MIT

Course instruction

The course was developed by A. John Hart, MIT Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity (LMP) and MIT’s Center for Additive and Digital Advanced Production Technologies (ADAPT). Some of Professor Hart’s previous work has included development of FastFFF – dubbed the speediest desktop 3D printer to date – and an antibacterial filament made from cellulose.

Joining Professor Hart in instructing the course are 5 other MIT faculty members from the departments of Mechanical Engineering Electrical Engineering,Computer Science, and Materials Science. Additive Manufacturing for Innovation Design and Production will also feature dozens of industry experts from companies like GE, Volkswagen, Autodesk, and Deloitte.

At the end of the course, participants will be awarded an Additive Manufacturing Professional Certificate and earn 4.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from MIT.

Learn more about MIT’s online Additive Manufacturing course. Join Professor John Hart for a free webinar on Monday, 9 September 2018.

Featured image shows Additive Manufacturing for Innovative Design and Production at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Image via MIT

3D printing jobs at CDJ Technologies, Formlabs, CEL Robox, Create it REAL

Our latest 3D printing jobs update has new additive manufacturing positions from some of the leading enterprises in the industry. Current vacancies range from introductory to professional level roles in engineering, marketing, software development and more to help you begin your 3D printing career or make your next move.

To apply for any of the following jobs in 3D printing create a free account now. For a limited time, the service is also free for employers to post an advertisement seeking new talent.

The 3D Printing Industry Jobs Board.

Sr. Hardware Engineer at CDJ Technologies, Evanston, IL, USA

CDJ Technologies is a U.S.-based additive manufacturing company founded to pursue high speed, large scale 3D printing for manufacturing. CDJ is recruiting a Senior Hardware Engineer.

The education required is a BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering, or relevant product design programming skills.

Applicants must possess CAD skills, experience in product development, and an understanding of software/hardware integration. The successful candidate will be responsible for designing new systems and prototyping, management of hardware/systems consulting contracts, and able to develop RFP specs.

The company provides a competitive salary based on experience and position.

Discover more about this 3D hardware engineer position here.

SEO & Link Marketer Traineeship at Formlabs, Berlin, Germany

3D printing manufacturer Formlabs, an SLA company based in Boston, MA, is searching for an SEO & Link Marketer trainee for its branch in Berlin.

Applicants must be proactive, organized, and have excellent English proficiency. Candidates with 1-3 years of experience in SEO, especially with Ahrefs, Moz, Google Analytics, or Excel, would have a strong advantage.

Job duties include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit management to promote the company contents, building a network of bloggers, and measuring the impact of SEO campaigns in a B2B environment.

Apply here for a 3D printing traineeship at Formlabs.

In Berlin, Formlabs is also recruiting a Marketing Operations Manager, a Web Developer, and an Accountant.

3D printer software development at CEL-Robox, Bristol, UK

CEL-Robox, the Uk-based company behind the 3D Robox printer, is seeking a 3D Printer Software Developer in Bristol.

Applicants must have an excellent mathematical understanding of three-dimensional spaces, strong project management skills to ensure resources and code are efficient and easy to maintain, and also the ability to plan and prioritize to ensure realistic goals are met and features are completed.

Relevant experience in robotics, machine codes, 3D printing, and CNC control, are required. Deep knowledge of software integrations and hardware functions is also a must.

The position is full-time and the salary is negotiable.

Visit the page here to apply for this 3D Software Developer position.

The CEL RoboxPRO at Bett 2018. Photo by Rushabh Haria.
The CEL RoboxPRO at Bett 2018. Photo by Rushabh Haria.

Senior Software Engineer at Create it REAL, Aalborg, Denmark

Located in Aalborg, the Danish “Silicon Valley”, Create it REAL researches and develops ways to improve the 3D printing process. The company is currently searching for a Senior Software Engineer for their headquarters in Aalborg, Denmark.

The ideal candidate will have more than 5 years of experience in software development of PC applications in C#, C, or C++, and also will have a good knowledge of .NET core, encryption, and cybersecurity. A strong plus is management experience, especially with SCRUM framework. Also, the candidate must have an Engineering Degree in Computer Science, Robotics or similar, and be fluent in English.

If successful, the applicant will be responsible for helping the team to bring new features to the software, and driving the hands-on design of digital architectures in coordination with management and development.

Visit the page here to get more info about 3D Software Engineer at Create it REAL.

3D Real Time Processor Create it REAL

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3D Printing News Sliced, $11M project call, SLM Solutions, Aconity3D, Onshape

This edition of our 3D printing news digest Sliced features an $11 million funding pool  for flexible electronics; metal 3D printing’s expansion in the U.S.; life-changing fundraising for 3D bioprinters; mind-boggling 3D printed ceramics and more.

Read on for the latest news from NextFlex, SLM Solutions, Aconity3D, Onshape, Bristol Children’s Hospital and Cunicode.

NextFlex offers $11 million in funding for flexible electronics

NextFlex, headquartered in San Jose California, was formed in 2015 to advance the Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) ecosystem. Much like America Makes, the consortium has a mix of members from academic, state and commercial backgrounds. Now, through NextFlex Project Call 4.0 the consortium is making $11 million available to projects that further development and adoption of FHE.

Previous additive manufacturing beneficiaries of the NextFlex fund include Optomec, that received $3 million in 2017 for application its Aerosol Jet technology and, most recently, Lockheed Martin, that was granted funding to create a database of additively manufactured antennas and microwave elements.

“NextFlex’s Project Call process has proven to be extremely successful,” said Dr. Malcolm J. Thompson, executive director of NextFlex. “We continuously tackle member-identified FHE manufacturing challenges, and with 31 projects already underway from three previous project calls, we expect this to garner even more interest from the FHE community. Topics in Project Call 4.0 build upon successful developments and learning from our previous project calls.”

This latest call for projects covers a diverse scope of topics including, advanced 3D electrical design software solution, large-area sensor systems, and flexible battery integration. These topics were determined by consortium members and span a wide range of application areas ranging from commercial aviation to national security needs.

Nextflex logo. Image via Nextflex
Nextflex logo. Image via Nextflex

Aconity3D makes new home in Texas

Aconity3D, a developer of laser-based metal 3D printers headquartered in Germany, has announced that the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) will serve as its North American facility.

“We are pleased to establish a relationship with UTEP,” said Yves Hagedorn, Ph.D., managing director of Aconity3D. “This is an excellent example of how research universities can partner with private industry to advance the educational opportunities afforded to students and also attract economic development to the region.”

UTEP hopes that its agreement with Aconity3D will further enhance its production and service operations, as well as attract high-end jobs for engineering students at UTEP.

“We have long worked on leveraging our expertise in 3D printing to build a new economy in El Paso around additive manufacturing,” said Ryan Wicker, Ph.D., founder of the Keck Center. “Our partnership with Aconity3D is a major milestone in that direction and is validation of all of our combined efforts.”

You can read more on this company in the recent 3D Printing Industry interview with Aconity3D managing director, Yves Hagedorn.

University of Texas El Paso. Photo via El Paso inc.
University of Texas El Paso. Photo via El Paso inc.

Onshape’s latest software updates.

Onshape, a browser based CAD software tool, has released a new update.

The latest Onshape update comes with new upgrades such as the ability to reorder multiple features at once. This is done by left-clicking each feature that you want to move, and dragging them to their new position in the tree.

Other new features include the ability to adjust line thickness and change the colors of pieces of Onshape drawings and the ability to select a mate connector as a reference for an axis. This feature can be useful with commands like Transform, where you may want to rotate with respect to a mate connector.

Previously Onshape partnered with software developer CADENAS and Electronic Product Catalogs allowing customers to access 3D part models directly from Onshape.

Part rendered on Onshape. Image via Onshape
Part rendered on Onshape. Image via Onshape

SLM Solutions to host Open House

Germany headquartered metal 3D printer manufacturer SLM Solutions is to host an open house on August 25th from 12 noon to 4 p.m.

At the open house, guests can learn how 3D printing machines are made and experience the production process.

Earlier this year SLM Solutions joined a 3D printing production partnership with nine other companies in order to reduce the time to market of new products. These companies include Curtiss-Wright Technologies, EDR & Medeso, and Volvo Trucks.

Daniela Wedemeyer, Commercial Director of SLM Solutions, is looking forward to the Open House saying  “We are very proud to have this opportunity to present our new company building and SLM technology to the people of Lübeck. Everyone is welcome to celebrate, discuss and discover with us.”

The SLM Solutions SLM 280 2.0. Image via SLM Solutions Group AG.
The SLM Solutions SLM 280 2.0. Image via SLM Solutions Group AG.

Doctor swims English Channel to raise money for hospital 3D bioprinter

Andrew Wolf, a 63-year old professor and cardiologist, has completed a swim across the English Channel in an effort to raise money to establish a 3D printing facility for children with heart defects.  

Wolf’s goal aimed to raise £20,000 in order to purchase a 3D bioprinter and enable medical model printing at the Bristol Children’s Hospital. According to Wolf, this technology could “transform” the lives of babies and their families, improving surgical planning of complicated procedures. The unit will also enable the team to explain and show in detail to parents and children what the problem is and how it can be fixed. Wolf believes that this cutting-edge technique would be one of the first facilities of its kind in the UK.

A similar idea was done earlier this year at the American Family Children’s Hospital in Wisconsin. There doctors were able to prepare for pediatric heart surgery with 3D printed hearts. Likewise, doctors at Arizona’s Phoenix Children’s Hospital have used 3D printed models of patient’s organs to more accurately pinpoint cancerous tumors.  

Before he set off on his 13 hour and 21-mile swim, Wolf said “The bio-fixing which we are working towards will allow children to have one-off operations with their own stem cells so they will not have to have repeated operations as they grow into adulthood.”

Wolf and friends after the completed swim
Wolf and friends after the completed swim. Photo via Andrew Wolf.

Cunicode’s new 3D printed art

Cunicode, a 3D printing art studio in Barcelona, Spain, has released a new collection of stoneware art called Permutation.

Each piece in the collection is composed of a random combination of nine basic units that are placed around a cylinder. These pieces were designed with Grasshopper 3D modeling software and 3D printed by on a PotterBot 3D printer.

One of the key selling points of these new pieces is that each one is unique and exists within an immense landscape of millions of possible different combinations. The 3D printed sculpture known as P16.4, contains over sixty-six quadrillion possible combinations.

Cunicode’s previous works includes other 3D printed artwork such as cups, busts, and figures designed after children’s drawings.

An example of the art. Photo vie Cunicode.
An example of the art. Photo vie Cunicode.

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Looking for a career in engineering? Apply for 3D Printing Jobs today.

Featured image is an example of Cunicode’s latest line of 3D printed art. Photo via Cunicode.

LulzBot releases 3D Aerostruder Micro Tool Head for “penny-scale” 3D printed parts

Aleph Objects, the Colorado-based manufacturer of the LulzBot range of desktop 3D Printers, has unveiled a new, high-precision tool head at SIGGRAPH 2018 in Vancouver –  the LulzBot Aerostruder v2 Micro.

With the ability to 3D print penny-scale parts, the LulzBot Aerostruder v2 Micro tool head can be used with both flexible and rigid filament for precise and miniature parts. The expanded functionality of this tool head intends to give engineers and designers a higher level of detail and surface quality within their 3D printed parts.

“The Aerostruder v2 Micro Tool Head—paired with the LulzBot Mini 2 3D Printer—has changed my perception of what is possible with filament 3D printing,” explains Adam Straight, Product Specialist at Aleph Objects.

“In terms of resolution and surface finish, the prints from this new tool head are very impressive.”

A penny-sized skull printed using the new Aerostruder v2 Micro Tool Head. Photo via Aleph Objects.
A penny-sized skull printed using the new Aerostruder v2 Micro Tool Head. Photo via Aleph Objects.

Advanced open source 3D printer hardware

As a result of a manufacturing partnership with award winning 3D printer system developer and marketplace E3D Online, the Lulzbot Aerostruder v2 Micro Tool Head includes an E3D Titan Aero 2-in-1 HotEnd and Extruder.

An integral component in the production of high-precision, miniature 3D printed parts, the Titan Aero features a 0.25mm nozzle and a 360-degree part cooling fan which improves overhang and bridge performance. Straight added, “The precision of E3D Titan Aero extruders and hot ends complements the premium quality built into every LulzBot 3D Printer.”

Now in its second year, the partnership between Aleph Objects and E3D was formed due to the companies’ shared focus on developing open source hardware for 3D printers. “Free, Libre, and Open Source development respects user freedom drives better products, accelerates innovation, and strengthens user communities,” stated Harris Kenny, President of Aleph Objects.

Sanjay Mortimer, Co-Founder and Director of Research and Development at E3D Online, added, “Aleph Objects probably [has]the most useful and interesting array of tool heads for their 3D printers, and E3D is excited to contribute its expertise to a tool head that really pushes the limits of the technology,”

“It’s a lot of fun collaborating with a like-minded company that also trusts their users to really engage openly and freely with the technology. There’s a lot more to come from this collaboration, and we feel like we’re just getting started.”

The new Aerostruder v2 Micro Tool Head. Photo via Aleph Objects.
The new Aerostruder v2 Micro Tool Head. Photo via Aleph Objects.

Lulzbot enables user freedom

Late last year, LulzBot released a variety of 3D printing software, hardware and 3D printing materials for its printers. This included the version 3 of the LulzBot TAZ Dual Extruder, which was created to allow more geometric freedom for designers so that they may focus on form and function, rather than the printability of a design. The new Aerostruder v2 Micro Tool Head is expected to be available for purchase next month and is currently on display with its micro art gallery at SIGGRAPH 2018.

A 3D printed banana fabricated using the new Aerostruder v2 Micro Tool Head is set next to a real banana for scale. Photo via Aleph Objects. Clip via Aleph Objects.

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Featured image shows a penny-sized octopus printed using the new Aerostruder v2 Micro Tool Head. Photo via Aleph Objects.

New 3D Printing Industry Index reports first data

The 3D Printing Industry Index, launching today, is the latest addition to our expanding suite of analytical tools and databases for the additive manufacturing sector.

Every quarter, the 3D Printing Industry Index will be compiled and published. The index is constructed using a survey of leading enterprises in the 3D printing industry. It is intended to be a measure regarding past, present and future sentiment towards several key metrics from the perspective of industry leaders.

In coming months, our survey results for the current quarter end of June 30 will be joined by corresponding data points for future quarter end dates. This will allow analysis of trends in the 3D printing industry to be conducted.

What is a sentiment index?

Sentiment indexes are powerful and widely used macro-economic tools. Central bankers, economists, financial analysts, VCs, investors, financial managers and journalists use them for forecasting, trend analysis and generally to gain insights.

Well known indexes include the IFO Business Climate Index, GfK Consumer Climate Index, Michigan Consumer Sentiment, and the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index.

Our approach with the 3D Printing Industry Index is similar.

The data for our index is collected by surveying a representative sample of the additive manufacturing ecosystem on a quarterly basis.

As a global industry, enterprises from across the world are represented. These range from operations with fewer than 10 employees to much larger enterprises. Hardware manufacturers, 3D printing material producers, 3D scanning companies, resellers, bureaus and the other enterprises that comprise the 3D printing industry are all represented.

This panel will be reviewed and updated as necessary to ensure the Index is a valid representation of the industry.

We will publish highlights and insights from the 3D Printing Industry Index for readers. Companies who participate in the panel survey will have access to a wider dataset.

Methodology for the 3D Printing Industry Index

The 3D Printing Industry Index is based upon the responses to a 5 question survey.

The questions address trading activity for the past and coming quarter, past and future hiring plans and changes to the gross margin. The full questions are as follows.

1. How was trading activity at your company during the past 3 months?

2. How do you expect trading activity to be during the coming 3 months?

3. Has your company expanded its 3D printing workforce in the last 3 months?

4. Does your company intend to expand its 3D printing workforce in the next 3 months?

5. How do you expect gross margin to change in the next 3 months?

There are 3 parts to the Index, the Global, Present and Future.

From the responses to the survey the index is calculated as follows.   

Global Index: S = (n+ – n-)/(n+ + n- + no)

n+ the number of positive answers, n− the number of negative answers and n0 the number of neutral answers.

We also calculate the Present Index from the answers to questions 1 and 3, and the Future 3DPI Sentiment Index from the answers to questions 2, 4 and 5.

The resulting value of the Index will range between -1 and 1. A negative figure indicates that a majority of the panelists are pessimistic. While a positive value  indicates that a majority of the panelists are optimistic. The closer the value is to 1 indicates just how positive sentiment is among the panelists.

We intend to publish the 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index quarterly in July, October, January and April. Once several quarters worth of data is collected trend analysis will be possible.

Results of the June 2018 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index

For the quarter ending the 30th of June 2018, the Global 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index is 0.69. This value indicates a strong optimism among the panelists.

The value for the Present 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index  stands at 0.75. This demonstrates a healthy state for our sector. The Future 3D Printing Industry Sentiment Index is calculated at 0.65 for June 2018. This is a strong result. It bodes well for the sector in the months to come.

While the graph below only contains data for June 2018, in coming quarters it will be used to track trends in the 3D printing industry.

The survey will be conducted again for the quarter ending on 30 September. To join the panel please contact us.  

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On the lookout for new talent or seeking a career change? Search and post 3D Printing Jobs for opportunities and new talent across engineering, marketing, sales and more.

University of Sydney awarded $1.15 million for iFix 3D printing Biopen

The University of Sydney’s Save Sight Institute has been awarded a $1.15 million (AUD) grant from the New South Wales (NSW) Government’s Medical Devices Fund (MDF) to progress commercialization of its 3D corneal biopen.

The iFix Pen, a hand-held co-axial 3D printer, extrudes bioink directly onto an eye to aid in the regeneration of cells on corneal ulcers. The pen also creates a biological barrier towards ongoing cornea damage caused by infections.

Brad Hazzard, the New South Wales Minister for Health and Medical Research, announced the recipients of the MDF, last Wednesday at the Parliament House in Sydney, Australia.

“Since the Medical Devices Fund began in 2013, the NSW Government has awarded more than $50 million in grants to 31 technologies,” said Hazzard.

“We are committed to supporting innovators in the medtech industry in getting their brilliant ideas off the ground and ultimately saving millions of lives around the world.”

Professor Gordon Wallace, Professor Gerard Sutton and NSW Minister for Medical Research, Brad Hazzard, receiving the NSW Government at Parliament House on Wednesday night. Photo via the University of Sydney.
(Left to right)Professor Gordon Wallace, Professor Gerard Sutton and NSW Minister for Medical Research, Brad Hazzard at the Parliament House. Photo via the University of Sydney.

The iFix Pen project

The iFix Pen Project is led by Gerard Sutton, ophthalmologist and Professor of Corneal and Refractive Surgery at the Sydney Eye Hospital, University of Sydney and Professor Gordon Wallace, Founder and Director of the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, University of Wollongong (UOW).

According to the Save Sight Institute, corneal ulceration, a painful open sore on the clear front surface of the eye which can lead to blindness, is a common problem in Australia and developing countries. Approximately 55,000 Australians with corneal ulceration present themselves to hospitals for treatment each year.

Thus, Professor Sutton and Professor Wallace began developing the iFix Pen Project as an alternative treatment that will potentially reduce the number of patients afflicted with corneal ulceration. The team’s research, which was first reported in the journal Biofabrication in 2016, has shown that the iFix Pen can accelerate feeling, minimize pain and reduce patient recovery time, through the deployment of antibiotics.

The project also collaborates with Professor Peter Choong, Sir Hugh Devine Chair of Surgery, and Head of Department of Surgery at the University of Melbourne, and the NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service.

The BioPen, developed by researchers from the UOW-headquartered Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES), will give surgeons greater control over where the materials are deposited while also reducing the time the patient is in surgery by delivering live cells and growth factors directly to the site of injury, accelerating the regeneration of functional bone and cartilage. Photo shows Dr. Stephen Beirne of the Australian National Fabrication Facility with the bio pen.
Dr. Stephen Beirne of the Australian National Fabrication Facility with the iFix Pen. Photo via Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES).

The Big Idea Grant

In 2017, the iFix Pen project was awarded $45,000 (AUD) in pre-seed funding through Sydney Local Health District’s Big Idea grant which the research team used to commence surgical tests on sheep.

“Winning the Big Idea last year gave us two things,” Professor Sutton says. “It gave us credibility when we were applying for other grants and the self-belief that we had a great idea worth developing.

“The iFix pen is one part of an overall corneal bioengineering project and, with the support from The Big Idea and the Medical Devices Fund, we are also hoping that within the next five to 10 years, we will be able to develop a 3D bioengineered cornea.

Last year, Professor Wallace’s UOW research team was also awarded a $347,070 (AUD) LIEF grant for a 3D Additive Bio-Fabrication Facility to create the next generation of bioprinting methodologies and 3D fabrication tools.

The iFix Pen is expected to undertake a phase 1 human trial in 2019.

(Left to Right)Professor Gerard Sutton, Dr. Jingjing You, Dr. Simon Cooper, PhD student Hannah Frazer and Dr. Li Wen receiving the Big Idea Grant at the Vision Eye Institute. Photo via the University of Sydney.
(Left to Right)Professor Gerard Sutton, Dr. Jingjing You, Dr. Simon Cooper, PhD student Hannah Frazer and Dr. Li Wen receiving the Big Idea Grant at the Vision Eye Institute. Photo via the University of Sydney.

Stay abreast of the latest news in 3D printing by subscribing to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter. Also, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

On the lookout for new talent or seeking a career change? Search and post 3D Printing Jobs for opportunities and new talent across engineering, marketing, sales and more.

Featured image shows Dr. Stephen Beirne of the Australian National Fabrication Facility with the iFix Pen. Photo via Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES).


Innovate UK grants £6M to national aerospace additive manufacturing project

Independent research and technology organisation TWI, also known as The Welding Institute, has announced that it will lead the Open Architecture Additive Manufacturing (OAAM) project. With the contribution of several regional research institutions and global organizations, OAAM is an initiative set to provide the UK aerospace sector with large scale metal 3D printed components.

The government’s Technology Strategy Board Innovate UK is funding the program, and has so far granted contributors over £6.5 million ($8.27 million approx.).

Directed energy deposition (DED) metal 3D printing technology. Photo via TWI
Directed energy deposition (DED) metal 3D printing technology. Photo via TWI

Industrial DED

The OAAM program focuses on the development of large-scale directed energy deposition (DED) additive manufacturing, a technique commercially marketed by companies including FormalloyOptomec and AddUp. The abstract suggests that multiple DED based technologies will be developed throughout the duration of the project, advancing the current capabilities of arc-wire/laser-wire at Cranfield University, and TWI’s electron beam wire and laser-powder/laser-wire processes. Cranfield’s wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) method in particular has already proven an ability to create potentially record-breaking large-scale metal parts.

In addition to TWI and Cranfield, the project will rely on contribution from 8 other bodies: global aerospace giant Airbus, award winning software company Autodesk, Scottish engineering and manufacturing specialist the Glenalmond Group, the University of Bath, University of ManchesterUniversity of Strathclyde, and engineering consultancy firm Isotek Oil & Gas Ltd.

Funding from Innovate UK has been shared out between each body with TWI receiving the lion’s share of $2 million. With an estimated project cost of $1.7 million, Cranfield University was granted 100% of the proposed from Innovate UK. Further numerations are detailed below.

Distribution of the Innovate UK $6 million grant. Image via GTR UK.
Distribution of the Innovate UK $6 million grant. Image via GTR UK.

Scaleable, integrated, metal additive manufacturing 

The various technologies developed through the project are required to be scaleable; work with common CAD/CAM interfacing; and integrate four traditionally isolated steps of production: non-destructive testing (NDT), machining, inspection and cold-work. Necessarily, the technologies must also conform to aerospace level standards.

Innovate UK’s funding period for OAAM has been initially set to run until December 2020. The goal over the next two-three years it to develop the technologies to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6, i.e. a functioning demonstration of the method’s capabilities, or Manufacturing Capability Readiness Level (MCRL) 4/5, “Capability to produce the technology in a laboratory environment” or “Capability to produce prototype components in a production relevant environment.” Following this, OAAM technologies will have to pass through three further TRLs or 5/6 MCRLs before they are considered the “highest level of production readiness,” and fully validated for a commercial market.

For more updates on this project as it progresses, subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For new, professional opportunities in the industry, search 3D Printing Jobs.

Featured image shows components manufactured using electron beam melting at TWI. Photo via TWI

XYZprinting’s affordable full-colour 3D printer: the da Vinci Color mini – technical specifications and pricing

XYZprinting, the Taiwanese manufacturers of the da Vinci range of desktop 3D printers, has unveiled a new full-color 3D printer, the da Vinci Color mini.

Designed to produce realistic prototypes, this consumer-oriented 3D printer uses Color Jet Printing (CJP) technology, which combines inkjet printing with the fused filament fabrication (FFF), to create a range of colorful prints that allow designers to vividly envision their final product without having to paint it.

“Desktop full-color 3D printing is here,” said Simon Shen, CEO of XYZprinting. “Now, consumers can purchase an easy-to-operate, affordable, compact full-color 3D printer for $30,000 less than market rate.”

“This is revolutionary because we are giving the public access to technology that was once only available to industry professionals.”

A full-color print from the da Vinci color mini. Photo via XYZprinting.

Color 3D printing for a lower price tag

XYZprinting, launched the da Vinci Color Mini’s predecessor, the da Vinci Color 3D printer, in 2016 Now, with STEM students, film model makers, and toymakers in mind, XYZprinting have created a smaller, more convenient, user-friendly 3D printer.

The da Vinci Color mini includes a hands-free auto calibration, an EZ removable print bed, WiFi connectivity, and a 5-inch color LCD screen.  Its “full-color” 3D printing abilities reportedly provides over 15 million color combinations from new 3-in-1 CMY ink cartridges. Using its 3DColorJet technology, the da Vinci Color mini mixes and spreads droplets of colored ink from printer ink cartridges between designated layers of PLA, creating a multi-colored 3D printed model.

An upgradable laser engraving function for wood, leather, and more materials and mono-color 3D printing in PLA, PETG, and Tough PLA have also been added to the printer.

With lighter hardware and automated settings, XYZprinting believe that the da Vinci Color mini is best suited for “small business owners seeking cost-effective solutions or starting their own full 3D printing businesses; educators interested in incorporating full color 3D printing into classrooms and curriculums; fans and collectors who love geek culture; and day-to-day consumers.”


Technical specifications and Pricing

Build volume: 5.1” x 5.1” x 5.1”
Weight: 53 lbs
Print technology: 3DColorJet
Printing software: XYZ maker
Layer resolution: 100-400 microns
Calibration: Auto-Leveling
Materials: 3D Color inkjet PLA, PLA, PETG
Filament diameter: 1.75mm
Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
Print bed: Ez removable metal
User interface: 5” LCD touch panel
Ink type: 3-in-1 CMY ink cartridge
Wifi connectivity: Yes
Print speed: 180mm/s

The da Vinci Color mini retails for a price of $1599.95. Early adopters of XYZprinting’s
Indiegogo campaign can pre-order the da Vinci Color printer for $999.95. The 3D printer is set to ship to backers in October.

XYZprinting’s da Vinci Color mini will also be on display at IFA 2018, August 31 – September 5, at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds, in Berlin, Germany.

A full-color printed helicopter model from the da Vinci color mini. Photo via XYZprinting.

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Featured image shows the Da Vinci Color Mini. Photo via XYZprinting.

Hobbyist 3D prints open source CNC machine for under $200

Hobbyist and Reddit 3D printing community contributor Marioarm has built an “almost fully” 3D printed CNC machine for milling electronic chipboards.

Marioarm built the Cyclone PCB CNC machine with 3D printed parts downloaded from file sharing sites such as Thingiverse and the GitHub repository Cyclone PCB Factory. With minimal, prefabricated parts, the project in total cost Marioarm under $200 to build.

Marioarm's 3D printed CNC machine. Photo via Imgur
Marioarm’s 3D printed CNC machine. Photo via Imgur

The Cyclone CNC machine

Marioarm’s machine is a combination of 3D printed and non-3D printed parts. Non-3D printed parts include precision sliders for controlling the drill, a solid wood base, three stepper motors, cables, power supply, drill bits, screws, a CNC controller, and a rotary tool.

The rest of the parts including, holders, frame, gears for axis etc., were 3D printed.  

The cost breakdown is as follows:

– CNC controller: $5-6

– a rotary tool: $50

– three Nema Stepper Motors (17HS3401): $30-36

– 5 steel rods: $25-30

– a rubber hose for vacuum: $3

– drill bits: 10 pieces cost $3

The cost of these parts adds up to $126. Adding $50-$70 for the cost of minor bits and pieces, and 3D printed parts, the total amount reaches only $176-$196.

The original Cyclone design had problems with backlash and wobbling, but Marioarm solved the problem by replacing threaded rods with lead screws and adding spring tensioners. According to the creator, the machine is specifically designed to mill Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) for surface-mounting.

A PCB milled with marioarm's 3D printed CNC machine. Photo via Imgur
A PCB milled with Marioarm’s 3D printed CNC machine. Photo via Imgur

Open source 3D printing and the maker movement

The open source culture of 3D printing has provided hobbyists with cost-efficient alternatives to many problems and develop their ideas. In Marioarm’s case, some of the shortcomings of the original open source Cyclone PCB machine were overcome by making minor modifications.

In recent years, open source culture has had a significant impact on humanitarian aid projects. In 2016, Mohammed Abu Mattar, a Glia project member working in Gaza, circumvented a ban on 3D printer imposed by the Israeli government. He made a 3D printer using spare parts and open source designs. The open source 3D printer was used to make medical hardware which is otherwise expensive and unavailable in war zones.

The same year, a Fab Lab project brought WiFi to Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

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Featured image shows marioarm’s 3D printed CNC machine. Photo via Imgur

Facebook bans 3D printed guns in news feed, messenger and Instagram

Despite Cody Wilson’s assertions, the debate over 3D printed guns is not over yet. Last week, social media giant Facebook became the latest organization to weigh-in on the discussion in an update to its Community Guidelines.

According to numerous sources, Facebook released a statement saying: “Sharing instructions on how to print firearms using 3D printers is not allowed under our Community Standards,”

“In line with our policies, we are removing this content from Facebook.”

Thoughts? Answers in an email please, or via Twitter. Post reactions graphic via Facebook
Thoughts? Answers in an email please, or via Twitter…or an appropriate emoji. Post reactions graphic via Facebook

The so-called age of the downloadable gun

Though 3D printed guns remain a critically impractical and convoluted way of obtaining weapons, as one of the most “hot topics” of 3D printing, in the public eye at least, we have been closely monitoring the rise of the “3D Downloadable Gun”.

The idea was first conceived in 2012/2013 when crypto-anarchist and gun-rights activist Cody Wilson designed and began the digital distribution of files to make the Plastic Liberator handgun.

Recently, the debate over availability of these files reached a new peak when Wilson and gun rights non-profit group the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) succeeded in a legal battle at a court in Texas.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun ViolenceEverytown for Gun Safety and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence tried, and subsequently failed, to acquire an injunction on the ruling, and a number of 3D printing stakeholders have spoken out against the decision.

In the weeks following this decision made by the Department of Justice, Wilson’s site for sharing the files (Defense Distributed) was taken offline by an order from a federal judge in Washington, and the issue has served to inflame further discussion over the general terms of gun control in the United States.

However, since the files were shared by Wilson, they have remained online through sources outside of Defense Distributed.

The Plastic Liberator 3D printed gun. Photo by Lorenza Baroncelli
Banned from Facebook: The Plastic Liberator 3D printed gun. Photo by Lorenza Baroncelli

Facebook prohibits downloadable guns

Sites known to contain files for 3D printing the Plastic Liberator and semi-automatic firearms, have now been prohibited by Facebook.

Sharing such links and files fall under the site’s Regulated Goods Policy that prohibits “the purchase, sale, gifting, exchange and transfer of firearms, including firearm parts or ammunition, between private individuals on Facebook.”

The policy affects all posts made to Facebook news feed, friend timelines, private messenger exchanges and Instagram, with any attempt automatically flagging as spam.

In response to the move, the Firearms Policy Coalition has created a call to action asking Facebook to lift the ban on one affected site, that advocates: “Information is code. Code is free speech. Free speech is freedom.”

According Buzzfeed, a Facebook spokesperson has said “the company is currently working on scaling up its anti–3D gun policy.”

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Featured image shows the Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson holding the 3D printed Plastic Liberator. Photo by Lorenza Baroncelli