Aurora Labs signs $100,000 3D printing research deal with CSIRO

Australian 3D printer manufacturer Aurora Labs has announced a
research agreement with the Commonwealth Scientific and
Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) as part of a joint project to
advance and commercialize 3D printing.

As part of the deal, Aurora Labs will supply
CSIRO, a public scientific research organization, with a
small-format Aurora Labs metal 3D printer and materials. In
return, CSIRO will support the establishment of Aurora Lab’s 3D
printing “Solution Centre.”

The laser inside the Aurora Labs S-Titanium Pro 3D printer. Photo via Aurora Labs.The laser inside the
Aurora Labs S-Titanium Pro 3D printer. Photo via Aurora Labs.

A reciprocal deal with CSIRO

As part of the research agreement, CSIRO will
receive the metal 3D printer. It will be installed in CSIRO’s
Lab22 Innovation Centre in Melbourne, where the organization’s
scientists will investigate object design, printing and
optimization processes using the 3D printer, eventually
reporting back findings.

In return, CSIRO will provide $100,000 worth
of technical, R&D, labor and overhead support to Aurora
Labs in establishing a Solution Center. This will include
facilities for the replicative and generative design of
multiple metal powders. Leon Prentice, a research director at
CSIRO said:

“We are pleased to be working in partnership
with Aurora Labs to develop this Solution Centre, and we look
forward to its future success and impact on a range of
industries.”

“Aurora Labs are an important part of the
Australian metal manufacturing value chain, and CSIRO’s goal is
to grow the entire ‘powder to product’ process in Australia,”
Prentice added.

Analysis of 3D printed components at CSIRO's Lab 22. Photo via CSIRO.Analysis of 3D printed
components at CSIRO’s Lab 22 with AR. Photo via CSIRO.

The Aurora Labs Solution Centre

Aurora Labs, the
manufacturer of the S-Titanium and S-Titanium Pro metal 3D
printers, will provide 3D printing consulting services, 3D
printer distribution, and possible powder production
facilities. Special emphasis will be placed on providing 3D
printing services to major infrastructure, mining and resource
companies.

Ahead of the Solution Centre’s establishment,
Aurora Labs has signed a number of deals to support its
development.

The company signed a binding agreement with
engineering company
WorleyParsons
in November 2017. As
a result of this, WorleyParsons will distribute Aurora Labs 3D
printers, and assist the company in establishing the Solution
Centre.

In December, Aurora Labs additionally signed a
non-binding agreement with global quality assurance and risk
management company
DNV GL
, which will develop a
certification framework for metal parts made on Aurora Labs’ 3D
printers.

Commenting on the latest agreement, Aurora
Labs Managing Director David Budge said, “this is an exciting
collaboration, and we are incredibly pleased to be working with
a tier-one partner such as the preeminent government research
organization CSIRO.”

“The research agreement speeds up the
development of our Solution Centre, enhances our credibility,
as well as endorses the technical performance of our
technology,” Budge added.

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Featured image shows Aurora Labs’ David Budge. Photo
via The West.

Sliced 3D printing news LEGO, PostProcess Technologies, DOBOT, Arcam

What gave Einstein so many bright ideas? How are 3D printed
fakes entering the art world? Where can I get a 3D printed Tiny
Rick? How many hours does it take to design a 3D printed dress?

These questions and more from metal additive manufacturing to
desktop 3D printing are answered in this edition of our Sliced
3D printing news
digest.

The first of the week’s round-ups also features, PostProcess
Technologies, CTC GmbH Stade, Damien Hirst,
Coventry’s Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Nano
Dimension, Arcam, DOBOT, and the ‘Father of Titanium.’

What’s possible with 3D printing?

Tiny Rick, a younger version of the character Rick in Rick and
Morty been given a new storyline by designer and
YouTuber 3D
Print Guy
. The product of popular demand by fans, an
exclusive Tiny Rick model is now 3D printable and features
in a unique animated short on 3D Print Guy’s channel. You can
get the
.stl files here
. Enjoy!

Damien Hirst’s mockumentary Treasures from the Wreck of
the Unbelievable, that features 3D printed artworks lifted from
the sea, is now available on Netflix. The film chronicles the
fictional lead-up to Hirst’s show at the Venice Biennale in
2017.

Under the Real Play Coalition, the LEGO Foundation, Unilever
and IKEA have released a
3D printing kit
for a set of toy blocks that used to belong
to Albert Einstein.

The building block set, a childhood toy of Albert Einstein, has been 3D scanned and released to the public. Photo via The Real Play CoalitionThe building block
set, a childhood toy of Albert Einstein, has been 3D scanned and
released to the public. Photo via The Real Play Coalition

To get ahead in additive manufacturing, UK based SMEs GRM
Consulting Ltd. and K-Tech have enlisted the help of
Coventry’s National Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC)
to help optimize their software for metal 3D printing. In two
successful test prints, GRM and K-Tech successfully produced
motorbike forks, optimized for toughness vs. weight.

Martin Gambling, Managing Director at GRM, comments, “The MTC’s
experience in additive manufacturing technologies has been a
great help in ensuring our tools compliment these emerging
technologies.”

Seattle running shoe maker Brooks is the latest
to enter the custom-fit sneaker race with a 3D scanning
partnership with HP.

And a 3D printed dress is the centrepiece of the Remarkable
campaign
 at Griffith University,
Australia, that seeks to encourage research innovation. The
dress was designed over 400 hours by Queensland
College of Art
lecturer Dr Sam Canning, and is made
of 25,000 to 30,000 individual pieces.

Dr Sam Canning and his amazing 3D printed dress. Photo via Griffith UniversityDr Sam Canning and
his amazing 3D printed dress. Photo via Griffith University

Deals in 3D printing 

Trideus has become a reseller of BigRep 3D
printers and hardware in Belgium, the Netherlands, and
Luxembourg.

Nanyang Technological
University
, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has become the latest
customer of
a Nano Dimension DragonFly 2020 Pro
 electronics 3D
printer.

Following
the proposal from GE Additive
at the beginning of January,
Arcam AB has now official delisted from the Nasdaq
Stockholm exchange. The last day of trading was January
26, 2018.

PostProcess
Technologies
has signed two regional sales partnerships in
the U.S., one with Prototyping Solutions in Buffalo, NY and the
second with the TekPro Group, headquartered in California.
According to the company, it is the first “to automate
post-printing for the industrial 3D printing market.” The new
partnerships will help PostProcess reach its market potential.

PostProcess Automated Production Scale Support Removal System. Photo via PostProcess TechnologiesPostProcess Automated
Production Scale Support Removal System. Photo via PostProcess
Technologies

A step forward for 3D bioprinting and medtech

And researchers at Pennsylvania
State University
 have found that mixing different
forms of PDMS/silicone can promote cell adhesion in
3D bioprinted scaffolds.

In the latest from
3D printing trends in healthcare
, Augusta University Medical
Institute
, Georgia, has adopted the technology to make
education models for its students. The program currently
focuses on critical models such as the heart, brain and spinal
chord.

Combining computer-vision, machine learning and 3D printing,
Shapecrunch
in Delhi, India, is making custom insoles for people with foot
problems. Co-founders Nitin Gandhi explains the thought
behind the project, “I went to the doctor and he told me to get
a pair of custom orthotics. Then I went to a shop to get those
made and was surprised to see the manual process,”

“All the machines were imported and the orthotics that I
finally got had to be replaced because they were uncomfortable
[…] Since were already working in 3D printing, we thought how
if we 3D print the insoles and see if it’s comfortable. It
actually worked.”

Shapecrunch's custom made orthoses. Image via ShapecrunchShapecrunch’s
custom made orthoses. Image via Shapecrunch

Education with bite

DOBOT, a CES
2018 Innovation Awards Honoree
, came to the UK Beat show
last week to exhibit it’s educational potential. DOBOT
founder and CEO Jerry Liu comments, “DOBOT hopes that each kid
can enjoy the pleasure taken by robots and artificial
intelligence, that’s what we are striving for!”

A
University of Washington study
, involving experiments with
a 3D printer, has discovered more about how mosquitoes know
just the right time to bite. Ouch!

What’s new in materials?

Traxer, a 3D printing
service provider based in Germany, has released 3DWASH, a new,
eco-friendly cleaning agent. 3DWASH is specified for use on
alkali-based support materials, such as those 3D
printed on the Stratasys Fortus series.

Orbital
Composites’
patented carbon fiber 3D printing method is
undergoing research at Airbus subsidiary CTC GmbH
Stade.
 In the project CTC is investigating ways the
technology can be used to 3D print large areas, like rotor
blades and aircraft wings, and work up to 100 times faster than
other continuous fiber-reinforced plastic additive
manufacturing.

Stanley Abkowitz, known as the ‘Father of Titanium’ has passed
away at the age of 90. In 1951, Abokowitz
invented Ti-6Al-4V at a U.S. Army laboratory. The
titanium-aluminum mixture has since become one of the most
commonly used titanium alloys in the manufacturing industry.
It’s powdered form is used in metal 3D printing by the likes of

GE Aviation
,
Digital Metal
and
DARPA
.

Let us know what you think are the most important
applications of 3D printing. Make your nominations for the


3D Printing Industry Awards
2018
 now.

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printing, 
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Featured image shows the Sliced logo over a 3D
printed Tiny Rick. Photo via 3D
Print Guy
.

China researchers construct artificial ears using 3D printing and tissue engineering

A group of researchers in China has constructed ears for
children suffering from microtia, a congenital condition
where the external ear (pinna) is underdeveloped, with the help
of 3D scanning and 3D printing.

The scientists, from Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
the National
Tissue Engineering Research Center of China
, the Chinese Academy of Medical
Science
, Wei Fang Medical College and Dalian University, engineered a
patient-specific ear-shaped cartilage in vitro using a 3D
printed biodegradable scaffold and Microtia Chondrocyte (MCs)
cartilage cells.

Microtia and 3D printing

Microtia can have a negative impact on the hearing and
wellbeing of children affected by it. Established procedures to
treat microtia include rib cartilage reconstruction, plastic
implants or prostheses.

Projects like Australia’s
FutureHear
are 3D printing customized ear molds, while
Dr. Ken Stewart of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in
Edinburgh has used 3D scanning and 3D printed models to prepare
cartilage reconstructions accurately in the shape of an ear.

This approach, however, combined 3D printing with in vitro
tissue engineering on children suffering from microtia only in
one ear.

The subjects of the study. Image via EBiomedicine.The subjects of the
study. Image via EBiomedicine.

3D printing a guide for a healthy ear

To begin with, a scan was taken of the healthy ear and a
digital image of it created using 3DPRO software. This digital
image was then symmetrically mirrored to guide reconstruction.

A corresponding resin model of this mirrored ear was 3D printed
on a Z Corp Spectrum 510 3D printer, a model that first shipped
in 2005 by the company who would later be acquired by 3D
Systems in 2012.

The 3D printed model was used to cast a pair of molds
from clay and silicone, which could then hold biomaterial
scaffolds.

Growing a healthy ear on 3D printed scaffolds

To produce the biodegradable biomaterial scaffolds, a 9 square
centimeter inner PCL mesh with three square
milimeter grids and a thickness of 1.37 mm was 3D printed.

This inner core was wrapped with PGA unwoven fibers and coated
with PLA. Expanded MCs harvested from the child’s microtic
ear. These were evenly dropped onto the PGA/PLA layer of the
ear-shaped scaffold and then placed in a cell culture solution.
The cartilage ear was removed after twelve weeks.

The cartilage ear was surgically implanted in a similar way to
rib cartilage. The child’s skin was draped over the cartilage
and it fit the new shape of the ear thanks to vacuum drainage.

The ear cartilage implanted within the skin and tested for strength and flexibility. GIF by Rushabh Haria.The ear cartilage implanted within the
skin and tested for strength and flexibility. GIF by Rushabh
Haria.

Conclusions from the research

While four of the five repetitions of this study were an
immediate success, the authors admit that closer analysis and
process refinement may help to introduce this treatment
clinically.

The full paper, “In Vitro Regeneration of Patient-specific
Ear-shaped Cartilage and Its First Clinical Application for
Auricular Reconstruction” by Guangdong Zhou, Haiyue Jiang,
Zongqi Yin, Yu Liu, Qingguo Zhang, Chen Zhang, Bo Pan, Jiayu
Zhou, Xu Zhou, Hengyun Sun, Dan Li, Aijuan He, Zhiyong Zhang,
Wenjie Zhang, Wei Liu, and Yilin Cao is available to
read online
.

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Featured image shows a successfully regenerated ear-shaped
cartilage. Photo via EBiomedicine.

Report: 3D Printing has greater potential than Genome Editing, Augmented Reality

A new report by Lux Research
ranks 3D printing as one of the most important
technologies to watch in 2018.

Andrew Stockwell, Senior VP of Research, Product &
Operations at Lux said, “We looked at traditional industry
approaches to predicting technology innovations to watch, and
they were all based on intuition, surveys of industry
executives, news sources, or other lagging indicators – we knew
there had to be a better way.”

This better way involves posing the question, “What
technologies have the greatest potential to transform the world
over the next decade?” to Lux analysts and by using the “Lux
Intelligence Engine (LuxIE) data platform”.

The process uses the Lux Tech Signal. This a number that
uses data from patents, academic papers, and funding, plus
additional undisclosed data. The Lux Tech Signal, “quantifies
the progress of each technology, against a maximum innovation
interest score of 100”.

And by these metrics, 3D Printing is in rude health,
ranked second on the list of 18, beaten only by Machine
Learning and Deep Neural Networks.

The Lux Tech Signal methodology. Image via Lux Research.The Lux Tech Signal
methodology. Image via Lux Research.

“The current rock stars of innovation”

Overlooking the distinct lack of guitars, ripped jeans
and smashed TVs at most 3D printing events – the Boston based
research group includes 3D printing, 5G networks (#4) and
smartwatches (#9) as innovation rockstars. Mike Holman, VP
Intelligence at Lux Research, said “these technologies have
been rising stratospherically during the past few years and
demonstrate substance. A strategy for each of these
technologies is a must-have for any company in relevant
industries – but beware of strong competition and the risk of
inflated expectations.”

In the report Lux writes, “3D printing has the potential
to produce parts that are better, cheaper, and that have a
lower environmental footprint. Although 3D printing was once
limited to prototyping and tooling, it is now increasingly
making end-use parts and products, thanks to better materials,
hardware, software, and business models.”

3D printing forecasts

Forecasting a $20 billion market by 2025, “We also expect
to see more FAA- or FDA-approved 3D printable materials, and
more integrated offerings from material suppliers,” writes the
provider of research and advisory services. Other


3D printing industry analysts
give
forecasts ranging from $20 billion to as high as


$40 billion by 2020
.

An extract from the Lux Research 18 in 2018 report. Image via Lux Research.An extract from the Lux
Research 18 in 2018 report. Image via Lux Research.

The most important technologies to watch in
2018

The executive summary from the Lux Report gives ranks of
the most important technologies to watch, given their potential
to transform the world in the next decade as follows:

1 Machine Learning and Deep Neural Networks. 30% annual
increase in machine learning patents.

2 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing. Lux expects 3D
printing to be a $20 billion market by 2025.

3 Genome Editing $1.2 billion in VC funding to impact
industries from food to health care.

4 5G Networks Over 70,000 patents set the stage for 5G
network launches in 2018.

5 Microbiome Harnessing the power of microbes for
nutrition, agriculture, and more.

6 Solid-state Batteries Safer and better batteries,
pursued by start-ups and giants like Toyota.

7 Synthetic Biology A recent $275 million round for
Ginkgo Bioworks highlights the potential.

8 Augmented Reality (AR) Enterprise applications are
coming now, on heels of $4.4 billion in funding.

9 Smartwatches Patents soar from near zero to over 23,000
in less than five years.

10 Wireless Charging Here now for consumer electronics,
with R&D pushing for EV uses.

11 Materials Informatics Using IT and AI to break out of
slow material development cycles.

12 IoT Security Patents are up 13x as connected devices
proliferate.

13 Edge Computing. When milliseconds matter, analytics
can be local, not in the cloud.

14 Energy Distribution System Monitoring Growing demand
and renewables require tech to balance the grid.

15 Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) Innovation has grown at
an 87% annual rate to improve on PET.

16 Sugar Reduction Over 162,000 patents to combat health
ills from too much sugar.

17 Neural Interfaces Tech to read and stimulate the brain
will see growing validation in 2018.

18 Syngas and Power-to-Gas Producing fuels from CO2 to
drive the energy transition.

The full report can be requested from Lux Research.

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analysis,
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GlassesUSA launches free glasses frame designs for 3D printing with artist Janne Kyttanen

Will you be 3D printing frames at home in the
near future? Online eyewear retailer GlassesUSA.com seems to think so.

The company has released free .stl and .obj
files for 3D printed glasses frames, together with
instructions on how to print them and fit prescription lenses.
The eyewear accessories were created by artist Janne Kyttanen, and are
available in three varieties.

Preparing the 3D files for the glasses. Photo via Sinterit.Preparing the 3D files
for the frames. Photo via Sinterit.

Custom 3D printed glasses

Companies such as
Materialise
have previously teamed
up with designers to produce 3D printed frames, and lens
manufacturers like
Luxexcel
are 3D printing lenses for
glasses, and a
3D design competition with MyMiniFactory and Floreon3D

created new 3D printed frames.

The Materialise and Hoya partnership Yuniku is another example
of the potential of
3D printing for the eyewear market
.

At GlassesUSA, customers can choose from three
templates that are based on best-selling designs. Each template
also features wayfarer, rectangular and round style options to
fit different face shapes.

The frames can be customized freely according
to the customer’s needs and wishes, and then 3D printed.
Prescription lenses that specifically fit the downloadable
frames can be ordered from GlassesUSA.

“The addition of 3D printable frames marks a
new milestone in our history, creating previously unachievable
possibilities in customization,” said Daniel Rothman, CEO
of GlassesUSA.com.

Artist Janne Kyttanen, who designed the digital frames. Photo via Janne Kyttanen.Artist Janne Kyttanen,
who designed the digital frames. Photo via Janne Kyttanen.

Why 3D print glasses?

GlassesUSA’s 3D printable frames are not only
more affordable and customizable than traditional frames, but
they can also be 3D printed using FFF or SLS technology, giving
customers more choice over materials.

Additionally, the 3D printable frames
incorporate corrugated corners, a design feature that
eliminates the weakness and structural complexity of
traditional metal hinges. This was part of artist Janne
Kyttanen’s innovative approach, as he commented that:

“My mission is to share my work freely to
empower others to create. The 3D community is always looking
for new projects and as so many of us wear glasses.”

“This is a great opportunity for creating and
printing something both useful and artistic,” Kyttanen
added.

To celebrate the launch of 3D printed frames,
GlassesUSA is giving people a chance to win
a $300 gift card. Participants must design their own
frames, upload them to Instagram, tag the brand, and use the
hashtag #GlassesUSA3D by Feb. 28, 2018 to be in with
a chance of winning.

Let us know what you think the most innovative application
of 3D printing was. 
Make your nominations for
the

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2018
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Featured image shows a pair of GlassesUSA frames SLS 3D
printed using Sinterit Lisa. Photo via Sinterit.

SLAC perfect recipe for metal 3D printing under investigation by Lawrence Livermore and Dept. of Energy

From speaking to researchers in metal 3D printing, it’s clear
that innovation is driven by perfection. No matter what the
application, from
large-scale airplane components
to
lightweight turbine blades
, the goal is to 3D print a
flawless piece of metalwork.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California,
has been a key driver of such developments, publishing
insights into the “spatter” phenomenon
of metal particles
under the laser. By employing high-speed imaging techniques and
x-rays, scientists and engineers are now capable of monitoring
the melt process in real time – an invaluable asset to a
system’s control.

At the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, LLNL is
working with Ames Laboratory, Iowa, to perfect the process
of
Directed Energy Deposition
(DED). Funded by the U.S.
Department of Energy (DOE), the labs are effectively developing
a recipe for metal 3D printing processes that can be
transferred to manufacturers and engineers.

The pursuit of a flawless process

At SLAC, the teams are employing the Stanford Synchrotron
Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) to conduct high-speed x-ray
experiments of behaviour inside DED metal 3D printers. Within
the synchrotron, x-rays or light are circulated in a
large-purpose built ring (like the Hadron Collier but smaller)
at
almost the speed of light
.

Video shows a DED metal 3D printing experiment inside an
x-ray chamber at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation
Lightsource (SSRL). Clip via SLAC
National Accelerator Laboratory
 on YouTube

There are two types of x-rays in use on the project. The first
studies the formation of layers at a micron level. The second
analyzes how particles change from solid to liquid and back
again under the laser’s path.

Gathering invaluable data

All aspects of the process are taken into consideration in the
project, from the kind of metal used, to the heat rate of the
laser. The data collected will be invaluable to engineers and
manufacturers seeking repeatability of their processes.

Chris Tassone, a staff scientist in Material Science at SSRL,

explains
, “We are providing the fundamental physics
research that will help us identify which aspects of metal 3D
printing are important.”

"SLAC staff scientist Johanna Nelson Weker, front, leads a study on metal 3-D printing at SLAC’s Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource with researchers Andrew Kiss and Nick Calta, back." Photo by Dawn Harmer, caption via SLAC“SLAC staff
scientist Johanna Nelson Weker, front, leads a study on metal 3-D
printing at SLAC’s Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource
with researchers Andrew Kiss and Nick Calta, back.”
Photo by Dawn Harmer, caption via SLAC

In the next steps, the researchers hope to employ high-speed
imaging cameras, like those
previously used by LLNL
, to give a clearer image of DED
build-chamber behaviour.

Johanna Nelson Weker, fellow staff scientist in the Material
Science Division at SSRL adds “We want people to be able to
connect what they see on their cameras with what we are
measuring here so they can infer what’s happening below the
surface of the growing metal material. We want to put meaning
to those signatures.”

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additive manufacturing research? Nominate
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Featured image shows a SLAC, LLNL and AMES logo DED sample.
Photo by Johanna Nelson Weker/SLAC

3D LifePrints secures £500,000 to expand hospital based 3D printer labs

The future of 3D printing in healthcare? Many
companies/individuals believe that 3D printer labs in hospitals
is the way forward for medicine. Phoenix Children’s Hospital,

veterans hospitals in the U.S.
, the Royal
Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
in Australia and more around
the world are all getting ahead of the curve with their own
dedicated units, and 3D LifePrints is part of such an
initiative in the UK.

Headquartered in London with significant bases in Liverpool and
Nairobi, 3D LifePrints has just raised £500,000 in Series
A funding to help expand its operations on a national and
international level.

3D LifePrints range of 3D printed medical models. Photos via 3D LifePrints3D LifePrints range
of 3D printed medical models. Photos via 3D LifePrints

3D printing Innovation Hubs

3D LifePrints was founded in 2013 as humanitarian aid,
providing 3D printed prosthesis to people in East Africa. Since
expanding facilities throughout the UK, the company now has 3D
printing “Innovation Hubs” embedded in four NHS hospitals –
three in Liverpool and one in Oxford.

3D LifePrints primary business is in making anatomical models
for patient care and medical personnel. Over five years in the
industry, the company has successfully classified these
services into three categories, each one with their own
challenges to meet:

  1. Models for doctor-patient communications – typically
    simple, single color 3D prints to help a patient understand
    their condition.
  2. Models for teaching & education – more advanced,
    multicolor anatomical models, that can be custom-made to help
    in training, or consider and operation.
  3. Devices used in surgical simulation – 3D printed models
    that match the feel of real bones and organs, which can be used
    to practice a procedure.

Embedded hospital services

Each Innovation Hub is a place where doctors, surgeons,
companies, and technicians can collaborate and find new
solutions for medical problems.

The 3D LifePrints Innovation Hub at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
has become a specialist in
3D printing patient-specific heart models
. The cardiac
models are used by surgeons to size medical devices, and help
surgeons reduce the risk of complications in surgery. 3D
LifePrints has also made customized face masks for burn
victims.

The company uses FDM, SLS, SLA and PolyJet technology for
3D printing. It’s most recent acquisition is a Stratasys Objet
Prime 3D printer, that helps create high-definition models.

Test operation on a 3D printed heart model. Photo via 3D LifePrintsTest operation on a
3D printed heart model. Photo via 3D LifePrints

Improving patient care

3D LifePrints’ £500,000 investment will be used by the
company to help “expand their portfolio of embedded
medical 3D printing hubs across the NHS and overseas,” “recruit
additional bio-medical engineers and 3D technologists,” and
continue Research and Development.

Paul Fotheringham, Founder and CTO at the company said, “We are
extremely pleased to announce the completion of this funding
round,” that wad led by Fenwall Investments Ltd. He
asserts that the money “will accelerate our unique model of
embedded 3D medical printing services to drive down operational
costs, provide innovative 3D technology based products and
services, and ultimately improve patient care.”

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Featured image shows a 3D printed skull model. Photo via 3D
LifePrints

$30 million NIHR research center to open with 3D printed art installation

A multi-media art installation consisting of
3D printed heart models and medical soundscapes will be
displayed at the Bristol
Biomedical Research Centre
(BRC) of National Institute
for Health Research
(NIHR), to mark its opening on 1
February.

The installation, Under the
Microscope: Making the Invisible Visible
by
artist Sofie Layton explores the nature of congenital
heart disease and symbolizes the advanced research that will
take place at the £21 million ($30 million) Bristol BRC.

An visitor listens to the soundscapes of the installation. Photo via Sofie Layton.A visitor listens to
the soundscapes of the installation. Photo via Sofie Layton.

Making the Invisible Visible

The art installation was originally created by
Sofie Layton during her residency at Great Ormond Street
Hospital for children, with the help of cardiologist Dr.
Giovanni Biglino and sound artist Jules Maxwell.

It consists of 3D-printed models of hearts
with congenital heart disease, exploring, in the words of
Layton, the “complexities of illness and disease connected to
the heart.”

The installation’s 3D printed hearts were
inspired by actual medical models created from MRI scans, which
doctors use to explain heart conditions to children.

The installation is accompanied by a recording
of a mother narrating the experience of her child’s heart
transplant overlaid with medical language and MRI sounds, to
emphasize the role of MRI in patient care and imaging. MRI has
been used to create 3D
printed surgical models
in the UK and
urgent surgical planning
models in Russia. 

To produce her art piece, Layton also worked
with parents and patients on the cardiac ward, including
children supported with a “Berlin Heart” (an air-driven
pump which takes over the work of one or both sides of the
child’s own 
heart) who were
waiting to receive a heart transplant.

Cross-sectional 3D printed heart models from the installation. Photo via Sofie Layton.Cross-sectional 3D
printed heart models from the installation. Photo via Sofie
Layton.

3D printing at the Bristol NIHR

The NIHR, which has the motto “improving the
health and wealth of the nation through research,” conducts
studies, provides research facilities, and trains NHS
staff.

Researchers at other NIHR centers have
previously used 3D printing to prepare for surgery. One study
at the NIHR BRC at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London used 3D
printed replica models of tumors and organs to measure the
effectiveness of radiotherapy treatments.

The Bristol BRC is to include facilities for
tissue engineering, and it will build upon existing
cardiovascular research in Bristol (including
3D printed hearts
), which suggests that the institution
will be investing in both 3D printers and bioprinters.

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Featured image shows 3D printed hearts in the “Under
the Microscope: Making the Invisible Visible” installation by
Sofie Layton. Photo via Sofie Layton.

3D prints get another layer of security from Nanoscribe two-photon lithography

The security of 3D printed parts is a chief concern for
high-value manufacturers in industry. Quantum dots, that glow
when hit with a UV light, are one possibility for 

protecting 3D prints from counterfeiting
. Chemical
“ghost signatures”
are another, and can be found embedded
in the layers of 3D printed parts.

Working with two-photon lithography, i.e. 3D microprinting,
Nanoscribe has developed a new method for creating microscopic
security features.

A microscope on two-photon lithorgaphy

In two-photon lithography a pulsed laser is used to solidify a
photoreactive material in a series of layers. The size of the
laser’s focal spot is so fine that it is capable of 3D printing
objects that
could fit onto the tip of a pencil
, or be injected
into the body.

For security tags, Nanoscribe scientists make what is called
multi-level diffractive optical elements (DOEs) – a name
derived from how features in the 3D printed object split and
direct light to make an image.

Nanosribe logo projected through a DOE with a laser. Photo via Nanoscribe GmbHNanosribe logo
projected through a DOE with a laser. Photo via Nanoscribe GmbH

DOEs are usually made using a photomask, which contains the
“to-be-printed” pattern. The process of making this mask is
lengthy and expensive. By cutting out the middle man,
two-photon lithography is a maskless method of 3D microprinting
which is quick and cost-effective.

From serial numbers to peacock spiders

In the process a design, such as a company logo or serial
number, is loaded into the computer as a bitmap image.
Containing pixel-like data of the image to-be-printed, the
bitmap is fed directly to
a Photonic Professional GT lithography system.

The finished product is a microscopic cluster of dots or lines
that create a 2.5D projection when hit with a laser.

"Multifocal diffraction pattern generated by a red laser pointer passing though a diffractive optical element (DOE)." Photo and caption via Nanoscribe GmbH“Multifocal
diffraction pattern generated by a red laser pointer passing
though a diffractive optical element (DOE).” Photo and caption
via Nanoscribe GmbH

As a relatively low-cost solution, two-photon lithography can
be used to test new security prototypes, or create a master
mold for mass-manufacturing multiple products.

This technique was recently used to discover
how peacock spiders change color,
 and is also integral
to efforts improving
fiber-optic communications
.

Nanoscribe will be demonstrating this latest two-photon
application at Photonics West annual conference run by
SPIE
(the international society for optics and photonics)
from 30th January – 1st February 2018.

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research efforts? Nominate
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Featured image shows “Photonic colors generated by
Bragg reflection of gratings. The inset shows sub-micrometer
resolution and features of the periodic lines.” Photo and
caption via Nanoscribe GmbH

3D printed engine part boosts CSU Hornet Racing car power up to 14,000 RPM

A college racing team has redesigned an engine
part for its competitive car using Carbon DLS 3D printing technology
and improved the engine’s performance by 43%.

Hornet
Racing
from California State
University
(CSU), Sacramento redesigned the intake manifold
for its Honda CBR600RR series, 4-cylinder engine and 3D printed
it out of RPU
70
 material, incorporating some custom design
features.

As a result, the racing team had its best
competitive finish in history at the international Formula
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) competition. The Formula
SAE student design competition has run since 1980.

Problems on the road

Hornet Racing’s Honda engine has four 44mm
individual throttle bodies, valves that control the airflow
into the engines and help maximize the engine performance. The
competition’s rules, however, required a single throttle for
all four cylinders.

Engine power in Formula SAE is also governed
by a rule dictating that a 20 mm diameter restrictor must be
placed behind the single throttle, reducing the airflow even
more.

In the engine’s existing state, these design
constraints caused a delay in acceleration, uneven power
delivery, and ultimately made the race car difficult to drive
smoothly and consistently.

CSU Hornet Racing’s
legacy engine intake manifold. Image via Carbon.

Need for speed

To comply with competition rules and improve
engine performance, Hornet Racing decided to redesign and
replace its legacy aluminum intake manifold. The old manifold,
was manufactured using a combination of machining and welding,
and made from many components.

The new manifold needed to optimize airflow,
integrate with the engine’s plenum tank (a device to equalize
pressure within the engine), create minimal boundary layer
formation, and reduce the overall weight of the
manifold.

To achieve this without additional machining
or welding, the Hornet Racing team used Carbon’s Digital Light
Synthesis technology, 3D printing the new manifold out of RPU
70
, a rigid polyurethane with a tensile
strength of 45 MPa and a UL 94 HB flame resistance
classification.

Carbon, which has raised $200 million in
series D funding for its proprietary
Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP)
3D printing
and has begun producing

3D printed mobile phone cases
with
Incase, can produce end-use products, rather than just
prototypes with its DLS technology.

The 3D printed engine intake manifold. Photo via Carbon.The 3D printed engine
intake manifold. Photo via Carbon.

An optimum intake

The redesigned and optimized 3D printed
manifold was rapidly manufactured and incurred no tooling
costs. Many additional complex design features were
incorporated to improve engine performance.

It incorporated a 7-inch bulb design that
replaced the two-foot long diffuser and plenum combination.
Within this bulb was a spike structure with a golf-ball-like
dimpled pattern on its main body, helping air flow directly
into the intake runners without the racing car losing any
velocity.

Additionally, typically separate components
like the fuel-injector ports and the intake runners were
integrated, the intake runner tubes had customized
diameter, and the overall manifold was lighter, improving
vehicle speed and balance.

Let us know your favorite 3D printing application. Make your
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2018
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Featured image shows CSU Hornet Racing’s car. Photo
via Carbon.