Interview: Poietis partners with Servier Laboratories to create 4D printed liver toxicity detection device

Poietis, a French biotechnology company, has announced a partnership with Servier Laboratories, a privately owned global pharmaceutical company, to use 3D bioprinting technologies to create a 4D liver toxicity detection model capable of identifying drug-induced lesions.

“We believe 3D Bioprinters are more than robotic pipettes,” Bruno Brisson, Co-Founder and Vice President of Business Development at Poietis, told 3D Printing Industry.

“So, the 4D Bioprinting paradigm is: guiding or programming self-organization. The goal is then to determine appropriate 3D micro-patterns (blueprints) of tissue components (cells) so that specific tissue function emerges with time considering both internal interactions and interactions with host (external).”

Poietis Cytocentric CAD tool which can define and locate the position and environment of each cell within three-dimensional tissue structures. Image via Poietis.
Poietis Cytocentric CAD tool which can define and locate the position and environment of each cell within three-dimensional tissue structures. Image via Poietis.

Combating drug-induced liver disease

Drug-induced liver disease occurs as a result of medications, such as vitamins, hormones, herbs, as well as drugs, and environmental pollution. This toxicity in the liver causes lesions, which if not detected, can lead to liver failure and hepatotoxicity – chemical-driven liver damage.

The scientific partners have identified weaknesses in current preclinical detection models which use animal models and cell cultures of human liver cells to predict toxicity. As these models cannot fully replicate the human liver, the results are limited as the hepatotoxic potential is poorly detected.

Liver toxicity testing is significant during preclinical trials with investigational drugs, thus, the scientists have developed a bioprinting method which uses different types of human liver cells and immune cells that imitates the complex multicellular tissue structure of the liver. This model will demonstrate higher accuracy than its predecessors, therefore becoming a vital tool when testing for adverse effects of developing medicinal products.

“We actually introduced the concept of 4D Bioprinting as a new paradigm for engineering complex tissues with our laser-assisted bioprinting technology for more than 3 years,” explained Brisson.

4D printing in medicine

Brisson explains that standard in vitro liver models used in drug analysis is produced with a two-dimensional single layer cell tissue. However, with advancements in 3D printing for regenerative medicine, scientists have been able to create 3D printed cell scaffolds for cell growth.  

As the cell structures grow, they can be used to repair parts of the human body, particularly organs, with the body’s original cells. Combined with the concept of 4D printing,3D printed structures with morphing capabilities, the cell structures are able to expand as a result of its changing environment i.e. water and heat. Brisson added:  

“[Time] is something that needs to be taken into account since the conception of your bioprinting processes for a given specific tissue (and especially with biological and cytocentric CAD software).”

The model will be validated by testing a panel of compounds known to induce, or not induce, liver toxicity. The liver model product is expected to be ready in approximately 18 months.

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Featured image shows Poietis’ Cytocentric CAD tool which can define and locate the position and environment of each cell within three-dimensional tissue structures. Image via Poietis.

Luxexcel raises $13.9 million, appoints Solidscape veteran as CEO

Dutch 3D printed optical lens specialist Luxexcel has raised $13.9 million in series C funding announcing that it is breaking into its “next phase” of development.

Hans Streng, CEO of the company since March 2016, now steps back from his position to a role as adviser to the board at Luxexcel. Streng is succeeded by Fabio Esposito, former president and CEO of wax 3D printer developer Solidscape, which was acquired by Stratasys in 2011.

With regard to his new appointment, Esposito comments, “I am excited to join the Luxexcel team in this pivotal phase of the company’s growth,”

“Building on the success achieved under Hans’ leadership, the focus will now be ramping up commercialization and product development.”

3D printed lenses

Traditionally, custom corrective lenses are made from glass blanks, cut and shaped to provide the desired adjustments. In this process around 80% of the material is wasted. It is also a low yield and labor intensive approach.

Luxexcel’s 3D printing technology has been developed as an alternative means of production for custom optical lenses. Not only is manufacturing performed in a “single step” process, but custom lenses can be produced at volume, with less material wastage.

Luxexcel 3D printed lenses. Photo via Luxexcel
Luxexcel 3D printed lenses. Photo via Luxexcel

The lens 3D printing service is offered by Luxexcel in its ISO-certified VisionPlatform™, a product comprising all systems, consumables and software required to perform the process. The Luxexcel VisionPlatform™ is to be the subject of the company’s continued commercialization, as Esposito adds, “We will continue to capitalize on the introduction of the VisionPlatform™ as well as expanding the team to grow Luxexcel to the next stage.”

The Luxexcel VisionEngine machine. Image via Luxexcel
The Luxexcel VisionEngine machine. Image via Luxexcel

Tens of millions invested

Luxexcel’s latest round of funding was led by Dutch technology investor Innovation Industries, and featured the participation of several existing stakeholders, namely: startup investor ET Ventures, clean-tech capital specialist Munich Venture Partners, regional investment fund PMV and semiconductor manufacturer KLA-Tencor Corporation.

Nard Sintenie, Partner at Innovation Industries, comments, “We are impressed by both the progress Luxexcel has been making in developing this great technology as well as the traction the products are getting in the eyewear market,”

“With the new CEO and this funding, Luxexcel will scale her business and the installed base of the VisionPlatform™.”

Previously, in May 2017, Luxexcel received a $10 million investment from the four existing investors.

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Featured image shows a 3D printed Luxexcel lens. Photo via Luxexcel.

3D Printing Industry at New Scientist Live 2018

3D Printing Industry  attended New Scientist Live (NSL) 2018 in London last week.

As in previous years, NSL was held at ExCeL London and over 120 speakers and 100 exhibitors came together for a series of stimulating talks on new research and revolutionary discoveries combined with interactive experiences, performances and workshops.

3D printing in chemistry and healthcare

Professor Leroy “Lee” Cronin, the Regius Chair of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, gave a talk entitled “Can we make computers with chemicals?” and described how his team is using 3D printed parts in the physical parts of their chemical computers apart from hardware parts. After the presentation I asked Professor Cronin for further details. 

“We 3D print the parts because they’re easy to prototype. We need to make changes in the chemical computer,” said Prof. Cronin. “We also need to change the dimensions of the cellular array and 3D printing is the good way to do that.”

“The 3D printed parts are used as the containers for the chemical reactions, they are the holders to make the cellular array. These help us to reconfigure different shapes. Right now, we have squares. Later, we may have triangles or hexagons.”

Lee Cronin at NSL 2018. Photo by Swamini Khanvilkar.
Lee Cronin at NSL 2018. Photo by Swamini Khanvilkar.

Elsevier, an academic publishing house, brought the Sigmax BCN3D printer to print various virus models. The 3D printer was used as a marketing device to bring people to the booth and provide gifts to take away.

Sigmax BCN3D printer at Elsevier stand at NSL 2018. Photo by Swamini Khanvilkar.
The Sigmax BCN3D printer at Elsevier stand at NSL 2018. Photo by Swamini Khanvilkar.

3D printing in quantum systems

Quantum Base, a company developing Quantum systems, spun out of Lancaster University in 2013, co-exhibited at New Scientist Live. They demonstrated many of their labs and the systems used in them with the help of 3D printed models. Quantum Base also use 3D printed parts in experiments.

Lab prototypes by Quantum Base company at NSL 2018. Photo by Swamini Khanvilkar.
Lab prototypes by Quantum Base company at NSL 2018. Photo by Swamini Khanvilkar.

Kai Bongs, the Director of the UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Metrology, gave a talk entitled “How quantum sensors can improve our lives”. The talk described development a magnetoencephalography (MEG) system that can measure brain activity in a much less intrusive manner than other neuroimaging techniques. 

In this systems the helmets are 3D printed. These helmets,  plus sensors, are used  to measure brain activity via assessment of the femtotesla scale magnetic fields generated by current flow in the human brain.

Professor Kai Bongs at NSL 2018. Photo by Swamini Khanvilkar.
Professor Kai Bongs at NSL 2018. Photo by Swamini Khanvilkar.

In a conversation with Professor Bongs he explained, “We use 3D printing technology in order to get our prototypes to run quickly. It’s all about how you proceed when you want to be flexible about the product. We are 3D printing these helmets for rapid adaptation. We further need MEG systems using the superconducting devices to look into the brain. That has to be at cryogenic temperatures, so you need to use huge machines which is very inflexible. Hence, in terms of head sizes, you can’t adapt it. It gets harder in case of a child. But by the method of 3D printing, essentially you can adapt each single person. 3D Print the helmet, put the sensors in and then you have a perfect fit. Of course, you might want a flexible helmet, but if you want to reasonably fix something, then 3D printing is a brilliant method.”

“We refer magnetic shielding as an important component of atom based quantum technologies. It provides a convenient magnetic environment and allows sensitive measurements. Magnetic field, in terms of gravity and geometry, is sometimes a bit tricky and restrictive, so we have developed a way to 3D print magnetic shield. So, that is something completely different.”

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Featured image shows a 3D printed helmet at UK National Quantum Technology Hub’s stand at NSL 2018. Photo by Swamini Khanvilkar.

VELOX, Asahi Kasei, LIFE materials, and Lubrizol to present new 3D printing materials at Fakuma

VELOX, a German materials company, together with long-standing distribution partners Asahi Kasei, LIFE materials, Lubrizol and Völpker Spezialprodukte GmbH, will present a new range of 3D printing filaments and SLS powders at the Fakuma 2018 trade fair next month in Friedrichshafen.

VELOX’s Fakuma materials range

Following VELOX’s partnership with SK Chemicals, which produced the SKYPLETE range of thermoplastic materials, the new range of materials from VELOX, focuses on specialist raw materials suitable for manufacturing FDM filaments and SLS powders. Furthermore, as an official distributor for Asahi Kasei, a global Japanese chemical company, VELOX will showcase its ASACLEAN purging compounds.

Such compounds are used to clean thermoplastics molding machines and extruders. The material is designed to have low-residue properties as well as a low affinity to metal surfaces for optimum cleanliness which results in reduced costs and maintenance efforts.

ASACLEAN purging compounds. Photo via ASACLEAN.
ASACLEAN purging compounds. Photo via ASACLEAN.

From LIFE materials, a materials technology company based in Hong Kong, VELOX will showcase two of its antimicrobial additive materials LIFE CI/AM-00-1A and LIFE DS/R-00-1A. The first material is designed for car interiors, for engineers seeking hygienic plastic parts with reduced volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. The second material is a silver-based antimicrobial additive which can be used with polymers such as polycarbonate (PC) or ABS “at half of the dosage rates of competing products on the market.”

In addition, Lubrizol will introduce its new high-performance material, Estane ZHF 90AT8 NAT01 polymers designed for cables in robotics, construction, and communications. The initial Lubrizol Estane range was launched earlier this year. Estane ZHF 90AT8 NAT01 also demonstrates high flame retardancy and high heat resistance. Finally, VELOX will be debut VOELPKER’s latest special wax multi-purpose additive WARADUR OPplus used in injection molding.

The Estane TRX TPU outsoles. Photo via Lubrizol.
The Estane TRX TPU has been used to produce shoe outsoles. Photo via Lubrizol.

Covestro, a German manufacturer of high-performance polymers, will also debut its novel 3D printed shock absorber demonstrator which uses three different materials and additive manufacturing processes at Fakuma 2018.

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Featured image shows VELOX filaments. Photo via VELOX.

Bally Ribbon Mills announces film infusion for 3D printing woven fabrics

Bally Ribbon Mills (BRM), a Pennsylvania-based woven material expert, has announced the release of film infusion capabilities for 3D continuous weaving of fibers.

A resin sheet or frozen film will be infused onto the 3D woven joint by the company. The new technology will eliminate the need to manually post-process the 3D-weaved joint with resin infusion, once it is delivered. This will save BRM’s customer machine and labor cost and the time to process resin infusion. 

BRM will be showcasing its woven materials at this year’s CAMX 2018, Dallas, Texas (15-18 October).

A Jacquard loom at Bally Ribbon Mills, Bally, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Ken Kremer
A Jacquard loom at Bally Ribbon Mills, Bally, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Ken Kremer

3D printing woven electronics

BRM specializes in manufacturing webbings (woven fabric) and tapes, commonly made from nylon, polyester, and Kevlar. The company has also introduced its proprietary E-WEBBINGS, conductive fibers which can be used to weave electronic parts within a fabric.  

BRM uses 3D continuous weaving to fabricate a range of net shapes. Its 3D Bias Loom is a computerized device which weaves 3D quasi-isotropic (0°, 90°, ±45°) near net shapes. The 3D woven joints are available in various complex net shapes such as,  ‘Pi – π,’ double ‘T’, and ‘H’.

BRM’s custom-made 3D woven joints can survive in high temperature and are resistant to abrasions. The lightweight webbings also lower fuel consumption and are ideal for aerospace and military application.

A selection of BRM's E-WEBBINGS made with conductive and non-conductive fibers. Image via Bally Ribbon Mills
A selection of BRM’s E-WEBBINGS made with conductive and non-conductive fibers. Image via Bally Ribbon Mills

NASA’s 3D weaving project

Due to their physical properties and cost-effectiveness, NASA has shown a lot of interest in 3D printing woven fabrics. Last year, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, explored 3D printing woven metal fabrics to be used in off-world missions.

This year in July, BRM was awarded Space Technology Award by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. The company weaved a 3D material for NASA’s Heat Shield for Extreme Entry Environment Technology (HEEET) project.

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Featured image shows a Jacquard loom at Bally Ribbon Mills, Bally, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Ken Kremer

Australia science agency report identifies additive manufacturing as key for Space 2.0

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has set out a strategy for, “unlocking future growth opportunities for Australia.” The newly published report joins the earlier CSIRO’s Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap in highlighting the importance of additive manufacturing for the development of the space sector.

Australia hopes to benefit from the growing Space industry, enabled in part by 3D printing. Also known as Space 2.0, a decrease in the cost of accessing space technology has seen an influx of venture capital and private investment into a sector previously accessible only by national government and military level budgets.

Examples of private space enterprises include Space X and Rocket Lab. While such private enterprises have received funding and support from government/military launch contracts and grants, they are also backed by private investors. Furthermore, SpaceX, Rocket Lab and other companies such as Relativity Space, are all using additive manufacturing as an enabling technology for space ventures.

Head of the ASA Dr Megan Clark with CSIRO CEO Dr Larry Marshall. Photo via ABC
Head of the ASA Dr Megan Clark with CSIRO CEO Dr Larry Marshall. Photo via ABC

Australian space industry forecast to triple

The global space industry is valued at $345 billion, and Australia currently has a $2-3 billion share of this figure. In 2017, approximately 10,000 people were employed in the Australian space industry across 388 start-ups and the private sector – CSIRO Futures anticipate the industry will triple in size by 2030.

The latest roadmap was launched this week at the Australian Space Research Conference on the Gold Coast. CSIRO executive director Dr David Williams said, “We’re the home of titanium printing, 3D printing, we’ve got good remote mining capabilities in hostile conditions.”

The CSIRO report highlights a number of near and long term opportunities where 3D printing will have application. Working with a 10 year plus horizon, 3D printing could be used for in-space manufacturing and include such materials as metals and glass. Harnessing in-situ resources would reduce expenses related to space freight and make logistics a less complex operation.

“In-situ resource extraction and utilisation is enabled by semi-autonomous 3D printers operated alongside human-in-the-loop excavation systems that transform raw lunar regolith into building structures,” states the report.

Also in the long-term, 3D printing may have application in habitat and life support – especially as space missions increase in duration as settlement projects get underway. The lunar habitats of the 2030’s – as envisioned by CSIRO – feature autonomous robots roaming the surface and using 3D laser scanning to seek out and map lava tubes as opportunities for potential dwellings.

Synthetic biology research is anticipated to contribute to the production of resources on the moon whereby, “Using gas fermentation, carbon is processed to produce macronutrients for food, as well as for use in metallic 3D printing, where in-situ titanium oxide and anorthite are reduced to titanium and aluminium.”

Opportunities for space exploration and utilisation. Image via CSIRO.
Opportunities for space exploration and utilisation. Image via CSIRO.

Surviving harsh conditions

The emerging Space industry includes some enterprises that are prone to bold proclamations, with projects that still require many challenges to be overcome. For example, both Elon Musk’s SpaceX and NASA’s mission to Mars will need to tackle, among other issues, the threat posed by radiation to astronauts. Here again 3D printing may be part of the solution. Experiments on the ISS have used the Made in Space 3D print to fabricate radiation shields. NASA’s 3D printed chain mail is another avenue of investigation for ensuring the safety of astronauts.

Dr. Williams acknowledged the challenges, but was keen to highlight the difficulties could be overcome, “”I think it should be achievable. If you look at the US position, the President has declared that a lunar base is a prerequisite for going to Mars, and he has changed the focus of NASA to try and do a lunar base.”

Australia Space Agency (ASA) head Dr Megan Clark also spoke during the Gold Coast event and highlighted both Australia’s historic role in space exploration, specifically the Apollo missions to the moon, and also the terrestrial conditions in parts of Australia that also provide useful experience. “All of the aspects of living and operating in those really harsh environments … actually Australia has a lot to contribute,” said Dr. Clark.

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Watch: Argonne infrared imaging of the powder bed captured at 100,000 fps

Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois, has ramped up its additive manufacturing research with the addition of an infrared camera. Capable of capturing thermal signatures of melted particles at 100,000 frames per second (fps), the new addition is doubling down the lab’s efforts to enhance the reproducibility of powder bed fusion (PBF) processes.

Particle analysis

At Argonne, meltpool metrology research is conducted by the lab’s Advanced Photon Source – a synchrotron-radiation light source capable of high energy, and high speed x-rays.

By employing these x-rays on the powder bed, scientists are able to analyze the behavior of particles at up to 1,000,000 fps, then modify the process to make allowances for phenomena such as the spatter effect. Some of the lab’s most recent findings from high speed x-rays were published in Scientific Reports in June 2017.

X-ray imaging of the powder bed. Image via Tao Sun/Argonne National Laboratory
X-ray imaging of the powder bed. Image via Tao Sun/Argonne National Laboratory

X-ray and infrared – a perfect balance

Now with the thermal signatures of this behavior, the Advanced Photon Source provides another data point for enhanced analysis. Argonne physicist Tao Sun explains:

“Infrared and X-ray imaging complement each other,”

​”From one side you have the X-rays penetrating the sample to help you see the microstructures without any thermal information, while on the other you have the infrared camera capturing many thermal signatures associated.”

Plumes of vaporized powder are just one example of what can be seen by the infrared camera, but not by x-ray alone

Infrared imaging of the powder bed. Image via Tao Sun/Argonne National Laboratory
Infrared imaging of the powder bed. Image via Tao Sun/Argonne National Laboratory

Defect detection

The real-world application of this level of metrology is, for example, in flaw detection. If correlations between the meltpool and defects can be found, then the process can be augmented to automatically detect those variables, as in ongoing surface metrology research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Sun concludes, “Not everyone is lucky enough to have access to a powerful X-ray light source like the Advanced Photon Source, so if we can find ways to deliver information and tap into tools that most people have access to, like thermal cameras, we can have an even greater impact on the field.”

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Featured image shows X-ray imaging of the powder bed. Image via Tao Sun/Argonne National Laboratory

Finding the right business case for additive manufacturing with 3YOURMIND

3YOURMIND, German based software developers, has released a new feature intended to address one of the most common barriers to widespread adoption of additive manufacturing – the time taken to understand a new technology.

Surveys and interviews conducted by 3D Printing Industry frequently identify a skills and knowledge gap that prevents organisations from adopting industrial 3D printing. To address this issue 3YOURMIND has developed a Use Case Screening tool.

This new feature extends the developers AM Part Identifier tool and is designed to assist enterprises in both identifying parts that are suitable for additive manufacturing and, more importantly, whether there is a business case for making these parts using 3D printing.

Dominik Lindenberger, Product Manager AM Part Identifier at 3YOURMIND explains, “In recent customer tests we’ve been able to identify AM-suitable parts that represent production savings of up to 90% their original costs when compared to conventional manufacturing.”

The tool was developed by 3YOURMIND engineers to focus the time spent by highly skilled specialists. Use of the AM Part Identifier (AMPI) can free up what is often a scarce resource at many companies – the time of an engineer.

“AMPI’s most valuable contribution, however, is the fact that AMPI empowers your entire team to find AM use cases,” says Lindenberger.

By analyzing the work performed by engineers, 3YOURMIND has developed a tool, “that can pre-evaluate parts. With the aim of making the expert’s job simpler and faster we researched for alternatives to manual and individual checks of full inventories.”

3YOURMIND says that the AMPI has already started to generate an impact in the overall amount of parts made with additive manufacturing. This is not only benefiting leading companies with their own AM capacities, including European transportation companies, but also businesses that outsource their 3D printing production.

A range of users can benefit from the AMPI tool. These include employees, who are often the most familiar with components but may not have the knowledge to identify parts suitable for AM, designers who can use the tool to assist in design for additive manufacturing and purchasing departments who can make use of the AMPI tool to improve an enterprises bottom line.

AMPI can assist in gathering use cases. Image via 3YOURMIND.
AMPI can assist in gathering use cases. Image via 3YOURMIND.

How does it work

The Use Case Screening tool was developed by 3D printing experts after defining what is the crucial information and criteria required for part evaluation. In order to enable experts to make an informed decision on which business cases have an actual AM potential they designed an easy-to-follow, step by step, information input process enabling anyone without prior AM knowledge to use it.

Part Submission

When submitting a new part for analysis, employees need to enter the following information: area of utilization, part size, material, tolerances, and whether the component is required for part/process qualification among other. Based on data the part will be submitted to evaluation on its economic and technical feasibility for additive manufacturing.

A graphic representing on the vertical axis the economic score, and on the horizontal axis the technical score. This shows the actual potential of the part.
A graphic representing on the vertical axis the economic score, and on the horizontal axis the technical score. This shows the actual potential of the part.

The Evaluation

A report is generated in a matter of seconds after the employee makes the final submission. The graphic above represents the scoring of the part and its suitability for AM, suggesting the best use case being located in the top right quadrant.

At this stage the experts can take over. Using the report enables them, with just a glance, to select from the pre-evaluated parts, those components to focus on and bring into AM production. If the parts results are “approved”, they can shortly after be implemented into the 3D printing production workflow, and companies, as well as their customers can begin making use of the benefits of additive manufacturing.

Employees and experts can track the progress of the submission in its different status.
Employees and experts can track the progress of the submission in its different status.

The Evaluation

A report is generated in a matter of seconds after the employee makes the final submission. The graphic above represents the scoring of the part and its suitability for AM, suggesting the best use case being located in the top right quadrant.

At this stage the experts can take over. Using the report enables them, with just a glance, to select from the pre-evaluated parts, those components to focus on and bring into AM production. If the parts results are “approved”, they can shortly after be implemented into the 3D printing production workflow, and companies, as well as their customers can begin making use of the benefits of additive manufacturing.

IMAGE

The value of the pre-evaluation lies on the prioritization of parts to focus on that more likely will represent cost savings and quality increases for the company as a whole. Identifying and qualifying parts that are good business cases for AM isn’t a challenge exclusively to companies that already are utilizing additive manufacturing, but also for those businesses that are considering it, or have recently started to implement it.

This week visitors to the TCT Show in Birmingham UK will be able to learn more about the AMPI directly from 3YOURMIND who will be exhibiting at stand V32.

You can learn more about 3YOURMIND’s AM Part Identifier here.

Featured image shows AMPI Screening before order. Photo via 3YOURMIND.

Thought3D releases industrial grade Magigoo adhesive for 3D printers

Chemical and materials R&D startup Thought3D, headquartered in Paola, Malta, is expanding its popular Magigoo brand of 3D printer adhesives to include new mixes for industrial use.

The four new formulations, to be rolled out through Q3 2018, are specifically tailored to improve the bed-adhesion of different engineering-grade polymers, and serve large format 3D printers in partnership with BigRep.

Dr. Keith M. Azzopardi, lead Scientist at Thought3D, comments:

“We do not believe in one-product-fits-all solution…”

“…and thus we have created multiple new mixes to serve client needs in industry, providing to end users additional convenience and freedom to print different industrial plastics on the same printer with little effort by just changing the first layer adhesive.”

Magigoo Pro adhesives. Photo via Thought3D
Magigoo Pro adhesives. Photo via Thought3D

Industrial 3D printing adhesives 

Re-branded in grey and orange labels, the new Magigoo Pro range is made to be greener and safer for production environments. The adhesive is biocide free, solvent free and made from a high proportion of natural ingredients. The range is available as four different mixes: Magigoo PP, Magigoo PP-GF, Magigoo PC and Magigoo PA.

Magigoo PP and PP-GF

Magigoo PP is a formulation that can be used on a heated bed, specially suited to adhere polypropylene (PP) materials. According to the company, it is tipped for “Easier application of the layer and easier cleaning” than PP tape or an adhesion sheet.

An upgrade of the Magigoo PP, Magigoo PP-GF is for use with glass fiber reinforced polypropylene.

Magigoo PP. Photo via Thought3D
Magigoo PP. Photo via Thought3D

Magigoo PC

Magigoo PC is Thought3D’s solution for polycarbonate filament adhesion. Also usable on a heated bed, Magigoo PC has been tested with well known PC filaments brands and is capable of adhesion with virgin PC materials.

Magigoo PA

The last material in the new range, Magigoo PA, is expected to enter beta testing late 2018. Formulated for use with nylon filaments Jean Paul Formosa, lead product developer at Thought3D, explains, “there is a significant amount of variability within this class which make it difficult to come up with a general purpose solution for all nylons. Nonetheless we believe that a solution which works well with the majority of the filaments is in our reach.”

Consistent adhesion

Each of the Magigoo Pro formulations have been modified to adhere to a variety of different print bed materials. Andre-Andy Linnas co-founder of Thought3D says, “We noticed an increased interest from the 3D printing community to use Magigoo on other surfaces than glass and aluminium,”

“We saw many requests of users printing on Kapton or PEI sheets and we wanted to make the formulation that would perform at much better consistency across these surface materials,”

“Based on our beta testers, we have achieved our goals.”

The new adhesives will be make a tour of this year’s 3D printing tradeshows. Look out for them at TCT and formnext 2018.

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Featured image shows the tip of a Magigoo adhesive tube. Photo via Thought3D

Student designs interactive 4D printed plants

Nicole Hone, an industrial design Master’s student at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, has designed several 4D printed interactive plants.

The plants react to physical stimulus either contracting or blossoming depending on the situtation. In addition to the 3D printing process used to make the plants, time is thefourth dimension here. The artist calls them “3D printed aquatic plants of the future” or Hydrophytes.

Hone explained her creation, “I have always been fascinated with nature, it inspires my design ideas and aesthetic. For this project, I became particularly interested in botany and marine life. I was amazed by the way sea creatures and corals moved, and I wanted to reflect similar qualities in my designs.”

The project was part of Hone’s Master’s thesis titled, Designing Organic Performance with Multi-material 3D/4D Printing. It was supported by NZProduct Accelerator, a program promoting additive manufacturing in New Zealand.

Interactive 4D plants

The Hydrophytes were designed using Rhinoceros 3D (CAD software) and Grasshopper 3D, a visual programming language, and also used 3D sculpting tool, ZBrush. The plants were then 3D printed using an elastopolymer – a combination of rubber and plastic, also known as digital materials, and Stratasys’ Polyjet system.

The material is significant for making the plants interactive. Hone explains, “their man-made composite materials behave uncannily similar to living organisms […] with multi-material 3D printing, you can print with a range of rigid and flexible materials blended together in the same object […] you can pump air into them and they’ll sort of come to life in front of camera”

The designer believes that 4D printed objects with interactive qualities will be used as movie props, and this will enhance the movie-making process and experience.

Interacting with the imp-root Hydrophyte. Image courtesy of Nicole Hone
Interacting with the imp-root Hydrophyte. Image courtesy of Nicole Hone

4D printing in biomedicine

Last year a team of researchers at the Engineering Design and Computing Laboratory of ETH Zurich, 4D printed tetrahedrons. Once the heat is applied to the flat tetrahedrons slowly transforms itself into a standing structure.

The medical industry is also exploring the capabilities and usefulness of 4D printing technology. George Washington University researchers developed a 4D bioprinting technique for nerve regeneration. In another research paper, a combined team of scientists from the University of Bristol and University of Bath developed a 3D printed ink expands when dipped in water.   

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Featured image shows the arrow pod Hydrophyte. Image courtesy of Nicole Hone