Elemental – Next Gen Pressure controlled 3D printer by Hardcotton

3D printing has evolved out of garages to industries and then to our very own table-top at home. This continuous evolution has benefited the basic “3D printer“, in more than one way, and today, we even have  Google on our side, trying to 3Dprint an entire Smart Phone!! Today, we have news of yet another new innovation in the field of 3D printing.

Hardcotton, a Canberra, Australia based startup has launched a new 3D printer called “Elemental”, the Elemental is a pressure controlled Sterolithographic 3D printer.

Elemental– the world’s first pressure controlled 3D printer

Like any other SLA 3D printer, the Elemental also utilizes a laser beam to cure photosensitive resins. However unlike other SLA printers, Elemental uses a pressure control system to control resin levels when an object is being created.

Working Principle:

By utilizing pressure controls in Elemental’s customized vat throughout the 3D printing process, the Elemental ‘s laser system can cure a layer of resin accurately and quickly, according to the startup. The creation of an object’s first layer is done by curing the resin on top of a removable build platform found at the center of the vat.

The pressure control system then permits the flow of material from a control chamber within the vat into the build chamber, incrementing the level of the resin. The laser system then sets about curing the next layer, this process is repeated until the whole object is created.

The vat’s control chambers act as reservoirs for material to flow to & fro, depending on what is needed during the print process. By controlling the pressure in the control chambers, Elemental can raise or lower the resin level precisely and erases the need for any mechanical interaction with the build area or with the resin.

What is Hardcotton saying?

Scott Pobihun, Co-founder & CEO of Hardcotton said – “By utilizing pressure control, Hardcotton has developed a 3D printer that employs SLA technology but creates the 3D print without the use of a mechanical platform. This is a massive step forward for 3D printing. Because there are very few complex parts to be assembled in Elemental, we see this architecture as being the basis for the mass manufacture of 3D printers very soon.

Unfortunately, more information is not available at the time of publishing this article, but we will follow-up to bring you more news.

3D printing, now to be taught in schools

3D printing has made its advance to various platforms, gradually and slowly, emerging a winner on almost all. First we had a 3D Printing Toy competition and now, a recent development in the way 3D printers are conceived and accepted, has led to inclusion of 3D printing technology in a school curriculum, as reported by 3Ders.org.

Where and how?

The project has supposedly begun on January 23rd, 2013, and a total of 33 students from public and private schools in Ioannina, Greece have participated. They have been encouraged to design and manufacture 3D artifacts of their own, using a 3d printer and a 3D modelling tool.

The teaching process followed a relaxed schedule, and for almost 2-3 hrs. per week the children, learnt about 3D printing technology and its applications. They were inspired to think out of the box and participate in a debate on 3D printing technology and to bring forward their own concerns, if they had any.

They were thus teamed up and directed to select objects, which could be printed on an open source 3D printer. They were then instructed to design and create objects, which could be used by blind children and had inscriptions in Braille’s language.

Is this a GOOD thing to do?

Yes, it definitely is. The project is based on a learning theory called – Constructionism, defined by Seymour Papert. This theory points out that learning can be more effective; when people construct tangible objects to better understand the world and the objects in/around them.

One of the researchers, who started off with this initiative pointed out, and I quote– “3D printing and design would motivate students express their ideas making them tangible and shareable via processes that stimulate students to make various connections related to the under creation artifacts.

This new methodology, would definitely increase participation among students and leverage their urge to learn and create 3D objects, via 3D printing. I shall get back to you on this, as I uncover more details.

3D printing exhibit, to reveal the beauty inside the human brain

The human brain is perhaps one of the most complicated riddle’s known to mankind. We have forever wondered; exactly how does it function? Why are some people more intelligent than others? Etc. Now, the Franklin Institute has made it possible for scientists and common man alike, to view a 3D model of a human brain, through 3D printing.

The Institutes latest exhibition invites people to think, how they think – confusing? Not at all, all this exhibit talks about is the functioning of the human brain, and the tremendous possibilities in the future, if scientists manage to unravel the beauty behind God’s greatest creation.

One of the many explicit features of this exhibit is a 3D printed model of the white matter patterns inside the human brain. It’s now a well-known fact that, white matter inside the human brain is a part of the central nervous system and majorly help in transmitting signals through myelinated axons from one part of the cerebrum, to another and also to the lower brain centers.

Contrary to popular belief the white matter inside the human brain, is not a passive tissue. It actively affects the way the hum brain learns, functions and reacts to anomalies. For an easy understanding, one may compare the functions to the brain to a computer network. The gray matter may be considered as the actual computers, whereas the white matter acts as the network cables, connecting all the computers in the network.

Dr. Jayatri Das, Chief Bio-Scientist at The Franklin Institute, explained why they have chosen 3D printing to create the piece:

Our philosophy behind our exhibits is to make real science approachable through hands-on, engaging exhibits.” said Dr. Das. “From an educational point of view, we knew that the concept of functional pathways needed to be an important aspect of brain science that was addressed in the exhibit, and diffusion tensor imaging gets to the heart of the real science through which scientists try to understand the wiring of these pathways. The 2D images we had seen were really beautiful, so we thought that a large-scale 3D print would be perfect as an intriguing, eye-catching sculpture that would serve as both a unique design focus and a connection to research.

More information on this upcoming exhibit, including venue and time, can be found on 3Ders.org

TOME portable 3D printer, coming soon…

3D printers today are mostly stationary, and are difficult to relocate or transfer to a different location, once in operation. But, have you thought, how it would be if you could have a TOME portable 3D printer at your disposal; 3D printing would become a breeze, right?

Philip Haasnoot and Corey Renner, from Tempe, AZ have created – TOME portable FDM 3D printer prototype, which they say is useful in places, where abundant supplies and a stable environment are difficult to obtain; such as a makeshift first aid unit, in a battlefield.

Is it logical to have a portable 3D printer?

The TOME portable 3D printer may help in more than one way; for example what would you prefer – A Desktop PC or Laptop? I would definitely take up a Laptop, not only because of the sheer joy of working on a laptop, but because it gives me the flexibility to work from almost anywhere!

A portable 3D printer, is definitely the next logical step towards evolution of 3D printing. Nowadays 3D printers are being used to print parts of a rocket engine; that’s amazing, but it definitely would take a lot of time to fix if something went wrong, while the engine parts are being transported from one place to another, or during assembly. Imagine a possibility of a portable 3D printer, capable of printing the exact same parts, but on the go!

The project would definitely complete faster, the simple reason being that the parts don’t have to manufactured and shipped from a factory anymore, they can be 3D printed right there, near the Launchpad!

So what can the “TOME” do?

The TOME 3D printer is so designed that it would be 4″ X 8″ X 11″ when folded up, with a 3D print volume of a 5 inch cube. It shall also have an integrated battery pack (Min 4hrs – Standard, 6hrs – Extended) and a detachable filament cartridge.

The duo, Philip Hassnoot and Corey Renner, plan to manufacture the TOME, in various sizes, thereby extending its range and print capacity. The commercial version may also sport an injection molded or leather wrapped case to handle everyday use.

More information on this totally amazing new concept can be found on 3Ders.org

Updates from the Google ARA smart phone developer conference

Google, the corporate updated the general public at a spectacular event, about it’s Project ARA smartphone. This might prove to be a major game changer within the 3D printing business.  The corporate turned on its standard Project Ara smartphone publicly for the first time.

Speaking at the event, Paul Eremenko, technical lead for Project ARA, Showed of a purposeful form-factor example of the standard ARA smart phone. Allthough the phone never made it past the boot screen, the project may alter the way that 3D printing is checked out by the general public and makers as a whole.

The phone, which can use electrical phenomenon interconnects to transfer information from one hardware module to the following, can use 3D Systems’ latest injectiom moulding technology in varied ways, including creating the module shells and presumably the antennae for the ARA smart phone. 3D printing gaint 3D Systems, is in a position to provide elements at fifty times the speed of different 3D printers now, with it’s latest injection molding technology.  As Eremenko recognized, their 3D printers from 3DS, are able to 3D print onerous, soft, and semiconducting materials, which allow the developers to create indeginious modules, easily.

With the success of Project Ara, 3D printing can be relegated to the pre-production stages of producing, despite the lack to really swank the phone in operation, Eremenko dreams of changeable hardware parts like a rich camera which will be detached and shared among multiple ARA users. He additionally declared a challenge for developers to provide a functioning module that enables a phone to do something innovative, something a phone could never do before. In turn, the winning developer would be rewarded with $100,000 and an invite to the following Project ARA developer’s conference.

3D Printed Kids’ Toys Challenge by Pinshape

3D printing community marketplace Pinshape, announced that it has teamed up with Amazon,therefore everybody will be able to flick thru a variety of cool styles from Pinshape’s designers, directly on the world’s leading eCommerce platform.

All styles posted on Amazon are sold-out as physical objects, 3d printed on demand and shipped on to the client. Pinshape seems to be choosing styles they suppose are attention-grabbing, distinctive and represent a large vary of classes.

Pinshape additionally announced the 3D printed Kids’ Toys Challenge in association with many other 3D business partners. The competition runs from June twenty five to August first, 2014 and Pinshape will present the best 3D printed toys to a Children’s Hospital.

The top prize includes:

– Toy will be 3d printed and given to the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital
– A Cintiq13 HD from Wacom
– one License of ZBrush code from Pixologic
– one Year of professional Rendering from Clara.io
– three Month subscription from Digital-Tutors
– $100 of printing credit from Sculpteo
– $250 of printing credit from Pinshape
– Toy listed on Pinshape’s Amazon.com store

DRAWN makes commercial 3D printed furniture available

A few months ago we reported the (in near future) arrival of commercial 3D printed furniture, and here it is. Courtesy, a new 3D printing startup known as “DRAWN“. French in origin, as all artistic things are, naturally. The company showed off its amazing collection of 3D printed furniture, at the Maker Faire in Paris, past weekend.

Drawn was founded by Sylvian Charpiot & Samuel Javelle, in January 2014. The first prototype furniture was 3D printed in March 2014, and since then they have perfected their designs and have finally made it near perfect.

What is the technology, behind this 3D printed furniture thing?

The technology behind these 3D printed furniture lines from, DRAWN is their indigenously developed robotic 3D printing arm, GALATEA. For Now, this robot is single handed and is capable of efficiently 3D printing large scale 3D objects. The Filament disposition is done one layer at a time, until the complete object is realized.

What is DRAWN saying?

The founders of DRAWN reportedly shared a vision of revoluting the 3D printed furniture market and bridge the gap between designing and production.

They are also reported to be launching an online eShop of their own, where customers can design, evaluate and finally order 3D printed furniture. They will also be offering 3D printing services to designers and artists alike, to help them create their own unique line of 3D printed products, as reported by 3Ders.org.

Bio-synthetic Liver transplants, coming soon with the advance of 3D printing.

Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia should really be proud of being a biomedical engineer. Dr. Bhatia is recognized as a pioneer in bioMEMS and directs the Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies at MIT – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although her work explores a large variety of topics, she is most well-known for her development of bio-synthetic livers 3D printed and fabricated from human blood cells.

Scientists have long been experimenting with the 3D printing of organic cells; however Bhatia’s team has reached a step nearer to making an artificial liver. The small human livers created at Bhatia’s science laboratory contain some one thousand odd individual cells and look like contact lenses.

Dr. Bhatia commented on a radio show a week earlier, that her goal is to rescale the size of the micro-liver , and thus in some unspecified time in the future, it could be used just like a normal to human-to-human liver transplant, only this time it will be synthetic in origin.

Bhatia’s team has been experimenting with building layers with photosensitive materials but the biggest challenge is to rescale the size of the bio-synthetic liver, so as to print a liver that contains a billion or ten billion such bio-synthetic liver cells.

Expected Arrival?

This technology is still in the initial phase of trial and error rectification, commercial uses are not to be expected soon. Clinical trials have begun on live lab animals to determine the consequences of a bio-synthetic liver transplant.

Organovo, a San Diego based bio-medical research company, is also working on creating artificial human organs, they seem to have achieved quite a fortune and expect to launch the world’s first 3D printed human liver, by the end of 2014 or by early 2015.

MakeX M-One, a new Open Source DLP 3D printer

The MakeX M-One, a new Open Source DLP 3D printer, is creating quite a buzz on the internet recently. This new 3D printer utilizes DLP technology to realize 3D models.

So what is this DLP?

Digital Light Processing – a technology which uses a kind of projector technology to cure liquid resin filament, layer by layer. The 3D printed objects, created with this technology are far better, as compared to objects printed by typical 3D printers, which utilize Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology.

Is this a new technology?

No, DLP was invented long back in the 1980’s by Dr. Larry Hornbeck in Texas, United States. Digital Light Processing uses a projector to project the image of the cross section of an object into a vat of photopolymer (light reactive plastic). The projected light only selectively hardens the area specified in that image. The most recently printed layer is then repositioned to leave room for unhardened photopolymer to fill the newly created space between the print and the projector. Repeating this process builds up the object layer by layer.

Does the MakeX M-One live upto its hype?

The M-One offers the lowest material price and low maintenance expense. It’s compatible with all third-party resins, permitting you to use new materials at low costs. Its printing trace log system (PTLS) will establish any over-used space, maximizing the use of the silicone base layer. Users can also replace the silicone layer and the bulb by themselves for an awfully low price during their service life. The ​M-One also offers a simple and user-friendly software.

How can you get one?

The MakeX teams have submitted their project to Kickstarter and are trying to collect $100,000 USDin order to scale up their assembly line.

Their webpage mentions that 3 different editions to be launched “We offer a basic package with a Silver M-One, a special Black M-One edition, and a very limited, not yet unveiled Collector’s Edition package! Please stay tuned! ”

3Der’s.org reports that the expected price on Kickstarter for an everyday package is around $2K, whereas the first bird package starts underneath $1700, which incorporates a M-one printer, one bottle of organic liquid resin filament, and one end user maintenance Kit.

No details could be found on Kickstarter at the time of publishing this article.

Airwolf 3D’s new Thermoplastic Poly Urethane – 3D printing filament

Almost all 3D printers today use commercial grade thermoplastic filaments, which create objects which are rigid and non-versatile. So what if you need to 3D print an object, which requires having versatility as a virtue, examples being a 3D printed mobile device cover or maybe a pair of grips for you bike’s handlebars, etc. This is exactly where Airwolf 3D has cut in with its new Wolfbend TPU filament, which has the properties of rubber.

According to Airwolf 3D, “This material is much easier to print with than other more popular flexible filaments on the market, and is also much stronger. The layer-to layer bond is incredible, and layer separation is non-existent.”

T.P.U – Thermoplastic Poly Urethane, is a substance with many useful properties, these include transparency, elasticity, resistance to oil & grease, resistance to abrasion effects and is highly flexible. T.P.U has many applications including cars/bike instrument panels, wheels, power tools, medical devices, sporting goods; drive belts, footwear, inflatable rafts, and a variety of extruded film, sheet and profile applications. T.P.U is also a popular material found in cases of mobile devices, such as tablet’s or mobile phones.

Airwolf 3D says it has spent months testing and developing the WOLFBEND T.P.U filament, and it is finally ready for release it to the mass market. Currently the material is obtainable on Airwolf 3D’s website, priced at 68 USD for a spool of 1 lb/2.88mm Diameter.