Soldiers may wear 3D printed clothing and wearable sensors

The possibilities of 3D printing will benefit soldiers and transfrom many facets of the Army. The U.S. Army reseachers are currently exploring the frontiers of this exciting technology. The Army has deployed mobile laboratories packing with 3D printers and manufacturing tools for soldiers to operate in remote outposts in Afghanistan. The Army researchers are also investigating ways to use 3D printing to produce food for soldiers, and investing in regenerative medicine and 3-D bioprinting aiming to print skin cells to help injured soldiers recover from the wounds of war. On the other side, they also plans to use 3D printing to print more effective weapons.

According to the latest issue of Army Technology, one day, soldiers will wear field clothing and armor systems made with help of 3D printing. Researchers at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center which develops field and ombat clothing, chem-bio protection, body-armor systems, gloves, hats, helmet covers, is now experimenting making garments using new textiles and 3D printing.

3D printing would reduce the number of seams necessary to make a garment, making it more comfortable to wear. “Seams can cause a hot spot with rubbing,” LaFleur said. “Seams can cause discomfort in high heat and humidity, especially when you layer with body armor. Reducing seams on chem-bio gear would be huge.”

The technology could also be used to make custom clothing or equipment for each soldier. Advances in 3D printing would allow for incorporating ballistics materials into clothing and make it less expensive.

“We could create something that is a totally perfect fit and reduce weight, maybe reduce bulk. A lot of the neat textiles that are being 3-D printed, even out of these synthetics, have a 3-D structure to them,” LaFleur said. “That makes you think about spacer-type materials where you have air flow, which is so important if our Soldiers are going to be somewhere hot again, whether it is jungle or desert.”

3DVIX, a new online 3D printing marketplace

Prinvix, a Miami, Florida based company has rolled out the beta version of its new 3D printing Marketplace, 3DVIX. It uses the same “3D printer on the cloud” technology platform, as Shapeways 3D.

How does it work?

The online portal is so designed that you may either upload your own 3D models or .stl files and the interface makes instant quotes available, based on the type of material you choose, to 3D print the object.

Once the ordering phase is complete, the 3D object is 3D printed and delivered to your address, and yes its international shipping (*charges/rates may change depending on the region).

What is the extra feature or how is this different?

The main advantage of this new online 3D printing portal is that, not only can you order 3D prints of your own 3D models, but also setup a 3DVIX subpage/shop of your own (like eBay) and start selling the products produced by your designs.

Enthusiasts and Designers can setup a store with their own brand within a sub domain of 3DVIX.

The store setup is simple; you make a design and upload it, 3DVIX shows you its 3D printing fees depending on the material you choose to make available to your customer, you then add your own commissions (a.k.a – Mark-up fees) to the final price and promote it on your sub domain page on 3DVIX.

3DVIX will handle the entire promotion, showcasing, sales, invoicing bits, so that you can concentrate on your designs and send you your total commission income, monthly.

What is Prinvix saying?

Prinvix as a 3D printer manufacturer has a well-known presence in Brazil and is setting up 3 local 3D printing shops out there, namely in Sao Paulo, Brasilia and in Porte Alegre.

Victor Mendes, the CEO of Prinvix, has a vision to promote general awareness and education on 3D printing, and to promote its uses in developing countries, as reported on

Makerbot launches new Makercare Protection Plans

Makerbot, one of the major 3D printer manufacturer’s, have come up with major changes to their premium Makercare protection plans. It seems that the company is trying to re-image its after sales reputation by offering more services to its existing customers. It is a well-known fact that a large number of individuals and startup groups are using their Makerbot 3D printers for professional prototyping and service delivery.

How does it work?

Customers, who purchase any Makerbot 5 gen 3D printer, can also buy a one, two or three year comprehensive support plan. The prices vary as per the model of the Makerbot 3D printer purchased. A 3 year plan for the Makerbot Replicator series might cost you anything between $1,000 to $1,600. Looking at the prices, they are definitely not cheap; however Makerbot claims to provide Top-Notch support for any issues, via Internet or call. Customers who already own a MakerBot 5 Gen 3D Printer can extend their support plan until September 2014. Those who have a previous gen MakerBot 3D printer can also extend their current MakerCare support plan for a year or – if not already done so – purchase a new one-year plan from Makerbot.

Is this required?

This is definitely not a necessity, but is only a luxury. We all know that a DIY enthusiast might never purchase a Makerbot in the first place; they would rather get an Open Source 3D printer and tweak it to their own likings or vice-versa. However, Makerbot 3D printers were designed for the no-nonsense 3D printing enthusiast, who would just like to make a design and print is with the click of a button. If you belong to this group of enthusiasts, we would suggest getting your Makerbot printer registered for these support plans. Because, Machines are just that, Machines; and no matter how much you polish it, it may stop working, causing you to (maybe) lose an important project.

3D printing makes it possible to create ceramic filled polymers for electromagnetic applications

Of all the magnificent things 3D printing has done for ages, this new application, may dwarf it all – endless possibilities lie beyond its discovery. We may soon witness the creation of a 3D printed polymer (plastic), which has an ability to influence or bend electromagnetic pulses.

What’s the Idea?

The basic concept behind this technology is similar to way a Semiconductor material functions. Semiconductors are materials, which are incapable of transmitting electromagnetic pulses, until “doped” with some other conduction materials; like Ferrous, Copper, etc.

In this case, Ceramic or TiO2 is being used as the “Dope”, to non-conducting polymer or plastic. TiO2, increases the permittivity of the polymer to a value of approx. 7 units. This allows the designing and printing of 3D structures which will have a strong influence on electromagnetic fields. Examples are antennas, or to print wave guiding or filtering structures. As mentioned, for achieving this, polymers are filled with dielectric, magnetic or conductive “Dopes” or fillers.

What are the Applications?

It is possible to locally adjust the fill ratio it is possible to locally vary the permittivity of the resulting material. A 100% fill will lead to a permittivity of 9, which can be reduced to nearly 1 by reducing the volume fill ratio. This can be realized by either designing a locally varying inner structure, or using slicer settings that change the fill ratio throughout the volume. This tapered structures allow to guide waves within the highly filled sections and allow them to transition gently to the lightly filled regions from which they can be radiated. This type of tapering was used to create a dielectric antenna. Traditionally, multiple layers of different polymers would have to be extruded to guide the waves resulting in reflections between the layers and in a complex production process. Instead a locally varying density of air filled pockets was selected to create a dielectric antenna. Due to the consistency achieved in material production and printing it is possible to predict the antenna performance by simulation.

While the prediction is not perfect it still indicates the success in designing FDM-printable materials that have defined electromagnetic properties.

MadeSolid launches powerful new resin for SLA 3D printers

MadeSolid, an YC-backed 3D printing materials startup out of Emeryville, CA, is doing R&D to make additional type of resins with distinctive properties for your 3D printer. On Tuesday, MadeSolid proclaimed the launch of its powerful new resin. “This new 3D printable material is meant to face up to the structural demands of purposeful prototyping.” writes MadeSolid. “We have created a resin that has great accrued tensile, flexural, and impact strength.”

The formula stems from the frustration of SLA prints that always very brittle, and most of those prints aren’t sturdy and may not be used as purposeful components. MadeSolid’s powerful new resin is meant for 3D prints that require a lift in strength and sturdiness. MadeSolid hopes the powerful new resin formula can help users to print more purposeful 3D objects.

The resin may be utilized to create gadgets, prototyping wearable objects / jewelry, and components that require to require some stress. MadeSolid’s powerful new resin is offered in orange and yellow and is compatible with quite a few existing SLA/DLP printers. Presales have begun and cargo is expected to start shipping by the end of August. Pre-order value is 1L of Madesolid’s powerful new resin is $119.00.

What does MadeSolid have to say?

MadeSolid’s Tough Resin is designed for prints that need a boost in strength and durability. The formula stems from the frustration of prints breaking too easily and not meeting the demand of functional prints. So we made a resin that will enable you to print functional end parts that survive in the wild better than other resins on the market.” – As quoted on MadeSolid’s website.

This new Resin would definitely improve the quality of SLA 3D Prints.

New 3D printing technology to print multiple alloys in a single object

3D printing and 3D printers have seen a lot of development lately, they have been used to create a lot of things ranging from gadgets and accessories to bio-medical implants and prosthesis equipment. 3D printed metal alloys and compounds have been long been fabricated, however no major breakthrough has yet been made on 3D printed spacecraft’s or jet crafts, for that matter.

A lot of research has been going on, on this and recently scientists and researcher’s at NASA’s jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California have come forward with a revolutionary new 3D printing technology that can 3D print more than one metal alloy in a single 3D printed object.

Why would you need to make such an Object?

Let’s imagine a thermostat, it is made up of two metals joined or welded together, the difference in how the two metals react to temperature, causes the device to react differently to different temperatures. This helps us in deploying this device as a safety cut-off measure, in the case of over-heating or vice – versa. However, imagine if there is a defect in the weld or it is too brittle, would you still trust that device with over-heating problems? No – definitely not.

This is exactly why such a technology is needed, he fact that it came alive with 3D printing technology, is just another feather on the hat.

How does it work?

We’re taking a standard 3D printing process and combining the ability to change the metal powder that the part is being built with on the fly,” said Douglas Hofmann, a researcher in material science and metallurgy at JPL, and visiting associate at Caltech. “You can constantly be changing the composition of the material.

Rather than adding layers from the bottom, as in the other 3D printing technology, Hofmann and his colleagues are depositing layers of metal on a rotating rod, thus transitioning metals from the inside out. They are using a laser deposition (LD) technique to fabricate multifunctional metal alloys. Using the technique in parallel with rotational deposition enables fabrication of compositional gradients radially from the center, thereby altering the mechanical and physical properties of the alloy.

The research work was funded by NASA, further details on this revolutionary new 3D printing technique can be found here.


TI Cycles makes first 3D printed light weight titanium bike

Solid, a new prototype from TI Cycles , is a Bluetooth-enabled urban bike that includes a 3D printed light weight Titanium frame. Solid connects to a smartphone app referred to as “My Bike” that monitors bike maintenance and alerts you once a gear has to get replaced or once something goes wrong along with your brakes. Another software package, “Discover my town”, includes a series of curated rides from 5 of Portland’s coolest residents, which suggests wherever to ride, eat and search.

In order to help put your concentration on the road, the bike has integrated perception feedback on handlebars. Therefore rather than viewing your smartphone, perception grips can buzz once you are approaching a turn. The more nearer you get, the more often they buzz, this is a great feature it seems, cause with this you can totally forget about wrong turns. In addition you’ll be able to manage your lightweight via integral sensors, amend gears by pressing an electronic button, and add standard bike rack in line with your payload.

What do the makers have to say?

All of this is integrated into a light weight titanium frame,” says Oved Valadez, a co-founder of the trade. “Correct me if i am wrong, but that hasn’t been done before.

In parallel to their vision of expertise, the team has been prototyping with technology by incorporating refined digital components to go with their analog ride. To 3D print the frame, they partnered with the Dallas, TX – based company, and each of the wires, shifters, brake cables were 3D printed along with the light weight titanium frame

More information can be found here.

US Army to use 3D printing to create ballistic warheads

The U.S. Army plans to use 3D printing to print warheads that could not only save the military cash, but also expand its capability of making simpler weapons, per the newest issue of Army Technology. 3D printers will manufacture gold shapes that are not possible or much dearer to supply on traditional machine tools. And also the limitless potential of the shapes created by additive producing evokes style engineers within the Army.

Warhead designers plan to produce blast effects that meet specific criteria, explained James Zunino, a man of science at the Armament analysis, Engineering, and style Center. They will need blast fragments of specific sizes to radiate in specific directions such their blasts will most effectively destroy desired targets.

Warheads can be designed to satisfy specific mission necessities whether or not it’s to enhance safety or to satisfy Insensitive Ammunition demand, or it may have tailor able effects, higher management, and be ascendible to attain desired morbidness,” James Zunino, a man of science at the Armament analysis, Engineering, and style Center wrote to Motherboard.

The limits on what will be created by using machine tools limit load shapes. By lifting limitations through the swollen capabilities that escort additive producing, the house is can expel a lot of expeditiousness.

Once you get into detonation physics you open up a full new universe,” Zunino aforementioned. “The real worth you get is you’ll be able to get a lot of safety, morbidness or operational capability from an equivalent house,” Zunino aforementioned.

In addition, 3D printing conjointly helps the military saving cash on obtaining components or tools delivered to a forward-deployed soldier. If you add up all the price, as well as the transportation prices, fuel, security, it’ll be less expensive to simply print them out.

3D printing conjointly permits for integration parts along to feature capabilities at reduced total life cycle prices,” Zunino explained. “It is anticipated that 3D printing can scale back life-cycle prices of sure things and create munitions more cost-effective within the end of the day through implementation of style for manufacturability, and capitalizing on the add capabilities that 3D printing and additive producing will bring back munitions and warheads.

Eventually, the military needs to print the entire factor in one print job. “Maybe sometime a complete load or rocket can be created because the technology any matures,” Zunino wrote. launches new 3D printed product store

Amazon has launched a 3D printed product store, a marketplace that’s designed to offers customers access to a variety of 3D printed products, many which are custom made by material, size, designs and color variations, and customized with text and image imprints. Amazon highlights over two hundred distinctive 3D prints on the platform, as well as jewelry, toys, home décor and fashion accessories.

“The introduction of our 3D printed product store suggests the beginnings of a shift in on-line retail. Sellers, in alignment with designers and makers, can give an additional dynamic inventory for purchasers to modify and really create their own,” aforementioned Petra Schindler-Carter, Director for Amazon Marketplace Sales. To make it simple for purchasers to find 3D printed product, the shop options search tools, interactive 3D preview practicality and a product personalization application.

The new store will feature fun and easy-to-use predefined style templates for buyers to place their individual vogue on an item they like and 3D preview capability to boost the customer expertise. With the 3D product preview operative, customers will be able to 360 degree rotate a virtual model of a product to tailor the item from each angle. When an item is customized and therefore the client has finished the checkout method, the item is 3D printed on-demand by a producing supplier and shipped on to the client.

The 3D printed product store allows each client the chance to be a product designer. For around $40, user can customize things like cufflinks, muff head figurines and funky wine glass holders. Within the $100 worth range, customers will style custom fashion accessories like pendants, earrings and necklaces. The new 3D printed product store additionally provides an entry purpose for designers to supply/print on-demand product styles.


QSQM gets acquired for $1 Million

QSQM Technology Corporation in Fengtien, a manufacturer of DLP 3D Printer in China, proclaimed that the corporate has been acquired for $1 million by Nanjing F.M. Company.

QSQM is alleged to be one of the primary companies to analyze and develop DLP 3D printers in China. Back in January, QSQM Corporation launched a brand new DLP 3D printer crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo. DLP Projector based 3D printers are gaining in quality within the previous couple of years. Utilizing constant projectors usually used for PowerPoint slideshows, A DLP 3D printer is capable of turning liquid into finely curated 3D objects. The projector shines on the surface of a liquid plastic organic compound that hardens once exposed to a precise wavelength of light. The ray of light attracts and hardens a layer at a time till the complete model is constructed.

The new company’s headquarters are placed in Nanjing, China. Supported by Nanjing Institute of Advanced optical device Technology (NIALT), the corporate can target developing quicker, stable, and precise lower priced DLP and SLA 3D printers. During the past months, QSQM has been working on major feature upgrades to the Uncia DLP 3D printer. QSQM said that the main hardware has been upgraded, and also the printer is intended to be a lot more precise and stable than the Uncia-original. The new Uncia DLP 3D printer will be launched on 1st August on Indiegogo, with a far cheaper price: merely $299 for basic model.

QSQM conjointly, has a plant in Nanjing wherever the team is presently developing precise SLA 3D printers. “We have 2 goals for SLA 3D printers.” QSQM told the Press. “We will create it to be sensible, straightforwardandbe able to work with ‘One-button’ print. We are going to conjointly offer customizable solutions for enterprises, which includes high-resolution, giant build volume and quick print speed.” The new company can have over seventy in staff’s and primarily work in the sector of applied chemistry, light, software system and mechanics.