Project Bleu and a Stratasys 3D printer

For those who have been associated with 3D printing and relative services, CATIA is not a new name. For others, it is 3D CAD software from Dassault Systèmes (DS), which goes far beyond other software’s to deliver, a truly unique digital product experience.

Project Bleu, led by Xavier Melkonian, was CATIA/DS‘s way of showing off semi functional Automobile prototypes created, using their own software and an Objet260 Connex Multi-material 3D Printer from Stratasys. Designed and built over the course of 2013, by a team of one Creative designer, two Concept modelers, two Visualization experts; two Class A surfaces modelers, and one Mechanical modeler, the concept car was 3D printed at various stages to verify its integrity.

The team printed a speedform model, for wind tunnel testing. Stripped of wheels, mirrors and the interior of the car, the model was placed in a wind tunnel for aerodynamic testing. The next step was to enlarge Bleu as much as possible, complete with mirrors and bumpers, filling the entire area of the Objet260 build tray. Satisfied with the result, the team was ready to modify the chassis of the car so that the wheels could rotate, making Bleu into something of a functional toy. Using TangoBlackPlus rubber-like material for the wheels, rigid opaque VeroWhitePlus for the undercarriage, and VeroClear transparent material for the windows, Bleu became a stunning physical reality.

The primary goal of Project Bleu was to create our own in-house show car from scratch, demonstrating our latest modeling technologies from the CATIA design suite.” said, CATIA/ (DS).

Hyphen to promote 3D printing research in a Canadian University

Canada has taken the next leap forward in promoting 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Hyphen, a division of Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc., has partnered with the Canadian University of Guelph, as a part of the effort.

Hyphen will now have access to the Canadian university’s Digital Haptic Lab (DHL), geared towards the design and prototyping of haptic devices, and, in exchange, the school’s researchers and students will be able to use Hyphen’s 3D printing technology and expertise at a reduced cost. This new partnership also allows students and researchers to have access to Hyphen’s 3D printing and environmental testing for research purposes, it will also allow Hyphen to further entrench itself in Canada’s educational institutions.

The use of 3D printing is applicable across all of the research streams we work with at the university, including art, engineering, robotics, biology, horticulture, and aerospace. Typically, you use the tools you have at your disposal to find solutions to design problems. With our new partnership with Hyphen, we now have access to a greater set of tools so we will be able to offer a greater variety of solutions to our researchers. This will dramatically change the way we approach and tackle problems and opens up new possibilities for how we combine the use of 3D printing with haptic technology.” – said Philips, Design engineer and Manager of the DHL facility.

Advances in rapid prototyping and 3D printing are opening up new ways of thinking and doing things within the manufacturing industry worldwide. People are starting to see the significant benefits, including speed and efficiency, of taking a computer generated model and turning it into a physical object as part of the design and review process. This is a great way for Hyphen to educate others on the benefits of additive manufacturing, and to demonstrate the depth of Canadian knowledge and expertise within the additive manufacturing industry. We are excited to work with arts, science and engineering teams through this partnership and look forward to pushing the boundaries of rapid prototyping together.” – Said Mr. Mark Barfoot, Managing Director – Hyphen

This new partnership is an indication of Canada’s growing value as an Additive Manufacturing hub, which is clearly indicated by the intentions of Mr. Mark Barfoot, Managing Director – Hyphen.

Francis Bitonti – 3D Printed Bristle Dress

Francis Bitonti a fashion designer cum architect, from New York City has created a 3D printed bristle dress, to be released in, fall 2014.

Previously, Francis Bitonti ‘s work has been published internationally in many prestigious institutions including the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and most recently has garnered media coverage for the 3D printed gown created for fashion icon – “Dita von Teese”, which received numerous accolades and a great deal of public attention when it was debuted at Ace Hotel in New York City in 2013.

The Bristle Dress is his second work of couture developed in his New Skins computational design workshop and made on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. Like his previous effort, the Verlan Dress, the Bristle Dress uses MakerBot Flexible Filament and MakerBot Natural PLA Filament, only this time, Francis Bitonti lined the tessellated skirt with fake rabbit fur.

About the translucent top of the dress, Francis Bitonti commented, “I wanted to bleed the body into the atmosphere“.

Ica Paru, an accessories designer and model, is the first person to wear the Bristle Dress from Francis Bitonti Studio. Paru put it on a couple of weeks ago, at a photo shoot in Brooklyn. The dress is cloudlike, in two pieces, and as much an armature that poses the body as a garment to pose in.

The Friday evening photo session, which yielded the striking images above, was the first time designer Francis Bitonti saw anyone wearing the dress. “The computer is able to visualize everything accurately, I don’t really feel the need to do fittings.” he says. “I wasn’t surprised about how it fit; I wasn’t really surprised about anything.

Stratasys expanding operations in China

Stratasys, one of the leading manufacturers of 3D printing equipment, achieved a global revenue share of 359 Million Dollars (US), last year. This year, Stratasys is all set to meet the rising demand of additive manufacturing in China, and is planning to set up a Research and Development Centre in the mainland.

Stratasys founder, Scott Crump said – “From an industry standpoint, the odds are pretty good that China will become the second-largest market for 3D printers after the US within five years.

The Chinese market currently makes up 5-10% of Stratasys’ business each quarter. Stratasys is present in China’s automotive, aerospace, medical, dental, jewelry, consumer electronics packaging and education sectors. In meetings last month with officials of the Chinese government in Beijing, Crump said Stratasys discussed potential collaboration with China to initiate and accelerate research, development and adoption of 3D printing.

We want not only to expand our business, but to do some development or co-development in China. We’re also interested in teaching industrial and business applications.” Crump said.

Stratasys has seen exponential growth of sales and interest over the past 24 months, a context supported by the massive investments made by the USA in manufacturing institutes, some USD$200 million, and US President Obama’s supportive enthusiasm of 3D printing in his last, State Of The Union Speech.

Nanoscribe prints Nano grade 3D models

Since a long time Nano – technology has been confined to the range of those things that will probably happen in the future. Now there is so much, NanoTech material around us that it is almost a common element. The same is now happening for Commercial Nanofabrication. The ability to 3D print Nano grade Photonic Wire Bonds (PWB) will allow computer scientists to overcome communication bottlenecks in data centers and high performance computers. In biotechnology Nano-Scaffolds are making it easier than ever to grow all types of living cells.

Nano – fabrication will have applications in the development of mechanical meta – materials and of new Nano surfaces that will, for example, replicate a Gecko’s setae, giving any one and any object Spider-man like climbing (or clinging) abilities. Another application is in filtration systems: with Nanoscribe’s machine it is possible to create Nano – fluidic filters inside channels that are only a micrometer wide.

How is Nano fabrication done?

The technology used to 3D print at a Nano scale, is called Two Photon Polymerization or Two Photo Lithography. It is very similar to regular stereo lithography, except that it uses femtosecond laser pulses (a femtosecond is 10 to the -15th seconds or 0.000000000000001 seconds) to cure the polymers at the Nano – scopic level).

Nanoscribe has developed a range of software that, just like in any desktop 3D printer, can make all the difference both in quality and accessibility.

Nanowrite is an easy to use GUI, while the Nanoslicer software transforms the “*.stl” files into the Photonic Professional GT native data format: “*.gwl”. Through the DeScribe software users can edit the GWL files, check them for printability and even monitor the writing process by means of an SEM (scanning electron microscope) connected optical camera.

Nano – printing will allow for the creation of Nano – circuits and Meta-materials and also printing Organic tissue at the Nano – scale. 3D printing’s utility in such a diverse set of fields proves that it will indeed be a ubiquitous technology in the coming years.

Classic Indian Motorcycle Resurrected with 3D Printing

Over a hundred years ago America got its first motorcycle, and it was an Indian Motorcycle. While the brand has always been sought after and popular, at one time they were the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. Unfortunately during World War 2 they had devoted so many of their resources to producing motorcycles for the army that their bikes became extremely difficult to get in the states. Many of their dealers abandoned them, and this allowed their nearest competitor Harley Davidson to overtake their market share, a blow that they would never recover from. Indian Motorcycle Manufacturing Company and their iconic bikes disappeared in 1953 due to bankruptcy.

While the name was purchased by multiple companies and slapped on bikes for decades the brand had never even flirted with its previous success. In 2011 when Polaris Industries purchased the rights to the brand that all changed. Already well-versed in creating highly sought after and extremely high quality motorcycles, they managed to get done what no one had been able to do previously, reinvent the Indian brand. When designing the new bikes, standard clay sculptors were employed, but their work was aided by in-house Stratasys 3D printers. This ability to rapid prototype just about every part of the motorcycle while they designed was integral to the speed that the new bikes were brought to market, if they had used the traditional designing and tooling techniques that were the only available options as little as ten years ago the prototype would have taken over 15 months to complete

In a time when venture capitalists and investments bankers run so many corporations and they’ve stripped so many iconic American brands of their originality in order to make a quick buck, it’s nice to see a company treating a part of American history with a little bit of respect. While the bikes were debuted last summer, they are expected to go on sale in 200 dealers within the next few months.

Stratasys Objet Eden260V Dental Advantage Printer

Stratasys has introduced its next printer, the Objet Eden260V Dental Advantage. The new model boasts an improved service from the established digital dental manufacturing standard set by Stratasys.

The Objet Eden 260V Dental Advantage provides a lower cost entry to advanced digital dentistry with the ability to print in specialized materials for dental and medical applications. Its small carbon footprint makes it ideal for Medical usage. “Based on Objet’s innovative Polyjet technology, Objet Eden260V™ Dental Advantage provides a complete solution for the accurate building of any geometry – easily, quickly and cleanly. Models produced on the Objet Eden260V™ Dental Advantage are smooth and durable, with fine details and an outstanding surface finish” said, Stratasys.

The director of Global Dental at Stratasys explains, “Stratasys continues to make digital dentistry happen and is fully committed to this market The Objet Eden260V Dental Advantage 3D printer is a cost-effective solution package that is designed to increase productivity and turnaround times while delivering precision prototypes and production parts.”

The Objet Eden 260V Dental Advantage package includes VeroDentPlus (MED690), a dark beige material that prints layers as fine as 16 microns to create amazingly fine features and finish, and produces excellent strength, accuracy, durability. It also includes Clear Bio-compatible (MED610), a transparent material medically approved for temporary in-mouth placement.

With a tray size of 260x260x200 mm, horizontal build layers varying upwards from 16 microns, and 4 sealed cartridges among other features, the 410 kg printer stands tall among dental printing competitors and promises quiet manufacturing.

For a growing number of dental lab owners, digital dentistry is already here. With 3D printing as part of their business strategy, dental labs can speed part production while improving quality and precision. It really would be very nice to see this equipment, hanging around on my next visit to the dentist.

3D Printing: Rise of the Third Industrial Revolution

A new book, “3D Printing: Rise of the Third Industrial Revolution” scrutinizes what this will mean for the world and the future of humanity. Going beyond the headline grabbing stories of 3D printed guns this book by Aaron Council and Michael Petch graphically illustrates how 3D printing will change the world. In 2014, 3D printing will go mainstream; the authors thoroughly examine the history, the current market and the future.

Themes explored include how 3D printing is used in next-generation games consoles such as the Xbox One and how a robot can be created by combining these technologies. A discussion on the impact of 3D printing on medicine and healthcare is covered in depth, including how 3D printing will allow drugs to be downloaded from the Internet and printed using common household materials. Aaron Council, the founder and CEO of the online community, and Michael Petch, the CEO of Black Dog Consulting, explore how 3D printing is likely to change the current economic system for the better. The importance of the technology for the future of society and how it will create jobs in both the U.S and the developing world is given a detailed chapter. Political and social implications of 3D printing such as a reduction in materialism and even an end to conflict are all explored as by-products of this remarkable technology.

First coming into prominence at the end of 1970’s , additive manufacturing was pioneered for use as a rapid prototyping. But it is only in recent years that the impact is starting to be felt across a wider range of industries. 3D printing has permeated into medical science, fashion, construction and food production.

3D printing will not just change the way things are made. Wide reaching implications for society and the world as a whole must be considered. Politicians are already seeking to control the spread of 3D printed guns. But will their efforts be as successful as those of the music industry, in controlling pirated copies of their products?

SYS Systems is set to wow the crowds at MACH 2014

MACH 2014 will be a major showdown among 3D printer manufacturers like MakerBot, Stratasys, SYS Systems, etc.

SYS Systems is all set to wow the crowd with live demonstrations of 3D printing technology. Skilled technicians will be on-site to show visitors how the process works using cutting edge Fortus and Objet additive manufacturing technologies from Stratasys.

Seen as the gateway to in-house digital additive manufacturing, the Stratasys Fortus 250 builds parts so durable and accurate that most customers find its use expands way beyond functional testing and into tooling, jigs, fixtures and more besides. Designed purposely as an affordable production series machine, the Fortus 250 combines compact size and ease of use with sophisticated Insight software. And best of all, its ABSplus parts are accurate, stable, durable and repeatable. Three layer resolutions are available to let customers print in fine detail or at maximum speed. A free support removal system will be offered with any Fortus or Connex order placed at the exhibition.

The other machine in the spotlight on SYS Systems’ 18 sq m stand will be the Stratasys Objet 30 Pro 3D printer. This is the only desktop 3D printer in the world that can print in up to seven different materials, including transparent and high temperature photopolymers. A large tray size gets the most out of a small footprint, allowing users to create stunningly realistic models right in the office.

At MACH, the Objet 30 Pro will be performing live demonstrations of printing a closed case part – a component that highlights the fine production capabilities of this innovative desktop range. Both machines are intended to underline the company’s main theme at MACH, which is to bring 3D printing in-house to save time and money in prototyping.

The SYS Systems team will be on hand throughout the exhibition to show how much it costs to print in-house versus the use of bureau services. The company’s sales team will be happy to evaluate customer products and provide estimated cost and time savings which can be supported by future trials if requested.

India is interested in 3D printing, but will India adopt it?

India’s tech-focused businesses may not yet be making 3D printing a priority.

India is keen to put itself at the forefront of technology, but the nation is yet to begin investing in 3D printing, like its developing rivals China and the Middle East Asia. India has been keen to invest in technology hives – business parks that act as a hotbed for research and development.

There are dozens of these hubs, but some of the largest include the Export Promotion Park of India in Hajipur, Peenya in Bangalore city, and Electronics City in the Bangalore Urban district and Salt Lake City in Kolkata, West Bengal. However the fact is that, all these hubs are mainly providing Software Development and Cloud based services only, very few of them are emerging as front-running 3D printing pioneers.

Which sector looks the most promising?

India is home to major production facilities for brands including Ford and Nissan, in addition to Tata Motors and Maruti-Suzuki. It is unsurprising 3D printing is making its most confident steps in the automotive sector.

Sahara Force India Formula One team has signed a technical partnership deal with global 3D printing giant 3D Systems to develop the technique and utilize it for making cars. The multi-year agreement will fortify the relationship between the two firms, allowing Sahara Force India to make use of its existing 3D Systems equipment and reduce the manufacturing time of wind tunnel model components.

Senior vice-president and general manager of 3D production printers at 3D Systems
Kevin McAlea commented: “The opportunity to partner with emerging innovators like Sahara Force India provides tangible customer benefits that extend well beyond motorsports.”

What do we think?

Naturally speaking, the entry level or barrier cost to 3D printing is still very high. India being a small market in comparison to other countries, opportunities that can be scaled faster is on the radar. We are yet to see the effectiveness and successful proposition of 3D printing. So while India is working hard to make itself a key global technology center, 3D printing uptake may be out reach for many businesses.

As a nation, 3D printing is not something India has taken up with great vigor – definitely not, on a wide scale.