WashU’s 3D written Indian lotus dwelling (generic term) debuts at China’s star (related term) athletic contest (generic term)

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Students from Washington University in St. Louis’ (WashU) Sam Fox School of Design & Visual humanistic discipline and School of technology & practical scientific discipline rich person planned and fancied a 3D written energy-efficient residence aptly called the Indian lotus dwelling (generic term). Unveiled earlier this calendar month at the star (related term) athletic contest (generic term) China 2018, the Indian lotus dwelling (generic term) takes idea (generic term) from the Chinese … Continue reading “WashU’s 3D written Indian lotus dwelling (generic term) debuts at China’s star (related term) athletic contest (generic term)”

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Renishaw reports evidence (generic term) £611.4M employee turnover for afloat FY2018

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The UK headquartered metrology and accumulative manufacturing specializer Renishaw (LON:RSW) has unpublished (antonym) its results for the afloat fiscal twelvemonth 2018. Combining weaponry (generic term) sales and activity (generic term) with the company’s healthcare work (generic term) line, headline gross for FY 2018 was according at £611.5 million. For FY2017, gross was according at £536.8m. By comparison, FY2018 sees a growing of 14% and … Continue reading “Renishaw reports evidence (generic term) £611.4M employee turnover for afloat FY2018”

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Ford files patent for brake disk 3D printing method

Ford Global Technologies LLC, the patent management and copyrighting arm of the Ford Motor Company, has filed an application detailing a method of making lightweight brake discs using 3D printing.

The method described is laser deposition welding, a relative of laser metal deposition (LMD), capable of adding new material to pre-fabricated substrate.

Digram of a brake disk. Image via Hybrid lightweight brake disk and production method

The forefront of innovation

Determined to run at the forefront of innovation, over the years, Ford has invested a lot of time and money into the development and adoption of additive manufacturing processes. Back in 2015, the company took part in Carbon3D’s early access program for CLIP 3D printing technology. Ford also has its hands on an early Infinite Build System from Stratasys.

More recently, the company promoted Ford Smart Mobility boss, Jim Hackett to CEO in charge of ramping up advanced manufacturing and, early 2018, it led a $65 million funding round for Massachusetts 3D printer manufacturer Desktop Metal.

Reinventing the wheel

Brake discs are typically made from cast iron, and machined to the desired design. However, Ford is looking to use aluminum, which has the poential to the cut the weight of its cast iron counterpart by 50%. lightweight replacement.

“Such a brake disk, however,” as detailed by the patent application, “has significant disadvantages.”

“On the one hand, aluminum alloys, in contrast to gray cast iron material, do not have the necessary abrasion resistance, also the melting point of aluminum-cast iron alloys lies below 650° C.”

In a typical automotor and sport (AMS) test, repeated brake maneuvers generate temperatures exceeding 750° C, which would liquefy an all-aluminum brake disk. Aluminum, therefore, needs some kind of reinforcement. And the challenge then is maintaining a balance between the conductive and light properties of aluminum, when combined as an alloy.

The best of both worlds

The document specifies a 6 part process relying on first machining a brake chamber. Once appropriately prepared, a friction ring is added to the disc via laser depostion welding.

As the inventors state: “During the fusion metallurgical building up of the friction ring by using a laser deposition welding process or a 3D-printing process, the rapidly solidified aluminum alloy in powder form maintains its favorable mechanical properties,”

“In this way, for example a high level of thermal stability and a high level of abrasion resistance of the friction ring can be achieved so that an after-coating of the friction ring can be dispensed with.”

The full hybrid lightweight brake disk and production method. Image via Ford
The full hybrid lightweight brake disk and production method. Image via Ford

Ford’s “Hybrid lightweight brake disk and production method” was filed with a priority of January 20, 2017. As of the time of publication, the company now has a patent pending for the method, dated January 22, 2018.

The persons credited with inventing the brake disc manufacturing method are all employed by Ford Motor Company in Germany.  Paul Zandbergen Zandbergen, Supervisor of Advanced Chassis Technologies & BEV Chassis Architecture; Maik Broda in Advanced Materials & Processes; Raphael Koch, Additive Manufacturing Research Engineer; and Clemens Verpoort, a Technical Specialist in Thermal Spraying.

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Featured image shows a diagram of a brake disk. Image via Hybrid lightweight brake disk and production method”

Transparent 3D printable nanostructures can mimic natural colors

Scientists from the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have presented an alternative method of applying user-defined color to 3D printed objects.

Replacing pigment-based colors, which alter appearance by the selective absorption of electrons in a substance, the scientists have created a computational additive manufacturing design tool to enable structural coloration, tailoring micro or nanostructures of an object to cause various vivid, unfading colors to appear when light it shined through.

The design tool shows light hitting a 3D printed nanostructure from below. After it is transmitted through, the viewer sees only green light and the remaining colors are redirected. Image via Thomas Auzinger.
The design tool shows light hitting a 3D printed nanostructure from below. After it is transmitted through, the viewer sees only green light and the remaining colors are redirected. Image via Thomas Auzinger.

Natural nanostructures

There can be many variations of how rays of light bend when passing from one nanoscopic surface into another which causes natural optical effects, such as iridescence.

Advanced 3D printing technologies, in particular, multiphoton lithography  – a technique using light to solidify a liquid photopolymer – have allowed for the fabrication of such nanostructures typically found in plants and animals that permit structural coloration. As a result, researchers are more equipped p to replicate such dynamic light patterns.

For example, researchers from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) used nanoscale 3D printing to create complex surfaces which mimic the radiant color patterns distributed by male Peacock Spiders. Similarly, physicists from the University of Surrey and San Francisco State University demonstrated the ability to reproduce the reflective structure of a butterfly wing through 3D printed nanometric gyroids.

Now, with the intention of reducing the use of potentially toxic industrial pigments, which also cannot produce certain color patterns, this design tool automatically creates 3D printable templates for nanostructures that correspond to specific colors.

“The design tool can be used to prototype new colors and other tools, as well as to find interesting structures that could be produced industrially,” said Thomas Auzinger, Postdoctoral Researcher in Computational Fabrication at IST Austria.

A 3D printable nanostructure generated by the design tool. Image via Thomas Auzinger.
A 3D printable nanostructure generated by the design tool. Image via Thomas Auzinger.

A free-form structure

The design tool permits users to enter their desired color, then replicates it through a 3D model nanostructure pattern rather than attempting to reproduce structures found in nature. “No extra effort is required on the part of the user,” added Auzinger. The nanostructure templates are randomly composed which causes directional coloring – where an object appears as a different color depending on the angle it is viewed.

“When looking at the template produced by the computer I cannot tell by the structure alone if I see a pattern for blue or red or green,” explained Auzinger.

“That means the computer is finding solutions that we, as humans, could not. This free-form structure is extremely powerful: it allows for greater flexibility and opens up possibilities for additional coloring effects.”

Fabricated sample of an asymmetric colorization pattern. Photo via Thomas Auzinger.
A fabricated sample of an asymmetric colorization pattern displaying directional coloring. Photo via Thomas Auzinger.

Nanostructure fabrication and future experimentation

According to the researchers, transparent nanostructures designed to manipulate light “were often impossible to print.” Addressing this concern, the design tool is said to guarantee 3D printability for its users. Researchers have also conducted initial tests of the tool which have yielded “successful results.”

“It’s amazing to see something composed entirely of clear materials appear colored, simply because of structures invisible to the human eye,” said Bernd Bickel, an Assistant Professor, heading the Computer Graphics and Digital Fabrication Group at IST Austria.

“We’re eager to experiment with additional materials, to expand the range of effects we can achieve.”

This project was presented at the computer graphics conference, SIGGRAPH 2018, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The research paper “Computational Design of Nanostructural Color for Additive Manufacturing” is co-authored by Thomas Auzinger, Wolfgang Heidrich, and Bernd Bickel.

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Featured image shows a fabricated sample of an asymmetric colorization pattern displaying directional coloring. Photo via Thomas Auzinger.

 

3D Platform pits large scale 3D printing against traditional manufacturing

Large-scale 3D printer manufacturer 3D Platform, headquartered in Illinois, has demonstrated great potential to save on tooling costs against traditional machining.

In a further case study, with San Francisco service bureau Titanic Design, the company’s hardware has also been put to the test, creating a life-size replica turbofan of a Boeing 737.

Machining v 3D printing 

Thermoforming is a process where a plastic sheet is heated up until it hits a malleable temperature. Once its reached this temperature, the sheet is placed over a single-sided master mold and given shape. The plastic is then held in place as it cools down and hardens, after which any excess material is trimmed off the final product.

Diagram describing the thermoforming process. Image via euroextrusions
Diagram describing the thermoforming process. Image via euroextrusions

Traditionally, CNC machining would be used to make the master molds. At 3D Platform, large scale 3D printing was used in place of machining to make 8 customized master templates for comparison.

The 8 trays were 3D printed on a single 2ft by 2ft sheet, using Polymaker PC-MAX – a polycarbonate engineered to print at slightly lower temperatures than other polycarbonates.

In the case study, it was reported that the cost for 3D Platform printer materials was $53 per kilogram, with total material cost of $106. Additionally, the cost to run the machine was $50 per hour. The 3D printer required 24 hours to print the master molds, resulting in a total operating cost of $1200. Combining the operating costs and the $500 post-processing cost brings the overall price of the master molds to $1700, or $212.50 per mold.

By comparison, CNC machining the same parts would have taken 20 hours but, with higher operation and post processing costs, it would set a manufacturer back $2,500.

3D printed mold. Photo via 3D Platform
Custom trays. Photo via 3D Platform

3D printed efficiency and affordability

In a second case study Tom Price, the owner of Titanic Design, investigated 3D Platform’s hardware as a cost-effective method for bespoke prototyping services. 

Price stated “If you want the closest thing humanity has to a matter materializer that will let your engineers not have to think, then go get a $500K machine, add the infrastructure, service, proprietary materials, inflexible process required to it, and you will hemorrhage money. In the end it will be so much that it will be cost prohibitive.”

For Titanic Design, at $36,999, 3D Platform WorkSeries printers proved to be the smartest investment, with hardware and materials costing 1/10th of the closest comparable system. Additionally, 3D Platform printers had a much larger array of usable material than its closest comparable printer.

In the most recent use case from Titanic Design, the team 3D printed a 1:1 scale replica of the Boeing 737’s main bypass turbofan measuring at 1.55 meters in diameter. 

“We run our machine hard and it shows almost no signs of wear. This machine directly competes with the best equipment on the market,” said Price “The cost and speed of the machine lets us directly challenge the status quo and best practices in hardware product development, and even challenge what qualifies as a final product.”

Titanic Design is now planning to add a second printer to keep up with 3D printing demand.

Replica of Boeing 737’s main bypass. Photo via Titanic Design
Replica of Boeing 737’s main bypass turbofan. Photo via Titanic Design

The change to 3D printing

Several other companies are reducing the cost of tooling by making the switch to 3D printing, such as the Volkswagen Autoeuropa factory in Portugal. The factory began using 3D printers back in 2014, saving the company an annual $160,000 and reducing time spent on tool development by 95%.

The Moog Aircraft Group, which specializes in aerospace technology, recently conducted a case study which concluded that 3D printing was 10 times cheaper than traditional tooling.

Last year, Aernnova, a spanish airbus manufacturer, changed to 3D printing which proved to be cheaper, lighter and more time efficient than the conventional tooling method. 

In our ‘The Future of 3D Printing’ series, Jonathan Schroeder, President of 3D Platform stated “Over the next five years, we are going to see more printing being done for production and manufacturing. It’s going to start (and has already started) within the industries that can afford material premiums over traditional manufacturing because of the weight, efficiency, and design savings. We’ll then start to see manufacturing use 3D printing for production—primarily for low-volume prototyping or replacement parts for retired products.”

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Feature image is the replica of the main bypass. Photo via Titanic Design

Tel Aviv University researchers propose low-cost microwave metal 3D printer

A team of researchers at Tel Aviv University, Israel, has published a proof of concept study that could lead to cheaper metal 3D printers. The study examines the potential of localized microwave heating (LMH), that could be applied to produce rough, large scale structures at a faster throughput rate.

Localized microwave heating additive manufacturing

As described in the team’s Methods, “Unlike typical laser-based AM processes, using layer-by-layer techniques,” localized microwave heating additive manufacturing (LMH-AM) “uses small batches of metal powder as additive elements (namely,
voxels).”

Voxels are created by compacting metal powder into a spot on the build plate, or “interaction region.” Microwave irradiation is then applied, melting each voxel, which then solidifies upon cooling. To build a desired structure this process is repeated, merging metal voxel by voxel.

LMH-AM made straight and corner sample rods. Image via COMPEL
LMH-AM made straight and corner sample rods. Image via COMPEL

Magnetic fixation

The concept of LMH-AM was first proposed by Tel Aviv University in an article from 2015. Developing on the initial ideas discussed in this paper, the team’s most recent study experiments with the use of contact-less magnetic fixation of metal powder in the “interaction region” to simplify the process.

Results show that magnetically confined powders can be incrementally 3D printed to make small sample rods.

Contact-less magnetic fixation of metal powder in LMH-AM. Image via COMPEL
Contact-less magnetic fixation of metal powder in LMH-AM. Image via COMPEL

As stated in the study, “No mechanical support is needed during the microwave irradiation periods; hence, the LMH–AM process is significantly simplified.”

Encouraged by the findings, the team are now planning to study the LMH-AM process in an inert-gas environment, “which eliminates the plasma ejection and hence reduces the microwave power required to a level of approximately 100 W or less.”

Cheaper metal 3D printing

Other efforts seeking to lower the cost of metal 3D printing include the University of Sheffield’s ‘Diode Area Melting’ and the futureAM project from Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany.

Microwave 3D printing, meanwhile, is also under consideration for its potential to build structures on the moon.

The research discussed in this article, “Incremental solidification (toward 3D-printing) of magnetically-confined metal-powder by localized microwave heating,” is published online in COMPEL the International Journal for Computation and Mathematics in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. It is co-authored by Mihael Fugenfirov, Yehuda Meir, Amir Shelef, Yuri Nerovny, Eli Aharoni and Eli Jerby.

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Featured image shows a diagram demonstrating a compacted voxel of metal powder. Image via COMPEL

Stratasys begins shipping Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition 3D printer

Stratasys has commenced shipping of its latest FDM 3D printer designed to address the growing demand of carbon-fiber composite applications.

The Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition (CFE) industrial 3D printer, priced at $70,000, is the cost-effective option from Stratasys’ high-end production 3D printer range which is priced from $200,000.

“Our customers are pushing us for easier access to carbon fiber,” explained Pat Carey, Senior Vice President of Sales at Stratasys.

“They want an affordable solution but in a reliable, industrial-quality system. So we’re now offering a more accessible system that’s based on our Fortus 380mc platform. Because the 380mc CFE is dedicated only to carbon-fiber-filled Nylon 12 and one other material, we’re able to currently offer it at the lowest price for any of our industrial printers.”

The Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition 3D printer. Photo via Stratasys.

Nylon 12CF

According to Stratasys, composite material has seen a year-over-year market growth of 8 to 12% due to its lightweighting capabilities, which decreases energy consumption. Last year, reducing the need for high-strength metal parts, Stratasys released its advanced carbon fiber composite material, Nylon 12CF.

Designed for functional prototypes and end-use components in automotive and aerospace industries, Nylon 12CF displays high fatigue resistance and stiffness. Furthermore, this material is 35% chopped carbon fiber by weight and one of two materials compatible with the new Fortus 380mc CFE 3D printer (with the other material being ASA).

The Nylon 12CF applications also include short production runs in a high-strength material and producing lightweight assembly tools.

Team Penske used carbon-fiber-filled Nylon 12 to produce side view mirrors housing for each of their Cup Series drivers. Photo via Stratasys.
Team Penske used carbon-fiber-filled Nylon 12 to produce side view mirrors housing for each of their Cup Series drivers. Photo via Stratasys.

Team Penske and Stratasys

In 2017, Team Penkse, an American professional sports car racing team and Stratasys announced a strategic partnership which has resulted in innovative, redesigned race car parts – such as a 3D printed fuel line hose handle – with improved performance.

Recently, Team Penske used the Nylon 12CF to produce lightweight mirror housing for its NASCAR race teams. The carbon-fiber-based housing demonstrated high impact resistance and high stiffness, each of which is critical in motorsports. The team also used this material to avoid flexing of the thin-walled parts of the housing under the aerodynamic loads produced on track.

“It’s estimated that each 10% reduction in vehicle mass drives a 6 to 8% increase in fuel economy,” stated Stratasys.

For both IndyCar and NASCAR circuits, Team Penske uses Stratasys FDM and carbon-fiber-filled Nylon 12 for strong, lightweight race car parts. Photo via Team Penske/Scott R. LePage.
For both IndyCar and NASCAR circuits, Team Penske uses Stratasys FDM and carbon-fiber-filled Nylon 12 for strong, lightweight race car parts. Photo via Team Penske/Scott R. LePage.

Technical specifications of the Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition 3D printer

The Fortus 380mc CFE is said to produce parts with repeatable dimensional accuracy, no appreciable warpage or shrinkage, and high tight tolerances.

System Size 129.5 cm x 90.2 cm x 198.4 cm (51 x 35.5 x 78.1 in)
Build Volume 355 x 305 x 305 mm (14 x 12 x 12 in)
Weight 1,325 lbs (601 kg)
Materials Nylon 12CF,  ASA
Layer Thickness Nylon 12CF: 0.254 mm (0.010 in.)

ASA: 0.127 mm (0.005 in.) – 0.330 mm (0.013 in.)

Accuracy Parts are produced within an accuracy of .0015 mm (0.005 in)
Power Requirements 208VAC 3 phase, 50/60 Hz, 18 Amps
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 (Pro, Enterprise, Education), Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 (Pro, Enterprise), Microsoft Windows 7 (Pro, Enterprise, Ultimate), Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2.

 

“For many years, the additive manufacturing industry has seen a need for a diversity of machines that produce parts in high-strength composite materials,” said Terry Wohlers, President of Wohlers Associates, an additive manufacturing industry consultancy based in Colorado.

“I’m hopeful the newest machine from Stratasys will help to meet this need by offering strong parts in carbon fiber and Nylon 12.”

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Featured image shows the Fortus 380mc Carbon Fiber Edition 3D printer. Photo via Stratasys.

New modular winder from Brabender professionally rounds off laboratory extrusion lines for filament development

One of the current priorities in the further evolution of additive manufacturing processes such as 3D printing is the “translation” of tried-and-tested polymer materials such as those used in injection molding to the “3D sector”. High-performance, precise winders which provide these filaments at a high, reproducible quality level and which are tailored to the special requirements of what are often smaller development laboratories play a role that continues to be underestimated. Brabender® GmbH & Co. KG from Duisburg, Germany presents one such new product.

This is a guest post by Dipl.-Ing. Jane Schwarz, Brabender® GmbH & Co. KG, Duisburg.

In the current 3D printing materials market, developers require laboratory production lines which are able to live up to the requirements of a particularly broad and multi-faceted group of users. Highly flexible yet affordable systems are needed, which are ideally also highly modular. At the same time, they should also meet the requirements of smaller research institutes which only require small filament batches of a highly specialized material — such as for medicine, for which 3D printing offers massive opportunities, as is well known.

Plastic granules are not yet suitable for printing. For this purpose, the materials must exist in the form of fine filaments. The Brabender Winder assists developers on the complex path from granules to filaments: By providing particularly fine products with extremely low fluctuations in diameters. Photo via Brabender
Plastic granules are not yet suitable for printing. For this purpose, the materials must exist in the form of fine filaments. The Brabender Winder assists developers on the complex path from granules to filaments: By providing particularly fine products with extremely low fluctuations in diameters. Photo via Brabender

The Brabender Winder: Economical and highly flexible

As a result, Brabender® GmbH & Co. KG, Duisburg, a recognized technological leader in the field of small to medium-sized extrusion installations for polymer development and processing at the laboratory scale, recently expanded its portfolio with a new component which is extremely important for the development of materials for 3D printing: The Branbender Winder.

A well-thought out, highly versatile winder, the new Brabender Winder helps to provide affordable filaments (among other things) made of thermoplastic polymers. It is a haul-off and winding device for universal use, which makes it the optimal interface between laboratory extruders and 3D printers. Its key advantages are the compatibility with typical laboratory throughput rates (due to lower winding speeds) and its modular design. Hence, Brabender’s newly developed machine closes the gap between small-scale extrusion for very small amounts below 200 g and a full-grown production system. This means users can now finally also produce first-rate filaments for R&D purposes using small material quantities typical for laboratory installations.

The Brabender Winder: A sophisticated interface between the laboratory and 3D printers, and at the same time an outstanding tool for developing material formulas and quality assurance. Photo via Brabender
The Brabender Winder: A sophisticated interface between the laboratory and 3D printers, and at the same time an outstanding tool for developing material formulas and quality assurance. Photo via Brabender

Advantages of the Brabender Winder at a glance:

  • The quality of the extruded profiles, round strands, and filaments can be correlated directly and above all promptly with the extrusion process.
  • Compact solution, low space requirement.
  • Flexibility thanks to modular design: A large number of possible spool types, device can be retrofitted by the customer himself if necessary.
  • No interruption of extrusion process when changing out the spool.
  • Completes and rounds off all Brabender extrusion lines: All components from the * extruder to the winder are optimally tailored to each other.
  • In Brabender extrusion installations: Complete software integration, control via familiar software interface (WinExt)
  • Winder can also be installed downstream of third-party extruders.

Materials for 3D printing require specialists

One very important aspect of material winding which is often underestimated is the tension with which the newly created filament exiting the extruder die is transferred. In a twin-screw extruder, for example, all components of what is to become the filament, i.e. the plastic granules and various solid and liquid additives, are intensively mixed and plasticized.

In the Brabender Winder, the task of picking up the extruded plastic strand from the extruder is the duty of the haul-off unit. Its haul-off speed needs to be very closely coordinated with the output rate of the extruder; if it is too high, the filament may break or be stretched – which not only negatively impacts the filament diameter, but can also change the mechanical properties of the cured material. Furthermore, the tension can also influence the future restoring properties of the filament, which play an important role in the later unwinding and transportation process in the 3D printer.

To counteract this, it may be extremely helpful to cool the extrudate (i.e. the newly created plastic strand exiting the extruder) sufficiently; it is less susceptible to stretching processes when in a cooled state. Hence, it is ideally passed through an appropriately sized water bath with an adaptive blow-off device for removing the water on the surface.

Despite this, it is essential to not only ensure that the appropriate amount of force is exerted when hauling off the extrudate, but also that the forces are as uniform as possible.

The traction, winding speed, and the traversing unit of the the Brabender Winder are monitored constantly and in a mutually dependent manner. Furthermore, a great deal of effort is also made in the new Brabender Winder to reduce fluctuations in the diameter of the filament.

Example of an extrusion line for the development and provision of high-quality 3D printing filaments: The Lab-Compounder KETSE 20/40, a twin screw extruder from Brabender with a round strand die and water bath. All components are controlled via the same software. Photo via Brabender
Example of an extrusion line for the development and provision of high-quality 3D printing filaments: The Lab-Compounder KETSE 20/40, a twin screw extruder from Brabender with a round strand die and water bath. All components are controlled via the same software. Photo via Brabender

Precise, consistent 3D printer filament

Above all, Brabender’s special expertise really shows in the extremely precise print results, particularly in the case of smaller filament diameters.

In detail, the Brabender Winder makes possible the reproducible and at the same time economical provision of filaments with diameters of 0.5 to approx. four millimeters. The haul-off speeds can be between 0.2 to around 20 meters per minute.

Naturally, the Brabender Winder is also configured to fit a wide range of spools, which, among other things, may of course have varying spool core and flange diameters, as well as widths. Of course, all spools can be switched out extremely quickly and easily. This means that the extrusion process does not need to be interrupted when a switch is necessary. This also contributes to ensuring a constant filament quality.

The winding process is more complex than it appears at first glance. For determining the necessary tensions, the spool radius and even the surface properties of the strand need to be considered, among other things. In the Brabender Winder, all relevant parameters are regulated automatically. Photo via Brabender
The winding process is more complex than it appears at first glance. For determining the necessary tensions, the spool radius and even the surface properties of the strand need to be considered, among other things. In the Brabender Winder, all relevant parameters are regulated automatically. Photo via Brabender

Conclusion

The Brabender Winder presents itself as a universal and at the same time precise and highly economical workhorse which is ideal for integration into laboratory installations for the provision of extremely high-quality filaments for 3D printing – both for material developers with an industrial background as well as smaller research institutes at universities and universities of applied sciences.

In principle, there is practically no limit on the combination options with other units from Brabender’s extrusion line range as well as those of third-party suppliers – even filaments for pharmaceutical hot melt extrusion (HME) and the manufacture of material compounds for medical products are possible application scenarios.

Even in what may appear to be an inconspicuous role, the Brabender Winder will contribute to raising the bar for additive manufacturing technologies in the plastics sector.

Learn more about Brabender equipment here.

The Brabender Winder technical specifications

Mounting hole of spool 16 – 305 mm (from 60 mm with rim)
Spool core diameter 60 – 310 mm
Flange diameter max. 400 mm
Spool width max. 200 mm
Spool weight max. 15 kg gross
Filament diameter 0.5 – 4 mm
Haul-off speed 0.2 – 20 m/min
Dimensions 705 x 1,600 x 1,200 mm
Weight approx. 120 kg
Power supply 3 x 400 V + N + PE, 50/60 Hz, 16 A

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Featured image shows the Brabender filament winding process. Photo via Brabender

Tokyo Dental College develops one-stop 3D printing lab for medicine and dentistry

Researchers at the Tokyo Dental College, Japan, developed what they’re calling a “one-stop 3D printing lab” for designing and producing inexpensive patient-specific dental models for use in maxillofacial surgery and dentistry.  

The published research is titled Utilizing a low-cost desktop 3D printer to develop a “one-stop 3D printing lab” for oral and maxillofacial surgery and dentistry fields.

3D printed dental models with support structure to prevent deformation. Photo via Springer International Publishing
3D printed dental models with the support structure to prevent deformation. Photo via Springer International Publishing

One-stop 3D printing lab

Oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS) is a surgical specialty for treating diseases and injuries related to the teeth, jawbones, head, neck, and face. The focal areas in maxillofacial surgery are small and can be difficult to access. Therefore, it requires highly detailed 3D models which can be studied for diagnostic purposes.

Both the dentistry and maxillofacial field also use 3D models for the purpose of medical education, training, illustration, and surgery simulation. Obtaining these 3D models is a costly and time-consuming process.  

With Tokyo Dental College’s “One-stop 3D printing lab,” highly detailed dental and maxillofacial 3D models can be obtained on a daily basis.  

As stated in the paper:

“We created an environment for enabling design, fabrication, and the use of patient-specific 3D models in our facility entitled the “One-stop 3D printing lab”. 3D models were produced quickly and the cost burden was greatly reduced.”

3D printing dental models

The mandible, or lower jaw, was the focus of the college’s most recent experiment.

In the first stage, a 3D CAD model was obtained through multiple detector computed tomography (MDCT) and DICOM image data. MDCT is a  procedure which combines computers and x-rays for diagnosis, and DICOM is the medical image standard across hospitals and dental surgeries.

In the second stage, the models were 3D printed using a Japanese brand FDM printer Value3D MagiX MF-2000, from MUTOH Industries Ltd. The accuracy of this printed model was compared with the original digital scan of the jaw using SpGauge 2014.1, a 3D evaluation software.

The researchers fabricated over 300 models from PLA filaments, in the process of experimentation.

The results showed that layer thickness had an effect on quality and the cost of the resulting 3D model. Increase in layer thickness meant low filament usage and shorter printing time.

According to the researchers, the ideal printing settings were layer thickness of 0.3 mm and 50% fill density.

The research paper concluded, The results obtained using the FDM 3D printer suggested that adjusting the laminating pitch may lead to further reduction of model print time and cost,”

“It was possible to quickly print a 3D model while greatly reducing the cost burden using the low-cost desktop 3D printer in the “One-stop 3D printing lab.””

A visualization of shape error, d-e shows that the deformation of shape was due to the model's own weight. Photo via Springer International Publishing
A visualization of shape error compared with the original CAD model. Photo via Springer International Publishing

Dental 3D printing

3D printing has had a considerable impact on the dental sector, and 3D printing companies have seen the market potential in this industry.

The California-based orthodontics company Align Technology Inc. specializes in supplying its dental customers with customized 3D printed dental braces.

At the start of this year, the additive manufacturing giant 3D Systems, launched its NextDent 5100 3D printer specifically to be used in the dental industry. Continuing this trend, Formlabs introduced a new resin suitable for 3D printing dental materials in the Form 2, desktop SLA system.

Earlier this month, a joint venture between ElogioAM and 3D4Makers and Perstorp, brought to the market a dental grade filament for FFF printing. 

3D printing has also gained ground in maxillofacial surgery.

Last year, 3D printed titanium maxillofacial implants made by 3D printing specialist Materialise were certified for distribution in the U.S. Earlier this year, at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW), a maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dental surgeon used a Renishaw 3D metal printer to restore a cancer patient’s jaw bone.  

The research paper discussed in this article “Utilizing a low-cost desktop 3D printer to develop a “one-stop 3D printing lab” for oral and maxillofacial surgery and dentistry fields” is published online in 3D Printing in Medicine journal. It is co-authored by Takashi Kamio, Kamichika Hayashi, Takeshi Onda, Takashi Takaki, Takahiko Shibahara, Takashi Yakushiji, Takeo Shibui, Hiroshi Kato.

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Featured image shows the structure of the mandible bone. Photo via TeachMeAnatomy

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