New Patent Filing by Stratasys Possibly Shows Next Steps

New Patent Filing by Stratasys Possibly Shows Next Steps

FDM with Invisible Seams While there are a huge number of variations on the basic design of 3D printers, most printers either use an extruder to distribute the material onto a build plate, which is known as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or use a high-powered device to fuse together liquid particles of material in a build tank, called stereolithography (SLA). Regardless of the method of production, both types of printers produce pieces layer by layer. While layers are clearly visible with FDM, however, you get a much smoother finished product with printers that use SLA technologies. If the recent patent filing by Stratasys comes to fruition, this might be about to change. The Debate Since nearly the beginning, 3D printers have chosen their side in the debate between FDM and SLA. FDM fans love that the machines produce less mess and SLA advocates believe that the process makes stronger parts without the visible seams found in FDM. If, however, an FDM process was able to produce the solid exterior found in SLA prints, this could upend the entire debate. The Patent Filing by Stratasys In Stratasys’ recent patent filing, the company proposes technology that would hide the seams of an FDM printer. According to 3dprint.com, the filing explains,”The method includes generating a contour tool path that defines an interior region of a layer of the 3D model, where the contour path comprises a start point and a stop point, and where at least one of the start point and the stop point is located within the interior region of the layer.” Essentially, this means that the printer would print...
Winners of YouMagine Contest Seek to Advance the 3D Printing Industry

Winners of YouMagine Contest Seek to Advance the 3D Printing Industry

What’s New in 3D The world of 3D printing is in a state of constant innovation. As new companies pop up and announce their take on the additive manufacturing process, they create technologies that look at the entire printing process in a slightly different way. While this can make it difficult for new entrants into the market to really decide which printer is right for them, it is also paving the way toward better products that truly solve customer needs for larger build spaces or more fully functioning parts. The recent YouMagine contest, “Develop a New 3D Printing Technology Challenge” is one great example of how organizations around the country are helping the 3D printing industry develop future technologies. On February 13th, YouMagine announced their two winners, who also received Ultimaker Original printers. The Contest With this contest, YouMagine looked at both the level of innovation found in the new technology, as well as the actual practicality and achievability of the design. The online publication then examined the open source community to ensure that the chosen design was unique and not already being worked on in open source circles. Finally, the projects were chosen based on the fact that they opened doors to new possibilities in 3D printing. The Winners The first of the two winning technologies comes from Laird Popkin who designed a dual nozzle 3D printer. Intended to reduce the time it takes to print large-scale items, one nozzle is very large and the other is smaller. This design allows the printer to utilize the small nozzle for more detailed work and the larger nozzle for print...
Voxel8 Develops First 3D Electronics Printer

Voxel8 Develops First 3D Electronics Printer

Advancements in 3D Technology While the 3D printers currently available on the market are great for prototyping and creating models, it is difficult to create pieces with fully functioning electrical components. With the development of Voxel8’s 3D electronics printer, this just may be about to change. The Print When printing a piece on the Voxel8, the process starts out similar to a traditional additive manufacturing printer, with the piece being created layer by layer. It is when you are ready to insert electrical components, however, that the machine truly sets itself apart from other printers. If a circuit board is required in the piece, the machine simply pauses until you are able to insert the component. With a kinematically coupled bed, users are able to simply remove the piece in order to make insertion of the components easy. Then, the printer uses a special type of conductive ink in order to make the piece electronic. While most printers limit the types of materials, the Voxel8 system allows you to co-print matrix materials for greater functionality. With the ability to add electrical components and have greater control of your materials, an electrical piece can come off the Voxel8 fully functional. The Design While it may seem as if designing a piece that has the circuitry printed right in may be a complicated process, the developers explain that the software is actually rather simple to use. Autodesk has been working with Voxel8 to create a program from their Spark platform that allows users to easily insert electric components right into a traditional CAD design. With the functionality of the printer and...

A Finish Company is 3D Printing Jewelry

Truly Customized Jewelry While jewelry making is one of the first places that 3D printing had any true impact, and we have already reported on at least one jewelry producer using the technology, typically, jewelry makers start with a 3D print and use it as a mold to cast the metals. Now, however, Finnish jeweler Kalevala has begun to offer stunning pieces that are actually 3D printing jewelry from start to finish. A partnership is formed This origins of this unique line of jewelry started when two companies at the top of their field in Finland decided to get together. Launzer, a 3D printing startup company in Finland, has partnered with Kalevala, one of the top jewelry makers in Northern Europe, in order to create bright, intricate pieces that take thorough advantage of the capabilities of 3D printing. Through the partnership, Kalevala believes that they will be able to target whole new demographics. With full customization capabilities, available 3D printed jewelry options can range from classic and refined to trendy and totally unique. The Jewelry In its new jewelry line, Kalevala and Launzer offer a variety of cuffs, pendants, and rings. The companies also note that they hope to continue expanding the line. Customers that wish to purchase a piece of jewelry from Kalevala’s 3D printed line will find a number of options. First, they can decide whether they prefer to download the jewelry and print it from home or have it manufactured at a Belgian 3D printing company, i.materialise. Consumers are then able to choose their colors and materials to create just the piece they want. Launzer notes that they...
The 3D Printed Car is Coming to Market

The 3D Printed Car is Coming to Market

In the early days of 3D printing, one of the first things to really make waves was the announcement of a 3D printed car. The first cars were printed in small pieces and painstakingly assembled into a classic body that would be fit over a less expensive vehicle. Ivan Sentch, for example, is printing out an Aston Martin DB4 body, which will fit over a 1993 Nissan Skyline. With parts measuring four inches or less each, the process is taking months and, perhaps, years. Now, however, a company called Local Motors is set to change all of that with the first 3D printed car that is printed at a large-scale and is nearly ready for market. About Local Motors As engineers and makers, the innovators behind Local Motors have a whole series of vehicles in the evaluation, prototype, and production stages. From a luxury off-road vehicle to a motorized tricycle, Local Motors, which is based in Phoenix, Arizona, has a different perception of how people should look at transportation. Now, with the 3D printed car, this perception is set to change even more. The Strati The Strati, which is Italian for “layer,” is the first of a series of 3D printed cars that Local Motors will be rolling out. Instead of printing the car piece by piece, Local Motors uses a massive 3D printer that is capable of building the entire body at once. Because of the production method, which saves millions that is typically needed for tooling and dying, the car will be made available at a price point between $18,000 and $30,000. The material, carbon infused plastic...
Update on 3D Printing Announcements at CES

Update on 3D Printing Announcements at CES

Day One of CES Begins For any of us who love new gadgets, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the most exciting times of the year. At this eagerly anticipated event, over 160,000 individuals gather in Las Vegas to learn about the most recent innovations in consumer technology. Over the years, CES has been the forum where inventors have announced everything from VCRs, to CD players, to the first TV with HD technologies, to the original Xbox. Granted, along the way, there have also been some notable flops. But, nonetheless, the technology world’s eyes are definitely turned toward Vegas this weekend. Here is what has happened so far at CES, along with an update about 3D printing announcements at CES. Notable Announcements Although today is only the first full day of the CES event, there have already been quite a few announcements. As usual, the products so far have been a mixed bag of cool technology that you want in your home immediately, products that just seem kind of pointless, and others that it is hard to decide where they land on the spectrum. TV announcements today have run the gamut between Samsung’s huge TV that can curve on command, to Sharp’s Aquos Beyond 4K TV that boasts 42 million more pixels than the standard television. For those of you more interested in TV services, Dish Network announced its new Sling service. This marks the first time a major cable provider has offered customers a 100% streaming service. With Sling, you get a handful of channels, including ESPN, all streamed online for $20 per month. In the...