Mar.20, 2014

During his recent visit to Israel, the United Kingdom Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron presented a 3D printed diplomatic gift to the President of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, in recognition of pioneering research between the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Centre and the University of Nottingham.

The gift was a 3D printed sculpture that represents the tiny particles common to the brain research being conducted at both universities.

Scientists at the University of Nottingham have developed revolutionary nano-sized particles that can facilitate the growth of cells, while Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Centre has pioneered research into Parkinson's disease for several years. Working closely together, scientists from these two academic establishments are now developing a technology that is designed to deliver these new cells into the brain to aid the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

The 3D printed sculpture was designed by British designer, Daniel Hilldrup, and UK service bureau, IPF, who were invited by the British Council to create a model using 3D printing technology.

The model was 3D printed on an Objet Connex Multi-material 3D Printer. Deceptively simple on the surface, there are actually a dozen different black rubber-like nano-particles suspended in a clear transparent material. Uniquely, both base materials were mixed together to create 12 other material properties and greyscales to demonstrate the variation in nano particles.

With the unique Connex 3D printing technology these materials are combined in a single printed part along with the transparent material housing them.

To create a piece this complex, Hilldrup worked with 3D printing expert Gary Miller at IPF in Essex. "For a long time in 3D printing, we were limited by the use of only one material at a time when producing a model." Hildrup said. "Multi-material 3D printing changed everything – it frees you up conceptually to manufacture things that you previously could not visualise. It's really satisfying when you design something and when it's actually produced, it is true to the initial vision."

Miller added: "Like a ship in a bottle, producing a material inside another is just not possible using traditional manufacturing methods. In fact, no other 3D printing technology can print this combination of materials with a clear transparent material and the black. The results were amazing, especially given the fact the whole piece was produced overnight."

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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