Mar 11, 2017 | By David

3D printing technology never sleeps, but you do, so here's a helpful recap of things you might have missed in another busy week for the industry:

Leapfrog Bolt 3D Printer prints using Verbatim Polypropylene filament

Perhaps the most successful use of Polypropylene yet in 3D printing was this week achieved by materials expert Verbatim, using the Leapfrog Bolt 3D printer. PP is a commonly used plastic, but one that hasn’t yet been integrated into a 3D printing project without difficulties. Although it has impressively high chemical resistances and mechanical properties, making it a material with a lot of potential for 3D printing applications, it isn’t used regularly as it tends to warp in most 3D printers.

Leapfrog 3D’s latest Bolt 3D printer is one of the only machines on the market that uses a Direct Drive and Independent Dual Extruder system. Because of this superior heat regulation, the Bolt was able to successfully print with PP without any warping of the material. As the company boasts, it is yet to come across a filament that the Bolt can’t print. The results of this collaboration between Leapfrog and Verbatim were exhibited at the 2017 RapidPro show in the Netherlands.

GE partners with the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in UAE to revolutionize the manufacturing industry

General Electric has entered into a new partnership with the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in the United Arab Emirates, intending to transform the way the manufacturing industry operates worldwide. The GMIS is a joint initiative organized by the UAE Ministry of Economy and UNIDO (the United Nations Industrial Development Organization). It is the world’s first global summit for the manufacturing industry and brings together leaders from government and civil society, as well as the business community.

A key part of the agenda will be discussion of the changes brought about by new technological developments, and how these can be managed to benefit manufacturers at all levels of the industry.  GE will be a founding partner of the summit, and will introduce a number of innovations, including the advances it has made in the 3D printing world. It is planning to establish the region’s first additive manufacturing "micro-factory." The GMIS is due to take place at the Paris-Sorbonne - Abu Dhabi between March 27-30.

Pharmacy researchers at UCL to carry out tests on 3D printed tablets

Researchers at UCL have called for participants in a new study that will examine the effectiveness of different 3D printed pills. The study will hopefully provide information about the optimum shapes and dimensions for tablets to minimize discomfort or fear of choking when swallowing. A variety of tablets of different shapes and sizes have been produced through 3D printing techniques, to be tested by participants. Some shapes can make medicine intake easier and safer, however scientific data on the end user acceptability is required to adapt the shapes to the needs of specific patient groups. The research is intended to make the taking of medication easier for patients, particularly children and the elderly.

During the test session, you will be asked to assess ten 3D-printed shapes. Researchers will ask you to perform the following tasks: open 2 different types of packaging, pick 10 different shapes of 3D-printed pills and swallow 5 different shapes of 3Dprinted pills with the aid of water.

Then we will ask you to rate your satisfaction using scales and questions. During the test your hands will be video recorded. The shapes you will be given are made of perfectly safe ingredients (also used in foods) and do not contain any drugs.

If you are a healthy adult aged 18 to 50 years you are eligible to take part in the study.

The study will take place at UCL School of Pharmacy, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX. You will be asked to attend one session which will last 60  minutes (approximately). You will be paid £5 as compensation for your time.

Space Systems Loral (SSL) installs 3D printed antenna tower for satellite

SSL has introduced 3D printing technology into its manufacturing process with great success, recently producing an antenna tower for one of its currently operational spacecraft, the JCSAT-110A. The highly optimized strut-truss antenna tower was assembled from 37 3D printed titanium nodes and more than 80 3D printed graphite struts. SSL has used 3D printing to produce hundreds of structural components over the last few years. Optimizing at the systems level instead of optimizing individual parts has allowed SSL to cut production times in half, as well as greatly reducing the mass of its structures.

Stryker introduces new 3D printed spinal implants at AAOS conference

Medical technology industry leader Stryker has put 3D printing technology to great use with the development of a Tritanium Posterior Lumbar Cage. The spinal implant will be demonstrated to the medical community at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting taking place in San Diego, March 15-18, 2017. The Tritanium PL cage comes with a range of different size options and potential modifications based on surgeons’ needs and requests.

Attendees to the AAOS will be treated to a virtual reality tour featuring Stryker’s new breakthrough, amongst other developments. This tour intends to demonstrate how 3D printing can be used to create new implants, and the variety of benefits that the technology offers compared to traditional manufacturing techniques. In the case of the Tritanium PL cage, additive manufacturing allowed for the precise replication of cancellous bone, including such structural features as pore size, level of porosity, and interconnectivity of the pores.

P&G fund 3D printing program for high school students at Purdue University

Assistant Professor Ramses Martinez at Purdue University has received a grant from Procter and Gamble to run a series of workshops that will introduce local high school children to 3D printing technology. The program, entitled "Revolutionizing Healthcare with 3D Printing," will allow junior and senior high school students from West Lafayette to familiarize themselves with 3D printing, as well as demonstrating the potential the technology has to change the healthcare system.

The students will be collaborating with undergraduate and graduate students at Purdue on various projects. The first phase of the program will allow them to design 3D models using free, easy-to-use apps that were designed at Purdue. Later they will be directly involved in the manufacturing and testing of healthcare products, such as stethoscopes and dental floss picks, in the faculty’s 3D printing lab. Martinez hopes that the program will be particularly beneficial for the students’ problem-solving and creative skills.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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