Oct 18, 2017 | By Benedict

To mark the halfway point of the 3D printing week, here’s a roundup of some more additive tidbits: Ultimaker launches its Cura 3.0 slicing software, an Anatomics 3D printed sternum implant is successfully implanted into a patient, and more.


Patient fitted with Anatomics 3D printed sternum implant marks U.S. first

Penelope Heller, a 20-year-old U.S. woman, has been fitted with a custom 3D printed composite titanium/porous polyethylene implant to replace her sternum and part of her ribcage. The procedure marks a U.S. first, and is only the second successful implantation of a 3D printed sternum and ribcage ever.

Designed by Australian company Anatomics, the 3D printed implant was made using CT scans of the patient’s chest, and 3D printed at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) 3D printing laboratory, Lab 22.

Heller sought out the treatment after being fitted with a non-printed implant in 2014 that did not fully solve her problems.

“After my initial resection and reconstruction surgery, I continued to experience breathing issues and pain,” said Heller, who underwent a sternum/ribcage removal and reconstruction because of a malignant bone tumor.

“With a long, active life ahead of me, I wanted to participate in activities that I love fully and without pain. Electing to have this procedure was a big decision, and I'm coming forward to empower other people in the same position.”

Anatomics' custom 3D printed implants do not currently have marketing approval in the U.S., but Heller was allowed to undergo the procedure via the United States Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) Expanded Access (Compassionate Use) Program, reserved for exceptional circumstances.

Anatomics' Executive Chairman Paul D’Urso praised Heller’s “pursuit of information” that led her to Anatomics and ultimately served to improve her physical condition.


Ultimaker releases Ultimaker Cura 3.0

From Penelope Heller’s sternum we go now to Dutch 3D printing company Ultimaker, who we often think of as the breastbone of desktop 3D printing in Europe. The company, which released the Ultimaker 3 a year ago today, has today released Ultimaker Cura 3.0, a new version of its slicing software which “enhances the performance and accessibility of Ultimaker's hardware, software, materials, and services.”

Ultimaker Cura 3.0 brings several new features to the table, including CAD integration for “seamless workflow integration” between industry-standard CAD applications; an updated UI and UX design with cleaner appearance and intuitive sliders; new skin settings resulting in “[fewer] strings, better top details, and faster prints”; and a halved startup time.

“The option for our partners to link their plugins with Ultimaker Cura 3.0 unlocks endless possibilities for professionals to fully make use of their 3D printers,” said Paul Heiden, Senior VP of Product Management at Ultimaker. “Businesses can now create new workflows completely tailored to their specific products.”

Heiden added that the actions of Ultimaker partners would provide the 3D printing company with “valuable insights to the desires and needs of end-users, which will help to guide us in the continuous innovation of our entire ecosystem, from hardware to software, materials, and services.”

The release of Ultimaker Cura 3.0 adheres to Ultimaker’s new software-centric strategy, with the company planning to release regular software upgrades in order to become a “future-ready solution” and provide an “extended ecosystem” that continues to improve.


Italian eyewear company Safilo launches OXYDO 3D printed sunglasses collection

Here’s something that Netherlands-based Ultimaker certainly won’t need over the fall period: sunglasses. Italian eyewear company Safilo’s latest collection showcases some impressive 3D printing handiwork courtesy of Materialise, a company headquartered in similarly rainy Belgium.

Safilo’s portfolio includes high-end names like Dior, Fendi, Elie Saab, and others. With its avant-garde OXYDO SS 2017 collection, however, the company has gone for futurism over regular catwalk styles.

Safilo says the OXYDO range uses the lightness of 3D printed parts “to mold the vision of tomorrow, resulting in frames that derive from the deep connection with the world of art, and taking OXYDO eyewear into the realm of wearable sculptures.”

They really do look impressive, putting an unmistakably additive spin on classic eyewear shapes. The so-called “wearable sculptures” are 3D printed at Materialise’s Certified Additive Manufacturing facility and post-processed with the Materialise Luxura treatment.

“We focused on leveraging the capabilities of 3D printing to produce very fine ornamentation while keeping a very minimal silhouette,” commented New York-based artist Francis Bitonti, who collaborated with OXYDO on the eyewear. “We were interested in how the next generation of ornamentation might look.”


Poland’s 3D Lab unveils metal powder atomizer

Finally, Polish company 3D Lab will launch its ATO One metal powder atomizer at formnext 2017 in November. The machine enables companies to produce their own metal powders for 3D printing, even in small office settings.

3D Lab says its ATO One machine, created in response to the increasing demands of small and medium-sized enterprises, powder producers, and scientific institutions, is “dedicated to satisfy the needs arising in the field of additive manufacturing, isostatic pressing, and conventional powder metallurgy.”

The ATO One atomizer can process both reactive and non-reactive metals, such as titanium, magnesium, and aluminum alloys, and can produce powders with grain sizes between 20 and 100 μm. Several hundred grams of material can be produced in one go.

The atomizer, supplied with its own software, is integrated with the “newest communication systems” through WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, Micro SD, and Ethernet.

“ATO One has the potential to considerably enhance and speed up the development of new materials dedicated to metal 3D printing,” 3D Lab says. “The device was designed as compact, with office spaces in mind, yet maintaining several times lower operation costs and an affordable price.

“This solution guarantees a more rapid novel material development process within one organizational structure and eliminates the need to employ subcontractors to execute particular stages of a given project.”



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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