Oct 27, 2017 | By Tess

In today’s 3D printing roundup we’ve got an array of news from across the industry: seven-year-old Hailey Dawson will pitch a World Series game with her 3D printed prosthetic hand, RTI Surgical has released a new 3D printed spinal implant system, Ultimaker has secured a significant investment, and more.

7-year-old Hailey Dawson to pitch at upcoming World Series game with 3D printed hand

Readers might remember Hailey Dawson, the ambitious seven-year-old who has been pursuing her dream of baseball with the help of a 3D printed prosthetic hand. The young girl was born with a condition called Poland syndrome which caused her to be born without three fingers on her right hand.

Since the age of five, Hailey has been making headlines for her pitching abilities, and she has been helped along the way with various baseball-themed prosthetic hands.

As we wrote about earlier this year, Hailey is on a mission to throw a first pitch for every team of the MLB. So far, she has already crossed off the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals.

This Saturday, Hailey will be throwing the ceremonial opening pitch for Game 4 of the World Series. For the event, she will be wearing her trusty 3D printed throwing hand, which was designed and built by a team from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas using Stratasys’ 3D printing technology.

The game this Saturday will be between the LA Dodgers and the Houston Astros, who will be playing each other at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Excitingly, Hailey has also been invited by all 28 other MLB teams to throw a pitch at their home fields.

“I want to bring awareness to this solution and help other children like Hailey, who have Poland syndrome,” said Hailey’s mother. "I want people to know they can get help from someone who understands 3D printing. A hand can be built for under $2,000, and maybe as cheaply as $200.

“It’s the perfect solution for children, who could out-grow several prosthetic hands before they stop growing. There are 3D printing companies out there who can build a hand for you, or a local school’s engineering program may be willing to help."

In other words, the team who designed Hailey’s 3D printed hand is capable of adapting it and scaling it up as the child grows. More than just size, however, the team is also continually working on improving the prosthetic’s comfort and function.

“One student is designing a more optimal, more functional thumb with improved dexterity and gripping power,” explained Dr. O’Toole, UNLV’s Mechanical Engineering Department Chair. “Another student is working on a way to make the individual fingers flex more independently. And a third student is researching ways the device could be motorized.”

Fans of baseball or 3D printing should tune into this Saturday’s World Series game to see young Hailey’s pitching skills and catch a glimpse of the 3D printed hand that is allowing her dreams to come true.

RTI Surgical introduces new 3D printed ‘Fortilink-C IBF’ implant system for spinal surgery

Implant manufacturer RTI Surgical, Inc. has just announced the launch of its latest commercial 3D printed implant system: Fortilink-C IBF System with TETRAfuse® 3D Technology. The system is reportedly the first of a new series which will integrate RTI Surgical’s TETRAfuse 3D Technology.

“TETRAfuse 3D Technology combines the best characteristics of titanium, allograft bone, and PEEK—all in one package,” commented Grigory Goldberg, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon practicing in Princeton, N.J. “The Fortilink-C system represents a revolutionary new step in the future of spine surgery.”

The new implant system is a 3D printed cervical interbody device made from polymer-based materials which integrates macro, micro, and nano-rough features on its surface. These textural features reportedly enable bone growth in the patient and provide bone-like strength.

“This new innovative platform will have many derivative products, and this, in addition to the map3® Cellular Allogeneic Bone Graft and our comprehensive spine hardware portfolio, brings us a step closer to a complete offering,” added Camille Farhat, RTI chief executive officer.

Ultimaker announces significant investment from NPM Capital

3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker has announced it has received significant a investment from private equity firm NPM Capital. The investment amount, though undisclosed, will enable the company to “accelerate product development” as well as expand its sales, marketing, and R&D departments.

Ultimaker CEO Jos Burger commented on the investment, saying: "I look forward to working with NPM Capital. They have a great and solid reputation as a committed longer-term investor…With the additional funding and support from NPM Capital we now have the ability to accelerate innovation and further empower professionals worldwide with the tools and knowledge required for them to stay ahead in a rapidly changing business environment."

Ultimaker, known for its reliable desktop 3D printers, currently has operations in the Netherlands (where it is based) as well as the United States. Since its founding in 2011, Ultimaker has impacted the 3D printer market significantly, with sales of its 3D printers recorded in over 100 countries.

"Ultimaker fits in our strategy of investing in technology-based growth platforms,” said Bart Coopmans, managing director of NPM Capital. “Together with a strong community, an ambitious team of professionals and a highly-committed leadership, Ultimaker is very well positioned for further growth. We really look forward to working closely together with the Ultimaker team on their fascinating journey.”

In terms of shares, Ultimaker’s three founders (Martijn Elserman, Erik de Bruijn, and Siert Wijnia) will be joined as shareholders by NPM Capital, which will reportedly become a majority shareholder.

Creaform releases SmartDENT3D software for aircraft maintenance & repair

3D measurement solutions company Creaform has announced the launch of SmartDENT3D, a surface damage analysis software which can be used in combination with the HandySCAN 3D scanner.

The new software is specifically geared towards the aerospace industry and will allow companies in the field, as well as maintenance, repair, and overheal (MRO) service companies to “cut downtime and slash aircraft maintenance costs.”

“Following our operator-friendly design thinking and with deep consideration of user requests, we have developed a software that streamlines data processing from a 3D scanner for easy and reliable assessment and characterization of surface defects on aircraft,” said Steeves Roy, NDT Product Manager at Creaform. “As predictive maintenance becomes more prominent, aviation maintenance professionals and MRO providers are increasingly on the lookout for innovative methods that allow quicker and safer decisions to be made on part defects outcome."

The new system offers a number of useful features which allow for faster analysis (80 times faster than the pit gauge technique), repeatable results, a short learning curve, and real-time 3D visualization and “on-site instant reporting.”

Creaform will be demonstrating its new system as well as other scanning technologies at the ASNT Annual Conference in Nashville, as well as MRO Americas, hosted by Aviation Week this spring in Orlando.

Smartmobilevision, WhiteClouds partner to offer in-app 3D printing service

3D scanning company Smartmobilevision, known for its Scann3D app, has announced a partnership with 3D printing service WhiteClouds through which it will offer a scan-to-3D print tool. Together, the companies are aiming to provide users with the means to 3D print directly from their mobile devices with the click of a button.

“We’re excited about this partnership with Smartmobilevision,” commented Braden Ellis, WhiteClouds CRO. “Bringing the power of 3D scanning and printing to the masses is a big step in technology.”

The Scann3D app already allows its users to easily 3D scan objects using nothing but their smartphones or mobile devices and can transform the scans automatically into a 3D model. Now, users will be able to easily order 3D prints of their models, without having to deal with external platforms or servers.

As a 3D printing partner, WhiteClouds will offer full-color 3D printing for models and promises to have the 3D print ready to ship within three to five days.

SABIC announces new ‘high-impact strength’ 3D printing filament

Saudi chemicals company SABIC says it will be launching a new high impact strength 3D printing filament at the upcoming formnext event in Frankfurt, Germany. The new material will reportedly have applications in the aerospace, automotive, and consumer product industries.

SABIC says that the new filament is the first in a series of differentiated 3D printing materials the company plans to introduce over the next year.

The new product will also join SABIC’s existing 3D printing materials, which include six filaments which were developed for use on Stratasys’ Fortus 3D printers, as well as a series of reinforced compounds designed for large-scale additive manufacturing.

“These technologies are based on the company’s high-performance polycarbonate (PC), polyetherimide (PEI), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), and polyphenylene ether (PPE) engineering resins, several of which have been used for additive manufacturing for many years,” said the company in a release.

Attendees of the formnext event will be able to see sample parts 3D printed using SABIC’s new high-impact strength material alongside its other 3D printing offerings.

Virginia Tech engineers receive $400K from NSF to develop nano-level 3D printing

A team of engineers from Virginia Tech has received a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue its research in the field of nano-level 3D printing.

The money will allow the team to further develop the both theoretical and experimental foundations of “scalable 3D printing at the nano-level.”

As part of the research, Rayne Zheng, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will be exploring how to 3D print structures with nanoscale features and details. The goal of the project is to create materials that have “exceptional” thermal and electrical conductivity as well as strong mechanical properties.

“Current commercially available additive manufacturing technology doesn’t include a printer of the resolution and scalability needed to do work at the nanoscale level,” Zheng explained. “This grant program will support building the foundations needed to underpin scalable additive nano-manufacturing.”

The nanoscale 3D printed structures, which are being developed using controlled precision optics in combination with photosensitive materials, could have applications for energy storing, and more.

“In our early work we’ve created 3D nano-architected materials that are simultaneously strong and damage-tolerant,” Zheng said. “However, we realize there are challenges with current high-precision 3D manufacturing technologies in scaling up nano patterns to sizes comparable to the size of the palm of a hand.

“With the support of the NSF, we hope to make a leap forward, gaining new knowledge on the underpinnings of high-resolution additive nano-manufacturing of scalable materials and components."

 

 

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