Dec.20, 2012

It's that time of year again - time to reflect on the year gone by. The year 2012 has been a memorable one in the world of 3D printing. From 2 year old Emma's 3D printed "Magic Arm" capturing our hearts and minds to the ups and downs formlabs has been experienced, from the successful surgery for replacing the lower jaw for 83 year old lady to the hot discussions on 3D printed gun, this year had it all.

Millions of people have learned about 3D printing technology, the 3D printers are getting better and cheaper. But 3D printing technology still need to mature so that enterprises and governments can deliver new value and experiences to customers and citizens. People start to make, to create, to involve in the new manufacturing revolution. The last 12 months were full of surprise: acquisitions, new 3D printer announcement, new inventions, new business models, etc. All happened in just one year. At the year end, we look back and we select "top stories" for our year-end special.

Also we wish all of you in the 3D printing world, a very happy holiday and hope that 2013 will be another great year full of innovation and competition. ;-)


3D Systems completes the acquisition of Z Corp and Vidar
3D Systems Corporation announced that it has completed the acquisition of Z Corporation ("Z Corp") and Vidar Systems ("Vidar") for $135.5 million in cash.

Makerbot announced Replicator | 3D Systems announced Cube 3D printer at CES2012

3D chocolate printer available for taking orders
Essential Dynamics, the company behind the Imagine 3D food printer, showcased the Imagine 3D printer at the International Consumer Electronics Show 2012 and announced that they were now accepting orders for the Imagine 3D printers.

The Pirate Bay goes 3D digital designs sharing
File sharing site the Pirate Bay(TPB) announced that they are adding a new category for users to download 3D files for recreating physical objects.

Factory on the road - a Prius, two designers and four 3D printers
For one month, Alex Hornstein and Bilal Ghalib are driving around the US with four cheap 3D printers in the trunk of their Prius. They started the Pocket Factory project aiming to design and sell products made with low-cost 3D printers.



15 year-old Laura played 3D printed violin on CNN
This violin is one of only 3 violins in the world of this kind, and the only one that is fully strung. Laura, a student of South West Music School gave this premiere performance on news channel CNN. This wonderful performance perfectly illustrates the potential of 3D printing to make almost anything.

83 year-old woman got 3D printed mandible
Belgian and Dutch scientists have successfully replacing a lower jaw with a 3D printed model for a 83 year-old woman.

Scientists create robotic dinosaurs using 3D printers
For the first time in 150 years, paleontologists will be able to test hypotheses about how dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals moved and interacted with their environments.

3D printer creates human tissues for drug testing
San Diego-based "bio-printing" company Organovo uses 3D bio-printing to create a variety of functional human tissue from human cells.

The world's largest museum goes digital with 3D scanning and 3D printing
World's largest Museum and research institution Smithsonian make a replica of a statue of Thomas Jefferson with high-tech scanners and 3D printing.



GE invests on hands-on labs for ordinary people
General Electric Co. launched GE Garages, the manufacturing skill-building centers, loaded with laser cutters, 3D printers, injection molders, for visitors to learn about the invention prototyping and manufacturing processes.

Breakthrough: High-speed 3D printer with nanoscale precision
The Vienna University of Technology announced a major breakthrough in the 3D printing technology: it is now possible to print three dimensional objects with incredibly fine details using "two-photon lithography".

EnvisionTEC support Aardman 3D printing 7,000 parts in its latest Pirates! film
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! Aarman chose the EnvisionTEC Perfactory Standard machine for 3D Printing of more than 7,000 parts for the models.



MIT team could use nano-size robot pebbles to create crude 3D shapes
MIT researchers from the Distributed Robotics Laboratory (DRL) demonstrated the "smart sand," nano-size robot pebbles, each equipped with a rudimentary microprocessor.

Voxeljet introduces first continuous 3D printing machine
Continuous 3D printing technology represents a new dimension in the manufacturing of moulds and models without tools. The process steps of building and unpacking run in parallel, without having to interrupt system operation.

Stratasys and Objet agree to merge - Combined company valued at about $1.4 billion

Human vs. 3D printer
A battle between human and 3D printer: to make an object with hands versus to computerise 3D printer and make the same thing.

Progress on 3D printed circuit board
Hobbyists are trying to produce simple circuit boards using a 3D printer to push the days coming earlier.



Fujitsu develops world's first technology to retrieve and reuse partially similar 3D CAD models

US government has high expectation from 3D Printing
U.S. government launch a $60 million 3D printing research and educational program - a new 3D printing institute.

3D printed smart bandage that stimulates and directs blood vessel growth
Researchers at University of Illinois have developed a bandage that can promote angiogenesis and direct blood vessel growth on the surface of a wound. The bandage is 1 centimeter across and is built of layers of a hydrogel made of polyethylene glycol and methacrylic alginate on a 3D printer.

DreamVendor - an interactive 3D printing station in Virginia Tech
This is an 3D printing vending machine in Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. Students can use it to 3D-print prototypes for their projects. It works like any vending machines in the streets.

3D Systems acquires Bespoke Innovations

DARPA crowd-sourcing new technologies through makers
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) revealed it will invest $3.5 million into TechShop as part of DARPA's new Adaptive Vehicle Make program intends to "create a foundry to rapidly design and reconfigure manufacturing capabilities to support the fabrication of a wide array of military vehicles."



World first 3D printed Swimming Humanoid robot
Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a robot that can reproduce the motion of human swimmers while measuring water resistance. This robot is named SWUMANOID (Swimming Humanoid) and it is the first robot created solely for swimming.

The first 3D printer assembled by children
The School in Geldermalsen,NL gives children difficult projects to teach them how to work with challenges. One of the task is to build an Open Source 3D printer.

Shapeways raises $6.2M round led by New York's Lux Capital
Shapeways has raised a $6.2 million financing round led by Lux Capital, a New York venture capital firm. Lux is joining previous investors Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures, which contributed $11.1 million to Shapeways in 2010 and 2011.

Objet breaks the 100 material range barrier
Objet expands material range to 107 including 39 new 'Digital Material' composites for the Objet Connex Multi-Material 3D Printing Systems.

Create personalized medicine using a 3D molecule printer
Lee Cronin, chemistry professor at the University of Glasgow used 3D printer to print the reagents directly into the 3D-reactionware matrix to initiate chemical reactions.

Researchers to develop 3D printer to enable printing of 3D silicon micro- and nanostructures
Researchers at KTH Microsystem Technology have demonstrated a new technology for printing 3D silicon micro- and nanostructures.



Penn Researchers create vasculature in living tissues with RepRap 3D printer and sugar
University of Pennsylvania researchers found that 3D printed templates of filament networks can be used to rapidly create vasculature and improve the function of engineered living tissues.

Researchers develops new SLM method to produce 3D aluminium composite parts
Engineers at University of Exeter in the U.K. have developed a process based on Selective Laser Melting (SLM) to produce 3D aluminum composite parts from inexpensive metal powders.

Chinese scientists uses 3D printer to print ear
Dr. Yang and his team used 3D scanner to scan the patient's ear and then sent the data to the 3D printer. Using processed starch the printer laid down material in layers and completed the printing job in just an one hour.

Airbus working on a concept plane built with giant 3D printers
Airbus has been working on a concept plane built with a 3D printer. The concept plane will be built in 2050.

3D printing helps to build the fastest car in the world

First 3D Printed AR-15 gun has a successful test-firing
User HaveBlue from the AR-15 gun enthusiast forum has managed to shoot an AR-15 with a 3D-printed lower receiver. He printed the lower on an old Stratasys 3D printer using a slightly modified model.



3D printing gives 2-year-old Emma "Magic Arms"
2-year-old Emma was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC). Researchers used a Stratasys Dimension 3D Printer to 3D printed a prototype WREX in ABS plastic that Emma can wear it at home, at preschool, and during occupational therapy.

Israeli student develops largest 3D porcelain printer

Russia building the world's largest Fablabs network in two years

Injured bald eagle Beauty gets 3D printed bionic beak
an Alaskan bald eagle named Beauty was shot in the face, she lost her top beak.

Thiel Foundation announces new grant for 3D printed meat
With Breakout Labs funding, they plan to apply the latest advances in tissue engineering to edible cultured meat prototype that can provide a humane and sustainable source of animal protein to consumers around the world.

The Wiki Weapon Project crowdfunding to develop open source 3D printable plastic firearm

The world's first 3D printed race car reaches 140 km/h
This world's first 3D printed (mostly) race car was tested on Hockenheim race circuit on July 31st and it went from zero to 100km/h in just 4 seconds. The maximum speed Areion achieved was 141km/h.

Giant 3D laser printer to reshape local manufacturing industry
Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia have developed a Direct Metal Deposition machine which is the size of a bedroom and can dramatically speed up the process for manufacturing components out of aluminium and other metals.



World first 3D printed sports wheelchair seat used by Paralympics games

LAYWOO-D3: New FDM filament can print wood with tree rings
Inventor Kai Parthy has developed a new FDM filament that can print "wood" on RepRap 3D printers.

Ancient sea creature reconstructed with CT Scan and 3D printer
Scientists in the U.S. and a specialist in Denmark have created a lifelike model of an ancient mollusk using a 3D printer. The mollusk, a type of multiplacophoran called Protobalanus spinicoronatus, is a oval-shaped sea creature what lived about 390 million years ago.

Nanoengineers can print 3D microstructures out of hydrogels in mere seconds
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a novel technology that can fabricate, in mere seconds, microscale three dimensional (3D) structures out of soft, biocompatible hydrogels.

Lab-grown leather could be on sale within next five years

Formlabs announces Form 1 "prosumer" 3D printer



3D Printer DRM patent to protect piracy
A new patent issued on October 9, 2012 by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and titled 'Manufacturing control system', describes a system whereby an authorization code is requested before a 3D printer-like machine is allowed to print items requested by the user.

Shapeways opens largest 3D printing factory in the world
Shapeways, the 3D printing company based in New York, announced their plans to bring manufacturing back to New York City with their "Factory of the Future," a new 3D Printing facility being built in Long Island City.

UK Government to invest £7M in 3D printing technology

Printing a rocket engine on a 3D printer
Rocket Moonlighting is trying to 3D print a rocket engine using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) process in 15-5 stainless steel.


voxeljet builds Aston Martin models for James Bond film Skyfall
A total of three Aston Martin DB 5 models were created at the company's service centre. The models double for the now priceless original vehicle from the 1960s in the film's action scenes.

World's first 3D printing photo booth to open in Japan

World's first 3D liver printing from stem cells
Scottish scientists have figured out how to use 3D printer to create the world's first artificial liver tissue made from human cells.

LulzBot 3D printer will go to Mars

3D Systems Files Patent Infringement Suit Against Formlabs and Kickstarter

Printing electronic sensors using low-cost 3D printers
The University of Warwick researchers have created a simple and inexpensive conductive plastic composite that can be used to produce electronic devices using the latest generation of low-cost 3D printers designed for use by hobbyists and even in the home.



Tested: 3D printed gun breaks within 6 shots

Drag-and-Drop DNA: this 3D printer prints new cancer drugs
Researchers from Parabon NanoLabs of Reston, Va., recently developed and began evaluating a drug for combating the lethal brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme.

US Congressman urges lawmakers to renew a federal ban on 3D printed guns

First 3D print shop opens in Netherlands

France gets its first 3D print shop: Protoshop

Organovo partners with Autodesk to develop 3D bioprinting software

Top 100 websites 2012 in 3D Printing Industry

Posted in 3D Printing Statistics


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