Aug 7, 2017 | By Benedict

It’s the start of the week in 3D printing (and everything else), and we’ve compiled some of today’s smaller stories into a roundup of bite-size snippets. Find out how 3D printing is affecting the Australian dental industry, helping the construction of photon funnels in Florida, and more.

Australian Dental Industry Association reviews 3D printing regulations

The Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) is reviewing the regulatory issues associated with 3D printed dental products in order to encourage the creation of new 3D printed products. The association says 3D printing could give Australia’s dental laboratory sector the ability to “compete with cheap overseas imports.”

“Australia’s dental laboratory sector is going through a period of immense change and there is no better example of this than 3D printed crown and bridge work,” said Troy Williams, ADIA Chief Executive Officer. “Something that was a concept only a year or two ago is today a very real option with dental laboratories now having access to this technology, even here in Australia.”

Since 3D printing can be carried out quickly, it would enable Australian companies to reduce total labor time and consequently save money. High wages in the country have historically been an obstacle in the way of domestic production.

To change 3D printing regulations, ADIA will have to lobby Australia’s regulator of dental products, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

“ADIA has been asked to provide advice and guidance to the TGA as it sets about developing a regulatory framework for 3D printed dental products,” Williams said. “We are pleased that the TGA has engaged with the dental industry, through ADIA, on this matter, as it reflects the fact that the regulator acknowledges the role of the dental industry in introducing new and pioneering patient treatment options.”

Will Australia soon be “all smiles” thanks to some newly approved 3D printed dental products? Time will tell.


3D printing helps University of Central Florida scientists build photon funnels

Multiphoton lithography, a kind of laser 3D printing, has been used to create nanoscale 3D lattices known as photon funnels. The funnels are being built by a University of Central Florida-led team that has received a $400,049 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The photon funnels will be used to concentrate and control light in a more effective way than conventional lenses.

“Sensors and detectors can lose energy as the source of light moves, and the efficiency of an optical device is often limited,” said Stephen Kuebler, leader of the research project. “Our team will explore a fundamentally new approach for concentrating light called photon funnels.”

According to Kuebler, photon funnels “circumvent the limitations that refraction puts on ordinary optical systems,” and are made “to leverage an optical phenomenon called ‘self-collimation’ to control how light propagates within an engineered lattice.”

Multiphoton lithography will be used to create the funnels, which are made to direct the flow of light within them by adjusting the orientation of a self-collimating lattice.

Other contributors to the project include UCF Associate Professor of Optics and Photonics Sasan Fathpour and Raymond Rumpf, associate professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the EM Lab at the University of Texas at El Paso.


NZ’s Victoria University of Wellington 3D printing artifacts from Ancient Greece

Researchers at New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington have used 3D printing to recreate a number of Ancient Greek artifacts. Dr Diana Burton, senior lecturer in Victoria's School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies, thought up the project as a way to teach students about historical objects without damaging originals in the university’s Classics Museum.

"In Greek art, pretty much everything is functional—they don't really have art for art's sake," Burton said. “In order for students to really get to grips with the way the use of an object has informed its design and decoration, they need to be able to use it and handle it in the ways the ancients did. 3D printing objects is a safe way to facilitate this.”

3D scanning was used to digitize some artifacts in the Classics Museum, and these items could then be made into 3D printed replicas. Students were also encouraged to design their own ancient-style artifacts, five of which were also 3D printed.

"Coming up with a design for the amphora [jug] was great fun,” said student Isaac Bennett-Smith. “It was the most fun I've ever had doing an assignment. I really enjoyed the hands-on aspect.”

Rather than use a 3D printer of its own, the university sent its 3D printable designs to Shapeways, which returned the 3D printed items by mail.

The 3D scanned artifacts will also be stored digitally, and Burton hopes to create an online 3D gallery of the Classics Museum’s collection.


The Engineering Guy posts beginner’s guide to DLP & SLA 3D printing

Bill Hammack, better known by his YouTube handle “The Engineering Guy,” has posted a 12-minute guide to Direct Light Processing (DLP) and Stereolithography (SLA), two 3D printing processes that use light to cure liquid resin. In his video, Hammack uses an Autodesk Ember 3D printer to demonstrate the process.

The video focuses on the role of micromirrors, light-reflecting surfaces that direct light onto light-sensitive resin, in the 3D printing process. It has already racked up more than 100,000 views, proving that the general public’s interest in 3D printing remains alive and well.

Watch the informative video in full here:



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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