Oct 16, 2017 | By Tess

The 3D printing week is off to a good start, and we’ve got a few updates to share with you from companies ConforMIS, Sigma Labs, SelfCAD, and Stratasys.

ConforMIS reports positive findings about customized 3D printed knee implants

ComforMIS, Inc., a Massachusetts-based medical tech company, has received positive clinical data indicating that its customized partial knee implants, made with the help of 3D printing, are more beneficial to patients than standard “off-the-shelf” counterparts.

The study, which was financed by ConforMIS and recently published online by International Orthopaedics, conducted tests to compare patients who were fitted with an off-the-shelf total knee replacement implant and patients who were given customized bi-compartmental knee replacement (BKR) implants. The results showed that the latter showcased “better strength and mechanics while performing activities of daily living.”

The study, says the company, is just one step in the right direction for the integration of custom 3D printed implants in the medical field.

“We are very pleased that the industry is now beginning to recognize the advantages and potentially transformative nature of customized knee implant and instrumentation solutions,” commented Mark Augusti, CEO and President of ConforMIS. “ConforMIS has been a champion of customized implant technology for over a decade, and the body of clinical data demonstrating both the clinical and the economic advantages of customized total and partial knee implant systems continues to grow.”

Moreover, Sam Onukuri, the head of Johnson & Johnson’s 3D Printing Center of Excellence, recently spoke about and acknowledged the positive impact custom 3D printed knee implants could have on the medical sector. Onukuri stated that custom knee implants could help to reduce the pain and recovery times for patients undergoing knee-specific operations.

“Physicians make every effort to find the implant that fits best,” Onukuri said in an interview. “But it’s never a perfect match, and the same is true for the tools. As a result, the surgery takes longer—and so can healing and recovery—and the fit may not be perfect.”

Sigma Labs to unveil new PrintRite INSPECT V3.0 3D printing software at Formnext

Sigma Labs, developer of the PrintRite3D software brand, has announced that it will be introducing its new PrintRite INSPECT V3.0 quality assurance software at industrial 3D printing event Formnext 2017, held next month in Frankfurt, Germany.

“We are very pleased to unveil our next generation PrintRite3D® INSPECT™ Version 3.0 software which includes deep learning algorithms and visualization tools that provide users with unparalleled process characterization, qualification and validation capabilities across the additive manufacturing product QA continuum,” commented Mark Cola, President and Chief Technology Officer of Sigma Labs.

The soon-to-be-unveiled PrintRite3D INSPECT V3.0 software is a web-based program which features tools such as 3D Thermal Mapping for melt pools which can help users qualify and assure that their 3D printed parts meet manufacturing requirements.

Notably, the software integrates Sigma Labs’ proprietary Thermal Emission Density (TED) metrics, which are themselves based on an advanced analytics engine, and which make it easier for users to qualify their parts.

“The researcher tools utilize in-process sensor data without the need for baseline comparisons providing users the data and framework for focused characterization and analysis leading to rapid process qualification and part certification,” says the company. “Quantitative, in-situ thermal history maps can also be used to validate modeling and simulation (M&S) results.”

SelfCAD now offering free 3-year education licenses to schools for more advanced 3D modeling

In other 3D printing software news, SelfCAD has announced it will be making its 3D modeling software more accessible to teachers and students through a free three-year education licensing program.

The company says that it hopes its decision will enable teachers and students to take their 3D modeling instruction to a higher level (beyond beginner programs such as TinkerCAD, for instance) without having to shell out money for expensive licenses and software programs.

"This is a natural next step for teachers who have maximized their usage of TinkerCad for younger students and want or need something more advanced for 6th-12th graders," commented Jonathan Gross, the Chief Marketing Manager of SelfCAD. “SelfCAD is currently being used in over 75 schools nationwide and we will be expanding that number by the end of the year.”

SelfCAD’s 3D modeling platform offers a user-friendly approach to 3D design and includes such features as sculpting and drawing tools, as well as a built-in slicer program and 3D model catalogue of over 25,000 objects.

In addition to its free three-year licenses for educational institutions, SelfCAD also says it will be introducing a $39 yearly membership, which will allow regular users to benefit from its 3D modeling platform as well as various tutorials and design exercises to improve their 3D modeling and overall 3D printing skills. The yearly plan is expected to launch later this month.

Stratasys now accepting entries for 2018 Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge

Last but not least, 3D printing company Stratasys has opened a “call-for-entries” for the 2018 edition of its Extreme Redesign 3D printing Challenge. It is the 14th year that Stratasys has hosted the 3D design and printing competition aimed at inspiring innovation from students around the globe.

“Since its inception, the Stratasys Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge has awarded more than $150,000 in scholarships to some of the world’s top student innovators,” said Gina Scala, Director of Marketing, Global Education, Stratasys. “We’re proud to continue this tradition, offering new entrants the opportunity to learn, innovate, and grow leveraging 3D printing technology.”

The competition is inviting students from all grade levels (from middle school to university) to redesign an existing product and improve its function using 3D printing technologies. The entries can be submitted into one of three categories: Engineering (for middle and high school students), Engineering (for university, college, and post-secondary students), and Art, Jewelry, or Architecture (for any grade level).

Submissions, which must be submitted by February 26, 2018, will be judged on how realistic, functional, creative, and useful they are. Students can also choose to work on their own or as a team to redesign an object using 3D printing.

Prizes for the 3D printing challenge include $2,500 scholarships for first-place winners, $1,000 scholarships for second-place winners, and Stratasys prizes up to $50 in value for the top ten entries in each category. The National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) will also participate by offering a $1,000 prize to a post-secondary engineering submission that is from a NCATC member school.

Interested students better get designing!



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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