Nov 3, 2017 | By David

What better way to catch up on all the latest 3D printing news than a 3ders 3D printing news round-up? Stories you might have missed today include Konica Minolta providing a 3D printer for an Australian university, Praxair launching TruForm AMbition Grant for 3D printing research, and more besides.


1. 3D printing gets speed boost from algorithm developed at University of Michigan

A new software algorithm developed by researchers at the University of Michigan looks set to improve the performance of 3D printing technology in one key area that it is often lacking speed. The new breakthrough will allow 3D printers to deliver high-quality results at speeds up to two times faster than those in common use, with no added hardware costs.

A problem that affects many existing 3D printing systems is that the vibration of their components can affect the quality of the final prints. Particularly with the more affordable desktop consumer machines, which have more lightweight parts, these vibrations affect performance and do so more as the print speed increases.

In a study entitled "A limited-preview filtered B-spline approach to tracking control—With application to vibration-induced error compensation of a 3-D printer" published in the journal Mechatronics, the team at the University of Michigan demonstrated the results of their work. They have created an algorithm that takes into account the vibrations of a 3D printer and compensates for them to improve quality and thus enable higher print speeds. "Armed with knowledge of the printer's dynamic behavior, the program anticipates when the 3D printer may vibrate excessively and adjusts its motions accordingly," said Chinedum Okwudire, associate professor of mechanical engineering who directs U-M's Smart and Sustainable Automation Research Lab.

"Eventually, one of the places we would want to see the algorithm applied is in the firmware—the software that runs on the printer itself. That way, it will be integrated with the printers, regardless of the size."

Okwudire said his software can also be used on a variety of industrial-grade machines that suffer from similar limitations due to vibrations.


2. Konica Minolta, WSU to build digital manufacturing capabilities

Renowned camera and optics manufacturing company Konica Minolta has announced its plans to establish some digital manufacturing capabilities at Australia’s Western Sydney University. The company will be collaborating with the institution to build digital manufacturing capabilities for WSU research staff and students, and the Western Sydney community.

Part of the deal will be the commissioning of a 3D SYSTEMS ProX 300 DMP Metal Printer, for the University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics. This is a high-end digital manufacturing system, used in many industrial metal AM processes, and as such it will be a significant contribution to the institution that should get its 3D printing research off to a flying start, with a number of potential applications in the wider community.

“Western Sydney University is happy to partner with Konica Minolta in making available this 3D metal printer to the community and for the training of the future Western Sydney workforce,” said Dr Tosin Famakinwa, Technical Manager for the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, WSU. "Additionally, this method also has the ability to improve energy productivity —all while creating high-impact job opportunities locally for the manufacturing community.”


3. Praxair launches TruForm AMbition Grant for 3D printing research

Major industrial gas company Praxair has announced that it will be establishing a new award scheme that is intended to promote research into metal 3D printing technology in universities across North America. The Praxair TruForm Ambition grant will be open for applications until the end of the year, and winners will be notified by the end of February 2018.

“Each day, more and more universities are incorporating metal additive manufacturing courses into their curricula,” said Andy Shives, business manager for Additive Manufacturing at PST. “We want to support growth in additive manufacturing projects within the academic community and believe that these grants will provide many new opportunities for students and teachers alike.”

The grant will include Praxair’s TruForm metal powder for 3D printing, as well as materials testing and consultation. The company’s range of AM materials include cobalt, copper, iron, nickel and titanium based alloys. It also offers the associated industrial gases to the additive manufacturing industry. Praxair’s Indianapolis location also operates multiple additive machines in its Additive Manufacturing Lab.


4. HP has designed NASA a zero gravity printer for SpaceX to send to the ISS

After over 15 years, astronauts on board the International Space Station have been given an updated laser printer for their everyday printing needs. The new HP Envy Zero-Gravity printers are set to be sent to the ISS on the SpaceX CRS-14 resupply rocket in February, to replace the old Epson 800 Inkjet machines that were previously used.

HP specially designed this printers to be optimized for zero-gravity conditions. It’s a customized version of the consumer HP OfficeJet 5740 Printer, which was selected by NASA for its cutting-edge capabilities. 3D printing technology and specialized materials were used by HP to make sure that the printer would work as well as it can for the astronauts, who will be using it for all kinds of printing tasks from creating emergency procedural ebooks, inventory trajectories, timelines, as well as personal items like letters or photos.


5. RESA Wearables debuts its custom, 3D-printed orthotic insoles in 16 Costco stores

3D-printed custom insoles maker RESA Wearables is debuting its patent pending custom insole manufacturing kiosks in 16 Costco Warehouse stores throughout the U.S., from October 20 to December 24, 2017.

The kiosks feature high-accuracy foot scanning and on-site, 3D insole printing technology. Customers can have their feet scanned, insoles designed to their exact foot shape, and a pair of medical-grade, custom insoles printed right in front of them.

"Our 3D printed insoles help people suffering from foot discomfort by effectively adjusting pressure factors to conform to different parts of the feet," said RESA Wearables Founder and CEO Glen Hinshaw. "Costco customers will have medical-grade insoles, completely customized to their feet, while they shop."

RESA Wearables has partnered with high-tech suppliers to bring its insoles to market, including Milwaukee-based technology company, CTS/Mighty Touch, a leader in branded kiosk design and construction. CTS/Mighty Touch has assisted RESA with the design and build of state-of-the-art kiosks, making the delivery of absolute custom orthotics in an about an hour possible.

"We're starting with eight 6-pallet kiosk pop-up factories that we transport across the country for each show," Hinshaw said. "They're quick and easy to assemble, and have been a game changer in our ability to deliver custom insoles in under an hour."


Posted in 3D Printer Company



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