Category Archives: Industry

3D Printing and the Army

Since my last post about 3D printing in the Navy garnered more likes than any other post to date, I figured we should continue the military trend and discuss how the Army uses the technology.

Actually, the Army has just as many uses for similar applications of 3D printing.

State-of-the-art 3D printers cut costs, turnaround time

Much like isolated ships having trouble accessing key components on the high seas, forward Army bases often find themselves weeks away from their supply chains.

Recently, a shortage of parts was delaying delivery of Harris radios. The radios required the installation of small dust caps prior to shipping to the customer. Finding and getting the part from a vendor could have taken weeks; so instead, Mechanical Engineer Eugene Haikes designed a 3-D model of the part and the depot printed 600 dust caps in 16 hours.

“If the depot wanted to produce the dust caps but didn’t have a rubber mold for them, we could have expected to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 for the mold,” said Mead. “Because Eugene was able to come up with the model, we were able to produce the caps for only a dollar apiece while trimming days, if not weeks, off of our anticipated delivery date.”

Just like the Navy, advantages don’t stop there, as 3D printing can create objects too complicated for traditional machining and casting processes.

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Facial Reconstruction through 3D Scan, Print

UK Doctors are reverse engineering and reconstructing a man’s face, thanks to 3D technologies. Warning – some images could be graphic.

Eric Moger lost half of his face to cancer and as a result could no longer eat, drink or speak.  Doctors scanned his face and mirrored the “good” side over the “bad.”  The result is a model of the face very similar to how it used to look.  From that the team of doctors was able to develop a prosthesis that allows the patient use of his mouth again.

For the first time in five years, Eric Moger is able to speak clearly without holding his mouth, eat without a feeding tube, and hold his head high while going to the pub with his friends.

In the words of Mr. Moger, himself, “It is a great feeling to look in the mirror and see a whole face again. I am amazed at what they have done  – it just looks so like me. I also have something to look forward to, as Karen and I are planning to finally get married this summer.’

Mr MogerMr Moger

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3D Printing and the Navy

Navy, sea, ship, build, piping, ducting, parts, Proceedings

Even the Navy is getting involved in 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing.

Highlighted advantages include making complicated hulls with complex internal geometries in one fell swoop, as well as having print manufacturing on board vessels to deliver on demand replacement parts.

 

 

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RapidMade Speaking at the Northwest Machine Tool Expo

RapidMade, Inc. proudly invites you to attend a one hour seminar on 3D printing next Wednesday at the Northwest Machine Tool Expo starting at 9:30 AM.  Admission to the expo and seminars is completely free and the event takes place at the Oregon Convention Center (777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Portland OR.)

Erin Stone, president, and Matt Garrett, VP of Operations will give the presentation.  Topics covered include:

  • What is additive manufacturing (AM)?
  • Where has AM been and why is it getting so much attention now?
  • What’s new in AM technology & materials?
  • What does this mean for your business and how can you leverage AM for a competitive advantage?
  • Where does your business fit in the national and regional AM landscape?
If this topic is of interest to you (likely since you are reading this blog) and you can make it out (less likely), we would be happy to see you there!
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3D Laser Scanner Phone App

I have not checked out the accuracy of a scanner like this, but compared to the multiple thousand dollar price point of most 3D scanners out there, this could make many more reverse engineer-to-print jobs economical where upfront scanning costs ruined the profitability of the product.

Click here to read more about the 3D laser scanner with the 10”x10”x4” scan volume and only requires a tripod and lazy susan.

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3D Printing Applications in Animation

We have seen animation studios like LAIKA use 3D printing technology to create their characters, even the weapons on Men in Black 3 were created using Objet printers.

The link below will bring you to a video that illustrates how a Dutch company uses 3D printing for their animation shorts. This was commissioned by advertising agency Kesselskramer, produced at Nexus Productions, and was made in collaboration with model maker / sculptor Jethro Haynes. The apples and core models were built using 3D printing technology in order to maintain the logo shape.

Follow this link to view their amazing video

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How 3D printing changed the face of ‘ParaNorman’

What used to take months to create characters with clay now takes days with 3D printing technology. LAIKA, the Portland based animation studio responsible for the ground breaking movie Coraline, utilized ZCorp technology to create their Paranorman characters. ZCorp allows stop animation studios to print thousands of facial expressions that ultimately saves them time and money. Follow this link to see how LAIKA utilizes 3D printing.

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An Amazing 3D Stone Printer!

A new machine called the Stone Spray uses natural sand or soil to build solid objects and aims to be the starting point for building much larger infrastructure like buildings or even bridges through 3D printing. According to Gizmag, the Stone Spray works much like your typical 3D printer in that it uses a computer to follow a 3D design and uses a mechanical arm to build objects by layering material. The device was developed by architects Petr Novikov, Inder Shergill, and Anna Kulik who wanted to bring 3D printing concepts to construction work and with eco-friendly materials.

Read the full article here!

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Bionic Beak for Eagle?!?

This is a truly beautiful story about how advancements in technology help the little critters we share our planet with. In 2007, an Alaskan bald eagle named Beauty was shot in the face and she lost her top beak. Beaks are essential for preening feathers and feeding, she was found nearly dead when she was rescued by Jane Fink Cantwell, a bird conservationist near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. When mechanical engineer Nate Calvin heard about Beauty’s tragedy, he wanted to help. He proposed to create a prosthetic beak for her. 18 months after he began, he made a prototype using nylon-based polymer with the help of 3D scanning and Stereolithography technology, a most common rapid prototyping procedure.

Read the full article here!

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Google’s 3D Pasta Printer

We know that 3D printing is already emerging in the food industry as a creative tool to make certain foods aesthetically unique. According to an interview with Bernard Faucher, Google Chef, the industry giant owns a 3D printer that produces pasta according to employee preference. This seems very likely as pasta can be easily extruded into a variety of appetizing shapes, perhaps multiple layers of ravioli to fit 4 different sauces into the cavity?? This seems too good to be true for you pasta lovers out there!
Faucher says, “When I cook with it, my food has a distinct and customized shape”. 
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