Category Archives: new

iRobot: All in One 3D Printing

iRobot has just filed a patent for the next step in 3D printing.  They are trying to offset one of the biggest problems with the technology, automated machine level finishing.  Though high end additive manufacturing machines can be quite accurate, they cannot hit the sub .001” tolerance that many mills can.  On top of that, most processes cannot make smooth surfaces like bearing holes or tap threads.

This patent is interesting because companies like Matsura have already created machines like this, and are much further along with prototypes rather than just the idea.  Also, iRobot is forbidden to use any technology but plastic filament extrusion, generally a lower quality printing process, with it’s machine because of other industry patents.

Still, it is an interesting and necessary idea because one must merge additive manufacturing and traditional manufacturing to expand the range of applications and industries, and as other manufacturers strive to make easy all-in-one machines, they will likely butt heads with this patent.

We as a company do post machining all the time, manually.  It is generally not a big deal or too costly, but it would be nice for machine we use to do all the post processing automatically.

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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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SBIR/STTR National Conference

The Micro-enterprise Inventors Program of Oregon (MIPO) and the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network (OSBDC) will host the SBIR/STTR 2012 National Conference Oregon at the Doubletree Hotel Lloyd Center in Portland from November 13-15th  2012.   This conference will provide critical information to small businesses competing for SBIR/STTR grants and contracts, which amount to approximately $2.5 billion in funding annually.  SBIR and STTR are competitive federal government programs that fund small businesses to develop innovative, high-risk technologies.  The 2012 National SBIR/STTR Conference is expected to draw nearly one thousand high technology entrepreneurs from across the U.S., along with federal and state agencies, business development executives and university researchers. Registration is now open for the event, to learn more about the conference visit the site at www.oregonsbir.com.

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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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9 Ways 3D Printing Will Change the World

Do you remember when StarTrek or The Jetsons aired? Both shows seemed to have accurately predicted the way technology has advanced in the past decade with their replicator machines. Although this emerging form of technology is widely recognized as a way to produce mass amounts of prototypes and other forms of commerce, it’s potential reaches further than that. 3D printing is becoming a crucial part of manufacturing advanced systems and replacement parts for almost every industry.

1). Medical Industry

2). Advances in Research

3). Product Prototyping

4). Historic Preservation

5). AEC

6). Advanced Manufacturing

7). Food Industries

8). Automotive

9). Jewelry/Accessories

Read the full article here!

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3D Printed Steaks…. Coming Soon?

We have seen 3D printed burritos, human tissue and bone, and other oddities that push the envelope of our imagination coming out of 3D printers. Perhaps it is time to take food printing to the next level.  A start-up wants to create 3D printed meat to fill the human craving for animal protein without continuing to take an environmental toll on the planet. According to Cnet, billionaire Peter Thiel is directing between $250,000 to $350,000 from his philanthropic foundation toward Missouri-based Modern Meadow to create the bio-printed meat. The company hopes to use the same technologies developed to create medical-grade tissues to bring food to the world’s dinner tables (or barbecues).

Read the full article here!

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3D Printing Will Revive U.S. Manufacturing

The compound annual growth rate of additive manufacturing increased to two times its share since 2007 to reach $1.7 billion in sales of 3D printing products for part production. That’s according to a report published by consulting firm Wohlers Associates. The firm estimates that by 2019, part making will comprise 80 percent of the part manufacturing industry’s $6.9 billion in revenue.

Will an increase in additive manufacturing bring more manufacturing, and jobs, home to the U.S.? Yes, and not on a large scale expected in the manufacturing sector. Parts and products made from additive manufacturing processes are less expensive to produce, and therefore make products more cost competitive with comparable parts made in factories in Asia or other parts of the world. For U.S. consumption, the parts are also produced on U.S. soil, and therefore don’t have to be shipped from overseas for delivery.

Read the full article here!


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