For today’s 3D printing news digest, we slice all the latest stories from companies including Renishaw, New Balance and Thingiverse, and research institutions such as Gerogia Tech and ETH Zurich.
This week, MICRO opened New York’s smallest museum in Brooklyn Central Library. Dedicated to the life of mollusks, the self-contained unit holds 15 individual natural history exhibits including 1 liter of snail slime, and a 3D printed replica of an octopus brain.
Two professors from ETH Zurich have discussed the potential future of 3D printing. Mirko Meboldt, professor of product development and engineering design, and Torbjörn Netland, assistant professor of production and operations management attempt to iron-out some of the hype surrounding the technology. In one instance, Meboldt explains, “You have to remember that 3D printing isn’t a singular term, but instead encompasses the entire range of additive—that is to say, layer-based production techniques.”
And Georgia Tech has confirmed that it will be hosting this year’s Construct3D “national academic 3D printing and digital fabrication conference and expo.” Amit S. Jariwala Director of Design & Innovation at the university said, “Our goal is to leave attendees feeling inspired to bring new 3D printing skills to their schools and programs, and ultimately shape the next generation of creators and innovators.”
Toying around with new ideas
Scientists have figured out how Peacock Spiders produce “nature’s smallest rainbows” that still have the edge over man-made color palettes. The iridescent transformation takes place thanks to a collection of microscopic scales on the spider’s abdomen. As a proof of concept, UC San Diego researchers replicated the scale using nanoscale 3D printing. The group’s findings are available open access in Nature Communications.
Massachusetts footwear producer New Balance has revealed that it uses a Russell Compact Sieve and Vibrasonic Deblinding System to refine powder used to make Zante Generate sneaker 3D printed midsoles. In 2017, the company also confirmed that it would be entering into an SLS partnership with Formlabs. The product of this collaboration is due to break early this year.
Renishaw has 3D printed a stainless steel sun dial for the Friends of Berkeley Castle in the UK. The coppery dial can be found on the site of the 12th Century Castle in Gloucestershire.
Hans Boodt Mannequins has cut its high-end mannequin manufacturing process down from 8 weeks to 2 days by using large, delta FDM 3D printers.
A new algorithm devised a team of researchers in China and the UK makes it possible for hobbyists to 3D print wind-up toys at home. “In the era of personalized fabrication like 3D printing, we asked, why can’t novices still design customized wind-up toys?” explained Dr. Peng Song, a former associate researcher of University of Science and Technology China. Further information can be found in the supporting paper here.
Food for thought
3D printing, scanning and inspection business Europac 3D has expanded its headquarters in the UK to meet a surge in customer demand. At last year’s TCT Show, the UK based company held one of the largest space on the exhibition floor, and went on to become a sales partner for HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printers.
byFlow, the producer of the Focus food 3D printer, has partnered with Dutch ingredients supplier Verstegen Spices & Sauces. In the agreement, Verstegen will provide byFlow with gourmet Food Printing Fillings, including one flavoured with beetroot and cardamom.
In a recent blog post, MakerBot confirmed that Thingiverse recently fell victim to a malicious coding attack, allowing hackers to mine cryptocurrencies. Due to a vulnerability in the site’s comments section, users could post code capable of sapping a visiting computer’s CPU, and use it to crunch the enormous amount of numbers needed to archive, and effectively make, digital currency like Bitcoin. Fortunately, the problem has now been ironed out, and the company states,
“Thingiverse users don’t need to worry about people hijacking their Things, nor do they need to take extra means to protect their computers when accessing Thingiverse.”
More material matters
Hamilton, Ontario, has a new filament supplier in 3D Printing Canada – a subsidiary of VA engineering and design company N3 Technologies.
In the pursuit of national additive manufacturing excellence, the Royce Institute for Advanced Materials at the University of Sheffield in the UK has acquired an inert gas atomiser Arcast Inc., a vacuum furnace provider based in Maine.
Peg the duck walks and runs with her 3D printed prosthetic leg. Clip via HuffPost UK on YouTube.
Featured image shows the Sliced logo over a photo of a male peacock spider’s rainbow mating display. Original photo by Jürgen Otto