Archivi del mese: febbraio 2017

UFC Fighters Using 3D Printed Mouth Guards by Guardlab

UFC Fighters Using 3D Printed Mouth Guards by Guardlab
By Hanna Watkin

guardlab

Guardlab is the official mouth guard of the UFC; the company uses 3D scanning and 3D printing to offer cheaper, safer sports guards.

Mouth guards may not be the most glamorous item of athletic equipment, but they’re definitely one of the most important.

Founded in 2014, Guardlab makes the official mouth guard of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The company makes “neuromuscular” guards to keep the jaws tight; perfect if you’re being repeatedly punched in the face.

A key advantage that GuardLab has over rivals is that they employ a custom 3D scanning and printing process. Fighters, athletes, and fans don’t have to deal with gloopy putty to get a custom fit for their pearly whites.

The process starts with bite optimization, so the entire jaw — including top and bottom teeth — is aligned in the best way for your mouth. Then a 3D scan is taken and used as the basis for a unique mold created with a MakerBot 3D printer.

Once the scan is complete and GuardLab has created the digital model, customers can easily reorder replacement mouth guards as often as they need.

Guardlab is Kicking Ass on Price

Guardlab CEO Aidan Butler recently gave GQ magazine a tour of their facilities. “We don’t pay people to wear our products and don’t try to outbid other companies,” he says. “We’ve found athletes generally come around to wanting one of ours.”

Indeed, beyond the UFC, the company is also providing mouth guards to the New England Patriots, The White Sox, The Blue Jays, Georgetown University, the Australian Football League, the whole of the Renzo Gracie Academy, and more. 

Normal folks — ones who don’t beat each other to a pulp inside a steel cage — can also get a custom mouth guard of their own. Guardlab has a “Find a 3D Scanner” tool on their website, which puts you in touch with a local dentist to handle the scanning.

In fact, this is an integral part of the Guardlab success story. Instead of investing in 3D scanning to get their company off the ground, they formed relationships with hundreds of dentists already using the technology. And this in turn lead to a drop in price for end-users.

Before, custom medical guards could cost over $1,200 a pop. They also had to be replaced if you lost a tooth or your bite changed. Today, Guardlab can now offer the same for around $250. 

Guardlab

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February 28, 2017 at 08:00PM
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New “Raspberry Pi Zero W” Adds Wifi and Bluetooth for $10

New “Raspberry Pi Zero W” Adds Wifi and Bluetooth for $10
By Anatol Locker

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a new improved “Raspberry Pi Zero W.” It adds Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability to the Zero – for $10 plus tax. 

The Raspberry Pi Foundation gave it’s users a special gift for its 5th birthday. The Raspberry Pi family, which has sold over twelve million units, now has a new offspring: The Raspberry Pi Zero W, a new variant of Raspberry Pi Zero with wireless LAN and Bluetooth, priced at $10.

Since it was launched in November 2015, the Zero has become increasingly popular by makers and enthusiasts alike. The $5 computer got a camera connector, found its way into miniature arcade cabinets, personal microcomputer clusters or electric skateboards.

But there was a drawback: For most of the use cases, you needed wireless connectivity, and a Wifi dongle was blocking one of the two valuable USB ports. Users often ended up adding a USB port which allowed them to connect a mouse, keyboard, and a network adapter – often twice the size and price of the Zero itself.

Raspberry Pi Zero W: Same Layout, Faster CPU, Wifi and Bluetooth

The Zero and Zero W use the same BCM2835 single-core chip that was in the original Raspberry Pi. The new model is clocked at a higher speed of 1GHz instead of 700MHz. Also, the Zero W uses a Cypress (formerly Broadcom) wireless chip from the Raspberry Pi 3.

The new board has the same dimensions as the old one (2.6″ x 1.2″ x 0.2″) – only a different chip and antenna layout. The connectors also are at the same place.

Here are the Raspberry Pi  Zero W’s key specifications:

1GHz, single-core CPU
512MB RAM
Mini-HDMI port
Micro-USB On-The-Go port
Micro-USB power
HAT-compatible 40-pin header
Composite video and reset headers
CSI camera connector
802.11n wireless LAN
Bluetooth 4.0

The Raspberry Pi Zero W is on sale now. If you remember the launch of the Raspberry Pi Zero, you might recall it was bundled with the Magpie magazine, which sold out worldwide in just a few hours. Fortunately, this time it’s a bit easier to get your hands on the new model.

You can get it from the Raspberry Pi Foundation or Adafruit. There are also new distributors: ModMyPi in the UK, pi3g in Germany, Samm Teknoloji in Turkey, Kubii in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal, and Kiwi Electronics in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Unfortunately, most of these vendors sell the more expensive kit versions only.

Raspberry Pi Zero W: 3D Print Your Cases

There is an official case, which you can buy at the Raspberry Pi store. But makers and 3D designers have embraced the little computer and have designed lots and lots of 3D printable cases. You find them on Thingiverse and other 3D model repositories.

Here’s a choice of great 3D printable cases that will also fit the new Raspberry Pi W Zero.

20 Free Raspberry Pi Zero Cases to 3D Print
15 Amazing Raspberry Pi 3D Printer Projects
25 RetroPie Gaming Raspberry Pi Cases to 3D Print

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February 28, 2017 at 06:00PM
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3Doodler Create Review: Using This 3D Printing Pen Is Fun

3Doodler Create Review: Using This 3D Printing Pen Is Fun
By Franklin Houser

The 3Doodler is renowned as the world’s first 3D printing pen. But is it the best? Read our detailed 3Doodler Create review.

A 3D printing pen is a device that allows the user to literally draw in 3D space. You can create intricate structures, decorative motifs, or assemble models. The possibilities for individual creativity and learning are rather exciting.

3D pens are popular with hobby artists, schoolkids, creative professionals, and pretty much anyone looking to doodle in 3D. Use-cases range from arts and crafts, to more complex applications like architectural design and engineering.

3Doodler is the company credited with first inventing the 3D printing pen, with a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013. Several new models have been released since then; the 3Doodler Create sits in the middle of the range between the 3Doodler Start, which is geared towards children, and the 3Doodler Pro, which can print with wood, metal and nylon materials.

The 3Doodler Create is pitched as being usable within minutes, easy to operate, fun, compact and affordable. Moreover, all of this should be achievable without needing a computer, software or technical knowledge. Let’s put these claims to the test in a 3Doodler Create review, shall we?

3Doodler Create Review: Pros

Affordable
Painless Setup
Sturdy Design
Simple to Operate
Great Selection of Projects

3Doodler Create Review: Cons

Filament Strands too Short
Removing Filament can be Tricky
Freehand Drawing Less Fun than Stencils
Cooling Fan is a bit Noisy
Must be Plugged into a Power Source

3Doodler Create Review: Verdict

We really enjoyed using the 3Doodler Create. It’s hard not to approach a 3D printing pen as a toy, not when you’re used to operating desktop 3D printers, but we were impressed by the solid design quality and the push-button simplicity of operation.

Another thing we discovered contrary to expectations; the process of working with project stencils from the official community portal is more rewarding than freehand drawing. Perhaps as our confidence grows we will create more original items, but we’re more eager to dive into the ideas and suggestions already available.

Some drawbacks are that the 3Doodler Create is not fully portable. It must be plugged into a power source at all times. And the individual filament strands tend to run out too quickly and you need to reload often for bigger projects.

But these are minor niggles. There are a great many 3D printing pens out there, and a lot of them are cheap clones of the 3Doodler. But if you’re thinking of buying one, we recommend that you invest a little bit extra in the company that first blazed the trail.

In summary, the 3Doodler Create is fun, playful, and a great addition to the modern creative toolset.

3doodler Create review
3Doodler Create Review: This Pen is Mightier than the Sword

3Doodler Create Review: The Looooong Read

The experience of unboxing the 3Doodler Create was completely painless. The packaging is compact, and its contents were neatly packed in a orderly fashion.

The box contains the 3Doodler Create, one power adapter, one unblocking tool, one nozzle removal tool, one mini screwdriver with a flat head, one quick start guide, one user guide, and 50 strands of 3Doodler’s 3mm filament (25 PLA, 25 ABS).

There are 10 different filament colors shipped with the 3D pen of which there are 5 strands each. The selection is decent, containing black, white, gray, clear and vibrant colors.

The complete 3Doodler range of plastic materials — sold separately — features a total of 65 different colors, including glow-in-the-dark, flexible and sparkly features.

The 3D printing pen itself is much lighter than expected. But to handle it feels sturdy and well built, with an aluminum body, plastic accents, and temperature switch.

Fitted at the tip of the pen is a flexible rubbery grip which actually makes the 3D pen quite comfortable to hold, together with the otherwise ergonomic design of the pen.

3Doodler Create Review
3Doodler Create Review: Unboxing is a Breeze

The ‘FAST’ and ‘SLOW’ buttons used to control the pen are within good reach while holding the pen. However, the slow button is a little bit further away from the tip of the pen, and may be somewhat difficult to reach for smaller hands. Ir rather depends on how the 3D pen is held.

3Doodler Create Review: Loading Filament

The 3Doodler Create heats up almost instantly, with a colored ring at the end of the pen indicating which state the 3D pen is in.

Red indicates that the pen is heating up, and blue and green indicate that the 3D pen is ready to use in either the high or low temperature setting. When heating up for the first time, the tip of the 3D pen gives off some light fumes.

Once the pen is hot enough, you proceed with the loading of the filament. The manual says to expect to have to push the filament into the extruder quite firmly. With this in mind, don’t hesitate to use a tiny bit of force when loading the filament. Also, applying a clockwise twist while pushing it in can help the loading process until the extruder has a proper grip on the strand. If the strand is being used for the second time, the uneven end of the strand should be trimmed.

Once loaded, the pen is good to go. Press the nozzle to the paper and start drawing…

Aaaaaand stop again, because the filament strand will have run out. One filament strand doesn’t last nearly as long a one would expect. While the 3Doodler Create comes with 50 strands, there are only 5 strands of each color. This means that single color projects will either have to be kept small or additional strands will have to be purchased.

All in all, this isn’t a showstopper, but it helps to plan ahead.

When unloading filament, you need double click on one of the extrude buttons and wait. The extruder will reverse the filament until it’s ready for removal. However, if the end of the filament strand is already beyond the end of the 3D pen, the user won’t be able to reach the end of the strand to pull it out. In this case — and only while the nozzle is hot — the user will have to remove the nozzle and push the filament out using the filament removal tool, while the extruder is in reverse.

3doodler create review
3Doodler Create Review: Got Filament?

3Doodler Create Review: Drawing with Stencils

We visited 3Doodler’s Community Project page on their website to look for suitable projects to start out with. We chose a simple fruit shaped object with solid surfaces. The stencil for the project needs to be printed conventionally (using a 2D printer).

Drawing on paper works just fine; however the paper will bend and stretch, causing the surface of the paper to become quite wavy. This is due to the filament contracting when it cools down and staying stuck to the paper at the same time.

Once all the surfaces were filled in, you peel the plastic off the paper (or more like the paper off the plastic in some cases). Also, some of the black ink from the stencil comes off with the plastic. But since all of the surfaces that were touching the paper in this project would all be invisible (facing the inside) when the object was done, it didn’t make a difference.

As for the choice of plastic itself, ABS worked very well. When not extruding, there is hardly any oozing. The plastic cools almost instantly when it hits the paper and pops off the paper very easily when removing it. But as with all ABS filament, the fumes emitted by the plastic are not pleasant to breathe in. And since you have to be there right beside it for the whole time its creating fumes, it’s strongly advised to use the 3Doodler in a very well ventilated room.

The PLA strands, on the other hand, are a little more tricky. It oozes quite a bit compared to the ABS filament and is quite stringy when one wouldn’t want it to be. Another thing to note about the PLA is that the extruder has a harder time extruding it than it does the ABS.

With both materials, an occasional cracking sound could be heard. However, this is normal and is due to moisture in the material heating up and rapidly evaporating.

3doodler create review
3Doodler Create Review: Working with Stencils

3Doodler Create Review: More Stencil Drawing 

For the second project, we chose something more difficult from the community project site. It was the Golden Gate Bridge.

The tricky part of this project was melting all the individual parts together and having the finished structure not twist too much. But it was successful, and was able to stand on its own. This proves that even larger, more fragile, objects can be created with great results using a 3D printing pen.

Finally, we printed a T-Rex with the 3Doodler. Initially, it seemed like it would be an easy project, but we soon found out that a T-Rex is pretty difficult to 3D print with a 3D printing pen. Because of its flimsy limbs and tiny parts, it is hard to hold things in place while ‘welding’ pieces together. We also found out that it’s hard to create fine details with the default nozzle at least.

In the end, the T-Rex turned out pretty good after shifting its center of gravity a little bit. Without doing so, the T-Rex would have been in a permanent face plant position.

3doodler create review
3Doodler Create Review: Building Bridges

3Doodler Create Review: Freehand Drawing is Messy

Next question — can a 3Doodler Create depart from paper and draw straight into the air? Yes it can. But it requires a lot of practice to get results using this method.

We tried to draw freehand for a short period of time, and found ourselves going back to tracing the stencils again soon after. It’s just not as satisfying, and you end up with more of a mess.

We’ve seen impressive examples elsewhere of freehand drawing, but those artists clearly have steadier hands (and more patience) than we did.

3Doodler Create Review
3Doodler Create Review: This is a Box
3Doodler Create Review
3Doodler Create Review: This is a Mess

3Doodler Create Review: Results

The projects turned out really good, in our estimation. Obviously they’ll never be as polished as a properly 3D printed object. But there’s a quirky, wobbly charm to them that we find endearing.

Here are a few pictures of the finished results:

3doodler create review
3Doodler Create Review: A Pink and Green Pear
3Doodler Create Review
3Doodler Create Review: The Golden Gate Bridge
3Doodler Create Review
3Doodler Create Review: Tyrannosaurus Rex

3Doodler Create Review: Conclusion

In our 3Doodler Create review, the quality of the objects we drew definitely exceeded our expectations. One wouldn’t expect to create anything else than a pile of failed attempts, for the first little bit at least. This was not the case. Within minutes of unboxing, we were using the 3Doodler Create just fine.

The operation of the 3Doodler Create is very straightforward, although it is a little tricky to stop the continuous flow of filament before it’s too late. After a bit of practice, however, the operation of the pen gets a lot easier. Using the 3Doodler Create is definitely fun.

The 3D pen is small, compact, and unobtrusive. As for affordability, the 3Doodler Create costs $99. It certainly isn’t the cheapest 3D printing pen on the market. The cost doesn’t stop there, either. Additional strands of filament will have to be purchased if one wants to get lots of use out of the 3D pen. A bundle of 125 strands of 3Doodler ABS costs just under 30 dollars.

Whether all this is worth the investment for your creative projects, that’s a decision between you and your wallet. Creating something in this way definitely takes a bit of focus, patience and time. Each project took over an hour to complete, but was just as rewarding.

The nozzle does get very hot and will burn the user if they touch it. Therefore, it should not be given to small children to use. 3Doodler don’t advise giving the 3D pen to anyone under 14 years of age.

Overall, we found with our 3Doodler Create review that it’s a pretty cool device and produces great results. Who should buy this pen? Anyone with creative capacity and patience will enjoy using the 3Doodler Create.

3doodler create review
3Doodler Create Review: Pear Revisited

3Doodler Create Review: Technical Stats

3 mm filament diameter
Materials: PLA and ABS (3Doodler also offers a flexible material but doesn’t go into detail about what type of plastic it is)
two temperature settings for PLA and ABS (and temperature adjustment screw for fine tuning)
two extrusion speeds and a filament reverse function
LED lighted ring indicating the state of the 3Doodler
extruder access panel
fan (creates some noise)
has no batteries –> must have a power source
removable nozzle (different nozzles sold separately)
aluminum body

3Doodler Create Review
3Doodler Create Review: Another Angle on the Bridge

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February 28, 2017 at 03:05PM
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PETG Filament for 3D Printing: Explained & Compared

PETG Filament for 3D Printing: Explained & Compared
By Anatol Locker

PETG Filament

You’ve heard from PET, but there’s also PETG filament for 3D printing. But what are the advantages? Let’s take a look at the advantages of PETG 3D printer filament.

Check PETG filament price:Available at Amazon

1. PET and PETG Explained

PET is a plastic resin. It is the most commonly used plastic in the world. You can find its fibers in clothes, containers for liquids, foods, thermoforming for manufacturing, and in combination with glass fiber for engineering resins. Thousands of consumer products, food and beverages are delivered and packaged within this material.

PETG (also called copolyester) is a modified version of PET. The modification is achieved by adding a second glycol during polymerization. The molecular structure is irregular; the resin is clear and amorphous with a glass transition temperature of 88 C (190 F). If you’re into chemistry, it’s known as Polyethylene Terephthalateco-1, 4-cylclohexylenedimethylene terephthalate.

2. PETG Filament: What are the benefits?

These are the general benefits:

It’s more durable. Overheating regular PET makes it hazy and brittle. Not with PETG filament: The added glycol prevents the material from crystallizing and becoming breakable. The new material is also highly impact-resistant.
Unlike PET, is it RF sealable.
Professionally printed, it also can be sterilized.

These are the benefits of PETG filament for 3D printing:

PETG filament has the reputation of combining the benefits of ABS (stronger, temperature resistant, more durable) and PLA (easy to print) in one material.
The layer adhesion is usually excellent.
You can expect less trouble with warping or shrinking of your prints.
Also, you can have the material, prints and misprints recycled. This doesn’t mean you should start printing irresponsibly – sustainably speaking, it’s still plastic, which has to be recycled properly.

3. PETG Filament: Is it food safe?

chunks-594496_1280

Yes, it is considered to be food safe in nearly all countries. To be sure, please check the specifications of the manufacturer.

If you want to know how to find out if a 3D printing material is food safe, please read this article.

4. PETG Filament: What’s are the drawbacks?

There aren’t many. First of all, it’s more prone to scratches than PET. Also, it can be weakened by UV light. Some makers say it’s not the easiest material to print with, as you have to find its “sweet spot.” When printing it, you’ll have to experiment more with the 3D printing parameters.

5. PETG Filament: What’s the price for a spool?

81M4wxRXvOL._UL1500_

In general, it comes at a higher price point than other materials – roughly, you pay $5 to $20 more per spool than for a comparable spool of PLA.

6. PETG Filament: What‘s the best temperature and speed for 3D printing?

Most manufacturers recommend a temperature of 220 to 250 C for the hotend. 230 to 240 C is a good place to start your first prints.

Take a good look at the first layers: If the material isn’t extruded somewhat sluggish, you want to raise the temperature a bit. Also, you should start with a low speed of just 15mm/s and work from there to find what works best with your material.

7. PETG Filament: Do I need a heated bed?

A heated bed is not a must, but it can be an advantage, especially when it comes to warping of bigger pieces. We have managed to 3D print PETG filament on an Ultimaker 2 Go without a heated bed – but it took a while to find the right settings.

Some makers claim the usual hairspray or blue tape tricks don‘t work with it.

Please use the specifications provided for the bed temperature – if there‘s none, try with 80 degrees Celsius and see if the first layer sticks to the bed.

8. PETG Filament: Can I have it in different colors?

Absolutely! You can have nearly the same variety of colors as you would have with PLA or ABS. We’ve spotted the most common shades of green, red, blue, orange, yellow – and even the translucent or translucent colored variants.

Check color variants at Amazon: Available at Amazon

9. PETG Filament: How do I store it?

It should be stored in a dry environment. Air humidity may alter it, result in failed 3D prints and misprints. If you run into 3D printing problems often, please consult this article

Fortunately, PET and PETG filament are nearly not affected by ambient air moisture. That makes the material much easier to print and store. But still, you should keep it as dry as possible by using silicate bags.

10. PETG Filament: Who is offering it?

There are three ways of getting your model 3D printed.

1. Buy a spool of PETG filament at Amazon

Most relevant manufacturers offer their spools directly at Amazon. Brands like Colorfabb, SainSmart, Taulman, eSun, Aptopro, extrudr, 3D Prima, Sunlu, advanc3dmaterials and 3DPSP are offering PETG filament for a reasonable price.

PETG filament at Amazon: PETG filament available at Amazon

Note: If you search for “PETG filament” at Amazon you won’t find the big brands Colorfabb and Taulman 3D. Their brand names are Colorfabb XT and Taulman N-VENT. They consist of Amphora AM1800 from Eastman Chemicals Company.  But in the end, it turns out that AM1800 is also PETG filament.

2. Buy directly from the manufacturer

If you already know what you want to buy, can get spools directly from these shops and manufacturers:

ColorFabb (as brand name “Colorfabb XT”)

Taulman 3D (as brand name “N-Vent”)

3DXtech (with added carbon fiber for extra strength)
Airwolf3D
eSun3D
Filaments.ca

Formfutura (as brand name “HD Glass”)

iGo3D (for Zortrax M200 3D printer)
Makergeeks
Triptech Plastics

If you‘re a manufacturer and want to have your brand added, please drop us a line in the comment section.

3. Buy a finished print from professional 3D printing services

What if you don‘t own a 3D printer? Then you can contact a local 3D printing service provider or a 3D printing network like 3D Hubs.

11. PETG Filament: PET / PETG versus PLA

PLA 3D printer filament

PLA (Polylactic Acid) is a thermoplastic material, classified as a polyester plastic. It is the most common 3D printing material. PLA filament is easy to 3D print and biodegradable. It comes in in many colors and varieties, offered by many brands. Also, its properties allow the addition of other materials like metal powders and biological material such as hemp, coffee or wood.

So, how does PLA filament compare?

PLA is easier to print and handle than PET / PETG. Also, PLA is more forgiving to 3D printing errors.
Both materials show minor shrinkage during cooling.
Both are considered to be food-safe.
Also, both are strong, user-friendly, durable, and can handle impacts.
PET / PETG is more prone to scratches than PLA.
You don’t need a heated bed to print both materials, but it is easier to 3D print PETG filament on a heated bed.
PET filaments are more expensive in general.
PLA offers more way more variations than the PET filament family.

12. PETG Filament: How does it compare to ABS?

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is the second most popular 3D printer filament. This thermoplastic is cheap, durable, slightly flexible, lightweight, and it can be easily extruded — which makes it perfect for 3D printing. It is the same plastic used in LEGO bricks and bicycle helmets.

But there are disadvantages to using ABS filament. It requires a higher temperature to reach melting point, usually in the range of 210°C – 250°C. Moreover, a heated build platform is required. This prevents the first layers of the print from cooling too quickly, so the plastic doesn’t warp and contract before the fabrication of the object has completed. Another drawback of this 3D printer filament is the intense fumes that arise during printing. They can be dangerous for people (or pets) with breathing difficulties.

So, how does PLA filament compare to PET / PETG?

Both materials are highly durable, offer good strength and impact resistance.
Both materials can be recycled, but are not biodegradable.
ABS is more flexible, with minor bending before snapping
ABS is soluble in Acetone, PET / PETG filament isn’t.
ABS is not food-safe. When handled properly, PET / PETG is.
ABS needs a heated bed for 3D printing.
Both materials show shrinkage during cooling.

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February 28, 2017 at 01:00PM
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Jay Leno Invites Stratasys Direct Manufacturing Into His Garage

Jay Leno Invites Stratasys Direct Manufacturing Into His Garage
By Tyler Koslow

jay leno

Former talk show host Jay Leno is a major 3D printing fanboy, exploring metal laser sintering for a recent episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage”.

If there’s one thing that the former late night talk show host Jay Leno loves as much as making people laugh, it’s his automotive garage shop. The famous comedian has left the primetime spotlight behind to launch the show Jay Leno’s Garage on NBC and YouTube.

Last week, Leno brought Bry Ewan from Stratasys Direct Manufacturing onto the show to explain how Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technology works. This professional-grade system is capable of producing complex metal parts without the limitations of conventional manufacturing.

On his latest episode, the renowned entertainer showcases various metal 3D printed components for a vintage steam car. DMLS enables Jay’s garage to skip the plastic mold process and reproduce parts for automobiles that are long obsolete.

After a brief introduction and a couple of wisecracks, Ewan steps in to explain how Stratasys Direct Manufacturing — the 3D printing service branch of Stratasys — utilizes metal 3D printing.

Jay Leno: A Unique Relationship With 3D Printing

Throughout the episode, Ewan teaches Leno and his mechanic Bernard Juchli how the professional-grade system works. The trio goes on to converse about the advantages that DMLS offers over traditional manufacturing methods, including design freedom and quick production time.

In Leno’s case, his garage is using Stratasys Direct Manufacturing to create parts for his out-of-production steam car. After confirming the correct dimensions of the part via plastic prototyping, the model is sent off for metal printing. This allows the team to redesign components that are no longer readily available or are unaffordable. Leno said:

“When you have old parts like this for a white steam car, there are barely any cars left–let alone parts–this is a revelation. You can actually have parts made in metal that are of a better quality than they were originally.”

Back in 2015, Leno was an avid customer of 3D Systems Quickparts, which he also used to print complex automotive parts. At the time, the famous entertainer was working on the 650-horsepower EcoJet concept car.

The Benefits of Direct Metal Laser Printing for the Automotive Sector

The DMLS printing process used by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing offers a wide range of benefits to the automotive sector. Outside of design freedom and increased production efficiency, metal 3D printed components also offers exceptional functionality comparable to casted metal.

In the video, Ewan describes this laser-based manufacturing process as “micro-welding”. DMLS is particularly useful in car manufacture. It offers the ability to produce components with intricate cavities, undercuts, and draft angles. In addition, metal 3D printing helps reduce weight as well as production time.

Stratasys Direct Manufacturing utilizes seven different professional-grade metal powders with this technology, including aluminum, titanium, and others. With a whopping million-dollar price tag, the service bureau acts as the middleman between the consumer and the technology.

With Jay Leno thrusting 3D printing into the spotlight, it’s clear that the comedian sees great potential in this technology. The further it progresses in the future, the better Leno will be able to restore his automobiles from the past.

Jay Leno

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February 27, 2017 at 10:00PM
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Official 3D Printed Oscar Statuette is a 1929 Throwback

Official 3D Printed Oscar Statuette is a 1929 Throwback
By Hannah Augur

3d printed oscar

The Academy would like to thank additive manufacturing technology for the chance to create a 3D Printed Oscar in honor of the 1929 original.

The Oscars are a serious institution. They’ve been around for almost 90 years, and every year the awards ceremony is live broadcast to over 225 countries and territories worldwide.

To better honor the tradition, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has adopted modern technology to better preserve their past. In fact, they’ve been using 3D printing techniques to create their Oscar statuettes.

Since 2016, the iconic awards have seen a fresh interpretation of an original statuette from 1929, recreated using 3D modeling, 3D printing, and lost wax casting.

Did you think that the Oscar trophy had remained unchanged all these years? Not so! Changing manufacturing techniques over the decades had resulted in a “softening” of the art deco design, which the Academy had decided it was time to restore.

Here’s a comparison of the 1929, 2015, and 2016 statuettes for reference.

image: polichtallix

The Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, based in Rock Tavern, NY, is responsible for the new design, and it’s a time-intensive process. Creating 50 statuettes takes approximately three months.

The process began with a digital scan of an original 1929 statuette, which is merged with a digital scan of the pedestal base from the 2015 version.

3d modeling the new oscar

With the model finalized, the next stage is to 3D print the new model in wax, which is used to create a detailed mold for casting in metal. The 3D printer in the background is blurred, but it looks like a 3D Systems machine.

Freshly Prined (Image: Polich Tallix)

Each wax statuette is coated in a ceramic shell that is cured and fired at 1,600°F, melting the wax away and leaving an empty Oscar-shaped void.

The statuettes are then hand-cast in molten bronze at more than 1,800°F, cooled, and then polished and finished in 24-karat gold by Epner Technology in Brooklyn.

3d printed oscar

3D Printed Oscar looks Brand New Retro

In the end, statuettes remain the same size, standing 13.5 inches and weighing 8.5 pounds. But the creators have managed to bring out the subtle art deco features of the original design by George Stanley.

For the Academy Awards, it’s really not such a surprise that 3D printing is playing a part. Additive manufacturing offers the opportunity to recreate precious originals, and awards in film and artistic achievement are exactly where technology like this will be highly valued.

By bringing back the original statuette, they’re not only able to have a cool “throwback” to their humble beginnings, but to say something about the nature of art. As Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs says, “the new statuette exemplifies impeccable craftsmanship and the enduring nature of art.”

Image Credits: Pollich Tallix

3d printed oscar

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February 27, 2017 at 08:00PM
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