writes copy 07 Feb 2018

3D Printing News Briefs: February 6 2018

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Valentine’s Day is next week, so we’ll start today’s 3D Printing News Briefs off with a heartwarming story, before moving on to 3D printed models, and plenty of business news. The ‘Window to the Heart’ installation, featuring the world’s largest 3D printed lens, is officially up in Times Square this month. Moving right along, a 3D printed model of the county town of Ipswich could help solve traffic issues in Morocco. Invisalign is expanding to the Middle East, and Dremel DigiLab is unveiling its 3D45 3D printer in the UK for the first time. Sandvik invested $25 million in metal 3D printing, and Onshape is introducing two new Integrated Cloud Apps.

‘Window to the Heart’ Installed in Times Square

In November, the  Times Square Arts  public arts program announced that the New York and Tucson-based design studio  Aranda\Lasch, together with computation designer  Marcelo Coelho, had won the 10th annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition  with their Window to the Heart  design, which, thanks to Formlabs, features the world’s largest 3D printed lens at 10′ tall, with a 12′ diameter. The piece is based on the geometry of a Fresnel-type lens, warping and bending the light of  Times Square towards its center: a heart shaped window open  for people to look through or be photographed within. Each segment of the lens was 3D printed at high resolution by Formlabs with its Clear Resin, and the sculpture, which was just installed this weekend, weighs about 6 tons.

“It's remarkable how ArandaLasch + Marcelo Coelho's Window to the Heart responded to this year's broad theme of Labor of Love for the 2018 Valentine's Heart competition. They created a rare optical experience that pushes the boundaries of technology, as well as draws on the hyper-stimulating atmosphere of Times Square,” said  Susan Chin, Executive Director of Design Trust for Public Space, which curated the  Times Square Valentine Heart Design. “In a time when our love and empathy are tested every single day, we'll now have a special window to share viewpoints and to see one another in a different light at the Crossroads of the World.”

Window to the Heart will remain on view for the month of February at Father Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets; visitors can follow the conversation on social media with  #WindowHeartTSq.

3D Printed City Model to Help with Traffic Issues in Morocco

Frank Domoney and Suffolk/Essex MEP Alex Mayer. [Image: Gregg Brown]

A scaled-down 3D printed model of Ipswich,  the county town of Suffolk, will soon be sent to Rabat, the capital of Morocco, and installed in a vacant car park to help government officials and city planners test out new ideas for traffic flow, transport systems, and housing in a smart city. The recreation includes 3D printed houses, park benches, and cars containing small, embedded supercomputers, in an effort to create a true Ipswich replica. Once the data is collected in Morocco, it will be sent back to Ipswich and analyzed. The immediate goal is for the technology to be used to test out the safety of road designs, but it could one day help set up cameras in crowded smart cities that can help find missing people.

“It's a very grown up form of Sim City.  Just like Sim City it allows us to develop policies and try them out on the model,” explained  Frank Domoney, Chief Skills Transfer Officer of the Anglia-Mahgreb Smart City company. “It's like a flight simulator for city managers.”

Invisalign Expanding to Middle East

Mawlid Chaoui, General Manager of Invisalign, Middle East and Africa

Align Technology subsidiary  Invisalign, which uses 3D printing technology to create its brand of clear, plastic teeth aligners, announced this week that it will be strengthening its commitment to the Middle East, and will be opening its first regional Middle Eastern office in Dubai. The Middle East and African orthodontic market has been growing steadily over the last several years, as dental health importance has increased, and the  Middle East region has an estimated  nearly 440 thousand new orthodontic case starts each year.

“We see tremendous prospects for growth in the Middle East, especially in markets such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia,” said  Mawlid Chaoui, General Manager of Invisalign, Middle East and Africa. “Having an established presence in Dubai will enable us to provide direct support and ongoing clinical education to our growing customer base of Invisalign providers and help establish the Invisalign system as a leading treatment of choice in the region.”

The digital Invisalign system combines  proprietary virtual modeling software, rapid manufacturing processes, and mass customization to straighten teeth, using the custom-made, removable aligners that have been prescribed to over 5 million patients by Invisalign-trained orthodontists or general practitioner dentists.

Dremel DigiLab Brings 3D45 3D Printer to the UK

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