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3D Printing News Briefs: June 15 2018

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We’re covering news from the medical and automotive worlds in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, along with a few other stories to get you into the weekend. In Taiwan, ITRI and Mackay Memorial Hospital are working together to 3D print medical devices, and the BMW Group has 3D printed customized radiator covers for the motorcycles racing at the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy. A high school senior is recognized for her innovative 3D printed electric guitar, while Essentium takes a look at the real costs of 3D printing. Finally, E3D has upgraded one of its popular hotends.

ITRI and Mackay Memorial Hospital Team Up to 3D Print Medical Devices

Two years ago in Taiwan, the government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) formed an alliance to continue exploring 3D printing, and has since been responsible for a few important 3D printed medical breakthroughs, including fabricating bone and skin  for Chinese people. Now, ITRI and Mackay Memorial Hospital are working together to 3D print medical devices, including hand aids. Thanks to 3D printing these devices, rather than manufacturing them through traditional methods, they can be made to more comfortably suit specific individuals, and also function better in terms of fit and flexibility.

Chang Pei-zen, the Executive Vice President of ITRI, says that 3D printing will offer major contributions to the welfare of special needs patients when it’s incorporated into the manufacturing of assistive devices, in addition to speeding up the manufacturing process. ITRI has already introduced four 3D printed hand aid devices, and will also develop other 3D printed medical equipment, including medical implants, simulators, and surgical guides.

Individualized Motorcycles with 3D Printed Radiator Covers

For this year’s  BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Central Asia, held last week in Mongolia, experts from the BMW Group’s Additive Manufacturing Center  used 3D printing and a  generative design algorithm to individualize the 114 BMW R 1200 GS Rallye bikes. They added the riders’ names and start numbers to the CAD data of the motorcycle radiator covers, and then 3D printed the covers themselves. At the award ceremony after the GS Trophy was complete, the participants were given their 3D printed, individualized radiator covers as a souvenir.

Aluminum powder and selective laser melting (SLM) technology were used to 3D print the components, which makes them much stronger than the original radiator covers; this was good news for the rough conditions of the 2,350 km race. Then, an additional milling process was used to add greater surface quality and contrast to the radiator cover design.

High School Senior Designs 3D Printed Electric Guitar  

Windsor High School senior Aura Sofia Cardona, 18, with her 3D printed guitar.

18-year-old Aura Sofia  Cardona is an aspiring engineer, and has taken several computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) classes with career and technical education teacher Dustin Ricci. For a capstone project in an independent study with Ricci this year, Cardona spent seven months designing a 3D printable electric guitar, adapting another student’s 2D model into a 3D one through a computer program and using a honeycomb-like hexagon pattern, which not only saved on costs and made the guitar more lightweight, but gave her the opportunity to customize the design by adding bees to the neck and body.

“This was a very, very challenging product to take on as a high school kid.  Not every high school kid in a CADD class is capable of a product like that,” Ricci said.

“It's one thing to get it done, but she was able to get it done and add custom touches.”

The day after she played her 3D printed guitar for the first time, Cardona’s design took second place in the regional division of Stratasys’  14th  Annual Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge.

Essentium Analyzes Real Cost of 3D Printing

HSE with FlashFuse

In a new blog post, Texas-based Essentium says that while the design, process, material, and 3D printer, along with post-processing and post-finishing, all contribute to the overall cost of a 3D printed part, the real cost is based on accuracy and speed. It’s hard to get a perfect 3D printing match material, as the technology affects the availability and properties of materials, and different material preparations, such as filament and powder, are required for different processes. But Essentium asks an intriguing question – what if you really want to use the same 3D printing material as you are using for a part manufactured with injection molding? Luckily, the company’s new High Speed Extrusion (HSE) 3D printer, equipped with its FlashFuse technology, makes this possible.

“We said the cost of printing should be about speed and accuracy because you should be able to print with the material you want and get the same properties,” the blog post reads. “With Essentium’s  HSE  and  FlashFuse  technology, you can print just that.

“Our printer is 10x faster than other extrusion printers on the market. We achieve faster speeds with higher, more controlled temperatures and 10x the extrusion force. This helps you save costs on your plant floor.”

E3D Introduces Volcano Hotend Upgrade

3D printer parts supplier  E3D offers a wide array of reliable, high-performance hotends, including the V6; the  lite6; the Titan series, including the Titan Aero and Titan Aqua; and of course, the Volcano. The Volcano, which has a range of nozzle orifices from 0.4 to 1.2 mm, is easy to swap on and off of 3D printers, and makes the technology stronger and faster.

But now the company has introduced an upgrade to the popular Volcano hotend – it’s now available in Plated Copper. You can check out E3D’s new Plated Copper Volcano Block, and its new Plated Copper Volcano Kit, on the company’s online store.

Discuss these stories, and other 3D printing topics, at  3DPrintBoard.com  or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.


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