Professional Image 3D is committed to staying on the cutting edge of the latest 3D printing and prototyping technologies. Our news section is the central hub for our 3D Blog. Here we talk about upcoming events, and keep you all up to date on the continual growth of the 3D printing industry. Did you notice the 3D printed props in the latest Hollywood Blockbuster? Did you see the way that 3D printing enabled doctors to save a girl’s life? Or how it allowed a blind mother to see her ultrasound? This is the best place to stay in the know on all of the ways that 3D Printing is influencing the world around us every day.

Tethon 3D Ceramic Resins for Use in SLA and DLP 3D Printers

Posted by on Oct 10, 2017 in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog | 0 comments

Tethon 3D Ceramic Resins for Use in SLA and DLP 3D Printers

The days of 3D printing solely with plastics are far behind us. Not only can 3D printing be done using silver, titanium, steel, and waxes—we can also print using ceramic powders for binder jetting and stereolithography (SLA) processes. Tethon 3D was the first company to develop and commercialize ceramic powders as 3D printing material, and they are now using it to create high quality durable 3D printed ceramics.

Image Courtesy of 3D Printing Media Network

The company is built around a business that has a strong background in ceramics. They began at the Kaneko Experimental  Studio in Omaha, Nebraska, founded by a ceramic sculptor named Jun Kaneko. Their SLA materials are ceramic glass and ceramic: Vitrolite and Porcelite. These can be used for objects that need the same properties as ceramic; heat shock tolerance, heat insulating, anti-corrosive, chemically resistant, controllable porosity, and other factors. It’s used in automotive, jewelry, manufacturing, aerospace, architecture and healthcare.

Image Courtesy of 3D Printing Media Network.

Image Courtesy of 3D Printing Media Network.

Porcelite is an alumina-based ceramic resin. Once it’s printed it becomes a polymer clay composite material and after it’s sintered it becomes porcelain with a temperature stability of 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Vitrolite is a silica-based glass ceramic resin that’s sintered at a lower temperature. It’s very dense and very smooth, with a milky white color. The two materials could be used on many SLA and DLP printers, and are compatible with both industrial and desktop use.

 

Sources:

Anusci, Victor. “Tethon3D CEO Karen Linder Discusses Future of High Quality Ceramics 3D Printing.” 3D Printing Media Network, 7 Oct. 2017, www.3dprintingbusiness.directory/news.

3D Printed Human Spine Replica Can Prepare Surgeons for Spinal Surgery

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog | 0 comments

3D Printed Human Spine Replica Can Prepare Surgeons for Spinal Surgery

3D printing is being used more and more in the medical industry and is helping doctors and surgeons to prepare for procedures with realistic replicas of organ structures and bones by using 3D printed parts. Nottingham Trent University researchers are 3D printing replicas of human spines for this exact purpose.

3D printed vertebrate, provided by Nottingham Trent University

By printing realistic vertebrates and spinal discs they’re allowing students and trainees to learn in a safe and calm environment while still simulating a life-like procedure. This could improve the outcomes for real patients undergoing spinal surgeries.

Inside of the vertebrate is a softer cancellous bone, which the researchers replicated with soft foam. The outside is a harder cortical bone which was printed using a polylactic acid (PLA) material. The spinal discs on the replica were made of silicone.

The researchers are able to print spines with specific problems like scoliosis and use those to practice on. They can also use it to practice procedures such as laminectomies, trapped nerve relief, and the removal of bone structures. 

3D model of a human spine, via 3Dscience.com

It’s very important for surgeons to be thoroughly prepared before going into spinal surgery, because one small mistake in a real surgery could be catastrophic for the patient. In the future the researchers plan to print bones with varying strengths to help prepare surgeons for operating on people with diseases like osteoporosis.

 

Sources:

Haria, Rushabh. “Lifelike 3D Printed Backbone Replicas Will Prepare Surgeons for Spinal Operations.” 3D Printing Industry, 3 Oct. 2017, 3dprintingindustry.com/news/3d-printed-backbone-replicas-prepare-surgeons-spinal-operations-122249/.

Human Spine 3D Models, www.3dscience.com/3D_Models/Human_Anatomy/Skeletal/Human_Spine.php.

 

Tinkerfest 2017 a Success

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017 in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog | 0 comments

Tinkerfest 2017 a Success

               The crew at ProImage 3D had a blast last Saturday at Tinkerfest hosted by the Science Museum Oklahoma in OKC. We would like to thank the staff at the museum for inviting us to participate in the event and allowing us to help teach others about 3D printing and scanning. The turnout exceeded our expectations and we were blown away by all of the fun and exciting things happening at the event, including rocket launches and cardboard cities.

                We were able to bring our fused deposition modeling (FDM) printer with us and print off a few tugboats to hand out to the kids, as well as a few bat bookmarks. We truly enjoyed seeing how fascinated everyone was with what we were doing– parents and children alike! We hope to be back next year with even more activities for everyone to participate in and we’d like to thank everyone that came out to see us! 

ProImage 3D’s Rick Radford (right) and guests of Tinkerfest

ProImage 3D’s Danielle Reiss (Left) and guests of Tinkerfest

Self-Assembling “Patchy Particles” Could Revolutionize 3D Printing

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog | 0 comments

Self-Assembling “Patchy Particles” Could Revolutionize 3D Printing

                Molecular self-assembly is a process when a disordered system of molecules forms an organized arrangement without help from an outside source.  Self-assembly is also used in proteins to assemble themselves into virus capsids and phases associated with diseases; the process is driven by thermodynamic and kinetic factors. Scientists have figured out a way to mimic this process through colloidal fusion of particles known as patchy particles, making 3D printing at a molecular level a possibility.

                Created by a team of scientists at New York University (NYU), patchy particles are 10-100 times smaller than a human cell. They are made up of smaller triangular particles that come together like play dough to form a sphere through a process called colloidal fusion; these spheres can then go on to create even more complex structures.

Source: Springer Nature
Plasticine model illustrating the concept of colloidal fusion. When compressed, the tetrahedral cluster evolves into a patchy sphere.

This could allow us to print on an even smaller scale, bringing us closer to 3D printing nanotechnology. According to Stefano Saccana, assistant professor of chemistry at NYU, “You could print a car that is a fraction of a millimeter and that could someday actually run!”

 

Sources:

Jackson, Beau. “Colloidal Self-Assembly Has the Potential to Revolutionize 3D Printing.” 3D Printing Industry, 29 Sept. 2017, 3dprintingindustry.com/news/colloidal-self-assembly-potential-revolutionize-3d-printing-121437/.

McManus, Jennifer J., et al. “The Physics of Protein Self-Assembly.” [1602.00884] The Physics of Protein Self-Assembly, 2 Feb. 2016, arxiv.org/abs/1602.00884.

“Molecular Self-Assembly.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Sept. 2017, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_self-assembly.

Website of Teun Vissers, www.teunvissers.nl/research/patchy-colloids/.

2017, Melissae Fellet18 September. “Patchy Particles with Predictable Patterns.” Chemistry World, 18 Sept. 2017, www.chemistryworld.com/news/patchy-particles-with-predictable-patterns/3008004.article

Science Robotics Uses 3D Printing and Biorobotics for Underwater Exploration

Posted by on Sep 25, 2017 in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog | 0 comments

Science Robotics Uses 3D Printing and Biorobotics for Underwater Exploration

          The Hadal zone lies at an eerie 20,000 to 36,000 feet below the sea in the Mariana Trench. A combination of water density, intense pressure and darkness make it difficult for scientists to capture data that deep in the ocean. Some living creatures such as sea anemones have adapted to these conditions and are able to survive using soft bodies and pedal discs to give them a strong grip that allows them to attach to rocks and withstand strong currents. The remora suckerfish is similar in that it has a highly modified dorsal fin that forms an adhesive disc, one of the most impressive adaptations within the vertebrates.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

 

          Science Robotics has designed a multimaterial biomimetric remora disc using 3D printing and soft robotics. This underwater robot is capable of strong adhesion and hitchhiking on smooth and rough surfaces, including shark skin. They used varieties of flexible and rigid material on an Objet Connex 500 C3 3D printer from Stratasys, and used Solidworks to create the CAD file. This could allow for new ways of exploration and understanding of marine wildlife, even in the deepest and darkest parts of the ocean.

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remora#/media/File:Remora_remora.jpg

Jackson, Beau. “3D Printed Suckerfish Grip Could Take Explorers into The Great Unknown.”3D Printing Industry, 15 Sept. 2017, 3dprintingindustry.com/news/3d-printed-suckerfish-grip-take-explorers-into-great-unkown-121577/.

Wang, Yueping, et al. “A Biorobotic Adhesive Disc for Underwater Hitchhiking Inspired by the Remora Suckerfish.” Science Robotics, Science Robotics, 20 Sept. 2017, robotics.sciencemag.org/content/2/10/eaan8072.full.

T3D Launches a Kickstarter Campaign for 3D Printer Powered by Smart Phones

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog | 0 comments

T3D Launches a Kickstarter Campaign for 3D Printer Powered by Smart Phones

 

          T3D, a startup company founded in the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a mobile 3D printer powered by the light of a smart phone or tablet. The printer is able to print without a protective cover or glass because of the special high sensitivity resin created by T3D; allowing viewers to watch the printer pull 3D printed objects right out of the resin bath.

          A smart phone or tablet goes underneath the tray of resin and the printer uses the light to cure the light-polymerized resin. The smart phone/ tablet acts as a light projector found in most typical SLA machines. The printer is capable of printing at 20 seconds per layer with a layer thickness of 100 microns, on a build tray that’s 16 x 7.6 x 8.5 cm. Thanks to that portable size and its ability to be controlled by mobile devices, it’s perfect for traveling and printing on-the-go.

 

 

Sources:

Jackson, Beau. “T3D Launches Kickstarter for Low Cost Cell Phone Powered SLA 3D Printer.” 3D Printing Industry, 15 Sept. 2017, 3dprintingindustry.com/news/t3d-launch-kickstarter-for-mobile-powered-sla-3d-printer-121461/.

http://myt3d.com/

Nano Dimension Launches 3D Printer for Electronics

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017 in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog | 0 comments

Nano Dimension Launches 3D Printer for Electronics

 

          Nano Dimension is launching a new high resolution 3D printer capable of printing multilayer printed circuit boards (PCB) in an astonishingly small amount of time. This machine, the DragonFly 2020 Pro, allows high resolution trace and space with a combination of inkjet printing and nano-ink technologies; changing PCB design from months or weeks to days. It can be used for concept verification and design validation, and makes it easy to make design changes allowing for more creativity. It also protects design information by keeping production in-house while developing. The machine has a full range of multilayer PCB features including buried vias and plated through holes. It could be used in consumer electronics, medical devices, aerospace, automotive and more.

 

Sources:

Network, 3D Printing Media. “Nano Dimension Unveils New DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D Printer for Electronics.” 3D Printing Media Network, 14 Sept. 2017, www.3dprintingbusiness.directory/news/nano-dimension-unveils-dragonfly-2020-pro-3d-printer-agile-hardware-development-innovative-circuits/.

Nano Dimension. Dragonfly 2020 Pro, www.nano-di.com/dragonfly-2020-pro?hs_preview=fgTiQgEf-5330072798.

“Nano Dimension — 3D Printing Business Directory.” 3D Printing Business Directory, www.3dprintingbusiness.directory/company/nano-dimension/.

NASA to Use 3D Printer to Recycle Plastic Waste Aboard the ISS

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog | 0 comments

NASA to Use 3D Printer to Recycle Plastic Waste Aboard the ISS

 

NASA is planning to launch a 3D printer and recycling machine called The Refabricator to the ISS next spring. The machine combines recycling and 3D printing into one device for the first time and will be controlled by technician’s here on Earth so that the astronauts only need to recycle the plastic and remove the parts from the machine when they’re finished. The Refabricator takes plastic and recycles it into a liquid that can be used to create the filament  needed for the print, and is about the size of a mini-fridge.

NASA currently uses a 3D printer in space to create their own tools and medical supplies aboard the ISS. This was intended to reduce the cost of launching supplies into space, but they still have to launch the filament used for the 3D printer to the space station, which can be quite costly; according to NASA, it costs $10,000 to launch one pound of payload into Earth’s orbit (https://3dprint.com/186521/refabricator-device-to-iss/). The Refabricator could solve this issue while at the same time creating a no-waste zone in space.

Ultimately, NASA wants to be able to use this technology to create a 3D printer/recycler that can be used on the moon and on Mars. It’s not affordable to bring extra parts and supplies needed in case something goes wrong, but if they had a 3D printer/recycler, astronauts could use their own waste to create the filament needed to print a new part. As for here on Earth, in the future this could mean that we could turn entire landfills into construction material and finally put all of that wasted plastic to use (https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/refabricator-modelling-recycling-78758/).

Sources:

Waste360 Staff | Sep 06, 2017. “NASA to Utilize 3D Printer to Recycle Plastic in Space.”Waste360, Waste360, 6 Sept. 2017, www.waste360.com/plastics/nasa-utilize-3d-printer-recycle-plastic-space.

Hall, Nick. “ReFabricator: Modelling for Recycling and More.” 3D Printing Industry, 3D Printing Industry, 26 Aug. 2017, https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/refabricator-modelling-recycling-78758/.

Saunders, Sarah. “The Refabricator Will Be Recycling Plastic and 3D Printing Onboard the ISS Next Year.” 3DPrint.Com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing, 6 Sept. 2017, https://3dprint.com/186521/refabricator-device-to-iss/.

ProImage 3D Brings 3D Printing to Tinkerfest in OKC

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog | 0 comments

ProImage 3D Brings 3D Printing to Tinkerfest in OKC

 

         On September 30th from 9a.m. to 3p.m. ProImage 3D will be bringing 3D printing to the world of Tinkerfest at the Science Museum of Oklahoma. The event is a time where creators, engineers, artists and educators come together to share with the city their inventions and art. There will be a range of activities that guests can interact with including everything from zip lining to exploring a cardboard city and launching rockets. And best of all: the event is free to the public!

         ProImage 3D will be bringing information and examples of the rapidly growing 3D printing industry, including many objects of different colors, sizes, and printing processes. We hope to share with the public how far the industry has come and just how much it’s going to revolutionize manufacturing and printing at home. So clear your calendars and don’t miss out on this festival of creativity and inspiration on September 30, 2017. We’ll see you there!

          

Artificially Intelligent 3D Printers of The Future

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog | 0 comments

Artificially Intelligent 3D Printers of The Future

Edward Cyr at the University of New Brunswick in Canada is doing research to create an artificial intelligence system that can create 3D printing solutions to problems. The system can take a problem and come up with several different solutions, then present the user with the best possible solution and 3D print it. A human problem solver would take time and is only capable of coming up with a limited number of designs, whereas a computer could come up with endless numbers of designs while giving us the most optimal one. This could revolutionize the 3D printing industry and the entire manufacturing industry.

3D printing has been paired with AI in the past to conceptualize solutions for growing food in space. AstroGro uses 3D printed pods and an AI system to control an ecosphere that can grow fresh foods for astronauts on the space station. The AI system makes it so that anyone can grow food with these pods, regardless of their experience in horticulture.

AstroGro

MIT has also 3D printed a functioning robot that can “practically walk right out of the printer.” Using inkjet printing technology, they were able to print a hydraulic system that filled the channels with liquid as it was printing, so that when it finished all they had to do was place a battery and motor in the robot and it was fully functioning. Using this technology they were also able to print a functional silicone hand with hydraulic fingers.

MIT’s Hydraulic 3D Printed Robot

Although these technologies are advanced, Cyr’s research will be the first time that an AI system will be able to 3D print its own solutions to problems.

 

 

Sources:

Haria, Rushabh. “Canadian Researchers in Pursuit of Artificially Intelligent 3D Printers.” 3D Printing Industry, 3D Printing Industry, 26 Aug. 2017, 3dprintingindustry.com/news/canadian-researchers-manufacturing-solutions-am-ai-120926/.

Tampi, Tarun. “Space Farming with AstroGro’s 3D Printed Smart Pod.” 3D Printing Industry, 3D Printing Industry, 26 Aug. 2017, 3dprintingindustry.com/news/space-farming-with-astrogros-3d-printed-smart-pod-47839/.

Molitch-Hou, Michael. “MIT 3D Prints Functioning Robot in Single Step.” 3D Printing Industry, 3D Printing Industry, 26 Aug. 2017, 3dprintingindustry.com/news/mit-3d-prints-functioning-robot-in-single-step-75975/.