During a casual conversation at RAPID 2012 with several engineers and additive manufacturing (AM) professionals, it was generally agreed that one of the biggest hurdles standing in the way of a more widespread acceptance of the technology among businesses was the newness factor. People get used to doing something in one way and, as long as that method continues to produce results, are often loathe to try anything different.
This sort of reluctance is one of the reasons why many new ideas come from students or recent graduates. Rather than just accepting the reasoning of, “This is how we’ve always done it,” someone with a fresh perspective is better capable of thinking outside the box. Students at the University of Bayreuth have proven this idea with their novel use of a sand mold. Continue reading
For the first time, Europe has had the chance to see the hardware and technology behind some of NASA’s projects. Called “NASA: A Human Adventure,” the exhibition, which launched in January 2011, has assembled a collection of instruments, artifacts, and spacecraft.
NASA’s space exploration equipment has moved from Stockholm, Sweden to Madrid, Spain, and to Istanbul, Turkey, through the space act agreement. White Room Artifacts used a variety of materials and processes, including 3D printed models produced by Solid Concepts, to manufacture the necessary pieces. Continue reading
I’m not sure what it is about ears and additive manufacturing (AM) that’s grabbed the attention of researchers, but apparently the two work well together. It wasn’t all that long ago that Rapid Ready reported on Cornell University’s bioprinted ear, and now Princeton University has performed the same feat, albeit with a different focus.
Where Cornell researchers were focused on creating a prosthetic for children who suffer from a congenital deformity, Princeton’s team has put its efforts toward battling hearing loss. Princeton’s ear was built using AM to combine biology and electronics. The result is a prosthetic that could not only boost a user’s hearing, but also allow him to pick up radio signals. Continue reading
In the course of my diligent efforts to keep you good people up to date on the state of additive manufacturing (AM), I come across many interesting news items. I’ll gather them up every so often and present them in a Rapid Ready Roundup (like this one). You can find the last Roundup here.
Let’s begin today’s Roundup by building on past work. The era of 3D printed homes may soon be upon us. Innovators have taken a number of different approaches to the idea, and Netherlands-based KamerMaker is another process looking to provide you with shelter. Continue reading
Rather than being hidden away in back rooms or the depths of the production floor, 3D printers are making their way into the light of public consciousness, and possibly into your living room. The number of additive manufacturing (AM) systems available to home users has never been higher, with each new product jostling with the likes of MakerBot or 3D Systems’ Cube for each hobbyist dollar.
While everyday consumers are becoming more aware of the potential of AM, a 3D printer still isn’t something you see every day. Giving people a firsthand view of an AM system at work is the best way to further educate, and a number of stores specializing in 3D printers have begun to spring up. MakerBot has one in New York, 3D Creations has opened its doors in Milwaukee, and now Second City is getting The 3D Printer Experience. Continue reading