Medical additive manufacturing (AM) has developed into its own field. It seems like not a day passes without medical researchers discovering a new way to use the technology to either save or improve lives. Whether its low-cost prosthetics, or medical implants, AM has brought a bevy of new options to health care.
New research has focused on combining 3D printing and heart health. In a paper titled “3D multifunctional integumentary membranes for spatiotemporal cardiac measurements and stimulation across the entire epicardium,” published in Nature Communications, a team of scientists describes the method they employed to create a membranous sleeve that can surround a heart to provide monitoring and cardiac assistance. Continue reading
Everyone had a Rubik’s Cube when I was a kid, or least a Rubik’s knock-off. The news ran stories about people who could solve the Cube in under a minute, twisting and spinning the puzzle in their hands, while the rest of us could barely keep the colors in order. I solved the Cube only by taking the entire thing apart and putting it back together. Some kids peeled off the stickers.
I bet old Ernő Rubik (inventor of the Rubik’s Cube, if you hadn’t guessed) would have loved to have additive manufacturing to provide rapid prototyping services for him when he was designing the Cube. The current generation of 3D puzzles, the Marusenko Sphere, was lucky enough to have 3D printing around to assist with the design and prototype phases, greatly simplifying the production process. Continue reading
Last May, President Obama announced his plan for improving the technological backbone of manufacturing in the US with the formation of a series of 15 public-private funded manufacturing innovation institutes throughout the country. The pilot institute, America Makes (or NAMII), opened shortly thereafter in Youngstown, OH and began to serve as a hub for high-tech manufacturing, including additive manufacturing, for the region.
With the pilot program humming away, the President has announced two new institutes led by the Department of Defense and supported by a $140 million in Federal funding that has been matched by $140 million in private funding. The new innovation hub in Detroit will focus on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing, while the hub in Chicago will concentrate on digital manufacturing and design technologies. Continue reading
The word “slow” is relative. If you are stuck on a two-lane highway behind an old granny out for her Sunday drive, it feels like you are moving slowly, but it’s only very recently that a single human could dream of transportation that moved at such a rapid pace. So, when people claim additive manufacturing (AM) is slow, that too is relative. Compared to plenty of traditional manufacturing situations, AM is positively speedy.
But we always want to go faster. A new partnership between Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Cincinnati, Inc. hopes to result in a 3D printer that is 500 times faster than current AM systems, and offers an improved build area of up 10 times current volume. Continue reading
The only thing worse than having a chipped or missing tooth is the waiting period between initial exam and final fitting of a dental prosthesis. Additive manufacturing (AM) has reduced the wait time by producing crowns, bridges, and stone models at a rate unmatched by traditional forms of manufacturing. Less time in transit and in dental labs also means a reduction in production costs, which leads to increased profits.
Stratasys has lowered the barrier for entry into dental AM with the release of its Objet Eden260V Dental Advantage. As might be guessed from the name, the Objet Eden260V Dental Advantage is based on the Objet Eden series of printers which, I think it’s fair to say, have proved to be solid and capable machines. The new copier-sized AM system has been developed with larger dental and orthodontic labs in mind, and, according to the company, offers more than double the build speed over the next lowest-priced dental 3D printer. Continue reading