Tag Archives: 3D Printing

Markforged announces two 3D printers that produce items as strong as steel

Markforged, a 3D printer manufacturer based in Boston, has just announced two new models — the X3 and the X5. Both of these printers are designed to create carbon fiber-infused objects using a standard filament printing system and both can produce items that can replace or are stronger than steel objects.

Both printers have auto-leveling and scanning systems to ensure each printed object is exactly like every other. Further, the printers use Markforged’s special thermoplastic fiber filament, while the X5 can add a “strand of continuous fiberglass” to create objects “19X stronger and 10X stiffer than traditional plastics.” This means you can print both usable parts and usable tools using the same machine and, thanks to the fiberglass weave, you can ensure that the piece won’t snap on use. For example, one customer printed a custom valve wrench in 10 minutes using one of these printers.

Now for the bad news. The X3 costs a mere $36,990, while the X5 costs $49,900. These are aimed at what Markforged calls “local manufacturers.” Luckily you’re not stuck with the printer if you outgrow it. The X3 can easily be upgraded to work with X5’s filament and both are aimed at manufacturing shops that need to produce finished products on the fly.

 

“Customers can now, with ease, print same-day parts that optimize strength and affordability for their specific needs,” said CEO Greg Mark.

These printers are part of Markforged’s effort at creating a real “teleporter.” Thanks to the complex scanning and measurement systems built into these units, users can receive a 3D printer model and print it to exacting specifications. The system also has a failsafe mode that restarts at any time as the laser scanner can check to see exactly where the print stopped. The company is also hard at work on some impressive metal printing technologies that turn out parts that are usable in complex machines.

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Markforged announces two 3D printers that produce items as strong as steel

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3 Methods for Defending Against Cyber Attacks on 3D Printers

With cyber attacks on 3D printers likely to threaten health and safety, a team of researchers has developed three novel methods to combat them.

“They will be attractive targets because 3D-printed objects and parts are used in critical infrastructures around the world, and cyber attacks may cause failures in health care, transportation, robotics, aviation and space,” said Saman Aliari Zonouz, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

He co-authored a peer-reviewed study entitled “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Feel No Evil, Print No Evil? Malicious Fill Pattern Detection in Additive Manufacturing” that was published at the 26th USENIX Security Symposium in Vancouver, Canada. It’s the security community’s flagship event, highlighting the latest advances in protecting computer systems and networks. Among several unique techniques, the research team from Rutgers and the Georgia Institute of Technology is using cancer imaging techniques to detect intrusions and hacking of 3D printer controllers.

“Imagine outsourcing the manufacturing of an object to a 3D printing facility and you have no access to their printers and no way of verifying whether small defects, invisible to the naked eye, have been inserted into your object,” said Mehdi Javanmard, study co-author and assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers. “The results could be devastating and you would have no way of tracing where the problem came from.”

3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, plays an increasingly important role in industrial manufacturing. But health- and safety-related products such as medical prostheses and aerospace parts are being printed with no standard way to verify them for accuracy, the study says.

Even houses and buildings are being manufactured by 3D printers, noted Javanmard.

Instead of spending up to $100,000 USD or more to buy a 3D printer, many companies and organizations send software-designed products to outside facilities for printing, Zonouz said. But the firmware in printers may be hacked.

For their study, the researchers bought several 3D printers and showed that it’s possible to hack into a computer’s firmware and print defective objects. The defects were undetectable on the outside but the objects had holes or fractures inside them.

Other researchers have shown in a YouTube video how hacking can lead to a defective propeller in a drone, causing it to crash, Zonouz noted.

Source:

http://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEdgeArticles/ArticleID/15480/3-Methods-for-Defending-Against-Cyber-Attacks-on-3D-Printers.aspx

3D printing homes for Mars

A team competing in NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge worked with Techmer PM to develop materials that could one day be used to house human visitors to Mars.

Teams of citizen inventors are participating in the competition to innovate technology to support deep space exploration and also advance Earth-based construction capabilities. A partnership between freeform 3D printing startup Branch Technology and architecture firm Foster + Partners, collaborating with Techmer, won third place in the most recent level, which involved 3D printing a structural beam using plastics and simulated Martian soil.

The team also took first place in the previous level, creating a truncated cone and cylinder from the material they developed. Next, they will be tasked with printing a dome structure for mechanical testing.

The idea is to enable customizable habitat options using locally available materials and potentially recycled plastics.

“If you think of a place like Mars — but also it could be remote places on this planet — if you try to build a structure, you’d have to send all these tools and materials and so on,” said John Manuck, Techmer’s CEO. “But if you could 3D print the structure, of course the 3D printer, you’d have to send that there, and some of the raw material, but then it can produce a whole range of products.”

Source:

http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20170811/NEWS/170819974/3d-printing-homes-for-mars

 

Prototype ‘3D’ chip from MIT could eliminate memory bottlenecks

Future CPUs will have to deal with growing amounts of data, but all too often they are slowed down by bandwidth issues between the processor and RAM. A prototype chip built by researchers at Stanford and MIT can solve the problem by sandwiching the memory, processor and even sensors all into one unit. While current chips are made of silicon, the prototype processor is made of graphene carbon nanotubes, with resistive RAM (RRAM) layered over it.

 

The team claims this makes for “the most complex nanoelectronic system ever made with emerging nanotechnologies,” creating a 3D computer architecture. Using carbon makes the whole thing possible, since higher temperatures required to make a silicon CPU would damage the sensitive RRAM cells.

This technology could do more than just speed up the framerate on your next Xbox too, as the current prototype used a top layer of one million carbon nanotube sensors to detect gases, with the information processed and measured directly on the chip. So far, the development has been funded by organizations including DARPA and the NSF. The next step in the process is to work with Analog Devices on new versions of the technology — unfortunately like so many graphene-related breakthroughs we have no idea when this one will be commercially available.

Source:

https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/06/prototype-3d-chip-from-mit-could-eliminate-memory-bottlenecks/

This entrepreneur is betting big that you’ll want to drive a 3D-printed sports car

Entrepreneur Kevin Czinger is excited about the future of cars. But instead of focusing on driverless vehicles like Google and Uber, he has something else in mind: 3D-printing.

Enter his revolutionary take on automobiles — the Blade, a car built out of 3D-printed aluminum joints that snap together like legos.

As the founder of Divergent 3D, Czinger is betting big on the idea that car parts can be designed, printed and then assembled in micro-factories all over the country.

 

Divergent 3D raised $23 million in a series A round in January, according to Cruchbase.

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Czinger appeared on the season three premiere of CNBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage” to show off his ultra-sleek 1400-pound, 700 horsepower prototype. Leno can be seen taking the car for a spin around Los Angeles in this YouTube video for his show.

“[Czinger’s] real goal is to sell this technology to major manufacturers,” Leno says. “And the cool thing is, it’s made right here in America.”

The Blade made its debut in June of 2015 at the O’Reilly Solid Conference in San Francisco, where Czinger touted the car’s revolutionary manufacturing technology and lightweight body.

Forbes noted at the time of the car’s debut that it was “unclear how auto-safety regulators may regard the Blade” but gave options for how the company may want to explore the issue.

Czinger also boasts that the production process is environmentally friendly — another facet close to Divergent’s core mission.

Source:

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/28/kevin-czinger-is-making-a-3d-printed-car-called-the-blade.html

MIT built a robot that can 3D print a building


A new system developed at MIT is able to print a basic structure in one go, according to the team’s paper in the journal Science Robotics.

The system comprises a tracked vehicle mounted with a large robotic arm. At the end of this robotic arm is a smaller, precision-motion robotic arm, used to extrude concrete or spray insulation material. It’s free moving, can be customized to print on any suitable surface and is intended to be self-sufficient.

The team tested the system by printing the basic structure of the walls of a dome 15 metres (50 feet) in diameter and 3.65 metres (12 feet) in height out of insulation foam. The structure took 14 hours to print in total, creating a mould into which concrete is poured.

The aim is “in the future, to have something totally autonomous, that you could send to the moon or Mars or Antarctica, and it would just go out and make these buildings for years,” said lead author Stephen Keating.

Source:

https://www.cnet.com/news/mit-robot-can-3d-print-a-building/

Nigeria, others to lose 66% of jobs to automation —World Bank

The World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, on Thursday in Washington, said developing countries, including Nigeria, faced the risk of losing two-thirds of all jobs that currently exist to automation.

He also counseled developing countries to look beyond aids to foreign direct investment which he said has stronger impact than aids just as he called for the mobilization of idle trillions of dollars “sitting on the sidelines…to help meet the exploding aspirations of people all over the world.”

Kim Yong said these in his opening remarks at the ongoing World Bank/International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in Washington.

According to him, “We estimate that two-thirds of all jobs that currently exist in developing countries will be wiped out by automation.”

He added that this is not something that would happen in the future as it had already started happening.

He said “Let me just give you one example. Two, three years ago we were arguing about whether 3D printing would ever be capable of taking over garment assembly because garment manufacturing, has been sort of the classic light industry that goes from country to country based on wages.

“Two years ago, I was told, ‘no way, garment manufacturing still requires human hands.  This will always be the way it is.  It’s going to be this way for at least another decade’. But I just met a woman who told me an exciting story about how she is making couture cotton T-shirts and other clothing in Haiti with 3D printers.  And she said, ‘you know, it’s exciting in the sense that we know that Haitians now can run 3D printers,’ but the downside is that there are far fewer jobs.”

He continued, “So something we were arguing about two or three years ago of whether it was possible, is already happening right now in Haiti.  And so for every country in the world, we have to think very seriously about what investments we need to make right now in order to prepare ourselves for the economy of the future. And for developing countries it’s definitely one of the most important things is more investment in human capital.”

On what The World Bank Group is doing to mitigate the effects of this, he said, “We have to find new and innovative ways to reach the poor, and make the world more secure and stable. We have to start by asking whether the private sector can finance a project. If the conditions aren’t right, we will work with our partners to de-risk that project or, if needed, de-risk entire countries or sectors.”

He added, “There’s never been a better time to find those win-win solutions. There are trillions of dollars sitting on the sidelines, earning little interest, and investors are looking for better returns. That capital should be mobilised to help us meet the exploding aspirations of people all over the world. And with the crises we face, our task is much more urgent than we ever thought.”

While responding to a question on aid effectiveness, Yong Kim said, “One of the things that we found is that foreign direct investment often has a much higher impact, much stronger impact on improving institutions and government than aid by itself.

“This is why we’re trying to bring together the financing we provide to governments and also the financing that comes from the private sector to create better institutions, more investment, more jobs, more economic growth, in a much more synergistic way.

“I think that’s the one thing we need to do much more effectively than we have in the past, because even inside the World Bank Group, the public sector side of the organization and the private sector side of the organization, for the most part, worked almost independently.

“Now, what we’re going to do is try to help both institutions evolve so that we can talk about de-risking entire countries with policy reform, improving the business environment, and at the same time facilitate the movement of private capital in a way that will lead to, we hope, more economic growth throughout the developing world.”

The World Bank president said his group was taking the issue of corruption concerning its interventions in countries seriously.

He said, “We at the World Bank Group have all kinds of measures, and we audit every single project.  We follow the possibility of corruption very, very closely. So, on corruption and misuse of loans and grants that don’t give any outcomes, we have been following that for a long time, but I think the big question now for us in terms of aid effectiveness is we have got to stop fighting each other for the low hanging fruit projects.”

Yong Kim urged countries to take education seriously as it is the bulwark against the impending employment crisis.

“You’ve got to reduce childhood stunting. You’ve got to improve your educational system, improve health outcomes.  And part of the reason that we’re focusing so much on private sector investments for infrastructure is so that we can try to free up resources to invest more in human beings so that more developing countries can be ready for the great complexity that’s about to come.”

Source:

http://tribuneonlineng.com/nigeria-others-lose-66-jobs-automation-world-bank/

3D-Printing Tools from Martian Dust Will One Day Help Us Colonize Mars

One of the many challenges of colonizing Mars is that the planet is lacking many of the natural resources we rely on here on Earth. We’ll need to bring as much of what we need to survive as possible, but you can only pack so much into a spaceship. So scientists are developing ways to utilize at least one of the red planet’s most abundant resources: dust.

We’ve had a hard time coming up with reasons as to why everyone needs a 3D printer here on Earth, but on Mars the machines could be used to manufacture tools, spare parts, even entire structures, habitats, and vehicles, given there’s no hardware stores for astronauts to visit if we eventually send humans on the 34 million mile journey. But 3D printers don’t make things out of thin air.

Adidas will produce 3D-printed sneaker with the Futurecraft 4D

Adidas has unveiled what it presented as a giant leap forward in the way sneakers are made.

The company revealed a new sneaker, the Futurecraft 4D, created with a 3D-printing process developed by the Silicon Valley startup Carbon. It says the process allows it to rapidly produce new sneaker designs and scale them up to mass-production. To start, it expects to release 5,000 pairs this year, and more than 100,000 by the end of 2018. That’s not a huge amount for a company that sells hundreds of millions of sneakers every year, but it’s a significant start—and it positions the company as a pioneer in mass-produced 3D-printing manufacturing.

Adidas plans to continue scaling up production through 2021. It didn’t say how much the Futurecraft 4D will cost, except to explain that it will come at a premium to start. But it says it is working to lower costs and increase manufacturing capacity.

The real benefits of the technology, however, go beyond just one shoe. In typical sneaker manufacturing, where the sneaker’s midsole is made with foam, the process goes: design, prototype, tooling, and finally production. Tooling involves building the metal moulds used to make the soles, and it’s expensive and time-consuming.

But now, says Gerd Manz, Adidas’ VP of technology innovation, “once the design is finished, you press a button and you print your midsole. This is a matter of two hours. Traditionally it takes you more than a month to build a mould to build a product.”

What that means is Adidas can speedily produce new designs, test them on athletes, and then put them into production if it chooses, without any major investment in new tooling. For example, since Adidas partnered with Carbon about a year ago, it went through 50 iterations of the Futurecraft 4D before arriving at the final product.

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Manz says the company foresees being able to quickly create soles tailored to specific sports, or even specific markets, and ultimately the goal is to allow a customer to be able to walk into an Adidas store and have a customized sole printed for them while they wait. (The company is already experimenting with allowing shoppers to get a sweater 3D-knitted to their specifications at a pop-up in Berlin.)

The German brand and its big rivals, Nike and Under Armour, have all been experimenting with 3D printing, but so far it’s been mostly restricted to creating fast, inexpensive prototypes. Adidas looks like it will become the first to put a 3D-printed sneaker into mass production.

What makes all this possible is the 3D-printing process created by Adidas’ partner in the venture, Carbon, whose investors include BMW, GE, and Nikon. Where most 3D printers fuse together layers of plastic, Carbon’s method, inspired by the T-1000 robot from Terminator 2, uses light and oxygen to create an object as it’s extracted from a pool of gooey, photosensitive resin. Here’s how Quartz technology reporter Mike Murphy has previously explained it:

A light shines through the pool of resin, which causes the resin to harden. Oxygen, on the other hand, causes the resin to liquify. Using them both in combination, a light source can be intricately controlled like a three-dimensional film projector, so only certain parts of the resin are pinpointed and hardened as the object is pulled out of the goo.

 

Adidas and Carbon say the process lets them create more complex geometric structures than other 3D-printing methods, allowing for better performance, since the midsoles can be designed to cushion and respond differently to specific areas of the foot. It’s faster, too—between 25 and 100 times faster than traditional 3D printers, according to Carbon CEO and cofounder Joseph DeSimone.

The final product has a smooth surface and looks like one piece, rather than the rough, layered look produced by other printers. It’s an important detail when you’re selling consumer products that double as fashion.

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