China is Doing Well in 3D Printing

3D printersToday, we all know about China. It is a very well-known country for producing cheap materials. So, some people might think that China can’t produce high-profile products which is a completely wrong idea. Today, china is focusing on 3D printing technology—a very high-end technology. Very few countries in the world are doing well in this technology, and China is one of them. Surely, traditional manufacturing methods will be used less in the near future. The trend has already started. This article talks about some important improvements in China in 3D printing technology. Read it attentively. You might learn some important information about this wonderful technology.

  • You will be amazed to know that China achieved staggering 163 million dollars last year from 3D printers. It is believed that by 2016, it will be around 1.6 billion dollars which will make China the largest user of 3D printers.
  • Beijing started investing in 3D technology in 1992.
    China organized its first conference on 3D printing in 2013.
  • Dalian University of Technology made the largest 3D printer ever.
  • Today, China has 10 3D printing innovation centers. The Chinese government has already spent 32.6 million dollars in this state-of-the-art technology.
  • One of the best things about China is that in many universities and vocational schools, additive manufacturing technology is a part of their education.
  • If you search on Alibaba, then you will find lots of 3D printers and their providers.
  • Good news is that China has already started selling smartphone cases worldwide.

This is only the beginning. No doubt in the near future China is expected to flourish in 3D printing technology. Not only china, but also other countries are also expected to do wonderful things using 3D printing technology. If they can do it, then the world will be a better, easier place to live in. We hope for the success of 3D printing technology.

Disruptive Technologies: 3D Printing is A Great Technology

3D printersToday, 3D printers are very popular. No doubt it will be more popular in the future. Scientists, designers, and governments have been trying their best to make this technology more beneficial to all of us. Extensive research is going on in countries like the USA, China, Australia, South Africa, etc. According to disruptive technologies, 3D printers will have a major impact on global economy in the future. By 2025, this technology will have an annual value of 230-500 billion dollars.

Like today, major parts and products of 3D printers will be made using the existing technology like injection molding. So, it is obvious that existing technology is really smart.

McKinsey believes that in the future a lot of consumers will be able to use 3D printers. Some of them will have personal 3D printers, and other will get it via a service.

You will be amazed to know that global sales will be about 4 trillion dollars per year in the consumer category. Surely, these are very BIG numbers, but not impossible to achieve. In fact, experts believe that these numbers are not surprising at all.

Recently, Disruptive Technologies published a report on the potential of 3D printers and other technologies like mobile internet, cloud technology, robotics, etc. Chances are very high that these technologies will have serious effect on us in the future. It is a 162 pages report where 20 pages are related to 3D printers. Surely, it is worth reading.

The way 3D printing technology is going forward is really promising. No doubt the global economy, our lifestyle, etc. will be more dependent on 3D printers. Making customized things will be a lot easier than ever. Not only hobby projects, but also sophisticated products will come out of 3D printers in the near future. Good luck 3D printers!

Bring Out Your Inner Child with the Play-Doh 3D Printer

[Photo Source: Hyrel 3D website]

[Photo Source: Hyrel 3D website]

What started as an April Fools’ joke by ThinkGeek is now a reality. Now, the 3D PlayDoh printer is here.

Of course, 3D printing small stuff and gadgets is really fun. But there’s no getting back the raw material that you just used for it once you have your finished product. So, if you just want to play around with your 3D printer, you might want to check this out.

About the 3D PlayDoh Printer

According to Gizmodo, Hyrel 3D, a company that specializes in producing 3D printers just finished the 3D PlayDoh printer. The machine comes with a special extruder that forgoes all the specialized plastic for simpler materials like air-drying modeling clay, plasticine and Play-Doh.

Expensive Toy

However, the product is available at a very expensive price. The report said that it may cost you around $2,000 to $3000 for it. This is indeed pretty costly for a toy. But the good news for it is that you will no longer have any trouble looking for the standard filament commonly used in 3D printing because some of the raw materials which you can utilize for producing 3D images can actually be re-used.

Other Problem

The report also stated that Hyrel 3D does not seem to be offering the extruder on its own. But 3D printing using Play-Doh will only work with its printers anyway. So, customers are still obligated to buy their printers if they want solid fun.

A Learning Tool

The product is perfect for people who want to hone their 3D printing skills, especially kids who are just starting to discover the wonders of the trending technology. Using Play-Doh instead of the toxic hot plastic which is usually utilized in common 3D printers makes it a very safe plaything for kids too.

Source: Gizmodo

UC Berkeley Offers a New Vending Machine for 3D Printing

[Photo Source: Gizmag]

[Photo Source: Gizmag]

The Berkeley campus of the University of California is now offering a new kind of vending machine. I am not talking about a vending machine that would let you get snacks or nice treats but rather a dispenser for 3D printing projects.

According to CNET, the machine is called the Dreambox. So far, the product is the first of its kind. It was conceptualized and made by three alumni of the campus. The goal of the invention is to “democratize” 3D printing. In other words, the aim of the inventors is to provide the masses an easy access to 3D printing.

Driving Factor

In an interview with David Pastewka, the CEO of Dreambox, he said that the idea for the new kind of vending machine dawned on him after a series of frustrations with the university’s own 3D printing facilities. He stated that although the campus offers a handful of 3D printers for the use of students, the waiting times for interested parties usually take up a month.

Recognizing the importance of the tool for educational purposes, like honing the students’ creativity and problem solving skills, he finally gave the project a go with other two colleagues.

A Trending Issue

Pastewka said that 3D printing has been there for a decade already but it is only now that it is getting a massive exposure. In fact, even U.S. President Barack Obama mentioned the technology during his State of the Union speech. It is also a hot topic lately in Congress due to some pro-gun groups utilizing it as a way to easily manufacture guns in the confines of their own homes.

However, Pastewka cleared out that 3D printing a gun in the Dreambox is not allowed. The user agreement that they put in the machine actually prohibits it, he explained.

Source: CNET

Additive Manufacturing Technology is Not Up to the Mark in the USA

additive technologyWe all know that additive manufacturing is a great technology. This technology has made a lot of things very easy for all of us. Since its inception, scientists have been trying their best to give us the best output from this wonderful technology. Developed countries like the USA, Japan, China, and Europe are the pioneers of this technology. But, everyone expects a lot of things more from the USA than other countries. Experts believe that America should pay more attention to this additive manufacturing technology.

Earlier, 10 out of 20 companies were headquartered in the USA, but unfortunately, today only 5 out of 25 manufacturers are headquartered in the USA. You see, how slow the growth is in the USA! President Obama focused on this great technology, but it is not enough. Today, hobby-level good quality 3D printers are available in all American cities, but it is not enough. Everyone expects a lot more from the mightiest country in the world.

Some people believe that the USA is dominating, but according to industry analyst Terry Wolhers, things are not going well in the USA. Also, according to engineering.com, when it comes to creating high-quality professional grade 3D printers, USA does not rank well. Other manufacturers beat the USA easily.

Experts believe that this problem is acute while printing in metal. You will be surprised to know that countries like China, Singapore, and South Africa are ahead of the USA.

Though USA has the biggest 3D manufacturing companies in the world–Stratasys and 3D Systems, but things are not going well in the USA. Today, it needs to import 3D printed things from China. Government should focus on this potential technology more than ever, and the investors should also focus on it more so that it could become the top additive manufacturing country in the world.

3D Printing Saves Baby’s Life

the implant

The 3D printed tube inserted into Kaiba. [Photo Source: MailOnline]

Another medical success which is attributed to 3D printing surfaced again. Apparently, the technology was able to save a baby’s life.

The Patient

Kaiba Gionfriddo has a very rare condition that occurred when he was just 6 weeks old. The condition caused him to stop breathing from time to time. So, when he was brought to the doctor, he was diagnosed with tracheobronchomalacia.

Tracheobronchomalacia is a very rare ailment that is characterized by a weak windpipe which collapses every now and then. This prevents the proper flow of air in and out of the lungs.

In the case of Kaiba, it was so severe that it caused even his heart to stop beating. Thus, a tube was placed in his trachea to aid his breathing. He was also put on a ventilator as a support. However, this seemed to be just a temporary remedy because his life-threatening issue continued.

The Cure

Not to be deterred, his parents turned to the research of Michigan doctors which involved artificial airway splints. But the problem is that it was never tested on a patient yet.

Nevertheless, the parents saw the situation as life-threatening for their young boy so they agreed on it. Upon their approval, the doctors immediately started 3D printing layers of plastic to come up with an artificial airway for Kaiba.

With the approval of the Food and Drug Administration the next day, the operation of Kaiba was set into motion. The 3D printed material was inserted on the baby. After that, the medical personnel noted that the baby was breathing normally for the first time.

Now

Kaiba is now 19 months old and is as healthy as ever. [Photo Source: MailOnline]

Kaiba is now 19 months old and is as healthy as ever. [Photo Source: MailOnline]

A year has passed since Kaiba’s operation and he never had a breathing problem ever since said his parents through the news source. His pediatrician assured that he continues to be healthy since his operation.

A Permanent Solution

Despite the success, Dr. John Brent from New York said that only time will tell if the 3D printed tube inserted in the boy can provide a permanent solution because it is only made of plastic. However, the report pointed out that the splint is capable of growing as the child does due to its carefully placed slits along its length.

Source: MailOnline

3D Printer Prints Bionic Ear

3D printed earToday, 3D printing is very advanced, popular. Scientists have been trying their best to make this nice technology as friendly as possible. Medical sector is one of the most well-known sectors where 3D printing technology is being used extensively. If you are not very familiar with 3D printers, then you will be amazed to know that mastectomy, new liver, new spine, etc. are being made or done using this state-of-the-art technology. Recently, scientists have made bionic ear using 3D printers.

In fact, this is not the first bionic ear. Earlier, bionic ear was made, but this one is special because it can pick radio signals! It sounds incredible, but it is true. Using silver nanoparticles and hydrogel this special bionic ear has been made.

But, this is not everything. Scientists have been looking forward to making other organs. For example, research is going on to make lungs that can work more effectively. Also, heart that can pump faster is going to be built. In fact, extensive research is going on to replace human body as accurately as possible. You will be amazed to know that this sophisticated technology is expected to make bionic products with more capacity than normal human! Another surprising news is that with the help of gene therapies, 3D printers could help human live more than 100 years.

For a layman, this might sound very weird, but it is not an impossible task for 3D printers. Already massive development has been done when it comes to human body replacement, though it is not enough. Lots of research is going on to make better, advanced bionic products. Chances are very high that we will see a lot of improvement in 3D printing technology as millions of dollars is being invested. Big companies like IBM, Sony, HP, etc. should come forward to make something special for human.

MIT and Harvard Come Up with Self-Assembling 3D-Printed Inchworm Robot

[Photo Source: Inhabitat]

[Photo Source: Inhabitat]

Self-assembling robots are one of the recurring themes of science fiction stories. Usually, stories having self-aware robots always mean bad news at the end, just look at Michael Crichton’s novel called Prey. But regardless of what you can make out of the subject, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University researchers have successfully produced a 3D-printed inchworm robot that can automatically assemble itself according to Inhabitat.

Based on the report, the techno organism is capable of transforming itself into an inchworm-robot with the aid of shape memory polymers. Upon printing, it automatically folds itself into desired shapes from a flat 2D object. All these can be accomplished without the intervention of a human hand. Human involvement is only needed in the part where the battery and the motor have to be attached. After that, the fully functional walking inchworm-robot is complete.

The Goal of the Developers

The goal of the team of researchers is to make robots that can pro-create. This will make way for a cheaper and faster production, said the report. “Currently, the goal is just make a more complicated robot, and one that can fold itself and then walk away,” commented Sam Felton in his interview with YouTube.

Future Plans for the 3D-Printed Robot

Inhabitat stated that the last step to make the robot completely autonomous in terms of self-replication would be to enable it to attach the motor and battery all by itself. Felton revealed that the next-generation of robots will be more complex. Thus, they will already have pre-assembled batteries plus motors upon production. The researcher said that it would only take a little tinkering with each robot’s program to enable it to automatically pick and place its own mechanism and power.

Check out the images below for more photos of the self-replicating 3D-printed robot:

Source: Inhabitat

3D Printer Repairs Degenerative Spinal Discs

3D printing spinal discs

3D printing is a great technology. When it comes to medical sector, 3D printing has always been great. Recently, 3D printing technology has been used to make degenerative spinal discs. We all know that back pain is a very common phenomenon for a lot of people. If the posture is not right, then chances are very high that he will face back pain in the near future. One of the main reasons of back pain is degenerative disc disease. According to a stat, about 30 million people in the USA have this critical disease.

To fix this problem, surgery is very common. Surely, surgery decreases the pain, but it limits flexibility of the patients. Also, surgery is not an easy solution for the patients. Scientists were trying to get a better solution than the existing surgery, and finally they have come up with something good. They can now repair discs.

Earlier, the professors at Cornell University created 3D printing ears for rats. Now, they have been trying to repair the spines of rats.

If bio printing is used with stem cells, then it can provide us with the result better than surgery. Within couple of weeks it becomes spinal disc tissue. If everything goes well, then chances are very high that we will get entire discs in the near future. It will be a great solution to those patients whose discs have been damaged greatly. For them, surgery is not a suitable method to fix the pain.

3D printing technology has always been very effective to medical sector. Earlier, scientists made bio printed cartilage to fix arthritis. Now, repairing degenerative discs is going well. We hope this research will be a successful one. If everything goes well, then millions of people in the world will get benefitted. Good luck 3D printing technology.

3D-Printed Handgun By Defense Distributed Now Complete

The Liberator from Defcad. [Photo Source: Forbes]

The Liberator from Defcad. [Photo Source: Forbes]

3D printing has literally gone a long way. We have seen many household items, industrial materials, pharmaceutical products and even weapons come out of it. That’s just mentioning a few of the technology’s potentials.

Around eight months ago, Cody Wilson, a law student from the University of Texas, embarked on a quest to create his very own design of a 3D-printed handgun. And finally, he has succeeded. Next week, Wilson is set to release his masterpiece called The Liberator according Forbes. But now, the blueprints of the 3D-printed handgun is already in Defense Distributed’s online database in the Defcad site.

The Specs

Based on the Forbes report, all the sixteen parts of the Liberator prototype made use of ABS plastic and it was created using Dimension SST printer of Stratasys. The only metal necessary for the operation of the product is a nail that functions as its firing pin. Although the Liberator is a handgun and it is initially designed to make use of standard pistol rounds, the barrel can be interchanged to cater to different calibers of ammos.

Political Backlash

Again, the action of Wilson got a heated reaction from critics, especially from Congressman Steve Israel. A separate news from the source stated that the legislator proposed a bill to include a specific ban on 3D-printed guns under the Undetectable Firearms Act. The said law aims to disallow possession of any kind of weapon that can’t be sensed by a metal detector or X-ray devices.

But being a law student, Wilson somehow found a way to circumvent the rule because he attached a six-ounce piece of steel in the body of the 3D-printed gun for the purpose only of detection in metal sensors. Last March, he also acquired a license to become a legal gun producer.

Of course, this does not guarantee that Defcad’s users will follow the rules set by the law, added Forbes. This is because they are free to remove or modify the metal parts so the weapon can become totally invisible to metal detectors. In addition, they can manufacture their own guns too without serial numbers and other requirements of the law like licenses or permits.

Source: Forbes