3D printer Witbox Go!

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A superb design for a quality 3D printer for less than 1000 dollars.

  • The first printer with an Android OS
  • Zetup, in-house software that is easy to use
  • Winner of the international Red Dot design award
  • Filament and print bed sensors

BQ is one of the leaders in European technology. Their objective is to help people understand technology, inspire them to use it and develop it. To do this they are committed to education in technology, a DIY philosophy, and Open Source. BQ applies this philosophy to its products (smartphones, 3D printers, and robotics, amongst others) as well as its software solutions, working towards making technology a tool that improves the world and the life of their users.

We manufacture 1.75mm PLA (22 different colours) as well as 3D printers: Witbox 2, Hephestos 2 and the Witbox Go!The first printer with an Android OS.

New Zealand research project explores new design directions for future 3D printed prosthetics

Jan 19, 2018 | By David

As the technology progresses, 3D printed prosthetics are becoming more and more advanced and tailored to the needs of specific types of injuries and lifestyles. A team of researchers based in New Zealand have recently launched a major new project to explore some of the future design possibilities for 3D printing in prosthetics, both in the short term and the long term. Led by the New Zealand Artificial Limb Service, in collaboration with the University of Wellington, the research project also explored the potential for these new developments to be implemented into commercial manufacturing.

The project was roughly organized into four parts, each covering a different design direction that prosthetics could head in with the help of 3D printing. In the short term period, the team focused on new functional fairings and new socket designs, possible in the next 12-18 months. As for a longer period, within the next 7-10 years, multi-density foot printing and information-driven model generation were looked at as possibilities.

The functional fairings concept is geared towards finding new practical applications and uses for prosthetics beyond being just replacements for missing limbs. This could improve the lives of many amputees by transforming what is perceived as a loss into the potential for something more, opening up a space with increased creativity and practicality that only these prosthetic users could access. The team suggested a sport fairing, giving the example of a special prosthetic golf leg. This would have a special golf design as well as an area for spare balls and tees to be stored. There could also be special children’s fairings, with creative designs that appeal to their sense of fun and imagination.

As for the new socket designs, these would be adjustable according to size fluctuations at different times, hopefully making it no harder for a user to put on their prosthetic than for someone to put on a shoe. The team reached out to the Auckland Bioengineering Institute to better understand what might soon be possible for this kind of personalization, with the help of 3D printing technology. Soft tissue scanning can generate an accurate volumetric mesh of a patient’s limb, which allows technicians to visualise what areas of the stump are tolerant or sensitive, or what is hard and what is soft. This means that they would have a better representation of how the socket design should be sculpted. Experiments were carried out with ABS as well as the more advanced TPU material, with the latter being more promising in terms of material properties but coming with an inconveniently long post-processing time.

For the long term, ways to more cheaply produce multi-density foot prosthetics, which are currently prohibitively expensive, were explored. One of 3D printing’s advantages is the way that fill densities can be varied to match desired object performance. This is useful for making prosthetics that are simultaneously stronger and more flexible. To explain this, the team quotes a MIT student talking about the properties of natural structures: “Nature always uses graded materials. Bone, for example, consists of a hard, dense outer shell, and an interior of spongy material. It gives you a high strength-to-weight ratio.’’

There are a number of multi-density 3D printing systems used in other sectors, and the NZALS’ future approaches could take inspiration from these, such as Nervous Systems 3D printed midsole technology for New Balance, or Materialise’s similar system, which is used by Adidas. 3D printed TPU would be the way to go for multi-density prosthetics, and hopefully the technology will advance to make it easier to print with this material in future.

The future of information-driven model generation for prosthetics should see the implementation of the aforementioned soft tissue scanning, as well as what is known as Computational Anatomical Movement. This makes use of scanning, tracking and video analysis so that researchers can examine the force of each muscle, as well as the gait that a particular patient is taking and various other human body movement factors, in order to create a more personalized prosthetic with improved comfort and performance.

The researchers tested out the Stratasys Fortus as well as the UpBox FDM machines, finding pros and cons with each. They concluded that the best solution would be to use an online 3D printing service, which could provide more efficient printing with its specialized expertise and access to a variety of technologies. Shapeways, I.Materialise, and Objective 3D were also suggested as options.

According to NZALS chief executive Sean Gray, New Zealanders are great guinea pigs for developments in prosthesis technology, because they tend to test their limbs to the limits.”People have broken them because they have had them in a ski boot.”, he says. The work carried out by NZALS in collaboration with the University of Wellington and other institutions shows serious promise, and should soon lead to significant improvements in quality of life for amputees there and further afield.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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3D Printing of Flooring, Tiling and R&D Tax Credits

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Tiling dates back to both the ancient Greeks and Romans who would design their homes with artistic color and clay. Similar to how the Greeks decorated their floors with colorful tiles, now architects and designers can do the same with 3D printed ones. Present day architects and floor designers take pride in their flooring and tiling designs, and 3D printing of flooring provides revolutionizing opportunities for companies to design their own flooring. Companies such as manufacturers, architects, designers and specifiers that are involved in 3D printing of flooring and tiles are eligible for R&D tax credits which are available to stimulate innovation.

The Research and Development Tax Credit

Enacted in 1981, the now permanent Federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit allows a credit that typically ranges from 4%-7% of eligible spending for new and improved products and processes. Qualified research must meet the following four criteria:

  • Must be technological in nature
  • Must be a component of the taxpayers business
  • Must represent R&D in the experimental sense and generally includes all such costs related to the development or improvement of a product or process
  • Must eliminate uncertainty through a process of experimentation that considers one or more alternatives

Eligible costs include US employee wages, cost of supplies consumed in the R&D process, cost of pre-production testing, US contract research expenses, and certain costs associated with developing a patent.

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the PATH Act, making the R&D Tax Credit permanent. Beginning in 2016, the R&D credit can be used to offset Alternative Minimum tax for companies with revenue below $50MM and for the first time, pre-profitable and pre-revenue startup businesses can utilize the credit against $250,000 per year in payroll taxes.

Floor Material Developments

Choosing the right type of flooring is essential for any business. For instance, chemical testing labs and similar facilities require flooring that is chemically resistant. When specifying a laboratory floor, it is important to know the types of concentrations of chemicals that the floor may potentially come in contact with. Different floor types feature varying tolerances to different chemicals. Typically, materials suitable for flooring in a laboratory environment include vinyl, ceramic, linoleum, rubber, self-leveling resin coatings and resin screed. Although still in its infancy, vinyl and linoleum flooring can be designed and 3D printed.


Chemson, the world-leading manufacturer of polymer additives, has developed the world’s first polyvinyl chloride (PVC) filament for 3D printing. PVC is the second most produced plastic by volume and is associated with many advantages due to its diverse material properties, including but not limited to cost, durability, and recyclability. These benefits can translate to 3D printed flooring. A combination of additives can be utilized to create innovative flooring that is also UV-resistant, weatherproof and fireproof.

Sand, Salt & Cement

Emerging Objects, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an independent, creatively driven think tank specializing in innovation related to 3D printing architecture and building components. Their team of designers and production specialists not only design and 3D print environments for the 21st century, but also provide consultation to companies seeking innovative 3D printing solutions to help catapult innovation. With an expertise in additive manufacturing material development and techniques, the small fabrication studio is able to research how to 3D print using materials such as rubber, wood, ceramic, concrete and salt.

According to Emerging Objects Co-Founder Ronald Rael, “We saw a limitation in what a machine can make because of the medium, and so we wondered if we could reformulate that media to suit our own architectural agendas to print big.”

The company has since taken a vested interest in powder printing technologies and developing new 3D printable materials. Moreover, the Emerging Objects team has focused on using its design process to create building tiles that could help absorb sound, insulate a building, aid in water collection and allow for integrated sensors. In a 2013 case study, the design team demonstrated the feasibility of fabricating a 3D printed house using a combination of traditional construction methods and 3D printed manufacturing.


Aectual is changing the way floors are being designed and fabricated with their sustainable 3D printed terrazzo floors. Recycled bio-plastic material is utilized to create the frameworks of the each custom design before a mixture of granite or marble composite is poured into the remaining spaces. The printable bio-plastic material is made of plants and can be entirely recycled back into the print cycle, creating a zero waste process. The flooring is ideal for locations such as airports, retail spaces and museums because it is able to withstand heavy foot traffic while maintaining an elegant finish.

A zero-waste production is made possible in part by the incorporation of robotics and software. The company employs a large robot with six-axis movement capabilities that are mounted on a track. Coupled with state-of-the-art software that combines parametric design, engineering and digital manufacturing constraints, the extruder is able to make a framework for the design, all at just a few centimeters in height.

Floor Demolition

Arizona Home Floors, a tile manufacturer located in Arizona, uses machines that remove flooring without leaving any dust behind. Company founder Jack King developed a chipping hammer tool called the DustRam and improved its design by way of additive manufacturing. Deficiencies included an exhaustive and costly manufacturing process, as well as ergonomic shortcomings related to the weight of the handheld machine.

Rather than designing and manufacturing expensive molds to produce a lighter, plastic version of the product, Michael Hadley, the company’s lead engineer, suggested first developing a 3D printed prototype. Printed in 50 hours as a single piece of nylon, the cost time and labor savings were significant. Not only was the prototype 9 pounds lighter, testing in the field revealed that the product was able to operate for a full six months before the nose deteriorated, further promoting the idea of expanding the line without investing in a mold at all. Today, the company prints small volumes of the DustRam in-house on their Stratasys Fortus 450mc and continues to make quick adjustments to the product design as needed.

Moisture Barriers & Waterproofing

A crucial aspect when laying laminate flooring in bathrooms is to avoid leaks and excess moisture build-up by first waterproofing the floor. Materials such as high density polyethylene or thermoplastic can be used to 3D print moisture barriers for such projects, as well as in rooms with high moisture content.

Durmaplast, a leading manufacturer and supplier of sustainable cladding for walls, ceilings and floors, produces water-resistant flooring that can withstand extreme humidity as an alternative to traditional laminate or LVT flooring. Intended for wet rooms and bathrooms, Finesse Floor is an innovative concept of modular flooring that combines the benefits of laminate and vinyl with 3D printing.


3D printing has become an emergent technology in architecture and it is taking new directions, including flooring applications. However, new material developments are still in the works. 3D printing of both tiles and flooring provides opportunities for not only complete customization, but overall process improvement during the design and installation phases. Architects, software specialists, engineers, concept developers and builders who are engaged in technical activities involving 3D printing of flooring and tiling are eligible for R&D tax credits.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

Charles Goulding, Alize Margulis and Lara Tomiko of R&D Tax Savers discuss 3D printed flooring. 

Library offers 'Fixed Focus Book Club'

All events are held at the Granville Public Library unless otherwise noted.

Fixed Focus Book Club

7-8:30 p.m. Jan. 18: A topical book club devoted to current events. This month’s book is “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson. Book available at the Front Desk.

3D Printing with Adam And Chris

7-8 p.m. Jan. 18: Curious about 3D printing? Have a 3D printer or thinking about getting one? Stop by the library each Thursday in January and meet with two 3D printing enthusiasts sharing printing insights. Each hour-long session will cover a brief discussion on various 3D printing topics and then setting up designs to print for the week.

Baby Time

10-11 a.m. Jan. 23: Songs, rhymes, and an open play session. Birth to 18 months.

Toddler Time

10-10:30 a.m. Jan. 24: Songs, rhymes, and stories for toddlers. 18 months to 3 years.

Granville’s Test Kitchen: Cookbook Club

6:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 24: Are you a voracious reader? If so, this book club is for you! Every session will feature a different cookbook. Select a recipe to try, and bring a sample for 10-12 people to taste. Pick up a copy of this month’s cookbook, “Budget Bytes” by Beth Moncel, at the front desk.

Preschool Time

10-10:30 a.m. Jan. 25: Songs, rhymes, and stories for preschoolers. 3 to 5 years old.

3D Printing with Adam And Chris

7-8 p.m. Jan. 25: Curious about 3D printing? Have a 3D printer or thinking about getting one? Stop by the library each Thursday in January and meet with two 3D printing enthusiasts sharing printing insights. Each hour-long session will cover a brief discussion on various 3D printing topics and then setting up designs to print for the week.

Submitted by the Granville Public Library

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LOOK: Adidas' 3D printed running shoes are a thing of alien beauty

The sports company is releasing their tech-forward Futurecraft 4D sneaker this week

Published 8:00 PM, January 15, 2018

Updated 10:41 PM, January 15, 2018

FUTURECRAFT 4D. Adidas is set to release the futuristic shoe on January 18. Photo from adidas.com

FUTURECRAFT 4D. Adidas is set to release the futuristic shoe on January 18. Photo from adidas.com

MANILA, Philippines – Adidas is set to release their much-awaited Futurecraft 4D sneaker in New York on January 18, ushering in a new age for footwear.

According to the brand, Futurecraft is the world’s first high performance running shoe with midsoles made out of light and oxygen using Digital Light Synthesis technology by Carbon, a tech company that specializes in the manufacturing of 3D printing technology.

The resulting shoe is one with an alien-esque midsole that looks like it was taken straight out of a science fiction novel.

FUTURECRAFT 4D MIDSOLE. The midsole was made with light and oxygen through cutting edge technology by Carbon. Photo from adidas.com

FUTURECRAFT 4D MIDSOLE. The midsole was made with light and oxygen through cutting edge technology by Carbon. Photo from adidas.com

FOR ATHLETES. The Futurecraft 4D is designed to enhance the performance of athletes. Photo from adidas.com

FOR ATHLETES. The Futurecraft 4D is designed to enhance the performance of athletes. Photo from adidas.com

DIGITAL LIGHT SYNTHESIS. The shoe's midsole was crafted through pioneering technology, signaling a new future for footwear manufacturers. Photo from adidas.com

DIGITAL LIGHT SYNTHESIS. The shoe’s midsole was crafted through pioneering technology, signaling a new future for footwear manufacturers. Photo from adidas.com

Learn more about the technology behind the shoe here:

Local sneakerheads who want to get their hands on these babies should get ready to pay USD 300 for a pair. The shoes will launch in the New York City area through Consortium retailers KITH, Packer, and SNS. Visit adidas.com/futurecraft for more information. – Rappler.com