Apr 14, 2018 | By David
Here’s a round-up of three more exciting DIY 3D printing projects that have been posted online recently. The hobbyist community has been busy as ever, with a 3D printed chess set, a handheld self-propelling device, and Nintendo Switch accessories.
1. 3D printed chess set
3D printed chess sets are not unique in the hobbyist world, as there’s definitely a lot of overlap between DIY makers and gaming enthusiasts. This most recent effort, from Kiriakos Christodoulou, could take the prize for one of the smallest 3D printed chess sets yet made. It’s also definitely the most impractical.
The set is made out of standard nylong 3D printer plastic, a little higher quality than ABS or PLA. The whole set is 5.3 x 0.16 x 8.2 cm, roughly the size of a credit card, as it’s designed to be able to fit into your wallet. The tiny chess pieces pop out of the rectangular frame at the start, but unfortunately they cannot be put back in there once they’re out. Another issue that may limit use is the fact that all the pieces are the same colour, and only a small hole allows you to tell one side from the other.
What the design lacks in convenience or practicality, it certainly makes up for in uniqueness as well as portability, and Christodoulou says that it was designed for chess emergencies. The set is available to purchase on Shapeways for around $12, in a choice of different colours.
2. 3D printed Self-Propelling Device
A video posted on Youtube by user Ivan Miranda shows some of the exciting things that can be done with propulsion devices. His device is basically four fans combined, powered by a series of motors, and he intends to use it for some kind of major propulsion project.
The main body of the device was made using 3D printing technology, put together in order to integrate multiple fans as well as being capable of attaching to the user’s wrist. The total print took several days and used a large amount of filament. The rest was made using lithium batteries and salvaged motors from various remote controlled items.
This unconventional project is still in testing phases, and Ivan has just finished the thrust test. Visitors to his Youtube page will be able to see where this idea progresses if they keep checking back.
3. 3D printed Nintendo Switch accessories
A keen gamer known as vmnl8r has posted a video on Youtube of some neat accessories he put together using 3D printing, for his Nintendo Switch. They are designed to also incorporate parts from his Lego Technic kit, bringing together two well-loved favourites in a truly impressive little package.
The main piece is based around a 3D printed accessory rail, intended to fit the JoyCon controller. The designs for this were posted on Thingiverse, so other Switch users can take a look and see if they are able to make their own versionModelled closely after the JoyCon, the accessory rail was modified at the design stage in order to be able to incorporate Lego Technics pieces.
What this means is that these Lego pieces can be used to create additional parts for the controller. They can be used to make a functional stand for the Switch (instead of Nintendo’s terrible one), a controller grip, a steering wheel controller mount, and much more besides.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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Jun 14, 2017 | By David
It’s a familiar situation: you’re in the middle of an important phonecall, or you’re navigating your way around town with Google maps, or you’re just about to smash your all-time record score on Candy Crush, then out of the blue your phone dies.
As advanced as much portable technology now is, we still have to put up with its relatively short battery life. And even if you can find a place to recharge, charging times are inconveniently long.
This situation could soon be improved, however, with the development of new super-capacitant materials. Researchers at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) have been using 3D printing technology to test the materials’ ability to quickly store charge.
The newly developed materials are described as “hierarchically porous nitrogen-doped carbons.” Through various experiments, Jasper Biemolt and Ilse Denekamp from the UvA’s Sustainable Chemistry research team were able to triple the materials’ already high specific capacitance.
Their MSc research project, whose results were published in the international chemistry journal ChemSusChem, followed up on the recent invention of this new type of supercapacitor material by Dr David Eisenberg and Prof. Gadi Rothenberg at the Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences.
Biemolt and Denekamp wanted to investigate which factors affected energy storage at the suface of these materials. To test capacitance, a device designed by PhD student Thierry Slot and 3D printed from high-density polystyrene was used. It was known as ‘the Minion’ due its distinctive yellow and green coloring.
The students used the device to make measurements after isolating the nitrogen-doped carbon materials to high specifications of mechanical pressure and structural constraints. By tuning synthesis conditions, they were able to alter the number of nitrogen functionalities at the surface of the materials.
Maximising the number of transient chemical bonds formed by these faradaic reactions meant that they could maximise energy stored, thereby increasing the supercapacitor materials’ capacitance by nearly three times.
Rothenberg, inventor of the new supercapacitor material, is positive about the benefits 3D printing technology can have for chemistry research: “We are just starting to realise the potential of 3D printing for the design and printing of tailored-to-purpose lab equipment,” he said. “As 3D printing becomes more accessible and more types of materials can be printed, designing of equipment for specific experiments will also become easier, and by publishing the CAD files researchers across the globe will be able to print the same equipment in their own labs.”
As industries transition to using sustainable energy sources like wind and geothermal, power storage solutions also need to be improved. Supercapacitors are important power sources for the renewable energy field, as they massively improve efficiency. They are also particularly useful for applications that require fast charge/discharge cycles.
With the materials implemented more in the manufacturing sector, we could soon see significant improvements in smartphone battery life cycle and other areas.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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Nov 14, 2016 | By Tess
According to a recent report put out by marketing research firm Future Market Insights, the global 3D printed medical device market is expected to reach $279.6 million in 2016 and grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.5% over the next 10 years. The report, which estimated a $238 million market in 2015, attributes the significant growth to a number of factors, including the increase in certain medical disorders, increased personal care awareness, a growing geriatric population, and more.
The report, called “3D Printed Medical Devices Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016–2026,” has broken the 3D printed medical device market into six different segments based on the type of additive manufacturing technology used. They are stereolithography (SLA), selective laser sintering (SLS), digital light processing (DLP), fused deposition modelling (FDM), polyjet/inkjet 3D printing, and electronic beam melting (EBM). Of course, within the medical field, each 3D printing technology has its own level of importance and suitability for certain applications, such as the manufacturing of prosthetics, implants, orthopaedics, and dental devices.
In terms of the different segments, SLS 3D printing technology demonstrated the highest revenue share within the market in 2015 and is expected to reach a value of $230 million by the year 2026 with a CAGR of 15.3%. Over the forecast period, however, polyjet printing technologies are expected to grow significantly as well, even surpassing all other segment categories.
The report also addresses the various 3D printing materials used for manufacturing medical devices, including resins, plastics, and certain metals. Among them, the plastics material segment showcased the highest revenue share, with a projected value of $984.7 million by 2026 and a CAGR of 17.2%.
As expected, the report lists orthopaedic implants as the most significant application within the 3D printed medical device market, as it accounted for the highest revenue share compared to other applications. With an expected value of $643.5 million by 2026, the orthopaedic implant sector has a projected CAGR growth rate of 19.9%. According to the report, the hospital end user distribution channel was listed as most important in terms of having the highest demand compared to other distribution channel categories such as ambulatory surgical centers and diagnostic centers.
Like the 3D bioprinting market, the 3D printed medical device market is currently dominated by North America, where it has proved most lucrative. According to the report, the North American 3D printed medical devices market accounted for $105 million of revenue in 2015, a number which is expected to grow. Similarly, while not as high, revenues across Western and Eastern Europe and the Asia-Pacific region are also expected to rise. For instance, Western Europe is expected to see a CAGR of $18.5%, while Eastern Europe should expect a CAGR of 15.6% over the next ten years.
Among the companies making a mark in the growing 3D printed medical device market are industry giants like 3D Systems, Inc., Stratasys Ltd., Arcam AB, FabRx Ltd., EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems, EnvisionTEC. These companies and others are collectively and individually working towards breaking down existing barriers within the 3D printing medical device market, such as material limitations, build size restrictions, and overall costs.
As demand for custom, high-quality, and affordable medical devices grows, there is little doubt that 3D printing will continue to grow as a viable option for medical device manufacturing.
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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