'Processed food is practically 3D printed. The difference is, this is with fresh, real ingredients …

Lynette Kucsma, founder and CMO of Barcelona-based Natural Machines, believes that in 10 to 15 years, 3D food printers will be a common kitchen appliance, like ovens or microwaves are today.

“It’s not as crazy as it sounds because if you eat anything from a food manufacturer today, you’re practically already eating 3D printed food,”​ she says. “What a food manufacturer does is take food, push it through machines, push it and form it. We’ve taken the exact same concept but shrunk it down to a designed kitchen appliance. But the big difference is, we allow you to use your own fresh, real ingredients.”

Kucsma, who was named one of 2015’s seven ‘tech superheros’ to watch by CNN and presented at this week’s Ingredients Show in Birmingham, speaks a lot about “fresh, real ingredients​”.

In fact, she says one of the main reasons she decided to create Foodini – the name of its 3D printing machine – was to counter the prevalence of processed, packaged food.

A big differentiating factor between 3D printers and other appliances that are already established – Nestle’s Nespresso, for instance, where consumers have to buy the pre-filled capsules – is that Foodini users can choose what goes into the empty, stainless steel capsules, she says.

“It’s designed to get people back into their kitchens, using fresh, real ingredients, which is one of the macro trends at the minute. People want to know where their food comes from and what’s in there.”

Natural Machines is currently engaged in a number of research and development projects with food manufacturers who are keen to understand the technology, see how it can benefit their business and, ultimately, monetise it, Kucsma says.

Three fun DIY projects: 3D printed chess set, handheld self-propelling device, Nintendo Switch …

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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China Food and Drug Administration Issues New Draft Guidance for 3D Printed Medical Devices


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Regulations make the world go ’round…especially when it comes to 3D printed medical devices. The US FDA released draft guidance in May 2016, seeking feedback and continuing to explore the technology. In December 2017, the FDA issued its guidance on medical 3D printed devices, a move with implications on business operations and one pointing to a growing focus on additive manufacturing for the agency. Looking outside the US, other parts of the world have their own regulations and guidance when it comes to medical 3D printing as the technology continues to be adopted around the globe.

Over in Asia, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) formally approved the manufacture and use of 3D printed hip implants, specifically those manufactured with metal 3D printing technologies, back in 2015.

This month, the Chinese regulatory agency’s Center for Medical Device Evaluation (CMDE) announced that it had issued new draft guidance regarding regulatory requirements for the complex sector of 3D printed medical devices.

The newly published guidance by the agency’s medical device market regulators, titled “Guidelines for the Technical Review of Custom Additive Manufacturing Medical Device Registration,” is meant to answer industry questions in regards to how the CFDA will go about approaching the regulation, and registration requirements, of important 3D printed medical devices on the Chinese market.

In a translated quote, the introduction to the new guidance states, “This guidance is intended to encourage the development of innovative medical devices, be customized additive manufacturing for the applicant (or simply ‘3D Print’) Medical Devices the registration application to provide technical guidance, as well as food and drug administration departments to provide technical reference for the review of registration dossiers.”

In addition to addressing industry questions, this guidance also proposes some specific requirements for the testing and validation of any 3D printed medical device products that are submitted to the CFDA for approval.

3D printed hip implant [Image: GE]

This new guidance covers 3D printed medical device implants for dental and orthopedic applications, along with 3D printed biomaterials and pharmaceuticals.

“This guidance does not cover all the requirements of medical devices specially designed a pharmaceutical composition comprising, cells, tissues and other biologically active substances in biological 3D printing, but can refer to the specific requirements of the applicable requirements,” the translated draft guidance states.

There are a variety of important regulatory proposals set out in the new CFDA guidance, such as requiring validation testing for all 3D printing equipment, materials, processes, software, and final products. It also states that product validations should include anti-pull strength and fatigue tests, usability tests, functionality testing and evaluation, and any components related to these.

The CFDA guidance proposes that clinicians and healthcare professionals should be involved in the decision-making for both the design input and output for 3D printed medical devices, and that environmental parameters for 3D printing must be defined in order to include energy density, gas composition, humidity, pressure, 3D printing speed, temperature, and other related factors.

Additionally, the guidance states that additive manufacturers should be required to conduct cleaning processes for complex 3D printed medical devices themselves, and not outsource them to other companies. The effectiveness of the chosen cleaning method must also be demonstrated.

“For products sterilized by irradiation, irradiation dose required to clear and relevant validation report,” the translated guidance says.

There is also a section on the use of animal models for testing 3D printed medical implants. Finally, the CFDA’s new draft guidance says that the use of 3D printed medical implants needs to involve contracts between the manufacturer, the healthcare provider, and the patient.

Right now, the CFDA is looking for comments from the industry in regards to its new guidance.

The CMDE says, “In order to make the Guiding Principles more scientific, reasonable, and practical, we will publicly solicit opinions on our website from now on. We sincerely hope that experts, scholars, managers, and practitioners in relevant fields can provide constructive suggestions or suggestions and promote guidance. The enrichment and improvement of principles will promote the quality and efficiency of registration declarations and technical reviews.”

Once all stakeholder comments have been received and compiled, the CFDA will issue a final version of its guidance.

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

[Source: Emergo]

Oxford Performance Materials targets Asia after 3D printed medical devices approved in Japan

Mar 21, 2018 | By Benedict

Oxford Performance Materials, a company whose materials have been used in everything from medical implants to Boeing airplanes, has been given the green light to distribute its 3D printed medical devices in Japan, paving the way for major expansion within Asia.

Making a 3D printed medical implant—designing it, sourcing the right materials, performing the necessary medical testing—is no mean feat, but for some companies in the medical field, making such a device is actually only a small step on the road to commercialization. The trickiest part comes later.

That’s because, for a 3D printed medical device to have any value, it needs to be approved by governmental organizations. In the U.S., the FDA performs that role, examining individual products to see if they meet the necessary standards for use on human bodies.

To this end, the FDA recently published its guidance on 3D printing of medical products in order to tell manufacturers what it is looking for in a product.

Connecticut’s Oxford Performance Materials (OPM) is one company that has frequently found itself dealing with the FDA in order to bring its specially designed PEKK (poly-ether-ketone-ketone) medical implants to market. The company’s OsteoFab implants are some of the industry’s most popular, and OPM has had several different implants given 510(k) clearance by the FDA.

That’s the U.S., but what of other markets? While some countries are relatively skeptical of 3D printing and in no rush to approve products that might go wrong down the line, others are taking a different tact. In Korea, for example, Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has explored fast-track options for 3D printed medical devices in order to get the technology developed faster. It’s a risky tactic, of course, but one that can benefit the national economy.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan remains an influential figure in the medical device market. A famous advocate of new technologies, Japan can massively boost a medical device company’s profile by rubber-stamping its products for medical use.

Fortunately for OPM, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has just granted the American company Accreditation of Foreign Medical Device Manufacturer, permitting it to bring its laser melting OsteoFab 3D printed medical device options to the prosperous Asian nation.

OsteoFab combines laser melting additive manufacturing technology with OPM’s proprietary OXPEKK material formulations to offer 3D printed PEKK medical implants for craniomaxillofacial (CMF), spine, and other emerging orthopedic and neurologic indications.

OPM says it has long identified Asia as an attractive market because of “demographic trends and a predictable regulatory and reimbursement environment.” The company also believes that Japanese healthcare companies have an appreciation for beneficial technologies.

“OPM started regular exploration of the Asian market 10 years ago in order to deeply understand the reimbursement environments, potential markets and commercialization opportunities,” said Scott DeFelice, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Oxford Performance Materials. “This accreditation allows OPM to start an export program to initiate market development and advance our Asian business.”

For more information about what Oxford Performance Materials does, read its independently commissioned scientific study into the antibacterial properties of 3D printed PEKK implants.

Posted in 3D Printer Company

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Why 3D printed building is more than a fad

A 3D Printed Home by Icon. The home is a single storey, 650-square-foot house, made out of cement in only 12 to 24 hours, and it was unveiled at SXSW.

We all have an idea of what’s involved in building a house: great expense, a lengthy design process and an even lengthier construction process involving men wearing yellow safety helmets. But this scenario is being upended by the use of 3D printing techniques.

On building sites of the future, the traditional laying of bricks and mortar may be replaced by automated piping of layers of concrete, programmed with precision from the original architectural designs. This is no different from the process that takes place inside a desktop 3D printer – it just uses different materials, and it’s a great deal bigger.

The latest example has just been unveiled by the construction technology company, Icon, at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas – a 650 square foot, one bedroom house, printed in less than a day for under $10,000.

‘Solving homelessness’

With a global housing crisis that will, if unchecked, force about 1.6 billion people into inadequate shelter by 2025, 3D printing offers a glimpse of a solution – not least because the houses unveiled in Austin are pleasant to look at. Unlike cheaply built homes of the past, these are buildings you might actually want to live in.

Solving homelessness is a lofty ambition for a technology that most people associate with small-scale thermoplastic gizmos such as pen holders or doorstops. But 3D printing has made quiet, but significant inroads into many industries, including clothing, aviation and medicine.

The breakthroughs being made in the construction industry have raised eyebrows because of their scale. From the first printed house in Shanghai almost four years ago, to the Office Of The Future constructed at the foot of the Emirates Towers in Dubai in 2016, each announcement is met with collective amazement that construction on that scale could be automated.

The unique building on the Emirates Towers premises will house the temporary office of the Dubai Future Foundation. Wam Sheikh Mohamnmed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, opened the Office of the Future in a 3D printed building in 2016. A 3D printed villa is planned. Wam

“Getting [3D printing] machines of that size is difficult, so flexible robots play a big role,” says Guglielmo Carra from engineering company Arup. It pioneered experiments with printing building elements in metal.

‘Robots don’t need to go home at the end of the day’

“But it’s important to prove that new technologies can work on a large scale,” he says. “You need to think about how a wall can cope with wind, or seismic activity. It also helps with public acceptance of these experiments because if people see a small-scale prototype, they then say ‘OK, but now what?’”

Moving from prototype designs to actual buildings is something that 3D printing handles effortlessly. It is a simple scaling up process that can be done with total precision. That precision brings with it a raft of additional benefits, says Carra. “Reducing mistakes means reducing costs, optimising use of materials and improving sustainability,” he says. “It also has huge scope in terms of freedom of shape. We’ve created very complex shapes in metal that you couldn’t make in any other way, and which have added huge value in terms of the performance of the building.”

The skill and speed with which robots are able to “print” materials, be it using concrete, metal, sand or plastic, puts them up in competition with construction workers – because they don’t need to go home at the end of the day, and you don’t need to pay them.

800 million workers to lose their jobs to robotic technology

A recent report from the McKinsey Consultancy estimates that 800 million workers will lose their jobs to robotic technology by 2030, and the construction industry will undoubtedly make a contribution. But humans will still be needed on construction sites.

“Workers are not going to be left out of construction sites,” says Carra. “Robots can undertake the difficult operations and free up humans to do the less risky work. Also, not all buildings will be 3D printed. Yes, there may be a requirement for it if a building needs to be constructed quickly, or if complex shapes are needed. But 3D printing just offers more choice and more freedom to pick the best process for that specific project.”

The issue of building codes

It’s been two years since UAE Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, announced a plan to base a quarter of Dubai’s buildings on 3D printing technology by 2030, and the first 3D printed villa is due to be unveiled imminently.

More widespread use of the technique across the world, however, may initially be held back by building codes and regulations that lag behind technological change – after all, most countries don’t allow you to just erect a building however you want.

Last September saw the “Bod” (Building On Demand) put up in Copenhagen, the first to comply with EU building regulations, and Carra believes that the rule books will change as the technology consolidates. “Some building codes don’t specifically allow the use of 3D printing,” he says. “But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. It does mean, however, that you have to go through a longer approval process.”

El Salvador is one country that is offering its approval. Icon has announced that it has partnered with a homelessness charity, New Story, to construct a development of 100 of its 3D printed homes there next year.

By that point Icon hopes to have brought the unit cost of each house down to just $4,000. It almost seems too good to be true but of course rolling out new technology at such a scale is not without its problems.

3D Printed Home by Icon which describes itself as "a construction technologies company dedicated to revolutionising homebuilding". Icon is based in Austin, Texas and it was unveiled at SXSW. The home is a single storey, 650-square-foot house, made out of cement in only 12 to 24 hours. Icon’s 3D printed building looks, truly, like a home.

“The issue of scale is one that still needs to be proved feasible,” says Carra. “And of course the technology relies on robots, which requires initial capital investment, so the economics have to be proved feasible, too.”

What is not in question is the agility of the process and the aesthetic merit of the results. “It might sound like a less relevant problem in relation to the housing crisis,” says Carra, “but this is an opportunity to bring better looking housing to certain parts of the world. Nicer environments, nicer neighbourhoods, with buildings that don’t have to look identical and can have variation without incurring extra costs.”

We already know that attractive surroundings are conducive to our well being. What we are now learning is that 3D printed buildings could, at least in theory, improve the quality of life of thousands if not millions of people.


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