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3D Printing

PolySmooth and Polysher take the edge(s) off 3D printing

While people are understandably pretty excited about what can be done with consumer 3D printers, one thing has to be admitted – the objects created by most of those printers tend to have a fairly rough, layered look to them. Polishing them by hand is one option, but Chinese startup Polymaker is now offering an alternative: a new printing material that essentially "self-polishes" when placed in an accompanying machine.Read More

Siemens previews additive manufacturing on the move with 3D-printing spider bots

If the thought of your workplace being invaded by hundreds of laptop-sized, creepy-crawly robots fills you with dread, Siemens' vision of the future industrial worker probably isn't going to be your cup of tea. A research team working in the Siemens Robotic Labs at Princeton, New Jersey, has developed what are essentially autonomous 3D printers with legs, which could work together to manufacture complex structures such hulls of ships or the fuselage of an airplane.Read More

3D Fashion project set to revolutionize clothing industry

A new partnership between Loughborough University in the UK and garment manufacturer the Yeh Group aims to kick 3D printed fashion into gear. The idea is to cut out the waste of the clothing industry and hopefully arrive at the project's eventual goal, which is to provide a system for personalized, printed polymer clothing that takes just 24 hours to produce.Read More

Boeing proposes 3D printing "ice" for aircraft certification

In another potential aerospace application for 3D printing, Boeing has filed an application with the US Patent Office for a way to make artificial "ice." The company isn't planning on making novelty ice cubes for the first class passengers (yet), but has come up with a way of printing plastic and composite shapes that can be tacked onto the wings and other surfaces to simulate icing conditions. According to Boeing, this will help to streamline and reduce the cost of the aircraft certification process.Read More

Could the 3D-printed cast put plaster to pasture?

If you've ever had a cast on an arm or leg, then you'll know how uncomfortable, awkward and inconvenient they can be. That's why the NovaCast was created, by Mexican startup Mediprint. It's a 3D-printed cast which is custom-made for each patient as needed, and that addresses many of the limitations of traditional plaster casts.Read More

Cocooning caterpillars inspire new 3D printer design

As with its SmartBird, BionicKangaroo and robotic ants, Festo's Bionic Learning Network has once again looked to the natural world for inspiration during the development of a new 3D printing solution. Rather than gradually forming an object layer by layer like a desktop extruder, the 3D Cocooner works more like a sophisticated robotic version of a CreoPop 3D printing pen, hardening the printed material with UV light as the structure is formed. Objects are created in a similar fashion to a spider spinning its web or a caterpillar making its cocoon, resulting in complex, free-standing, three-dimensional lattice structures.Read More

Scientists create "active" 3D printer plastic

3D printers are capable of producing items that can perform all sorts of functions … when power is applied to those items, that is. In the case of commercial-grade printers, however, the build material itself is typically an inert thermoplastic or resin. Researchers at Washington DC's American University have set out to change that, by printing a sponge-like matrix that eliminates pollutants. It's reportedly the first time that a commercial 3D printer has created an object that has active chemistry.Read More

3D-printed bionic hand could soon be yours – if you need it

When we first reported on the relatively cheap 3D-printed robotic hand made by Youbionic back in 2014, we indicated that the device was only a prototype and that the makers were looking for funding to bring it to market. Well, apparently they've gotten the funding, because Youbionic is now taking pre-orders for the device.Read More

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