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3D Printing

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

3D printer uses light from a smartphone screen to harden creations

Over the past few years, 3D printers have become more versatile and accessible to the average consumer. Many models are easy to use, some of which can occupy a minimal amount of space with footprints hardly larger than a sheet of paper. But the latest 3D printer takes portability to the next level, given that millions already own half of the required hardware. OLO is designed to let users create 3D prints by using the light from a smartphone screen.Read More

Smiling student uses 3D printer to make plastic braces on the cheap

Orthodontics don't tend to mix too well with self-sustaining undergraduate students, whose budgetary extravagances might extend to the odd double serving of instant noodles. But faced with crooked teeth and access to a 3D printer, digital design student Amos Dudley has taken matters into his own hands, straightening out his smile with a set of DIY plastic aligners. Read More

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