All posts filed under: Technology

Additional Organizations

There are additional companies that produced 3D printing systems. Formlabs, PP3DP Company (China), Ultimaking Ltd. (Netherlands), and Solidoodle just to name a few. Formlabs, based in Massachusetts, was founded in 2011 was well known for raising close to $3 million in a Kickstarter campaign, and for also creating the Form 1 and Form 2 3D printers. Formlabs and PP3DP Company Formlabs was founded by Maxin Lobovsky, Natan Linder, and David Cranor. The three students met while students at MIT, in the Media Lab. They used their experiences at MIT, as well as Lobovsky using his experience with the Fab@Home project at Cornell University to create FormLabs. FormLabs was developed to create an easy-to-use and affordable desktop stereolithography 3D printer, while receiving early investing from Mitch Kapor, Joi Ito, and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavor. FormLabs had been featured in a documentary, titled Print the Legend, which documented the stories of several leading companies in the 3D desktop industry. FormLabs was a leader in the 3D printing world. PP3DP Company (China), also known as Personal Portable 3D …

3D Systems

3D systems, a comprehensive set of products and services, that included 3D printers, print materials, on-demand parts services, and digital tools. The 3D ecosystem helped support advanced applications from the product design shop to the operating room. 3D systems had the ability to simulate, do virtual surgical planning, and print medical and dental devices, as well as, provided patient-specific surgical instruments. The 3D system was the original 3D printer and shaper of future 3D solutions, allowing companies and professionals to optimize their designs, bring to life their workflows, be innovative in their products and deliver new business models. The Early Beginnings 3D systems was founded in Valencia, California, by Chuck Hull, the patent-holder and inventor of the first stereolithography (SLA) rapid prototyping system. Before the SLA rapid prototyping was introduced, prior models were expensive and took time to create. With the introduction of solid-state lasers in 1996, Hull and his 3D team were allowed to reformulate their materials. Hull was replaced by Avi Reichental in 2013, while Hull remained an active member of3D systems’ board …

Rep Rap Organization Project

The RepRap Printer, also called the Replicating Rapid Prototyper, was created as a starting point for the British to develop a 3D printer. This 3D printer would be able to make a copy of its own items, at a low cost. With the RepRap able to make copies of its own items, the makers envisioned the possibility of the RepRap units being cheap, allowing the manufacture of more complex products without having to use complex industrial infrastructure to make them. An initial study done on the RepRap supported the claim that by using RepRap to print common products, there were major economic savings. These saving were also more cost efficient since the RepRap printers was able to clone themselves. Making the savings even greater. RepRap, started by Dr. Adrian Bowyer in 2005, a mechanical engineering lecturer at the University of Bath, UK, was first prototyped in September 2006. Adrian Bowyer, a British engineer and mathematician, after spending twenty-two years as a lecturer, then retired from academic life. The first model of the RepRap successfully printed …

Fab@Home Organization

Fab@Home, the first multi-material 3D printer made available to the public, was also one of the first two open-source do-it-yourself 3D printers. The other printer was the RepRap. The goal of the Fab@Home project was to change the high cost and closed nature of the 3D printing industry by creating a low-cost, versatile, open printer. Since the Fab@Home release in 2006, there had been hundreds of Fab@Home 3D printers built across the world. The design elements of Fab@Home could be found in many do-it-yourself printers, more often in the MakerBot Replicator. The Fab@Home project was closed in 2012 once the project’s goal was achieved and distribution of do-it-yourself printers were outpaced by the sales of industrial printers for the first time. Creating a Fabrication System with Low Costs Fab@Home was started in 2006 by Professor Hod Lipson and Evan Malone of the Cornell Computational Synthesis Lab. While attempting to design a robot that could reprogram itself and produce its own hardware, Lipson discovered the need for a rapid-prototyping fabrication machine. The technology for the rapid-prototyping, …

MakerBot Industries

MakerBot Industries, founded in 2009, in New York by Bre Pettis, Adam Mayer, and Zach Smith, was created to engineer and produce 3D printers, using the RepRap 3D printer as their model. Zach Smith was one of the founding members of RepRap Research Foundation, a non-profit program that helped in early research for open-source 3D printers. Bre Pettis, during an art residency in Vienna with Johannes Grenzfurthner/nomochrom in 2007, wanted to create a robot that would print shot glasses for the Roboexotica event and found, while researching, information on the RepRap 3D printer. The MakerBot’s consistent theme throughout their history was shot glasses. Founding, Stocks and Closure – The Company’s History MakerBot started shipping kits in 2009, selling roughly 3,500 units. With demand for the kits being so great, MakerBot owners decided to provide parts for future 3D printers from their own company. Funding for the future printers, was in part provided by Adrian Bowyer, the founder of RepRap, who put up $25,000. The Foundry Group, in 2011, invested $10 million into MakerBot and joined …

Insights into Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) and Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D Printers

3D printing technology is often used to construct highly complex objects of different kinds, properties and materials. Despite its numerous advantages, one major drawback of 3D printers is its traditionally slow speed. For instance a typical 3D printing machine such as Stereolithography (SLA) can take several hours to print a 55mm diameter object and maybe several days to complete a larger object. To overcome this major industry challenge, several 3D companies have come up with more updated and efficient technologies that guarantee quick speeds and utmost accuracy. The modern technologies include Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) and Digital Light Processing (DLP). a) Digital Light Processing (DLP) DLP is a type of stereolithography that is popular for performing rapid prototyping services. The technology uses projector light to perform photo-sensitive polymer cures instead of the traditional laser beam. Although DLP was first developed in 1987 by Larry Hornbeck of Texas Instrument, the first printed installation of 3D printed model with photopolymer technology was published in 1981 by Hideo Kodama of the Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research. DLP prototyping …

Extrusion deposition: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Fused Deposition Modeling stands out as one of the most commonly used additive fabrication techniques. A 3D company called Stratasys uses FDM as trademark as such various open source community entities and vendors to use the term thermoplastic extrusion when talking about the same technology. Printers that use FDM technology are designed to create 3D objects, one layer at a time, beginning with the bottom part. Foto by Markelapellaniz How Fused Deposition Modeling System Works The development process technique involves heating and thermoplastic filament extrusion. During the pre-processing period, 3D CAD file provides an accurate path that helps facilitate thermoplastic extrusion. When the production process kicks in, the thermoplastic is heated and transformed into a liquid state by the 3D printer. The material is then deposited along the extrusion bath in the form of fine beads. The production process also involves buffering and removal of 3D scaffolding material. The final FDM post-processing process involves breaking off the support material. Some of the key components in a typical FDM machine include thermal housing, extrusion nozzle, plastic filament …

Laser Powder Forming (LPF) and Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) 3D Additive technologies

a) Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM) LOM is a highly integrated additive technology that can be used to produce accurate finishes, even though the stability of paper objects falls short of those manufactured using most RP techniques. The objects developed using LOM look very similar to wood. LOM technique can also be deployed on a vast range of materials, besides paper such as ceramics, metals, plastics and composites, but on a limited scope. A typical Laminated Object Manufacturing machines feature components such as portable mirror, heater roller, wastepaper take-up roller, paper feed roll and laser. The other critical operating apparatus includes smokestack and sealed chamber. Over the years, variations of LOM have also been developed by companies such as Mcor Technologies Ltd of Ireland, Helisys, Cubic Technologies and Solido 3D of Israel. The Mcor technology uses a knife in place of laser to cut and separate various 3D layers, before applying a bonding adhesive. The success of Mcor product is attributed to its low cost and excellent marketing strategies. Helisys, which was once a leading supplier …

Inkjet, Polyjet and Multijet Technologies

a) 3D inkjet printing technologies There are several types of 3D inkjet printing technologies in use today; they include thermal phase change inkjets or ballistic particle manufacturing (BPM) and Photopolymer Phase Change Inkjets. Inkjet technologies use squirting to convert build material into a melted or liquid state. The object often hardens after it is released to form a solid mass. Solidscape is one of the pioneer companies when it in inkjet technology, thanks to its reputation for producing fine finished products. This technology is often used to develop complex medical implants and jewelry. How Solidscape Inkjet Technology Works Most Solidscape machines use wax support materials and plastic object. These materials are often used while in a molten liquid state. During the material processing, thermal insulated tubing is used to transfer the liquid into the jetting head. The head releases minute drops of the liquid material following a predetermined geometry in order to create different object layers. Once the layer of the object is fully developed, the milling head pushes over the layer to create a …

What are the Steps Involved in Making Something – i.e. the Process Chain?

i. Conceptualization and Creation of a CAD File Designing of the 3D object is the first step in 3D printing which can be done by drawing the object or downloading the various files that can be sourced from the internet. A wide range of computer-aided design file types are available, and they come in a variety of parameters, formats, and names. A detailed description of the object to be built by the 3D printer is required for the printer to operate. The description of the object to be created then needs to be placed in the CAD file to get the three-dimensional description of the object. Operating the 3D program can be a daunting task for someone who has not been familiar with the program, but there are a lot of helpful guides for different programs. One may need to spend some time to familiarize themselves with the computer-aided design file. Other individuals may opt to create models using the Google SketchUp application. Tools are available with which one can draw lines and shapes. The …