3D Printing and imagination used in surgeries

The evolution in the thought process as it relates to 3D Printing is, in my opinion, the real evolution and continued development in this industry, that of the use of 3D Printers. It is really the imagination of the users as to what is possible that sets the bounds of what can be achieved. The uses where I am continually impressed by this innovation is in the medical field. Below I will briefly introduce a couple of these innovations and uses, then you can follow the links to get more details.

First is an article I found on the Stratasys blog about customizing heart valve replacements. This surgery is one of the most common of heart operations and it is being enhanced with the use of 3D Printing. By utilizing the PolyJet printers, body scans of the patients, and proprietary software the medical teams can print valve replacement models to include wavy fibers to mimic the actual fibers in the heart valves. These models are then used to test for leakage between the prosthetic that will be implanted during surgery. This step alone is impressive and helps reduce post-surgery complications. Check out the blog article to learn more.

The second article doesn’t use Stratasys printers, but it has an amazing result. A 20-year-old woman from New York with a rare bone cancer was in need of a new rib cage. Not too many years ago this would have been a story with a sad ending, but thanks to an Austrailian company who worked out the best way to 3D print a replacement rib cage and sternum from titanium. This has been done in other countries but this is the first one in the US. Check out the article here to learn more.

There are many companies who are using this technology in amazing ways to improve the medical devices and surgical practices. We are proud to have several as our customers.

Customer Reaction to the New Nylon12 Carbon Fiber Material

We’ve posted a few times about one of the newest and highly-anticipated materials from Stratasys, Nylon12 Carbon Filled material here and here.  Nylon12 CF is the toughest material ever released by Stratasys, and customers continue to be impressed by both its strength properties as well as its lightness.

From Stratasys:
Containing 35 percent chopped carbon-fiber by weight, and an ultimate tensile strength on the xz axis of nearly 11,000 psi (76Mpa), FDM Nylon 12CF offers the best stiffness-to-weight ratio among Stratasys FDM thermoplastics, meeting the advanced functional testing demands of automotive, aerospace, recreational goods, and industrial manufacturing sectors.

The very high strength-to-weight ratio makes this material ideal for design engineers that need to rapidly produce strong, light-weight and rigid components for functional prototyping, reducing prototyping lead-times and costs and helping get new products to market faster.

Stratasys customer, Eviation, recently sampled the new Nylon12 CF material by having some of their own prototypes printed.  Check out CEO Omer Bar-Yohay’s initial reaction upon getting these samples parts into his hands for the first time.

Want to save your company time and money by getting started with 3D printing?  Curious about the Nylon12 CF material?  Contact our team or schedule a 3D printing demo visit at our Metro Atlanta office.

3D Printing Will Be Used in “Real Life Iron Man” Flying Suit

Ever dreamed of flying like Iron Man?  Richard Browning, co-founder of Gravity is looking to make that dream a reality!

While his jet engine powered flying suit is still in its early stages, it is fascinating to watch Browning in action:

Gravity’s jet engine powered flying suit functions with four arm thrusters and a jet pack strapped to the back of the wearer.  The “pilot” also has fuel in a backpack.  Each arm thruster combination weighs in at around 90 pounds (talk about an arm workout!) and can reach temperatures as high as 700°C.

Browning looks to kick the suit up a notch in its next design by incorporating wings and metal 3D printing.

From 3Dprintingindustry.com:
The next iteration will feature temperature proof, one-piece, aluminium housing for the thrusters. “I’m quite excited about that,” says Browning, “we’ve fully CADed up a beautiful, organic inspired housing, and that’s being 3D printed now.”

This extremely custom and new application makes it a great fit for 3D printing. As a super hero and tech nerd, I can’t wait to see what the Gravity team will do next!

For more info and to see the full story, visit 3Dprintingindustry.com.

MakerBot Announces Updates Geared to Help Educators with 3D Printing Curriculum

Having a family filled with educators, I know how hard teachers work.  It seems like every update I hear about the field of education is aimed to make teachers’ lives harder–not easier.  Luckily, for those in STEM education, or who teach a course involving 3D printing, MakerBot is adding a couple of resources they hope will help you reduce at least a fraction of that stress you might feel from August to May!

MakerBot (extrusion 3D printers) is at ISTE this week, one of the country’s largest Education and Technology trade shows.  As they continue to expand their educational offerings, the company has made a couple of interesting announcements this week.

My MakerBot
Coming in time for the 2017-18 school year,  My MakerBot is a cloud-based platform that allows users to start and monitor prints right from their web-browsers. This new functionality opens up the world of MakerBot to Chromebook classrooms, which are quickly becoming K-12 education’s most popular laptop. Additionally, MakerBot is partnering with Autodesk to connect My MakerBot directly to Tinkercad, the widely used entry-level 3D design program. The new connection will allow students to create 3D models then print them in fewer steps than ever before, without leaving their web-browsers. My MakerBot is poised to set new standards in ease-of-use and access to 3D printing.

MakerBot Educators Guidebook
The next MakerBot announcement is the new MakerBot Educators Guidebook, which will be available in full by the 2017 school year. The 150+ page guidebook will feature a crash course in 3D printing and design as well as collection of nine classroom-ready 3D printing projects. Highlighting project-based learning at its best, MakerBot Educators Guidebook was written in collaboration with over 80 MakerBot Educators and is packed with resources for enhancing STEM learning and student engagement in classrooms.

Makerbot Educator Guidebook

Are you an educator who currently incorporates 3D printing into your curriculum or are you looking to add this technology into your lessons but not sure how? Be on the lookout for more updates and additional details from MakerBot soon!

Advanced RP Partners with Desktop Metal to Offer Metal 3D Printing Capability

Can your company 3D print in metal?

This is one of the most common questions I get asked at every marketing event and trade show.  I’ve always had to reply “unfortunately not at this time, but we’re hoping to offer that one day”.  I’m excited to announce that day has finally come! Advanced RP is partnering with Desktop Metal to offer their revolutionary metal 3D printing technology.

Most high-quality metal 3D printers cost $500,000 and up to get started.  Desktop Metal’s Studio 3D printer is breaking down barriers for so many companies by offering a professional metal 3D printer for $120,000.

Studio 3D Printer (*available fall 2017)
desktop metal 3d printer

– Simple installation
– Easy to use
– Office friendly

Studio 3D Printer Pricing
Studio 3D Printer Spec Sheet

Production 3D Printer (*available in 2018)

– Designed for mass production
– Competitive cost-per-part
– 100x faster than laser-based

We will be hosting an Open House for you to come and interact with the Studio system once we receive one in our Atlanta area 3D printer demo center.  Be on the lookout for this event in order to reserve your spot.  If you’re interested in learning more about Desktop Metal, please contact our team.


New & Improved Digital ABS Material – Digital ABS Plus

Stratasys recently released its latest ground-breaking advancement in PolyJet material technology:  Digital ABS Plus. This is a new, advanced version of the high performance Digital ABS material released in 2011. The new Digital ABS Plus material, available on Connex3, Objet1000/1000 Plus and legacy Connex platforms features new levels of mechanical performance, with an excellent impact resistance & shock absorption of 90-110J/m (or 1.69 – 2.06 ft lb/in).  That’s an improvement of up to 38% compared to the original Digital ABS material.

The new toughness of the Digital ABS Plus material makes it ideal for all stages of the rapid prototyping process, from design verification to functional performance testing. Also, the added toughness makes it ideal for all types of jigs and fixtures, parts featuring drilled and inserted metal components as well as short-run injection molding tools.

The material comes in the same 2 colors: green and ivory. For 3D printing extra thin walls below 1.2mm (0.047 in.), the material is also available in the Digital ABS2 Plus version.

Some tips to help you get started with Digital ABS Plus:

  • If you are printing fine features and thin walls, below 1.2mm (0.047 in.), don’t forget to use the SUP706 soluble support to ensure your thin walls, delicate parts and internal geometries come out clean and perfect.
  • Make the most of the Connex3 printer accuracy combined with the strength of the Digital ABS Plus to create really precise fitting yet functional mechanical connections, like screw threads, interlocking gears, snap fits and friction-fit fasteners.
  • The high toughness and temperature resistance of Digital ABS Plus makes it a strong choice for creating functional prototypes for Consumer Electronics, Commercial Goods, Automotive, Aerospace, Industrial Machinery and Equipment. Thermal treatment of Digital ABS Plus and Digital ABS2 Plus parts in a programmable oven improves the heat resistance further.
  • Combine the Digital ABS Plus material with the new Agilus30 material to simulate functional yet realistic prototypes that feature rubber-like over-moldings & soft-touch parts or to make on-part text and instructions really stand out.

The rotating fasteners used in the image below shows a patented male-female mechanical connection,  designed by our friends at Rotite. Wanting to see how tough the material really is, our engineers printed the connectors in the new Digital ABS Plus material and bolted the female connector to the low ceiling in our parking area. The Rotite part’s unique geometry, together with the toughness of the Digital ABS Plus material allowed them to do as many pull-ups as they wanted, supporting the weight of a person easily via the hand-holds on the male connectors. You can see the experiment at 00:25 – 00:30 in the video above.

View the original post on the Stratasys blog.

Stratasys Q&A: Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber Material

Zehavit Reisin is the VP of Rapid Prototyping at Stratasys.  He recently sat down with Sam Green to discuss the new Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber FDM material.  This much-anticipated material offering looks to bring added strength capabilities to the current Stratasys FDM material line.

Nylon 12 CF, Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber, 3D Printer material carbon fiber

Here’s what Zehavit and Sam had to say about the new Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber material.

Sam Green:
Zehavit, so summarize for us what is the new Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber material?

Zehavit Reisin:
Well, Sam, this is our first high performance FDM composite material containing 35% chopped carbon fiber by weight. This gives the material an exceptionally high strength-to-weight ratio that opens up new possibilities for functional prototyping, tooling and custom manufacturing.

Can you give us a typical industry use case example?

So, a company manufacturing aircraft rotor blade components would start by 3D printing their designs in a standard plastic material on our FDM 3D printers. But to test the prototypes in high-performance conditions, they would leave the automated 3D printing environment behind and turn instead to metal tooling and milling. This adds time, money and inconvenience to the entire product development cycle. With 3D printed Nylon 12CF material, you can create an exceptionally strong, light 3D printed blade prototype and continue testing it in a range of real-world conditions.

So what business benefits does this impart?

In terms of prototyping time alone, by eliminating the metal tooling you’re looking at a reduction from many months to just a few weeks, which, depending on your industry and scale, could translate from hundreds of thousands to many millions of dollars in development costs.

What about the pure design advantages?

One of our customers, Utah Trikes, who manufacture custom trikes have also stressed this point. Whereas in the past, designers would have to ‘limit’ their creativity to fit the geometric constraints of the aluminum or metal shaping tools or worry about how they’d lay up the carbon fiber onto the molds, this is now no longer the case.

So designers and manufacturers can create parts they wouldn’t have been able to make previously? That’s huge!

That’s exactly right. And that alone is a game changer for companies looking to disrupt the market and create the next generation of products that out-perform their competition.

So, better designs and a more cost-efficient product development cycle. Is that the bottom line?

Yes indeed.

And how does it compare to other similar solutions?

The material’s ultimate tensile strength of almost 11,000 psi on the xz axis, together with the fast build speed, large-tray size and excellent z-strength out-performs all other similar Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber 3D printed solutions on the market today.

Thank you for your time today Zehavit.

A pleasure.

Learn More

The Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber material is available for order today on Fortus450mc production systems.  Learn more about Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber on the Stratasys website.

GrabCAD Updates – Introducing Version 1.6

GrabCAD has released another set of updates!  These enhancements aim to improve the value of Stratasys’ 3D print technology, provide additional capabilities and services, and respond to feedback GrabCAD has collected from customers.

New in GrabCAD Print Software Version 1.6:

Operating Hours Feature
Once enabled by your company admin, Operating Hours feature will automatically adjust the printer queue to reflect print jobs started during your working hours. This will help make your schedule forecast more accurate.
GrabCAD Print Operating Hours

Shift-Select Multiple Models
Select multiple models in the Project Panel.  Changing settings for multiple models is much faster than it was in the past.
GrabCAD Print shift-select

Re-Order Printer Queues
Reorder jobs with click-and-drag in the Printer Panel’s queue list.
GrabCAD Print queues

Additional Updates:
– In order to speed up the performance of the viewer, Model View will show a “simplified” version of your models. You might notice more visible triangles on curved surfaces. This does not impact print quality. To see exactly what will be sent to the printer, go to Slice Preview, or change your Graphics Quality to “High” under System Preferences > Display Settings.

– For F123 Series printers, we now have Brick Mode build style. This is helpful when printing large, dense, solid-fill parts to reduce part curl. This is only when using a slice height of 0.005” with ABS, ASA or PC-ABS.

– FIXED:  For J750 printers, we have fixed several issues that could cause mid-print errors. Please make sure to update GrabCAD Print and the Job Manager to take advantage of these fixes.

– FIXED:  Users who have their display units set to metric will now see the slice height in their unit of choice.

To learn more, view the release notes from GrabCAD.

RAPID 2017 – See the Latest 3D Printing Innovations at the Stratasys Booth

If you’re interested in 3D printing and additive manufacturing technology, you might know that the RAPID show is the premier trade show for the industry.  RAPID 2017 is quickly approaching! Each year, all of the names (both big and small!) in 3D printing attend the event in order to highlight new materials, best practices, interesting customer applications, as well as introduce new systems and technologies to the public.

RAPID 2016 brought us many announcements in the 3D printing world, and we anticipate there are just as many surprises in store for the 2017 event.

This year, Advanced RP is not exhibiting, but Stratasys will have a booth showcasing the variety of 3D printers that we offer.

Join Stratasys at booth 1513 and experience their powerful, new technologies through:
– Guided booth tours with Stratasys experts
– Hands-on system and material demos
– Detailed customer use cases
– Scheduled presentations from the Stratasys team

*Make sure to visit Stratasys at booth 1513!

If you’d like to register for a guided tour of the Stratasys booth, you can also reserve your spot here.

Jacobs Institute & Stratasys – Medical 3D Printing Open House on May 1st

What: Jacobs Institute & Stratasys Medical Open House
When: May 1st from 8:30AM-1:00PM
Where: Jacobs Institute / 875 Ellicott Street Buffalo, NY 14203
More Info: registration information

Many medical professionals are beginning to realize the importance of 3D printing for medical applications.  It seems that every week there is a new story about 3D printing assisting with surgical planning or training.  Although many doctors are interested in using the technology, the question remains – how can they learn more about how to implement 3D printing within their practice?

Stratasys and The Jacobs Institute are partnering to host an Open House on May 1st in Buffalo, NY.  This is the perfect opportunity for any medical professionals interested in 3D printing to come meet other doctors who have used the technology for surgical planning, as well as talk to applications engineers & university professors about the benefits of 3D printing within the medical field.

Learn more about how clinicians, engineers, and scientists at the Jacobs Institute have tapped into the versatility of 3D printing for a variety of applications including:
–  Surgical planning on patient specific phantoms
–  Training on clinically relevant phantoms
–  Evaluating new medical devices on validated models
–  Creating custom tools to enable new research.

Reserve your spot by registering today.