After a skiing accident, Amanda Boxtel was left with no sensation or movement below her pelvis, and for the past 22 years, she has been wheelchair-bound. Recently, however, Amanda has (quite literally) taken steps to improve her mobility. Through close work with two technology companies, Amanda has become the inadvertent spokesperson for a new era of bionic technology. 3D Systems and Ekso-Bionics teamed up to help Amanda get a 3D printed and articulating exo-suit custom fitted to her own body, that enables Amanda to stand and walk unassisted.

In a newly released video, Amanda shares her personal views of the meaning of the neuro-prosthetic suit. “For the first time I feel as if the exoskeleton is truly one with me,” she says on the video. “It’s as if it was an extension of my body.”

In her view, bionic exo-suits will not only give paralyzed individuals the opportunity to reclaim freedom of movement, but will evolve into an art form that is built from each individual’s personal blueprint.

Learn more about Amanda’s journey by clicking here or on the image above

 

The term “haptic” is the name for... A new cholesterol medication? The newly discovered 64th moon of Jupiter? A line of skin care products developed by French chemists?

Not quite. In fact, we’ve already got haptics all around us: in the cell phones and video game controllers we use every day. “Haptic” is the general term used to describe devices that give tactile feedback to a human user. Haptic devices make the phone vibrate after a keystroke and the video game controller rumble when your souped up rally car slides into a ditch. (Image via www.inition.co.uk)

At the same time, higher end haptic devices are powering a number of true-to-life virtual medical training, research and therapy applications. The Geomagic Touch by 3D Systems is one of the original devices, created by Sensable in the late 90s. Geomagic Touch provides force feedback when users interact with 3D objects, so doctors can more realistically simulate surgical procedures, dental students can practice on lifelike virtual models, and researchers can “touch” molecular models.

Inition has featured a number of haptic device applications, which include a wide range of medical training uses, like Virtual Botox. Click here to learn about more of the 3DS haptic device applications used and developed by Inition.

High quality doesn’t always have to come in a big, expensive package. Today, we officially began shipping our ProJet 1200 micro-SLA machine: a small 3D printer that packs a big punch for $4,900. Stereolithography (SLA) sets the benchmark for 3D printing accuracy; with the ProJet 1200, we just scaled it down and lowered the price. So you can quickly produce highly accurate SLA parts from the workbench, countertop or CAD desk. In fact, the ProJet 1200 is smaller than your average coffee maker.

 

What are people using the ProJet 1200 for?

  • Dental work of all types – From crowns to bridges, dental labs use the ProJet 1200 to create smile-worthy, castable patterns in under an hour.
  • Jewelry design – The ProJet 1200’s precision makes it great for creating intricate jewelry casting patterns. Designers don’t have to fret over the manufacturability of complex pieces.
  • Hobbyists – The possibilities are endless. For small charms, RC car parts, miniatures, intricate pendants, replacement cabinet knobs, tiny action figures, electronic components and housings, game pieces, small assembly components... You get the idea. If it’s a small part and accuracy is important, this affordable 3D printer is for you, just don’t let the size fool you.

There are glasses and then there are Mykitas. Each model of beautifully crafted Mykita glasses has a style and look all its own, and even a name (think Chester, Owen, Aretha and Faye) that makes each frame its own character.

This “manufactory” embodies the spirit of the new manufacturing revolution as they combine “precision craftsmanship with new technologies.” One of these new technologies is SLS 3D printing from 3D Systems, which Mykita uses to produce its Mykita Mylon line of sunglasses. These glasses boast “individual adjustability” with a sense of style for the mountaineer or the urban hiker, and the SLS system allows Mykita to produce the frames in virtually any geometrical configuration. (Image via mykita.com)

Mykita has already won an iF material award and a Red Dot design award for the manufacturing process of the Mylon collection and the product design, respectively. 

Click here to see how Mykita creates its Mylon collection.

In its Quality Digest Live webcast, Quality Digest recently featured the new Geomagic Capture Scan-Based Design and Inspection system during a live demonstration. 3D Systems’ Sean Parker was on hand to provide an informative introduction and tour, showing how Geomagic Capture is ushering in a new era of design-to-manufacturing productivity and utility. Click here to see the video.

Geomagic Capture enables designers and engineers to incorporate real-world objects into CAD as a seamless part of the engineering workflow. With its affordable combination of precision scanning, Geomagic software and seamless, push-button integration, users can take their design and production workflows to a new level.

There was a time when we got bread from the baker around the block and clothes from our local tailor. Our CEO Avi Reichental’s grandfather was a cobbler who catered to nearby customers, providing custom-built shoes for specific feet. But somewhere in the industrial revolution, this kind of localized commerce and the craftsmanship that it thrived on was washed out. (Image via blog.ted.com)

But considering the current capabilities of 3D printing, as well as those on the horizon, Avi recently shared with a TED audience that he sees a return to our manufacturing heritage and a renaissance of custom workmanship. We are, he says, going into a “new era of localized, distributed manufacturing” and accomplishing a new quality of life with the freedom and economy that 3D printing affords.

Click here to read more about Avi’s TED talk and hear about the ways that 3D printing is enabling this new manufacturing paradigm in industries like healthcare, entertainment and fashion.

As reported by The Telegraph and ITV News, landscape architects are realizing the benefits of 3D printing by using 3D Systems’ printer technology to build miniatures of their designs. These models, whose elements were all created in Color Jet Printing (CJP) for full-color models, and SLA for robust, detailed models, have been on display at the Strand Gallery in London.

Hobs Studio, part of the Hobs Group of Companies, offers 3D printing and laser scanning services and is a 3D Systems reseller. The company printed the designs of ten leading designers for the exhibit, some of whom are Best In Show winners at the Chelsea Flower Show.

View the article and video from The Telegraph below

As reported by BBC News today, a successful facial reconstruction surgery of patient Stephen Power was enabled by 3D printing and design software at every step of the process.

Using 3D Systems Geomagic Freeform software, custom-built implant and surgical guide designs were created by the team of surgeons and designers at CARTIS (Centre for Applied Reconstructive Surgery) in Cardiff, Wales. Using the patient’s own CT scan data the team also practiced in a virtual space how to move the bone fragments.

(Image above, the surgical guides and implant designs created on the patient's own skull data, using Geomagic Freeform.)

Using 3D Systems’ Color Jet Printing (CJP), perfect 3D printed models of Powers’ jaw and skull were created for practice sessions with the surgeons at Morriston Hospital. Surgical guides were made using 3D Systems’ SLA 3D printing technologies.

An aim of the Centre is to propel surgical procedures into more accurate surgery, with better and faster outcomes. In the case of Stephen Power, the reconstruction has been remarkable, even immediately after the surgery was completed.

(Image above: Source: BBC. Power's appearance before and immediately after surgery)

Adrian Sugar, Consultant Cleft and Maxillofacial Surgeon, said in a recent case study by 3D Systems, “[This] is changing the way we approach surgery and is significantly reducing surgery times.” In the BBC interview he states that results of the surgery "are in a different league than anything we've ever done before."

View and read the BBC News broadcast on this surgery

Read the entire surgical design process in detail at 3D Systems.

(Image above: The CARTIS team, from Lefgt, Dr. Dominic Eggbeer, Adrian Sugar, consulting surgeon, and Sean Peel, product designer.)

 

 

Functional prototypes come in all sizes and shapes, from the mechanical assembly part to... the ukulele.

Realize Inc., a Noblesville, Indiana, rapid prototyping provider, recently made a working prototype of the Hawaiian instrument for its client Outdoor Ukulele. Outdoor Ukulele specializes in making durable ukuleles that people can play anywhere, whether hiking, backpacking or at home. The company needed a prototype of its new tenor ukulele in a material as close to their production polycarbonate material as possible. What’s more, it had to be playable so the folks at Outdoor Ukulele could demonstrate it and presell as many as possible.

To create this fully playable prototype, Realize Inc. used 3D Systems’ SLA technology and Accura® 60 resin, making the ukulele as close to the final model as possible, both in terms of accuracy and material quality.

Click here to see the ukulele in action and read more about the project.

Today we’re checking in with Ian Finn, president of Finnovation Product Development in Rochester, N.Y., who recently acquired a 3D Systems sPro SLS® system. It seems the new machine has added an extra dimension to his manufacturing capabilities in that he can now take on clients who require strong end-use parts in as little as a few days. (Left: Ian with his sPro)

“The sPro SLS 3D printer takes rapid prototyping to the next level: rapid production,” he says in his blog. “This technology puts Finnovation Product Development’s Rapid Production capabilities in the ranks alongside General Motors, Boeing, and Burton Snowboards (to name a few) and allows production of durable prototype or end-use parts that can be delivered in days.”

He goes on:

Having the latest in SLS Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Production technology in house allows Finnovation to meet demanding deadlines and provide cost effective solutions while streamlining any design and manufacturing process. Based in Rochester New York, Finnovation Product Development operates around the clock, 7 days a week, to truly make this technology a “rapid” solution.

To read of Finnovation Product Development’s blog and hear more about how the sPro is helping Ian the reach a new level of production, click here.

Comic books have been providing gasps, villains and near-death rescues for over ninety years. In that time, the book itself has remained mostly the same. But the folks at California-based Cokreeate may have just pioneered something that could lead to a new wave of collectables: the 3D-printed comic book cover.

Cue singing angels in the ears of comic book lovers everywhere.

For the first go at a 3D printed comic book cover, Cokreeate chose issue #9 of “Brimstone and the Borderhounds,” written by professional wrestler, comic book writer and friend of Cokreeate, Brimstone. After completing the 3D design work of the cover, Cokreeate used our ProJet® 460Plus to do the final print in full color. (Left: The original cover and Cokreeate's 3D-printed cover.)

Cokreeate (www.cokreeate.com) helps people capture memories and moments by turning 3D scans into personalized, ColorJet-printed figurines. The company also creates full-color photograph extrusions.

To read more about the 3D-printed Brimstone comic book cover by Cokreeate, click here.

To give you an idea of the type of people they let into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), think Edison, Tesla, Eastman, Whitney and Goodyear. Now, as the 2014 NIHF finalists have been announced, we’re proud to see a name that’s meant so much to 3D Systems added to the list: Hull.

It’s official. Chuck Hull, 3D Systems’ founder and CTO will be welcomed into the NIHF at a ceremony on May 21, 2014, at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Va.

This is undoubtedly a huge moment in a 3D printing career that began over 30 years ago, when Chuck produced the first successful 3D print and pioneered the Stereolithography (SLA) printing technology. Chuck set out to develop a faster and less expensive way to build prototypes, but his invention has ballooned far beyond his expectations, as it powers new medical applications, aerospace developments, film and entertainment projects and more.  

Congratulations, Chuck. We’re proud of you and what you’ve accomplished.

Click here to read more about Chuck’s induction into the NIHF.

Click here to see a CNN feature about Chuck.

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