By Roxanne Rives, 3D Systems

It was clear when 2013 began that 3D printing was entering yet another new and very exciting phase. During this past year, a lot of things have happened in the industry: We’re talking new technology, and state-of-the-art products. As we close out this year, we reviewed the most popular stories from the 3D Systems blog - From playing with virtual clay at home or in the office, to the sweetest sensation of 3D printing, we assure you that there is no lack of excitement in this year’s top five 3D printing stories.

5. EuroMold 2013: EuroMold’s 20th annual show had 3D Systems in the limelight this year with crowd-drawing new releases, a 3D printed band, and an appearance of the man behind the technology, Chuck Hull, the founding father of 3D printing. With over a dozen new 3D products introduced, the excitement is just beginning.

 

4. Sense Scanner Captures Your World in 3D: Traditional photography is so 2012. Take your photography from 2D to 3D with the Sense 3D Scanner. Capture your favorite people and things along with important moments in your life in full color and easily print those models at home on your Cube or CubeX printer, or from the cloud on Cubify.com

3. Introducing Cubify Sculpt: At one time or another in your life you were probably very excited to have a new jar of Play-Doh or were perhaps using the ever famous silly putty to stretch across the living room as a kid. Now that you’ve grown up it’s apparent that your love for modeling in clay hasn’t stopped. This brings us to the number three story of the year, the announcement of Cubify Sculpt - A 3D virtual sculpting software that takes  playing with clay to a new level.

 

2. We (Heart) Metal 3D Printing: The world is consistently fascinated by all levels of 3D printing, but nothing seems more exciting to those in manufacturing and industrial professions than getting a complete 3D metal print.  Materials available include stainless steel, precious metals, tool steel and more.

 

 

 

1. Sugar-Based 3D Printers: What’s not to love about sugar?  Introduced as the “sweetest” new 3D printing technology, this delicate, edible art is making waves throughout the world. 3D Systems was proud to add the addition of sugar-based 3D printers to its lineup of printers in 2013.

BONUS: After reading the year's top 5 picks for 2013, vote on your favorite. We will be giving one lucky reader a FREE 3D printed cloud print. To enter post the following on our Facebook page.  I just read the 3D Printing Countdown: The top five stories of 2013 on 3D systems Blog. My favorite story was ………. and I want to win a 3D printed cloud print.

 

 

This holiday Ohio residents can send holiday greetings far beyond the same old cutout snowflakes and chewy fruitcakes. 3D Systems reseller Rapid Direction is making 3D holiday cards, personalized busts complete with Santa hat, and a variety of other custom holiday-themed souvenirs. They recently debuted their 3D holiday cards on Dayton, Ohio’s Fox 45 news.                                                                 Click picture above to see video

To make these creations Rapid Direction is using 3D Systems’ brand new Sense scanner to bring people into digital 3D. The affordable Sense scanner allows anyone to capture their world in 3D and memorialize important events, like the holidays. After capturing the 3D scan, they edit and add Christmas touches to the face model using Geomagic Studio. Finally, Rapid Direction prints the items on 3D Systems’ x60 full-color 3D printers, which provide CMYK color capabilities for amazing, vibrant models.

 

 

Portuguese 3D graphic artist Pete Goncalves wanted to create a tabletop light that exemplified modern sensibilities while being customizable to suit the mood in any interior space. Thus he designed the Stem Light and turned to Edison Nation’s Enventys to help him make it. Enventys provides industrial design, engineering, prototyping, branding and more so that people like Goncalves can get bring their products to life.

As a valued 3D Systems partner, Enventys uses our entire end-to-end 3D printing and advanced manufacturing solutions to develop their designers’ products. For the Stem Light, Enventys used 3D Systems’ Stereolithography technology to develop parts and get a prototype up and running in a matter of days, at a minimal cost. 

Click here to read more about how they designers and engineers at Enventys did the job with SLA.

Focus Products Group International delivers industrial product design to a large range of houseware manufacturers serving the kitchen, bathroom, retail and hospitality industries. With a focus on superior product design, the company started using 3D printing for prototypes some 6 years ago and had built a fast turn-around time to create prototypes for clients, usually about 1-2 weeks.

But the team felt that time lag was too long and turned to MasterGraphics, a provider of technology solutions and consulting for the manufacturing, building, civil and education industries. The team at MasterGraphics recommended the ProJet HD 3000 (now sold as the ProJet 3510 HD). This printer uses Multi-Jet Printing technologies from 3D Systems to print durable, precision plastic parts ideal for functional testing, design communication, rapid manufacturing and rapid tooling.

“The Projet Multi Jet Printer has been a terrific investment for Focus Products Group,” said Kevin Carr, Director of MasterGraphics Imaging Solutions, LLC. “They‘ve been able to speed up product development – putting a finished prototype in their customers’ hands in significantly less than time than their previous 3D printer –while reducing their prototyping costs.”

Click the image above to watch a comprehensive video which explains the process of design used by Focus Products Group while also outlining the decision-making process which drew the company to choose the ProJet 3D printers from 3D Systems.

Every now and then, when you leave engineers alone to brainstorm, they come up with some amazing ideas. But what’s best about these people is that along with these amazing ideas, they usually have a pretty good concept of how it can be executed.

Just a few weeks before Euromold, this exact process became a reality. Derek Johnson, our Director of Product Management, was looking for ways to demonstrate the multi-material 3D printing available in the new ProJet 5500X system being announced at Euromold. Nick Chwalek, Senior Sales Manager at Geomagic Solutions, happened by and they started talking about Nick’s hobby of tinkering with remote-controlled (RC) vehicles.

Suddenly it all started to click together. Using Nick’s expertise at scanning and 3D design, and Derek’s and Ryan Schneider’s expertise at 3D printing, the idea of 3D printed multi-material tires and wheels for an RC truck, plus a custom-printed body, became real.

(Click on the image above to watch the video of the RC Truck at Euromold)

“We knew that a tire and wheel assembly would be an ideal test of the multi-materials ability of the new ProJet 5500X,” said Derek. “As I was talking to Nick about it, so his passion for remote controlled vehicles came to the fore. Could we do it in the few weeks we had left? We didn’t know but we for sure were going to try.”

(The team, left to right: Derek Johnson, Nick Chwalek, Ryan Schneider)

Nick added, “We were looking at some amazing new 3D printing technologies that were about to be announced and we didn’t stop at just the wheels but figured that the vehicle could benefit from a custom-designed body. So we had a word with Ryan Schneider (product manager for ColorJet Printing) and decided to kick the project off. With the newly purchased RC truck in my hands, I dismantled certain parts and started scanning.”

Using the new Geomagic Capture scanner from Geomagic Solutions, Nick scanned the truck body, processed the data in Geomagic Studio and sent it to Ryan.

Next Nick turned to the wheels. Working on directions from Derek about material properties, he designed the wheels in Geomagic Design Direct using measurements from the original wheel and tire.

“As I designed, I created thicker tire walls than I would have originally, based on the material properties, and shallower detail. Working in Geomagic Design Direct I was able to add the 3D Systems logo in 3D, and I added scaled lug nuts and bead lock hardware to the assembly data. These style details were less than 0.06” in size and yet printed in perfect detail. The wheels look awesome.”

In the meantime, Ryan had created a full-color design on the body data and was ready to print. Because the new plastic 3D printer had already been shipped to Euromold, he printed out several truck bodies on the ProJet 660Pro full-color printer just a few days before the event and hand carried them to Germany.

Said Ryan, “It all came together when I opened the box at Euromold. The tires looked great and the body was easily put on with Velcro. It was really cool to see a functional part made out of multiple technologies and materials come together like we had imagined and talked about. Seeing the idea on the screen is one thing, but seeing the truck in real life and have it work as we imagined were the best parts of the whole project.”

Even though they achieved what was planned for Euromold, the team is now working on other custom changes to the RC truck: new struts, different body styles, perhaps. So at other 3D Systems events, keep your eyes peeled for the ever-evolving RC truck from the team at 3D Systems.

View the video of this RC Truck at Euromold 2013

View 3D Systems' Euromold 2013 videos

by Adam Turner, Engineering Program Manager, 3D Systems

After spending the week at EuroMold, the Super Bowl of the 3D printing industry, the potential for the technology has never been more evident. 3D Systems launched six new printers in addition to a number of revolutionary new materials, which unsurprisingly attracted a lot of existing and new customers to the booth. I was fortunate enough to speak with hundreds over the course of the week, and all of them inspired me to continue working to develop game-changing machines.

One question that continued to surface, albeit in a joking manner, was “When will your printers be able to print themselves?” This topic comes up from time to time amongst the nerds in the office (myself included), but I hadn’t given it real thought until now. Although the 3D printing industry is built upon changing the way the world views manufacturing, prototyping and the overall creative process, very few of the current components in these amazing machines are printed parts. Yet, with the introduction of new multi-color, multi-material and high strength-capable systems, however, we may be closer than we think to having our printers print themselves. After all, our systems are already producing fully functional end-use parts, and our materials selection is growing to include a variety of metals and durable plastics. (Above: A Euromold attendee inspects the ProX 300 metal 3D printer.)

I spent an afternoon at Euromold roaming the halls of the machinery (CNC, EDM, etc.) and molding halls. These traditional manufacturing industries are not sitting idle while 3D printing creeps into their space—their systems are evolving into highly efficient, intelligently automated, and even more cost-effective solutions. As things currently are, additive manufacturing relies on subtractive manufacturing to build 3D printing systems. As ironic as that may seem, the reality is that competition is good for everyone, and it is evident now more than ever.

Are we crazy if we think we can change the world? Most of us like to believe it’s possible, but few of us are fortunate enough to work in industries where that is our daily mission. Creating a printer that could print itself would certainly be a start. 

Tucked in NASA Research Park, just south of San Francisco, Singularity University is finding new ways to tackle big questions by using technology. With a goal to “educate, inspire, and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges,” Singularity U is daring its students to seek answers for the future in the disruptive technologies of today. And there are few more disruptive technologies than 3D printing.

3D Systems CEO Avi Reichental is the co-chair of the Singularity U’s Additive Manufacturing Program. He’s also a frequent lecturer on 3D printing and 3D content at the university, providing insight into the technology, so that makers, inventors, leaders and more can use it to shape our world.

Click below to see how Singularity U is spreading the word with an introduction to 3D printing by Avi Reichental and his hour-long lecture on additive manufacturing.

 

After four days of technology displays and product reveals, EuroMold 2013 has drawn to a close. To make its mark on EuroMold’s 20th annual show, 3DS came in full form with crowd-drawing new releases, a 3D printed band, and the much anticipated appearance of the man behind the technology, Chuck Hull, the father of 3D printing and founder of 3D Systems(Left: 3D Systems' busy Euromold 2013 booth.)

With that being said, here are some of this year’s highlights:

-CNN International visited EuroMold this year to conduct a special interview for its inventor and innovation series with Chuck at the 3D Systems booth. Looking around at all the activity of Hall 11 (which is about the size of an airport hanger, by the way), the interviewer could not help but wonder if we would be here today if not for Chuck’s revolutionary launch of 3D printing 30 years ago. The CNN feature is anticipated for release in January.

-TV coverage by Hessenschau, the primary news outlet for Germany’s federal state of Hessen, reporting on everything 3D, from scanning to software to printing. Hessenschau couldn’t help but comment on the vibrancy of the 3D Systems booth, distinguished as it was by a constant stream of visitors.

-Part of the liveliness of the 3D Systems booth might have had something to do with the fully 3D printed band that filled EuroMold with cool jazz rhythms—the perfect fusion genre for incredible fusion instruments. The music fascinated onlookers and created a relaxed atmosphere amidst all the cutting-edge technology. (Right: The band playing all 3D printed instruments.)

-3D Systems' consumer booth received swarms of visitors, each enthralled by the capability and versatility of the recently released Sense consumer scanner. Personalized live demos thrilled visitors with immediately 3D printable avatars.

-In addition to the products that have already received blog coverage, 3D Systems introduced the largest commercially available SLA system, the ProX 950, with a print bed spacious enough for a prowling tiger and dual ray technology giving it print speeds up to two times faster than related systems. 

-3D Systems’ ProX 300 direct metal 3D printer perpetually pulled in interested onlookers, mesmerized by the busily sintering (fully dense) metal geometries. (Left: Metal parts printed on the ProX 300.) 

 

 

 

Whether we’re talking people or devices, multitasking is barely optional in this day and age. Think about it: our phones are cameras, our paper printers are digital scanners, and our computers are TVs. Less is more, but more is more too, which is why 3D Systems’ new ProJet® 5500X is such a welcome addition to the 3D printing world. With multi-material capability, the ProJet 5500X lets us simultaneously print rigid and flexible materials, as well as all combinations in between, for a wider variety of applications and greater versatility in prints.

The printer works with three different pure material options: rigid white, rigid clear, and flexible black, and using these three materials, the printer is able to create intermediate color tones and flexibility ranges by curing composite drops of material at the pixel level. This means tremendous time savings for prototyping and part inspection that formerly required multiple machines, processes and assemblies. (Image left: Multi-material RC car tires in the wild)

The ProJet 5500X is also the first machine to take advantage of 3D Systems’ Geomagic® Print software, to efficiently and intelligently designate materials to parts and effortlessly engineer the optimal layout of the printer’s build platform. A simple and convenient software, Geomagic Print will ultimately be released for each of 3D Systems’ professional and production print engines. This is good news too, because it means that the time you save in arranging prints will now be freed up to (you guessed it) do more.

What do a blender, a coffee machine and 3D Systems’ new ProJet® 1200 have in common? They can all fit comfortably on your kitchen counter, and they all have the potential to make great things. Though the new micro-SLA printer is a tad more expensive than most countertop appliances, the cost is incredible for the capability it extends. Professionals and entrepreneurs are looking at a mere $4,900 to park this petite powerhouse on their tabletop or bookshelf and get printing with operating costs of roughly a dollar per part. Going back to our kitchen comparisons, that’s an order of fast food fries. (Left: The ProJet 1200 at Euromold 2013)

Especially well-suited for dental fixtures and jewelry settings, the ProJet 1200 is a closed and compact system that produces high detail parts for a variety of casting and prototyping applications, using a no-fuss, all-in-one cartridge. First displayed this week at EuroMold in Frankfurt, Germany, keep your eye out for more on this huge breakthrough in early 2014. (Left: A green dental wax-up created in the ProJet 1200 along with the final crown)

 

 

Blacand white is a thing of the past. This has been the case in television for nearly 60 years now, and as of this week, it’s also true for plastic 3D printing. Building from 3D Systems’ ColorJet Printing technology, it is now possible to 3D print in full-color plastics, bringing a whole new level of functionality and artistry to designers, engineers, artists and innovators. What’s more, these vibrant, high-res prints are created sustainably, with a green printing process that reduces waste, and in turn, cost. (Parts left are designs by n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com)

Though color 3D printing has been commercially available since 1994, this new advance in material technology allows the aesthetics of accurate color printing to combine with the strength of plastic. 3D Systems’ new VisiJet® C4 Spectrum material is durable, making full-color, functional prototypes and real-use products possible without painting or post-processing. The ProJet® 4500 is the first and only continuous tone, full-color plastic 3D printer on the market today and is ushering in 3D Printing 2.0.

 

Olaf Diegel creates some of the world's most amazing 3D printed musical instruments. At Euromold 2013, we're featuring a whole band of 3D printed musical instruments in our booth at the Frankfurt Messe, Hall 11, stand E68. Click the video below for a quick word from Olaf about the magic and power of 3D printing, and if your at Euromold, come by and see us.

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