Category Archives: Wider Implications

The value of additive manufacturing: future opportunities

Published in September 2017, in conjunction with Imperial College London’s Additive Manufacturing Network, this paper presents an overview of the potential economic, technical and environmental benefits of additive manufacturing (AM) – 3D printing – as well as the current hurdles across the AM process chain that need to be overcome to realise a more-effective and more-profitable industry. For example, improved design software, faster printing technology, increased automation and better industry standards are required.

Imperial College London is equipped to play a leading role in the UK’s ever-growing AM landscape. The current portfolio of AM-based research is varied and encompasses problems across the entire design-to-end-use-product chain. Research projects include, for instance, the development of new design methodologies for optimised multimaterial AM parts, novel metal-based AM printing techniques, investigations of fundamental AM material properties and 3D printing of next-generation biomaterials for medical applications.

AM research at Imperial can be further extended by capitalising on the College’s world-class scientific and engineering expertise and factilities, its culture of collaboration and history of effective research translation. There are several ways for external partners interested in the AM field to engage with Imperial academics: focused workshops, bespoke consultancy services, funding for specific research projects and facilities, or student placements

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AMT’s Automated Finishing Solution improves mechanical properties of 3D printed parts

UK-based Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) is looking closely at an aspect of 3D printing that is critical but all too often swept under the rug in conversation: finishing. Optimization in design, speed and innovation in 3D printers, and strong, high-quality materials are only the beginning of the story of what constitutes a remarkable, useful print. Post-processing has long been heralded as the dirty little secret of the 3D printing world, and it’s easy to overlook what happens after a print job concludes in light of the technological achievements that led to that print job even starting in the first place.

AMT, though, is unafraid to confront post-processing — and its efforts have been rewarded by a receptive industry. Innovate UK awarded AMT as a recipient of a major grant early this year, and that influx of capital was just the jumpstart the company needed to advance its PostPro3D technology.

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European Parliament considers 3D Printing IP and Civil Liability

A badge with a character resembling Mickey Mouse in reference to the in popular culture rationale behind the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, the badge was made by Nina Paley.The relationship between 3D printing, copyright, and the protection of intellectual property has experienced some strain due to its necessarily digital nature. Readers may remember a debacle surrounding the unauthorized sale of 3D printed designs by Louise Driggers (aka Loubie) – an issue that was quickly cleared up thanks to the online community.

In a landmark case running parallel to the industry, some of the grey areas surrounding design ownership were also resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, today in Brussels members of JURI, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs, met to discuss intellectual property (IP) rights and civil liability of 3D printing.

In session with Conservative, Liberal and Green Party members Joëlle Bergeron, a member of the Eurosceptic Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group and former member of France’s National Front, presented an own-initiative report proposing legislative action to control and monitor additive manufacturing activity.

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Treatstock gives further insights into watermark safeguard for 3D printing

From creation to manufacturing, protecting the IP of a 3D design is challenging, especially when an STL file can be so easily shared from peer to peer. Watermark, a security application from 3D design library Treatstock aims to address this.

Speaking to 3D Printing Industry, Treatstock head of marketing Rufat Bayramov said that the company was inspired by the “prevalent issue of copyright violation” to develop the free online software.

Treatstock Watermark allows a designer to upload an STL file and integrate it with hidden “watermark” information before being put in the public domain. An STL file can also be uploaded to the platform and checked for security information.

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Imperial 3D Printing report calls for bridge between science and engineering

A report from the Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering (IMSE) at Imperial College London details a vision for the future of additive manufacturing.

Community activities at Imperial College's invention rooms. Photo via Imperial College London.

The briefing, launched at Imperial’s new White City campus, notes that 3D printing requires advances in software, machines, automation and standards for wider adoption. A key driver of these innovations, as suggested by Imperial, may be through greater collaboration between molecular scientists and engineers.

 

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Imperial 3D Printing report calls for bridge between science and engineering

A report from the Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering (IMSE) at Imperial College London details a vision for the future of additive manufacturing.

Community activities at Imperial College's invention rooms. Photo via Imperial College London.The briefing, launched at Imperial’s new White City campus, notes that 3D printing requires advances in software, machines, automation and standards for wider adoption. A key driver of these innovations, as suggested by Imperial, may be through greater collaboration between molecular scientists and engineers.

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3D printing could expand medical device regulation: Here’s how

FDA today offered a clearer picture of how it plans to regulate the 3D printing of medical devices – including in non-traditional settings such as medical facilities and academic institutions.

FDA 3D printing“In order to help ensure the safety and effectiveness of these products, we’re working to establish a regulatory framework for how we plan to apply existing laws and regulations that govern device manufacturing to non-traditional manufacturers like medical facilities and academic institutions that create 3D-printed personalized devices for specific patients they are treating,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

Gottlieb also highlighted new guidance that clarifies what the FDA in the U.S. would like to see in submissions for 3D-printed medical devices. The guidance includes FDA regulators’ thinking on device design, testing of products for function and durability, and quality system requirements when it comes to 3D printing. FDA is describing the document as a “leapfrog guidance” because it offers initial thoughts on technologies emerging in the industry.

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3D-Printing Tips: What to do with file formats

3D-Printing Tips: What to Do with File FormatsMultiple file-format choices exist, but you might want to consider taking additional steps when saving your parts for 3D printing.

One can choose from a number of file formats for 3D printing, and in general they all work fine. However, understanding what mesh resolution is needed for each part can affect the size of the file, which may create lag when transferring data. In addition, not everything transfers smoothly from a CAD drawing to the printer. This article will look at file resolution, clearance between moving parts, geometric interferences, and more things to keep in mind when moving your CAD drawing to a 3D printer.

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Planning to buy a 3D printer? These are 7 details you should pay attention to

From 3dprint.com:

I remember when I was planning my first 3D printer purchase. These were endless hours of browsing phrases like “3D printer choice criteria” or “the most important 3D printer details/parts”.Almost every article’s main point was “it depends on what do you want your 3D printer to be used for”.And this is obviously true. Of course, I know that this is not what you are looking for, so in this article I would like to introduce you to a list of the seven most-important features of 3D printers which you need to look at before buying a new one of your own.

  1. Build volume

This is usually the first parameter given by 3D printer manufacturers. It determines the maximum size your printed element can be. It involves three numbers. The first two are the length and width of your printing, and the third is height. So, at the beginning you should think about the biggest thing that you might want to 3D print with your device, and reject all the 3D printers whose build volume is too small. You should also pay attention to the units used. Some manufacturers use inches, others use millimetres or inches, so be careful.

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Renishaw and Identify3D offer industrial answer to IP protection

OEM Renishaw has collaborated with software company Identify3D to produce an end-to-end, secure digital manufacturing process.

The collaboration between Renishaw and Identify3D will deliver secure manufacturing to supply chains in the aerospace, automotive, defence and medical sectors, as these industries make the leap to 3D printing.

Denial, compromise, sabotage, disaster

The issue of protecting intellectual property (IP) has faced almost all industries that use 3D printing, from design to manufacturing. It has formed the basis of questions that 3D Printing Industry has put to experts across the field, with many agreeing that additive manufacturing does not readily fit into existing IP protection structures.

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