Industrial News & Views At-A-Glance

3D Printing

Concept Lasers VideoPlastics have long been the leading edge in the realm of 3D printing, but metals are where the action is today, as modern industrial 3D printers develop high value components across manufacturing industries.

Concept Laser’s Mlab cusing unit can perform 3D printing operations with materials including steel, both 3-16 and 17-4 and marraging steel. The Mlab’s cusing R can perform with reactive metals such as titanium and aluminum. View the video and read the full article.

MIT microencapsulationTechnique mass-produces uniform, encapsulated particles for pharmaceuticals, many other uses.

Microencapsulation, in which a tiny particle of one material is encased within a shell made from another, is widely used in pharmaceuticals manufacturing and holds promise for other areas, such as self-repairing materials and solar power.

But most applications of microencapsulation require particles of uniform size, and that’s something that existing fabrication techniques don’t reliably provide. In products with a high profit margin, such as pharmaceuticals, it can be cost effective to mechanically separate particles of the proper size from those that are too large or too small, but in niche or small-margin products, it may not be. Read the MIT Solution.

3D prostheticWhile most people don’t think twice about clicking a mouse or moving a cursor around using a trackpad, the tasks that we take for granted can actually be very difficult for those with either limited hand mobility or missing limbs. To help find a solution to this challenge and to make digital operations and tasks easier for those with physical hand disabilities, a team of German students has devised Shortcut, a 3D printed smart wristband which communicates wireless gestures through muscle movement. Read full article

Bioprinted EarTalk to anyone on the front lines of bioprinting and you’re sure to hear about issues with vascularization.

“Everyone agrees that you will never have a fully functioning organ come off a bioprinter without vascularization,” said Lauralyn McDaniel, industry manager for medical device manufacturing at SME (Dearborn, MI).

But vascularized skin is on the horizon: Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine has bioprinted skin in pre-clinical studies that shows vascularization.

“In animal studies, the printed skin healed and remained stable over time,” John Jackson, associate professor of regenerative medicine at Wake Forest, said. The longest life for his bioprinted skin: 2 months.” Read full article:

Stratasys 3DStratasys, a provider of 3D printing solutions, has introduced several next-generation technologies as part of its SHAPING WHAT’S NEXT vision for manufacturing. According to the company, Stratasys’ industrial FDM 3D printing expertise is designed to respond to the needs of customers’ most challenging applications, addressing manufacturers’ needs to rapidly produce strong parts ranging in size from an automobile armrest to an entire aircraft interior panel.

Among the technology is the Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator , which is designed to address the requirements of aerospace and automotive for large, lightweight, thermoplastic parts with repeatable mechanical properties. In addition to partnering with Boeing, Ford and Stratasys will work together to test and develop new application for automotive-grade 3D-printed materials. Read the full article here: