This is a segment of the website where we do a quick list of the week’s smaller stories. Generally, this refers to stories that we couldn’t do a full length article about. It also gives us the opportunity to identify wider trends in the weekly 3D printing news. However, it’s worth noting that the purpose of these rundowns is identifying wider trends rather than listing off news items.
This week we’re covering news from the 7th till the 13th of March.
Firstly, let’s dissect the tech news this week. While it wasn’t the biggest week for tech, there were a few developments of note. Sweden’s Umea University has developed a 3D printer that hangs in the air. Dubbed “the hangprinter“, it demonstrates a new arrangement for 3D printers. The machine is latched onto the ceiling with thin fishing lines. As it is limited not by a frame, but by the size of the room it’s in, it can print extremely large structures with ease.
Next up, we have M3D unveiling their new Micro3D Pro. The company has touted its compact size, affordability and self-aware software. As a result of the self-aware software it can correct errors and fix jams all on it’s own. M3D are marketing it as a “self-aware” machine. The size is about 9 inches (cube).
In terms of new methods, a bio-inspired 3D structuring format has enabled researches to create new types of efficient structures. This is exciting because it has potential in multiple industries that require intricate nano-scale designs. The researchers chose silver to make these new nano-particles but surmise that other materials will be available eventually. Researchers hope to use these nanostructures in producing batteries, lightweight ultra-strong materials, catalytic converters, supercapacitors and biological scaffolds.
Construction and Engineering
A firm in Dubai is planning to 3D print an entire skyscraper. Dubai is already home to some of the largest skyscrapers in the world and this company wants to increase their stock considerably. The company are planning on using a method called “Crane Printing”. Cazza will use cranes with added units that are specifically created for building 3D printed structures 80m and above.
Another significant development was Space Systems Loral’s announcement that they will be 3D printing satellite parts. This will save time and costs for aerospace workers. It also presents possibilities in printing parts in space, making repairs easier and eliminating transport-related hazards.
Lastly, the first fully functional, full size 3D-printed excavator was unveiled at Conexpo 2017 in Las Vegas. The project is a collaboration between multiple different parties. This also marks new possibilities in the production of cheap construction equipment.
This week, scientists and med researchers have developed all sorts of 3D printed models. 3D models of organs can are being used for educational purposes in anatomy or for surgical training. Earlier on, we reported on 3D printed prosthetics as well.