Issue 40, July 2013
bullet3D Printing - A Manufacturing Revolution
bullet3D-Printed Life-Like Photo Figurines of Yourself by TWINKIND
bulletInterview: Dr. Hans J. Langer: Founder and CEO of EOS
bulletInnovation: fabbster 3D Printing for Everyone
bulletNanoscribe: 3D printing at the Nano- and Micrometer Scale
bullet3D Printing Enables Guide4Blind Tourist Experience
article13D Printing - A Manufacturing Revolution
Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, has been in use for over two decades. Unlike common subtractive manufacturing procedures, additive manufacturing prints the object directly into 3D space, completely eliminating waste production. Guided by a digital blueprint, polymers, metal, glass, and even living cells in liquid or powder form, are placed upon each other layer by layer. Once arranged, the layers either bond as they cool, or they are melted together with lasers, eventually turning into a seamless solid object.  

Initially, 3D printing was used primarily for rapid prototyping. Adidas, for example, reduced the production and evaluation time of new shoe soles from six weeks to two days. Relying on the new technique, BMW, for example, saved 58% in costs and 92% in time to manufacture jigs and fixtures. Lately, the technology has spread, triggering creative minds from all industries to develop unprecedented new designs. NASA's printed food and Organovo's functional printed organ are just the tip of the iceberg. Perfectly fitted clothes, intricate-looking jewelry, medical prosthetics, sculpture replicas from the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, or houses printable in less than twenty hours, are examples of the seemingly endless possibilities of 3D printing applications.

With research pioneers, such as EOS and its printed Stradivarius, or Fraunhofer's high-tech spider robot, Germany accounts for 9.4% of the world's 3D-printing installations, according to the 2013 Wohlers report on additive manufacturing. Currently amounting to $2.2B, the industry's global revenue is expected to grow to $10.8B by 2021. As President Obama said earlier this year, "[3D printing] has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything."

article23D-Printed Life-Like Photo Figurines of Yourself by TWINKIND

Original publication: "Create a Tiny Version of Yourself Through 3D Printing" by Pinar for My Modern Met, July 9, 2013

If you've ever wanted a tiny figurine of yourself, a studio based in Hamburg, Germany, by the name of TWINKIND can now make your dreams come true. The creative minds at TWINKIND have embarked on an ambitious project that involves 3D printing at a commercial level, allowing interested customers to take part in a revolutionary process that could very well make pictures and picture frames obsolete.

People willing to participate and purchase a scale model of themselves (starting at 225 euros), each photorealistic sculpture reaching anywhere from 6 to 14 inches in height, are invited to have a full body scan. The process, which uses a multi-camera 3D scanning system, is not invasive or harmful to the body. Participants can pose in any way they choose and it only takes a few seconds. Once the quick scan is complete, the digital data is then translated and transformed into a tiny model made of polymer plastic powder.

For anyone in Hamburg who is interested, there is currently a pop-up studio that's accepting customers through appointments. According to the company's website, the figurines are said to take approximately two to five weeks to complete due to "high demand and an uncompromised technical process." For more information, click here.

Photo by TWINKIND taken from "Create a Tiny Version of Yourself Through 3D Printing"

Langer photo
article3Interview: Dr. Hans J. Langer: Founder and CEO of EOS

Some people regard 3D printing as an industrial revolution. Dr. Hans Langer prefers to call it an evolution of design and manufacturing.

Dr. Langer founded EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems, a world-leading manufacturer of laser-sintering systems, and systems for rapid prototyping, e-manufacturing and serial production through additive manufacturing, in 1989. Today, he is one of the longest-standing executives in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry. He is the company's major shareholder and steers the strategic direction of the EOS group as Chief Executive Officer. Before founding EOS, Dr. Langer served as Managing Director Europe at General Scanning, Inc. On a scientific level, he worked at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit´┐Żt in Munich, where he received his Ph.D. with a thesis on laser technology.

In this GCRI interview, Dr. Langer discusses the areas 3D printing will impact the most and related challenges, especially with regards to the manufacturing process. To read the full interview, click here.

article4Innovation: fabbster 3D Printing for Everyone

fabbster, a compact 3D printer for home and office use, prints three-dimensional, multicolor objects from different plastic materials. Toys, jewelry, or model parts are just a few examples of the materials that can be printed. The kit, which comes in a compact box as a partially assembled construction kit, can be completely mounted within three to five hours. The device, which was first developed in 2011, combines high quality 24V electronics and stepper drives guided by linear ball bearings with stainless steel and plastic components reinforced by fiberglass. It also includes a unique material feeding system, the stick deposition molding (SDM). During this printing process, geared material sticks are conveyed through a gearwheel and precisely melted within the extruder, before the material is applied in layers on the platform. In addition to its efficiency, fabbster provides the user with a variety of colors and material to choose from. All tools required for the assembly are included in the fabbster kit with a step-by-step assembly guide as well as videos of the various construction sequences.

The fabbster software, called netfabb engine, is also unique on the market, as it provides omni-functional software in one tool. Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, users can start the 3D printing process from any computer.

fabbster is produced by Sintermask GmbH, a Lupburg-based manufacturer of additive manufacturing machines with access to 18 years of industrial experience. For more information, click here.

article5Nanoscribe: 3D Printing at the Nano- and Micrometer Scale

Text provided by Nanoscribe GmbH

Earlier this year, the German company Nanoscribe introduced the Photonic Professional GT, the world's fastest commercially available 3D printer for micro- and nanostructures. It enables highest-resolution manufacturing of three dimensional micro-objects, which are often smaller than the diameter of a human hair. The printing speed was increased a hundredfold by employing a novel laser lithography method. Nanoscribe's CEO, Martin Hermatschweiler says: "Our 3D printers were already unrivaled in precision and resolution, user-friendliness, and compactness. Now they also stand out due to their enormous speed. Using the novel system, the time required for printing a miniature spacecraft, for example, was reduced from hours to minutes without any loss in structure quality."

Nanoscribe  was  founded  in  2007  as  the  first  spin-off  of  the  Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and has since become a world market and technology leader in the  area of  3D  laser lithography. "Nanoscribe's success serves as an example of KIT's entrepreneurial culture and confirms our strategy of specifically supporting spin-offs. This way, research results are transferred rapidly and sustainably to the market," says Dr. Peter Fritz, KIT Vice President for Research and Innovation.

To watch a video of the 3D micro printing process of a spaceship, click here.

Image: The novel Photonic Professional GT with the REM-picture of a miniature spacecraft written with the Nanoscribe system in the background.

article63D Printing Enables Guide4Blind Tourist Experience

Original article "3D Printing Enables Guide4Blind Experience in Soest, Germany" by Rachel Park, published on May 23, 2013, in 3D Printing Industry

Soest is a beautiful city in central Germany where a number of local organizations - Kreis Soest and Wirtschaft & Marketing Soest GmbH - are promoting a trendsetting project to encourage new tourism experiences for visually impaired and blind visitors, allowing them to touch and feel 3D models of local architecture. Behind the scenes of this project, called Guide4Blind, 3D printing technology from German industrial 3D printer manufacturer voxeljet, is playing a major role in bringing it to fruition and making it work.

Guide4Blind, as the name would suggest, aims to guide blind people through the inner city of Soest via suggested routes, while at the same time providing them with very realistic impressions of noteworthy buildings along the way. A navigation app provides a quick solution for route guidance purposes. The city's main buildings become "visible" to the blind/visually impaired by way of precise and scaled bronze models located alongside the respective landmarks.  Visually impaired visitors and tourists can touch and feel the bronze models to obtain a detailed impression of the shapes and surfaces of the buildings. To read the full article, click here.

Image adapted from 3D-printed version of the St.-Patrokli-Dom, Soest, taken from original article