Norwegian Robotics Firm to Develop Underwater 3D Printer

by Michael Molitch-Hou

A Norwegian robotics firm called Kongsberg Ferrotech, which creates subsea robots for the oil and gas industry, is developing a form of underwater 3D printing for repairing pipelines below the sea. To develop the process, known as “Subsea Additive Manufacturing for Lifetime Extension”, the company is working with Equinor, SINTEF, and Gassco.

Kongsberg Ferrotech offers several robots that perform inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) of subsea equipment. This includes a system called Nautilus, which remotely repairs pipelines using composite materials. Nautilus has passed deepwater testing in the Trondheim Fjord in Norway and the company plans to begin commercial operations in the Southeast Asian market in Q3 20201. Footage of how this process works can be seen in the video below:

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HACKROD UNVEILS WORLD’S FIRST VIRTUAL REALITY-DESIGNED, AI-ENGINEERED, 3D-PRINTED CAR

Cali-based digital manufacturing company Hacked has partnered with Siemens PLM software to create the world’s first car designed in virtual reality, engineered with AI and 3D printed, full size, in structural alloy.

The ‘La Bandita’ speedster is intended to serve as proof of concept for an entirely new industrial design to production methodology. Hackrod’s factory of the future, powered by the Siemens Digital Innovation Platform, will enable individuals, start-ups and small enterprises the unprecedented capability to create the product or their needs or dreams as easily as playing a video game.

With multiple tools from Siemens PLM Software including NX software, and the new cloud-based collaboration software Solid Edge Portal, Hackrod has access to the latest design and engineering tools to rapidly design, test and manufacture transport solutions without the need for massive industrial infrastructure or tooling budgets.

Hackrod is developing a platform to enable truly bespoke aesthetic design to prevail with guaranteed engineering solutions. Their platform leverages virtual reality as a design tool, IoT and machine learning to constantly evolve and perfect engineering systems, and industrial 3D printing to produce optimized hardware.

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3D printing stem cells to transform neuroscience

by Barbara Ricco

3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, has become widespread in recent years. By building successive layers of raw material such as metals, plastics, and ceramics, it has the key advantage of being able to produce very complex shapes or geometries that would be nearly impossible to construct through more traditional methods such as carving, grinding, or molding.

The technology offers huge potential in the health care sector. For example, doctors can use it to make products to match a patient’s anatomy: a radiologist could create an exact replica of a patient’s spine to help plan surgery; a dentist could scan a patient’s broken tooth to make a perfectly fitting crown reproduction. But what if we took a step further and apply 3D printing techniques to neuroscience?

Stems cells are essentially the body’s raw materials; they are pluripotent elements from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated. The development of methods to isolate and generate human stem cells, has excited many with the promise of improved human cell function understanding, ultimately utilizing them for regeneration in disease and trauma. However, the traditional two-dimensional growth of derived neurones—using flat petri dishes—presents itself as a major confounding factor as it does not adequately mimic in vivo three-dimensional interactions, nor the myriad developmental cues present in real living organisms.

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Europe’s biggest concrete 3D printer creates the home of tomorrow

By Julian GOMEZ  

The campus of experimental Architecture in Belgium is home to the World’s ´first single-piece concrete 3D printed house.

Europe’s largest concrete 3D printer was used to build the two-storey, 90 square metre dwelling.

The very same printer is now being used by students to develop new sustainable building solutions for Europe’s construction industry.

Charlotte Van Antenaeken a student on a project using this printer from the Thomas More Hogeschool in Belgium tells us that “with this technology, we were able to print a whole house. Now we want to move on, and use this 3D printer in efficient ways to create new proposals”.

Her project is focusing on how they can print surfaces with stronger architectural structures that can withstand more weight.

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NCSU researchers’ 3D-printable jelly could boost biomedical materials

Researchers develop a 3D-printable jelly that is strong and flexible. Photo courtesy of Orlin Velev, NC State University.

by Mick Kulikowski .

RALEIGH – 3D-printable gels with improved and highly controlled properties can be created by merging micro- and nano-sized networks of the same materials harnessed from seaweed, according to new research from North Carolina State University. The findings could have applications in biomedical materials – think of biological scaffolds for growing cells – and soft robotics.

Described in the journal Nature Communications, the findings show that these water-based gels – called homocomposite hydrogels – are both strong and flexible. They are composed of alginates – chemical compounds found in seaweed and algae that are commonly used as thickening agents and in wound dressings.

Merging different-size scale networks of the same alginate together eliminates the fragility that can sometimes occur when differing materials are merged together in a hydrogel, says Orlin Velev, S. Frank and Doris Culberson Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State and corresponding author of the paper.

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Drone mass production is taking off with 3D printing

How Skydio, Digital Aerolus, Quantum Systems, Kespry and Dive Technologies are printing hundreds of parts

 By Davide Sher

Personal and unmanned mobility is rapidly changing as drones bring us closer and closer to humanity’s long-standing vision of flying cars.

Amolak Badesha, CEO of Orbital Composites, a specialist in large-scale composites additive manufacturing, once pointed out to 3dpbm that this new generation of mobility products will not be able to exist without composites enabling the production of extremely light parts. And mass manufacturing with composites materials cannot truly exist without 3D printing.

The same is true for more short-term products, such as unmanned drones for consumer and commercial use, both in the sky and under the sea: drone mass production via AM is coming.

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Dutch Firm Builds First Commercial House Printed With 3D Technology

Shaped like a boulder, the house is surrounded by greenery and open space on each side

The three-room single-storey house is spread across 1,000 square feet and has a wooden roof.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • These houses are intended to be occupied for at least several decades
  • 3D concrete printing allows builders to design fine concrete structures
  • The work on the project began during the 2016 Dutch Design Week
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Researchers use 3-D bioprinting to create custom-shaped cartilage for use in surgical procedures

A team of University of Alberta researchers has discovered a way to use 3-D bioprinting technology to create custom-shaped cartilage for use in surgical procedures. The work aims to make it easier for surgeons to safely restore the features of skin cancer patients living with nasal cartilage defects after surgery.

The researchers used a specially designed hydrogel–a material similar to Jell-O–that could be mixed with cells harvested from a patient and then printed in a specific shape captured through 3-D imaging. Over a matter of weeks, the material is cultured in a lab to become functional cartilage.

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What if you could condense all your pills into one? With 3D printing, you can

Researchers debut a new technique that proves pills can be designed for individual patients.

BY MARK WILSON

The objects are almost beautiful. The surfaces appear faceted and woven, catching the light like ornate jewelry. But they are not jewelry. They are pills, and possibly the most high-tech pills ever designed, in fact. These tablets are artisanal, tuned for just one person, to release a small medicine cabinet of different drugs at the right time.

Developed by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA), these pills are produced by a breakthrough in 3D printing. Today, that printing is done in a lab. Tomorrow, scientists suggest, the work might be done by a pharmacist, hospital, or almost any entity other than separate pharmaceutical companies, each of which currently churns out millions of doses of the same drugs in one-size-fits-all pill formats.

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3D Printed ‘Artificial Leaves’ Could Provide Sustainable Energy on Mars

Microalgae 3D printed onto bacterial cellulose allows for a new oxygen-producing material.

By  Chris Young

A group of international researchers led by the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in Netherlands used 3D printing to create a living material made of algae that could lead to sustainable energy production on Mars as well as a number of other applications, a TU Delft press release explains.

The researchers used a novel bioprinting technique to print microalgae into a living, resilient material that is capable of photosynthesis. Their research is published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

“We created a material that can produce energy simply by placing it into the light,” Kui Yu, a Ph.D. student involved in the work, explained in the release. “The biodegradable nature of the material itself and the recyclable nature of microalgal cells make it a sustainable living material.”

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How 3D printing and robots improve knee replacement surgery

Stryker’s Triathlon implant has four components (from top): femur, patella (attached to the femur), liner, and tibia. Images: Stryker 

 By Don Nelson 

Stryker uses additive manufacturing and robotics to promote bone/implant bonding and shorten post-surgery recovery times.

Total knee replacement surgery has intrigued me since 1979, when my grandfather had the procedure performed on both knees. The prostheses of that era were designed to anatomically mimic the motion of a knee joint, making them superior to their hinge-action predecessors of the ’60s.

But as I’ve discovered since undergoing my own knee replacement surgery last November, today’s prostheses, surgical techniques, and patient outcomes have vastly improved since Gramps was rolled into the operating room. Advancements in what’s medically known as total knee arthroplasty (TKA) include materials developed specifically for implants and their 3D-printed components, as well as the use of surgical-assist robots.

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Researchers Devise Rapid 3D Printing Method for Human Organs

Use of hydrogels in novel stereolithography process eyed for fabricating viable tissues for transplants and other biomedical applications. 

By Elizabeth Montalbano 

The Holy Grail of 3D bioprinting is to one day be able to fabricate full-sized human organs and tissues to replace the real thing in cases of transplant surgeries and other biomedical applications.

Researchers at the University at Buffalo have made a significant step not only to achieve this endeavor but to do it quickly. A team of researchers there has developed 3D-printing technology that has demonstrated rapid printing of life-sized organs and limbs such as a human hand in less than 20 minutes.

The team—co-led by Ruogang Zhao, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Chi Zhou, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering—created a 3D-printing method based on stereolithography that uses hydrogels to produce organs quickly. Hydrogels are materials comprised mainly of water that are already used to produce contact lenses and diapers as well as in other applications.

“Our method allows for the rapid printing of centimeter-sized hydrogel models” that “significantly reduces part deformation and cellular injuries caused by the prolonged exposure to the environmental stresses you commonly see in conventional 3D printing methods,” Zhou said in a press statement.

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