Archives for the category: 3D printing materials

September 8, 2015

3-D Printing Breaks the Glass Barrier

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 08.29.23.pngResearchers have cracked the challenge of printing glass through a nozzle. [via MIT Technology Review]

quotemarksright.jpgThe palette of materials that can be used as 3-D printing “ink” is quickly growing in diversity, but one ubiquitous material has, until now, been absent: transparent glass.

It’s already possible to use tiny granules of glass in a powder bed with conventional 3-D printing techniques like jetting and sintering, but the products turn out opaque. Now researchers at MIT have demonstrated the first-ever machine that can print molten glass through a nozzle and make transparent glass objects layer by layer according to digital instructions.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:26 AM | permalink

November 22, 2014

First 3D LED printer could print heads-up-display contact lenses

Researchers at Princeton University have developed a 3D printer that can print LEDs in layers -- and it could one day print contact lenses that incorporate heads-up displays.

[via C/net]

emily | 8:35 AM | permalink

September 30, 2014

Biodegradable 3D Printer Filaments

As the 3D printing market continues its expansion, and environmentalists begin turning their attention to the possible global consequences of an increase in ABS and even PLA use, there will be a continued drive to make 3D printing greener. [via]

quotemarksright.jpgThere is no doubt that, although additive manufacturing produces far less waste than subtractive manufacturing, a large portion of the hobbyist space using desktop 3D printers, is throwing away a ton of plastics.

One of the UK’s leading developers of intelligent, natural plastics, Biome Bioplastics, is trying to change all this. Today at the TCT Show +personalize they’ve unveiled their new 3D printer filament called Biome3D. Biome3D, a biodegradable plastic, was developed in partnership with a company called 3Dom Filaments. The filament has superior qualities and characteristics to even some of the more popular, harsher thermoplastics on the market today.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 10:44 PM | permalink

September 27, 2014

HP Labs is working on a glass 3D printer

img_1531.jpg HP isn’t content to just 3D print in plastic. A job ad for a “robotics scientist for 3D printing” sounds normal enough until you dive into the text and read this: [via GigaOM]

quotemarksright.jpgHP Labs’ research into printing of inorganic materials is working towards hybrid printing of glass (and other inorganic materials) onto items that are already mass produced,” the ad reads.

3D printing is generally reserved for working with plastic and metal. Glass is unusual. Read a 2012 HP Labs paper.

HP is due to release its in October. We don’t know much about it except that it will be aimed at businesses and a potential boost for the ailing company. It’s unlikely it’s a glass printer though. This is a project that still lives within HP Labs.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:36 AM | permalink

September 10, 2014

Can 3D Printing With Soybean Create Truly Affordable Housing

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Sofoklis Giannakoupoulous, a researcher at Barcelona’s IaaC (the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia) is working on a soybean based material that could be extruded — or 3D printed — to make structures that are more solid than concrete. 3DPrinting Industry reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe research is ongoing but at last week’s 3D Printshow in London, Giannakoupoulous was exhibiting the material, a soybean based brownish looking powder, and the Kuka robotic arm that could be used to extrude it and build with it, through Kuka’s advanced computerized control system.

Sofoklis, who is also in direct contact with D-shape’s Enrico Dini, intends to use this new material to build large, solid housing structures.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:59 PM | permalink

June 11, 2014

A universal paste extruder for virtually any desktop 3D printer

A new Kickstarter campaign that launched today, the Discov3ry, is an affordable paste extruder that can easily be added to almost any existing 3D printer. If your printer uses plastic filament, it is almost certainly compatible with the Discov3ryand will expand the range of materials beyond molten plastic, to include a wide range of pastes.

Some other materials that can be 3D Printed : Silicone, Polyurethane, Wood Filler, Clay, Ceramics, Icing Sugar, Nutella, Conductive Paint ... and many pastes that we haven't even thought of trying to print with yet.

[via Metro]

emily | 10:07 PM | permalink

June 6, 2014

The Plastic Waste Flooding Our Oceans Can Fuel 3D Printers

A project called Plastic Bank is using 3D printing in its efforts to help reduce the waste plastic in the oceans. Here’s the idea: You collect litter from the oceans and waterways, then recycle it into plastic filament that can be 3D printed.

From their website:

quotemarksright.jpgWe are proud to announce that we have successfully recycled and 3D printed plastic waste. The plastic waste used was removed from the ocean and shorelines of Alaska and BC. This is a great first step towards our goal of empowering the world's poor with access to become micro-recyclers and 3D printing entrepreneurs. We are on target to officially launch The Plastic Bank in Lima Peru this summer!quotesmarksleft.jpg

[Sustaina Blog via motherboard]

emily | 8:45 PM | permalink

November 20, 2013

New resin 3D printer prints faster in multiple materials

A major drawback for 3D printers is how slow they print. A medium-sized cup can take hours, potentially making it faster and more convenient to just run out to the store.

A research team at the University of Southern California said they have taken a previous breakthrough that cut print time down to minute and applied it to printing in multiple materials, an emerging area of 3D printing that could dramatically increase what you can print. GigaOM reports.

quotemarksright.jpg Their work utilizes a resin printer, which doesn’t lay down melted plastic like most consumer printers do. Instead, it relies on a pool of liquid resin. Generally, a laser shines on one layer of the liquid at a time, causing it to harden. The finished object slowly rises out of the pool of resin.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 6:47 PM | permalink

July 25, 2013

MIT researchers print squishy 3D teddy bear


MIT researchers created a new programming language to streamline the process so it will be easier to print objects with multiple materials, so they can be squishy and flexible at one place, firm at another, or reflect light and conform to touch. Right now, making objects like that is an arduous and technically challenging task and beyond the ability of off-the-shelf 3D printing software. reports.

quotemarksright.jpgTo demonstrate the advancements, they printed miniature 3D teddy bears and tiny bunnies that are flexible and feel like foam.

Most commercially available 3D printers that transform digital files into physical objects are single-material machines. Those printers can create hard bowls, sculpture, or toys out of plastic, but aren’t able to turn out intricate objects with varied surfaces.<&o>

The 3D printers that Vidimče and his colleagues work with are more advanced than printers most enthusiasts are buying online for around $2,000. The one they used costs about $300,000.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 7:09 PM | permalink

July 14, 2013

3D Printing with Graphene Is Coming, and It Will Power the Future

9d0b3bd4e560cba8dfd4d7e7826dc9cb_vice_630x420.jpg If graphene proves workable as a 3D printable material, we could potentially 3D print computers, solar panels, electronics, even cars and airplanes. Motherboard reports.

quotemarksright.jpgScientists are trying to find out if it's possible. New research into the properties of graphene as a material for 3D printing took a big step forward this month.

American Graphite Technologies, the company spearheading the research project, called P-600, announced it received an project abstract and could start research within two weeks.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:34 AM | permalink

July 10, 2013

Terminator 2-style liquid metal can now be 3D printed

dn23838-1_300.jpg It's not quite as advanced as in Terminator 2, but a way of 3D printing liquid metal could offer a new range of flexible electronics. New Scientist reports.

quotemarksright.jpgAn alloy of metals gallium and indium that is liquid at room temperature forms a thin skin when exposed to air, which is strong enough to hold the liquid's shape.

Michael Dickey of North Carolina State University in Raleigh and colleagues put the alloy in a syringe and were able to squeeze out wires, about a centimetre tall, that stood vertically despite their liquid centre.

... It should be easy to swap the syringe for the nozzle of a 3D printer, potentially letting you print plastic objects containing metal wiring with a single device. "You could include this as a functional ink that you use with a 3D printer," says Dickey.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Link to research paper: 3D Printing of Free Standing Liquid Metal Microstructures.

emily | 8:36 AM | permalink

June 7, 2013

Hyrel 3D's new extruder lets your 3D print with Play-Doh


Hyrel 3D, maker of 3D printers has created a new clay extruder that allows you to print using Plasticine, Play-Doh, Silicone RTV, and even air-dry modeling clay.

Hyrel 3D doesn't seem to be selling the extruder on its own, but it will only work with its printers.

[ via Gizmodo]

Read more.

emily | 7:55 AM | permalink

May 31, 2013

Shapeways Introduces A New, Experimental, Bendy, Stretchy, Squishy 3D Printing Material


Following the announcement of Materialise’s rubber-like 3D printing material earlier today, word has reached us that Shapeways too, is pushing the bendy and stretchy with the introduction of the new, experimental Elasto Plastic material.

Read full article in 3DPrinting Industry.

emily | 10:32 PM | permalink

May 23, 2013

Mataerial 3D printer defies gravity

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 8.56.33 PM.png A new 3D printer does away with SLS layering, and is able to print gravity-defying cables in three dimensions. C/net reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThis is the sort of thing that has to be seen to be believed. The current crop of 3D printers on the market require a printing bed, and the objects produced thereon are printed in fine layers. As there is a waiting period before the material dries, the object can only be built from the ground up.

Mataerial (a portmanteau of "material" and "aerial") is different. Using a special thermosetting plastic that dries instantaneously, it is able to print on surfaces of pretty much any inclination. It was designed by students Petr Novikov and Saša Jokić from Barcelona's Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, during an internship at Joris Laarman Lab.

... Called "Anti-Gravity Object Modelling", the technique and device are awaiting patent. quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 8:51 PM | permalink

March 20, 2013

Video of 3D printer that use letter paper as the build material

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Ireland's Mcor Technologies Ltd manufactures affordable, full colour and eco-friendly 3D printers.

They are the only 3D printers to use ordinary business-letter paper as the build material. In their own words: "High resolution and Photo realistic".

Mcor Technologies is the company that entered into a deal with Staples’ Printing Systems Division to launch a new 3D printing service called “Staples Easy 3D. Available in the Netherlands and Belgium initially.

Watch video.

emily | 9:30 PM | permalink

February 18, 2013

3D printing with metal: The final frontier of additive manufacturing

Undoubtedly, the most dramatic and challenging has been printing with metal. In case you missed it, ExtremeTech assembled last december a few incredible videos that showcase the power and flexibility of 3D printing with metal.

View more here.

emily | 1:13 PM | permalink

February 6, 2013

3D Print Recycling Shredder

Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 9.32.46 PM.png

German designer Marcus Thymark developed a 3D print shredder last year. It was built to test the geometry of blades for filabot shredder.

Now, according to, 3 models are available to recycle and reuse your unwanted 3D prints. View models here.

[via 3D Printing is Cool and]

emily | 9:21 PM | permalink

January 20, 2013

Taking 3D printing into softer realms


A new appointment at Harvard will explore the chemistry and physics of gels, polymers, and colloidal suspensions for 3D printing. GraphicSpeak reports via @3d_printers.

quotemarksright.jpg Jennifer A. Lewis will work on the integration of multiple platforms for materials synthesis, assembly and characterization. The goal is to design novel inks and high-precision 3D printing methods using gels, polymers, and colloidal suspensions.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 9:53 PM | permalink

January 13, 2013

Filabot recycles everyday plastic into 3D printer 'ink'

Filabot is a desktop extruding system, capable of grinding various types of plastics, to make spools of plastic filament for 3D printers. Not only is it user friendly, but it is also environmentally friendly.

The Filabot can process things such as: milk jugs, soda bottles, various other types of plastics, and bad prints, to make new filament for a future print. Filabot will bring the real power of sustainability to 3D printing, allowing for a one stop shop to make anything.

Watch video demo. via Dvice and boingboing.

emily | 9:30 PM | permalink

January 1, 2013

Roundup of hobbyist 3D printing materials

Jeremie Francois of the 3D Printer Improvements blog has put together a list of materials that can be used to print at home with their physical properties.

According to Francois, the list is not exhaustive and will expand over time. For now read it as a very useful generic survey of usable materials.

[via Ponoko]

emily | 12:19 PM | permalink

December 27, 2012

3D printing with metal: The final frontier of additive manufacturing

A must read article from Extreme Tech which traces the history of 3D printing with metal (the first attempts can be traced back to the 1880s), how the real breakthrough has been laser, plus, a look at the future.

emily | 6:09 PM | permalink

December 14, 2012

The Full List of 60+ Materials Available at Sculpteo — including Metal and Bi-Materials

argent.jpeg matiere_couleur.jpeg

Sculpteo has published the full list of their materials available for 3D printing.

Impressive. From all kinds of different colored resins, to bi-materials (2 materials in the same object), plastics, stainless steel, cobalt, aluminium, titanium, gold, platinum, brass, silver, ceramic...

You can also order a sample kit of their materials here.

emily | 8:55 AM | permalink

December 12, 2012

3D Metal Printing Explained by Fabbaloo

Goldteile-1.jpgFabbaloo explains 3D metal printing.

quotemarksright.jpgMetal-capable machines are typically quite expensive and are varied in features and abilities. Generally metal printing involves some form of powder-based printing in which tiny metal particles are fused together.

What can you print? Some machine printed ultra-highly detailed metal jewelry, while others were able to form very strong industrial parts. Different manufacturers offered various materials, including steel, titanium and exotic plastics (which also work in this powder process). Realizer for instance, offers powdered precious metals, so you can literally print 3D objects in solid gold. Or platinum.

The price of metal machines is quite a bit more than typical plastic machines. For example, the low-end SLM machine from Realizer starts at €120,000 ($157,000) and more capable machines can be €500,000 ($654,000) to €1,000,000 ($1,309,) or more. Then you have to purchase the print material, which can be €300 ($393) per kg.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. via @3DPrint_newsbot.

emily | 8:13 PM | permalink

December 10, 2012

New plastic could revolutionise 3D printing of electronic products

Engineers from the School of Engineering at the University of Warwick. have printed working electronic devices for the first time using a standard 3D printer fitted with a new type of plastic that conducts electricity.

[via Dezeen]

Research: A Simple, Low-Cost Conductive Composite Material for 3D Printing of Electronic Sensors.

Editor: Jeongmin Hong, Florida International University, USA Received: Aug 23, 2012; Accepted: Oct 11, 2012; Published: Nov 21, 2012

emily | 10:59 AM | permalink

December 8, 2012

'3D Printing Barometer' and '': Apps for testing 3D printing feasibility


Materialise launches "3D Print Barometer" to help manufacturers to identify whether a plastic component is suitable for 3D printing.

quotemarksright.jpg3D Printing Barometer is an online application to test different parts according to size, functionality, series size, etc., and score the added benefit that 3D Printing can offer. It aims to identify where 3D printing technology can really be of benefit.quotesmarksleft.jpg

[ via @3d_printers]


-- Stop Wasting Plastic! This Web App Tests the Printability of Your 3-D Designs (Wired), a web app that acts like spell check for the 3-D printed age, aims to alleviate the fears of trying to print an unoptimized design by letting you know how it will turn out before you output it to your printer.

The service allows makers to upload an .STL file and instantly see how it will print on a variety of different machines — from six-figure pro tools to humble hobby setups. The interface provides a color-coded assessment of the part, visualizations of which parts will be most challenging to print, and even an estimate of the object’s carbon footprint.

This free tool is provided by Econolyst, an additive fabrication company based in the U.K. that provides consultation on 3-D printing to companies like Nike, GE, Bentley, and Airbus..quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read more.

emily | 8:16 AM | permalink

December 5, 2012

3D Printed Ceramics

Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 8.55.12 PM.png Rachel Park for 3D Printing Industry reports on
a company called Figulo, which specializes in 3D printing of ceramics.

quotemarksright.jpgThe company, with a 3D printing manufacturing facility in Boston, US, uses a range of equipment to print, fire and glaze unique and customized ceramic objects for a global client base that includes consumers, artists and businesses. The company claims to be revolutionizing the design and production of ceramic objects – enabled by 3D printing processes.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article. Eggbot design by mygadgetlife.

emily | 8:46 PM | permalink

November 27, 2012

Custom 3D-Printed Beams Can Be 10,000 Times Stronger Than Steel

fractal1.jpg Steel beams are pretty uniformly strong, but they're all run of the mill, literally. If you start 3D-printing custom beams for the exact purpose they're intended to serve though, you've got a regular space-age material on your hands. It's lighter than steel and orders of magnitude stronger. Gizmodo reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe process, developed byYong Mao of the University of Nottingham, UK and colleagues, isn't just the product of one innovation, but rather a whole bunch of them wrapped up into one bundle.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article vis PhysicsWorld.

emily | 7:57 AM | permalink

November 22, 2012

Cartilage made using hybrid 3D printer could help treat joint diseases and sporting injuries

_64304831_cartilageprinter-1.gif Researchers have developed a way to "print" cartilage that could help treat joint diseases and sporting injuries. The BBC reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThey say that the new material is more robust and hardwearing than previous efforts to create artificial cartilage.

A traditional ink-jet printer combined with a specialised spinning-machine is used to make it.

It could lead to bespoke cartilage created for individual patients. But one expert warned it was too early to be confident it would ever be used.

The study was published in the Institute of Physic's journal Biofabrication.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Read full article.

emily | 4:29 PM | permalink

November 21, 2012

3-D Printing Branches Out With New Wood-Based Filament

design.jpeg High-end printers have been working with metals and ceramics for some time. But now the 3-D printing community is toying with a material more natural in origin: printed wood.

Wired explains how it happened, how one website that carries it is perpetually out of stock and with no open source sharing, it’s impossible for others in the fledgling community to continue helping its development.

3-D printing wood might not rival traditional production methods in terms of cost or quality, but it stands alone for its unique aesthetic.

Read full article.

Related article: 3D Printing: Progression with Wood Filament Material

emily | 4:07 PM | permalink