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3D Printed Guns?

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Just putting the word “gun” in the title of a 3D printer blog is controversial.  So, should the public worry about 3D printed guns?  How about 3D printed knives?  3D Printed bomb casings?

DANGER

As a member of the armed forces, I learned that signal words in documents meant to show a procedure could cause injury such as the word “WARNING” or death as in the word “DANGER”.  So should I be scared that someone will use a 3D printer as a murder weapon?  I say “NO”! I have never ever seen anything in the manuals that accompanied my printer saying things like DANGER may creat a gun.

Guns, Bombs, Knives!

Yes, you can print these things on a 3D printer.  But will not waste tier time when they could just buy most of the components on the internet.  The internet is full of videos and articles on how to make Dundee sized knives from nothing more than a railroad spike.  There are even YouTube videos on how to build a gun using unserialized parts.  You don’t even need a 3D printer.  Anyone who owns a 3D printer will tell you that printing a gun is not that easy.

Should I Worry?

No, because unless they have been in this hobby for some length of time, they will use other methods of obtaining their means of destruction. As of this article, a 3D printed gun has never been used to kill or injure someone.  There is and always will be a possibility of that occurring, but there is also a possibility that someone might use some other easier to get weapons for such things as murder.  But this is, of course, my opinion and you will have yours.  It is a free country after all…

COVID-19 Helped 3D Printing

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Many see the pandemic as the downfall of industry.  But for the 3D printing industry they have received a much-needed booster shot.  Manufactures are looking at the current rise in interest as a prelude to an uptick in printer and material sells.

Why?

3D printing filled the hole created by the large demand of much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE).  Hobbyists throughout the world donated their time and material to offer face shields, swabs, masks, and ventilators to name just a few.  This has brought free coverage for the hobby from the press who in the past have looked at our hobby but not seen it for what it could be.

What does this all Mean?

More people taking an interest in this hobby means innovation and lower prices.  These are the thing we have sought from the beginning.  So, when you see those nurses and doctors on the news wearing donated face shields and masks, understand it is a step forward for the hobby.  Things can only get better from this point.

Diversity in the 3D Printing Industry

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A report “Diversity for Additive Manufacturing”, by the nonprofit Women in 3D Printing.  They surveyed 18 3D additive manufacturing companies to determines their diversity.  The report showed that only three companies have diversity programs.

Results

The 3D printing industry is not as diverse as once believed it was.  The report made recommendations for these companies.  Recommendation such as using electronic recruiting processes to remove human bias from the hiring process.

As Quoted

The groups said the following about the study, “…aims to shed light on existing actions that promote diversity and inclusion towards minority groups on the one hand and on the other hand, to raise awareness on the need for more actionable takeaways towards people from minority groups, to create a more diverse industry.”

Essentium has Partnered with Magigoo

Magigoo has already been known for one of the best methods of keeping projects stuck to the bed.  In a joint effort with Essentium, Maggigoo owned by Malta-based Thought 2D.  A new polymer formulated for use in high-speed Fused Deposition Modeling.

Magigoo

Magigoo s a Smart adhesive, in that it perfectly holds your projects on the bed even preventing warping.  As a result, the dislodged project runs the possibility of causing damage to the printer or having to restart a project that has already been printed for an extensive length of time.

Essentium 3D

Essentium 3D printing bed adhesives bring Magigoo into the realm of industrial high-speed printing.  They include four varieties starting with standard filaments, compatible with Nylon filaments, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) filaments, and High-Temperature filaments.  This product is available now.

The Air Force has 3D Printed the First Aircraft Engine Part

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To prove that 3D printing can save time and money. A team at Tinker Air Force Base has collaborated in what is the first usable 3D printed aircraft engine part.

The Need

A slowdown in the supply chain caused by Covid-19 has prompted the need for a specially designed aircraft engine gasket.  Engineers at Tinker Airforce Base, Air Logistics Command decided to show how 3D printing could be exploited to create the needed “anti-ice gaskets”.

Conclusions

The team successfully designed, printed and tested the gaskets, decreasing the lead time from 120-136 days to 14-21 days.  Air Force officials have stated “We haven’t had a 3D printed metal component in Air Force engines before, but in the next 12-24 months, this technology will open the door to more complex and critical components that help to improve our sustainment efforts moving forward.”

Information on this article can be found at https://www.tinker.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2296780/tinker-units-collaborate-produce-first-3-d-printed-engine-component/ .

Voodoo Manufacturing is Closed

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Voodoo Manufacturing a Brooklyn-based 3D printing service has closed.  Before closing they were able to successfully manufacture 15,000 face shields. Unfortunately after having to lay off their staff, they just were not able to come back from the time they were closed.

A Sad Day

Known for having 200 3D printers and being able to manufacture many large projects in record time.  Which so many artists have relied on to get their projects off of the ground.  The loss of this asset will be felt throughout the community.

Good Bye

We wish you a tearful good bye and hope that someday you might be able to return with your wonderful service!

3D Printed Coral

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Ocean coral may be boosted by Eco-friendly 3D Printed tiles.  Scientists hope that by printing these tiles, coral will been enticed to grow in areas which have been damaged by bioerosion and climate change.  They have created 128 pieces printed in clay and hardened in a kiln.

Coral Designs

The scientists selected various designs from nature which have been shown to induce coral growth.  This work was in consort with Swire Institute of Marine Science.  They hope to continue the project on many other damaged coral reefs throughout the world.

World Changing

Just one more way 3D printing is changing our world in a good way!

Glass Filled Materials

Two manufactures are now offering glass additive for 3D printing materials. DSM Additive Manufacturing a Dutch company and Rize an American 3D printer company are among the first to offer this new form of Glass Fiber material.  While glass fiber has been offered by other companies for some time now, this material is considered to be much more durable, lighter, heat resistant and stronger.

Industry

These two companies both intend their materials to be used in large context 3D printing in the auto industry.   Rize even carries the UL GreenGuard Certification for not releasing emissions during extrusion. Rize is perfect for indoor 3D modeling operations.

Why Do You Care?

So, why is this of interest?  These materials may be well outside the average user price range now.  But this continued innovation in the high-end 3D printing industry will always seep into our hobby in unpredictable ways.

Bellus3D Mask Fitter

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The 3D scanning company Bellus3D has designed a 3d printable tool for masking fitting. They are known for a 3D scanning app for your face, which works with a cell phone. The app didn’t function very well, but a feature in the app “Mask Fitter” is quite useful.

The 3d printed mask fitter tool is designed to snap over your existing mask and allow for it to fit the shape of your face. It allows for a tighter more comfortable fit of your mask.

Fitter
“A standard face mask is loose-fitting and does not provide a tight seal.

But, face masks are less expensive, more widely available and can be homemade out of different materials.

The Bellus3D personalized Mask Fitter frame is a new innovation designed to be pressed on top of an existing face mask. It provides a comfortable, tight seal for significantly improved effectiveness. It is for personal use.”

Bellus3D provides the standard fitter for free and a customizable version for $.99 US Dollars. A Premium version is also available for $2.99 US Dollars.

Premium Mask

Conclusion

There have been many COVID-19 related prints in the Internet’s vast 3D Printing library. This is an unusual find which is well worth the time to print.

Simplify3D 5.0 is coming!

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The third party program Simplify3D will be releasing the 5.0 update sometime this year. Simplify3D is a paid for 3D slicing program in a world of open source slicers (i.e. Ultamaker Cura, KISSlicer, or Slic3r). The last update was July 2017, 2.5 years ago. Since then there have been many that complained that the 2017 update actually broke the package.

Customer Requests

According to Simplify3D it will incorporate 70 customer feature requests, making it the largest release since it was launched back in 2013. Almost every component was improved. A major portion of the development teams time has been spent documenting changes and features requested by their customers.

2.5 Years in the Making

It is no wonder that the update has taken 2.5 years. Unfortunately for them, while they have been developing the 5.0 update, many of their competitors have surpassed their current 4.0 software.

When?

When will it be released? Will you have to pay for the update if you already own it? It was originally slated for a 2019 release date. The package now has a 2020 release date. Anytime now we could expect the announcement. Owners will be required to pay for the update.

Conclusion

Simplify3D was one first commercial slicer available in the fledgling 3D printer software market. They were considered to be one of the premiere slicing packages on the shelf and hopefully the new release will bring them back to their place in the market.

Covid-19 and 2020 3D Printing Conferences in the US

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    • Summer 2020 finds most, if not all, US conferences have either been canceled, postponed or virtual. Here is a list of the US conferences and there current status.
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    • After an extensive search of the Internet, I found that most all of the overseas conferences are still occurring. There are a few local Maker Faires occurring in the few states which or not practicing social distancing. Until this situation has ended it is still not recommend to attend such events.So, until next year 2021 conferences will not be back to the normal in person events with a vender floors.

      Conclusion

      Please support what we do have this year with these virtual conferences, so we can make 2021 a better year!

      Stay home and be safe.

3D Printed Custom Stents Coming Soon

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The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) is an Australian federal government agency responsible for scientific research. They have recently completed research and development into 3D printing stents. These would be used to aid in the repair of patient’s damaged anatomy.

Stents

first 3D printed titanium heel, sternum and partial rib cage. CSIRO continues to be a leader in medical related 3D printing techniques. The stents are custom for every patient and designed using 3D imaging technology and selective laser melting (SLM). The stents can then be certified while the surgeon is present.

Conclusion

This new technology has prompted CISRO to launch a new company, Flex Memory Ventures. They are hoping to lower the costs of such stents in the future, through use of mass manufacturing.