Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Making history: human tissue 3D printed in space

 Russian astronauts have successfully 3D printed human tissue in space.

With the advances in science and technology, new ideas are being materialized all the time,from 3D printed cartoon characters to 3D printed organs. From earth to outer space,3D printing is certain to usher in an era of “space manufacturing” and a new round of medical innovation.

3D printing plays a key role in regenerative medicine,which is getting a lot of attention.

In fact, dating back to 1987, the concept of “regenerative medicine” was proposed and received worldwide attention.It was so popular that by the first half of 2019, 933 companies were registered in regenerative medicine globally.And regenerative medicine related technology and industries have since been booming due to the huge demand.

Compared to conventional manufacturing processes,additive manufacturing boasts high repeatibility and efficiency, and is capable of creating complex tissues and organs containing a variety of cells, growth factors and biological materials,a huge boost to regenerative medicine.

In April 2019, researchers at Tel Aviv University successfully 3D printed the world’s first vascularized heart,the size of 2.5cm,using the patient’s own cells and biomaterials.This was a key step towards the adoption of 3D printing technology by bioscience in producing functional human organs, causing a sensation in the medical field and beyond.


But this is the first time to have human tissue successfully printed in space.


Human beings have always been fascinated by outer space. Yet, we are intimidated by its harsh environment–In micro-gravity,our bodies are subject to all sorts of conditions, such as muscle atrophy, bone loss and etc.


Recently, a Russian astronaut on the International Space Station has created human cartilage in micro-gravity with the help of 3D printing.

Traditional methods of human tissue regeneration involve seeding cells onto bio-compatible “scaffolds”. Once the tissue has finished self-assembling the organ, the scaffold material will be biodegraded. 3D printing organs on Earth is one thing;replicating the same processes in outer space is quite another.There is little gravity on the International Space Station for the scaffold to hold the cartilage cells together.

To get around the problem,Oleg Kononenko used a “scaffold-free” tissue-engineering device,developed by Moscow-based 3D Bioprinting Solutions,in the customized assembly machine.The method leverages a magnetic field instead of gravity to direct cells to where they need to go, thus assembling them into more complex structures.

This has positive implications for astronauts being able to stay in space longer, or for people who want to realize their dreams of space travel.

Utkan Demirci of Stanford University School of Medicine is the driving force behind the maglev biological assembly method, which aims to build tissue in microgravity. The technique leverages two relative magnets close to each other to create a force that pushes the cells toward each other. “Electromagnetic or magnetic fields are controlled, so we can move cells to where we want them to go in order to assemble them into more complex tissue structures.”says Demirci.

In addition,more practice and experimenting are expected here on Earth. Demirci believes that such research in space could lead to interesting discoveries in cancer biology and cross-infection, such as HIV or COVID-19.

But the study also faces a challenge: cells need to be suspended in a paramagnetic medium containing gadolinium (Gd) ions at concentrations that could be toxic to the cells and cause pressure imbalances. And one of the potential solutions to these problems is to use suspension assembly in microgravity, that’s why we finally got to witness the latest experiment conducted by Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station.

The experiment’s success boosts space regenerative medicine, which, if developed further, may one day help crew members replace body parts. Then astronauts can finally “live on their own hump”!

Source: qq.com

Monday, 3 August 2020

Something You Need to Know between PLA and ABS

With the development of FDM technology in China, 3D printer FDM technology is becoming more and more popular. In the current market, there are two kinds of mainstream filaments for the FDM 3d printer: ABS and PLA. They are all engineering materials.

Here are some ways you need to focus on when you choose the FDM printer filaments.

First, let’s learn about PLA and ABS. Compared with PLA, the melting point of ABS is about 200℃, and the nozzle temperature of printing ABS is generally 210℃ - 230℃. The melting point of PLA is about 180℃, it is lower than that of ABS. The nozzle temperature of the printing PLA is generally 190℃-220℃. In terms of the 3D printing model, PLA is harder than ABS. The model printed with ABS is darker, and the model printed with PLA is lighter. These are the small differences between ABS and PLA.

Second, let’s share the printer's dependence on filaments. As far as FDM 3D printing is concerned, filaments are an important factor to ensure the precision of the printing model. Each printer has its own printing consumables, and the diameter of filament can’t be wrong. Filaments sold on the market vary in diameter, generally, 1.75mm filaments are sold in 1.66mm, 1.7mm, etc. If the diameter is smaller than the standard of the printer, the filament will be stuck in the printing process, and the printing model will be misplaced. Therefore, it must pay attention to the filament diameter and know that the majority of ABS printing consumables on the market are 1.75mm. The majority of PLA printing consumables on the market are 1.75mm and 3.00mm.

Three, for other characters, PLA is an environmentally friendly material. When you use filament PLA for printing, there will be a sweet smell like candy. However, the ABS will be a pungent smell. In addition, PLA also can print much bigger models without the heating bed, and the edges of the models will not be raised. But ABS is easy to warp.

Finally, before purchasing a printer, please make sure that the printing filaments what the printer is suitable for. The filaments produced by each manufacturer will have different additives, and the proportion of additives will be different. If the proportion of water added in filaments is too large, the outer wall of the printed model will appear accretion, which will affect the appearance of the model. Every 3D printer has one of the most suitable filaments. For example, there is an Ender-3 printer in Creality 3D, which is more suitable for printing 1.75mm PLA filaments after testing in the factory. If ABS filament is used, printing can be completed, but the printing effect is not as good as PLA. Therefore, it is recommended that each 3D printer only use filaments from the same manufacturer, and do not change printing consumables frequently.

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The Introductory Guide on FDM 3D Printing

                Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is the most popular process used in 3D printing. It can create durable, long-lasting, and strong parts that are digitally precise and accurate. If you're looking to learn more about this innovative technology, you've come to the right place! Below you’ll find a complete introductory guide on FDM 3D printing.

An Introduction to FDM 3D Printing
FDM technology is the most commonly used method of 3D printing. FDM stands for Fused Deposition Modeling and was first developed in the 1980s. It uses a thermoplastic filament that is heated until it melts. The melted filament is then extracted, layer by layer, to create a three-dimensional object. There are actually two different aspects to this process. One is the modeling material that makes the object itself, and the other is the support material that acts as scaffolding to support the object while it’s being printed.

The process of FDM 3D printing is quite advanced but the method actually followed to create your 3D objects has been simplified. Usually, you will start out with a computer-aided design file or .CAD file. This file is then converted into either a .STL file or .OBJ file in order to be processed by the FDM 3D printer.

Once an object is ready to be printed, the FDM 3D printer starts by loading filaments into a nozzle. The filaments are then heated up until the point of melting. A computer communicates with the nozzle, or extruder, and base of the printer and tells it exactly where to move in order to create the object accurately. Then, the melted thermoplastic filament will be extruded from the nozzle as it moves over the base to create the first layer of the object. As each layer cools and hardens, another layer is added on top of it and immediately binds to the one below it. As each layer builds, the base will move lower to allow room for more layers.

When the object is done printing, the thermoplastic supports can be snapped off by hand and sanded if needed.

The Common Types of FDM 3D Printers
FDM 3D printers have evolved throughout the years. They are now becoming more modern, sophisticated, and advanced. That also means you have your choice of several different types. Read more below about the most common types of FDM 3D printers, including their advantages and limitations.

Cartesian
The most common type of FDM 3D printer is the Cartesian. This is a boxy type of design where the base moves on the Z-axis and the extruder moves on the X and Y-axis. This three-axis system is based on the Cartesian coordinate system in mathematics, which is where the printer derives its name from. There are some variations but most work in this fashion.
Advantages: Simpler design, easier to maintain, detailed, precise.
Limitations: Speed. Cartesian 3D Printers can be quite slow. Most other types created after this design worked to improve on the speed.

Delta
Delta 3D printers have a circular base with the extruder suspended at the top. The nozzle is supported by three metal arms that form a triangular shape (or a delta symbol). Delta 3D printers are also unique in the fact the base never moves, unlike most other common types. This can offer an advantage when creating certain types of objects.
Advantages: Faster than most other types, a modern design, stationary base.
Limitations: It is said to not be as accurate or detailed as the Cartesian types.

Polar
Polar 3D printers are a newer design that works on a different type of coordinate system. Whereas the Cartesian 3D printer works on the Cartesian coordinate system (a square grid), the Polar 3D printer works on the polar coordinate system (a circular grid). With this type of printer, the base can spin around while the nozzle can move up and down and left to right.
Advantages: Can make larger objects in less space, runs on two motors rather than three which makes it more energy efficient
Limitations: It’s still an emerging new design and not as well-known as others.

Scara
Scara stands for Selective Compliance Assembly Robotic Arm. If you watch a Scara 3D printer in action, it almost looks like a robotic system from a manufacturing factory. It is very precise in its accuracy and due to its flexible position, it can make more complex objects.
Advantages: Can make more complex structures, more mobile design since it is not fixed to a base.
Disadvantages: It’s still an emerging new design. It is also said to not produce as high-quality products as the Cartesian.

The Common Types of FDM 3D Printing Materials
Here we will cover the most common types of FDM 3D printing materials. We will also discuss exactly what they are, what they’re good for, and any drawbacks they may have.

PLA
PLA stands for polylactic acid or polylactide. It is a biodegradable thermoplastic that is created from renewable resources. PLA offers good detail, is affordable, and easy to print with. While it offers high stiffness, it has a low impact strength.

ABS

ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. It is a thermoplastic polymer. ABSoffersimproved mechanical and thermal properties over PLA but less detail. It has a low production cost and excellent impact strength but may be susceptible to warping.

TPU

TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane. It is a class of polyurethane plastics that is flexible, transparent, and resistant to oil, grease, and abrasion. It is best suited for tubes, grips, seals, and gaskets. While it is very flexible, it doesn’t offer a high print accuracy.

Nylon
Nylon or polyamide (PA) is thermoplastic silky material. It has great wear and high abrasion and chemical resistance. It is very high in strength but has low humidity resistance.

PEI
PEI stands for polyetherimide. It is an amorphous thermoplastic that is amber-to-transparent. It is an engineering plastic with high-performance applications. PEI also has excellent heat, chemical, and flame resistance. It has a very good strength to weight but can be costly to use.

PETG

PETG stands for polyethylene terephthalate, while the G is added to indicate it has been glycol modified for extra durability. It has improved properties over PLA, making it more impact-resistant with exceptional chemical and moisture resistance. It can be sterilized making it food safe. PETG also has good strength, is flexible, and can be easy to print with.

The Advantages and Limitations of FDM 3D Printing
The main advantages of FDM 3D printing over other forms of printing are its low cost, ease of use, and a broad range of materials. Compared to other techniques, FDM 3D printing is much more affordable and therefore more accessible to the average buyer. The process is user-friendly and easy to use. Also, as you saw in the last section, there are many different types of filaments you can use. This can allow for the use of different types of material in one project. They also come in a wide range of colors and levels of opaqueness.

The main limitations of FDM 3D printing include being limited to plastics, may not achieve super detailed objects, and more work can be involved when removing supports. It should be noted that FDM 3D printers are the best type for home and office use. While other types of 3D printers can make objects out of ceramic or glass, the types of materials needed can be very dangerous and therefore should be reserved for professional 3D printer operators.

Common Application Fields of FDM 3D Printing
For a long time, 3D printing was very expensive and therefore out of the reach of most people. Now that it is starting to become more affordable, FDM 3D printing is now used in all types of fields. Below you’ll find a list of the most common applications of FDM 3D printing in various fields of study.

Medical Field
Used for bio-printing, medical devices, replicas of organs, pills, and implants.

Manufacturing Field
Mass customization, rapid prototypes, rapid manufacturing, and in research labs.

Industrial Field
Clothes, shoes, jewelry, cars, construction, computers, robots, and art.

Cultural Fields
Art, jewelry, hobbies, educational use, and environmental use.

The Future Prospects of FDM 3D Printing
FDM 3D printing is the new wave of the future. The technology is evolving and growing every day and its uses are only increasing. While there are many incredible things already being done with FDM 3D printing, the future growth is exponential. The medical industry is already making printed organs and the construction industry has started to look into 3D printing to build houses!

Even though there are many industrial and research applications, FDM 3D printing can be ideal for the tinkerer, maker, or hobbyist. Your imagination is truly the limit. Do you need a part for a small fix around the house? Print one up! Are you looking to create unique art or advanced robots? FDM 3D printing can help with that, too. If you can dream it, you can print it!


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Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Creality Ender 3 Pro: When Print Speed Matters!


              Printing speed is always served as a yardstick of a fast 3D printer. However, maintaining a fine line between print quality and the time taken to complete an object, is one that successfully differentiates a good printer from the masses. Falling prices and advancing technology has made cheap 3D printers all the more enticing. The level of the output one can obtain from these machines, makes for a compelling value proposition.

Among these range of popular and affordable 3D printers is the Creality Ender 3 Pro. A printer that does anything and everything you want without your bank in any way. Today, we`ll focus on the speed aspect of a printing setup and gloss over the important things that affect the overall print speed.

Printing speeds heavily relies on the type of material used. The material must undergo the required phase transition within the period duly required for binding uniformity. A detailed classification citing an ideal print setting for the given material used with Ender 3 Pro is given below:

PLA - derived from the plant materials is considered to be the most generic form of printable material. It delivers a print speed of 60 mm/s which remains ideal for everyday use.

TPU – represents a class of soft flexible materials, that is required to be printed at speeds, much slower than PLA or PETG. Considering the Ender 3 Bowden Extruder setup, printing at a speed of 20 mm/s to 40 mm/s should render a fine quality print.

PETG – is a set of filaments that prints at a temperature that is hotter than PLA. It can reach print speeds up to 60 mm/s, but the output may suffer from a stingy structure. Therefore, it's best to observe a print speed of around 40mm/s to alleviate the possibility of a feeble print.

ABS – is a hard and impact-resistant material. It necessitates an enclosed form to obtain a uniform and thorough print. Typically, a print speed close to PLA or PETG, (40-60 mm/s) is considered to be a safe bet.

Printer Characteristics:
The versatility of the Ender 3 Pro makes it potent to handle print speeds ranging from 30mm/s to as high as 200mm/s. However, the level of quality suffers as the print speed increases. Hence, an optimal print guideline specified by the Ender 3 Pro setup states 40-50mm/s for Detailed Prints & 70-80mm/s for rougher models.

Print Bed Settings:
The manufacturer states a max print speed of 200mm/s for Ender 3 Pro. However, speeds this fast is neither viable nor optimal for a fine quality print. This usually states the speed of motor travel rather than an extruder print speed.
One might find it difficult to ascertain a level bed, fit for good printing. This issue may exacerbate the conditions observed while fast printing. The enhanced forces of inertia involved in the translational motion, coupled with a wobbly or tilted bed might pose a serious risk to the machine.

Trial and Error Methodology:
Regardless of the brand of printer or its proprietary sets of features, users must themselves find ideal printer settings which suit their needs. Thus, finding the best specifications and settings remains a key part in an endless trial and error method that follows a continuous 3D printing process. The crucial things remain the iterative tuning and experimentation which renders the best possible experience. So, keep on trying and see what works for you the best!


Sunday, 18 August 2019

XYZ Scanner 2.0 – An Overview!


               Designing a 3D model of a real-world object from scratch can seem like a daunting task. Thankfully, the world of 3D printing does offer a creative solution called the 3D scanner.

3DScanning – Is a simple process of capturing and mapping a real-world object using computer-aided photography to generate an identical model that is available for printing.


XYZ, a Taiwan based company makes some of the best handheld scanners in the 3D printing industry. The XYZ Scanner 2.0 is a compact and lightweight tool that helps users scan the minute details within an object. All the more, this device can serve a pivotal role in reverse engineering, body scanning and rapid prototyping.

The XYZ Scanner 2.0 employs the sophisticated Intel® RealSense™ technology to generate a raw 3D model from an object within minutes. It can easily map both large and small objects though its extended operating range of 25-60 cm & a scanning distance of 20-120 cm. The colour camera can produce scans at a resolution of 1920x1080p at 40fps (frames per second), while detailed depth images can be recorded at a size of 640x480 at 30fps. It also provides deep scans with a max resolution of 0.2-1.5 mm for object dimension up to 100x100x200cm (WxDxH).

The scanner is compatible with various software’s, as detailed scans can be exported in multiple file formats such as .stl, .obj, .ply, .fbx, among others. The company uses proprietary software called XYZScan to facilitate easy scanning. This software serves as a handy tool to quickly edit the model as per your needs.

XYZ scanner drastically cuts down the cost associated in replicating a printable object. It renders an exceptional 3D scanning experience though its detailed scans that facilitate economical 3D printing. Its versatile outlook and high-res scans make it a perfect companion for professions working on all fronts.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Creality Ender 3: Top features that make it stand out!


A growing community and an ever-rising need for economic options have impelled 3D Printer manufacturers to innovate and marginalize cost at the same time. Amid this fierce competition, Creality, a has made its way to the top. Its numerous offering comes at an excellent price point and observes a level of quality that comes through its innovative and cutting-edge engineering. With numerous accolades from industry veterans and seasoned specialist, Ender 3 – a low-cost 3D Printer has rightfully earned its place across the class of most prominent 3D printer kits out there. Buy on Amazon

Let's go through some important aspects which make the Ender 3 a formidable machine,

Supreme Design
Ender 3 is an FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) Type printer which comes with a solid design borrowed from the Prusa I3 frame. It is packed with a V-Slot POM wheel that grants a smooth and noiseless motion with its rugged and durable built. The Ender 3 comes with a 0.4mm nozzle that can extrude a variety of filaments through its patented MK-10 extruder that neatly eliminates the possibility of plugging risk and bad extrusion.

Super-Size Bed
The printer comes with the best-in-class bed size of 220 x 220 x 250 mm, which facilitates the production of sizable prints. The layer height can be dialled down to a mere 100 microns which allow for detailed and quality print outputs.

Easy Assembly
The installation process is cumbersome for novice users but is a rather fulfilling process with its detailed and instructive assembly manuals. The entire process can be completed in under 20 mins as the hot end and base come preassembled which just leaves the assembly of frame and electronics to be finished.

Versatile
The extruder temperature can reach up to 255 which makes it compatible with a variety of printable materials such as ABS/PLA, TPU, WOOD, FLEXIBLE, Carbon fibre, PETG, HIPS, NYLON, among others. The Cura 3.0.2 slicing software can be interfaced via a USB or can be used to output final G-codes for printing through a microSD card slot. Lastly, the Ender 3 also lets you resume prints in case of undue failure of power or time constraints.

Performance

The Printer renders output within a dimensional accuracy of 1% which falls well within the workable tolerances associated with the printing industry. The exceptional speed of printing is given through its sophisticated price of engineering that observes few competitors in this margin.   

 

Economical
The price of the Ender 3 falls in line with competition as it sits roughly in the price bracket of 16,000-20,000 Rs. Users must be aware of the duplicate or fake products as the success of Creality range has spawned many clones across the industry. Bedsides its unbeatable price, the running cost associated with the printer which mainly includes filament cost and cost of spare is also low. Additionally, the Ender-3 can be used with 3rd party filaments without any issues.



The Ender 3 is an epitome of excellence, for the value it provides. The printer accommodates the character necessary to define a perfect printer like good bed size, better dimensional accuracy, and an affordable price point. These qualities make this a perfect companion to embark on your 3D Printing journey.