3D Printing

Easy and Cool: 3D Printed Things You Can Really Use

Cool Ideas to 3D Print

3D print your ideas! Colorful, sturdy, and certainly useful for personal use, at home, school or office. Great, personalized gifts for special occasions.

Consider a digital sundial. It’s innovative and really works. The shape of the sundial has been designed to only let through the right sun rays at the right time and angle, so it can display the actual time at 20 minute intervals.

How about a survival whistle? You can make your own original design. Design it rugged, easy to make, easy to carry, of neon color and as loud as 118 decibels! It’s perfect for emergency situations.

Consider a soap dish, a toothpaste tube squeezer, a coaster, a sliding bag clip, a bottle cap opener, jar handles snap-on portal book stand, shopping bag handles, piggy banks, a modular, articulated lamp, a shower head, or a car windshield ice scraper.

For handy tools and aids around the house, you’ll find these helpful when you need them: a fully assembled platform jack with adjustable height for objects you need to prop up (like a camera), a set of customizable sanding sticks of different widths and lengths, hand-screw clamps for low-intensity woodworking, customizable parametric u-hooks to hang loads as heavy as 40 kilos, plastic wrench for general use, door stoppers, and even a plastic hammer.

For your electronic devices, these items will keep your stuff in order, safe, and ready to use. Consider an earbud holder, stackable hexagonal drawers for cables, a wall outlet shelf for your phone or tablet, a passive sound amplifier with tiny speakers, a headphone stand, a modular mounting system for phones, tablets and lightweight cameras, or a micro SD card holder.

These are just a few of simple, everyday items you can 3D print and, what’s best is, you can customize them. They are only ideas but have seen print already. Many, many other ideas are out there, like toys, other kitchen gadgets, decor, and even fancy jewelry. Only your mind can limit the possibilities.

Printing Useful Ideas at 3D Composites

If you can imagine it, we might be able to print it. Choose from a wide variety of colors and materials that are capable of fitting different strength requirements and specifications. Contact 3D Composites Seattle if you’ve got an idea and let us help.

3D Printing: The Answer to Cranium Fracture?

New Emergency Technology Possible

In the event of cranium fractures, such as traumatic injuries sustained from vehicular accidents or from acts of violence, treatment and healing are going to be huge challenges. There may be instances of large missing bone volume and that to customize a fit requires a long time. Further to that, there might be improper healing which in turn may lead to revision surgeries.

While typically, metal or plastic implants are used as replacements, customization time should be reduced and the implantable bone scaffolds must have improved accuracies. Also, the scaffolding used must have the properties of enhancing tissue regeneration and growth. All these factors must come together for proper healing.

From the International & American Associations for Dental Research comes a study where 3D printed replacement scaffolds are seen to overcome the aforementioned challenges. The goal is to heal the defect or fracture site rapidly. In their laboratory, several nanobiosilica-based 3D scaffolds with adequate 3D printing properties were tested. A human periosteum cell culture model and a rat cranial defect animal model were used to illustrate the efficacy of the scaffold. The biopolymer scaffold and the printing ink were prepared, a cross-linking agent was used. The scaffold was 3D-printed directly into the bone defects, using concentrations for optimal bone density and chemical structure.

Four weeks later, scans showed nearly 55% of bone defect healing observed, which was the higher healing specimen because it had more biopolymer than the other which had lower concentrations. For controls that were empty, only 11% of the defect filled with bone after four weeks. Histologically observed, the scaffolds recruited cells into their structure to regenerate the intra-bony layers needed to initiate the healing process.

Concluding now, 3D in-situ printing of bone-regenerating scaffolds improve the delivery of biomedical devices for the proper and rapid healing of bone fractures. This method made possible the absorption of blood and growth factors into the scaffold, incorporating well into the printed structural support that stimulates healing. The method also potentially improves implantability and rapid bone healing capability. In the future, these methods can become outpatient procedures with reduced medical expenses owed to extended hospital stays.

3D Printing Anytime in Seattle

Do you have a 3D printing idea or project? For your ideas and prototype models, contact us at 3D Composites.


Designed for Excellence with Sara Abramowicz

Exploring Quality & Service with the Women of 3DC

3D printed parts can be built to almost any dimension but sometimes those measurements out-scale the machines. That’s where Engineer Sara Abramowicz comes in. Since starting at 3D Composites Sara has taken on the task of making sure that each part, even the extra large ones, are printed to the correct specifications with care.

“I help with managing what’s going on the machines, making sure the parts are ready to go and if they are bigger parts that need to be split up into smaller pieces, setting up those joints.”

3D Composites uses Fortus printers with build envelopes that are up to 16”x14”x16”. When 3D printed pieces are too large to fit within the given dimensions it is up to Sara to section the CAD file into segments to make sure that it is precisely divided with appropriate joints that can be bonded.

“Working with the bond joints is fun because it’s like how do I make this go together, how do I split this up so that it still works together as its intended as a full part?”

A graduate of Gonzaga University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Sara had only a little exposure to 3D printing when she started with the company. “In my junior year we were just getting in a couple of little MakerBots for the students to use, so we learned some basics from that. [When I started with 3DC] I did not know much about any of the materials at all, it was really interesting to see what we could do, like with the vacuum former so that we can print our own tooling instead of having to get it manufactured externally.”

She is right. There is a lot more to additive manufacturing than first meets the eye. Being able to design a part that not only is made from durable and production-grade materials, but is also manufactured to precise custom measurements is a feature that the 3DC staff take pride in.

Our Women of 3DC series has come to an end but we have more awesome staff and great services for you to explore. Be sure to keep up with us on facebook and twitter for the latest with the 3DC crew!

old building

3D Printing May Save Old Architecture

Capabilities To Restore The Past

Restoration work on historical landmarks, as buildings, houses, among others, is a very tedious job, at the same time, extremely expensive. To protect historical buildings at a reasonable cost is becoming harder and traditional facade design is towards a dying art. Many modern cities have lost the architectural charm of the past; glass and steel have replaced intricate facades and ornamental classics.

However, new technology exists that can bring the craft of ornate architecture into the modern age, and at a cost that could save buildings from demolition. Digital tools are now the medium towards artistic expressions. One of them is 3D printing technology, with the capacity to restore and recreate historic urban architecture that can be lost.

EDG New York, an architecture, engineering and consulting firm, is inspired to formulate a financially viable process to help restore buildings under threat. With 3D printing, architectural sculpture can be digitized and render them into printable objects. In other words, modern technology meets traditional craft.

Even then, in spite of 3D printing technology, the main drawback in restoration was the cost. Solid 3D-printed parts remained expensive. EDG went for plastic moulds that can produce intricate copies on site, within a day. Laser scanning software allows EDG to recreate anything with ease, from colonnades and cornices to a whole building. Architects anywhere could reprint the same mould from their digital catalogue of parts. There is now the freedom to create captivating, engaging and unique facades. EDP says that even with costly projects, with their method of construction, ornamentation can be designed and incorporated into the facade without exceeding the budget.

Since 3D printing in architecture has been growing in the last decade, what other structures have been 3D printing-inspired? Well, whole 3D printed house have been built. Some were in Russia and China, and a micro-house was recently built in Amsterdam. The first 3D-printed room in 2013, the Digital Grotesque in Zurich, 11 tonnes and 11-feet tall, boasted beautiful baroque detail with millions of micro-textures. There are also plans to 3D print a one-bedroom house at this year’s Milan Design Week. Also 3D -printed were some remains of the siege of Palmyra in Syria after the ISIS destroyed much of its priceless treasures. 3D printing has indeed set a permanent foothold in the realm of architecture and even in archeology.

Printing Complex Parts Quickly and Accurately

For your ideas and prototype models, contact us at 3D Composites. At 3D Composites we are able to turn your ideas into reality through 3D printing. With our professional line of Stratasys 3D printers including the Fortus 450, and strong production-grade thermoplastics, we are able to print complex parts quickly and accurately, creating functional parts from the design phase through to production.

Rhonda Gustafson in customer service

Outstanding Customer Service with Rhonda Gustafson

Exploring Quality & Service with the Women of 3DC

There’s no business like small business when it comes to customer service. Especially when you have the experience, drive, and processes to back it up. Rhonda and her husband Kim started 3D Composites in the fall of 2013 after visiting an additive manufacturing convention that peaked their interest in the business. By December they had purchased their first printer and by 2015 had already opened a second location.

“I worked in the medical field for 30 years, CAT scanning works with sliced layers and 3D printing lays down in slice type layers too.” Rhonda’s past experience has given her a unique perspective on the aerospace additive manufacturing industry. “Being a pilot I’ve worked on our airplanes, we’ve done our own maintenance and I’ve gotten familiar with the parts.” She has taken these skills and expanded them into a company that has a proven record of quality and service.

Her favorite part of the job is customer service, “Quoting jobs, getting the parts made to their specifications and hearing back that it works…that’s really rewarding for me,” and it shows through the commitment to the company’s Quality Objectives. “We document those daily. The on-time delivery is tracked on our production schedule and the error-free product is tracked through our (paperwork)”.

Rhonda has also made sure that the attention to keeping the quality goals is also reflected in the employees of 3DC. By bringing on folks like Kim M., Mary Lee, and Sara to manage part production she is leading a team of a majority women to keep the company on track. “We mainly look at the best person for the job really and as it happens most recommended applicants have been female.” As industry standards go they seem to be in good company. “Engineering is definitely weighted heavily male, but management is actually more female…almost all of my buyers are female.”

But for now the future holds growth. Expanding the services 3DC provides in the shape of processes like vacuum thermoforming and CNC machining has been just the next step for a company that has more than doubled since its start a few years ago, and you can expect to see the same commitment to quality service throughout.

Click here to learn more about Rhonda and the quality standards for 3D Composites and check back next month to learn more about quality and service with the women of 3DC.