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.

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.

clear aligners

Orthodontists Are Getting Help from 3D Printing

Making Teeth Aligners More Affordable

The cost of braces and invisible aligners is not a joke. Their hefty price tags are stumbling blocks to most average Americans who would otherwise have them if they were just within reach. Even orthodontists, specialists who offer these teeth-straightening appliances, are only too willing to make them more accessible because crooked teeth is a widely prevalent condition in dentistry. Still and all, braces and invisible aligners are the preeminent treatment modality for the condition they were made.

An article appeared on TechCrunch about a game-changing trend. A startup software company, a clear-teeth-aligner player in the market, ArchForm, based in San Jose, California, is going to make their software available to orthodontists for designing, creating, and 3D-printing aligners within their own dental offices. The idea is to provide these specialists the edge over some direct-to-consumer teeth-aligner startups and cut down on the cost of Invisalign, the number one provider of clear aligners in the US. According to research, the orthodontics market saw $11 billion in revenue in 2017.

In 2013, orthodontic treatments can range from $4,685 to $6,500 for adolescents, and adult treatments can cost up to $7,135. Orthodontists currently pay about $1,700 per patient to Invisalign, and to make money, orthodontists sometimes charge patients upwards of $7,000. ArchForm charges orthodontists just $50 per patient. Todate, the company has a current customer base composed of 75% of orthodontists who have signed up and using their own 3D printers.

There have been a few startups in the last two years that were also in the business of teeth-aligners, such as SmileDirectClub and Uniform Teeth. They want to reduce the cost of clear aligners and also lessen orthodontist visits. ArchForm, though, is targeting orthodontists simply to enhance their existing businesses.

How can 3D-printed clear aligners help the specialists?

Orthodontists can do a better job of treating most patients when they can physically be there to treat them. At ArchForm, its aligner software automates scan preparation and exports print-ready models, hence, treatments can be planned easily. With a few clicks, 3D scans can be prepared. Attachments automatically appear when and where needed. Each tooth is moved at its own optimal rate of movement and the number of stages are also automatically calculated. This is so made-easy for the orthodontist with his/her own 3D printer. And for those who don’t have their own 3D printer, they can send the design to orthodontic laboratories that are equipped with 3D printers and powered by ArchForm’s software.

3D Printing in the Greater Seattle

If you have an idea or need prototyping, contact us today! Send us your ideas in a 2D drawing or 3D file and our technical staff will create a 3D model to your satisfaction.

game parts

3D Printing Threatens Spare Parts Manufacturing

Winds of Change: From Traditional to 3D Printing

The spare parts manufacturing and logistics industry is worth a whopping $400 billion market. A couple of its biggest players are the aerospace and automotive sectors. We know that spare parts makers provide a steady stream of spare parts specific to each make and model for planes, trains, trucks, cars, etc. They are often complex parts produced in small series and sometimes for decades, in cases where equipment has a long life span, experiencing constant wear and tear.

As of late, the scenario is a’changing. 3D printing is looking like it is taking over the spare parts manufacturing and logistics industry. 3D printing is now making possible production of small-series parts, on demand and on location for major industries across the Us and the world. The technology can produce virtually any solid object, even those with complex architectures, and in a range of materials. Right now, about half of additive manufacturing is used for prototyping, saving manufacturers time and money, with less wastage and without expensive tools and molds.

Analysts and experts project that within three years fully 80% of global 3D printing capacity will be dedicated to making finished products. For example, General Electric expects to print 40,000 jet-fuel nozzles for aircraft by 2020. And that’s not good news for the traditional spare parts manufacturers.

Many major players are now investing heavily on 3d printing Research & Development. NASA and Boeing of aerospace are big investors. In the automotive manufacturing, Mercedes-Benz Trucks and BMW are players also, as well as Deutsche Bahn and Siemens in railways and transportation. These are just the early adapters but a wider sweep looks inevitable.

Logistics companies can ride this wave of change, to their own advantage actually, if they are willing to embrace the opportunity to develop market-leading B2B services. For example, turnkey spare parts management could be expanded to include spare parts on-demand solutions, like developing a virtual warehouse that securely stores CAD print files. Another option is putting up fabshops that offer localized print-on-demand and delivery services. They can also use their networks of distribution centers, warehouses, and sophisticated inventory management software. Most manufacturing and logistics organizations think they still have time to adapt to 3D printing shift, but this is becoming less true every passing year.

Open to Shifting Winds in Seattle

To all spare-parts manufacturers and logistics companies, for your working needs, come see us at 3D Composites. We have two convenient locations to serve you in Greater Seattle.