Rapid Liquid Printing: 3D-printed Customized Furniture

Your Custom Furniture within Minutes

This is just an experiment for now, but it goes to show you the amazing possibilities with 3D printing. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Self-Assembly Lab, Steelcase, collaborated with a Swiss designer to come out with a 3D-printed customized furniture.

It’s a breakthrough in a sense that the product came out sans the constraints normally associated with conventional 3D printing. It went beyond speed, scale and even quality. It used the process called Rapid Liquid Printing, possibly opening up the market for affordable, custom furniture in a variety of scales.

The Lab technique printed inside of a translucent gel, the semi-liquid was contained in a large vat and was acting as the support, 360 degrees. Within the gel, the custom furniture is designed, essentially drawn in 3D space without the limitations of gravity.

There was no layering, no curing time, the printing was faster and the product can be big as the machine available. The material used cures chemically, not using light nor heat. Some tests were done under 30 minutes, others in just 10 minutes. The speed it takes is impressive. It simply fascinated designers.

What designers liked about it was not just the uniqueness of rapid liquid printing, but the soft, almost organic line quality of the print. They were as though brushstrokes or like the branches of plants. Rapid liquid printing works with rubber, foam, plastic, or any other industrial liquid material for that matter.

From a design perspective, the technology is desirable, better than typical 3D printing. While it is still experimental, the collaboration will continue with other materials, scale and further improvements.

Customizing Your Ideas in Seattle

If you got a great idea for just about anything, or have a new concept you can talk to us about, we invite you to come over to your 3D printing company in Seattle. Pro 3D Composites can help you turn them into reality.

Original Article

3D Printing Meets Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is a special name for technology that is small in a big way. This is where we start manipulating matter at an atomic level, creating machines with components mere atoms in width. For a long while, nanotechnology was the domain of the future. Today, however, our 3D printing company in Seattle is pleased to see 3D printing help bring nanotechnology into the modern day.

A group called Nanoscribe has made their Photonic Professional GT system commercially available. This machine is capable of creating objects that are as large as the resolution on most conventional 3D printers. It is with this machine that they are able to print out a miniature model of the Eiffel Tower that stands a mere centimeter tall, with a resolution of 1/1000th of a centimeter. This technology is giving scientists the ability to create sophisticated nanotechnology models more quickly and easily than ever before. The printer represents a great step forward in science and the 3D printing world.

Nanoscribe‘s technology for the fabrication of three-dimensional micro- and nanostructures in photo-sensitive materials is based on “direct laser writing”, i.e., a non-linear two-photon absorption process. Many resins that polymerize when exposed to UV-light can undergo similar chemical reactions when two photons of near-infrared light are absorbed simultaneously. A necessary condition for this effect to occur is a sufficiently high light intensity that is provided by an ultrashort pulse laser. Typically, the laser is focused into the resin and the two-photon polymerization (TPP) is triggered only in the focal spot volume. As 3D analogon to a pixel, the volume counterpart is called voxel.”

3D Printing Class Breaks World Record

Back in November, a large group of students came together for a class on 3D printing software from the Association of IT Leaders in Education, the Baptist Rainbow Primary School, Makers Empire, and the DTSL Group. With a total class size of 914, this class was accepted into the Guinness World Record Book as the largest number of students to attend a single venue software course. This record nearly doubled the previous record holder of 500.

In addition to giving the prodigious class a crash course on 3D printing, the course taught about the important role that 3D printing technology is playing in managing the growing water crisis. “There are many people in the world who are not able to receive drinking water everyday,” says Albert Wong, AiTLE chairperson, “but with advances in technology, solutions utilizing 3D design and 3D printing are simpler than ever before to help solve problems…”

Students were able to develop skills in important new technology, gain awareness of significant ecological problems, and then walk home with a 3D printed commemorative medallion as a souvenir of taking part in history’s largest software lesson.

Printing with Bacteria

We’ve already seen many 3D printing innovators do impressive things by incorporating non-printed materials into their printed products. For example, an MIT team created wearer-reactive footwear by printing onto stretchable textiles. However, a new development coming from the MIT Media Lab is taking this to a whole new level by actually printing with bacterial cells to create biologically reactive materials.

This new process makes use of natto, a bacterium discovered in dry rice stalks. The bacteria has the ability to expand and contract as a reaction to the moisture in its environment. Through the use of this material, the team was able to create a tight-fitting “Second Skin” that transforms in response to the body heat and sweat of the wearer. Higher temperatures cause the garment to expand and breathe better, while lower temperatures cause contraction that holds heat in better.

What’s special about this development is that the reactive material is printed along with the non-organic material, rather than implemented as a non-printed component. Such innovations are promising to expand the possibilities of 3D printing into newer, more exciting applications.

New Process for Bioprinted Blood Vessels

In the quest to harness 3D printing technology for bioprinting complex human tissues and organs, one of the biggest problems has been finding a way to effectively build new blood vessels capable of supplying the printed tissues with the blood they need. Without such a means, bioprinted grafts and implants would be useless. Fortunately, numerous groups are rising to the challenge.

Most recently, research published by Rice University presented a new way to create artificial blood vessels. This research, conducted by a team led by assistant professor of bioengineering Jordan Miller, made use of sugar and silicone to create an implant with an intricate array of functional blood vessels. The team was able to connect the printed vessels to natural vessels, and observed that they were capable of transporting blood normally.

Prior to this, blood vessels had to grow organically throughout bioprinted tissues. This was a process that could take weeks, and often allowed many of the new cells to die off from lack of oxygen long before the vessels could ever reach them. Thanks to Miller and his team, medical practitioners will be able to develop grafts and implants more quickly and effectively.