In honor of the big game this weekend the folks at Stratasys scored big time with a 3D printed football. Stratasys has had a history of using 3D printing to improve on a variety of sports; however this time they out did themselves by possibly solving the infamous issue of deflategate. Since the Ideal Gas Law doesn't exactly explain it, maybe 3D printing could help prevent it from interfering in the big game until an answer is found. I’m not sure the NFL will be too keen on using these balls but it’s a thought
The football was created on the Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-Material 3D Production System and was printed in three materials. VeroMagenta and VeroYellow was used for the bulk of the design however they were also able to replicate the true texture and feel of a real football using the rubber-like TangoPlus material and all in one print job. It is heavier than a game ball but can still be tossed around. Of course they wouldn’t print a football and not test it. Check out their video below.
As part of our attendance, we will be promoting our first ever 3D printing contest, 3DPAZwhich will challenge high school students in Arizona with the task of creating or improving an existing engineering product. We are very excited to be launching this contest and cannot wait to see what students come up with. Please visit our website for more information on how to take part in this contest by clicking here.
We are also very excited to be extending our support to the FIRST Robotics Competition by way of a new grant program for Arizona schools or organizations that are competing in the in the 2014/2015 FRC season. If you are interested in either the 3DPAZ contest or the FRC Grant program, please email Kathryn Pesta firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additive manufacturing (AM) has been used in the motor sports world for years. Now more than ever, race teams have found that additive manufactured parts have the quality and durability to meet their demands. From NASCAR to the World Rally Championship, race teams around the world are excited about the possibilities that AM brings to the table. For an interesting webinar on-demand and a great whitepaper, click the image below.
We wanted to see what 3d printing looked like from the inside of the machine so our new intern, Diserae Sanders, placed a GoPro inside our Connex500 during a print job. The item being printed is a demo bicycle pedal printed in multiple materials.
This video is the first in a series we plan to do on 3D printing. If there is something you would like to see us do a video on, please post it in the comments below.
The first three pallets are built using TangoPlus combined with combinations of VeroCyan, VeroMagenta and VeroYellow. These new pallets allow for the printing of a range of colors and translucent tints in nine Shore A values (Shore A 27-95).
Three additional pallets using TangoBlack Plus and combinations of VeroCyan, VeroMagenta and VeroYellow allow for users to blend a wide range of subtle vibrant-to-dark shades into the same part with TangoBlack Plus in seven Shore A values.
The final four palettes that were introduced offer additional combinations of VeroWhite and VeroBlack with either VeroCyan, VeroMagenta or VeroYellow allowing for users to build sophisticated prototypes in a range of subtle grays alongside muted or vibrant color.
The addition of these ten palettes combined with their existing palettes allow for virtually limitless combinations of flexible, rigid and translucent colors in one print job.
“The Objet500 Connex3 is the only 3D printer that combines colors with multi-material 3D printing. The ability to mix rigid, flexible, transparent and opaque colors offers users unprecedented versatility to design and perfect products faster,” says Stratasys Director of Materials & Applications Fred Fischer. “By extending the range of material options available, users can improve workflow speeds and enhance efficiency.”
These new options are available immediately to Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D Printer owners through a free software update.
Did you hear that they have 3D printed Vincent van Gogh’s ear? How about the 3D printed spine of King Richard III? This week alone 3D printing has given us two amazing examples of how this technology can be used to look at history in amazing new ways.
In the case of van Gogh, researchers used real living cells from his great-grandson to bioprint the cells to resemble van Gogh’s severed ear. The ear is being kept technically alive in a nutrient solution and is said to be able to actually “hear”. You can read more about this amazing application here.
King Richard III has been famously written as having a hunched back by William Shakespeare. Anthropologists at the University of Cambridge wanted to determine if the description was accurate or exaggerated. Utilizing CT scans to create a model of the spine they were able to create 3D printed replica of his spine based on the models. It turns out that while he did have terrible scoliosis, there was no evidence that he had a hunch as described by Shakespeare. You can read more about this research here.
Just two of many new and innovative ways to integrate 3D printing into just about anything!
It seems like people are using 3D printing for just about anything these days…….and that is a very good thing. From art to dentistry and all things in-between, 3D printing has allowed people without engineering expertise or special equipment to be truly innovative in their fields.
Just the other day we ran across a really unique and creative use of 3D printing……..The Pancakebot! As the name suggests, it lets you 3D print custom-shaped pancakes. Fun and delicious! Pancakebot started as a project that Miguel Valenzuela tinkered with for his young daughters using LEGO Mindstorms. There is a great video on the website that shows Pancakebot in action!
All fun aside though, this is just one example of how 3D printing and the Maker movement as a whole is innovating how we think about making anything. The idea of printing pancakes may seem simple and silly, but it just takes small ideas like that to get people excited about what is really possible. Besides, can you just imagine sitting down to breakfast at Disneyland and having a Pancakebot roll up to your table to custom print any character you can imagine? Even if Pancakebot doesn’t become a mainstream kitchen staple, it is still an amazing use of the technology, and also one that can engage and inspire kids toward STEM and STEAM education. If that’s all something like Pancakebot does, then I would consider that a big win.
If you want to make your own, the instructions are here.