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What are some of the major applications of 3D printing in the medical industry?

3D printing is not the same as it was ten years before. As it’s constantly evolving, now it can be used over different fields, and it has become quite popular because of its flexibility. 3D printing technology is quite simple, which is currently being used widely. Initially, it was present as quite expensive. However, with recent variations and improvements in technology, cheap 3D printer filament is easily available.

3D printing has improved the lives of professionals in the medical industry, enabling them to save and treat more & more patients every day. It allows professionals to tailor products based on the needs of individuals. Right from jawbone to cartilage replacement in the knee, everything’s now quite cheap and easy.

Read: What are the best alternatives for the ABS Filament available in the market?

When the application of the 3D printer comes down to the medical industry, it has been divided into four different areas. The four main uses are for replacing human organs for transplants., producing versions of surgical tools that are cheaper, speeding up the surgical procedure, and bettering the lives of people dependent on prosthetic limbs.

The history of the development of 3D printing

3D printing, otherwise popularly known as additive manufacturing, was developed first during the 1980s. In this process, a blueprint of the original subject is taken and then printed in layers to produce a brand new version of the original subject. This technology hasn’t been confined to only one industry. Instead, it has been in regular practice in so many fields, including medicine. Usually, imaging techniques like CT scans, ultrasounds, MRI scans, and X-rays are used to create the digital model and then fed to the 3D printer.

During the 1990s, it has used for the first time for medical purposes as custom prosthetics and dental implants. Eventually, the doctors evolved a miniature kidney, and now a full-fledged organ has been crafted out using a person’s cells. The year 2012 witnessed a 3D printed jaw. And since then, it has been making steady progress and is a blessing to human life.

1- Bioprinting organoids and tissues

Among different kinds of printing, one is used for bioprinting in the medical industry. Unlike other printers that use metal or plastic, bioprinters are guided by computers to layer all the living cells. This is often called as bio-ink, which layers the cells and products human-made living tissues inside a laboratory. This way, such tissues are used to mimic organs and are way much cheaper than actual human organ transplants.

Not just that, 3D printing is also being used to mimic skin grafts, which can be used for burn victims. Apart from that, the availability of cheap 3D printer filament has also contributed to its universal application. North Carolina’s Wake Forest Institute, adopted an approach in which they developed a 3D brain organoid having potential applications in disease modeling and drug discovery.

2- 3D printing prosthetics

Here, 3D printers are used to generate prosthetic limbs, customized to match the weather. Earlier, amputees used to wait for a week or even months to get prosthetics through the traditional method. In today’s world, the use of 3D printers has made the process quite faster as well as cheaper. Being cheap, it helps children who quickly outgrow and need a regular change in their prosthetic limbs

The availability of cheap 3D printer filament has contributed to its popularity in different fields. In the field of medicine, patients can now have access to the best treatments that were earlier, not an option for everyone. Also, 3D printing produces exact prosthetics of a particular patient’s limbs by taking a scan for a more natural appearance and fit.

3- 3D printed surgery preparation models

Surgeons have been using 3D printed models of organ replicas to set their hands before performing a complicated operation. This technique proves to be a great help in minimizing the trauma of the patients, as well as speeding up the procedure. In Dubai, surgeons liberally use 3D printing and have successfully operated on cerebral aneurysm patients. Through a replica of the arteries, they map out their way to navigate the blood vessels safely.

During 2018, surgeons at Belfast have practiced successfully using a model of the donor’s kidney for transplantation of a 22-year-old woman. Using the printed model, they could assess the placement and size of the cancerous cyst and the tumor, which the donor had. This way, doctors know exactly how to carry out the task when a serious case arrives. Medical students have also found a model that looks exactly the same to practice on.

4- 3D printed surgical instruments

Surgical instruments are among the important aspects of the medical industry. With the right equipment by your side, you can save a life. In this context,   3D printers produce sterile surgical tools like scalpel handles, forceps, clamps, and hemostats. Apart from providing such sterile instruments, some of them are made precise and very small using the old Japanese technique of origami.

Not only it has cheap 3D printer filament, but it also is used to operate on small regions without causing any unnecessary damage to the patient’s health. Not to forget the main benefit, that is, 3D printing costs much lower than the traditional methods of manufacturing. Researchers are working day in and day out to develop new instruments every day and make the life of doctors easier.

Conclusion

We hope the examples mentioned above are enough to convince you about 3D printing is the most disruptive technology which has the potential to alter the functioning of the clinical field, healthcare, and medicine. It makes healthcare personalized, affordable, and accessible. This technology holds the potential to revolutionize our entire society. In the field of medical, 3D printing has brought several possibilities and advantages. As it’s much cheaper than the traditional methods, more and more lives will be saved. No matter which part of society a person belongs to, he/she will have the option to opt for these cheap and faster ways of treatment. Even though there’s a long way to go, in the current scenario, 3D printing is already a boon to medical science.

Read: How 3D Printing is Transforming Jewelry Industry

If you’re looking for a dealer, who can safely deliver cheap 3D printer filament to you without fail, then MakeShaper is your one-stop solution. Whether you need filament for industry, home-printing, commercial, or medical needs, our team is willing to cater to your needs efficiently. When it comes to our filaments, you get a wide variety of configurations and colors to choose from. We understand how important your reputation is. Hence, we make sure you provide only the best quality prints to your clients. The types of filament we provide include HIPS, ABS, PLA, PETG, PVA, and much more. If you have further queries, you can contact us via mail at makeshaper@villageplastics.com, or you can call us at 1-330-753-0100. Also, you can fill up the online form available on our website.

The Maker’s Guide to Flexible Filament

Types of Flexible Filament

While there are several materials on the market that have flexible properties, the two major types of flexible filament are Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) and Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE). Both of these are made from thermoplastic elastomers which are derived from a blend of hard plastic and soft rubber. While terminology is often mixed, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is the most commonly used flexible material within the 3D printing industry.

How is Flexible Filament Measured?

What sets many flexible filaments apart is the degree of flexibility they offer. Most materials are measured on a “Shore Hardness/Durometer” scale which is the measure of the resistance a material has to indentation.

Typically, the durometer of a flexible material is denoted as being on either the Shore A or Shore D scale.  Softer materials such as flexible filament for 3D printing are measured on the Shore A scale, while Shore D is reserved for harder rubbers.

The Flexx™ Flexible TPU by Keene Village Plastics, which is now available directly through our store, comes in 3 different varieties:

Printing Flexible Filament - Things to Consider

Printing with flexible filament can be a delicate balancing act. To achieve great results, your printer needs to be a finely tuned machine along with using a good high-quality filament and perfecting the settings in your slicing software.  Here are five things to consider when printing flexible material. Remember, changing any of these can drastically change the print.

Due to the nature of flexible TPU filament and the potential to kink or buckle when being pushed through the hot end, it is highly recommended that you hit the brakes on your print speeds and slow them w-a-y down. Typical print speeds for non-flexible filaments can range from 30mm/second all the way up to 90mm/second. For flexible, slower is better so we recommended starting around 30mm-40mm/second and see what works best in your particular printer.

A direct drive extruder will work best when trying to print flexible TPU. However, you can print flexible on a Bowden-type extruder but with some increased difficulty. We are currently working on flexible extruder adapters that will allow you to print TPU easier on a printer with a Bowden-type extruder. If your printer is not equipped with a Bowden tube, then adding one to help guide the filament can give you a better chance of avoiding filament buckling.

Flexible TPU is especially sensitive when it comes to the temperature of your hot end. We recommend that with our material you start at 220°-245°C and fine-tune your settings for the best results. This will reduce the oozing material from the print head that can create messy or stringy prints.

Your retraction settings will also play a big part in getting good results and avoiding stringy prints. Retraction is when the extruder motor moves in reverse ever so slightly to avoid extrusion when moving across a gap in a printed design. Too little retraction and you will be left with cobwebs of material all over your print. Too much retraction will leave you with blobs of filament when the print head starts its next segment of printing.

Proper bed adhesion is key to any successful print but with flexible TPU, it is even more crucial. We recommend that you only try printing flexible on a printer with a heated bed with the temperature range set between 45°-60°C. Check out our article on bed preparation for more information.

Once you've prepped your printer with the right settings & selected your preferred filament, you'll be ready to make all kinds of flexible prints!

What are the best alternatives for the ABS Filament available in the market?

The ABS 3D printer filament is one of the most commonly used filaments for 3D printing. However, the product has its advantages and disadvantages to offer. In this article, we will discuss the different alternatives of ABS filament that you can quickly get in the market. But before jumping into discussing other 3D filaments, let us first understand what exactly is ABS Filament.

What is the ABS Filament?

ABS Filament is one of the most commonly used plastic today. If you are fond of bike riding or you have kids at home, you must have had an interaction with ABS Filament. The bike helmets or LEGO bricks are generally prepared out of ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), which today is one of the most popular plastics available. They are used for injection molding, in musical instruments, pipe systems, home appliances, joinery panels, toys, keyboard caps, canoes, flat-screen TVs, computer monitors, and even in medical devices.

In the present scenario, ABS 3D printer filament is most invaluable for the industries as it is easy to be used with the printing machines. And with the use of conventional machine techniques, ABS Filament can give rise to various desirable products. However, every substance on the face of Earth is replaceable and has better alternatives too. If you are not aware of these better alternatives of ABS 3D printing filament, then read on this article to find out.

Read: How 3D Printing is Transforming Jewelry Industry?

1-PLA Filament:

After ABS Filament, if any other Filament that has gained as much popularity if not more is –PLA Filament. It is actively used for FDM 3D prints, and there is a solid reason behind using PLA filament for that purpose. The best part about using PLA Filament is it comes in different colors and styles, which makes it an ideal choice for a variety of applications. In case you are looking for your 3D objects to have vibrant colors or have a significant blended shade, then it would be wise to incorporate PLA Filament for the printing of such projects. The material is quite easy to be used and is pleasing as well.

PLA is considered to be a better alternative for the ABS Filament because it is easier to be used. The PLA Filament melts at a comparatively lower temperature, gives out the candy-like smell, and does not incline to warp.

2-Nylon Filament:

Nylon Filament is another alternative for the ABS 3D printer filament. The material is semi-flexible and tough that provides resistivity against abrasion and high impact. It is considered to be an ideal choice for the parts that are required to be durable. Nylon Filament is also referred to as Polyamide, which is again a popular material used in the plastic industry, known for its flexibility and toughness. The Nylon Filaments would generally require extruder temperatures, which need to be at least near 250-degree Celsius. However, the temperature demand of the material varies according to the different brands.

Some of the 3D printers do not include a hot-end that can allow it to reach a temperature level as high as 250°C, so in these cases, the Nylon Filaments that can be used at lower temperatures are taken into consideration. One of the primary challenges that you will face with the Nylon Filaments is they are hygroscopic and can readily absorb moisture from the background. And thus, you need to store them in dry containers and take proper precautions.

3-Carbon Fiber Filament:

The Carbon Fiber Filaments are used as a combination with either ABS or PLA Filament as a base material to increase the stiffness and strength of the object prepared out of 3D printing. The Carbon Fiber Filaments generally consist of tiny fibers, which are infused into the base materials in order to improve their properties. Almost all the Filaments such as –PLA, ABS, Nylon, Polycarbonate, and PETG are bought in combination with the Carbon Filaments to enhance the longevity of the 3D prints.

Due to the infusion of Carbon Fiber Filaments, the 3D printed projects are dimensionally more stable. They are dramatically lighter as the tiny fibers prevent shrinkage of the parts even after the object has been cooled. But, the catch in using Carbon Fiber Filaments is –the material will more likely clog the 3D printers, and specialized hardware will be needed to avoid damaging the printer.

4-Polycarbonate Filament:

Polycarbonate Filament is popularly known as PC Filament, which is a durable thermoplastic material that is used in 3D printing projects and serves as an alternative for the ABS 3D printer filament. The PC Filament is extensively used for printing objects that come handy in our daily lives. The Filament offers excellent electrical insulation and heat-resisting abilities. It is used for the production of DVDs, Compact Discs, and Blu-Rays. Polycarbonate Filament is extensively used for the production of several parts that are used in medical applications and advanced mobile phones as well.

PC Filament contributes to the production of eye-protective objects and is used after lamination for building bullet-proof glass. The Filament is specifically popular because of the ample strength it offers the object. It is a durable material and retains its high temperature resisting abilities too. It provides optical clarity and can be bent and deformed just like rubber.  

5-PETG Filament:

While most of the 3D printer owners are well aware of ABS and PLA 3D printing Filaments, they remain uninformed about the benefits of PETG Filament, which serves as an alternative for ABS Filament in many ways. When it comes to the production of 3D projects that are more durable, strong, and even flexible, one needs to consider using PETG Filament instead of ABS 3D printer filament. The Filament is gaining its deserved popularity among the 3D print manufacturers eventually.

Although PETG is quite renowned in the family of filaments, it is a variant of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). The Filament is further enhanced with the addition of glycol during the process of polymerization, and PETG is formed as an end product. For sturdy, low-shrinking, and smooth-surfaced objects, one needs to use PETG Filaments.

Read: The Various Industries that use PETG Filament for 3D Printing

Bottom Line:

In this article, we first talked about what ABS 3D printer filamentis, and then we have discussed the different alternatives that can be used to replace ABS Filament. As you continue to read the article, you will know how different filaments are used for different kinds of purposes. And there is always a better choice for a specific object. Therefore, according to your requirement, you need to make your choice.

Call to action:

Are you looking for a reliable supplier to purchase the alternatives of ABS 3D printer filament? Then you have landed in the correct place. At MakeShaper, we deal with different 3D printing products in order to satisfy the demands of our customers. You can rest assured in buying products from us as we make sure to deal with only the highest quality. Use Promo Code –VILLAGE20 to avail a 20% discount on your purchases.

How 3D Printing is Transforming Jewelry Industry

The 3D printing technology has touched many industries in the recent decades including the jewelry industry. While CAD – Computer Aided Design – were already used for designing the jewelry pieces, printing them using the 3D printer is relatively new. It was about time that jewelry industry too used the 3D printing technology like the other industries such as defense, automobiles, good manufacturing and more.

3D printing has already made industries more efficient, cost-effective and customized in more ways than one. The jewelry industry is now utilizing the amazing benefits of the 3D technology. From big brands to hobbyists, the 3D printing technology is now widely used for printing high-quality jewelry pieces.

One of the things that make 3D printing possible is the filament. When it comes to 3D printing jewelry, PETG and PLA 3D printer filament are one of the best options. There are other printing materials that are used for making jewelry and parts for creating unique pieces.

How 3D Printed had Made Jewelry Making More Efficient

The 3D printing technology has changed the way things are created and manufactured today. Unlike the conventional method of manufacturing, the 3D printing method is more efficient, fast and cost-effective.

It can take days to create a model with conventional method, but with 3D technology, it only takes a few hours or a day maximum. This is one of the reasons why 3D technology is fast becoming the go-to manufacturing option for various industries.

Here is why 3D printing technology is a better option:

  • Fast Prototyping

Creating test models and prototypes is important for any industry including the jewelry industry. It is used for marketing, testing, and validation purpose before full-blown production starts. Creating jewelry models is easy and fast with 3D printers. From designing to printing, everything is done in quick succession. Designs are created using the CAD technology and then 3D printing filaments or other printing materials are used for printing the parts.

  • Customization

The jewelry industry is now equipped to create customized pieces for the customers. The 3D technology has already made things faster and more efficient. For instance, CAD is used for designing the exact piece the customer wants and then PLA 3D printing filament is used for creating a prototype. Once the customer approves the design, the actual jewelry can be made.

The 3D technology has made it easy for the companies to design pieces that were impossible to create before. Complex designs can be created as well printed using the 3D technology. This saves a lot of time and effort during the entire process of manufacturing.

  • Fast Production and Marketing

3D printing technology ahs made it possible for the jewelry makers to create complex pieces in less time. This gives them an advantage over their competitors as they can bring the designs to the market as soon as possible. The new CAD and 3D printing technology together ensure faster design and printing process. Time is important for any industry and this is what 3D printing ensures for the jewelry industry.

  • Reduce Waste

The 3D printing technology has helped industries to reuse the materials and reduce waste. The metal powder used for the jewelry making process can be reused. The uncontaminated part of the unconsumed materials can be reused for making more pieced. PLA 3D printed filament is used for making fashion jewelry, and it can be re-melted to create other pieces too. This way, the 3D printing technology has revolutionized the production and manufacturing process.

How Jewelry is Printed Using 3D Technology

The 3D printing technology is used for investment casting for printing jewelry pieces. First, the jewelry is printed out of wax first then the wax design is used casting the metal. The wax is then removed. The CAD technology is used for creating mouldsor patterns for jewelry. The next step is to cast precious metal powder or mixture to create the specific design. Multiple patterns and designs can be made using the 3D technology. The jewelry industry is now heavily relying on technologies like the CAD and 3D printers to create unique pieces.

The fashion industry is one of the sectors that use jewelry as part of their accessories. Designers who want to create unique pieces can rely on the manufacturers to creating beautiful designs. Complex designs can also be create using the 3D printing technology, which makes it a great option for jewelry making.

Novelty Jewelry Making

DIYs, creative projects and online businesses have thrived thanks to the advancing technology. Fashion and novelty jewelry have gained a huge popularity now. With availability of 3D printing filaments like the PLA, PETG, ALS, and HIPS, people can now print high-quality novelty jewelry at home.

For those who want to start an online jewelry business can use the 3D printing technology to create unique pieces. The novelty jewelry is very popular and people love buying these products online. Likewise, the 3D printing technology can also be used for creative purposes involving jewelry making. Whether it’s a new design idea you want to try or create pieces for amusement, the 3D printing technology has made it easier.

Filaments for Printing Jewelry

There are a wide range of 3D printing filaments that can be used for printing jewelry pieces. They are easy to print and are strong enough to last for a long time. The PLA 3D printer filament is one of the best filaments for creating novelty of fashion jewelry. Dark PLA filament is used as a base for creating a wide range of jewelry pieces, such as necklace, earrings, rings, chockers, bracelets and much more.

For creating jewelry piece, you need the best printer for creating precise designs. There are a lot of 3D printers available and some of the best ones for the tasks are the Stereolithography (SLA) technology. They are better than the fused deposition modeling (FDM) or selective laser sintering (SLS).

Why Use PLA for Jewelry Printing

The PLA filament is one of the best materials for 3D printing needs for various reasons. They are also perfect for creating fashion jewelry pieces. Here are the benefits of using the PLA 3D printer filament for jewelry making:

  • Low Printing Temperature –With low melting point, the PLA jewelry pieces are less likely to warp or clog the nozzle while printing. It also helps in created smoother and better surface prints. You can also create sharper features with PLA filament.
  • Ease of Use – The PLA filament is easy to use materials that doesn’t require a heating bed to work. It does not emit foul smell or fumes as compared to other materials like the ABS. You can easily print your designs without any hassle.
  • Various Colors Options – PLA offers a wide range of color options, which makes it a great choice for fashion and novelty jewelry. You can easily blend different colors to create unique looking pieces.

The Bottom-line

The PLA 3D printer filament is one of the best filaments for creating jewelry pieces. The 3D technology has changed the way jewelries are made today. With the help of the advanced printing technology, filaments and CAD designs, the jewelry industry can now create the most amazing designs.

MakeShaper is your one stop destination for buying the best quality filament for printing projects. We offer high-quality PLA 3D printer filament in affordable prices online. We have a wide range of 3D printing filaments in various colors and sizes to meet your needs. Call us now - 1-330-753-0100.