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Monthly Archives - October 2020

How has 3D printing evolved over the years?

3D printing is the construction of a 3D object from a digital or a CAD model. The phrase "3D printing" can direct to various processes where the material is placed, joined, or consolidated under to make a 3D object, with material beings like powder grains or liquid molecules added together, typically tier by tier.

On the other hand, 3D printing filaments are semi-rigid feedstocks for consolidated depositions modeling three-dimensional printers. 

From reducing prices to increasing effectiveness to stoking innovation, a lot of people are thrilled about the effect that three-dimensional printing will have on the fate of manufacturing. Anyhow, the real truth is, 3D printing by now has made a substantial impact on the manufacturing industry.

Since the development of stereolithography, 3D printing has passed more than 3 decades of constant research & development. 

Let’s take a look at how 3D printing has evolved, and let’s see how the phenomenon commenced & how it has helped in the evolution of the manufacturing industry.

Setting up the Foundation in the 1980s  

Three-dimensional printing was just only a notion in the 1980s. Hideo Kodama of the NMIRI (Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute) in Japan found a way to print sheets of material to build a three-dimensional product in the year 1981. But unfortunately, Hideo Kodama was unable to get the approval for the license of the technology. 

In the interval, in France, the FGEC (French General Electric Company) & CILAS, a producer of optical technology & laser, came up with a way to build three-dimensional printed objects. Nevertheless, the companies did not see a utility for the technology and abandoned the inventions.

But finally, in the year 1986, Charles Hull, an engineer from America, developed a model for a process called stereolithography.

Charles Hull made use of photopolymers, which are also called acrylic-based materials, to change from liquid to solid, making use of UV lights. He also patented the stereolithography printer & other companies followed the action. Therefore, Hull is generally known as “the father” of three-dimensional printing.

Along with stereolithography, another 2 key technologies were licensed in this period as well. 

They are SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) & FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling). SLS uses powdered grains to make three-dimensional printed products, while FDM uses warmth to three-dimensional layer models. These three-dimensional printing prototypes set the base for 3D printing.

More Enactment & More Technologies in the 1990s

With the base of the technology has already been created, many companies started testing, enhancing, and, eventually, commercializing three-dimensional printing.

In the year 1994, various new 3D printers appeared on the market, which includes the ModelMaker launched by Solidscape that banked wax stuffs using an inkjet printhead, which was more prevalent in traditional printing.

New methods, like micro casting & sprayed materials, enabled 3D printing to be utilized for metals, not only for plastics.

Later in the year, 1997 AeroMat developed the 1st 3D metal printer by using LAM (Laser Additive Manufacturing).

However, the invention still has a sky-high cost. This resulted in adoption limited to high-price & less-volume commodity production. Hence, it became a plain fit for modeling new merchandises in the automotive, medical, and aerospace industries.

Following the inventions in the previous few years, Objet Geometries created the first three-dimensional printer in 1999. It can print both hard as well as soft materials to emulate various material properties in a single object.

In the same year, WFIRM (Wake Forrest Institute for Regenerative Medicine) scientists printed synthetic frames of a human bladder & then encased them with the cells of patients.

Three-dimensional Printing Became Conventional in the 2000s

Three-dimensional printing kept evolving with new methods & materials. At the same time, in the field of medical, scientists and new companies manufactured a functional model kidney, made a prosthetic leg & bio-printed the 1st blood vessels utilizing only cells of humans. In the field of manufacturing, companies began to solve inventory shortages & impacted the working of people.

Even though there were repetitive changes & innovations related to three-dimensional printing during the early decade, the year 2005 made 3D printing to move on the course to become more conventional. A lot of early patents started to expire, and entrepreneurs & inventors sought to take profit.

In 2006, the first Selective Laser Sintering machine became cost-effective and paved the way for on-demand production of industrial parts.

The very next year, Objet launched the Connex series of three-dimensional printers, which allowed consumers to merge 2 different materials in one print job in a range of combinations that make fourteen different stages of texture, hardness, and shading in a single object.

Dr. Adrian Bowyer, a professor from England, made his mind to make a cheaper 3D printer. By the year 2008, Bowyer’s “Darwin” printer effectively 3D printed about 18 percent of its own components, with the device costing less than 650 dollars.

In the following year in 2009, the FDM license fell to the society domain, which made a lot of companies to create various kinds of 3D printers. Hence, the technology became further accessible.

3D printing started making conventional headlines when concepts like three-dimensional printed kidneys & three-dimensional printed limbs were compelling & potentially powerful. This was when the 3D printer filament started getting popular.

The Maker Movement in the 2010s

As the price of 3D printers was declining continuously, the demand for the printers began to rise and became a lot commonplace in houses as well as in businesses.

On the production facility, manufacturers started leveraging three-dimensional printing in a lot of ways. 

Parts of the machine could be quickly repaired, & shortages in inventory could be combated easily. 

By 2014, the printer industry made more than a billion-dollar in revenue. But alongside the excellent financial effect of the technology, three-dimensional printing also had an effect on how people work.

Now people were free to build & create new merchandise on their own while not relying on technology firms or companies.

The development of DragonFly Pro by Nano Dimension in 2017 became the first entry to the advanced manufacturing of 3D printers. The DragonFLy Pro is a highly precise inkjet ousting system which allows simultaneous three-dimensional printing of silver nano-particle ink & insulating ink.

According to a study by A.T. Kearney, in 2017, three-dimensional printing was predicted to experience a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 14.37% to nearly 17.2 billion dollars between 2017 & 2020. 

Conclusion: 

It has been very inspirational to see how 3D printing has evolved and how the producers across every industry are working collectively to configure the economy and industry. As the three-dimensional printing society continues to develop, everyone is curious to know how the remaining of the manufacturing industry develops too. And yes, the 3D printing filaments market has become all the more popular with time. If you are in search of a 3D printer filamentthen you are in the right place to buy it. Here at MakeShaper, we are providing the best 3D printed filament for your 3D printers. Here we are working continuously to produce as much as 3D printing filaments we can. To know more, you can contact us at 1-330-753-0100, or you can write to us at makeshaper@villageplastics.com.

3D Printing and Medical Sector: How have things changed in the healthcare front?

With each passing year, 3D printing is offering more and more benefits to the healthcare front. The medical sector is becoming more accessible and less expensive, thanks to 3D printing! However, most people believe 3D printing has only brought engineering changes, mechanical parts, and designing prototypes. Little do they know that 3D printing filament can now be used to create machines used in hospitals and even for printing organs. Yes, you’ve read that, right!

Researchers were able to print a bladder successfully. Experts say that the day is not far away when essential organs could be printed using 3D printing in the field of medicine. Now the doctor could provide treatment to the patient in several ways. This guide is solely dedicated to informing people about the drastic changes that 3D printing has brought in the healthcare front.

1. Leadtime

The process to manufacture new tools usually take up a lot of time and money. No matter whether it’s outsourced or created in-house, the process will be time-consuming and costly. Such a long lead time will prove to be life-threatening during such critical situations. In healthcare, 3D printing provides engineers and designers with tools to iterate and make designs as quickly as possible.

Thanks to the accuracy of 3D printers! Now the tools’ custom parts can be easily designed and sent for printing within a couple of minutes. By following the surgeon’s direction, it’s possible to imitate a tool’s design within a couple of hours. Undoubtedly, 3D printed filament has accelerated the process of design development. Also, 3D printer parts can be used by manufacturers to support early commercialization or clinical trials while optimizing the final design. As compared to traditional methods, the time required to print parts is much lesser in 3D printing.

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

2.  Customized Implants

Thousands of bony parts of a human body can now be replaced with 3D printed parts such as hips, spine, knees, ankles, and skull segments. Thousands of such parts are implanted each year, and the 3D printing promises to produce more and more printed parts or organs in the future. Even though the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t approve of it, some replacements have been taken under the FDA’s emergency clearance.

For instance, a tracheal splint was designed for an infant at the University of Michigan, who was suffering from a weak trachea that collapsed despite conventional treatment. Therefore, the bioengineering-surgical team used the CT scan to print a 3D splint to wrap the weakened trachea. Implants like these eventually get absorbed when the trachea repairs itself.

3. Affordable Prosthetics

In developing nations, the 3D printed prosthetics are often manufactured at very low-cost. People who had no hopes of receiving such devices are now leading their lives successfully with prosthetics made using the latest technologies. Organizations like Not Impossible and ROMP use 3D printing to develop high-quality, low-cost orthotic braces and prosthetic limbs for patients who didn’t have any hope of receiving such devices otherwise. However, it is now possible. Thanks to 3D printer filament!

E-Nable encourages everyone across the world, including engineers, to build arms and hands using designs made by E-Nable on their 3D printers during their leisure time. The organization’s estimation reveals that it has manufactured around 1,800 hands until now, mostly for kids. However, it believes that 1,800 more hands have been manufactured that falls out of their documented process.

4. Biomaterials for Complex Organs and Organ Structure

The emergence of 3D printing has proved to be a driving force for doctors or other medical staff to develop human organs using biomaterial. Suddenly, it seems like it’s no longer a dream, and organs can now actually be printed. Taking baby steps, the researchers began with the development of simple structures like cartilage, skin, bladder, blood vessels, cartilage, and parts of other complex organs, like heart valves. To be honest, the experts have made significant progress.

The real challenge in creating organs lies in printing blood vessels and printing organs together. Apart from that, one cannot ignore that an organ is not just tissue, but it might also be referred to as memory. Therefore, the heart doesn’t just have many cells; it also has tissues that support other tissues that lead to thousands of heartbeats.

5. 3D printing Labs

One of the immediate trends is using 3D printing in the hospitals directly. However, until a few years ago, only a few hospitals were doing 3D printing directly. Now, hospitals from all across the globe are establishing 3D printing labs to allow healthcare professionals to incorporate the use of 3D printing filament into a regular working day. Justin Ryan, a research scientist and biomedical engineer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Cardiac 3D Print Lab, has produced 300 hearts or more during the last four years.

While operating on a complex organ, doctors usually practice customized, and 3D printed models to expect a promising surgery outcome. Practicing beforehand will make sure the surgery successfully gets over within much less time. Also, the rate of mortality and morbidity will be drastically be reduced.

Conclusion

Certainly, the future of medicine lies in the hands of 3D printing. The extensive use of 3D printing has also provided a boost to the market of 3D printed filament. In the healthcare front, medical experts use 3D printing to research and practice new procedures and treatment, provide patients with new prosthetics and organs, and hundreds of other applications. Recent developments in 3D printing for healthcare has provided us with stronger, safer, and lighter products, lower costs, and decreased lead times. Patients are provided with treatments or products that are specially designed to suit their anatomy. We are not much far away from the day when we could replace our original organs with 3D printed organs.

If you are in the lookout for good-quality 3D printer filament, then you have come to the right place. MakeShaper deals with filaments that are tested, manufactured, and engineered in the United States. The brand holds quite a reputation for being the best dealer of 3d printing filaments. And we strive to retain this reputation by providing our clients with the exact consistency that we have been providing so far. In order to meet all your quality requirements, we have the manufacturing capabilities to deliver custom shapes, profiles, and sizes. We are 100% confident about our products and stand behind all the products we manufacture with Satisfaction Guarantee and Product Quality. We constantly keep updating our products so that you can deliver only the best prints to your clients without failure. Filaments of all kinds of configurations are available on our site. So, what are you waiting for? Buy from us and get started with your printing company! If you have got further queries, you can contact us via mail at makeshaper@villageplastics.com or give us a call at (330) 753-0100.