Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Allen last won the day on June 1

Allen had the most liked content!

1 Follower

About Allen

  • Rank
    Senior Contributor
  • Birthday 05/01/1985

Recent Profile Visitors

416 profile views
  1. Researchers from Pennsylvania State University have developed a 3D bioprinting process capable of printing hard and soft tissue at the same time to repair skin and bone injuries. Using two specifically-engineered bioinks and bioprinting processes, the team was able to repair a hole in the skull and skin of a rat model within minutes in […] View the full article
  2. Researchers at the University of Alberta (U of A) have developed a method of 3D bioprinting customized nasal cartilage for cancer patients living with postoperative facial disfiguration. Using a CELLINK 3D bioprinter, the scientists have been able to precisely deposit a mixture of patient cells and a collagen hydrogel into a nasal shape, before culturing […] View the full article
  3. China is embracing metal additive manufacturing for the large scale manufacture of medical implants. Beijing-based AK Medical have been in the implant game for a while now. At first they specialized in traditionally manufactured implants, but since installing their first EBM printer in 2009 they have embraced AM with gusto, becoming the first company in […]View the full article
  4. Tagging @embodi3d or @Dr. Mike to help answer
  5. Hi @Akiva Elad thansk for being a member of the community. I'm tagging @Dr. Mike to help answer the question since he's our guru
  6. I actually think the pandemic will accelerate 3D printing ... this is one of those opportunities where the technology and hardware lends itself to more DIY / work from home work.
  7. The system only allows embeds that participate in the Open Embed (oEmbeds), which covers popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc. We'd have to go custom for some of these niche sites.
  8. Yup I saw that original post in the other topic. We're probably going to need to commission a plugin to accept the SketchFab iframe. It shouldn't cost much, but waiting on permission from Dr. Mike for approval.
  9. <div class="sketchfab-embed-wrapper"> <iframe title="A 3D model" width="640" height="480" src="https://sketchfab.com/models/9d3a3e42c0054c35aa39c3ee07388d16/embed?autostart=0&amp;ui_controls=1&amp;ui_infos=1&amp;ui_inspector=1&amp;ui_stop=1&amp;ui_watermark=1&amp;ui_watermark_link=1" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen; vr" mozallowfullscreen="true" webkitallowfullscreen="true"></iframe> <p style="font-size: 13px; font-weight: normal; margin: 5px; color: #4A4A4A;"> <a href="https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/tyrannosaurus-rex-9d3a3e42c0054c35aa39c3ee07388d16?utm_medium=embed&utm_source=website&utm_campaign=share-popup" target="_blank" style="font-weight: bold; color: #1CAAD9;">Tyrannosaurus Rex</a> by <a href="https://sketchfab.com/D.art?utm_medium=embed&utm_source=website&utm_campaign=share-popup" target="_blank" style="font-weight: bold; color: #1CAAD9;">D.art</a> on <a href="https://sketchfab.com?utm_medium=embed&utm_source=website&utm_campaign=share-popup" target="_blank" style="font-weight: bold; color: #1CAAD9;">Sketchfab</a> </p> </div>
  10. [sketchfab]9d3a3e42c0054c35aa39c3ee07388d16[/sketchfab] Tyrannosaurus Rex by D.art on Sketchfab
  11. Tagging @Angel Sosa for a potential blog article!
  12. (The post Is Getting A 3D Printer Worth It? Pros and Cons appeared first on 3D Insider. View the full article) With the holiday season starting, there are probably lots of people who are considering getting a 3D printer as a treat for themselves or for the special people in their lives. 3D printing has become pretty popular nowadays as a hobby for people who are stuck at home – which most of us still are. While we’re generally biased towards getting more people into 3D printing, we won’t lie and say that it’s a good idea across the board. There are a few caveats to consider. Just as with any other hobby, 3D printing is fun but it’s not for everybody. Before buying that 3D printer, here are a few pros and cons to mull over. PRO: Exercises your creativity In terms of creative freedom, there probably isn’t a commercial technology that can rival 3D printing. While there are a few limitations, a 3D printer generally does a good job of recreating any digital 3D model in real life. If you’re the type of person who likes to explore creative ideas, then the possibilities with 3D printing are virtually endless. You will probably start off 3D printing simple objects like cellphone cases and flower vases but can eventually move on to more complex figurines and miniatures. If you’re willing to put in the time, you can even learn to create your own 3D models using a CAD software platform. The therapeutic value of doing something that engages your creativity and imagination cannot be understated, especially at a time when many of us find it difficult to do any sort of traveling or face-to-face social meetings. A 3D printer is an excellent holiday treat for you or for anyone you know who is really into creating things. CON: Takes up a lot of space Before you decide to buy a 3D printer, consider if the person you’re buying it for has enough space for it. Yes, there are now desktop-scale 3D printers that take up just as much as space a tower CPU case, or any standard kitchen appliance. However, a 3D printer does not exist in a vacuum – it’s going to need a bunch of supplies and accessories. Between keeping a stock of filament spools and making sure that the 3D printer has enough ventilation, you’re almost certainly going to need a large room for this simple hobby. Despite what many 3D printing articles will tell you, 3D printing out of your living room or bedroom is not a great idea. Aside from the clutter of all the accessories and supplies, 3D printing emits a lot of unpleasant fumes that you do NOT want to come in contact with your beddings, furniture, or food. The perfect place for a 3D printer would be an open garage or an isolated workshop with large windows. If you live in a one-bedroom apartment, we suggest thinking a bit more carefully about where you’re going to put a 3D printer before splurging out on one. PRO: You can learn new things If you’re giving a 3D printer to someone who has had no experience with the technology at all, then it will provide the perfect opportunity for that person to learn something new. The best thing about 3D printers as a learning tool is that they are quite fun and engaging. In fact, they are so effective that 3D printers are starting to become staple parts of classrooms and learning institutions worldwide. There are a lot of knowledge areas to branch out on once you have a 3D printer. Working with the 3D printer and different filaments will involve a lot of troubleshooting and tweaking with printer settings, which will inevitably teach you lessons on electronics, thermodynamics, and engineering. On the software side, more advanced users can start to learn how to create their own 3D models. This is an entirely new avenue for creativity, as you will no longer need to make do with models that can be downloaded online. CON: Requires significant time and effort to learn As with any new skill, learning about 3D printing is going to take significant time and effort. For some people, having to overcome this learning curve can be a frustrating experience. If this is your first time to delve into 3D printing, you will inevitably run into several failed prints before you create one you’re satisfied with. Branching out into different filaments will also present different challenges and re-runs of previous frustrating moments. As with other hobbies that eventually get forgotten, there are probably millions of desktop 3D printers worldwide that have barely been used. This is just a risk that is inherent with any new hobby that you or some other person could potentially get into. It may click, or it may not. If you’re giving a 3D printer as a gift, you might want to throw in a good guidebook to basic 3D printing to get them started on the right foot. PRO: Complements your other hobbies One of the biggest advantages of the versatility of 3D printing is that it can fit perfectly well with several other hobbies. If you’re into the collection of miniatures and action figures, a 3D printer will allow you to create your very own figures and customize them as you please. People who are into board games and RPGs have been very active in designing and printing their own pieces at a fraction of the cost of commercially available pieces. 3D printers have been used to create everything from broken furniture pieces to guitar parts, props and costumes, and home furnishings. While there are still limitations to the technology, your imagination provides a pretty wide berth for what you can do with 3D printing. Even if you cannot fully get into 3D printing or modeling as a hobby, you might still make good use of your 3D printer to support your other hobbies. In this regard, it will be an enabler of your current hobbies and not the end-product. CON: Might not be as engaging as your other hobbies 3D printing is a hobby that requires patience. If you’re a beginner, you will have to read up on the basics, choose between the different filaments, and figure out how to fix things when problems come up. There’s also the fact that a single 3D printing project can take up to 12 hours to finish. What we’re trying to say is that you need to know what you’re getting into when you buy a 3D printer. It will involve a lot of reading, watching tutorial videos, tinkering with hardware, playing around with slicer settings, and a LOT of waiting for a project to get printed. For some people, this may not be their idea of a good time. Again, this is probably one of the reasons why a lot of desktop 3D printers ger abandoned eventually. This is a hobby that requires a lot of work, and not all of it can be described as exciting or engaging. PRO: Can be used for a business Not everyone who buys a 3D printer intends to use it just for fun. For more enterprising users, 3D printing can either be offered as a service or be used to create customized commercial products. Considering how many 3D printing startups have popped up in the last couple of years, there is certainly a market for this type of business. A fair warning, though – it’s best to go into 3D printing as a business once you already have solid experience. There are a LOT of people nowadays going into the 3D printing business, and the market has become increasingly competitive. It’s no longer enough to download models off Thingiverse and 3D print them. It would be advantageous if you can create your own models from scratch. CON: Might not produce a return on investment at all If you’re buying a 3D printer with the expectation that it will pay for itself eventually, then we’re telling you right now that this may not pan out as you are hoping. It will take a lot of work before you can even earn your first dollar in 3D printing. Aside from an initial investment in the 3D printer, you will also need to spend on several filament spools and other tools essential for troubleshooting and finishing of finished prints. You will inevitably end up with failed prints, which adds up the operating costs of a 3D printing business. Our advice? If you want to get into 3D printing as a hobby, then don’t go into it expecting that you’ll earn from it eventually. Much like other hobbies, 3D printing can prove to be a black hole for your time and expenses. Even so, it’s worth it if 3D printing gives you the satisfaction of exercising your creative muscles and learning something new. Final thoughts Is it a good idea to buy a 3D printer this holiday season? Under the right circumstances and with the appropriate mindset, yes, a 3D printer would be a great treat. However, we recommend managing your expectations a little. A 3D printer is not a toy but it’s not an automatic money-making machine, either. In as much as 3D printers seem fun, they also require a lot of work. If you’re the type who can commit several hours per day tinkering with your 3D printer, then it’s a great product for you. However, this is a hobby that is more likely going to get set aside if you’re already too busy for it.
  13. (The post How to Ensure Good Ventilation When 3D Printing appeared first on 3D Insider. View the full article) With more people taking on 3D printing as a hobby, it has become incredibly common to see 3D printers being set up in someone’s garage, living room, or bedroom. However, there is more to 3D printing than just buying a good 3D printer and some tools – especially when it comes to safety. On top of the hazards related to high temperatures and moving parts, the risk of inhaling fumes from the 3D printing process is something that every user and owner of a 3D printer needs to take heed of. How can one make sure that their 3D printing setup has enough ventilation? The importance of good ventilation Much has already been written about the respiratory hazards associated with 3D printing. Most of these discussions have emphasized the importance of ventilation for 3D printing at the industrial scale, but these precautions also apply to those who 3D print at their homes. In terms of composition, these respiratory hazards can be classified into two types – toxic fumes and plastic nanoparticles. Toxic fumes Toxic fumes can refer to any chemical or volatile organic compound (VOC) released by the plastic filament when they are heated. The actual chemical composition of these fumes, as well as their effects on long-term health, will depend on the specific type of filament material. ABS may be one of the most common plastics used in 3D printing, but it is also one of the most dangerous in terms of chemical emissions. When heated, ABS produces a gas called styrene. This chemical compound has been linked to carcinogenic effects among those who have gone through sustained or prolonged exposure. In the short term, exposure to styrene can also cause headaches, drowsiness, and a feeling of fatigue. PETG and Nylon are also filaments that are commonly part of the discussion on the topic of hazardous chemical fumes. Both these plastics release a compound called caprolactam when they are heated. It is slightly less dangerous as it is not a proven carcinogen but can still cause short-term irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Those who have been exposed for longer periods have developed malaise, headaches, feelings of confusion, or peeling of the skin. As a general rule of thumb, any unpleasant smell during 3D printing should be taken as a sign that there is an unhealthy concentration of chemical fumes in the room. However, the lack of an unpleasant smell should not be taken as a sign that everything is well – some of these chemical fumes can be imperceptible, even in high concentrations. Plastic nanoparticles While not all plastics used in 3D printing emit harmful fumes, the heat and pressure involved in 3D printing make it very likely to release plastic nanoparticles in the air. This is true of just about all 3D printing plastics – including the seemingly benign PLA. Nanoparticles can be absorbed by the body either through inhalation or skin contact. Over the long term, exposure to these nanoparticles has been linked to the development of certain types of cancers. Direct inhalation can also lead to a host of respiratory problems such as bronchitis and asthma. According to some studies, it can take up to 30 minutes for the nanoparticle concentration in a room to go back to normal levels after 3D printing operations. As a rule of thumb, filaments that print at higher temperatures typically release a higher concentration of these nanoparticles. ABS and PLA provide the perfect comparison for this concept. It is estimated that ABS can release between 3 to 30 times more nanoparticles than PLA. Other high-temperature filaments, such as Nylon and Polystrene, have also been found to release very high levels of nanoparticles. Whether you’re 3D printing at home or in a commercial site, the research on the matter is pretty conclusive – there is an inherent respiratory health hazard to 3D printing. With this in mind, the best precaution is to use your 3D printer in an area with good ventilation. Options for 3D printing ventilation The need for good ventilation applies both to commercial 3D printing operations as well to those who only 3D print at their homes. Safety measures need not be expensive. A careful selection of where you place your 3D printer plays a big role, but you can also get a few pieces of hardware to help. Here are a few measures you can take to avoid health hazards while 3D printing: Print in an open area The best option is to 3D print in an area with good cross-ventilation. This could be a garage with the doors open, a workshop located outdoors, or a toolshed with several open windows. The most important thing is to have a constant flow of fresh air to disperse and displace the chemical fumes and nanoparticles from your 3D printer. Use an enclosed 3D printer There are now a lot of desktop-scale 3D printers that come with built-in enclosures. These might be a little more expensive than their more “open” counterparts but the benefits they provide are certainly worth the added cost. 3D printer enclosures do a great job of restricting the spread of unpleasant fumes. These typically also come with a built-in venting system with a HEPA filter which helps remove plastic nanoparticles from the air before it exits from the vent. Take note that the chemical fumes likely won’t be removed completely by a filter, so it’s still best to set up your 3D printer in an area with good ventilation. Install an air extractor If you only have a small window in your workshop, then opening it might not be enough to provide enough ventilation. In this case, you should consider using an active air extraction system such as this Twin Window Fan from CCC Comfort Zone. These are designed to be mounted on any standard-sized windows and can be used to either draw out the air from inside the room or to introduce fresh air from the outside. Either way, having a window fan will encourage air circulation inside the room and prevent the unhealthy accumulation of chemical fumes. Use an air purifier An air purifier can be an additional accessory if you feel that your room still isn’t receiving enough ventilation. Just to be clear, an air purifier should not be relied on completely – it can only remove so much of the air contaminants and will likely get overwhelmed if you’re 3D printing in a completely enclosed room. If you’re planning to get an air purifier, then make sure to get one that can neutralize both nanoparticles and chemical fumes. You should primarily be on the lookout for an air purifier with a HEPA filter, a carbon filter, and ionizing technology. This air purifier from Medify Air is a good option that we can recommend. Print only with PLA If you don’t need your 3D printed projects to be exceptionally durable or rigid, then you can consider printing only with PLA filament. Compared to other filaments, PLA is likely the one that creates the lowest level of respiratory hazards. With PLA, you don’t need to worry as much about the effects of styrene or caprolactam. However, you will still need some protection from the plastic nanoparticles. Another factor to watch out for are the additives that could be in your PLA filament. The PLA material itself is relatively benign, but your specific filament brand may have dyes or other stabilizers that are relatively more toxic. If you don’t know exactly how safe these additives are, then it’s best to simply exercise maximum caution. Printing with PLA can be a viable option if you have no choice but to print in a room with poor ventilation. Take note that staying in the same room for the 7 to 10 hours it takes to finish 3D printing a project is still not a good idea. Final thoughts Coming up with a clear qualifier of whether your 3D printing environment is dangerous or not is virtually impossible. After all, there is an endless combination of 3D printer types, filaments, room sizes, and methods for air circulation. In the face of this uncertainty, the best thing we can recommend is to just err on the side of safety. The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of effort to protect yourself and the people around you from the respiratory hazards of 3D printing. Simply opening your windows is already a huge help. The key component is plain common sense – if the smell gets too strong or if you start getting dizzy, then you probably aren’t getting enough ventilation.
  14. Now that STEM education is being pushed to the forefront, 3D printers are increasingly becoming more common parts of classrooms around the world. This is a welcome development, of course, as 3D printing and other more advanced manufacturing technologies may prove to be vital parts of one’s skill set in the near future. This development presents an important question – how safe are 3D printers for kids? Can teachers leave students to use 3D printers unsupervised? What safety measures can schools and teachers take to ensure that no untoward incidents happen when kids work with 3D printers? The hazards of 3D printing The first step in establishing effective safety practices is to acknowledge that there are inherent hazards to 3D printing. After all, you’re still dealing with a machine with parts that can be heated beyond 200 °C. If you need to teach kids about using 3D printers, then you might as well tell them about the following hazards as well: Moving parts There are a lot of moving parts in a 3D printer, almost all of which are driven by the rotation of stepper motors. While these gears are typically inaccessible, it’s much easier for the smaller fingers of children to get caught within these moving parts. It’s good practice for both kids and adults to refrain from touching the moving parts of a 3D printer while printing is ongoing. Heat Heat is an important part of 3D printing. It also provides some of its most pervasive hazards. Depending on the filament you’re working with, you might have an extruder temperature that goes as high as 200 to 250 °C. Most 3D printers also have heated print beds that can be heated close to 100 °C. The filament material, of course, is also very hot when it comes out of the extruder nozzle. These are things to watch out for, especially if you’re dealing with a bunch of curious children. Fumes When 3D printing, massive heat is applied to the plastic filament materials. Different filaments react in different ways to this heat, but it is much safer to assume that they all release fumes that can range from irritating to downright toxic. Even if you can’t smell anything, the pressure and heat of extrusion also release plastic micro-particles which can result in long-term respiratory problems in humans. Tools Aside from the 3D printer itself, completing or finishing 3D printing projects will often involve the use of other tools. Some of these tools are sharp and can still cause injury when used improperly or without proper supervision. If absolutely necessary, you may have to incorporate training for using these tools into your 3D printing class. However, there are tools that are simply too dangerous to leave in the hands of small children. In listing down these potential hazards, one must always recognize that children are naturally curious and that they might not have developed a sufficient level of motor skills to work with small parts or tools. This means that there must always be a context in the development of safety practices – a different set of rules will be needed between middle schoolers and very young students. Best 3D printing safety practices for kids The best safety measure is one that eliminates the hazard completely. If this cannot be done, the next best thing is to reduce the hazard or prevent access to it. These will be our guiding principles in formulating safety measures for kids for 3D printing education. Get a 3D printer with an enclosure The best way to keep the kids away from the moving or hot parts of a 3D printer is to simply isolate them. Fortunately, a lot of the new desktop-scale 3D printers being sold nowadays come with built-in enclosures. Models from Flashforge, Dremel, and Monoprice are some good options. These are ideal because they provide protection and isolate the fumes of 3D printing while still allowing students to watch while the 3D printing process unfolds. The physical barrier is highly effective in discouraging kids from poking and prodding the 3D printer while it is still running. You can also set these 3D printers to stop operations as soon as the enclosure or cover is removed, ensuring that no accidents happen even if you’re not actively supervising. Place warning stickers on parts that can get hot We realize that warning stickers don’t always work, especially with kids, but it’s still a good idea to have them, nonetheless. They are a good indicator of which parts of the 3D printer get hot. This is a lesson that most people get to learn the hard way, after all. For best results, we suggest sticking warning labels that are colored bright red. Make sure to use stickers that are actually meant for use in high temperatures, lest you end up with one that gets washed out after just a few weeks. Inspect the 3D printer before use A major responsibility of the instructor is to inspect the 3D printers before use to check for any signs of damage. If there are any exposed wires, then it might be a good idea to have the printer repaired first. Do not touch any parts of a 3D printer while it is running A good general rule of thumb is to tell your students that under no circumstance should they touch any of the parts of a 3D printer while it is still running except for the control panel. This rule applies to students of all ages as well as to you as the instructor – yes, this is a great opportunity to lead by example. Avoid crowding around the 3D printer while it is running Even with all safeguards in place, it is best to enforce a minimum distance between your students and the 3D printer while it is still running. Not only does this help prevent curious fingers from prodding the machine, but it also lessens their exposure to a 3D printer’s harmful fumes. Letting them watch the 3D printer from about five feet away should let them appreciate the process without exposing them to unnecessary hazards. Do not eat or drink near the 3D printer It’s a good idea to treat your 3D printing class like you would a chemistry laboratory – everyone should be wearing the proper protective equipment while working, and there should be no eating or drinking in class. Any food or drink has the potential of getting contaminated with the chemical fumes that 3D printing releases. A spilled drink will also be bad news for any electronics and can result in some extreme accidents. Have students wear goggles, gloves, and respiratory protection A 3D printing class is an excellent avenue to teach students about general safety. Part of safety is making sure that you are wearing safety equipment appropriate to the activity you are doing. In the case of 3D printing, you will want to wear protection for your eyes, mouth, and nose to avoid chemical inhalation or contamination. Heat-resistant gloves are also recommended whenever you need to touch potentially hot parts. Since chemical fumes could be anywhere in the classroom, we recommend having all the students wear eye and breathing protection whenever a 3D printer is running as long as they are in the same room. Make sure to use masks that have been specially designed for chemical fumes and not just common particulates. Print in a well-ventilated area If you have the option to open windows during printing, then do so. This will help disperse the fumes that 3D printers emit. This is a recommended measure even if you’re using a fully enclosed 3D printer with a dedicated filtered vent. If your room does not have large windows, then you might want to reconsider relocating your class to somewhere with better ventilation. Only print with PLA PLA is probably the friendliest filament to work with if you’re teaching 3D printing to kids. It prints at lower temperatures, does not need a heated printing bed, and does not release unpleasant fumes. PLA also isn’t as prone to warping as other 3D printing filaments, making it less likely for your students to go through the frustrating experience of having to start a 3D printing project all over. Watch out for signs of asthma, allergy, or any flu-like symptoms There’s a good chance that the kids in your class have not been exposed to the type of chemical fumes that 3D printers release. Even with breathing protection, you will need to keep a close eye on your students and watch out for adverse reactions. If any of your students show signs of difficulty breathing or allergic reactions, then it would be best to have them step outside the room right away. Get in touch with medical personnel if symptoms don’t improve after a few minutes. As with most safety guidelines, it’s equally important to be receptive to adding or revising the rules as you see fit. Different facilities may require a different set of rules depending on the goals of the course and the available equipment. Final thoughts It wasn’t that long ago when ‘shop class’ was a common thing in schools. Learning woodworking is no longer as common nowadays and have been replaced by more tech-oriented fields. With schools opening courses on 3D printing, we feel it our duty to try and provide assistance on how they can keep these classes safe. The good news is that a lot of desktop-scale 3Dprinters for sale today have been pretty well-designed when it comes to safety. If you can get an enclosed 3D printer with an integrated HEPA filter vent, then that’s already half the battle won. The post 3D Printing Safety Tips for Kids appeared first on 3D Insider. View the full article
  15. Researchers from the Korea-based Asan Medical Center have 3D printed surgical guides that could help cancer patients to retain more of their breasts after surgery. The scientists found during testing that they were not only able to customize their devices to each patient, but they could save tissue up to 1cm from the tumor. In […] View the full article
  • Create New...