Friday, July 21, 2017

While my Guitar Gently Weeps

From our friends at 3dpi we found this article. Though it is out of nearly all our price range the time will come (sooner than later I hope) when we all have one of these bad boys. 
Toronto based industrial 3D printer manufacturer WAVE3D is set to launch the Wave3D Pro SLA machine.
Aiming to be the “world’s most financially accessible” industrial 3D printer of its kind, the Wave3D Pro challenges six-figure price points, and provides professionals with ample space to prototype bigger products.
Demo, time lapse print of a full size solid Fender guitar prototype on the Wave3D Pro. Clip via Wave3D Information on YouTube.
The typical build size of SLA 3D printers has seen the technology used to make small-scale, high-detail objects, such as dental models, or jewelry designs.
By contrast, the Wave3D Pro has a volume of 15.5 X 8.5 X 22 inches, making it capable of printing objects like a scale model of a Fender guitar in a single print. While not the biggest, this is still substantial.
The average layer resolution of Wave3D printer is given as 50 microns, which is equal to 0.05mm.
The Wave3D Pro 3D printer and a 1:1 scale model of a Fender guitar 3D printed in a single job. Photo via WAVE3D
The Wave3D Pro 3D printer and a 1:1 scale model of a Fender guitar 3D printed in a single job. Photo via WAVE3D
Re-engineered SLA
To enable industrial-scale capabilities, many aspects of the SLA process had to be re-engineered for the Wave3D Pro 3D printer. One example given by the company is in the lining of the machine’s build tray.
In place of silicone, WAVE3D have used an optically clear film which can be easily replaced if it should get damaged or overused. Additionally, the company explains “this technique provides no hazing and virtually no sticking so large flat surfaces can be printed with ease.”
The company have also made materials and software open for its users, encouraging experimentation and making the machine easy to use.
Specs of the Wave3D Pro SLA 3D printer. Image via
Specs of the Wave3D Pro SLA 3D printer. Image via
Challenging the “six-figure proposition”
The finished specs are the result of two years research and development by the Canadian team.
“In our early market research,” explains Ajay Deshmukh , Co-Founder and CEO of WAVE3D, “large size, high quality, reliability and affordability remained a combination that was just not available.” He continues,
Today, large, industrial 3D printing is still a six-figure proposition for almost any company that wants to produce large, high quality parts […] Compromises needed to be made, on either size, or materials available, or even with the orientations of prints in order to get the types of industrial output needed for enterprise applications. We simply asked ourselves, how could we deliver a final outcome that rivaled all aspects of an industrial printer, with the simplicity of a desktop.
Now the company are due to start a pilot production run of the machine but are seeking investment to take manufacturing to the next level. Small scale production makes the Wave Pro 3D currently available for $60,000 USD.
Featured image: A 3D printed scale model of the Eiffel Tower made on the Wave3D Pro. Screenshot via Wave3D Information on YouTube.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Straightening the Possibilities

Amos Dudley wears his ingenuity in his smile.
A digital design major at NJIT, Amos didn't want to pay for braces. So he made his own.
Working on NJIT’s sophisticated design equipment, he used a gel to manufacture a mold of his crooked teeth. He added some plastic and a laser scanner to cast the mold in three dimensions. Then he printed the mold on a 3-D printer. He next printed 12 sets of clear braces.
Then he put his creation to the test: He alternated wearing the braces, day and night, for the last 16 weeks. Given his access to NJIT’s design labs, it cost him just $60 to make the braces, says Amos. Had he visited an orthodontist for clear braces, he would have paid a price more resembling $6,000 to $8,000. He had braces when he was in junior high school but didn't wear his retainer, so his teeth shifted. He was loathe to pay again for braces.
And $60 was a price worth smiling about. For, as he documents on his blog with before and after photos, Amos’s once-crooked teeth are now straight. Whereas before he was self-conscious about his teeth, now his smile comes easily.
“I had an amazing realization last year,” he writes on his blog. “I wasn’t smiling, and it was because I was unhappy with my teeth. They weren’t awful, but they were crooked enough to make me self-conscious.”
He goes onto note that his braces were borne of a curious dichotomy: one, like a typical undergraduate he was living with modest means; and two, as a design student at NJIT, he had the most sophisticated tools at his creative fingertips. Or, as he puts it in his blog:
“At the time of writing this, I’m an undergrad, which means that a) I’m broke, and b) I have access to expensive digital fabrication tools - definitely an unusual dichotomy. “
Amos said he manufactured the braces to enhance his portfolio -- as well as his smile. And he concedes that his do-it-yourself-on-a-student-budget braces were a result of his being in a “great design program with the best equipment.”
"The resources and culture in the design and fabrication labs at the College of Architecture and Design (COAD),” he said, “helped me take this project from an idea to reality."
Glenn Goldman, the director of School of Art + Design, said seniors like Amos all work on independent projects to hone their design skills.
“Amos is working in the overlapping seam between the Digital and Industrial Design programs in the School of Art + Design,” said Goldman. “In both programs, seniors in their last semester develop their own projects in design studio as the bridge between either the commercial working world or graduate studies. We have a program filled with tenacious and talented designers. Our students are entrepreneurial and a number of recent graduates have developed their own products, created start-ups or are working as independent designers.”
Amos says he has no intention of commercializing his braces and he warns others not to try his experiment.
But the publicity generated from his blog -- he’s been featured in CNN Money and in and his story is going viral at dental schools -- has created some exciting opportunities for him. He interviewed recently with Formlabs, a company that makes 3-D printers. The owners of the company read his blog and contacted him. He’s taking a train to Boston to interview with them next week. The company is also shipping him a 3-D printer to use. And national reporters have been calling him daily for interviews. He’s enjoying his newfound celebrity, but knows it will pass. What will last a lifetime, though, is the ease of his new smile.
“I feel I can freely smile again,” he says. “That’s what’s most important.”
By Robert Florida (