In our latest episode of the ‘3D Printing Show’, Anthony Bayerl, Director of Marketing, and Lauren Adey, Additive Manufacturing Specialist bring you the latest news in the 3D printing industry. We have some really interesting news this week including 3D printed sushi, 3D printed homes in El Salvador and on Mars, and a new Draft Resin from Formlabs.

Watch our video to learn about the latest additive manufacturing news.

3D Printed Sushi created from.. urine samples?

Open Meal 3D Printed Sushi | EAC Product Development Solutions

3D printed ‘8-bit’ sushi | Image Credit: Open Meals

A company called Open Meals in Japan is doing the unthinkable – 3D printing sushi for its customers. But it’s not just any type of sushi… it’s custom 3D printed sushi… created just for you. Open Meals plan to open their restaurant called Sushi Singularity in Tokyo in 2020 and are looking for people to invest in their concept of digitalized food.

They brought their idea to a tech event called South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas just this last year. Their booth wowed onlookers as they demonstrated that they are taking people’s individual chemistry from hair, saliva, or urine samples to create sushi full of custom-tailored nutrients that their body needs. The food is printed in a cube-shape, giving them the nickname ‘8-bit sushi’.

Open Meals booth shows off 3D printed sushi at SXSW 2018 in Austin, TX.

The concept is unique – their idea is to create a healthy meal for you based on your body’s nutritional needs. They send you a ‘health test kit’, you return it with a sample of your choice of bodily fluids, and they’ll send back nutrient-rich edible sushi. Open Meals has a plan to send their customized sushi anywhere in the world, as long as you have a suitable food 3D printer.

3D Printed Concrete Houses for Homeless around the World

3D Printed Concrete Homes | ICON + New Story | EAC Product Development Solutions

3D Printed Housing Community in Latin America | Image Credit:

New Story, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending homelessness with affordable and sustainable housing, has teamed up with a construction company called ICON to provide 3D printing concrete homes around the world for those that need it.

By the end of 2019, the partnership plans to house over 400 individuals with around 100 homes in a 3D printed housing community in Latin America. While the average ‘tiny home’ price tag is over $25,000, these 600-800 sq. feet concrete houses can be built for around $4000 in less than 24 hours. The homes themselves are built from locally-sourced concrete to be durable and to sustain weather conditions such as hurricanes or tsunamis.

ICON’s portable 3D printer, called the Vulcan II, is built to withstand real-world conditions and restraints in third-world countries such as power shortages, access to water, and limited labor. With only a few workers needed due to the 3D printer’s remote monitoring technology, the homes are built with almost zero waste and are sustainable for several centuries.

New Story and ICON lead the way for future 3D printed homebuilding.

AI SpaceFactory works with NASA to build homes on Mars

AI SpaceFactory builds home on Mars | EAC Product Development Solutions

3D printing a community on Mars | Image Credit: AI SpaceFactory

AI SpaceFactory is a company comprised of architectural designers and engineers with a desire to build sustainable and eco-friendly habitats on Earth and Mars. Through 3D printing technology, SpaceFactory has developed a 3D printed vertical home or habitat, called MARSHA (MARS HAbitat), that serves as a livable space for humans on Mars.

The structures are built with a double shell system for isolation from extreme temperature swings and harsh conditions on the planet. The first floor consists of a Mars Exploration Rover docking port, a wet lab, and space hatches for entry/exit; the second floor consists of a dry lab and kitchen; the third floor consists of a bathroom, a garden, a sleeping quarters, and an office space; and the fourth floor consists of a ‘sky room’ for exercise and recreational purposes.

MARSHA considers an optimum mental health environment for humans by including windows on every floor with natural sunlight and artificial lighting that mimics Earth-like light.

According to SpaceFactory, MARSHA habitats are made from a mixture of basalt fiber from Mars rock and renewable bioplastic (polylactic acid, or PLA) processed from plants grown on Mars – which is their plan for agricultural sustainability.

Introducing AI SpaceFactory’s MARSHA habitat for living on Mars.

New 3D Printing Draft Resin From Formlabs

Formlabs Draft Resin | EAC Product Development Solutions

Draft Resin, from Formlabs, for multiple design iterations.

The new Draft Resin is three to four times faster than other Standard Resins giving you the ability to cycle through multiple design iterations at a time. Request a free sample of the Draft Resin to see how the material holds up to your standards.

Lauren Adey, our Additive Manufacturing Specialist, can help you choose the right 3D printer or resin for your needs. Make sure to follow her on LinkedIn to see more additive manufacturing news!

In our new ‘3D Printing Show’ episode Anthony Bayerl, Director of Marketing, and Lauren Adey, Additive Manufacturing Specialist bring you the latest news in the 3D printing industry.

We talk about new product announcements, tips and tricks, product updates, discounts, and promotions.

Watch our video to learn about the latest additive manufacturing news.

HP Metal Jet, HP’s metal 3D printers

The Future of Metal 3D Printing

Metal 3D printing will pave the way for the future by providing advancements in mass production of 3D printed products such as heat sinks, spare parts, structural components, tooling, medical devices, and industrial automation.

Leading companies like HP are at the forefront of this technology, producing large-scale metal 3D printers that use materials like gold, copper, steel, and titanium to build custom, complex parts.

HP’s article called, Future of Industrial Production: The Metal 3D Printer, points out that we can most likely expect metal 3D printing companies to offer services to print parts and prototypes for other companies in the near future.

Form 2 Finishing Kit

Form 2 Finish Kit

The Finish Kit for the Form 2 helps you stay organized while putting finishing touches on your parts and prototypes.

The Finish Kit includes:

  • rinse station
  • 2 rinse buckets
  • rinse basket
  • rinse bottle
  • finishing tray
  • tweezers
  • scraper
  • removal tool
  • jig
  • flush cutters
  • disposable nitrile gloves

Removing parts after leaving the Form 2 to finish the 3D print overnight

We discuss how Jeff Martin, an Application Engineer from Colder Products (CPC), gives us a tip on how to remove 3D prints from the build platform even when it’s been finished for hours and sitting in the 3D printer.

When you’re printing with material like the rigid resin, it can be difficult to remove if the resin is no longer warm from the finish. Martin suggests using scolding hot water on the surface of the build platform to help scrape off the finished 3D part.

Formlabs 3D Printers: Form 3 and Form 3L
The Form 3 (pictured on the right) and the Form 3L (pictured on the left).

Formlabs Stereolithography 3D Printers: Form 3 and Form 3L

The Form 3 and the Form 3L from Formlabs are here! These 3D printers use a process called low force stereolithography (LFS) for optimum printing details. Read more about the new LFS process in our blog called, Formlabs Releases New 3D Printers using LFS Technology.

Save money with the Form 2!

Multiple 3D Printers In-House

In our last post, we mentioned that the Form 2 desktop SLA 3D printer has decreased in price (from its previous price of $3499) to $2850.

If you have always had a print queue, now is the perfect time to buy another 3D printer to use in-house for your parts and prototypes. Now you can excel in rapid prototyping with multiple 3D printers at a low cost.

Read our blog called, 3 Ways 3D Printing In-House Can Transform Your Design Process, to learn how you can benefit from having more than one 3D printer.

Contact Lauren Adey, our Additive Manufacturing Specialist, to take advantage of these special deals! And make sure to follow her on LinkedIn to see more on the latest 3D printing news.

We’d like to share some news with you in our new youtube video we’ve nicknamed the ‘3D Printing Show’. Anthony Bayerl, Director of Marketing, and Lauren Adey, Additive Manufacturing Specialist bring you the latest news in the 3D printing industry.

There are a lot of exciting things happening including new product announcements, tips and tricks, product updates, discounts, and promotions.

Watch our video to learn about the latest additive manufacturing news.

New 3D printer called the ‘Replicator’ makes 3D print in minutes, with almost no wasted material

Stereolithography (SLA) desktop 3D printers, such as the Form 2 from Formlabs, creates 3D prints with photopolymer resin cured with a UV laser and built layer by layer. Structural lattices are created with extra material to ‘fill in’ necessary skeletal-like structures for support to continue to build the part or prototype.

UC Berkeley researchers discovered a new 3D printing technique that transforms liquid on a rotating cylinder to a solid with carefully projected rays of light – without having to waste any extra material in the 3D printing process.

Hossein Heidari, a graduate student at UC Berkeley and co-first author of the work says, “Our technique generates almost no material waste and the uncured material is 100 percent reusable. This is another advantage that comes with support-free 3D printing.”

The researchers named the 3D printer the “replicator” after the Star Trek device that instantly materializes any object. This new technique creates 3D prints in a matter of minutes compared to other techniques that could take hours.

We can’t wait to see where these UC Berkeley researchers take this new zero-waste 3D printing technique!

Creo 6.0 makes software updates to support new lattice structures, build direction, and topology optimization

With the release of Creo 6.0, PTC has updated the additive manufacturing capabilities to design with lattice structures, build direction definition, and slicing. Designing your CAD models with Creo allows you to design, optimize, validate, and run a print-check all in one environment – which means you can send your file straight to the printer when you’re done with your final design. Metal printing capabilities cover around 70% of the metal printers that are sold in the market.

Creo Parametric includes the 3D printing capabilities to directly connect to your printer. These capabilities are included in Creo 5.0 and Creo 6.0.

The Creo Additive Manufacturing Extension includes design abilities such as lattice modeling, advanced beams lattices, custom-defined cells, and defining print build direction. These capabilities are included in the Creo Design Advanced Plus package or you can purchase the extension separately.

The Creo Additive Manufacturing Plus Extension for Materialise includes capabilities to directly connect to metal printers, customize metal support structures, and optimize build direction. These capabilities are included in the Creo Design Premium Plus package or you can purchase the extension separately.

The Creo Topology Optimization Extension includes capabilities to use topology optimization in parts and assemblies and enables geometry reconstruction function. These capabilities are included in the Creo Design Premium Plus package or you can purchase the extension separately.

As shown in PTC’s Additive Manufacturing Capabilities in Creo data sheet.

How to wash your parts & prototypes with the Form Wash

We’ve discussed ways that you can better use the products you already own – this time, we’ve got a tip coming from one of our customers – Jeff Martin, an Application Engineer from Colder Products (CPC) on how to clean your parts and prototypes with the Form Wash. Check it out in our blog here.

Formlabs 3D Printers: Form 3 and Form 3L
The Form 3 (pictured on the right) and the Form 3L (pictured on the left).

New Formlabs 3D Printers: Form 3 and Form 3L

Formlabs has released the Form 3 and the Form 3L! The Form 2 uses the stereolithography (SLA) process whereas the Form 3 and Form 3L uses a process called low force stereolithography (LFS) – meaning that the printers literally use lower forces to create easier support removal and more precise detail and surface finish. Read our blog Formlabs Releases New 3D Printers using LFS Technology to learn more about SLA and LFS technology.

The Form 2.

Form 2 Discounts!

The Form 2 desktop SLA 3D printer has dramatically decreased in price (from its previous price of $3499) to $2850. We ARE still selling the Form 2 and will support those that want to purchase an already affordable 3D printer at a more affordable price.

Contact Lauren Adey, our Additive Manufacturing Specialist, to take advantage of these special deals!

The Form Wash is designed for the Form 2 3D printer from Formlabs to automate the cleaning process between printing parts. It makes things much easier for engineers who don’t want to waste any time cleaning their prototypes so they can either use the Form 2 again for another print job or get back to their next project.

Washing printed parts before post-curing helps to remove excess residual resin from part surfaces and cavities. Formlabs suggests using isopropyl alcohol (IPA) as the solvent that is most compatible with washing.

Form Wash by Formlabs
The printed part on the left after cleaned in the Form Wash compared to the printed part on the right that was not cleaned.

If you take a look at the image above, you can see that the left part is much cleaner and visually is more detailed than its counterpart. After using the Form Wash, you can typically use the Form Cure to expose printed parts to light and heat to stabilize the parts for performance. Using the Form Cure is not necessary but using the Form Wash and Form Cure together is recommended for optimal finishing.

Colder Products Company (CPC) has trusted EAC for years to provide them multiple Form 2 printers and other Formlabs equipment and materials to rapidly prototype customized quick disconnect couplings, fittings, and connectors for plastic tubing used around the globe. We answer a few questions that users have about the Form 2 and also include an engineer’s intake as well. Here is how Jeff Martin, an applications engineer at CPC, uses the Form Wash in-house to reduce time spent cleaning 3D printed parts.

How much time does it take for one wash?

Formlabs says that most resins require washing for the Form Wash default programmed time, which is 10 minutes – although additional time is needed for some resins. The following table shows Formlabs’ recommended wash times for each resin being used.

ResinWash TimeResinWash Time
Tough20 minElastic10 min + 10 min
Rigid15 minDental SG5 min
Grey Pro15 minDental LT Clear 5 min
Castable10 minDenture Teeth & Base10 min
Castable Wax10 minCeramic 5 min
High Temp6 minAll other resins10 min

Jeff suggests that you should set your wash time at 20 minutes for each wash. He also recommends that it’s best to physically have 2 Form Washes in-house to speed up the cleaning process, “The first Form Wash set to 10 minutes to wash parts hanging from the build platform, and the second Form Wash is used to clean the parts broken free from supports.” (Keep in mind, he typically uses Rigid Resin for his 3D prints).

Form Wash by Formlabs

What’s the best way to wash prototypes?

If you’re using the Finishing Kit, Formlabs recommends that you should wash your prototypes in at least two standard wash tanks  – the first wash, being the ‘dirty’ wash, would take 10 minutes and then the second wash, using a cleaner tank, for another 10 minutes. Once the first tank gets dirty, you can dispose the IPA, transfer the second tank into the first tank, and then pour new alcohol into the second tank.

The Finishing Kit includes 2 wash tubs to manually clean your 3D prints – whereas the Form Wash automatically cleans your parts and prototypes. 

Jeff says the advantage of having a second Form Wash is that you can use Formlabs’ same theory of having a clean tank to do the final rinse. “I find it in my experience to be extremely useful to remove the supports for the second wash. The reason is that the supports block the fresh circulation of clean solvent from the parts. You will notice that for deep aspect bores and blind holes, if you do not remove the supports, they often times will not fully be cleaned of resin. After removing the supports and letting the parts bounce around in the basket during the last 10 minutes, they will always come out clean.”

Learn more FAQ by reading our related blog, “Everything You Need to Know About the Form 2 3D Printer.” If you’re interested in a free sample, then contact us at your earliest convenience. 

Also, follow me on LinkedIn for tips and tricks on how to use the Form 2 and other equipment and materials from Formlabs!

This is a guest post from our friends over on the Formlabs Blog.

What do Formula 1 race cars and Marine One have in common? Many of their high-performance drivetrain and engine components started life in Kapfenberg, a quiet little town nestled in the Austrian Alps.

Pankl Racing Systems specializes in developing and manufacturing engine and drivetrain components for racing cars, high-performance vehicles, and aerospace applications with more than 1,500 employees, and worldwide subsidiaries in Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Slovakia, and Japan.

Every single part that Pankl makes requires a series of custom jigs, fixtures and other tooling that are designed and fabricated specifically for that part. The result is a proliferation of custom tools, adding significant cost and complexity to the manufacturing process.

To fulfill tight production deadlines, process engineer Christian Joebstl and his team introduced stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing to produce custom jigs and other low-volume parts directly for their manufacturing line in the company’s new €36 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

While 3D printing was initially met with skepticism, it turned out to be an ideal substitute to machining a variety of these tools, surprising even Pankl’s demanding engineers. In one case, it reduced lead time for jigs by 90 percent–from two to three weeks to less than a day – and decreased costs by 80-90 percent, leading to $150,000 in savings. Read on to learn how Joebstl and his team implemented their new 3D printing-based process.

Custom jigs in-use for motorcycle gear manufacturing

Pankl has been in the business for more than 30 years. Has 3D printing been a long-standing part of your practice?

Surprisingly, not at all. We didn’t have any 3D printers until less than a year ago. A colleague of mine had a request for a custom cover to hide some areas from impact in a shot peening machine. We used to buy parts like this from an external supplier, and one such tooling cost about €1,200. I was thinking ‘there has to be another way.’

Having been familiar with 3D printing from my education, I started looking and found the Form 2 3D printer after reading some reviews online. My colleagues understand the value in 3D printing now, but at the beginning, they were extremely skeptical. They thought 3D printing was more like a toy.

In our business, we expect that good equipment is inevitably also expensive. Most of our machinery starts at $100,000 and goes well beyond that. When my colleagues saw that the Form 2 only costs about $3,500, they asked me, “Why should we buy a toy?”

We ordered multiple custom sample parts to conduct tests, and it turned out that the 3D printed parts were capable. Holes and length tolerances were within the ±0.1 mm interval. I researched the material costs for my amortization calculation and discovered that a 3D printed set of the tooling for shot peening would only cost $45. I summarized this into a presentation for the board and took the parts to the kickoff meeting of the new gear plant. They were finally convinced, and we decided to buy our first Form 2, which we soon scaled up to three units.

Process engineer Christian Joebstl runs three Form 2 SLA 3D printers in Pankl’s production facility.

In what cases has 3D printing helped trim production timelines and save costs?

Pankl was selected to manufacture entire gearbox assemblies for a well-known motorcycle manufacturer in 2016, and we swiftly began to set up the new production facility. Manufacturing these gears is an elaborate process. Forged steel parts go through multiple stages of machining using automatic lathes, followed by heat treatment and stress relief.

Each stage of turning in the automatic lathes requires custom jigs for every individual gear type. Machining these parts is costly, and adds significant complexity and risk to the manufacturing process.

Our schedule was tight because we had to produce many more gear types than expected. By the time we got to designing and ordering tooling, we were already supposed to start producing the first acceptance lots. We couldn’t just design the custom jigs and get them next day. If we had outsourced to traditional machining service providers, we would have had to wait six more weeks before we could start production–so we decided to produce the parts in-house on our Form 2 3D printers.

Each working stage in the automatic lathe requires a custom jig. The jigs are attached to the conveyor belt using standard shuttles.

With 3D printing, you can simply take the same design, send it to the printer, and then have the finished part ready by the next morning. This leaves time to check the part on the manufacturing line and make any necessary changes. It also simplified the design process, providing the design freedom to produce jigs in any shape. In conventional CNC milling or turning, you are constrained by the need to design machinable parts, and every extra curve, hole, or chamfer adds complexity to the process.

Each jig is printed with a unique identifier on its side.

Using a single Form 2, we can print a single jig in 5—9.5 hours, and running all three of our machines enables us to produce about 40 jigs within a week.

A simple machined jig costs about $40—50, but more complex parts can cost up to $300. 3D printing reduces these direct costs to $8.5—25, and significantly lowers overhead costs in design, purchasing, and storage, resulting in more than 90 percent overall cost reduction. Considering we’ll have to produce more than 1,000 jigs over the course of production, 3D printing will help the company save more than $150,000.

How did these parts fare on the production line?

We’ve had lots of problems in the past because the cooling media in the lathe is very aggressive on plastic parts, and makes them brittle after some time. Parts 3D printed with Tough Resin have shown resistance against our cooling media, and they are strong enough to withstand the intermittent load that these parts have to endure. Holes and length tolerances normally lie within the ±0.1 mm interval, which satisfies the requirements for our jigs.

A machine gripper picks up the part from the first jig, and places it on the second jig once the machining process is complete.

We’ve already produced more than 300 3D printed jigs to manufacture small batches of 200 parts of each gear for the trial production run. Soon, we’ll scale up production to 1,000-2,000 parts per batch and the production capacity of the facility will increase to more than 1.5 million gears per year.

What are some other applications where you have used 3D printing?

Prototyping, shot peening, masking, and manufacturing various jigs and tooling. For example, when we have a new connecting rod design, we 3D print prototypes to discuss complex features on the part. It’s much easier if you can look at the part, and hold it in your hands.

Once we had to design a custom connecting rod for a customer, who wanted to verify if it’d fit into the building room of a cylinder and that it wouldn’t hit the chamber or the cylinder head itself while turning. We 3D printed a prototype and sent it to them. Once they confirmed that the design worked, we could start production with confidence. The alternative would have been to produce a machined part, which would have been more expensive for the customer and required eight weeks of waiting time.

We also 3D printed special adapters for grippers on an automated handling system. To achieve the perfect grip between the gripper and the part, you have to take the negative of the part, and form the fingers of the gripper according to the shape of your part. Normally we would have milled or cast it, which would have been substantially more expensive.

Recently, we used Flexible Resin in a shot peening machine to increase the friction between the self-cleaning jigs and some other parts. The friction between the metal parts was too low to transfer the turning movement. I added some 3D printed elastic brakes in the tooling to increase the friction so that the turning movement was transmitted from the bottom to the top. Getting these parts from an external vendor would have taken weeks.

Do you have any other plans to use 3D printing within Pankl?

One of my goals is to get more orders from other divisions within Pankl. We’ve had success with 3D printed parts in our production line, and I see countless other applications that could benefit from 3D printing. I want to show other engineers the parts we make, and the applications where we use them, to make them aware that this technology is available to them in-house.

I started with this project when other colleagues showed interest in our new processes. I sent around information on the 3D printing materials, such as their mechanical properties, what they look like, and the particular use cases they’re suitable for. I also printed sample parts for other departments, described the design specifications and how they can order something.

Explore the materials to discover the one that fits your needs.

Request a Free Sample

We’ve already printed parts for aerospace and drivetrain divisions. They send us the designs, we produce the parts for them, and they receive finished parts that are ready to use in their machines. Pankl is a large company, though, which makes this a slow process. We have to overcome the same hurdles as we did initially within our department, and I believe many other companies have these concerns about 3D printing.. But looking at the results we’ve achieved, I’m positive that they’ll recognize the value in the technology.