3D Printing News Briefs, May 11, 2022: Software, Research and More – 3DPrint.com


We start with an exciting new software feature in today’s 3D printing briefs, as CoreTechnologie’s 4D_Additive can now repair 3D scan data and STL files. Business comes next, as Photocentric and BASF Forward AM have renewed their partnership, and a team of researchers from UC Berkeley and the University of Freiburg have developed a new way to 3D print microstructures of glass. Finally, if you’ve ever wanted a replica of the SpaceX Orbital Launch Integration Tower, you’ll want to check out this amazing 3D printed model!

Easy repairs of STL files and scan data

French-German software maker CoreTechnologie recently introduced the latest version of its 3D printing software 4D_Additive, and it comes with a new feature that can quickly repair and simplify tessellated files and turn them into closed solids, and reduce the number of triangles with loss of precision. These features, called Marching Cube and Mesh Simplification, automatically correct and simplify any type of triangulated 3D model, or scan data, and prepare it for printing. This saves users a lot of time as manual repair can be a lengthy process.

The Marching Cube function of the 4D_Additive 1.4 software combines the voxelization of parts with their repair, thus allowing users to define the size and fineness of the cube. After voxelization (adaptive filling of the room volume with voxels) is complete, the software automatically generates a closed 3D mesh to repair files and data with thousands of triangulation defects. Users also have several options for smart triangle reduction. Using the new Marching Cube and Mesh Simplification features, fast and simplified repair of STL files and scanned data is enabled, so users can easily create 3D printable solids with better file size and resolution.

Photocentric and Forward AM renew their strategic partnership

The inventor of Photocentric 3D LCD printing and BASF Forward AM have announced that they have renewed their strategic partnership, focusing on a series of new AM materials produced by the two. Their collaboration began in 2018 with efforts to reinvent traditional manufacturing processes like injection molding by adding 3D printing to the mix for the production of large components. Since then, the two have already successfully developed the Ultracur3D® range of daylight photopolymer resins, designed to work with Photocentric’s LCD technology. Going forward, Photocentric and Forward AM will work to create and deliver the next generation of 3D printing materials for end-use parts. Additionally, their respective R&D teams will also work together on future projects focused on realizing the potential of large-scale additive manufacturing.

“We are delighted to continue our collaboration with Photocentric. Our teams enjoy a great working relationship underpinned by our shared goals, including our collective desire to deliver game-changing solutions to unlock markets that have yet to reap the benefits of additive manufacturing,” said Dr. Piotr Bazula, Global Product and New Business Development. Liquid Formulation Manager, BASF 3D Printing Solutions. “We look forward to working together to enable the consistent and cost-effective production of end-use parts using 3D printing technologies.”

Researchers 3D print glass microstructures

3D printed glass lattices displayed in front of a US penny for scale. Image credit: Joseph Toombs

A collaborative team of researchers from UC Berkeley and the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg published a study on their faster way to 3D print glass microstructures with superior strength, optical quality and design flexibility . Three years ago, UC Berkeley researchers developed computed axial lithography (CAL), which can print glass and fine detail, and together with Freiburg researchers extended the capabilities of a new system called micro-CAL. Instead of building objects from layers, CAL uses a laser to project patterns of light into a rotating volume of light-sensitive material to simultaneously print the entire glass object; micro-CAL can imprint microscale features into glass structures. The Freiburg team created a resin with glass nanoparticles surrounded by a photosensitive binder liquid, which is solidified by digital light projections. The printed object is then heated to remove the binder and fuse the particles into a solid glass object with smoother and stronger surfaces. This could be a major boon for makers of microscopic optical components, which are used in advanced microscopes, compact cameras and VR headsets.

“When we first published this method in 2019, CAL could print objects in polymers with features down to about a third of a millimeter. Now, with micro-CAL, we can print polymer objects with features up to about 20 millionths of a meter, or about a quarter of the width of a human hair. And for the first time, we have shown how this method can print not only in polymers but also in glass, with features down to about 50 millionths of a meter,” said Hayden Taylor, Principal Investigator and Professor of Engineering. mechanics at UC Berkeley.

“Glass objects tend to break more easily when they contain more flaws or cracks, or have a rough surface. CAL’s ability to make objects with smoother surfaces than other processes layer-based 3D printing is therefore a big potential advantage.

3D printed replica of the SpaceX launch tower

An Duong, Founder and Director of Morethan3D Ltd, shared his latest 3D printing project in a LinkedIn post: the SpaceX Orbital Launch Integration Tower (OLIT). He explained that a few years ago he designed and 3D printed a series of jet engine models, and was looking for a new project that could “be as engaging and inspiring for school children”, and l ‘found in the OLIT. The goal is to inspire young children to learn about space, 3D printing, and other STEM topics with a challenge to stack the Startship and Booster together in minimal time. The 3D printed replica is a 1/96 scale model, and you can download the STL files and print the OLIT yourself, or order the 3D printed model, unassembled, with pre-installed magnets, directly from Morethan3D. Duong has included printing and assembly instructions for the OLIT model, for which you’ll need a printer with a minimum build volume of 216 x 200 x 178mm.

“Ideally, it would be best if your build volume was greater than 322x228x178mm so you can print most of the model – the Chopstick_RH in one piece. Otherwise you will have to print it in two pieces and glue them together. To see if your printer can handle this part or not, you can download it through this LINK.”


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