The opportunities of 3D printing organic compounds (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 46)

3D printing is still struggling to overcome issues regarding biodegradability and its ecological impact. We’ve been using materials for thousands of years that are of natural origin and can easily be disposed of. It’s been a challenge to translate that to the latest manufacturing tech around. Cellulose is having a comeback, as researchers are understanding how to create polymer structures from abundant and renewable raw materials. A new group of new biomaterials is being developed, some with transient properties, capable of degrading and dissolving on-demand. Nanocellulose has been invented in the 1970s as a food thickener and could be coming to a dish near you, made more palatable thanks to 3D printing. Advances in chemistry collide with the challenges of 3D printing to open the way for complex, smart and immensely useful organic materials.

MIT Develops Method To 3D Print Abundant Natural Polymer Cellulose

Diagram showing a) printing process b) process under a microscope c) extruded filament d) mini glasses e) mini rose. Image via Advanced Science News.

MIT scientists Dr. Sebastian Pattinson and Prof A.J. Hart have now published a possible method of 3D printing a derivative of cellulose as a substitute for environmentally problematic plastics, one which sidesteps previously encountered problems. […] As detailed in the research paper, after printing, the cellulose acetate parts can be converted to cellulose proper by de-acetylation using sodium hydroxide.

Read the full article here.

3D Printed Biomaterials Degrade on Demand

Biomaterials that can degrade on demand have been 3D printed by engineers at Brown University. The materials were fabricated by means of stereolithographic printing, which uses an ultraviolet laser controlled by a computer-aided design system to trace patterns across the surface of a photoactive polymer solution. The capacity of the materials to degrade is imparted by the development of reversible ionic bonds. Precursor solutions were prepared with sodium alginate, a compound derived from seaweed that is known to be capable of ionic crosslinking. Different combinations of ionic salts, including magnesium, barium and calcium, were then added to 3D print objects with varying stiffness levels, a factor which affected how quickly the structures dissolved.

Read more about the research here.

Can 3D Printed Nanocellulose Transform The Food Industry?

Cellulose is a natural ingredient, but would you necessarily want to eat it? Diagram of the nanocellulose extraction process via bio1151.nicerweb

The Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the latest institution to introduce a nanocellulose-based platform that promises “the 3D printing of personalized food” with the added ability “to cook, bake, fry and grill while printing at the three dimensional space.”

Read the full article here.

 

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Impact & Advance of Machine Vision (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 20)

The industrial world has gained, in the past years, thousands of new eyes and ears thanks to sensors and cameras capable of delivering useful data. The added information capacity allows automation to take hold on tasks with higher degrees of complexity. At the same time it is enabling procedures and operations which not only provide innovative ways to achieve certain objectives but also to save time and money in the process. Metrology instrumentation is becoming more accessible than ever, making custom prosthetics a more feasible prospective for medical institutions. Similarly, medical scans allow doctors to drastically cut pre-operation planning and surgical time, resulting in hefty savings. Lastly, machine vision and inspection is bringing a new era of food handling from farms, improving the process’ quality and ultimately the customer experience.

Nikon Metrology inspection technology and additive manufacturing advance patient-specific implants

A Lithuanian medical company has leveraged Nikon Metrology inspection equipment to advance the production of jaw implants. Ortho Baltic, is one of only three manufacturers of patient-specific temporomandibular joint endoprostheses in Europe. In 2012, Ortho Baltic made an investment into additive manufacturing technology, and more recently the company acquired computed tomography (CT) inspection equipment for quality control from Nikon Metrology. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most used joints in the human body, allowing humans to talk and chew. When this joint is damaged, whether it be by trauma or illness, and typical treatment methods have been ineffective, replacement surgery is required. Patient-specific implants are usually reserved for more severe cases, but Ortho Baltic wants to make the administering of tailored endoprostheses the norm.

Read more here.

3D printing helps Queen Elizabeth Hospital reduce surgical planning time by 93%

By using a Stratasys Objet Eden350V 3D Printer, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK are saving three to four hours in surgical time per surgery, and costs are reduced by up to £20,000 per operation. The hospital had previously outsourced its 3D printing requirements and have now installed an in-house 3D printer to facilitate life-changing maxillofacial surgeries. According to Stratasys 3D printing has, “revolutionized pre-surgical procedures across a number of departments. This includes the maxillofacial (face and jaw); burns and plastics; ear, nose and throat; and neurosurgery units.”

Read more here.

How Robotic Automation Will Benefit Food and Agriculture

Automation technology is now spilling out of industries such as automotive and electronics and into food and agriculture – and it couldn’t be too soon. Jack Uhl, sales manager – CPG (Consumer Products Group) for Yaskawa America, Inc.’s Motoman Robotics Division recently wrote a compelling blog post outlining how “food just got faster.” In the post, Uhl makes an analogy to the wheel that is the food industry and how automation must become the rim tying the spokes together.

Read the full article at Engineering.

 

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