Medical AM: after the tried and true, here comes the weird (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – #131)

The medical field is one of the largest adopters of AM technologies. However, it’s also one of the toughest to introduce new products into, due to high standards regulations. We’ve seen customized splints, hip replacements, surgical equipment, and doctors aren’t quite done yet. There are lots of commonplace medical items to analyze and redesign through AM like, for example, bespoke heart valves that could help deal with upcoming shortages. Now that AM has claimed its place within the medical toolset, more advanced and exotic applications are being explored with greater confidence. Breast implant reconstruction scaffolds printed with biocompatible materials all the way to swarms of drug-delivering micro-bots and bioprinting research. It’s been a long road to get here, but the doors are now more open than ever.

3D printing could meet rising demand for heart valves

artificial heart valves

If Swiss researchers have their way, artificial heart valves could simply come out of 3D printers in future. Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), along with South African company Straight Access Technologies (SAT) has developed a silicone replacement for the heart valves used today. However, it will take at least ten years before the custom-made artificial heart valves can be used.

Read more at SWI.

This startup is 3D printing breast implants for cancer survivors

Lattice Medical showcases the intricate forms that can be 3Dprinted.

[Lattice Medical] creates 3D-printed breast implants which, unlike common silicone implants, dissolve into the body after a year. But the real magic is that in that time the company has a method for regrowing the natural breast tissue so that patients are ultimately left with natural breasts after just a single operation.

Keep reading on Sifted.

Georgia Tech Aims To Scale Micro 3D Printing And Produce Ant Robot Army

Georgia Tech's micro-bristle-bots, penny for scale. Photo via Georgia Tech

Barely visible to the human eye, a breed of microscopic 3D printed robots has been developed at Georgia Institute of Technology. Deemed “micro-bristle-bots” the devices can be be controlled by minute vibrations, making them capable of transporting materials, and detecting changes in the environment. Working together, like ants, the robots’ potential multiplies, unlocking a range of varied applications along the boundaries of mechanics, electronics, biology and physics. The Georgia Tech team is now looking at ways to scale-up the micro 3D printing method used to make the bots, and produce “hundreds or thousands” of the devices in a single build.

Read the full article here.

 

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The Trifecta of Manufacturing Agility: Software, Hardware and the IIOT (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 65)

The world of today’s economy requires businesses to keep a quick pace with the demands of the market. The globalization of products and services made it so that, to stay competitive, product iteration and deployment must be quick and effective. Fortunately, we have the technological foundation to enable this kind of model. A combination of hardware, software and analytical tools put businesses in the position to close the iterative circle of prototyping and manufacturing in a lean fashion. Manufacturing technologies like 3D printing and hybrid manufacturing platforms give the tools needed to experiment and ultimately produce finished goods for almost any circumstance. The digital world we have weaved enables CAD and software to travel and be shared, creating an ecosystem in which everyone is uplifted. Finally, the IIoT is empowering everyone through the might of data-driven insights, interconnecting information hotspots and putting processing power to work on spotting operational inefficiencies.

Engineers Create 4D Printer that Combines Four 3D Printing Techniques

Engineers Create 4D Printer that Combines Four 3D Printing Techniques

[3D printing] Still somewhat in its infancy, the last decade has witnessed a generous body of research that seeks to exploit its uses more than we could have ever imagined. One example comes from a team from the Georgia Institute of Technology, led by Professor H. Jerry Qi from the University’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. Their aim was simple: 4D printing. Or put in a different way, to create a machine that combines multiple materials into one 3D printer.

Read the full article here and the paper here.

3D Life Launches 3D Anatomical Heart Library

Justin Ryan, Research Scientist at the Cardiac 3D Print Lab, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, holds a 3D printed heart model. Photo via Philips USA.

[3D Life] are meeting the demand for anatomical models by launching a 3D anatomical heart library, providing medical professionals with access to 3D printing. The USA’s National Institutes of Health offers a similar library covering a broader range of medical models freely available as .STL files, but without the printing services offered by 3D Life.

Leonardo Bilalis, Design Engineer, hopes that the library will promote “better knowledge of [how 3D printed] organs can be used for surgery preparation for complex problems”, “making operations shorter and more efficient.”

Read more about it here.

IIoT Analytics are Just Numbers, Unless You Solve a Business Problem

IIoT-Analytics-are-Just-Numbers-Unless-You-Solve-a-Business-Problem

There is lots of excitement about analytics and machine learning. It’s moving through its hype-cycle but still faces many challenges. Putting aside other challenges, solving real business issues is still a major shortcoming. If your reporting and analytics is counting “things” – just buy a calculator. Find a business problem to solve, and then you will see real value.

 

Read the full article here.

 

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Our quantifiable future: the industry’s hunger for data (Authentise Weekly News-In-Review – Week 40)

Data acquisition processing is changing the world and the impact will be felt on larger scales than industrial contexts alone. IoT and IIoT technologies are gathering data points on many human and machine related activities, quantifying the world more precisely and pervasively than ever before. At this point in time, there are a few questions that can help us define the future of these processes: what are the next steps forward in this hunger for data? Do we have a functioning framework from which to extrapolate insights in a secure fashion? What will happen when technology allows us to make *anything* quantifiable? New partnerships are making data acquisition ubiquitous in the AM industry. This data will be used in quality assessments to improve part production and pipeline efficiency. Security is still paramount and new businesses and research projects are ready to prove that we have the technology to make safe and efficient data processing a reality. Businesses need to protect themselves against cyberattacks now more than ever. GPS technology is not anymore up to the standards required in the industry and everyday applications. Company Humantics is promising a microlocation-based future, which applied to AI and machine learning algorithms can enable new, high-granularity controls and services.

Oak Ridge Partners With Senvol For 3D Printing Data Collection Project

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry views the 3D printed proof-of-concept hull for the Optionally Manned Technology Demonstrator (OMTD). (Photo courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Department of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), co-developer of the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) process and one of America’s leading technological research institutes, has signed a two-year research agreement with the Senvol additive manufacturing database. In the collaboration, ORNL will use Senvol’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to evaluate the best processes for data collection and apply it to quality assessment of 3D printer feedstock materials.

Read more here.

Three-Layer Technique Helps Secure Additive Manufacturing

[…] AM could become a target for malicious attacks – as well as for unscrupulous operators who may cut corners. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Rutgers University have developed a three-layer system to verify that components produced using AM have not been compromised. Their system uses acoustic and other physical techniques to confirm that the printer is operating as expected, and nondestructive inspection techniques to verify the correct location of tiny gold nanorods buried in the parts. The validation technique is independent of printer firmware and software in the controlling computer.

Read more about the system at RDMag.

Introducing Humatics: Revolutionizing How People and Machines Locate, Navigate and Collaborate

Imagine a tool that will only drill a hole at the exact right spot, a large format robotic 3D printer with unprecedented precision, a drone that hovers precisely indoors, and augmented reality glasses that project ultra-precise images onto the world you see. Now imagine AI and machine learning applied to every conductor, every factory worker, every robotic collaboration: technology placing our work within a broad human context. That’s where Humatics is going.

Take a look at Humantics at their website.

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