EnvisionTEC Launches cDLM™ – Continuous Digital Light Manufacturing

EnvisionTEC to introduce the first continuous 3D printing process capable of producing models for direct investment casting in minutes, not hours

Contact evok3d now to order your Micro Plus cDLM™ machine: Contact evok3d

DEARBORN, Mich., June 3, 2016 – EnvisionTEC, a leading global manufacturer of professional grade 3D cDLM Microprinting solutions, announced today the unveiling of the patented new breakthrough technology, cDLM™, Continuous Digital Light Manufacturing, at the JCK Las Vegas tradeshow. The first 3D printer to print 3D models for direct investment casting for the jewelry industry in minutes rather than hours, the Micro Plus cDLM, will be on display at EnvisionTEC’s booth #B62063. Demonstrations will be running throughout the event showcasing the Micro Plus cDLM, building casting-ready models in the industry standard 3D print casting material PIC 100 and also EnvisionTEC’s fastest material, QView.

“The addition of cDLM technology to EnvisionTEC’s Micro Plus 3D printer is a game changer for the jewelry industry,” said EnvisionTEC CEO Al Siblani, “Traditionally, 3D printing castable materials such as our PIC 100 would take hours to build. With cDLM, bridal and fashion rings can be designed, grown, and ready for investment casting the same day, which is a huge advantage for the jewelry market.”

The Micro Plus cDLM has average build speeds of 10-20 minutes per inch in Z for the full build envelope, depending on the material used, and a build size of 45 x 28 x 75 mm. As the rest of EnvisionT EC’s Micro Plus line, the Micro Plus cDLM will feature an industrial UV LED light engine, an integrated PC with Wi-Fi, and a convenient built-in touchscreen.

“EnvisionTEC has a long history of innovation, with a focus on 3D printing parts that are made to matter. Providing real solutions to real application problems has become the hallmark of our research and development team’s efforts. Adding the speed of cDLM to our professional grade jewelry 3D printing lineup will provide our customers with unprecedented manufacturing turnaround times,” added Siblani.

The Micro Plus cDLM will be available August 2016.

Contact evok3d now to order your Micro Plus cDLM™ machine: Contact evok3d

Bionics Institute saves months on prototyping with ProJet 1200

Researchers at the Bionics Institute have saved months of work since using 3D printing technology to produce bionic eye prototypes, allowing them to work with surgeons on faster clinical upgrades.Senior Research Fellow at the Bionics Institute, Chris Williams, leads a team who are working to create components such as RF coils that transmit power and data wirelessly once implanted in the eye.

“You would be able to transmit vision to the device in the eye…it’s just like putting a smart phone in your eye,” he says.

Bionic Eye prototypes from the Bionics Institute
Bionic Eye prototype from the Bionics Institute

Associate Professor Williams uses the ProJet 1200 for verification models which allow his team to test for fit, size and functionality. The team then use the 3D printing for pre-production, making moulds from the models which they use to cast silicon prototypes.

“We can now get a prototype out in 4 hours using the ProJet 1200. Before 3D printing it would take us weeks or months. We found it takes 20 iterations to reach an upgrade, in terms of going through iterations, the machine justified itself in the first week.” he says.

ProJet 1200 used by the Bionics Institute
ProJet 1200 used by the Bionics Institute to help create their revolutionary device

After 5 years of research the first clinical trial has been completed on patients using a novel device.

“It was quite promising, their vision was optimised, obviously they want better vision and fully wireless power, but the eye surgeons were pleased with the process and that’s a platform for future trials”, Associate Professor William’s said.

Man vs Coffee Machine

While using 3D printing to fix things is nothing new, we thought we’d do this little case study to highlight just how quick and easy it has become to use this technology to repair an everyday item thereby saving money and reducing waste.

Here in the evok3d print center we love our coffee machine. It’s an old Saeco Magic Comfort+ from around 2004 and ten years on is still a solid performer, until today when one small plastic part finally blew making the machine unusable. This would have been devastating. It would have meant

  • trashing an otherwise working machine creating unnecessary waste
  • scouring the internet for a replacement part – possibly expensive and taking a long time to receive
  • having to drink instant coffee until a new machine arrived or the old one was fixed. Heaven forbid!
Saeco Magic Comfort+
Our pre 2004 Saeco Magic Comfort+ made us uncomfortable when it broke. Image courtesy partsguru.com

Thanks to the wonderful age we live in not only were we able to restore the machine to it’s former glory, we did it with the minimum of fuss.

While I was happy to draw up the replacement part myself in something like 123D Design, I figured I’d do a quick search. Lo and behold, Thingiverse came to our rescue with the exact piece we needed already created by user ‘thomas63’, making it a simple matter of downloading and printing the files. Thanks Thomas!

We printed both parts in ABS on our  CubePro Trio to see which would work best, opting to use the one with the M3 nut fitting . We did these with the following settings:

75 micron layer height, 3 surface layers, almost solid fill, diamond fill pattern, points supports (though they probably weren’t needed) and with no raft. Total overkill, but we wanted good strong parts.

CubePro
The CubePro 3D Printer

 

It took just over three hours to print both parts (due to the super fine layer height), using just over 5 grams of material.

Finally we brushed the parts with some Acetone to give them greater strength before fitting back in the coffee machine. Success! I don’t think coffee has ever tasted so good.

3D Printer Saeco Coffee Machine Parts
Original broken part on the left and acetone treated parts on the right

So there you have it. We saved ourselves several hundred dollars and a perfectly good coffee machine from going to in the trash with a quick look online and less than a dollar of material. We achieved this in a much quicker time (around five hours total) than if we’d been able to source a replacement part elsewhere – all thanks to the power of the internet and 3D printing.

The first ‘official’ 3D printed GoPro accessory?

Those of us fortunate enough to own a GoPro are aware how great they are, especially with the array of fittings and accessories available to attach them to stuff. Those of us fortunate enough to own (or have access to) a 3D printer are probably also aware of the myriad of unofficial GoPro accessories that can be found on the net for download and local fabrication. As one of those people I admit to having made my fair share of parts, all custom designed bits you can’t get from GoPro mind you.

Naturally, because of copyright none of these maker-made designs can have GoPro branding. With one exception – ours.

Thanks to our working relationship with Nissan Motorsport we had an interesting request from one of the drivers. The famous Rick Kelly (and his dog) dropped by and asked if we could print some drink bottle lids – but not any ordinary spill stoppers, these were a bit special. You see, Rick’s personal sponsor is none other than GoPro.

Previously Rick and the race team had been strapping cameras to their bottles rather awkwardly with the standard double sided tape and curved mount bracket, but that was never going to work in the long run. Enter talented engineer and chief designer Perry Kapper who took the original lid and reproduced it in a CAD package, but incorporated the official GoPro branding and camera mount on the top. We ran 8 of these off in one shot on our fantastic high definition ProJet 3500HD Max and the results were brilliant.

Here’s some detailed shots of the final product.

GoPro camera mounted to custom designed 3D printed lid
GoPro camera mounted to custom designed 3D printed lid
Detail showing standard clip in GoPro mount and branding
Detail showing standard clip in GoPro mount and branding

So there you have it. Could these be the worlds first ‘official’ 3D printed GoPro mounts? We certainly think so, but unlike all the unofficial ones, you won’t be finding the model for these on the net any time soon.

GoPro bottle in ProJect 3500HD Max
GoPro bottle in ProJect 3500HD Max