This edition of Rapid 3D Printing News brings you 3D printing news from the space where astronauts bioprinted meat, 3D Printing world’s largest object, a 1000x ultrafast 3D Printer, and World’s Largest Multi-Material 3D Printing System.
Read to know more about these exciting new developments from the industry.
Bioprinted Meat in Space aboard The International Space Station
Aleph Farms, an Israeli food company, revealed that it has successfully bioprinted the world’s first-ever lab-grown meat in space aboard the International Space Station. Aleph Farms collaborated with 3D Bioprinting Solutions, a Russian bioprinting company, and two other US-based food companies to carry out this experiment in space.
The experiment involved growing a piece of meat by mimicking a cow’s natural muscle-tissue regeneration process to recreate the meat. The company aims to grow huge quantities of edible meat from just a few cells.
According to the Didier Toubia, the Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, “In space, we don’t have 10,000 or 15,000 Litre (3962.58 Gallon) of water available to produce one Kg (2.205 Pound) of beef. This joint experiment marks a significant first step toward achieving our vision to ensure food security for generations to come while preserving our natural resources.”
This experiment as a proof-of-concept test that will serve as a boost to its effort on earth to conceive meat through “bio-farms” where the company will grow this meat.
University of Maine Builds World’s Largest 3D Printed Object – A Patrol Boat
The University of Maine secured three Guinness World Records on its way to 3D printing the world’s largest object – a patrol boat. The boat was unveiled at UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Centre in the presence of more than 250 federal and state officials, business executives, University of Maine System leaders and community members.
The 25-foot, 5000-pound boat named, 3Dirigo, was printed in just 72 hours through the world’s largest 3D printer which has a build volume of 100 x 22 x 10 feet3. Guinness World Record recognised the boat as the largest 3D-printed boat and the largest solid 3D-printed item and the 3D printer as the world’s largest polymer 3D printer.
The printer was developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The partnership combined Oak Ridge’s expertise in 3D printing with UMaine’s knowledge of composites to print objects made from sustainable materials.
Above: Timelapse video of the boat being 3D printed/Video Credit: UMaine Composites Center/YouTube
Habib Dagher the executive director of the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, said, “We’re not just looking at boats. We’re looking at all kinds of markets. The use of the printer can be extended to many other industries as well.”
Representatives from the construction industry and the U.S. Army are also expected to work with the Composites center on other applications.
As part of the testing process, Dagher and his team used the printer to build a prototype of a mold that can be used to build bridge supports and a command center similar to what the Army uses.
LLNL Researchers 1000x Ultrafast Nanoscale 3D Printing Technique
A team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong developed a new nanoscale 3D printing process that claims to be 1000x faster than conventional two-photon lithography (TPL) techniques.
Traditional TPL techniques are too slow for many practical applications as they use a serial point-by-point writing scheme. The researchers at LLNL used an ultrafast laser to implement a projection-based layer-by-layer parallelization through spatial- and temporal- multiplexing. This increased the throughput up to three orders of magnitude while expanding the geometric design space.
Despite the high throughput, the new parallelized technique known as femtosecond projection TPL (FP-TPL) produces a depth resolution of 175 nanometers, which is better than established methods, the researchers report. They demonstrated the fabrication of structures with 90-degree overhangs that can’t currently be made.
The technique could lead to manufacturing-scale production of bioscaffolds, flexible electronics, electrochemical interfaces, micro-optics, mechanical and optical metamaterials, and other functional micro- and nanostructures.
The paper titled “Scalable submicrometer additive manufacturing” is published in the Science journal.
Kraken – The World’s Largest and Most Accurate Multi-Material 3D Printing System
The Kraken system was recently unveiled at the AITTIP Technology Center, Spain in the presence of more than 120 attendees from other countries like the UK, Germany, Italy, Greece, and the USA.
Kraken is an EU funded project that has developed an automated, robotic machine for hybrid multi-material manufacturing combining both subtractive and novel additive technologies. It is capable of producing parts of up to 20-metre long. The Kraken system can automatically interchange between additive and subtractive heads to deliver high quality and high accuracy parts. It is capable of finishing internal and difficult-to-reach areas, with effective control over thermal stress and deformation.
Kraken’s additive manufacturing system provides metallic material using WAAM at a deposition rate of 1.5l/h. The Kraken machine also includes a bi-material resin extrusion system which can reach deposition rates of 120 kg/h. The metallisation process can reach deposition rates of 6kg/h. In addition to that, the subtractive capabilities of the machine allow for cutting, sanding, polishing operations reaching 2mm of cutting at 10m/minute.
Above: Introduction video of the Kraken system/Image Credit: KRAKEN/YouTube
The Kraken machine offers multiple advantages over other manufacturing technologies. They are as follows:
- 90% less floor space thanks to the use of a ceiling installation and the reduction of necessary workplaces.
- 40% faster thanks to the high deposition rates of the resin extrusion process and WAAM and the integration of the milling and finishing in a single machine.
- The Kraken machine is an affordable solution with a lower price than current equipment and solutions for the production of final parts for the production of large customized functional parts.
- 25% more productive thanks to the accuracy achieved through real-time path programming and control and real-time monitoring and geometry inspection.
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