Sneaking Duck Launches 3D Printed Glasses Made to Spec

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Sneaking Duck Launches 3D Printed Glasses Made to Spec

Sneaking Duck 3D Printed Glasses

Bespoke eyewear retailer Sneaking Duck has announced the released of a new collection of 3D printed glasses, offering better personalisation and the perfect fit.

Sneaking Duck, sister site of Shoes of Prey and pureplay retailer of customised eyewear, has today announced the launch of a new range – 3D printed frames for consumers that want the perfect fit and the perfect look.

Around the world, 3D printers appear to be on the verge of revolutionising products and services of every stripe. From 3D printed guns, to cars and even organs, this technology has a massive potential, but consumers are yet to see many of the benefits it brings.

As such, Sneaking Duck’s new range of glasses frames takes advantage of this trend, with each style individually crafted by Andrew Simpson from Vert Design and rigorously tested. Customers are then able to select style changes and fitting options as required so that each pair of frames is ‘made to spec’.

Sneaking Duck 3D printed frames

An example of one of the styles from the new 3D printed range at Sneaking Duck.

Mark Capps, CEO and Co-founder of Sneaking Duck believes the initiative is a first for the Australian retail market and may well signal things to come.

“Being individually manufactured allows customers to personalise their frames exactly for themselves,” Capps says. “They can get the perfect fit by changing the arm length, as well as choosing a colour and personalising with a message – how about your phone number so you never lose them again?”

Capps also points out that these frames come with all the benefits of traditional frames, so that in this case, 3D printing is a win-win for consumers – so long as you don’t mind spending a little extra than the standard Sneaking Duck price.

“Of course, they come with your personal prescription (or sunnies!). Everyone has a slightly different head and face shape and size, so this allows you to get glasses that are custom made for you.”

Each of the frames are manufactured using Selective Laser Sintering, where they are built up one thin layer of a time from a powdered synthetic. At the end of the process the machine leaves a large block of powder from which the fully-formed frames can be extracted and the excess powder reused, meaning greater specificity in design and less wastage.

“This is really only the beginning of the possibilities of 3D printing with improved materials continuously on the market, and the cost of 3D printers becoming affordable enough to be palatable for purchase into households.”

Campbell Phillips

Article by Campbell Phillips

Campbell currently serves as Editor for Power Retail. He has a background in science communication and a long history in retail. Campbell has a keen interest in emerging technologies and their impact in the world of media and online retail. Campbell is an indoor sports junkie, to the point of playing in a local dodgeball competition once a week, “just for kicks”. Follow Campbell on Twitter, Google+ or connect with him on LinkedIn.

The Future of 3D Printing in Healthcare

The Future of 3D Printing in Healthcare

Photograph: Makerbot

Imagine a world where the items you need or want can be created on demand. Simply turn to a computer, plug in a blueprint, fill the printer with a particular material, and in a matter of hours you are holding the desired item in your hands. Sounds like science fiction, doesn’t it? But 3D printing has become a reality, and it’s already making a huge difference in healthcare.

What is 3D printing?

Traditionally, 3D printers have worked by additive manufacturing, a process in which a machine layers materials, such as plastic or glass, to create an object. This kind of printing is common to places like Boeing, Honeywell and General Electric, where many parts are manufactured with 3D printing. In the world of healthcare, 3D printing is already used to create dental implants, hearing aids, contact lenses and prosthesis that are tailored to the individual.

Creating customized medical devices offers many advantages for the patient. The perfect fit of a prosthetic limb, for example, makes it much more comfortable to wear and reduces the risk of infection or other complications. Replacing a knee or hip with a device that is customized for that particular patient can cut down on operating time and expenses, promote faster healing and possibly lead to a more comfortable, longer-lasting joint.

There is also a psychological aspect to the use of 3D printed parts. “Because 3D printed designs can be unique and cool, things like prosthesis that used to be something to hide are now a fashion statement,” said Sarah Boisvert, the chief 3D printing officer at Potomac Photonics, Inc. “Bespoke and 3D Systems are demonstrating this today with customers matching their artificial legs to their outfits. The social ramifications are even more powerful than the technical.”

Early successes with 3D printing

The victories for 3D printing are already piling up. Top medical facilities like the Mayo Clinic are now offering flexible replacement knee joints printed with nylon, which mimic bones and cartilage. Cornell University is busy printing experimental heart valves and bone implants, while researchers at Wake Forest University have been successful in creating kidney cells.

The reach of 3D printing has improved and even saved lives. In 2011, a man in the UK who lost half his pelvis to bone cancer received a new pelvis created of 3D materials, and is still happy with the results. In 2012, infant Kaiba Gionfriddo made headlines when doctors in Ohio implanted a 3D printed airway splint that allowed him to breathe normally. The child is now a healthy toddler.

In March 2014, it was reported that 75 percent of an American patient’s skull was replaced by a 3D implant created by Oxford Performance Materials. Made of a biomedical polymer, the artificial skull was created to exact specifications for the patient, and included surface details that encouraged easy attachment and new cell growth.

But the wonders of 3D printing aren’t limited to implants. In February 2014, doctors at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Ky. needed to operate on a small child with multiple heart defects. By printing a 3D version of the child’s heart, doctors could study the heart’s defects and create a surgical plan before wheeling the child into the operating room. The surgery was a success.

Just announced last week, a 22 year old woman’s skull was successfully replaced with a 3D-printed implant. Performed by Dr. Bon Verwejj of University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, the skull was 3D-modeled and then printed as a single full piece slotted and secured into place. 3D printing can ensure the components of the skull are an exact fit. Verwejj stated, “this has major advantages, not only cosmetically but also because patients often have better brain function compared with the old method.”

The Future of 3D Printing in Healthcare

The future of 3D printing in healthcare

As the advantages of 3D printing become clear, many hospitals and physicians are embracing what it can do. In 2013, there was a $1.2 billion market for 3D printing in healthcare; by 2018, that will increase to over $4 billion, according to a study by Visiongain. While much of that booming market might come from the increased use of customized prosthesis and other devices, there are much more ambitious 3D printing uses on the horizon.

One of these advances is known as bioprinting, or the ability to print living tissues. The printers make use of “bio-ink,” a blend of living cells. The bioprinter builds a structure from these cells, layer by layer, to create human tissue. Researchers are already testing the technology for use in creating skin grafts, knee cartilage and small heart valves.

The next step? Creating organs for the human body. The ability to create a kidney, pancreas, or heart from a person’s own cells with a bioprinter has enormous implications for healthcare, including reducing the lengthy transplant lists, improving the chances of recovery and possibly even controlling or curing chronic diseases, like diabetes.

“Printing body parts from cells or tissue is years off as initial results are just in, and we would still have to go through FDA approvals,” Boisvert said. “But the ability to have a perfect match and not have to wait for a donor would save countless lives and is the future of medicine. Organs made from tissue, not plastic or metal, would perform more like those with which we are born.”

3D printing is already making a significant impact, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. “Printing organs made from cells is really in the early stages but initial results are promising,” Boisvert said. “I expect this sector to hit the market in ten to twenty years, and then the impact will be huge.”

Brits print out disposable low-cost drone

The UAVs are usually created by large manufacturers, as their construction is expensive and complex. The achievement of the UK researchers could make the craft a more sight.

Researches from the Advanced Manufacturing research Centre carried out a test flight of the vehicle earlier this week. The manufacturing cost of the drone has not yet been released, but its researchers said that it was significantly lower than that of large drone-dedicated companies.

The university’s engineers are now developing an electric fan propulsion system that will simplify the drone’s control. They also plan to develop a GPS control system or a camera, controlled by an operator wearing person-view googles.

Sheffield’s drone was built with the use of a technique called fused deposition modeling (FDM), and is made of a polymer called thermoplastic. This method is slower than other printing techniques, including selective laser sintering (SLS).

Without using lasers, the FDM method results in fewer costs. However, the costs depend on the material used, the size of the craft and the printer used.

“By understanding the capability of the FDM process and associated software, we were able to manipulate the design to contain a number of unique features as well as preventing build deformation. All parts required for the airframe can be combined onto a single build within the Fortus 900 machine, taking less than 24 hours with ABS-M30 material,” Mark Cocking, additive manufacture development engineer, said.

Low production costs might make 3D unmanned aircraft more disposable. They can be sent on one-way flights for delivery, search or reconnaissance purposes.

FDM printers use two kinds of materials. The first is called the “modelling material” and is what the object is ultimately made of once complete. A second, “supporting material”, acts as a scaffolding to support the object during the printing process.

The polymer craft could be built and deployed in remote situations, potentially within as little as 24 hours, the engineers say.

The Sheffield UAV is made up of nine parts printed separately that are snapped together. It weighs less than 2kg (4.4lb) and is made from thermoplastic.

The engineers are currently looking at ways to use nylon as the printing material, in place of plastic, which would make the UAV 60 percent stronger, without increasing its weight.

“Following successful flight testing, we are working to incorporate blended winglets and twin ducted fan propulsion. We are also investigating full on-board data logging of flight parameters, autonomous operation by GPS, and control by surface morphing technology,” Dr. Garth Nicholson, the Head of the project, said

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed yesterday that Facebook is similarly working on drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to underdeveloped countries.

He is eager to deliver the internet to “the next 3 billion people” – and revealed the firm has hired experts in solar power that can keep drones flying for months at a time.

Voice of Russia, Daily Mail

Work begins on the world's first 3D-printed house | Architecture LabArchitecture Lab

Zero waste, lower transport costs and recyclable materials – is 3D-printing the future of housebuilding?

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Work begins on the world's first 3D-printed house

3D-printed house … The future of volume house-building, or a novelty technology for temporary pavilions? // Photo by Peter Dejong, AP

Treacle-black plastic oozes from a nozzle at the bottom of a small tower in Amsterdam, depositing layer upon layer of glistening black worms in an orderly grid. With a knot of pipes and wires rising up to a big hopper, it looks like a high-tech liquorice production line. But this could be the future of house-building, if Dus Architects have their way.On this small canal-side plot in the north of the city, dotted with twisting plastic columns and strange zig-zag building blocks, the architects have begun making what they say will be the world’s first 3D-printed house.

“The building industry is one of the most polluting and inefficient industries out there,” says Hedwig Heinsman of Dus. “With 3D-printing, there is zero waste, reduced transportation costs, and everything can be melted down and recycled. This could revolutionise how we make our cities.”