Newcastle expertise leads research on 3d printing of foot orthotics

Peacocks Medical Group are working with researchers from the University of Newcastle and Glasgow Caledonian University

Pioneering medical products produced using 3D printing techniques are to be developed using North East expertise.

A partnership project involving city centre-based Peacocks Medical Group, the University of Newcastle and Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has been awarded £77,000 funding to design and manufacture foot orthotics using the revolutionary printing technology.

Orthotics is the medical field which deals with the design and prescription of orthoses – devices that are worn to assist, prevent or support skeletal and muscular movement.

With Newcastle engineers at the helm, the team will work on the ‘FootFEMan’ project which uses a computational engineering tool called “finite element analysis” to improve the functional design of orthotic devices.

Finite element analysis can help to identify points of weakness in a design before it is manufactured by modelling various stress tests.

The FootFEMan team will use the improved design – personalised to individual patients – to 3D print the devices, layer by layer.

Peacocks are leaders in the field and last year produced the world’s first 3d printed orthoses. Experts from the firm have spoken about their work at global conferences.

A team of five full-time engineers and one technician from Peacocks are working on this latest project which builds on their previous achievements.

Peacocks’ operations director Steve Cook said: “This latest collaboration looks to further optimise the design of orthoses by combining detailed engineering processes with the benefits of 3d printing.”

Podiatrist David Eardley explained: “Orthotics used to be about using moulded designs and wedges to block certain types of movement. More modern thinking is about working with a person’s movement to treat the condition.”

He added: “The ideal would be for a patient to arrive at a clinic, have their feet scanned, and then use software to print them a suitable device on the spot. We’re some way off from that stage, but it’s what we’re working towards.”

Newcastle University’s Professor Kenny Dalgarno and Dr Javier Munguia have worked in the field of 3d printing for some 15 years and will also lend their expertise to the scheme which runs until April this year.

Mr Dalgarno explained: “Patients are all different ages and body types – and may be at various stages of disease. This project is about finding a way to optimise the manufacture of orthoses for individuals.

“Peacocks have done a tremendous amount of work in this field and now we’re looking for ways to scale up the manufacturing of these devices.”

Some 200 million European citizens suffer from disabling foot and ankle conditions and more than €300 million per year is spent treating many people with orthoses and splints.

Traditional manufacturing techniques for these products are slow and costly. As part of an international consortium, the FootFEMan team have already established automated techniques under their €5.3m A-FOOTPRINT project which operated 2009-2013.

Ageing population means the global market for custom foot orthoses continues to grow.

Professor Jim Woodburn, of GCU, said: “We are confident that we can successfully 3D print new orthotic insole devices. This project will now enable us to improve each orthotic tailored to the individual patient according to whatever foot problem they have.

“We will test the new products in controlled clinical studies here at GCU to see if we can improve foot function during walking and further lessen disabling foot symptoms.

“GCU’s collaborative partnership with Peacocks will enable them to maintain and grow their market position as the leading SME developing innovative and knowledge-based orthotic products.”

Artist is 3D Printing a 26 Foot Long Boat in 100000 Separate Pieces on 30 3D Printers

The 2 meter long version of Peng's boat

Over the past year, we have seen many incredible 3D printing projects take place. There have been houses, cars, boats, and prosthetic hands that have all been created on 3D printers. However, one artist, named Hung-Chih Peng, may have them all beat, at least when it comes to creativity and time involved.

The 2 meter version

Hung-Chih Peng is a Taiwanese artist who thinks outside of the box, and I’m not just talking about throwing in a few extra colors on a painting, or sculpting a slightly controversial scene. He has garnered a tremendous amount of attention with his unique exhibits such as Post-Inner Scripture in 2013, God Pound and 200 Years in 2009, and Little Danny in 2002, among others. Now Peng’s latest work is The Deluge – Noah’s Ark, which is currently an exhibition that can be seen at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. It takes a model of a boat, and twists and turns its body in a way that isn’t physically possible in the real world.

But this is art, and The Deluge is Peng’s way of showing the inability that humans have exhibited in rectifying uncontrollable catastrophic challenges. Climate change, ecological crises, and environmental pollution are all changes that this planet is facing, yet seemingly humans do not have a way to correct these problems. The work is meant as a metaphor for showing the battle being waged by Mother Nature on the accelerated development of industrialized civilization. And as Peng explains:

“Human beings are unable to return to the unspoiled living environment of the past, and have become victims of their own endeavors. In the biblical time, Noah’s Ark is the last resort for humans to escape from the termination of the world. However, if Noah’s Ark sinks, where is the hope of the human race? If Noah’s Ark, a symbol of mankind salvation, becomes just as a shipwreck, human and nonhuman were placed in an equal position. Human subject is losing his predominance as the supreme center of the world.”

deluge10

Currently on display is this piece which Peng has created. It is 3D printed and measures 2 meters long. It depicts a time when the Anthropocene period (a period when human activities have/had significant global impact on Earth’s ecosystems), is replaced by the Mechanocene period when machinery begins taking over some of the jobs.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6G0i1NVcjk?rel=0]

“It is certain that, no matter what circumstance will turn out, there will certainly be a disaster beforehand,” explains Peng. “Destruction and construction always grow and demise together. We will once again encounter the problem of moral degeneration.”

As part of the exhibition that features Peng’s 2 meter long “Noah’s Ark,” which has been twisted and turned in all directions, he has also turned his exhibition space into what he terms “an artist’s studio,” and is currently 3D printing a HUGE 26-foot-long model of the same boat, using 30 UP 2 FDM-based 3D printers. In all, there will be about 100,000 separate 3D printed pieces that will go into assembling this giant boat.

The 8 meter (26 foot) 3D printed boat - printed in 100,000 pieces.

“The boat is not finished yet, it will be finished at the beginning of Jan 2015,” Peng tells 3DPrint.com. “It will be 8 meters long and about 165 cm high and wide. We will use 560 kg of filaments, sponsored by UP printer maker, Beijing Tiertime. This is my first time using 3D printers. The original idea was only to build a huge twisted boat for this biennial. It has to be huge. After evaluating all the possibilities of different working processes, we think 3D printing is the best final decision.”

Visitors to the exhibit can see first hand as 30 3D printers are constantly working, printing different parts of the boat. When finished, they are assembled onto the larger model, which also is currently on display.

What do you think about this incredible art exhibit? Discuss in the 3D Printed 26 Foot Boat forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out some more photos and videos below of the boat being assembled.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBRLrrM7DsY?rel=0]

deluge8
deluge7
deluge6
deluge5
deluge1
deluge2

[Image and Video Source: Hung-Chih Peng]

Sentey® Bluetooth Speaker B-Trek S2 (Black) up 6 Hours – Built-in Mic for Hands Free- 10 Meter – 33 Foot Range – Rechargeable & Removable Lithium Ion Battery – Wireless – Mini Size – AUX Line in & microSD Card Slot Allows Audio Music Playback From Various Sources / Works for iPhone, iPad Mini, iPad Air 4/3/2, iTouch, Blackberry, Nexus, Samsung, Other Smart Phones, mp3 Players, and Computers Laptop or Desktop – FM Function – Best Super Portable Top Rated Wireless Speaker – Indoor – Outdoor – For Car or Mobile Speaker System

Sentey B-TREK S2 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

Built-in Mic for Handsfree

up 6 Hours of Battery – Replaceable

AUX Line in made it compatible with many 3.5mm connector devices as

Gaming Headset – Music Headphones – any device with 3.5 connector

microSD Card Slot Allows Music Playback From Various Sources

Compatible with Any Bluetooth Device As Macbook, Macbook Pro, Pc’s , Notebook

desktop, portables pcs, Smartphones, Smartwatch , Iphone 6, Samsung Galaxy

Tablets , Sunglass , Bluetooth Headset , Tablet Pc

recharge very fast with any usb car chargers, power bank, wall charger usb chargers

10 Meter – 33 Foot Range – Rechargeable & Removable Lithium Ion Battery

Rubber Painting

Package contents: Sentey B-TREK Portable Bluetooth Speaker, micro USB cable, 3.5mm audio cable

instruction manual. 18-month warranty and free lifetime technical support.

Unrivalled playtime powered by replaceable and rechargeable Li-ion battery.

Outstanding connection range of up to 33 feet.

Built-in microphone with a 2-feet pickup range allows the speaker to double as a speaker phone.

Compatible with any bluetooth device

works with all 3.5mm connector devices

With its FM radio functionality.

It also allows you to have hands free conversation

Finally, it has a removable & rechargeable

so you can never run out of power by either charging it or putting in a new fresh battery

Iphone 6 and iphone 6 plus compatible

Wireless Bluetooth Technology ! do not accept old technologies, protect your investment!

Product Features

  • Rechargable & Removable Lithium Ion Battery
  • Built-in Microphone for Handsfree Functionality with mobile phone
  • AUX line in & microSD card slot allows music playback from various sources
  • Bluetooth Speaker with FM radio
  • One Touch Answer button

Visit The Website For More Information…

3Doodler Set to Launch 12 New Plastics, a Foot Pedal, New Nozzles & More

New 3Doodler Nozzles

New 3Doodler Nozzles

The 3Doodler, 3D printing pen has become quite the sensation as of late among artists, designers, and just plain ole hobbyist. Since raising over $2.3 million via Kickstarter in March of 2013, the “World’s First 3D Printing Pen” has garnered the attention of many media outlets, specialty shops, and discussion forums around the world.

For those unfamiliar with the capabilities of the 3Doodler, it is a handheld device that extrudes molten plastic, which hardens when cooled. When the device was first announced, many people just couldn’t fathom what it could possibly be used for. However, in the time that it has been available, we have seen all sorts of interesting, useful, and intriguing ways in which the 3Doodler has been used. We’ve seen it used to create a hexacopter drone, a remote controlled airplane, and even a Life-sized humanoid skeleton. The list goes on and on.

12 Additional Plastics Now Available

12 Additional Plastics Now Available

So far there have been over 100,000 3Doodler pens shipped out worldwide, in the 11 months since the shipments began. It is currently the most popular 3D printing device in the world, according to 3D Hubs.  On top of this, they have already shipped over 16,500,000 inches of plastic filament to their users, 20% of that being black, and 14% being white.

Because of the success that the 3Doodler has had, the company has decided to provide more options and accessories for their loyal users. Today, they announce that they are introducing 12 new colors of plastic (Radioactive Yellow, Cotton Candy Pink, Café au Lait, and six additions to the “Clearly” range, Clearly Clementine and Clearly Cherry), as well as several new accessories, at the German IFA tradeshow which runs from today through September 10th.

New 3Doodler Accessories

New 3Doodler Accessories

The new accessories are the DoodleStand, which holds the 3D printing pen and also moves, helping the artist “doodle” accurately in clean, straight lines. Also being released is a new 6-piece nozzle set, which allows designers to change out the normal circular nozzle for either a ribbon-shaped, square, or triangular nozzle, among others. This will allow for the extrusion of plastic in different shapes and sizes, providing for more design options to choose from. The most interesting of the newly announced accessories is probably the foot pedal, which allows users to hold the 3Doodler at any angle imaginable, without having to worry about controlling the flow of the extrusion with the hand that is holding the pen. It allows the user to control the starting and stopping of the extrusion by means of simply pushing the pedal to the floor.

The 3Doodler Pedal

The 3Doodler Pedal

“We’re very excited to be showing off our new accessories and plastics at IFA, after successfully shipping units globally and retailing in stores around the world.” said Daniel Cowen, Co-Founder of 3Doodler. “The simplicity of 3Doodler has sparked imaginations. Just a few of the things that have been 3D designed include a 6ft scale model of the Tokyo Tower, the first ever life sized 3D printed humanoid skeleton, fashion designs, including a fully 3Doodled dress, a Stephen Colbert “truthiness” monument, and a working RC plane. That more than a hundred thousand people are using our 3D pen worldwide marks a fantastic year for both 3Doodler and the 3D printing industry alike; and by giving people new accessories and plastics to use with the 3Doodler, we hope to continue sparking imaginations and encouraging people to doodle truly fantastic creations”.

Without a doubt, the 3Doodler is here to stay. It is nice to see them innovating upon their already extremely successful product, in order to keep their fans happy. These new accessories definitely make the “3Doodling” experience one that is even more fun than ever before.

The DoodleStand

The DoodleStand

What do you think about these new colors and new accessories that 3Doodler has announced? Are you looking forward to using any of them? Discuss in the 3Doodler announcement forum thread on 3DPB.com.

ifa-3doodler2

ifa-3doodler-nozzles2