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How 3D Printing Helps Advance Soft Robotics

Innovations in 3D printing and soft robotics have created structures that are able to grab small objects and perform very precise actions such as carrying water droplets.The advancements in 3D printing seem to happen weekly. Not only can this technology print traditional solid and rigid parts and objects, but it can now also fabricate soft and flexible mesh structures for various uses.

3D printing, as innovative as it is, is actually promoting other innovations as it becomes more complex. It is enabling life science and medicine to advance by giving it a new tool to use in so many different ways.
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How 3D Printing and Nanocellulose are Being Used for Wound Care

In Finland, the VTT Technical Research Center has been developing a complex 3D generated wound care product that will be used for monitoring wound conditions while patients are in the hospital. More specifically, they're using cellulose nanofibrils that have properties that can improve the characteristics of bio-based 3D printing pastes.

Interestingly, the research center is pioneering this nanocellulose synthesis via textile decorative elements that will be used to mock up their production before using them for human wounds.
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How the U.S. Navy Uses the Scan to CAD to Fab Method

How the U.S. Navy uses the CAD to fab methodA common problem in engineering is that parts and equipment, once designed, eventually become obsolete. Manufacturers and fabricators that originally completed the material or equipment in question either move on to different product lines, are purchased by other companies, or, for whatever reason, no longer exist.

Therefore, a replenishment supply of spare parts or assemblies is just as impossible.

This situation was partially the case for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). The SPAWAR enterprise became engaged in three-dimensional scanning and printing to rapidly deliver a solution to a particular antenna that is part of their warfare systems. Que: the "scan-to-CAD-to-fab" method.
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3D Printing is the Affordable Housing Solution in Some Regions

3D Printing is the Affordable Housing SolutionAs 3D technology continues to grow and expand, we continue to see its remarkable benefits and how it solves a myriad of problems. One such issue is affordable housing.

In some nations, populations are greater than the capacity of housing. But what further complicates the socioeconomic equation is that economies don’t always support citizens from having suitable homes of their own. Homes in places like Asia and South America can be too expensive, given the dynamics of supply and demand.
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How 3D Printing Helps the U.S. Military

3D Printing in the MilitaryWe often hear how numerous sectors of our world economy are using 3D printing in manufacturing and it's important to highlight that the military is quickly embracing 3D printing as well. All branches of the service are utilizing 3D printing in manifold ways to produce many different things in widely different applications.

In fact, 3D printing helps the military gain a significant war fighting advantage and provide direct support to troops in the field.

Dr. Philip Perconti, Director of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, said in a recent article that the Army is at the vanguard of using 3D printing to aid troops in the battlefield and help deployed soldiers become self-sufficient in remote areas.
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How the Automotive Industry Uses Recycled Plastic for 3D Printing

How the Automotive Industry Uses Recycled Plastic for 3D PrintingThe globally competitive automotive industry faces many major challenges these days, including:

  • Increasing prices for raw materials
  • Sustainability and environmental pressures
  • Policy changes on recycling and reuse
  • Ever-changing technologies available to meet customer preferences

3D printing may just be one of the solutions that car companies can look towards to address some of these issues.
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Achieving Material Strength in 3D Printing with Titanium and Aluminum Powders

3D Printing with Titanium and Aluminum PowdersThe Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation’s National University of Science and Technology (NUST) conducted research to develop modifiers that help strengthen the stock material for 3D printing of complex aluminum composites for the aerospace industry.

By 3D printing with metal titanium and aluminum, researchers claim they are able to "double the strength of composites obtained by 3D printing from aluminum powder, and advance the characteristics of these products to the quality of titanium alloys.”
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