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IDA plans to introduce programming lessons in public schools to boost the economy

Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on IDA plans to introduce programming lessons in public schools to boost the economy

According to the Straits Times, about 1,500 students have been taught “advanced computing concepts” through IDA’s school programs. At Radin Mas Primary School, Nan Chiau High, and Greenview Secondary School, students are taught to use 3D design software and 3D printers to create prototypes. Meanwhile, Hwa Chong Institution and Dunman High have introduced programming to teenagers, with Dunman exposing students to Python, a popular language for creating web apps as well as statistical and scientific research. These schools all belong to the middle-to-upper tier in Singapore’s public education system – lauded as among the world’s best in math and science – with Hwa Chong in particular representing an elite school. As technical skills increasingly become a pathway to sustainable careers, it is hoped that IDA can equalize the field by giving students from less prestigious schools more opportunities to pick up programming. Private classes are available Private education providers have proliferated in Singapore, offering a variety of workshops ranging from 3D printing to hardware tinkering to app creation – which has unfortunately been touted as the next great internet marketing scheme. According to private IT education vendor  more parents are recognizing the value of technical competency in the modern economy, and they want their kids to build a foundation at an early age. For the company, this has resulted in an increase in sign-ups for classes at a 30 percent annual rate in the past two years. “[Parents want their kids] exposed to this, so it makes it easier for them to make a career choice earlier. We also see many polytechnic and university students coming in because they found it challenging when they directly face programming in college first,” said one of the trainers in an interview with Good Morning Singapore. A major impetus for the push in both countries is a shortage of technical talent – the lifeblood of the tech startup scene – that are product creators instead of just system maintainers. Tight immigration policies in both nations are also resulting in an inward look to nurture talent at the grassroots. In Singapore, the challenge doesn’t lie just in developing technical know-how. It’s even more difficult to convince young people that the engineering path is one worth pursuing, rather than one to fall back on when opportunities for more prestigious careers in law, finance, or medicine appear out of...

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World’s first 3D-printed apartment building constructed in China

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on World’s first 3D-printed apartment building constructed in China

World’s first 3D-printed apartment building constructed in China A Chinese company has successfully 3D printed a five-storey apartment building and a 1,100 square metre villa from a special print material. Although the company hasn’t revealed how large it can print pieces, based on photographs on its website, they are quite sizeable. A CAD design is used as a template, and the computer uses this to control the extruder arm to lay down the material “much like how a baker might ice a cake,” WinSun said. The walls are printed hollow, with a zig-zagging pattern inside to provide reinforcement. This also leaves space for insulation. This process saves between 30 and 60 percent of construction waste, and can decrease production times by between 50 and 70 percent, and labour costs by between 50 and 80 percent. In all, the villa costs around $161,000 to build. And, using recycled materials in this way, the buildings decrease the need for quarried stone and other materials — resulting in a construction method that is both environmentally forward and cost effective. In time, the company hopes to use its technology on much larger scale constructions, such as bridges and even...

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Amazingly Beautiful Insect Models Created With SLA from FormLabs

Posted by on Oct 17, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on Amazingly Beautiful Insect Models Created With SLA from FormLabs

Amazingly Beautiful Insect Models Created With SLA from FormLabs FormLabs is, by now, a name that many, or most, fans of 3D printing are aware of. When the team at FormLabs themselves are breathless from the example of a customer’s 3D printing output on their forums, we know that it is something special. And the FormLabs Blog examples just that this week, with the awesome work created by model-maker Klaus Leitl. Using a FormLabs Form1+ stereolithography printer the Austrian artist has produced sublime life-like insects for the the ‘Life Under Water’ exhibition in Salzburg, Austria. Get ready for some brilliant images… Mr. Leitl conducted an interview with the impressed FormLabs team, during which he shared some insights into how he accomplished these truly fascinating and fantastic models. One of the most amazing facts is that the models are thirty times the size of the real-life insects: some of these fascimilies are up to 1350 mm (53.15 inches) in length. This was realised by 3D printing a number of finely honed pieces – up to twenty-two – that, when pieced together, create a larger-than-life whole. Leitl says he finds that collecting as many source representations as possible of the subject is a strong starting point. This includes hand drawn sketches as well as photographs. Indeed, the artist draws the subject matter by hand using a binoclear microscope to gain a real feel of its form and structure. From there Leitl creates a computer based digital model using computer aided design and rendering software such as zBrush and Lightwave. For the stereolithographic 3D printing process the model-maker suggests:“When printing, use the smallest possible wall thickness and make a hollow print, if possible. And it is very important to perform the cleaning and maintenance routines after each printing. Filter the resin and mix well, let the silicone layer breathe and check optical quality, examine mirrors for dust; after filling the resin tank, wait 30 minutes until most of the air bubbles are gone… When you use a new resin tank, run a small test print so that you can adjust the build platform precisely. It is important to check the model very carefully for any overhangs that may not have a support structure. In locations with a “suction cup effect,“ it is absolutely necessary to provide small air vents.” Before applying the colouring and coating the creator of these astonishingly beautiful insects uses 2k epoxy glue to assemble the printed parts together. Leitl tells FormLabs that he prefers the epoxy glue to affixing using light / laser cured resins. Also as part of the post print processing he keeps sanding to a minimum. Leitl uses transparent printing materials and from there introduces colour to the model with an airbrush using Schmincke artists colours. For a finishing coat he uses matte, satin or gloss water-soluble acrylic coating. As for his choice of utilising 3D printing the accomplished artisan states that he recommends the technology because it both speeds up the production process and allows for a faster and more explicit correction process for any of the parts that he finds require amendment. Indeed, Klaus Leitl was one of the original backers of the Form 1 printer during its intitial crowdfunding. Since then he has upgraded to the latest Form1+ machine. As an aside:...

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Go for 3D printing at new SingPost outlet

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on Go for 3D printing at new SingPost outlet

Go for 3D printing at new SingPost outlet At the Suntec City outlet, you can scan your face (above) which then goes into printing a toy figurine. The 3D printer can also produce accessories like bracelets. Shoppers at Suntec City can try out a new 3D printing service offered at Singapore Post’s newest post office, which opened on Monday. For now, items that can be printed are limited to certain accessories. Users can also customise 3D figurines using a face scanner available at the outlet. Printing charges range from $19.90 for a pendant or bangle to $459 for a full-body figurine. However, customers who have their own digital blueprints will not be able to print them at the outlet. Instead, they can consult staff from 3D Matters, the company collaborating with SingPost. The 3D printing service, which is on trial for at least three months, comes under the Suntec outlet’s innovation centre, which SingPost is piloting. Mr Elvin Too, SingPost’s vice-president for post office products, services and network, said the company hopes to stay relevant to Singaporeans. “Our customers’ needs are ever-changing. This innovation corner serves as a test bed for innovative new services that can be offered at post offices in the future, such as 3D printing,” he said. The Suntec outlet is also part of SingPost’s new generation of post offices that aims to provide more convenience to customers. Its self-service kiosks are open 24 hours. They include SAM, where customers can pay their bills and buy stamps, as well as POPStation, where users can collect their parcels outside of operating...

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3D Printed Prototypes Helped This Sleep Sensor Score Over $2 Million on Kickstarter

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on 3D Printed Prototypes Helped This Sleep Sensor Score Over $2 Million on Kickstarter

3D Printed Prototypes Helped This Sleep Sensor Score Over $2 Million on Kickstarter   Last month tech startup Hello launched a Kickstarter campaign for their Sense sleep aid system looking to raise $100,000 but found themselves with almost $2.5 million dollars and close to 20,000 backers. The Sense itself is a sleep aid system that monitors you while you sleep, recording the room’s temperature, the level of light and noise in the room, and even monitoring the level of airborne particulates in the air. It does this by connecting to a small Sleep Pill that attaches to your pillow and transmits data to the Sense ball that sits near your bed. It also has an integrated alarm that will wake you up at a natural point in your sleep cycle, making you feel more rested during the day. The entire device is controlled with a mobile app for your smartphone. This app records and shows you your sleep patterns and gives you the opportunity to experiment with your sleeping environment and make it more comfortable. Take a look at the Kickstarter video here: The Sense itself, while very small, is packed with a lot of technology. It includes a light sensor, a microphone, temperature sensor, humidity sensor, a speaker, proximity sensor, particulate sensor and Bluetooth and WiFi Low Energy connectivity. The Sleep Pill is even tinier and contains a six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer and Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity powered by a lithium battery. As you could imagine such a small product that contains so many components required a lot of prototyping and that’s where 3D printing came in. According to one of Hello’s industrial designers they created over a hundred prototypes of the Sense. Hello estimates that their 3D printer has spent 1,526 hours 3D printing prototype parts, using 16,000 grams of resin. That’s a lot of prototypes. There is an urban legend about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that, while unconfirmable, seems relevant here. While playing with the first iPod prototype, Jobs rejected it for being too big. The engineers told Jobs that they had done everything they could to make it as thin as it already was and it was simply impossible to make it smaller. Jobs then got up from his desk, walked over to his aquarium and dropped the iPod into the tank. Once it fell to the bottom, several air bubbles escaped the device and floated to the top, so jobs turned to the engineers and said: “Those are air bubbles. That mean’s there’s space in there to make it smaller”. What they ended up with was an incredibly well-designed device that not only transformed the music industry, but created an entirely new one. Steve Jobs could afford to tank an expensive prototype because Apple, even back then, had more money than they knew what to do with. Using traditional tooling methods, most companies would be hard pressed to create more than a few prototypes, even today. But thanks to 3D printing, we now have products being created that can go through hundreds of prototype iterations, all in the effort to squeeze out that last bubble of air. Add a well-designed product to a well-designed crowdfunding campaign and that equals two and a half million reasons that 3D printing your prototypes just makes...

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First Low Cost SLS 3D Printers Hit the Scene

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on First Low Cost SLS 3D Printers Hit the Scene

First Low Cost SLS 3D Printers Hit the Scene  By Michael Molitch-Hou On Thu, August 14, 2014 · 3D Printers, 3D Printing, Industry news The reason that you’re reading this website is that, about five years ago, key patents surrounding fused deposition modeling expired, allowing a number of Makers working on home 3D printing machines to begin selling their wares to the public, including the startup that has become the face of desktop manufacturing, MakerBot.  As more patents begin to expire for other 3D printing technologies, similar explosions in affordable additive manufacturing are expected to take place. We’ve already seen a slew of stereolithography machines hit the market, but have not heard much regarding selective laser sintering, first invented by Carl Deckard out of UT Austin.  After Deckard’s key patent for SLS expired earlier this year, many had hoped that the cost of the technology, which can reach as high as $250,000, would be dramatically reduced, as it had with the other 3D printing methods.   It may be that that pattern is getting set to unfold, as one UK company called Norge Systems, which has announced a Kickstarter campaign for two lower priced SLS machines, the Ice1 and Ice9. The Ice9 is an Adruino 2 controlled uses a 40W tube laser to sinter polyamide/nylon powder to fabricate items up to 30 x 30x 45cm in size, with layer thicknesses of between .1 and .15 mm and print speeds 10 to 30mm/hour. It has a USB port, as well as an SD card reader, too.  I’m still new to the technology, being more familiar with other printing systems, so I’ll let some of the specs speak for themselves:  Powder feeding mode: Two-way powder feed system Scanning system: Theta lens focusing, high-accuracy magnetic encoderScan speed during build process: up to 4 m/s Laser power control system: PWM Digital signal Power Supply: 230VAC,50/60Hz,5KVA Software: Manual and automatic control mode; Real-time build parameters modification; Three-dimensional Visualization; Open Source Platforms   In addition to its laser sintering abilities, the Ice9 also has the ability to engrave and cut using its laser, displayed in the .gif to the left.  The Ice9 is also small enough to fit into an office environment and, most importantly, is 10-15% of the cost of the other affordable laser sintering machines currently on the market with a final expected price of 19,900 GBP + VAT (about $34,000 USD + tax).   The Ice1 is the “little brother of the Ice9″, with many of the same features – including laser engraving – but with a decrease in size, laser power, and cost.  At £7.500 GBP + VAT (about $13,000 USD + tax), the Ice1 uses a 10W solid state laser to sinter items up to 20 x 20 x 25cm in size at a speed of 8 to 25mm/hour, with the same layer thicknesses as its older sibling. Both the Ice1 and Ice9 have substantial printing sizes, with the Ice1 comparing to most desktop FDM/FFF machines and the Ice9 larger than most.  At the same time, they both will likely have much finer surface finishes and definition than FDM and won’t need added support structures, as the powder bed acts as the support.  Norge also claims that their machines are capable of using the same materials as more expensive systems, including DuraForm rubber-like materials and the Windform carbon-fiber/polyamide composite. All in all, this is really exciting stuff!...

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3D Printed, Fashionable Back Braces Encourage Kids With Scoliosis To Wear Them

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on 3D Printed, Fashionable Back Braces Encourage Kids With Scoliosis To Wear Them

3D Printed, Fashionable Back Braces Encourage Kids With Scoliosis To Wear Them Personalized medical devices for young adults improve the chances of treatment success. Scoliosis braces have come a long way since they were first invented, but 3D Systems wants to create something a bit more personal. The company released plans for “Bespoke” on Monday, which is a 3D-printed brace that can be tailored to the backs of children and young adults who suffer from the condition. Millions of people have to deal with the fact their spines curve at a sideways angle, but the hope is the 3D-printed brace can give them a new way to express their individuality. Even though children with Scoliosis are often required to wear a brace nearly full time for an average of 2-3 years, it’s common for patients to remove the brace with enough frequency that they require much more invasive surgery. In contrast to unappealing stock models, each 3DS design would be unique, made from comfortable lightweight materials, and feature stylish patterns. “The main goal of this is to combine fashion, design, and technology to create a brace far more appealing to patients, and, as a result, far more effective medically,” 3D Systems Bespoke designer Scott Summit toldCNET. A successful pilot program that fit the brace to 22 patients at Children’s Hospital of Oakland in California has made the company optimistic about releasing the idea to the public. “All of our children wanted the Bespoke Brace,” said Dr. Policy in a blog post on the company’s website. “We had a small 3D printed scale model of the brace on my desk. Once the children saw this, they all wanted one. I’ve never seen children respond so positively to a brace. It was so cool that once they were fitted, many were showing the brace off to their friends.” There are certain challenges that still need to be overcome, such as convincing the medical community and insurers with hard data that the idea will work. Even so, it’s hard to argue with Dr. Policy, who said “common sense dictates that if the children like their braces and are more comfortable wearing the devices, we will see higher compliance and greater...

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GE Considers 3D Printing Turbine Blades for Next Generation Boeing 777X’s GE9X Engines

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on GE Considers 3D Printing Turbine Blades for Next Generation Boeing 777X’s GE9X Engines

GE Considers 3D Printing Turbine Blades for Next Generation Boeing 777X’s GE9X Engines If one company should be considered the leader within the metal additive manufacturing space, that company should be General Electric. GE has been utilizing laser sintering to 3D print components for their jet engines for quite a while now. “We are on the verge of the next industrial revolution,” said Christine Furstoss, Technical Director of Manufacturing and Materials at GE Global Research “The physical and digital worlds are converging — technology enabling disruption (and) all of us have a role to play.” General Electric has already made significant headlines when they 3D printed metal fuel nozzles for their Leap jet engines. In doing so, they turned nozzles which consisted of 20 different parts put together, into ones which were 3d printed, layer by layer as a single piece. The fuel nozzles were lighter and could withstand extreme temperatures, saving the company a significant amount of money in the process. Since they initially began printing these fuel nozzles, the company has invested heavily in additional facilities, both in the United States and India, based around additive manufacturing. In fact, just last month they announced plans for a new factory in Alabama which would be used to mass-produce jet engine parts via additive manufacturing techniques. GE is a main supplier of jet engines for Boeing, including the upcoming GE9X engine, which according to GE will be ‘the most advanced fuel-efficient commercial aircraft engine ever built’. The GE9X will be the driving force behind the new Boeing 777X, the next evolution of the 777, which will begin production in 2017, and is expected to see its first delivery to an airline sometime in 2020. General Electric has already begun to research ways in which they can construct the low pressure turbines (LPTs) for the new GE9X engines, via additive manufacturing methods. The recent acquisition of Avio, an Italian firm acquired last year, seems to lend further evidence to the idea that GE will in fact be using 3D printing in the production process of these turbine blades. Since being acquired, Avio has opened up a massive 20,000 square foot facility dedicated to the additive manufacturing of engine components, using an electron beam sintering process via a bed of metal powder. If and when GE begins additively manufacturing these LPT blades, they will likely be produced from a titanium aluminide powder, a strong, light-weight material which is traditionally very difficult to work with. From an additive manufacturing perspective, however, it is much easier to produce parts with then with casting. While most major manufacturers are not close to being ready to begin producing incredibly important parts for products which must work perfectly, like that of an aircraft engine, General Electric has been doing so for years. “We could go crazy. I could talk about 50 parts and applications we’re looking at and get everybody really excited about it, but we’re trying to be very controlled about where we feel we have our arms wrapped around it,” says Greg Morris additive manufacturing leader at GE. “We have years [or] decades before people accept it like they accept it like a casting today.” One of the reasons GE has been so successful over their long history, is the fact that they are usually among the first...

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Stratasys Opens 3D Printing Experience Centre in Singapore

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on Stratasys Opens 3D Printing Experience Centre in Singapore

Stratasys Opens 3D Printing Experience Centre in Singapore Stratasys Asia Pacific, a subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd. has just announced the opening of a 3D Printing Experience Centre at its new office located in Toa Payoh, Singapore. The new centre has been set up to provide local support for the growing 3D printing needs in the South Asia and Pacific region. The establishment is a strong signal of Stratasys’ commitment to the region and will offer accessible 3D printing solutions to the local market. The new 3D Printing Experience Centre was inaugurated yesterday (30th July) at an exclusive grand opening event with customers, channel partners and alliance partners in attendance. Mr. Chang Chin Nam, Executive Director of Precision Engineering at the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), was the Guest of Honour and officiated at the opening ceremony. He said: “Singapore’s manufacturing industry needs to master disruptive technologies like additive manufacturing to strengthen its global competitiveness. The EDB will work with companies to acquire additive manufacturing capabilities to develop innovative value-added products and to build an additive manufacturing ecosystem in Singapore.” The Centre features Stratasys’ cutting-edge 3D printing technologies – PolyJet and Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), showcasing the full product portfolio ranging from desktop 3D printers to large, advanced 3D production systems, thus enabling designers and engineers to create models and prototypes for new product design and testing and to build finished goods in low volume. The Centre also exhibits Stratasys’ specially engineered 3D printing materials – PolyJet photopolymers and FDM thermoplastics. “The 3D Printing Experience Centre reflects our confidence in the South Asia & Pacific region,” Ido Eylon, General Manager, South Asia, at Stratasys AP Ltd, commented. “As a leading 3D printing industry player, Stratasys recognizes the importance of implementing a global strategy in local context. Establishing a demo centre locally allows our customers to see our innovative technologies in action and realise the values and advantages of 3D printing technology. This is well aligned with our corporate vision to make 3D printing more accessible and to help customers revolutionise their product design and manufacturing processes.” Stratasys 3D Printing Experience Centre and South Asia office is located at 988 Toa Payoh North (Industrial Estate) #07-06,...

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Photos of 21st Century Workshop Creative Enhancer & 3D Printing

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on Photos of 21st Century Workshop Creative Enhancer & 3D Printing

Photos of 21st Century Workshop Creative Enhancer & 3D Printing

Photos of 21st Century Workshop Creative Enhancer & 3D Printing Yew Leong is now conducting the training. Here are the glance of the delegates. Our trainer, Feng Run is introducing Sketch Up 3D Modelling to all the delegates. Delegates from Chong Boon Secondary School and Unity Secondary School. Delegate from Pasir Ris Primary School. Delegates from Da Qiao Primary School and Yang Zheng Primary School. Teacher from Radin Mas Primary School. Having fun with the electric paint. Electrical circuit using electric paint. One of the delegate has completed the assignment, well done! Walah, nice pink robot 3D printed model is finally...

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10 Facts on 3D printing: Understanding tech’s next big game-changer

Posted by on Mar 1, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on 10 Facts on 3D printing: Understanding tech’s next big game-changer

10 Facts on 3D printing: Understanding tech’s next big game-changer As 3D printers are become more affordable and versatile, they are destined to disrupt multiple industries. Here’s what you need to know about this quickly accelerating technology.   The MakerBot Replicator 2 enables users to make big objects, up to 410 cubic inches. It was released in 2012 and was designed for the desktop of an engineer, researcher, or creative professional. The world of 3D printing is exciting. With more affordable machines, creative entrepreneurs, innovative startups, and new materials, the industry is rapidly evolving.Since the invention of the 3D printer in 1983 by Chuck Hull of 3D Systems, companies have popped up all over the globe, attempting to make the most innovative machine. Here are 10 reasons why 3D printing matters—maybe you’ll decide the equipment is a worthy investment, or maybe you’ll just be convinced this futuristic technology will one day have a place in your business or home.SEE: Photos: 3D printers and the amazing and quirky things they make 1. 3D printing is a key industry to watch in 2014 Enthusiasm is high, and so is the market for 3D printing in both consumer and enterprise space. According to Gartner research, printers under $100,000 were expected to grow almost 50 percent in 2013, and will increase 75 percent this year. Right now, enterprises are using the printers to prototype objects, but we’ll see an increasing amount used to make product designs this year. SEE: 3D printing: A primer for business and technology professionals 2. 3D printers are empowering “makers” Chris Anderson, former editor-in-chief of Wired, wrote in his book, Makers, that a new industrial revolution is underway because of open source design and 3D printing. Many entrepreneurs are using micro-manufacturing to create smaller batches of customized products. And with crowdfunding sites, they don’t have to rely on venture capitalists to fund these endeavors. 3. Customization is the next step in 3D printing technology Soon enough the question won’t be how we will print things, but what we will print. Customization is the next buzzword in the industry, according to Pete Basiliere, lead Gartner analyst for 3D printing. Replacement parts, toys, and random designs and schemiatics found on the internet can all be customized to fit consumer needs. Because the machines can print one piece at a time, this can be done relatively easily. Shapeways, for instance, is a website where customers can connect with designers and order customized products such as jewelry and home decor. 4. There are several types of 3D printing technologies Fused deposition modeling: MakerBot is one of the best examples of this technology. These printers melt a plastic filament and deposit the plastic in layers until it fills up the model. There are two types of plastic, both of which MakerBot uses: ABS, which is sturdy and made from oil-based resources, and PLA, which is biodegradable and made from plant-based resources. Stereolithography: These machines use a laser to cure a resin and build the prototype one layer at a time. Rapid prototyping, another form, doesn’t use supports to hold up the part so that it can be built faster, but in basic stereolithography, the supports must be manually removed from the part. Selective laser sintering: Lasers are used to sinter powdered metal, binding the powder together to create a solid structure. After each...

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