3D Printing News Briefs: August 18, 2017

August 19, 2017 Leave a comment



 For this week’s second edition of 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re covering what the technology is capable of in terms of education and business, innovative new products, and weaponry. Added Scientific has introduced 3D printing training sessions, Formlabs announced its new Education Grant, and LPW teamed up with the Royal Academy of Engineering to establish a Research Chair for additive manufacturing at Lancaster University. A German 3D printer manufacturer is establishing an open 3D printing platform, while Hawk 3D Proto introduces a filament line powered by Polyalchemy. Finally, engineers in Oregon have launched a new workshop tool with 3D printed components, 3D Systems has partnered with CSM Bakery Solutions to develop 3D printers, products, and materials for the food industry, and there’s continued speculation about the possibility of North Korea’s nuclear missile program getting 3D printers.

Added Scientific Introduces Additive Manufacturing Training Courses

Technical services and consultancy company Added Scientific, a spin-out from the Centre for Additive Manufacturing at the University of Nottingham, will be providing a program of six additive manufacturing training courses this fall. The program will cover important aspects of the technology, as a response to the growing demandfor impartial, high-quality AM training. Together with other Added Scientific directors, Phill Dickens, the co-founder of Added Scientific and its Director of Training, has devised an intensive training curriculum, which will be organized and delivered by AM experts.

Six courses make up the first offering:

  • Introduction to Additive Manufacturing
  • Polymer Additive Manufacturing
  • Metal Additive Manufacturing
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing
  • Economics of Additive Manufacturing
  • Future Developments in Additive Manufacturing

Booking is currently available for the first session, which begins on September 6th.

Formlabs Announces New Education Grant

3D printing is used often for research purposes, and many Formlabs education customers are using the company’s Form 2 3D printer to push the boundaries of research. That’s why the company is introducing its new Formlabs Education Grant, which is open to all accredited educational institutions in any department. By sharing a project that would benefit from a 3D printer, educational labs now have the chance to get a complete Form 2 package for their research facility.

Formlabs is now accepting rolling applications, and will award the grant to one lab or educational facility per quarter; the grant is open worldwide to anywhere Formlabs ships. To apply, just submit the application form (in English) and attach a detailed project outline or proposal in PDF form and an .STL or .OBJ file that’s relevant to the project.

LPW/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair Created for Metal Additive Manufacturing

Metal additive manufacturing is ready to disrupt current metal fabrication techniques, so it’s of vital importance to collect data and simulate new microstructures and compositions in order to change the approach of generating high-performance metal alloys for critical industries. To this end, the LPW/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair at Lancaster University for ‘Alloy and microstructure design for additive layer manufacturing’ has been created, in order to capitalize on potential data mining and alloy design for metal AM technology. Professor Pedro Rivera from Cambridge University has been appointed to this position.

“AM offers incredible design freedom to manufacture parts unable to be created by such established methods as forging and casting,” said Professor Rivera. “Conventional alloys used for AM can be extremely sensitive to parameters such as oxygen content where the variation is intrinsic to the AM process. This research will create truly novel metal powders by controlling the microstructures and compositions so critical for high performing AM-specific alloys.”

LPW Technology will also make its AM PowderLab available to a team of researchers at Lancaster University and LPW who are working to develop new alloys for additive manufacturing.

facts42morrow Establishes Open 3D Printing Platform

3D printer manufacturer facts42morrow, located in Dresden, Germany, believes that 3D printing can establish smarter, fairer and more creative production processes worldwide, and plans to establish an open 3D printing platform. At an event this spring, the company presented its large, modular 3D printer prototypes, which were designed for professional use.

“In a second step, the modular approach is to be made freely available on an online platform in order to serve as a basis for an open application and an open development,” the company explains. “This includes, among other things, the publication of construction plans and parts lists and assembly instructions, as well as potential procurement sources. This allows an autonomous assembly or upgrade or evolution of a customized and professional printing system, according to the needs of the relevant users.”

facts42morrow will also be starting the STURDY 1 crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, to gain support for its project worldwide.

Hawk 3D Proto Introduces Filament Line, Powered by Polyalchemy

Hawk 3D Proto is introducing its own filament line: Elixir PLA, powered by Polyalchemy. Elixir is a blend of premium PLA and other polymers, and has twice the impact resistance of normal PLA. Hawk 3D Proto only uses Polyalchemy’s best dye and pigments for Elixir PLA, to make sure that they align with international color standards.

According to Hawk 3D Proto, Polyalchemy uses “the latest laser guided optical micrometres that measures the filament multiple times a second. This gives jam free consistent printing performance spool after spool. They engineer the filament to print in all open source 3D printers.”

Elixir PLA comes in five colors, and as part of its collaboration with Polyalchemy, Hawk 3D Proto has successfully tested the new filaments on its range of 3D printers. Each spool, which comes in both 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm diameter, is £28, excluding VAT.

Solar Extraction Technologies Introduces Partially 3D Printed Maker’s Vise 

Two engineers from Oregon startup Solar Extraction Technologies have designed a new product they’re calling the Maker’s Vise, a revolutionary workbench tool with 3D printed jaws.

“We’ve found these jaws reduce the amount of torque needed to sufficiently hold an object,” product design engineer Greg Stephens told 3DPrint.com. “This greatly reduces the odds of damaging your work while also making the job smoother, faster, and easier for the user.”

The two wanted to design one single vise that could replace their growing vise collection and do everything, which is how the fast, maneuverable Maker’s Vise was born. They are building a digital design library of custom, 3D printable jaws, jigs, and other fixtures, and will be launching a Kickstarter campaign for the Maker’s Vise next month.

3D Systems Partners with CSM Bakery Solutions for Food Industry 3D Printing

3D Systems has entered into an agreement with CSM Bakery Solutions, a worldwide leader in bakery ingredients, products, and services, to collaborate on developing, selling, and distributing 3D printers, materials, and products for the food industry. The formal agreement enables the two companies to work together on R&D, design, engineering, and development that focuses on food product development, specific sourcing, and go-to-market plans. CSM will have exclusive rights to use 3D Systems’ ChefJet Pro 3D printer to make high-resolution food products.

“We are very excited about what this opportunity can mean for the food industry,” Marianne Kirkegaard, the President and CEO of CSM, said.

“Our agreement with 3D Systems has the potential to re-shape the food industry. Across a number of industries, 3D printing has helped transform industries and there’s every reason to think the same can be true for the food industry. We are excited to partner and continue to expand capabilities and culinary opportunities with their platform.”

CSM and 3D Systems have already begun working to bring prototypes to the market.

Speculation: Can North Korea’s Nuclear Missile Program Get 3D Printers?

North Korea recently had a round of successful missile launches, which has the world on its toes and the 3D printing community wondering about the possibility of Pyongyang gaining access to 3D printing technology, then reverse-engineering, 3D printing, and mass producing weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Analysts say that while there is no hard evidence, there are signs that the country is trying to acquire 3D printers for this exact reason, and that it may already have them.

I would be surprised if there were not already efforts to procure high-end 3D printers,” Robert Shaw, a US arms-control expert, told the Asia Times. “Ideally, they would want to procure such machines in quantity.”

While Shaw believes that strengthening export controls and requiring manufacturers to carefully monitor foreign 3D printer sales could help keep the technology from falling into the wrong hands, there are ways around these rules, like shipping 3D printers to nations not on banned lists, then re-integrating them into other products to be shipped to North Korea. But Angelo Codevilla, a former senior official from the US Senate Intelligence Committee, believes that the only way to keep advanced technology out of countries that would use it for WMD is “to develop such countermeasures as anti-missile screens.” Meanwhile, North Korea already uses CNC machine tools to make parts for its missile program, and has also allegedly developed a 3D printer, which was showcased last spring at the 19th International Trade Fair in Pyongyang.

Discuss these stories in the News Briefs forum at 3DPB.com.

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A letter to my American friends: when did the dream die?

August 19, 2017 Leave a comment

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Former foreign correspondent  fell in love with America during his posting. Here, he asks what happened to the ‘shining city on the hill’ and wonders: how did America lose its mind in the age of Trump?


It is difficult for Americans to watch the presidential parody that is Donald Trump with anything approaching equanimity. But it is also hard for non-Americans – long-time friends and admirers of the United States – who look on helplessly from afar.

Reactions range from amazement and amusement to shock and dismay. How has this frightening travesty come about? What does it mean for the America we love? And what does it portend for a world accustomed to sensible, reliable, rational American leadership?

Every country has its political mavericks and clowns. But to put a shadow figure like Trump, a profoundly ignorant, self-obsessed narcissist lacking any discernible moral compass, in charge of the nation’s affairs looks like an act of collective madness.

Seven months after he took office, the situation has not “normalised”. On the contrary, it grows more abnormal by the day. Just look at Trump’s aberrant press conference performance on Tuesday when, breaking his word of the previous day, he deliberately re-opened America’s most sensitive wound – racial division – and picked at the Charlottesville scabs until the blood gushed anew.

This reckless divisiveness, this shameless moral ambiguity, this historical know-nothingness, this thinly-disguised bigotry – these are not the qualities one expects of an American president. This is not leadership. This is not change. This is not greatness renewed.

This unworthy man, and the far-right ghouls who cling to him, set a dreadful example for the rest of the world, from the very country that is deemed by many to be the ultimate symbol of justice, liberty and democratic governance.

The US is better than this.


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August 19, 2017 Leave a comment


Saturday, August 19, 2017
The long-term outlook for global apparel sourcing rotates around one country – China – although no longer as just “the world’s factory.” (Read More)
There’s no other area of the apparel and textile industry that relies on fabric innovation and product development more than outerwear. Call it the fashion industry’s research and development center. (Read More)
Made in America has been widely touted by the current administration and some retailers champion the products, the makers and the idea of a resurgence even as a new poll casts doubt on whether the public is on board. (Read More)
Retail giant Amazon rolls out a new way for shoppers to get instant gratification from their online orders and tangles with Trump over state sales taxes.
VF Corporation to expand its workwear portfolio with the acquisition of chief competitor Williamson-Dickie.
A group of U.K. researchers are powering up smart textiles with a new development. (Read More)
Sponsored: Buhler
The marketplace has never been more complex—overseas instabilities, market saturation, counterfeiting, and supply chain discord are common headlines today. At Buhler Quality Yarns Corp, our team includes some of the industry’s most educated and experienced minds. We take our role as leaders seriously. By passing along our strong supply chain resources, ethical standards, and distinct product qualities, we help you—and the entire industry—to reach a greater potential. Get More Than Just Yarn. Contact us today atBuhleryarns.com
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Walmart’s VP of e-commerce talks pickup towers

August 16, 2017 Leave a comment

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6 Charts to Understand U.S. State Greenhouse Gas Emissions

August 15, 2017 Leave a comment

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As major global greenhouse gas emitters, U.S. states have the economic heft and legislative authority to move the United States toward much lower emissions and cleaner energy. While many have done so in the last decade, some remain stuck in the high-emitting past.

The following six charts show how emissions from U.S. states compare, how they are changing and what could come next. These are based on the latest greenhouse gas emissions data World Resources Institute compiled for all 50 states (through 2014, the latest year for which in-state emissions data is available).

1. The Top 10 Emitting States Contribute Half of U.S. Total Emissions


In 2014, the top 10 emitting states were responsible for nearly half of the country’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, nearly equal to the combined emissions of Japan, Canada and Germany, or all of India’s. Click around on the interactive chart to explore the emissions profile for each state.

Note that the interactive chart (#1) and the donut chart (#2) do not include emissions (or removals) from the land sector, as they cannot display negative values. The remaining charts (#3, #4 and #5) and corresponding analysis include all sources of emissions.

2. The U.S. Energy Sector Contributes 84 Percent of the Country’s Total Emissions

In 2014, the energy sector contributed to about 84% of total U.S. GHG emissions, with electricity generation (29 percent) and transportation (27 percent) being the top two contributors. More recent data shows transportation overtaking electric power as the biggest U.S. carbon dioxide emitter.

3. Texas and California Have Been the Biggest U.S. State Emitters for the Past Decade

Texas and California have been Number 1 and Number 2 top state emitters for more than a decade, which comes as no surprise since both rank in the top two for population and economic size — two important driving forces of emissions.

Lower down in the list, Iowa became a top 10 emitters in 2012. Even though it is a national leader in the expansion of renewable energy, Iowa’s emissions have been creeping up partly due to economic expansion across its energy and agriculture sectors even as most U.S. states have seen their overall emissions drop over the same period.

4. Wyoming and North Dakota are the Most Emissions-Intensive States By GDP and Per Capita

When having a look at states emissions through the lens of emissions intensity – GHG per GDP and GHG per capita- the story changes. In both cases, the top emitters are Wyoming and North Dakota, followed closely by West Virginia. After that the individual rankings depend on whether the emissions intensity is based on GDP or population. Regardless, there is considerable overlap among the top 10 list for emissions intensity expressed both for their levels of emissions per person and per unit of GDP, with 9 states appearing on both lists.

Also of note, is that Iowa and Louisiana are the only two states that rank in the top 10 in emissions per unit of GDP, per person, and in absolute amount of total emissions.  Interestingly, neither of these two states rank high in terms of population size: together they account for less than 3 percent of the total U.S. population. Iowa’s heavy agricultural industry, which includes both food and biofuel production, make it one of the most energy-consuming states in the country. Meanwhile Louisiana, with its abundant fossil fuel resources, has a high energy-intensive industry sector of oil refinery and natural gas production: energy use in Louisiana’s industrial sector contributed to almost half of its total GHG emissions.

New York, the third most populous U.S. state, is one of the country’s lowest per capita emitters. Since 2005 its electricity sector emissions have fallen by more than 45 percent as a result of a range of state-level energy policies that promote efficiency and renewable (such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative) as well as shifting market forces.

5. Emissions Drop in 35 States

Overall U.S. emissions declined by 6 percent from 2005 to 2014. The story varies, however, on a state-basis.

Thirty-five states and Washington DC reduced their emissions from 2005 to 2014, with Vermont, Maine and Alaska leading the way. Vermont and Maine both benefit from vast forestland that acts as a carbon sink to absorb more carbon dioxide than it releases. Alaska’s reductions came largely from reduced petroleum use for transportation and lower emissions from natural gas use in industry.

Fifteen states have increased their emissions, with North Dakota, Montana and Iowa in the lead. North Dakota’s increase was largely driven by the boom of natural gas and oil extraction, and the lack of standards that require operators to adopt all cost-effective measures for controlling methane emissions.  On the other hand, Montana is in this group because of its small absolute emissions, which saw a relatively large percentage increase (from around 2.0 MtCO2e in 2005 to 2.4 MtCO2e in 2014) even though the state – with vast forestland — still accounts for less than 0.1 percent of total U.S. emissions. The increase in Iowa’s emissions stems from its expanding energy and agricultural sectors, as mentioned above.

6. Emissions from Electricity and Transportation Are in Decline, While Fugitive Emissions Remain a Challenge

Nearly all states have reduced emissions from the electric power sector, with OhioGeorgia and Pennsylvania recording the largest reductions. The switch from coal-fired power plants to natural gas-fired electricity generation has been one of the leading factors contributing to those reductions:  all three states have halved their electricity generation from coal over the past decade according to the latest EIA data.

Most states have also cut emissions from transportation. California, whose transportation sector is the biggest contributor of its GHG emissions, has led the pack by significantly reducing fuel use overall with its efforts to transform to a clean transportation sector. In contrast, Texas has seen a significant increase in its transport-related emissions.

North Dakota and Texas saw the largest increases in so-called fugitive emissions from leaks and other unintended releases, mostly due to increased methane emissions associated with natural gas production.

Without Federal Leadership, States are Stepping Up

With the U.S. representing a significant share of global emissions, it’s a good sign to see many poised to step up their efforts on action to address global warming in the absence of federal leadership. As we have looked to how states got to where they are, there’s a new direction being carved out through the We Are Still Incoalition and America’s Pledge on climate change to determine where they are going. To reign in emissions across all sectors and prevent the worse impacts of climate change, states must accelerate a shift towards clean energy and greater efficiency. There is ample proof that this is not only possible but can also be an economic opportunity.

Please Note: The State level greenhouse gas emissions estimates in the interactive chart are calculated based on the State Inventory Tool released by the U.S. EPA. Aggregating state level emissions data might differ from the national level estimate of emissions due to differences in methodology and data sources. Aside from the interactive chart, or unless otherwise specified, all emissions data presented here cover all sectors (including land sector emissions) and all greenhouse gases. The land sector emissions cannot be reflected in the interactive chart due to the existence of negative values.

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These are new to The Grommet

August 15, 2017 Leave a comment




These are new to The Grommet and already dear to our community. See what all the talk is about.
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Guac-Lock – Guacamole Preservation Container
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Midnight Scoop
Ergonomic Ice Cream Scoop
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Jeri-Rigg – Heavy Duty Anchoring Straps
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Elvie – Women’s Pelvic Floor Trainer
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When to shift your digital strategy into a higher gear

August 15, 2017 Leave a comment


August 2017

By Jacques Bughin, Laura LaBerge, and Nicolas van Zeebroeck
There may be a premium for making early moves.

When companies first sense a digital competitor entering their market space, they tend to react timidly, reasoning that the risk of damage to revenues and profits is not enough to justify tampering with current business models. Our research indicates, however, that executives may underestimate how close they are to an industry tipping point.1

The signals. As the exhibit shows, during the early stages of digital competition (when rates of digitization hover below 30 percent), fewer than one out of ten incumbent players across industries have adopted offensive corporate strategies that change their portfolios and business models.2At this juncture, new digital entrants typically hold less than 10 percent of the market. However, when industry digitization climbs toward the 40 percent mark, the environment changes abruptly. That’s when digital attackers will likely have locked in a 15 percent market share and incumbents will be sensing that the upstarts have sufficient momentum to tilt the market to their advantage.

Fewer than 1 out of 10 incumbent players across industries have adopted offensive corporate strategies that change their portfolios and business models

Many more incumbent players are reacting in ways that seemed unimaginable before. We found, for instance, that 15 percent of incumbent companies within an industry have revised their strategy—three times more than before the 40 percent threshold. As companies approach the 40 percent threshold, the portion of revenue digitized by incumbents still remains modest, just 20 percent, since they still have considerable legacy businesses. However, it’s here that the two camps divide the market’s overall digital revenues roughly evenly (15 percent for entrants and 17 percent for incumbents), so the risks of inaction are high.

The fallout. Mounting market turbulence hits digital laggards the hardest. Attackers squeeze their revenues, and heavy digital investments are now required to match what incumbent competitors are spending to play catch-up. Room for maneuver narrows substantially. Fast-moving incumbents, our research shows, still have a chance to stay in the game if they move boldly. However, companies in the bottom quartile of digitization will struggle to remain competitive.

We found that the high-tech, media, and telecom industries are well past the 40 percent digitization mark, with attackers taking more than a 15 percent share of the market, and in excess of one in five of incumbents moving boldly. Retail is close to the tipping point with respect to digital entrants, although relatively fewer traditional companies are moving boldly. Incumbent healthcare-services players, on the other hand, are more digitally engaged as they move beyond the 40 percent digitization threshold. In aerospace and automotive industries, where digitization pressures are lower, only 5 percent of players are making bold moves.

Having a better view of how the market may develop should encourage executives to make decisive moves sooner rather than later. By doing so, they will increase their odds of successfully navigating digitization’s perilous break point.

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