Selective sintering (SLS), a process of 3D printing where powder is hit by a laser, in layers to fuse material together and create a solid object. Many different materials may be used including glass, metal, ceramics, and plastics. You don’t see this technology in the typical consumer level 3D Printers, simply because they would be too expensive. However, it is by far a more advanced technology than the FDM method which lays layers of heated plastic on top of each other to create 3D objects. Significant increases in the production of SLS 3D printers, follow by a large decrease in the price. Guns, being a popular 3D printed item as $400,000 printer technology capable of metal sintering making 3D Printed Gun technology.
US Patent 5597589, “Apparatus for producing parts by selective sintering” expired last month. This is one of the core patents in the 3D printing world — the patent that allows 3D printer companies to charge more for fine nylon powderselective laser sintering produces a fine finish that the patent-free fused deposition modeling technique used in Reprap-style printers can’t match — and now the brakes are coming off. Increases in the production of SLS 3D printers, following by a large decrease in the price. Although a dozen of other patents that are still valid that center around SLS. This means that any company that wishes to enter into the selective laser sintering market, must make sure that they are not breaking any of the more modern patents. This can be shaky foundation, that many entrepreneurs wish to avoid. Companies like Stratasys, and their subsidiary Makerbot will surely try and find a way around the newer, still active patents.
RoboBeast, unveiling new rugged 3D printers today, able to print if you hit it or twist it to a 45% angle tilt even. Richard van As, has unveiled the RoboBeast 3D printer to the public, and it certainly seems to hold up to it’s name. Brought to you by the man who shot to fame for his Robohand invention last year
The Mark One, a $5,000 3D printer that can print in a material that is 5 times stronger than typical ABS plastic. For those that are wondering ABS is typically stronger than the other most popular material used in 3D printing, PLA. “The Mark One™ uses continuous fibers as a reinforcement in the printing material. Composites made with continuous reinforcing fibers exhibit substantial increases in strength and stiffness compared to similar materials using discontinuous (chopped) fibers.” One slight drawback of the Mark One is the fact that it will only allow for the use of specific Mark One composite filament. However, this is understandable, considering that the technology is completely new, and there are patents filed protecting it. The Mark One not only prints in carbon fiber. It can also print using glass fiber, as well as traditional PLA and nylon (polyamide).
This means that it can take the place of your current 3D printer, plus add the benefit of being able to print in this new ultra-strong carbon fiber or glass fiber composite filament. The printer features a dual-printhead design, where one head is capable of printing in composite filaments, while the other in traditional filaments.deposits layers of unidirectional composite in a user-defined orientation that can be specified by layer.” Also, according to the company, “unidirectional composites have a higher strength-to-weight ratio in the preferred fiber orientation than composites made with woven fabrics.”Another benefit of the Mark One 3D Printer is the fact that there is literally no curing time for printed parts. As soon as they have been finished printing, they are hardened and ready to be used
The Mark One creates builds of objects in the same way that traditional FDM printers do. It create one layer at a time. Because of this, it is not possible to lay the fibers in the Z-directions. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that has been using 3D printers. It would simply be impossible to lay down continuous composite strands from the bottom up. $5,000 price tag it seems almost too good to be true.
Leapfrog has just announced the release of a new 3D printer. It is the Creatr XL, which is based off of their popular Creatr model, but it has a much larger build height. The Creatr 3D printer which has a maximum build size of 230x270x200 mm is dwarfed by the new Creatr XL which has a huge max build size of 230x270x600 mm, and a max print volume of 37.2 liters. Leapfrog is now selling the Creatr XL for €3,999, which is approximately $5500. The printer’s build volume is comparable to the recently announced MakerBot Replicator Z18 printer which has a maximum build size of 305x305x457mm, but about costs $1,000 more than the CreatrXL.
3D-printed products from multinational company Hasbro accelerate the adoption of 3D printers in mainstream settings like households and schools. partnered with 3D Systems, a maker of wide-ranging 3D printers and accompanying software, to “co-develop, co-venture and deliver new immersive, creative play experiences powered by 3D printing for children and their families later this year.” this partnership give 3D Systems access to a dizzying number of licensed brands that have been lying in wait to be funneled through the 3D printing world.
So far affordable 3D printing has been more about using polymers. Yet we all know that the ‘real thing’ must be made of metal. But the price of 3D metal printers has been the major stumbling block towards making the use of this truly 21st century technology an everyday routine. That is why only wealthy scientific organizations, such as NASA, or the military can afford metal 3D printers that cost well over $500,000.
Affordable 3D printing has been made at Michigan Technological University, which presented an open-source 3D metal printer for only $1,500. Detailed plans and software are all freely available & open-source.
Now Professor Joshua Pearce and his team of 3D apostles from Michigan Technological University are proclaiming the era of Open Access 3D Printing, having published their “A Low-Cost, Open-Source Metal 3-D Printer,” article in the journal, IEEE Access. Practically anyone who is interested is now free to print objects and make a 3D metal printer of their own. The team admits that this is only a beginning. The printer is quite basic, but it does print complex geometric objects, putting down thin layers of steel with its kit worth $1,500. The most important components are a small commercial MIG welder and an open-source microcontroller.
Joshua Pearce believes this pioneering printer, which now costs even less than a commercial 3D polymer printer, has a bright future once it goes viral.
Now I demand a CARBON FIBER 3D PRINTER BUILT GUN.
Sources: http://3dprint.com/387/laser-sintering-3d-printing-may-now-take-off-with-a-very-important-patent-expiring-today/ , http://3dprint.com/805/details-emerge-on-the-mark-one-carbon-fiber-3d-printer/ , http://rt.com/news/affordable-3d-metal-printer-983/