The Zombie Apocalypse Guide to 3D printing: Designing and printing practical objects

The Zombie Apocalypse Guide to 3D printing is written for the person who wants to use their printer to make practical, durable items for everyday use. Whether rebuilding civilization from your jungle hideaway, fighting off zombie hordes, or just printing a new plastic bit for your latest project, The Zombie Apocalypse Guide to 3D printing has what you need to get the job done. If you are going to buy just one book for your 3D printing toolbox, this should be it. With 180+ pages and more than 65 illustrations and photos, this easy to read volume contains sections on: – designing for 3d printing – optimizing your designs for strength and printability – printing at 2x+ speed for prototyping – leveraging “vitamins” to multiply the usefulness of your printed designs – how to template and prototype replacement parts – calculating safe working loads for printed objects – basic paradigms for 3D design – calibrating and adjusting your printer – troubleshooting common printing problems – operating your printer from improvised power supplies – and much, much more. With a tongue in cheek nod to the zombie mythos, this volume will enable you to manufacture things on your desktop that you might otherwise have to purchase, painstakingly craft, or do without. Emphasizing independence and solving practical problems, this book will help the reader to design and manufacture new items as well as making perfect fitting repair and replacement parts. No matter what type of 3D printer you use, reading The Zombie Apocalypse Guide to 3D printing will help you to improve your design skills and understand critical technical details, help you to identify and correct common printing problems, and expand your horizons in the 3d printing with the use of the most effective design methods. Paperback, 187 Pages, 68 Illustrations.

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Direct Ink Writing Process for 3D Printing Mechanoluminescent Objects

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Mechanoluminescence. (L-R) light from loose N-acetylanthranilic acid crystals crushed between transparent windows; light from similar crystals shaped into a logo, then crushed between two windows. [Image: Photonics, courtesy of Nathan C. Eddingsaas & Kenneth S. Suslick]

Way back in 1605, English philosopher, statesman, and scientist Francis Bacon first demonstrated the phenomenon of mechanoluminescence – light emission resulting from a mechanical action on a solid – by breaking apart sugar crystals. Since that time, researchers around the world have worked to develop mechanoluminescent (ML) materials, and the main ones studied include zinc sulphide, molecular crystals, quartz, and alkali halides. This principle can be produced through an ultrasound, along with some other processes…such as 3D printing.

Mechanoluminescence is the center of the latest 3D printing research from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, partially supported by the Singapore National Research Foundation under the CREATE (Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise) program.

A team of researchers from the university’s 

The abstract reads, “We report on new material compositions enabling fully printed mechanoluminescent 3D devices by using a one-step direct write 3D printing technology. The ink is composed of PDMS, transition metal ion-doped ZnS particles, and a platinum curing retarder that enables a long open time for the printing process. 3D printed mechanoluminescent multi-material objects with complex structures were fabricated, in which light emission results from stretching or wind blowing. The multi-material printing yielded anisotropic light emission upon compression from different directions, enabling its use as a directional strain and pressure sensor. The mechanoluminescent light emission peak was tailored to match that of a perovskite material, and therefore, enabled the direct conversion of wind power in the dark into electricity, by linking the printed device to perovskite-based solar cells.�

Top: Schematic of energy harvesting in the dark using a wind-driven ML device and a perovskite-based solar cell; Bottom: Anisotropic mechanoluminescent (AML) device. Photo of an AML device on (a) horizontal compression and release from the sides (I, red arrows), (b) schematic of an AML device, and (c) diagonal compression and release (II, blue arrows). The scale bar is 10 mm.

When mechanically stretched, the 3D printed ML objects will emit light. According to the researchers, the color of this light can be tailored “according to the chemical composition of particles embedded within the 3D object.�

The 3D printed polymeric objects will also emit light when they move slightly after being exposed to air flow that mimics wind; by linking the object to a solar cell, this light can actually be converted into electricity, so solar cells could one day harvest precious wind energy in the dark. Potential applications for 3D printed ML materials include security inks, flexible and embedded directional sensors, dynamic mapping of personal signatures, and using wind energy to generate light.

Dr. Patel 3D printed the ML devices based on a new process, and materials compositions that allow for the 3D printing of multi-material objects with complex structures. This process is based on direct ink writing (DIW) technology, and was able to successfully 3D print ML materials embedded within elastomeric monomers. The team used multi-material 3D printing to pattern ML objects with multiple color emission; these objects can then be used to generate anisotropic light emission which is used as a directional sensor.

(a) Printing of ML device; (b) 3D printed ML candy (inset is photo of green light-emitting candy under UV exposure); (c) luminescence spectrum generated from ML candy; (d) photo of ML candy under compression and release; (e) 3D printed ML objects; (f) ML spectra under continuous stretching and release.

The research team also 3D printed wind-driven ML devices in just one step, and later combined them with perovskite-based solar cells, developed by El Cohen in Professor Etgar’s group, in order to directly convert wind energy into electricity in the dark. These solar cells enabled a higher power generation than any previously reported, by tailoring the absorbing material inside the solar cells to the 3D printed ML device’s specific light emission.

Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

[Images: Magdassi et al]

GE reveals 3D Printer for one meter metal objects and system will scale to larger sizes

GE revealed the beta version of the world’s largest 3D printer for metals, which uses a laser and a powder bed to make parts. It is capable of printing parts as large as 1 meter in diameter directly from a computer file by fusing together thin layers of metal powder with a 1-kilowatt laser. The machine has the potential to build even bigger parts, due to the nature of the scalable technology. Customers are already requesting machines with build volumes of more than 1 meter cubed.

GE used the beta machine to print a jet engine combustor liner.

GE uses proprietary technology to control powder dosing, reducing powder consumption by 69 percent compared to traditional machines “on its first attempt.� The machine will also print faster than today’s machines. GE can configure the design and allows customers to add more lasers.

The new printer will also take advantage of Predix, GE’s software platform for the industrial internet, to monitor the printing process and also the health of the machine. Concept Laser’s new M2 printers already come with data analytics using Predix to monitor machine utilization and production and look for potential problems before they occur.

Several GE businesses are already using additive manufacturing to make and develop new products. GE Aviation is printing fuel nozzles for the LEAP family of jet engines. The company is also building the Advanced Turboprop, the first commercial aircraft engine in history with a large portion of components made by additive manufacturing methods, which include 3D printing. The designers reduced 855 separate parts down to just 12. As a result, more than a third of the engine is 3D printed. GE Healthcare, GE Power and the oil- and gas-field services company Baker Hughes are also using the technology.