3D Printing and Law Enforcement

3D printing has the potential to transform the world by simplifying manufacturing, shortening supply chains, democratizing production, creating jobs, and customizing products to our needs. But 3D printing can also be the devils playground. 3D printing also has a dark side. Guns have already been 3D printed and criminals are using 3D printers to create … Continue reading “3D Printing and Law Enforcement”

3D printing has the potential to transform the world by simplifying manufacturing, shortening supply chains, democratizing production, creating jobs, and customizing products to our needs. But 3D printing can also be the devils playground. 3D printing also has a dark side. Guns have already been 3D printed and criminals are using 3D printers to create new forms of crime.

Almost everyone has heard about the Texas law student, Cody Wilson, who made headlines in 2013 by 3D printing a plastic gun and posting the blueprints on the Internet. The blueprints were downloaded 100,000 times before the US government forced their removal from the server. But if it had not been Cody, it would have been someone else. In fact, the ZigZag plastic gun was 3D printed in Japan shortly after Wilson printed his and the maker went to jail.

In 2015, police in Oregon made arrests for the illegal possession an AR-15 assault rifle. Its lower receiverthe key to what makes it a weaponwas believed to have been 3D printed. A gun and 3D printing enthusiast called Derwood built the Shuty semi-automatic handgun partly from 3D printed parts. The weapon fired at least 800 rounds. More recently, a Guy in a Garage, as he calls himself, 3D printed the Songbird, which uses rubber bands for springs and a roofing nail for a firing pin, and fires multiple .357 rounds.

In August 2016, the TSA found a 3D printed revolver in carry-on luggage at the Reno-Tahoe Airport. The gun appears to have been detected because it was loaded with live rounds.

3D printed weapons need not be guns in the traditional sense, but may be just as dangerous. A plasma railgun was made by an anonymous Imgur user known as NSA_Listbot, who used a 3D printer and commonly available parts to make a handheld electromagnetic projectile launcher that fires rods made of Teflon/plasma, graphite, aluminum, and copper-coated tungsten at a speed of about 560 mph.

In a police raid in Manchester, England, police discovered 3D printed gun components with a 3D printer. In separate raids in Brisbane, Australia and its nearby Gold Coast, police found 3D printed gun parts and a fully functioning, loaded 3D printed gun.

Gun-printing criminals are still thinking inside the box. Although the plastic guns 3D printed to date are not very pretty, they still look like guns. But there is no reason why a 3D printed gun might not look like a shoe or a hairbrush or a soda bottle. The same may be true of bombs. As 3D printing industry analyst Alex Chausovsky said, Think of master bombmakers in the Middle East making new designs that look like everyday products. 3D printers have dark-side applications beyond guns. A Frenchman 3D printed fake facades for cash machines, which clone the data on users ATM cards. Criminals in Sydney, Australia, used 3D printers to make attachments for bank machines that skim bank card information from unsuspecting ATM users.

Organized crime is jumping on board. In coordinated raids against gangs in Malaga, Spain and the Bulgarian cities of Sofia, Burgas, and Silistra, police seized equipment used to 3D print sophisticated skimming equipment, including fake card slots for bank machines. A criminal who calls himself Gripper makes a skimmer by the same name, which he sells online. The Gripper is a good example of the dark power of combining the Internet and 3D printing. The portability of 3D printers means illegal items can be made in constantly relocated stealth factories, while the Internet can be used as the Illegal Information Superhighway.

Michigan State researchers have shown that 3D printed hands and fingerprints can be used to bypass security devices that rely on such one-of-a-kind signatures, or to fake evidence at a crime scene.

3D printing could lead to counterfeiting on steroids. You name it, and counterfeiters will be able to make it with 3D printers, or sell the blueprints. They will not be limited to Rolex watches and YSL handbags. Virtually any branded product may be counterfeited with 3D printers by printing it with or without the brand, or by printing a generic product with a band name on it. 3D printers will make it much easier for enterprising counterfeiters to enter the game.

3D printing is also being used to help law enforcement, by recreating crime scenes and accidents, footprints and fingerprints, and for making detailed models for planning raids and for courtroom use.

University of Florida researchers and police are using 3D printing to help identify the victims in nine cold cases, 3D scanning and printing models of the victims skulls, which are then then fleshed out with clay. This same process was used by the Greene County Ohio Sheriffs Office to try to identify the remains of a woman found in the woods near Dayton. After releasing images of the model, the victim was positively identified. The police investigation then shifted into high gear, resulting in suspects being identified, arrested, and charged a short time later.

Detectives and prosecutors in the UK used a combination of 3D scanning and 3D printing to obtain a conviction in the notorious suitcase killing.

Based on ongoing research, it will not be long before 3D printed fingerprints are used to unlock otherwise uncrackable smart phones.

As with many technologies, 3D printing can be misused, but not because the technology is inherently flawed. People are flawed. Although the size of the problem could be huge, this is only because the technology is so revolutionary and disruptive. Governments, law enforcement agencies, and homeland security must assess the risks from the dark side of 3D printing and plan accordingly.

John Hornick has more than 30 years of experience as a counselor and litigator at the Finnegan IP law firm, one of the largest IP firms in the world. As the founder of Finnegans 3D Printing Working Group, he advises clients about how 3D printing may affect their businesses. Hornick frequently speaks and writes on 3D printing and has been recognized as a thought leader in this space. He is the author of 3D Printing Will Rock the World. As the only IP attorney selected by the U.S. Comptroller General Forum on Additive Manufacturing, he is also a juror for the International Additive Manufacturing Award

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3D Printing Conference for Educators Heading to Atlanta this Fall

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Educators interested in 3D printing will have a venue in October to learn more about how to use it in K-12 and higher education. The second annualConstruct3Dconference and exposition will be taking place atGeorgia Techin Atlanta Oct. 5-8.

The emphasis will be on professional development to help faculty, staff and students learn new skills and promote the adoption and use of 3D printing in the classroom. Last years event held more than 100 talks and workshops, as well as a vendor area where companies could demonstrate their design and digital fabrication products and services. Keynotes were delivered by representatives fromMITs Self-Assembly Lab,Duke Universitys Osher Lifelong Learning InstituteandMaker Media, which hosts maker faires around the world.

The event was co-founded by three people: Duke Digital Media Engineer Chip Bobbert has developed one of the largest 3D printing-focused makerspaces in higher ed.Ultimakereducation community strategist Lizabeth Arum has long worked with 3D printer companies and researchers to explore the needs of teachers who want to use the technology in their classrooms. Matt Griffin, director of community for Ultimaker, recently finished amassive, open, online course for Coursera on 3D printing hardware.

While staff from Ultimaker co-founded the event, the Construct3D team has committed to making the event company-agnostic, promising to speak to all of the approaches to desktop 3D printing and digital fabrication equipment, software and materials in use by educators.

As digital fabrication continues to develop as an integral aspect to all levels of education, we are thrilled to host the upcoming Construct3D conference, said Amit Jariwala, director of Design & Innovation for theSchool of Mechanical Engineeringat Georgia Tech. Our goal is to leave attendees feeling inspired to bring new 3D printing skills to their schools and programs, and ultimately shape the next generation of creators and innovators.

Registration, including a scholarship application process, will open in Aprilon the Construct3D site.

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Medias education publicationsTHE JournalandCampus Technology. She can be reached r on .

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If you havent quite wrapped your head around the concept of 3-D printing, or havent yet had a digital scanner wrap itself around you, now you can do both in Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital, at the Museum of Arts and Design. […]

And while visionary design shows like that of MoMA are entrancing, theres something to be said for a more down-to-earth, production-focused exhibition.

Like any other technological device currently out there, newer 3-D printing machines aim to out-do the competition and take things to the next level. Enter Mebotics LLC, a group of four friends who spent the past year building the Microfactory. Becoming known as the worlds first Machine Shop in…View full entry

A couple of years ago, I took a temp job assisting an architectural model builder. It was an intense experience – meticulously crafting delicate materials into structural works of art. I became fascinated with the craftsmanship and artistic ability that goes into this work. The advent of 3D printing – as exciting as it is – poses a problem for this art form. If a machine can spit out a 3D version of a building, is the era of model-making coming to an end?

Instead of specially engineering spacecraft components to fit into a rocket, NASA could densely pack materials like fiber and polymer into existing spacecraft and create the components while orbiting the planet. This cuts down on cost and opens up the possibility for larger spacecraft.gigaom.com

Created by SmithAllen Studio, an Oakland based architecture firm, the 10ft x 10ft x 8ft form adds a decidedly artificial element to the otherwise organic forest it calls home. However, despite its appearance, the Echoviren is quite environmentally friendly. Printed from a PLA bioplastic, the structure will naturally decompose back into the forest in 30-50 years. According to SmithAllen As [Echoviren] weathers it will become a micro-habitat for insects, moss, and birds.engineering.com

The days of rummaging frantically for the card that gets us onto public transit may be over.

A team of engineers from MIT has created the 3D-printed Sesame Ring, which has an embedded RFID tag that lets you tap it to a RFID-based fare reader and hop on.The Atlantic Cities

Syncing public transit and wearable technology, the waterproof Sesame Ring can be used in place of the Charlie Card, Bostons mass transit smart card. Available in customizable colors and sizes, the first batch of $17 rings have already sold out, but their Kickstarter campaign will ensure that…View full entry

The breakthrough not only allows an object made up of many different materials to be printed, but also lets the user change the look and feel of a single material used to print an object. Its possible to print an object with hard and compressible sections out of a single material, even if the raw material isnt flexible in itself.Gizmag

Now you can 3D print a single object with multiple materials and varying densities, thanks to MITs Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). Through an adapted software called Spec2Fab, the designer can specify precisely which materials are to be used in each part of the printed…View full entry

What 4D printing offers is the opportunity for objects to change, to adapt to their environment, to respond.

Earlier this year, Skylar Tibbits, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Self-Assembly Lab, created a bit of a stir with his talk on 4D printing.

We are looking at the ability to program physical and biological materials to change shape, change properties and even compute outside of silicon-based matter, Mr. Tibbits told the TED conference in February.blogs.wsj.com

Heres whats holding back 3D printing, the technology thats supposed to revolutionize manufacturing and countless other industries: patents. In February 2014, key patents that currently prevent competition in the market for the most advanced and functional 3D printers will expire, says Duann Scott, design evangelist at 3D printing company Shapeways.qz.com

With our first foray into 3D printing technology, we have partnered with Sculpteo, MakerBot, and Hot Pop Factory who are leaders in 3D printing technology to hand-select a range of special products including, iPhone cases, figurines, and jewelry.exact.ebay.com

The app is available for download from the App Store.View full entry

This summer, the Design Museum in London will be offering a glimpse into the future of fabrication and manufacturing with The Future Is Here: A New Industrial Revolution, a major new exhibition about the sweeping changes in manufacturing that are transforming our world.

Related news on Archinect: The race to build the first 3D-printed building 3D printing expert lists the reasons why he thinks the technology is overhyped An Insiders View of the Myths and Truths of the 3-D Printing PhenomenonView full entry

Libraries have long been the haven of readers, but now the Chicago Public Library is making their main branch a haven for makers.

As part of the CPLs innovation lab, the Harold Washington branch will open its free maker space July 8. Crains Chicago Business describes it as a pop-up fabrication lab will offer the public access to 3-D printers, laser cutters, a milling machine and a vinyl cutter as well as a variety of supporting design software.huffingtonpost.com

Architecture has a habit of adapting its aesthetics to new technologies, whether consciously or unconsciously. Some of the most beautiful buildings of the Industrial Revolution — the cantilever Forth Bridge, for example — were designed by engineers, not architects, for example. Architecture quickly absorbed the idea of buildings that reflected their purpose.wired.co.uk

And it is, in some respects its going to open so many things up in the world. But that doesnt mean to say that you will do it yourself or that it will decentralize manufacturing, like the hype seems to suggest.

The main issue lies with raised expectations, build quality, price and usability. So here we go, my list of reasons 3D printing isnt all you think its cracked up to be.gizmodo.com

Never before have we had a technology where we can so freely translate our ideas into a tangible object with little regard to the machinery or skills available. Yet just as the microwave didnt replace all other forms of cooking as initially predicted, 3-D printing will not replace other manufacturing technologies let alone industrial-scale ones for a variety of reasons. It will complement them.wired.com

How 3D Printing Will Change Medicine

human tissues in the laboratory is nearly as old as the medical profession itself. The cell as you all know, is the structural, functional and biological unit of all organisms, whether it is a single celled-bacteria or a 90 trillion-celled human! While these microscopic units appear simple, they are actually quite complex and almost impossible to build from scratch, which is why for the longest timenew human body parts in the laboratory seemed like an impossible task. Thatseems to be changing somewhat, thanks to the recent

One of the biggest hurdles to recreating human organs has been the challenge of combining the various cells that make up each one and ensuring that they are in the right place so that they can function as efficiently as the one that is being replaced. Now using these new machines, researchers can finally do that by printing the different cells, one at a time and positioning them correctly within a structure. It is therefore no wonder that grafting researchers all over the world are busy developing almost every human organ possible, ranging from the ear to the kidney and liver and even the largest one of all – the skin! Here is a briefsynopsison their progress.

While the outer ears may appearsuperfluous, they actually plays a big role in hearing. Unfortunately, they sometimes fail to develop properly or become damaged, which is why the researchers atMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyandCornell Universityhave been trying to recreate them, since 2007.

They begin by converting the 3-D image of the human subjects ear into adigitizedsolidear using the printer to create the exactmold. They then inject the mold withcollagen- the tough butmalleabletissue that forms the outer ear and nose, that they extracted from rat tails. To this they injected 250 million cells from the cow ears. The collagen provided a dependablescaffoldupon which thecartilagewas able to grow and thrive.

What amazes lead researcher Lawrence Bonassar, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Cornell University, is how fast the process works. According to him, it takes less than half a day to create the mold, one day to print it, a half hour to inject the gel and then a few days in nourishing culture media, before its ready to be implanted.

Having perfected the technique, the researchers now hope to begin conducting tests using human cells, ideally from the person for whom the implant is being made, so that the probability of rejection can be reduceddrastically. If all goes according to plan, they plan to have them readily available for the thousands of young children that suffer frommicrotia, a condition where the external ear is not fully developed, within three years!

To say that kidneys are amongst the most important organs of the human body is an understatement. They do after all help filter the blood stream and ensure that all harmful substances are duly removed and excreted. While recreating such a complex organ is no easy task, researchers atHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyinEastern Zhejiang Province have already succeeded in the first step – Printing out functioning mini kidneys capable of filtering blood and creating urine for excretion and, keeping them alive in the lab for a full four months! A full-size human kidney is hopefully, not too far behind!

Weighing between 1.44 to 1.66kg, the soft pinkish brown triangular liver that comprises of fourdisparatelobes is the largest internal organ and gland and one of the most important ones in the human body. Its many varied roles that includedetoxification, proteinsynthesisand the production of biochemicals necessary for digestion, make it crucial for survival. These same qualities also make it hard to replicatesynthetically.

But this hasnt stopped the researchers atbased Organavo who are working on creating this complex organ with their 3-D printers. While still very much a work in progress, the building blocks that have already been built by them and other similar companies are expected to be very useful in testing thetoxicityof new medicines on the human body.

Did you know that the skin is the largest organ in the human body? Not only does itencaseall the organs, but it also, protects the body from external harm. However sometimes with larger injuries and burns, the skin itself needs some rescuing and re-grafting. The problem with current grafting methods is that in order to work, it requires a piece of skin from another part of the patients body.

Researchers atWake Forest School of Medicineare working on a project that completely eliminates this need. They have created a system in which a camera scans a wound to create a 3D image, and then new skin is printed right onto the scrape or burn. In trials with mice, researchers were able to help heal skin injuries in record time. They hope that this will work as efficiently in humans not only improving healing times tremendously, but also reducing the risk of infection, which is a big issue today.

When Chuck Hill came up with the 3-D printing process that he coinedsterolithography, in 1986, he would have never guessed that it may one day provide the answer to many of our problems – ranging from helping withschool projectsto feeding thegrowing world populationto even, saving lives!

Resources: m, Popsci.com,news.cornell.edu

Will Bio-printing lead to the creation of enhanced…

Friday, January 19, 2018 at 11:07 am

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 7:11 am

This could go wrong though this 3D printing organisms can be dangerousūüė¨

Monday, December 12, 2016 at 4:04 pm

Monday, December 12, 2016 at 4:02 pm

This is cool and what if the machine goes bazerk and prints a billion humans from the cells instead

Monday, December 12, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Monday, December 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Monday, December 12, 2016 at 12:41 pm

Monday, December 12, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Monday, December 12, 2016 at 11:35 am

i like a video about a kid making a fnaf freddy costume from a 3-D printer

Monday, December 12, 2016 at 9:49 am

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3D printing: the future of manufacturing medicine?

As the pharmaceutical industry shifts from mass manufacture towards personalised medicine, 3D printing could become part of the drug production line

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3D Printing Bones

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Those in need of bone grafts must occasionally dream of a magical machine that could make exactly what their bodies needed with the push of a button. That magical machine may soon be in hospitals everywhere.


A 3D printed polymer bone graft. Image: Bacterin

Millions of skeletons the world over have been fixed with bone grafts. But the procedure has some persistent limitations. For one thing, a new piece of bone has to come from somewhere, and that usually means either making a withdraw from a bone bank or a withdraw from somewhere else on the patients body. Autografts require an additional procedure, while allographs increase the risk of the body rejecting the new piece. In either case, the amount ofbonethat can be used is limited. Where a bone defect or injury is massive, other solutions have to be found. And whatever the size of the graft, the surgeon has to shape it to fit the injury. The whole process is complex and expensive. Meanwhile, bone disorders are expected to double within the decade.

All these problems would dissolve like so many biodegradable implants if grafts could be printed with a suitable3D printer. And, in fact, researchers fromBacterin, working with Montana State University, have created just that.

Daniel Cox, Bacterins product development specialist, with a piece of 3D printed bone graft. Image: Bacterin

The concept is that youll have a 3D printer in the hospital that has autoclavable parts, says Daniel Cox, a Product Development Specialist with Bacterin. After putting the sterile parts in the machine, and inserting a cartridge with the polymer, surgeons could print up exactly the right fragment on the spot.

Such a printer would save much more than time and money. If you could print fast enough, you could see something in trauma, says Cox. If someones missing a large enough section of femur or tibia, the only course we currently have is to amputate. Instead you might be able print that with a structurally sound polymer, which they could then implant and get it to eventually grow back into the patients own bone.

Speed would be a crucial element for any print job that was meant to save a limb. Thats why Cox and his team went with digital light printing over other types of3D printing. Previous attempts to print bone graft material have required a binder between each layer of bone particulate. With DLP each layer is cross-linked immediately to the layer before it. As a result, Coxs printer is likely to produce ten times faster, depending on the size of the part needed.

A digital light printer. Image: Bacterin

The technique has another advantage. Since the printer uses a polymer with real bone, the high heat used with other methods would denature the proteins. Theres no risk of that with the UV light used to project each layer on the Bacterin printer.

The chief challenge of the project was getting thepolymerright. The viscosity had to be just so to get flow from the printer head but not have the bone particles fall out of the solution. In a project like this, at least once or twice you think Its impossible, says Cox. If you dont, its probably not innovative anyway.

For Cox, though, there was always enough motivation to push on. One of the main things, that really got me looking at this, is the concept of aesthetic bone grafting in juveniles, he says. Adults with cranial and facial defects are often patched up with plastic or metalimplants. But since neither material can grow, children with similar problems will either end up with a permanent deformity or need multiple surgeries. This allows the structure to be sound and look aesthetic. It would grow back to the patients own bone and allow the child to grow with the implant. That was a main goal for me.

As of now, the only patient to benefit from the new printer is a rat. And the rat effectively resorbed the implant (that is, as the graft material broke down it was replaced with the rats own bone).

Theres still a lot of material science and things like that to be done before theres a bone graft printer in every hospital, for us larger animals. But its only a matter of time before 3D printing makes bone grafts more precise, cheaper, and speedily available to all.

Michael Abrams is an independent writer.

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3D Printing Hazards

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3D printing, or additive manufacturing (AM), is a popular method for rapid prototyping and even small-scale manufacturing. Compared to CNC milling or casting, 3D printing is relatively fast and inexpensive. 3D printing allows engineering teams to employ the principle of Fail Fast, Fail Cheap for product concepts. To accelerate learning, elements of a mechanical project are printed early for performance and usability tests.

3D printers use a variety of materials from thermoplastic filament to powdered metal to concrete. Manymaterials have hazardsassociated with them that users should be aware of and trained to handle.

Most common 3D printing processes use a thread like plastic filament (called feedstock) that is liquefied via a heating element and which is then jetted through a nozzle. Prolonged exposure to fumes from some materials can be hazardous.Recent studies of 3D printersandthermoplastic feedstockhave found hazardous vapors and gases are emitted during the printing process. The two most popular thermoplastics used, ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PLA (Polylactic Acid), have been found to release ultrafine particles (UFP) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

UFPs, or nanoparticles, are particles between 1 and 100 nanometers in size (1 x 10-9 m). These are the same dimensions of biological molecules which mean they can be immediately absorbed by living systems. Reports say that inhaled nanoparticles can reach the blood, liver, and heart. Exposure to nanoparticles at high concentrations is associated with adverse health effects.

VOCs are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature. The high-pressure nature means that large numbers of molecules are able to evaporate and enter the surrounding air. We are exposed to VOC pollutants in many ways every day from air fresheners to gas engine emissions.Studies of the materialsused for 3D printing, such as ABS, PLA, and nylon can be a source of dangerous VOCs such as styrene, butanol, cyclohexanone, ethylbenzene, and others. In particular, heating ABS at a temperature typical for 3D printing results in high VOC emission. A study found that the particle concentration of ABS material was 3338 times higher than PLA material. Health effects from VOC emissions include eye, nose, and throat irritation, nausea, and organ damage.

The good news is that emission exposure can be avoided with good ventilation. The University of Floridas3D Printer Policyallows one printer per standard office and no more than two printers for a standard classroom or workroom. The3D Printing Safety fact sheet (PDF)from Carnegie Mellon University recommends that air volumes should be replaced four times per hour.

3D printed parts are built layer by layer. Each layer supporting the next. To model complex shapes, 3D printers employ support structures that are dissolved away after the print completes. Alkaline baths are often used to dissolve support materials. The bath is usually water and caustic soda (sodium hydroxide). Caustic soda is corrosive and can cause chemical burns, scarring, and blindness. Proper handling, spill, and waste disposal precautions are necessary to safely handle alkaline baths.

Advanced industrial 3D printers employ gas atomized metal powder for applications within the aerospace, medical, and tooling industries. Metal powders can be flammable. Labs handling this material should use proper personal protective equipment (PPE), anti-static measures, and fire suppression equipment.

Graphic Products provides numerous resources to help engineering labs operate safer. Visual communication, PPE, and spill control equipment can help staff stay safe around 3D printers and the hazardous chemicals used to dissolve support materials.

Handle uncured printing materials with neoprene or nitrile gloves.

Safety signs and labelsposted on and nearby printers should warn of emissions and hot surfaces. HVAC controls for ventilation should indicate the requirements for indoor air quality. Signs should indicate the location of eyewash stations, fire extinguishers, feedstock and chemical storage, and clean up supplies. In labs that employ anti-static measures, labeling equipment with a label that has anti-static properties like DuraLabelElectrostatic Dissipative Tape (ESD)will help avoid static buildup. For more information about safety signs for the workplace, see theBest Practice Guide to OSHA Safety Signs.

Floor markingtape installed around printer or alkaline baths indicate hazardous areas to laboratory staff. Learn more about products for durable floor marking.

PPE equipmentfor eye and hand protection reduce exposure and incidents of injury.

Spill control and containment tools help prevent a chemical spill from spreading and ease clean-up. For more information, see theHazMat & Oil Spill Clean Up Guide.

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The following 3D printing precautions were collected from the recommendations published by Carnegie Mellon University, University of Florida, andUniversity of Vermont:

Consult the Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) of printing materials

Provide OSHA safety training to individuals that work with hazardous 3D printer chemicals

Provide training in the correct and safe operation of the 3D printer

Use 3D printers in a well-ventilated area

When using metal materials keep workspaces free of any static electricity

Do not open 3D printer covers once a print job is underway

Equip the facility with Class D fire extinguishers and train on proper use

Wear a protective P100 respirator dust mask when accessing the printer stage area

Handle uncured printing materials with neoprene or nitrile gloves

For print processes that use an alkaline bath to dissolve support material, provide an emergency eyewash station in the immediate vicinity of the work

Wear eye protection around liquid materials that can splash

Use solvent-absorbent pads for spills of printing material

Keep model and support materials away from areas where food and drink is stored, prepared, or consumed

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3D printing is revolutionizing roadways as well as airplanes

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3D printing is revolutionizing roadways as well as airplanes

Charles L. Chuck Harrington is chairman and CEO ofParsons, a Pasadena-based technology-driven engineering services firm with more than 70 years of experience in the engineering, construction, technical and professional services industries.

Much anticipation has been built around the future of the automotive and aerospace industries in the wake of recent advancements in 3D-printing technologies. But whats often overlooked is the way 3D printing can also revolutionize the transportation infrastructure industry.

Take for example the new technologiesStratasysdemonstrated for the first time at the2016 International Manufacturing Technology Showin Chicago. One of the companys new technologies is an Infinite-Build system thats designed to print parts on a vertical plane, essentially making it possible to print parts of virtually any size.

While the Infinite-Build technology is primarily aimed at the aerospace and automotive industries as evidenced by the partnerships Boeing and Ford have both formed with Stratasys the concept could also transform the infrastructure industry, especially when you consider bridges require much longer parts to construct than, say, a car or plane.

Still, much more research and development must be completed before we can realistically expect to print any bridges with additive manufacturing. One particular challenge is figuring out how to embrace these advancements in technology and evolve them to include the materials required for large-scale structures. Specifically, we must determine how to accommodate concrete and steel, the basic materials we use to construct roads and bridges.

We are already starting to see new variations of concrete being developed, which perhaps could be more amenable to 3D-printing capabilities. Indeed, a type of concrete that cures instantly and has the strength and stiffness required to meet bridge design codes without rebar will be key. I had the opportunity to learn from a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo of a 3D printer that printed in chocolate. The biggest challenge that had to be solved was instantaneous hardening or curing. Although different curing processes, it reinforces the point that where theres a will, theres a way.

The benefits 3D printing could bring to the infrastructure industry are too significant to be overlooked, especially when roughly 75 percent of the infrastructure our roads, bridges and tunnels in the United States will either need to be renovated or rebuilt in their entirety by 2035,according to the Rockefeller Foundation.

Todays infrastructure challenge lies in bridging todays needs with tomorrows possibilities. If utilized well, additive manufacturing would improve precision and quality control while reducing waste, costs and congestion during infrastructure construction projects.

Think about the number of traffic lanes that are often closed during large-scale construction projects to accommodate the movement of massive construction materials. With 3D printing, you would be able to go on site and print large-scale structural components of transportation infrastructure in more confined spaces. This would translate to less interruption to commuters.

Whats more, 3D printing would also drastically reduce the amount of wasted materials. Thats because additive manufacturing makes it possible to use no more than the exact amount of materials necessary per project. Plus, whatever surplus of raw materials is left over could then be used for another construction project.

Safety is another major potential benefit of using 3D printing to build infrastructure. On sites that are particularly difficult to access, autonomous 3D printing would ideally eliminate the need to have work crews situated in precarious positions during construction. That alone is a significant benefit.

There is tremendous potential for 3D printing to revolutionize the way our infrastructure is built in the future. But in order to achieve this potential, there must be collaboration and further innovation of the engineering, construction, materials, technology and financial industries in addition to leadership of federal, provincial and local governments.

Stratasys is a maker of additive manufacturing machines for prototyping and producing plastic parts. The company markets under the brands uPrint and Dimension 3D Printers and Fortus Production 3D Printers. The company also operates RedEye On Demand, a digital manufacturing service for prototypes and production parts. Stratasys manufactures 3D printers for Hewlett Packard, which it sells under the

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New 3D printing method promises vastly superior medical implants for millions

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For the millions of people every year who have or need medical devices implanted, a new advancement in 3D printing technology developed at the University of Florida promises significantly quicker implantation of devices that are stronger, less expensive, more flexible and more comfortable than anything currently available.

In a paper published today in the journal Science Advances, researchers lay out the process they developed for using 3D printing and soft silicone to manufacture items that millions of patients use: ports for draining bodily fluids, implantable bands, balloons, soft catheters, slings and meshes.

Silicone is 3D printed into the micro-organogel support material. The printing nozzle follows a predefined trajectory, depositing liquid silicone in its wake. The liquid silicone is supported by the micro-organgel material during this printing process.

Currently, such devices are molded, which could take days or weeks to create customized parts designed to fit an individual patient. The 3D printing method cuts that time to hours, potentially saving lives. Whats more, extremely small and complex devices, such as drainage tubes containing pressure-sensitive valves, simply cannot be molded in one step.

With the UF teams new method, however, they can be printed.

Our new material provides support for the liquid silicone as it is 3D printing, allowing us create very complex structures and even encapsulated parts out of silicone elastomer, said lead author Christopher OBryan, a mechanical and aerospace engineering doctoral student in UFs Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and lead author on the paper.

It also could pave the way for new therapeutic devices that encapsulate and control the release of drugs or small molecules for guiding tissue regeneration or assisting diseased organs such as the pancreas or prostate.

The cost savings could be significant as well.

The public is more sensitive to the high costs of medical care than ever before. Almost monthly we see major media and public outcry against high health care costs, wasteful spending in hospitals, exorbitant pharmaceutical costs, said team member Tommy Angelini, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace. Everybody agrees on the need to reduce costs in medicine.

The new method was born out of a project Angelini and his team have been working on for several years: printable organs and tissues. To that end, the team made a significant discovery two years ago when it created a revolutionary way to manufacture soft materials using 3D printing and microscopic hydrogel particles as a medium.

The problem was, the previous granular gel materials were water-based, so they were incompatible with oily inks like silicone. It was literally a case of trying to mix oil and water.

To solve that problem, the team came up with an oily version of the microgels.

Once we started printing oily silicone inks into the oily microgel materials, the printed parts held their shapes, Angelini said. We were able to achieve really excellent 3D printed silicone parts the best Ive seen.

Water is pumped from one reservoir to another using a 3D printed silicone valve. The silicone valve contains two encapsulated ball valves that allow water to be pumped through the valve by squeezing the lower chamber. The silicone valve demonstrates the ability of our 3D printing method to create multiple encapsulated components in a single part — something that cannot be done with a traditional 3D printing approach.

Manufacturing organs and tissues remains a primary goal, but one that likely is many years away from reality.

The reality is that we are probably decades away from the widespread implanting of 3D printed tissues and organs into patients, Angelini said. By contrast, inanimate medical devices are already in widespread use for implantation. Unlike the long wait we have ahead of us for other 3D bioprinting technolgies to be developed, silicone devices can be put into widespread use without technologically limited delay.

Other members of the UF team are Tapomoy Bhattacharjee, Samuel Hart, Christopher P. Kabb, Kyle D. Schulze, Indrasena Chilakala, Brent S. Sumerlin, and Greg Sawyer.

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