Vector Space Systems is a privately-held commercial company providing satellite deployment for the space exploration industry. Funded in part by capital investiture in June of this year by a $21M Series A funding campaign led by Sequoia Capital, and with participation from Shasta Ventures and Lightspeed, Venture seeks to be a major player in the micro-satellite business. Their successful test launch of a 3D-printed engine injector this week has made a name for the company in both the space and 3D printing industries, paving the way to broader space exploration and use of 3D printing in space.

The key development in this launch test had to do with the entire engine injector being 3D-printed in one piece, as opposed to being previously assembled from multiple parts. The development of the 3D-printed engine injector was made possible through a grant from NASA’s Science, Technology and Mission Directorate (STMD) Flight Opportunities program.

According to Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-Founder of Vector Space Systems, “Our historic launch today is a testament to the hard work of the Vector team, as well as support from NASA and Spaceport Camden. Together, we’re on the fast-track to get to an orbital capability in 2018 and look forward to continuing momentum and unprecedented growth through the course of this year.”

For more on this successful test launch, see this article at

How Safe are 3D Printer Plastics?

VOCs produced by melting ABS, PLA, nylon and PET.

According to a recent privately-funded study conducted in Poland on the dangers of heated thermoplastics ABS, PLA, PET, and nylon, the risk to human health is nominal, and even in the case of ABS, is well under the prescribed exposure limitations of work safety organizations. (Above image courtesy of The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene.)

According to the authors of the study, Szymon Wojtyła, Piotr Klama, and Tomasz Baran:

“The conducted study has shown that ABS is significantly more toxic than PLA. The emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) has been in the range of 0.50 µmol/h. Styrene has accounted for more than 30% of total VOC emitted from ABS, while for PLA, methyl methacrylate has been detected as the predominant compound (44% of total VOCs emission).

According to the World Health Organization, a report on the danger of inhaled plastic gasses, toxicity occurs at higher temperatures and in environments without adequate ventilation. The report outlines specific data on methyl methacrylate (MMA), the most prominent Volatile organic compounds (VOC) in PLA:

“The acute toxicity of methyl methacrylate is low. Irritation of the skin, eye, and nasal cavity has been observed in rodents and rabbits exposed to relatively high concentrations of methyl methacrylate. The chemical is a mild skin sensitizer in animals. The effect observed most frequently at lowest concentration after repeated inhalation exposure to methyl methacrylate is irritation of the nasal cavity. Effects on the kidney and liver at higher concentrations have also been reported. The lowest reported effect level for inhalation was 410 mg/m3 in rats exposed to methyl methacrylate for 2 years (based upon inflammatory degeneration of the nasal epithelium); the no-observed-effect level (NOEL) in this investigation was approximately 100 mg/m3.”

While the recent study recommends implementation of better filtering systems into future desktop FDM 3D printers for added safety, the results clearly indicate that under normal print operations, the exposure danger to operators fall well below any danger levels.

For more on the story, see this article at

The Daily 3D Detail: 3D scanner water tank

Posted by Taila Rodrigues On August - 3 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

The traditional 3D scanner methods are based on optical devices, laser and cameras.

Researchers have discovered an unusual scanner method, a 3D scanner immersed in water tank. The object is immersed in a water bath by a mechanical arm, in order to obtain a better reconstruction the object needs to be immersed many times, in this way the water and able to penetrate in all the areas of the object, are also submerged from different angles through of which measures the elevation of water.

This method accurately reconstructs even hidden parts of an object that typical 3D laser scanners are not able to capture.

The team based their method on the ancient principle of Archimedes‘ displacement – the volume of displaced fluid is equivalent to the volume of a submerged object.

The team approach is safe and economical, it is a low cost alternative using an innovative method.

Read the whole article

Print with Multiple Filaments with Palette+

A simple method of multicolor prints is now available

Type A Machines has introduced a new way of printing in multiple filaments with an add-on device called Palette+. The device, produced by Canadian company Mosaic Manufacturing Ltd, sits aside conventional FDM 3D printers and fuses multiple filaments together through a rotary cutting method. This method than allows not only multiple colors in one print, but a mix of material combinations including PLA with a soluble support material, PLA with flexible TPU, and PLA with PETG.

Print with Multiple Filaments with Palette+

The new and improved slicing method, referred to by Mosaic as closed splicing, allows for a more even distribution of heat across the bound surfaces of filaments. This process is complemented with its own software, Chroma 2.0, which incorporates a functionality enhancement called Raft, a new G-code processing engine that supports slicing programs like Cura.

For more on the development of Palette+, visit Type A Machines.

Safecracking Robot Showcased at DEF CON

Thousands of engineers, IT professionals, and self-proclaimed hackers descended on Las Vegas from July 27-30 for the world’s largest series of cybersecurity conferences known as the Black Hat Conference and DEF CON. One of the talks at the conference received world-wide attention for its dazzling display of tech-savvy engineering by utilizing 3D-printed parts and a studied application of tumbler design to show off a homemade robot that was able to crack a safe in half an hour.

Safecracking Robot Showcased at DEF CON

The robot is the design of Nathan Seidle, owner of Boulder, Colorado-based SparkFun, purveyor of DIY electronic goods such as Arduinos and Raspberry PIs. The story first appeared in Wired magazine.

Safecracking Robot Showcased at DEF CON

The robot challenge began with a gift of SentrySafe brand fireproof safe to Seidle from his wife, who purchased it cheaply as the original owner had lost the combination. Over the past few months, Seidle and his team of designers, Rob Reynolds and Joel Bartlett, spent $200 on various parts to build a robot whose capacity to examine micron-level differences in tumbler notches was able to reduce the million potential combinations (100x100x100) into a third of the possible options. This then gave the robot a greatly reduced amount of time needed to brute-force the remaining options and open the safe within a time frame of 90 minutes.

At the DEF CON show, Seidle and his team purchased a brand new safe from SentrySafe and set their robot to work. Cracking the safe within 30 minutes brought gasps and cheers from the conference audience, providing a stunning display of how the designing of 3D-printed parts and clever robotics continue to challenge the complex world of cybersecurity.

For more articles on the story, See and For a tutorial on how to build your own safecracking robot, visit this page at Sparkfun.

Arduino CEO Musto Canned for Falsifying Credentials

Image shot of an Arduino Mega with pin-out descriptions from Arduino forum user Nantonos

Arduino, the open-source electronics provider of programmable circuit boards, is a favorite among 3D printrs and makerspace hobbyists who are looking for easy ways of incorporating microprocessors into their creations. The Italian company began in 2003 and is now a business staple in a niche market it almost exclusively owns.

CEO Federico Musto

Trouble first began in spring of this year when an investigation into the listed credentials of CEO Federico Musto proved that he did not actually possess a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), or an MBA from New York University (NYU). The story first appeared in Wired magazine, wherein Musto admitted to the fabricated resume.

“It’s true, it’s my fault, sometimes I try to squeeze and say, yes I got the MBA,” he told Wired. “Only thing I can prove is I went to kindergarten.”

The false records were initially caught by a true MIT graduate, Adafruit founder Limor Fried: Fried commented on the discovery by saying, “When you go to MIT, there is always this murmur that they had to lower the standards for you,” she said. “And after you graduate, you get asked all the time if you were actually smart enough to have earned your credentials. It’s a little bit insane that this guy has gotten this far without ever being questioned.”

As a result of earlier corporate infighting, Arduino’s original founders Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, David Mellis and Tom Igoe, founded the company BCMI in competition to Arduino. Recently they were able to acquire 100% of Arduino AG, as well as its trademarks, thus paving the way for the ouster of Musto and the installation of Dr. Fabio Violante as CEO. Banzi has assumed the chairman and CTO position.

As an afternote, Musto’s LinkedIn credentials now merely list a Montessori kindergarten year in Italy.

For more quotes on the takeover of Arduino, please see this article at

Ceramics May Mean End to Animal Testing

According to the International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, 3D-printed ceramics may mean the end to animal testing.

By providing the ideal biosurface for cellular growth, 3D-printed ceramics are proving to be superior lab tools over animal testing in giving scientists direct genetic material to apply to their tests. The benefit is from the singularly successful 3D design and the ceramic material it is printed on, allowing the proper scaffolding for biological growth, wherein researchers can do their tests for specific results and thereby avoid unnecessary suffering to living creatures from chemical tests.

Ceramics May Mean End to Animal Testing

The 3D printed design is in a clover leaf configuration of four “petals,” centered around a delicately printed square scaffold system.

The authors of the study have stated: “The microsystem obtained provides one of the most remarkable examples of monolithic bio-microsystems and, to our knowledge, a step forward in the field of ceramic microsystems with complex geometries for lab-on-chip and organ-on-chip applications.”

“Cell culture results help to highlight the potential of the proposed approach and the adequacy of using ceramic materials for biological applications and for interacting at a cellular level.”

For on the story, visit this page at

The Daily 3D Detail: Low cost prosthetics

Posted by Taila Rodrigues On July - 29 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

The Daily 3D Detail: Low cost prosthetics

For many people who are born without or have lost limbs, finding suitable prostheses is a great challenge, as the high costs of the devices and the low chances of getting help are great barriers for those who have limited financial resources.

However it is possible to make prostheses much cheaper with a help of 3D printing.

Although this technology is still relatively new, 3D-printed prostheses are already more affordable than traditional prosthetics, as it is possible to publish devices quickly at a low cost which can be retrofitted and improved on the fly. In addition, the ease of customization in the manufacturing method contributes to a specific patient adaptation and a comfortable fit.

The Daily 3D Detail: Low cost prosthetics

Unlike conventional dentures that can cost around $5,000, an impressive prosthesis would cost 1% of that value. Of course, these prostheses in question may be relatively primitive — giving only basic movement for a missing hand — there are projects that demonstrate an influence by robotics, making the possibilities unlimited only by its resources.

The success of this 3D printing technology in medicine is already something concrete, as existing 3D prosthetics have demonstrated an effectiveness above expectations that will soon be available to the world’s poorest sufferers.

Thanks to the E-nable Project, having access to a prosthesis is already a reality for many people. E-nable is using 3D printing to “Give the World a Helping Hand”. They are volunteers in a worldwide network of people from different cultures, visions, and inspirations who have come together to offer cost-free printed dentures to anyone who needs it.

For more information about the E-nable Project and how to become a volunteer, visit the link

The Daily 3D Detail: Have you heard about Metamaterial?

Posted by Taila Rodrigues On July - 28 - 2017ADD COMMENTS

Metamaterials are small four-sided plastic cells, arranged in repetitive patterns that expand when air is pumped inward, fold into themselves, and easily return to their original shape. These properties can reap benefits beyond what is possible with conventional construction methods. Despite what the name implies, the ingenuity of metamaterials is not in their chemical composition, but in the engineering of their design.

With metamaterials one can easily build cubes at varying rigidity, adding unique mechanical functionality to the item being produced.

Have You Heard about Metamaterial?

The example shown here is a mechanism that can fit a curve using a very precise placement called cut cells. The cutting cell is capable of folding in a controlled, multidirectional movement without requiring any assembly.

As 3D printing becomes more common, thinking in 3D design also becomes less and less limited. Designers world-wide have started working with this kind of versatile, adjustable, and self-actuated material.

Read the whole article on how metamaterials are designed at

Boeing Inks $1B Contract with Dassault Systemes

Screen shot of Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE

With the battle for commercial aviation dominance down to only two major players, every decision to give their companies the edge is a big deal worthy of attention. Such is the case for Boeing’s $1 billion contract with Dassault Systèmes for use of their 3DEXPERIENCE software.

The story first appeared in the French newspaper Le Figaro about how the contract is to span 30 years and is intended to allow Boeing to to improve operations across the company for both commercial and defense projects.

Boeing’s CIO and SVP of Information Technology & Data Analytics Ted Colbert had this to say about the contract: “This digital enabler provides global design and manufacturing capabilities that will fuel our second century. The value of this extended strategic partnership is a mutual desire to transform how Boeing connects, protects, explores and inspires the world.”

For the full story in English, visit this page at