Special Issue "Innovations in 3-D Printing"

A special issue of Inventions (ISSN 2411-5134). This special issue belongs to the section "Inventions and innovation in Advanced Manufacturing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Joshua M. Pearce

Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931,USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: applied sustainability; renewable energy; solar photovoltaic materials; devices and systems; energy policy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

3-D printing has been growing aggressively, and diverse thought leaders agree that additive manufacturing (AM) technology will provide a new industrial revolution, fundamentally changing the way products are made. Innovation in the 3-D printing intellectual space is observed in a gold rush for 3-D printing related patents throughout the globe [1]. In addition, the open-source self-replicating rapid prototyper (RepRap) project has created a tidal wave of innovation from hundreds of developers working together over the web. This has resulted in radically reduced costs of 3-D printers, rapid prototyping and low-volume production and popularized the idea of 3-D printing with dozens of new companies forming. Conventional patenting and production as well as mining of expired or abandoned patents [2] or direct open source innovation have all combined to provide a new approach to the manufacture of end-use products: Distributed manufacturing [3], where raw material (filament, powder, liquid, or sheets) is directly transformed into objects from digital 3-D design files (millions of which are freely shared on the web). 3-D printing allows the efficient manufacture of geometrically and functionally complex products within a single process step, which provides enormous opportunity for more efficient product design, custom products and rapid innovation in the product cycle. 3-D printing also holds out the potential for advances in global value chains [4] as well as manufacturing sustainability including reduced energy consumption, increased materials efficiency, localized production (even in one's own home), increased opportunities for repair and life cycle upgrading. All of this opportunity will only be realized with continued invention and innovation. That is why I invite you to submit an article for Inventions for this Special Issue on “Innovations in 3-D Printing”. Inventions is open access and all papers will be readable by everyone, free of charge.

Suitable topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Innovation to reduce 3-D printing time, materials, energy use, environmental impact, cost, or complexity
  • Innovative 3-D printer software (firmware, controller, slicers, CAD, web interfaces, quality control, monitoring, and integration)
  • Innovative 3-D printer hardware
  • Innovative processing techniques that enable 3-D printing both conventional (FFF/FDM, SLS, SLA, DLP, SLM, EBM, BJ, LOM, etc.), as well as those processes beyond common techniques
  • Innovative 3-D printing materials and multi-material printing
  • Innovation that would lead to volumetric 3-D printing rather than layer-by-layer
  • Innovative 3-D printing at different scales (nano to building sized)
  • Innovation impact from open source communities (e.g., the RepRap project)
  • Innovative open source business models applied to 3-D printing
  • Innovation to reduce cost of 3-D printers
  • Innovations to encourage distributed manufacturing
  • Innovative consumer applications that can be 3-D printed at home
  • Innovative intellectual property approaches to 3-D printing and distributed manufacturing

The journal Inventions is an international, peer-reviewed journal that publishes original scientific research of significance concerning innovation/invention, or patent-based/extended/reviewed research papers in all fields of science, engineering and product development processes.

I look forward to reading your innovations in the exiting and rapidly growing 3-D printing space.

Best regards,
Prof. Dr. Joshua M. Pearce
Guest Editor

[1] Wee, H. The “gold rush” for 3-D printing patents. CNBC. 2013. http://www.cnbc.com/id/100942655

[2] Nilsiam, Y., Pearce, J.M. Open Source Database and Website to Provide Free and Open Access to Inactive US Patents in the Public Domain. Inventions 2016, 1, 24.

[3] Wittbrodt, B., et al. Life-cycle economic analysis of distributed manufacturing with open-source 3-D printers. Mechatronics 2013, 23, 713–726

[4]. Laplume, A.O., et al. Global value chains from a 3D printing perspective. Journal of International Business Studies 2016, 47, 595–609

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Inventions is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • 3-D printing
  • 3-D printers
  • additive manufacturing
  • distributed manufacturing
  • digital manufacturing
  • home manufacturing
  • DIY
  • RepRap
  • fused filament fabrication
  • fused deposition modeling
  • stereolithography
  • digital light processing
  • selective laser sintering
  • selective laser melting
  • electron beam melting
  • laminated object manufacturing
  • binder jetting
  • material jetting
  • gas metal arc weld 3-D printing

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Belt-Driven Open Source Circuit Mill Using Low-Cost 3-D Printer Components
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
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Abstract
Barriers to inventing electronic devices involve challenges of iterating electronic designs due to long lead times for professional circuit board milling or high costs of commercial milling machines. To overcome these barriers, this study provides open source (OS) designs for a low-cost circuit
[...] Read more.
Barriers to inventing electronic devices involve challenges of iterating electronic designs due to long lead times for professional circuit board milling or high costs of commercial milling machines. To overcome these barriers, this study provides open source (OS) designs for a low-cost circuit milling machine. First, design modifications for mechanical and electrical subsystems of the OS Distributed 3-D (D3D) Robotics prototyping system are provided. Next, Copper Carve, an OS custom graphical user interface, is developed to enable circuit board milling by implementing backlash and substrate distortion compensation. The performance of the OS D3D circuit mill is then quantified and validated for: positional accuracy, cut quality, feature accuracy, and distortion compensation. Finally, the return on investment is calculated for inventors using it. The results show by properly compensating for motion inaccuracies with Copper Carve, the machine achieves a motion resolution of 10 microns, which is more than adequate for most circuit designs. The mill is at least five times less expensive than all commercial alternatives and the material costs of the D3D mill are repaid from fabricating 20–43 boards. The results show that the OS circuit mill is of high-enough quality to enable rapid invention and distributed manufacturing of complex products containing custom electronics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in 3-D Printing)
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Open AccessArticle Low-Level Control of 3D Printers from the Cloud: A Step toward 3D Printer Control as a Service
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 19 August 2018
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Abstract
Control as a Service (CaaS) is an emerging paradigm where low-level control of a device is moved from a local controller to the Cloud, and provided to the device as an on-demand service. Among its many benefits, CaaS gives the device access to
[...] Read more.
Control as a Service (CaaS) is an emerging paradigm where low-level control of a device is moved from a local controller to the Cloud, and provided to the device as an on-demand service. Among its many benefits, CaaS gives the device access to advanced control algorithms which may not be executable on a local controller due to computational limitations. As a step toward 3D printer CaaS, this paper demonstrates the control of a 3D printer by streaming low-level stepper motor commands (as opposed to high-level G-codes) directly from the Cloud to the printer. The printer is located at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, while its stepper motor commands are calculated using an advanced motion control algorithm running on Google Cloud computers in South Carolina and Australia. The stepper motor commands are sent over the internet using the user datagram protocol (UDP) and buffered to mitigate transmission delays; checks are included to ensure accuracy and completeness of the transmitted data. All but one part printed using the cloud-based controller in both locations were hitch free (i.e., no pauses due to excessive transmission delays). Moreover, using the cloud-based controller, the parts printed up to 54% faster than using a standard local controller, without loss of accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in 3-D Printing)
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Open AccessArticle Biocompatibility of 3D-Printed Methacrylate for Hearing Devices
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 23 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
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Abstract
The capacity of 3D printing (3DP) technologies to initiate speedy polymerization of solvent-free resins accounts for their utility in the manufacturing of medical devices. Nonetheless, independent biological evaluation of 3D-printed materials is recommended due to the unique parameters of the manufacturing process, which
[...] Read more.
The capacity of 3D printing (3DP) technologies to initiate speedy polymerization of solvent-free resins accounts for their utility in the manufacturing of medical devices. Nonetheless, independent biological evaluation of 3D-printed materials is recommended due to the unique parameters of the manufacturing process, which can influence their physical, chemical and biological properties. In this study, E-Shell 450 clear methacrylate indicated for 3DP of hearing devices was examined for biological safety using zebrafish bioassays adapted to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) fish embryo test. In addition, the proprietary material was characterized for composition using headspace gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). To initiate the biological test, newly fertilized zebrafish eggs were cultured on non-treated and ethanol-treated methacrylates in glass petri dishes with ultrapure water, incubated at 28.5 °C and assessed for developmental endpoints of toxicity at 24 h intervals until 96 h. Toxicological data indicate that non-treated methacrylate is extremely toxic in zebrafish bioassays, whereas ethanol-treated counterpart showed a relative lower toxicity possibly due to ethanoic–aqueous interactions as observed by GC–MS. With the current influx of 3D printing materials, users are urged to exercise caution. Operators must also take cognizance of the potential toxicity of the chemicals used in 3DP and implement safety measures to limit their exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in 3-D Printing)
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Open AccessArticle How to Automate a Kinematic Mount Using a 3D Printed Arduino-Based System
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
We demonstrate a simple, flexible and cost-effective system to automatize most of the kinematic mounts available nowadays on the market. It combines 3D-printed components, an Arduino board, stepper motors and simple electronics. The developed system can control up to ten stepper motors independently
[...] Read more.
We demonstrate a simple, flexible and cost-effective system to automatize most of the kinematic mounts available nowadays on the market. It combines 3D-printed components, an Arduino board, stepper motors and simple electronics. The developed system can control up to ten stepper motors independently and simultaneously using commands sent through the serial port, and it is suitable for applications where optical realignment using flat mirrors is required on a periodic basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in 3-D Printing)
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Open AccessArticle Development of New Hybrid Acrylic/Epoxy DLP-3D Printable Materials
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
PDF Full-text (2322 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Light induced three dimensional (3D) printing techniques generally use printable formulations that are based on acrylic monomers because of their fast reactivity, which is balanced with their good final properties. However, the possibility to enlarge the palette of 3D printable materials is a
[...] Read more.
Light induced three dimensional (3D) printing techniques generally use printable formulations that are based on acrylic monomers because of their fast reactivity, which is balanced with their good final properties. However, the possibility to enlarge the palette of 3D printable materials is a challenging target. In this work, hybrid printable formulations that are based on acrylic and epoxy resins are presented and their printability on DLP (Digital Light Processing) machines is demonstrated. Hexanediol diacrylate (HDDA) and an epoxy resin—3,4-Epoxycylohexylmethyl-3′,4′-epoxycyxlohexane carboxylate (CE)—in different ratios are used and the influence of a bridging agent, Glycidyl methacrylate (GMA), is also investigated. The reactivity of the different active species during irradiation is evaluated and the mechanical properties, including the impact toughness, the thermo-mechanical properties, and the volumetric shrinkage, are studied on printed samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in 3-D Printing)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Capacitive Markers Fabricated by 3D Printing, Laser Cutting and Prototyping
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
With Tangible User Interfaces, the computer user is able to interact in a fundamentally different and more intuitive way than with usual 2D displays. By grasping real physical objects, information can also be conveyed haptically, i.e., the user not only sees information on
[...] Read more.
With Tangible User Interfaces, the computer user is able to interact in a fundamentally different and more intuitive way than with usual 2D displays. By grasping real physical objects, information can also be conveyed haptically, i.e., the user not only sees information on a 2D display, but can also grasp physical representations. To recognize such objects (“tangibles”) it is skillful to use capacitive sensing, as it happens in most touch screens. Thus, real objects can be located and identified by the touch screen display automatically. Recent work already addressed such capacitive markers, but focused on their coding scheme and automated fabrication by 3D printing. This paper goes beyond the fabrication by 3D printers and, for the first time, applies the concept of capacitive codes to laser cutting and another immediate prototyping approach using modeling clay. Beside the evaluation of additional properties, we adapt recent research results regarding the optimized detection of tangible objects on capacitive screens. As a result of our comprehensive study, the detection performance is affected by the type of capacitive signal processing (respectively the device) and the geometry of the marker. 3D printing revealed to be the most reliable technique, though laser cutting and immediate prototyping of markers showed promising results. Based on our findings, we discuss individual strengths of each capacitive marker type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in 3-D Printing)
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Open AccessArticle Inexpensive Piezoelectric Elements for Nozzle Contact Detection and Build Platform Leveling in FFF 3D Printers
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 21 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Inexpensive piezoelectric diaphragms can be used as sensors to facilitate both nozzle height setting and build platform leveling in Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printers. Tests simulating nozzle contact are conducted to establish the available output and an output of greater than 8
[...] Read more.
Inexpensive piezoelectric diaphragms can be used as sensors to facilitate both nozzle height setting and build platform leveling in Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printers. Tests simulating nozzle contact are conducted to establish the available output and an output of greater than 8 Volts found at 20 °C, a value which is readily detectable by simple electronic circuits. Tests are also conducted at a temperature of 80 °C and, despite a reduction of greater than 80% in output voltage, this is still detectable. The reliability of piezoelectric diaphragms is investigated by mechanically stressing samples over 100,000 cycles at both 20 and 80 °C, and little loss of output over the test duration is found. The development of a nozzle contact sensor using a single piezoelectric diaphragm is described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in 3-D Printing)
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Open AccessArticle Contact-Free Support Structures for Part Overhangs in Powder-Bed Metal Additive Manufacturing
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 24 December 2017 / Accepted: 26 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
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Abstract
This study investigates the feasibility of a novel concept, contact-free support structures, for part overhangs in powder-bed metal additive manufacturing. The intent is to develop alternative support designs that require no or little post-processing, and yet, maintain effectiveness in minimizing overhang distortions. The
[...] Read more.
This study investigates the feasibility of a novel concept, contact-free support structures, for part overhangs in powder-bed metal additive manufacturing. The intent is to develop alternative support designs that require no or little post-processing, and yet, maintain effectiveness in minimizing overhang distortions. The idea is to build, simultaneously during part fabrications, a heat sink (called “heat support”), underneath an overhang to alter adverse thermal behaviors. Thermomechanical modeling and simulations using finite element analysis were applied to numerically research the heat support effect on overhang distortions. Experimentally, a powder-bed electron beam additive manufacturing system was utilized to fabricate heat support designs and examine their functions. The results prove the concept and demonstrate the effectiveness of contact-free heat supports. Moreover, the method was tested with different heat support parameters and applied to various overhang geometries. It is concluded that the heat support proposed has the potential to be implemented in industrial applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in 3-D Printing)
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Open AccessArticle The Use of 3D Printing in the Fabrication of Nasal Stents
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (9951 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nasoalveolar molding of the cleft lip, nose, and alveolar palate has been a successful strategy for the restoration of oronasal function and appearance, but it has some drawbacks. The temporary implant that is inserted before surgical reconstruction is a large appliance requiring numerous
[...] Read more.
Nasoalveolar molding of the cleft lip, nose, and alveolar palate has been a successful strategy for the restoration of oronasal function and appearance, but it has some drawbacks. The temporary implant that is inserted before surgical reconstruction is a large appliance requiring numerous adjustments, it can irritate delicate soft tissues, and interfere with the infant’s ability to nurse or feed. In the early post-operative period and for months after cleft lip repair, patients wear standardized silicone stents that come in multiple sizes, but require significant sculpting to fit the unique cleft deformity. Three-dimensional (3D) printing offers the potential of highly personalized and patient-specific treatment. We developed a method that produces a customized 3D printed stent that matches the contours and unique features of each patient and permits modification and adjustments in size and shape as the patient ages. With 3D scanning technology, the device can be designed at the first visit to create an appliance that can be worn sequentially with minimal trauma, does not impede feeding, and a prosthesis that will improve compliance. The device will be worn intraorally to help shape the alveolus, lip, and nose before surgical repair. Furthermore, the stent can be doped with drugs as each patient’s case warrants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in 3-D Printing)
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