In a mere 66 hours (but who's counting), our HP Jet Fusion will be delivered to our new location. If you are as excited about our new 3D printer as we are, why not see what it can do for you?  Fill out the Quick Quote and get in the queue.  Try the latest breakthrough in Additive Manufacturing... the 

 

“commercial 3D printing system that delivers superior quality physical parts up to 10 times faster and at half the cost of current 3D print systems.”

Look for updates and pictures.

RapidMade especially enjoys working on projects designed to improve the lives of others.  And we are thrilled when we get to see them "in action."  Recently SweetSense asked us to 3D print SLS parts that were used to produce remote sensors in Kenya that allow residents to better maintain water supplies and sanitary latrines.  

According to Taylor Sharpe, SweetSense is a "social enterprise" that is a spin-off of the Portland State SWEET Lab and partners with other agencies to provide high-tech solutions to problems faced by residents in developing countries.  

...in one case monitoring boreholes (deep water pumps that service 100s to 1000s of people) in Isiolo and Turkana counties in Kenya; and in the other case helping manage collection routines and operator issues of Sanergy Fresh Life latrines in the Mukuru informal settlements outside of Nairobi, Kenya.

For one of its initiatives, it has partnered with Sanergy to produce a

rugged enclosure that contains an occupancy sensor and am RFID reader, to respectively estimate the fill level of latrines before conversion to fertilizer and to give Fresh Life Operators a direct line of contact with Sanergy HQ in the case of emergencies.

In another, the Sat Spacer, SweetSense worked with Kenya RAPID...

RapidMade parts were used to allow SweetSense to provide satellite-based monitoring in areas with no cellular coverage.
Posted
AuthorRenee Eaton

Years ago, I remember buying a toy cowboy gun for my son while in Texas.  This was long before 9/11, so I was annoyed (being several months pregnant with my second child) when I had to waddle a great distance back to check my bag to avoid having it confiscated. 

Nowadays, while we may resent the added security, we don't question its necessity.  Last week reinforced the idea that longer airport security lines are not always a bad thing as Reno TSA screeeners found a 3D printed gun.  Printed from a plastic resin, the replica was not a functional gun as it lacked a trigger.  But for some unknown reason, the passenger also had five live .22-caliber bullets in his possession.

Of the reported 68 guns confiscated by TSA officials last week, the 3D printed copy is speculated to be the first uncovered to date.

 

Many people may not know that the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) is headquartered in Pittsburgh, so it is fitting that one of my alma maters, the University of Pittsburgh, just received a $503,000 grant to research how aluminum alloys behave during Metal Laser Sintering.  Benedict of 3ders.org explains...

3D printing with metals is a fascinating business, one which involves powders, large machines, and laser beams. Metal additive manufacturing processes such as selective laser melting (SLM), selective laser sintering (SLS), and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) each use laser beams to fuse metal powders into 3D shapes. SLS and DMLS 3D printers heat the metal powders to a sufficient level so that they can fuse together at a molecular level, while SLM 3D printers go one step further, completely melting the metal powder before letting it solidify into the desired shape. All of these methods have been developed into highly effective additive manufacturing techniques, but a team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh wants to better understand how exactly metals behave during the SLM process and in similar laser-melting processes.

Dr. Jörg M.K. Wiezorek, the project's P.I., plans to evaluate how "microstructures form in metals and alloys during the solidification process which follows laser beam melting." Their research is important because metal printing processes can be very temperamental, sometimes failing to adequately bond which causes part fractures.

Hail Pitt!