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Old October 29th, 2013, 02:43 AM   #101
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This has to do with 3D printing so it belongs here as well.

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Gelatin-Based Bio-Ink Allows Tissue And Organ Printing



German researchers have developed a new gelatin bio-ink that can be used by 3D printing technology to produce various tissue types, a breakthrough that brings the world one step closer to being able to print tissues and organs.

Scientists have long been working to improve methods and procedures for artificially producing tissue. In the current work, researchers at Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) in Stuttgart, Germany, developed a suitable bio-ink for 3D printing that consist of gelatin-based components from natural tissue matrix and living cells. Gelatin is a well-known biological material derived from collagen that serves as the main constituent of native tissue.

The IGB researchers were able to chemically modify the gelling behavior of the gelatin to adapt the biological molecules for printing. This allowed the bio-ink to remain fluid during printing, instead of gelling like unmodified gelatin. Once the bio-inks are irradiated with UV light, they crosslink and cure to form hydrogels – polymers containing a large amount of water (just like native tissue), but which are stable in aqueous environments and when heated to 98.6 degree Fahrenheit – the average temperature of the human body.

The chemical modification of these biological molecules can be controlled so that the resulting gels have differing strengths and swelling characteristics, allowing researchers to imitate various properties of natural tissue – from solid cartilage to soft adipose tissue.

The IGB research facility also prints synthetic raw materials that can serve as substitutes for the extracellular matrix, such as systems that cure to a hydrogel devoid of by-products, which can immediately be populated with genuine cells.

“We are concentrating at the moment on the ‘natural’ variant. That way we remain very close to the original material. Even if the potential for synthetic hydrogels is big, we still need to learn a fair amount about the interactions between the artificial substances and cells or natural tissue. Our biomolecule-based variants provide the cells with a natural environment instead, and therefore can promote the self-organizing behavior of the printed cells to form a functional tissue model,” said Dr. Kirsten Borchers in describing the approach at IGB.

The printers at IGB’s labs in Stuttgart have a lot in common with conventional office printers – the ink reservoirs and jets are all the same. The differences are only observable upon close inspection, such as the heater on the ink container with which the right temperature is set for the bio-inks. The number of jets and tanks is also smaller than those in the office counterpart.

“We would like to increase the number of these in cooperation with industry and other Fraunhofer Institutes in order to simultaneously print using various inks with different cells and matrices. This way we can come closer to replicating complex structures and different types of tissue,” said Borchers.

The researchers said their current challenge is to produce vascularized tissue that has its own system of blood vessels through which the tissue can be provided with nutrients. To reach this goal, IGB is collaborating with partners under the EU-supported Project ArtiVasc 3D, which seeks to develop a technology platform to generate fine blood vessels from synthetic materials to create artificial skin with subcutaneous adipose tissue.

“This step is very important for printing tissue or entire organs in the future. Only once we are successful in producing tissue that can be nourished through a system of blood vessels can printing larger tissue structures become feasible,” said Borchers.

The development of suitable bio-inks represents an important step towards 3D printing of tissues and organs, for which demand is expected to soar in the coming years due to an aging population and advancements in the field of transplantation medicine.

SOURCE:http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/...inting-102513/
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Old November 10th, 2013, 12:45 AM   #102
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Old November 12th, 2013, 04:12 AM   #103
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3D Printing LED Optics with LUXeXcel



Founded in 2009, Dutch startup LUXeXceL is the inventor of “Printoptical Technology” which allows them to develop and manufacture optical solutions for the LED industry using 3D printing. In May 2013 the company completed an A-round of funding from Dutch VC company Chrysalix SET and US based Turnstone Capital Management. According to the CEO of LUXeXcel, Richard van de Vrie, the company intends to sell manufacturing services as opposed to printers in order to reduce the risk of being copied. LUXeXceL has three printers currently, each of which can produce 600-700 thousand pieces of their current standard product per year.



The company’s core technology, Printoptical, uses industrial inkjet equipment to 3D print optics using a custom formulated PMMA like polymer. Taken from Wikipedia, PMMA is “a transparent thermoplastic, often used as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass”. The technology allows for the 3D printing of optically smooth structures and surfaces from customer submitted CAD files directly with no post-processing. The optical quality surfaces are attainable through the use of a high resolution print head and a delay between applying the polymer droplets and applying the UV light giving the droplets time to flow together.



The company’s primary focus is that of creating optics for LEDs. While the LED chip is the light source, the optics determine where the lumens are directed and how well. LUXeXceL gives the example of street lights that light up gardens and shine into bedrooms. Through the use of optics, the lumens can only be directed to the street itself. The below image shows the first application of Printoptical technology in the one.LED product series designed by FSIGN.



According to LUXeXcel, optics are now being seen as the main driver of LED cost. Rapid prototyping using 3D printing allows for LED makers to design the most efficient and effective optical solution for any LED at a much lower cost.

Eyewear Applications

LUXeXceL can 3D Print both the frame and the lens in one print job. In June 2013, LUXeXcel printed the world’s first fully functional 3D printed glasses and presented them to Dutch King Willem Alexander. While the company is predominantly focused on lighting, eyewear presents an interesting future application as well. LUXeXcel is in the early stages of funding and appears to have first mover advantage in printing smooth optics using transparent thermoplastic as a material. Their stated intent of focusing on providing optics to the growing market of LED lighting makes this a company worth watching going forward.

SOURCE: http://www.luxexcel.com/
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Old November 17th, 2013, 10:46 PM   #104
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Perfectly Fitting Soft Tissue Prostheses – the Healthcare Revolution



Prototypes and parts, objects of all kinds, clothing, architecture and cars: 3D printing is everywhere but, undeniably, its most fascinating and revolutionary potential is found within the possibilities it offers the healthcare sector. 3D printed organs may still be a few years away but the field of prosthetics is easily within reach. Being able to 3D print a prosthesis, perfectly fit for the specific need of each patient perhaps, means that anyone can have a new, functional hand, arm, leg or foot in a matter of days at extremely reduced costs. This video by Fripp Design & Research shows that it is now possible to 3D print soft tissue prostheses as well: noses, ears, and lips made to measure and almost indistinguishable from their “real” counterparts or from the patient’s skin colour.

Based in the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre in Sheffield, UK, Fripp Design & Research offers services ranging from product to industrial and concept design, as well as product development and research. The project described in the video is part of a cooperative effort with the University of Sheffield that aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of soft tissue prostheses manufacturing and process automation for repeat orders through the use of 3D printing technologies. The project was awarded a £500,000 grant by the Wellcome Trust, a well know global charitable foundation dedicated to improving human and animal health, to develop a commercially viable solution for the British NHS.

A long awaited step forward

As Professor Ric Van Noort, of the University of Sheffield, put it: “the current process of making and fitting prostheses is archaic at best. It requires taking an impression from the patient, making the mould, hand painting it and then modifying it to fit. It is time-consuming, highly variable and expensive”. There had to be another way and Fripp D&R set out to find it. The system they developed captures 2D colour and 3D spatial data independently but that will change as the cost of 3D scanners continues to decrease and the quality increases, allowing for one time 3D captures of colours and forms. The model is then printed using a breakthrough powder based system and 100% biocompatible materials. The benefits of such a process cover just about everything: they require no invasive impressions, turnaround times are dramatically reduced, textures are consistent and replacements can be provided at the press of a button. For healthcare providers this means reduced costs and wider accessibility to patients with limited financial means. The healthcare revolution, apparently, is already, quite literally, under our noses.

SOURCE: http://3dprintingindustry.com/2013/1...sign-research/
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Old November 20th, 2013, 09:47 PM   #105
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It seems like Windows 8.1 has a capability for 3D printing, now more people will take this seriously and invest in 3D printers to make them better.

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Old November 24th, 2013, 05:07 AM   #106
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Old November 25th, 2013, 10:41 PM   #107
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Old November 26th, 2013, 10:42 PM   #108
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3D printing pen.

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Old November 28th, 2013, 08:02 PM   #109
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Scientist develops nanoparticle ink to 3D print batteries



The emerging technology of 3D printing has been investigated as a way to improve on all sorts of technologies from toothbrushes to rocket engines. Now a Harvard researcher is working on a way to utilize 3D printing to improve one of the most vital components in consumer technology — batteries. Materials scientist Jennifer Lewis has developed new “inks” that can be used to 3D print batteries and other electronic components with current technology.

3D printing is already at work in the field of consumer electronics with casings and some smaller components being made on industrial 3D printers. However, the need for traditionally produced circuit boards and batteries limits the usefulness of 3D printing. If the work being done by Lewis proves fruitful, it could make fabrication of a finished product considerably faster and easier.



The Harvard team is calling the material “ink,” but is actually a suspension of nanoparticles in a dense liquid medium like ethylene glycol. In the case of the battery printing ink, the team starts with a vial of deionized water and ethylene glycol and adds nanoparticles of lithium titanium oxide. The mixture is homogenized then centrifuged to separate out any larger particles, which results in the ink used to print batteries.

This process is possible because of the unique properties of the nanoparticle suspension. It is mostly solid as it sits in the printer ready to be applied, then begins to flow like liquid when pressure on it is increased. Once it has left the custom syringe applicator, it returns to a solid state. Lewis’ team has been able to lay down multiple layers of this ink with extreme precision at 100-nanometer accuracy. The tiny batteries being printed are about 1mm square, and could pack even higher energy density than conventional cells thanks to the intricate constructions.



This approach is much more realistic than other metal printing technologies because it doesn’t rely on the high temperatures. This all happens at room temperature and works with existing industrial 3D printers that were built to work with plastics. The team hopes that future work will make this type of nanoparticle extrusion possible on consumer-level 3D printers like the MakerBot.

Batteries made from lithium inks are only one of the possible applications. The Harvard team has also experimented with silver nanoparticles to lay out wires and connections on a circuit board. It may be possible to construct entire devices — battery, electronics, and casing — with 3D printing technology that don’t have to be assembled by man or machine. You just input a design, and the finished product comes out ready to use.

SOURCE: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/1...rint-batteries
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Old December 1st, 2013, 04:05 PM   #110
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A look inside Materialise, the Belgian company 3D printing its way into the future of everything



Think 3D printing is new? Please. Materialise founder and CEO Wilfried Vancraen bought his first 3D printer in 1990, and saw the future. Almost 25 years and 900 employees later, his company is thriving.

FULL ARTICLE: http://tech.eu/features/63/a-look-in...nting-pioneer/
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Old December 6th, 2013, 11:49 AM   #111
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Brilliant technology. Kindles interest.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 05:29 AM   #112
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What are the potential breakthroughs from this technology? Could we have cheap, duracle printed cars in the near future?
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Old December 8th, 2013, 08:36 AM   #113
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What are the potential breakthroughs from this technology? Could we have cheap, duracle printed cars in the near future?
That is the breakthrough. In the future, you will be able to print out anything with this. With abilities such as printing out full computer chips, batteries, complicated circuits, etc. Printing out vehicle parts is already possible with metal printers, NASA printed rocket parts, so for cars this will obviously work 100%. The only problem is that this technology is new and it is not being used by car manufacturers yet. It will get rid of the need to mold parts for cars, and other complicated costly processes that wont be needed with 3D printing. It basically will save them a lot more money.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 05:46 PM   #114
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What are the potential breakthroughs from this technology? Could we have cheap, duracle printed cars in the near future?
Hahh this practically has the potential of creating a new world . Totally different from what we have been grown up to .

Imagine a world , where you dont have to pay for a chair , for a sofa , for a bicycle , heck even for a car or more complex stuff . What you have to pay for though , will be the design of it , and then with a click of a button you will have it in your garage or room where the 3d printer is located .

Imagine a world , where functional human organs , can be produced with a click of button , saving thousands of lives . Where noses , arms , skin , and even bones can be produces in a matter of hours , for people that had been involved in accidents , giving them back their dignity and functionality .

This will practically make our societes from consuming oriented to creative societies , that will use their intelligence , in order to produce smarter designs , new products that will be intelligent in every aspect .

By applying this technology universally -when developed suficiently- , the global gdp ( economy ) , will increase an automatic 40-50 % the first year , let alone the other years .

For me this is the most exciting technology . One that will enable us to focus our intelligence and time in the pursuit of creating a better world .

This is the beginning of something very big . I can see it , i can fell it .

Heck i would even compare its benefits , to the invention of fire for primitive humans .
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Old December 13th, 2013, 12:42 PM   #115
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Micro laser sintering technology to 3D print tiny metal parts

Germany-based companies, 3D-Micromac AG, a provider of laser micromachining systems, and EOS GmbH, an e-Manufacturing group, have teamed up to form a new organization dubbed 3D MicroPrint GmbH. The new enterprise is developing a new micro laser sintering technology (MLS) for 3D printing tiny metal components to meet the demands of Makers and professionals alike.



Creating small, yet precise, 3D prints isn’t new, researchers at the Vienna University of Technology have even done so on the nanoscale, but those components are made of resin. 3D MicroPrint’s MLS technology boasts layer thicknesses of under five micrometers with metal materials, but Mandy Gebhardt at 3D-Micromac explains, “We have been processing different layer thicknesses in more than 100 projects with customers from around the globe and many industries. The thinnest layers we have used to build parts are 2 micrometers.”



According the Gebhardt, the device is Ideal for the medical, jewelery and watch, aerospace, and automotive industries, with the micro parts market estimated at around US$5 billion annually. 3D printing has an advantage over conventional manufacturing processes for these tiny parts, since the tolerances can be just as refined, but the parts can be far more complex.



The two companies have been developing MLS technology since 2006, but not without encountering some challenges. Similar to the direct metal laser sintering process used to print the Tri-D rocket engine, micro laser sintering uses a laser to melt metal powders to form each layer. When 3D printing on such a small scale, the particle size of the metal powder can make a huge difference.



“Work safety is an important issue because this powder size is respirable, and because of the large surface area, it is even more reactive than the one used in known laser sintering solutions,” Gebhardt explains.



The powder particle size of traditional processes is between 30 and 45 micrometers, while the MLS process utilizes particles that are 5 micrometers or less. These tiny particles, in conjunction with a laser spot diameter (the size of the laser beam when it hits the material) that is less than or equal to 30 micrometers, make the tiny prints possible.



The company has been using molybdenum, tungsten, and stainless steel 316L (1.4404) for the tiny prints, but according to Gebhardt, “[3D MicroPrint] has processed high melting pure metals as well as alloys, and [the company] knows that copper and silver work as well. This is the reason why we believe almost any metal can work in this process.” The organization’s research and development is demand driven, so process development for titanium and aluminum is planned for 2014.

SOURCE: http://www.gizmag.com/micro-laser-si...l-parts/30115/
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Old December 17th, 2013, 01:47 PM   #116
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3D-printing project set new speed record for printing in nanoscale resolution



Two-photon polymerisation (2PP) is a technique to fabricate three dimensional structures with resolutions down to 100nm (see details of Tower Bridge)

The promise of 3D printing has many of us spellbound, and indeed the ability to conjure up objects on demand could completely change our lives. In homes, offices and workshops around the world, this revolution is only just beginning – mainly with equipment designed for small-scale production at a leisurely pace. Just think what could be achieved with fast, high-precision printers built for large-scale manufacturing, such as those developed by the EU-funded PHOCAM project.

PHOCAM focused on two core techniques - 3D printing for high-performance ceramics and 3D printing with ultra-high resolution - and achieved remarkable results. It improved processes so significantly that its printed ceramic parts now measure up to the most stringent criteria for high-precision engineering, and it set a new speed record for printing in nano-scale resolution.

It also managed to bridge the gap between a promising theory and a convincing product. 3D printers based on the project’s ceramic printing technology are already available on the market and in industrial use. A spin-off company – Lithoz – is handling the commercialisation

Manufacturing in a new light



A selection of biomechanical parts made by 2PP. (a) Microvalve designed to prohibit the reversal of blood flow in human veins. Only part of the valve cover was built, to enable visualization of the interior. (b)Scanning electron microscope image of high-porosity tissue engineering scaffold. (c ) Test micro-needle array for transdermal drug delivery

Innovations such as these could ring in a new era for the manufacturing industry. Basically, a 3D-enabled factory would be freed from long lead times and high set-up costs, and so could turn out a wide variety of products as and when required. Any manufacturable object, once drawn, could be produced at short notice.

It would also be possible to switch flexibly between completely different products, generating them in batches large or small – no need to adapt tooling or adjust assembly lines. “You just change the job file for your 3D printer,” says Professor Jürgen Stampfl of the Vienna University of Technology, who coordinated the project.

This is the theory. In practice, he explains, 3D printing today is mainly used for prototyping or very specific small-scale applications. A number of limitations have to be addressed before 3D printing could viably be used for large-scale manufacturing. PHOCAM, an EU-funded project initiated in the context of the public-private partnership Factories of the Future, set out in June 2010 to do so. The partners’ work focused on photopolymer-based techniques – where light-sensitive materials are sculpted by lasers.
More specifically, thin coats of liquid polymers are made to harden along the required outlines by exposure to light, with successive layers building up to form objects. Ceramic objects can be produced by mixing particles into the polymer, which is later eliminated. While there are other powerful 3D technologies, the partners were convinced that this approach offered a particularly high potential for the development of industrial applications.

Heavy-duty ceramics



Digital Light Processing

Producing ceramic parts with suitable mechanical properties was one of the key challenges: while 3D printing techniques existed, they could not turn out objects to the required standard. PHOCAM managed to overcome this limitation. By the time the project ended in May 2013, it had developed technology that could reliably produce high-performance ceramic parts for demanding engineering applications.

How were these improvements achieved? Process chain integration, in short. “We had a consortium where we had the capability to cover the whole process chain,” says Professor Stampfl, emphasising that work on individual steps or aspects of the process would not have yielded the same results.

Meeting the need for speed

Another key consideration was speed – or lack of such. PHOCAM was determined to take high-resolution 3D printing to new heights by achieving outstanding precision at the nanoscale. However, the ability to produce objects would be of limited practical value, says Professor Stampfl, if printing them takes forever.

The partners were therefore equally determined to accelerate production, and their process chain approach proved successful again. In fact, the speeds they achieved for this particular type of technology are unprecedented, measured in metres rather than the usual millimetres per second.
Advances such as these are widening the scope for industrial applications, and they are only the beginning. Professor Stampfl is convinced that 3D technologies can play a key role in shaping the future. “If the European R&D community and industrial community get it right, 3D printing could be a cornerstone of the reindustrialisation of Europe,” he concludes.

SOURCE:http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnolo...#ixzz2njfkdifb
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Old December 19th, 2013, 11:46 PM   #117
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The mysterious Newton 3D desktop metal 3D printer



Built from the research of Esteban Schunemann, PhD student at Brunel University in London, Newton 3D is claimed to be an affordable 3D printer that can 3D print objects in metals such as gold, silver, bronze, copper and steel. It was developed specifically for jewellers, product designers, homeware designers and fashion designers.

Newton 3D was founded in 2009 by Esteban Schunemann and was funded by iMakr.VC. Esteban's design was awarded the joint winner prize for the Goldsmiths' Technological Innovation Award 2013 by the Craft and Design Council.



The Newton 3D uses metal clays such as bronze, sterling silver, copper and steel which are then fired. The parts can also be finished. According to the company, The Newton 3D has build platform around 5 in x 5 in (127 x 127 mm) but so far they have focused on applications to smaller pieces. "The system itself can move at 2000mm/min, but with metal we prefer to keep it at 300mm/min. The cufflinks take 15 min to print each." Romain Kidd, Chief Marketing Officer of iMakr.com told us.

But aside from the above brief information the company gave on the product, Newton 3D has kept much of it under wraps, declining to reveal how the 3D printer looks like, what hardware and software it includes, and how much the device costs. "We will be slowly revealing more in the coming weeks." said Kidd.

SOURCE: http://www.3ders.org/articles/201312...d-printer.html

3D eye cells printed for the first time



A 3-D printer lays down retinal cells from an adult rat

A group of researchers from the UK have used 3-D biomedical printing to successfully print new eye cells, making it the first time the technology has been used successfully to print mature central nervous system cells. The breakthrough could lead to the production of artificial tissue grafts made from the variety of cells found in the human retina and may aid in the search to cure blindness.

Experts at the University of Cambridge printed two types of cells - ganglion cells and glial cells - derived from adult rat retinas. Ganglion cells transmit information from the eye to parts of the brain, while glial cells provide support and protection for neurons.

Co-authors of the study Professor Keith Martin and Dr Barbara Lorber, from the John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair, University of Cambridge, said: "The loss of nerve cells in the retina is a feature of many blinding eye diseases. The retina is an exquisitely organised structure where the precise arrangement of cells in relation to one another is critical for effective visual function".

They said that though the results were preliminary, they provided "proof of principle that an inkjet printer can be used to print these two types of cells". And the results showed that printed cells remained healthy and retained their ability to survive and grow in culture.

The ability to arrange cells into highly defined patterns and structures has recently elevated the use of 3D printing in the biomedical sciences to create cell-based structures for use in regenerative medicine.

In their study, the researchers used a single nozzle piezoelectric inkjet printer that ejected the cells through a sub-millimetre diameter nozzle when a specific electrical pulse was applied. The driving waveform was defined by a PC-driven generator. "We plan to extend this study to print other cells of the retina and to investigate if light-sensitive photoreceptors can be successfully printed using inkjet technology. In addition, we would like to further develop our printing process to be suitable for commercial, multi-nozzle print heads," Professor Martin concluded. His goal is to make living tissues using multiple nozzles so that different types of cells could be printed from different nozzles at the same time.

SOURCE: http://www.3ders.org/articles/201312...irst-time.html
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Old January 2nd, 2014, 04:27 PM   #118
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3D Printing in 2013: Year In Review

Included below are some big things that have happened since last January. The last 12 months were full of surprise: acquisitions, new 3D printer announcement, new inventions, new business models, etc. All happened in just one year.

CLICK HERE: http://www.3ders.org/articles/201312...in-review.html
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Old January 7th, 2014, 04:29 AM   #119
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Seems like some new progress in 3D printers that are more affordable to everyone.

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Old January 7th, 2014, 09:34 AM   #120
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Its logo is so 2002 though
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