3D Printing

Back to School Week: 7 Design-Education Stories for Preschoolers to Postgrads

As parents pack the kids off to school to become productive members of some yet-unknown future society, they trust teachers to connect with students’ minds while adding enough fun to keep the young scholars amused and motivated.

Creative companies and forward-thinking schools and programs are opening up new ways to both educate and engage budding designers and engineers. The college experience is changing as well, as new methods evolve to meet the needs of graduates and the world. Emphasis on tailored learning experiences, sustainability, and real-world applications is coming to the fore.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/back-to-school-week/.
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Learning by Heart: 3D Printing Could Help Save Lives One Day

As a cardiothoracic surgeon at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, Richard Trimlett knows a few things about the heart. He and his colleagues in the UK perform 35,000 heart surgeries every year on average.

Trimlett typically begins an open-heart surgery by stabilizing the heart with a suction device. But a minimally invasive procedure called keyhole heart surgery is even more delicate. “The heart is beating during the surgery, but we need to hold this very small area that we’re working on still,” Trimlett says. “We need tools with very small parts that we can pass in and out.”

Trimlett was looking for a new way of doing this when he ran into Alex Berry, the CEO of Sutrue, a design development center that specializes in developing medical instruments used in cardiology. “I asked Alex if he could make something that comes apart in pieces and passes through a very small incision that we could use to hold the heart stable,” Trimlett says. Ideally, he wanted a tool that was customizable by shape and size and also disposable.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/3d-printing-heart-device/.

Photo Credit: A 3D-printed device makes the minimally invasive yet delicate keyhole heart surgery process easier for surgeons.

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New Metal Means a Wave of Additive Manufacturing Technologies (Not Limp Bizkit)

After 20 years of iteration on the same basic additive-manufacturing technologies for metal, a new wave of innovation is emerging. Lower-cost, safer processes are replacing the old ways of doing things, offering vastly different material properties through resolution, surface quality, and design freedom.

But first, a little 3D-printing history: Since the invention of the selective laser melting (SLM) process at the Fraunhofer Institute in 1995, metal additive manufacturing has relied primarily on three processes: the first, and most common, selectively melts a cross-section of a metal powder with a laser or electron beam, layer by layer, to build up a metal object in a range of alloys. The second, a lens/directed-energy approach, blows the metal powder into the path of the laser. And in the third, a powder-bed approach, the metal powders are glued together, then sintered to achieve metal-like properties.

As transformative as these processes have been in enabling custom and complex parts, they aren’t perfect: Using metal powder for additive manufacturing means handling potentially dangerous materials, and thermal-distortion issues have seen many prints relegated to the bin of broken dreams.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/additive-manufacturing-technologies/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy XJet

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Powder to the People: This 3D Printing Incubator Is Liberating Engineers

Hailing from the Outer Banks, a long, sandy necklace of islands off North Carolina’s coast, Jimmie Beacham knows something about witnessing history. When his grandfather, John, was a small boy, he watched one of the Wright brothers’ first attempts at flight in nearby Kitty Hawk, a feat that ultimately ended up changing how we live.

Now Beacham himself is in the vanguard of a revolution, one that is changing how we design and make things. It’s called additive manufacturing, which includes technologies like 3D printing.

As chief engineer for advanced manufacturing at GE Healthcare, Beacham, 43, is in charge of a futuristic laboratory in Waukesha, Wisconsin. His team of a dozen engineers is helping 70 GE factories sprinkled around world explore 3D printing, augmented reality, robotics, big data and other software and technologies. But it’s their convergence that really gets him excited. “This is a whole new ballgame,” he says. “For example, we can use robots to print sensors on machine parts and then analyze the data they produce to make them work better.”

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/powder-to-the-people-this-3d-printing-....

Photo Credit: GE Healthcare’s Stephen Abitz is holding a test sample used to develop the tungsten collimator. Image courtesy GE Reports.

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Escobar Technologies’ Medical Simulator Is a Real Disrupter

The U.S. health-care system is as complicated and intricate as it has ever been. As the demand on the medical-care system weighs heavier with each passing year, the need for properly trained nurses, doctors, specialists, and health-care technicians continues to grow. Increasingly, these professionals are turning to medical simulators for that training.

A medical simulator can be as simple as a simulated body part, say an arm, or as complex as a simulated human patient—these educational devices are used in hospitals, universities, and medical simulation centers.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/medical-simulator/.

Photo Credit: The finished intravenous-arm simulator prototype. Courtesy Escobar Technologies.

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How to Become a Product Designer: A Medical Doctor Shifts Career From Academia to Shoe Design

D. Casey Kerrigan, MD, isn’t a product designer. And yet, that’s exactly what she is.

What sounds like a contradiction isn’t at all. Rather, it’s the axiom of a new era in product design—an era in which anyone can leverage technology to turn expertise into ideas and ideas into inventions. Anyone can learn how to become a product designer.

“I’m a good example of how democratization of design technology can allow a physician-scientist, with no prior background in design, to improve how shoes are designed and made,” says Kerrigan, who six years ago left her job as a tenured professor at the University of Virginia to establish OESH, a company that designs and manufactures “responsive” women’s footwear.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/how-to-become-a-product-designer/.

Photo Credit: D. Casey Kerrigan, MD, is founder and designer of OESH shoes. Courtesy OESHSHOES.com.

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3 Medical-Device Industry Trends Changing Design and Manufacturing

Wild transformations are underway for a swath of industries. Automotive . . . consumer electronics . . . architecture . . . even fashion.

Those industries are increasingly impacted by the accelerating pace of change thanks to new advancements in robotics, materials science, 3D printing, rapid prototyping, software/hardware convergence, software democratization, big data, and cloud computing.

But according to Katy George, McKinsey’s expert in its operations practice and pharmaceutical and medical products, there’s another important industry that’s being shaped as well—medical devices.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/medical-device-industry-trends/.

Photo Credit: Micke Tong

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