While not much is known about the startling results of this UK research project, the posted results have already grabbed the attention of industry partners/investors. It is important to note that this route does not appear to be anything remotely close to affordable or consumer-accessible. We’ll share more about consumer-/hacker-accessible laser sintering options this year as the technology begins to emerge (or not emerge) from the patent lockdown.
A new 3D printing technique capable of making finger-sized parts in less than one second could signal a profound shift in additive manufacturing’s potential.
Named FACTUM (latin: “to make”), the new machine uses a high-speed sintering (HSS) production method that was developed through the combined effort of academia and industry. Researchers at the Universities of Sheffield and Loughborough created the FACTUM printer, while British printing company Xaar developed its inkjet technology.
While details on how FACTUM works are scarce, we do know the machine sinters its powder material through the use of a heat lamp, rather than a laser. Once its plastic powder has been laid down the lamp passes over the material, sintering it with minimal damage and producing a higher quality product.
In addition to its higher quality end products, FACTUM engineers say the new printing method gives the system a wider range of material options than traditional laser sintering machines.
Beyond its origin as an academic project, FACTUM has picked up some big name support from the likes of industrial giants Unilever and BAE Systems. For Unilever’s part, the company is investing in HSS technology as a way to manufacture new packaging designs that can’t be produced by traditional injection molding….”
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the MakerBot Digitizer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
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