Hello my name is Thomas Antoniak and I'm a senior at Penn State majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
My career aspiration is to do research, design, or product and development work.
I am currently taking a class called Edsign 497J so I can learn as much about 3D printing and the printers themselves as I can.
I will be posting blogs pertaining to the class and the work I've done in and outside of class.
I added this class on 9/4 so I am a little behind compared to the class but I will make up ground now!
This is the link to my first page: Thomas Antoniak's Page
This is the link to my second page: How to Create a Heat Tip From Scratch
This is the link to my third page: How to re-flash arduino drive
9/14 - I have learned a lot so far in the past weeks trying to make an extruder for the blue & white printer. So far, the biggest concern with this printer is the extruder that is missing from the machine. First, I tried to make my own out of a current extruder. I added wires from the heat source to the metal tip. After testing this, the wires did not hold up and the metal tip did not get hot.
9/21 - Recently, I added the wires via soldering the new wires to the ends of the old wires that were on the extruder before. The solder did not hold and a new plan needed to be implemented. I then re-taped the wires tightly with kevlar tape to hold in the heat on the metal surfaces. This worked and the tip reached over 100 degrees Celsius except the thermo-couple did not have consistently accurate readings and started to read error messages. Next, I removed the cement from the tip and wrapped the wires directly to see if that would work. The same heating followed by error messages occurred again.
10/1 - After learning a lot, my new tactic was that I sanded the final chips of cement off of the tip and wrapped the special coated wire that did not oxidize and attached this wire to the energy port wires with the thermo-couple. The best results occurred until more inconsistent readings of temperature. This is most likely due to the atmosphere cooling the tip and fluctuating the temperature reading. What has been learned over these past few weeks is how sensitive the heat tips are and the importance of materials used to trap heat in and not melt. Every part must be included and without cement to finish this heat tip, the part will not be fixed.
10/9 - The heat tip is almost finished. The final lesson learned today was that the heat source wires must be soldered in order to hold together the bond to the heating wire that wraps around. Being able to tuck the thermocouple wire underneath the wrapping wire allows all of the wiring to hold tight and not fall out. After taping the wire ends to the bottom of the heat source away from the tip, the wire is ready to be caulked. Lastly, wrapping the nicrhome wires starting with the middle of the wire and ending at the ends allow the wires to wrap evenly and be able to caulk most efficiently.
10/16 - After the heat tip wiring melted to the tip, the caulk had to be removed. The next time, I re-wrapped the tip with new wiring and realized that the thermo-couple reading was having issues. It turns out that there was a small part of the thermo-couple wiring sticking out and I needed to add more caulk to completely insulate it. I then connected the wires to the printer and set the heat value to 50 degrees. I kept increasing by 5 degrees until the outside caulk went from wet to solid. There was white smoke but that was normal. The heat tip should now be ready to use.
10/30 - I am now installing a purchased heat tip and learning how to add that in. The first problem was that the motherboard was not responding to our computer. This is different than the rest of the projects that I have done because this involves the coding and not the physical parts itself. Going through the coding requires using the Arduino software. This printer runs on the firmware, marlin. I downloaded that and then imported that firmware in arduino. This heat tip using a thermistor and not a thermo-couple so in the coding, I changed the number of extruders to 1 and changed the heating numbers to 3. This lets the printer know that the reading temperature is using a thermistor and not a thermo-couple. I found that in the coding, the lines with // in front are used as comments and tell you what the coding below tells. Then it's up to me to change the numbers for the correct components that I am working with.
NASA Is Building the World’s First 3-D Printed Satellite Camera
There are many different industries that Additive Manufacturing can make its mark on, but there aerospace world pertaining to space is not an area that I have heard a lot about. Most of the work in the aerospace field deals with airplanes and the turbine engine parts to power these aircrafts. In this article, NASA is working on building new parts with a 3D printer. There are tremendous benefits as stated in this article such as the cost and time reduction. This is because the printer can print multiple parts together as one which saves material and makes manufacturing/ assembling much easier.
More specifically, this article talks about a man by the name of Jason Budinoff and his work of designing a 2 inch camera for a space aircraft that will act as a miniature satellite. This camera requires only 4 parts while a conventional camera requires 5 to 10 times the number of parts. He is also working on a 14-inch dual channel telescope. It is highly possible to be able to print a working camera, but the problem comes from being able to test it to be “deep-space ready”. The tests used here are the vibration and thermal-vacuum tests. The actual process of replicating the part is made from sintering metal powder. This allows them to create internal cores and structures that are difficult or impossible with conventional manufacturing.
To create the mirror for the telescope, it is required to polish the metal being used. Due to the porosity of aluminum, it is difficult to polish so using a “hot isostatic pressing” process will covert the metal to a shiny surface. This process requires heating the surface and pressing 15 ksi of pressure. Once the part is made, it will be crucial to the development of infrared instruments that are exposed to very cold conditions. Usually they are made out of several different materials but this will be made out of just one material of aluminum. Overall, I was very impressed that a 3D printer could make a part that will be in outer space. Current additive manufacturing is still working on regular products for customers nationwide so it I am amazed that engineers are taking the development to outer space before mastering inside the earth. Nonetheless, it is a very smart idea that they can create a part that will be made out of a single material. It makes the assembling much easier and keep costs low. I am very interested in this type of hot pressing process. I wonder if they can build that into the printer or if in the future years of development, if printers could have built in features for surface effects and mechanical properties. I was also wondering what type of mirror this is. I did not realize that the mirrors of such a high smoothness would result in being so shiny that it could reflect images, especially with such high precision such as a space telescope. It is remarkable with what you can do with a 3D printer and build complex parts with just one material and one printer.
3d Printing, clothes & Sensors : for US soldiers
3D printing is now being used for the military for all types of new products including clothing, caps, chem-bio, gloves, hats, and helmet covers. This type of manufacturing provides a unique advantage because materials can be printed both soft and hard so that clothing is comfortable. The military is also using 3D printing for sensors and for food. There is a big market for this since there are many types of options to print. Some of the hot products range from toys to bird feeders. It is also very nice to be able to print many of someone’s designs of choice for clothing. There is already jewelry on market on Amazon that is 3D printed. 3D printing is more than just a technology but an art. Dr. Vuuren used the collaboration across 3 continents to make an amazing showcase. The creation is so cool to combine both art with engineering and I think that this will be a large art area that many people will pay more attention to. I also think that it is awesome to combine so many parts of the world into on display and it shows the interest in this technology worldwide.
Discov3ry Paste Extruder: Affordable Add-on for 3D Printers
Researchers are looking to expand the materials that are being printed at home. This project asks for $30,000 to produce 100 units. Hopefully, this printer addition will be able to print insoles, cake decorations, nutella, sugar icing, and gaskets with polyurethane. The challenge is being focused on the extrusion and only a couple of parts of the printer. Consumers love this idea as they can play with the materials and even eat what they create. All you have to do is add this feeder to your printer electronic circuitry which is really easy. The physics behind the extruding technique is just syringes that push out food. These syringes are safe with food so that customers can print and eat what they like.
Personally, I think that this idea is awesome. I would love to print food. This would be such a good way to make presents for family members or close friends. It is a fairly simple concept as this is the same process that bakers use to make cakes. They manually push icing through their piper bag and decorate cakes with their own artistic ability. This is a similar case except there is a computer program in the 3D printer to state where to distribute the filler material. That is why I do not think that is will be too hard. The main thing that I would be concerned with is the viscosity of the icing and being able to push that through. Overall, I want to eat what I create. That is so cool!
Nursing homes in Germany serve 3D-printed food
There is a problem among elderly patients with being able to chew normal food. This new innovation is helping patients in Germany eat food that tastes similar and has consistency of pureed food which helps the chewing and swallowing process. This food is called Smooothfood, created by a company called Biozoon. It is a hit but the number of foods are limited to just Cauliflower, peas, chicken, pork, potatoes and pasta. The food gets cooked, pureed, and then mixed into a texturizer to be printed into shapes that the patients can then consume. The main concern is that the conventional way of making these products, is much cheaper and quicker. This causes many nursing homes to not implement this technology. However, this new way of producing food offers an attractive way to eat these foods that help patients want to eat. The next step is to implement PERFROMANCE which will industrialize the product and cut costs so that everyone will be able to use it.
This is a great idea I believe since the elderly community is a large market. I know that my grandma does not like to eat the nursing home food because it is boring. However, this will definitely spice things up as by printing them in unique foods, they will be more willing to eat more. I can understand the cost issue which is why it is great that the E.U. donated $4 million to help make this product more feasible. If the costs can be cut, there is not reason why this will not be a huge success.
NASA Funding 3D Food Printer Research (The Replicator!?)
NASA has used 3D printing for a variety of new products. Now, NASA has invested $100,000 into being able to 3D print food. They want to create food plans that will sustain astronauts to Mars. The science behind this technology is that the printer will use cartridges of powders and oil to synthesize food one layer at a time. They need the shelf life to be 15 plus years so they are taking out the moisture to so it will last over 30 years. The carbs, protein, and macro/micro nutrients are all in powder form. They want to make a printer that can make pizza. The heated bed will cook the dough and then the sauce will be added using water, powder, and oil.
This is very interesting as I am wondering how gravity will affect how this printer will be able to perform. I think gravity is important in extruding the material down. I am also interested in what this will taste like. I assume that is will not taste the best but that is up to the scientists. I wonder if they will add food scientists to the job as well. The size is also important as well because the printer must be able to fit in a space ship. Overall, I am not sure what the main benefit is over conventional food if it does not taste that well. But if it does, this is a huge success that I would love to try.
3D Printing: Employment Boom or Employment Swoon?
3D printing has many advantages but there is a question if computers are replacing the job of many across the world. There are many interesting points in this article that make Americans feel much better about this new technology. One of them being that this was a similar issue with computers in the 1970's. Now Microsoft, Google, and Apple employee so many people. The same is true with 3D printing. For every job it takes away, it adds another person in designing or maintaining this machine. Manufacturing will surely decrease over time however. The main costs in manufacturing will be electricity and maintence. The retail market will also be hit as people will just be able to download files and print their goods without going to the store. Jobs will be created in this new market though since we need people to create these devices and program them. Another benefit as that a lot of these jobs will come back to the American soil which is important.
Overall, I think that this is an important concept as I thought that this new technology would disrupt the job market. I find it reassuring that there will be many jobs created. No matter what the new technology is, there will always be downstream products to employ many. I am getting worried with the quality of these jobs as many of them I think will be technical that not every person is suited for. Manufacturing is good because many people can use all types of skills to get the job done. However, with programming and engineering, not every person is cut out for that kind of work. I guess time will tell, but it is reassuring that there will be jobs created through 3D printing in the future!
Food is the Next Frontier of 3D Printing
The new wave of technology is 3D printing parts for assembly or for sale, but why can’t it go further than that and make food? Printer expert Janne Kyttanen has had success in printing pasta, cereal, and burgers. It is important to note however that these were printed in with typical materials and not actually edible. The point is to show people that it is possible to print foods. They are already printing chocolate which is a good feasibility sign that food can be printed and be edible. The science behind printing food comes from a material that is currently a liquid, powder, or filament. According to Kyttanen, it just comes down to being able to move atoms and molecules and it very possible.
A tough part mentioned in the article is that the only way this concept will work is if there is a business plan to make money off of the idea. This includes the possibility of having a novelty shop that scans someone’s head and then prints it in chocolate. It is unique and people will want to buy it not only for the taste, but the design and idea. Another part of the business plan is that recipes are free so maybe one day, be craving a food, and download that food file and the printer produces the food that you want.
This food printer would be awesome and I would love to have one when they start producing them. It changes the game for people who can’t cook and revolutionizes the way people think about food. There are many problems associated with this idea though. The same problems that exist with current printing methods of parts carry over to printing food. First, the filler material must be food so what type of filler would you have for a burger. Complex foods require many different ingredients so the printer would need to be equipped with many filler materials. Second, the printer will need to achieve a desired texture so that it will not be gross. I would compare this to the current challenge of printing mechanical properties. Overall, I really like this idea and am excited to see where the printers and technology go from here. http://www.dezeen.com/2013/03/27/food-is-the-next-frontier-of-3d-printing-janne-kytannen/
11/13 - It was learned today that when the arduino drive is getting hot, to unplug everything. Sometimes the power source continues to add power to the printer and if there is an opening in the circuit, the power does nothing but generate heat. This can create a large problem as the board can over-heat and fry the electronics. We replaced the the board and had to re-flash the arduino board. We also installed a new heat tip so needed to change the kind of thermistor to a 100K Honeywell.
12/2 - The blue and white printer almost has every part replaced on it but still will not connect to the computer. We are re-flashing the adruino again and have come to the conclusion that this part is fried. In the meantime, we heated up the heat tip with another printer. We screwed in the heat tip well into the thermistor base. This is very important because as metal heats up, the hole will get larger. Especially with a heat tip that reaches over 200F degrees, the last thing that we would want is the heat tip to be lose. Therefore, by heating up the heat tip to a temperature well over the threshold, when the metal is cool, it will fit tighter than before. This will ensure a good extrusion. The last step to finish this printer is get the electronics running with a new arduino board and start testing the motors.
3D Printing the Future of Personalized Healthcare with the Materialise Hospital Solution
They are introducing medial 3D printing in hospitals with a strong quality control system since accuracy is vital in a market like this. Materialise is a company that offers the latest technology in medical additive manufacturing. It has software for medical images to the consultation of the trainings involved with making medical solutions. The best advantage with a software like this is that each patient receives individually attention and can have a unique design to problem solving. The patient-specific data calculated here and turned into an actual model to touch, will revolutionize the healthcare system. Hospitals are very exiting to introduce this technology as it benefits so many patients that they have. They can achieve goals in a faster, safer, and more economic way. This also helps in the surgical room to make sure that patients have the treatment needed to recover as fast as possible. For example, a baby in New York had a complex congenital heart disease. After doctors make a 3D print of his tiny little heart, they had a successful surgery. They decreases the repetitions from 3 or 4 to just one surgery.
I think this is a great story because it is one thing if 3D printing is used to make a good, toy, or help save a company money. But when it is used to save a life, that is something totally different. This is remarkable that they can use it in such an efficient and accurate manner. I am wondering how they are able to make replicas of things like a heart. I wonder if that is something that can be scanned but it must be scanned through the human body. I also wonder about the advances in this kind of technology and where they research this. Is this done on animals or humans? Overall, this is awesome that they are using 3D printing for something bigger than ourselves, and saving lives to change how the healthcare business does business.
HP turns to 3D printing to revive flagging fortunes
Hewlett-Packard, also known as HP, is investing in 3D printing and hoping that there are large revenues in return. To show what they have done, the printer called the Multi Jet Fusion Printer can print 10 times faster and are half the cost. They are modeling their success after Arcam who makes orthopedic implant and aerospace parts. However, Arcam uses printing to make production parts and not just prototypes. Unklike 3D Systems, Stratasys, and EOS, HP is only worried about the long term success. While other companies are worried about the quarter profits, by HP focusing on innovation and long-term growth, they are insured to create good products down the line. They compare HP to Ford because Ford has 5 3D printing centers which produce about 20,000 parts. Ford is interested in producing parts by a HP printer because it has had good progress. It is still worried about how accurate it will be able to print out complex automotive parts. In summary, it is difficult to analyze HP's current status because not much information is public. Due to their resources though in the printing world, it is a company that is very excited to launch new, innovative products.
I am anxious to see what they can produce in the future because I think that their business plan is very novel. With companies who are worried about short term profits and success, they devote less time to innovation and more time to being able to create new ideas. In the short term, ideas get shut down and are not carried out because they might be projects that take too long or require too large of a budget. With a company like HP who is well established and has money to play with in R&D, this is pivotal in making new advancements. I wonder what types of products will be created in the future and will be on the shelves in 10 years. I am thinking that their printers will be cheap enough that everyone can have one and be accurate at printing. I also think that with a large company with a lot of innovation, a lot of their parts and code will be patented so that smaller firms do not take their ideas and hard work that they risked over time in order to produce a quality printer. This also means that it will not be open source and will be a quick print with the click of a button like standard inkjet printers.