Is Antlered Head Gear the Next Big Thing in 3D Printing? (Plus More Hot Takes from The Week’s News)




Some of our favorite product design stories this week.

Now printing: Stainless steel

When you think of 3D printing materials, plastic and porous steel are the usual suspects. However, says a new piece in Science magazine, researchers have developed a way to 3D print tough and flexible stainless steel, “an advance that could lead to faster and cheaper ways to make everything from rocket engines to parts for nuclear reactors and oil rigs.” Researchers designed a computer-controlled process to create dense stainless steel layers that allows a “printer to build in tiny cell wall–like structures on each scale that prevent fractures and other common problems.” Tests showed that under certain conditions the final material was up to three times stronger than that made by conventional techniques and yet still ductile.” Bottom line: Game changer.

 

Strengthened 3D printed stainless steel parts could change how you design. Source: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Science magazine

Hammer time: 3D printing and Thor

Things we love? The movie, Thor: Ragnarok. Things that make us skeptical? CGI in movies. Sure, when it’s done right, it’s spectacular. But when it’s done wrong, phew, it ruins the mood and the movie. We can name dozens of movies where the CGI looked like it was designed by a second-grader. But, we digress. We’re here to talk about Thor: Ragnarok, and Hela’s (played by Cate Blanchett) antlered head gear. We assumed it was just great CGI, but nope. It was created using 3D printing and CGI. Here’s what the creator had to say in 3Dprint.com:

“It’s pretty much all 3D. So we modeled it in the computer. We scanned her so that we had her data and then we did a skull cast for her so that it fit really well, and then we just started modeling it…once they [Marvel] were happy, we started printing the pieces.”

You really should watch the video on how the head piece was made:

Are you designing for a sustainable world?

We’re not being judgy, but are you? First, the bad news: a new study says pollution was responsible for roughly 9 million premature deaths in 2015. The good news? Product designers (aka, you) are in a prime position to make a positive impact through sustainable design choices. But where to start? Well, start by asking yourselves some of the questions, posited by AZBigMedia:

How much energy is needed to acquire the raw materials, assemble the product, transport the product to retail locations or ship it to consumers’ homes? And how much waste does the manufacturing process produce?

The post also points out an interesting tidbit: design for disassembly, meaning that you design with the “intent of making it easy to get to the components that will later be used elsewhere. If it’s too hard to take your product apart, it may never live that second or third life you had dreamed for it in your cradle to cradle planning.”

Toys under the tree

In case you hadn’t noticed, the holidays are just around the corner. And of course, we’re glad to contribute to the manic fun by grabbing a couple of fun designs from GrabCAD using Creo. First on our list: a candle holder/advent wreath model from Roland Schneider. The model was designed mainly as a torus coil, made of metal wires with a diameter of 4.5 mm.

 

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So, how many drones will be given as gifts this year? A mere two years ago, drone sales jumped a whopping 445% during the holiday season. In other words, lots and lots. This design takes drones to another level: passenger drones. Imagine the possibilities. User Arun Jose shares his files for you here.

 

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Have a happy holiday and safe New Year (keep your drone away from Santa’s sleigh, OK?) from the Creo blog team! 

The Future of Design

With technology always changing (look no further than outdoor Halloween displays), it can be difficult to know where product development is going next. Download Creo’s “10 Expert Insights: The Future of Product Design in the Age of Smart & Connected Devices.” The future doesn’t have to be spooky. Learn from industry leaders as they predict how you will be designing products in the near future to help you stay ahead in our rapidly changing industry. 


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