Change Is Additive—Week of 9/2/16

CHANGE IS ADDITIVE—A 3D Printing News Series by FATHOM


3D Printed Tool by Boeing Recognized as World Record, Using Additive Technologies to Solve Archaeological Mysteries, Ocean Conservation, Transforming Used Plastic Into 3D Printing Filament in Space

With so many weekly developments in a fast-changing industry like additive manufacturing, the headlines can really stack up. To cut through the clutter of 3D printing news, check out these staff picks of the week. What do you think is the most impactful development?

Discovering the Cause of Death for Hominid Fossil “Lucy" Using 3D Printing

Researchers believe they've discovered the cause of death for Lucy, a 3.2 million year old human species ancestor. Using 3D printing, 3D scanning, and impact simulation software, researchers surmised that Lucy likely died from injuries after falling from a considerable height // Watch Video

3D Printed Tool for Building Aircraft Wings Earns Guinness World Records Title

Boeing and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created a massive 3D printed tool that will be part of the creation of the wings of Boeing’s next 777X jet. The tool, measuring 17.5 feet long, 5.5 feet wide, and 1.5 feet tall, was recognized as the largest object ever 3D printed in a single piece by Guinness World Records. The tool was made with ABS thermoplastic composite materials and weighs around 1,650 pounds // Watch Video

Fabien Cousteau Helps to Bring 3D Printed Coral Reefs to the Caribbean

Fabien Cousteau, a filmmaker, conservationist and oceanographer (and relative of the legendary Jacques Cousteau) is setting his sights on a more technological approach to ocean conservation. The Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center is considering the use of 3D printing to create artificial coral reefs in particularly devastated ocean regions // Read More


Transforming Used Plastic Into 3D Printing Filament in Space

Washington-based Tethers Unlimited, an aerospace technology company, has just been awarded a contract from NASA to continue development on their plastic recycling technology. Their Positrusion Recycler will be used to recycle all the plastic waste produced by the astronauts, including packaging materials, utensils, food storage containers and even 3D printed parts. Transformed into 3D printable filament, this will be subsequently used to 3D print satellite components, any necessary replacement parts, and various astronaut tools // Read More


MIT 3D-Printed Structures 'Remember' Shapes

A research project undertaken at MIT and Singapore University of Technology and Design succeeded in developing 3D-printed structures that can be physically manipulated in extreme ways and then spring back to their original shapes on demand when heated to a particular temperature. Capable of creating high-resolution features just a few microns large, the achievements in the project have endless applications in fields such as medicine, aerospace, and many more // Read More



Model of a Turbofan Jet Engine

This CAD model allows you to download and 3D print your own jet engine replica // Download


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Imagery and News Sources:,,, Boeing, GrabCAD, Fabien Cousteau OLC, MIT, SUTD, NASA, Tethers Unlimited, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Guinness World Records