Change Is Additive—Week of 4/14/2017

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

Mining Materials for 3D Printing in Space, Fidget Spinners, Smartphone Turned DNA Sequencer, Improving Eye Replacement, Additive for Aerospace

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?

3D Printed Microscope Turns Smartphone into DNA Sequencer

Scientists in Sweden claim to have developed a 3D printed microscope that turns an ordinary smartphone into a DNA sequencer. With the right attachment, today's mobile device can be used as a diagnostic tool for infectious diseases like tuberculosis // Watch Video

How To Make a 3D Printed Fidget Spinner Using Fusion 360

Joel Telling, the 3D printing nerd, recently posted a how-to video with more than 50,000 views—have you 3D printed a fidget spinner yet? This boredom relief device is growing in popularity. In this featured video, Telling talks about how to make one using Fusion 360, a 3D printer, and stock components // Watch Video

Improving Quality of Life in Reconstructive Eye Surgery

A case study conducted in Portugal has used 3D printing to help reconstruct the eye of 47 year old woman. In taking a digital approach to prosthesis manufacturing, researchers at the University of Porto, and the Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering managed to produce a high quality prosthetic eye while cutting the time and cost of a typical approach. In addition, the result of a study on 3D printed prosthetic eyes shows a high social impact as it contributes to an accurate and effective restoring of patient’s physiognomy and, at the same time, improve individual self esteem and quality of life // Read More


Lockheed Martin & Aerojet Rocketdyne Speed Up Production & Lower Costs Using 3D Printing

Major aerospace corporations such as Lockheed Martin and Aerojet Rocketdyne are working hard on their 3D printing capabilities. Both organizations told reporters at an annual space conference they are expanding the number of components they manufacture using additive technologies. Brian O’Connor, Lockheed Martin Space Systems’ vice president of production, said “The advantage that additive [manufacturing] typically provides is not only reduced cost, but it’s really reducing the span time." // Read More


Mining Materials for 3D Printing in Space

The topic of multi-planet existence continues to make headlines, notes Jeff Kerns from Machine Design. He believes the media has been "romanticizing" the thought. He writes, "While many debate if we could overcome challenges such as the radiation exposure, organizations like NASA and companies like Space X continue to push forward. There are many concerns and challenges, but something my economics professor once told me keeps playing back in my head—there is no such thing as a free lunch." // Read More


Buckle Box—3D Printable in One Piece

This fully 3D printable buckle box is available for download // Download


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Imagery and News Sources:,,, NAM, Lockheed Martin, GE, Duke University, University of Porto, Thingiverse