Change Is Additive—Week of 5/5/2017

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

Neri Oxman's 3D Printed Glass Installation, LLNL Glass Optics Research, MIT's Additive Rocketry, 3D Printing Lunar Bricks, Erasable Ink

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?

Neri Oxman 3D Prints Large Scale Glass Pillars

For Milan's famous Design Week, Neri Oxman, designer, architect, and innovative professor at the MIT Media Lab, created a massive 3D printed installation that is making waves across the 3D printing and design communities. Commissioned by Lexus as part of its "Yet" philosophic push, Oxman hopes the techniques used to create the installation will spread to other industries: “In the United States alone, 450 billion square feet of glass façade [are] produced every year,” Oxman explains. “What if we could take this chance to use the glass to harness solar energy and allow the architecture to respond to the light and heat of the sun, to create photosynthesis and generate solar energy? What if we could create an architecture that responds to that, that could control the heat of the building or even that of a whole city?” // Read More

Siemens Replaces German Train Parts On-Demand with Stratasys FDM 3D Printing

After integrating FDM-based 3D printing from Stratasys as a way to create replacement parts on-demand, German rail company SWU Verkehr is achieving remarkable mobility and drastically reducing train downtime // Watch Video

100% 3D Printed Rocket—MIT Rocket Team

MIT claims to have successfully tested what is believed to be the first ever fully 3D printed rocket motor comprised entirely of plastic. According to the rocketry team, the motor survived the test with minimal damage // Read More // Watch Video

3D Printing Lunar Bricks with Focused Solar Heat

Engineers from the European Space Agency (ESA) claim to have 3D printed a triangular brick using simulated lunar materials and concentrated sunlight. This innovation could have significant implications for eventual lunar construction and space exploration // Read More // Watch Video

LLNL Researchers Develop New Method of 3D Printing Transparent Glass for Optical Applications

Now scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) claim to have created a new way of 3D printing clear glass for optical applications. The process could allow for the 3D printing of glass that incorporates different refractive indices in a single flat optic, as opposed to the special shapes that are required for those refractive characteristics to be achieved in constant composition glass. That means lenses that are easier and cheaper to fabricate. LLNL was able to achieve this by creating an ink from concentrated suspensions of silica particles with highly controlled flow properties that can be 3D printed at room temperature // Read More

LLNL 3D Printing Glass

RAPID + TCT 2017 Event To Demonstrate $6 Billion 3D Printing Industry Strength

According to Wohlers Report 2017, 97 manufacturers produced and sold additive manufacturing systems in 2016, up from 62 in 2015. The industry achieved worldwide revenues of $6.063 billion in 2016, which are projected to rapidly rise over the next half decade. The industry's verve and excitement will be on full display next week in Pittsburgh, at the world's largest 3D printing event, RAPID + TCT 2017 // Read More

RAPID event 3D Printing

Researchers Develop Erasable Ink for 3D Printing

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology claim to have developed a sort of "erasable ink"  for 3D printing. In their recently published paper, “Cleaving Direct-Laser-Written Microstructures on Demand," the researchers explain their achievement. The researchers created an ink with reversible bonding, meaning that its building blocks can be separated through a chemical solvent, then modified and changed, again and again // Read More

3D Printing Erasable Ink

Centrifugal Compressor

This fully 3D printable centrifugal compressor is available at GrabCAD // Download

3D Printing Compressor

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Imagery and News Sources:,,, Engadget, Neri Oxman, MIT, MIT Rocketry, Stratasys, RAPID+TCT, LLNL, European Space Agency, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Siemens, SWU Verkehr