Modified laser cutter prints 3-D objects from powder
Rice University bioengineering researchers have modified a commercial-grade CO2 laser cutter to create OpenSLS, an open-source, selective laser sintering platform that can print intricate 3-D objects from powdered plastics and biomaterials. The system costs at least 40 times less than its commercial counterparts and allows researchers to work with their own specialized powdered materials.
The design specs and performance of Rice’s OpenSLS platform, an open-source device similar to commercially available selective laser sintering (SLS) platforms, are described in an open-access paper published in PLOS ONE. OpenSLS, which was built using low-cost, open-source microcontrollers, cost less than $10,000 to build; commercial SLS platforms typically start around $400,000 and can cost up to $1 million.
“SLS technology has been around for more than 20 years, and it’s one of the only technologies for 3-D printing that has the ability to form objects with dramatic overhangs and bifurcations,” said study co-author Jordan Miller, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice who specializes in using 3-D printing for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. “SLS technology is perfect for creating some of the complex shapes we use in our work, like the vascular networks of the liver and other organs.”
He said commercial SLS machines generally don’t allow users to fabricate objects with their own powdered materials, which is something that’s particularly important for researchers who want to experiment with biomaterials for regenerative medicine and other biomedical applications.
“Designing our own laser-sintering machine means there’s no company-mandated limit to the types of biomaterials we can experiment with for regenerative medicine research,” said study co-author Ian Kinstlinger, a graduate student in Miller’s group who designed several of the hardware and software modifications for OpenSLS. The team showed that the machine could print a series of intricate objects from both nylon powder — a commonly used material for high-resolution 3-D sintering — and from polycaprolactone, or PCL, a nontoxic polymer that’s commonly used to make templates for studies on engineered bone.
“In terms of price, OpenSLS brings this technology within the reach of most labs, and our goal from the outset has been to do this in a way that makes it easy for other people to reproduce our work and help the field standardize on equipment and best practices,” Kinstlinger said. “We’ve open-sourced all the hardware designs and software modifications and shared them via Github.”
OpenSLS works differently than most traditional extrusion-based 3-D printers, which create objects by squeezing melted plastic through a needle as they trace out two-dimensional patterns. Three-dimensional objects are then built up from successive 2-D layers. In contrast, the SLS laser shines down onto a flat bed of plastic powder. Wherever the laser touches powder, it melts or sinters the powder at the laser’s focal point to form a small volume of solid material. By tracing the laser in two dimensions, the printer can fabricate a single layer of the final part.
“The process is a bit like finishing a creme brulee, when a chef sprinkles out a layer of powdered sugar and then heats the surface with a torch to melt powder grains together and form a solid layer,” Miller said. “Here, we have powdered biomaterials, and our heat source is a focused laser beam.”
In SLS, after each layer is finished, a new layer of powder is laid down and the laser reactivates to trace the next layer.
“Because the sintered object is fully supported in 3-D by powder, the technique gives us access to incredibly complex architectures that other 3-D printing techniques simply cannot produce,” Miller said.
Miller, an active participant in the open-source maker movement, first identified commercial CO2 laser cutters as prime candidates for a low-cost, versatile selective sintering machine in early 2013. Laser cutters are commonly used to make trophies, jewelry, toys, acrylic figurines and other commercial products.
“The cutter’s laser is already in the correct wavelength range — around 10 micrometers — and the machines come with hardware to control laser power and the x-axis and y-axis with high precision,” Miller said.
In the summer of 2013 Miller hosted a four-week crash course in hardware prototyping called the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute, and AMRI participant Andreas Bastian, an artist and engineer, took on the challenge of creating the open-source SLS printer. He designed an integrated, high-precision z-axis and powder-handling system and fitted it with open-source, 3-D printer electronics from Ultimachine.com.
Miller said Bastian even used the machine’s laser-cutting features to produce many of the acrylic parts for the powder-handling system.
“You can actually cut most of the required parts with the same laser cutter you are in the process of upgrading,” Miller said. “It’s around $2,000 in parts to build OpenSLS, and adding the parts to an existing laser cutter and calibrating the machine typically takes a couple of days.”
By the time Bastian left Rice in the fall of 2013, “we had demonstrated proof of concept,” Miller said, “but a great deal of additional work still needed to be done to show that OpenSLS could be useful for bioengineering, and that is what Ian and the rest of the team accomplished.”
The Latest on: OpenSLS
via Google News
The Latest on: OpenSLS
- A deeper look into OpenVPN: Security vulnerabilities on April 16, 2019 at 6:07 am
This is accomplished with the resources of the OpenSSL library, which also provides tools for implementing Certificate Signing Requests, a necessary measure in the implementation of HTTPS connections. […]
- Sicherheit: Preisgabe von Informationen in openssl on March 29, 2019 at 1:32 pm
Plattformen: SUSE OpenStack Cloud Magnum Orchestration 7, SUSE OpenStack Cloud 7, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP 12-SP2, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 12-SP3, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12-SP3 ... […]
- Ribose Contributes Implementations of Chinese Cryptographic Algorithms to OpenSSL on September 13, 2018 at 4:19 am
Ribose has contributed the SM2, SM3 and SM4 Chinese cryptographic algorithms to the OpenSSL cryptographic library, which are now available for general use as part of OpenSSL’s version 1.1.1 release. ... […]
- OpenSSL 1.1.1 out with TLS 1.3 support and 'complete rewrite' of RNG component on September 12, 2018 at 3:23 am
The OpenSSL Project has released a new major version of OpenSSL, the most popular cryptography library for supporting encrypted communications via the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets ... […]
- OpenSSL Seeking Last Group of Contributors on March 1, 2018 at 3:07 pm
NEWARK, Del., March 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The OpenSSL project, https://www.openssl.org, is trying to reach the last couple-dozen people who have contributed code to OpenSSL. They are asking people ... […]
- Using the OpenSSL library with macOS Sierra on October 9, 2017 at 8:42 pm
Working with C++ libraries on a Mac can be a pain and OpenSSL, a very popular one that’s used in many other libraries, led me scrambling around the web and going through different StackOverflow posts, ... […]
- Encrypting/Decrypting a file using OpenSSL EVP on October 4, 2017 at 5:00 pm
OpenSSL provides a large full-featured cryptographic toolkit (general purpose library). It’s a popular talk that crypto modules are hard to write. Even the most talented crypto experts who know the ... […]
- Oracle Joins SafeLogic to Develop FIPS Module for OpenSSL Security on August 4, 2017 at 9:05 am
Oracle announced on Aug. 3 that it is joining SafeLogic in an effort to develop a much needed FIPS 140-2 module for the open-source OpenSSL cryptographic library. OpenSSL is widely used to help secure ... […]
- Oracle, SafeLogic and OpenSSL Partner on Next Generation FIPS Module on August 3, 2017 at 3:15 pm
Oracle dedicates seed funding towards developing FIPS module for OpenSSL 1.1 and calls on corporate sponsors in the FOSS ecosystem to join the effort REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., August 3, 2017 – Oracle, ... […]
- An Introduction to OpenSSL Programming, Part I of II on June 12, 2017 at 5:37 am
The quickest and easiest way to secure a TCP-based network application is with SSL. If you're working in C, your best choice is probably to use OpenSSL (http://www.openssl.org/). OpenSSL is a free ... […]
via Bing News