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Accelerate - July 2013

Go!SCAN Meets Go!MODEL; Portable 3D Printer; 3-D in Zero G


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Last year, Creaform (creaform3d.com) introduced its 1.1-kg Go!SCAN hand-held scanner. This year, the company teamed up with 3D Systems (3DSystems.com) to offer an enhanced version—with a digital eye for 3D printing.

The two have integrated the Go!SCAN with a new Go!MODEL 3D package, enabling users to capture physical objects and directly model renderings and designs for 3D printing. The reverse engineering tool is powered by 3D Systems’ Rapidform platform and offers mesh editing capabilities with automatic NURBS surfacing utility. Resolution is pegged at 0.500 mm (0.020 in.) with accuracy of 0.1 mm (0.004 in.) 

The scanner includes Creaform’s 3D VXelements software, so the resolution can be altered either before or after the scan. The software also can recreate a meshing from the raw data previously acquired. �

Creaform’s Go!SCAN 3D portable scanner has been enhanced for 3D printing applications.

Saying “Hi” to Afinia’s H-Series 


Although every 3D printer maker claims easy-to-use user interfaces, most models come with a slight intimidation factor. Whether it’s the spool of ABS filament, the small build platform, or its $1,600 price, there is something decidedly approachable about the new H479 3D printer from Afinia (afinia.com).

Weighing in at 11 lb. and with a 10 x 10 x 14-in. footprint, the H479 3D printer is fairly portable. The printer creates parts sized 5 in. in each dimension and claims accuracy within 0.2 mm. During printing, a heated build platform prevents models from warping. The ABS filament, which is fed through a 1.5-lb. spool, is capable of printing in a variety of colors. 

The operational software for the H479 is compatible in both PC and Macintosh environments, and can import STL files from Solidworks as well as other design software tools. The H479 software automatically generates support material, such as arcs and overhangs, to safeguard models with intricate details. 

The H479 3D printer is avail-able from Saelig (saelig.com) or can be purchased from Afina’s website.

3-D in Zero G

Admittedly, this has nothing to do with cars or car parts... yet. If you’re going to get astronauts to Mars someday, chances are you’re going to have to build parts along the way. And presumably, if you’re going to go to Mars, you’ll want to travel around somehow, so there may be some applicability here.  

NASA and Made in Space Inc. (madeinspace.us) are working together on what they’re calling the first 3-D microgravity printing experiment, to be tested on the International Space Station. That experiment has been dubbed the 3-D Printing in Zero G Experiment (3-D Print). The machine will use extrusion additive manufacturing to build parts, forming layers out of polymers and other materials, and is scheduled to be certified and ready for launch to the space station next year. “As NASA ventures further into space, whether redirecting an asteroid or sending humans to Mars, we’ll need transformative technology to reduce cargo weight and volume,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. 

Made in Space has already had a test run at additive manufacturing in zero-G. The firm previously partnered with NASA through the agency’s Flight Opportunities Program to test a prototype on suborbital simulated microgravity flights. NASA plans to ship 3-D Print to the space station aboard an American commercial resupply mission. 

“The 3-D Print experiment with NASA is a step towards the future,” said Aaron Kemmer, CEO of Made in Space. “The first printers will start by building test items, such as computer component boards, and will then build a broad range of parts, such as tools and science equipment.”