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3D Printing

Your Next Car Could be a 3D-Printed Electric Car



An Italy-based electric car company XEV and 3D printing material company Polymaker have announced of the first mass-producible 3D-printed electric car in the world. The announcement affirms how 3D printing technology can bring revolutionary changes to automotive manufacturing industry.

This car, named LSEV, could be the milestone product in the adoption of 3D printing into mainstream production. “XEV is the first real mass production project using 3D printing. By saying real, I mean there are also lots of other companies using 3D printing for production. But nothing can really compare with XEV in terms of the size, the scale, and the intensity,” said, Dr. Luo Xiaofan, the co-founder and CEO of Polymaker.

XEV CEO, Stanley said that “after the research and investigation of the global auto market, they decided to design a small electric vehicle that can achieve C2M (Customer-to-Manufacturer) manufacturing which is stated as a main goal of the Industry 4.0 strategy.”

To fulfill this target, it requires mass customization production, fast and cost-effective R&D, and the ability to produce lighter-weight parts that could lead to greater fuel efficiency. “And then, 3D printing technology becomes the only way to realize it,” said Stanley.

Surely there are many difficulties when utilizing 3D printing technology in auto volume production, Polymaker was chosen as the strategic partner and successfully helped XEV to solve them, not only with material solutions, but also post-processing options in-line with the automotive industry.

“Without Polymaker, we couldn’t make this happen. We really like our interactions with Polymaker, this can be called as know-how combination. Without this kind of interaction, we also couldn’t find the solution we have today. So, we really appreciate what Polymaker do and create for us, we are like brothers, not just strategic partners,” said Stanley.

Polymaker developed dozens of kinds of engineering plastics for XEV to meet their needs of practical applications. As a result, 3 crucial achievements have been accomplished.

  1. XEV has decreased the plastic parts and number of components in a car from more than 2,000 to 57, and the finished LSEV weighs only 450 kilograms, much lower than similar sized vehicles usually weighing between 1 and 1.2 metric tons.
  2. Apart from the chassis, seats and glass, all the visible parts of the car are made by Polymaker materials through 3D printing. This switch of production leads to more than 70 percent reduction of the investment cost in comparison with a traditional production system.
  3. Conventionally the R&D process of a car model takes about 3-5 years, but it only takes XEV 3-12 months to finish a new design.

Polymaker have also come up with solutions to help with surface treatments and color. These solutions are enormously helpful in customized production and 3D printing volume production. XEV has already received 7000 orders from Europe even before mass production commences. 5000 orders come from Poste Italiane.

And the other 2000 orders come from ARVAL, a vehicle leasing company fully owned by BNP Paribas. XEV plans to start production in the second quarter of 2019. This strategic partnership between XEV and Polymaker leads to a revolutionary change in automotive manufacturing.

It is possible that similar changes, related with 3D printing technology, will happen to every aspect of manufacturing very soon. As Polymaker proves that the 3D printing materials they provide are ready for not only end-use parts but also mass production of finished products.

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3D Printing

Anker Innovations Launches AnkerMake M5 3D Printer in the United Arab Emirates



Anker Innovations (Anker) has announced the launch of its latest innovation under the new AnkerMake 3D Printing brand, the AnkerMake M5 3D Printer, in the United Arab Emirates. Combining speed, precision, and user-friendly features, the AnkerMake M5 is set to revolutionise the world of 3D printing and empower artists, inventors, hobbyists, and DIY enthusiasts with a high-value desktop printer. The AnkerMake M5 is designed to address the challenges faced by desktop 3D printer users, including slow print speeds, complex operations, and poor print quality. With the aim of providing an exceptional user experience, Anker Innovations has integrated cutting-edge technology into the M5, ensuring a seamless printing process.

One of the key highlights of the AnkerMake M5 is its remarkable speed. With print speeds 5 times faster than the industry average, the M5 utilizes Anker Innovations’ proprietary Powerboost™ technology to reduce print time by up to 70%. This groundbreaking advancement allows users to print up to 2,500 mm/s2, achieving faster turnaround times for their projects, maximising productivity and efficiency. However, speed isn’t the only aspect being enhanced—the AnkerMake M5 also prioritizes energy efficiency, reducing energy use by an impressive 59 percent. By embracing this device, users not only benefit from faster project turnaround times but also actively contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.

To ensure precise and detailed prints at high speeds, the AnkerMake M5 incorporates a state-of-the-art visual recognition system. This advanced feature keeps the print on track, minimizing errors and delivering superior print quality. Combined with a robust hardware design and user-friendly software, the M5 guarantees exceptional results, even for those new to 3D printing. The AnkerMake M5 also incorporates a user-friendly 4.3″ touch screen, further simplifying the printing process. With this smart and colorful LCD touchscreen, users can effortlessly navigate through the printer’s functions and perform common tasks with ease. Additionally, the M5 offers a Night Mode option, which helps reduce eye strain during late-night printing sessions.

“As we launch the AnkerMake M5 3D Printer in the UAE, we are excited to offer a powerful tool that combines speed, precision, and ease of use,” said Faraz Mehdi, General Manager of Anker Innovations for the MENA region. “We believe that the AnkerMake M5 will empower individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses in the UAE to bring their ideas to life with unprecedented efficiency and creativity. Moreover, we are proud to contribute to the UAE’s sustainability initiatives by providing a solution that promotes resource efficiency and supports the nation’s ambitions of becoming a global leader in sustainability.”

The launch of the AnkerMake M5 3D Printer in the UAE comes at an ideal time as the nation celebrates the ‘Year of Sustainability’ and prepares to host COP28. The UAE has been at the forefront of promoting sustainable practices and environmental conservation. By providing a 3D printer that reduces print time and promotes efficient resource management, AnkerMake M5 aligns perfectly with the UAE’s vision for a sustainable future.

With the AnkerMake M5, users can contribute to sustainable practices by reducing material waste and energy consumption. With a built-in 1080P HD camera, users can remotely monitor the printing process, reducing the need for constant supervision and minimizing resource wastage. The M5’s auto-shut-off feature detects print errors and automatically pauses the process, allowing for timely intervention and minimizing material waste.

The printer’s innovative features, such as auto-leveling, auto-resume after power outages, and simple filament loading and extraction, make it user-friendly and guarantees a simple and straightforward printing experience. The AnkerMake M5 also supports WiFi and USB connectivity, enabling smooth integration with various devices. Additionally, the AnkerMake mobile app and slicing software allow users to initiate print jobs remotely and monitor progress via live video streaming.

To keep users informed and updated throughout the printing process, the AnkerMake M5 offers multiple notification options. Users can choose their preferred method of receiving updates, whether it’s through an LED light visible from a distance of 33 ft (10 m), an audible beep, or an app alert. This flexibility ensures that users stay informed and in control, regardless of their preferred mode of notification.

The AnkerMake M5 is available for purchase from Sharaf DG, Virgin, Jumbo, and the Anker store in Mirdif City Center or online on for AED 2,799. As part of Anker Innovations’ commitment to customer satisfaction, the printer comes with a 12-month warranty and access to hassle-free customer service. AnkerMake M5’s launch in the UAE underscores Anker Innovations’ commitment to providing cutting-edge technology solutions that empowers individuals to embrace innovation and sustainable practices. By investing in advanced research and development, Anker Innovations continues to push boundaries and deliver products that cater to the evolving needs of its customers.

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3D Printing

Abu Dhabi-Based Khalifa University Develops 3D-Printed Glasses to Help Correct Colour Blindness



Khalifa University of Science and Technology, a consistently top-ranked research-intensive university based in Abu Dhabi, has developed a new method to manufacture customized glasses using 3D printing that could help people with colour blindness. Colour Vision Deficiency (CVD) is an inherited ocular disorder that manifests itself by limiting the retina cones’ ability to transmit the whole spectrum of colours.

With red-green colour blindness being the most prevalent form of CVD, the most common way of dealing with everyday difficulties is by wearing tinted glasses. Now, a team of researchers from Khalifa University has developed lenses using transparent resin mixed with two wavelength-filtering dyes to provide a tinting effect. To customise the lenses and make them as similar as possible to commercially available products, the team used two dyes – one blocked the undesired wavelengths for red-green patients, while the other filtered unwanted wavelengths for yellow-blue patients, with volunteers for both groups attesting to the lenses’ efficacy.

Even though glasses based on this method are commercially available at present, they are not comfortable for wearing, nor optimizable. However, the Khalifa University research team has developed its own frames for the lenses, using 3D printing to optimize the frames for comfort and usability, making them as close as possible to regular glasses.

Dr. Haider Butt, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Khalifa University, said, “Our results showed that 3D printing had no influence on the wavelength-filtering properties of the dyes. In fact, the dyes remained unchanged as they were integrated with the resin and 3D printed. When we compared the optical performance of our glasses with commercial glasses for colour blindness, our results indicated that our 3D-printed glasses were more selective in filtering undesired wavelengths than the commercially available options. They have great potential in treating colour blindness, and their ease of fabrication and customization means they can be tailored to suit each individual patient.”

The glasses underwent several tests to address toxicity, durability, and longevity concerns. These tests included storing the glasses in water for over a week to analyze whether any dye would leak and leaving them out in the open under ambient conditions for another week. The glasses exhibited tensile strength and flexibility, proving their stability and long-lasting properties.

Khalifa University’s research outcome presents an opportunity for people with color blindness to mitigate their inability to distinguish between shades of certain colours that could restrict them from working in fields where color recognition is critical, in addition to carrying out everyday tasks. The research was funded by organizations from Abu Dhabi, including real estate developer Aldar Properties, and Sandooq Al Watan, a social initiative.

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3D Printing

Airbus to Produce 3D-Printed Hospital Visors in Fight Against Covid-19



The majority of Airbus sites in Spain have joined forces to produce 3D printed visor frames, providing healthcare personnel with individual protection equipment in the fight against Covid-19. More than twenty 3D printers are working day and night. Hundreds of visors have already been produced and dispatched to hospitals close to the Airbus facilities in Spain. Airbus leverages a patented design to manufacture the visor frames, using PLA plastics.

“One of the reasons I love my job is the capability we have for advanced design and quick manufacture. Overnight, we have gone from making aerospace concepts to medical equipment. This genuinely makes a difference in the fight against the pandemic and I couldn’t be prouder of our teams working day and night on this Airbus project,” said Alvaro Jara, Head of Airbus Protospace, in Getafe, Madrid.

Despite the pause of the majority of production at Airbus’ sites in Spain following the Royal Decree of 29 March, Airbus employees are allowed on site to continue with this essential activity. In addition, Airbus in Germany also joined the project. The Airbus Protospace Germany and the Airbus Composite Technology Centre (CTC) in Stade, together with the 3D-printing network named “Mobility goes Additive,” are now supporting this project in Spain, also coordinating the collection and transport of visors to the Madrid region.

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