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New printing process advances 3D capabilities: Technology aims to improve quality of products used in business, industry and at home

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This tensile object was created using 3D injection printing, a new technology invented by UMass Lowell Plastics Engineering Prof. David Kazmer. CREDIT
David Kazmer
This tensile object was created using 3D injection printing, a new technology invented by UMass Lowell Plastics Engineering Prof. David Kazmer. CREDIT
David Kazmer

Abstract:
More durable prosthetics and medical devices for patients and stronger parts for airplanes and automobiles are just some of the products that could be created through a new 3D printing technology invented by a UMass Lowell researcher.

New printing process advances 3D capabilities: Technology aims to improve quality of products used in business, industry and at home


Lowell, MA | Posted on July 31st, 2020

Substances such as plastics, metals and wax are used in 3D printers to make products and parts for larger items, as the practice has disrupted the prototyping and manufacturing fields. Products created through the 3D printing of plastics include everything from toys to drones. While the global market for 3D plastics printers is estimated at $4 billion and growing, challenges remain in ensuring the printers create objects that are produced quickly, retain their strength and accurately reflect the shape desired, according to UMass Lowell’s David Kazmer, a plastics engineering professor who led the research project.

Called injection printing, the technology Kazmer pioneered is featured in the academic journal Additive Manufacturing posted online last week.

The invention combines elements of 3D printing and injection molding, a technique through which objects are created by filling mold cavities with molten materials. The marriage of the two processes increases the production rate of 3D printing, while enhancing the strength and properties of the resulting products. The innovation typically produces objects about three times faster than conventional 3D printing, which means jobs that once took about nine hours now only take three, according to Kazmer, who lives in Georgetown.

“The invention greatly improves the quality of the parts produced, making them fully dense with few cracks or voids, so they are much stronger. For technical applications, this is game-changing. The new process is also cost-effective because it can be used in existing 3D printers, with only new software to program the machine needed,” Kazmer said.

The process took about 18 months to develop. Austin Colon of Plymouth, a UMass Lowell Ph.D. candidate in plastics engineering, helped validate the technology alongside Kazmer, who teaches courses in product design, prototyping and process control, among other topics. He has filed for a patent on the new technology.

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About University of Massachusetts Lowell
UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 18,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be leaders in their communities and around the globe.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Nancy Cicco
978-934-4944

@UMassLowell

Copyright © University of Massachusetts Lowell

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Nano Technology

Nanobiofab shapes medical training with AI-powered platform

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Tao Treasures LLC DBA Nanobiofab, a minority woman-owned nanotech startup in the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI), is helping medical mannequins tell doctors where it hurts. The company, which creates revolutionary million-scale nanomaterial used in applications ranging from routine health monitoring to cancer detection, is working with West Virginia University (WVU) to improve clinical simulators. The million-dollar effort, initiated through the Defense Health Agency Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, starts in September at Nanobiofab (Frederick, MD) and the David and Jo Ann Shaw Center for Simulation Training and Education for Patient Safety (STEPS) at WVU in Morgantown, WV.

The goal is to advance the current high throughput inkjet-assisted nano printing and screening (IA-Nano) platform by developing novel nanomaterials to measure pressure and volatile chemical compounds, which aligns perfectly with Nanobiofab’s core technology. Ultimately, the end product will go beyond military and defense applications, raising the bar for medical training simulators worldwide with wireless, low-voltage and low-cost sensors that include matrix flexibility and easy integration.

Dr. Darrin Frye, Health Science Administrator and Medical Simulation Portfolio Manager at US Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) Joint Program Committee -1 (JPC-1), is Nanobiofab’s SBIR Technical Point of Contact, and works with Medical Simulation, AI, and nanotechnology. He states that this effort is a step in the continuing quest to improve medical simulation across healthcare training.

Throughout the test period, a variety of novel Nanobiofab smart sensors will be installed into the chest, belly, mouth, and extremities of high-fidelity medical mannequins. As a measure of force, the sensors will register what a patient would feel during treatment. Other sensors will simulate certain odors commonly expressed by live bodies that help medical professionals assess illness and formulate possible remedies. This multi-sensory approach bridges the gap between classroom learning and hands-on clinical experience, giving medical students a greater depth of understanding.

Dr. Xiaonao Liu, Founder and CEO of Nanobiofab, is the project lead. She has nearly 20 years’ experience in nanomaterial science and printing engineering, having developed the industrialized high-throughput nanomaterial synthesis platform (patented). She explains, “If I were to push on you and ask, ‘Does this hurt?’ you could tell me. By integrating our sensor array into medical mannequins, doctors and other medical professionals in training get that same feedback quickly. This helps them understand how their actions would affect a living person and lets them fine-tune their practice.”

Kathie Callahan Brady is FITCI’s CEO and a Nanobiofab business advisor. She says, “I have watched this company really blossom. They joined FITCI at the very beginning of their journey and it was plain to see, even then, how much of an impact they could make on healthcare. The co-founders, Dr. Xiaonao Liu and Dr. Ruoting Yang, are both passionate and purpose-driven in pushing the limits of this technology because it has the potential to improve so many lives in so many different ways. This is just one example.”

WVU’s STEPS in one of the region’s premier training simulation centers, servicing 11 programs in 5 schools and a 700-bed tertiary care facility and is accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare in Assessment, Research, Systems Integration and Teaching/Education. With 19,000 square feet of instructional space, STEPS has 18 staff, including 3 Simulation Education Specialists, a full-time educator and medical director. Some 30,000 learners, representing the full spectrum from novice to expert practitioners, come through the facility each year. STEPS will provide high-fidelity mannequins, simulation rooms, software, expertise, and study participants to complete the Phase II assessment.

Nanobiofab works with other leaders in the medical simulation industry, including CAE Healthcare, and is also developing a wearable nano-material based consumer product called INOSE. In INOSE, precise sensors provide practical, personalized insight into an individual’s health and metabolism.

For more information on Nanobiofab, visit Nanobiofab.com or FITCI.org.

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Nano Technology

STid SPECTRE nano Reader Accelerates Car Park Access Control with…

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STid launches Spectre nano reader

Our SPECTRE nano reader offers a faster entry/exit process and simple, hands-free use with top end-to-end security for hospitals, government agencies, universities and more.

STid, creator of the world’s most awarded access control reader, announced today it has set a new standard in car park access control and simplified visitor management with its new SPECTRE nano reader. The multi-technology reader quickly recognizes employees, visitors, vendors, and their vehicles – simultaneously – for smooth, hands-free access control without compromising security.

Easy to use, “all terrain” reader

The next generation, hands-free reader increases speed of entry for anyone – or anything – on two feet, two wheels, four wheels or a whole fleet. It reads windshield tags, key fobs, cards, smartphones, or wearables using UHF and Bluetooth® to leverage end-user preferences for easier adoption. It is also part of the STid Mobile ID® ecosystem, which turns smartphones into virtual cards for both vehicle and pedestrian access control.

Compatible with all access control systems worldwide, STid designed SPECTRE nano for easy integration regardless of managers’ tech expertise. The outside packaging is as rugged and durable as the technology to ensure the reader can stand up to harsh environments – everything from shock, heavy rain, and dust, to salt, frost, and fire. SPECTRE nano offers customized branding options to fit in at a bus station, corporate office, or private community, and is able for use in high-security industries. A cost-effective solution, the new reader can be installed and (almost) forgotten, with no maintenance or batteries required.

“We’ve all experienced the long wait time to get in and out of parking garages trying to pay tolls or scan access badges, tolls or gates,” said Frederick Trujillo, U.S. operations manager, STid. “Our new SPECTRE nano reader solution offers a faster entry/exit process and simple, hands-free use with top end-to-end security for hospitals, government agencies, universities and more. Parking areas are especially vulnerable to theft, damage, vandalism and even acts of terrorism making improved access control critical.”

Designed for global customers, SPECTRE nano uses OSDP™ and SSCP® protocols and has EAL5+-certified storage. Data authenticity and confidentiality are ensured using encryption methods recommended by worldwide organizations, e.g., ANSSI- & FIPs-compliant. Encrypted, signed credentials provide anti-cloning and anti-replay protection and managers can quickly erase security keys, when necessary.

SPECTRE nano will be available in October to help speed car park access control. For more information, please visit our SPECTRE Nano page.

About STid

STid’s mission is to protect people, their property and data through secure access and identity. For more than 25 years, STid has created and marketed identification solutions for high security physical and logical access control, as well as Automatic Vehicle Identification. The Company aims for businesses, residential, governments and industry to simplify and protect their digital identity management by developing non-proprietary intelligent identification solutions that use state-of-the-art RFID, NFC, Bluetooth® and Internet things of Things (IoT) technology. A recognized pioneer in its field, STid was at the forefront by being the first manufacturer to obtain First Level Security Certification (CSPN) from the French government agency ANSSI for its access control solutions. With eleven awards, STid offers the product line – the Architect° series of readers – most awarded in the world by security experts. STid recently launched the new SPECTRE nano UHF and Bluetooth® reader for easy vehicle and driver access control.

For more information contact: [email protected]

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Nano Technology

AerHome Makes People Smarter about the Air in their Homes

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AerNos AerHome

Many factors, including COVID-19, wildfires and other climate-related extreme weather, have raised awareness about indoor air and the health implications. We are leveraging our experience to help make people smarter about the air in their homes and keep their families healthy

Air pollution is bad for our health and can be especially problematic for infants and young children contributing to asthma, autism, obesity, diabetes, ADHD and other mental health issues. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) describes indoor air pollution as the greatest environmental health risk to people.

AerNos, a manufacturer of tiny, accurate nano gas sensors that detect multiple harmful gases in the air at parts-per-billion levels, believes knowing the quality of the air in your home has never been more important.

This is why it is introducing AerHome, an indoor air quality monitor that will help people live healthier by making them smarter about their indoor air. It monitors Ozone, NO2, VOCs, PM10, 2.5 and 1.0, as well as temperature and humidity. It also includes a first ever replaceable sensor chip and remote updates for future enhancements. Not only does AerHome provide the data, but it shares expert insights to help people take targeted actions for a healthier home. Air quality readings, alerts, and history are delivered via a smartphone app.

AerNos is partnering with the Sean Parker Allergy and Asthma Research Center at Stanford University to help them better understand the impact of breathing polluted air from wild fires on children in school and at home. The Center will provide AerHome devices to schools and families and use the data to develop recommendations to improve air quality and prevent disease to improve learning, decrease absenteeism, and ultimately decrease disparities in health outcomes.

AerHome is launching today on Indiegogo with the opportunity to gift units for Stanford’s research in addition to purchasing AerHome units for the home.

“While, AerNos has spent the past five years developing application-specific nano gas sensor modules for the B-B market, we are using our expertise to help people improve the air quality in their homes,” explained Sundip Doshi, founder and CEO. “Many factors, including COVID-19, wildfires and other climate-related extreme weather, have raised awareness about indoor air and the health implications. We are leveraging our experience to help make people smarter about the air in their homes and keep their families healthy.”

# # #

About AerNos

AerNos, Inc. develops application-specific nano gas sensors based on its breakthrough and proprietary AerN2S™ Technology to detect harmful gases in the environment. AerNos nano gas sensors are designed to be easily integrated into consumer and commercial product lines, such as standalone monitoring devices, non-stationary devices (e.g., drones, industrial robots, construction equipment), modes of transportation, wearables, smartphones, and IoT. AerHome™, AerBand™, AerCity™, AerHome™, and AerNos™ are trademarks of AerNos, Inc. For more information, please visit http://www.AerNos.com. You may also contact us at [email protected]

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Nano Technology

Powercast’s RF Wireless Power Technology Awarded for Global…

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Powercast aims to save millions of one-time-use batteries from entering landfills yearly

Powercast’s RF Wireless Power Technology Wins Global Sustainability Award for Reducing Battery Use, E-Waste

We’re partnering with many manufacturers to create wirelessly rechargeable devices that keep batteries out of landfills. Charles Goetz, CEO of Powercast.

The Business Intelligence Group today awarded Powercast with its Sustainability Initiative of the Year in the 2021 Sustainability Awards program. These awards honor those people, teams and organizations who have made sustainability an integral part of their business practice or overall mission.

Powercast aims to make one-time-use batteries obsolete by working with electronic manufacturers to recharge batteries or replace them altogether with its over-the-air RF (radio frequency) wireless power technology. Many of today’s small electronic devices can be designed so they’re environmentally friendly, either with rechargeable batteries that can accept an RF wireless charge, or with no batteries that can be directly powered by RF power. A Powerharvester chip is embedded in devices to receive RF energy sent over the air from either a dedicated Powercast transmitter, or from industry-standard RFID readers. The Powerharvester then converts the RF to direct current (DC) to top off the battery or power the device.

Powercast’s technology touches millions of users across 15+ industries, including automotive, consumer electronics, IoT, entertainment, retail, RFID, and sensors. The company’s collaborative approach and expertise in all aspects of product design, from vision through prototyping and commercialization, has resulted in dozens of applications and millions of units shipped.

“We’re already partnering with many manufacturers to create wirelessly rechargeable devices that keep batteries out of landfills,” said Charles Goetz, CEO of Powercast. “But, we strive for the day where all devices will charge in the background when consumers enter their home, office or car, where they’ll never have to throw batteries away.”

Powercast demonstrates how its technology can save time and money, and reduce battery waste, in its new retrofit video series, “Powered by Powercast.” In Episode One, Powercast created a wireless charging hand sanitizer station, which normally uses 4 C batteries. The company projects it could save hundreds of thousands of C batteries per year if adopted by a big box store. In Episode Three, Powercast created a wirelessly rechargeable Fluke Digital MultiMeter, a common diagnostic instrument used by engineers.

About Powercast

Powercast is the established leader in RF wireless power. Since its founding in 2003, Powercast has led the industry in RF wireless power innovations and applications that meet FCC and other global standards. Powercast’s wireless power technologies eliminate or reduce the need for wires and batteries, working at distances up to 80 feet. With millions of units shipped, Powercast is led by a team with deep expertise in design, engineering, and prototyping, and with extensive commercial success in both industrial and consumer applications. With more than 100 customers and partner companies around the world, Powercast leads the RF wireless power market with 63 early and fundamental patents worldwide and 34 patents pending. For more information, visit http://www.powercastco.com.

About Business Intelligence Group

The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry award programs, business executives—those with experience and knowledge—judge the programs. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers.

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