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3D Printing Magnets

Friday, 23 October 2020 17:54

Most off the shelf magnets have a simple design and work with one side as the north pole and the opposite as the south pole. Programmed magnets or polymagnets on the other hand are customized structures of magnets that alternate polarity in a specific designed patter to achieve a desired behavior, by designing different magnetic fields on the same side is possible to achieve different mechanical performances as a latch or spring without requiring a physical spring or many movable parts.

Correlated magnets have the unique characteristic of having alternating North and South poles on one side, resulting in simultaneous attract and repel forces or event to attract or repel at a certain spatial orientation. Correlated magnets can usually be designed to interact only with other specific programmable magnets. Correlated magnets can even be programmed to attract and repel at the same time. Compared to conventional magnets, the correlated magnet provides five times stronger holding force (attraction force) and thus higher shear resistance.


There are four main functions that correlated magnets can achieve: align, attach,
latch, and spring. (ifixit.com)


Correlated Magnetics Research (CMR) was developed to pursue research and development of the programmable Magnets technology, CMR co-founder and Chief Scientist, Larry Fullerton, was inspired by youthful imagination to create a self-assembling toy to spark his grandchildren’s interest in math, science, and physics; Fullerton inspired by this idea experimented and finally created this programmable magnets, the idea is so unique that CMR has already filed over 100 patents.

One of their more promising developments are magnetic gears, where conventional gears use mating surfaces of mechanical interlocking teeth, magnetic gears employ alternating magnetic fields to transmit torque removing friction by contact; nevertheless, the achievable torque density of magnetic gears is indeed considerably lower than the one of their mechanical counterparts, although, on the plus side, they also do not suffer irreparable damage if their specified torque is exceeded.


The programmable magnetic gears developed by CMR may allow for smaller, more efficient
magnetic gears with higher torque density in the future (polymagnet.com)


The world first's 3D magnetizing printer was developed by CMR, which is called MagPrinter. This printer consists of a magnetizing coil in a cabinet with a motion-control system. A polymagnet can be easily made from reprogramming a conventional magnetic material in a few minutes.

The MagPrinter imprints Polymagnets in batch mode on a large, movable stage with maxel (magnetic pixels) sizes ranging from 1mm to 4mm. By overlapping maxels, the printer can produce very high-resolution patterns and even images embedded in the magnetic material itself. The MagPrinter produces Polymagnets on the strongest Neodymium magnets, flexible materials, ferrites and specialized materials such as Samarium Cobalt.


The Mini MagPrinter. Half the size of the original MagPrinter (polymagnet.com)


CMR Mini MagPrinter could be the most fantastic toy to hit Makerspaces since desktop 3D printers. The only downside is that even this mini version is still quite expensive at $45,000, but on the other hand, a batch of traditional made-to-order magnets cost will quickly elevate to thousands of dollars too. CMR’s technology will largely be limited to research institutes and universities, but well-funded makerspaces might also have a shot at it.


The Mini MagPrinter. will do for magnetics what 3D printing systems did for mechanical prototyping (polymagnet.com)


In October 2020, seven of the world’s leading chemical companies have come together to launch Sustainable Chemistry for the Textile Industry (SCTI) with a commitment to collaboration, innovation and transformational change, the new alliance aims to lead the textile and leather industries towards a more sustainable future.

The seven founding members of SCTI: Archroma, CHT Group, Huntsman, Kyung-In Synthetic Corporation (KISCO), Pulcra Chemicals, Rudolf Group and Tanatex Chemicals have made substantial investments in sustainable solutions in recent years. They are now committing to investing and working together to further advance chemistry knowledge and its safe and sustainable application in the textile and leather industries.

SCTI is developing a global harmonized sustainability standard for chemical products used in the industry, along with a supporting assessment tool that covers all aspects of the products; from hazards through to environmental, ecological and social impacts to help the industry produce more sustainable textile and leather end products for consumers through cleaner and more transparent supply chains that use less water and energy and produce less emissions and pollution.

Epson America introduced its first 76-inch industrial-level dye-sublimation textile printer, designed to offer reliability, versatility and round-the-clock productivity.

Featuring four 4.7-inch PrecisionCore printheads and a hot-swappable ink system, the printer delivers continuous roll-to-roll performance at production speeds up to 2,700 sqft/hr.

The printer comes equipped with an array of industrial-level features to maximize productivity and support continuous production. The SureColor F10070 is the first Epson printer to feature a hot-swappable ink system that automatically switches from an empty ink pack to a new ink pack mid-print for uninterrupted printing and allows for longer print runs without user intervention.

Also with a redesigned 9-inch touchscreen control panel the operators can see the image printing, monitor print, paper, and ink status, as well as understand environmental conditions for optimized print performance.

Designed for demanding industrial environments, to ensure full-speed print performance in a space saving design the SureColor F10070 includes a front and underside heater that can reach temperatures up to 230-degrees and 122-degree Fahrenheit.

The SureColor F10070 comes with a range of features designed to support around-the-clock production, including:

  • Brilliant Image Quality — High-density Black ink produces exceptional color saturation and high contrast
  • Seamless Workflow —Epson Edge workflow software featuring an Adobe PostScript 3 Engine
  • Predictable, Reliable Performance — Advanced auto paper-tension control and fabric head wiper enable simple, continuous production
  • More Ink; Less downtime — Low-cost, high-capacity replaceable ink pack system holds up to 20 Liters of ink per color, which allows for longer print runs without user intervention
  • Performance Optimized Epson DS Transfer Paper — Multipurpose, Rigid Photo Optimized, Adhesive Textile, and Production papers available
  • “This year we’ve seen a need for businesses to alter production plans to better accommodate smaller orders and quicker turnaround times to meet changing consumer demands,” Tim Check, senior product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America. “The new high-performance SureColor F10070 provides an efficient and cost-effective dye-sublimation solution for print shops looking to produce medium to large high-quality apparel runs and bid on incoming textile orders from businesses that sell direct to consumer. Moreover, the SureColor F10070 supports on shoring production needs in today’s marketplace to help shorten lead times, decrease costs and streamline workflows.”


    Photo courtesy www.epson.com


    EFI introduces two new printers for the high-end, high productivity soft signage market to help display graphics producers reach new heights in productivity and extend their capabilities.

    “EFI, through our Reggiani division, has decades of experience bringing to market the highest quality in fabric printing in the industry.” Scott Schinlever, COO, EFI Inkjet. “These two new printers are specifically designed to meet the most stringent quality and productivity needs in soft signage for companies that want to truly differentiate themselves in a highly competitive marketplace. With their extreme speed and reliability, the EFI POWER and COLORS printers can often replace multiple soft signage printers, producing more premium signage work with a single footprint.”

    EFI COLORS 340

    Is ideal for many applications: from table throws and pop-up promotional tents to SEG backlits, flags and retail fixtures and can handle different fabrics up to 450 gr/m2.

    The EFI CLORS 340 can prints at up to 9,149 square feet per hour (in a four-color x 4 configuration) and for even higher-volume production environments, the EFI POWER 340 prints up to 16,835 square feet per hour.

    Using genuine EFI water-based CMYK dispersed dye inks, the printer gives users entrée into an ultra-premium point-of-purchase category for soft signage, producing smoother color transitions and ultra-realistic skin tones.

    Available up to 24 printheads, the COLORS 340 offers greater versatility in color capabilities to print in four-color x 2, four-color x 4 or six-color x 4 configurations, as well as an eight-color configuration featuring standard CMYK and light CMK color inks, plus a penetrating agent.

    The printer’s 2,400 dots per inch (dpi) resolution with four level grayscale printing and drop sizes from 4 to 18 picoliters can deliver 100% penetration on both sides of the material, making it ideal for the production of national flags. Its precision sticky belt feeding mechanism ensures near-perfect, continuous tone image quality at high speeds with no wrinkle artifacts on a wide range of materials. And with the EFI’s unique continuous ink recirculation system for textile printing improves ink yield, reducing the need to purge while eliminating downtime associated with printhead maintenance.

    EFI POWER 340

    The EFI POWER 340 digital soft signage printer has most of the capabilities of the COLORS 340 but at a blazingly fast speed of up to 16,835 square feet per hour.

    The POWER 340 is also capable of printing direct-to-fabric or onto transfer paper using genuine EFI water-based CMYK dispersed dye inks. And, like the COLORS 340 model, it employs the proven, reliable sticky belt feeding mechanism. The POWER 340 features up to four colors, in either four-color x 4 or four-color x 8 configurations. With its remarkable speeds, users can profit from producing the appropriate quality at the highest speed with a lower total cost of ownership for high-volume demands.

    Both printers employ a powerful EFI Fiery® proServer Premium digital front end, which means operators can take advantage of the ultimate in color management, job management, and powerful tools for nesting, step and repeat, scaling, cropping, barcode creation and tiling.




    Photo courtesy www.efi.com


    These have been difficult times in which we have faced situations that we never imagined could happen, it could even be said that no one was prepared to face what this year brought us.

    In these moments in which we all play an important role to control the situation and thus return to normality as soon as possible, it is necessary that we all do our bit to overcome this new challenge.

    Whether it’s to convey a message or to decorate a space, the Media & Substrate has always played an important role in our industry.

    That is why some companies have joined efforts to create some substrates which are capable of helping to mitigate the spread of viruses and bacteria.

    HEXIS Group “PURE ZONE”

    PURE ZONE provides 24-hour preventive protection against certain bacteria thanks to the constant action of its antibacterial power to hinder their proliferation. PURE ZONE® films contain silver ions, that are activated on the superficial layer, when in contact with moist. These reactive ions may quickly block the metabolism of bacteria and thus prevent their proliferation between two cleaning and disinfection protocols.

    The PURZON060M/B antimicrobial film has been tested and certified according to ISO 22196 norm, ensuring a neutralization of 99.99% of Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus aureus resistant to meticillin (MRSA) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    “However, we have to outline”, Clément MATEU – HEXIS CEO, “that no tests were carried out by HEXIS Group on viruses or their subfamilies (coronavirus, SARS, COVID-19)”. Unlike common bacteria, the handling of viruses is highly regulated by law. Then he adds: “We are therefore unable to prove the effectiveness of our PURE ZONE technology on viruses, and in particular on the Covid-19.”

    Fisher Textiles “DisenfectexTM”

    DisenfectexTM is a printable fabric enhanced by HeiQ V-block in collaboration with HeiQ. Marketed as HeiQ Viroblock in other countries, HeiQ V-block is an antiviral textile technology for industrial use, engineered to work against enveloped viruses, such as influenza viruses and human coronaviruses.

    DisenfectexTM fabrics treated with HeiQ V-block are resistant to microbes and inhibits the growth of bacteria on the fabric. Treated fabrics submitted by HeiQ have been tested by the Doherty Institute in Australia to be effective against 99.99% of SARS-CoV-2.

    DisenfectexTM fabrics have many uses for personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks, sanitation stations, counter-top barriers, desk dividers, table throws, pop-up screens, among others.

    Media One

    Media One launch a line of antimicrobial fabrics (Imperial, Manhattan, Doheny, Malibu, Moonlight, Sunset), treated with integrated antimicrobial coatings and have been lab tested to kill over 98% of bacteria within 24-hours.

    These fabrics are designed for dye-sublimation transfer, direct dye sub, UV & latex printing and are available in 126” width or cut to specific lengths.

    “We’re responding to the COVID-19 crisis in a way to help our customers with solutions for retail, POP, medical, and event graphics to help prevent the spread of any microbial agents, per our independent lab testing. And while this has not been tested specifically with COVID-19, this coating is anti-bacterial & anti-microbial to 98% effectiveness,” Jason Bartusick, CEO & Head of Product Development at Media One. “Working with our suppliers, we’ve identified key products that address numerous applications, and our customers have expressed widespread interest in them.”

    Plaskolite “Amgard”

    Amgard Antimicrobial Safety Shields is formulated with laboratory-tested silver ion antimicrobial technology that protects the sheet surface from microorganism growth.

    “The deployment of safety shields is an important part of reopening plans for businesses, schools and institutions,” Dr. Ted Trautman, technology director for Plaskolite. “Amgard protects the sheet against the growth of microorganisms such as mold and mildew. Amgard delivers the dual benefit of a physical barrier and an antimicrobial technology designed to protect the plastic’s surface.”





    Monitoring human performance and health have always attracted interest of different science sectors. Many wearable devices have been invented incorporating electronics in wearable patches, wristbands, and other configurations that monitor either localized or overall physiological information such as heart rate or blood glucose.

    Recently researchers at Tufts University’s School of Engineering team have takes a different, non-electronic approach, developing a biomaterial-based inks that respond to and quantify chemicals released from the body (e.g. in sweat and potentially other biofluids) or in the surrounding environment by changing color.

    This ink can be screen printed onto textiles such as clothes, shoes, or even face masks in complex patterns and at high resolution, providing a detailed map of human response or exposure. The screen printable bio-inks can be used like any ink developed for screen printing, and so can be applied not just to clothing but also to various surfaces such as wood, plastics and paper to generate patterns ranging from hundreds of microns to tens of meters.

    “The use of novel bioactive inks with the very common method of screen printing opens up promising opportunities for the mass-production of soft, wearable fabrics with large numbers of sensors that could be applied to detect a range of conditions,” Fiorenzo Omenetto, corresponding author and the Frank C. Doble Professor of Engineering at Tufts’ School of Engineering. “The fabrics can end up in uniforms for the workplace, sports clothing, or even on furniture and architectural structures.”


    Bioactive inks printed on wearable textiles can map conditions over the entire surface of the body.
    Photo courtesy: www.now.tufts.edu.


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