Rize Uses Voxel Control for Augmented Reality in 3D-Printed Parts

Rize Uses Voxel Control for Augmented Reality in 3D-Printed Parts
Michael Molitch-Hou posted on April 12, 2018 | | 121 views

Rize Inc. emerged from stealth almost two years ago, unveiling an office-ready 3D printer with unique capabilities including minimal post-processing and the ability to print ink directly on printed parts. Now, Rize has unveiled the first practical applications of this inkwriting technology with what it calls Digitally Augmented Parts, which can utilize embedded ink patterns for augmented reality and other Industrial 4.0 technologies.

A part 3D printed with APD featuring an embedded QR code. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

A part 3D printed with APD featuring an embedded QR code. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

Rize’s Augmented Polymer Deposition (APD) combines thermoplastic extrusion with inkjet printing to bring elements of voxel control to the 3D printing process. This includes printing a special interface material in between the printed object and its support structures, allowing for quick support removal. It also means that Rize can integrate traditional 2D printing inks into the process, so that images, text and symbols can be written onto the surface of parts.

Rize’s Digitally Augmented Parts utilize this latter capability to embed markers, such as QR codes, onto parts that can provide traceability through the manufacturing process and lifecycle of the parts. A smartphone app can then be used to scan the code and call up the information. Rize is emphasizing the use of the 3MF file format, which is meant to include information beyond the simple geometry of a 3D file, for such an application. In addition to details like color, 3MF can carry data related to a component’s origin.

“This is the first step towards embedding intelligent capabilities within the part and connecting them through a digital thread into the digital twin of the part,” said Rize President and CEO Andy Kalambi, who was recently interviewed by engineering.com. “Rize is leading the integration of additive manufacturing into the digital ecosystem, which will redefine the user and customer and experience, and ultimately scale the technology to an entirely new segment of commercial and industrial users.”

Parts can be 3Dprinted to feature QR codes that can call up manufacturing information in a smartphone or tablet app. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

Parts can be 3Dprinted to feature QR codes that can call up manufacturing information in a smartphone or tablet app. (Image courtesy of Rize.)

As we learned from our earlier interview with Rize in 2016, APD, in some respects, mirrors HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF), in that the use of inkjetting enables the introduction of functional inks. HP actually demonstrated a similar application for MJF, showing how an AR app can be used to scan a 3D-printed part with an embedded QR code.

Similar to some of the future capabilities that HP is promising with its MJF, Rize could also one day release inks that are electrically conductive, thermo-insulating or thermo-conducting. Though HP has substantial size and capital behind it, it may be that Rize, which has the flexibility of a small startup, will release these products sooner. Kalambi mentioned in our interview with him that the company is working on its future printers. Potential customers may have their fingers crossed that these new materials are in the works as well.

To learn more, visit the Rize website.

Bose Introduces 3D Printed Prototype Augmented Reality Sunglasses

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You’ve probably heard of Google Glass, a brand of optical smart glass that displays information in a smartphone-like, hands-free format. This product, as is the case with many other smart glasses, works by overlaying digital objects and information over your real-world view out of the glasses. This, in my opinion, seems like it might be rather distracting, even if they do offer a useful service like counting calories. Augmented reality (AR) glasses have viable applications as well in design and engineering and are becoming more integrated into smart manufacturing workflows.

Audio equipment company Bose, well-known for its high-end speakers and headphones, has developed sunglasses that provide context and data through sound in order to augment reality, rather than visual information through a camera and a screen.

The company introduced its augmented reality sunglasses at SXSW (South by Southwest) in Texas this week, which is where many innovative companies choose to debut their latest creative work each year.

The AR sunglasses look pretty much like any other pair of sunglasses, and according to a Mashable article by Raymond Wong, the 3D printed prototype pair he tried on was “specifically designed to not draw attention in public.”

“Even though they were prototypes, I was impressed by the fit,” Wong wrote. “They’re super light and don’t weigh your face down. All of the electronics, including the battery, are stored inside of the stems.”

Like many other companies, Bose chose to 3D print its product prototype, rather than use a conventional manufacturing method. This can save time and money in the product design and development process, even if the technology won’t work for commercial production.

The Bose AR sunglasses have many great features, including letting you listen to music without bothering the people around you – just like you’re wearing a pair of headphones, instead of sunglasses.

This feat was accomplished by building two narrow directional speakers into the end of each stem. The speakers will send the audio directly into your ears without the use of earbuds, and no one else can hear your music unless they actually press themselves up against the sunglasses…in which case, I suggest you walk away from the person quickly.

The sound quality of the AR sunglasses is also exceptional, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given Bose’s reputation for excellent sound quality.

“I expected the sound to be average given how thin the speakers are, but was honestly blown away by the clarity,” Wong wrote.

The Bose AR sunglasses also know, even without the use of a camera, what you’re looking at when you’re wearing them, thanks to on-board motion sensors that work with GPS coordinates from a paired smartphone to detect the direction you’re facing.

By looking at a specific landmark and double-tapping one of the sunglass stems, you can instantly receive audio information through the speakers. In the future, Bose hopes to partner with content providers and integrate their data, so users will only need to look at something like a restaurant or store to instantly have access to spoken ratings and reviews through the AR sunglasses.

Enter the company’s new $50 million venture fund – Bose is investing in other companies to get some help in building out its AR sunglasses into a viable platform. It’s already got some pretty big names signed on, including Yelp, TuneIn, Trip Advisor, ASICS Studio, and Strava.

[Image: Karissa Bell/Mashable]

Bose’s goal is not only to introduce the services of these content providers onto its own hardware. The company also wants others to, as Wong put it, “build its AR audio tech into other form factors like headphones and helmets.”

One of the coolest features of the Bose AR sunglasses is that they actually recognize gestures you make with your head. For example, if someone is calling you while you’re wearing a pair, you can shake your head to decline the call, or nod to answer it. In addition, you can rotate your head to the left or to the right in order to choose an item off of an audio-based carousel menu.

Before you get too excited about answering your phone just by nodding your head, the Bose AR sunglasses will not have a wide release any time soon. However, limited quantities of the product that have been “tweaked” a little will be released this summer, though we don’t know yet how much they will cost.

The Bose Developer Portal reads, “Imagine a world where everything you see is more valuable, more emotional, and more meaningful — because of what you hear. Introducing Bose AR, the world’s first audio augmented reality platform.”

An SDK of the Bose AR sunglasses will also be available this summer for developers.

What do you think of these augmented reality sunglasses? Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

[Images: Raymond Wong/Mashable, unless otherwise credited]

RoMA: Robotic 3D Printing and Augmented Reality Combine in Interactive Fabrication Platform

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Huaishu Peng

We often see robotics and 3D printing combined, as well as 3D printing and augmented reality (AR). But Cornell University researcher Huaishu Peng, whose 3D printing work has made headlines multiple times, has been working on a project that combines all three. We see a wide variety of really interesting and innovative research and projects in this field, but I can honestly say that the Robotic Modeling Assistant (RoMA) created by Peng and his team is one of the coolest I’ve come across.

According to Peng’s website, he is interested in the technical aspects of human-computer interaction (HCI), and designs software and hardware systems to enable 3D modeling with interactive experiences, as well as making functional objects using custom fabrication machines.

Peng wrote, “I envision that in the future (1) people will design both the form and the function of everyday objects and (2) a personal fabrication machine will construct not only the 3D appearance, but also the interactivity of its prints.

Talk about interactive – the RoMA is a fabrication system that gives users a hands-on, in-situ 3D modeling experience, using a robotic arm 3D printer and an AR CAD editor.

Peng, together with fellow Cornell researchers Jimmy Briggs, Cheng-Yao Wang, and Kevin Guo; Joseph Kider with the University of Central Florida; Stefanie Mueller with MIT CSAIL; Patrick Baudisch from the Hasso-Plattner Institute; and Cornell’s François Guimbretière, wrote a paper on the RoMA.

The abstract reads, “We present the Robotic Modeling Assistant (RoMA), an interactive fabrication system providing a fast, precise, hands-on and in-situ modeling experience. As a designer creates a new model using RoMA AR CAD editor, features are constructed concurrently by a 3D printing robotic arm sharing the same design volume. The partially printed physical model then serves as a tangible reference for the designer as she adds new elements to her design. RoMA’s proxemics-inspired handshake mechanism between the designer and the 3D printing robotic arm allows the designer to quickly interrupt printing to access a printed area or to indicate that the robot can take full control of the model to finish printing. RoMA lets users integrate real-world constraints into a design rapidly, allowing them to create well-proportioned tangible artifacts or to extend existing objects. We conclude by presenting the strengths and limitations of our current design.”

Basically, as a designer is using RoMA’s AR CAD editor to draw a new 3D model in the air, a 3D printing robotic arm is building features to augment the model at the same time, in the same design volume.

Then, the partially 3D printed model can act as the designer’s physical point of reference while they continue to add elements to the design.

According to the paper, “To use the RoMA system, a designer wears an Augmented Reality (AR) headset and starts designing inside the print volume using a pair of AR controllers. As soon as a design feature is completed, the RoMA robotic arm prints the new feature onsite, starting in the back half of the design volume. At any time, the designer can bring printed features into the front half of the design volume for use as a physical reference. As she does so, the robot updates its schedule and prints another available part of the model. Once she finishes a design, the designer steps back, allowing the robotic system to take full control of the build platform to finish printing.”

So while it may appear to an onlooker that the designer is pointing the AR controller at nothing, they are really designing a 3D model on the rotating platform below the robotic arm. Then, the arm will 3D print each completed design feature in what appears to be mid-air, around the model that only the designer wearing the headset can see.

Want to build a stand for your model jet, a garage for your LEGO vehicle, or a teapot with a finger hole perfectly designed to fit your finger? RoMA can get the job done. It’s almost like a 3D printing pen, but on a much larger scale, with AR technology and a robotic arm controlling the 3D printing process.

Augmented reality interaction

RoMA users are able to, according to the project page, “integrate real-world constraints into a design rapidly, allowing them to create well-proportioned tangible artifacts,” and even extend an object through in-situ fabrication.

The system includes a ceiling-mounted Adept S850 6DOF robotic arm 3D printer, a rotating platform, and an AR headset with cutter and indicator controllers. In terms of software, RoMA has:

  • End-to-end pipeline which integrates AR and robot control
  • Custom AR CAD editor
  • Proxemics-inspired handshake mechanism, which supports human-robot interaction

The custom AR modeling tool emphasizes interactive design, similar to SketchUp, and is deeply integrated with Rhino CAD modeling software.

To begin the process, the designer needs to stay close to the rotating build platform, which is kept immobile by the 3D printing system. The system then 3D prints the part of the model that’s located in the back half of the platform.

To bring the model forward, all the designer has to do is touch the platform’s handle and rotate it.

The robot arm will automatically park away from the user, until the designer steps away. Then, the robotic fabricator is free to “take the full control of the platform” and complete the build.

Any strings left behind from the robotic arm’s 3D printing job can be easily removed with the system’s cutter controller.

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Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Source/Images: Huaishu Peng]

Reach in & Take a Look Around: Create it REAL Integrates Augmented Reality into REALvision

CreateItRealHave you ever spent hours in the design process for an intricate 3D model and then set it up to print before going to bed, tiptoeing off, fingers crossed, hoping to see success in the morning? While many times you will experience that euphoria of pulling a perfect print from your machine, there’s nothing worse than seven hours (or 27) of 3D printing ending in failure, and all you have to show for it is a hunk of plastic, wasted time, and wasted money in materials. That’s just depressing, frustrating, and expensive. Wouldn’t it be great if you could look into the future before you pressed print?

The good old print preview has been around so long that these days it’s just often ignored until after we notice a problem and become curious enough to look while in the frustrating reformatting process. But what if it had a major facelift for the 3D world, allowing you to reach in and grab your model—turning it this way and that—inspecting it for any design flaws and making sure it is the correct size? What if you could send it off to print with the confidence and insurance of knowing that you were going to get what you aimed for (with the exception of a machine malfunction)? Thanks to Create it REAL and the gift of augmented reality as a feature in their updated REALvision slicing software, now you should be able to look forward to a good experience—and reliability—with every print with REALview.

UntitledThe power is in your hands, literally, as many event goers saw today at the Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo in Paris. The event has been running from May 24-26, giving visitors a glimpse into all the latest 3D printing technology and services, along with two days of conferences. Those checking out the Create it REAL exhibit were able to see exactly how the new technology works, using a marker to communicate with the webcam, thus allowing users to reach in and preview any model from top to bottom and side to side.

“Once you click on the camera button, REALvision start your webcam and look for a special marker you have prepared before and that’s it – no other setting,” says Jeremie Pierre Gay, CEO of Create it REAL. “We decided to implement this function after several feedbacks from different customers. People wanted to be able to have a better idea of their object size before launching the print, and looking only at the workspace was clearly not enough.”

Create it REAL centers their platform, functions and features, and updates, completely around the user experience whether it’s in 3D printer manufacturing or new software updates such as this. We’ve seen this continually, following the unique Danish company as they’ve offered more expanded 3D printing production options to the entrepreneurial and development community over time, as well as forming new partnerships that resulted in wonderful new features for users to explore.

UntitledThis latest innovation to their slicing software exemplifies how augmented reality can actually be relevant in real-world uses, allowing for improvement in our 3D design and printing projects with the option of being able to improve where needed before we press go.

“These kinds of new features, targeting specific needs or issues, are directly supporting our new strategy to address vertical markets and develop 3D printers on-demand,” said Gray. “We’ve been contacted by different pioneers in their industries and they were not satisfied with current 3D printers because it was always missing something special for them. So if they could not find the right printer, we would then make it for them and develop all features they need to become leaders in their own markets.”

UntitledNot surprisingly, REALview will continue to expand for uses in different applications meant for jewelry and accessories, supporting different markers for items like bracelets, necklaces, and specialty eyewear. What if you could try jewelry or glasses on before sending them to print? The Create it REAL team sees many great uses ahead for this platform with the use of augmented reality as they launch us into the future of creating in 3D.

Will you be attending Inside 3D Printing in Paris? If so, be sure to stop by their booth to catch a glimpse of the new REALview features in action.

Based in Aalborg, which the team explains is known as the old Danish ‘Silicon Valley,’ the Create it REAL team is made up of a group of experts in 3D printing technologies, electronics, software and mechanics. Not just a software provider, they also make premium, on-demand 3D printers for other progressive companies.