Friday, August 14, 2020

Longer3D Cube2 - A First Step Toward Understanding Professionalism

Life skills are every bit as important as 3D design and printing skills in our Designing Futures program.  And, one of those skills is learning to understand what constitutes being a "professional".  It would be a mistake to make the simple assumption that one becomes a professional simply because they are paid to do something.

A NASA programmer friend made this clear to me way back in the infancy of the desktop computer.  He was one of the first microcomputer programmers to develop non-mainframe military applications.  I had been programming animation for the videos I was producing.  At first, I had used Basic to program simple animations on a CompuColor.  

                            CompuColor Computer

But, I had also recently purchased a Datamax UV-1, a dedicated graphics computer based on the custom chip set used in the Bally coin-op game system.  It's programming language was ZGRASS.  Here is a sample from 1983, for those interested in the early history of computer animation.

ZGrass was a dream language that was so much more capable in creating real-time animation than the crude Basic I'd been using.  So, I couldn't help waxing poetic about it to my friend.  His reply was, "Tom, we're professionals and as professionals we program in any language required."

He was saying that it is not the tool that makes a professional.  It is skill and dedication. 

I wasn't so sure he was right at the time.  But, a few years later, his words rang true.  Computer graphics had improved drastically and I was now programming animation on a Mindset computer using GW-Basic.

While crude by today's standard, being willing to abandon my favorite language and graphics computer and in favor of a totally new computer requiring becoming quite different programming strategies paid off in my being able to create one of the first real-time lip-sync animations overlaid over live video.  

How Does That Relate to the Longer3D Cube2?
It would be easy to dismiss the Longer3D Cube2, or others in its class, as "toys" in light of the fact that our students will eventually have full access to industrial level printers producing parts delivering extremely fine tolerances.  That is not exactly true.  In fact, for our students to achieve success with the Cube2 it will require getting know and address the differences.  And, that is where professionalism comes into play.
In preparation for the virtual lessons we will be presenting in the next full session of school, we ran a trial summer session with two students over Zoom.  This mini Vise is one of the projects that we presented to them.  Due to time constraints we dropped the two towers (cyan) and simply had them make the top pieces taller.  

The important of this project was the fact that the parts not only had to work together; but, also had to incorporate a real-world V-Groove bearing and 60x3mm screw to open and close the vise.  So, tolerances are important.

Designing Futures Design Project - Mini Vise

Designing the pieces to be printed on a Raise3D E2, MarkForged or, ultimately, a Sinterit SLS is the very same challenge as designing to be printed on the Cube2... with this important exception.  The sizes of the slide channels in the top relative to the guides in the bottom are quite different if the parts are going to be truly interoperable.

Having seen examples that have been printed on high level printers, it would be tempting for our students to throw up their hands in frustration with their first print attempt on a compact printer.  But, that is where an opportunity to present a lesson on "professionalism" comes into play.  

Professionals learn their tools.  They become experts with whatever tool they have at hand.

And, that includes "professional" instructors as well.  If our students might be printing with the Longer3D, or other small compact printer, it's incumbent for the intructors to become experts at how to get the most out of that particular printer, no matter what adjustments must be made.

Knowing our goal is to place a compact printer into the home of our students, WE need to understand how that impacts our teaching.  We have to go through the very same steps for understanding this tool as we expect from our students.  And, THAT is GOOD thing.

It is an opportunity for developing critical thinking skills.  How are we going to approach the problem of having to abandon the tolerances with which we have become familiar to find new tolerances based on the characteristics of this new and different tool.  Here is the strategy taken to achieve our goal of, as "professionals", understanding of our tool.

Designing Futures - Tolerance Experiments

Printing an entire top takes over an hour on the Cube2, so a section was cut and replicated 3 times.  Each new sample was modified slightly as documented in the image.  

We actually printed this set twice.  We typically print using Polymax PLA at 210C.  But, not knowing how temperature differences might affect prints on the Cube2 we printed a second set at 195C.  As it turned out 195C does seem a bit better and the changes to part #3 provided just the right tolerances we needed.  

When printing on our larger printers we use and offset of .14mm for no wobble up to .2mm if a bit more loose fit is beneficial.  With the Cube2, the offset jumps to .4.  (More tests were required.)  But, in the end, the interoperability, for all practical purposes, remains the same.  And the process of achieving that goal gives our students rich experience in applying critical thinking skills to the task of learning their tools as "professionals".  Here are some images of the final constructed mini vise.

Would our lab printers do a better job?  Of course.  In fact, MUCH better.  But, there is no doubt that a small, compact printer like the Longer3D Cube2 can still be an effective teaching tool when access to a 3D printer is the major feature that counts.  I'll repeat, if I've said this already, ACCESS is a feature!

The bottom line is that small, compact printers like the Cube2 should not be dismissed simply as  "Kid's 3D printers".  In the hands of our students, we expect them to be considered serious additive manufacturing tools demanding every bit the professional approach to machines costing many tens of thousands.  They will be encouraged to look for opportunities to design and produce useful parts that solve real-world problems and make lives better for themselves, their families and their school.  And, the best part... they can do it themselves.

The fact that a pandemic requires us to use printers that are small, does not mean our dreams and expectations for our students have to be small.  We're looking for big things from these small tools in the hands of our students with professional aspirations.

NOTE: As part of our search for the most suitable printer we plan to examine the Monoprice MP Cadet as well as the Longer3D.  Hopefully, I can have some news on that front as well.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

A New Cube2 by Longer3D - Look Ma! No Cartridge!

 I have great memories of writing about my first Cube printers.  YES, they had issues... and NO, the filament cartridge was NOT a great idea.  But, even so, those little printers began a career of teaching 3D design and printing to at-risk kids that has been a joy since the first time I set eyes on that first Cube1.

One of my memories is that the retail price at that time was around $1,500. Fortunately, that is a memory long past in this industry.  So, today I want to write about another Cube 3D printer... the Cube2 from Longer3D.


Longer Cube 2 


It's about the same size as the 3D Systems Cube 1 and 2 printers; but, has a much more reasonable cost.  It's under $200 on Amazon.  And, it does NOT require proprietary cartridges.

Most of my readers know that by now both personally and professionally We already own a wide variety of 3D printers including industrial level SLA (Formlabs, ProJet HD3500) and Powder/Binder (Z450).  In the FDM category we use everything from consumer Creality printers to professional level Raise3D E2s. So, why am I still interested in a small starter 3D printer like the Longer3D Cube2?

The answer is simple.  COVID-19.

We find ourselves locked out of traditional classroom teaching and having to turn to virtual teaching of the at-risk young people that we serve.  3D design using Moment of Inspiration lends itself to the virtual learning environment.  But, 3D printing, itself, does not.  Even the highest quality and most expensive printers are completely useless to our students if these printers cannot be accessed.

And, that has serious repercussions on their ability to benefit by what we want to offer them.

Designing without the feedback provided by printing the designs just cannot support the life goals that are part of the reason we teach 3D design to struggling students in the first place.  Chief among the lessons we hope students will take to heart is how to effectively deal with and overcome failures.  Design "failures" might slow a student down; but, it does not defeat them.  Those very failures become opportunities for developing critical thinking skills and taking the steps to correct errant designs.  And, being able to hold a printed part in their hands for close examination is critical to that process.  

But, there is a solution.  We need to find a suitable printer that we can place in the homes of those students taking our virtual 3D design classes.

Why consider the Cube2?

It's really not that much less expensive than the Creality Ender3 Pro or the Longer3D LK4 Pro.  Both are bigger and a bit faster.  Even so, here are some of the reasons why we feel something like the Cube2 might be a better fit for our requirements?  They are:

  1. Compactness
  2. Safety
  3. Ease of Use
  4. Adequate Print Quality
  5. Level of Support

First, it is very compact.  Some of our students live in apartments or homes with cramped conditions.  The Cube2 takes up little space and we believe that we can reduce that footprint even more by using smaller filament spools and custom 3d printed spool hangers.

Secondly, a good number of our students have younger siblings in the home and while a hot printer bed is not the same as a pan of boiling water, there still is some level of risk with a printer having a heated build plate.  Moreover, many popular printers have external wiring that we'd rather not have our students near.  The enclosed nature of the Longer3D Cube2 adds a level of safety we think is critical for the home environment.

Thirdly, this printer is incredibly easy to use.  They have separated the gap and leveling processes in a way that simplifies both.  There is one bolt for setting the gap and four screws, exposed from the top for leveling the print area.  The build plate is magnetic making removing parts a LOT easier than the 3D Systems Cube printers. 

Fourth, notice we use the term "adeqate" in terms of print quality.  We are pragmatic in this regard.  While the print does not measure up to the output of a Raise3D E2, as long as it is adequate for turning around 3D designs without frustration it will have performed the task for which it is being considered.  Plus, the speed of the Cube2 is better than other small printers we have used and tested

Here are some samples:

Working Gears Printed on the Longer3D Cube2

Swirled Vase Printed on the Longer3D Cube2

Based on our initial tests there are some resonance artifacts that may or may not be inherent in the design; but, not what could be called a "Show Stopper" with a need this critical for our students..  A highly critical person might take issue with the quality; but, for us it is not about producing the finest 3D printed parts in this application.   It is about providing reasonably good parts from an affordable, safe and easy to use platform.  The Cube2 fits that application and that is what counts. 

Lastly, it's about support.  We first came into contact with Longer3D when we purchased their very inexpensive LCD/SLA printer, the Orange 10.  It was refreshing to deal with Longer3D after our experiences even trying to buy supplies from Formlabs.  In our quest to find a good in-home printer for our students, Longer3D's support staff has been marvelous.  I have yet to send a pre-sale question or post-sale observation that did not receive a prompt reply given the time differences between our location and theirs.  We are impressed.

I can't end without communicating some of those observations.  The SD card slot is in the back of the machine.  I'd prefer it to be in the front or side.  A $7 extension cable solves that problem.  The power button is also hidden in the back and I actually thought it did not even have one until I stumbled onto it a day or so into our tests.  And, my fat fingers are a bit big for the touch screen at times.  Fortunately, this should not be an issue with students used to texting like mad.

I thought it would be fun for 3D Systems Cube owners to hear that the at least the Cube name is not dead in the 3D printer world. 

The final decision has not been made as yet because we have not fully finalized our search for the most suitable printer platform.  There some other potential contenders we still need to explore.  But, COVID-19 has put a pinch on our budget.  For now, at least, the Longer3D Cube is definitely a contender and it's been fun checking it out.

The 3D ThinkLink Lab of the YouthQuest Foundation is now a part of the Phillips Programs.  Our primary constituency is students on the autism spectrum.  We joined with Phillips to provide vocational training for these students with the goal to give them the skills to become employed in the additive manufacturing field.  If anyone would like to help us, financially, to provide these printers to our students as they begin this journey, you can do so by visiting the Phillips Programs web site.


Friday, April 12, 2019

It is Wonderful When a Vision Becomes a Reality

As I wrote in my previous article, I am more than a little thankful for the start that the Cube printers provided me.  Among other things, the Cube was a significant step forward in my quest toward my ultimate goal... finding a way to help my sculptor daughter realize her dreams with the assist of 3D printing.


In reality, the Cube came my way out of the ashes of an earlier product in my trek on the quest that went up in smoke when the DeskTop Factory was swallowed up in 2009 by 3D Systems.

Desktop Factory 3D Printer 2007-2009

Cathy Lewis was the CEO at Desktop Factory, and a tireless advocate for consumer 3D printing, and in the acquisition became the Vice President for International Marketing of 3D Systems.  Cathy and I had become acquainted in 2007 through my interest in the Desktop Factory development and years later, in 2011, remembering my deep interest and help in testing and providing feedback on sample Desktop Factory prints, she contacted me to be on the lookout for a new consumer printer from 3D Systems... the 1st Generation Cube released in 2012, the same year, this blog began.

I knew that the Cube FDM printer was not the ceramics printer of my dreams. But, I also knew it was a first step in gaining 3D printing experience so that I would be poised to be ready when a real ceramics printer became a reality.  And, not too many years after starting this blog, it appeared that ceramics printing was right around the corner.

Those of you that have followed this blog know that 3D System's tantalizing 2014 announcements of the $10,000 Cerajet and, in particular, the $5,000 CubeJet were greeted with extreme happiness around here.  It appeared that the end of my quest was near at hand. 


But, that was not to be.  When 3D Systems closed down the Cube family production line, the CeraJet and CubeJet became collateral damage and my dreams of seeing my daughter's art rise from a bed of powder went down in flames.  It was a hard blow.... made harder by learning that the engineers on the project had probably been scattered like ashes.
There some are creating amazing art with 3D printers capable of extruding clay.

That isn't the process that I prefer.

I know, from years of experience printing with YouthQuest Foundation's Z450 "sandstone" printer, just how much I enjoy working with a powder based printer.  Yet, neither the Z450 nor the newer CJP (Color Jet Printing) ProJet series printers are true ceramics printers.  The powder used in the CJP printers is NOT clay-based ceramics and the binder is, I am relatively certain, NOT something you want to put into a kiln and fire!

And, being able to apply the glaze of your choice and fire your creation is a huge deal.

CeraJet / CubeJet 3D Printed Pottery

Now, out of the Ukraine, comes a 3D printer that has rekindled those long smoldering dreams.  I don't even remember how I found out about the Ceramo Zero Max.  But, however it was, or whoever it was, that pointed me in their direction I am truly grateful.  Here, finally, is a desktop, powder-based ceramics printer that creates objects meant to be fired!

Kwambio Ceramo Zero Max Desktop Ceramics Printer
I am not going to try to post an image of the ceramics output of the Ceramo Zero Max because it would be misleading.  The Ceramo Zero Max does not print in color.  But, the most beautiful examples online are in color.  And, that is because printing the part is simply one step in the process of turning a creative idea into a stunning piece of art.  And, that process is already familiar to clay artisans.  I cannot even begin to tell you just how incredibly important this fact is to an artist.  They can print out a 3D design of a cup and, if they wish, not a single one would be the same as another.  Each can be imbued with the vision of the artist in a completely unique way using varying patterns, color, firing techniques and other personal touches.

But, I WILL point you to their materials pages to see exactly what I'm talking about.  First, the ceramics powder page:

Next, a bonus, the GS ONE page:

I am assuming that one would need two Ceramo printers to EASILY use both materials, as they seem so different.  But, the fact that both are available is very cool.  I'm guessing that the GS One would be great for creating molds for slip casting.  But, since I have no real experience with it, don't hold me to that conclusion.


I mentioned that the Ceramo Zero Max was developed in the Ukraine.  Actually, this didn't surprise me as 3D-Coat, a marvelous 3D sculpting application we've written about in earlier posts, is also the product of a Ukraine company!

But, Kwambio's international headquarters is in New York City.  And, they recently opened a new lab in Harford, Connecticut where it can continue to develop consumer, industrial and, I believe, biomedical products and materials. Both Stanley and GE use their industrial ceramics products.

Here is a story from this year's CES that overs both the industrial and consumer ceramics printers.

I wish I could tell you more; but, until I get a chance to actually seen one in action, I'd simply be guessing.  But, hopefully, I will get that chance in the next few weeks, either at Ceramics Expo 2019 in Cleveland at the end of this month or their offices in Connecticut sometime in May.

I can tell you this.  Whichever visit works out, I am REALLY looking forward to it.  While not a life-time, twelve years is a long time to be on a quest!  And, I am extremely optimistic that the goal is very, very near.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

From 1st Gen Cube to ProJet3500 HDMax, 3D Systems Made it all Possible!

Yesterday, The YouthQuest Foundation received a vital piece of equipment.  It was a 3000VA UPS that will help us power up our latest acquisition.  And, that acquisition is a donated ProJet 3500 HDMax multi-jet printer that we plan to be used to support our mission of changing the trajectory of the lives of at-risk young people.

A piece of equipment that requires such a massive UPS is a far cry from the 1st Gen Cubes with which we started.  While it did not come directly from 3D Systems, it found its way to us through their support network.  And, it would not have happened had 3D Systems not generously donated the very first printers with which we began our work with young students who had dropped out of school and had entered the Youth Challenge program in an effort to turn their lives around.

The steps 3D Systems took, over 4 years ago, made it possible for us to expand our 3D design and printing educational program across four states touching many lives in the process. 

One of our students, Dalonta Crudup, a cadet in the DC Youth ChalleNGe Academy, had been shot shortly before entering the program and his cousin had been killed.  He went on to go back to school and was recruited with a basketball scholarship to the University of Kentucky.  He credits the 3D design class for teaching him important life lessons.  As he puts it, “And I tell them taking that class has helped me a lot because it showed me how get through obstacles in life.”

While the Cube line of printers has come to an end, we know from our own experience, and the experience of other educational organizations and charitable programs, that STEM and STEAM initiatives begun with the help of 3D Systems continue to benefit students in profound ways.

I won't bore you with the steps that took us from our first gift of a consumer 1st Gen Cube to the remarkable gift of a professional ProJet3500 HDMax.  But, to us, it is a remarkable series of events that began with Cathy Lewis of 3D Systems agreeing with our vision of helping turn around lives through experiencing 3D design and printing.

Now we step up to the next level in our ability to serve at-risk young people by offering experience with actual additive manufacturing equipment and processes.  We believe this is going to be particularly beneficial to our graduating students on the autistic spectrum that have shown extraordinary potential for careers in 3D.

We are really excited about this new chapter.  But, we cannot and will not forget those who helped us get here.

Thank you 3D Systems!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Of Flutes, Irma and 3D Printing

I was first an inquiring potential customer, looking to buy a bamboo Irish Flute.  But, the more I learned about Erik The Flutemaker, the more I admired not only his skills as a flutemaker; but, his passion to help those in the deepest poverty through his not-for-profit, Flutemaker Ministries.

I ended up not only buying several flutes from Erik; but, a bamboo saxophone for a friend of my granddaughter since the first grade to benefit Erik's ministry to special needs kids in Nicaragua.

Ultimately, I have become a friend, attempting to use my 3D design and printing skills to help him in his work with the goal to design and print a mouthpiece suitable for some of his flutes.  It's been quite a challenge to find the "sweet spot" that equals the wonderful tone he is able to generate through more expensive and labor intensive alternatives.  I have learned a LOT!.

His bamboo grove is in Davis, Florida which is now being affected by Irma.

He just sent me this link, knowing I was concerned for the safety of him and his family.  I just had to share it with you as Erik's skill and his spirit comes through so impressively.   The sound track is him playing one of his flutes.

I'm hoping that you, like I did when I first learned about Erik the Flutemaker, will completely explore his web site and enjoy the beauty of his music.  And, I hope that some of you might consider buying one of his flutes that benefit Flutemaker Ministries.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

WOW Scope! A tool for the whole family

UPDATE:  I contacted Gorilla Scientific and the scope in link #1, IS an SMD-09 having two sets of eyepieces.  It is in a different box; but, functionally the same.  In fact, the ones I purchased so far are in the 1st version of the packaging and say "Worlds of Wonder Scope".  So, I'm confident that either source is a great one.

As many of you know I have relied on a variety of microscopes to evaluate and explain issues in my 3D prints.  I've previously posted that my favorite scope, among many that I own, is also one of the least expensive.  That scope has now been improved and expanded and, not only does it remain a terrific bargain, it expands on its price / performance value by adding two levels of magnification.
WOW Scope from C & A Scientific
The first versions upon which this product is based were 20x magnification.  That was wonderful for viewing things like 3D prints, bugs and just about anything curious that you find around the house.  But, the WOW Scope also includes eyepieces that boost the magnification to 50x!  And, it adds a bottom light along with the top LED light.

When searching for the correct microscope, I wish that we could simply enter "WOW Scope" to find it on Amazon.  But, you will have to enter "WOW Scope SMD-09".  Even then you will have to be careful and look for the following feature to ensure you are going to recieve the proper scope.

For instance, I found two entries...  Here is SEARCH RESULT ONE:

It's just $44.95 and comes with a box of minerals.  It MIGHT be the most recent SMD-09; but, before ordering I would send the vendor a note requesting verification.  Here's why.

Possible SMD-09

 Notice the little button just in front of the microscope's riser?  That is no longer the light switch for the most recent version.  It may be that the vendor did not have an image of the most recent SMD-09 version and simply used the image of the prior version of the My First Lab Stereo Scope.  If that is the only reason for the discrepancy, it is a great bargain at only $44.95 with Prime shipping.  The ad DOES mention the 50x capability.  But, would still confirm that it is the one you want.

SEARCH RESULT #2 is a bit more expensiv, at $69.99; but, it DOES have the image of the correct scope.

SMDZ -09 - Correct Image
Notice that there is no button switch in fron of the rise.  The rocker-type light switch is to the right of the base.  You can buy this one with confidence that it is the latest WOW SMD-09 scope.


There is a reason why I keep encouraging my readers to invest in a low-power stereo microscope for themselves and their children.  It grows our brains.  Every time you use a microscope of ANY type, you see something entirely new and every new experience that we and our children have adds new molecular structure to our brains.  I am convinced that the reason my granddaughter is planning to go to a school like Johns Hopkins is, in part, because she was exposed at an early age to the very first version of this particular scope and has used it year after year to examine bugs, flowers, stuffed toys and a whole host of other things she wanted examine more closely.

Conversely, I am convinced that many of the inherently bright, young at-risk and dropped out students with whom I work now were denied those mind expanding opportunities at an early age.  They had little opportunity to grow new connections that a microscope like this in their homes that would have provided that brain growing stimulation.

It dawns on me that all of us might have an opportunity during the holidays to donate something to a toy drive for Christmas.  Think about the SMD-09 when considering a donation.  Help grow a brain!


Saturday, July 1, 2017

PolySmooth - Another Reason for Expanding Our View

I know that 3D Systems was working on expanding the material offerings to 3rd Gen Cube and CubePro owners because I was included in some of the new material testing and in one case received a new material by accident.  These included infused filaments like wood and metal.

But, the minute 3D Systems decided to drop their FDM printers, any hope that 3rd Gen Cube owners would have the benefits of newly introduced filaments vanished.  And, there are some great new filaments!

One of the benefits of adding the JellyBox (kit), M3D Micro, M3D Micro+, M3D Pro and M3D ProMega to our lab serving at-risk young people is that all of these platforms allow us to use 3rd party filaments.  They don't all allow us to use ANY filament; but, some do... including the potential for eventually printing extremely high temperature filament like PEEK, PAEK and Ultem (PEI) using hot ends capable of reaching over 400C degrees.

My focus in this post is to introduce a filament that, unless we broaden our view and consider other 3D printers, would allude Cube/CubePro owners... PolySmooth from PolyMaker.Com.

PolySmooth prints at just a slightly higher temperature than PLA, 210C-230C.  Like PLA, PolySmooth is sensitive to moisture and spools must be protected when not being used for printing.  But, UNLIKE PLA, it can be smoothed using isoprophyl alcohol vapors in a similar way ABS can be smoothed using acetone.  I've tried the acetone vapor method and find it to be way too scary and way too toxic to be safely used in my home or the lab.

That is not true of the preferred nethod of smoothing PolySmooth, which is a device called the Polysher, which works like an enclosed cool-mist vaporizer using a nebulizer system.   I will soon be making a video of my own experience using PolySmooth and the Polysher system; but, until that happens, this video is very helpful in seeing exactly how well it works.

I can attest that it does work, and works very, very well.  Obviously, results vary based on the underlying quality of the print.  As you can see in the above video it is well enclosed so, while alcohol is flammable, the vapor is well contained and, unlike the acetone methods no heat is used, reducing the danger exponentially.  If the user is patient and lets everything settle down after a part has been processed before raising the elevator, fumes are minimal.  So, I feel confident using the Polysher in my home and around our cadets and at-risk students in the YouthQuest 3D ThinkLink Lab.

The truly cool thing for me is that even the $200-$299 M3D Micro/Micro+ can print using PolySmooth, so it's not just for the highest end 3D printers.

The black PolySmooth that I purchased with the Polysher system doesn't photograph well enough to truly see the remarkable changes that occur between the original and processed versions of a print.  I have orderd some light blue PolySmooth and will immediately print some objects and post an update with images showing my personal results.  But, trust me, it is VERY cool.

My goal with this blog has always been about helping Cube owners have the best possible 3D printing experience.  And, that extends to that phase in our journey where it becomes necessary to expand our view beyond the realm of the Cube experience.  It doesn't cost a lot, relative to our investment in the Cube printers to use our experience to expand what we can do.

On Amazon, PolySmooth is $39 and the Polysher system is $299.  New 3D printers capable of printing the PolySmooth can be had for as little as $200.  That means the total cost of new printer, Polysher and Polysmooth is less than our investment in any of the Cube printers we've owned.  While I love owning each of the Cubes (1st, 2nd and 3rd Gen Cubes), I am finding I have been able to leverage that experience best by moving to new 3D printing platforms that offer me a much wider range of materials and 3D printing possibilities.  The PolySmooth/Polysher system is just one more reason for expanding our view.