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3D Printing Industry News (Weekly Digest – April 19, 2019)

Picture of Sarah Goehrke
by Sarah Goehrke
Apr 19, 2019

3D Printing Industry News (Weekly Digest – April 19, 2019)

Table of Contents

The most important announcements and news from the second week of April in the 3D printing industry: Here are the newest projects, machines, new materials, strategic business moves, and start-ups.

3D Printing Industry News (Weekly Digest – April 19, 2019)

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Week 43, 2018

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As additive manufacturing continues to mature, certifications become of increasing importance.

This week, UL announced UL 3400 certification for Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California Additive Design and Manufacturing Center. UL 3400, “a set of safety guidelines that address the various hazards associated with additive manufacturing facilities,” was first published last year; Lockheed Martin is the first to be certified to this level. Formally titled the Outline of Investigation for Additive Manufacturing Facility Safety Management, UL 3400 is regarded as a trailblazer as the first additive manufacturing-specific guideline for facility safety. It accounts for material, equipment, and overall facility safety. The 6,775-square-foot Sunnyvale 3D printing research center is focused on Lockheed’s military, commercial, and civil space portfolio: “its charter is to bridge the gap between materials research and the manufacturing floor so engineers can design and produce superior satellite parts faster and at lower cost.”

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Week 15, 2019 AREVO’s 3D Printed Carbon Fiber Bike Frame

Image of : AREVO’s 3D Printed Carbon Fiber Bike Frame
(image: AREVO)

AREVO has announced that it will be 3D printing a bike frame through a partnership with Franco Bicycles.

The advanced frame is a unibody design and, according to the company, is the “world’s first” to be 3D printed in continuous carbon fiber as a single-piece unibody frame. By no means bicycling’s first foray into 3D printing, the frame is interesting in that the unibody construction allows for the design to leverage the important component-reduction benefit of additive manufacturing. Further, the design-to-manufacture time frame is reduced: AREVO says from 18 months to “just a few days”. The frame is for a new line of Franco’s Emery brand e-bikes, in production now at volume.

AREVO explains the technique:

“AREVO DNA technology is unique in the additive manufacturing (AM) world as it features patented software algorithms enabling generative design techniques, free-motion robotics for ‘True 3D’ construction, and direct energy deposition for virtually void free construction all optimized for anisotropic composite materials.”

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Week 15, 2019 €300,000 EU Funding for SMEs in 3D Printing

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Ulrich Thombansen, from AMable, presenting at the IN(3D)USTRY 2018 in Barcelona. (image via PRNewswire)

A call for SMEs in the European Union sees €300,000 dedicated to furthering 3D printing.

“3D Printing is a key technology for the future of the EU as long as it has a great potential for creating jobs whilst helping to fight transport costs, CO2 emissions or in-built obsolescence.” So said a report last year from the European Parliament. In a nod to the importance of additive manufacturing in EU business, the AMable call is allocating funds to SMEs ready to “enhance competitiveness” in the 3D printing sector. The call, open until June 1, is looking to finance work in “Feasibility Studies” and “Good Practices” as “application experiments” are in focus to further next-generation technology. AMable will also provide “a series of side benefits” for upskilling in design for additive manufacturing, technology development, business development, and education.

The call notes:

“AMable aims to reinforce the Additive Manufacturing technological cluster by creating a digital framework to provide unbiased access to the best European knowledge in 3D printing for the industry 4.0 and EU institutions endorse it. The European Commission and the European Parliament already underlined that 3D printing could ease the strain on their logistical chains, reduce storage and transport operations, lessen environmental impact and cut spending on goods insurance and make it possible to create employment at SME level.”

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Week 15, 2019 XYZprinting Invests $1M into STEAM Education

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Stockbridge InvenTeam’s 3D printing lab (Image via XYZprinting)

XYZprinting is upping its focus on classroom 3D printing.

XYZprinting offers a large portfolio of 3D printing solutions, and several are aimed squarely at the education market. This week the company has announced the XYZprinting STEAM 3D Education Program, investing more than $1 million into the program with the intent to place more than 300 3D printers into US classrooms. Applications are open through September 5. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education is increasingly making its way into the classroom, as the next generation will see more use of these areas. 3D printing is among them, and XYZprinting is joining the ranks of OEMs offering help to schools. Last month the company introduced a bundling program to include a free 3D printer with lesson plans; one step farther now, the company notes that it is “determined to be at the forefront in making 3D printing accessible to students in the classroom,” allocating da Vinci Jr 1.0 3D printers through the program for:

  • 80 schools within Grades K-5
  • 100 schools within Grades 6-8
  • 120 schools within Grades 9-12

As a case study for their 3D printers in educational settings, XYZprinting shares the story of the Stockbridge InvenTeam from Michigan.

Such story like The Ezra Project is just one of the many stories that show the importance to nurture young talents for the future. XYZprinting’s decision to invest in the STEAM 3D Education Program is to give schools easier access and the right tools in introducing 3D printing in the classroom. We hope that through this program we can encourage a generation of creators and problem solvers of the future, that will continue to bring a positive impact in the community,” said Vinson Chien, Director of XYZprinting US.

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Week 15, 2019 The 3D Printed Rockstar-Proof Guitar

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Smashing guitars in e-minor (Image: Sandvik Group)

Sandvik created a smashing guitar — that can’t be smashed.

Playing on the popular image of rockstars smashing guitars, Sandvik’s latest creation is a testament to style of both design and messaging. Yngwie Malmsteen, a Swedish rocker whom I’ve personally never heard of (I don’t get out much) but who has been heralded as one of Time’s “10 greatest electric guitar players of all time,” is famed for his rockstar ways and guitar-smashing performance. So what better way to showcase the strength of 3D printing, Sandvik decided, than to create a guitar Malmsteen himself could not smash? It was no mean task, and Sandvik gathered experts to design a working guitar without the traditional weak point between the neck and body of the instrument. The guitar wasn’t wholly 3D printed; “the guitar’s neck and fretboard were milled in one machine from solid bars of recycled stainless steel,” while the body was 3D printed in titanium. Following some precise engineering work and hefty testing, Sandvik reports:

“When the guitar was finished, Sandvik gave it to Malmsteen to play. At a club in Florida, Malmsteen ripped through several songs, then started swinging the guitar at amps, at stage structures, at the floor, doing his very best to smash it.

‘This guitar is a beast!’ Malmsteen said after abandoning efforts to destroy it. ‘…I gave everything I had, but it was impossible to smash’.”

3D Printing Industry News - Week 14, 2019

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Week 14, 2019 Stratasys: FDM, SLA, PolyJet, Metal

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The new Stratasys F120 3D printer (Image: Stratasys)

Stratasys had major announcements this week in its FDM and PolyJet portfolios, as well as its official entry into SLA; Stratasys Direct also brings more in metal into play.

Stratasys: F120

The F123 line of FDM 3D printers was introduced last year at SOLIDWORKS World. Adding on to the line at AMUG is the newest FDM machine from Stratasys, the F120. The entry-level F120 is designed for ease of use and repeatability. “Entry-level” for this professional line means a price tag of $11,999 in the US. The 3D printer is targeted toward designers, engineers, and educators with plug-and-print workflow and GrabCAD Print capabilities. Two large filament boxes are included to increase uptime — up to 250 hours of uninterrupted 3D printing. The company is taking orders now and targeting July delivery.

“While many analysts report the entry-level 3D printing segment has grown significantly, we note organizations struggle with building production-level models on the first or second try – at the reliability and repeatability of high-end systems. This puts smaller designers and academic institutions at a significant disadvantage. The Stratasys F120 printer meets the needs of customers, providing engineering and design groups with highly productive part printing – whether they’re across the hall or around the globe,” said Omer Krieger, EVP Products, Stratasys.

Stratasys: V650 Flex

Stratasys steps into stereolithography with its first commercially available SLA 3D printer, the V650 Flex. The company has long experience with this technology and has been offering it through Stratasys Direct for some time. Now Stratasys is launching the 3D printer it developed for in-house use directly to customers. The V650 Flex marks another notable departure from established strategies: It’s open materials. Stratasys is launching the machine with a partner with DSM, with four popular Somos materials — Somos Element, Somos NeXt, Somos PerFORM, and Somos Watershed XC 11122 — validated for use on the platform. But even as more DSM materials get the V650 green light, users are welcome to use their preferred resins. The new system has a 20” x 20” x 23” build volume and interchangeable vats. The system has been well tested, with more than 150,000 parts made for Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. Pricing has not yet been announced, but the system is available now for order.

“While stereolithography is one of the original 3D printing processes – mainly used to create master patterns or large concept models quickly and accurately – customers have been challenged by restricted systems that can’t be configured and materials at a high cost-per-part,” said Omer Krieger, EVP Products, Stratasys. “The V650 Flex is the result of customer demand around the world wanting a better solution – fully configurable to match the specific application and use-case. The solution is truly one of the first large-scale systems for creating reliable, high-quality parts across design concepts, validation, investment casting, tooling, and injection molding.”

Printing in Pantone Colors

On the PolyJet side, color-matching steps forward as Stratasys announces that it has been designated as Pantone Validated for the J750 and J735. Pantone is well-known in professional color standards, as brands and designers are acutely aware of their exact shades. Color in 3D printing has largely been controlled by specified filaments or post-processing, but with these systems’ ability to mix colors, control becomes even finer right at the source. Pantone functionality should be live in GrabCAD Print by July.

“Designers work hard to build realistic prototypes in ways that speed design, build and development cycles. Unfortunately, typical approaches of manually painting each and every model is time consuming,” said Hadas Schragenheim, Rapid Prototyping Manager, Stratasys. “Our agreement with Pantone sets the stage for a revolution in design and prototype processes. As the industry’s first 3D printers officially ‘PANTONE Validated,’ we’re allowing designers to build realistic prototypes faster than ever before – shrinking design-to-prototype and accelerating product time-to-market.”

Printing Metal with VELO3D

Stratasys Direct Manufacturing is opening more options in metals, now offering VELO3D’s Sapphire 3D printing powered by Flow software. VELO3D offers precise control in its laser fusion metal system, with in-situ metrology, closed-loop control, and lessened requirements for support structures.

“The Sapphire system from VELO3D is an important part of advancing our capabilities to include using additive metals in applications and geometries previously challenging to 3D print,” said Kent Firestone, CEO of Stratasys Direct Manufacturing. “This is a natural step in building our service portfolio, and we are excited to take on projects with more complexity to drive further adoption of serialized production additive manufacturing and push the boundaries of 3D metal printing.”

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Week 14, 2019 MakerBot Certification Program for Students

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Student Certification (Image: MakerBot)

Stratasys’ MakerBot subsidiary is also in the news this week, launching a new education-focused certification program.

The MakerBot Certification Program for Students adds to the company’s strategic focus on education, geared in this case toward students in middle and high school. Hands-on design experience and work with 3D printing is important for today’s students and tomorrow’s workforce. Last spring, MakerBot launched its Certification Program for Educators so those at the front of the classroom could gain confidence in these tools. Now the program extends to students for the 2019-2020 school year. The certification comes following successful completion of a four-part online course series. Modules include:

  • 3D Printer Operator – Learn how to set up and manage your MakerBot 3D printer, create your first prints, and troubleshoot common issues.
  • Design Thinking – Learn how to solve real-world design challenges using critical problem-solving skills including observation, ideation, and design.
  • Applied Design Thinking – Learn how to build on the fundamental Design Thinking skill set and approach your own projects with creative problem-solving skills.
  • Design for 3D Printing – Become a MakerBot 3D printing expert and learn how to apply advanced 3D printing skills for building exceptional models.

“We are excited to announce the MakerBot Certification Program for Students to provide them with 3D printing skills training. This program will not only help them to develop critical thinking skills and how to innovate with a MakerBot 3D printer but also enable educators to integrate 3D printing into their curriculums further,” said Nadav Goshen, CEO of MakerBot.

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Week 14, 2019 Dyndrite Emerges with Kernel, Developer Program, Funding

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The Dyndrite Additive Toolkit enables the importing and slicing of native spline date. (image. Dyndrite)

Dyndrite has emerged from stealth, introducing its new advanced geometry kernel and developer program, along with news of a healthy funding round.

Dyndrite is emerging following 3.5 years of quite development. The Dyndrite Accelerated Geometry Kernel (AGK) and Dyndrite Additive Toolkit built from it offer a GPU-native geometry engine for additive manufacturing. I had a demo of their tech, which can be run easily and quickly on a simple business laptop — and this is a technology to watch. The team developed their kernel to be for 3D printing what Adobe and PostScript were for 2D printing in the ‘80s. The Dyndrite kernel offers C++ as well as English-readable Python APIs, designed for efficiency. Streamlining the CAD-to-3D-print process is a major step forward for additive manufacturing. The STL file, a mainstay in DfAM, is becoming something of a legacy file type; direct work with CAD data can offer significant benefits.

But don’t take Dyndrite’s word for it; a quick look at some of the company’s early partners shows some big names. The Dyndrite Developer Program and Council includes Aconity3D, EOS, HP, NVIDIA, Plural Additive Manufacturing, and Renishaw. Backers in Dyndrite’s $10+ million Series A funding round include leader Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI-focused investment fund) as well as Cota Capital, Amplify Ventures, The House Fund, and private investor and former Autodesk CEO Carl Bass.

“As EOS continues to break boundaries and push the frontier of additive manufacturing, we pride ourselves in forming collaborative relationships to be able to offer our customers the best and state-of-the-art technology,” said Dr. Gregory Hayes, Director of Applications and Consulting for EOS. “We are excited to be working with Dyndrite, and looking forward to how their software can streamline and improve the design to part workflow.”

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Week 14, 2019 AddiFab Emerges with Freeform Injection Molding

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Leaving stealth mode: AddiFab (image: AddiFab)

Also emerging from stealth this week is AddiFab, with a new production process.

AddiFab is collaborating with Mitsubishi Chemical for materials usable on the new Freeform Injection Molding platform.The companies will be co-exhibiting at next month’s RAPID + TCT in Detroit, highlighting the capabilities of the FIM process that brings 3D printing and injection molding together. The three-step process is effectively:

  1. Print the mold
  2. Inject the mold
  3. Dissolve the mold

This brings 3D printing into mass production, or conversely, brings injection molding into lower-volume production. The complex geometries of 3D printing are also now compatible with the significantly larger materials portfolio available for injection molding.

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Week 14, 2019 Formlabs Introduces Form 3

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The Form 3L and the Form 3 made their debut on AMUG (image Formlabs)

The Form 3 and Form 3L emerged this week, introducing new capabilities to Formlabs’ popular SLA offerings. Low Force Stereolithography (LFS) makes its debut with these new machines, set to enhance reliability and print quality. The Form 3 looks pretty familiar, and stands as a solid follow-up to the Form 2. The Form 3L takes its “L” very seriously, though, as Formlabs goes large-format. At 200 x 335 x 300 mm, the 3L offers a whopping 5x build volume compared to either the Form 3 or Form 2. The Form 2 remains available, now discounted $500 from previous pricing. The Form 3 starts at $3,499 ($5,999 including the Form Cure and Form Wash), while the Form 3L will ship starting in Q4 priced at $9,999.

Because two highly-anticipated new 3D printers aren’t enough, Formlabs also introduced its Draft Resin. The new resin can print at a larger layer size (300 microns), ready to speed up the prototyping process.

3D Printing Industry News - Week 13, 2019

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Week 13, 2019 New 3D Printers

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The MetalOne is an SLM 3D printer that will be available towards the end of this year. (Source: Sharebot)

New 3D printers announced this week bring more industry focus to established companies.

Italy-based Sharebot has introduced its first metal 3D printer, the MetalONE. With work tracing back to 2015, the just-announced machine is slated for availability toward the end of this year. The MetalONE is an SLM 3D printer and is now seeking beta testers to ensure it’s market-ready. Drawn from experience in powder sintering that turned into the SLS SnowWhite system, the MetalOne turns toward metal. The machine boasts a decent build volume at 65 x 65 x 100 cm, ready to work (well, test) with stainless steel 316 and cobalt chrome materials to start. The MetalOne is powered by Sharebot’s software, with monitoring via 12” touchscreen.

On the desktop side, Aleph Objects is taking its popular TAZ 3D printers pro: meet the LulzBot TAZ Pro. Marking the company’s entry to the professional/prosumer category, the new 3D printer is designed for “large functional prototypes, manufacturing aids, and print-on-demand parts with professional results.” The TAZ Pro is multi-material friendly — and the announcement stresses that that means more functionality than ‘just’ the same material in another color or support material: “Durable and high-strength composite materials can be printed within the same part, as well as a wide range of materials with soluble supports for complex prints. Flexible materials with a Shore A hardness as low as 85A and industrial-grade polymers can also be printed in the same print.” Pre-orders are open now, with printers expected to ship in late April. Aleph Objects is also teasing another new machine, with the follow-on to the TAZ 6 to be unveiled May 1.

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Week 13, 2019 Materials in Focus

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Ingeo 3D450 support structures. (Source: NatureWorks)

A new support material and new materials facility keep the focus on 3D printing materials.

NatureWorks has introduced a new breakaway support material, Ingeo 3D450, for dual extrusion 3D printers. Designed to work with Ingeo 3D series materials in professional 3D printing, the new material offers a fast, clean breakaway for faster post-processing. Because it is designed to break off rather than be dissolved away, large-format 3D printing can benefit as there is no size concern in submerging finished prints.

Arkema has opened a plant to make its Kepstan PEKK material at its Alabama site. The company notes that the move is designed to support observed “strong demand for carbon fiber reinforced composites and 3D printing.” The plant opened this week, adding to Arkema’s PEKK capacity for use in “a wide range of processing technologies, particularly in the field of 3D printing where they are uniquely suited for powder sintering and filament extrusion processes.”

“This new capacity, which has been brought online on schedule, will enable our customers and their customers to better meet the future demand for ever more efficient materials. We thank our customers, our partners and the users who have trusted us and very early on selected Kepstan PEKK in their respective markets,” said Christophe André, Vice President, Advanced materials for Arkema.

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Week 13, 2019 Strategic Moves

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Authentise has announced a partnership with Microsoft. (Source: Authentise)

A big-name partnership and a new executive appointment highlight recent moves in business positioning.

Authentise has announced a partnership with Microsoft. Focusing on automation to empower operators in additive manufacturing, the move integrates Authentise’s workflow management system into Microsoft Flow and brings Microsoft Azure capabilities to Authentise customers. The Flow integration goes live this week with a big goal: for operators “to create their own automations without any coding knowledge.” Drag-and-drop and other easy-to-use tools can set up operations workflows, and Authentise sees this as a big move to “put power into the hands of operators,” as CEO Andre Wegner says. This is a mission Microsoft is on board with, to enhance the creativity in additive manufacturing.

“Microsoft is pleased to help Authentise empower manufacturing workers by enabling them to create their own business workflows on the Microsoft cloud,” says Diego Tamburini, Principal Manufacturing Industry Lead for Cloud Commercial Communities at Microsoft. “By adding manufacturing-specific connectors to the Microsoft Flow gallery, Authentise is unlocking the workers’ creativity so they can improve the efficiency of their own work. With 54 regions across the globe delivering services to 140 countries, Microsoft Azure is uniquely positioned to help manufacturers meet their compliance obligations including ITAR and GDPR. While Manufacturers may have once shied away from the cloud, they are no longer doing so.”

Printed Solid has announced a new CEO. David Randolph, who came onboard the Printed Solid team as part of the company’s 2017 acquisition of Ranlaser. The former Ranlaser owner became a Co-Owner and COO at that time. Now in a move that Printed Solid says allows Founding CEO Matthew Gorton to focus on work/life balance, Randolph has purchased Gorton’s shares and will assume the CEO mantle as of March 29. For his part, Gorton will take on Maker Box, which Printed Solid acquired in 2018, and separate it into an independent company as his primary focus.

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Week 13, 2019 Millions in Investment

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Two European companies welcome major investments this week.

Netherlands-based 3D Hubs announced an $18 million investment. The Series C funding round will set the company to accelerate its path toward on-demand manufacturing — which, until last year, was focused around 3D printing. Now with a fuller suite of manufacturing solutions, the business plan seems to be paying off for the company as 3D Hubs can increase its focus on automating the production of end-use parts with faster lead-times, more accurate quoting, and assured structural integrity of parts.

“3D Hubs is committed to being a radical innovator in the manufacturing industry – building pricing and manufacturability algorithms that are said to have the same potential as Google’s search algorithms,” says 3D Hubs co-founder and CEO, Bram de Zwart.

Barcelona-based BCN3D has really come into its own. So much so that a just-announced $3 million funding round is enabling the spin off into its own independent company.

Established in 2012 as a university group as part of CIM-UPC Center, BCN3D makes the popular open source Sigma line of 3D printers with IDEX (Independent Dual EXtruder) technology. The funding round included VC firms VC firms Accurafy4, JME VC, and Victoria — and now, BCN3D says, makes the company “one of the top 10 desktop 3D printing manufacturers in Europe by funding.”

Now as an independent company, the new BCN3D counts as its founders CEO Xavier Martinez Faneca and executive team Roger Antunez, Pol Domenech, Marc Felis, Jose Antonio Ortega, Eric Pallares, as well as tech advisor (and former CEO) Roger Ucenda.

“We are working on a new range of products to improve the experience of our clients and take the IDEX to a completely new level” stated BCN3D’s CEO Xavier Martínez Faneca. “With this funding, we will be able to ramp-up our production to meet the market demand and cut down the long delivery periods we have experienced in the past due to production limitations”.

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Week 13, 2019 MJF Milestone

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A fuel window for Husqvarna’s landscaping products is an example of one of the more than 10 million parts produced using HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology in the past year. (Source: HP Inc.)

HP Inc. has announced a hefty milestone for its Multi Jet Fusion technology.

In 2018, more than 10 million parts were 3D printed with MJF. The first Jet Fusion 3D printers were unveiled in 2016, with volume shipping ramping up in 2017. For the first full year of market penetration, 10 million parts made is a quantity that can turn some heads. And it’s only the start for HP, which has vowed to disrupt the $12 trillion global manufacturing technology.

Last year the company introduced new 3D printers: at SWW, the 500/300 Series of color-capable prototyping-focused Jet Fusion machines and, at IMTS, the highly-anticipated entry into metal 3D printing with Metal Jet systems. These new systems are set to ramp up the HP-3D printed numbers, as the Jet Fusion 500/300 3D printers are now shipping in volume and the Metal Jet Production Service is now widely available.

More than 10 million parts were produced on HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology in the last year. We are seeing an explosion of new applications across industries taking advantage of the design freedom, superior economics, speed, and industrial-grade quality unlocked by HP and its partners,” said Christoph Schell, President of 3D Printing and Digital Manufacturing, HP Inc.

“As we continue to expand our plastics and metals portfolio across both prototyping and production, and build out our community of global partners, we are helping customers save money, accelerate time to market, and improve sustainability as they progress on their digital manufacturing journey.”

3D Printing Industry News - Week 11 & 12, 2019

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Week 11 & 12, 2019 Boston-based Markforged Announced a New Funding Round

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The Metal X system setup (Source: Markforged)

The $82 million Series D funding round brings new and existing participation. Led by Summit Partners, the round also saw further investment from Matrix Partners; M12, Microsoft’s Venture Fund; Next47; and Porsche SE. The substantial boost is set to see the company continue to invest in new products and global presence. Markforged is poised to accelerate the expansion of its materials portfolio, particularly exciting for Metal X users, and to open new offices in Dublin and the Asia/Pacific region.

“We have been actively monitoring the additive manufacturing market for the last decade and are excited to partner with the Markforged team,” said Michael Medici, a Managing Director at Summit Partners who has joined the company’s Board of Directors.

“Markforged has been quietly executing at an incredible pace for the last five years, delivering exceptional products that solve real-world industrial manufacturing needs. Greg and his team are focused on continued product innovation, and we believe the best is yet to come for Markforged and its customers.”

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Week 11 & 12, 2019 Authentise Digitizes More for Digital Manufacturing

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App screenshot. (Source: Authentise)

Digital manufacturing still has quite a paper trail. With its new app, Authentise seeks to extend the digital thread from printers to post-processing.

QR codes embedded on travelers will allow operators to move more easily through the stages of additive manufacturing, tracking progress and increasing traceability.

Minimalist travelers are also being introduced “that allows additive manufacturing facilities to start the process of going completely paperless.”

Upon launch, functionality includes data that can be used in Authentise’s Machine Learning algorithms to improve estimates for time and quality. Future updates will include more functionality: adding notes, interacting with process steps, and more. The trial release via Google Play and the web will be soon.

“Despite the fact that additive devices are nearly entirely digital, the entire process is far from it,” says Andre Wegner, CEO of Authentise.

“Our software already retrieves data from more additive devices than anybody else, as well as some post-processing tools, but that’s not enough. Manual process steps are tedious enough for operators; reporting their progress shouldn’t be. By releasing this app, we’re simply doing what we always do; focus on making the life of the operator easier. The fact that we’re using the data generated to add further value is just added bonus.”

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Week 11 & 12, 2019 Focus on DfAM

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Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates. (Source: Terry Wohlers)

Protolabs continues to look toward design for additive manufacturing (DfAM).

The service provider, which has previously worked with MIT, is now teaming up with Wohlers Associates for a new DfAM course. The immersive course will leverage expertise from both teams, including Associate Consultant Olaf Diegel and Principal Consultant and President Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associate, as well as Protolabs engineers dedicated to polymer and metal additive manufacturing technologies. The course is invitation-only, running three days in North Carolina and concluding at Protolabs’ 77,000-square-foot AM facility.

“Designing for AM offers unique challenges and opportunities not found in traditional design methods,” said Wohlers. “Protolabs brings tremendous depth of expertise and leadership in 3D printing. We’re thrilled to work together to equip attendees with technical skills and manufacturing knowledge needed to unlock the full potential of additive manufacturing.”

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Week 11 & 12, 2019 New Dental 3D Printer Goes Big

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The Varseo XL dental 3D printer. (Source: Nexa3D)

A new 3D printer promises speed and scale for dental labs.

The Varseo XL joins the dental 3D printing portfolio at BEGO in a big way. Skipping over the L size entirely, the XL means it, with a substantial build volume (the company says “10x the volume and 5x the print area of all comparable 3D printers on the market”). It also brings significant speed (“up to 6x the speed”).

The claims are big — and come from Nexa3D, which makes the new machine, branded for BEGO. The Varseo XL is slated for commercialization within the next year, available through BEGO’s dental reseller network.

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Week 11 & 12, 2019 Post-Processing Introductions

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Automotive oil pump printed with SABIC’s ULTEM AM9085F filament and new AMS31F support filament. (Source: SABIC)

SABIC and PostProcess Technologies have new introductions for post-processing.

Introduced at formnext 2018 and launched this week, SABIC’s new breakaway support material, AMS31F, enhances ease of post-processing for 3D printing done with ULTEM. The high-temperature material generally requires significant post-processing, with support removal generally requiring reheating. With AMS31F, supports break away at room temperature. The material is also a color that starkly contrasts with ULTEM’s trademark amber hue for quick identification to further speed the process.

“Using structural supports to print parts with complex geometries is essential, but it can also be quite challenging,” said Keith Cox, Senior Business Manager, Additive Manufacturing, SABIC.

“Removing traditional supports from the finished part often involves time-consuming processes that can negatively impact productivity and quality. By offering a complementary support material for our ULTEM AM9085F filament, SABIC is providing a complete material solution that helps customers save time and effort. Additionally, the ease of support material removal provides part designers greater flexibility in defining print orientation to optimize part performance.”

PostProcess Technologies’ new introduction focuses on SLA 3D printing. Resin removal in SLA can be rather a pain, but PostProcess’ new solution seeks to ease that pain. The SLA resin removal solution, which works on PostProcess’ DEMI and CENTI machines, has been validated with eight resins. Results show that it is capable of “performing complete resin removal on 3D printed SLA parts consistently in 5 to 10 minutes,” which shows that it can clean “up to 5 times as many parts before detergent saturation versus traditional solvent resin removal.”

“PostProcess’ latest innovation of the most advanced SLA resin removal solution in the world reinforces our commitment to providing the AM industry with transformative post-printing solutions enabling the market to scale”, commented Jeff Mize, CEO, PostProcess Technologies.

“SLA is one of the most popular 3D printing technologies in the world. No matter what volume of printing, any SLA user can benefit from the remarkable efficiencies of our solution’s decreased processing time, increased throughput, increased detergent longevity, and improved safety. PostProcess has designed the world’s first complete SLA resin removal system, available only from the pioneers in forward-thinking 3D post-printing.”

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Week 11 & 12, 2019 PAEK Partnership

Image of : PAEK Partnership
Fine detailed porous structure printed in VICTREX PEEK using BOND3D technology. (Source: Victrex)

Victrex and Bond partner up for PAEK part performance.

Without specific numbers named, the partnership is in “a multi-million Euro investment” as Victrex works with Bond High Performance 3D Technology. Also covering PEEK printing, the high-strength materials take center stage for the strong deal.

“Our investment in Bond’s 3D technology is a logical way to accelerate 3D printed PAEK/PEEK parts to market. We need to ensure that all the key elements, including material, process, and hardware are aligned to fulfill our goal of enabling our customers to manufacture 3D printed PAEK components for critical high-performance applications. We’re now at a stage where the technology is sufficiently developed to embark on exciting development programs,” Jakob Sigurdsson, Victrex CEO explained.

“Collaboration and partnerships are the key to establishing the necessary supply chain for additive manufactured PAEK parts. After focusing, as part of Innovate UK projects, on new optimized PAEK/PEEK materials, partnering with Bond is the next important stage. Their advanced technical capabilities and ambitious, innovative culture will help to meet the needs of industries that can benefit from the exceptional material properties PAEK brings, in combination with the manufacturing benefits and freedom that their AM technology offers.”

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Week 11 & 12, 2019 Food, Glorious (3D Printed) Food

Image of : Food, Glorious (3D Printed) Food
Sushi Singularity is set to offer customized 3D printed sushi. (Source: Sushi Singularity)

What better way to end a digest than 3D printed sushi customized by poo and a look at food safety regarding 3D printing?

The poo thing is real; Sushi Singularity is set to offer customized 3D printed sushi made just for each customer, based on his or her biometrics…as collected through saliva, urine, and/or fecal samples. Invasive? Maybe. Delicious? Hopefully. Well balanced? Also hopefully. The Japanese endeavor is based in Tokyo, a project from Open Meals. A Food Operation System (FOS) will run data from the Health Identification (HID) to make the sushi, on the Food Fabrication Machine (FFM). The sushi itself looks beautiful, both like actual sushi and like some futuristic food made by a robot chef (which is what it is).

I don’t know what else to say about this one; check it out:
http://www.open-meals.com/img/projects/mv_sect6_01.mp4

Also on the food side, but not edible itself, Formlabs focuses on food safety.

A new tutorial, The Essential Guide to Food Safe 3D Printing: Regulations, Technologies, Materials, and More, focuses on the ins and outs of what you need to know if you’ll be 3D printing anything for food contact. Thinking of making some cookie cutters, a coffee mug, or a personalized spoon? For the most part, making a coaster or something similarly proximal to but that doesn’t actually touch food is much safer.

But if you want to make something for food contact, this new resource is a great place to start. It’s especially promising that early on they note: “No Formlabs resins are food safe unless users take additional steps.” It’s those additional steps that provide any semblance of food safety.

The full tutorial, well worth the read, covers:

  • What Does Food Safe Really Mean?
  • General Food Safe 3D Printing Considerations
  • Food Safe 3D Printing With Stereolithography (SLA)
  • Food Safe 3D Printing With Fused Deposition Modeling
  • (FDM)
  • Food Safe 3D Printing With Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Conclusion and Further Reading

3D Printing Industry News - Week 10, 2019

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Week 10, 2019 New LENS machines

Image of : New LENS machines
Optomec LENS CS 800 System (Image: Optomec)

Optomec has expanded its LENS metal 3D printing portfolio with new introductions.

The LENS CS 600 and CS 800 Controlled Atmosphere (CA) DED systems are configurable new additions to the company’s Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) Classic System Series. Both machines are already available and shipping has begun. The systems have base features including controlled atmosphere chambers and a Siemens 840D controller for three- (standard) or four- or five-axis motion. Configurations can be adapted for customer preference, as users can adjust the setup with a “user interchangeable rotary table and/or tilt-rotate trunnion for four and five-axis operations.” Further, the new machines are compatible with the newest LENS deposition head for laser power processing up to 3 kW, interchangeable print nozzles, and variable spot sizes.

“These new systems come packed with next-generation DED components all born from signature Optomec know-how and built to provide affordable, high-quality metal additive manufacturing capabilities for industry’s most demanding requirements,” said Tom Cobbs, Optomec LENS product manager. “The LENS CS 600 and CS 800 systems represent the latest in DED processing from precision deposition to cladding applications and extend our product portfolio to continue to provide high-value metal additive manufacturing solutions.”

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Week 10, 2019 Strategic design partnership

Image of : Strategic design partnership
Carbon partnering with ZVerse (Image: ZVerse)

Carbon and ZVerse have announced a new strategic partnership.

Many of Carbon’s partnerships have revolved around specific usage as the company’s DLS technology enables production-quality and -scale 3D printing. The latest, though, shows a unique benefit for the Carbon Production Network (CPN): design. The design partnership will allow access to the ZVerse 3D Design-On-Demand Platform and Services, which are said to have been optimized for the CPN. Design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) remains a barrier to entry for 3D printing, especially at the production level. Working with experts in design who are trained in the ins and outs of specific processes opens up possibilities. ZVerse prides itself on creating usable 3D files from designs or drawings. The company’s 3D Design on Demand platform is already in use by Xometry, through a partnership announced last year. And now, says Carbon Co-Founder and VP of Business Development Phil DeSimone, “ZVerse will help bridge the design gap and enable Carbon customers to create previously un-makeable products using Carbon DLS technology.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Carbon to deliver their Production Partners and Customers the easiest path from idea to manufacturable files. Our mission is to increase the pipeline of production applications for our digital manufacturing partners, at scale, by removing the friction associated with providing design services,” said John Carrington, CEO at ZVerse. “As a Design Partner, we look forward to enabling more production opportunities for companies using Carbon DLS technology.”

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Week 10, 2019 Seattle’s skyline shapes up with 3D printing

Image of : Seattle’s skyline shapes up with 3D printing
Rainier Square Tower (Image via 3Diligent)

Seattle’s soon-to-be skyscraper will become the city’s second-tallest building with a unique shape built with 3D printed nodes.

If viewers of How I Met Your Mother took anything away from the sitcom other than annoyance at the series finale, it may well have been that building a skyscraper is a major job. Rainier Square Tower is set to reshape the Seattle skyline next year with some interesting geometry. Creating the exterior curtain wall (nonstructural outer covering) of the building has proven to be a bit of a challenge in manufacturing for Walters & Wolf — which found a solution for one component in 3D printing. The company teamed up with 3Diligent to find a solution for a cladding system that requires V-shaped nodes necessary for each floor of the building — which, due to the slope, required that all 140 needed to be made uniquely with different dimensions. 3Diligent suggested either investment casting or 3D printing to create the aluminum nodes; following testing of both types, Walters & Wolf team selected 3D printing “because of the dimensional accuracy and structural reliability it gave us,” as W&W designer Jon Ishee explained.

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Week 10, 2019 Spare parts for buses and trucks

Image of : Spare parts for buses and trucks

CNH Industrial is the latest company to announce a move toward 3D printing for spare parts production.

Four plastic parts for buses and agricultural equipment are the first components planned for CNH’s new 3D printing strategy. The company notes that it is “committed to further investigating the potential of Additive Manufacturing with the aim of producing a full range of parts and promptly respond to all types of needs at every stage of the product’s lifecycle.” Future plans include metal 3D printing, which the company is currently testing for more components. Adoption of 3D printing for spare parts creation has many benefits for companies. CNH specifically cites sustainability advantages, energy usage, rapid availability, local and on-demand manufacturing, and a fit with small order quantities as among its reasons for integrating additive manufacturing into operations.

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Week 10, 2019 Financial results

Materialise and Stratasys have announced financials for 2018.

Materialise reports an impressive total revenue increase of 29.6% for 2018 as both full year and Q4 results show promising upticks. The most significant percentage gains were in the materialise Manufacturing segment, with a 49.0% increase in 2018. Strong growth was also seen in the Materialise Medical segment, with 22.0% growth over that period. Perhaps surprisingly for a company well known for its software was the relatively slow 4.5% growth in the Materialise Software segment.

Executive Chairman Peter Leys said of the results, “The additive manufacturing market continues to evolve, as new applications gradually find their way to the market, and we intend to continue positioning Materialise to benefit from this promising growth market in the coming years. In 2019, Materialise will dedicate significant attention to the partnerships that we have entered into and to the strategic initiatives that we have launched over the previous years. In our Materialise Software segment, we intend to maintain our leadership position through innovation and strategic partnerships; in our Materialise Medical segment we will drive the next stage of innovation, including by launching initiatives in new growth areas; and in our Materialise Manufacturing segment we will increasingly focus on manufacturing of complex and unique parts.”

Stratasys reports a $663.2 million revenue for 2018 (down from $668.4 million in 2017), and $177.1 million for Q4 (down from $179.3 million in Q4 2017). The company says its $63.7 million in cash from operations in 2018 is a record. Despite a second fiscal year of revenue drops, the company says they are “pleased” with the performance and are looking forward to a promising future. With the company’s metal technology to continue toward the market, we can expect to hear much more from Stratasys in 2019.

“We are pleased with our fourth quarter and full year profitability, and finished 2018 with record cash flow from operations as we continue to build a strong operational foundation for future growth opportunities and to invest in accelerating new product introductions to expand our addressable markets,” said Elchanan (Elan) Jaglom, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Stratasys. “Our consolidated top line results this quarter reflect continued positive traction in high-end system and materials sales for our PolyJet and FDM technology platforms, primarily in North America, offset partially by the impact late in the quarter of the government shutdown in the United States and what we believe is temporary weakness in the Automotive sector in Europe.”

3D Printing Industry News - Week 9, 2019

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Week 9, 2019 Materials Partnerships

(Source: Shapeways)

3D printing materials are expanding as a service bureau adds technology and a 3D printer manufacturer deepens a materials partnership.

Shapeways and Carbon have teamed up to offer Shapeways customers access to Carbon technology. Customers can now design and order in three materials created via Carbon’s unique Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology, offering more choice to Shapeways customers. It sounds as though the selection may expand over time, but at launch these include:

  • Elastomeric polyurethane (EPU 40), a highly elastic tear resistant and resilient material — great for printing foam like products
  • Rigid polyurethane (RPU 70), a versatile, tough and rigid material — great for consumer products, classified UL 94 HB flame resistant
  • Urethane methacrylate (UMA 90), a tough, rigid resin similar to conventional SLA — used to manufacture jigs and fixtures

“We are thrilled that through our partnership with Shapeways, we can make the Carbon Platform accessible to more businesses around the world,” said Dana McCallum, Head of Production Partners for Carbon.

Early this year, Boston-based Fortify announced a new investment and a partnership with DSM for its open materials program, the Fortify Fiber Platform.

This week, we see more details emerge on the materials work between DSM and Fortify. The companies have announced that they will be developing high-performance composite materials for the 3D printing of structural parts.

Fortify’s Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM) platform features an interesting resin-based process that can work with strong materials. For its part, DSM is only deepening its commitment to additive manufacturing, working with a growing number of partners in the industry. Open materials platforms enable more development for what users are actually using, and help hardware companies leverage the expertise of the world’s materials giants.

“At DSM Additive Manufacturing, we believe that collaborating with industry partners is key to advance the industry,” said Hugo da Silva, VP of Additive Manufacturing at DSM. “Partnering with Fortify allows us to develop high-performance composite materials for DLP technology, making the technology viable for functional parts in demanding applications.”

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Week 9, 2019 Multi-metal 3D Printing

Powder recoater prototype (left). Multi-material powder layers created with the prototype (right). (Source: Aerosint)

A recently announced partnership is taking steps to develop and commercialize multi-metal 3D printing.

Belgium-based Aerosint and Germany-based Aconity are working together to advance laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) 3D printing. They are developing and plan to bring to market a system to 3D print multiple metals within the same build. Aerosint has created a recoater that can be added as a module to an LPBF 3D printer — for the purposes of this collaboration, that’s the large-scale AconityONE. The recoater was designed to use patented powder voxel deposition technology to create the multi-metal layers. The companies are hoping in the near term to attract potential users as they look to ensure that targeted and real-world needs are met.

“What Aerosint has invented is very unique. An LPBF system with multi-material capabilities is unseen in the industry. Our customers have been waiting for these capabilities and we are therefore excited to start working on a potential solution for them. Multi-material is for us the next evolution of 3D printing and we are happy we can be pioneers here together with Aerosint,” said Aconity CEO Yves Hagedorn.

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Week 9, 2019 Desktop 3D Printing and Investment Casting

PolyCast filament by Polymaker. (Source: Polymaker)3D printing and investment casting already have a long history, and a new offering is set to continue advances.

New LulzBot 3D printer bundles for metal casting “combine best-in-class printer reliability with Polymaker’s PolyCast filament, designed specifically to replace wax patterns for investment casting.”

The Large Metal Cast and Precision Metal Cast Bundles, both available immediately, each target different needs for those looking to create 3D printed casting patterns. The Large Metal Cast Bundle is centered around a TAZ 6 3D printer and can create 3D printed patterns up to 280 x 280 x 250 mm in size. The Precision Metal Cast Bundle focuses on the smaller Mini 2 3D printer and can create finely detailed patterns. Both include appropriate tool heads and reels two (Precision) or four (Large) 750g reels of PolyCast filament.

“PolyCast has been designed specifically for a very clean burn out, allowing 3D printed patterns to completely vaporize from investment molds,” said PolyMaker VP Jeff Walters. “Users can replace injection molded wax patterns, eliminating the tooling process saving time and money, allowing for quicker iteration of design without committing to large minimum order quantities.”

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Week 9, 2019 Digital Manufacturing Patent

A new patent for secure streaming and monitoring for digital manufacturing has been approved.

“TL;DR: Authentise’s patent, focusing on increasing intellectual property and integrity protection in digital manufacturing through streaming, has just been approved. We’re in the technology game, not the patent game. Nevertheless, we think this patent is important to guide the industry forwards,” Authentise CEO Andre Wegner explains in brief.

The US Patent Office has approved the “System, Method and Program Product for Digital Production Management” application. Authentise explains that the patent “shows how streaming designs or machine code directly into manufacturing devices … can help not only protect the intellectual property of the part but enable remote integrity control … and close the loop completely by making remote in-process amendments, such as integrating watermarks in the object once we’ve verified that the part was produced correctly.”

Phew. Closed-loop is a common workflow in traditional manufacturing but remains somewhat elusive in additive manufacturing to date. Authentise’s work adds to that step forward. Wegner says that “the patent was a foundational piece of our early days,” indicating the company’s longstanding dedication to a future of distributed manufacturing and data-enabled manufacturing processes. Technology from the patent will be available as an add-on module to the company’s Additive Accelerator.

3D Printing Industry News – Week 8, 2019

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Week 8, 2019 Stratasys’ J720 goes dental

Image of : Stratasys’ J720 goes dental
Statasys’ J270 is a dedicated dental machine (image: Stratasys)

Stratasys’ J750 3D printer debuted in 2016 with multi-material capabilities. The new J720 takes those capabilities straight to the dental market.

Introduced this week at LMT Lab Day Chicago, the J720 Dental was designed to speed up and simplify dental workflows. Stratasys notes that its new multi-material, 500,000-color-capable machine is high resolution and can offer “1.75x the daily throughput of high-end DLP and SLA dental 3D printers.” 3D printing with up to six materials at the same time and featuring GrabCAD Print software, the cloud-connected new machine offers hands-off functionality for dental labs.

“Labs today operate in a very competitive space where differentiation counts on mastering the digital workflow and expanding into new products and services,” said Barry Diener, Dental Segment Sales Leader, Stratasys. “The J720 Dental 3D Printer is designed to change the game – allowing levels of speed, productivity and realism the market has never seen. This powers laboratories to meet the demands of a competitive market and push the boundaries of digital dentistry.

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Week 8, 2019 Ultimaker Cloud and additional print profiles

Image of : Ultimaker Cloud and additional print profiles
Ultimaker’s Cura will soon connect to the cloud. (source: Ultimaker)

Ultimaker Cura connects to the cloud and adds three companies’ material profiles.

Cura 4.0, now in beta, will be available next month. With that launch on 19 March will come a new capability: Ultimaker Cloud. Announced this week at TCT Asia, the company describes Cloud’s initial capabilities upon launch as including:

  • Backups: Keep your Ultimaker Cura settings in the cloud and conveniently retrieve them for use anywhere, on any computer
  • Marketplace: Get exclusive access to print profiles configured by material experts from leading brands, choose the ideal material for your application, and instantly get optimized settings in Ultimaker Cura for the best results
  • Marketplace ratings: Share your opinions and experiences with plugins in the Marketplace
  • Remote printing: Send print jobs to network-enabled Ultimaker printers from anywhere and stay informed of print progress

Available now on Cura, though, are new print profiles for materials from Essentium, eSUN, and Polymaker. As Cura continues to increase its holdings of specific material print profiles, users will be able to add to their understanding of the materials, including engineering-grade, they can use on their desktop 3D printers. New material profiles include Ultrafuse Z PCTG (Essentium); PETG, ePA-CF, and HIPS from eSUN; and PolyMide PA6-CF, PolyMide CoPA, and PolyCast from Polymaker.

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Week 8, 2019 3D Scanning: software and a scanner

Image of : 3D Scanning: software and a scanner
(source: FARO)

FARO Technologies and Thor3D are rolling out introductions to enhance the 3D scanning workflow.

FARO RevEng is a new software platform designed for use with the FARO Design ScanArm and FARO 8-Axis FaroArm to aid in reverse engineering. Reverse engineering can be a complicated process, and easing the steps starting from the beginning with scan-to-design capability is a big help. RevEng captures and generates point clouds, then converts these into meshes that can be edited and used for design or 3D printing. The product is designed with seamless workflow in mind.

“As a solutions-driven enterprise, FARO is focused on our customers’ optimizing their investment,” stated Thorsten Brecht, Senior Director, 3D Design. “FARO RevEng is modeled with this as the core development sensibility. We appreciate that time to market and design flexibility are critical to the success of any design project.”

Thor3D’s new Calibry 3D scanner is a surprisingly affordable piece of equipment. Introduced at TCT Asia, the new 3D scanner is priced at €4,995 (about US$5,790). While not an insubstantial amount of money, it’s worth keeping in mind that many comparable systems are priced about 3x higher than that. The Calibry works best for medium and large-scale scans, collecting up to 3M points per second with its built-in texture camera. Small and fast “like a hummingbird” as CEO Anna Zevelyov calls it, the Colibri is a hummingbird; Thor3D brought this idea together with calibration for “Calibry.”

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Week 8, 2019 XPRIZE, XponentialWorks, and unlimited 3D printing

Image of : XPRIZE, XponentialWorks, and unlimited 3D printing
Peter H. Diamandis (left), Founder and Executive Chairman of XPRIZE along with Avi Reichental, Founder and CEO of XponentialWorks on stage at Visioneering 2018 (source: XPRIZE)

XPRIZE is well known for major challenges — and major awards. This is expanding now in digital manufacturing technologies with a new partnership. Xponential works is now the “official partner for all generative design and additive manufacturing” for XPRIZE. It’s a pretty major deal, as the announcement notes that “XponentialWorks has agreed to provide free, unlimited 3D printing for the XPRIZE Foundation and all registered teams across its current and future competitions.” When they say unlimited, they mean it; the partnership will be ongoing in perpetuity so long as XponentialWorks continues. Effective this week, any registered and confirmed team, anywhere in the world, competing for a current XPRIZE can receive 3D printed parts from XponentialWorks. This should be a major benefit for the generally early-stage companies that participate in XPRIZE challenges — and would benefit from faster iteration periods to test new prototypes.

“A big part of harvesting the upside of exponential tech disruption is the responsibility and privilege to pay it forward and no other organization packs the long lasting societal and economic impact of XPRIZE,” said Avi Reichental, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of XponentialWorks. “It is truly an honor to be part of building a bridge to abundance with XPRIZE by continuing our talents and resource to leave behind a better world for all mankind.”

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Week 8, 2019 US Army logistics and 3D printing

Image of : US Army logistics and 3D printing
A Soldier holds a cap used to protect the fire extinguishing system housed in the wheel wells of Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. Without the cap, MRAPs are deemed non-mission-capable. Soldiers in Korea saved 1,472 operational days for their MRAPs by 3-D printing the caps for about $2.50 each. (source: Sam Curtis)

The US Army has long turned to 3D printing, and shares a look into the impact on logistics.

The 2019 Military Additive Manufacturing Summit and Technology Showcase featured the Army’s current 3D printing capabilities. Held early this month in Florida, the summit brought together military officials with academia and industry. This year is interesting for US military operations as the Army reports that its Illinois-based Center of Excellence for Additive and Advanced Manufacturing is slated to reach initial operating capability in 2019. 3D printing sees extensive use in military operations, including at such centers, on bases, and with troops deployed in the field. 3D printed spare parts are a major use of the technology, as replacement components can be created on demand and at a lower cost. Future applications are expected to expand, even as the Army turns increasing focus to existing challenges. Intellectual property, cybersecurity, standardization, and certification are among these issues, and the Army is ready to put the work in.

“This takes a lot of labor, and there is a price tag on that, but this is crucial for Soldier safety,” Lt. Gen. Aundre Piggee, the Army’s deputy chief of staff, said. “Logistics will be contested in every domain. We need every innovation to set a theater and sustain Soldiers in future missions — whether it is artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles dropping off supplies, or a 3-D printer at the point of need,” Piggee said.

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Week 8, 2019 3D printing in education

Image of : 3D printing in education
Silver Hill School fifth graders Luis Medina (right) and Sophia DeFrank hold items printed using the school’s 3D printer at left (Image: Tim Jean, Eagle Tribune)

Start them young. For STEM/STEAM education to help ready the next generation for careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, curricula need to embrace new technologies. Massachusetts’ Silver Hill School elementary students are working with 3D printing and other advanced tech — robotics, CAD, programming — and expressing enthusiasm. Math specialist Jennifer Donais has been working with students, including third graders in a robotics competition and fifth graders putting 3D printers to use. “The kids love it,” Donais said. “They are constantly asking, when are we doing 3D printing again?” Using TinkerCAD, the fifth graders are getting used to designing their own educational toys and other projects and gifts. The district worked with PrintLab to invest in seven 3D printers in the high school and elementary and middle schools.

Going a bit older, we also see more in the headlines this week from higher education.

Wichita State University will, starting in autumn 2019, offer a graduate certificate in additive manufacturing. The school says the certificate “will equip you with knowledge of this revolutionary process—allowing you to adapt your mindset to approach design problems in entirely new ways.”

Clemson University and GE are coming together in a strategic partnership with a new Additive Manufacturing Lab at GE Power’s Advanced Manufacturing Works facility. The new 1,000-square-foot facility, managed by Clemson’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing, houses a GE Additive Concept Laser M2 Cusing direct metal laser melting and two other industrial 3D printers, incorporating both metal and polymer technologies. Automotive engineering grad students will gain first access to the new lab for their work in creating a car.

“We know advanced manufacturing will continue transforming business around the globe and we’re leaders in the field,” said John Lammas, Chief Engineer and CTO of GE Power. “By partnering with Clemson, a South Carolina top public institution, we will be able to train students from one of the country’s leading institutions to be the next generation of engineers, furthering their education and preparing them to move additive manufacturing forward.

3D Printing Industry News – Week 7, 2019

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Week 7, 2019 Rize and SOLIDWORKS

Image of : Rize and SOLIDWORKS
The RIZE ONE 3D printer, (Image: Rize)

Rize and Dassault Systèmes deepened their relationship this week, with some interesting implications.

The team at Rize has a long history with SOLIDWORKS; some of their execs, for example, came straight from the popular software company. The relationship goes even deeper now with two announcements made at SOLIDWORKS World.

First, the partnership will see every sale of the RIZE ONE 3D printer through the end of 2019 include a license for SOLIDWORKS. Not only does that save users the license fee, it showcases a strategic partnership that highlights the importance of design for additive manufacturing (DfAM). And it doesn’t stop there: Rize has also just become SOLIDWORKS parent Dassault Systèmes’ first hardware investment in 3D printing. Dassault Systèmes joins three other new investors in a $15 million Series B round. The money is important, Rize President and CEO Andy Kalambi told me when we spoke in Dallas, but it’s the relationship that really matters here. SOLIDWORKS VP of Business Development and Strategy Suchit Jain added in another conversation that we can expect to see more direct strategic partnerships between the software giant and 3D printing hardware companies as more integration is needed to continue to drive progress.

“Our strategy is to expand the adoption of industrial 3D printing. This funding by a deeply respected group of diverse global investors validates our approach to make it a mainstream application within the enterprise. It is gratifying that our investors share our values of inclusive and sustainable innovation by making industrial 3D printing safe, easy and affordable. With the support of our investors, we will expand the usage of industrial 3D printing across all the functions: design, engineering, manufacturing, supply chain and service,” Kalambi said in the announcement.

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Week 7, 2019 Stratasys Drives on with Autosport, Software

Image of : Stratasys Drives on with Autosport, Software
The team at Andretti leverage the Stratasys Fortus 450mc 3D Printer to speed design and development. Pictured from the team (L-R): Eric Bretzman, Technical Director; Michael Andretti, CEO; Aaron Marney, Senior Development Engineer / (Image: Stratasys)

Stratasys’ SWW announcements included a new software feature and new autosports partner.

GrabCAD Print welcomes a new feature with Advanced FDM. Cutting out the middleman in a typical CAD-to-STL workflow in 3D printing, Advanced FDM can now, working with several of Stratasys’ FDM 3D printers, enable a higher-fidelity process intended to speed design-to-3D-print workflow. Stratasys isn’t the only big player to introduce software advances at SWW this year, which is a good sign for users.

“For design and manufacturing engineers, one of the most frustrating processes is ‘dumbing down’ a CAD file to STL format – only to require subsequent re-injection of design intent into the STL printing process,” said Mark Walker, Lead Software Product Manager at Stratasys. “This software is engineered to do away with this complexity, letting designers reduce iterations and design cycles – getting to a high-quality, realistic prototype and final part faster than ever before.”

Continuing work in the automotive industry — a popular theme this week, as Carbon also announced end-use parts that Lamborghini is 3D printing — Stratasys introduces work with Andretti Autosport. 3D printing is playing an ever-increasing role in the racing world, and Andretti is putting the tech to use for both prototyping and end-use parts.

“We have been looking for the right partner to add 3D capability to our design and development activities for a while now,” said Andretti Autosport COO Rob Edwards. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to establish a relationship with the industry leader, Stratasys. Since the machines were commissioned they have been operating at capacity and we look forward to seeing the benefits of our expanded capability on the race-track in 2019.”

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Week 7, 2019 Ultimaker and Airbus

Image of : Ultimaker and Airbus
Ultimaker will supply Airbus with more Ultimaker S5 (Source: Ultimaker)

Transportation partnerships are taking off with 3D printing, and they’re not all on four wheels.

Ultimaker will be supplying Ultimaker S5 3D printers, Cura software, materials, and services for Airbus’ use in European (and, later, global) operations. Airbus has a long history with 3D printing, so the move is very logical for the aerospace giant. Ultimaker’s desktop technologies will be put to use primarily for the “direct, local production of tools, jigs, and fixtures, and printing lightweight design parts with composite materials,” the announcement notes.

“We are very proud that Airbus selected Ultimaker. Strict rules regarding safety and certifications can make manufacturing and model-making workflows complicated, especially for engineers in the aerospace industry. I am glad that our certified solution and the possibility to print with composite materials enables these engineers to keep innovating. The team at Airbus can fully rely on our dedicated global sales and partner network for full support,” said Jos Burger, CEO of Ultimaker.

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Week 7, 2019 Desktop Metal Rolls Out 316L Stainless Steel

Image of : Desktop Metal Rolls Out 316L Stainless Steel
316L is the choice material for impellers used in harsh environments, such as those found in cryogenic, salt water, and petroleum pumps. Geometrically complex, prototypes typically cost $1,000 or more, while this impeller was printed in 316L for $70 (Source: Desktop Metal)

Another company exhibiting at SWW was Desktop Metal; last year the company debuted Live Parts software, and this year it’s the launch of 316L stainless steel.

Desktop Metal’s Studio System is shipping now, and users are welcoming new material introductions. 316L is a well-known steel featuring corrosion resistance and strong mechanical properties at extreme temperatures, expanding the applicability of 3D printed parts in harsh environments. The company points to a few early applications, including a combustion fuel nozzle for marine tankers, a customized ring splint for medical use, and an impeller (image above) for use in harsh environments. Studio System users looking to 3D print stainless steel can now choose from 316L or 17-4 PH types — or branch out from stainless and look to tool steels, superalloys, or copper among the 30+ other materials in development.

“The addition of 316L enables engineers to print metal parts for a wide range of applications, including engine parts, laboratory equipment, pulp and paper manufacturing, medical devices, chemical and petrochemical processing, kitchen appliances, jewelry and even cryogenic tools and equipment,” said Ric Fulop, CEO and Co-Founder of Desktop Metal. “Teams are now able to iterate quickly on 316L prototypes, print complex geometries that are not possible with most manufacturing methods, and produce end use parts cost-effectively.”

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Week 7, 2019 NASA Looks To 3D Printing To Go For Small Sensors

Image of : NASA Looks To 3D Printing To Go For Small Sensors

NASA technologist Mahmooda Sultana is putting a $2M technology development award to use in creating a tiny sensor platform.

The nanomaterial-based detector platform is a bitty piece of tech that could have wide-ranging applications, sensing gases, vapor, atmospheric pressure, temperature, and other environmental circumstances (think water or methane on Mars) and sending that data through a wireless antenna. The 2” x 3” platform is self-contained — and 3D printed. It relies on a 3D printing system called the Nanoscale Offset Printing System created at Northeastern University that 3D prints nanomaterials to make the wee sensors.

“The beauty of our concept is that we’re able to print all sensors and partial circuity on the same substrate, which could be rigid or flexible. We eliminate a lot of the packaging and integration challenges,” Sultana said. “This is truly a multifunctional sensor platform. All my sensors are on same chip, printed one after another in layers.”

3D Printing Industry News – Week 6, 2019

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Week 6, 2019 Xerox Enters the 3D Printing Arena

Image of : Xerox Enters the 3D Printing Arena
Vader Systems’ metal 3D printing system

Xerox joins the ranks of printing companies adding 3D to their traditional 2D technologies.

As part of its Investor Day this week, Xerox announced some major strategic moves. Among these were a series of focuses on innovation to bring the company back to a leadership position in tech. Fulfilling a statement made by CEO and Vice Chairman John Visentin in an October 2018 earnings call, Xerox has officially made a move into 3D printing. As part of a digital manufacturing strategy, Xerox is looking to commercialize polymer and metal 3D printing. Targeting low-cost, high-speed polymer and low-cost metal technologies, the company is already moving ahead in its vision.

As part of its roadmap in 3D printing, Xerox announced the acquisition of Vader Systems, a company that had created a unique metal 3D printing process that uses standard welding wire to keep materials costs low. According to its three-year roadmap, Xerox anticipates revenue generation from its innovation targets in 2021, including 3D printing, AI and AR, IoT, and more. Terms of the Vader acquisition have not been disclosed.

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Week 6, 2019 UL Publishes 3D Printer Emissions Standard

Image of : UL Publishes 3D Printer Emissions Standard
UL Logo (PRNewsFoto/UL)

A new standard from UL shares much-needed protocols for 3D printing.

The new ANSI/CAN/UL 2904, “Standard Method for Testing and Assessing Particle and Chemical Emissions from 3D Printers,” published this week, includes “measurement and assessment protocols for the emissions of particles and volatile chemicals from diverse 3D printers, print media, and print applications.”

Covering 3D printers used in “non-industrial indoor spaces” like schools and offices, the new measure should provide a measure of comfort for those running desktop machines. Emissions have long been a concern in 3D printing, particularly because no one quite knew how they might affect health. A safe operating environment is imperative for use of any equipment, and thorough research has been much-needed. Among that research are results from UL Chemical Safety and Georgia Tech, published in November 2018 following a two-year research period. These findings showed that ultrafine particles (UFPs) are generated by many desktop 3D printers, and more than 200 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be released. Understanding how to best operate the 3D printer, including calibration (e.g., nozzle temperature) and using different types of filament, can lead to a safer operating environment.

“ANSI/CAN/UL 2904 will advance the availability of low emission printers and print media for use in the global marketplace. UL is proud to offer its first safety Standard addressing chemical pollution and reducing its impact on human health,” said Phil Piqueira, VP of Standards for UL.

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Week 6, 2019 3D Systems Software and SOLIDWORKS

Image of : 3D Systems Software and SOLIDWORKS
3DXpert for SOLIDWORKS includes a complete design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) toolset, equipping designers with everything needed to prepare and optimize designs for 3D printing. (Source: 3D Systems)

New releases of two software solutions from 3D Systems have been released to the SOLIDWORKS community.

Geomagic for SOLIDWORKS 2019 and 3DXpert for SOLIDWORKS 14 are available now. Both are targeted to SOLIDWORKS users to “streamline 3D scan data workflows and optimize and prepare part designs” for both plastic and metal 3D printing. Timed just ahead of SOLIDWORKS World 2019 (more on that later), the releases showcase 3D Systems’ ongoing commitment to software. 3DXpert for SOLIDWORKS, a SOLIDWORKS add-on, was introduced at last year’s SWW event. More detail on the capabilities of both software releases is available here.

“3D Systems’ end-to-end software solutions are a catalyst in the product development cycle. With the new releases of Geomagic for SOLIDWORKS and 3DXpert for SOLIDWORKS, 3D Systems is reinforcing our commitment to the SOLIDWORKS community to streamline digital product design as well as making additive manufacturing an integral part of the workflow – increasing efficiencies and lowering total cost of operation. The power of these software solutions to transform business is what delivers true competitive advantage,” said Radhika Krishnan, Senior Vice President, General Manager, software, 3D Systems.

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Week 6, 2019 Partnerships for Tooling, Reselling

Image of : Partnerships for Tooling, Reselling
ExOne and Catalysis entering a tooling collaboration (Source: ExOne)

ExOne and Catalysis announce a tooling collaboration, while Rize and Instadesign Group partner.

ExOne has announced its collaboration with Catalysis to create a new rapid tooling process. A 3D printed sand mold, made using ExOne’s binder jetting tech, is coated to create a reusable tool to traditionally create (e.g., via injection molding, vacuum forming, casting) parts. 3D printing to create the tools allows for more complex tooling design, and binder jetting, in particular, offers the speed, cost, and volume a busy company requires.

“We are pleased to add ExOne’s binder jetting technology to our family of 3D printing offerings. At Catalysis Additive Tooling we take an agnostic approach to 3D printing. We offer a number of different 3D printing technologies and select the best technology to meet and exceed our customers’ needs, based on the specific application. Given its speed and volume capabilities, we are especially interested in binder jetting for production parts. ExOne offers the best solution to satisfy this need,” said Darrell Stafford, Chief Executive Officer and President of Catalysis Additive Tooling. “With an ever-increasing number of applications, we are finding that our go-to technology for development of thermoforming, composite and foam tooling is binder jetting.”

Rize is going to Quebec with its newest partnership. Days before SWW begins, Rize announced its newest authorized reseller, Instadesign Group. The new Laval, Quebec-based reseller is a SOLIDWORKS Certified Solution Partner experienced in engineering and industrial design. The multifaceted company’s services include product design, industrial design, mechanical engineering, electronic development, and software services, as well as support.

“RIZE has done something completely unique in the additive manufacturing industry that accelerates sustainable design and innovation,” said Stéphane Dufour, President of Instadesign. “With their voxel-level technology, RIZE has made industrial 3D printing safe and easy, while enabling full digital traceability of 3D printed parts to the original designs. The seamless integration of SOLIDWORKS and RIZE is also of great interest to our customers and will expand the use of additive manufacturing among SOLIDWORKS users in our region.“

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Week 6, 2019 SOLIDWORKS World 2019

Image of : SOLIDWORKS World 2019
Getting enthusiastic about SolidWorks World 2019 (source: SolidWorks)

One of the most enthusiastic events in software is coming to Dallas.

SOLIDWORKS World (SWW) 2019 runs Sunday, February 10 through Wednesday the 13th in the Lone Star state. One of the most popular software programs draws a crowd of thousands to this event each year, and the programming continues to feature an increasing presence of 3D printing. Exhibitors include 3D printer manufacturers as well as many companies that have put 3D printing to use in their product development processes. It’s all packaged together in an engaging agenda, with an always-rowdy general session kicking off each morning. Previous years’ general sessions have featured SOLIDWORKS-designed robots (that then battled each other), magic setups (would you trust your life to something designed in SOLIDWORKS? Dassault Systèmes’ CEO did in a magic trick featuring a saw two years ago), a movable feast, a full-body exoskeleton, and much more. The ubiquitous software has been used to create these and many more varied products, and we tend to hear some good new software news as well. Last year, for example, Desktop Metal introduced its Live Parts offering at SWW.

License: The text of "3D Printing Industry News (Weekly Digest – April 19, 2019)" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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