In this edition of Sliced, the 3D Printing Industry news digest, we cover the latest business developments, partnerships, and acquisitions in the additive manufacturing sector.
Today’s edition features new materials, partnerships, the acquisition of new facilities, and the launch of the 4D printed orthoses for dogs using HP Multi Jet Fusion technology.
Read on for the most recent updates from 3DEO, RusselSmith, toolcraft, Lithoz, nano3Dprint, and more.
New acquisitions, and business expansions from Berlin.Industrial.Group, Renishaw, and more
Diving into the business deals and expansions, Berlin-based manufacturer of wire-based Directed Energy Deposition (DED) Gefertec GmbH, has been acquired entirely by Berlin.Industrial.Group (BIG) Holding. Gefertec has been a member of BIG since its inception in 2015, with BIG presently acquiring Gefertec founders Tobias Röhrich and George Fischer’s existing shares.
“This gives GEFERTEC the necessary freedom of action to further expand and solidify its position in the growing market for 3D metal printing,” stated Igor Haschke, Managing Director, Gefertec, and owner of BIG.
Furthermore, South Gloucestershire-based global engineering technologies company Renishaw has made a donation of £20,000 to charity. The donations are the result of a company’s internal competition wherein teams from around the world provided examples of Renishaw’s values in action, with one champion team chosen from each of the company’s four values, namely inspiration, innovation, involvement, and integrity. The shortlisted charity for each team was then given a donation of £5,000 or the equal in local currency.
Elsewhere, Mack Molding Co. subsidiary Mack Prototype, which specializes in intricate prototyping and low-volume manufacturing, has expanded its AM capabilities by adding a Stratasys F770 capable of manufacturing substantial 3D printed parts.
The F770 is a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) system capable of processing ASA and ABS materials. It has the largest build chamber of any Stratasys FDM 3D printer, in addition to a large build envelope that measures 39 inches x 24 inches x 24 inches. It has a build volume of 13 cubic feet, enabling it to generate large parts or assortments of smaller components. Part precision is typically +/-.010 inches (.254 mm) or +/-.002 inches/inches (.050 mm).
Emerging partnership news from RusselSmith, Lithoz, SMARTTECH3D, and more
Now proceeding toward the partnerships in the AM sector we covered some news from Roboze, Lithoz, RusselSmith, and more. Industrial 3D printing systems provider Roboze announced that RusselSmith, an integrated energy services provider, has entered the Roboze 3D Parts Network with the objective of establishing West Africa’s first Smart Manufacturing Solution Centre.
“Delivering business value to the complex and regulated Energy value chain might seem daunting to many, however, Roboze has taken systematic steps to progress the digital supply chain vision in the Energy sector. We led the API 20T standardization committee and successfully qualified several components for valves, pumps, or turbines for large international operators, service companies, and OEMs. Roboze empowers the local content and shares its technical knowledge of advanced additive manufacturing with global partners and local leading companies such as RusselSmith in Nigeria. Together we intend to lead the on-demand spare parts manufacturing and help many local operators save schedule and cost.” said Arash Shadravan, Roboze Energy Business Development Manager.
In other news, toolcraft AG decided to purchase a new Laser-Powder-Bed-Fusion (L-PBF) system from Farsoon for the 3D printing of metal parts. Farsoon supplied and assembled the system as agreed, according to toolcraft. The Farsoon FS422M-4 is an additive manufacturing system for metal parts that uses metal powders and laser melting technology. Farsoon Technologies Co., Ltd. in Changsha, China produces and assembles the FS422M. The FS422M-4 uses four scanning/laser systems in serial production to produce high-quality components with a build cylinder size of 425 x 425 x 550 mm3 (incl. substrate plate). Even at large production speeds, the surface texture of metal parts, such as those made with aluminum powders, is “particularly good”.
Next up, ceramic 3D printing solutions provider Lithoz, announced a sales partnership deal with Wendt India Ltd., advantageously expanding operations to the subcontinent’s rapidly growing AM market. The collaboration with WIL, a global leader in super abrasive grinding wheels and machines, will allow both businesses to grow and establish their operations in India.
The collaboration was launched at IMTEX (19 – 25 January 2023), India’s premier metal cutting event, where the Lithoz CeraFab System S65 industry printer premiered live at the WIL booth. With Lithoz’s bases in Austria, the USA, and China, this alliance in India will guarantee a much “profound knowledge of the marketplace” and its particular needs to place a strong foundation for strategic business development.
Furthermore, Lithoz also collaborated with ZENIT Smart Polycrystals, an Italian start-up, to expedite the go-to-market strategy for the latter’s patent-protected polycrystal elements for solid-state lasers. The collaboration with Lithoz is being described as 360° because the Austrian machine manufacturer will assist the ZENIT team on a technological level in coordinating ZENIT’s method to the LCM 3D printing technology and will provide its expertise both as a spin-off and start-up in a highly “cutting-edge” market environment – a market that necessitates a careful mastery of “innovation strategy”, market analysis, licensing, and structural organization, all of which Lithoz has built extensively.
Elsewhere, 3D scanners provider SMARTTECH3D has joined forces with 3D Systems-owned software provider Oqton, which provides industry-leading software solutions based on 3D scan data for inspection and reverse engineering.
Combining SMARTTECH3D high-resolution 3D scanners with Geomagic Control X and Geomagic Design X offers customers from various industries with automated verification and ideal 3D models for automobiles, education, national heritage preservation, and many other applications. The collaboration seeks to make professional 3D globally accessible and user-friendly for consumers across different industries, allowing them to enjoy improved efficiency and lower costs.
Meanwhile, next-generation additive manufacturing solutions provider nano3Dprint announced a partnership with the Billi Research Lab, whose aim is to enhance the quality of life for patients by creating innovative techniques and solutions that satisfy unmet clinical needs. The Luskin Orthopaedic Institute for Children (LuskinOIC) funds the Billi Research Lab. Dr. Billi and his team will be able to use nano3print’s 3D printing techniques to produce integrated microcontroller systems for sensor-embedded gadgets which will help children served by LuskinOIC. Smart casts, Scoliosis braces, and Ponseti braces, utilized to treat clubfoot, are among the devices that are currently under development.
“We’re looking forward to utilizing nano3Dprint’s B3300 Dual-Dispensing 3D Printer to further our research and development of wearables, fusion sensors, and smart textiles. Current additive technologies are not versatile enough to allow us to build the complex, multifunctional devices required to provide modern and truly disruptive healthcare,” said Dr. Fabrizio Billi, Director of the Musculoskeletal Devices and Technologies Development Group.
Moreover, UK-based 3D printing solutions provider Evo3D has announced a distribution deal with Montreal-based 3D printer manufacturer AON3D. The collaboration will bring the “cutting-edge” AON M2+ to the UK market, giving companies a “game-changing” solution for industrial-grade 3D printing.
The AON M2+ (CE) is a high-temperature industrial 3D printer with Dual Independent Extruders and a build volume of (450 x 450 x 565mm) that can generate comprehensive, robust, and high-performance components. The printer gives businesses unrestricted access to the most sophisticated materials, such as PEEK, PEKK, and ULTEM, allowing them to produce components with unprecedented durability and strength. The AON M2+ is suitable for a broad spectrum of applications and industries, such as aerospace, automobiles, medical equipment, and consumer products.
On the other hand, African metal AM solutions provider Multitrade 3D Systems, has collaborated with AMAZEMET, a Polish metal AM equipment manufacturer. Multitrade 3D Systems will operate as the sole reseller of AMAZEMET equipment in Sub-Saharan Africa as a result of the collaboration. According to Multitrade, this will give AMAZEMET a solid foothold in the market. The AMAZEMET product line includes the inFurner, a compact high-vacuum furnace, re-powder ultrasonic atomizer for metal powder manufacturing, and safeEtch, an automated support removal device for metal 3D printed components. In addition, the company is the authorized GE Additive and Meltio sales representative for South and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Intech Additive Solutions, an Indian Metal 3D Printing OEM, is now a channel partner for AMAZEMET and therefore will assist them in expanding in India. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Frankfurt during Formnext 2022. Intech Additive will distribute AMAZEMET’s “remarkable” product portfolio, including RePowder (Ultrasonic Atomization R&D System for Powder Production), safeEtch (Automated support removal and surface finishing system), and inFurner120 and inFurner200 (High Vacuum Furnace).
The Digital Manufacturing Centre (DMC) has greatly expanded its collaborative efforts with the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry (MTC). The partnership will focus on developing new technologies and AM-focused solutions in the mobility, transportation, aerospace, and specialty vehicle sectors. OEMs are looking for lighter-weight, reusable, and sustainable parts and products to enhance vehicle energy efficiency while lowering overall lifecycle emissions. The DMC and MTC will collaborate to harness the full potential of AM applications in these sectors in order to offer significant advantages and benefits.
Introducing new material by 3DEO
Having finished with partnerships, we will now proceed with new material introduced by Los Angeles-based 3DEO. The company has introduced 316L stainless steel, a fully austenitic, non-magnetic stainless steel (similar to UNS S31603) with superior ductility and mechanical characteristics at space and modestly higher temperatures. This weldable material is highly corrosion resistant, which makes it suitable for harsh-environment uses. Consumers in all industries, particularly medicine, industrial, maritime, and food processing, can now access this new material, claims the company.
“Our talented team of material scientists have been hard at work testing and validating 316L on our technology, and we are thrilled with the results,” said Matt Petros, CEO and co-founder of 3DEO. “With material properties that meet the MPIF Standard 35 standards, introducing 316L to our customers will allow them to take advantage of the benefits, time-savings, and cost-efficiencies of 3D printing using a biocompatible, corrosion-resistant material like 316L for their high-demand applications.”
Wimba develops 4D printed orthoses for dogs employing HP MJF technology
Krakow-based start-up Wimba has purchased an HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 5210 to produce independent prosthetic medical devices for dogs. The business was established in October 2022 with the goal of developing “4D” products to revive animal mobility. Its goal, according to Wimba, is to innovate in the field of independent orthopedic supplies.
“The main goal of our products is to correct defects caused by degeneration, accidents, or inborn problems of animals in a way that is individually tailored to each animal. Thanks to HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology, our products are created individually, with the patient in mind. What sets us apart is our delivery time, the lightness of the solution, and the possible personalization. Until now none of that was possible. Wimba with HP is changing the vet world,” said Co-founder and CEO Grzegorz Kosch.
Innovative technologies from Fabrisonic, Thompson, and more
The new SmartPlate from Ohio-based metal 3D printing company Fabrisonic is now available. The SmartPlate is a build plate with embedded sensors that are customized to a user’s needs. It can collect sensor data for post-processing or real-time analysis. It enables the examination of independent ‘pixels’ for unexpected vector changes, which may reveal tell-tale indications of many build problems, along with the comparison of time histories of adjacent pixels, which also outlines build issues.
Furthermore, global linear motion control solutions provider Thomson has launched a high-capacity, high-performance electric linear actuator that provides motion system designers with more cost-effective alternatives to hydraulic cylinders. Load managing up to 25,000 N (5000 lbs), based on configuration, is one of the numerous advanced functionalities of the Thomson Electrak XD linear actuator, which has a merged power output of more than 450 W. The Electrak XD can also operate at rates of up to 75 mm/sec (3 in/sec) and duty cycles of up to 100%.
“Compared to our previous offerings, the new Electrak XD actuators more than quadruple the load handling and speed, while delivering other benefits that would have previously required hydraulic systems or purchase of ultra-high-precision electric actuators,” said Travis Gilmer, Product Line Manager – Actuators at Thomson.
Elsewhere, UK-based Wayland Additive has announced that it is increasing production of its Calibur3 metal AM machine in order to “protect consumers from supply chain delays.” The Calibur3 employs the Neubeam process, a Wayland Additive-exclusive Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-EB).
Presently, Wayland has six machines in production, providing services to existing orders. The intention is to generate ten more machines by the end of 2023 and an additional twenty-four in 2024, shifting the firm away from its previous ‘make to order’ model and towards a model in which consumers can purchase the Calibur3 ‘off the shelf’ to minimize delivery times.
Certification news from CRP Technology and Relativity Space
The CRP Group has announced that its Windform XT 2.0 materials have passed ESA screening outgassing trials, increasing the utilization of 3D printed components and prototypes in the space industry. Metallic coated and uncoated specimens of the materials, reinforced with carbon fiber, were assessed in the TEC-QTE laboratory’s μVCM facility at ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands. Both coated and uncoated samples achieved satisfactory results in response to the general outgassing criteria relying on the micro-VCM test.
In other news, Relativity Space has announced that its Terran 1 3D printed rocket will launch for the first time on March 8, 2023. The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Good Luck, Have Fun (GLHF) test flight mission, which will now deploy from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 16. The launch window on March 8th is currently 13.00-16.00 ET. It will be Relativity’s first orbital effort and will not carry a client payload. According to Space News, the firm has opted out of an ultimate static-fire test, preferring to take a little more risk of flying the Terran 1 rocket without the final test rather than adding more wear and tear to the vehicle.
SPIE conference sheds light on 3D printing for lighting
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute‘s Lighting Research Center (LRC) has joined forces with SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, to launch a new lighting conference aimed at advancing the development and implementation of 3D printing for the production of lighting parts and systems. The event is scheduled as part of SPIE Optics + Photonics 2023, the leading multidisciplinary optical sciences and technology meeting, which will be held in San Diego, California, from August 20 to 24, 2023.
Nadarajah Narendran, Ph.D., LRC Director of research and Co-chair of the conference, said, “The reason for initiating this conference now is to bring knowledge of this quickly advancing technology to a larger audience who could benefit from learning more about the potential of 3D printing for the lighting industry.”
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Feature image shows Sliced logo with Calibur3 metal AM machine. Image via Wayland Additive.