In this edition of Sliced, the 3D Printing Industry news digest, we cover the latest business developments and partnerships in the 3D printing sector.
Today’s edition includes several 3D printing partnerships and business deals, Q1 2022 financial results, a new software platform for 3D printed tooling, and a number of new additive manufacturing materials.
Read on for the most recent updates from get3D, Prestige Imports, Tecmahe, ELH Additive, Multistation SAS, Axiome, Spare Parts 3D, Ocyan, Vorum, Rousselot, Tekna, Arkema, and more.
New partnerships in 3D printing
Looking first at the latest industry partnerships, Barcelona-based 3D printer OEM BCN3D has signed a new redistribution contract with get3D. Based in the city of Lodz, get3D will serve as BCN’s reseller partner in Poland. The firm has been supplying 3D printers and materials to customers all over the country for over six years, as well as installation, implementation, training, and technical and content support services.
Adam Kozubowicz, CEO of get3D, said, “As a distributor of 3D printing solutions, we carefully watch the global market in this area. BCN3D has long attracted our attention with interesting solutions and consistent development. The decision to cooperate was a logical consequence and all talks and meetings we already had, only made us sure of that. We are very happy that thanks to this we will be able to offer our customers very interesting, complete 3D printing solutions at competitive prices.”
Car dealership Prestige Imports has become an official franchise for the 3D printed Czinger 21C hypercar. The establishment of the franchise has paved the way for the creation of the Czinger Miami arm, giving Florida residents access to the car. Sporting a twin-turbocharged V8 engine packing over 1,250 hp, the car can go from 0-60mph in just 1.9s. Unlike other cars, which tend to only use small and non-critical AM parts, the 21C features metal 3D printed load-bearing components in the frame itself.
“Prestige is one of the most revered dealers in the nation and the relationships they hold with their clients are strong and longstanding,” said Kevin Czinger, founder and CEO of Czinger. “They also have an innate understanding of the Czinger brand, the technology we’ve developed and where we sit amongst the other brands in their portfolio. They also know that the 21C is just the beginning of the great legacy we will establish in the years to come.”
Elsewhere, metal 3D printing technology developer Meltio has announced two new official sales partners for the company’s wire-based DED systems. Tecmahe will expand the reach of Meltio’s 3D printers to the Argentinian market, while ELH Additive will provide distribution to customers in Singapore.
The two sales partners will focus on building support networks in their respective countries, creating business opportunities with technology centers, tooling machine companies, robotic integrators, and academia.
Additionally, Meltio reseller Multistation SAS has signed an agreement with robotics firm Axiome for the integration of Meltio Engine printheads with Axiome’s robots. As part of the deal, Axiome has become a certified integrator of Meltio’s Laser Metal Deposition heads in France. The firm will provide support services to French customers looking to use Meltio’s 3D printing technology, helping with everything from the pre-study phase to on-site commissioning.
Finally, digital part storage specialist Spare Parts 3D has partnered with oil and gas firm Ocyan, enabling the latter to 3D print its first ever part. The companies used Spare Parts 3D’s proprietary DigiPART software to analyze around 17,000 spare parts from Ocyan’s inventory. Having concluded that 11% of the inventory could be 3D printable while cutting costs and lead times, Ocyan will now look to integrate additive manufacturing into its operations.
Lineu Aguiar, Senior Strategic Sourcing Buyer at Ocyan, said, “This partnership with SP3D allowed us to kickstart our additive manufacturing journey and leverage it as a real strategic value driver for supply and engineering. We are looking forward to a continuing partnership with SP3D to further decarbonize our supply chain and increase our savings.”
BigRep launches BigRep FLOW SaaS
Large format 3D printer manufacturer BigRep has announced its new BigRep FLOW software as a service (SaaS), a design automation platform aimed at making 3D printed jigs, fixtures, and manufacturing aids as accessible as possible. In essence, BigRep FLOW allows users to create custom 3D printable tooling without any 3D printing or design experience.
Seeing as every customer’s requirements are unique, BigRep’s engineering team first provides a consultation to learn more about the desired application. The resulting tooling is optimized for print speeds and cost savings. BigRep FLOW also offers a collection of ready-to-use factory aid and tool designs, including customized trays, boxes, storage dividers, and shadow boards.
“We are very excited to launch BigRep FLOW, our Advanced Workflow Automation Software, making it very easy to configure and produce the factory tooling needed on the production floor – faster and cheaper,” says Dr. Sven Thate, Managing Director of BigRep. “With FLOW, we support our manufacturing clients with the customization of their operations to outpace the competition. Our vision is to offer end-to-end solutions for our users.”
New materials in additive manufacturing
In the materials space, 3D printer manufacturer Essentium has partnered with CAD/CAM specialist Vorum to develop a new line of 3D printing materials with biocompatible properties. The new range meets ISO 10993 standards and is suitable for long-term skin contact medical devices such as orthotics and prosthetics. The materials are also non-cytotoxic and non-irritant.
Angela Saunders, CEO of Vorum, said, “Modern O&P devices are often designed with a more intimate fit than in the past, which means we need to consider how the patient’s skin might behave in direct contact with the final orthosis or prosthesis. We know the practitioners who work with our solutions need to be confident that they can provide the best possible result for their patients.”
Elsewhere, Silicon Valley-based 3D printer manufacturer Velo3D has qualified GRCop-42, a copper-chromium-niobium alloy, for use its Sapphire metal 3D printers. Developed by NASA in 1987 for high-performance aerospace parts, the alloy is suitable for applications such as rocket engine combustion chambers. As well as excellent oxidation resistance, the material offers high creep strength at temperatures of up to 760°C. Contract manufacturer Knust Godwin is set to receive the first Sapphire 3D printer capable of processing GRCop-42.
Benny Buller, Velo3D’s CEO and founder, added, “Our end-to-end solutions have seen extensive adoption in aerospace because of their ability to deliver part consolidation, lighter-weight systems, and unique geometries, and adding GRCop-42 to our growing list of available materials enables us to support more use cases across the aerospace industry.”
Rousselot, a health brand of Darling Ingredients, has launched its new bioprinting-suitable Quali-Pure HGP 2000 gelatin. The material is an endotoxin-controlled, non-gelling hydrolyzed gelatin and is specifically designed for use in vaccines and regenerative medicine applications like wound healing. Rousselot claims the biomaterial can stimulate the migration of cells such as fibroblasts to the site of a wound, aiding the formation of new tissue.
Kathleen Jacobs, Global Regulatory Affairs Director at Rousselot Biomedical, stated, “We are very proud to bring this new product to the market. With Quali-Pure HGP 2000, pharmaceutical manufacturers are not only choosing quality, safety and consistency, but they can also achieve peace of mind knowing that all our Biomedical gelatins are compliant with the more stringent regulations coming in force.”
Financial results for Q1 2022: Tekna and Arkema
Materials firms Tekna and Arkema have reported their financial results for Q1 2022. Looking at Tekna, the quarter’s total revenue came in at $6.5 million (CAD), a 17% decrease from Q1 of 2021. The materials revenue, on the other hand, was reported as $4.6 million, a 5% increase from this time last year. Tekna’s total order backlog tallied up to $14.2 million, $10.8 million of which could be attributed to materials. This is a 54% increase from Q1 2021.
Luc Dionne, CEO of Tekna, said, “I am pleased to report the results for the first quarter of 2022, representing the third quarter of consecutive revenue growth. In the quarter, we continued to experience a rise in the demand for our advanced materials, further confirming Tekna’s position in the market.”
Arkema has reported that it delivered an ‘excellent’ financial performance in the first quarter, in spite of global price inflations when it comes to raw materials and energy. Group sales were up by 30% year-on-year to €2.9 billion. Specialty Materials represented 90% of group sales, which is up from 82% in Q1 2021. Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) came in at €619 million, which is up by 72.9% compared to this time last year. EBITDA margin also rose sharply to 21.4%.
Thierry Le Hénaff, Chairman and CEO of Arkema, added, “Our very good performance in the first quarter reflects the strength of our innovation for sustainable development and Arkema’s very solid positioning to address accelerating demand for cutting-edge solutions in high value-added markets. In an operating context that continues to be particularly demanding, our balanced geographic footprint, our technologies, our customer intimacy and the commitment of Arkema’s teams are all valuable assets.”
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Featured image shows Sliced logo on the Czinger 21C. Photo via Czinger.