3D Printing News Digest

3D Printing Industry News Sliced: BCN3D, Equinor, Liqcreate, Ricoh 3D, Picsima, and more

In this edition of Sliced, the 3D Printing Industry news digest, we cover the latest business developments, partnerships, and acquisitions across our industry. 

Today’s edition features business updates, additive manufacturing partnerships, certifications, 3D printing materials, and the world’s first 3D printed part flown to an offshore installation by a drone. 

Read on for the most recent updates from 3DGBIRE, Enable Manufacturing, ASTM International, Rugged 3D, and more.

Business updates from BCN3D, Fripp Design, 3DGBIRE, the YBI, and Enable

Starting with business news, product design, research, and business consultancy, Fripp Design Limited, is looking to sell its Intellectual Property (IP) for 3D printing two-part curing silicones. The significance of the method discovered by Fripp Design, branded as Picsima and which was discovered through a project undertaken with the Wellcome Foundation and the University of Sheffield, is that the materials used to 3D print are ‘off the shelf’ silicones which have been used for decades in applications ranging industrials seals and gaskets, medical implants, and silicone molds.

Now, Fripp Design owner Steve Roberts is urging those involved in Polymer-based 3D printing, or manufacturers of silicones wishing to expand the market opportunity for their materials, to buy or license the IP, which has patents granted in the U.S, Germany, and the U.K.

“I have reached a time in my life where I have other things I want to achieve which are personal ambitions rather than professional. It’s time to hand the baton for 3D printing two-part curing silicones to someone else,” he said. “The patent is important because it goes beyond silicone. It covers any method where two parts are brought together to cure and, as important, it covers the idea of using a bath of material which supports the curing, thus eliminating the need for support materials if you need to 3D print an overhand, for example.”

Picsima 3D printing silicone. Image via Picsima.

Across the pond, The Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) has welcomed Rugged 3D to the Mahoning Valley, manufacturer of the world’s first portable and ruggedized 3D printing solution engineered to operate in austere environments. Rugged 3D engineers deployable 3D printers for the military, disaster relief, oil and gas, and heavy industries. The firm is the tenth company to take space in the YBI’s fifth and Additive Manufacturing-only building, TBB5, and now means all of the space from the 2017 renovation has been leased.

“We are excited to have Rugged 3D joining us here in Youngstown,” said Barb Ewing, CEO of the YBI. “When the Rugged 3D team toured the YBI campus, met with our staff, it was clear that they agreed with our assessment that Youngstown really is the heart of the additive manufacturing industry in North America, and this is where they need to be to grow their company.”

Meanwhile, additive casting specialist Enable Manufacturing will join the Additive Manufacturing partner pool of Netherlands-based technology firm DiManEx in September 2020. DiManEx provides an end-to-end cloud-based platform for end-users and suppliers, which matches the right additive manufacturing supplier to a specific part that can then be printed on demand. This supply chain digitization keeps inventory levels low and cash flow healthy while enabling manufacturing businesses to produce parts locally and therefore reduce delivery times and carbon emissions. Adding Enable to the fold will help DiManEx to increase the number of parts it can now offer via its online platform.

“Whilst the industry is working on overcoming barriers such as size, material, quality, and cost, additive casting offers the best of both worlds, enabling manufacturing businesses to change the way they make parts not tomorrow, but today,” said Tibor van Melsem Kocsis, CEO at DiManEx. “Therefore, it was key to DiManEx to have Enable on board to increase the amount of parts we could deliver through our platform.”

Youngstown Business Incubator in an old repurposed factory building. Photo via Youtube/Youngstown Business Incubator.
Youngstown Business Incubator in an old repurposed factory building. Photo via Youtube/Youngstown Business Incubator.

New 3D printing partnerships for BCN3D and 3DBGIRE

3DGBIRE, a service and training provider for Additive Manufacturing For Industry within the U.K. and Ireland, has announced it will be exclusively distributing Kimya 3D filaments across the U.K. and Irish markets, signaling a strategic turning point for ARMOR, the Nantes-based materials group behind the Kimya brand as it turns towards the design and production of on-demand high-performance 3D materials. Kimya ABS Carbon, ABS ESD, ABS Kevlar, PETG-S, and TPC-91A filaments are available to purchase from the beginning of September.

“Partnering with ARMOR to bring Kimya Filaments to the U.K. and Irish markets is another exciting addition to the 3DGBIRE product portfolio,” said Daniel Abram, 3DGBIRE general manager. “The Kimya brand has developed a reputation for producing high quality filaments that are expanding that application potential of FFF 3D printing. Introducing these materials and applications to 3DGBIRE customers will further enhance their adoption and integration of Additive Manufacturing into their workflow.”

Spanish 3D desktop printer manufacturer BCN3D has announced a distribution agreement with Italian distributor CREA3D to boost its growth in the Italian market. BCN3D’s 3D printers use an Independent Dual Extrusion (IDEX) system for printing multiple materials in the same job or simultaneously, which it says allows customers to double their printing production capacity compared to conventional desktop 3D printers. As a result of the agreement, innovators, designers and other companies operating in the Italian market will now be able to access BCN3D’s 3D printer portfolio.

“We are pleased to cooperate with CREA3D, an alliance which will support us in increasing the sales in the Italian market, where there is a high potential for the IDEX system and the distinctive duplication, mirror, and multi-material printing modes,” said Xavier Martinez Faneca, CEO of BCN3D. “Their considerable experience in additive manufacturing, combined with top-quality technical know-how makes CREA3D the right fit to help us grow and serve Italian customers in the best possible way.”

BCN3D’s 3D printers use an Independent Dual Extrusion (IDEX) system. Image via BCN3D.

Certifications and MoUs for Ricoh 3D and ASTM International

Representatives from global standards organization ASTM International and Standards New Zealand (NZ) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will lead to a closer working relationship between the two bodies. The MoU promotes information exchange on topics of mutual interest and will support Standards NZ’s review and consideration of ASTM standards as solutions for New Zealand’s industry and regulation concerns.

The MoU signing happened during an hour-long virtual session, during which representatives discussed common ground between the two organizations, including ASTM’s technical programs for aviation, cannabis, and additive manufacturing, alongside electric vehicle chargers, energy efficiency, biomass boilers, and New Zealand’s hydrogen program. 

Telford-based 3D printing specialist Ricoh 3D has achieved the international standard certification for production quality management in the medical industry, ISO 13485. To achieve the recognition, the company demonstrated the required levels of control to ensure product safety, risk management, and design control activities during product development, inspection, repeatability, traceability of powders, and effective correction and prevention measures.

“Here at Ricoh we are used to working to industry standards, as we’ve held ISO 27001, 9001 and 14001 for some time. Attaining ISO 13485 was the natural next step for us as we expand into the medical sector,” said Mark Dickin, additive manufacturing and molding engineering lead at Ricoh 3D. “We are already supplying 3D printed parts to the medical industry and this certification ensures we are now in a position to produce more critical applications and meet the needs of a wider range of customers in the industry.”

Ricoh 3D experts worked alongside health care professionals at The Orthotic Research & Locomotor Assessment Unit (ORLAU) to develop a lever-hinge mechanism for ankle-foot orthotics. Image via Ricoh 3D.

New 3D printing materials from Liqcreate

Global 3D printing materials manufacturer Liqcreate has released two new resins specifically developed for MSLA/LCD 3D printing: Premium Flex and Premium Tough. Premium Tough is a transparent resin that turns into a milky white polymer during polymerization, featuring high impact strength and scratch-resistant properties for use as functional prototypes and spare parts. Meanwhile, Premium Flex is a translucent blue photopolymer with high processibility and print speed. 3D printed parts from this material are highly flexible and have a low surface hardness of 63 Shore A, making them ideal for a variety of soft-touch and elastic prototypes.

Available from September 7, the two materials are compatible with the Anycubic Photon, Elegoo Mars, and all open source 385-420nm DLP, LCD/MSLA 3D printers, with the firm’s engineers working with industrial partners to increase the number of compatible 3D printers.

Liqcreate Premium Flex filament. Image via Liqcreate.

JCRMRG donates face shields to schools in COVID response

The Jersey City Rapid Maker Response Group (JCRMRG) has donated 21,000 face shields to school districts in New Jersey, including Newark, Jersey City, Hoboken and New York. Each school will now have enough face shields to cover every member of staff, and through the donation, JCRMRG has enabled the schools to extend their budgets to support other safe opening measures and educational resources. JCRMRG’s campaign was supported by the likes of Uber Freight, Google, Goldman Sachs, Mastercard, Good 360, and ALAN Aid.

“The Shield Our Schools initiative represents a very important mission for JCRMRG,” said founder Justin Handsman. “Schools are the new front line, and it is important to protect our teachers and communities against the spread of COVID. According to the CDC one in four teachers have health conditions that put them in the high-risk category. Nationally, 29% are over the age of 50. By providing teachers, school nurses, administrators, food service workers, custodians, bus drivers, administrators, and all other school staff with PPE, we can help protect families, neighborhoods, and communities.”

3D printed part delivered by drone to an offshore installation in world-first

Norwegian energy company Equinor has completed the world’s first logistics operation involving transporting a 3D printed part via drone to an offshore installation. The drone flew the part, which was a diesel nozzle holder manufactured for the installation’s lifeboat system, from the Mongstad base to the Troll A platform in the North Sea efficiently and according to plan. The part is no longer manufactured and difficult to obtain, so it was redesigned and modeled in 3D before an advanced metal 3D printer produced a replica in a sturdy industrial alloy, Inconel 718.

“Development is rapid, and we see a huge potential within drone technology that could transform the way we operate, both under and above the sea surface. Equinor aims to lead the way in utilising new technology on the Norwegian continental shelf” said Arne Sigve Nylund, Equinor’s executive vice president for Development and Production Norway. “Drones could reinforce safety, boost production efficiency, and contribute to lower CO2 emissions from Norwegian oil and gas. Drones will also play a role as we shape new energy solutions on the Norwegian shelf.”

Nominations for the 2020 3D Printing Industry Awards are still open, let us know who is leading the industry now.

The fourth edition of the 3D Printing Industry Awards Trophy Design Competition is now underway. Enter your design for the chance to win a CraftBot Flow 3D printer. 

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Featured image shows the Sliced logo on top of the Camcopter s-100 drone, manufactured by Schiebel, and used in Equinor’s logistics operation. Image via Equinor.