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3D Printing Industry News Sliced: BMW, America Makes, Additive Industries, Airwolf3D

In this edition of Sliced, the 3D Printing Industry news digest, we collect stories about a 3D printing tent sale, changes to the IN(3D)USTRY fair, as well as a new funding operation for America Makes and an update on how Brexit will affect manufacturing

3D printing saves Olympic career

German multinational automotive company BMW has used 3D printing in the production of its new S58 engine. The successor to the S55, the new M straight-six engine features a cylinder head core manufactured using 3D printing technology. The 3D printed part helps contribute to the lowest possible weight of the vehicle and supports thermal management. In January 2019, BMW also unveiled the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky car, which includes parts made by additive manufacturing.

The BMW S58 engine. Image via BMW BLOG.
The BMW S58 engine. Image via BMW BLOG.

In another application of 3D printing, Olympic rower Sara Bertolasi used a 3D printed seat to overcome a career-threatening injury. Bertolasi suffered from inflammation around the pelvis during preparations for the Olympic games in 2016, where she spent hours rowing on Lake Varese in northern Italy.

The professional rower then spoke to Martina Ballerio, manager of the 3D printing unit at Elmec Informatica, which led the custom design of a new seat for Bertolasi. The seat was 3D printed using HP’s Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer, with HP 3D High Reusability PA 12 thermoplastic.

“We want to develop new ideas, new designs, and new methods,” Ballerio said. “This is what Elmec3D is trying to do as a company: to give them the tools to innovate their manufacturing process.”

3D printed seat for Bertolasi’s training scull. Photo via Elmec.
3D printed seat for Bertolasi’s training scull. Photo via Elmec.

In other news, Maritime Heritage Minnesota, a non-profit organization specializing in nautical archaeology and maritime history, has been using the iSense to scan small and rare Minnesota watercraft. Using the iPad 3D scanner in conjunction with opensource mesh software to combine data, the organization has been scanning watercraft held in museums and private collections.

IN(3D)USTRY changes to INDUSTRY

IN(3D)USTRY, the Fira de Barcelona fair devoted to additive manufacturing has changed its name to INDUSTRY. The change comes with the event now in its fourth year and was made to include more sectors and new areas of industry, covering the entire value chain. The new name is also more journalist friendly in terms of typing.

BigRep at the formerly titled IN(3D)USTRY fair in 2018. Photo via INDUSTRY.
BigRep at the formerly titled IN(3D)USTRY fair in 2018. Photo via INDUSTRY.

INDUSTRY will now consist of eight areas integrating the following industrial sectors: machine tools (which will be included in odd-numbered years); connectivity and data; 3D printing; plastic transformers; automation and robotics; moulds and dies; new materials; and design and services. INDUSTRY, from Needs to Solutions will he held from 29 to 31 October 2019 in Pavilion 8 of Fira de Barcelona’s Montjuïc venue.

According to INDUSTRY director Miquel Serrano, “This year’s fair will consolidate the path initiated by the one last year, incorporating new industrial sectors.”

“The fact that Catalonia accounts for a quarter of Spanish industry and the sector’s current situation, immersed in the 4.0 revolution, make a fair like ours, with an increasingly industrial nature, more necessary than ever.” 

The Philipines establishes the first Advanced Manufacturing Centre 

The Philippines Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is set to unveil the first Advanced Manufacturing Centre (AMCen) for 3D printing research in the country. The AMCen aspires to innovate 3D printing technologies, processes, and materials for the Philippines in various industries, including aerospace, biomedical and automotive.

Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, Executive Director of the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), commented “Additive manufacturing has limitless potentials – from aircrafts and automobile to medical and fashion applications – it is possible to create products for the same or lower cost without compromising quality.”  

“We are hopeful that with the establishment of AMCen we can see more researches geared towards this cutting-edge technology.”

Moreover, California-based 3D printing company Airwolf 3D is holding what it claims to be the first 3D printer tent sale at its Southern California manufacturing facility. The company is looking to offload all of its all HD and XL Legacy machines in order to make room for incoming EVO and EVO22 inventory. 

Brexit’s impact on the manufacturing industry

Continuing on in the theme of name changes, EEF, the Manufacturers’ Organization focused on creating a supportive environment for UK manufacturers, has re-launched as Make UK at its annual National Manufacturing Conference. The firm said it “was time for the EEF to adopt a modern name designed to reflect the world class innovation undertaken by our member companies across the whole of the country.”

The organization has also taken a vocal stance on Brexit, establishing warnings of a no-deal scenario. Dame Hackitt, who is chair of Make UK (formerly known as EEF) was speaking at Make UK’s annual dinner: “I am saddened by the way that some of our politicians have put selfish political ideology ahead of the national interest and people’s livelihoods and left us facing the catastrophic prospect of leaving the EU next month with no deal.”

In July 2018 Jeremy Corbyn was given insights into industrial 3D printing and the role that digital manufacturing may play in a post-Brexit Britain, where he also gave a speech to the EEF about support for the manufacturing industry.

Jeremy Corbyn tours the Protolabs manufacturing facility in Telford. Photo via Protolabs.
Jeremy Corbyn tours the Protolabs manufacturing facility in Telford. Photo via Protolabs.

Berlin-based WillowFlex, the organic filament Kickstarter project from material company BioInspiration, has spun off as an independent company. It will focus on developing 3D printing filament for industrial production. The change is a response to the serial production of additive manufacturing, where there is a need for reliable materials with consistent quality.

Digital Badges for additive manufacturing

Ohio-based additive manufacturing accelerator America Makes has awarded a $70,000 award grant to Fab Lab Hub LLC, a part of the international Fab Lab network. Fab Lab Hub was founded in 2010 to innovate learning opportunities for the New Collar workforce. The partnership with America Makes aims to expand opportunities for careers in the 3D printing industry. It will create digital badges that prepare operators and technicians to use and service FDM and SLA 3D Printers.

“America Makes understands that the 3D printing industry is dependent upon having skilled operators and technicians, necessary for successful equipment deployment,” explains Rob Gorham, the organization’s Executive Director.

“We are committed to advancing education in the 3D Printing space and have initiated a number of partnerships to reach our goals for supporting our members’ workforce needs at all levels of the organization.”

America makes logo on the 3D printed puzzle from RAPID + TCT 2018. Photo by Beau Jackson
America Makes logo on the 3D printed puzzle from RAPID + TCT 2018. Photo by Beau Jackson

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has announced it has awarded the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) at UI LABS $10 million in funding and pledged at least $20 million more over the next five years.

Industrial 3D printing takes a central role in DMDII’s mission to drive the digital future of manufacturing, and the funding will help DMDII further towards its goals. Previosuly, the DOD has seed funded DMDII to launch a $750,000 Cyber Hub for Manufacturing intending to tackle the issue of cyber-espionage attacks against the manufacturing sector.

At TCT Asia 2019, Netherlands-based 3D printing company Additive Industries has signed an Agency Agreement with Beijing-based metal additive manufacturing specialist Sinsun-Tech Corporation Ltd.  The partnership aims to develop the Chinese market for industrial 3D metal printing systems. Sinsun-Tech will support Additive Industries in developing the China industrial market in aerospace, automotive, medical and general machine building markets.

“With Sinsun-Tech we add an experienced partner to our network that will work with us to identify and manage these opportunities that will contribute to our accelerated growth”, commented Daan Kersten, Co-founder & CEO of Additive Industries.

Picture of the new partners, from Left to Right: Bart Leferink (Director Global Channel Sales, Additive Industries), Wang Jun (General Manager, Sinsun-Tech Corporation Ltd.) and Mike Goh (General Manager, Additive Industries Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.) Photo via Additive Industries.
Picture of the new partners, from Left to Right: Bart Leferink (Director Global Channel Sales, Additive Industries), Wang Jun (General Manager, Sinsun-Tech Corporation Ltd.) and Mike Goh (General Manager, Additive Industries Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.) Photo via Additive Industries.

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Featured image shows the BMW S58 engine. Image via BMW BLOG.

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