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, business deals, and the Oscar win for Pinocchio – a 3D printed stainless steel puppet.
Read on for the most recent updates from Farsoon, Velo3D, Meltio, Sintavia, Lithoz, and more.
New facility by Sintavia and business expansions from AML3D, WAAM3D, Sandvik, and more
This week’s edition starts with Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc. (BPMI) awarding a contract to Sintavia to establish a dedicated Additive Manufacturing facility in support of the United States Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. The new vertically integrated facility is intended to additively manufacture advanced nuclear propulsion systems for the US Navy’s in-production and in-development submarine programs, including the next-generation nuclear attack submarine.
“Additive technology — both with respect to design and manufacturing — is well-known to be a superior method for supplying complex systems across the Aerospace & Defense industry,” stated Brian Neff, Sintavia’s founder, and CEO. “But a full adoption of the technology is not possible without investments in the materials, processes, and quality systems needed to additively produce these difficult systems successfully and repeatedly — investments that Sintavia has been making over the past seven years.”
Diving into business deals, AML3D has announced a new agreement for an alloy characterization and testing program to assist the US Navy’s submarine industrial base, as part of its US Market scale-up strategy. In partnership with the US Department of Defense (US DoD), the contract was signed with BlueForge Alliance, a non-profit, neutral convener, and integrator supporting technology adoption and acceleration across the US defense sector.
The new agreement is part of AML3D’s ongoing strategic alliance with the US Navy. The alloy characterization and testing program seeks to illustrate that 3D printed alloys meet the manufacturing standards needed to supply parts to the US Navy’s submarine program. The ARCEMY systems from AML3D are developed to manufacture industrial-scale components on-demand, at or near the point of need. The contract for material characterization and testing is worth approximately AUD $264,300.
The next deal is from the leading Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) company, WAAM3D. The European Commission’s Innovation Radar has identified WAAM3D as a Key Innovator. This is the result of WAAM3D’s collaborative efforts with Cranfield University in the development of multi-material add-on software for WAAM systems. The MULTI-FUN project, funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020, includes the Innovation Radar. Through the EU’s Innovation Radar platform, this project seeks to make information about EU-funded innovations from high-quality projects visible and publicly available. In addition to recognizing high-potential innovations and innovators, Innovation Radar assesses the market readiness of joint projects and industry demand for them. WAAM3D and Cranfield University’s partnership on multi-material add-on software for WAAM systems has been designated as “market ready” by Innovation Radar.
“We are very pleased that our work with Cranfield University is being acknowledged in this area of WAAM. These are exciting times for WAAM, and its potential for transforming large-scale metal component 3D printing is only just beginning to be seen in real-world applications,” said, Dr. Filomeno Martina, CEO and co-founder of WAAM3D.
Cadrex Manufacturing Solutions, a portfolio company of CORE Industrial Partners, has acquired D&R Machine Company, a CNC precision machining solutions provider. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted supply chains, causing 3D printing for localized manufacturing to be reconsidered. The USA is undergoing re-industrialization through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the CHIPS and Science Act, which will provide funding for climate change, decarbonization, high-tech research, and reshoring semiconductor manufacturing. CORE Industrial Partners may benefit from this re-industrialization.
“D&R serves as an integral partner to its customers, spanning from evaluation of manufacturability through full-scale production of high-precision CNC machined components and assemblies. The company’s differentiated, technology-enabled manufacturing capabilities and aerospace & defense expertise are compelling attributes and a strong fit with the Cadrex platform,” said Matthew Puglisi, Partner at CORE.
Furthermore, Sandvik has launched its Osprey Online webshop, which provides standardized alloys for 3D printing from stock. Osprey Online will be operational as of April 12, 2023. According to Sandvik, the webshop promises fast deliveries, simple ordering, and high-quality metal powders. The webshop will be launched with a special edition episode of the interactive webinar series, ‘Additive By Sandvik: Material Matters.’
“We are thrilled to offer this customer-centric solution, to provide our customers across the additive manufacturing industry with premium metal powders at any time. We are painfully aware of the struggles to acquire timely deliveries of high-quality metal powders, to keep important AM projects from coming to a halt. We are very excited to be the go-to partner that can help our customers through that challenge – and many more,” said Dr. Andrew Coleman, Head of Sandvik’s Business Unit Powder.
PrinterPrezz Inc. and its subsidiary Vertex Manufacturing, a leading 3D printing company, have rebranded and are now known as Zeda Inc. The name Zeda represents the company’s “Z to A” approach, which means that it begins with the client and ends with a product.
“In 2018, we entered a new territory with advanced manufacturing of medical devices for the global orthopedic market. By combining advanced manufacturing processes, like 3D printing, with technologies from the semiconductor industry, we are able to customize and reduce the cost of medical devices for the global population,” said Zeda CEO Shri Shetty. “It wasn’t long before we realized that the fusion of these technologies could revolutionize not just healthcare but advancements in the space, defense, semiconductor, and aerospace industries. Zeda reflects where we came from, where we are today, and where we intend to go.”
At its Cincinnati facility, Zeda has incorporated the first of eight AddUp FormUp 350 metal powder bed fusion machines. The first FormUp 350 machine was fitted earlier this month, and it will be eligible to assist critical aerospace and defense part manufacturing with Inconel 718 3D printing. Zeda is expanding its Cincinnati facility to 75,000 sq ft, with 30 extra 3D printers to be installed soon and up to 100 manufacturing tools to be implemented in the medium term.
The developer of quality assurance software for the 3D printing sector Sigma Additive Solutions has appointed Lake Street Capital Markets as its financial advisor to explore strategic options that will enhance shareholder value. This includes exploring possibilities such as a strategic investment, acquisition, merger, business combination, or other similar transactions. The company may not necessarily proceed with any transaction and even if it does, there is no assurance that it will be completed. The company has not yet set a timeline for this process and will refrain from making further comments until the Board of Directors has approved a clear course of action, the process is completed, or another disclosure is deemed necessary.
Metal 3D printer developer Meltio has added four new partners to its sales network in order to meet the growing demand for its wire-laser metal 3D printing solutions. The Spain-based firm has signed agreements with new resellers in Argentina, Italy, Spain, and the United States to boost the presence of its Meltio Engine CNC Integration, Meltio Engine Robot Integration, and Meltio M450 metal 3D printer in various industries. These new partners are Accufacture LLC (US), Tecmahe (Argentina), Wire Trading Srl (Italy), and DPR Automatismos (Spain). Meltio has noted that Accufacture will serve as an official sales partner and certified system integrator, playing a critical role in distributing and supporting Meltio’s metal 3D printing solutions in the Midwest region of the United States.
Emerging partnerships from Farsoon, NeoTech, IperionX, and more
Moving on to partnership, Chinese 3D printer manufacturer Farsoon Technologies has signed a distribution deal with Indurate Alloys, a Canadian provider of thermal spray, laser, and PTA powder. Through this collaboration, Indurate will be able to distribute Farsoon’s industrial-grade metal and plastic Additive Manufacturing machines to consumers in Canada. With over twelve years of experience, Indurate Alloys is mainly a hard-facing and thermal spray supplier/manufacturer. However, the business has grown into offering AM services, including metal powder and AM machines.
Metal additive manufacturing company Titomic has expanded into Europe by signing a reseller contract with Paris-based Multistation. This new collaboration will enable Titomic to further expand its presence in Europe and offer its novel technology to a broader range of customers, including Titomic’s extensive line of cold spray equipment.
“We are thrilled to be working with Multistation to expand our presence in Europe. Their expertise in additive manufacturing and deep knowledge of the European market makes them an ideal partner for us. We are confident that this partnership will enable us to provide our innovative technology to even more customers across the continent,” said Herbert Koeck, Managing Director of Titomic.
During the Global Industrie 2023 in Lyon, Multistation also signed a distribution deal with BigRep, a world leader in Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) large-format. BigRep has revealed that Multistation will be critical to the distribution and expansion of its large-format 3D printers in the French market. BigRep provides a 3D printing solution for dimensions up to one square meter utilizing FFF (ABS, PLA, ASA, BVOH, HI-TEMP, PA5/66, PETG, PLX, PRO HT, PVA, TPU, PA12-CF, PLA Antibacterial, Ultralight PLA, and other suitable materials).
Endeavor 3D, an additive contract manufacturer, has joined HP‘s Digital Manufacturing Partners program. Endeavor was previously a member of HP’s Digital Manufacturing Network (DMN), but has now been elevated to the invite-only group that provides the full suite of HP Jet Fusion 3D printing functionalities. According to HP, this certification for Endeavor 3D places it among the top suppliers of ‘best-in-class’ Multi Jet Fusion part quality and manufacturing expertise. HP DMN members who have earned the HP Digital Manufacturing Partner distinction have undergone an evaluation and on-site assessment.
Furthermore, sustainable, low-cost titanium developer, IperionX has announced the signing of a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SLM Solutions for the potential supply of spherical titanium metal powders from IperionX’s planned Titanium Demonstration Facility (TDF) in Virginia to SLM Solutions. This MOU with two leading metal AM technology companies could offer SLM’s extensive global customer base the first 100% recycled titanium metal powders. IperionX’s unique titanium technologies allow the production of high-quality titanium powders from 100% recycled titanium feedstocks and significantly reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of titanium.
After the successful launch of government-funded Cumbria Skills Bootcamps in Whitehaven, 3D 360 experts in digital manufacturing and 3D printing are now hosting in-person training at BAHA in Bowness-on-Windermere. Hargreaves Enterprises’ Brand & Marketing Director, Graham Hadaway, is taking part in the full or partially-funded training as a delegate and is so impressed with the boot camps that he offered the company’s use of the venue. Graham plans to create 3D printed branded goods for their bars and affiliated hotels. The training programs run over 7-16 weeks, and there are two courses available: Introduction to Additive Manufacturing and 3D CAD Skills Bootcamp, or Digital Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 Skills Bootcamp, which includes a state-of-the-art 3D printer for attendees. Both courses combine online and in-person sessions and span over 60 hours of training.
US 3D printing solutions provider CAD BLU has announced a distribution deal with Roboze, an industrial 3D printer manufacturer whose main goal is to assist innovators in creating a new future of manufacturing on a global scale. CAD BLU also bought the Roboze ARGO 500 machine and will be a preferred parts supplier in the United States. The machine will be housed at CAD BLU’s 12,000 sq ft NYC headquarters. According to CEO and Founder Rich Motto, Roboze’s advanced technology attracted CAD BLU.
“Roboze’s unique materials and advancements in the FFF technology fit perfectly into our portfolio of 3D printers. We have helped digitized many industries and pioneered the advancements that have transformed those businesses. Our world-class service and customer support is the backbone to our success and we are excited to bring our experience and success to the Roboze family” says Motto.
Lastly, Sigma Additive Solutions has revealed a collaboration with DyeMansion, a manufacturer of cleaning and surface finishing systems, to introduce an integrated hardware/software solution that will provide additional quality assurance for DyeMansion’s post-processing solutions, namely DM60, Powershot Performance, and Powerfuse S. DyeMansion’s Print-to-Product workflow and all its elements can be easily integrated into various production processes and are suitable for Industry 4.0. Sigma’s Machine Health module provides real-time monitoring and data analytics, which complement DyeMansion’s systems, resulting in reduced cost per part, unmatched quality, and increased sustainability.
Introducing new software and materials from Velo3D and Lithoz
Having finished with partnerships, we now look at new software and material introduced by Velo3D and Lithoz. Metal additive manufacturing technology company Velo3D has announced the latest version of its Flow print preparation software. Using Velo3D’s completely integrated solution, Flow 5.0 opens a slew of new capabilities for engineers, including user-selectable core parameter sets that offer enhanced control over builds and the capacity to allocate various parameters to any part on the build plate. Customers now have better control over the final material properties of 3D printed components, in addition to being able to apply skin and contour overrides with Flow.
“Through our software, we are able to continually expand our manufacturing capabilities based on customers’ needs and feedback,” said Alexander Varlahanov, VP of Engineering at Velo3D. “By enabling selectable core parameters for customers, engineers can modify the material properties of their parts to better suit the need of the application, including more isotropic parts. This even works on builds with multiple types of parts where each requires a different core parameter set.”
Dental ceramic materials and 3D printer manufacturer Lithoz has debuted its new 3D printed lithium disilicate material for dental restorations at the International Dental Show (IDS) 2023. The material was developed jointly with Ivoclar, a manufacturer of integrated dental solutions. Relying on IPS e.max lithium disilicate powder, the 3D printable lithium disilicate is anticipated to allow serial production of patient-specific, all-ceramic dental restorations that are highly detailed, thin, and have natural translucency. This material “provides novel opportunities” for scalable yet personalized series production of restorations like veneers and crowns.
Innovative applications from Additive Design and more
Sheffield-based Additive Design has welcomed a new Stratasys F370 CR FDM Composite Printer as part of its investment package. Tom Fripp, director at Addition Design said, “This new innovative 3D printer is a welcome addition to our business. The investment will improve the quality of the change parts and format parts that we are able to produce. It will open up new opportunities for us to be able to deliver higher-performance parts with reduced lead times. Customers will also benefit from the unique combination of Addition Design’s additive design capabilities with very high-performing materials.” Addition Design is one of the first businesses in the country to invest in this new technology.
Slice Engineering has introduced Mosquito 2.85 mm hotend. It is an efficient and high-performing 3D printer hotend with exceptional thermal efficiency and precise temperature control. It boasts a patented design that offers a compact and lightweight solution, preventing clogging and enabling One-Handed Nozzle Changes effortlessly. With a temperature rating of up to 500°C, it covers all thermoplastics that are printable, eliminates heat creep, minimizes jamming, and enhances printing resolution through Bimetallic Heat Break technology. Compared to a standard threaded heat break, the Mosquito’s 2.85 mm hotend conducts 85% less heat, increasing structural rigidity, and allowing for easy One-handed Nozzle Changes. It can be modular and adaptable to most FFF/FDM printers and is suitable for multi-extrusion systems. Users can employ RepRap style nozzles for the Mosquito 2.85 mm hotend, which have M6 x 1.0 threads, a 7 mm thread length, and a 12.5 mm overall length.
Mackinnon & Saunders, the puppet-making company behind the Academy Award-winning animation Pinocchio, has commended the Made Smarter technology adoption program for its transformative impact. The Altrincham-based company collaborated with renowned Hollywood director Guillermo del Toro to produce the miniature stars of the Netflix stop-motion animation. Pinocchio was the first puppet to be made using 3D printed stainless steel, an innovation made possible through the Made Smarter North West adoption program. This government-funded initiative aims to help SME manufacturers digitalize, decarbonize, and drive growth through new technologies and skills. Mackinnon & Saunders received funding support and impartial expert advice through the program, allowing them to test and trial brand-new 3D techniques with Laser Prototype Europe, a rapid prototyping service bureau based in Belfast.
CyBe Construction’s First 3D Concrete villa in Florida
Dutch construction printing company CyBe Construction has unveiled plans to print its first 3D concrete villa in Florida, using mobile 3D printing technology to build the villa on-site in just 12 days, reducing overall construction time and costs. CyBe Construction recently expanded to the United States with the establishment of CyBe Florida LLC in early 2023, illustrating its commitment to bringing innovative construction technology to homeowners across the country. The new location will provide a variety of services, such as 3D concrete printing and custom design solutions.
“This is the first step of concurring the U.S. market with our technology, we are specifically focused on the country’s sustainable housing market,” said CEO, Berry Hendrik. “There, we see a strong demand for affordable (rental) housing, which seems to have only increased during Covid-19, heightened by the effects of climate changes.”
Rapidia announces lower price for their metal 3D printing machines
Canadian 3D printer manufacturer Rapidia has announced a ‘significant decrease’ in the cost of its metal 3D printing machines. According to the company, this is part of its goal of making advanced manufacturing more accessible. Rapidia entered into a partnership with ExOne in 2020, which resulted in the white-labeled metal paste 3D printer and compact sintering furnace. According to the company, this collaboration provided it with access to ExOne’s brand and distribution network while also providing ExOne with a product that expanded its portfolio.
Rapidia CEO, Artem Bylinskii said, “Our metal printing technology is accessible because of its ease of use and low operating cost. We’re now in a position where we feel we can be more proactive and more disruptive by making our technology more accessible in price too.”
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Featured image shows a bioresorbable jawbone. Image via Lithoz.