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 a whole host of business updates, new 3D printing certifications and testing milestones, an address from US President Biden, and a variety of novel consumer applications ranging from prototype iPhones to exclusive watches.
Read on for the most recent updates from THINK3D, Norsk Titanium, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Once Click Metal, Apple, Specialized, Panerai, and more.
Business updates from Lithoz, THINK3D, Fortify, One Click Metal, and more
Kicking off this week’s round of business updates, ceramic 3D printing machine developer Lithoz has installed a CerabFab Lab L30 ceramic 3D printer at the Central University of Technology (CUT) institute in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
The installation reportedly marks the very first ceramic 3D printer to be installed in the African continent, with the machine being used as an important tool in providing access to 3D printing healthcare technology to benefit the wider population. In particular, CUT will leverage the machine to aid its research into the additive manufacturing of customized medical devices.
3D printing service bureau THINK3D, meanwhile, is now offering 3D printing service in the US via its sister company SINTERIZE. SINTERIZE will offer a range of digital manufacturing services including 3D printing and CAD modeling services among other traditional manufacturing offerings. In time, THINK3D plans to bring on multiple additional service providers from across South East Asia to meet the growing demand from its US customers.
Fortify, the Boston-based company behind the Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM) 3D printing platform, has secured a strategic investment agreement with In-Q-Tel (IQT) the strategic investment arm of the US Intelligence community founded by the CIA. The investment comes as the firm launches several new resins for its DCM platform, specifically addressing low-loss dielectric, high-temperature electrostatic-discharge safe, thermally conductive electrically resistive polymer and technical ceramic applications.
Working with In-Q-Tel, Fortify will leverage its new materials to focus on components within the field of RF devices and wireless infrastructure for aerospace, defense, and commercial telecommunications.
Industrial 3D printer manufacturer One Click Metal has entered into a partnership that will see the company represented in a further seven European countries. The company has entered an agreement with Teximp, a provider of 3D printing and CNC machines and the largest Haas reseller in Europe, which will see its BOLDseries 3D printing system will be hosted in Teximp branches within Croatia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Bosnia Herzegovina, and Serbia.
Elsewhere, metal 3D printer OEM Meltio has added Fabros Technology as its official sales partner for the Turkish market. Fabros Technology will focus on building a supportive network for Meltio’s technology throughout the Turkish market, and will forge business opportunities alongside technology centers, tooling machine firms, robotic integrators, academia, and industry.
Finally, US President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with manufacturing leaders in Cincinnati on Friday to observe and discuss new 3D printing technologies. While it is not known which manufacturers will be in attendance, the White House did say that Biden plans to call on Congress to pass legislation such as the Bipartisan Innovation Act in a bid to boost domestic manufacturing and create more jobs.
AM Certifications for Burloak Technologies and Morf3D
Canadian manufacturing service bureau Burloak Technologies has been awarded Nadcap accreditation for its in-house heat treatment facility. Nadcap, formerly known as the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program, is a global program that aims to continuously improve standards within the aerospace and defense sectors.
After a rigorous third-party audit process, the firm demonstrated that its heat treatment capabilities meet or exceed the aerospace industry’s standards.
Burloak Technologies isn’t the only firm to have received Nadcap accreditation recently, with Nikon-backed 3D printing service bureau Morf3D having also received the certification. The firm also holds supplier voting members’ rights on the Nadcap task group and is the leader of the additive manufacturing sub-team, allowing it to provide valuable input to the development of the program.
“Achieving our Nadcap certification and becoming one of only 10 companies in the world to achieve this distinguished accreditation is a testament to Morf3D’s focus on quality,” said Ivan Madera, Morf3D CEO.
“It extends the importance of the work we do and allows us to continue taking additive manufacturing to new heights.”
LLNL receives NASA funding
NASA has awarded LLNL with funding to develop its volumetric additive manufacturing (VAM) technology to produce artificial cartilage tissue in space. The project is one of eight sharing $21 million from NASA’s In Space Production Applications (InSPA) program, and will see LLNL work with space life sciences firm Space Tango to advance the development of its “replicator” ultrafast 3D printer.
The VAM printers, capable of bioprinting in microgravity on the International Space Station (ISS), are expected to operate with little to no crew intervention. The printers will play a key role in the InSPA project which aims to develop new and promising technologies for advanced materials and products for use on Earth and in low-Earth orbit (LEO).
Norsk Titanium completes testing milestone
Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) 3D printing developer Norsk Titanium has completed successful full-scale component level testing with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) for a landing gear component.
The test program, which began in 2021, has been exploring the application of Norsk Titanium’s RPD technology in structural components for GA-ASI products. The successful test indicated “promising performance” and forms part of Norsk’s efforts to expand its RPD technology into the defense market.
“We would like to thank GA-ASI for their support of our technology and the additive industry in general,” said Nicholas Mayer, Norsk Titanium Vice President Commercial. “We believe there is a good fit for our technology in GA-ASI applications that traditionally call for long lead time forgings.
“Our team is ready to support GA-ASI as they continue their qualification process and further develop their DED additive applications.”
Novel 3D printing applications from Specialized, Apple, and Panerai
First off, bicycle manufacturer Specialized has released a new 3D printed saddle called the Power Pro with Mirror. The firm has once again leveraged 3D printing technology to improve on the comfort of its S-Works saddle, which is available in both 143mm and 155mm widths and priced at $325.
Meanwhile, Japanese website Mac Otakara has shared images of the molds of the upcoming iPhone 14 range from Apple, from which someone has 3D printed a replica of what the new generation of phones will look like. The 3D printed replicas offer a clearer view of what the four new models of iPhone will look like, as well as the differences in design compared to older versions.
Finally, luxury watch manufacturer Panerai has unveiled a new edition Submersible S BRABUS Blue Shadow watch manufactured via DMLS 3D printing. Made for sea-faring adventurers and enthusiasts, the watch is fabricated from titanium to make it both lightweight and sturdy on the wrist.
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Featured image shows the saddle works Power Pro with Mirror saddle with the sliced logo.