3D Printing News Digest

3D Printing Industry news sliced: MakerBot, Czinger, America Makes, GE Additive, Amaero, ZEISS, Arkema and more

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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, investments, a new 3D printing air filtration system, same-day 3D printed dentures, and coatings for 3D printed rocket engine parts.

Read on for the most recent updates from door2door, Shree Rapid Technologies, ERPRO 3D FACTORY, Solukon, Zenith Tecnica, Maxar Technologies, EROFIO and more.

A Maxar satellite with components 3D printed by Zenith Tecnica. Photo via Maxar Technologies.
A Maxar satellite with components 3D printed by Zenith Tecnica. Photo via Maxar Technologies.

New partnerships and investments in 3D printing

3D printed autonomous vehicle manufacturer Local Motors has announced a partnership with door2door, a German mobility software firm, to accelerate the use of self-driving cars in Europe. Together, the partners will integrate door2door’s analytics software with Local Motors’ Olli 2.0 shuttle. Additionally, door2door’s fleet management software will also be implemented, enabling riders to call Olli and set drop-off locations from their mobile phones.

Carlo Iacovini, Local Motors’ EMEA General Manager, stated, “The partnership with door2door is an important step for Local Motors as we expand operations in Europe. The agreement is well-timed as the German government commits to bringing autonomy to public transportation. door2door’s leading software will integrate well with Olli 2.0, creating a strong solution to scale as legislators recognize the viable applications of AVs.”

Elsewhere, manufacturing technology supplier Shree Rapid Technologies (SRT) has partnered with optical system specialist ZEISS India to supply 3D scanning technology to the Indian market. Specifically, the partnership will see SRT marketing ZEISS’ coordinate measuring machines and 3D scanning systems to the Indian manufacturing industry, further advancing the country’s production capabilities.

Nitin Chaudhary, Partner at SRT, adds, “ZEISS India is a leading technology company operating in the optics and optoelectronics industries. Having them on board with us is of a great advantage to boost our aim of being the sole provider of end-to-end solutions in the Indian AM industry, offering our clients the best solutions based on their specific needs and developing the Indian Digital Manufacturing Sector.”

Materials developer Arkema has acquired a 10% stake in French additive manufacturing service provider ERPRO 3D FACTORY (E3DF). Since its founding in 2017, E3DF has 3D printed more than 19 million components, predominantly out of polyamide 11 powder. The companies initially set up a partnership back in 2018 in a bid to work on projects in cosmetics, medical, automotive, and more.

With the recent 10% stake, Arkema is now set to bolster its expertise and accelerate the development of new applications for its high-performance polymers, which is in line with the company’s sustainable development goals. The deal will also see Arkema become a member of E3DF’s strategic committee.

Solukon Maschinenbau, a Germany-based powder removal system manufacturer, has selected manufacturing system provider Machine Tool Systems to be its distributor in Canada. Solukon’s Smart Powder Recuperation (SPR) technology is used to depowder metal parts 3D printed via SLM, and works by generating adjustable vibration and automated two-axis part rotation.

John Manley, President of Machine Tool Systems, said, “We are pleased to represent Solukon on the growing Canadian AM market. Powder removal often is one of the pain points in industrial additive manufacturing. By partnering with Solukon we are closing the gap between manufacturing and post processing for our customers.”

New Zealand-based 3D printing service provider Zenith Tecnica recently celebrated its 5th partnership anniversary with satellite manufacturer Maxar Technologies. Since the start of the deal in 2016, Zenith Tecnica has 3D printed over 260 titanium components for Maxar, facilitating five spacecraft launches. As it stands, there are currently another 270 parts in the production and assembly phases, which will go on to enable another eight satellite launches.

“Maxar is committed to additive manufacturing and is a fantastic customer,” says Peter Sefont, Technical Director of Zenith Tecnica. “Its team is pragmatic and collaborates with suppliers to successfully leverage all the benefits that additive manufacturing has to offer. We are incredibly proud to be playing a part in the manufacturing of their spacecraft.”

Finally, the Swinburne University of Technology and metal additive manufacturing company Amaero have partnered with the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) to advance aerospace 3D printing. The research agreement will see the organizations work to develop coatings for 3D printed turbine engine parts, including combustion chambers and nozzles. These ‘Compliant Multilayer Environmental Barrier Coatings’ (EBCs) will be designed to protect the coated components in extreme operating conditions.

“This is an exciting project that showcases Swinburne’s strength in materials and coatings for space,” says Professor Alan Duffy, Director of Swinburne’s Space Technology and Industry Institute. “By bringing together the brightest minds and world class capabilities from Swinburne, ANFF, and local industry excellence in Amaero, we can address the material issues within the extreme environment of a turbine engine.”

The coatings will be developed for rocket engine components like this 3D printed nozzle. Photo via Amaero.
The coatings will be developed for rocket engine components like this 3D printed nozzle. Photo via Amaero.

EROFIO becomes first to test GE Additive M Line 3D printer

Manufacturing firm EROFIO Group has become the first to 3D print a part using a GE Additive Concept Laser M Line 3D printer. Set to be commercially launched later this year, the system was used to manufacture a mold core made of M300 hot work tool steel, a build that took six days. The part houses more than eight internal cooling channels, which stretch more than eight meters in total, with the smallest one being just five millimeters in diameter.

Luís Santos, metal additive manufacturing leader at EROFIO Group, adds, “We are honored to be part of GE Additive’s thorough commercial readiness process. We’re learning a lot from them and I think it’s safe to say they are learning a lot from us and our first impressions working with the M Line. Having the first part come off our system is a great milestone and we’re looking forward to supporting the wider team as the solution comes to market and beyond.”

Mold core 3D printed on a GE Additive M Line 3D printer. Photo via EROFIO.
Mold core 3D printed on a GE Additive M Line 3D printer. Photo via EROFIO.

3D printed dental solutions with Desktop Health

Desktop Metal’s dental 3D printing arm, Desktop Health, has announced that it will begin offering 3D printed dental prothestics in the UK and Europe, following the safe CE certification of its patented Flexcera resin. The dentures can be prepared and 3D printed after just one in-person visit, with a typical same-day print time of just two hours. The company has stated that it will use EnvisionTEC 3D printers for its dental prosthetics, which will enable Desktop Health to produce eight lifelike dentures with every build.

“We are very pleased to report CE Mark certification for Flexcera, launching our global expansion to meet the needs of dental professionals and their patients,” said Michael Jafar, President & CEO of Desktop Health. “Three years ago, we set out to create a product that addressed the limitations of current 3D printed dental prosthetics – brittleness and poor aesthetics.”

The Desktop Health product portfolio. Photo via Desktop Health.
The Desktop Health product portfolio. Photo via Desktop Health.

MakerBot launches new Clean Air filtration system

3D printer OEM MakerBot has announced the launch of its new Clean Air smart filtration system. The device is a digital HEPA filter compatible with the company’s METHOD and METHOD X 3D printers. By filtering out harmful, ultra-fine particles during the printing process, users can ensure a safer and healthier indoor working environment. According to MakerBot, the company’s internal testing program has shown that Clean Air is able to catch and remove up to 95% of ultra-fine particles.

“We are committed to being world-class in safety as we advance 3D printing’s use worldwide,” said Nadav Goshen, CEO of MakerBot. “From meeting industry certifications to delivering 3D printing solutions that support safety, our goal is always to exceed global industry benchmarks.”

Czinger showcases 3D printed hypercar

Over in the automotive sector, California-based car manufacturer Czinger has showcased the final production spec of its 3D printed hypercar, the 21C. With only 80 units planned for production, the final version of the two-seater is 2m wide and weighs just 1240kg. Featuring a 2.88 liter V8 twin turbo motor, the vehicle can operate with a number of different fuel types, including carbon recycled methanol and other e-fuels.

The company’s manufacturing process involves both metal 3D printing technology and automated AI-based part design, with most of the 21C’s structural components being 3D printed using SLM Solutions technology.

The Czinger 21C's final form. Photo via Czinger.
The Czinger 21C’s final form. Photo via Czinger.

America Makes comments on White House supply chain review

America Makes, the US additive manufacturing innovation organization, has released a statement following the conclusion of the Biden Administration’s 100-Day Review of US supply chains:

“As the nation’s leading public-private partnership for additive manufacturing, and the first Manufacturing USA Institute, we applaud the Administration’s findings, recommendations, and creation of the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force to help address U.S. supply chain resiliency. We look forward to continuing to do our part to meet critical U.S. supply chain needs by enabling the innovative capabilities of U.S. manufacturers through the deployment of additive and advanced manufacturing technologies.”

“Over the last 15 months we have seen first-hand how these technologies can play a critical role in solving supply chain gaps, both as a crisis response tool and in the name of long-term resilience, through our Advanced Manufacturing Crisis Production Response (AMCPR) program. We will continue to press forward, and work with the Administration to showcase additive and advanced manufacturing as a ready solution to the important mission of strengthening America’s supply chains, security, and manufacturing competitiveness.”

RadTech announces call for technical papers

RadTech International North America, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of ultraviolet and electron beam technologies, has begun accepting technical papers to be showcased at the 2022 RadTech UV+EB Technology Conference & Exposition. The event is set to take place 10 – 12 May 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.

The organization has stated that it’s looking for high-quality technical papers that cover advancements in everything from 3D printing and coatings to LED technology and materials. Presentations should be limited to 25 minutes in length, with 5 minutes at the end for a Q&A. The deadline for abstract submissions is 24 September 2021.

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Featured image shows the Sliced logo on a photo of a Maxar satellite. Photo via Maxar Technologies.