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3D Printing Industry News Sliced: Roboze, Carbon, B9Creations and SLM Solutions

In this edition of Sliced, the 3D Printing Industry news digest, we collect stories about 3D bioprinted tissues; SXSW 2019; Roboze’s expansion to Japan, and a UK Government visit to a 3D printing facility.

We also have the latest updates from Carbon, SLM Solutions, Filamentive and PostProcess Technologies. Read on for this and more regarding innovations in the education and medical sector and the latest industry partnerships.

3D printing used in life-saving operation

In medicine, ActivArmor, a manufacturer of 3D printed casts and splints, has announced a partnership with protective coatings specialist LINE-X. ActivArmor’s 3D printed medical devices will utilize LINE-X’s preservative coatings to help make its casts and braces more water resistant and durable.

“During the ongoing product improvement process, we tested several different ways to reinforce and protect our 3D printed orthoses and determined that LINE-X’s biocompatible coating would bring the safest, most protective benefits and hygienic features to our casts,” stated Diana Hall, President and Founder of ActivArmor.

ActivArmor 3D printed casts. Photo via ActivArmor.
ActivArmor 3D printed casts. Photo via ActivArmor.

California-based 3D bioprinting company Organovo Holdings Inc has said it expects to meet with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this year on its development of 3D bioprinted tissues for the treatment of liver diseases. In 2016 the company previously suggests that its 3D bioprinted liver tissue could make it to the FDA by 2019. Organovo also added that it has sufficient funds to meet operating and capital requirements through fiscal 2020.

At the 2019 SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, Dr. Tim Brown will be taking to the stage to detail how 3D printing helped changed the life of a young mother. Dr. Brown’s talk will be taking place at 12:30pm on 12th March 2019. There will also be a panel discussion on 12th March set to explore the future of 3D printing, automation and machine learning in medicine.

Speaking on how the 3D printed model aided the surgery, Dr. Brown said “As the cyst was buried deep within the renal cortex and therefore invisible on the back bench, a replica 3D model was used for preoperative planning and intra-operative localization of the lesion.”

“It’s difficult to underestimate how valuable this strategy was in terms of preoperative planning and achieving successful clearance of the lesion.” 

The panel discussion, Tumours, Transplants and Technology: AI For Life, will take place on March 12 at SXSW 2019. Photo via SXSW.
The panel discussion, Tumours, Transplants and Technology: AI For Life, will take place on March 12 at SXSW 2019. Photo via SXSW.

Defence Minister visits University 3D printing facility

Moving away from the medical industry and towards education, three Penn State University additive manufacturing projects have been awarded a grant from the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program. The program, funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), aims to advance manufacturing technology and innovation in Pennsylvania. The three projects include collaborations with Hazleton Casting Co. for the integration of 3D sand printing; Autodesk, to work on laser-based additive manufacturing; and Actuated Medical, focusing on the 3D printing of medical devices.

“We are thrilled to see these three funded research projects coming out of Penn State,” commented Jeff Fortin, associate vice president for research and director of the Office of Industrial Partnerships.

“This program provides opportunities for our researchers and students to continue to build relationships in the manufacturing industry, and to push forward technology research that can make real-world impacts.” 

Actuated Medical at the MedTech Conference in Philadelphia. Photo via Actuated Medical.
Actuated Medical at the MedTech Conference in Philadelphia. Photo via Actuated Medical.

Penn State University, as well as several other Universities, has also sourced devices from Istanbul-based 3D bioprinter company Axolotl Biosystems.  The company’s scientists have developed sensitive, high-tech medical devices, 11 of which have been sold to various institutions across the world, including the U.S. and Turkey.

Stuart Andrew MP, the UK Minister for Defence Procurement, visited Imperial College London’s White City Campus, which holds a 3D printing facility. He attended the university to meet with Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) officials and Professor Neil Alford and Dr Deeph Chana. The minister was shown Imperial’s Invention Rooms, home to a 3D printing facility, as well as spaces for digital manufacturing, woodwork and metalwork, and a bio-lab.

The White City Invention Rooms Design Studio. Image via Imperial College London.
The White City Invention Rooms Design Studio. Image via Imperial College London.

Roboze expands into Japan for first time

This week has seen a series of partnership announcements in the 3D printing industry.

Italian 3D printer manufacturer Roboze has signed a partnership agreement with K. K. IRISU that will see its 3D printing technology distributed into the Japanese market. K. K. IRISU is a Tokyo-based supplier of industrial machinery and equipment. Roboze’s 3D printing solutions debuted in Japan at the 30th Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo on February 6th in Tokyo, where K. K. IRISU showcased the company’s products.

“Our main objective is to educate the Japanese market in additive manufacturing and to continue to be the solution provider for the Japanese manufacturing world,” explained Kayne K Ikeda from K.K. IRISU’s 3D printing department.

“In particular, we intend to help our customers in introducing technologies and materials that are able to produce functional and finished parts for advanced applications. For this reason we chose Roboze.”

Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo. Photo via Manufacturing World Japan.
Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions Expo. Photo via Manufacturing World Japan.

German 3D printing manufacturer SLM Solutions has entered into an agreement with 3D Product Development (3DPD) to sell two of its SLM 280 systems. The cooperation with 3DPD demonstrates SLM Solutions’ further expansion into the Indian market. 3DPD is an Indian 3D printing services company that will use its new SLM 280 3D printers to bring metal additive manufacturing to the Indian industry. In other news, SLM Solutions also recently announced that is has 3D printed a landmark single piece rocket engine for Orbex.  

PostProcess Technologies, an automated post-printing developer for additive manufacturing, has announced a partnership with Hawk Ridge Systems to distribute its solution portfolio in North America. Hawk Ridge Systems, a global provider of 3D design and manufacturing solutions, including 3D printers from HP, Markforged and UnionTech, represents PostProcess’ seventh North American channel partner.

“As demand for our automated and intelligent post-print solutions rapidly expands across markets and geographies, we’re excited to bring highly experienced and reputable partners like Hawk Ridge on board,” commented Nate Harris, Head of Sales, at PostProcess.

A system form PostProcess Technologies. Image via Hawk Ridge Systems.
A system form PostProcess Technologies. Image via Hawk Ridge Systems.

Elsewhere in the industry, Arcam AB, a Swedish metal additive manufacturing solutions provider, is relocating its factories from Krokslätts Fabriker to Mölnlycke Corporate Park. Arcam AB’s new facility will enable the company to meet demand increases. A subsidiary of GE Additive, Arcam specializes in electron beam melting (EBM) technology.

Multinational automaker Ford is planning to install 3D printing tools at its Chicago-area assembly plants. The company is investing $1 billion to add more jobs to plants in the Chicago area, expanding the production of its redesigned Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator sports utility vehicles.

Saving the environment with 3D printing

South Dakota-based 3D printing manufacturer B9Creations has launched the B9Clean, a tool that provides automated cleaning for post-processing, enabling an end-to-end 3D printing workflow. B9Creations showcased the 3D printing solution at the recent AGTA Tucson trade show. The B9Clean offers a customizable cleaning cycle, with users having the choice to directly transfer parts from the B9 Core Series 3D printer. The B9Clean is now available for pre-order, at $595. It is expected to begin shipping in March 2019.

“It’s no secret that it’s a messy process to go from a finished print to a final product. We wanted to address this pain point, delivering production-grade parts with post-processing to match. That’s why we developed the B9Clean, so the first time a customer touches a part, it’s printed, clean and dry,” stated Shon Anderson, CEO at B9Creations.

The B9Clean. Photo via B9Creations.
The B9Clean. Photo via B9Creations.

Andrey Rudenko, who developed his own concrete 3D printer and built a castle with it, is now launching the LAByrinth 3D printer. The compact, concrete 3D printer will be released under his company, Total Kustom. Developed for small-scale concrete 3D printing, the system in intended for use in R&D in laboratories and universities, to help develop new concrete mixes and printing inks for construction additive manufacturing. The printer is available to purchase with prices ranging from $150,000 to $200,000.

UK 3D printer filament brand Filamentive has announced the release of a new 100% recycled plastic filament. The material is made from post-consumer PET plastic bottle waste, developed in partnership with Tridea, a company specializing in converting plastic waste to 3D filament. The filament, titled ONE PET, was made in an effort to reduce post-consumer plastic waste.

Ravi Toor, Founder & Managing Director of Filamentive, explained that “In a world where less than 10% of plastic is recycled and in an industry where plastic is the material feedstock, we feel it is our duty to prioritise the use of recycled materials.”

“By working with Tridea, we are now making progress towards reducing post-consumer waste which has a considerable lower recycling rate than post-industrial waste streams.” 

PET Plastic bottles used to make the ONE PET. Photo via Filamentive.
PET Plastic bottles used to make the ONE PET. Photo via Filamentive.

Celebrating 3D printing innovations

The JEC Innovation Awards, a ceremony dedicated to innovations in the composite materials industry, has added a new 3D printing category for its 2019 awards. 30 finalists, selected by an international jury of experts from more than a hundred applications, will compete in 10 categories including the new 3D printing one. The JEC Innovation Awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 13 March in Paris at the Agora stage of the JEC World 2019 exhibition.

“The JEC Innovation Awards programme is emblematic and recognises pioneers in composite innovation. 3D printing plays a new role in our industry,” stated Franck Glowacz, Innovation Content Leader at JEC Group.

“The combination of lightweight, resistant materials that allow great design freedom, with a technology that allows complex shapes, is of interest to manufacturers.” 

Also, you can make your nominations for the best innovations in the additive manufacturing industry for the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2019.

In a different awards show, the finalists of the Additive World Design for the Additive Manufacturing Challenge 2019 were announced by Netherlands-based Additive Industries. 3 finalists per category were selected from a group of 121 contestants, both professionals and students. The challenge encourages contestants to redesign an existing conventional part of a machine or product for 3D printing. The winners will be announced at the Additive World Conference Award Dinner on March 20, 2019 in Eindhoven.

Daan Kersten, CEO of Additive Industries explained that “The redesigns submitted from all over the world and across different fields like automotive, aerospace, medical, tooling, and high tech, demonstrated how product designs can be improved when the freedom of additive manufacturing is applied.”

Redesigns of the finalists for the Additive World Design for Additive Manufacturing Challenge 2019. Image via Additive Industries.
Redesigns of the finalists for the Additive World Design for Additive Manufacturing Challenge 2019. Image via Additive Industries.

UK-based inkjet printhead supplier Xaar has been celebrating the technologies of its Xaar 5601 printhead. The company held a special event for over 300 of its UK staff. The printhead, which was eight years in development, has over 5600 nozzles, and features a high resolution print at speed, capable of jetting up to eight litres of fluid per hour. At the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2018, Xaar took home the award for Innovation of the year, for its High Laydown Technology for Material Jetting.

“Understanding customer and market requirements was key to the development of the Xaar 5601,” comments Ramon Borrell, Chief Technology Officer at Xaar plc. “We wanted to create a new platform with capabilities that we didn’t have at the time. Specifically, we wanted to develop an aqueous printhead, with higher resolution, higher printing speed and higher print quality.”

The 3DFactory Incubator had its inauguration event of the first European incubator of additive manufacturing in Barcelona. The additive manufacturing work centre is aimed to help European 3D printing businesses and startups grow. The incubator space offers a range of services, with a technical and management team, and is equipped with 4 industrial 3D printers, 3 mini-printers, a post-processing area and a design and metrology area.

Adidas and Carbon release new trainer

And finally, Carbon’s 3D printing technology has been utilised once more in Adidas’ latest release of the ZX 4000 4D shoes. Featuring Adidas’ Futurecraft 4D, the shoes have a 3D printed midsole.. The new sneaker, released on 9 February, adds to a line of Adidas trainers using 3D printed materials. Last year, the partners unveiled the AlphaEDGE 4D LTD running shoes featuring the midsoles produced using Carbon’s DLS technology.

The ZX 4000 4D shoes featuring a Carbon 3D printed midsole. Image via Adidas.
The ZX 4000 4D shoes featuring a Carbon 3D printed midsole. Image via Adidas.

Submit your nominations for the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2019.

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Featured image shows Sliced logo on an image of the ZX 4000 4D shoes featuring a Carbon 3D printed midsole. Image via Adidas.

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