April 2019 saw new developments from Stratasys including its debut SLA industrial 3D printer. Applications of 3D printing for healthcare continued, including new approaches for 3D printed personalized prosthesis, cardiac patches, and bone tissue.
Stratasys’ first SLA system & Pantone validation
At the Additive Manufacturing User’s Group (AMUG) Conference, Stratasys, the inventor of FDM 3D printing technology, made its entry into SLA with the V650 Flex, a large-scale, industrial 3D printer, operating a build volume of 508 x 508 x 584 mm (W x D x H). The company’s J735 and J750 systems also received validation from Pantone, the global color authority and provider of professional color standards for the design industries.
“Largest amorphous metal component”
Heraeus, a German technology group specializing in precious metals, produced what is described as the “largest amorphous metal component” using additive manufacturing. This part was manufactured using the company’s own patented AMZ4 metal powder in a standard SLM 3D printing system.
Award-winning American 3D printer OEM 3D Systems also announced the opening of a new Advanced Additive Manufacturing Center in Pinerolo, Italy. The new center was established to broaden the company’s On-Demand manufacturing service in Europe, beyond sites already present in France, the UK, and Germany, among others.
Also in Europe, Spanish shipbuilder Navantia signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense to construct five F-110 frigates (warships) incorporating additive manufacturing for the Spanish Navy. This will reportedly be the first in the fleet to have integrated 3D printed components as well as cybersecurity systems.
Medical advances using additive manufacturing
Scientists at Rice University and the University of Maryland (UMD) outlined a new proof-of-concept for 3D printing artificial bone tissue. The results published in Acta Biomaterialia, aim to one day help to damage related to arthritis and sporting accidents.
In addition, researchers from Virginia Tech also presented a study aiming to improve 3D printed personalized prosthesis. This investigation demonstrates the ability to integrate electronic sensors at the intersection between an artificial limb and the wearer’s tissue – creating a form-fitting prosthesis.
Business developments and RAPID + TCT 2019 rumblings
Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne and its research partners were awarded $1 million AUD from the Global Innovation Linkages Program, towards a $3.5 million project to develop and mass-produce 3D printed carbon composites parts.
Global chemical company Henkel stepped further into the additive manufacturing market as a result of its partnership with TerraCycle. This collaboration fostered eco-friendly packaging to those using 3D printing through the Adhesive Recycling Program.
A month prior to RAPID + TCT 2019 in Detroit, Michigan, Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT), an award-winning UK-based post-processing systems manufacturer, announced two new machines, the PostPro3DColor and PostPro3DMini.
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Featured image shows the V650 Flex. Photo via Stratasys.