In May 2019, the 3D printing industry was mainly focused on the RAPID + TCT conference, one of the biggest 3D printing events of the year. The month saw various high profile releases in 3D hardware and software, from the likes of Siemens, Aurora Labs, Origin, and Essentium.
News in 3D printing was also dominated by a number of high-performance automotive case studies. Multiple firms in the automotive industry revealed that they had installed 3D printers to improve their end-to-end manufacturing processes.
RAPID + TCT 2019
Taking place from May 20 to 24, RAPID + TCT 2019 included new 3D printers from Titan Robotics, Tethon and BigRep, and the emergence of California-based startup Origin from stealth mode with the introduction of the Origin One 3D printer. Additional and notable 3D printers at RAPID included the public display of Essentium’s High Speed Extrusion 180-S 3D printer for the first time. 3D Printing Industry reported live from the show, backed by a team covering all of the latest press releases from the event. Outside of RAPID, HP also launched a new line of Jet Fusion 3D printers named the 5200 series in May.
Siemens software, beta testing, and 3D printed beer?
One of our most popular articles of the month came from an interview with Europe’s largest industrial manufacturing company Siemens, which had just introduced its Sinumerik ONE digital native controller. A notable feature of the release is that it comes equipped with software to create a digital twin, allowing manufacturers to create complete virtualization of their development and machine processes. 3D Printing Industry spoke with Dr. Karsten Heuser, VP of Additive Manufacturing at Siemens Digital to learn more: “Additive is still young [and] it is a fast-growing topic, but classical machines and machine builders are still the standard,” explained Dr. Heuser.
“To increase productivity and efficiency in a manufacturer’s product life cycle, software automation and digitization are needed.”
Another popular article concerned the news regarding Australian metal 3D printer manufacturer Aurora Labs’ RMP1 3D printer. The company had announced that it was commencing the live beta testing of the machine. A unique case study in which Dutch brewing company Heineken employed the 3D printing technology of Ultimaker to produce functional end-use parts for its beer production line in Seville, Spain, also made the rounds.
3D printing races its way into F1 production lines
In May, various racing teams revealed they had installed 3D printers. This included the Renault F1 Team, which partnered with American worldwide manufacturing services company Jabil to produce 3D printed car parts for its 2019 Formula One World Championship car.
Rodin Cars, a New Zealand car manufacturer, and title-winning NASCAR team Stewart-Haas Racing also revealed they were using 3D Systems‘ Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) sPro 230, Stereolithography (SLA) ProX 800, and ProX DMP 320 3D printers to accelerate productivity in the automotive sector.
Adding to the list is Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) – one of the most successful teams in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the largest auto racing organization in the world. In May, Stratasys had announced a partnership with DSR to accelerate prototyping and new component design. As such, DSR has installed the Fortus 450mc and F370 3D printers. The team is using 3D printing to accelerate design iterations, workflows and final part production. In a separate announcement in the same month, Stratasys also stated that German rail company Bombardier Transportation had installed a Stratasys F900 3D printer at its Hennigsdorf facility, north-west of Berlin. The company bought the system to 3D print tooling, prototyping, and end-use parts for trains and trams.
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Featured image shows the entrance to RAPID + TCT 2019. Photo by Beau Jackson.