3D Printing

The 3D Printing Industry Year in Review, January

We’ll be taking a look back at the 3D printing news of the year during the next week. Here are some of the stories that caught our attention at 3DPI during January. Remember, nominations are also open for the 1st Annual 3D Printing Industry Awards.

Peter Sander, Head of Emerging Technologies & Concepts at Airbus confirmed that the company is now on “readiness level 6 for ALM industrialization.” As we saw through the year the progression of 3D printing towards production took several important steps. Including a certain Figure 4 project from 3D Systems.

The Airbus APWorks Lightrider. Photo by Michael Petch.
The Airbus APWorks Lightrider. Photo by Michael Petch.

3D printing with alien metal

At the other end of the spectrum, Dr. Adrian Bowyer announced in January that RepRepPro would cease trading. As 3DPI wrote at the time, “it’s important to remember that Adrian Bowyer, the founder of both RepRapPro and the global RepRap movement, is majorly responsible for the low-cost 3D printing revolution occurring worldwide.”

As this was January, we covered a number of CES related news items. Including the fact that Mcor launched the Mcor ARKe at a price of $5,995 and Planetary Resources displayed a 3D printed part made from an asteroid’s “alien metal.”

Metal 3D printing and the use of additive manufacturing in Korea was the focus of a series of articles during the first month of the year. While in the United States, 3D bioprinting pioneer Organovo announced the creation of subsidiary Samsara Sciences Inc., a company focused on provision of human liver cells for research purposes.

Saving lives with 3D printing

In other medical news the company who created the first FDA approved 3D printed drug announced they had raised $35 million. We also took a look at how 3D printing helped save the life of a 3 year old girl from Northern Ireland.

Always thinking big, Professor Neri Oxman told the prestigious Davos Conference how 3D printing is key to saving the world. While back in the United States, whistleblower Chelsea Manning was smuggled out of prison (in a way) using 3D printing.

Neri Oxman mask for Bjork.
Neri Oxman mask for Bjork.

The 3MF consortium gained a new member during January as GE Global Research joined the group. In other software news, WeDesign launched early stage testing and the project is now advanced further with a growing community of users.

Let us know if these stories, or other 3D printing news, should win one of the 1st Annual 3D Printing Industry Awards here.

Featured image shows RepRap inventor, Dr. Adrian Bowyer.