How is the fictional Kingdom of Wakanda funding 3D printing across the US? Which university has managed to build the world’s first 3D printed titanium internal combustion engine? And who has the Air Force Research Laboratory funded for the development of materials for aerospace components?
This edition of 3D printing news Sliced features BASF, ANSYS, MachineWorks, 3DX Industries, Aurora Labs, NanoAl, Klean, Continental, Ford, University of Canterbury and DigiFabCon.
All change in 3D printing businesses
BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH, the additive manufacturing subsidiary of German chemical company BASF is significantly restructuring its business with the establishment of four new operative business lines.
Jeroen Wiggers will head up the “3D-P Solutions for Additive Extrusion” (AES) line whilst also assuming the Industrial applications Industry Champion role, Arnaud Guedou will lead on Liquid 3D-P Formulations & Systems (LFS) alongside his Medical & dental Industrial Champion Role, Stephan Eelman will head up 3D-P Service Solutions & Metal Systems (SMS) and is also the Aerospace Industrial champion.
Kara A. Noack will be Consumer Industrial champion, while the leadership for the “3D-P Solutions for Powder Bed Fusion” line is still under consideration.
Metal 3D printing company 3DX Industries has announced record revenues and production output from its manufacturing operations over the past year, and the forthcoming addition of at least two additional binder jetting metal 3D printers to its production floor.
New frontiers in materials and software
Aurora Labs has announced that it has completed the development of its prototype metal Powder Production Unit (PPU), with final testing now underway. The PPU paves the way for an creation of an integrated printing platform that may also include its Large Format Platform for metal 3D printing.
NanoAl, a manufacturer of aluminum alloys for metal additive manufacturing, has been awarded an SBIR Phase I grant from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to develop aluminium-based metallic glasses for use in aerospace components.
These materials combine the ability to form amorphous phases while also preserving the low density of an aluminium alloy.
Engineering simulation software company ANSYS and middleware developer MachineWorks have announced that the Polygonica Polygonal Solid Modeling Toolkit for processing polygon mesh will now be used across the ANSYS product range.
Robot cats and plastic Madonnas
Programmer and Maker Rongzhong Li has devised the OpenCat, a robotic pet that can run, purr and even interact with humans. The open source cat can be programmed using an Arduino Pro Mini, and a Raspberry Pi 3, while its skeleton can be 3D printed.
Environmental foundation Klean is continuing to 3D print a large sculpture of the Madonna and child, based on the giant sculpture created for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Currently, the feet of this version of the Plastic Madonna have been completed, and it will be complete for World Earth Day on 22 April.
Auto manufacturers accelerate adoption of 3D printing
Germany-based auto parts maker Continental has introduced EOS 3D printers into its factory in Chatham-Kent, Canada. Continental stated that the 3D printers would be used for production processes and manufacturing end-use parts.
Ford has announced that it is responding to a surge in demand for its SUVs by investing $25 million into its Ford Trucks plant in Louisville, Kentucky. The investment will be spent on 400 new robots, enhanced data analytics, and a second 3D printer for tooling, after installing a Stratasys Fortus 380mc in January.
Black Panther’s legacy
The world’s first 3D-printed titanium internal combustion engine, designed and built by a team of students from New Zealand’s University of Canterbury has been completed and tested.The engine and one-person car will compete in the 2018 Shell Eco-marathon Asia in Singapore from 8-11 March.
Disney has announced that $1 million of box office proceeds from its new Black Panther film towards funding STEM programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of America across the nation. Programs will include 3D printing, robotics, and HD video production.
“It is thrilling to see how inspired young audiences were by the spectacular technology in the film, so it’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO of Disney.
Running from 27-29 March, the conference will feature The Fab Foundation’s Sherry Lassiter, America Makes’ Rob Gorham, and Tooling-U SME’s Jeannine Kunz.
Could your design be the face of this year’s trophy? Protolabs is sponsoring the 2018 3D Printing Industry Awards design competition. Submit your design now to win a 3D printer.
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Featured image shows Rongzhong Li’s OpenCat. Photo via Petoi.