3DP Applications

3D Printing News Sliced: 3D Systems, Digital Metal, XJet, Makerbot

In this edition of the 3D Printing Industry news digest Sliced we see upcycled, 3D printed food; 3D printed improvements to the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber; upgraded cobots; custom fit footwear and more. Read on to learn more from the likes of 3D Systems, Digital Metal, XJet, Aleph Objects and Makerbot.

Soaring higher 

Two Netherlands-based entrepreneurs, Elzelinde van Doleweerd and Vita Broeken, are upcycling food with 3D printing. The duo is the founder of Upprinting Food, a startup dedicated to reducing food waste.

According to the company’s website, “The most wasted food in the Netherlands is bread. In addition, a lot of fruit and vegetables are being thrown out, often because it is not looking nice enough, or too ripe to be sold.”

“By using this food for 3D printing, it looks attractive again. After printing, the food is baked and dried, making it a crispy texture and long shelf life. Like this, we create new value for food that would have been thrown away.”

Similarly, in an attempt to save the environment, Auckland Museum is using 3D printing to create a replica colony to encourage the breeding of spotted shag sea birds, who are facing extinction. Six spotted shag specimens in the collection of Auckland Museum have been scanned, 3D printed and painted. These replicas will be placed at the Otata Island to encourage the breeding of the spotted shags, who are endemic to New Zealand.

A flying spotted shag in breeding plumage. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
A flying spotted shag in breeding plumage. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

In an attempt to create the working environment safe and save costs Creatz3D, a Singapore-based 3D printing service bureau, has helped Danish cobot manufacturer, Universal Robots (UR), develop End-of-Arm Tooling (EOAT) for its robotic devices. In this case, UR was able to maximize the output of a robot’s pick and place function, with a lightweight, cost effective EOAT.

In other news, the Stealth Panthers robotics team of Knob Noster High School, Missouri have used 3D printing to improve switches in the cockpit of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. These 3D printed covers shield the switches from accidental push and damage. The upgrade was carried out at the Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Capt. Keenan Kunst, a base spokesman, explained, “The B-2 Spirit cockpit is equipped with state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology, but is a very cramped space, so something was needed to keep the pilots or other items from bumping into the switches […] The students were able to help us find a solution that was quick, affordable and effective.”

A 3D printed cover for the B-2 Spirit switches. Image via Knob Noster High School.
A 3D printed cover for the B-2 Spirit switches. Image via Knob Noster High School.

Stepping forward

Digital Metal, a Swedish binder jetting metal 3D printer manufacturer, has announced that the global standards organization UL LLC has completed testing of its DM P2500 system. Following this, UL certification can be applied, making the DM P2500 safe for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Digital Metal’s General Manager, Ralf Carlström, said, “Employee and customers safety should be the number one priority for every business owner. It is crucial that the equipment you use on a regular basis is working properly and more importantly, that it is manufactured and installed correctly. The UL certification is an important way to ensure that and we are very happy to receive it.”

The Chicago-based Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) has been renamed MxD. From now onwards MxD will also stand as a separate entity from its parent organization UI LABS, a Chicago-based innovation accelerator.

MxD can now be its own organization thanks to U.S. Department of Defense funding of $60 million, to be delivered over the next five years. UI LABS’ CEO, Caralynn Nowinski Collens, said, “Because of its success to date, MxD is now ready to stand on its own and continue to drive change and impact in manufacturing,”

“MxD is in a very strong position to fully take control of its own future in this high-growth market.”

SafeSize, an Almere-based software start-up is finding the perfect shoe size with the help of 3D scanning. The 3D foot scanner manufactured by SafeSize captures the details of the inside of the shoe to make recommendation compatible with the activity of the user.

In a Series B round funding, the start-up recently raised €10 million 3TS Capital Partners, Convent Capital, and other strategic investors.

Angelos Stavrakis, CEO of SafeSize, said, “Consumers expect a seamless, personalized shopping experience across all channels. SafeSize enables footwear retailers and brands to engage online and offline with their consumers in a unique and personalized way.”

“Our solution serves as the world’s best omnichannel sales assistant, combining deep shoe fitting expertise with tens of millions of shoe and foot data, processed using machine learning to constantly improve our recommendation algorithms.”

SC7 feet scanning platform by SafeSize. Image via SafeSize.
SC7 feet scanning platform by SafeSize. Image via SafeSize.

Current events in 3D printing 

The Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP) is organizing the 2019 Singapore International 3D Printing Competition. This is the seventh edition of the competition, and participants are invited to create two everyday items using 3D printing: a stationery product, and a fully functional computer mouse.

The open category prize for this competition is S$10,000 (or US$7,000). Applications must be submitted before the deadline, 29 March 2019.

XJet, an Israeli-based 3D printer manufacturer known for its Carmel 1400 NanoParticle Jetting (NPJ) machine, has announced that it will join the 2019 Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) Conference taking place in Chicago from March 31-April 4. The company will make a revelation of a new application of its NPJ technology, followed by live demonstrations of the Carmel 1400.

Dror Danai, CBO of XJet, said “This will be the first time a US audience can see the removal of XJet’s soluble support for metal demonstrated […] Experiencing it live is the best way to fully comprehend the speed and efficiency of the process. It really is magical when you see the material dissolve away so quickly, in its entirety, and start to think of the viable applications.”

The XJet Carmel 1400 NanoParticle Jetting system. Image via XJet
The XJet Carmel 1400 NanoParticle Jetting system. Image via XJet

MakerBot, a Brooklyn-based 3D printer maker, is demonstrating the capabilities of its new Method 3D printer in a recorded webinar. The webinar is presented by Felipe Castaneda, an industrial designer at Makerbot and Michael Pappas, a Lead Project Engineer. The presenters 3D print some benchmark tests for the audience to highlight features of the new “performance 3D printer.”

The MakerBot Method 3D printer. Photo via Beau Jackson
The MakerBot Method 3D printer. Photo via Beau Jackson

Investing in 3D printing

Colorado-based Aleph Object’s Lulzbot 3D printers now come with printing profiles specially made for printing parts for investment casting. The printing profiles are available for LulzBot Mini 2 and LulzBot TAZ 6 and are compatible with Polymaker’s PolyCast material made specifically for investment casting applications.

A recently published book by CRC Press titled Additive Manufacturing Change Management: Best Practices identifies challenges and solutions for businesses looking to integrate 3D printing into their operations.

David M. Dietrich, a co-author of the book explained, “Barriers holding AM back from becoming a widely adopted manufacturing technology within industry had just as much, if not more, to do with business and organizational challenges than technical challenges […] This book identifies those barriers and provides tools to directly address those barriers.”

J Group Robotics, an Indian 3D printer manufacturer, has released Imagine 3D a DLP printer. The 3D printer costs approximately $23970.85 (or INR17,00,000).

At the Faculty of Engineering of Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia, Dr. Eng. Herianto Herianto, has led his research team since 2014 to develop 3D printers. The team has been rewarded with the fruit of their research and have successfully built three 3D printers: the Cartesian, the Delta and the Scara.

Dr. Eng. Herianto Herianto with 3D printers. Image via Gadjah Mada University.
Dr. Eng. Herianto Herianto with 3D printers. Image via Gadjah Mada University.

Peeking high

VELOX, a Hamburg-headquartered raw materials provider, has developed PrimeTec PEEK 110, a high-temperature resistant material. Ekaterina Boës, VELOX’s Product Manager said, “PrimeTec PEEK 110G helps to adjust more stable production process and contributes towards a reduction in manufacturing costs.”

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Featured image shows Sliced logo over the B-2 Spirit on a runway. Image via U.S. Air Force.