This week Sliced, the 3D Printing Industry news digest, covers a variety of developments from the 2019 Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) conference as well as the Hannover Messe trade show. Elsewhere, we see novel applications in 3D printed electronics, artworks, watches, pattern-less investment casting and more.
AMUG 2019 releases
AMUG 2019 has now come to a close. Throughout the week, we have seen a number of product releases including Stratasys’ entry to SLA, and two new 3D printers from Formlabs, but there has been plenty more from the show floor.
Following partnership with JuggerBot 3D, Adaptive3D, Fortify and Chromatic, Dutch multinational chemical company Royal DSM took to the AMUG stage to introduce a beta version of its new PBT powder product for 3D printing – the first SLS powder from the company.
Magnitude Innovations, an Illinois-based provider of Powder Bed Fusion solutions, unveiled its software application, Uptimo, designed to increase the profitability of any metal 3D printing production process.
And PostProcess Technologies unveiled two new products: the FORTI Support Removal submersion solution and the next generation of its RADOR automated surface finishing system.
Artful 3D printing
Outside of product releases, there has also been a considerable amount of artistic flair to come from 3D printing in the past week.
UK 3D printing service bureau Fluxaxis has undertaken a large scale 3D printing project for multidisciplinary artist Jam Sutton. Displayed outside Dublin Castle, this 3 ft 9 in tall pink sculpture ‘On a Pedestal’ is a replica of Sutton’s work ‘David and Goliath’. Produced on a Stratasys F900 supplied by SYS Systems, the work took 258 hours to print and uses 15kg of material.
In Glow Box, two other artists, Yeseul Song and Michael Simpson have used 3D printing to realize their vision. In this project Song and Simpson sought to provide “a window into an artificial mind,” and have thus programmed a cube of lights to respond in real-time to the calculations of a neural network.
3D printing provides the casing for these lights. The artists explain, “The installation exploits the organic-like nature of the neural network algorithm and combines this with the almost magical ability of the physical object to appear illuminated without apparent electricity.”
“The result is something which blurs the distinction between real and virtual imploring the viewer to question this distinction altogether.”
Elsewhere in applications,Penn Electric Racing, the University of Pennsylvania’s Formula SAE Electric team collaborated with Xometry to create a variety of 3D printed car parts for its vehicle participating in an upcoming competition n Lincoln, Nebraska this June. This included a 3D printed substack endplace and motor housing which work to hold together their car’s battery pack. Xometry enabled the high-precision car parts to be made with tight interfaces and narrow tolerances at a faster lead time.
In the Netherlands, ceramic 3D printing specialist Admatec and Aristo Cast, a certified investment casting foundry, have presented a novel pattern-less investment casting process using the Adamflex 130 3D printer. This machine prints directly on casting shells to eliminate the need for a costly injection mold or 3D printed pattern.
BigRep has announced its support of the Zurich Opera House using one of its large-scale 3D printer for the production of props and for mold. Andreas Gatzka, Director of theater sculpture at the Zurich Opera House, said:
“Often, the wishes and ideas of costume and stage designers are very diverse and sometimes extraordinary. It often happens that props are not available in the way designers have it in their minds. This is where the 3D printer is perfect for.”
Israeli 3D printed electronics company Nano Dimension has created what is said to be the first side mounting technology for additively manufactured printed circuit boards (PCBs). Using the DragonFly 2020 Pro system precision capabilities, PCB can be 3D printed and soldered to the top, bottom and sides, resulting in as much as a 50% increase in board space when compared with conventional PCBs.
And Aectual, the Dutch design and construction company behind Schiphol Airport’s 3D printed floors, and DUS architects, have created a 3D printed ‘Tiny [Bau]haus’ building, 100 years after the Bauhaus movement which sought to bridge the gap between art and industry.
Construction partnerships and other business
The week also wouldn’t be complete without a few business partnerships. Massachusetts-based 3D printer manufacturer Desktop Metal has expanded production capacity of its Studio System, an office-friendly metal 3D printing system. As a result, the company is now shipping at a rate of 550 complete systems per year, with a two-week delivery time for new orders to customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
COBOD International, Danish 3D printing construction company, has partnered with PERI Group, an international manufacturer of formwork and scaffolding systems, to distribute its 3D printers in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
The Stratasys Direct Manufacturing service has expanded its metal additive manufacturing capabilities with Flow software and the Sapphire 3D print system from VELO3D, a California-based metal additive manufacturing technology company.
And Belgian non-profit technology consultancy Sirris has become the first beneficiary of Operator Station print preparation software from atum3D. According to Maxime Legrand, a Sirris Additive Manufacturing Engineer, “A barrier for printing parts are often the high costs related to the monopoly of or restrictions of material suppliers.”
“With this equipment Sirris wants to support companies in the development and the production of their new AM applications at an affordable cost due to the higher flexibility in potential printing materials.”
Advancements in additive manufacturing materials
GKN Powder Metallurgy, the global engineering and metal powder manufacturing arm of British multinational GKN plc, has strengthened its partnership with Nordic logistics provider PostNord AB. As such, PostNord AB is hosting a 3D Inspiration Day on April 10th on how the supply chain is being revolutionized due to additive manufacturing.
Elsewhere, Evonik, the largest specialty chemicals producer in the world, celebrates 40 years of its specialty materials, based on polyether block amide (PEBA) thermoplastic elastomer known as VESTAMID E.
Also, Copper 3D, a US-based Chilean 3D printing materials company, has joined the Ultimaker Material Alliance Program. During Hannover Messe, Ultimaker announced that this program has now influenced over 80 companies worldwide to develop material print profiles for FFF 3D printing.
New materials and facilities for 3D printing in medicine
Finally here is our round up of the latest news relating to the medical sector.
The UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) has announced the ‘Seven Engineering Wonders of 21st Century’ which has included 3D printing in medicine. The RAE states, “3D printing technology is being used to create custom structures and scaffolds, made of ceramics similar to natural bone, that new bone can grow around.”
“The latest implants are bioactive, encouraging bone regrowth and enabling the bone to integrate with the implant. These techniques are already in use for surgery on areas like the jaw and face, and it is also possible to inject bioactive ceramics into larger, load-bearing bones to help them heal.”
Biogelx, a hydrogel and bioink manufacturer headquartered in Scotland, has released its first 3D bioprinter ink to the market. Named Biogelx™-INKs, these materials provide viable support for cell culture, with good 3D fidelity. Mitch Scanlan, CEO of Biogelx, comments, “We look forward to supporting researchers in their mission to develop realistic 3D disease modules, tissues, and organs for future pharmaceutical and medical applications.”
Finally, the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) has opened an advanced 3D bioprinting center in the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering located in northern Israel.
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Featured image shows the Sliced logo over the 3D printed ‘David and Goliath’ replica made by Fluxaxis. Photo courtesy of the artist Jam Sutton.