3D Printing News Sliced, Boeing, Renishaw, Norsk Titanium and Digital Metal

How do you turn a Spectrum computer from the 1980s into a modern, portable laptop? Why is Justin Trudeau funding 3D printing? Why did Norsk Titanium win an award this week?

This edition of 3D printing news SLICED features stories from Boeing, Norsk Titanium, Thor3D, Digital Metal, Linamar, Thor3D, Digital Metal, Höganäs, Renishaw, Thor3D, ControlNice, ZX Spectrum, Renishaw, Dorchester 3D, B9Creations, Fab Lab, Carbon 3D, Aurora Labs, Extremiti3D, BIOLIFE4D, Prototal and Shapeways

Hard work pays off for Boeing, Norsk Titanium and Linamar

Boeing and Norsk Titanium have won the “Supplier Innovation in Commercial Aircraft” category at the Aviation Week Network’s 61st Annual Laureate Awards. The two companies were chosen after qualifying the first 3D printed titanium structural parts for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Our 3D Printing Industry Awards are open for nominations, so make your choices now.

The Canadian government has announced that is investing C$49 million ($39.41 million) into auto parts manufacturer Linamar.

The Ontario-based company is to use part of the investment to create jobs involving artificial intelligence and 3D printing, which it uses to prototype designs for gears, camshafts and other engine parts.

A bed of additive-manufactured titanium components for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo via Norsk Titanium
A bed of additive-manufactured titanium components for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo via Norsk Titanium.

Announcements from Australia and China

A new hardware incubator in the Australian city of Brisbane is to open in February and offers space, support and 3D printers to startups. The Arc Hardware Incubator will be accessible via a subscription ranging from AU$500-$1500 (US$400-1200) per month.

Australia 3D printing company Aurora Labs has announced the appointment of two new vice-chairpersons, Paul Kristensen and Mel Ashton.

3D Scanner manufacturer Thor3D has announced an exclusive distribution partnership with ControlNice, 3D technology manufacturer and reseller based in China. The Tianjin-based company will now sell all Thor3D-related products in China.

Funding for 3D printed prosthetics, breakthroughs in bioprinting and dynamic DNA

Extremiti3D, a startup offering 3D printed prosthetics, prosthetic sockets and cosmetic covers for amputees has received $200,000 of funding from the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA). The investment is to be used in product development, workflow, and marketing.

Also in 3D printed prosthetics, students at the Victoria University (VU) in Wellington, New Zealand have been working with the New Zealand Artifical Limb service (NZALS) to develop 3D printed covers for artificial limbs with a design. reports that VU designer Fenella Richards wishes eventually “turn the covers into a sellable product for amputees.”

One of the 3D printed prosthesis covers from VU. Photo via Rosa Woods/Stuff.
One of the 3D printed prosthesis covers from VU. Photo via Rosa Woods/Stuff.

BIOLIFE4D, a bioprinting company specializing in tissue engineering, released a comment in reaction to a report by Global Market Insights, Inc that predicted high growth in the healthcare 3D printing market.

The comment, which concludes by saying that BIOLIFE4D is best positioned to develop pioneering 3D bioprinting technologies, comes as the company filed a $50 million initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Regulation A+.

German scientists at TU Munich have created ultra-fast DNA-based robotic systems. Electric fields were used to speed up the robot movements by five orders of magnitude over previous DNA systems. According to researcher Friedrich Simmel, the robots could be used to assemble complex molecular structures in a similar fashion as a 3D printer.

Resin from B9Creations, Prototal focus on plastics

3D printing company B9Creations has released a brand-new gray resin, specialized for fast build speed engineered for fast build speeds reaching 120 mm per hour and above, as well as prototyping and serial production.

Swedish prototyping company Prototal has acquired GT Prototyper, bringing with it SLA and Multi-jet 3D printing capabilities. This, together with Prototal’s sale of sheet metal company Jobro affirms a reorientation towards plastics and 3D printing.

Expansion and recruitment for Digital Metal and Renishaw

Digital Metal, a manufacturers of a metal 3D printer, and a subsidiary of Swedish metal powder producer Höganäs, is to increase plant production and office area by 50%, installing a new vacuum extraction system and increased compression and cooling power.

This is to double Digital Metal’s capacity to manufacture its new DM P2500 3D printer in series.

Engineering technology company and 3D printer manufacturer Renishaw is recruiting 50 apprentices to join its schemes in South Wales and Gloucestershire, UK. Ten of these spaces are for manufacturing apprentices.

The new hires will be salaried and gain university accreditation from on-the-job experience. Applications are open until Friday 9 March 2018.

Digital Metal DM P2500 3D Printer. Photo via Digital Metal.
Digital Metal DM P2500 3D Printer. Photo via Digital Metal.

And a new additive manufacturing report by analysts CBINSIGHTS claims that large industrial conglomerates are “accelerating” acquisitions of startup companies in industrial 3D printing. The research suggests that since 2015, corporations like GE, Siemens, and Precision Castparts have targeted 3D printing companies in particular.

A retro computer, a 9000 year-old-teenager, and an inventor from West Africa

The  Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128K or “Speccy” was an 8-bit color display computer launched in the UK in 1982, and was available until 1992. Last year, a successful Kickstarter was launched for the ZX Spectrum Next, an updated machine that is fully compatible with the original computer and additionally features improvements and expansions. 

Dan Birch from 3D design resource Dorchester 3D has designed a ZX Spectrum Next laptop, by placing the computer inside a 3D printed clam-shell housing SLA 3D printed by Shapeways.

Scientists have reconstructed the face of a teenager whose 9000-year-old skull was found within Theopetra Cave in central Greece. The skull was initially CT scanned before endocrinologists, orthopedists, neurologists, pathologists, and radiologists reconstructed her face. The result was then 3D printed.

3D printed facial reconstruction of Avgi, found in a prehsitoric Greek Cave. Photo via Oscar NIlsson.
3D printed facial reconstruction of Avgi, found in a prehistoric Greek Cave. Photo via Oscar Nilsson.

Finally, a 34-year-old inventor from Togo has created a 3D printer entirely using electronics from recycled desktop computers. Yale Global reports that Afate Gnikou was inspired by a 3D printing demonstration at Fab Lab in Lomé, capital of Togo, and is now working with local entrepreneurs to prototype their products.

Make your nominations for the 3D Printing Industry Awards 2018 now.

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Featured image shows a 3D design of Dan Birch ZX Spectrum Next laptop. Photo via Dan Birch/Dorchester 3D.