3DP Applications

3D Printing News Sliced: IKEA, EnvisionTEC, America Makes and a giant elephant

Today in Sliced, our 3D printing news digest, we collect all the latest business updates, applications and additive manufacturing research.

In addition to the title companies, we feature Organovo, BigRep, Etihad, Graphene 3D Lab, PrintLab, Renishaw and UNYQ in a quick-fire round up of stories from across the industry.

The 3D printed elephant bursting out of the room

It’s not everyday you find an elephant in Birmingham…the office of large format digital printing specialist Andesign, in the UK, has been updated to include an 11.5 ft tall, 3D printed African elephant. Bursting out the side of its premises, the model was 3D printed on the company’s Massivit 1800 3D printer, a system it also uses to make props and products for its customers.

Andesign's 11.5ft x 6.56ft 3D printed African elephant. Photo via WhatTheyThink
Andesign’s 11.5ft x 6.56ft 3D printed African elephant. Photo via WhatTheyThink

In an extension of its roadmap development partnership with Etihad Airways Engineering, large scale 3D printer manufacturer BigRep has announced that it will be providing its machines to the company for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). The news follows the announcement that leading additive manufacturing technology supplier EOS will also be contributing to MRO at Etihad.

And, in the latest 3D consumer move, Chinese multinational telecommunications-equipment Huawei, has launched a 3D scanning app, Huawei 3D Live Maker, for its Mate 20 Pro phone. You can see an amusing If a little creepy) demo of the new feature from Mobile Bulgaria below.


Graphene 3D Lab transitioning, Renishaw reinforces UK commitment to engineering

Graphene 3D Lab, the developer and provider of conductive BlackMagic filament, has said in a corporate update that it will be restarting the production of 3D printer materials “in the near future.” Company CEO Daniel Stolyarov, states “[…] we are currently in the process of transitioning the Company to focus on the areas where we see a clear path to commercialization and ultimately the opportunity for truly transformational growth,”

“Our transition will include new additions to our business team and the Company is also planning to change its name and update its corporate branding to better reflect the Company’s revised business direction.”

This week at its site in Miskin, Wales, global engineering and additive manufacturing company Renishaw hosted a visit by Alun Cairns, a Conservative MP and the Secretary of State for Wales. Following his tour of the facility, Cairn highlighted Renishaw’s commitment to rejuvenating the UK’s manufacturing industry saying, “The UK Government is working closely with businesses to ensure we have the engineering skills in place to secure a strong economy and a workforce for the future,”

“Companies like Renishaw are helping us to create prosperous communities in Wales by training hundreds of people in the area to help them realize their potential and contribute to the industry and the economy.”

Marcus Engman, former Head of Design at Swedish furniture retailer IKEA, has been appointed Vice-President of Design at 3D printed medical wearable company UNYQ. Engmans’ appointment follows a collaboration between the two companies which sought to design an ergonomic chair for gamers.

IKEA x Area Academy and UNYQ from IKEA Today on Vimeo.

And, elsewhere in personnel, Sharon Presnell, Chief Scientific Officer of bioprinting company Organovo is to resign from 5 December 2018. As one observer commented the departure of the CSO from the troubled company is “less than ideal.”

America Makes launches apprenticeship, 3D printing curriculum introduced in Greek schools

America Makes, the U.S. National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and the Robert C. Byrd Institute for advanced manufacturing have jointly launched the Additive Manufacturing Technician Registered Apprenticeship. Believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the program has been launched with official certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. Rob Gorham, Executive Director at America Makes, comments, “The approval of the AM Technician Registered Apprenticeship by the Department of Labor is the accumulation of a great deal of work and learnings, many of which were leveraged directly from the America Makes Workforce and Education Roadmap,”

“We are proud to have played an important role in this initiative to empower employers nationwide to develop and customize AM apprenticeships to create a much needed, highly skilled additive workforce.”

On a separate note, 3D printing curriculum writer and 3D printer reseller PrintLab, headquartered in the UK, has now made its classroom platform available in Greek. Company Co-founder Jason Yeung, says, “Our overarching mission at PrintLab is to close the gap between education and industry at the global scale,”

“Offering our 3D printing curriculum in multiple languages is a key step towards fulfilling this mission.”

With the support of Greek 3D printing distributor 3DHub, PrintLab’s curriculum is now employed in over 250 schools around the world.

Learning Criteria for 3D printing. Photo via PrintLab.
Learning Criteria for 3D printing. Image via PrintLab.

New 3D printing research, EnvisionTec granted patent

Researchers at Auburn University, Alabama, have published their findings from an investigation into the effect of argon and nitrogen gases on the mechanical performance of 3D printed parts. “Mechanical Properties of 17-4 PH Stainless Steel Additively Manufactured under Ar and N2 Shielding Gas” is available online here.

At Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey, Mert Keles and Ulas Yaman have designed an algorithm to shift the center of gravity in 3D printed parts in order to retain the heterogeneous properties of the origianl CAD file. “Tuning the Center of Gravity of 3D Printed Artifacts” is available to read, open access, in Procedia Manufacturing journal.

Fast track on Mary Ann Liebert is currently offering free access to several articles from the latest edition of 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing journal edited by MIT Self-Assembly Lab founder Skylar Tibbits.

And finally, high resolution 3D printer provider EnvisionTEC was recently granted a patent for multi material 3D printing. Further details of the document are yet to be released, but 3D Printing Industry has contacted the company for further comment.

The Aria 3D printer from EnvisionTEC in the workplace. Photo via EnvisionTEC.
The Aria 3D printer from EnvisionTEC in the workplace. Photo via EnvisionTEC.

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Featured image shows Sliced logo over Andesign’s 11.5ft x 6.56ft 3D printed African elephant. Original photo via WhatTheyThink