RAPID + TCT 2017 latest including EnvisionTEC, Markforged, Liquid Additive Manufacturing

Annual 3D printing conference RAPID + TCT is taking place this week in Pittsburgh and there’s been plenty of big announcements already. 3D Printing Industry is reporting live from the event which this year features over 300 exhibitors.

From the first two days, we have already seen product launches from Formlabs with the Form Wash and Form Cure, 3D Systems and the ProJet MJP 5600 and a volume production Continuous Build 3D Demonstrator machine from Stratasys. 

Here is a summary of some of the other releases from RAPID + TCT on day three of the event.

EnvisionTEC new 3D printer and materials

EnvisionTEC, based in Michigan, has announced seven new materials at the conference in Pittsburgh as well as an update to the Perfactory 3D printer line. The P4 line of 3D printers will now include a “ground-breaking” LED system for curing materials in to components. The new LED projector is said to be more powerful and efficient than the previous system.

EnvisionTEC's new LED system. Photo via EnvisionTEC.
EnvisionTEC’s new LED system. Photo via EnvisionTEC.

EnvisionTEC’s material relseases include its first ever medical-grade materials for the 3D bioplotter machines and 3 engineering materials, as listed below.

Medical materials:

  1. Silicone TG, a technical grade silicone for building soft implant surgical models;
  2. PCL 45K RG, a Research Grade (RG) polycarbonate (PCA) for tissue engineering applications;
  3. LT Support RG, a low-temperature research grade saccharide material derived from cellulose used for sacrificial supports;
  4. HT Support RG, a high-temperature sugar derivative material that is also used as a sacrificial support material.

Engineering materials:

  1. E-CE, stiff, heat-resistant material that also offers chemical resistance
  2. E-Poxy, is known for its flexibility, hardness and heat-resistance,
  3. E-Model Flex, a highly accurate modelling material, will be offered in both green and black

Methods 3D announces Markforged partnership

Manufacturing bureau Methods 3D has announced a partnership with 3D printer manufacturers Markforged. As a result of the partnership, Methods 3D plan to provide “sales, service and support for the Markforged line of 3D printers, including the Onyx series, Mark Two and Mark X.”

Jamie Hanson, COO of Methods 3D said,

With Markforged, we will significantly enhance our customers’ production efficencies by enabling them to quickly create tools, jigs and fixtures for myriad industrial applications. Our deep experience in metalworking manufacturing combined with Markforged’s expertise in high strength parts is a perfect match for meeting today’s demanding manufacturing challenges.

Methods 3D at RAPID+TCT. Photo by Michael Petch.
Methods 3D at RAPID+TCT. Photo by Michael Petch.

CEO of Markforged, Greg Mark, voiced excitement “to partner with a company that has a proven track record of delivering excellent, innovative manufacturing solutions.” Adding that,

Methods 3D offers a broad additive manufacturing platform and is on the leading edge of 3D printing as well as traditional manufacturing

Greg Mark shared his thoughts on the ‘Future of 3D Printing’ as part of our thought leadership series recently. While he also stated that the future of metal 3D printing is in print farms when announcing plans for large-scale digital metal manufacturing.

Markforged displays its forthcoming Metal X 3D printer at RAPID + TCT 2017. Photo via Markforged.
Markforged displays its forthcoming Metal X 3D printer at RAPID + TCT 2017. Photo via Markforged.

Aleph Objects and IC3D announce ‘world first’ open source 3D printing filament

Aleph Objects, manufacturers of Lulzbot 3D printers, together with 3D printer materials producer IC3D, have announced the “world’s first-ever Certified Open Source Hardware 3D Printing Filament.” A 16-page white paper released by IC3D Github documents the filament’s “manufacturing process, parameters, material grades, and more.”

IC3D Founder and CEO Michael Cao explains,

…proprietary materials should not be an impediment to advancing the use of 3D printed objects for certified parts and other industrial applications […] IC3D is committed to open source 3D printing consumables. LulzBot and Aleph Objects’ focus on open source has been an inspiration to IC3D and we’re pleased that they will be reselling IC3D consumables.

Aleph Objects President Harris Kenny, also said “the future of the 3D printing industry is open” before stating,

IC3D is demonstrating impressive vision by bringing the Philosophy of User Freedom to filament manufacturing, and we are proud to be working alongside them.

Lulzbot's booth at RAPID, showcasing 3D printed dirt-bike parts. Photo via Lulzbot.
Lulzbot’s booth at RAPID, showcasing 3D printed dirt-bike parts. Photo via Lulzbot.

German RepRap’s liquid additive manufacturing to compete with injection molding

German RepRap has presented its latest liquid additive manufacturing (LAM) technology in Pittsburgh this week. The company explain the new technology enables the 3D printing of silicone and other such ‘liquid’ materials.

According to Florian Bautz, Managing Director of German RepRap,

More and more it is considered whether additive production can be used instead of the injection molding and milling processes. The new LAM technology is a revolution in 3D printing and will strongly influence this rethinking in a positive sense.

Wave Applied Voxel (WAV) method of 3D printing 

Elsewhere in the sphere of new technology, newly formed company Paxis has unveiled – for the first time – its Wave Applied Voxel (WAV) technology at RAPID + TCT.

Born from service bureau CIDEAS and work with stereolithography, the patent-pending technology promises to improve speeds and functionality of 3D printing. Company CEO and WAV co-inventor Mike Littrell states,

WAV (wave) is an expandable platform with physical, modular upgrades. More material choices, all while utilizing less post processing and operation costs. WAV will change prototyping, investment casting, and manufacturing as we know it today.

Additive Industries adds more lasers to the MetalFAB1

Dutch company, Additive Industries has unveiled its 4 field laser version of the MetalFAB1 3D printer. The machine will now give even further adaptability to the MetalFAB1’s modular design. The increase of lasers in the machine increases functionality without restricting lasers to certain zones of the build plate. To learn more about the machine, 3D Printing Industry took a look at the device at Additive Industries’ headquarters in Eindhoven.

The MetalFAB1 machine at Additive Industries HQ. Photo by Corey Clarke.
The MetalFAB1 machine at Additive Industries HQ. Photo by Corey Clarke.

Industry-first additive manufacturing certification announced

Tooling U-SME announces additive manufacturing training solutions which includes the industry’s first certification.

Tooling U-SME, the workforce development arm of SME, will launch a “portfolio of additive manufacturing that includes access to specialized training packages, apprenticeship programs and the industry’s first certification.

Jeannine Kunz, vice president of Tooling U-SME, explains,

Restructuring the workforce to accommodate increased additive manufacturing operations is a major concern for companies that want to ramp up work in this market

SME is the co-organizer of the RAPID + TCT show and also launched the ITEAM consortium at this year’s event.

Intamsys launches updated FUNMAT HT 

Shanghai professional 3D printer manufacturer Intamsys has launched an updated, more affordable FUNMAT HT 3D printer. The FDM printer, which features a controlled heat chamber and the ability to print high performance materials like PEEK, will now cost less than $5,000 USD. The original machine was first unveiled at CES earlier this year.

Intamsys stand at RAPID + TCT. Photo via Intamsys.
Intamsys stand at RAPID + TCT. Photo via Intamsys.

Inert unveils de-powdering enclosure

Massachusetts company Inert has unveiled its de-powdering enclosure for metal 3D printers. The enclosure is designed to protect users from the harmful metal powders and improve safety using the technology. It works within an argon controlled chamber, and also aims to reduce material waste by collecting left over powder.

Inert's booth before the unveiling. Photo via Inert.
Inert’s booth before the unveiling. Photo via Inert.

For the latest 3D printing news from RAPID + TCT, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on twitter

With the 3D Printing Industry Awards taking place this month in London, make sure to place your votes to decide the winners

Featured image shows the RAPID + TCT exhibition floor. Photo by Equispheres Inc.