3D Printing News Digest

SLICED: Latest news from the 3D Printing Industry

In this edition of Sliced, the 3D Printing Industry news digest, we cover the latest business developments, partnerships, and acquisitions in the additive manufacturing sector.

Today’s edition features new materials, partnerships, and business deals, and the International Space Station (ISS) National Lab releasing in-space production applications funding opportunity.

Read on for the most recent updates from Lithoz, Stratasys, AML3D, 1000Kelvin, and more.

Business deals and acquisitions from Lithoz, AML3D, ADDiTEC, and more

Kicking off this week with business news, Ceramic 3D printing specialist Lithoz has spearheaded the formation of a robust ceramic 3D printing technology hub in Japan, featuring prominent industry players AS ONE, Mitsui Kinzoku, and Yugyōkuen Ceramics. Integrating Lithoz’s premier Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) technology, this strategic alliance not only fortifies Lithoz’s presence in Japan but also expands their “Ceramic AM Factory” into this pivotal market, fostering unparalleled innovation in Japanese manufacturing.

Lithoz CEO Dr. Johannes Homa said, “It is fantastic to see commitment to investment in the Japanese 3D printing market. We see such potential there and building such a strong network of leading companies will surely lead to great achievements for the additive manufacturing world! We thank our partners in Japan for trusting us with this important goal.”

The new printing room with a Lithoz CeraFab ceramic 3D printer at the Yugyōkuen Ceramics facilities. Photo via Yugyōkuen Ceramics.

Next up, Australian large-format 3D printer manufacturer AML3D(ASX: AL3) has officially requested a trading halt from the ASX effective March 26, 2024. This action precedes an impending announcement regarding a capital raising initiative (“Capital Raise”). The trading halt was set to persist until either the Capital Raise announcement is released or normal trading resuming on March 28, 2024. The company asserted no known impediments to the trading halt and provided no further information at this time. 

Additionally, in the first half of the 2024 financial year, AML3D reported revenues of $1.5 million, marking a substantial increase of 936% from $146k in 1H23. Orders totaling $9.5 million have been received, primarily from the US Defense sector, resulting in record cash receipts of $4.83 million. Looking forward, AML3D aims to bolster its growth trajectory by setting up facilities in the US, as a part of its broader expansion strategy to accelerate sales in the region.

Additive Manufacturing Solutions (AMS) has expanded its capabilities by acquiring Nikon SLM SolutionsSLM280 2.0 system. Doing so will help improve AMS’s ability to produce advanced materials and alloys while reinforcing its position as a service provider with exceptional toolpath control, supported by Dyndrite software. 

Incorporating Dyndrite software enables AMS to offer superior toolpath control and optimization, enhancing its competitive advantage in additive manufacturing. AMS also focuses on developing metal powders from recycled parts, fostering a circular economy approach to material development. Kingsbury, Nikon SLM Solutions’ UK partner, has supplied and installed the SLM 280 2.0, aiming to bolster metal AM in the United Kingdom, with further support for the new equipment and the AMS team coming from Kingsbury subsidiary Additure.

A trio including Rodin4D, TechMed 3D, and Vorum have merged to form Qwadra, a provider of CAD/CAM solutions for orthopedics and podiatry. With over 70 years of combined expertise and a commitment to innovation, Qwadra aims to advance orthopedic care, according to the parties. 

Its diverse team collaborates with industry professionals worldwide to design novel tools and software. Qwadra aims to equip practitioners with superior tools and training to deliver top-quality patient care. The merger ensures superior service and product quality, with a human-centered approach, inclusivity, and a focus on pioneering solutions through research and understanding of the human body.

French 3D printing OEM and service bureau 3DCeram has successfully installed its advanced Ceramic Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printer at Carborundum Universal Limited (CUMI) in India. This collaboration promises to enhance CUMI’s ceramic part production with precision. 

As part of the Murugappa Group, CUMI specializes in materials engineering across various sectors. The newly acquired 3DCeram printer utilizes top-down stereolithography, enabling intricate part production without support structures. Successful testing of Alumina paves the way for exploring materials like Zirconia and Silicon Nitride. By integrating 3D printing, CUMI aims to expand into new markets, cementing its industry leadership.

MX3D has appointed HDC as the official sales agent for South Korea, advocating for robotic Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) in the industrial, maritime, and energy sectors. HDC, proficient in 3D printing, augments its portfolio with MX3D’s technology to address the rising need for large-scale metal printing. Leveraging HDC’s wide distribution network, the collaboration strengthens its foothold in metal 3D printing solutions. This strategic move enables clients to create substantial metal components, fostering innovation and market expansion, says the company.

Elsewhere, ADDiTEC has introduced its new venture, ADDiTEC Racing, marking its entry into motorsports, particularly the Porsche GT3 Cup Trophy and other series across the USA. This strategic move capitalizes on ADDiTEC’s expertise in high-performance additive manufacturing. 

With recent acquisitions of race assets and professional drivers, ADDiTEC Racing prepares for its debut at HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY. By using high-performance liquid metal jetting (LMJ) and laser directed-energy-deposition (LDED) printing, ADDiTEC Racing aims to demonstrate the capabilities and advantages of its novel technology on the track. Additionally, each race event will feature live demonstrations of automotive part printing, offering attendees a direct glimpse into the future of automotive manufacturing.

ADDiTEC enters the racing industry with its new venture. Photo via ADDiTEC.

Emerging partnerships news from Continuum Powders, ROBOZE, Farsoon Technologies, and more

Moving on to partnership, Continuum Powders has partnered with Velo3D, qualifying its OptiPowder 718 alloy for use in Velo3D’s Sapphire family of printers. This marks Continuum Powders as the first 100% recycled metal powder supplier to achieve such qualification. OptiPowder 718, based on Ni 718 alloy, offers exceptional properties suitable for aerospace applications and industrial uses. The partnership not only ensures high-quality spherical metal powder but also advances decarbonization and sustainability initiatives for Velo3D’s customers, reinforcing a commitment to environmentally conscious additive manufacturing practices.

Followed by, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team and ROBOZE have renewed their partnership for the 2024 season. ROBOZE becomes the team’s Official Sponsor, blending its 3D printing technology with the team’s racing expertise. The collaboration aims to develop strategic components using additive methods to enhance motorcycle performance with lightweight, strong, and high-temperature-resistant materials.

Alessio Lorusso, ROBOZE CEO, said, “We are thrilled to enhance our partnership with the

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team. This renewal is a testament to our commitment to innovation in the motorcycle racing industry and confirms the value of our technology in the world of high-speed competitions and extreme working conditions.”

Farsoon Technologies has partnered with Additive Plus to distribute Farsoon’s industrial-grade metal and plastic additive manufacturing machines across the US West Coast market. Additive Plus specializes in delivering 3D printing solutions for series production across various industries, including automotive, dental, healthcare, and education, aligning seamlessly with Farsoon Technologies’ mission to advance and industrialize additive manufacturing.

“I am excited to partner with Additive Plus to bring the latest Farsoon’s laser powder bed technology to the western US market. With their strong know-how in a variety of manufacturing technologies, Additive Plus will be a valuable resource for customers and Farsoon,” said, Don Xu, Managing Director of Farsoon Americas.

Left to right: Harry B. Saltos, Business Development Manager of Additive Plus, Don Xu, Managing Director of Farsoon Americas, Ashkhen Ovsepyan, CEO of Additive Plus at Formnext 2023. Photo via Farsoon Technologies.

Wire-laser metal deposition technology manufacturer Meltio and Prototyping Solutions have formed a strategic partnership. This partnership will see Prototyping Solutions incorporating Meltio’s laser metal deposition technology into its offerings, allowing for the direct creation of near-net-shape metal components from CAD data, thereby cutting down production times and costs. 

With the backing of Prototyping Solutions, Meltio’s adaptable technology is poised to bring added value to sectors such as aerospace and automotive, promising heightened efficiency and innovation. Additionally, Meltio announced Advanced Robotics as the official sales partner for its metal AM solutions in Italy. Advanced Robotics will establish a supportive ecosystem for Meltio’s technology in Italy, collaborating with technology centers, machine companies, academia, and industry to drive business opportunities.

ADDiTEC has partnered with MECHA by integrating ADDiTEC’s metal AM technologies with MECHA’s precision machining capabilities, offering diverse manufacturing solutions. With end-to-end capabilities spanning multiple industries, clients benefit from a streamlined customer experience and cost-effective solutions. Moreover, the partnership fosters efficient research and development initiatives, pushing the boundaries of advanced metal manufacturing to deliver novel solutions with enhanced product design and performance.

The fourth-annual ‘Career Advancement for Manufacturing Report‘ by Xometry in alliance with the Women in Manufacturing Association (WiM) reveals positive trends for women in manufacturing. Over the past five years, satisfaction among women with industry progress has risen significantly, reaching 79%, up from 62%. 

Additionally, 80% of women advocate for a career in manufacturing, surpassing men at 74%. Women predominantly enter the field through avenues like job postings and co-op programs. The report also sheds light on labor shortages and sectors witnessing female leadership. Spanning 26 days and conducted online, the survey involved nearly 1,000 North American suppliers and industry professionals, providing insights into prevailing perceptions and trends within the industry.

3D printing company Quantica partnered with specialty chemicals provider ALTANA Cubic Ink to innovate new materials for 2D and 3D inkjet printing. ALTANA’s Cubic Ink High-Performance Materials will provide starter materials for Quantica’s NovoJet OPEN printing system users. This collaboration aims to expand inkjet material portfolios, focusing on 2D applications and developing higher viscosity variants to broaden end-user applications, driving innovation in the inkjet market.

Massivit 3D has partnered with Sika Deutschland to co-brand specialized resins for high-speed tooling on the Massivit 10000 series. Sika, a Swiss global concern, specializes in industrial materials, boasting annual sales of ~CHF 11.2 billion. The first two co-branded materials, SikaBiresin CIM 120 and SikaBiresin CIM 80 debuted at the JEC World tradeshow. Massivit’s 10000 system, widely used in automotive and marine industries, offers automated, high-speed tooling and prototyping capabilities, expanding its material ecosystem to meet industry tooling needs, says the company.

Erez Zimerman, Massivit’s CEO, said, “I am thoroughly excited about the new partnership with Sika, established with the purpose of providing an even greater range of purpose-designed materials to serve crucial market needs. We’re thrilled to offer manufacturers a winning combination of industrial-grade materials with high-speed digital technologies. We look forward to the fruits of this partnership with a trusted and leading provider of advanced materials. We look forward sharing our latest innovations with the global community at JEC World.”

Airtech Advanced Materials Group and Additive Engineering Solutions (AES) have inked an exclusive supply deal. Airtech will provide extensive support to AES in additive manufacturing and technical areas, while AES commits to exclusive use of Airtech products in LFAM projects. This partnership extends to joint efforts in design practices, material development, and market strategies, ensuring high-quality LFAM solutions.

Powder bed fusion 3D printer manufacturer Xact Metal has partnered with Join3d to democratize metal 3D printing, especially for small-to-medium enterprises. Join3d’s extensive product line and industry expertise, spanning resin and FDM 3D printing and scanning, align with Xact Metal’s mission. CEO Ramón Bolós highlights Xact Metal’s cost-effective printers, ensuring high performance and accessibility to leading additive manufacturing technology.

LCS and Create it REAL have teamed up to offer 3D printed seating products for wheelchairs in Ireland and the UK, starting with custom seating featuring the WheelAir ventilation system. This innovative seating, debuting at the Arab Health Exhibition, addresses heat and moisture concerns, crucial for hot climates. LCS will leverage Create it REAL’s Embrace Seat maker to produce 3D printed seating with programmable foam, incorporating pressure-relieving areas. The partnership aims to establish a local print hub for accessibility and promote sustainable, zero-waste additive manufacturing, transitioning from subtractive methods to environmentally-friendly production.

LCS and Create it REAL develop 3D printed wheelchair seats for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Photo via Create it REAL.

New materials from Xact Metal and Xenia Materials

Diving into novel materials, Xact Metal partnered with Uddeholm, a voestalpine company, to supply Corrax tool steel powder for metal 3D printing. This collaboration supports Xact Metal’s goal to democratize additive manufacturing by providing affordable metal 3D printers and high-quality materials. Known for its corrosion resistance and A1 surface finish post-polishing, Corrax powder enables optimal internal structures for molds. Uddeholm’s sustainable production practices, including fossil-free electricity usage, further enhance the environmental benefits of Corrax powder.

Additionally, Xenia Materials has introduced its XEGREEN 23-C20-3DP material at JEC World 2024, with advanced formulation to minimize warpage, resistance to chemicals, and made from 100% recycled materials. Reinforced with 20% carbon fiber, this PET-G material meets demanding requirements for strength, minimal warpage, and eco-friendliness. It excels in low-temperature environments and is ideal for diverse applications, from prototyping to finished parts, ensuring long-term durability and stability. 

Innovative software from Replique and 1000Kelvin

Software company 1000Kelvin has introduced its AI co-pilot AMAIZE as a plug-in for Autodesk‘s Fusion CAD/CAM platform, unveiled at the AMUG 2024 conference. AMAIZE streamlines 3D printing processes by leveraging machine learning and physics-informed models to predict and address design and print issues. This eliminates trial and error, enabling engineers to handle complex parts more efficiently. Available on the Autodesk App Store, AMAIZE offers significant benefits to precision additive manufacturing firms, tackling rising costs and workforce challenges.

Replique has announced the public launch of its Material Hub, a platform offering over 400 polymer materials in collaboration with 25+ providers, doubling its Formnext 2023 debut. The hub aids users in material selection, offering detailed specs and filtering options, benefiting engineers, purchasers, and R&D teams. Improved search functionality enhances user experience, catering to both experienced and novice users. Additionally, users can now request quotes and connect with material providers directly. Replique plans to expand the hub with metal materials, responding to industry demand, and welcomes material providers to join the platform for further collaboration and innovation.

Certifications secured by AML3D and 3DPRINTUK

AML3D has secured the AS9100D:2016 Accreditation, affirming its commitment to top-tier quality, safety, and reliability standards in the Aerospace industry, says the company. With this accreditation, AML3D gains the capability to manufacture certified flight and non-flight components for aviation, space, and defense sectors. As only the second wire-arc additive manufacturing company globally to achieve AS9100D, AML3D gains a significant competitive edge in securing Aerospace and Defense contracts, paving the way for expansion into new markets and driving growth opportunities, says the company.

On another note, 3DPRINTUK has achieved ISO 14001:2015 certification, reinforcing its commitment to environmental responsibility. Accoridng to the company, this follows its ISO 9001:2015 certification in 2022. The accreditation reflects the company’s dedication to sustainable practices in its expanding 3D printing operations. Recognized for sustainability efforts, 3DPRINTUK holds Carbon Neutral and Plastic Neutral status. Awarded by the British Standards Institution (BSI), the certification validates 3DPRINTUK’s adherence to international environmental management standards.

Europe’s largest 3D printed building inaugurated in Germany

PERI 3D Construction has announced the completion of Europe’s largest 3D printed building, the Wave House data center in Heidelberg, Germany, employing advanced 3D construction printing technology. The construction process was commenced in March 2023. 

Commissioned by Heidelberg IT Management, this building is approximately 54 meters long, 11 meters wide, and 9 meters high. It will be made of 100% recycled concrete and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% compared to a traditional concrete building. The building was constructed using a COBOD BOD2 3D construction printer. At the recent opening ceremony, the project’s completion was celebrated by handing over the keys to IT Heidelberg, the new occupants, in the presence of project partners and the mayor.

ISS National Laboratory announces innovative funding opportunity

The ISS National Laboratory has unveiled a funding opportunity for concepts advancing in-space production applications, emphasizing advanced materials and manufacturing. Step 1: Concept Summaries due by May 2, 2024, followed by Step 2: Full Proposals due by July 8, 2024. Seeking proposals with potential for societal benefit and low Earth orbit (LEO) business models, the ISS National Laboratory emphasizes scalability and sustainability. Eligible flight projects could secure funding for research conducted aboard the space station, says ISS. A notable example includes that of Flawless Photonics being awarded an ISS National Lab opportunity to enhance space-based optical fiber production by validating their technology for manufacturing high-value glass materials, such as ZBLAN, in microgravity.

BLT assists the SmartSat-2A satellite launch in China

The SmartSat-2A satellite, launched by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, represents a significant achievement for Smart Satellite, showcasing its prowess in satellite development and X-band SAR payloads. Bright Laser Technologies’ (BLT) contribution was vital, delivering metal 3D printed satellite body and panel structures, utilizing AlSi10Mg material. 

Through meticulous process optimization, BLT ensured quality and performance, with the satellite featuring the largest 3D printed structure in orbit in China. Leveraging BLT-S1000 printing systems, BLT contributed to the successful launch of the SmartSat-X1A satellite, demonstrating its expertise in aerospace manufacturing technology, says the company.

Stratasys establishes a new customer advisory board

3D printer manufacturer Stratasys has disclosed an Industrial Customer Advisory Board (CAB) to drive additive manufacturing innovation. The 12-member board comprises leaders from aerospace, automotive, and industrial manufacturing sectors, including Boeing, TE Connectivity, and Toyota, alongside academic institutions such as Wichita State’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), the University of Texas El Paso, and the Milwaukee School of Engineering. 

Aligned with Stratasys leadership, the CAB focuses on scalable manufacturing, quality, reliability, and sustainability. The first workshop was held in December, with ongoing sessions planned throughout 2024 and beyond. The CAB aims to provide valuable insights and steer initiatives for advancing additive manufacturing in various industries.

FormART3D design competition calls for urban furniture designs

The Benito’s FormART3D Design Competition is inviting architecture and design students to create urban furniture inspired by Antoni Gaudí’s legacy and technological innovation. Partnering with various organizations, the competition offers cash prizes and the opportunity to 3D print winning designs in concrete for installation in La Pobla de Lillet. With a registration deadline of May 3, 2024, the competition aims to honor Gaudí’s artistic vision while promoting innovation in urban design. To participate, students can register on the competition website and submit their proposals by the specified deadline.

Divide By Zero Technologies reintroduces Aion500 MK2

Mumbai-based Divide By Zero Technologies has relaunched the Aion500 MK2, now equipped with Auto-Switchover technology. This system is set to improve large-scale printing, boosting efficiency and reliability across industries globally. Since its inception in 2016, the Aion500 MK2 has epitomized excellence, evolving to meet client needs. The integration of Auto-Switchover ensures uninterrupted printing for projects up to 10kg, enhancing productivity and reducing waste.

Swapnil Sansare, CEO and Founder of Divide By Zero Technologies, said, “We are humbled by the path the Aion500 MK2 has taken and inspired by the opportunities it opens for our customers. This relaunch is a clear embodiment of our commitment to pushing the boundaries of 3D printing technology.”

The Aion500 MK2 3D printer. Photo via Divide By Zero Technologies.

TCT SMF Rising Star Award 2024 celebrates passion for engineering and 3d printing

The Sanjay Mortimer Foundation (SMF) has partnered with TCT Magazine for the second year to present the TCT SMF Rising Star Award 2024. Open to individuals aged 14-25 residing in England & Wales, and who are neurodivergent or on a waiting list, the award celebrates passion for engineering and 3D printing. Judges are seeking candidates who showcase creativity and dedication to 3D printing, emphasizing the discovery of this technology and its impact on their pursuits. Applications are welcomed from individuals who find joy and fulfillment in engineering and making.

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Featured image shows the new printing room with a Lithoz CeraFab ceramic 3D printer at the Yugyōkuen Ceramics facilities. Photo via Yugyōkuen Ceramics.