Jun 3, 2016 | By Benedict

Today began with news of a bald eagle returning to the skies after 3D printing-assisted surgery. In actual fact, though, the whole additive manufacturing industry seems to be soaring at present. At the end of a particularly busy week in the 3D printing world, here are seven extra stories you might have missed:

1. Swiss 3D printing startup UrbanAlps receives 2016 W.A. de Vigier Award

UrbanAlps, the Swiss company behind the Stealth Key, a 3D printed security key that can’t be copied, has won the W.A. de Vigier Award, Switzerland’s most prestigious award for startups. UrbanAlps beat over 200 competing startups to scoop the grand prize of 100,000 Swiss Francs (around $100,000), which was handed over in the form of a giant cheque. Alejandro Ojeda, managing director of UrbanAlps, was particularly pleased to win the prize for a hardware product, in an industry which tends to focus more of its attention on software startups.

The Stealth Key is a metal key with all of its security features hidden on the inside instead of the outside, making it resistant to photographic key theft. As well as using 3D printing to make the Stealth Key, the company has consistently used additive manufacturing and 3D scanning technology to demonstrate the susceptibility of traditionally made metal keys—by quickly making duplicates with an Ultimaker 3D printer. While recognizing the threat of 3D printing in the security sector, UrbanAlps is doing its best to turn the technology into an unlikely hero. 3D printed Stealth Keys can be made quickly and on-demand, reducing the amount of wasted metal to a negligible amount. “Unlike electronic combinations, the Stealth key is the affordable solution to the lost sense of security of key duplication,” Ojeda said.

2. Fuel3D announces first enterprise client scanning solution

British 3D capture startup Fuel3D, born out of Oxford University, has announced that its 3D scanning technology has been used in a new 3D foot scanning system for the orthotics industry. Just last week, the company secured €1.7M in EU Horizon 2020 funding for its 3D scanning eyewear solution, and can now claim to offer viable systems for two bodily extremities. The CryoScan3D foot scanner, which was first seen last week at the World Congress of Podiatry in Montreal, Canada, can capture high-resolution, full-color 3D models of the foot in a range of positions in 0.1 seconds, enabling medical professionals to make custom-fit splints and braces. The system was developed in collaboration with Cryos Technologies, an orthotics innovator with experience in the podiatry sector.

“We’re delighted to be working with a technology innovator like Cryos Technologies, which demonstrates the efficiency and competitive advantage that can be achieved at the point of sale to revolutionize traditional techniques,” said Stuart Mead, CEO of Fuel3D. “We are focused on delivering scalable hardware and software solutions by working with technology specialists across a broad range of sectors. This is the first of many enterprise engagements for us, and we are looking forward to sharing the news about our work on other projects in the near future.”

3. Becoming 3D, ROBO 3D release 3D Printing STEM Education Kit for Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Becoming 3D and Robo 3D, two 3D printing startups, have joined forces to create a 3D Printing STEM Education Kit for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a national organization of local chapters providing after-school programs for kids. The two 3D printing companies delivered the good news at the 2016 Boys & Girls Clubs National Conference in New Orleans, with the pilot program set to show students at both middle and high school level how to conceptualize their ideas before bringing them to life in 3D printed form, all the while strengthening their expertise in foster more in depth learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Becoming 3D, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, provides 3D printers, materials, and supplies for professionals, schools, and consumers, while Robo 3D, founded in 2012, designs, manufactures, and sells consumer-level desktop 3D printers.

The kit itself includes a 3D printer, a custom designed printer cart, 6 spools of PLA filament, software, a specially written curriculum, a 1-year warranty, and phone & online tech support; plenty for students to get their teeth stuck into. “This 3D printer is giving our members an opportunity to really develop a skill set that helps them accomplish success in the future and be prepared for the job market our country is facing right now,” said Christopher Sutton, director of operations at the Boys & Girls Club of the Capital City.

4. ORNL, Cincinnati Incorporated sign additive manufacturing patent license agreement

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Cincinnati Incorporated have signed a nonexclusive licensing agreement on ORNL patents which concern large-scale additive manufacturing. The deal with see Cincinnati Incorporated able to make, use, or sell the laboratory’s patented advanced additive manufacturing tech, which uses a reciprocating platen to enable the manufacture of large and high-quality 3D printed parts. The laboratory noted that its next-generation additive manufacturing solutions could be used in the automotive, aerospace, and prototyping industries. “Our goal is to demonstrate the potential of large-scale additive manufacturing as an innovative and viable manufacturing technology,” said Lonnie Love, leader of ORNL’s Manufacturing Systems Research group. “We want to improve digital manufacturing solutions for the automotive industry.”

ORNL has been at the forefront of many exciting additive manufacturing innovations. Last fall, the laboratory proved that its patented 3D printing technology really could make a difference in the automotive industry, as it showcased a 3D printed house and car capable of producing and sharing clean energy. For companies looking to take advantage of this technology, several ORNL patents are available for licensing on a nonexclusive basis, with Cincinnati Incorporated just the latest business to take advantage of the laboratory’s offerings. Cincinnati Incorporated is a built-to-order machine tool manufacturer which has shipped over 50,000 machines over more than a century of operation.

5. Air Products to introduce new dew point monitoring system

Air Products, an international provider of industrial gases, is set to introduce a dew point monitoring system among its range of range of industrial gases, equipment, and technology solutions for powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing. The system will be showcased at POWDERMET2016, which takes place June 6-7 in Boston, Massachusetts.

In additive manufacturing and powder metallurgy, it is essential to maintain an appropriate atmosphere in order to achieve consistent quality across a sintered part. Air Products’ new dew point monitoring system helps to maintain that quality of atmosphere while helping manufacturers comply with CQI-9 and NADCAP requirements. According to Air Products, the system eliminates errors caused by drifting dew points, and requires minimal calibration and cleaning. Its features serve Air Products’ determination to “improve product quality, reduce operating costs, increase yields, and enhance processing windows” for metals processors around the world. Earlier this year, MarketsandMarkets estimated that the 3D printing gases market, in which Air Products is a prominent name, would be worth $45.12M by 2020.

6. Oerlikon Metco announces Twin 150 powder feeder for additive manufacturing

Oerlikon Metco, a global provider of solutions for performance-critical applications, has introduced a new multiprocess powder feeder, the Twin 150. The feeder, which can be incorporated into additive manufacturing systems as well as thermal spray and laser cladding, features three modes: Full Remote mode, in which the feeder is controlled by an external control system using UDP/IP or PROFIBUS protocols; Stand-Alone (manual) mode; and Remote On/Off mode, where an external mechanism turns powder feeding on or off.

The Twin 150 powder feeder uses two powder hoppers which can be used either individually or at the same time, giving users an added level of control over the function of the system. Additionally, several application-specific options are available with the feeder, suitable for a variety of powders under a range of conditions. “Owners of many types of powder-fed systems will benefit from the ability of the Twin 150 to fully integrate into their automated system by allowing them to simplify their processing with better process control,” said Omar Sabouni, product line manager.

Twin 150 powder feeder features:

  • Carrier gas: argon or nitrogen
  • Weight without hoppers: 110kg
  • Feeds powder of all types
  • Touchscreen interface
  • Powder hoppers available in 1.1L, 1.5L, and 5.0L capacities

7. 3D scanning market worth $6 billion by 2022

According to a report published by Global Market Insights, the 3D scanning market could be worth $6 billion by the year 2022. The market size was valued at $2.43 billion in 2014, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.5% between 2015 and 2022. 3D laser scanning, worth $1.5 billion in 2014, is expected to contribute in the majority of industry shares until 2022, while the market size of optical scanners will continue to rise with a CAGR of 11%. The market of short-range scanners is expected to occupy 46% of market share by 2022.

According to the report, increased adoption of 3D scanning for quality control, rapid prototyping, and reverse engineering purposes is contributing heavily to growth. 3D scanners can be used to quickly and accurately check the physical properties of components before they are sold or implemented, and are being used more and more frequently to create accurate 3D models of spare parts. By creating digital copies of particular components using 3D scanning tech, businesses forfeit the need to keep a large backlog of physical spare parts, saving manufacturing time and cost, and freeing up valuable storage space.

Technological advancements in the field of 3D scanning have served to reduce the complexity of hardware, making 3D scanners cheaper to produce and therefore more profitable for 3D scanner manufacturers. According to the report, major players in the 3D scanning market include Ametek (Creaform), 3D Digital Corp., Basis Software Inc (Surphaser), Maptek, Topcon and FARO Technologies.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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