Sep 3, 2016 | By Benedict

At the end of another busy week in the world of 3D printing, here are ten stories you might have missed, including Wolf Robotics’ new robotic metal AM system, a partnership between Zortrax and Bosch, and a new lease program from Type A Machines.

1. Wolf Robotics to debut new robotic metal AM system at IMTS 2016

Wolf Robotics, a Lincoln Electric Company, is hoping to advance Robotic Big Area Additive Manufacturing (R-BAAM) with its new Power Wave Surface Tension Transfer (STT) system. In response to industry demand, the company developed the innovative, multi-meter build envelope, multi-feedstock and multi-material robotic additive system, which uses a laser powder and laser hot-wire process for steel and titanium materials. According to the company, it is ideal for producing titanium aerospace parts and low-volume parts which can replace the more expensive traditional castings used in the steel-casting sector.

Wolf Robotics will demonstrate its new system, which will purportedly help to move metal additive manufacturing out of the traditional, small-area, bed-built processes and dramatically expand build envelopes for robotically printing metal parts, at Lincoln Electric’s booth at the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago’s McCormick Place, from 12th – 17th September.

2. Type A Machines announces new equipment lease program

Type A Machines, a market leader in FDM 3D printing, announced a new equipment lease program in partnership with Marlin Business Services Corp. Through the program, schools and business will be able to rent the company’s six-printer Print Rod production system, with prices starting at $725 per month. Comprised of six centrally controlled Series 1 3D printers, scalable to 60, the Print Pod is the industry's first parallel FDM production system. Individual Series 1 printers, materials, and services are also available through the program.

“3D printing fabricators, service bureaus, makerspaces and even individual makers have a growing need for 3D printing capacity. New equipment spending though, must be managed against available assets to maintain positive cash flow,” said Carl Wiseman, Chief Financial Officer, Type A Machines. “We’re very pleased to have found a partner in Marlin that understands this opportunity and can serve the growth and evolving needs of the marketplace.”

3. Zortrax partners with Bosch at French production plant

Polish 3D printer manufacturer Zortrax this week announced the results of its recent partnership with Bosch, after the multinational company used a number of Zortrax M200 3D printers to develop customized tools for electronic device module assembly at its plant in Mondeville, France.

For Bosch, the direct impetus to the implementation of the 3D printing technology was a need to design and fabricate specialized equipment used by employees in the assembly of modules or small parts of electronic devices. It requires precision, attention to detail, and in many cases it is significantly time-consuming. Thanks to the custom-designed and in-house 3D printed tools, Bosch is able not only to improve and shorten the production process but also to maximize assembly precision.

According to Zortrax, the two companies will continue continue their cooperation, including the development of 3D printing materials fulfilling the specific requirements of the electronic industry.

4. Manny the goat gets new leg

These days, 3D technology is used to help animals on a regular basis, and this week was no exception. Manny, a disabled goat, had a leg joint that was bent and fused in place as the result of a genetic disorder. While Manny did have a prosthesis for the leg, he eventually outgrew it, leading his owner to contact Do Space for help. Volunteer Reagan Pufall agreed to help Manny, and used both a cast and a photogrammetry scan to create a 3D model of the prosthesis.

Manny’s new leg, made using 3D scanning techniques, allows greater airflow to the joint and weighs less than the old prosthesis. It also lets Manny’s owner switch out the post when needed. The happy goat is now walking around and often sits under his favorite tree, his owner has reported.

5. Majestic’s “3D printed internet” to be printed in space this month

Back in March, we reported on a wonderful 3D printing science project involving search engine Majestic and the International Space Station. Majestic, the largest Link Intelligence database in existence, announced plans to 3D print a visual representation of the internet on the ISS’s Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF), a 3D printer in space. Excitingly, the project has now been confirmed, with the 3D printed models due to be printed on the AMF some time in September.

“The 3D print we’re creating on the International Space Station not only shows a data visualization of the number of websites live on the Internet today but also how many of those sites are trustworthy and are likely to see any significant visits from earthlings,” Majestic explains. “From our calculations, 94.8% of the one billion websites on the Internet have a Trust Flow score of zero, probably never see any traffic and are certainly never going to be found on a search engine like Google or Bing.”

"The guys at Made In Space have created five test replica prints (see photos above) on their earth-based 3D printer (or AMF – Additive Manufacturing Facility – as they call it) and have told us that NASA has given final approval for the print," writes Majestic. "Soon we’ll be sharing some fun ideas from friends in the industry as to what they would 3D print in space and why."

6. LaudWorks introduces 3D printed wall mounts for cameras

Great news for collectors of flashy vintage cameras: LaudWorks, a purveyor of DIY project tools, has created HANGIE, a minimalist wall mount which lets you show off your prized Leicas and Minoltas with elegance and style. The 3D printed mount is offered in both steel and plastic versions with multiple color options. The contraption consists of just four pieces—the mount itself, two wall screws, and a tripod mount screw—and are strong enough to hold DSLRs with lenses attached. With multiple mounts, creative types can even make a kind of installation from their photographic equipment—just label the cameras with chalk and you’ve got yourself a snappy feature wall.

Metal HANGIE mounts are available for $21 through Shapeways, while plastic mounts for smaller cameras are just $4.

7. Kickstarter launched for customizable silicone chocolate molds

3D printing has enabled people to customize virtually everything that can be fabricated, even food. Dennis Fürst, a mechanical engineering student from Germany, has continued that glorious trend by launching a Kickstarter for a particularly sweet project: 3D printed chocolate molds, adorned with the face of a loved one, a pet, or anything dear to one’s heart (as long as it’s photographed in high contrast).

Fürst’s idea is to turn regular 2D images of people, places, or things into 3D images, which can then be 3D printed into rectangular silicone molds. These food-safe molds can then be used to create personalized chocolates bearing the image of the original photograph! Fürst has set a target of €3,000 for his deliciously inventive campaign, with a single customized picture mold requiring a pledge of €39, which equates to around $43.50. Backers can also order a simple text-based mold for €15.

8. Proto-pasta introduces Matte Fiber HTPLA 3D printing material

Proto-pasta, a carbon fiber and high-temperature PLA material specialist, has introduced its latest high-quality 3D printing material: Matte Fiber HTPLA. The new filament, which costs $40 for a 500g spool, promises a more colorful, lower wear alternative to carbon fiber printing materials, resulting in less nozzle wear.

Citing an over-reliance on glossy materials in the 3D printing world, Proto-pasta is continuing its mission to provide makers with high-quality matte filament that is suitable for applications in sculpture, architecture, and more. Based on Proto-pasta's HTPLA resin, Matte Fiber HTPLA can be heat treated for higher temperature performance. The addition of plant-based fibers, reduces dimensional change during the heat treating process compared to standard HTPLA. The material can also be smoothed by carving or shaving with a sharp instrument, and is easily paintable thanks to its wood-like characteristics.

9. Korean 3D printing company Forden Tech receives accolade at Made In Korea 2016

ArcticStartup, a Finnish media source, has selected Forden Tech, a professional 3D printing company that serves both researchers and businesses, as a “Top 3 Company.” Forden Tech, which received the accolade at the 2016 Made in Korea event, produces a machine called the Filibot, which makes 3D printing filament (ABS, PLA, PETG, WPC, TPU and etc.) from plastic pellets. Users can adjust the temperature of the machine from between 23 and 450 degrees and the filament size between 1.75 mm and 3 mm. Filibot also has an air cooling system.

10. NASA selects successful 3D printing proposals

NASA has selected 21 research and technology proposals, including 3D printing projects, from American small businesses and research institutions. The Phase II selectees of NASA's Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program are permitted to enter negotiations for possible contract awards worth a combined total of around $15.8 million. The 21 selectees were selected from 41 U.S. firms and research institutions across 20 different states.

One study involves developing a new generation of CubeSats that can take advantage of in-situ resources while exploring space. The proposal suggests combining 3D printing with an in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) water extraction system. Using a 3D printer, steam thrusters and small tanks could be produced. The ISRU module could then capture and extract water, taking advantage of the heat generated by the CubeSat electronics system, with supplemental power gleaned from solar-charged batteries.

STTR Phase II projects will build upon recently completed Phase I projects, which received six-month contracts valued up to $125,000. Phase II projects will last up to two years and receive contracts valued as much as $750,000 per award. Phase III, the commercialization of an innovation, may occur after successful completion of Phase II.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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