Jun 23, 2017 | By David

Developments in the 3D printing world keep coming thick and fast, and we don't blame you if you're struggling to keep up. Here's a quick rundown of things you might have missed, including Optomec getting a NASA contract and Concept Laser collaborating with French aerospace company LAUAK.

Optomec receives NASA contract for new laser sintering 3D printing system

Leading global 3D printing expert Optomec announced today that it has been awarded a NASA SBIR contract, for the further development of an Adaptive Laser Sintering System (ALSS). Optomec’s patented LENS (Laser Engineered Net Shaping) metal 3D printers and its Aerosol Jet technology for 3D printing electronics have proved enormously popular across a huge range of industries, and this latest announcement is a further confirmation of the company’s expertise in the field.

Optomec will be working in conjunction with Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, with the aim of advancing its Aerosol Jet technology into a fully automated curing system for printing electronics. This full automation and the minimal human intervention that it requires will pave the way for ALSS 3D printing techniques being used on NASA’s long-term space exploration missions.

“After the successful design, test and implementation of ALSS, the science and technology of laser sintering will be better understood for controllable adaptive operations,” said Optomec CTO, Mike Renn. “ALSS can be a key solution to NASA's challenge of in-space, on-demand manufacturing capabilities to support the unique challenges of long-duration human spaceflight, which requires an automated adaptive in-line quality control system along with the associated manufacturing process."

Designer Sid Neigum receives major Canadian grant to explore 3D printed fashion

The Be3Dimensional Innovation Fund has chosen to award CA$50, 000 to Sid Neigum, an acclaimed fashion designer .The fund is run by Ryerson University and 3D printing studio Think2Thing, which was co-founded by photographer Edward Burtynsky and designer David Didur. It is intended to promote the use of 3D printing and scanning technologies across a range of fields, including engineering, art and medicine.

Born in Alberta, Neigum has received numerous accolades for the sculptural quality of his work, which tends to include sharply defined silhouettes and involve draping and knotting techniques. He will be the first recipient of the Be3Dimensional prize from the fashion world, and he was chosen by a jury of industry veterans led by journalist Jeanne Beker. Previous recipients of the grant include Vancouver-based Geoffrey Farmer and North Bay, Ont.-based Duane Linklater from Moose Cree First Nation, both in the art category. Winners from other categories are due to be announced in the upcoming weeks.

K2M’s MOJAVE PL 3D printed spinal device hits market after getting FDA clearance

K2M, a global leader in providing surgical devices and solutions for spinal problems, today announced that its MOJAVE PL 3D Expandable Interbody System has received FDA clearance and is ready to go on sale, as the first product of its kind on the market. The 3D-printed expandable posterior-lumbar (PL) interbody system features K2M’s Lamellar 3D Titanium Technology, which is also used for its successful CASCADIA 3D family of static 3D-printed interbody cages. K2M’s advanced 3D printing methods allow the creation of complex internal structures that would otherwise be impossible, allowing for vastly improved integration of their devices and better bone growth.

The Mojave PL is a fusion device designed to allow for independent control of the anterior and posterior height in the lumbar spine, which is a new capability not available with any other product in the market today. It features infinite adjustment within the expansion range and the implant may be locked at any desired height and lordosis, aiding in the restoration of sagittal balance.

According to K2M President and CEO Eric Major, “We are proud to be the global leader in 3D printing of spinal applications. We have developed internal 3D expertise that is allowing us to accelerate the rate of spinal innovation. As the first-ever FDA-cleared 3D-printed expandable interbody technology, MOJAVE PL 3D exemplifies our leadership in this space and provides surgeons the ability to expand the implant in-situ.’’

Concept Laser to collaborate with aeronautical company LAUAK to advance 3D printing in aerospace industry

At this year’s Paris Air Show, a Letter of Intent was signed by Germany-based 3D printing specialist Concept Laser and French aeronautical company LAUAK to seal a partnership between the two companies. They will work together in order to advance use of 3D printing technology in the aerospace industry. The alliance will see investment in Concept Laser from LAUAK as well as its technology being displayed in LAUAK showrooms. Concept Laser will be assisting LAUAK with designs for new products and re-designs for old ones, as well as implementing 3D printing techniques in their manufacturing process.

“LAUAK sees the potential of additive manufacturing and I’m delighted they’ve chosen Concept Laser equipment to help the company on its journey,” said Frank Herzog, CEO of Concept Laser. “We will support them with equipment, processes, and people to allow them to meet their objectives.”

According to Mikel Charritton, CEO of LAUAK, “We see the huge potential in additive manufacturing and we want to use this technology to complete and improve our current manufacturing processes, as well as the manufacture of new components for the aviation industry.”

Rize begins shipping its latest Rize One 3D printer

Rize, Inc has reported major growth over the past 6 months, expanding its U.S channel as well as adding  Santhana Krishnan to the board of directors. It has now commenced commerical shipment of its Rize One 3D printer, which became available back in February of this year.

The Rize One has been labelled the most versatile 3D printing technology in the world, and boasts the industry’s fastest, on-demand turnaround of injection molded-quality parts due to a very limited need for post-processing. It makes use of the company’s patented Augmented Polymer Deposition (APD) process, as well as unique part strength and material properties.

“We are seeing increasing worldwide demand for our Rize One 3D printer, particularly among global manufacturers and healthcare facilities, and we are excited to have begun shipping,” said Eugene Giller, Rize Founder and President. “Our passionate and deeply experienced team has accomplished an enormous amount in a very short timeframe. We are working to quickly expand our go-to-market initiatives, while continuing to develop innovative new products.”

Smallest 3D-printed satellite - NASA launches world's lightest satellite designed by 18-year-old Rifath Sharook

NASA has launched the world's lightest 3D printed satellite into space, designed by 18-year-old Rifath Sharook and his team from Tamil Nadu in India.

Named as Kalamsat, after former President APJ Abdul Kalam, the 3D printed tiny satellite weighs just 64 grams. It was launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virgia on Thusday. "We have made history. The world's smallest satellite has been launched in space. It was not possible without my team," Rifath Sharook said.

The satellite is 3D printed with reinforced carbon fiber polymer and equipped with a nano Geige Muller counter to measure radiation in space. According to Dr. Srimathy Kesan, project supervisor and founder and CEO of Space Kids India, the satellite separated from the rocket 125 minutes after it took off. "Kalamsat fell into the sea. It will be recovered and Nasa will be sending it back to us for decoding the data," she said.

Renishaw's Lucy Ackland named one of UK's top 50 female engineers

Lucy Ackland, senior development engineer at global engineering company, Renishaw, has been selected as one of the UK's Top 50 Women in Engineering in 2017.

The Top 50 Women in Engineering was launched last year to celebrate women's achievements in the industry by the Daily Telegraph. The 2017 list is made up of outstanding female engineers under the age of 35, who have all made a significant contribution to the field.

Ackland joined Renishaw aged 16 as an apprentice and has been actively involved in Renishaw's education outreach programme, where she has been a science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) ambassador for nine years. She now runs weekly events to inspire young girls to consider engineering careers and show young people where an apprenticeship can take them.

"Historically, women's achievements in STEM have gone unnoticed, and this needs to change," explained Ackland, "The Top 50 Women in Engineering celebrates the great work done by women in the engineering sector.

"The awards showcase the amazing work that women are doing, highlighting how women are performing and achieving so much. Showcasing these achievements gives young women role models, challenges stereotypes and shows that engineering is an exciting career path."

"We are very proud of this recognition for Lucy, who works tirelessly to promote engineering to young people. Only nine per cent of engineers in the UK are female, a figure which puts us behind the rest of Europe," explained Chris Pockett, Head of Communications at Renishaw. "It is important to promote the achievements of female engineers to change the status quo and open up a new pool of talent to help solve the engineering skills shortage."

 

 

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