Jun 30, 2017 | By David

3D printing technology marches on at an unrelenting pace, but we're here to stop you from being trampled underfoot. Here's a round-up of some recent stories you might have missed, including packaging companyTricorbraun expanding its 3D printing capabilities, and 3D printer manufacturer Leapfrog getting new investment.

Packaging company TricorBraun acquires rival Salbro in order to boost 3D printing capacity

Rigid packaging distributor TricorBraun Holdings Inc. is attempting to boost its 3D printing and rapid prototyping capacity, and accordingly it recently acquired Salbro Bottle Inc. Salbro is a fellow packaging distributor that makes use of 3D printing technology, and is based in the Toronto suburb of Woodbridge, Ontario. This acquisition also expands the Canadian footprint of the St-Louis Based TricorBraun. The company has annual sales of around $1 billion, mostly for plastic packaging but also wine bottles for distributors in California.

TricorBraun has 3D printing capability in its design and engineering centers, and the technology is mostly used to design rigid packaging prototypes and molds. According to TricorBraun President and CEO Keith Strope , "We were interested in expanding our reach and presence in Canada and this acquisition helps us do both." The extra prototyping capacity will quicken his firm's response times, he added.

"We're big enough to handle anyone's order, but we're also flexible enough to be able to react and adapt to the customer's needs quickly," said Paul Saltz, Salbro vice president of sales and marketing, in a news release. "Being part of TricorBraun will help us expand that approach."

DARPA chooses Siemens, XEROX PARC and others for new research project into 3D design

Researchers from Siemens, XEROX subsidiary PARC, Michigan State University and Georgia Tech will be collaborating on a new project. Chosen by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the team’s work will form part of its new TRADES initiative (TRAnsformative DESign)

TRADES is a project that seeks to further develop computer-aided design software to fabricate complex objects through the use of existing manufacturing methods, including 3D printing technology. The team will be working to develop new digital modelling tools. It will be developing a design model designed to manage object design complexity, as well as exploring the automated manufacturability evaluation of structures, and the design space that composites, layered manufacturing and architected materials offer.

“This project will have significant impact for high-performance products in specialized industries such as aerospace, defense, automotive, energy production, manufacturing tooling, medical devices and consumer products,” said Dr. Suraj Musuvathy, Senior Scientist, Siemens Corporate Technology. Siemens’ NX CAD software boasts a range of advanced features that other solutions lack, as well as dedicated options to prepare a design for 3D printing.

PARC is the main innovation wing of XEROX, and it has significant 3D printing expertise that it can bring to this multimillion-dollar project. According to Saigopal Nelaturi, PARC researcher and lead on this project “Our work will enhance the ability to create, optimize, and fabricate these extremely complex designs by providing engineers access to tools that define the designs in terms of simple programs which then automatically encode fabrication requirements and constraints to ensure optimized, manufacturable designs. Using the new techniques we are developing with Siemens, GT and MSU, many products could be engineered to be more durable and lighter, while also providing far better performance.’’

Leapfrog 3D Printers gets significant new investment from Rollomatic

Leapfrog is intending to expand its influence over the 3D printer market, and will be able to take advantage of a substantial new strategic investment from Rollomatic Holdings Inc. Rollomatic is a manufacturer of  precision CNC machinery, based in Le Landeron, Switzerland, with an impressive global operating network and experience in selling manufacturing products worldwide. The company will be taking a 20% shareholding in Leapfrog through this significant investment.

Leapfrog has made a name for itself thanks to its accessible range of FDM 3D printers, and it hopes to remain a recognized brand name as well as to take advantage of the current growth in the 3D printer market. It also is looking at providing more high-end products for more demanding professional customers, such as the Bolt Pro 3D printer that was recently released.

In a press release, the company declared that '‘We welcome this new opportunity and are sure that this investment will help us to build our team, our operations and our research and development capabilities. We expect to continue to serve our loyal customer base and further contribute to revolutionizing the manufacturing industry. This financial injection gives us the possibility to substantially boost turnover and realize our aggressive growth targets.'’



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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