Aug 26, 2017 | By David

Don't worry if you've been too busy to keep up with recent 3D printing developments, we've got another quick round-up to fill you in on what you might have missed. Stories include Merck setting up a technology innovation lab in Israel, Saudi students getting 3D printing training from GE Garages, and more besides.

1. SMS Group uses 3D printed spray heads for closed-die forging

SMS Group, bringing together various companies involved in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry, has some 13,500 employees who generate worldwide sales of more than EUR 3 billion. The group’s closed-die forging presses have recently started to make use of 3D printing technology to produce their spray heads, and have seen some remarkable success so far with the new manufacturing method.

Spray heads fitted in closed-die forging presses serve to remove scale from the dies between the individual press strokes, to cool the surface, to apply lubricants and dry the die surface. Performing these activities, conventional spray heads tend to have relatively short service lives compared to other tools or machinery. The use of 3D printing in their production has changed all this for the better.

3D printing permits extremely light-weight and compact spray heads to be produced that are tailored to the conditions of the respective dies. Flexible actuation of individual nozzles paired with fast handling and a homogeneously distributed mist shortens press cycle times and extends the service life of the dies. Not only do they last longer, but they are also significantly more effective. Due to their single-piece structure, 3D printed spray heads can be used at pressures between three and more than ten bars and are able to generate different spray patterns.

3D printing provides the engineers of SMS group great flexibility in designing spray heads. They are now able to arrange the individual nozzles exactly according to the customers’ requirements and even give each nozzle a unique shape The new 3D printed spray heads can be installed in new presses, and they are also suited for integration into existing systems. SMS group designs its 3D printed spray heads on a largely automated basis, which means it is able to manufacture the parts within a short period. This permits custom-tailored 3D printed spray heads to also be supplied in almost no time.

2. Merck sets up PMatX, new lab in Israel for innovative technologies including 3D printing

Global science and technology company Merck, which employs more than 300 people in Israel and has sites in Yavne, Herziliya, Rehovot and Jerusalem, recently announced the establishment of PMatX. PMatX is a technology innovation laboratory that will serve as an incubator for start-up companies in Israel. The program will be supported by additional partners including HP, Palo Alto, California, USA, and US-based global investment firm Battery Ventures.  Overall investment volume will be around € 20 million and the initial commitment is for three years.

Companies that make use of 3D printing technology should be at the forefront of this exciting new venture from Merck. PMatX, which focuses on start-ups close to Merck’s Performance Materials business sector, plans to bring the first companies into its program in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The technology innovation laboratory will be housed in newly constructed laboratories, equipped with cutting-edge technology to enable developments related to next-generation electronics. The location of the new incubator will be at Merck’s research & development site in Yavne, Israel, which also is home to Merck’s already existing Healthcare and Life Science incubator, called BioIncubator.

According to Roel Bulthuis, head of Merck Ventures, the corporate strategic venture arm of Merck, “We are investing in start-ups and the new PMatX incubator will offer infrastructure and proximity to start-ups in our already running healthcare and life science incubator with the chance for the new start-ups to learn from experienced ones.”

3. Dutch company DiManEx raises $2.7 million in funding for its 3D printing supply chain service

Exciting start-up DiManEx, based in the Netherlands, has received a total of $2.7 million for its digital supply chain platform. The startup has also received support through a credit scheme from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the money will be used to grow the customer’s base.

The cloud-based SaaS service connects its customers with 3D printing companies, for on-demand delivery of industrial parts. It is capable of identifying where the supply chain can benefit from additive manufacturing processes and links the company up to the appropriate supplier.

“We’ve only seen the beginning of the impact additive manufacturing will have on industrial supply chains across the globe,” said Tibor van Melsem Kocsis, CEO of DiManEx. “This funding round will help us scale and further enable our customers to print any part, anywhere in the world, with the simple click of a button.”

4. byFlow publishes new 3D printed recipe ideas

Dutch company byFlow has been in the 3D printing industry since 2009, and is one of the leading experts in 3D printed food. Its Focus 3D printer, which was released in 2015, is one of the most popular 3D printers specifically designed for cuisine and the food industry. Recently it published some new recipe ideas on its website, which make use of the Focus 3D printer’s unique capabilities.

Recipe PDFs and 3D printing models were posted for each new recipe idea. A meringue, which is simple to make but traditionally very difficult to experiment with in terms of shape, will come in  particularly useful for many pastry chefs. There was also a Chocolate Ganache published, as well as a range of savoury dips for different occasions. Whether you’re a professional with access to a food 3D printer or just an interested amateur, you can check the recipe ideas out on the byFlow website.

5.GE hosts GE Garages workshops to teach 3D printing skills to Saudi students

Global technology giant GE has been hosting a series of technology workshops in Saudi Arabia, to prepare students with the skills they need for the next generation of industrial positions. GE Garages workshops have been held for King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) students since 2016, at the GE Saudi Technology & Innovation Center in Dhahran Techno Valley. The collaboration with KFUPM is part of the commitment of both partners to support the growing Dhahran Techno Valley ecosystem, as well as the new era of digital industrial transformation in the Kingdom that directly complements the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 scheme.

GE Garages are also open for children from the ages of seven to 14 years, who can be trained on basic coding. Training sessions have also been held exclusively for women as part of GE’s MoU with the Asharqia Chamber of Commerce.

Nidal Ghizawi, director of the GE Saudi Technology & Innovation Center, said: “GE Garages serves the fundamental goal of building the capacity of young Saudis and equipping them with the necessary capabilities to keep pace with the rapid advances in manufacturing technologies globally."



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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