Sep 7, 2017 | By David

Here’s a round-up of some stories you might have missed in the 3D printing world recently, including a 3D printing technology research center being opened in Ireland, and a new metal 3D printing partnership between LAI International and AddUp.

1. Graphene 3D Lab issues private placement of shares

3D printing materials company Graphene 3D Lab Inc has announced that it has both opened and closed a private placement of common shares. The Company issued a total of 5,400,000 Common Shares, at a price of $0.08 per share. This amounted to gross proceeds of $432,000. All the securities issued will be subject to a four-month hold period, which will be expiring on January 2, 2018. The Company intends to use the proceeds of the private placement for general working capital purposes and research and development activities.

Graphene 3D Lab, based in New York, has been providing proprietary composites and coatings based on graphene and other advanced materials for years now, becoming a world leader in the market. Its clients include NASA, Apple and Harvard University, as its product portfolio spans a whole range of sectors. Its 3D printing division offers specialty filaments intended for use in FDM or FFF 3D printing processes.

2. 3D printing center opened as part of major investment initiative in Ireland

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald have officially launched four new scientific research centers, as part of Science Foundation Ireland’s research centers program, including one dedicated to developing 3D printing. This scheme aims to establish research hubs that can compete on a global stage, encouraging basic research that can be applied in industrial settings with financial backing from businesses.

A total of 74 million Euros has been invested in these 4 new centres by the government, with a further 40 million Euros to come from various industrial partners over the next six years. It brings the total number of research centers under the Science Foundation Ireland program to 16. 3D printing technology has been a major priority of the scheme for a while, due to the benefits it can bring to many manufacturing processes.

The four new centers were selected through a highly competitive international peer-review process. CONFIRM is intended to study smart manufacturing methods, BEACON will find uses for residue left over from the processing of natural resources, FUTURENEURO will develop innovative treatments for rare and chronic neurological diseases, while I-FORM will enhance the efficiency of manufacturing processing through 3D printing. Around 650 jobs are predicted to be created by these new research centers over the next six years.

3. LAI International partners with AddUp to develop metal 3D printing technology

Major contract manufacturer LAI International has announced a major new strategic collaboration, with French additive company AddUp. The two will be teaming up to advance industrial production of 3D printed metal components and materials, including Inconel, aluminum and titanium, in the USA.

AddUp is a joint venture of the global industrial groups Fives and Michelin, and has established a serious reputation for itself due to its FormUp-350TM Laser-Powder-Bed-Fusion machine, a powerful 3D printer built for industrial applications. The next product in this line, the FormUp-700TM, is due to hit the market in early 2018.

The FormUp-350TM is the main platform for this new collaborative industrial program, and it will be installed at LAI International’s Tempe, Arizona facility. It is due to be ready for full-rate, qualified production in January 2018. AddUp’s FormUp-350TM will complement LAI’s existing Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technology, providing a significant expansion of the capabilities and materials in LAI’s Metal AM portfolio. Additionally, AddUp and LAI International are exploring co-locating an advanced additive customer technology center in Tempe, Arizona to provide expert local additive services and machine demonstrations for customers and research institutions in the southwestern U.S.

4. ANSYS releases new Discovery Live software for 3D design simulations

Engineering simulation pioneer ANSYS has announced the availability of its latest software solution for preview. Discovery Live is engineering simulation software that should drastically improve the speed at which simulations can be rendered, optimizing the 3D design process for 3D printing and other applications.

While some engineering simulations can take many weeks to set up, run, and analyze, ANSYS’s Pervasive Engineering Simulation is intended to make the process an immediate one. This will expand simulation technology to a much greater range of potential applications, with engineers at all levels able to take advantage of it. With Discovery Live, users are able to pose questions at the start of the design process, enabling them to explore thousands of design options and receive immediate feedback.

"Discovery Live's breakthrough technology places real-time simulation in the hands of every engineer.  Coupled with an equal step change in ease of use, it enables true digital experimentation," said Mark Hindsbo, vice president and general manager, ANSYS. "This will fundamentally change product development, inverting the traditional process by bringing simulation upfront’’

Building on its five decades of prior engineering experience, ANSYS undertook a major research and development effort to build a new 3D simulation technology based on the massive parallel nature of NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs). This has resulted in a solution that is powerful enough to work thousands of times faster than conventional simulation methods, but is still intuitive and straightforward enough for non-experts to master. The software supports fluid, structural and thermal simulation applications, enabling users to experiment with all kinds of different iterations of a 3D model to explore the impact of different changes.

5. Luxexcel and IFB Solutions collaborate on new 3D printing platform for ophthalmic lenses

North Carolina-based IFB Solutions provides various products for the optical market, with one of the top 10 independent optical labs in the country. The company, which is one the largest employer of the visually impaired in the U.S,  has just announced a major partnership with Luxexcel. It will be taking advantage of the latter’s impressive 3D printing systems, on a pay-per-use model.

Luxexcel platform consists of industrial grade optical 3D-printers, lens-design software and workflow integration tools which enable customers to manufacture 3D printed ophthalmic quality lenses that meet all industry standards. The partnership with IFB will start out with a focus on particularly difficult specialty lenses.

According to Guido Groet, Chief Commercial Officer of Luxexce, '‘ln IFB Solutions we found a partner that is keen to adopt this unique technology and develop the market for the unique products possible with 3D printing. It is our intention to overcome today’s challenges in the ophthalmic world by making lenses outside the mainstream, enabling eye glasses with new capabilities compared to the existing product offerings. The Luxexcel Vision Platform represents the next level of lens manufacturing solutions for ophthalmic labs and provides an opportunity to differentiate and develop unique ophthalmic products.’'

 

 

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