Sep 12, 2017 | By Benedict

Today’s 3D printing roundup includes news from Belgium, where chemicals company Solvay has announced plans to produce PEKK polymers for 3D printing in the US. Elsewhere, Germany’s Verbatim has a new TPEE material, while Robo 3D is raising money for a 3D printer pre-order pipeline.

Solvay to produce NovaSpire PEKK 3D printing material for aerospace industry

We’re starting today’s roundup in Belgium, where chemicals specialist Solvay said on Monday that it plans to start producing polymers for aerospace and 3D printing. In particular, the company says it will start producing polyetherketoneketone polymers, or PEKK, in the United States early next year.

PEKK will be used for 3D printing in the aerospace industry, as well as in other areas, and Solvay’s product could be on the market by the first quarter of 2018. The material will be produced in Augusta, Georgia, under the brand name NovaSpire.

"This new capacity will address fast-growing demand for thermoplastic composites and 3D printing components in aerospace and in other markets," said Roger Kearns, member of Solvay's executive committee.

Solvay has experience combining aerospace and additive manufacturing, having contributed products to an Oxford Performance Materials project for Boeing earlier this year.


Verbatim unveils flexible PRIMALLOY 3D printing material in black

Solvay isn’t the only company announcing material news this week, with Germany’s Verbatim simultaneously announcing the release of its flexible black PRIMALLOY 3D printing material, a new color option for PRIMALLOY customers.

PRIMALLOY, developed by Verbatim and parent company Mitsubishi Chemical, is a thermoplastic ester elastomer (TPEE) that purportedly delivers improved flexibility and rubber elasticity compared to standard TPE materials.

Verbatim says the 3D printing material provides high-performance characteristics “in terms of mechanical strength and resistance to oil, base, solvents, chemicals, flex fatigue, and heat.” The material also offers low-temperature properties and is suitable for outdoor applications thanks to its high level of hardness stability across a wide temperature range.

“Customers have been pushing us to launch a black version of our popular PRIMALLOY material, and here it is,” enthused Shigeyuki Furomoto, Manager, Global CEO office, Mitsubishi Chemical Media. “We expect good demand for it as most applications where a flexible material is needed, such as door or window seals, grips, holders etc. tend to be in black.”


Robo 3D raising $800K investment to meet demand for 3D printer pre-orders

Moving away from materials now, and San Diego’s Robo 3D is attempting to raise $800,000 to support additional production runs for its pre-order pipeline of $2 million for the December quarter.

The number of pre-orders has exceeded the company’s expectations, largely thanks to the success of the Robo R2 smart 3D printer. The company says it has never before had more than $2 million in its pre-order pipeline.

The $800,000 capital raising comes with an option to expand that amount by an additional $1 million, subject to shareholder approval, because the pre-orders are still subject to cancellation. Robo 3D is working with Hunter Capital Advisors to raise the funds.

“We are delighted with the fast-paced growth and demand for Robo’s product line up, as evident in the record pipeline of pre-orders and expected growth over the next quarter,” said Robo CEO Ryan Legudi. “This is validation of the high calibre of Robo’s products as well as the Company’s strategic approach to key channel partners over the last six months.”

Robo 3D is also planning to scale up its production capabilities in light of the increased demand for its R2 and C2 3D printers.


Siemens PLM Software partners with Authentise for improved geometric search

Authentise, a Utah-based leader in process automation software for additive manufacturing, has partnered with Siemens PLM Software “to make shape search technology more broadly available to the digital manufacturing industry.”

The partnership embeds Siemens PLM’s shape search technology, Geolus Search, into Authentise’s 3Diax API platform for 3D printing. The module allows users to search for shapes, and is purportedly easy to implement in “custom, integrated workflows that stretch across the digital thread from design to production.”

Authentise says these workflows are useful because knowledge associated with older designs, such as previous production notes, material choices, or intellectual property rights, can be identified based on the geometry rather than keywords.

“We partner with a variety of companies to increase both the breadth and depth of modules on 3Diax,” commented Andre Wegner, CEO of Authentise. “It is great to see that even more established players see an opportunity in working with 3Diax to give those customers pursuing advanced process automation the tools in the format they need.”


Z3DFAB opens first digital production center in Korea

Our last roundup item sees us heading to South Korea, where Z3DFAB, a joint venture between French 3D printing company Z3DLAB and Korean semi-conductor expert HS HI-TECH, has just opened its first digital production center.

The joint venture says it plans to equip its new 10,000-square-meter facility in Dongtan-Myeon with 27 3D printers, and could be operational for “medical certification and production” by the end of 2017. The facility will also contain Korea’s first EOS M290 and EOSTATE MeltPool machines.

Z3DLAB has three key focus areas: design-to-production processes, 3D printed lattice structures, and material innovation processes.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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