Oct 17, 2017 | By Tess

Today’s 3D printing news roundup has a bit of everything, with medical 3D printing developments being complemented by an educational 3D scanning initiative, the launch of GKN Group’s new Additive business, and even a new NASA 3D printing challenge for students.

Creaform offers 50 3D scanning software licenses to educational institutions

It’s been a big week for 3D printing in education, with lots of new offers for schools and students. Creaform is the latest company to join the trend, as it is now offering 50 free bundle licences for its VXmodel and VXinspect 3D measurement software to the education sector.

The free license bundles for Creaform’s scan-to-CAD VXmodel software and its VXinspect dimensional software will be included when educational institutions purchase any of Creaform’s 3D scanners or portable CMMs.

In addition to the 50 free bundle licenses, Creaform’s educational packages also include a one-year warranty for parts and labor, five years of software updates and technical support, two system maintenance appointments, and a manual to learn reverse engineering and quality control and inspection processes.

“Creaform has always been firmly committed to helping educational institutions teach and master metrology solutions to better prepare students for research projects and the job market,” said Stéphane Auclair, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Creaform. “This new Educational Package will enable professors and researchers to take their curriculum to a whole new level.”

Creaform adds that its technology can be useful in the classroom setting to help teach various 3D measuring methods, and for exploring product design and other engineering applications.

GKN launches new 3D printing brand GKN Additive

Global engineering company GKN has announced the launch of its new GKN Additive brand. The new division will gather all of GKN’s 3D printing activities together under one umbrella.

“The benefits of AM are significant, both for our customers and the world around us in terms of greener, more efficient production,” commented Jos Sclater, Head of Strategy at GKN. “There is also a tangible feeling that manufacturing is suddenly a very exciting place to be for the brightest and best engineering talent. That is great for the future of the industry and I am delighted that GKN Additive will be at the forefront of this revolution.”

GKN is no stranger to additive manufacturing, as the company has been working with 3D printing for years, with a speciality in powder-based metal 3D printing. Through GKN Additive, the company will continue its additive work in the aerospace and automotive sectors with the help of its four global centers of excellence.

“By bringing our AM expertise together in GKN Additive, we are not only able to continue supporting existing customers in our core aerospace and automotive markets, but also to explore entirely new AM markets too,” added Sclater. “It is an exciting step for GKN and a statement of our AM intent.”

GE Additive signs MoU with GKN to ‘collaborate on additive manufacturing’

More news from GKN: GE Additive, Concept Laser, and Arcam AB have signed an MoU with GKN to “collaborate on additive manufacturing.” The agreement will see GKN become a GE Additive Production partner and a non-exclusive preferred supplier of metal powders to GE Additive and the other affiliated companies.

Other provisions in the agreement include GE and its affiliates becoming “non-exclusive preferred suppliers of AM machines” to GKN; GKN collaborating with GE Additive to develop powder-based 3D printed parts for new markets; and GE Additive’s AddWorks team assisting GKN on the “acceleration and industrialization” of 3D printing technologies.

“GE Additive and GKN both understand the transformative power that additive manufacturing will have in the aerospace and automotive industries,” commented Vice President and General Manager of GE Additive, Mohammad Ehteshami. “Additive machines from Concept Laser and Arcam will bring tremendous value to this GKN relationship and we look forward to collaborating more closely in the future.”

Jos Sclater, GKN’s head of strategy, added that together the companies will seek to “accelerate future developments” in 3D printing in order to meet the growing demand for the technology across a wide range of industries.

Just as GKN has founded GKN Additive, GE began GE Additive a year ago with the aim of centralizing its additive manufacturing efforts and honing them for its diverse client base. GE made headlines for its acquisition of German metal 3D printing company Concept Laser and Swedish AM company Arcam.

Canadian researchers receive funding for 3D printed skin graft research

The Biomaterials and Nanomedicine Laboratory at Canada’s University of Manitoba has received funding from the the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to develop drug-loaded nanoparticles that target tumor cells.

Malcolm Xing, an Emerging Leader in Biomedical Engineering and Nanomedicine at the University of Manitoba, is also attempting to make 3D printed nanocomposites for skin grafts that can be used to treat foot ulcers in diabetics.

The 3D printing research is one of four research projects at the university to have received a total of CA$1.2 million ($957K) in funding. This investment is part of a wider initiative from CFI to invest over CA$554 million ($442M) in 117 new infrastructure projects across the country’s university network.

“I thank the Government of Canada and the Canada Foundation for Innovation for this funding to support my research program,” Xing commented. “Our lab aims to develop new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Materials/Medicine/Mathematics) for stem cells and organs. This will lead to a better life for all.”

Earlier this year, Xing and other Manitoba researchers developed 3D printable “self-healing” hydrogels designed to repair themselves in response to light, temperature, or other stimuli.

NASA seeks 3D printed multi-use tools as part of Two for the Crew Challenge

NASA and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation have invited students to design 3D printed multi-use tools that “combine the functions of two objects” being used by crew aboard the International Space Station.

Aimed at K-12 students, the challenge asks contestants to invent multi-use tools and customized equipment that can help astronauts with “maintenance, medical, trash management, and the challenge of securing and storing items in microgravity.”

As part of the free-to-enter challenge, students are encouraged to learn about concepts like mass and volume, while also honing their engineering and 3D design skills.

Two for the Crew is the sixth space innovation challenge developed by Future Engineers and the ASME Foundation with technical assistance from NASA. It will be receiving entries until December 19, with a winner set to be announced on March 14, 2018.

The International Space Station’s Additive Manufacturing Facility 3D printer celebrated its first anniversary back in April.

3D printed medical implant specialist Stryker gets $3M Utah tax break

Fortune 500 medical technologies company Stryker, which has developed several titanium 3D printed medical implants, has won a $3.4 million tax rebate incentive from Utah to expand its neurotechnology training and manufacturing center in Salt Lake City.

This will allow the company to invest $100M in the facility over the next decade, putting those funds toward new research and development facilities and the development of stroke-care technology product manufacturing. The company will also take on 540 more workers.

“Stryker has cemented itself as a leader in global innovation and medical device manufacturing,” commented Theresa Foxley, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “With [its] continued expansion in Utah, Stryker adds to an already recognized and established life sciences and medical device manufacturing hub.”

The deal stipulates that Stryker must pay its workers 100 per cent of the average wage in Salt Lake County, which will add up to $192 million in wages and a consequent $17 million in state tax revenue.

“Stryker has been operating in the Salt Lake City area since 2011,” added Mark Paul, president of Stryker’s neurovascular division. “During that time, we’ve benefited from the talented workforce and first-rate education, research, and healthcare facilities in the area. We are excited to continue our expansion of Stryker’s operations and partner with state and local government in the future.”

Earlier this year, Stryker teamed up with GE Additive to improve 3D printing in the healthcare sector.

 

 

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