Sep 17, 2016 | By Benedict

It’s been another busy week of 3D printing activity, with big news from Carbon(3D), a fresh lawsuit for Formlabs, and some of the additive manufacturing industry’s major players going head to head (though not literally) at Chicago’s International Manufacturing Technology Show. In our second 3D printing roundup of the week, here are some extra updates from Materialise, UNYQ, XYZprinting, APWorks, and more.

1. Materialise launches Magics21 beta

Materialise, leading provider of additive manufacturing software and 3D printing solutions, this week released the beta version of Magics21, the latest version of its popular 3D printing data preparation software. The software enables users to convert, repair and edit files, and find an optimal position for a printed part on the build platform. Around 100 companies now have access to Magics21 after signing up for the beta program in advance.

The beta testers consist of companies from a broad range of fields, including automotive and aerospace, working with a range of 3D printing technologies. The group includes companies from across the world, so Magics will be available in eight languages for the first time ever. The public release of Magics21 will come in November, with all innovations in the release to be detailed during Frankfurt’s formnext conference.


2. UNYQ takes 3D printed scoliosis brace to White House

UNYQ, a 3D printed prosthetics and orthotics specialist based in San Francisco and Seville, Spain, this week brought its 3D printed scoliosis brace to an event at the White House hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and Office of Science and Technology Policy. The “UNYQ Align” brace combines 3D printing and digital design, powered by the Intel Curie module, into a lightweight device for sufferers of scoliosis, a condition which affects the spine.

For the special White House event, UNYQ teamed up with designer Studio Bitonti to create a new and incredibly stylish edition of the 3D printed brace, which was modeled by Grace Mosier, a 15-year-old with scoliosis. UNYQ and Bitonti were able to create a brace which not only surpasses fashion expectations, but also delivers in terms of material reduction and breathability, making the device as comfortable as it is trendy.

Around 7 million US citizens suffer from scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that afflicts both young and old. Bracing is the most common treatment for children and teens, with prescribed usage of up to 16-18 hours a day. Traditional braces make it difficult for patients to reach the minimum recommended bracing period per day because they are constricting, bulky and perceived as unattractive.

The 3D printed brace uses sensors to detect how long a user wears the device, and monitors pressure points to ensure fit and function. A mobile app collects the data for use by clinicians to make adjustments based on empirical data. At 3.5mm thick, the new brace is lightweight and slim enough to wear under a shirt. These innovations dramatically improve the patient’s experience and impact their willingness to wear the brace.


3. XYZprinting unveils $289.95 da Vinci Mini 3D printer

XYZprinting, the 3D printer manufacturer behind the popular da Vinci line of 3D printers, has launched its latest model, the da Vinci Mini. The sub-$300 printer is designed for users of all skill levels—businesses, students, makers, and more—and comes packed with features like embedded WiFi, auto-calibration, an auto-loading filament system, an aluminum print bed, and biodegradable PLA filament. The printer has a build volume of 5.9” x 5.9” x 5.9”.

“XYZprinting's new da Vinci Mini 3D printer addresses the needs of 3D printing enthusiasts without sacrificing quality and ease-of-use,” said Simon Chen, CEO of XYZprinting and New Kinpo Group. “No matter your level of 3D printing experience, the da Vinci Mini is the perfect tool to create high-quality products at an affordable price.”

A 3D printer could prove a particularly worthwhile investment for schools. Zack Boettcher from Milliken Elementary School in Colorado uses XYZprinting 3D printers to heighten his students' learning in the classroom. "For my classroom, 3D printing has been utilized as an exciting learning incentive for kids; where the winner gets to make their own print," Boettcher said. "Last summer, when it came to 3D printing, students were as engaged with the reward as they were with the lesson plan. My students got very excited whether it was just watching the da Vinci Mini print or experimenting with a design. With a 3D printer, as a teacher I was able to bring outside of the box problem solving skills to my students with the cool factor beyond the traditional classroom."


4. Luxexcel and A&R collaborate on quality control program for 3D printed lenses

Luxexcel, a leader in 3D printed optics, has teamed up with Automation and Robotics (A&R), a leading manufacturer of high-tech measurement equipment for optical labs, to develop a quality control program for 3D printed lenses. The program makes uses of A&R’s Dual LensMapper, and incorporates unique measurement technology and real-time manufacturing process evaluation tools.

“Together with A&R Automation and Robotics we have now started a quality control program which will allow us to assure that our 3D printed lenses will meet both industry and user requirements,” said Guido Groet, Luxexcel CMO. “Our continuous development efforts will bring us to imaging quality and we expect to be ready for certain applications in the course of 2017. The Dual LensMapper allows us to inspect the lenses in detail and take our quality control to the next level.”

According to the two companies, the accurate and high resolution “optical power error map” provided by the Dual LensMapper evaluates the ability of a digital 3D manufacturing method to replicate the expected theoretical design of a lens. While the requirements in transparency, surface smoothness, and accuracy have thus far limited the 3D printing of optics, developments like this new quality control program could accelerate growth in the industry.


5. APWorks receives EN 9100 Certification for Quality Management System

It was a good week for quality control all round, as Airbus APWorks received EN 9100 certification from TÜV Süd, an international service corporation focusing on consulting, testing, certification and training, for its quality assurance procedures. The EN 9100 is a prerequisite for becoming an aerospace supplier, and APWorks can now assure others that the quality requirements of its own processes and products are “fulfilled and are continuously improving.” The aerospace company received the certificate for the engineering and production of metallic products and sales of metallic powders for additive manufacturing.

In order to receive EN 9100 Certification, a gapless, traceable documentation of the entire supply chain of a product is required, on top of an integrated document management system. Another prerequisite is a risk management system, as well as the implementation of standardized company processes. In order to comply with the Certification, APWorks makes initial sample inspections for quality assurance. These initial sample inspections include destructive and non-destructive testing on the effective loads of a part. These tests include but are not limited to tensile tests, CT Scans and X-rays.

This summer, APWorks entered into an additive manufacturing partnership with product design specialist Altair, after the two companies successfully worked together on the Light Rider, a 3D printed electric motorcycle that weighs just 35 kg.


6. Simufact to launch process simulation software solution for metal additive manufacturing

Simufact Engineering, an MSC Software company and manufacturing process simulation specialist, this week announced the launch of Simufact Additive, a groundbreaking new software solution for the simulation of metal additive manufacturing processes. The German company’s scalable process simulation environment promises ‘right first time’ optimization of laser powder bed fusion processes, and provides simulations of all steps in the additive manufacturing process, including printing, heat treatment, removal from build plate, removal of supports, and heat and pressure combined processes (HIP).

The initial release of Simufact Additive will predict the final distortion and residual stresses of metal 3D printed parts, though future releases will include additional features. Using CAD data, modeling is carried out in an innovative and newly developed Graphical User Interface (GUI) aligned with the real process work flow. Renishaw, a manufacturer of metal additive manufacturing systems, has already got on board with the Simufact project, and will incorporate Simufact Additive into its QuantAM build preparation software.

Simufact Additive helps to compensate distortion, minimize residual stresses, and optimize process parameters, and is powered by an application-specific solver based on MSC’s powerful generic Marc solver. Using this solver, the software will be able to capture the complete process chain in the manufacturing environment and scale the simulation based on the user requirements. “Today companies employing AM technology for 3D printing metal parts have to cope with failure in their production processes and the high knock on costs associated with this,” said Michael Wohlmuth, Simufact CEO. “Simufact Additive is an important tool which will help these companies get it ‘right first time,’ by regularly running simulations prior to production.”


7. 3D printing app Morphi gets an update

Morphi, The Inventery’s 3D design and 3D printing app for iPad and Mac, this week received a version update, consisting of an entirely new set of tools and various tweaks and improvements. Morphi Edu, the program’s identical sister app for iPad volume discount purchases, was also released. The app is an extremely user-friendly design tool which lets users create 3D printable STL files using 3D shapes, text, hand drawings, images, and streamlined 3D modeling tools.

New features released this week include a Type Tool for creating 3D text in over 75+ fonts; a Transform Button where dimensions, rotation, and object positions can be inputted with the keyboard; a Pan Tool; and an advanced Color Tool with more colors, tints, and shades. Other features, such as object selection and movement, the Up/Down tool, and object tapping, have been refined or reworked.

Morphi is available on both iPad and Mac, with a 50% volume discount available on purchases of 20 or more units. The app was created in collaboration with Geometros using sgCore, and has a presence in almost 100 countries across six continents. It will soon be localized in several languages.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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