Oct 8, 2016 | By Benedict

The first week of October was a busy one for 3D printing, with Stratasys and Future Engineers delivering 3D printing contest news, Graphene 3D and Airwolf 3D dropping filament news, and Toys R Us announcing it will stock family-friendly XYZprinting 3D printers. Here’s the weekly roundup:

1. Graphene 3D introduces Conductive Flexible TPU Filament

Graphene 3D announced on Wednesday that it is releasing Conductive Flexible TPU Filament, a new electrically conductive and flexible 3D printing material developed by the company at its New York facility. The 3D printing material, available in 1.75 mm spools, is ideal for applications involving flexible sensors, electromagnetic and radiofrequency shielding, flexible conductive traces, and electrodes to be used in wearable electronics.

“Additive manufacturing is enabling technology for small innovative companies that use 3D printing to make their prototypes,” said Graphene 3D co-CEO Daniel Stolyarov. “By adding the Conductive Flexible TPU Filament to our product line of functional 3D printing filaments, we have expanded the capabilities of 3D printing, thereby shortening the road from the development to the commercial application. We believe that our new filament will perform well in thriving entrepreneurial communities such as with developers of new wearable electronics products.”

Conductive Flexible TPU Filament specs:

  • Price: $45
  • Diameter: 1.75 mm (±0.1 mm)
  • Weight: 100 grams
  • Color: Black (Matte finish)
  • Base Resin: Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
  • Hardness: Shore 90 A
  • Volume resistivity <1.25 Ω-cm
  • Improved UV stability ( suitable for outdoor use)


2. Stratasys kicks off 2017 Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge

On Tuesday, 3D printing giant Stratasys kicked off the 13th Annual Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge with a formal call for entries. The contest is supported by digital manufacturing hub GrabCAD, and invites scholars of engineering, design, and art, jewelry, and architecture to create an original piece or redesign an existing work using 3D printing. All designs must be mechanically sound, realistic, and achievable, while submissions are analyzed and judged based on mechanical design, design creativity, product usefulness, aesthetics (art, jewelry, and architecture only), and a compelling description.

For the 2017 edition of the event, first-place winners in each category will receive $2,500 (USD) scholarships, while instructors of first-place students will receive a demo 3D printer in their classroom for a limited time. Second place winners will receive $1,000 (USD) scholarships. The top 10 entries in each category will earn a Stratasys apparel item (value up to $50 USD) and a 3D printed model of their design. All teams and individuals will receive an official Extreme Redesign T-Shirt.

To submit an entry to the competition, teams or individuals need to create their design using 3D CAD software before submitting it in STL format through GrabCAD. The deadline for the following categories is March 9, 2017:

  • Engineering: Secondary Education (middle/high school)
  • Engineering: Post-Secondary (university, college, or post-secondary)
  • Art, Jewelry & Architecture (any grade level)


3. Mouser Electronics, Grant Imahara, Local Motors demonstrate 3D printed autonomous vehicle

Semiconductor and electronic component specialist Mouser Electronics has teamed up with 3D printed vehicle sensation Local Motors and celebrity engineer Grant Imahara to develop a 3D printed autonomous vehicle. The trio posted a video on Thursday which shows the new vehicle design, based on the winning entry from the "Essence of Autonomy" global design contest. The concept car features a drone mounted on the rear of the vehicle that, when launched, gives the driver an unprecedented birds-eye view of the surroundings while the car is in self-driving mode. The driver can then watch the drone’s footage on the windshield via a viewing screen, providing a 360-degree perspective of the surroundings.

The new design is a variant on the Local Motors Strati, one of the most iconic 3D printed cars in the world. The drone element, however, is a completely new feature, and the result of a truly collaborative project. “The Mouser Strati is helping us envision some of the endless possibilities that self-driving vehicles could offer,” said Local Motors Co-founder and CEO John B. Rogers, Jr. “This ambitious project showcases the creative power of our co-creation community as well as our ability to build cutting-edge vehicles at a rapid pace.”


4. Sander Nijssen joins 3D printer manufacturer Formlabs as Head of Operations & Finance

Formlabs, the 3D printing company behind the Form 2 SLA 3D printer, announced on Wednesday that Sander Nijssen is joining its European leadership team to lead operations and finance. Prior to joining Formlabs, Nijssen worked as managing director of iversity, the leading German online education platform, where he raised helped raise several rounds of equity financing. Before that, Nijssen was CFO of The New Motion, a company specializing in charging solutions for electric cars.

The appointment of Nijssen represents another important step for Formlabs, whose European arm recently tripled its staff and is expanding into a larger office in Berlin. The 3D printer manufacturer hopes that Nijssen’s experience in in growing and building companies will help it grow in Europe. “To build the best 3D printer, you need to have the best team, and we’re delighted to have Sander joining us,” said Michael Sorkin, General Manager of Formlabs Europe. “Sander has built innovative hardware companies before and understands the operational challenges that come with it. His track-record as a leader in operations and finance speaks for itself.”


5. Renishaw to manufacture 3D printed medical devices at new healthcare facility in Wales

Precision engineering company Renishaw announced on Thursday that it is opening a dedicated healthcare facility at its South Wales site in the UK. The center will provide a facility for the manufacture of 3D printed medical devices, as well as education and training for the life sciences community. The Renishaw Healthcare Centre of Excellence contains a mock non-sterile operating theatre, educational and training facilities, and a metal 3D printing area for producing class 3 custom medical devices.

Renishaw’s metal 3D printing systems, which will be used to fabricate custom medical devices at the new facility, are made at the Miskin site in a production hall adjacent to the Healthcare Centre of Excellence. The company’s range of powder bed fusion metal 3D printers includes the RenAM 500M, AM400, and AM250. Earlier this year, Renishaw partnered with BioHorizons to develop 3D printed dental abutments for false teeth.


6. Future Engineers announces Think Outside the Box 3D printing contest winners

Future Engineers, along with NASA and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation, has announced the two winners from Future Engineers’ Think Outside the Box Challenge, a national 3D printing design challenge issued to K-12 students to celebrate the launch of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), the first expandable habitat deployed on the space station. The announcement was made on Thursday.

With 122 designs from 26 states submitted to the contest, the Future Engineers judges—which included retired astronaut Nicole Stott—had a tough time selecting just one winner per age division. After careful consideration, the panel chose Thomas Salverson’s Expanding Pod design (Teen Group, 13-19) and Emily Takara’s Space Anchor design (5-12). The two students will receive a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, for a tour of Bigelow Aerospace. Each student finalist (four per category) has been awarded a Heimplanet inflatable tent and a $50 3D printing gift certificate from Shapeways.

The 3D printing challenge asked students to to design a useful-for-astronauts 3D printable object that assembles or expands to become larger than the printing area of the Made In Space AMF 3D printer, located on the International Space Station. Salverson’s Expanding Pod is a set of small containers with sliding and twisting stowage components; Takara’s Space Anchor is an extendable arm and grabber set that prevents astronauts from getting stuck while floating in microgravity.


7. Airwolf 3D goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and 3D printing materials company Airwolf 3D is doing its bit to raise awareness. After discussing how they could contribute to the worthy cause, Airwolf staff—each of whom has been personally affected by breast cancer in some way—decided they could get customers printing in pink by selling its pink PLA filament at half price during the month. Additionally, for every spool of pink filament sold, Airwolf 3D will donate $2 to the Susan B. Komen Foundation.

Airwolf 3D wants to see how makers are using the discount pink filament, and is consequently running a weekly contest throughout the month. Makers simply need to post their pink 3D print on social media with the hashtag #Pink3DPrint and Airwolf 3D will choose a winner at random each week, who will then be able to receive a free spool of PLA or ABS filament in the color of their choice.


8. RPS launches NEOS 800 stereolithography 3D printer

RP Support (RPS), a UK-based stereolithography specialist, has launched the NEOS 800 stereolithography 3D printer. The machine features a 800 x 800 x 600 mm build area, non-proprietary open resin system, and extensively tested components. The SLA system was first seen at the TCT Show, a 3D printing technology exhibition which took place in Birmingham, UK, at the end of September. “This is an exceptionally well engineered system, designed and developed by people who understand the product,” commented RPS executive director David Storey.


9. Toys R Us teams with XYZprinting to stock family-friendly 3D printers

Last week, toymaker Mattel announced that its much-anticipated ThingMaker 3D printer had been pushed back a whole year so that the company could improve the “digital functionality” of the product. Fortunately, a new partnership between toy shop behemoth Toys R Us and 3D printer manufacturer XYZprinting means that kids will soon be able to get their hands on the most “family-friendly” 3D printers out there much sooner than fall 2017. As part of the agreement, the toy store will begin selling the lightweight and child-friendly da Vinci miniMaker, as well as the new da Vinci Mini and the slightly larger da Vinci Junior Wi-fi, both of which have Wi-fi connectivity.

The XYZprinting 3D printers will be available at select Toys R Us stores this year, with the range also available online. "XYZprinting’s range of plug-and-play 3D printers are specifically designed for people with no prior knowledge, so they’re perfect for families looking to explore the possibilities together, as well as being tremendous fun,” commented Andy Brocklehurst, director of merchandise at Toys R Us.


10. Autodesk launches Netfabb 2016 additive manufacturing solution

3D printing software specialist Autodesk has unveiled Autodesk Netfabb 2017, a “comprehensive toolkit for additive manufacturing professionals.” Using the software package, users can reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve part performance in industrial 3D printing production environments. Autodesk Netfabb 2017 integrates design enhancement, manufacturing preparation, and build simulation tools in one software environment that shares a common installer, common file formats, and process definitions. “Autodesk has created a single set of industrial tools that help move from design to finished part quickly and easily,” said Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager of digital manufacturing at Autodesk.

Autodesk acquired netfabb in 2015, and has since built upon the German startup’s industrial 3D printing software and services, adding enhanced simulation, optimization, and advanced toolpath capabilities that will provide engineers and designers with an array of additive design and manufacturing tools. New features include:

  • Rapid CAD>STL file handing
  • Powerful model editing tools
  • A simulation utility that provides fast and robust simulation of full layer deposition, predicting structural stresses and deformations in metal parts
  • A build support module that helps users create build supports
  • An advanced and powerful generative design enhancement feature
  • An advanced toolpath engine that specifies hatching patterns and control parameters such as print speed, focus, and laser or beam power

The new updates are available immediately and free for all existing Netfabb subscription customers. For new customers, the package is available in Standard, Premium, and Ultimate options.



Posted in 3D Printer



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