Oct 15, 2016 | By Benedict

Everyone may be talking about Clinton vs Trump, but our 3D printing news roundup sees two graphene-based 3D printing filaments vying for your vote. In other news: Airbus and Stratasys strike a deal, Nano Dimension expands into 3D bioprinting, and the Boy Scouts of America get 3D printing.

1. Award-winning medical 3D printing startup rings NASDAQ Stock Market bell

Shares in major 3D printing companies may be falling, but Monday’s opening bell at New York City’s NASDAQ Stock Market was rung loud and true by the cofounders of 3D printing startup TriFusion Devices, winner of the 2016 Rice Business Plan Competition (RBPC). Cofounders Blake Teipel and Brandon Sweeney took part in the ceremony after their 3D printing venture impressed judges at the global startup contest. According to its creators, the young company offers breakthrough 3D printing products and services aimed at revolutionizing the healthcare and sports equipment industries, meeting the needs of both amputees and prosthetists.

Prior to its competition prize and NASDAQ escapades, TriFusion Devices was brought onto the scene by Startup Aggieland, an award-winning business incubator and accelerator program at Texas A&M University. With the help of Startup Aggieland, as well as other university initiatives,such as the National Science Foundation I-Corps program, TriFusion was able to perfect its medical 3D printing solution, which creates custom-fit prosthetic devices within 48 hours, and eventually received a $400,000 cheque from RBPC.

“Be on the lookout for this company,” said Don Lewis, the 3D printing company’s mentor and coach at Startup Aggieland. “They are a team to watch because of what they do. They’ve created a revolutionary way to 3D print plastics that are extremely durable and strong, and they are crafting them into very useful objects, like the prosthetics.”


2. Airbus standardizes on Stratasys additive manufacturing for A350 XWB aircraft supply chain

Next time you take a flight, just think how many parts of your aircraft will be 3D printed in just a few decades time. On Thursday, Airbus and Stratasys shook hands on what could be a significant deal in the aerospace additive manufacturing world, with the aircraft manufacturer standardizing on Stratasys’ ULTEM 9085 3D printing material for the production of flight parts for the A350 XWB aircraft.

ULTEM 9085, a resin 3D printing material used in FDM 3D printers, is certified to an Airbus material specification, and combines a high strength-to-weight ratio with FST (flame, smoke, and toxicity) compliance for aircraft flight parts. According to Stratasys, the material enables the production of strong yet lighter parts while lowering manufacturing costs and production time. Use of additive manufacturing with the resin material will enable Airbus to produce parts on demand and at locations optimized for delivery to final assembly lines. “In 2014 Airbus produced a significant amount of parts on its Stratasys FDM-based 3D Printers for use in new A350 XWB aircraft, enabling Airbus to meet delivery commitments on-time,” commented Andy Middleton, President, Stratasys EMEA.


3. Nano Dimension to develop 3D bioprinter through new subsidiary

Israeli 3D printer manufacturer Nano Dimension, which recently began shipping its DragonFly 20 20 PCB 3D printer, confirmed on Monday that it will conduct R&D in the field of 3D bioprinting following successful initial trials, forming a new subsidiary for its bioprinting research. In May, the company announced a successful proof of concept for 3D printing bio-ink containing stem cells. Now, with several companies expressing interest in the company’s bioprinting technology, the Nano Dimension board has given the green light to its R&D team to start work on a 3D bioprinter.

Nano Dimension’s previous endeavors in the bioprinting world involved teaming up with Israeli biotech firm Accellta to lab-test a proof-of-concept 3D bioprinter. The two companies combined Nano Dimension’s high-speed, high-precision inkjet capabilities with Accellta's stem cell suspension technologies and induced differentiation capabilities to produce a 3D bioprinter capable of printing living cells in an accurate manner. It is not yet known whether Nano Dimension will seek to collaborate with Accellta on its forthcoming research and development.

The new Nano Dimension subsidiary will expedite research and development in the field of bioprinting. As previously reported by Nano Dimension, the parent company’s current capital will not be used for the bio-printing activities, though the company could have reason to be confident about investing in such technology: IDTechEx forecasts that the market for 3D bioprinting will grow rapidly over the next decade from a market size of $481 million in 2014 to as much as $6 billion in 2024.


4. Haydale Graphene Industries sees surge in demand for graphene 3D printing material

Haydale Graphene Industries, a British manufacturer of graphene materials and products, has reportedly received over 140 enquiries from clients looking to use or distribute its graphene-enhanced PLA 3D printing filament since the product’s August launch. According to the company, the interest has come from universities, 3D printers, 3D equipment manufacturers, and 3D filament distributors, many of whom had a chance to see the product at September’s TCT Show in Birmingham, UK.

At present, Haydale uses 3DFilaPrint as its UK and Ireland distributor, but has claimed interest from companies all over the world wishing to act as distributors for the graphene-enhanced PLA. The material supposedly outperforms engineering polymers such as ABS and PETG. “PLA based filaments are relatively easy to 3D print with and the addition of graphene has made this into a material with engineering or industrial properties,” commented 3DFilaPrint’s Tim Kay.


5. Graphene 3D Labs files patent for new graphene composite 3D printing material 

In what was clearly a busy week for graphene, New York-based Graphene 3D announced on Thursday that it has developed a state-of-the-art graphene composite 3D printing material intended for users in the automotive, robotics, drone, and aerospace industries, as well as military sectors. The material, which will be available as both a 3D printing material and in pellet form for injection molding and thermoforming, will be marketed under the trade name “G6-ImpactTM.”

Graphene 3D has filed a provisional patent application for G6-ImpactTM, covering methods of production and formulation as well as potential applications. According to the company, the 3D printing material features excellent rigidity and absorption for both impact and vibration, while its high performance is ensured by a proprietary formulation and production method. G6-ImpactTM will be suited to applications where vibration damping is required on rigid surfaces, examples of which could include sporting gear, power tools handles, automotive parts, and aerospace components.

The new G6-ImpactTM composite material is based on a combination of high impact polystyrene (HIPS) resin, carbon fibers, and graphene nanoplatelets. It will be manufactured by Graphene 3D at its New York facility.


6. Stratasys partners with New Zealand university on 3D printing deal

New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington has signed an agreement with 3D printing giant Stratasys, joining the company’s Voxel Print Program to experiment with Stratasys PolyJet 3D printing systems in a research setting. The university becomes only the eighth research group in the world with access to the Stratasys voxel-printing equipment.

“PolyJet machines can print very complex things,” commented Ross Stevens, Victoria’s Industrial Design programme director. “They use droplets of resin, or liquid, which are then cured by ultraviolet light to form shapes. There’s also the ability to incorporate up to six different materials, making the final product look and feel however you want—playing with color, translucency and hardness.”

In addition to receiving 3D printing equipment from Stratasys, Victoria will also be able to call upon 3D printing experts at the company who will critique the university’s research to make sure it is relevant and in an area not yet explored. Victoria will also share its progress with the seven other institutes participating in the Voxel Print Program, and hopes that the potential of the 3D printing scheme will attract international students—particularly at the Master’s level—to the New Zealand university.


7. Boy Scouts of America to 3D print keepsakes following licensing agreement

Custom 3D printed product specialist Adamation has entered into a licensing agreement with the Boy Scouts of America to offer personalized 3D printed ornaments for youth, adult volunteers, families, and friends of the society. The keepsakes, featuring photographs and user-selected scout ornaments, will be printed using Color Jet Print 3D technology and sold on the myKeepsake website. “This is a transformative opportunity that we believe will define a new product category for personalized keepsakes, utilizing assets from popular brands," said Stephan Adams, Managing Partner for Adamation, in a press release posted on Wednesday.

Adamation, which also makes items for the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, will make its customized 3D printed keepsakes from earth-friendly sandstone finished with a durable non-toxic coating to enhance the colors of the item. The agreement between Adamation and the Boy Scouts was facilitated by Source3, a New York-based licensing and rights administration service provider.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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