Apr 12, 2017 | By David

Here's a summary of some 3D printing news items that may have passed you by recently. Organovo has announced a new CEO, Wiiv Wearables has broken a 3D printing record on Kickstarter, and much more besides, in a typically busy week for the 3D printing industry.

1. ProtoLabs settles with Ico Products over 3D software patent dispute

A settlement has been reached by ProtoLabs and Ico Products, in an ongoing dispute related to infringement of patent. The dispute was related to Proto Labs’ proprietary quoting technology, and as a result of the settlement, the digital manufacturing company will receive monetary compensation as well as a stake in Ico Products. Founded in 1999, Proto Labs supplies prototypes and custom parts, and relies on automated quoting software that can analyze 3D CAD models to determine pricing, as well as giving feedback on manufacturability and other factors. Ohio-based plastics manufacturer Ico Products will, as part of the settlement, be able to continue making use of this software.

2. 3D bioprinting company Organovo announces new CEO

Groundbreaking bioprinting company Organovo has released a statement announcing a change in CEO. Effective April 21, Keith Murphy will be stepping down from his position, and the board of directors has chosen Taylor J. Crouch, previously CEO of clinical research company eStudySite, as his successor. Organovo has been at the forefront of 3D bioprinting for many years now, developing 3D human tissue models that have a number of different applications, from toxicology to surgery, as well as academic research.

Mr. Crouch, who holds a BSE in chemical engineering from Princeton University and an MBA in international marketing and finance from the University of Chicago, was positive about his new role: “I am excited and honored to succeed Keith as Organovo’s CEO. Keith is an exceptional leader who built Organovo into the strong global company it is today. I look forward to working with the seasoned management team and all my talented new colleagues to further advance 3D human tissue bioprinting technology."

3. Wiiv Wearables breaks 3D printing Kickstarter record with new Custom Fit Sandals

Headquartered in Vancouver, Wiiv Wearables has gained a solid reputation for creating impressive 3D printed wearable gear for fitness and athletic performance since it was founded in 2014. Its award-winning 3D body-scanning software allows anyone with a smartphone to capture a detailed 3D image, which can be used to manufacture customized footwear. Its latest project is for customized sandals, fitted according to highly specific details of a wearer’s foot. Using over 200 data points on each foot captured on camera, Wiivv's app allows computer algorithms to pinpoint the unique length, width and arch support of each customer's feet. The Custom Fit Sandal will feature custom arch supports, thong placements and straps, as well as triple-density recyclable foam footbeds, all at a relatively affordable price point.

Wiiv's Kickstarter campaign for the sandals has broken records for a 3D printed crowdfunding project. Wiiv has already surpassed its $250,000 target in less than a month, and now hopes to raise $600,000 to deliver an even higher quality sandal. Shamil Hargovan, CEO & Co-Founder of Wiivv and Forbes' 30 Under 30 recipient, is excited about the direction his company, and the industry at large, is moving in: "I'm thrilled to see footwear innovation powerhouse Adidas experiment with 3D printed footwear. However, we believe the true power of 3D printing lies in the ability to customize it to you, unique to 14 billion feet. Wiivv has developed the technology to enable people to do this from their smartphone. That's what we've done for the first time in the world with Wiivv Custom Fit Sandals."

4. Kabuku hosts German Federal Ministry of Transport to show impact of 3D printing on logistics

Leading Japanese digital manufacturing company Kabuku hosted a delegation from the German Ministry of Transport on April 4, at the head office in Shinjuku. Members of Logistics Alliance Germany, a public-private partnership, were also present. The delegates were there to learn about the impact 3D printing was having on logistics in Japan.

A presentation was given by Kabuku about its mass customization projects for two Japanese automotive manufacturers. After this, Kabuku CEO Masahiko Inada, Industrial Designer Yasuhide Yokoi, and Global Business Developer Sebastian Roser were also invited to speak on the panel “How to improve logistics processes through new technologies and digitalization” in Roppongi Hills Club in Tokyo. Insights on new logistics developments were shared, with Nippon Express Co., Ltd. cited as one of the major figures to have embraced the potential of 3D printing technology.

5. French tile manufacturer sees huge increase in productivity with new Xaar printhead for EVOSEVEN 3D printer

Founded in 1963, Parefeuille Provence is a major player in the world of tile manufacturing, providing products for interior and exterior use. Since early 2016 it has been making use of 3D printing technology for one of its three production lines. An EVOSEVEN digital 3D printer was installed by Projecta Engineering, and it has been used to make high quality granite and concrete tiles in a variety of colors.

Now the latest printhead from leading printhead manufacturer Xaar, the 1003C, has been installed on the EVOSEVEN 3D printer, and the company has experienced a significant improvement in print quality and output. The upgrade was a smooth process, and Production Manager Laurent Jacquemin is extremely positive about the changes it has made: “The big evolution we see with the Xaar 1003C is the significant reduction in maintenance and production downtime,” he said. “We have seen a three times improvement in the cleaning cycle compared with the Xaar 1002C printhead, and when we do stop for maintenance, the cleaning process is fully automatic and only takes one minute." The company, based in Avignon, France, is now planning to introduce a second 3D printer on one of its other production lines, which will also be making use of Xaar’s industry-leading products.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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I.AM.Magic wrote at 4/18/2017 8:21:36 AM:

Is it me or, the last bullet point is about tile decoration? Nothing to do with 3D printer.

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