Apr 15, 2017 | By David

Here's another roundup of what's been going on recently in the 3D printing world, with some brief stories that could have easily passed you by in another non-stop week of exciting developments. 3D printed implant company 4Web Medical has announced record growth for the first quarter of this year, and 3D Systems has reduced the price of its ProX SLS 500 3D printer, and more besides.

1. 3D printed implant company 4Web Medical announces record growth

Industry leader in 3D printed implant technology 4Web Medical chose the annual meeting of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS), held April 13, to announce their record fiscal quarter. The first quarter of 2017 saw the largest revenue since the company was founded in 2008, in Dallas, Texas. Success was mostly attributed to high demand for its Posterior Spine Truss System product line, used for TLIF procedures. Investments in sales and distribution infrastructure also contributed to the record achievement.

According to Jim Bruty, 4WEB's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, "The proliferation of 3D printed titanium implants across the industry has fueled the market adoption of these devices in spine surgery." Increased bone implant surface interface and more volume for bone through-growth were cited as two of the main advantages 4WEB Medical’s implants offered over other products. 4WEB is named after the unique geometrical structure that was discovered around the time the company was started, that can be used to make lightweight structures with a high degree of strength. The 4WEB Medical product portfolio includes the Cervical Spine Truss System, the Anterior Spine Truss System, the Posterior Spine Truss System, the Lateral Spine Truss System, and the Osteotomy Truss System.


2. 3D Systems reduces price of its Pro X SLS 500 3D printing system

In a move that is intended to encourage more widespread implementation of its 3D printing technology, 3D Systems has announced a 30 percent reduction in the price of the Pro X SLS 500 3D printing system. As 3D printing is increasing in popularity across the manufacturing industry, 3D systems are looking to grab a bigger share of the market. This reduction will bring the total cost of operations for their Pro X SLS 500 in line with similar competing systems, starting at around €250,000.

"The ProX SLS 500 is winning deals today because of its superior capabilities; the new price point makes it accessible to additional customers, which we believe will enable us to increase our installed base faster and be more competitive in the market," said Jim Ruder, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Plastics, 3D Systems. The Pro X SLS 500 boasts one of the lowest amounts of waste for any 3D printing system, and automation means that it can produce parts up to 7 times faster than a standard FDM machine.


3. Additive Orthopaedics gets FDA clearance for new 3D printed orthopaedics device

The FDA has given the go-ahead for a 3D printed Locking Lattice Plating System developed by Additive Orthopaedics to be used in surgical applications. This clearance will be a huge boon for the company and for the medical world, which has been making use of other FDA-approved Additive Orthopaedics products since the end of last year. Over 300 of their devices have been implanted since the first full commercial launch.

The new 3D printed Locking Lattice Plating System is intended to address stabilization and fusion of fractures, osteotomies, and arthrodesis of small bones. According to Greg Kowalczyk, President of Additive Orthopaedics, "We are excited to be one of the first companies to leverage the geometric flexibility, clinical advantages and manufacturing cost benefits of additive manufacturing in the orthopaedic plating market.’’


4. Autodesk announces end of its Open Source Ember 3D Printer range

Since it launched 2014, the Ember 3D printer has been an influential product in the industry, inspiring new companies to develop materials for SLA printing that were previously not possible. Autodesk worked beside several clients to develop new, efficient 3D printing network production processes, demonstrating how 3D print speed can be impacted with a connected system and how it is possible to achieve sub-pixel resolution.

Now Autodesk has announced that it will no longer be manufacturing 3D printers, and will be transitioning sales of all Ember consumables, including resins, trays, and build heads, to Colorado Photopolymer Solutions. Part of this range will be a new investment casting resin developed in partnership between the two companies, offering very clean burning and excellent detail in printed parts. Ember’s Print Studio is also being succeeded by Netfabb.


5. ECU professor 3D prints full-color flowers from the Pocono Mountains

Darlene Farris-LaBar, an Art and Design professor at East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvannia, will soon be displaying her work at a number of locations in the U.S and internationally. She took photos of flowers with a macro iPhone lens while hiking in the Swiss mountain range, using these as the basis for her 3D printed replicas.

She has made 60 3D printed flowers, that will be part of an exhibition called “A Planet that Dreams” at the Eckert Gallery at Performing Arts Center at Millersville. They will also be exhibited at shows in Greece, Brazil and England. Her work was intended to encourage environmental awareness of the Pocono region.


6. 3D printer manufacturer Aleph Objects eyes significant expansion

Based in Colorado, Aleph Objects has been experiencing some impressive growth recently, mostly thanks to its award-winning LulzBot 3D printers. Now the company will be expanding its physical footprint and financial flexibility, with the purchase of a new facility and a $3m line of credit with the Bank of West.

The LulzBot design philosophy was freedom, getting as many people as possible involved in 3D printing and fast prototyping without any limitations on their creativity. It is this that proved to be so popular with customers, and saw Aleph Objects listed as the United States’ fastest growing privately-held computer hardware company on the 2016 Inc. 500 list. The new building in Loveland, Colorado, is located across the street from scenic Lake Loveland, and has 3 floors over 6,500 square feet. It features a creative studio for content production as well as numerous collaborative spaces. According to Julie Pettit, Aleph Objects’ R&D Manager, ‘’Additional space will increase our efficiency so we can get next generation LulzBot technology in customers’ hands sooner.” 



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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