Jul 8, 2017 | By David

The 3D printing indusry continues to evolve on a near-daily basis, as does the technology itself. Here's a brief summary of some recent developments you might have missed, including Nano Dimension completing recruitment for its 3D printing beta program, and Safran getting the first EASA certification for a major gas turbine engine part made using 3D printing.

Nano Dimension completes recruitment of new members to its beta 3D printing program

Nano Dimension, one of the market leaders in 3D printed electronics, launched a beta program at the end of 2016, and it has now completed recruiting new applicants. The goal of the beta program, which began in the second half of 2016, was to enable Nano Dimension’s initial penetration into the market by working with leading customers. Feedback was received that has been used to upgrade and refine the technology, printing capabilities, and the work processes of the company's latest DragonFly 2020 3D printer.

Nano Dimension has leased out its 3D printer to 16 different companies, across a variety of industries such as defense, consumer goods, medical devices, and financial services. Their using the DragonFly 2020 has provided strong evidence that the printer allows the acceleration of product development cycles, strengthening of in-house innovation capabilities, and secure research and development intellectual property.

According to Amit Dror, CEO of Nano Dimension: "We are pleased to have reached an important milestone by achieving our beta program targets, and completing the recruitment of new applicants to the program. During the program, we achieved technological progress by working with a wide range of leading customers, and we also built a positive brand within our target audiences. We are currently targeting early access commercial sales." The third quarter of 2017 is when commercial sales are expected to start.

AVIO AERO to produce 3D printed components for GE's Advanced Turboprop engine

Italian aviation company Avio Aero is due to use 3D printing technology to produce components for General Electric’s Advanced Turboprop (ATP) engine. The company, which is owned by GE Aviation, will install the first 3D printing systems at its Brindisi facility from 2018, and the first production activities will start between the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. The facility will be making use of DMLM (direct metal laser melting) 3D printing technology and will be the second Avi Aero plant to implement 3D printing after Cameri (Novara), which specializes in EBM (electron beam melting).

The ATP, a project led by the Centre of Excellence for Engine Development, which was established in Italy, will be the first turboprop to include 3D-printed parts. 13 components will be 3D printed, ranging from the combustion chamber to various structural elements. 3D printing technology allowed the design to be drastically simplified, reducing the total number of parts in the engine by about 30%.

'Additive manufacturing is one of the enabling technologies in which Avio Aero is investing,' said Riccardo Procacci, Avio Aero Chairman and CEO. 'It's now more than 10 years since we built the first prototypes, and today at Cameri - and soon also at Brindisi - we are using this technology to produce extremely innovative and, above all competitive, aviation engine components. Avio Aero is very proud of its achievements in this area. They would not have been possible without the priceless know-how developed by our engineers at Cameri, merged with the excellent reputation and commitment of our Brindisi employees.’’

Safran receives first 3D printing EASA certification for major printed gas turbine engine part 

Leading global technology company Safran Power Units has reached a significant milestone in the field of 3D printing by getting the first certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for an auxiliary power unit (APU) made with additive manufacturing technology. This certification paves the way for its mass production, and it is the first major part of its kind made in this way.

The part is a turbine nozzle for the eAPU60 on the Leonardo AW189 helicopter, and it was manufactured using the Selective Laser Melting (SLM) technique. The powder was hastelloy X, a nickel-based material. Conventionally machined by inconel casting, 3D printing has enabled the part to be 35% lighter, and it is now comprised of only four components, compared to eight prior to the new manufacturing technique. Extensive endurance tests were carried out at very high temperatures on a test bench at the Safran Power Units site in Toulouse before the part was submitted for certification.

"Safran Power Units now has complete mastery of the additive manufacturing process, which includes the ability to design differently, while exploiting the optimization potential in terms of industrial implementation. This allows us to offer our customers lighter engine components and reduced manufacturing cycles, whether for new or spare parts. All of our programs will progressively adopt this new manufacturing process" said François Tarel, CEO of Safran Power Units.

SPU is a long-time military supplier and will be providing APUs for the Bombardier Global 7000/8000 and the Dassault Falcon 5X, which are its first civil fixed-wing platforms. It previously teamed with Pratt & Whitney on these projects before taking them over in 2014.

Massivit 3D more than triples its business after launch of its Massivit 1800 3D printer

Massivit 3D, a manufactuer of large-scale 3D printing platforms, has announced growth of 350 percent since its Massivit 1800 system was launched last year at drupa 2016. The company has managed to secure more than 30 customers from 15 different countries on five continents, and it has also expanded its global distributor network to 25 members. It is now also providing a comprehensive customer service and training support.

One of Massivit’s new customers is OMUS, an on-demand 3D printing service for companies in retail, architecture, and other fields. In December 2016, OMUS teamed up with Louis Vuitton to create the first 3D printed point-of-sale location. SuperSize is another company that has been helped out by Massivit’s innovative 3D printing technology. A subsidiary of Israel’s largest retailer, Heida Group, the company has harnessed the capabilities of Massivit’s flagship 3D printer to augment its operations in the retail, advertising and exhibition sectors. The company recently used the Massivit 1800 to print a 1.8m tall flamingo for a luxury private event.

Ofer Gal, Heida Group’s Founder and Chairman, said that ‘'our Massivit 1800 not only adds a new dimension to our portfolio but it’s our solution of choice for statement pieces... With the ability to quickly combine luxury with head-turning appeal.’’ According to Avner Israeli, CEO of Massivit 3D, “The immediate impact that the Massivit 1800 3D printer is having on our customers’ ability to grow their business, reflects its ability to successfully fill a technology gap in the market. Additionally, it demonstrates that brand or marketing managers within their own customer base are always seeking to maximise their budgets and add as much WOW-factor as possible to their campaigns.”

Stratasys expands partnership with Ricoh to drive 3D printing adoption in New Zealand

Stratasys Asia Pacific, subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd, announced this week it has expanded its partnership with Ricoh New Zealand Ltd. (Ricoh New Zealand), a subsidiary of Ricoh Company, Ltd. Japan. Ricoh will be representing the entire Stratasys product line, in addition to the existing MakerBot line. The move is aimed to improve the availability of [Stratasys'] 3D printing products and help drive adoption in New Zealand, as well as help local organizations accelerate their transformation to digital manufacturing and maximize business potential.

"We believe that additive manufacturing is one of the technologies integral for companies to realize industry 4.0, and we are committed to equipping customers with the most suitable 3D printing solution, from a desktop printer up to production system, helping them innovate and maximize efficiency with the support of trusted local partners," commented Shiry Saar, ANZ Manager for Stratasys. "We are confident that this partnership will help us to better understand the local information technology and industrial automation landscape in New Zealand, thereby helping more companies optimize production capabilities and expand business opportunities."

Trinseo resins now offered as filament for 3D printing

Trinseo (NYSE:TSE), the global materials solution provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, announced on July 3, 2017 that its Consumer Essential Markets (CEM) business unit has partnered with Advanc3D Materials, a materials supplier for additive manufacturing, to produce filament made of Trinseo resins.

Trinseo products that are now available in filament form from Advanc3D Materials are:
• MAGNUM™ 8391 MED ABS Resins
• MAGNUM™ 3453 ABS Resins
• MAGNUM™ 3904 ABS Resins
• EMERGE™ 7700 Advanced Resins

These specialty resin grades not only have the elastomeric properties required for additive manufacturing but also include – depending on the grades -- biocompatibility testing, FDA food contact compliance, ignition resistance and matte and glossy finishes.

Spools of material are available in 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm diameters, to accommodate the two 3D Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) printer options.

Trinseo resins are currently used by customers in the CEM industries of Medical, Lighting, Electrical and Consumer Electronics sectors.

"Both CEM and Advanc3D Materials have been interested in providing filament under brands that are known and trusted," said Philippe Belot, business director of Trinseo CEM. "By offering filament through Advan3D Materials, CEM is making it easier for our existing and new customers to access our brands which are trusted by the marketplace and approved for application use. Customers can use 3D printing with the same grades approved for injection molding, thus enabling fast prototyping, production of complex parts, and highly customized small production runs in an effective way."

Sigma Labs announces alliance with OXYS Corporation to Bring Industrie 4.0 solutions to additive manufacturing

Sigma Labs, a provider of quality assurance software under the PrintRite3D® brand, announced on Thursday that it has signed a Technology Development Agreement (TDA) with OXYS Corporation (www.oxyscorp.com), a technology company in Cambridge, MA working in the Industrie 4.0 space. The first project to be executed under the TDA will be a new architecture platform for the Company's PrintRite3D® INSPECT. The Company expects that the completed project will allow for miniaturization of the sensor/hardware PrintRite3D® product, enhancements to the level of hardware/software integration moving it towards board-level integration, as well as broaden the market reach of the Company's PrintRite3D® technology to the Smart Factory and the larger Digital Enterprise, including polymer-based 3D printing.

Mark Cola, CEO of Sigma Labs, observed that "Industrie 4.0 is so named because it represents the fourth industrial revolution and a new way of thinking of both the factory as well as the broader digital enterprise. The first three industrial revolutions brought us mechanization, mass production, and computerization respectively. Industrie 4.0 represents the complete interconnectedness of the digital enterprise across multiple dimensions. [...] Our collaboration with OXYS represents a first but important step for Sigma Labs to enter this broader world of applications, markets, and value creation for our customers."

Giro DiBiase, CEO of OXYS Corporation, added, "As a first step with Sigma Labs, we plan to work on an Industrie 4.0 compatible version of their solutions for Additive Manufacturing. Then we will work with them to significantly expand market presence and opportunities to many other processes in the manufacturing and smart factory domain."

Melania Trump Got 3D Printed hot-pink heels in Poland

REX Shutterstock

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited Warsaw, Poland, where he gave a speech and she met with Polish first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda. The two first ladies visited the Copernicus Science Center, the largest science centre in Poland. During their stop, two girls presented the women with souvenirs that they made. Melania got a tiny, 3D-printed model of a hot pink stiletto, made to match her Delpozo dress.

The first lady gave a speech to a crowd of Polish people about her trip to the school: "I think all of us can agree people should be able to live their lives without fear, no matter what country they live in. That is my wish for all of us around the world."

A closer look at the 3-D-printed heel.
REX Shutterstock


Posted in 3D Printer Company



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