Sep 22, 2017 | By David

Here's another summary of 3D printing news stories you might have missed, to keep you up to speed with the latest developments. Recently we saw Formalloy release a new 3D printer, UK's Lancaster University appoint a new metal 3D printing research chair, and much more besides.

1. Eaton uses 3D printing to develop new low-cost turbine

U.S power management company Eaton has announced plans to develop new hydropower turbines at many non-powered dams and waterways throughout the country. This is part of a government scheme, organized by the Department of Energy. Eaton received the contract this year, and this will be the second phase of the agreement.

Eaton will be producing and testing low-cost integrated hydropower turbine and generator sets, which are aimed at improving the cost-effectiveness of hydropower plants (HPPs). 3D printing technology will be used to produce innovative products that should cut engineering costs and the overall cost of energy for HPPs.

The project will allow the DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) to upgrade and expand HPPs in the US. The DOE estimates that the US has over 50 GW of untapped potential at existing small-scale hydropower resources.

2. 3D printing chemicals company BASF to acquire Solvay’s polyamide division

Chemicals giant BASF has been providing chemicals for a huge range of industries for many years now, and boasts a growing portfolio of products that are specifically designed for the development of 3D printing materials. The company recently announced that it would be expanding its business further with the acquisition of Solvay’s integrated polyamide business. Solvay and BASF aim to close the transaction in the third quarter of 2018, after customary regulatory approvals have been obtained and the formal consent of a joint venture partner has been received.

Solvay’s polyamide division will be integrated into BASF’s Performance Materials and Monomers divisions. This deal will complement BASF’s engineering plastics offering, which will improve its position as a provider of solutions to the transportation, construction, and consumer industries. It also means that key growth markets in Asia and South America will be more accessible. It should strengthen BASF’s polyamide 6.6 value chain through increased polymerization capacities and the backward integration into the key raw material ADN (adipodinitrile).

Net sales of Solvay’s polyamide business in 2016 amounted to over a billion dollars. The company employs 2,400 people worldwide, over half of which are located in France.

3. DuPont makes its 3D printing filaments available in the U.S, Canada and Mexico

Customers in the U.S, Canada and Mexico can now purchase DuPont Hytrel thermoplastic elastomer and DuPont Zytel nylon-based filaments for 3D printing in the United States, Canada and Mexico through Coex LLC.

Hytrel is available in two different hardness levels (Hytrel 3D4000FL with a shore D of 40 and Hytrel 3D4100 with a shore D of 60). Customers will be able to 3D print flexible functional parts  from Hytrel that combine resiliency, heat and chemical resistance with strength and durability. With Zytel 3D1000FL, customers will be able to make strong and stiff functional parts. Along with superior strength, parts printed with Zytel also have high heat deflection temperature, low warpage, low sensitivity to moisture and excellent surface aesthetics.

DuPont’s products have been used in countless successful 3D printing projects of all kinds for many years now, and this expansion into North America signals the company’s commitment to growth and providing high quality products to as many manufacturers as possible. It’s also a sign that the 3D printing industry at large is expanding at a considerable rate, and companies with a quality product can take advantage of this acceleration in interest, and implementation of the technology.

4. Lancaster University appoints new research chair for metal 3D printing

Lancaster University, one of the UK’s leading engineering research institutions, recently announced that Professor Pedro Rivera has been appointed to the newly-created position of LPW/Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chain in ‘Alloy and microstructure design for additive layer manufacturing’.

“For thousands of years people have been dealing with hot and cold wrought alloys to make tools and other products and goods,” said Professor Rivera. “In all of that time items have been created using subtractive methods – where metal is gradually taken away until the manufacturer achieves the desired result...New technology is allowing us for the first time in history to create alloys by gradually adding layers of material, which opens up vast new opportunities for product development and promises to significantly save on resources when compared to subtractive methods.”

The research chair is being supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering in partnership with LPW Technology, which is a major global provider of high quality metal powders for 3D printing, based in the region.  LPW will provide the researchers with access to its world-class additive manufacturing PowderLab, to undertake full characterisation of metal powder alloys and material testing, following component builds on its in-house metal 3D printing machines. LPW’s software tools will also provide the necessary data to inform the research goals.

The key focus of the work will be the development of statistical models, taking into account powder size, composition and atmospheric conditions with component properties such as strength, ductility, hardness and corrosion. This work will lead to developing new industrial manufacturing parameters.

5. Formalloy releases new L-222 Laser Metal Deposition 3D printer

San Diego- based 3D printer manufacturer Formalloy, LLC, has released its latest 3D printing system. The L-222 is an L-series Laser Metal Deposition machine which includes an inert gas build chamber, scientific monitoring capability, and a Blue wavelength laser. The 3D printer uses the latest in Blue Laser technology from Denver- based firm NUBURU Inc. It can be used to 3D print, repair and clad metallic parts, using a greater range of materials, much more quickly and accurately than comparable processes.

Formalloy is the first company to perform Laser Metal Deposition with the new Blue laser technology. The first machine has completed production, and it is due to be installed at the end of September at  the University of California in San Diego (UCSD)’s Department of Nanotechnology.

The L-222’s blue laser absorption is up to 20 times better than the industry standard, which will result in tenfold process speed gains. Blue Lasers enable material processing capabilities that are otherwise impossible, and the “spot size” of the laser is more than five times smaller than IR. Blue Lasers enable precision, resolution, and higher finish quality, and Formalloy’s integration of them into the laser metal deposition process points the way forward for a major paradigm shift in the industry, leading to significantly improved metal 3D printing in the future.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, Formalloy is an advanced manufacturing technology company that is principally engaged in the design, research, development, manufacture and integration of additive manufacturing systems, products and services. Formalloy’s patented laser metal deposition process provides an innovative, cost-effective solution for 3D metal part production, repair and coatings to a diverse set of industries. NUBURU Inc. is based in Denver CO.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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