Nov 17, 2017 | By David

Here’s another 3D printing round-up, to keep you up to speed with all the latest developments you might have been too busy to catch. Stories include FIT partnering with NIK, Dassault Systemes collaborating with Ecco, and more besides.

1. 3D printing expert FIT partners with NIK engineering company

A major new partnership has been established between German 3D printing company FIT and Russian engineering and research experts NIK. FIT was established in 1995, and has been providing additive manufacturing solutions to a range of industries since then. Set up in 1997, NIK specializes in engineering and consulting services for the aviation industry. The new company will be known as FITNIK, and cooperation is due to commence January 2018. The main goal of this new joint venture will be to open up the Russian market for additive manufacturing.

FITNIK’s base will be located in Zhukovsky, a town 30 km south of Moscow that is known as an important Russian aircraft center for scientific research and development. The company will combine the deep expertise of both its parent companies to leverage consulting proficiencies to enhance specific design for aviation parts and components, and to manufacture cutting-edge parts by innovative additive manufacturing in Russia. Production at the Russian site is expected to be fully operational within two years.


2. OR Laser launches new hybrid metal 3D printing platform

At this year’s Formnext trade show, OR Laser launched its latest offering to the manufacturing world. The ORLas Creator hybrid 3D printing and milling machine combines additive and subtractive methods, for an innovative solution that can deal with many complex issues facing a range of industries.

The ORLas Creator has the unique selling point that it can combine the design freedom and complexity of 3D printing with advanced milling capabilities for precision finishing. The two complementary techniques will be available together in one system, at a much lower price point than would otherwise be possible. Small and medium sized businesses stand to gain a lot from adoption of this unique machine.

The ORLas Creator makes use of laser melting techniques and metal powder materials, and in this respect it retains the outstanding 3D printing features of OR Laser’s classic Creator machine. These include the full laser power of 250W at a spot of 40μm, laser processing speeds of 3500 mm/s,and a build platform 110 mm (diameter) with a maximum Z axis of 100 mm.


3. 3D printing materials company PyroGenesis Announces $1.02 Million Sale of 2nd DROSRITE Furnace System to North American Automobile Parts Manufacturer

PyroGenesis, a technology company that specializes in advanced plasma-based processes and provides quality materials for 3D printing technology, has announced a major deal with an automobile manufacturer. The Canadian firm received a purchase order in the amount of US$ 800,000 (Can$ 1.02 million) for the sale of a second DROSRITE Furnace System, from an automotive manufacturer also based in North America. The order should be completed in the first quarter of 2018.

The DROSRITE System is a salt-free, cost-effective, sustainable process for maximizing metal recovery from dross, which is one of the main waste products generated in the metallurgical industry. The process helps to cu costs by limiting the loss of metal. At the same time it can also reduce a manufacturer’s carbon footprint and energy consumption.

PyroGenesis is also targeting markets further afield, and a pilot scheme for an Indian manufacturer is already planned for sometime next year. According to Massimo Dattilo, VP, Business Development of PyroGenesis, ''The Company is currently targeting primary aluminum smelters in Asia and the Middle East where the market is estimated to be in excess of 1 million tonnes of dross, as well as tertiary casting producers worldwide, all of which we expect will represent a potential requirement for DROSRITE systems numbering in the hundreds of units.”


4. Ecco footwear company partners with Dassault Systemes for 3D printing project

French manufacturing giant Dassault Systemes’ innovative FashionLab initiative will be collaborating with Ecco, a pioneering shoe company, for a new experimental footwear project making use of 3D printing and scanning techniques.

As part of the project, a selection of of customers from around the world will get the chance to have their shoes customized with midsoles made using data captured by wearable sensors and 3D scanners, which will generate a full digital analysis of individual feet and motion. The resulting customized 3D printed shoes will be personalized according to a wearer’s unique biomechanical and orthotic parameters, enabling a much more comfortable fit. The project, known as QuantU, leveraged Dassault Systemes’ cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which can interpret biomechanic data into geometries for 3D printing.


5. 3D printing giant GE Additive acquires GeonX

A major new acquisition has been announced by 3D printing giant GE Additive, which should enable it to further improves its software simulation capabilities. Belgian company GeonX, which provides software for engineers developing new products in order to simulate additive manufacturing, welding, machining and heat treatment processes, will now be part of GE’s additive manufacturing subsidiary. This should be a significant development for major industries such as aerospace, automotive and energy.

GeonX caught the attention of GE Additive due to its impressive simulation tool, Virfac (short for Virtual Factory). This manufacturing software solution assesses products prior to production in order to predict defects, distortions and stresses, as well as the impact that manufacturing will have on a product’s durability. This advanced simulation process helps to reduce the number of prototypes built during the development phase. It also leads to improvements in terms of the quality and lifetime of the manufactured products, which can minimize the time to market and development costs.

GE has already ploughed approximately $1.5 billion in manufacturing and additive technologies over the past 10 years, most significantly with the investment in Concept Laser and Arcam. GE Additive was established last year to solely focus on developing 3D printing technology in order to supply a range of industries and manufacturing operations.


6. Shenzhen Esun partners with ZYYX 3D printer

A major strategic partnership has been announced between Shenzhen Esun and ZYYX 3D Printer. The deal will see Chinese eco-friendly materials expert Shenzhen Esun, which first entered the 3D printing market back in 2007, become the sole distributor of the ZYYX 3D printer in China. ZYYX 3D printer is a brand owned by Swedish company Magicfirm Europe, based in Gothenburg.

According to Mr, Yihu Yang, CEO of Shenzhen Esun Industrial Co., Ltd, “The Chinese market for desktop 3D printers is today mainly focused on entry level products, but China's rise as an innovation super power poses a great need for professional desktop 3D printing tools and this is where the ZYYX pro shines.''

The two companies have also entered into a research and development partnership to develop new 3D printing materials. They will be focused on creating professional use and engineering grade materials for the manufacturing world. The newest addition to the Magicfirms range is the ZYYX proGlass filament, which is a PA66 Nylon with 15% glass fiber content.

“The market for desktop 3D printers is getting tougher and tougher, and it is crucial to have a clear ambition, and our ambition is to provide our customers a complete toolset for functional prototyping and production of jigs and fixtures. The materials are at the center of such offering’’, says Mats Moosberg, CEO of Magicfirm Europe AB and creator of ZYYX 3D Printer.


7. PWC publishes results of survey on use of 3D printing in U.S industrial manufacturing

The results of survey recently conducted by major business consultancy firm PWC have shed some light on the ways that 3D printing technology is currently used in manufacturing across the U.S, and attitudes towards it.

The survey reports that 66.7 percent of manufacturers are adopting 3D printing in one way or another, whether they are experimenting with how to implement it, using it as a prototyping solution or using it to produce final products. 24.7 percent of companies reported an intention to use 3D printing technology at some point in the near future, leaving just 8.6 percent of respondents  with no plans to adopt additive manufacturing. When asked what the most disruptive effects of 3D printing technology are likely to be, restructured supply chains and weakened intellectual property were manufacturers’ most common responses.

Regarding any barriers currently limiting the implementation of 3D printing by manufacturers, 47.2 percent of respondents said that there was uncertainty about the quality of the final product, in terms of strength and durability. 45.3 percent of responses mentioned a lack of expertise in order to properly exploit additive manufacturing, and 31.5 percent stated that 3D printing systems were currently just too expensive to be considered as an option.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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