Nov 21, 2017 | By David

Here’s another 3D printing news round-up, to make sure you’re up to speed with all the latest developments. Stories you might have missed include Cellink partnering with Takara Bio, Proto Labs acquiring parts supplier RAPID, and more besides.

1. 3D Printhuset completes 3D printing for Building On Demand 

Copenhagen based 3D Printhuset announced today that 3D printing for the BOD, or Building On Demand has been completed. The building is intended to be a demonstration of the potential of 3D printing technology for the construction industry.

The BOD project began back in September. 3D printing was completed in a matter of weeks, but other technical difficulties ended up stretching the total construction time out to just over two months. According to Jakob Jørgensen, CTO of 3D Printhuset, "The 3D printing went as we planned. Not counting the hours and days where the printer was standing still awaiting other problems to be solved, it only took the planned 50 hours to do the printing of the walls, but we had severe difficulties with the whole material handling prior to printing which delayed us. We were hit both by faulty material deliveries as well as equipment failures related to the material handling."


2. Cellink and Takara Bio establish 3D bio-printing research partnership

Two of the biggest figures in the field of 3D bio-printing have announced that they will be joining forces in an effort to further advance the technology. Cellink is the manufacturer of a popular bio-ink which has been used for a broad range of different 3D bio-printing applications. It is used in combination with stem cells to produce organic tissues of various kinds. Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, Takara Bio focuses on stem cell-derived products and services for drug discovery, disease modeling, and applications within regenerative medicine.

The partnership between the two companies will be focused on the evaluation of bio-printing of CELLINK’s Bioink with Takara’s cells for insulin secretion by iPS derived beta cells. The project aim is to commercialize the technology, with the end product being a cell-specific bioink optimized for Takaras iPS beta cells to accelerate the tissue maturation in 3D culture. Commercialization of the results of this collaborative project should reach the market sometime in 2018.


3. Infinity Electrostatics develops new 3D printing system

Additive manufacturing firm Infinity Electrostatics LLC has announced the release of an innovative new powder management system for additive metal 3D printing. What is unique about this new technology is the capacity to retrofit it in order to be compatible with older machines. Existing laser engraver and fiber laser cutting machines will be capable of printing with powdered metals using the additive process. The technology uses both advanced electrostatics along with smart fluids.

The advantages of retrofitting  in this way are numerous. The build platform will no longer be restricted to the current one meter build volume, but can be greater than 3 x 3 meters in size. Speed of production is also significantly increased, by over 100 times. The new Infinity Electrostatics system will also save companies a lot of money in terms of acquiring new machinery, as they can simply adapt their older systems instead.


4. 3D printing giant Proto Labs acquires RAPID

Leading digital manufacturing company Proto Labs has announced the acquisition of RAPID, an expert in manufacturing sheet metal and CNC machined parts. This deal will allow RAPID, which was founded in New Hampshire back in 2001, to expand its operations while Proto Labs adds another quick-turn manufacturing service and more machining capabilities to its portfolio of advanced manufacturing solutions.

Under the terms of the agreement, Proto Labs will be purchasing RAPID for an aggregate price of $120 million, consisting of $110 million in cash and $10 million in Proto Labs stock. RAPID’s 2017 annual revenue is expected to be around $45 million. The transaction should close by the end of the year.

“Quick-turn prototyping and low-volume manufacturing have always been at the core of RAPID, and this foundation makes us a natural fit with Proto Labs’ digital model,” said Jay Jacobs, founder of RAPID.

RAPID’s initial goal of speeding up the production of sheet metal parts using automation and subsequent growth and adoption of more diverse technologies is very similar to the story of Proto Labs, and the two companies’ working cultures also have a lot in common. The acquisition will see Proto Labs’ team expand to more than 2,000 employees worldwide.


5. EOS partners with DyeMansion to provide comprehensive polymer 3D printing solution

German 3D printing firm EOS recently launched a new system for the automated mass production of polymer parts, known as the EOS P500. This innovative plastic laser sintering technology will be improved still further with the help of DyeMansion’s post-processing solutions. Building on an existing partnership between the two companies set up back in 2015, this collaboration will now be able to provide full production chains for high-value consumer and industrial products.

After naming the Munich-based company the Start-Up Challenge winner two years ago, this year’s Formnext show saw DyeMansion demonstrating its three-stage ‘Print-to-Product’ workflow, for de-powdering, surfacing and colouring. As a first step in the partnership with EOS, the AM giant will be showing and using the complete DyeMansion ‘Print-to-Product’ workflow equipment at its headquarters in Krailling. This should give potential clients and customers an understanding of the workflow, which has been sold over 70 times since launching last year and is capable of 3D printing products in colour, within hours.


6. Idaho satellite tests robustness of 3D printed polymers in space

The MakerSat-0, Idaho’s first satellite, was launched into space aboard a Delta II rocket on Saturday, November 18 at 2:47 a.m. The research team at the state’s Northwest Nazarene University, which was primarily responsible for the satellite’s construction, received data from the satellite around two hours later.

The aim of this current project is to evaluate the robustness of various 3D-printed polymers in the harsh space environment and to measure space radiation levels in the polar auroras, which is possible due to an advanced electronics system. The data will help determine the best materials for future 3D printed spacecraft, including NNU’s upcoming MakerSat-1, which will be the first satellite to be made in space. MakerSat-1 will be 3D printed, assembled and deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) in early 2018.

This project was funded by the Idaho Space Grant Consortium, as well as partnerships with Made in Space, Near Space Launch, NASA, NanoRacks, and Plexus. MakerSat-0 was one of five CubeSats chosen for NASA’s ELaNa XIV mission, which was enabled by NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. Vanderbilt University, MIT,  Embry-Riddle University and DSTG Australia were the other institutions that were part of this launch.

"Oh my gosh, it's so amazing to see something that you've held, something that you've designed, and to think that it's orbiting around the earth, and to see it give you data back and it actually means something," says electrical engineering student Connor Nogales. "It's a really surreal feeling."


7. Skorpion Engineering makes use of Stratasys’ 3D printing solutions for faster automotive prototyping

Italian automotive service bureau Skorpion Engineering has been using 3D printing technology provided by Stratasys to significantly improve its operations and bring new products to the market much faster than would otherwise be possible. According to recent announcements, the specialist car expert is capable of prototyping complex new models and components up to 50 percent faster, with the help of its arsenal of six Stratasys FDM 3D printers.

Skorpion previously relied on rudimentary prototypes made of heavy clay, but the implementation of Stratasy’s machines allowed them to produce high-performance equivalents, at a much greater speed. They can now offer customers improved part aerodynamics as well as prototypes that have the same mechanical characteristics as the final component.

According to Italo Moriggi, General Manager, Skorpion Engineering, the increase in speed of prototyping is one of the main contributing factors to the company’s current success: “In the context of the end-to-end manufacturing workflow, the level of time-saving enjoyed with 3D printing isn’t merely improvement or progression – it’s transformational. In fact, with 3D printing we can send prototypes to our customers the very next day... Crucially, this ability to produce fully-functional parts with improved performance allows our customers to undergo aesthetic and functionality verification significantly faster. This directly enhances their overall production cycle and helps accelerate their time-to-market.”



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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I.AM.Magic wrote at 11/22/2017 7:46:17 AM:

I'll call BS on Infinity Electrostatics LLC until I see a 3D printed part, a machine, and mechanical properties report on the strength of said 3DP parts.

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