Nov 29, 2017 | By David

In case you missed out on anything happening in the 3D printing world recently, we’ve got another round-up to get you back up to speed. Latest stories include VBN Components launching world’s toughest stainless steel for use with 3D printing, BeAM machines launching a new 3D printer, and much more besides.

1. Materialise partners with Formlabs to provide 3D printing for hospitals

Leading 3D printing software solutions provider Materialise will be partnering with 3D printer manufacturer Formlabs in order to advance the use of 3D printing technology in the medical sector. Their pioneering new solution will combines the Materialise Mimics inPrint medical imaging software with Formlabs’ Form 2 printers. This will make 3D printing technology easier and more effective for medical professionals to use, allowing them to take advantage of the many financial, educational, and clinical benefits of 3D anatomical models for communication and surgical planning, which have been documented and discussed for years. There are still perceived barriers that have prevented the adoption of the technology, mostly related to cost, but this new package from two established industry figures, offering a scalable solution with an impressively affordable price-per-print, has the potential to revolutionize the medical sector.

“Clinicians have seen the value of 3D anatomical models from our Form 2 printer, and they are looking for new ways to bring this innovative technology to their patients,” said Dávid Lakatos, Chief Product Officer at Formlabs. “By combining Materialise’s software with Formlabs’ 3D printers, we have developed a simple, easy-to-use solution for hospitals to incorporate 3D printing into their daily practices.''


2. BeAM Machines releases new Modulo 400 3D printer

BeAM Machines, SAS, a leading European specialist in providing DED (Directed Energy Deposition) 3D printing solutions which recently opened a U.S. subsidiary in Cincinnati, has announced the release of its latest 3D printer, the Modulo 400. The machine was launched at this year’s formnext trade show.

According to Tim Bell, General Manager of BeAM Machines, Inc., “We designed the Modulo 400 and its unique, integrated peripherals based upon feedback from our customers. Traditional DED systems place the required secondary equipment (laser, chiller, fume extractor, etc.), as well as the machine base outside the machine envelope, therefore requiring a considerable amount of floor space. The Modulo 400 fully integrates all required peripherals into the machine cabinet, significantly reducing the total required amount of floor space.”

The portability of the Modulo 400 will make it ideal for environments such as offshore oil rigs and military conflict zones. This should keep up its significant presence in the aerospace, defense, nuclear, and oil and gas sectors. Coming early this year, the Modulo 250 will be even more compact. 2018 will also see BeAM Machines’ international expansion continuing with a new Solutions Center opening in Singapore in order to offer better service its clients worldwide.


3. VBN Components launches world’s toughest stainless steel for use with 3D printing

Leading metal alloys company VBN Components has succeeded in producing the world’s toughest stainless steel, known as Vibenite 350. The material was developed in collaboration with the Swedish Energy Agency, and is designed to be compatible with metal 3D printing technology.

Vibenite 350 can boast unprecedented levels of hardness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance, making it an impressive solution for a huge range of industries. The alloy’s nanostructure contains 20% chromium and a high level of carbides, and it is totally free from cobalt. The 3D printing melting process with Vibenite 350 results in a wear resistance that suits a variety of applications, e.g. plastic processing tools, pumps and pump houses, bearing and valve rings. It has an impressively high yield rate, usually at least 98 percent.

The company already has two hard and wear resistant materials in its portfolio, Vibenite 150 and Vibenite 280. The latest Vibenite 350 offering is the next step on their path towards a comprehensive metals portfolio that stands to disrupt the manufacturing sector and take full advantage of the growing adoption of AM processes throughout industry.


4. Carbon announces new version of its cloud-based 3D printing software

Silicon Valley-based 3D manufacturing company Carbon today announced a new version of its advanced 3D printing software, expanding its industry leading tools to design, engineer and make polymeric parts using Carbon’s own Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology and resins.

The proprietary solution will optimize 3D printing processes with the help of its finite element analysis (FEA) technique. FEA makes use of powerful cloud-based computation in order to simulate the forces of DLS. As well as the advanced simulation capabilities, the software can use automated analysis to help customers understand where a specific part may need more support, aiding in the design of a manual support strategy. It also offers new fence supports, which can be used to support edges so they print with precision and minimize material usage.

Since the release of Carbon’s first 3D printer, the M1, back in April 2016, the company has been continually updating its software solutions to help users optimize their manufacturing processes. Its software already uses complex physics and chemistry models, which means it can determine the best way to print, for example, complex fluidics parts or a midsole for an adidas Futurecraft 4D shoe. It also has a dedicated fleet management system for easy scaling of production.


5. Cuyahoga Community College 3D prints assistive devices for injured veterans

Students at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, have been making use of 3D printing techniques in order to help out disabled veterans. Their range of assistive devices have helped many people gain independence and comfort, and restored some normalcy to their lives after injuries that have often been traumatic.

The college offers a one-year 3D Digital Design and Manufacturing Technology program, led by Maciej G. Zborowski and Alethea V. Ganaway. Their students were moved by the plight of many veterans they had encountered during a visit to Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. According to student Eric Szabo, "It really was life-changing to speak with these veterans.They offer a unique perspective...Its hard to image a point in my life where I suddenly couldn't turn the pages in a book.There is so much that we take for granted that they just want to have back in their everyday lives. We want to give that back to them."

The students decided to use additive manufacturing techniques in order to create all kinds of assistive devices. The process was both collaborative and individual, and made use of sketches and cardboard models as well as digital models that were then programmed into a 3D printer. Finished items included devices to help with eating, shaving, gardening, and turning the pages of a book. All were made relatively inexpensively, especially compared to the usual costs of a few hundred dollars for similar commercially available assistive devices.


6. Carmat partners with AddUp in order to advance use of metal 3D printing in medical sector

A proposed partnership deal between Carmat and AddUp, reported just over two weeks ago by 3ders, has now been finalized. This paves the way for AddUp’s advanced metal 3D printing techniques to be implemented in Carmat’s pioneering artificial heart manufacturing process.

Carmat’s artificial heart is still at the clinical trial phase, but when it is eventually approved for widespread use, AddUp’s technology will be crucial in scaling up production. This is the first foray into the medical sector for AddUP, founded in 2016 by the Michelin and Fives groups, and could be a key turning point that will see the company’s expansion accelerate significantly.

As well as increased production capacity, AddUP’s 3D printing systems can also offer Carmat’s artificial heart optimized anatomical interfaces which will lead to optimized anatomical compatibility and surgical comfort. Not only this, it will also mean a reduction in the number of components required, which will improve the device’s assembly.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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