Apr 18, 2018 | By David

In case you’ve fallen behind again with all the latest 3D printing developments (and we wouldn’t be surprised if you had), we’ve got another round-up to get you back up to speed. Top stories this time are Apworks being acquired by Aerotec and Adaptive 3D launching a new polymer material, and there’s many more besides.


1. Aerotec acquires Apworks

Leading global aerospace company Aerotec has announced that it will be acquiring Apworks, a German expert in aerospace technologies and metal 3D printing. Aerotec, which was the first aviation supplier that was able to introduce 3D printed titanium components into the structure of aircraft, will be Apworks’s sole shareholder, taking over the company for an undisclosed fee.

Apworks will remain an independent company with its own market presence, but be freed up to focus on its specialty areas. Apworks started as a spin-off from Airbus Group back in 2013, and since then has successfully transferred its metal AM expertise from aerospace into a broad range of other sectors. One of its key achievements is the development and patenting of Scalmalloy, a high-strength aluminium alloy for additive manufacturing of components.

''With AEROTEC coming on board, we can take a huge step closer to our vision of industrial mass production using additive manufacturing technology'', said Joachim Zettler, Managing Director of APWORKS. ''The aim is to combine APWORKS’ highly dynamic approach in solving the issues posed by our clients’ additive manufacturing questions.''


2. Adaptive3D launches world’s highest-strain 3D printable photopolymer

Adaptive3D, one of the 3D printing industry’s leading suppliers of polymer resin materials, has completed development of the world’s highest-strain 3D printable photopolymer. The material is due to be demonstrated at this year’s Rapid+TCT event, being held in Texas.

The resin material’s unique chemistry gives it an unprecedented strain capacity, which will lead to tougher materials and more durable printed parts. With strain of 450% the material will have a strain 115% higher than the nearest competitor.

''Adaptive3D has spent the past two years developing an advanced proprietary chemistry that gives us a platform to now rapidly infuse the market with a series of high performance production quality photopolymers,'' said CEO Walter Voit, PhD.

Adaptive3D is focused on the production of resins for high-volume additive manufacturing, and it has particular expertise in the area of rubber-like 3D printable materials, tough damping materials, and low-cure stress photopolymers.


3. MakerBot launches new 3D printing teacher certification program

Leading 3D printing company MakerBot, a subsidiary of Stratasys, has launched a new online program that will enable people to get certified in the teaching of 3D printing skills. The company is the industry leader in 3D printing education, and it has been working with educators for years, developing ways to enliven traditional curricula into 21st century STEAM projects.

MakerBot already offers a number of useful educational tools, including The MakerBot Educators Guidebook, which is the definitive guide to 3D printing in the classroom. It’s the company’s second comprehensive book on the subject, and has 9 classroom-ready lesson plans. The company also offers Thingiverse, the largest online library of 3D printable files, as well as Thingiverse Education, which is a collection of over 400 3D printing lesson plans sortable by subject, grade, and Core Standard.

The new MakerBot Certification Program offers two different levels, one for operators (setup, usage, software, 3D modeling, troubleshooting), and one for curriculum creators (managing STEAM classrooms, creating 3D printing projects). It can be followed online, with up to 10 hours of lessons, or online and with real-world hands-on support.


4. NAMIC partners with MPA Singapore

A major new partnership has been announced in Singapore that should see an increased use of 3D printing in the maritime industry. The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) and the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore will be teaming up to develop new 3D printing applications. NAMIC is also collaborating with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) to develop skilled professionals in additive manufacturing.

NAMIC is a national initiative in Singapore that aims to increase Singapore’s adoption of 3D printing technologies, by nurturing promising technologies and start-ups and accelerating their commercial implementation. It is led by NTUitive, which is the innovation and enterprise company of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The initiative is also supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF), Prime Minister’s office, in partnership with SPRING Singapore (now Enterprise Singapore) and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

The aim of this partnership will be to further Singapore’s position as a premier hub port with efficient one-stop port services. It will enable secure data exchange, digitalisation of the supply chain, and on-demand fabrication, deployed by industrial partners such as Wilhelmsen Ships Service, the world’s largest maritime products and services supplier.

Nakul Malhotra, Vice President of Technical Solutions & Marketing, Marine Products, Wilhelmsen Ships Service, said, ''3D printing essentially enables our customers to access a micro factory, if and when they need it, in their next port of call.''


5. Artec 3D announces integration of scanners with Geomagic Freeform

Leading 3D scanning company Artec 3D has announced that it will be integrating its portable, hand-held 3D scanners with 3D Systems’ Geomagic Freeform software. This software features a rich set of hybrid modeling tools to rapidly create organic models with fine, intricate details and prepare the models for manufacturing. Its advanced design capabilities include touch-based 3D sculpting, surfacing, design-intent modeling, 3D scan processing, mold making and CAD interoperability

The integration of Artec 3D’s hardware with Geomagic Freeform will contribute towards streamlining of the design and reverse engineering workflow. ''We are continually looking for ways to streamline our customers’ workflows and provide them with advanced design to manufacturing tools that they can use in the most intuitive way,'' said Carol Zampell, VP Software Solutions, 3D Systems. ''Freeform software together with Touch X or Touch haptic devices creates a hands-on design experience. By combining our offering with Artec’s 3D scanners, designers can take a physical object and, within minutes, be able to feel and manipulate it as if it was made of clay.''

Artec 3D’s scanners are engineered with advanced tracking systems, which eliminate the need for an object to be covered with targets when scanning. The scanners provided by the Luxembourg-based company have proved to be a popular solution for various professional industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, science and education, as well as historical preservation.


6. Materialise subsidiary RapidFit launches new modular tooling system with 3D printed parts

RapidFit, a leading tool manufacturer and subsidiary of Belgian 3D technology giant Materialise, has announced the launch of an innovative new modular tooling system for automotive manufacturing. It makes use of carbon fiber beams in combination with individual 3D-printed elements, which makes it possible to produce jigs and inspection fixtures that are up to 90 percent lighter than conventionally produced tools, without sacrificing strength

The new carbon fiber fixtures fulfil all current standards regarding functionality, precision, stability, and stiffness. The use of carbon fiber beams minimizes thermal expansion, which means that the attachments are suitable for different applications in measuring rooms, the production environment, and climatic chambers.

The new RapidFit system fundamentally changes the development and production process for automotive tools, increasing their adaptability as well as repeatability of designs. RapidFit puts together a jig using CAD data and a parametric library of standardized solutions that was developed in-house. The parts of the system that need to be 3D printed are produced at Materialise's state-of-the-art Certified Additive Manufacturing facility.


7. PrintLab partners with CREATE

PrintLab has announced a new collaboration with UK-based education company CREATE Education. CREATE will now be distributing PrintLab’s 3D printing curriculum and products. As part of a new initiative to support teachers, a 3D printing bundle is available that includes hardware, software, materials, curriculum, training resources, professional development resources and lifetime support. Prices start from £625 ($887).

According to Michelle Chatterley of CREATE, ''Over the last 2 years The CREATE Education Project has grown to be a respected platform, providing valuable free support to the education community looking to adopt and embrace 3D printing, recognised as Winners of the Tech for Teachers STEM Award and as a BETT 2018 Finalist. Increasingly our community are looking to purchase directly from us as we provide trusted products and our partnership with PrintLab enhances the range of high quality products and curriculum resources we can offer to our community.''



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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