Interview with Tibor van Melsem Kocsis of DiManEx on 3D Printing in the Supply Chain

DiManEx is Dutch company that wants to bring 3D printing to the supply chain. They’re focussing on one of the most promising and challenging areas in 3D printing, how to identify parts that are suitable for 3D printing so they can be used for spares. DiManEx hopes to help firms identify good parts and then successfully print them as well. The regulatory, performance and print challenges there are considerable. Tibor van Melsem Kocsis is DiManEx’s CEO and he hopes that his firm will be the one to solve these challenges. If they can then they’ll have a very valuable capability on their hands. What’s more, companies would be very likely to deepen and broaden a long term relationship with a key partner that could guide them from a 3D printing standstill into spare part production. Furthermore, if they can prove that they can do this and maintain part performance and certification then people would not be very likely to shop around for less trusted firms. It will take a lot of convincing, knowledge and long sales cycles to get firms to the point where they’re printing spares though. We interviewed Tibor to find out more about the firm and what it hopes to achieve.

What is DiManEx?

DiManEx is an end-to-end platform that makes 3D printing easy for supply chain teams. We help you identify the right parts for Additive Manufacturing, digitize your inventory and print parts on demand through a network of industrial-quality facilities.

How is it different from Shapeways. Xometry, 3DHubs?

Supply Chain Optimization is the core element of our offering. For us 3D printing is an exciting technology, and a means to an end, not a goal in itself.We don’t just offer access to a manufacturing network, we provide a comprehensive service that helps companies find out what they can print, what they can’t print, and what’s beneficial to print from a supply chain stance. We start from the data, as well as immediate supply chain problems our customers need to address. We are also not a marketplace and assume end-to-end responsibility, from part identification to delivery to the end use location.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

We know that by then, even more than today, supply chains will operate in a highly networked environment, enabled by data and analytics, as well as end-to-end automation. Our big idea is to transform industrial supply chains in the same way e-commerce has disrupted retail. In the next five years, we want to become the preferred platform for companies that want to transition to digital inventory and optimize their global supply chain with digital manufacturing technologies like 3D printing.

What markets do you focus on?

We work mainly with companies in discrete manufacturing, in a wide range of industries, and companies with parts-intensive supply chains in Europe and the U.S. They are all focused on improving fundamental aspects of their business by solving specific supply chain issues. For instance, they want to improve the availability of service parts, ensure uptime to meet service levels, speed up lead times, optimize their inventory, and reduce their environmental footprint by preventing waste and unnecessary logistics.In addition, we see a growing demand for first series. Using AM for the first series helps companies speed up time to market, make changes on the fly and prevent unnecessary tooling costs.

Lightyear, for example, worked with us to secure more than 60 first series parts for the LightyearOne, a long-range solar car prototype. Being a prototype, some changes were required in several parts. The use of Additive Manufacturing made it possible to incorporate these changes quickly at a much lower cost than through traditional production. The first series was secured much faster without minimum order quantities. There was no investment in tooling or tied up working capital required.

Electrolux also works with us to secure like-for-like replacements of parts. The OEM is required by law to keep parts in stock for its appliances, but often incurs high set up costs, large minimum order quantities and eventual scrapping costs in order to meet this requirement. 3D printing offers a better way, by enabling them to supply the part as needed, on-demand. They work with us to 3D print, test and deploy several parts on the field.

What processes and materials?

We offer all available direct and indirect Additive Manufacturing techniques and post processing technologies. We provide access to 2000+ materials, both plastic and metal. We have global coverage with additive manufacturing production facilities and contracts with 60 partners we work with on an ongoing basis.

What is the Supply Chain Inspector?

Supply Chain Inspector is the analytics engine in the DiManEx platform. It uses semantic search, powered by machine learning algorithms, to help you identify the right parts for additive manufacturing. The solution draws on supply chain and technical data to assess parts’ printability and pinpoint those that are ideal candidates for digital inventory. We developed Supply Chain Inspector because we see that a lot of companies struggle with missing insights from available data. It’s not always straightforward to identify when 3D printing makes sense from a technical and supply chain optimization perspective. Through Supply Chain Inspector, you get this visibility and insights expressed in relevant metrics, like lead time reduction, inventory value reduction, future demand (uncertainty) and how to act upon this. The insights we provide make it easier for our customers to make the right decisions within our platform, with the ultimate goal to optimize their supply chain.

How does it work?

Our platform makes 3D printing easy for supply chain teams. A lot of complex processes happen behind our user-friendly interface. We facilitate a complete flow, from data to parts delivered. Looking at data, customers can get a bigger picture of what’s happening in their business and can more easily identify the right parts for AM. When a part is selected, they can trigger our end-to-end workflow, which includes scanning, digitization, production, and quality control.

Once a part design is approved, the part is added to the company’s digital inventory and users can place orders as often as they need to. Our platform matches the order with the additive manufacturing facility in our network that best matches the customer’s needs. Proximity to the end use location is also considered so we can minimize miles traveled. After the part is produced, it gets delivered through our network of partners.

A 1000 orders doesn’t seem like a lot?

This would be true and was the case when we first launched the platform. Right now this is not an accurate number anymore. We are now shipping orders on a daily basis, resulting in a new partnership with Logistyx which will help us optimize multi-carrier parcel deliveries. This partnership is very important for us. Logistyx simplifies the complexity of cross-border, multi-carrier parcel shipping. Their platform will help us quickly scale and ship high volumes of parts profitably, to customers worldwide. Their global carrier network counts more than 8,500 carrier services and helps us determine the ideal combination of carriers in real-time, based on factors such as price, capacity, service requirements, and performance.

How will you grow?

We will grow thanks to our customer-focused approach. Our goal is two-fold. Scaling up business with existing customers, and increasing the number of customers we serve across the globe. Further growth will be achieved by delivering the next generation of tools and services we have in our roadmap, and continuing to provide immediate value to our customers. This means having a positive impact on their total cost of ownership, service to their end customers and environmental footprint.

Is it realistic to add 3D printing to the supply chain?

Absolutely, 3D printing is an enabler, especially for discrete manufacturing companies and service organizations. It creates immediate and tangible value during the various stages of the manufacturing life cycle.

The key is to have a solid change management strategy and to work with partners that will make the transformation go smoothly. It helps to work with a managed service, so you don’t have to invest in machines yourself and can tap into a partner’s expertise without committing too many internal resources. 

How do I redesign old parts for 3D Printing?

In daily practice, customers provide us with an old drawing, a physical part, and sometimes even a damaged part to be reverse engineered. This is especially true for older components.

We’ve done this for a range of companies that produce household appliances, elevators and escalators, and heavy equipment, as well as service organizations.

The Dutch Railways (NS), for instance, worked with us to reverse engineer and 3D print a frame for its train radios. The frame was not available through NS’ original supplier anymore. Without it, trains couldn’t run. Other suppliers had a large minimum order quantity. In most cases, NS would have to order a minimum of 100 parts, when in fact they only needed 10. They also faced very long lead times. We were able to reverse engineer the part and reduce lead times significantly. This helped them guarantee that their coaches would keep running. The weight for the part itself was also optimized.

A radio frame part for the Dutch railways, the NS

And these 3D printed parts will they be as safe, perform as well?

Pretty much all the parts we supply are functional parts, which means they must meet the technical specifications. Several of them have been tested by our customers. In many cases, we provide a material certificate and/or a test report which is provided by a qualified third party, as part of our quality assurance program. All of this is available in our end-to-end workflow.

What advice do you have for companies who wish to manufacture with 3D Printing?

First and foremost try to understand how 3D printing as a production technique can contribute to optimize your supply chain. Second, once you have an understanding of the potential during the various stages of the manufacturing lifecycle, bring a team together with the key stakeholders.Next, define a concrete plan with clear deliverables; start small, learn quickly and scale fast.

The post Interview with Tibor van Melsem Kocsis of DiManEx on 3D Printing in the Supply Chain appeared first on | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

Friction Coefficients & Wear Behavior in Filaments: Studying Materials for 3D Printed Shoe Soles

In the recently published ‘Determining the tribological properties of different 3D printing filaments,’ Romanian researchers examine 3D printing filaments in-depth, with a focus on pinpointing suitable materials for fabricating parts that come into contact with one another. In this research, they study friction coefficients as materials are in contact with a metallic disc.

While ‘vast research’ has been performed in the area of friction coefficients and wear of 3D printing materials, here the researchers center their study around Zortrax filaments, analyzing eight polymers, with each printed on a Zortrax M200 Desktop 3D Printer. Ultimately, the team will choose a material for fabrication of a new shoe sole.

“Mass printing custom fit 3D soles is considered one of the future directions in athletic shoe manufacturing and Adidas in collaboration with Carbon have already started research and production in this area,” explain the researchers.

3D printed shoe sole developed by Adidas and Carbon

The following filaments were used:

  1. Z-ABS – optimal for beginners
  2. Z-GLASS – a translucent material
  3. Z-HIPS – meant for larger parts
  4. Z-PCABS – offers strength and durability
  5. Z-PETG – resistant to acids, solvents, alkalis, and salt
  6. Z-ESD – provides electrostatic protection
  7. Z-PLA PRO – reduces shrinkage to obtain fine details
  8. Z-ASA PRO – resistant to UV, humidity, heat, and is good for the outdoors

(Note from the researchers: the Z-ULTRAT sample filament broke before printing was completed, so this material was excluded from the study.)

(a) Example of Z-ULTRAT filament (b) Pin modeled in SolidWorks and opened with Windows Print 3D (sideways orientation where width is actually the height) (c) Pre-production of 3D pins in Zortrax Z-Suite (d) Example of 3D printed test pins.

The pin-on-disc method was used in testing, as the researchers placed three pins in sockets on a disc, located 100mm from the center. This was rotated at 350rpm, and the disc was cleaned after each test due to continued residue.

“The first load was the disc itself that accounted for a loading force of 10.17 N. After that, a first weight was added, and the total load force was 11.72 N. The second weight was added after that to increase the load force to 14.91 N, then the third to increase the load force to 17.13 N, and finally the fourth for a total load force of 18.55 N,” explained the researchers.

(a) Rotating Disc and force sensor (b) Pin Slots (c) Weights and sensor pusher (d) Full test assembly – 3 pins on disk tribometer.

The same testing mechanism was used in analyzing wear behavior, as the metal disc rotated with the pins on it—at maximum force load of 18.55 N for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and 20 minutes.

Residue left on disc after a wear test.

Sample 9 (Z-ASA PRO) proved to offer the highest wear percentage, while sample 7 (Z-ESD) demonstrated the lowest wear percentage. Sample 3 (Z-HIPS) offered the highest friction coefficient, ‘followed closely’ by sample 9 (Z-ASA PRO). Sample 5 (Z-PETG) demonstrated the lowest friction coefficient.

Graph of wear behavior tests.

Time-lapse of wear behavior on sample 8 and wear curve.

“In conclusion, if the interest is to develop soles with low wear behavior and high friction, one recommendation is to use the Z-GLASS material, if the mechanical behavior corresponds with the product requirements. If one needs a balance between friction and wear (like in the day-to-day shoes), then materials corresponding to the sample 1 (Z-ABS) and 8 (Z-PLA PRO) are recommended.”

“For soles requiring low friction (for example sportive dancing) material nr 5 (Z-PETG) is recommended. If the wear is not considered a pressing issue, for good friction, material number 3 (Z-HIPS) is recommended,” concluded the researchers.

This study brings together two areas that are receiving substantial attention right now in the study of materials and their properties, as well as 3D printing and additive manufacturing processes in the production of shoes as companies like Adidas have announced a 4D running shoe, Nike has produced footwear with a 3D printed upper sole, and New Balance is getting in on the 3D printed footwear market too.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at

[Source / Images: ‘Determining the tribological properties of different 3D printing filaments’]


The post Friction Coefficients & Wear Behavior in Filaments: Studying Materials for 3D Printed Shoe Soles appeared first on | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

IPi VRT – Pi Based Security Camera #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi #3DPrinting

Featured preview IMG 20200110 112419546 HDR

Shared by FFFTech on Thingiverse:

This is the IPi VRT. (Vertical) The design presented isn’t an iteration of the previous models; it is it’s own design.This model is made for the technical minded consumer, while having the style and simplicity for the interior decorator inside us all.

There are no hard edges, with the camera body and ceiling mount blending together to give the appearance of a singular structure. With today’s smart home technology being built with more sleek lines, and more organic in shape, this security camera fits in quite well.

On the mechanical design, this camera is designed to mostly snap fit together, requiring only two M2x8mm screws for mounting the camera module. The ceiling mount is also a rotational bearing; both pieces being printed as one part, unable to be separated. This makes the mount durable, while allowing reliable 360° rotation.

Learn more!

3055 06Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!

Procedural Loops #3DPrinting #3DThursday

Featured preview t1

Ferjerez shared this project on Thingiverse!


30 procedurally generated structures ready to print.

Info about the algorithm: search #wavefunctioncollapse tag in twitter or check my Twitter profile @ferjerez3d

My settings for prints in photos: 2 shells, 3 top/bottoms, 0.2 mms layer. No infill and no supports

Have fun!

download files:

Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

Jaa’s Steampunk Glasses v 1.0 #3DPrinting #3DThursday

Featured preview photo 2019 12 23 16 32 26

Jaa_96 shared this project on Thingiverse!

Personalized Steampunk-style protective glasses.

  • the main lenses are transparent
  • the secondary lenses are used to protect against welds

Download files:

Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!


Featured preview thumbnail cybertruck 003

Shared by 3dadventure on Thingiverse:

I think you have seen all the cyber trunk models out there, so I am not going to bore you with another one. So i make one with from USB holders and have enough trunk space for an iPhone or a samsung note.

I hope my design is simple enough for you to print, no tool required, you can just print and snap them together. It might need some extra time to clean the holes, but it will worth the time.

Please check out the video before downloading/printing the part, so you know how they go together. Leave a like if you like the design and subscribe if you want to support a small channel like this 🙂

Download the files and learn more

Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

HP Teams with New Balance and Superfeet for 3D-Printed Custom Insoles

HP has announced a further expansion of its customized, 3D-printed insoles business via a partnership with New Balance and Superfeet. Select New Balance stores will now be offering personalized, 3D-printed insoles using the solutions provided by HP and its other partners.

Starting in 2017, HP began offering insoles that could be tailored to the individual through a foot scanning device, dubbed the Fitstation, created with a company called Volumental. The Fitstation is capable of not only capturing the contours of one’s feet, but purportedly also analyzes one’s gait to create a personalized insole design.

The resulting design is then 3D printed using HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology by a service provider. In the case of this product line, that provider is Flowbuilt Manufacturing in Washington. The insoles are made from BASF’s thermoplastic polyurethane, ULTRASINT, meant to be sufficiently flexible and elastic for footwear applications.

While you will likely have heard of the athletic wear giant New Balance, Superfeet may be less familiar to those without aching arches. The company is an insole and footwear (sandals) manufacturer with products in such stores as REI, Dick’s and Nordstrom’s. In addition to this partnership with New Balance, Superfeet offers 3D-printed products made with the FitStation and MJF, including the Superfeet ME3D insole and ME3D Aftersport Custom Recovery Slides.

A 3D-printed insole made using MJF and the FitStation. Image courtesy of HP.

Superfeet has secured a licensing agreement with New Balance to brand this new line of insoles being manufactured using HP technology, as well as some new off-the-shelf products. Now, customers will be able to purchase New Balance Stride 3D insoles—available in Casual, Running, and Sport styles—at select stores in Canada and the U.S. This expands New Balance’s own footprint in the 3D-printed footwear market, which includes a number of shoes with 3D-printed midsoles.

3D-printed insoles continue to be an important entry point for 3D printing into the consumer market, while also acting as an opportunity to develop mass customization. The possible need for a consumer-specific product is obvious in the case of insoles, given the improved comfort and relief they would ideally provide a wearer. However, the stakes are not as high for companies like HP and New Balance, as insoles are not as complex or expensive to manufacture as an entire shoe. At the same time, it introduces consumers to the concept of personally tailored, 3D-printed goods, while also allowing those brands invested in the technology to further develop the ability to mass customize products.

Though somewhat later to the race than companies like Wiivv and Sols (R.I.P.), HP has the corporate strength to potentially come out ahead. Its latest partnerships with New Balance and Superfeet, demonstrate that it could be quickly moving into first position. However, with Wiivv partnering with Dr. Scholl’s, they may have some steep competition.

HP will be showcasing a range of its 3D-printed footwear products as the ISPO Munich sports business trade show at Booth 205, Hall A5 next week, January 26-29, 2020.  

The post HP Teams with New Balance and Superfeet for 3D-Printed Custom Insoles appeared first on | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

How 3D Printing is Shaping the Robotics Industry

As the robotics industry continues to rise in popularity and growth, it makes sense that we would constantly be trying to find new ways to incorporate 3D printing into the robotics process. Both robotics and 3D printing are forward-thinking industries, so combining the two—when done properly—could lead to incredible results.

But how exactly can you mesh robotics and 3D printing into a successful outcome? Here are 4 ways some of the pros have found that work the best. 

To Build Robots

The most common way to do this is to use 3D printing in building actual robots. Of course, the term “robots” may make one think of human-like machines, but robots extend much further than that, from small operating projects to robotics arms and more. 3D printing is incredibly useful when it comes to creating robots, no matter the size or purpose of them: 3D printing makes the process fast and efficient while allowing you to simplify the creation of complex forms. 

To Prototype to Perfection 

Additionally, another great thing about using 3D printing to assist in robotics is the ability to prototype easily. Developing a perfect prototype is the first step in 3D printing your masterpiece, and when it comes to robotics, this can be a lengthy process—and an expensive one! With 3D printing, however, everything is much different—and much better. 

With 3D printing, you’re able to create many different prototypes in order to work out any kinks or flaws before you put your ideas into production. Because robotics can be incredibly complex and detail-oriented, prototyping to perfection is a key step in ensuring ultimate success. 

To Build Drones

Drones are becoming incredibly popular, both among those in the robotics industry and even those who are not! In fact, variations of drones can be purchased everywhere nowadays, from online to in malls and stores. But why buy a drone when you can 3D print a personalized one? 

Many in the robotics field are using 3D printing to make drones that come complete with many special features. When you 3D print your drone, you’re able to fully customize it to your liking, ensuring it performs, looks, and succeeds in all the ways you intend it to. 

To Maintain Consistency in Production

In robotics, machines are often created in batches, all intended to perform the same function. Sometimes they’re used in assembly lines, and other times they’re shipped to different factories or establishes throughout the country. With 3D printing, you’re able to ensure that each machine created will be identical, creating consistency across production, which is vital in terms of efficiency and success.

Want to start using 3D printing for all your robotics needs? Find out how Shapeways can help bring your projects to life and help you reduce costs in the process.

The post How 3D Printing is Shaping the Robotics Industry appeared first on Shapeways Magazine.

GE, ORNL, PARC receive $1.3 million to accelerate energy products with additive manufacturing

GE, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Tennessee, and the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), a Xerox company, have been awarded an estimated $1.3 million to accelerate the development of 3D printed turbomachinery parts. “Totally Impactful” The funds were granted by the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Design Intelligence Fostering Formidable Energy Reduction and Enabling Novel Totally Impactful Advanced Technology Enhancements (DIFFERENTIATE) program. Within the DIFFERENTIATE program, the partners […]

100 3D printing experts predict the future of 3D printing in 2030

3D Printing Industry asked 100 additive manufacturing leaders to identify how 3D printing will develop during the next ten years. In our article last week, we took a look at the near term trends in 3D printing to watch for 2020. This new article draws on insights from additive manufacturing experts across the globe to […]