3D Printing News Briefs: April 6, 2019

We’re starting off today’s 3D Printing News Briefs with a product launch announcement – 3YOURMIND launched the full version of its Agile MES software software this week at AMUG 2019. Moving on, Sintratec will present its latest SLS 3D printer at RAPID + TCT next month in Detroit, Tiamet3D has joined Ultimaker’s material alliance program, and Sciaky entered into an agreement with KTM Consultants. Xometry just announced some important certifications, and nScrypt is 3D printing titanium parts. Moving on to the world of art and theatre, the Zurich Opera House is 3D printing props, and artist Andrea Salvatori worked with WASP to create a 3D printed art collection.

3YOURMIND Launched Agile Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Software

After spending five years providing order management systems to scale for some of the industry’s AM leaders, 3YOURMIND has finally moved its software solutions to a production environment with the launch of its Agile Manufacturing Execution System (MES) earlier this week at AMUG 2019. The software uses smart part prioritization, rapid scheduling, order tracking, and custom AM workflow creation to improve machine utilization and make production more efficient, and an Early Access Program (EAP) allowed the company to receive direct feedback on its Agile MES software from representatives at companies like EOS and Voestalpine. The next step will be working to finalize machine connectivity.

“For Agile Manufacturing, the Agile MES will need to both GET and PUSH data from all major AM machines and post-processing systems. We are already integrating the data from several vendors into our software and expect to support all major machines,” explained 3YOURMIND’s CEO Stephan Kühr. “Receiving and processing machine data allows us to provide the documentation that is needed for quality assurance and to increase the repeatability of additive manufacturing. Pushing data directly to machines will be the key to automating production.”

Sintratec Showcasing New SLS 3D Printer at RAPID + TCT

A few months ago, Swiss SLS 3D printer manufacturer Sintratec introduced its scalable, modular Sintratec S2. Now, the company will be presenting the printer in the US for the first time next month at RAPID + TCT in Detroit, which will also be Sintratec’s first time attending the massive event. What makes the Sintratec S2 stand out is its closed-loop workflow, as the complete system covers every process with its three modules: the Laser Sintering Station (LSS), the Material Core Unit (MCU), and the Material Handling Station (MHS). The 3D printer offers quick material changes, a 4K camera for print monitoring, improved ergonomics, and effective heat distribution through its cylindrical printing area and ring lamps.

“The Sintratec S2 will boost the design of applications and gives the user the opportunity to set foot in small series production as well. And that for an unusually attractive price-performance ratio,” said Sintratec CEO Dominik Solenicki.

“With the Sintratec S2 solution we will be opening new opportunities for companies of any size.”

The price for the Sintratec S2 starts at $39,900, and you can see it for yourself at Sintratec’s booth 1753 at RAPID + TCT from May 20-23.

Tiamet 3D Joins Ultimaker’s Material Alliance Program

Last year, Dutch 3D printing specialist Tiamet 3D, founded in late 2014, worked with Finland-based Carbodeon to develop the first nanodiamond-enhanced 3D printing filaments, which went on the market in September. Now the company has joined Ultimaker as a partner in its Material Alliance Program. Together, the two will offer end-users simple one click downloads of Tiamet’s ULTRA Diamond material profile, which is now available on Ultimaker’s Cura software. This collaboration is formally backed by Tiamet’s manufacturing partner Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers (MCPP Netherlands).

Reid Larson, the Director and Co-Founder of Tiamet 3D, told us about some of the highlighted specs of its ULTRA Diamond material, including no additional nozzle wear, 6300 mpa stiffness, low moisture absorption and friction, improved thermal conductivity, and twice “the temperature resistance of normal PLA, Annealed goes to 125C HDT.” You can purchase one kg of ULTRA Diamond filament for €59.

Sciaky Increasing Sales Efforts Through New Agreement

In an effort to increase the sales efforts of its Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) solutions in Australia, the Middle East, and New Zealand, Sciaky, Inc. has entered into an agreement with KTM Consultants, founded by metallurgist Trent Mackenzie in 2015. In terms of sheer work envelope, Sciaky’s massive EBAM systems are the industry’s most widely scalable metal 3D printing solution, able to produce parts ranging from 8 inches to 19 feet at gross deposition rates of up to 25 lbs of metal an hour. Additionally, its Interlayer Real-time Imaging and Sensing System (IRISS) is the metal 3D printing market’s only real-time adaptive control system capable of sensing and digitally self-adjusting its deposition.

“I was immediately drawn to Sciaky’s EBAM technology because of its unique and robust capabilities. Industrial manufacturers of large metal parts need to explore the significant advantages that technologies like EBAM offer. It is truly a game-changer,” said Mackenzie.

Xometry Announces New Industry Certifications

Digital manufacturing marketplace Xometry announced that it has just received ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D certifications – some of the most rigorous, widely-recognized quality management designations in the industry. ISO 9001 helps organizations meet the needs and expectations of their customers in terms of quality management, while AS9100 meets customer demands in the exacting aerospace and defense industries. The company went through a major audit as part of the process, and its achievement definitely reflects how committed Xometry is to providing quality.

“We are thrilled to receive this designation. Our team members have a passion for providing great customer service while following the disciplines that give our customers peace of mind regarding on-time delivery, quality, and continuous improvement. It is yet another step towards achieving industry “best in class” status and being able to meet the expanded needs of our customers,” stated Xometry COO Peter Goguen.

nScrypt Develops Proprietary Method for 3D Printing Titanium

nScrypt 3D printed titanium gear, dogbone, and block

Florida manufacturer nScrypt, which develops high-precision Micro-Dispensing and Direct Digital Manufacturing equipment and solutions, is now focusing on repeatable 3D printing of metals for the medical, defense, and aerospace industries. The company has created a proprietary method for 3D printing titanium parts, which tests have shown display densities comparable to wrought parts. This method could easily work with other metals as well, such as copper, Inconel, and stainless steel, and nScrypt’s Factory in a Tool (FiT) systems can finish or polish areas with high tolerance features using its integrated precision nMill milling head. nScrypt’s Brandon Dickerson told us that the company expects to release more details on this later in 2019.

“The parts were printed with our SmartPump™ Micro-Dispensing tool head, which runs on any of our systems,” Dickerson told 3DPrint.com. “The parts shown in the photos were printed on our DDM (Direct Digital Manufacturing) system, also known as our Factory in a Tool (FiT) system, which can run 5 tool heads at the same time, including our Micro-Dispensing, Material Extrusion, micro-milling, and pick-and-place tool heads.  The parts were sintered after the build and the current densities are in the high 90% range.  We expect our system to appeal to customers who want to do Direct Digital Manufacturing and need strong metal parts, but cannot build them with a powder bed system (for example, if the geometry would trap powder inside) or prefer not to use a powder bed system (for example, if they want a cleaner system).”

Zurich Opera House 3D Printing Props with German RepRap

Finished tutu for “The Nutcracker”, which was produced with the help of the x400 3D printer

Switzerland’s largest cultural institution, the Zurich Opera House, puts on over 300 performances a year, but the behind-the-scenes magic happens in the studios and workshops, where the props and costumes are made. The opera house uses the x400 3D printer from German RepRap, with assistance from Swiss reseller KVT- Fastening, to support its creative work by fabricating props and molds. This affords the institution more creativity and flexibility, as they can design objects to their exacting needs in 3D modeling programs, which also helps save on time and money. The opera house currently uses PLA, which is easy to handle, offers a variety of colors, and is flame retardant – very important in a theatrical setting.

“Often, the wishes and ideas of costume and stage designers are very diverse and sometimes extraordinary. It often happens that props are not available in the way designers have it in their minds. This is where the 3D printer is perfect for,” said Andreas Gatzka, director of theater sculpture at the Zurich Opera House.

“There are a lot of great benefits. Special wishes of stage and costume designers can be realized quickly as well as a short-term change of the objects, for example larger, smaller, longer, shorter, or whatever is needed.”

3D Printed Art Collection

Artist Andrea Salvatori 3D printed the eye-catching pieces for his new collection, titled Ikebana Rock’n’Roll, using the Delta WASP 40100 Clay 3D printer – designed by WASP to be used by ceramic and clay artists. The collection just opened on stage at THE POOL NYC in Milan last week, and will be available to view until May 31st. With these 3D printed vases, Salvatori wanted to use “a miscellany of ceramic insertions” to mess with the high quality shapes 3D printing can achieve by adding asymmetry.

“The process of depositing the material and setting the spheres is a central theme in the Ikebana Rock’n’Roll collection, to the point of convincing Salvatori to name the works “Composition 40100”, as if they originated from a musical dialogue of the most varied tones. The artist upsets the algorithm reiterated slavishly by the machine with imperfect musical accents, the result from time to time of spontaneous actions and reasoned processes,” WASP wrote in a blog post.

“The ikebanes, proposed by Andrea Salvatori in the exhibition, transcend the experimental limits of an abstract investigation, representing a concrete territory in which 3D printing and ceramic art co-exist synergistically. The Master challenges the confrontation with the public, becoming also in this sector, precursor of a new genre in which WASP feels itself fully represented.”

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3D Printing News Briefs: November 13, 2018

We should really call today’s 3D Printing News Briefs the formnext 2018 Briefs, as announcements from the show are numerous this week. EnvisionTEC, XYZprinting, BASF, and DSM all introduced new 3D printing materials at the event in Frankfurt today, and in the only news not related to formnext, Imerys Ceramics has announced a new range of ceramic feedstocks.

EnvisionTEC Debuting First 4K 3D Printing System

At formnext, 3D printer manufacturer EnvisionTEC debuted the industry’s first DLP-based 3D printer that uses a true 4K projector with UV optics tuned to the 385 nm wavelength. Available in three production-ready variations, with a gray body and a 2560 x 1600 pixel projector resolution, the Perfactory P4K 3D printer delivers highly accurate parts with an ultra-smooth surface finish. Additionally, the Perfactory P4K, has access to the rest of the Perfactory line’s versatile materials portfolio for production capacity.

“The P4K is the highest resolution advanced DLP printer with the largest build envelope and deploys artificial intelligence in pixel modulation to deliver the highest accuracy parts with the smoothest available surface finish in the 3D printing space. This will deliver the next level of production-grade 3D printing solutions,” said Al Siblani, the CEO of EnvisionTEC.

The new Perfactory P4K will be on display at formnext all week.

XYZprinting Introducing New 3D Printing Materials

Another company introducing new materials at formnext this week is desktop 3D printing brand XYZprinting. In order to expand the capabilities of both domestic and professional grade 3D printers, the company is launching a new antibacterial PLA material, along with copper metallic PLA and Carbon PLA materials. The first of these can destroy up to 99% of bacteria, including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus, and comes in four colors: white, red, yellow and neon green.

The copper metallic PLA, made of 65% copper powder, is a good alternative for hobbyists when it comes to sculpting metal for ornamental models. The material is being launched in conjunction with XYZprinting’s new nozzle, made of carbon hardened steel. Finally, the new Carbon PLA, which is also compatible with this new nozzle, is made of 10% carbon fiber, and its matte finish is ideal for showing off fine details. You can learn more about these new materials at XYZprinting’s booth D10 in Hall 3.1, where it will also be exhibiting its latest 3D printer, the da Vinci Color AiO, with a 3D scanner and optional laser engraver.

BASF 3D Printing Solutions Presents New Products at formnext

Germany-based BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH (B3DPS), a 100% subsidiary of BASF New Business GmbH, is also at formnext this week, to introduce several new materials for photopolymer and laser sintering methods, in addition to announcing some new partnerships and alliances. First, B3DPS is introducing flame-resistant Ultrasint Polyamide PA6 Black FR, Ultrasint PA6 Black LM X085, which is suitable for most current SLS 3D printers, and Ultrasint PP, a polypropylene with great plasticity, low moisture uptake, and resistance to liquids and gases. Additionally, B3DPS has also grouped its photopolymer materials under the new Ultracur3D brand name.

András Marton, Senior Business Development Manager at B3DPS, said, “Our Ultracur3D portfolio enables us to offer customers various UV-curable materials for 3D printing that provide far better mechanical properties and higher long-term stability than most available materials.

“These materials have been developed for functional components that are subject to high stress.”

The subsidiary also announced that it’s partnering with California company Origin and 3D printer manufacturer Photocentric to develop photopolymers and photopolymer 3D printing processes, and working with Chinese 3D printer manufacturer Xunshi Technology, which operates in the US under the name SprintRay, to open up new applications for the Ultracur3D range. Additionally, B3DPS subsidiary Innofil3D is partnering with Jet-Mate Technology in China and US-based M. Holland to distribute plastic filaments. Visit B3DPS at formnext this week at booth F20 in Hall 3.1.

DSM Announces 3D Printing Product Launches

Vent cover used for PIV windtunnel testing, printed in Somos PerFORM Reflect

In today’s final formnext news, science-based company DSM has unveiled two new high-performance materials for 3D printing structural parts. Somos PerFORM Reflect is a groundbreaking new stereolithography material for wind tunnel testing with PIV (Particle Imaging Velocimetry), and saves more than 30% post treatment cost by eliminating the need to apply PIV coatings to printed parts. In addition to helping customers conduct iterations and collect data more quickly, the resin could actually help break speed records for wind tunnel testing.

“Speed is crucial, whether in automotive, aerospace or other transportation design. Eliminating the need to apply PIV coatings is a major breakthrough for customers who are using PIV wind tunnel testing. It allows them to speed up their aerodynamic design optimizations. We are thrilled that our strategy of focusing on helping customers create their applications have enabled us to deliver such tremendous value. Overnight, Somos® PerFORM Reflect will not just set new speed records but new industry standards,” said Hugo da Silva, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at DSM.

The company’s second new material is the thermoplastic copolyester (TPC) Arnitel ID2060 HT, which is perfect for the FDM 3D printing of structural parts for automotive applications. The material features a balance of prolonged high temperature resistance, flexibility, and chemical resistance against exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) condensate.

Imerys Ceramics Introduces EZ Print 3D Range of Ceramic Feedstocks

As part of the Imerys group, Imerys Ceramics designs, produces, and markets high-performance mineral solutions for the ceramic industries, and is making ceramic 3D printing easy with its new, unique range of ceramic materials called EZ Print 3D.

EZ Print 3D is available as a plug & play cartridge, so users can enjoy efficiency and ease of use when it comes to 3D printing. The materials are also available as a “ready to fill” ceramic feedstock, and have been tested on several 3D printers currently on the market. EZ Print 3D has a low firing temperature of 1220°C that’s compatible with most kiln temperature limits, and the genuine low porosity (<0,5%) of a porcelain. The technology is perfect for tableware and giftware applications, and the company plans to expand EZ Print 3D accordingly as 3D printing adoption grows. Imerys Ceramics also provides technical support and a dedicated team that’s competent in 3D printing to help customers.

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3D Printing News Briefs: November 9, 2018

Buckle your seat belts, because we’ve got a of news to share with you in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, starting with more event announcements and moving on to several new partnerships, a workshop, and a 3D printing project. Nanogrande introduced its new 3D printer for nanometer metallic particles at Fabtech this week, while Sartomer and Nanoe are launching new 3D printing innovations at formnext. Creatz3D is working to accelerate ceramics 3D printing in Singapore, while partnerships were announced between Valuechain and Clad Korea, PostProcess and Rösler, and Additive Manufacturing Technologies and Mitsubishi Electric. Finally, two Fraunhofer Institutes are hosting an AM materials workshop, and a maker from YouTube channel Potent Printables is sharing a new project.

Nanogrande Introduced First 3D Printer for Nanometer Metallic Particles

At FABTECH 2018 in Atlanta this week, Nanogrande officially introduced its new 3D printer. The MPL-1, enabled with the company’s Power Layering Technology, is actually the first nanoscale 3D printer for metallic particles in the world, and could successfully open up new 3D printing horizons. Nanogrande has spent years working to develop the new 3D printer.

“Power Layering, while maximizing particle compaction, allows MPL-1 to use particles of all shapes, sizes and types. With this approach, we can easily print with particles as small as a nanometer, but also particles of 5 microns, what the industrial sector is currently seeking. At this size, the particles stick to each other, virtually eliminating the need for support structures typical to 3D printing. In this way, there is a considerable reduction in post- printing costs,” said Juan Schneider, the President and Founder of Nanogrande.

“Today we are witnessing the culmination of a long process of research and development that has given us the chance to set up a team that generates many innovative ideas. Alone, it is possible to have excellent ideas; but, as a team, we can bring these ideas to life. I am very pleased to highlight the success of the efforts of the people who work for Nanogrande.”

Sartomer Europe Introducing New UV-Curable Resins

At formnext in Frankfurt next week, the European division of specialty chemical supplier Sartomer, a business unit of Arkema, will be launching new products in its N3xtDimension line of UV-curable engineered resins as part of its new commercial 3D printing-dedicated platform. The new materials will help companies fulfill performance and regulatory requirements for multiple industrial applications, thanks to their excellent tunability and mechanical properties. At its booth H58 in Hall 3.1 at formnext, Sartomer will introduce N3D I-2105, with impact resistance for manufacturing functional parts; N3D-F2115, which can achieve varying levels of flexibility depending on post treatment; and N3D P-2125, which is perfect for prototyping with its homogeneous network and limited evolution of mechanical properties after post-curing is complete.

“We are addressing the needs of demanding and innovative 3D printing markets by partnering with global leaders to deliver custom material solutions for end-use applications. Through our range of products and services dedicated to additive manufacturing, we are supporting the 3D printing sector as it grows and continues to develop new applications,” said Sumeet Jain, the Global Director for 3D Printing Business at Sartomer.

Nanoe Launches Ceramic and Metal 3D Printer

In other formnext news, French company Nanoe, which is a leader in high-tech raw materials and also specializes in ceramics 3D printing, will be introducing its new Zetaprint system for desktop 3D printing of ceramic and metal materials. The team will perform a live demonstration of the 3D printer at the event, and explain the full 3D printing, debinding, and sintering process.

Additionally, the company will be launching its new stainless steel 16L Zetamix filament. These filaments, made up of a ceramic or metal powder and a polymer matrix, can be used to make high density parts in any FDM 3D printer.  Nanoe, which is also developing materials in Inconel and titanium, will also soon be launching a complete line of adapted FDM 3D printers. Visit the company at booth A74 in Hall 3.0 next week at formnext to see a live Zetaprint demonstration and 3D printed parts in various Zetamix materials.

Creatz3D Accelerating Ceramics 3D Printing in Singapore

Speaking of ceramics, Creatz3D Ceramics Service Bureau is dedicated to 3D printing ceramics parts. Founded last year, its parent company is Singapore-based 3D printer and AM software solutions seller Creatz3D, which partnered with 3DCeram Sinto in Limoges to create the service. This partnership, signed in 2016, facilitated the first installation in Singapore of 3DCeram Sinto’s Ceramaker 900 Ceramic 3D printer, at the Advanced Remanufacturing Technology Centre. The Creatz3D Ceramics Service Bureau, which offers diverse material options and a hassle-free experience, is the first, and only, ceramics-focused 3D printing service in the country, and is helping to increase awareness and adoption of ceramics for 3D printing.

“The addition of ceramics to Creatz3D’s portfolio ensures that they stay ahead of the pack in the competitive 3D printing landscape, and their expertise can demonstrate the game-changing capabilities that the technology has to offer to help advance design, engineering, and manufacturing,” said Sean Looi, the General Manager of Creatz3D.

Valuechain Signs Strategic Partnership with Clad Korea

British technology company Valuechain reports that it has signed a strategic partnership with manufacturing company Clad Korea, in order to digitalize 3D printing in East Asia. Both companies will be able to grow their association together in the initial agreement, in addition to bringing Valuechain’s solutions, including its flagship DNA am production control software, to the East Asian AM marketplace. This software addresses 3D printing production process niche requirements, like powder traceability and managing AM build plans.

“Valuechain’s DNA am technology is a unique offering to the market, with great potential to enable rapid and mass production of additive manufactured parts. As we look to enter the additive manufacturing market ourselves, we believe this product will give us a competitive advantage in the industry, and we’re excited to be able to contribute to the growth of this technology in Asia by helping to deliver this solution throughout South Korea,” said Brandon Lee, the CEO of Clad Korea Co. Ltd.

PostProcess Technologies Partnering with Rösler

Moving on with strategic partnerships in the 3D printing world, PostProcess Technologies Inc., a pioneer of software-drive 3D post-processing solutions, is working with Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH, which sells finishing systems for traditional manufacturing, to bring automated, intelligent post-print solutions to Europe. Rösler will provide PostProcess’ data-driven support removal and surface finishing solutions for 3D printing to the European market, making it the only surface finishing supplier that will be providing solutions tailored to the needs of both traditional and additive manufacturing. The two companies will debut their partnership next week at formnext, with PostProcess’ technology on display in its booth H68, as well as Rösler’s booth E20, both of which are in Hall 3.0.

“The additive space is rapidly growing, especially in Europe, and as such, the demand for an automated post-printing solution is accelerating. Rösler is a unique partner for PostProcess, bringing expertise in finishing systems with a broad European footprint, thousands of existing customers, and a strong presence across a range of industries that will greatly benefit from PostProcess’ proprietary and integrated software, hardware, and chemistry solution,” said Bruno Bourguet, the Managing Director for PostProcess Technologies.

Additive Manufacturing Technologies Announces Partnership with Mitsubishi Electric

Sheffield-based Additive Manufacturing Technologies Ltd (AMT) has entered into a partnership with Mitsubishi Electric in order to further develop its PostPro3D system with an integrated automation solution, which could provide a major productivity boost for 3D print post-processing. This new solution is based on Mitsubishi Electric’s MELSEC iQ-F Series compact PLC, HMIs, SCADA and MELFA articulated arm robots. While PostPro3D is already pretty impressive, with its ability to automatically smooth an object’s surface to 1μm precision, AMT wanted to further develop the system with certified automation products so it would be suitable for Industry 4.0. Now, PostPro3D is equipped with a Mitsubishi Electric power supply and low voltage switchgear, servo drives and motors, FR-D700 frequency inverters and the optional six-axis robot arm.

“To realise our concept, we needed an automation partner that could provide the whole range of machine control systems, as well as the actual robotics. This is fundamental to truly integrate our machine into the production line of the future as well as to benefit from a lean, single vendor distribution model,” explained Joseph Crabtree, CEO at AMT.

“Mitsubishi Electric was the clear choice because it offers a one stop shop for state-of-the-art automation solutions. In this way, we can be sure that the different components are compatible and can share data. Overall, the company can offer us products that adhere to UL, CE as well as Industry 4.0 requirements.”

Fraunhofer AM Materials Workshop 

On November 29 and 30 in Dresden, Germany, Fraunhofer IKTS and Fraunhofer IWS are holding a workshop called “Hybrid materials and additive manufacturing processes.” The two institutes are working together to organize the workshop, which will be held in English and discuss innovative technologies for 3D printing metallic and ceramic components, in addition to application-specific manufacturing of material hybrids. Participants in the workshop’s practical insight sessions will be able to see diverse AM devices for multimaterial approaches live and in action.

“Why is that interesting? Additive manufacturing technologies for material hybrids open up new possibilities in production for diverse industrial branches,” Annika Ballin, Press and Public Relations for Fraunhofer IKTS, told 3DPrint.com. “It is not only possible to realize complex geometries, but also to functionalize components (sensors, heaters), to individualize production (labeling, inscriptions) and to combine different materials properties in one component (conductive/insulating, dense/porous etc.).”

The workshop, which costs €750, will be held at Fraunhofer Institute Center Dresden, and registration will continue until November 22.

DIY 3D Printed Linear Servo Actuators by Potent Printables

A maker named Ali, who runs the Potent Printables YouTube channel, recently completed a neat design project – 3D printed linear actuators. Ali, who was partly inspired by a Hackaday post, said that the project has received a great response on both Twitter and Instagram. He designed the parts in SOLIDWORKS, and controls them with an Arduino Uno. The simple rack-and-pinion design, perfect for light loads, comes in two sizes for different space constraints and force outputs.

“Each design has a pinion that has to be glued to a servo horn, and a selection of rack lengths to suit your needs,” Dan Maloney wrote in a new Hackaday post about Ali’s project. “The printed parts are nothing fancy, but seem to have material in the right places to bear the loads these actuators will encounter.”

Check out the video below to see the 3D printed linear actuators for yourself:

Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.

NanoE Technical Ceramics for Desktop 3D Printing: Interview with CEO Guillaume de Calan

Ceramics is a relatively new area for 3D printing. Some companies have been active in the space and we have products such as Olivier van Herpt’s ceramics 3D printer. These large-scale ceramics are but one part of the ceramics market, however. Technical ceramics are usually sintered ceramic components used widely in technical applications for industry. Used for applications such as bearings, guides, pumps, intakes and many other components. Technical ceramics typically have high wear, temperature and pressure resistance with low friction. Made out of materials such as zirconium oxide, aluminum oxide and other materials technical ceramics can be designed for one particular application. Microstructure and properties can be optimized and these materials outperform many others in high heat and wear resistance applications. Not widely known outside of industry these components populate our lives behind the scenes. NanoE is a company that designs, manufactures and supplies these materials to many industries. The company now has a technical ceramics 3D printer and 3D printing materials that can let you print these materials on the desktop. By making technical ceramics available on the desktop NanoE is really taking steps to expand the arsenal available to firms using desktop 3D printers. 3DPrint.com interviewed NanoE’s CEO Guillaume de Calan to find out more.

What is NanoE?

“NanoE is a supplier of Ceramic raw materials, focused on technical ceramics for high tech industries, such as Biomedical, Semiconductors, Aerospace, high wear applications… any industry where you need extreme resistance to heat, wear and corrosion. We bring to our customer state of the art raw materials, which enables better mechanical properties, better life time for the pieces and resistance to harsher environments.” 

What kind of products do you make?

“We produce powders and mix of powders with binders, which are used by our customer to actually produce ceramic parts. Typical products are alumina, zirconia and alumina/zirconia composites (ZTA).”

How did you end up making 3D prining materials?

“At NanoE we have always strived to maker our products as user friendly as possible. This has led us to adapt our powders to different shaping process used by our customer, such as pressing, casting, and Ceramic Injection Molding.
The next logical step was to produce raw materials for 3D printing. Using our experience in Ceramic Injection Molding feedstocks, we started developping raw materials for 3D printing last year.”

What is Zetamix?

“Zetamix is our first line of raw materials for 3D printing. When we decided to launch 3D printing materials for ceramics, we had a look at the current market. There are a few niche players for ceramic 3D printing, but it is still very small compared to metal and plastics. One of the reasons is ceramics are difficult materials to shape and process. An other reason is that to print ceramics, you need dedicated 3D printing machines that are very expensive. We decided to take a different approach and to adapt our raw material to existing machines already on the market in number. This lead us logically to start with FDM printer, and we launched a line of ceramic filament that are compatible with any FDM printer. Basically, our filament is a mix of plastic binder and ceramic powder, that you can print with FDM printer, and the debind and sinter in a furnace to get a dense ceramic piece. This process is very similar to MIM and CIM (Metal and Ceramic Injection Molding).”

How would I use it?

“The material is compatible with any FDM printer, but we recommand some small ajustments. First, the filament is extremely abbrasive, so you need to replace the brass nozzle by something stronger (ideally ruby or ceramic tip). Also, since the filament is quite brittle, you sometimes need to replace the etxtrusion gear with a smooth or a grooved version. These are really minor modification, which will take a few hours at worst. However, for those who want to start quicker, we also supply modified FDM printers adapted to our filament.”

Step by step how do I turn this into a final part?

“Once you have printed your part, there is a solvent debinding stage (dipping the piece in a specific solvent for a few hours), drying, and then sintering of the piece in a high-temperature kiln, up to 1550°C. A small furnace can be found quite easily, and Nanoe can advise on the best furnace for our materials. After sintering, the piece will have shrunk of approx 20%, and will be full ceramic, with very good levels of density, up to 99%.”

For what would I use the alumina product? And YSZ? And ZTA?

“All of our compositions are ceramics, so they share some common feature: high-temperature resistance, up to 1800°C, high wear resistance, electrical insulation, hardness… Depending on the material, we will aim for different applications though: Zirconia can be used for cutting tools, jewelry and esthetical parts, and dental application, while alumina will have more technical uses: high temperature, electrical insulation, wear resistance.”

Who are the intended users for these products?

“The first application we see is for our current customer making technical ceramic parts. This new process will complement their more traditional processes to make prototypes, small series, and highly technical parts. On a longer term, we see obvious applications in jewelry, medical and aerospace industry.”

What do these products mean for desktop 3D printing?

“We believe that our Zetamix products for ceramic, and later on for metal, will make 3D printing of ceramic and metal affordable for any kind of company. This could mean a lot more applications for 3D printing, that will in a second time lead to production on more industrial machines.”

What is the cost of the filament and the machine?

“The machine cost 5000€. The filament price depends a lot on material and quantities.”

3D Printing News Briefs: August 21, 2018

We’ve got plenty of business news for you in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, and a little scientific research as well. Kelyniam Global has acquired new 3D printing technology, while Rostec makes an investment in technology. One of the earliest SpaceX employees is now an advisor for another aerospace company, the Youngstown Business Incubator has received a federal grant, and SAE International recently hosted a 3D printing webinar. Auburn University has been chosen as the site of a new National Center of Additive Manufacturing Excellence, and a new study discusses 4D printed elastic ceramics.

Kelyniam Global Adds New 3D Printing Capabilities

Using medical models for surgical pre-planning is almost a clinical standard these days. In an effort to increase its current medical modeling skills, custom 3D printed cranial implant manufacturer Kelyniam Global, which works with health systems and surgeons to improve cost-of-care and clinical outcomes, announced that it has expanded its 3D printing capabilities with the acquisition of new technology. This new technology aligns with the company’s reputation as a premium supplier of cranial implants requiring excellence in design and quick turnaround times.

“This state-of-the-art equipment will enable Kelyniam to produce certain medical models on the same 24-hour turnaround schedule we offer for cranial implants. The ability to rapidly print ultrahigh resolution models with high accuracy across our entire platform is a significant differentiator in our industry,” said Kelyniam COO Chris Breault.

Rostec Investing in Industrial 3D Printing Development

Russia’s state technologies corporation Rostec (also Rostek and Rostekh), which develops products for high-tech and communication systems, has invested nearly 3 billion rubles to create a specialized center for industrial 3D printing. The Center for Additive Technologies (CAC), with a goal of reducing the amount of time and money it takes to launch new products, will offer customers a full range of services and advanced 3D printers. The CAC’s main task will be introducing industrial 3D printing to high-tech industries that could really use it.

“Industrial 3D printing is becoming one of the indispensable attributes of modern industry. We see the high potential of this technology and introduce it into our production practice,” said Anatoly Serdyukov, the Industrial Director of the aviation cluster at Rostekh State Corporation. “For example, in the JDC today, about three tons of parts per year are produced by the additive technology method. The holding plans to widely use them in the serial production of promising Russian gas turbine engines, which will be certified in 2025 – 2030. The creation of a specialized center will expand the scope of this technology and produce parts for such industries as aircraft building, space, high technology medicine, automotive industry.”

Project participants calculate that the CAC’s first pilot batch of parts will be manufactured there sometime in 2019.

Former SpaceX Employee Becomes Advisor to Relativity Space

Aerospace company Relativity Space hopes to one day 3D print an entire rocket in an effort to lower the cost of space travel, and has been working hard to achieve this goal over the last few years. The company has fired up its 3D printed engine over 100 times so far, and just a few months ago received $35 million in Series B Funding. Now, Relativity Space has announced that Tim Buzza, one of the very first employees at SpaceX – another company working to 3D print rockets – is one of its official advisors.

Jordan Noone, Relativity Space Co-Founder, said “When I was at SpaceX, Tim’s stellar reputation for breadth and depth of engineering and operations was legendary in the industry.”

Buzza spent 12 years helping to develop SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft and will advise Relativity Space on organizing the company structure, launch site selection and trades, rocket architecture, structures and avionics, and more.

Federal Grant Awarded to Youngstown Business Incubator

The Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) is about to receive some new 3D printing software and hardware, thanks to a federal grant. Recently, the Appalachian Regional Commission awarded $185,000 in federal funding to YBI. The new 3D printers and 3D printing software that the grant will fund, in addition to being a boon for YBI, will also help to strengthen its frequent area partners Youngstown State University (YSU) and America Makes.

“Each additional piece of equipment further strengthen us as a national and international leader in additive manufacturing technology and this is a key part of that process,” said Michael Hripko, YSU’s Associative Vice President for Research.

SAE International Recently Held Additive Manufacturing Webinar

Last week, global engineering organization SAE International hosted an hour-long additive manufacturing webinar, called “Considerations When Integrating Additive Manufacturing into Aerospace and Ground Vehicle Development and Production Environment,” for members of the mobility engineering community. The discussion, moderated by the organization’s Senior Global Product Manager Audra Ziegenfuss, was led by four guest speakers: Dr. John Hart, the Director of MIT’s Center for Additive and Digital Advanced Production Technologies (ADAPT); Bill Harris, a Technical Fellow with Lockheed Martin; and Adam Rivard, the Additive Manufacturing Director for LAI International, Inc.

Topics covered during SAE International’s webinar last week included novel AM methods that translate to automotive and aerospace applications, the risks involved in introducing 3D printed, flight-critical parts, and the anticipated timeline for general acceptance of 3D printed parts by aerospace customers.

Auburn University Site of New National Center of AM Excellence

Recently, Auburn University in Alabama, ASTM International, and NASA launched two new centers of excellence in additive manufacturing with the shared goal of speeding up research and development, standardization and innovation in 3D printing. Researchers at Auburn’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME), will conduct interdisciplinary research, while also striving to grow effective collaboration between industry, government, academia, and not-for-profit.

“The Center of Excellence is going to facilitate us bringing together the best technical experts in industry, government, and academia, and that’s going to help us develop the very best standards for this emerging technology,” said Katharine Morgan, the President of ASTM International.

New Study On 4D Printed Elastic Ceramics

3D printing EDCs. (A) 3D printed large-scale elastomeric honeycomb. (B) 3D printed microlattices and (C) honeycombs of PDMS NCs and first EDCs and second EDCs.

Shape-morphing assembly is a great technology for applications in 4D printing, biomaterials, life sciences, and robotics, and multiple materials like ceramics, silicone, and polymers are used. But, we’ve not yet seen much in the way of ceramic structures derived from soft precursors that allow for elastic deformation. Polymer-derived ceramics (PDCs) have some excellent properties, such as high thermal stability and chemical resistance to oxidation and corrosion, and their microstructures can be fine-tuned through tailored polymer systems.

While we’re seeing a lot in the way of 3D printing soft materials, current ceramic precursors are not flexible and stretchable. Guo Liu, Yan Zhao, Ge Wu, and Jian Lu with the City University of Hong Kong published a paper, titled “Origami and 4D printing of elastomer-derived ceramic structures,” that explains how they developed silicone rubber matrix nanocomposites (NCs) that can be 3D printed and deformed into elastomer structures with complex shapes and transformed into mechanically strong EDCs.

The abstract reads, “Four-dimensional (4D) printing involves conventional 3D printing followed by a shape-morphing step. It enables more complex shapes to be created than is possible with conventional 3D printing. However, 3D-printed ceramic precursors are usually difficult to be deformed, hindering the development of 4D printing for ceramics. To overcome this limitation, we developed elastomeric poly(dimethylsiloxane) matrix nanocomposites (NCs) that can be printed, deformed, and then transformed into silicon oxycarbide matrix NCs, making the growth of complex ceramic origami and 4D-printed ceramic structures possible. In addition, the printed ceramic precursors are soft and can be stretched beyond three times their initial length. Hierarchical elastomer-derived ceramics (EDCs) could be achieved with programmable architectures spanning three orders of magnitude, from 200 μm to 10 cm. A compressive strength of 547 MPa is achieved on the microlattice at 1.6 g cm−3. This work starts a new chapter of printing high-resolution complex and mechanically robust ceramics, and this origami and 4D printing of ceramics is cost-efficient in terms of time due to geometrical flexibility of precursors. With the versatile shape-morphing capability of elastomers, this work on origami and 4D printing of EDCs could lead to structural applications of autonomous morphing structures, aerospace propulsion components, space exploration, electronic devices, and high-temperature microelectromechanical systems.”

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