3D Printing News Briefs, May 18, 2020: Fraunhofer, Formnext, Visagio & DiManEx, BCN3D Technologies

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, Fraunhofer will soon discuss adoption of Industry 4.0-related technologies in a webinar, and we’ve learned that Formnext 2020 is still planned for this November. Moving on, Visagio and DiManEx have announced a partnership. Finally, BCN3D’s technology was used to make an interesting event installation.

Fraunhofer’s Industry 4.0 Webinar

Tomorrow, May 19th, the Fraunhofer Project Center (FPC) at the University of Twente will be holding a free webinar called “The Road to Digitalisation” that explains some of the challenges in adopting technologies related to Industry 4.0, such as 3D printing, as well as the solutions. Industry 4.0 is about optimization, and can offer companies many benefits, such as increased revenue, better quality, and reduced cycle times and costs. But, it can be a tough journey to start, and companies looking to start could use some help.

“Industry 4.0 is all about optimization; from managing big data to efficiency in the production line. All this aims at enabling businesses to make quicker, smarter decisions while minimizing costs. This webinar sets out to explain the challenges and to offer solutions in the adoption of I4.0 related technologies.”

The webinar, featuring Join Biba Visnjicki, Managing Director of FPC, and Thomas Vollmer, Head of Production Quality Dept. from Fraunhofer IPT, will last 60 minutes; register for free here.

Formnext 2020 Still a Go in Frankfurt

As many places in the world are cautiously reopening after recent mass shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to look to the future. In that vein, Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH is still planning to hold the AM industry’s biggest event, formnext 2020, this November 10-13. Recently, the Federal Government and the Federal States of Germany ruled that trade shows are no longer under the ‘major events’ category for health risks, but the health of all the employees, exhibitors, and visitors are still considered the highest priority if the event does indeed take place this fall. That’s why the exhibition organizer is working around the clock to develop an updated health concept, such as introducing contact tracing and decreasing visitor density, along with a supplementary digital/virtual program.

“We remain convinced of the unique value and advantages of a physical exhibition. And although digital interaction will never be able to replace face-to-face contact, it does offer more scope than previously thought possible only a few weeks ago,” stated Sascha F. Wenzler, Vice President of Formnext, Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH.

“Ultimately, even in these challenging times, we want to organize a trade show that is as responsive as possible to the current situation and the needs of participants and the market.”

Visagio and DiManEx Partnering to Improve AM Supply Chains

(Image: DiManEx)

Management consultancy Visagio Ltd and DiManEx BV are partnering to strengthen end-to-end 3D printing usage in supply chains. Companies are looking to conquer supply base disruptions, and by pairing Visagio’s supply chain services with DiManEx’s end-to-end 3D printing platform, they can do so by digitizing their inventory and 3D printing parts on demand, which can delivered all over the world. The collaboration is a representation of how both companies address market needs, especially in these challenging times as COVID-19 disrupts the global supply and demand process.

“Companies are increasingly looking for ways to optimize their supply chains and mitigate risks, such as those brought about by pandemics or geo-political tensions. Our platform embeds 3D printing in supply chains easily, realising the concept of ‘Digital Inventory at your Fingertips, Ordered at a Click of a Button’. Coupled with Visagio’s industry and management expertise, this is a winning combination for supply chain optimization,” said Tibor van Melsem Kocsis, the Founder and CEO of DiManEx.

3D Printed Cisco Live 2020 Installation

Thanks to 3D printing, it was possible to quickly iterate not only the main design, but also all the smaller parts of the internal mechanisms.

Speaking of collaborations, Barcelona data interpretation firm and design studio Domestic Data Streamers pairs data and arts with storytelling to develop “participatory projects” for community building and education. Its workshop has long used 3D printers from BCN3D Technologies, and recently turned to the technology again to create an installation for the Cisco Live 2020 event. The studio wanted to give attendees “a better experience” by displaying the event schedule on an interactive Recommendation Wall of clickable screens; once clicked, the animated image turned into a QR code, which visitors could scan for more information. The screens had to be custom-made, and so Domestic Data Streamers turned to its in-house printer farm, and the BCN3D Epsilon 3D printer. They used PETG to print over 40 of the main covers in just four weeks, which equaled major cost savings.

“The printers work very well, we count on a very high success ratio, and the support from the team is always quick and helpful,” said Pol Trias, the Head of Design at Domestic Data Streamers.

“It gave us great agility when it comes to functionally and aesthetically validating the designs at a very low cost…our processes were more efficient and much faster thanks to our BCN3D Epsilon.

“This could not have happened without 3D printing. For a project like this one, where you want high-quality results in a short time and within a limited budget, there is no better option than 3D printing.”

You can learn more about the project here, or check out the video below.

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

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Formnext + PM South China Partners with Prominent Industry Groups for Debut Edition

Formnext + PM South China has confirmed official partnerships with the Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing (ACAM) and the Verband Deutscher Maschinen-und Anlagenbau (VDMA), two of the most recognised advanced manufacturing groups in Germany. This strategic collaboration will bring benefits to the Chinese market by importing some of the most recent technologies and products in additive manufacturing, powder metallurgy and advanced ceramics from Germany.

Formnext + PM South China is a professional event for additive manufacturing, powder metallurgy and advanced ceramics, which will be held from 9 – 11 September 2020 at the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center. Located in one of the key cities of the Greater Bay Area, the show will put a strong focus on the Chinese market and cover an array of additive manufacturing solutions and materials, smart manufacturing technologies and equipment, powder metallurgy products, ceramic materials and forming technologies, post processing solutions and more.

With Formnext + PM South China’s mission to shorten the manufacturing cycle time with lower cost and higher quality by integrating advanced materials, equipment and technical solutions into the manufacturing process, the organisers are bringing this to the fore through the cooperation with ACAM and the VDMA. ACAM will co-organise the Discover 3D Printing Seminar during the fair, and showcase the latest additive manufacturing technologies and applications in Germany. VDMA will group their members in a pavilion to expand their overseas market, and to boost the development for enterprises in the Chinese manufacturing industry.

Dr-Ing Kristian Arntz, Managing Director and Partner of ACAM, and Dr Markus Heering, Managing Director of the Additive Manufacturing Working Group of VDMA expressed their excitement about the new fair. “ACAM are excited about Formnext + PM South China, and will offer our services covering further education for companies as well as consulting and developments in the relevant areas of additive manufacturing to Chinese and other Asian manufacturing industries. We expect it to be a great show as the market is emerging and additive manufacturing is becoming more and more important to many companies in this area,” stated Dr-Ing Arntz.

 

Dr Heering said: “For our 150 member companies, this new trade fair creates an interesting access to the important Chinese market and the growing markets of the region. At the same time it offers the perspective of assisting the cooperation with this important region. We also see the opportunity to strengthen Formnext in Frankfurt as the world’s leading trade fair for additive technologies through this event together with our partners.”

Founded in 2015, ACAM is a one-stop-shop for additive manufacturing which combines the expertise from world-class institutes, research centres and start-up companies. They offer access to innovative know-how, training and education, process, software and systems engineering as well as customised services covering all aspects of additive manufacturing technologies. Some of the members of the ACAM community include Danfoss, GE Additive, Linde, Oerlikon, Okuma, Stratasys, Toyota and more.

VDMA has a long history in the mechanical engineering industry since its establishment in 1892. With around 3,300 members, it is the largest network organisation for mechanical engineering in Europe. The Additive Manufacturing Association within VDMA offers a comprehensive platform designed to tie up all companies and research institutes participating in the value supply chain. They put a strong focus on the user perspective and the potential of the variety of methods in 3D printing.

Renowned Chinese industry alliances facilitate cohesion between powder metallurgy and 3D printing

Apart from the two well-known German industry associations, the China Powder Metallurgy Alliance (CPMA) and the China Ceramic 3D Printing Alliance will also be participating at the new show by taking part in the concurrent event programme. The former has been an important force in enhancing the development of powder metallurgy in China since 2010; the latter is supported by a number of top-rank academic institutes and 3D printing companies, and aims to foster the expansion of the Chinese ceramic 3D printing industry.

A number of leading brands have already confirmed their participation for the first edition. They include 3DCERAM, 3D SYSTEMS, Artec 3D, BMF Material Technology, CFINE, CNPC Powder, Evonik Specialty Chemicals, GF Machining Solutions, GKN Sinter Metals, Hujin, Longding, ONLY, Quick Beam Tech, Russell Finex China, Shenzhen Shunde Nuoen, Sinterzone, Sunshine Machinery Equipment, Shining 3D, SLM Solutions, Sympatec GmbH – System, Unique Injection Molding System, Visitech, Zhongdexiang, Z Rapid Technologies and more.

Formnext + PM South China is jointly organised by Guangzhou Guangya Messe Frankfurt Co Ltd and Uniris Exhibition Shanghai Co Ltd and forms a part of a series of international events including:

  • Formnext: 10 – 13 November 2020, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Formnext + PM South China: 9 – 11 September 2020, Shenzhen, China
  • Formnext Forum Tokyo: 24 – 25 September 2020, Tokyo, Japan
  • Asiamold: 2020, Guangzhou, China
  • Rosmould: 8 – 10 June 2020, Moscow, Russia

To find out more about the 2020 show, please visit www.formnext-pm.com or email formnext-pm@china.messefrankfurt.com.

– end –

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 2,600* employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €733* million. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent). For more information, please visit our website at: www.messefrankfurt.com

* preliminary figures 2019

Background Information on Uniris Exhibition Shanghai Co Ltd

Uniris Exhibition Shanghai Co Ltd is the first organisation to hold professional exhibitions and conferences for powder metallurgy and advanced ceramics in China. For years, it has focused on the exploration of the power metallurgy and advanced ceramics industry and market analysis, and spent over 10 years cultivating exhibitions and accumulating customers

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South Korea’s Largest 3D Printing Event Takes Place on June 24-26 as Planned

Inside 3D Printing Seoul is entering its 7th year and has become one of Asia’s premier additive technology events for digital transformation of design, development and manufacturing driven by Industry 4.0.

With 20% year-on-year growth in exhibitor numbers and 25% annual growth in floor space sold, Inside 3D Printing Seoul has positioned itself as the powerhouse for industrial additive manufacturing in Asia.

“We have participated in dozens of exhibitions both in Korea and abroad. Now we found that Inside 3D Printing Seoul is the best marketing platform for our industry-level 3D printers in manufacturing, dental and jewelry field.” commented Yong-ho Choi, General Manager of Hepzibah.

“According to my partner in Korea, Inside 3D Printing Seoul has become South Korea’s largest and best market place since 2014.” said Liam Marriott, APAC Channel Marketing Manager of Formlabs. He also added, “This year, we are to exhibit our brand new products and services with largest scale, ever.”

“If we have to choose one event out of dozens of other 3D technology events in APAC region, that would be Inside 3D Printing Seoul because this is the only one with brand, contents and quality buyers.” mentioned Yoon-Jae Lee, Marketing Manager of Hanil Protech. “That is why we are participating as a Silver Sponsor for 5 consecutive years in a row.”

Unlike a number of non-specialized events in Asia, Inside 3D Printing Seoul brings the 9,000+ active industrial AM users as well as supplier groups together every year. This event is the best launch pad for both domestic companies looking for a global audience and for international companies looking to tap the Korean market.

In addition to increasingly popular composite materials, specific special materials will also be refined and simplified, which will be put into large-scale application. Moreover, 3D metal printing is rising rapidly in Asia and will play a crucial role in major industries including automobile, aerospace, health care and consumer electronics in the near future.

Inside 3D Printing Seoul boasts its 30+ world-class speakers with practical application cases in 4 tracks; Metal, Manufacturing, Aerospace/Automotive and Medical/Dental.

Dozens of industry professionals are already confirmed as major speakers including: Benoit Valin, General Manager, Essentium; Alan Yu, Application Engineering Manager, Markforged; Byoungjik Lim, Senior Researcher, Korea Aerospace Research Institute or KARI; Simon Lee, Regional Director, AM Ventures GmbH; Sang Joon Park, Founder and CEO, MEDICAL IP.

Further enhancing this year’s event, 3DPrint.com and SmarTech Analysis join as co-producers, further upgrading the event and providing the best marketing platform for 90+ exhibitors, sponsors and 9,000+ buyers from around the world.

Limited availability still remains to speak and/or exhibit before 9,000+ buyers and influencers around the globe until April 30, 2020 with increased discount rate.

If interested in exhibiting or speaking opportunities for this forthcoming Seoul event taking place on June 24-26, please contact Inside 3D Printing Secretariat (inside3dprinting@kintex.com) or visit our website (www.inside3dprinting.com/seoul) for more information.

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AMS 2020: Panels on 3D Printing Materials and Applications for Dental Industry

At our recent Additive Manufacturing Strategies 2020 in Boston, co-hosted by SmarTech Analysis, many different topics were discussed in keynotes and panels, such as binder jetting, medical 3D printing, and different materials. Dental 3D printing was also a major topic of discussion at the event, and I attended three panels that focused on additive manufacturing for dental applications.

The first, “Into the dental and oral surgery office,” had three panelists: Dr.-Ing. Roland Mayerhofer, the Product Line Manager for Coherent/OR Laser; CEO Manager of Oral 3D Martina Ferracane; and Mayra Vasques, PhD, a dental prosthesis fellow at the University of São Paulo in Brazil.

Dr. Mayerhofer went first, and provided a quick overview of Coherent’s laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) systems, and the dental applications for which they can be used.

The versatile CREATOR is the company’s open system, and can print with multiple materials, such as brass, cobalt chromium, steel, and Inconel.

“As long as it works, you can put any powder in you want,” Dr. Mayerhofer said about the 3D printer.

He explained said that the CREATOR setup is “typical but can be as big as a stand-up fridge, not the American double-size.”

You can take a look at the rest of the printer specs above, along with a few features that will be added to the new system that’s coming in 2021, such as two powder hoppers and a build platform.

“Then you can take them out, put fresh hoppers in, and keep going,” Dr. Mayerhofer said.

He stated that the dental field is likely one of the first major adopters of metal additive manufacturing, as the technology offers 100% personalization and can fabricate small, complex parts out of existing materials, like titanium alloys…all perfect features for the dental industry.

Dr. Mayerhofer then discussed Coherent’s digital dental workflow, which can get from scanning to a completed 3D printed part in 12 steps. Some of these steps include designing the CAD file and preparing it for 3D printing in the company’s APP software suite.

Later process steps are annealing, and then sandblasting, support removal, polishing, ceramic coating – added manually – and voila, you have a finished product.

The Dental Cockpit is Coherent’s latest addition. The CAM software makes it easy to load and print parts, which means that the digital dental workflow as a whole is much less complex. There’s one click to select the file, another to choose the materials and properties, and then a final click to generate the G-code.

Dr. Mayerhofer said that Coherent’s whole dental workflow, 3D printing on the CREATOR include, takes just one work day to fabricate a completed bridge in the dental lab.

After the cast skeleton is scanned, the dental lab begins preparing the CAD data at 8 am. Then the print job has to be prepared in Dental Cockpit, and 3D printing typically begins in the morning.

Once the parts are removed from the print bed, post processing is completed, and then a porcelain coating is added before the product is subjected to heat treatment and polishing. The completed bridge is then ready to go by 4 pm.

Dr. Mayerhofer noted that a dental lab’s ROI on the CREATOR 3D printing system is less than a year…typically about six months, in fact.

Then it was Ferracane’s turn to explain how her company, Oral 3D, makes 3D printing simple for dentists, even as it’s occurring at the industrial level.

“Our solution makes it extremely simple for dentists to bring 3D printing to their practice,” she said.

She presented a brief overview of the US dental market, noting that some of the major applications for 3D printing in the field include aligners, crowns, surgical guides, and soft tissue models, which dentists use to test procedures ahead of time.

“Usually today, the way most of these models are done is through intraoral scanning,” she explained.

Ferracane said that SLA technology makes it much easier to make these soft tissue models. But, even so, they can still only be used for testing purposes most of the time.

3D printed models of hard tissue – bone – are also fabricated, but she said that they’re not used often, as it’s difficult for dentists to come up with STL files of just the hard tissue.

She pulled up a slide that had the world “PROBLEM” across the top. The image appears to be scan data of bone, which looks pretty hard to read.

“It’s not easy for dentists to make this into something printable by cleaning up the images,” Ferracane explained. “So they can pay to outsource it to labs to clean it up. But our 3D printing software automatically does this. Just drag the CT scan, and we’ll take care of changing it from DICOM to STL. With one click, we can then convert STL to G-code.”

She said that while it’s obviously good to fabricate dental applications this way using Oral 3D’s printer, it will work with whatever system you’re already using.

These 3D printed models serve a variety of purposes – they can improve communication with patients, help in treatment planning, and even “broaden learning.” Ferracane mentioned that the company has partnerships with NYU and Harvard for this last.

Other applications include bone blocks, made-to-measure titanium membranes, and maxillofacial surgery. Additionally, she stated that Oral 3D recently began collaborating with dental surgeons, who use the company’s 3D printed dental models for planning and patient communication.

She finished by stating that the company believes FDM printing can “be a good value add for dentists.”

Vasques finished things by sharing her research into how things look, dental 3D printing-wise, from the point of view of clinicians.

“It’s common for most to be scared of using 3D printing,” she explained. “They think it’s plug and play, and it’s not.”

For her research, she divided users into two separate groups – high level experience (seniors), and innovation (early adopters and students).

“We are trying to figure out how these people understand the technology,” she said.

High level users expect accuracy, efficiency, high quality technology, and high-performance materials for the purposes of chairside 3D printing. Vasques said that these users “don’t want to wait 2-3 hours to make products by hand.”

“In university, we’re trying to establish protocols and research to help these people have the results they are expecting.

“We’re trying to solve problems, like mouthguards for sports.”

Vasques said that last year, she and her team published three articles about dental 3D printing topics, such as 3D printed occlusal devices and post-processing. She launched INNOV3D the same year, in order to help train professors in using dental 3D printing.

“We have an online training platform, educational materials, and 3D lab,” she stated.

Once she finished and sat back down, Davide Sher, the panel’s moderator, asked the other two panelists how they would address the challenges that Vasques listed, and how they would make dentists understand more about dental 3D printing.

Ferracane answered that most dentists aren’t buying 3D printers today, because they’re initially taught that the systems are really easy to use when they’re not. Once they run into issues with SLA technology, they get frustrated and just start outsourcing the work instead.

“Then they’re really dissatisfied, because they’re complicated and not just plug and play. We need to help them understand that they can bring the technology back to their office.”

Sher noted that dentists don’t really have the time to learn about the more advanced types, and so asked if the companies directed their technology to users in dental labs; Dr. Mayerhofer said yes.

After a short break, the next session, “Dental lab experiences with 3D printing,” began. While Les Kalman, an Assistant Professor for Restorative Dentistry at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine, was unable to make AMS 2020, Arfona founder and CEO Justin Marks and Sam Wainwright, Dental Product Manager for Formlabs, were both ready to go.

Marks went first, explaining that Arfona, founded in 2017 by dental technicians and 3D printing enthusiasts on “the core belief that thermoplastic dental materials should not be substituted for inferior photopolymers,” has been working to “bring 3D printing into the world of dentistry.” The company’s flagship product is its 3D printed flexible nylon dentures.

He pulled up a slide that cited research stating that 36 million Americans are completely edentulous, meaning without teeth, and that 178 million are partially edentulous. But even so, Marks said that there’s an “astronomical” number of people who are still not wearing dentures.

“Most people don’t think about this until it happens to you or someone you know,” he said about missing a tooth. “It’s not always that easy or cheap to fix this with implants.”

According to a survey, only 8% of dentures are digitally fabricated, which means most are still made by hand using analog methods.

Marks said that even though 3D printing is “becoming more of a buzzword” in the dental industry, most of the materials “have largely stayed the same,” and based on the same technologies and principles. Extrusion-based AM is not used often in dentistry, and powder bed fusion (PBF) is mostly limited to metals, not polymers.

Marks went through a brief history of 3D printing in dentistry. Ubiquitous applications include impression trays, digital models, and resin patterns for casting, while digital dentures are currently happening and things like clear aligners, temporary and long-term crowns and bridges, and multimaterial printing are in development for use in the future.

He said that the ubiquitous ones have one thing in common – they’re used once and then thrown away.

“We’re still not doing much with crowns and bridges,” Marks said. “Clear aligners are the holy grail, and direct printing of the aligner is still a ways off, though all companies are probably working on it.”

Aronfa’s dental 3D printer is the r.Pod, which is a modified version of a Makerbot clone. The dual extrusion filament system is optimized for all of the company’s thermoplastic materials.

Then it was Wainwright’s turn to talk about dental 3D printing at Formlabs. He agreed with Marks that “FDM and thermoplastics have an incredible place” in the dental industry.

When the company was founded in 2012, its goal was to make professional-scale 3D printing accessible and affordable for everyone. Now Formlabs employs over 500 people at its multiple locations around the world, and has sold more than 50,000 3D printers.

Wainwright explained that the Form 3B desktop printer, optimized for biocompatible materials, has many dental-specific features, materials, and software, in addition to automated washing and post-curing systems “to help tie in end-to-end dental workflows.”

In addition, Formlabs offers dental materials, and launched its dental service plan (DSP) along with the Form 3B in 2019. Because there are high demands, the 3D printing process is complex, and the DSP offers support.

“We are committed to 3D printing for dental,” Wainwright stated. “We have over 20 people in the dental business unit. But we have the resources of a 500 person-plus company.”

While most are made overseas, Formlabs Dental is now developing photopolymers in my home state, since the company acquired its main material supplier, Ohio-based Spectra Photopolymers, last year. Formlabs’ biocompatible Surgical Guide Resin is the company’s first material made in an ISO-certified facility.

“It’s exciting to have intimate control over design aspects,” Wainwright said.

The image above is an example of the Surgical Guide material. Wainright explained that the light touch supports are very easy to remove, which means that there isn’t a lot of time wasted in post-processing.

He said that 36% of dental labs in the US use 3D printing technology, which makes them very “cutting edge.”

“There’s a ton of market opportunity for dental to go digital,” he said. “We have 30% of this market – we’re the biggest player in dental laboratories and will continue to grow, but compared to Invisalign, it’s not really that much.”

So far, Formlabs has 3D printed more than 10,000,000 parts for the dental industry. Wainwright predicts that in ten years or less, “everything in dental will be 3D printed.”

He reiterated to the room that Formlabs has “a whole host of materials” for dental applications, four of which are solely for fabricating models, which are “really critical to dentists.” As dental offices adopt intraoral scanning technology, it’s helpful to take the scan data and turn it into something physical. Wainwright mentioned that Formlabs’ Grey Resin can achieve fast, accurate prints, and that it’s good for thermoforming as well.

The company’s Draft material is “accurate enough to create models in less than 20 minutes,” which makes it perfect for creating retainers on the same day as a patient’s appointment. Model Resin is good for accurately restoring dental models, while the biocompatible Dental LT Clear Resin can be used to print occlusal splints in addition to models.

Formlabs’ Digital Dentures solution comes in multiple shades to match a patient’s teeth, and a full set can be 3D printed for less than $10, which Wainwright says is “really a game-changer.”

“We want to make treatments easier, better, and faster,” he said in conclusion.

“3D printing is still very early in dental, this is just the beginning. The materials will just keep getting better, it’s an exciting place to be.”

Then it was time to eat lunch and chat with other attendees…or, as I did, inhale food and then find a spot in the hallway near an outlet and get a little work done.

After the lunch break, I sat in on my last panel at AMS 2020, “3D materials for dental applications.” It was a panel of one – Gabi Janssen, Business Development Manager and Global Leader, Healthcare Segment Additive Manufacturing, for DSM Additive Manufacturing. She presented on digitalization in healthcare and dentistry.

She tried to play a short movie about what the company does, but due to technical difficulties there was no sound, so she narrated instead, explaining that DSM is “a material company” that also does a lot with nutrition – a brand behind the brands.

The company also has a biomedical department, which helps deliver advanced healing solutions for AM applications, including bioceramics, collagen, polyethylenes, polyurethanes, and hydrophilic coating.

“What we have on the market is filaments,” Janssen said, pulling up a list of the dental materials DSM offers.

Several of the company’s products are geared toward the healthcare market, such as Somos BioClear for dental guides and anatomical models.

“So how do we develop a new material?” Janssen asked. “We’ve discussed 510(k) clearance materials, and you have to work all together. We look at the application, and determine what we need – printer, software, material – to fit what the end user needs.”

She pulled up a slide of the major market drivers in 3D dental printing – performance, mass customization, and time-saving.

“What kind of applications do we have in dentistry?” she asked.

To answer her own question, she showed a brief history of digital dentistry, starting with the first 3D printed part in 1983, moving on to DSM’s 3D printing resin in 1988, the beginning of aligner manufacturing in 1997 and medical modeling in 2000, and DSM’s dental materials passing USP VI in 2008. For 2020 and beyond, hopefully we’ll see the availability of direct aligner materials.

“I think there’s still a lot of data needed to show it’s good,” Janssen said about where the industry currently stands. “Reimbursement is difficult, we need this data to back it up.”

The topic of FDA clearance obviously came up a lot at AMS 2020. Janssen said that DSM has a resin that’s certified for use in dental bite guards, and a general purpose resin that isn’t certified but can be used to make FDA-cleared aligners.

“The end device needs the clearance,” she reminded the room.

She brought up how Materialise was the first company to receive FDA clearance for software about 3D printing anatomical models for diagnostic use. Materialise Mimics inPrint translates the data for the model to the 3D printer. Then, combined with a specific printer and material, it’s possible to fabricate “the model they actually want within a certain safety margin.”

“But, if you want to print medical models, just for patient communication, it does not need to be cleared, because it’s not a medical device,” she explained.

The slide above explains what makes a medical device controlled, i.e. needs clearance, while the below slide lists some very useful definitions, including biocompatibility and risk.

Janssen then brought up the “sometimes confusing standards,” such as ISO standards.

“Depending on what we do with the material, and how long it goes in the mouth, there are different risk associations,” she explained.

In terms of product classification, Class I is the least risky. But, the higher you go up in class, the more research is required to show that the 3D printable material won’t harm patients.

She said that the regulatory industry is changing to have more focus on software, with higher regulations for that software, because it “needs to be validated in combination with the material and equipment.” Additionally, there is more of a focus these days on understanding and managing risks, as well as reducing animal testing…always good news!

When choosing the proper filaments for your workflow, you should start by working with the dentist on treatment planning. Then, once the patient’s mouth has been scanned, you can create the design in the software. Then the build has to be prepared, which takes some patience and precision – you need to enter the optimal print parameters, and add supports if they’re needed. Then, after the print is complete, it needs to be removed from the bed, supports (if there are any) need to be taken off, and there may even be grinding and painting involved before the final quality check.

“Many process variables can impact the safety of the final end product,” Janssen noted. “So you need to understand the effect the material can have on patients.”

Finally, there are also plenty of steps to follow to ensure material safety in development, so it’s important to follow the instructions your supplier gives you.

Then it was time for some questions. One attendee asked why dentists aren’t all adopting AM, since some products, like mouthguards, look pretty easy to make in the back office.

“This may look easy, but it’s actually not,” Janssen explained.

She went on to say that the product or device may not always “come out right the first time.” There are a lot of parameters to look at, and potentially tweak, in order to achieve the desired result. A lot of people can get frustrated if it doesn’t work right the first time.

“What we’re doing now – if you bring your design to us, we’ll do the tweaking for you, as our software has all of the maximum and minimum numbers needed for parameters,” she said.

3D printing thought leader and author John Hornick offered his take on the question, as he has some experience with the matter. He explained that most dental offices are private, though many dentists are consolidating their practices into larger ones, “and their appetite for spending money on these machines may go up.” But, SmarTech doesn’t think the average dentist will spend that much for larger, more expensive 3D printers. That’s why some companies, like Arfona, are working on simpler material extrusion systems.

Another attendee said that it seems like 3D printing companies are just throwing technology at various markets and praying that it sticks. Dentists want to be dentists, and not spend their time dealing with issues like print parameters and melted filament.

“We, as technology providers, need to raise our game and make this work for these people,” Janssen stated.

I think that’s a great note on which to end my AMS 2020 coverage – we, the AM technology providers, need to show the rest of the world how 3D printing can work for their industries.

We hope to see you next winter for Additive Manufacturing Strategies 2021!

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

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AMS 2020: 3D Printing Metals II Keynote by Craig Sungail, Global Advanced Metals

The final keynote presentation at our recent Additive Manufacturing Strategies, held in Boston and co-hosted by SmarTech Analysis, was given by Craig Sungail, the Vice President of Global Research and Development for Global Advanced Metals, which just so happened to be one of the event sponsors. Sungail was part of our new 3D printing metals track, and presented a very interesting talk about tantalum, “the other gray metal.”

“We’ve used other metals for years, like cobalt chrome and stainless steel, to make implants,” Sungail said. “In 80% of the cases, for most people, it’s successful. But 20% of the time, patients aren’t happy with the results.”

He went on to say that there is a 10% revision rate each year for surgical implants 3D printed out of these other materials, for reasons such as infection, fracture, and becoming dislodged. That’s why he said that we should all “consider tantalum as an alternative.”

“This metal has a long history. We’ve been reviewing the literature for the past 25 years. The authors vary – physicians, universities, etc. But there is a broad, diverse group of people investigating this metal for medical devices.”

Sungail explained that these journals have determined that tantalum (Ta) is not toxic, which “can’t be said for some of the other metals out there today.” Additionally, the research shows that when using tantalum for implants, the osseointegration (bone ingrowth) of the implant into existing bone is pretty good, and perhaps even better than implants made with straight titanium or the Ti-64 alloy.

He pulled up a slide listing some of the other benefits of using tantalum to fabricate medical implants, including the fact that it could enhance local host defense mechanisms, and that it may even have some antibacterial properties.

Sungail offered a brief history about tantalum, which is a transition metal/element. He explained how the material got its name, bringing up a slide about Greek mythology, which I had not been expecting and was very interesting. Tantalus, the son of Zeus and a nymph, stole ambrosia and nectar from his father, and the punishment definitely fit the crime in this case – he was forced to stand in a pool of water that was tantalizingly close to a fruit tree.

“The water would fade away, and the fruit was just out of reach,” Sungail went on.

Then, in 1802, Swedish analytical chemist Anders Gustaf Ekeberg became the first person to discover tantalum when he successfully separated it from nyobium. Ekeberg was tantalized for a long time attempting to achieve what many others had not, and once he’d succeeded, he was given the honor of naming both of the new elements.

“I’m confident that every one of you has been touched by tantalum in some way,” Sungail said. “It’s highly conductive, with a high melting point, chemical and corrosion-resistant, dense, hard, ductile, and biocompatible. We have to use biocompatible carefully, but I’m using it with the FDA definition – it’s been implanted in some way into the body, and studies concluded that the implant was biocompatible.”

Sungail said that the most common application for tantalum is in the capacitor sector, such as when it’s used for cell phones. It does have a 40-year history in medical devices, and it can be mixed with materials in order to make super elements, which can be used in turbines for jet engines and energy generation.

He explained that the company is “truly global,” with locations in the US and Japan. GAM also has a controlling interest in the largest reserve of tantalum in the world, which is in Australia. I’m skipping ahead a little, but I thought this was a good question – at the end of the presentation, an attendee asked Sungail about the potential environmental impact of mining tantalum. He explained that GAM does what he referred to as a “bag and tag” when they receive ore from a conflict country.

“We ensure the money isn’t going to terrorists, we do it ethically. If it wasn’t mined ethically, we wouldn’t have sales,” he stated.

Back to where we were, Sungail said that two years ago, the company was taking a look at the various AM markets, wondering which would be the best to participate in with its tantalum. Just like the above graph shows, GAM determined that its “value proposition was best in medical, and not automotive.”

“We realized we’d have to bridge the chasm between early adopters and later innovators. We’d have to teach the industry about tantalum and that it can be printed,” he said.

So the company got to work, using 200W and 300W lasers to 3D print medical devices like spinal implants and baseplates out of its tantalum; these fully dense parts are now in testing.

Sungail listed several reasons why tantalum is a good material to use in 3D printed medical devices – it resists blood clotting, so it can be used to fabricate stents, and its high surface friction, proven through several research studies done on animals, is good for implant stabilization.

Tantalum also has no problem with corrosion, which has been reported as being an issue with other implant materials. Sungail had a slide that showed a picture of a non-tantalum 3D printed hip implant, which required revision post-surgery due to corrosion; researchers determined that it was caused due to crevice (the oxygen effect) and galvanic (dissimilar metals). He explained that debris due to friction can lead to even more issues with implants, such as inflammation in the tissue around the joint, which can cause severe pain, and that cobalt chrome and Ti-64 implants can even lead to toxic effects, like bone degradation, if absorbed into the body.

“Tantalum doesn’t corrode in a normal body,” Sungail said. “Its only attacker is hydrofloric acid, and threading should also not occur with tantalum.”

Looking at the graph above, you can see that the material’s printability comes down to several factors, of which bioinertness combines several; Sungail explained that “these are generic combinations of various features for easy reading.”

“It’s significantly more printable than some other metals we use for medical devices,” he continued. “Tensile and elongation properties unfortunately aren’t well reported, so we turned to engineering handbooks for this informnation, and modulus can be tuned with this material. There are four to five papers out now from researchers who printed tantalum and made it 70-80% porous, because this is the sweet spot for osseointegration. They noticed that the elastic modulus exactly matched bone in this range.”

Sungail said that he’s been at many conferences where people have concurred that tantalum is a great material, but don’t know how to justify using it since it’s more expensive than Ti-64.

“That’s the wrong question,” he said. “Ask the cost to the patient.”

While looking for a well-documented surgical study, GAM found an example with a 3D printed transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) implant, which is shown in the slide below with the cost benefit example analysis.

“We looked at the whole process, buying the raw material and printing and cleaning it and sterilizing it, packaging, surgery, to the point where the patient walks out,” Sungail explained. “Tantalum’s contribution to this implant on the slide is .02%. I think that’s nearly negligible. Tantalum will allow the patient to walk out much quicker and recover much quicker.”

3D printing isn’t even the most expensive part of the whole process – it’s the surgery itself. If annual implant surgery revisions can be prevented by even 5% from switching to tantalum, the medical industry will save $300-500 million a year.

Another example Sungail shared was a 3D printed knee implant made out of tantalum. The surgery took place in China back in 2017, and the patient was actually able to stand up two hours post-op…that’s a pretty impressive feat.

Wrapping things up, he pulled up a slide showing GAM’s “current” tantalum products for 3D printing. In its angular powder form, the material works for cold spray technology and DED printing, while spherical powder can be used with laser AM technologies. He said that the company is also working on tantalum tungsten, and is “always looking for partners,” especially since GAM doesn’t have its own 3D printing system yet and relies on its partnerships to print tantalum for them. However, Sungail said they are considering a 3D printer purchase…perhaps this is an announcement we’ll see in the near future?

Stay tuned to 3DPrint.com as we continue to bring you the news from AMS 2020.

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

[Photos: Sarah Saunders]

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3D Printing News Briefs: March 10, 2020

The big story in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs is the postponing of the Materialise World Summit. Then we’ll finish with a little business news, as 3D PRINT UK is moving to expanded premises. Finally, starting this week, you can get QUANT-U’s 3D printed silicone midsoles at ECCO’s flagship Zürich store for a limited time.

Materialise World Summit Postponed

Every two years, Materialise holds its Materialise World Summit (MWS) in Brussels, Belgium, gathering together the industry’s thought leaders and decision makers so they can share ideas about the additive manufacturing industry. This event typically takes place in the spring, which was the original plan for this year’s MWS…but not anymore. MWS 2020, originally scheduled for May 14-15, has been postponed, due to, as the company’s Kristof Sehmke tells us, “the coronavirus and its impact on international traffic.”

MWS 2020 will now take place November 5-6, which makes it a busy month considering that will just one week before formnext in Germany. This isn’t the only major industry event that’s had to change its plans due to the COVID-19 outbreak – JEC World, originally scheduled for last  week, has been pushed back to May, and after several big companies originally planning to attend the upcoming SXSW dropped out, including Apple, Facebook, Amazon Studios, TikTok, Intel, and Warner Music, the Texas-based conference was called off. With California Governor Gavin Newsome declaring a state of emergency in California over the coronavirus, should we all cancel our plans for RAPID + TCT next month? Time will only tell.

3D PRINT UK Moves to Bigger Facility

Moving on to some better news, 3DPRINTUK has just finished the move to its new purpose-designed facility in North London’s Leyton Industrial Village. The service provider of polymer SLS 3D printing solutions for manufacturing applications was seeing increased demand for low volume production, and determined that a move was needed to accommodate the company’s current, and future, plans for expansion. 3DPRINTUK’s new home is larger, with nearly 10,000 square feet of space, and was custom-designed to hold the company’s EOS polymer SLS 3D printers, as well as offer a space for post-processing operations and a break down room that’s sealed to avoid powder contamination.

“At 3DPRINTUK we are able to work with our customers — and potential new customers — to illustrate when and why the SLS process will work for them. But we are not afraid to tell them when it won’t, either. This is really important to us, and something the industry at large is not very good at confronting,” stated Nick Allen, 3DPRINTUK’s Founder and Managing Director. “I think this approach has contributed to our growth, which has been organic year on year, and the new premises are testament to that. We are still settling in, but the printers have been working non-stop since we got here and we are looking to further expand our capacity in the near future.”

QUANT-U’s In-store Experience at ECCO

In 2018, the Innovation Lab at Danish heritage footwear brand and manufacturer ECCO introduced an experimental footwear customization project called QUANT-U, which uses real-time analysis, data-driven design, and in-store 3D printing to create custom, personalized midsoles out of a heat cured two-component silicone in just two hours. The QUANT-U experience is now coming to ECCO’s flagship Zürich store as an exclusive pop-up event from now until April 15, with a “unique limited collection” available to both men and women, along with the full customization service.

The process is simple – 3D scanners determine your orthotic fit in 30 seconds, so your midsoles have the correct shoe size and arch height. Then, during a walking analysis, wearable sensors will create an accurate representation of how you move around. The anatomical scan and the sensor data will help QUANT-U build a unique digital footprint just for you, which leads to customized, 3D printed midsoles within two hours. You can use the cloud-based service to print your own midsoles from any location and have them shipped to you, but at the upcoming ECCO pop-up event, you can just pick them up in the store. Book your fitting now!

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

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AMS 2020: Panels on 3D Printing in Implants and Orthopedics, Regulation in Additive Medical Devices

There was much to enjoy and learn at the recent Additive Manufacturing Strategies event, held in Boston and co-hosted by 3DPrint.com and SmarTech Analysis, especially with the addition of a new metals track. There was the ever popular Startup Competition, time to network with colleagues, interesting keynotes, an exhibition hall, industry forecasts by SmarTech, and many different panels and presentations.

On the first day, I sat in on a panel on the event’s medical track about the use of 3D printing in implants and orthopedics. Martin Neff, the Head of Plastic Freeforming for German machine manufacturing company Arburg, spoke first, and provided attendees with a detailed explanation of its patented ARBURG Plastic Freeforming (APF), the process principle behind it, and what the Freeformer can offer.

“Our process can use standard resin, is already on the market and cleared by the FDA for medical devices, and it’s similar to injection molding,” he explained.

Moving on, Neff said the biggest thing to keep in mind for this application of 3D printed implants and orthopedics is how to achieve repeatability, traceability, and position. Additionally, he mentioned that the selection and freedom of materials in this sector is also a “very important area.”

Carissa Kennison, the Director of Marketing for New Jersey-based Additive Orthopaedics, explained that the company, which was founded in 2016, designs, markets, and manufactures medical implants.

“We’re inspired by the outcomes these 3D printed implants are having in our patients’ lives,” she said. “The patient testimonials are truly inspiring – often, patients go to multiple surgeons and are told to get a fusion, which limits joint motion, or an amputation. So we’re giving them an alternative solution, and challenging the solutions of standard of care. It’s pretty exciting to be a part of that.”

Jean-Jacques Fouchet on Skype

While he was unable to be at AMS 2020 in person, Jean-Jacques Fouchet, the VP Business Development and co-founder of 3D printing company Z3DLAB – Parc Technologique, was able to join the panel via Skype, and explained to attendees that “Z3DLAB is an expert in materials science,” and that it has developed a 3D printed implant for the dental field. The company’s mission is to deliver a new generation of advanced, titanium-based material for the AM market.

“We do two titanium materials, one based on Ti-64 that’s enhanced and one based in Ti-CP,” he explained. “Our 3D printed implant has an interior porous structure.”

Fouchet went on to say that Z3DLAB had completed a study with EnvA, LNE, and BAM, and that after just two months of implementation, “we got high-resolution scanner results that showed 84% bone inside the implant. Not bone tissue, but bone.”

The last panelist was Andrus Maandi, Sr. Product Development Engineer for Oxford Performance Materials (OPM). He explained that OPM was originally founded as a materials science company, working exclusively with PEKK (polyetherketoneketone), and began adopting 3D printing all the way back in 2008.

Discussing some of the company’s orthopedic applications, Maandi brought up OPM’s OsteoFab 3D printing process, which involves laser sintering with its high-performance OXPEKK material.

“We’ll get a CT scan, and in-house can deliver implants within 24-48 hours to healthcare facilities,” he stated.

OPM started with CMF and spinal implants, and its latest 3D printed device is a suture anchor, which will have its first case performed this month.

“One of the main benefits is the impact we can have on patient care and improving their lives,” Maandi explained. “We see the additive manufacturing industry moving, at least in the orthopedic market, and slowly going down the body…moving down to long bone defects and ankle reconstruction.”

The floor was then opened for questions, and someone asked if OPM had a roundabout price for its 3D printed implants; as we all know, custom medical devices can be pricey. But Maandi responded that it is “overall cheaper than something you could machine.”

John Hornick, the Chairman for the Medical and Dental track at AMS 2020, asked a question next, telling the panelists that two of his friends had recently received knee replacements. One friend had a 3D printed implant, while the other had a conventionally manufactured one, “because his doctor didn’t know anything” about AM technology. Hornick wanted to know how the panelists got the word out about what their companies could offer.

Kennison said that it really depends on the application – surgeons are more likely to engage in word of mouth, and do their own marketing and PR, for some of the more complex cases that use 3D printing.

“It can be challenging to market some of these cases,” she said. “You can’t promote custom devices, so there are some restrictions here.”

Maandi acknowledged that it can be tough, because many of the people they deal with in the healthcare field just aren’t aware of all of the available 3D printed options.

Later that same day, I sat in on a panel called “Regulation of Additive Manufacturing of Medical Devices and Its Impact on Products Liability,’” which I had not originally planned on attending; however, after sitting at the same lunch table as panelist Sean Burke, a partner with the Duane Morris law firm in Washington D.C., I was intrigued.

Panelist Bob Zollo, the President of Avante Technology, was unable to make it, so Burke had the floor all to himself. Acknowledging with good humor that he was the only thing standing in the way of happy hour, he moved through his topic efficiently.

According to his bio, “Mr. Burke’s practice focuses on representation of manufacturers of medical devices in products liability cases across the country, including in consolidated multi-plaintiff matters in both federal court and state courts in California, Illinois, and Tennessee.” In terms of defense experience, he has worked with many things, including surgical instruments and fusion plates, and recently became interested in the use of AM, advising and consulting his clients on best practices in the early product development stages in order to help them lower their risk of liability exposure.

But, as Burke told the room, “Basically, at the end of the day, there are always risks.”

He explained that while many people look at it as more of a barrier, FDA regulation and compliance is “really the best shield that medical device companies have.”

“You’re on a bit of an island if you don’t have the same regulations.”

Burke explained that the FDA is trying to “play catch-up” in determining how exactly to regulate this kind of technology. The agency has issued guidance on design, testing, and manufacturing controls for AM, but this doesn’t mean that it’s offering a solution.

From a products liability standpoint, if a company has standards to fall back on when telling a jury about the testing that’s been completed on a 3D printed medical device, the chances are more likely that the jury will be able to understand.

“But when there aren’t standards or testing, but the FDA wants to look at it, that’s a recipe for exposure,” Burke said.

As an example, Stryker’s 3D printed tritanium spinal cage was recalled last year for updates; after conducting a Google search, Burke found four different attorneys who were looking to take these cases to court…bad news for the AM industry.

Burke moved on to current trends about litigation involving 3D printed medical devices. While there haven’t been too many class action suits because the cause for each patient’s failure is usually different, the number of cases is rising.

He listed some of the factors that drive litigation, including the media, company field actions, FDA safety communications and labeling changes, pending litigation, and scientific and medical literature. Burke also provided an explanation on the different types of product liability claims – strict liability, negligence, and fraud/misrepresentation.

In terms of manufacturing defect claims, evidence must be presented that shows there has been a “deviation from the original design.” This can be difficult to validate, but there are many variables involved with AM, such as powder use. To protect against Failure to Warn claims, medical device companies that use 3D printing need to broadcast if there are any developments, and provide up to date information as well.

Burke gave attendees some pretty solid advice at the end:

“I know you all consider this, but think about why you’re 3D printing, and make a concise statement about why you’re doing it, and not just because you’re trying to “keep up with the Joneses” in terms of cool new technology.”

Then it was time for some questions. One attendee said that patient-specific products are not always treated as customized, and wanted to know why this makes a difference in terms of regulation. Burke explained that if a 3D printed patient-specific device is deemed a custom product, then it does not have to go through the same regulatory channels.

Joris Peels, 3DPrint.com’s Editor-in-Chief, was chairing this panel, and asked about the use of 3D printing in courtroom settings, and if regulatory bodies consider it. Burke said that his firm’s experts are definitely on board with this, especially in terms of patient anatomy models. He mentioned a big case centered around hip dysplasia, and how a 3D printed exhibit – I’m guessing it was an acetabular cup – was used to show how things were not fitting correctly in the patient’s body.

Another attendee asked Burke for best practices that startups not yet looking to liabilities could use.

“I think it depends on what they want to do,” he answered. “I work with startups and large companies, but there are some things to do up front to advise them.”

He suggested setting up a meeting with the FDA to hear their thoughts and concerns, and document the meeting.

“It’s an exhibit – the FDA knew we were doing this and that test, and still cleared it,” Burke explained.

Stay tuned to 3DPrint.com as we continue to bring you the news from our third annual AMS Summit.

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

[Photos: Sarah Saunders]

The post AMS 2020: Panels on 3D Printing in Implants and Orthopedics, Regulation in Additive Medical Devices appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

Inside 3D Printing Returns to Seoul June 24-26, 2020

The global trends of ‘digitization’, ‘convergence’ and ‘democratization’ have had a profound impact on every industry sector. These trends have caused new industries to spring up while disrupting established industries. In physical goods these trends are being driven by 3D printing technologies, also called additive manufacturing.

3D printing creates unprecedented added value for industries such as manufacturing, medical, dental, aerospace, automobile, mold making, architecture, jewelry, and even fashion. Applications range from the mass production of customized goods, prototypes, complex aerospace parts to small quantity batch production of discontinued automotive parts, personalized prosthetic limbs, and orthodontics.

In Seoul, we have an opportunity to explore the latest additive manufacturing trends and technology in one place at a time.

Inside 3D Printing, Seouls most prestigious 3D printing event, returns back to Seoul, Korea on June 24-26th, 2020 and showcases the newest products, technologies and materials in 3D printing, 3D scanning, CAD/CAM/CAE, metrology and inspection technologies.

Inside 3D printing started from New York in 2013, and travels around 8 major cities including Sydney, Dusseldorf, Mumbai, Seoul and Sao Paulo. It is the seventh time this year in Seoul, and it will again be held jointly with 3DR Holdings and KINTEX (Korea International Exhibition Center) in Korea.

In particular, 3DPrint.com, and SmarTech Analysis, a global market research organization were confirmed to join Inside 3D Printing in Seoul as co-producers once again. This collaboration among key industry players will enhance the quality and branding of the event.

In 2019, 10,355 attendees from 25 countries as well as 87 exhibitors and sponsors participated Inside 3D Printing in Seoul. The conference is part of a three-day event that includes an international conference in 4 tracks and a dedicated trade show in addition to various networking opportunities.

Over 100 exhibitors including HP, Formlabs, EOS, German RepRap as well as Korean major players as Hanil Protech, Prototech, Graphy, AM Korea will join this year’s event. Not only top brand’s 3D printers and scanners but a variety of AM applications including affordable desktop metal 3d printer, hybrid 3D machinery with CNC engraving, large-sized industrial 3D printers and CAD/CAM/CAE software will be showcased onsite this year.

“The participation of 3DPrint.com and SmarTech Analysis as co-producers will further upgrade Inside 3D Printing and provide the best marketing platform for our exhibitors, sponsors and 10,000+ buyers from around the world.” said John Meckler, Director of 3DR Holdings.

If interested in sponsorship opportunities or conference registration for forthcoming Seoul event, please contact Inside 3D Printing Secretariat (Inside3dprinting@kintex.com) or visit our website (www.inside3dprinting.com/seoul) for more details.

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3D Printing News Briefs: February 21, 2020

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re talking about new products and materials, an industry event, 3D printed electronics, and education. 3Doodler announced a new product, and Essentium will be showcasing two new materials at RAPID + TCT. The 4th annual AM Cluster of Ohio conference is coming up in July, and nScrypt is microdispensing 50um dots for 3D printed electronics. Finally, Penn State University is investing in Roboze technology.

3Doodler Introduces New 3D Build & Play

At the New York Toy Fair, February 22-25 at Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Center, 3Doodler will be showcasing its latest device – the 3D Build & Play, perfect for preschoolers and kindergartners to use. The pen was designed for users as young as four years old, and introduces growing children to 3D printing technology in a way that promotes cognitive and fine motor skills development, hands-on learning, story telling, and three-dimensional thinking. The 3D Build & Play is kid-safe, extruding low-heat, BPA-free, non-toxic, biodegradable plastic, and comes with a story-based Activity Guide so parents and kids can create together. Currently available for pre-order, 3D Build & Play will have an MSRP of $29.99, and major retailers, like Amazon, are also expected to carry the product in Q2 2020. Visit 3Doodler in Booth #2771 at the New York Toy Fair to learn more.

“3D Build & Play brings the creative fun of our Start pen without the learning curve for the youngest users. The system we have developed, that lets kids crank and create in 3D, is a major benefit for parents looking to improve their children’s basic motor skills. The included molds make it easy to create 3D objects by simply filling and popping them out. There’s nothing on the market today that makes 3D creation this simple or fast for young creators,” said 3Doodler’s CEO Daniel Cowen.

Essentium’s New Materials for High-Temperature Applications

At RAPID + TCT 2020 in Anaheim this spring, 3D printing solutions provider Essentium will introduce new ULTEM AM9085F and ABS materials for high-temperature industrial AM applications. These high-performance materials, which will be showcased on the company’s High Speed Extrusion platform at the event, provide high strength and have excellent resistance to heat and chemicals at high temperatures, so they can be used for applications in the aerospace, automotive, industrial, and medical industries.

According to a survey commissioned by Essentium, 51% of executives believe that the high cost of materials is a major obstacle when it comes to adopting 3D printing for large-scale production purposes. The new ULTEM AM9085F and ABS materials were created to give manufacturers a more cost-effective solution when compared to expensive closed-system materials. Learn more at Essentium’s Booth #3400 at RAPID + TCT in Anaheim, CA, April 20-23, 2020.

4th Annual Additive Manufacturing Cluster of Ohio Conference

The Additive Manufacturing Cluster of Ohio, powered by organizations such as America Makes and the Youngstown Business Incubator, has announced that its 4th annual conference will take place this summer in Cleveland. Cluster members work together to create a supply chain of interconnected institutions and businesses to advance regional growth in 3D printing. This conference, to be held on Thursday, July 30, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Cleveland Rockside, will be the first cluster event of 2020, and will give Ohio manufacturers of multiple business models and sizes perspectives on available opportunities for adopting 3D printing into their process chain over the next five years.

The website states, “The program will look at similarities and differences across several selected manufacturer types and will identify strategies ranging from low to high risk. Attendees will leave with actionable strategies and information about regional resources to help them remain competitive in the evolving manufacturing landscape.”

nScrypt Working with 3D Printed Electronics

Orlando company nScrypt is working with precision microdispensing, an additive method of dispensing pastes, inks, and other fluid materials, to create adhesive dots with volumetric control, in the 50 micron range, for 3D printed electronics and flexible hybrid electronics (FHE). Microdispensing gets much closer to the substrate surface when compared to methods like jetting, and the closer the nozzle is to the surface, the finer the features of the 3D printed parts. The team used the nScrypt SmartPump, a silicone adhesive, a conical pen tip, and Heraeus SAC305-8XM8-D Type IX solder paste, and tested the consistency and repeatability of ~50µm Type IX solder and adhesive dots.

These tests showed a consistent average dot diameter of 51.24 microns, with a 6.42 micron (13%) standard deviation. These results support the fabrication of 3D printed electronics through the use of direct digital manufacturing (DDM), which allows printing to both planar substrates and the non-planar world of Printed Circuit Structures, which prints the housing or structure of an electronic device as well as placing the electronics conformally. In the future, the team plans to conduct a larger solder and adhesive dot study, in order to test required downtime, long-term reliability, and the frequency of clogging.

Penn State University Invests in Roboze Technology 

Penn State, a 3D printing leader through its Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D), has invested in a new FFF solution in order to expand its AM capabilities. The ROBOZE One+400 Xtreme 3D printer, which was designed to create high performing, functional finished parts in advanced composite materials, will help the university increase its development of high performance plastics for 3D printing, and will be housed in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Students will be able to test out new polymers on the system, and develop new formulations to provide 3D printed parts with multi-functionality. These parts will be used to advance research in applications like chemical reactors.

“ROBOZE One+400 Xtreme will be used to examine novel polymers to help to fundamentally understand the 3D printing process and as a tool to enable custom equipment more cost effectively than can be obtained with machining metals while also allowing for designs not possible with traditional manufacture. The ROBOZE One+400 Xtreme will allow Penn State to leverage its expertise in materials science, engineering and characterization to enable new solutions to problems through additive manufacturing,” said Professor Bryan D. Vogt from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

“The ability to use custom filaments and control the print processing was a critical factor in selecting ROBOZE. The flexibility allowed by ROBOZE along with its excellent printing capabilities is well aligned with the discovery-oriented research mission of the university to expand knowledge and its application. Moverover, our prior 3D printer had issues printing high temperature engineering plastics like PEEK with severe deformation of the structure generally observed. After challenges with printing PEEK with standard belt driven systems, the novel direct drive approach with the ROBOZE was an added bonus.”

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Scott Dunham: SmarTech Industry Forecasts for Metal and Medical/Dental 3D Printing

The 2020 Additive Manufacturing Strategies (AMS) event ended earlier this week in Boston. The summit was focused on the business of 3D printing in medical, dental, and metals, so it makes sense that Scott Dunham, the Vice President of Research at SmarTech Analysis, was on hand to give everyone a sense of where we are in these industries, just like at last year’s AMS. SmarTech provides the additive manufacturing industry with industry analysis reports and consulting services, and Dunham began with the company’s metal additive quarterly advisory services. These reports are compiled using data from 10-12 consecutive quarters.

Dunham noted that the messaging and adoption rates have changed for metal AM, and that while we’re all still “working towards the same goals,” we are “drilling down to specific solutions and challenges.”

“Metal additive manufacturing is in a strange place right now,” he said. “From 2016 to 2018, there was lots of hype, lots of investments and growth and attention paid, and the growth was aggressive and accelerated. But now, the past couple of years, we’re in this period where people are saying, ‘What’s happening? We though this technology was supposed to revolutionize things.’ Growth rates don’t always line up with perceptions.”

He got into some of the specific factors that are going into the challenges the metal AM market is facing. There’s a large disparity between metal AM hardware and metal powder sales, which Dunham said tells us that metal 3D printers are viewed much differently than the machine tool systems to which people compare them.

“Right now, the machines are not viewed or utilized in the same way that other popular manufacturing tools are, so people are still looking at this as a longer-term opportunity that still needs development work and may not necessarily always be the right tool for high-volume serial production,” he explained. ” Users now understand they can’t just drop it on the shop floor like a CNC machine. This in some ways is a barrier to growth. There are still plenty of investments being made, though, but maybe we don’t expect those days to last forever now. We may be ending the phase of early adopters and innovators who want to make these investments.”

In the years 2014-2016, the sale of metal machines was averaging just below 30%, then climbed up closer to even, but are now dropping again a bit. According to SmarTech, non-metal 3D printers are still generating most of the hardware sales, but Dunham said we should see more of a 50/50 split into the mid 2020s.

SmarTech has a theory that this leapfrog effect is due to the current two-tiered market scenario. The advanced market focuses on serial applications and high-volume production, while the legacy market consists of applications that have around for a long time, maybe resembling a factory floor, such as injection molding and tool inserts, jigs and fixtures, prototyping or limited series, medical and dental models, and one-off high volume components. Dunham said these markets are both important, but that they each have a “different set of considerations.”

He pointed out that this advanced market will soon grow to over $4 billion worth of AM hardware sold.

“We consider this side of things a little bit further ahead of polymer machine sales,” Dunham explained. “That’s why there’s so much focus on metals.”

So, where is all this growth in the metal AM market coming from? Dunham said that hardware sales is a “good indicator of the pulse of the industry,” and that SmarTech is seeing a lot of growth on what Dunham called “the fringes,” like some of the new companies coming up over the last few years, as well as the legacy manufacturing companies adopting the technology for the first time. He referred to the newer companies, such as Desktop Metal, HP, Markforged, Trumpf, and VELO3D, as “challengers,” while the legacy companies were called “incumbents.”

Next, he talked about metal 3D printing service bureaus, which see a global market of a little over $2 million.

“It’s a pretty big opportunity on the metals side, but not as big as we think it should be, or as big as polymer service bureaus,” Dunham said. “But the footprint of metal additive manufacturing in the healthcare industry is very important, and will continue to be so.”

Dunham pulled up a slide about powder bed fusion technology, noting that because the dental industry was so mature in terms of AM adoption, it actually skews the production data in the top two graphs

Bound metal processes, like binder jetting, are currently used often for tooling, and SmarTech forecasts that applications for this technology in prototyping and end-use components will rise. Dunham said that powder-based DED 3D printing is currently “heavily skewed” towards end-use components, in addition to prototyping, and that the “vision of this will likely not change much in the future.

Moving on to the market value of metal parts produced with 3D printing, Dunham said that this number is “hard to assign,” but that investments by end users are likely just south of $5 billion. However, there are lots of high-value parts to consider, which contributes to that number.

“By 2025, we expect that all metal 3D printed parts will exceed 20 billion,” he stated.

In terms of project applications for metal AM, healthcare leads the pack, with crown and bridge substructures and hip implant components at the top of the list. If you remove medical applications from the equation, we’re looking at using the technology to repair high-value turbine blades and aircraft parts, valves and pumps in the oil & gas & energy sector, and more medium-sized industrial components.

“If you’re a supplier in the industry, these are what will succeed,” Dunham said. “The incentive here is to invest in different approaches to metal additive manufacturing.”

Dunham summed everything up by saying that while metal AM is still demonstrating value, entry barriers, such as financial reasons, are also high, which does deter growth somewhat, and that a multidisciplinary approach to it is necessary for growth to continue.

Then I followed Dunham out and into the next room for the SmarTech medical 3D printing forecast, which was wisely titled “Healthcare – the Backbone of Additive Manufacturing.”

“Within the healthcare segment, there are many ways that AM has been and will continue to be leveraged,” he stated. “There are some very industrialized serial, serious manufacturing applications in healthcare, so emphasis is put on the customization of these devices.”

He noted AMS 2020 has a theme of looking at business cases, which is why it’s so heavily focused on dental and orthopedic 3D printing applications.

“We don’t think these are more impactful or important, but these are areas that we’re seeing more challenges and work here,” Dunham explained.

Excluding software numbers, the healthcare portion of the AM market – combining medical and dental applications – is a little over $3 billion dollars; truly, “the backbone of the industry.” These revenue numbers have gone down a bit, because there’s a lot of attention being paid to industrial markets, but Dunham said that SmarTech forecasts a stabilization, stating that healthcare will “continue to be important to overall industry structure for at least the next several years, and into decades.”

As has been previously mentioned, in comparison to other industries, dental is “fairly mature overall in its adoption of additive manufacturing.” If you’re looking at metal AM used in healthcare, you get into the orthopedic sector, which means you’re looking at implants.

“The longer that we can gather clinical evidence for these implants the better,” Dunham said, noting that this will help ‘build confidence’ with metal 3D printing in the medical field.

Some OEMs are bringing AM in-house, so that they can better control the process to try and ensure a good outcome. A lot of factors go into making medical implants, and if something goes wrong, “clinical efficacy is damaged.”

As of yet, there isn’t a huge push by OEMs for non-metal 3D printed implants, but SmarTech believes this is coming later, for materials like ceramics, and especially for craniomaxillofacial (CMF) implants.

There are plenty of business use cases for metal orthopedic 3D printed implants, and while the hip is still in the lead, about a third of 3D printed implants made now are are spinal. But Dunham said that hip implants won’t dominate the production numbers forever, as the 2025 forecast shows more diversification coming.

Moving to the dental side of things, companies are seeing a lot of success with high speed vat photopolymerization technologies, which Dunham said was expected. But what they didn’t count on was the aligner segment looking to get into powder bed fusion.

“No one process has everything locked down, and we can all benefit from more competition to push the technology forward,” he said.

Dunham said we should expect that 3D printing will ultimately follow the “trend of machines in dentist offices.”

“We expect a pretty healthy growth in investment by dental offices and clinics, though dental labs are still where it’s at from a hardware perspective.”

Dunham pulled up a slide that showed numbers from 2018, and forecast out to 2027, that show specifically what’s going to keep driving the sale of materials and hardware for dental applications. Looking at things like direct aligners and aligner tools, models, surgical guides, and denture bases and trays, it’s clear that he’s correct when he said that there is a lot of “diversification going on out there.”

Stay tuned to 3DPrint.com as we continue to bring you the news from our third annual AMS Summit.

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[Photos: Sarah Saunders]

The post Scott Dunham: SmarTech Industry Forecasts for Metal and Medical/Dental 3D Printing appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.