3D Printing News Briefs, August 5, 2020: Titan Robotics & Braskem, 3DPRINTUK

Today’s 3D Printing News Briefs is about materials and a 3D printed version of a real building. Titan Robotics and Braskem are partnering up to offer new solutions in 3D printed polypropylene, while 3DPRINTUK is expanding its materials and post-processing capabilities. Finally, the Coit Tower House in San Francisco now has a 3D printed miniature replica.

Titan Robotics & Braskem Announce Partnership

Braskem Polypropylene pellets for 3D printing

Production AM solutions provider Titan Robotics and petrochemical company Braskem have announced their strategic partnership, which has resulted in the launch of a new polypropylene (PP) resin that’s been optimized for 3D printing large-format production parts. The two companies spent over a year researching and developing the new material, which is the first commercially available grade of unfilled PP engineered specifically for 3D printing on Titan’s industrial Atlas 3D printers with pellet extrusion. The features of PP include chemical resistance, dimensional stability, impact strength, low density, recyclability, and thanks to this new partnership, Titan and Braskem will be able to offer improved industrial AM solutions.

“3D printing large parts using polypropylene resin has been a challenge for many years,” stated Rahul Kasat, Titan Robotics’ Chief Commercial Officer. “In collaboration with Braskem, a global leader in the polypropylene market, we have now solved that challenge. Our industrial customers will be able to print functional parts with this first of its kind polypropylene grade. We are also excited to continue to develop new polypropylene based solutions for our customers in collaboration with Braskem.”

Titan is also an authorized distributor of Braskem’s 3D printing pellet products.

3DPRINTUK Expanding Materials & Post-Processing

PEBA Dyed Close Up

SLS low volume production specialist 3DPRINTUK is branching out with its introduction of the flexible PrimePart 2301, a polyether block amide (PEBA) material with good chemical and water resistance, rubber-like characteristics not dissimilar to TPU, excellent detail resolution, and a higher melting point than most other resin-based elastomers. The material would be a good fit for batch production runs and rugged end-use applications, including handles, sports equipment, air ducts, and gaskets. Additionally, the company has invested in DyeMansion’s PowerShot S system, which uses a proprietary PolyShot Surfacing (PSS) process that allows 3DPRINTUK to offer a shot peening post-processing service that can improve the surface finish of 3D printed parts.

“At 3DPRINT UK we have honed and optimized the SLS 3D printing process over many years to achieve the best possible results off our machines for a wide range of relevant applications, that continue to grow in scope. However, the post processing of parts — from cleaning through to further optimised surface finishes — has always been a necessity for many of our clients. Expanding our post processing capabilities is a vital part of the business, and the DyeMansion PowerShot S system is an important next step in our expansion, enabling us to offer our many and varied clients the benefits of shot peened 3D printed parts from a single source,” said Nick Allen, the CEO and Founder of 3DPRINTUK.

3D Printed Coit Tower House

The 210′ tall Coit Tower was built in the early 1930s in San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill neighborhood as a way to beautify the city. The art deco tower, a recognizable sight on the city’s skyline, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in early 2008, and 12 years later, Yuriy Sklyar, the founder, CEO, and head of design & marketing at design studio Threefifty, has 3D printed a replica tower that stands over 7′ tall…a 1/20 scale. Utilizing a Creality CR10S5, a Replicator 2, and a MakerBot system, Sklyar, who has been utilizing 3D printing since 2013, called this unique project a “great opportunity to leave a lasting mark on the best city in the world – and its art community.” It took a month to create the base of the tower, as he had to redo a lot of it, eventually installing a heated silicone bed and heat enclosure to reduce the amount of warping. The next month was spent printing “the 4 giant sections of the fluted tower design.”

“Each one of these four sections, just like the real tower, consists of 4 sub-sections – I wanted to be very accurate with such details. At first these were limited in height by the 3rd party 3D printer, so only 2 sub-sections were supposed to be printed at a time, and then joined together with metal plates and nuts/bolts, but since I was now working on my own terms, I decided to reduce the amount of work for myself, and at the same time reduce the number of bolts/nuts/plates to just 4 sets, instead of 8,” Sklyar wrote.

“Each one of these sections takes about 3.5-4 days to print using a single 1.1mm shell @ 10% infill, which created for a surprisingly strong structure, since I instructed the infil to have a 45% overlap with inner and outer walls.”

You can check out his post for the very specific details of the project, but I’ll leave you with just a few – including all of the hardware used, the 3D printed Coit Tower weighs a total of 24 kg, and took over 7.5 km of ColorFabb’s nGen filament, SUNLU PETG and Gizmo Dorks PETG filament to print. Sklyar designed the whole thing from scratch, and the columns are joined by steel plates secured by bolts and in-printed nuts.

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Lubrizol Buys into 3D Printing Parts and Services via Avid Acquisition

The Lubrizol Corporation has purchased Avid Product Development, a 3D printing and engineering services company, marking a significant development for additive materials and the larger industry as a whole.

While it may be best known for its engine oils, Lubrizol is a roughly $6.5 billion specialty chemical company owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. As such, it is one of a number of chemical producers that have been increasing their stakes in the 3D printing materials space, the biggest of which is BASF. The Ohio-based firm has already released its own additive feedstocks (specifically thermoplastic polyurethanes for fused filament fabrication and Multi Jet Fusion), but this acquisition marks a strong move for Lubrizol, as it expands from a material manufacturer to an engineering, 3D printing and post-processing service provider.

Samples demonstrating Avid’s post-processing capabilities. Image courtesy of Lubrizol.

Based in Loveland, Colorado, Avid offers design for additive manufacturing, as well as prototyping and production using selective laser sintering, Multi Jet Fusion, fused filament fabrication and stereolithography. Additionally, the company provides post-processing for 3D printed parts. The company serves the footwear, consumer goods, industrial and medical segments and won the 2019 Colorado Company to Watch award. According to a press release sent to 3DPrint.com, Lubrizol plans to combine its expertise in materials, applications and testing with the aforementioned offerings from Avid in order to accelerate 3D printing adoption in key industries.

Gert-Jan Nijhuis, General Manager of 3D Printing Solutions at Lubrizol Engineered Materials, said of the deal:

“Lubrizol continues to invest in opportunities that bring new differentiated solutions to our customers. The acquisition of Avid Product Development greatly enhances our ability as a 3D printing solution provider, offering complete product solutions from material development to printing and post processing services, delivering end-use products for our key markets.”

As industrialized nations purportedly strive to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, oil companies may be looking to supplement demand through petrochemical markets. ExxonMobil admitted as much in a 2018 investor report, stating an expected 30 percent increase in petrochemical demand by 2025.

A flexible TPU part 3D printed by Avid. Image courtesy of Lubrizol.

In turn, not only are we seeing an increasing number of major chemical companies enter the 3D printing industry, but we are seeing them diversify within that space as well. BASF has made the biggest movements, putting money into three different 3D-printed parts makers by partnering with Shapeways, investing in Materialise and acquiring Sculpteo. Mitsubishi Chemicals is also trying its hand at 3D printing parts through a pilot program with AddiFab.

By purchasing Avid, Lubrizol gets out ahead of a number of other chemical companies not described so far, including Dow/DuPont, Eastman, SABIC and more, who seem to be more focused on making materials at this point than using them. However, we have also witnessed a number of investments by companies like DSM and Arkema into new technologies and startups that could greatly expand their foothold in 3D printing once those startups take off.

All of these players are changing the landscape of the 3D printing industry, likely into a more industrially focused space. How that will look in the years to come is anyone’s guess, particularly given the uncertainty of global events at the moment, but the impact will be impossible to overlook.

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3D Printing Webinar and Virtual Event Roundup, August 2, 2020

It’s another busy week in the 3D printing industry that’s packed full of webinars and virtual events, ranging in topics from medical materials and flexible electronics to polypropylene and market costs. There are four on Tuesday, August 4th, two on Wednesday, August 5th, and the week will end with the last KEX webinar on Thursday, August 6th.

ASTM’s AM General Personnel Certificate Program

Last week, the ASTM International Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) training course all about additive manufacturing safety.  Now, the AM CoE is starting its AM General Personnel Certificate course, which will begin August 4th and run through the 27th. One of its key focus areas is promoting AM adoption, and helping to fill the knowledge gap with training for the future AM workforce is a major way that the AM CoE is doing this. The online course is made up of eight modules covering all the general concepts of the AM process chain, and attendees will learn important technical knowledge that will allow them to earn a General AM Certificate after completing a multiple-choice exam.

“This course will feature 17 experts across the field of additive manufacturing to provide a comprehensive course covering all of the general concepts of the AM process chain to its attendees. The course will occur over the month of August consisting of two modules per week for four weeks. More information can be found in the course flyer.”

Online registration will open soon. This is not a free course—you can learn about the fees here.

Nexa3D & Henkel: Medical Materials Webinar

Nasal swabs

Recently, SLA 3D printer manufacturer Nexa3D and functional additive materials supplier Henkel announced that they were partnering up to commercialize the polypropylene-like xMED412, a durable, high-impact material that can be used to 3D print biocompatible medical and wearable devices; in fact, it’s already been cleared to print nasal swabs. Now, the two are holding a virtual leadership forum on “Advances and Breakthroughs in 3D Printed Medical Equipment and Device Materials,” like xMED412. Topics to be discussed will include new possibilities for 3D printing medical equipment and devices, the benefits of using AM to fabricate these products, and the advantages additive manufacturing has over medical materials made with traditional manufacturing. Panelists will engage with attendees after the discussion in a live Q&A session.

“3D printing has introduced all kinds of new possibilities for developing stronger and lightweighted equipment but we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. These past few months have driven the industry to new realms of creativity with the need to quickly deliver medical supplies, devices and materials. With new lightweight, sturdy materials designed to withstand impact, moisture and vibration, access to lower cost medical equipment is becoming more widely available thanks to 3D printing.”

Register here for the 45-minute virtual forum, which will take place on Tuesday, August 4th, at 1:30 pm EST.

SOLIDWORKS Design Solution Demonstration

Also on August 4th, at 11 am EST, Dassault Systèmes will be holding a brief demonstration of its 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS design solution. This demonstration of the platform’s capabilities will last just 22 minutes, and will teach attendees how to collaborate and stay connected to data while creating new designs with SOLIDWORKS when connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, exploring the latest tools available on the platform, and design a model using both parametric (3D Creator) and Sub-D modeling (3D Sculptor) tools with the help of complementary workflows.

“SOLIDWORKS is the design tool that has been trusted by engineers and designers around the world for decades. Part of the 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS portfolio, SOLIDWORKS is now connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform with cloud-based tools that enable everyone involved in product development to collaborate on real-time data. Doing so enables you to efficiently gain the insight needed to create revolutionary new products.”

You can register for the demonstration here.

NextFlex Innovation Days

The last August 4th event in this week’s roundup is NextFlex Innovation Days, the flagship showcase event for the consortium of academic institutions, companies, non-profits, and local and federal governments that make up NextFlex and are working to advance US manufacturing of flexible hybrid electronics (FHE). The event will run through Thursday, August 6th, and will include panel discussions on how FHEs are continuing to transform the world, including a panel featuring a special guest speaker from the US Senate. FHE innovations that will be highlighted during the event include a wearable biometrics monitor from Stretch Med, Inc., flexible skin-like sensors from Georgia Tech, a flexible UV sensor out of the NASA Ames Research Center, miniaturized gas sensors that GE Research integrated into wearables and drone formats, and Brewer Science’s integrated FHE solutions in a brewery application.

“This multi-day virtual event will feature over 50 customer, partner and member company presentations online available at no cost. If you watch live, you’ll have the chance to interact with presenters and flexible hybrid electronic (FHE) experts from the comfort of home via webinars and virtual labs, or you can watch video demonstrations at your availability.”

Register for NextFlex Innovation Days here.

Additive America & HP AM Webinar

HP is currently sponsoring a webinar series highlighting business in the AM industry that worked to transition their production processes in order to help fill the supply chain gap that’s been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This week’s episode, which will take place at 1:30 pm EST on Wednesday, August 5th, will feature a discussion with Additive America on “the lasting impact of COVID-19 on additive manufacturing.”

“Listen in on conversations with our customers to learn how they have adapted to the change in business climate, whether it be a shift in production workflow to address supply chain gaps, enabling a faster product development cycle to support changing customers’ needs, or bridge production.”

You can register for this webinar here.

Prodways, BASF, & Peridot Talk Polypropylene

Also on August 5th, Prodways, BASF, and full-service product development company Peridot Inc. will be holding a free webinar together called “Rethink Additive Manufacturing with Polypropylene.” Led by Lee Barbiasz from Prodways, Jeremy Vos from BASF, and Peridot owner Dave Hockemeyer, the webinar will focus on how PP 1200, a tough, chemically resistant, low density polypropylene enabled by BASF for selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printing, is being used to bridge the gap between additive manufacturing and injection molding, as well as growing opportunities and applications in short run manufacturing. Hockemeyer was an early adopter of the material, and will share a variety of use cases for PP 1200. There will also be a chance for attendees to ask questions about the material.

“3D Printing with Polypropylene is here! After more than three decades, 3D printing technology has evolved the ability to 3D print polypropylene material. Polypropylene enables scalability in manufacturing, reduces barriers to entry in 3D printing and reduces manufacturing costs by 25-50%!”

You can register for the webinar, held on Wednesday, August 5th, from 1-1:45 pm EST, here.

KEX Knowledge Exchange on Market, Costs & Innovation

The last entry in this week’s roundup will take place on Thursday, August 6th. KEX Knowledge Exchange AG, a former spinoff of Fraunhofer IPT, held webinars in July about powder bed fusion technology and post-processing, and the last in its series will be an online seminar on Market, Costs & Innovation. Sebastian Pfestorf from KEX and Lea Eilert, the project and technology manager for the ACAM Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing, will be the speakers for this webinar.

“In this online seminar, you will learn:

  • Current AM market and industrial trends

  • What markets the technology has penetrated the most and why

  • How to go about implementing AM, including risks and uncertainties

You can register for the hour-long webinar here. It will take place on Thursday, August 6th, at 8 am EST.

Will you attend any of these events and webinars, or have news to share about future ones? Let us know! 

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3D Printz to Distribute Bondtech 3D Printing Extruders

UK-based 3D printing specialist 3D Printz continues to expand with partnerships and product offerings, now working with Bondtech, a Swedish company that develops and produces novel dual drive extruders for improved digital fabrication.

Currently, Bondtech extruders and other 3D printing products are being sold in over 50 countries through their network of resellers focused on a wide range of users. 3D Printz will be one of a select few in the US acting as a distributor for Bondtech, well-known for its unique and popular extruder design, featuring two counter-rotating gears for a powerful grip in pushing the filament through from both sides.

Tried and true throughout the 3D printing industry, the Bondtech extruding system is fast, precise, and high-performing. Users benefit too from lack of under-extrusion, headaches with filament, and prevented risk of grinding and slipping.

Bondtech extruder technology (Image: Bondtech)

Delivering some of the greatest benefits of 3D printing, Bondtech extruders allow for better 3D prints, greater efficiency during production, and savings on the bottom line.

Martin Bondéus, Bondtech founder (Image: Bondtech)

Founded in 2014 by Martin Bondéus, Bondtech achieved wide acclaim by 2015 for the V2 Extruder, often purchased by users who wish to upgrade their existing 3D printers. Affordability and the potential for improving performance have attracted thousands of buyers over the years—along with propelling Bondtech into the international spotlight.

3D Printz Limited currently offers numerous quality products, but they continue to reach out for other distribution opportunities from around the globe. This includes working with Antclabs, the South Korean manufacturer of BLTouch—an auto-bed leveling sensor developed for semiconductors. 3D Printz also sells the popular 3D Gloop! adhesive product, meant to be used with 3D printing of filaments like ABS, PLA, and PETG. They distribute products for US company Micro Swiss LLC, offering nozzles, hotends, and other adhesives like Magigoo.

Even more importantly, they are now also distributing one of the best-selling and affordable 3D printers worldwide: the Monoprice. Made in California, these printers have garnered enormous attention due to their $200 pricepoint and ease in use. Filaments made from high-quality raw materials also play a large role in 3D Printz distribution activities, from PLA to PETG, ABS, and other alternative materials.

While some 3D printing industry leaders already offer one-stop shops and turn-key systems—on every level—supply and demand continues to allow resellers unlimited opportunity, with experts on one level complementing others on another. With this latest partnership between 3D Printz and Bondtech, the hope is that they will be able to offer their UK customers innovative, comprehensive systems—a goal 3D Printz has been working even harder to achieve in recent months.

[Source: 3D Printz]

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INTAMSYS: First Distributor of New PAEK 3D Printing Filament from Victrex

The world of 3D printing materials alone is vast, wondrous, and inspiring—and it continues to expand in parallel with the exploration and innovation of users who often refuse to accept limits for their designs. High-performance polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and polyaryletherketone (PAEK) polymer solutions are materials being used more often for industrial applications too in additive manufacturing, adapted from their initial uses in traditional technology like machining and injection molding.

Now, the UK-headquartered Victrex, a leader in developing and supplying both PEEK and PAEK, has announced the release of VICTREX AM™ 200 filament. This PAEK filament will be distributed by INTAMSYS, China, as they continue to widen their range of offerings to customers engaged in using 3D design software and AM processes. As a manufacturer of 3D printers centered around using materials like PEEK and PAEK, INTAMSYS will be the first company to play a role in the Victrex filament fusion network.

INTAMSYS is known for working with clients in a variety of applications, to include the following:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Oil and gas
  • Medical sector
  • Jigs
  • Fixtures
  • Education

The new PAEK filament is meant to be versatile and able to hold up in rigorous environments, featuring:

  • High-wear resistance
  • High-temperature resistance
  • Fatigue resistance
  • Corrosion resistance to fluids and chemicals
  • Design freedom
  • Greater efficiency and affordability in production

Although Victrex has been a leader within the materials industry for almost 30 years, we have followed their dynamic process in research, enormous investment into new technology, and ongoing development of stronger PAEK materials. Over time, their goal has been to produce a new line of materials able to stand up to the needs of customers creating parts (not just prototypes) for critical applications where there often is no room for error.

“This new generation of Victrex additive manufacturing PAEK filament represents an important step forward for Victrex and we are excited now to work closely with INTAMSYS,” said Jakob Sigurdsson, Victrex CEO. “Due to excellent cooperation with companies and institutions that pursue innovation in additive manufacturing, such as INTAMSYS, as well as Victrex´s continued research, we have been making sustained progress toward creating truly innovative components based on the design freedom of additive manufacturing, combined with the high performance of PAEK polymers.”

Specifically optimized for AM processes, the PAEK material is meant for high-performance parts. And while previously PEEK material meant for injection molding may have presented challenges with bonding and adhesion, the new filament offers up to 80 percent greater strength and impressive FFF 3D printing adaptability.

“Our test results to date have shown that the VICTREX AM 200 filament has a better interlayer adhesion than other PAEK materials on INTAMSYS´ machines. Compared with unfilled PEEK, it is designed with slower crystallization, lower melt temperature, and a viscosity finetuned to the filament fusion process, such as easier flow in the build chamber after leaving the nozzle. Higher flow in open air (low shear rates) also promotes interlayer bonding and stability during printing,” said Charles Han, Founder and CEO at INTAMSYS.

“All of this contributes to an improved interlaminar adhesion, easier printing (less shrink and warp), and a better suitability for FDM 3D printing, compared to other similar options, based upon the testing we have done at INTAMSYS up to this point.”

Testing has been performed by INTAMSYS engineers on a variety of 3D printers, including the smart dual nozzle FUNMAT PRO 410 3D printer—able to print with PEEK, PEEK-CF, PEKK, PC, PC-ABS and other high-performance materials. See the data from the tests below.

[Source: Victrex/INTAMSYS; Images courtesy of INTAMSYS]

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3D Printing News Briefs, July 25, 2020: MakerBot, ANSYS, Sintavia, Nexa3D & Henkel

We’re all business in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs! MakerBot has a new distribution partner, and ANSYS is launching a new product. Sintavia has acquired an additional Arcam 3D printer from GE Additive. Finally, Nexa3D and Henkel are introducing a new material for 3D printing medical and athletic devices.

MakerBot Welcomes New Distribution Partner

MakerBot announced that it has expanded its distributor network by entering into an agreement with the Distrinova division of the Unitum Group, which will distribute the MakerBot METHOD 3D print platform throughout Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. This partnership will increase the availability of the entire platform, which offers industrial capabilities and engineering-grade materials, to more customers in the Benelux region who need professional, powerful 3D printing solutions. The METHOD platform consists of the METHOD and METHOD X printers, various accessories like an experimental extruder, METHOD Carbon Fiber editions, and materials like Nylon Carbon Fiber, ABS, ASA, SR-30, and PC-ABS FR, and Distrinova’s network of channel partners will distribute all of them, in addition to MakerBot’s educational 3D printing solutions.

We are very proud to introduce MakerBot and the METHOD technology into our product portfolio,” said Guy Van der Celen, CEO of Unitum Group BV. ” With the METHOD range we can provide our resellers network not only reliable, state-of-the-art 3D printers, but also the opportunity to offer their customers high value-added solutions for a broad range of new application areas. In addition, the introduction of MakerBot corresponds perfectly with Distrinovas’ strategy to develop strong partnerships with the leading innovative global manufacturers of 3D printers.”

ANSYS Event to Launch Discovery Product

Engineering simulation software company ANSYS released its Discovery Live tool for real-time 3D simulation back in 2017, and will soon be introducing a brand new ANSYS Discovery product, kicking things off with a virtual launch event on July 29th. The company states that the  product can help companies improve their product design processes, increase ROI, and provide answers to important design questions earlier, without having to wait for the results of a simulation.

“This reimagining of the Discovery line of products aims to maximize ease of use, speed and accuracy across thermal, structural, fluids and multiphysics simulation all from within a single consistent user interface (UI),” Justin Hendrickson, Senior Director, Design Product Management, wrote in a blog post about the new ANSYS Discovery.

“Traditionally, simulation has been used during later stages of design when making corrections can be costly and time consuming. However, with the new Ansys Discovery, every engineer will be able to leverage simulation early during concept evaluation as well as during design refinement and optimization. This means that they will be able to optimize products and workflows faster and on a tighter budget.”

The launch event will feature a keynote address from Mark Hindsbo, Vice President and General Manager, Design Business Unit, a product demonstration by Hendrickson, two customer success stories, and several interactive breakout sessions, including one focusing on thermal simulation and another exploring the tool’s generative design capabilities. You can register for the event here.

Sintavia Acquires Second Arcam Q20+ 3D Printer

Tier One metal additive manufacturer Sintavia announced that it has acquired a second Arcam Q20+ 3D metal printer from GE Additive, bringing its total number of electron beam printing systems to three and its overall number of industrial metal 3D printers to nineteen. This additional Arcam Q20+ will be installed next month in Sintavia’s Hollywood, Florida production facility, where the other Q20+ is located with an Arcam A2X, a Concept Laser M2, three SLM 280 systems, a Trumpf TruPrint 3000, and nine EOS 3D printers – six M400s and five M290s.

“Over the past several years, we have worked to qualify the Q20+ for aerospace manufacturing and now have several aerostructure product lines that depend on this technology. Electron beam printing is an excellent option for complex titanium aerospace components, and this business line will continue to grow for us. Even in a difficult overall manufacturing environment, the demand we have seen for EB-built components is very encouraging,” stated Sintavia CEO Brian R. Neff.

Nexa3D and Henkel Commercializing New Material Together

Nasal swabs

Together, SLA production 3D printer manufacturer Nexa3D and functional additive materials supplier Henkel are commercializing the polypropylene-like xMED412, a durable, high-impact material that can be used to print biocompatible medical and wearable devices. Henkel is the one manufacturing the medical-grade material, which is based on its own Loctite MED412 and was designed to offer high functionality and consistent part performance—perfect for printing products like athletic and diving mouth gear, respirators, orthotic guides and braces, and personalized audio projects. The lightweight yet sturdy xMED412 material, which can withstand vibration, moisture, and impact, has been tested by Henkel Adhesive Technologies on the NXE400 3D printer, and is now also cleared to print nasal swabs.

“We are thrilled to bring this product to market in collaboration with Nexa3D. We developed and tested with Nexa3D’s NXE400 3D printer a multitude of approved workflows designed to unleash the full potential of xMED412’s outstanding physical properties and biocompatibility,” said Ken Kisner, Henkel’s Head of Innovation for 3D printing. “Nexa3D and Henkel have provided a digital manufacturing solution for a growing number of medical devices, athletic wearables and personalized audio products. Especially with regard to the current Covid-19 pandemic, we are pleased that nasopharyngeal swabs manufactured with xMED412 on the NXE400, in accordance with our published procedures, have already been cleared through clinical trials and are in compliance with ISO 10993 testing and FDA Class I Exempt classification.”

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3D Printing News Briefs, July 18, 2020: DOMO & RPD, AMPM2021, Alloyed

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, DOMO Chemicals and RPD have announced a partnership related to a Sinterline initiative. The 2021 AMPM event is calling for technical papers related to metal additive manufacturing. Finally, Alloyed has won a prestigious award.

DOMO Chemicals and RPD Partnering

DOMO’s Sinterline PA6 powders combined with RPD’s SLS printer, modified and upgraded by LSS, enable OEMs to step up their 3D printed parts performance. (Photo courtesy of RPD)

Polyamide solutions provider DOMO Chemicals and Rapid Product Development GmbH (RPD), a specialist in prototyping and serial production of complex parts and assemblies, have formed a strategic partnership for the purposes of speeding up the growth of plastic materials for selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printing. The collaboration will merge the continuing development of DOMO’s Sinterline Technyl PA6 SLS powder materials with a package of support services for SLS technology, benefiting from RPD’s expertise in application development and the SLS process. Sinterline PA6 powders are an oft-used nylon in the industry, especially by demanding markets like automotive.

“Sinterline® has pioneered the use of high-performance PA6 in 3D printing, and allows us to leverage the same polymer base that has proven so successful in many existing injection molding applications. Backed by the joint application development services of our companies, even highly stressed automotive components can now be successfully 3D printed in PA6 to near-series and fully functional quality standards,” stated Wolfgang Kraschitzer, General Manager and Plastics Processing Leader at RPD.

AMPM Conference Seeking Papers and Posters

The Additive Manufacturing with Powder Metallurgy Conference (AMPM2021) will be held in Orlando, Florida from June 20-23, 2021. While this may seem far in the future, the event’s program committee is looking ahead, and has issued a call for technical papers and posters that are focused on new developments in the metal additive manufacturing market. Stuart Jackson, Renishaw, Inc., and Sunder Atre, University of Louisville, the technical program co-chairman, are asking for abstracts that cover any aspect of metal AM, such as sintering, materials, applications, particulate production, post-build operations, and more.

“As the only annual additive manufacturing/3D printing conference focused on metal, the AMPM conferences provide the latest R&D in this thriving technology. The continued growth of the metal AM industry relies on technology transfer of the latest research and development, a pivotal function of AMPM2021,” said James P. Adams, Executive Director and CEO of the Metal Powder Industries Federation.

The submission deadline for abstracts is November 13, 2020, and must be submitted to the co-located PowderMet2021: International Conference on Powder Metallurgy & Particulate Materials.

Alloyed Wins IOP Business Award

Alloys By Design (ABD)

UK company Alloyed, formerly OxMet Technologies, has won a prestigious award from the Institute of Physics (IOP), the learned society and professional body for physics. The IOP is committed to working with business based in physics, and its Business Awards recognize the contributions made by physicists in industry. Alloyed has won the IOP Business Start-up Award, which OxMet submitted for consideration before merging with Betatype to form Alloyed, and recognizes the team’s hard work in developing its digital platform Alloys By Design (ABD). This platform is helping to set new metal material development standards, including the commercialization of Alloyed’s ABD-850AM and ABD-900AM alloys for additive manufacturing.

“Everything we do in every bit of our business rests on the foundations provided by physics, and we’re delighted that the judges believe we have made a contribution to the field,” Alloyed CEO Michael Holmes said about winning the IOP Business award.

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Mike Tyson Now Licensed to 3D Print Cannabis Drinks

3D printing, legalization of weed, and the often-outrageous Mike Tyson are a combination certain to gain worldwide attention, and especially for individuals indulging in cannabis for medicinal reasons. While you probably expect that edibles backed by the famous boxer will pack a power punch, his business collaboration with California-headquartered Smart Cups is meant to offer exactly the right dosage for consumers seeking either recreation or medication. Many seek to enjoy the benefits of marijuana, but not so much so that it ends in a trip to the ER—or well, just an unexpected trip.

(Image: Getty Images)

The benefits of cannabis are being expounded on for nearly every malady these days, it seems. If you visit a dispensary in a state where weed is legal, “budtenders” know their stuff and can point you to whatever strain is best for managing symptoms.

Patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and a wide range of serious illnesses may rely on smoking weed or ingesting edibles to relieve many different symptoms, to include nausea, joint pain, muscle spasms, insomnia, and much more. Many individuals prefer edibles, but they are well-known for offering surprising results in regard to potency.

The Smart Cups product was founded on a brilliant concept, 3D printing, and pressing the ingredients for energy drinks into the bottom of a plastic cup, just waiting to be brought to life by water. Even more brilliant is the versatility of the brand, allowing it to translate to medications and marijuana edibles, too. Tyson may have the license to print edibles, but Smart Cups is bringing the formula and technique. The “materials” will have to be supplied by experienced growers manipulating the different strains into cannabidiol (CBD).

“Printed actives and flavors are released when they come in contact with a liquid (i.e. water, soda, or saliva),” explained CEO of Smart Cups Chris Kanik in a recent interview with Forbes.

With the Smart Cups micro-encapsulation printing technology licensed to The Ranch Companies (owned by Tyson, founded with branding expert Rob Hickman), the goal is to eliminate “one of the systematic issues plaguing this industry.”

Leaving the knock-outs up to the former heavyweight champion, ultimately Tyson and Hickman want to offer cannabis products that consumers feel comfortable about eating, rather than worried about what they might be getting themselves into due to unpredictability in weed potency.

“We have partnered with top research universities to collect critical clinical data supporting CBD for medicinal purposes and pain relief. The Smart Cups Technology is a new delivery system which we believe will set new standards in this industry,” said Hickman. He added, “At the moment, the industry is lacking consistency. When an individual consumes 100 mg of aspirin, no matter where they are in the world, they are confident that they are consuming 100mg of aspirin. Smart Cups Technology can provide that same consumer confidence.”

Many states are still far behind the true pioneers in cannabis like Colorado and Washington, but the laws continue to loosen up elsewhere significantly—leading to a billion-dollar industry that just continues to expand. Other celebrities have thrown their hat into the ring also, including Snoop Dog, Tommy Chong, and Whoopie Goldberg.

Big corporate investors are also turning their attention to what is obviously a highly-profitable business opportunity, with 3D printing playing a role in numerous projects so far, from medical marijuana inhalers to child-safety devices, and even unusual recycling concepts.

[Source / Images: Forbes; Maxim]

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Open Source Grinding Machine Cuts Cost of Pellet 3D Printing

In pursuing the Distributed Recycling and Additive Manufacturing (DRAM) approach to open-source hardware development, a significant challenge lies in addressing the high cost of the compression screw component for alternative 3D printers, such as Fused Particle Fabrication (FPF) or Fused Granular Fabrication (FGF).

Platform solutions such as RepRap and Arduino, have allowed users and professionals worldwide to access or manufacture products or scientific tools themselves, cheaper and more effectively than commercial hardware products. Yet, as Dr. Joshua Pearce, of Michigan Technological University (MTU), notes in his study on the topic, open hardware lags the success of the open software community by about fifteen years. It is initiatives such as Dr Pearce’s Open Lab that are helping to bridge this gap—and in this case, with open hardware solutions that make FPF and FGF cheaper, more accessible, and more efficient than they are at present. The details of the lab’s work on the subject are described in a recent study, “Open Source Grinding Machine for Compression Screw Manufacturing.”

FPF or FGF are more effective than the traditional Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) for DRAM, since they use raw plastic particles or granules which are more easily available and cheaper, instead of filament, to 3D print objects. Although it is has proven much cheaper and technically viable to produce filament from a variety of waste polymers, using an open-source waste plastic extruder (or recyclebot) – the process degrades the mechanical properties of the filament material over time, and limits its recyclability. In addition, commercially 3D printing filament is more expensive, at $20 per kg, than raw plastic pellets which are priced at $1-5 per kg.

This is why FPF and FGF printers are seen as a more effective alternative for the DRAM approach, and are already being used by academia, maker communities and businesses—the best example for the latter being GigabotX, an open-source industrial 3D printer than can use a range of materials from Polylactic Acid (PLA) to polycarbonate (PC). However, FPF/FGF 3D printers are more expensive, primarily due to the high cost of the precision compression screw, compared to FFF printers, and commercially available screws are not only very expensive (over $700 for the filabot screw) but also limited in handling larger pellets due to their small scale and size.

Image courtesy of MDPI

This is where Dr. Pearce’s open source hardware solves the problem: by providing a low-cost open-source grinding machine, so users of FPF/FGF can fabricate a precision compression screw for about the cost of the bar stock. Users will no longer be limited to commercial designs, and will be able to customize or optimize the screw to suit their requirements in terms of channel depth, screw diameter or length, pitch, abrasive disk thickness, handedness, and materials (three types of steel, 1045 steel, 1144 steel, and 416 stainless steel).

Image courtesy of MDPI

These compression screws will make recycling polymer particles/granules cheaper, more efficient, and flexible for FPF/FGF users, thus strengthening the case for DRAM as it pushes towards a circular economy.

Image courtesy of MDPI

The grinding machine is made using an off-the-shelf cut-off grinder (approximate cost $130, ideally suited only for steel or stainless steel) and less than $155 in parts. It is classified as an outside diameter cylindrical grinding machine. All the 3D printed parts can be made using any desktop printer using PLA (in this case a Lulzbot Taz 6), and the plywood parts were prepared using a CNC wood router.

Dr Pearce has long been an advocate of open source, distributed manufacturing, and DIY solutions for students, businesses, and, in particular, for scientists and researchers. To help accelerate innovation, empower scientists and users dependent on or limited by expensive commercial equipment and supply chains, and to reduce the cost of scientific tools, Dr.Pearce has led the way with his open source software or hardware solutions and initiatives. He has helped develop the Recyclbot, respirators, ventilators, specialized 3D printers, scientific or medical device components, and more.

Among other work, he has also worked to show how DIY 3D printing could impact the toys and game market (reducing costs of simple and complex toys or games by 40-90%), how to develop open-source, affordable metal 3D printing solutions using GMAW, and to 3D print slot die cast parts, that cost thousands of dollars, for just cents. He is also the author of Open-Source Lab: How to Build your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs and teaches a renowned open source introductory course in additive manufacturing at MTU, which is now online and free.

This latest work shows just how far his lab is going to make manufacturing technology accessible, even down to the compression screw needed for FPF/FGF 3D printing. The design, instructions and files for the device are free, and available here.

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3D Printing Webinar and Virtual Event Roundup, July 13, 2020

We’ve got six webinars and virtual events to tell you about in this week’s roundup, including two about ceramics 3D printing, one focused on patents and another on pharmaceuticals, a live tour, and a live look at 3DEXPERIENCE. A few of these are taking place today…read on to learn the details!

Patents in Additive Manufacturing

The European Patent Office (EPO), one of the largest public service institutions in Europe, is launching a new study on Monday, July 13th, titled “Patents and additive manufacturing – Trends in 3D printing technologies,” to offer evidence that Europe is a global 3D printing innovation hub. Ahead of the launch, there will be a panel discussion between EPO president António Campinos and Christian Archambeau, Executive Director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and then the EPO’s Chief Economist, Yann Ménière, will present the study.

The study is part of a four-day digital conference, from July 13-16, regarding the impact of 3D printing intellectual property, organized by the EPO and the EUIPO and including speakers like Isinnova founder and CEO Cristian Fracassi and stereolithography inventor Chuck Hull. You can register for the entire conference here.

3D Printing in Pharmaceuticals and Dietary Supplements

From 9 am to noon each day July 13-16, the US Pharmacopeia (USP) and International Association for Pharmaceutical Technology (APV) will be co-hosting a virtual workshop series, “The Promise of 3D Printing in Pharmaceuticals and Dietary Supplements: Quality and Standards Considerations,” that will look at how pharmaceutical and supplement 3D printing is progressing near and at point-of-care (POC), standards and guidance, and potential applications. Several key objectives of the series including discussing quality management needs in areas like testing, design optimization, and terminology, understanding best practices, engaging stakeholders to look at 3D printing progress in health and wellness, and determining what quality needs can be fulfilled with better guidance and standards.

These webinars are suggested for POC healthcare practitioners, 3D printing enthusiasts and industry professionals, pharmaceutical industry stakeholders, and business and science leaders from academic institutions, companies, and advocacy/professional organizations related to personalized health. You can register for the webinar series here. You can select which days you want to join, though USP and APV encourage total workshop attendance.

Exploring 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS Live

Also on July 13th, 3DEXPERIENCE experts John Martorano III and Gian Calise will begin hosting a live webinar series focused on exploring 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS. In this series of webinars, which will take place every other Monday, Calise and Martorano will answer all your questions about the platform in a fun, yet informative way. Each session will feature a different 3D design workflow, along with best practices and tips, and guest appearance from other SOLIDWORKS experts.

At the end of every webinar session, attendees can also take a poll to suggest future topics. Register for the webinar series here.

Lithoz on 3D Printing Ceramics

The first ceramics webinar this coming week will be held by Lithoz on Wednesday, July 15th, at 10 am EST, and titled “Ceramic 3D printing: advancing new applications in AM.” For the first 30 minutes, webinar moderator Davide Sher, the co-founder and CEO of 3dpbm, and Lithoz co-founder and CEO Johannes Homa will discuss the unique properties of the material, talk about how ceramics can benefit AM applications in a variety of applications, and provide some insight into LCM technology. The final 15 minutes will be reserved for Q&A.

“The impact of 3D printing is today being felt far beyond the metal and the plastic industry. This is particularly true in the world of ceramics, where processes such as Lithoz’ ceramic 3D printing technology are unlocking new applications which were previously impossible.”

Register for the free webinar here. If you miss this one, Lithoz will be holding another webinar about ceramics in August.

Live Tour of Ricoh 3D

Also on July 15th, Ricoh 3D will be offering a live tour of its Additive Manufacturing Centre, since COVID-19 is keeping it from offering an in-person look at its AM, metrology, and process control capabilities. During the tour, you’ll get a chance to see the company’s in-house 3D printing technology, in addition to learning from its material and design experts how AM can benefit your business in a low-risk way, meaning without any “capital expenditure commitments.”

The tour will take place at 10 am EST, and will also discuss more advanced 3D equipment, services, and technologies. Register for the live tour here.

Ceramics Expo 2020 Webinar

This week’s second webinar on ceramics will be held at noon EST on Thursday, July 16th, by Ceramics Expo, the largest annual trade show in the US for the technical ceramic and glass industry. The webinar, “Accelerating the Commercialization Process of Ceramic Materials to Stimulate Growth in the Wake of Covid-19,” will discuss how to speed up commercialization to stimulate growth for the glass and ceramics supply chain, how regulation helps or hurts this process and if the pandemic has changed it, and how glass and ceramics manufacturers can “work with their clients to ensure continued investment in new product development.”

“By making more efficient the processes of material characterization, prototype production and material optimization, the reduction in cost and resources will help give ceramic materials an edge over those which may have a shorter and less expensive process. This session is designed to help bridge the gap between research and engineering in order to accelerate the process of scaling up new products.”

Register for this ceramics expo here, and the Ceramics Expo Connect virtual event in September here.

Do you have news to share about future webinars and virtual events? Let us know!

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