Medtronic to Acquire French Spinal Surgery Maker Medicrea, Strengthening 3D Printed Implants

As part of medical device maker Medtronic‘s push toward a fully integrated solution for surgical planning, the company announced its intent to acquire Medicrea, a French pioneer in innovative surgical technologies for the treatment of complex spinal pathologies, in a transaction valued at €7 ($8) per share. The all-cash agreement, set to purchase all of Medicrea’s outstanding shares, had unanimous approval by both companies and is expected to close by the end of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions from both France and the United States.

Medtronic treats the first U.S. patients with spinal surgery robot (Image courtesy of Medtronic)

“Combining Medtronic’s innovative portfolio of spine implants, robotics, navigation, and 3D imaging technology with Medicrea’s capabilities and solutions in data analytics, artificial intelligence, and personalized implants, would enhance Medtronic’s fully-integrated procedural solution for surgical planning and delivery. This marks another important step in furthering our commitment to improving outcomes in spine care,” said Jacob Paul, senior vice president and president of the Cranial and Spinal Technologies division, which is part of the Restorative Therapies Group at Medtronic, headquartered in Ireland. “Medtronic will become the first company to be able to offer an integrated solution including artificial intelligence-driven surgical planning, personalized spinal implants and robotic-assisted surgical delivery, which will significantly benefit our customers and their patients.”

Following news of the deal, Medicrea shares jumped by 20% in regular trading, most likely due to the premium the acquiring company was set to pay on the target’s share price, in this case, 22 percent over the closing price of Medicrea shares on 14 July 2020.

Medicrea’s UNiD technology (Image courtesy of Medicrea)

The deal will allow Medtronic to incorporate Medicrea’s latest innovations, which include the UNiD ASI (Adaptive Spine Intelligence) technology, designed to support surgeon workflow in pre-operative planning and incorporating 3D printing processes to create personalized implant solutions for surgery. The company’s portfolio also consists of artificial intelligence-driven surgical planning using predictive modeling and sophisticated algorithms that measure and digitally reconstruct the spine to its optimal profile. As well as an ultra-modern manufacturing facility in Lyon, France housing the development and production of 3D printed titanium patient-specific implants.

“Spine surgery is one of the more complex procedures in healthcare because of the high number of different parameters to take into consideration. It is impossible for the human brain to compute all of them for one single patient,” said Denys Sournac, founder, chairman and CEO of Medicrea. “The medical world has been waiting for the arrival of customization in spinal surgery. With scientific progress in understanding sagittal balance and spinal injury, combined with the advent of new digital technologies, it is now possible to offer spinal patients entirely customized implants. We are thrilled to be joining forces with Medtronic because we share a similar mission to restore the long-term quality of life for patients. Now, together, we can help more patients in more places benefit from consistently high-quality surgical care.”

3D-printed spinal implants from Medicrea (Image courtesy of Medicrea)

The news comes amid expectations of an eventual recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and as Medtronic’s stock bounces back from a significant fall in the early months after COVID-19 emerged. The overall decline in procedures and supply chain disruptions have been among the key causes of concern for Medtronic, as well as impacted sales generated from China.

Medtronic said in a statement that the completion of the deal was subject to Medtronic getting at least 66.67% of Medicrea’s share capital. Up until now, Medtronic has entered into agreements with Medicrea shareholders totaling 44.4% of the company’s current outstanding share capital. The tender offer is expected to be filed with the French Markets Authority (AMF) in September 2020 and will be opened once the foreign investment approval in France and the merger control clearance in the United States are finalized.

Over the last seven decades, Medtronic has introduced a wide range of products to treat up to 70 health conditions, from cardiac devices and surgical tools to cranial and spine robotics, even insulin pumps, and patient monitoring systems. In the last few years, teams of scientists and engineers at the company have been working on new possibilities for personalized medicine using 3D printing technology, like its titanium 3D printing platform for spinal surgery implants. At the company’s facility, seven 3D printers work around the clock filling orders for rapid prototyping and medical models that allow doctors to practice procedures on life-like simulations. Additionally, researchers from Medtronic teamed up with academia to create a new operating room system powered by personalized 3D images, to give neurosurgeons better tools to remove brain tumors.

Medtronic headquarters in Dublin, Ireland (Image courtesy of Medtronic)

As of 2017, Medtronic was the leader in the U.S. market for spinal implants with a share of over one third. Once the acquisition is complete, the company will be able to expand and strengthen its position as a global innovator in further enabling technologies and solutions for spine surgery.

Spinal procedures are considered by experts as one of the most painful in neurosurgery and orthopedics, with over 1.62 million instrumented interventions performed every year. ResearchMoz analysts predicted the global spine surgery products market to hit $16.7 billion by 2025, mainly due to an increase in spine disorder cases among the geriatric population. The demand for innovative, minimally invasive solutions to this problem is critical for patient healthcare, which is why Medtronic is looking towards the predictive medicine opportunity that Medicrea has been developing, by collecting an unprecedented amount of data to develop its proprietary predictive models and employing disruptive technologies in every step of the way. Overall, the combination of the companies’ technical know-how would probably improve the clinical experience for patients and strengthen the future of spinal health.

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DNA.am Acquires GROW Software, Protecting AM Data

Our Mission: to overcome adoption methods of additive manufacturing surrounding design, manufacturing, and build validation.” – Grow.am

As an industry that has skyrocketed into the billions upon hitting the mainstream after decades of working behind the scenes for a select number of designers and engineers, 3D printing is continually being reshaped in terms of equipment and techniques—as well as through the emergence of new companies, mergers, and buy-outs.

Now, DNA.am is announcing the acquisition of the UK-headquartered GROW Software. To be re-branded Grow.am, they will carry on digitalizing security for sectors that are highly regulated, along with helping designers protect intellectual property in additive manufacturing.

(Image: GROW.am)

As additive manufacturing has evolved and led industrial users to become much more reliant, the need to explore security measures (especially as there may not currently be any in place at all) has become apparent for users seeking to protect critical data—and parts.

This acquisition occurs during a unique and challenging time for many, with the world facing the COVID-19 viral pandemic, the two companies are recognizing the further need for security, quality assurance, and material traceability. This is necessary to strengthen the 3D printing industry and technology further so that manufacturers can contribute more wholly in the future when supply chains are breaking down during the need for critical items like personal protective equipment.

In examining the current state of AM technology overall, DNA.am and Valuechain Group CEO Tom Dawes has expressed concern over “fragility and significant limitations” in conventional production methods. While additive manufacturing should have been ready to fill gaps in the supply chain during the pandemic more fully, there are still “major inhibitors.”

(Image: DNA.am)

The glories of 3D printing and design and fabrication of items like ventilators, masks, swabs, have been well-publicized; however, of course there must be concerns about safety, possible toxicity in materials, and true viability about a range of items being used or that are currently in the design process. While obviously there was not time to get FDA approval for numerous parts being fabricated in the maker community to help manufacture much-needed PPEs, as time passes, safety standards will fall into place.

Traceability in products along with the ability to enjoy secure partnerships in filling AM supply chains will be a focus for the team at GROW, led by Siavash Mahdavi, founder.

[Source / Images: 3D Adept Media]

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Royal DSM Acquires Portion of Clariant 3D Printing Materials

Royal DSM has announced that it will be taking over portions of the 3D printing portfolio of Swiss chemical giant Clariant, representing a somewhat dramatic shift in the additive manufacturing (AM) materials market. Specifically, DSM will now have a larger collection of filament, pellet and powder products for 3D printing.

The 3D printing materials space has become a competitive one since an increasing number of established chemical companies began entering the space. Among them was Clariant, a near $6.5 billion spin-off of Sandoz, once known as the inventors of LSD but which has since become Novartis, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. In 2017, Clariant launched its 3D printing business and, only three years later, Clariant has determined that AM materials don’t fit within its general strategy, though it will keep a foot in the market with its additives and flame retardants.

Clariant 3D Printer Filament.

The Dutch nutrition, health and materials multinational DSM, meanwhile, has been in the additive materials business for over 25 years and has been rapidly increasing its growth in the space particularly in recent years. Its finance capital arm, DSM Ventures, has poured money into a number of projects, including material startup Adaptive3D, smart inkjet 3D printing company Inkbit, post-processing firm Additive Manufacturing Technologies and Voxel8, a startup dedicated to multimaterial 3D printing. DSM continues to expand its materials horizons, as well, focusing on such pellet-based extrusion and flame retardant filament, among others.

DSM’s glass-reinforced Arnite AM8527 PET 3D printing material. Image courtesy of Royal DSM.

Clariant is handing over several staff members, its background in powder development, a piece of its filament and pellet materials portfolio to DSM. Additionally included is a small production line for manufacturing small batches of materials, as well as some operations dedicated to 3D printing customer relations.

DSM suggests that these acquisitions will not only increase its overall product portfolio, but will allow for more agile production with “faster product tweaks based on application needs” due to both the expertise of the Clariant team that will be joining DSM and a “dedicated, highly flexible and high-speed compounding setup.”

Joris Peels, 3DPrint.com Executive Editor and SmarTech analyst, provided his insight into the news, saying, “[I loved] their rail product; the packaging was awesome, the marketing was really good; it was very slick and well done. It was smart of them to use their compounding and additives expertise to make flame retardant and other highly functional products. If the Clariant team brings its agility and speed, as well as application knowledge, to DSM it should make the [Dutch] giant nimbler.”

In particular, Peels noted how quick the Clariant team was in the market, adding that the acquisition could provide DSM with its mark in 3D printing filaments:

“Relative to other polymer companies the Clariant team really our executed and in a very rapid manner met the market with high quality compounds and filaments for specific applications. Clariants products, filaments, compounds and the selected additives are all very high grade and their products were very application focused and ahead of the curve,” Peels said. “DSM has yet to really make a mark in filaments and the Clariant teams’ agility and market knowledge could give DSM the edge that it seeks on application focused FDM filaments.”

As DSM continues to grow in the additive space, it will be competing against the likes of BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, which is also making serious moves within the space and at a rapid pace. The most notable and recent may be the purchase of 3D printing service bureau Sculpteo, as well as its large investments in Materialise and Essentium. As these transformations continue to occur in materials, we will certainly see the AM industry as a whole change shape in new and unexpected ways.

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Made In Space Acquired by New Space Company Redwire

In an era of endless mega-mergers and acquisitions, perhaps nearly every startup’s dream is to one day become big enough to be bought out. That dream has now been fulfilled by Made In Space (MIS), the company to first install a 3D printer in the International Space Station (ISS). MIS has announced that it was purchased by a firm called Redwire.

Made In Space’s Additive Manufacturing Facility, the first commercial 3D printer in space. Image courtesy of Made In Space.

MIS is already well-known in the additive sector for its work in 3D printing in space. In addition to the aforementioned ISS machine, the company subsequently sent up the first commercial system in space. This allowed customers to print objects on the ISS. Other projects explored by MIS include the Archinaut, a system meant for the additive construction of large-scale objects, such as satellites, in space, as well as in-space fiber optics pulling, material recycling, and metal 3D printing.

While, in many cases, corporate buyouts are performed by much more established businesses to grow their portfolios, MIS has announced that it was purchased by Redwire, a seemingly unknown new space company. Part of the reason for Redwire’s lack of name recognition is the fact that it was only formed in June 2020, the result of strategy by private equity firm AE Industrial Partners. AEI acquired two other space firms, Adcole Space and Deep Space Systems (DSS), earlier in 2020 to form Redwire. The company’s goal is to be a leader in “mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy.”

In the new space industry, there is plenty of opportunity to take advantage of media and investment hype due to the fact that much of the sectors goals are on a very protracted timeline. Mining on earth has already proven to be ripe for fraud, as discovery and extracting valuable metals can take years to achieve and may never be realized, allowing the purported mining operations to cover up financial malfeasance. Mining asteroids in space is that much more abstract.

For this reason, it would pay to be skeptical of nearly any new space company. However, whereas Redwire may have come out of the blue, AEI and the companies purchased have much more established histories. AEI was founded in 1998 to expand middle market aerospace companies using its team of over 30 investment staff and resulting in the closure of 46 acquisitions.

The team is made up of numerous aerospace veterans, with Managing Partner David Rowe having served at GE Aerospace and GE Capital before becoming executive vice president at Gulfstream Financial Services Corp. and then building AEI. Other members worked at such companies as UBS, Boeing, GE and Hawker Beechcraft, with some serving as U.S. federal officials, including former acting Department of Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan.

Commercial Lunar Payload Services Small Lunar Lander from Deep Space Systems. Image courtesy of Deep Space Systems.

Both DSS and Adcole Space are fixtures in the space industry, with DSS involved in the development and management of space systems, including parts and spacecraft. Since its founding in 2001, DSS has created complete spacecraft, data recovery systems, fully qualified payloads and has been involved in projects related to the Space Shuttle, ISS, Orion, Dream Chaser and more. Adcole Space was founded in 1957, when it began working on satellite technology that has since been used in hundreds of low-earth orbit, geosynchronous and interplanetary spacecraft, including missions to Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto.

The purchase of MIS is meant to expand Redwire’s portfolio from space sensors and payloads, flight hardware and space craft to include MIS’s in-space manufacturing technology.

Of the acquisition, Redwire CEO Peter Cannito said, “To truly realize the full potential for space exploration, innovation must change the economics. Made In Space has been driving these innovations and is now positioned to revolutionize the industry.”

Cannito, it is worth noting, worked as an operating partner at AEI after serving as CEO of Polaris Alpha, a developer of technology for the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.

In other words, while Redwire may be new as a business entity, its team is not, and MIS is joining what may be an altogether formidable group of space experts. It will be taking along with it its sister company, Made In Space Europe, which develops space-capable robotic systems. In addition to its headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, MIS has offices in California, Alabama and Ohio. Andrew Rush, president and chief executive officer of MIS, said that the purchase by Redwire would allow the company to grow and advance its technology.

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Align Technology Acquires exocad, Dental CAD/CAM Software Vendor in €376 Million Deal

Align Technology acquires Global Dental CAD/CAM software firm, exocad. Known for their dental CAD/CAM solutions, exocad will strengthen Align’s presence among dentists, labs, and partners around the globe.

The two companies have signed a cash deal for the purchase of the privately held company for around 376 million Euro, giving Align new access to the dental software market, integrated workflows, dental practice customers, and a wide array of new partners—plus connections to resellers in 150 countries. Many new features will complement the Align digital platform offering new tools for workflows critical to diagnostics, orthodontics, and more.

Invisalign and its iTero digital dental scanner solutions will be further reinforced, along with restorative dentistry, implantology, guided surgery, and “smile design (Aligns terminology for both the design element of its Invisalign process and its benefit to customers).” The two companies expect the acquisition to ‘pave the way for new, seamless cross-discipline dentistry in the lab and at chairside.’ This integration sees Align able to offer more products to existing clients and offer a more integrated solution to its installed base of customers.

exocad will continue operations, as usual, managing their large ecosystem of existing partners and software solutions. In a recent press release sent to 3DPrint.com, the two companies state that exocad co-founders Tillmann Steinbrecher and Maik Gerth and their current team will stay after the acquisition is final, reporting to John Morici, Align Technology, senior vice president and CFO.

“Dentistry today is evolving digitally, with technology advances and consumer awareness driving new opportunities in ortho-restorative and comprehensive treatment. Align is in a unique position to lead the digital transformation of dentistry by reimagining comprehensive treatment planning and by reinventing the way orthodontists and GPs practice with our digital platform for transforming smiles,” said Joe Hogan, Align Technology president and CEO.

“exocad allows us to broaden and deepen Align’s digital platform by addressing restorative needs in our end-to-end digital platform that facilitate ortho-restorative and comprehensive dentistry and accelerates adoption of Invisalign treatment among the more than 300 million potential patients worldwide.”

Align and exocad have been collaborating since 2017, so both companies see this as ‘a natural next step’ after their work together integrating Align’s iTero intraoral scanners and exocad Chairside CAD software. They then moved on to creating a new workflow that allows dentists to perform milling in-house for restoration practices. In 2020, Align and exocad were still going strong, announcing their exocad Connector.

“I am excited by the enormous growth opportunity for exocad and its customers that comes with being a part of Align Technology,” said Tillmann Steinbrecher, CEO and co-founder of exocad. “Together, we will further strengthen exocad’s position as a key technology provider for the dental CAD/CAM industry and drive continuous innovation with the open and integrated approach that is the foundation of our company.”

The financial transaction for the acquisition is expected to occur during the second quarter of 2020.

“The acquisition of exocad adds a talented and passionate team as well as a highly innovative, industry-leading product suite to our portfolio, providing an excellent complement to our current workflow solutions,” said John Morici, Align Technology, senior vice president and CFO.

“We will continue to invest in and build on exocad’s leadership in the dental CAD/CAM market and look to them to make significant contributions to Align’s overall strategy.”

Align has been an astute company from inception capturing immense value by taking a clunky invasive and (for teens) embarrassing high-cost process of braces and replacing it by a series of discrete molds. Through pioneering direct marketing of this treatment to consumers while courting the dental community the company has pursued and maintained worldwide growth. Align’s treatment uses 3D printed molds and the firm prints hundreds of thousands of these a day, each one verified in CAD software by an employee. One can assume that the company has a lot of experience and understanding of dental CAD by now. Coupled with the firm’s 3D scanners it seems that Align is not only vertically integrating and expanding its portfolio here but also moving towards a complete digital dentistry offering for chairside dentistry.

The dental industry continues to expand via 3D design and 3D printing today, with new technology, studies regarding dental prosthetics, improved dental implants, and much more. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: Align Technology]

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3D Printing News Briefs: December 3, 2019

We’re starting today’s 3D Printing News Briefs out with a new case study, and then concluding with some business. CRP USA has been working with additive manufacturing in the motorsports sector. Moving on, Gardner Aerospace has acquired FDM Digital Solutions Ltd. Finally, the Head of Engineering at Formlabs is joining up with Digital Alloys.

CRP USA AM in Motorsports Case Study

3D printed oil pan in Windform SP, University of Victoria’s Formula SAE race car 2019 version

The University of Victoria (UVic) Formula Motorsport team has been using 3D printed oil pans on their SAE competition cars for the last four years that were created with CRP USA‘s laser sintering process, and Windform TOP-LINE composite materials. As a CRP case study details, carbon-composite Windform XT 2.0 was used to print the oil pans for the race vehicles in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and while they performed “amazingly” the first two years, the engine overheated during a test of last year’s car, which caused the temperature of the oil to rise above what the pan could handle.

For this year’s vehicle, the team decided to use the carbon-filled Windform SP composite material to 3D print the oil pan, as it has a higher melting point. They also made the mating flange thicker to lessen the chances of failure, and both of these changes led to a better, more robust oil pan. At next week’s Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, CRP USA will be showing off some of the other 3D printed solutions it’s helped create for the motorsports industry at booth 1041 in the Green Hall.

Gardner Aerospace Acquires FDM Digital Solutions

Graeme Bond (FDM) & Dominic Cartwright (Gardner Aerospace)

Global manufacturer Gardner Aerospace announced its acquisition of FDM Digital Solutions Limited, one of the UK’s top polymer additive layer manufacturers. FDM was formed in 2012, and its business model of original design solutions, manufacturing capability, and customer collaboration is successful in the aerospace, automotive, medical, and motorsports industries. The company will now become part of the new Gardner Technology Centre business unit, which is focused on R&D and advanced technology.

“Gardner Aerospace is breaking new ground in terms of technology. The acquisition of FDM and the creation of our new Technology Centre business unit provides us with the perfect opportunity to expand our technical knowledge, R&D capability and product offering, and aligns us with our customers’ growing expectations on innovative solutions, continuous improvement and cost competitiveness,” stated Gardner Aerospace CEO Dominic Cartwright.

“The role of 3D printing within manufacturing is constantly expanding and this newly acquired additive layer manufacturing capability complements Gardner’s long-standing capabilities as a producer of metallic detailed parts and sub-assemblies.”

Formlabs’ Head of Engineering Joins Digital Alloys

Carl Calabria

Carl Calabria, an AM industry veteran and the Head of Engineering at Formlabs, is leaving the company to join Digital Alloys, Inc. as its CTO. The Burlington, Massachusetts-based 3D printing company introduced its unique Joule printing last year, which it claims is the fastest way to make the hardest metal parts, as the wire-feed process doesn’t require any metal powder. By adding Calabria to its team, where he will be responsible for the company’s research and engineering, Digital Alloys can accelerate the release of its high-speed metal AM process.

“Leaving Formlabs was a difficult decision, but I was drawn to the size of Digital Alloys’ market, the team, and the opportunity to use Joule Printing to deliver metal printing solutions that have the speed, cost and quality needed for volume manufacturing of larger parts,” said Calabria. “The remarkable technology is producing titanium and tool steel parts faster, and at lower cost than conventional manufacturing processes.”

Watch this video to see Digital Alloys’ Joule printing process in action:

 

What do you think? Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Germany’s Henkel Acquires Molecule Corp., Strengthening 3D Printing & Materials Division

In another dynamic acquisition regarding the global progress of 3D printing and additive manufacturing technology, Henkel has just announced the purchase of Molecule Corp., headquartered in Concord, CA, near the San Francisco Bay area. This addition to the Henkel portfolio should propel them further into the technology realm as they continue to find success in their plan for making ‘targeted acquisitions,’ along with fortifying their additive manufacturing processes for production of strong, functional parts made from a variety of materials.

The technology and expertise built thus far by the Molecule Corp. team will also complement Henkel’s current strategies for research and development of new materials and techniques such as inkjet printing. Although they have locations around the globe, Henkel is headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany. They currently employ over 50,000 people today, but are still run as a family business that was founded on ‘strong entrepreneurial spirit’ in 1876. Creating value for their customers is priority, but their focus remains on offering sustainability to future generations as they continue to manage and create new materials from renewable raw resources—and this is where 3D printing enters the picture.

“Molecule Corp. and Henkel are an excellent fit,” says Philipp Loosen, head of 3D Printing at Henkel. “Molecule’s strong 3D printing and inkjet resin technologies and digital development capabilities perfectly complement and strengthen our materials portfolio and build on our approach to offer a comprehensive range of customized additive manufacturing solutions.”

Molecule Corp. currently offers a wide array of 3D printing solutions related to applications like:

  • Medical devices
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Consumer goods
  • Industrial materials

“Molecule’s technology and engineering center in California also broadens our global 3D printing footprint. We now provide 3D printing support to our customers in all major regions around the world,” adds Michael Todd, head of Innovation at Henkel Adhesives Technologies.

Molecule Corp. is currently making an impact in many different applications with 3D printing (Image: Molecule Corp.)

If you are attending the upcoming Rapid + TCT show (held in Detroit, Michigan from May 20-23), check out the Henkel booth where the Molecule Corp. team will also be present from May 21-23 — along with over 375 other exhibitors, many of whom are also involved in 3D printing and related technologies.

“We are excited to join Henkel,” says Ken Kisner, founder and president of Molecule Corp. “Henkel’s customer centered approach along with our combined product portfolio will help key industries accelerate the speed of innovation and move 3D printing from prototyping to digital manufacturing.”

Image: Molecule Corp.

Although 3D printing was created decades ago to offer engineers a faster and more streamlined method of prototyping, once the technology hit the mainstream users became intent on making objects and customized parts to suit an infinite number of industrial and creative projects worldwide. The possibilities are there for changing the marketplace forever with the ability to produce one-of-a-kind, highly tailored products for discerning consumers, but we are also curious to see what role 3D printing will play in mass manufacturing as companies like 3D Systems and Stratasys bring forth the tools.

What do you think of this latest news regarding innovative companies in the material resources and technology world? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

A 3D printed medical model that could be used for diagnosing, training, and more (Image: Molecule Corp.)

[Source: Henkel]

 

3D Printing News Briefs: April 21, 2019

We’re beginning with an aerospace 3D printing story in 3D Printing News Briefs today, then moving on to news about some upcoming industry events and finishing with a little business. Launcher tested its 3D printed rocket engine on an important date in history. DuPont will be introducing new semi-crystalline 3D printing products at RAPID + TCT, and Nanofabrica has offered to 3D print micro parts at no cost for interested companies attending the annual euspen conference. Ira Green Inc. used Rize technology to transform its production process, GOM is now part of the Zeiss Group, and the Ivaldi Group received its ISO 9001:2015 certification.

Launcher Tests 3D Printed Rocket Engine

New York startup Launcher, which uses EOS technology to create 3D printed components for metal rocket engines, has completed many firing tests with these parts over the last year and a half. Recently, on the anniversary of the date the first human left Earth to go into space, the startup announced the results of the latest test.

Launcher’s founder and CEO Max Haot posted on his LinkedIn account that the E-1 copper bi-metal rocket engine, which was 3D printed on the EOS M290, broke the startup’s combustion pressure record at 625 psi, mr 2.5. It will be interesting to see how the engine performs on its next test.

DuPont to Introduce New Semi-Crystalline Materials 

At next month’s RAPID + TCT in Detroit, DuPont Transportation & Advanced Polymers (T&AP), a DowDuPont Specialty Products Division business, will be launching an expansion to its 3D printing portfolio: advanced, high-performance semi-crystalline materials, which will give customers more manufacturing agility and open new opportunities to lower costs while increasing production.

Jennifer L. Thompson, Ph.D., R&D programs manager for DuPont T&AP, will be presenting a technical paper about the materials during the event as part of the Material Development and Characterization session. During her presentation at 10:15 am on May 23rd, Thompson will discuss alternative 3D printing methods, like pellet extrusion modeling, in addition to highlighting new engineering materials and talking about tailored material testing programs. Thompson and other DuPont employees will be at DuPont T&AP’s booth #552 at RAPID to answer questions about the company’s 3D printing materials.

Nanofabrica Offers Free 3D Printing Services for euspen Attendees

Last month, Israeli 3D printing startup Nanofabrica announced the commercial launch of its micro resolution 3D printing platform. In order to show off the system’s abilities to potential customers, Nanofabrica has made an enticing offer to attendees at next month’s euspen conference and exhibition in Spain: the startup will print parts for interested companies at no charge. Then, the parts printed on the new micro AM platform will be presented to them at the event, which focuses on the latest technological developments that are growing innovation at the micron and sub-micron levels.

“It’s quite simple really. We believe that the best way to prove what our AM system can do, how high the resolution and accuracy of the parts we make are, is to manufacture parts for attendees,” Jon Donner, the CEO of Nanofabrica explained. “Registered attendees are welcome to send us their files, and we will examine and print them. That is how confident we are that you will be amazed by the capabilities of our system, and this we feel will mean that we can forge meaningful relationships with manufacturers that will endure into the future.”

Rize 3D Printing Transformed Company’s Production Process

Rhode Island-based IRA Green Inc. (IGI), a full-service manufacturer and distributor of unique uniform items earned and worn by military personnel around the world, recently turned to RIZE and its 3D printing capabilities in order to manufacture small fixtures for its tool shop. The company’s products are in high demand, but lead times were growing longer due to bottlenecks and 8 hours of work for each $300 fixture. Precision is also important for these parts, which is why IGI decided to turn to the RIZE ONE hybrid 3D printer. According to a new case study, IGI’s design team uses the printer every day to manufacture accurate fixtures in just 50 minutes for $2.00 a part. Using the RIZE ONE, which has the unique capability of adding ink markings to parts for verification, the company has been able to standardize its nails and molds, which helped lead to an ROI in less than five months.

IGI’s Manufacturing Manager, Bill Yehle said, “Implementing RIZE 3D printing as part of a strategic process shift has completely transformed our production process.

“We have realized an 80% time savings in setup and changeover alone using RIZE and virtually eliminated errors.”

ZEISS Group Acquires GOM

In an effort to expand its industrial metrology and quality assurance portfolio, the ZEISS Group, a technology enterprise operating in the optics and optoelectronics fields, has acquired GOM, which provides hardware and software for automated 3D coordinate measuring technology. By combining GOM’s optical 3D measuring technology with its own products, ZEISS could expand market access, and create new opportunities, for its Industrial Quality & Research segment. Once the transaction is complete, which should happen soon, GOM will become part of this ZEISS segment, while the legal form of its companies in Germany and elsewhere will stay the same. The financial details of the transaction will not be discussed publicly.

“Our growth strategy expressly mentions the targeted acquisition of highly innovative solutions, technologies and companies, which can reach their full potential as part of the ZEISS Group. By acquiring GOM and thereby expanding our solutions portfolio, we are bolstering the leading position of our Industrial Quality & Research segment and will be able to offer even better solutions for our customers. This is entirely in keeping with our corporate strategy, which is focused on our customers’ success,” said Dr. Michael Kaschke, President & CEO of ZEISS.

Ivaldi Group Awarded ISO 9001:2015 Certification

California startup Ivaldi Group, which uses 3D printing and metal fabrication solutions to provide in-port parts on-demand services for the maritime, mining, offshore, and construction industries has become ISO 9001:2015 certified in less than ten months. This standard, which is certifies quality managements systems that focus on customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, and active involvement of employees and management in a process-based approach, is the first step in the certification process that’s required to certify specific products. This proves Ivaldi’s commitment to constantly improving itself.

“Certifying our quality management system has helped us to structure our processes to create a solid foundation. This will allow us to improve efficiency, productivity, and traceability,” said Anna D’Alessio, Quality Management Specialist of Ivaldi Group. “Global quality management systems are important to align processes and optimize operations across facilities. This certification proves our commitment to meet requirements of stakeholders affected by our work.”

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3D Printing News Briefs: April 10, 2019

We’ve got some business news for you in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, before moving on to an upcoming industry event and new materials. 3DVinci Creations and the American University in Dubai will establish a facility for concrete 3D printing, while Telset signed a contract with Relativity. Lincoln Electric has acquired Baker Industries for its 3D printing technology, and Jabil is sharing the results of its survey report on 3D printing. Next month is the NAMIC Summit, with its flagship DfAM event, and Nile Polymers has announced two new PVDF filaments.

Agreement Signed to Establish Center for 3D Concrete Printing

A cooperation agreement was signed between 3DVinci Creations, the American University in Dubai (AUD), Arabtec Construction Company, and global engineering consultancy firm Robert Bird Group to establish The Center for 3D Concrete Printing and Digital Construction on AUD’s campus. The scientific research center, equipped with a 3DVinci Creations 3D printer, will serve researchers from the university’s three project partners, as well as university students and members of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. It will build partnerships, create a consortium of academic, government, and industry entities interested in the growing 3D concrete printing and digital construction fields, work with state officials to promote 3D printing culture in construction, and eventually develop and administer training workshops and seminars on concrete 3D printing.

“With this cooperation agreement, we aim to perform strategic analyses of the present and future capabilities of 3D Concrete Printing and of digitally-driven construction systems. The Center will work with local regulatory bodies to develop newly updated building codes that pertain to 3D printed buildings and structures,” said Edouard Baaklini, CEO of 3DVinci Creations. “We will also develop cost models of 3D Printed Concrete buildings and structures together with tools for value analysis vis-à-vis traditional construction methodologies.”

Relativity Signs Contract with Telesat

Los Angeles 3D printed rocket manufacturer Relativity just signed its first public, multi-year commercial contract with satellite services vendor Telesat. This is a big deal, as it’s the first agreement between a major satellite operator and a venture-backed “New Space” industry company. It costs about $10 million for Relativity to launch a 1,250 kg payload to low Earth orbit – a price that’s $10 to $20 million less than it would be using a European Ariane rocket or Indian PSLV rocket. The company can keep its costs down by using automation and metal 3D printing in its design and manufacturing processes, and claims its rockets can be made in just 60 days, with far less components. Relativity has completed 136 engine tests and is currently testing its avionics systems, with the first launch of its 3D printed Terran 1 rocket scheduled for the end of 2020.

“Early in our LEO program we decided that, in addition to working with outstanding leaders in satellite manufacturing and launch services who we know well, Telesat should also include New Space companies whose technologies and manufacturing methods offer lower costs and greater flexibility for deploying our constellation. Relativity is just such a company with their metal 3D printing, use of robotics and other advances,” said Dave Wendling, Telesat’s CTO. “Telesat continues to establish a world-class supplier team to construct, deploy and operate our global LEO network and we are very pleased to welcome Relativity to the Telesat LEO program.”

Lincoln Electric Acquires Baker Industries

According to a report published last year by SmarTech Industries, the global additive manufacturing market grew 18% to reach $9.3 billion in size, and Lincoln Electric (LECO) wanted a piece of that pie. The company announced that it has acquired Detroit-based Baker Industries, which developed 3D printing tech for the aerospace and automotive industries, for an undisclosed sum as part of a previously announced initiative to expand into the AM industry.

Baker was founded in 1992 to manufacture custom fixtures, parts, and tooling that are Nadcap-accredited, AS9100D-certified, and adhere to the tough aerospace quality management standards. While you can learn more about its services in the video below, Baker primarily offers CNC machining, design, fabrication, prototyping, quality assurance, tooling, and 3D printing services to its customers. With its acquisition of Baker, Lincoln will be able to position itself in the ever growing AM, automation, and tooling sector.

Jabil Shares Results of Survey Report

According to the 2019 Additive Materials and 3D Printing study by Jabil, the practical applications in 3D printing have grown significantly over the last two years. The company surveyed over 300 professionals who are responsible for 3D printing at manufacturing companies, and found that the technology has found its way into almost every step of production, though prototyping still remains the most popular application.

Jabil shared how several key industries, such as medical, transportation, and aerospace, are using the technology today, and reported that 25% of respondents said that 3D printing can be as much as 20 times faster than traditional forms of manufacturing – obviously a major benefit. Jabil itself has adopted the technology at some of its sites because it takes 3D printing very seriously, and believes that the technology “has unlimited potential in the future.” Nearly all of the survey’s respondents said they expected their companies’ 3D printing use to increase over the next two to five years. You can read the full survey report here.

DfAM Conference at NAMIC Summit Coming Up

Next month in Singapore, the 2019 NAMIC Summit will take place from May 6-10, with its flagship event – the Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) Conference & AM Industry Showcase – happening on May 7th at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre. You can register now for the event to take advantage of early bird rates.

You can spend the day meeting other like-minded professionals in networking sessions, or take in a presentation by one of over ten distinguished speakers who will be sharing their knowledge about simulation and modeling, industrial applications of digital design solutions, and generative design For example, John Barnes, the founder and managing director of The Barnes Group Advisors, will be speaking about “Design for Manufacturing: The Transformative Role of Design in Driving Innovation in the Future of Manufacturing” at 9:30 am, and the CEO and co-founder of Assembrix Ltd, Lior Polak, will present “Distributed Manufacturing in Action: Dynamic Machine Allocation and Real-Time Monitoring at 1:30 pm.

Nile Polymers Introduces New Additions to Fluorinar PVDF Family

Utah-based Nile Polymers, which offers an industrial-grade PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) filament based on Arkema’s Kynar PVDF material, just announced the addition of two new filaments to its Fluorinar PVDF family – Fluorinar-B and Fluorinar-ESD, also built on Arkema’s Kynar. Chemical-resistant Fluorinar filaments differ from other PVDF materials because they don’t have any additional diluents or polymer additives, and they are tough, flexible, high-strength, and offer flame suppression and UV protection qualities. Sample filaments are available for both

Black-colored Fluorinar-B combines the company’s Fluorosmooth adhesive, which increases the surface energy of a print at its interface with a glass build plate, with the dependability of Kynar PVDF, and carbon pigment increases the part’s tensile strength and permeation resistance as well. Graphene-enhanced electrostatic dissipation (ESD) filament Fluorinar-ESD is perfect for applications that have parts which can’t tolerate static build-up, and calibrates impact strength and melt viscosity carefully so the final part is durable and strong.

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Titomic Licenses Two CSIRO Patents for 3D Printing Titanium Piping, Signs Acquisition Agreement with FTT

CSIRO’s Keith McLean, Titomic’s Jeff Lang, and FTT’s Peter Mews sign agreement

Renowned for its metal Kinetic Fusion (TKF) technology, Australian 3D printing company Titomic recently signed an MoU with China’s largest manufacturer and global exporter of titanium powder in order to secure a high quality supply of low-cost, commercially pure titanium powders. It’s clear that the company is continuing to focus on titanium resources – it has licensed two new patents from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for the production of titanium pipe and continuous pipe. This Exclusive License Agreement with CSIRO gives Titomic global rights to the patents, which will significantly open the company’s revenue opportunities in several industries, like defense, marine and mining, and oil and gas.

Additionally, Titomic has signed an Acquisition Agreement with Future Titanium Technologies (FTT). The company is now entitled to over eight years of exclusive 3D printing techniques and background IP relating to the production of pipes and their components.

“This is a significant expansion of Titomic’s IP and associated revenue opportunities. By adding these two new patents we are broadening our footprint in the Titanium and Titanium Alloys Additive Manufacturing space to firmly secure our future market segments,” said Titomic’s Managing Director Jeff Lang.

“Our fundamental strategy has been well timed and managed to perfectly combine the securing of cost-effective metal powder supply chain, with the expansion of our IP portfolio positioning Titomic as the global leader in viable metal Additive Manufacturing.

“To capitalise on the significant $300+ Billion global interest Titomic has received from the Oil & Gas, Mining, and Marine industries to provide more sustainable and cost-effective AM manufacturing, these new TKF technologies enable Titomic to provide viable digital manufacturing capabilities leading to significant short, mid and long-term revenue opportunities.”

Titomic’s fast 3D printing technology, which is actually the result of a CSIRO study, can now be used by industries looking to access next generation, dual-wall materials to 3D print metal pipe without having to worry about profile or size constraints.

For instance, the oil and gas industry is uses plenty of valves, but their lifecycle can be negatively impacted by abrasive matter like rock, sand, and sediments that run through pipes during extraction. Using these newly licensed patents, Titomic can use its technology to produce metal pipes with higher corrosion and wear resistant properties; additionally, the process can also fuse dissimilar metals together to make fitting components and pipes.

“Working with companies like Titomic shows that manufacturing remains a key driver in the Australian economy,” said Stefan Gulizia, Research Group Leader at CSIRO. “We are pleased that Titomic are licensing the rights to utilise and further commercialise CSIRO research in developing new products and processes that go towards supporting productivity gains, boosting sustainability and helping capture emerging opportunities in local and global markets.”

Thanks to the important performance factors like cost, quality, scale, speed, and sustainability, Titomic will now be able to commercially exploit its TKF technology. Pipe and fitting component consumers will be able to save on both time and money, as maintenance costs and down time will decrease and parts will have longer life cycles. Additionally, TKF can also be used to 3D print valves, fitting components, and pipes with new superalloys, and can even combine them with polymers, composites, ceramics, and alloys to achieve high performance properties.

McLean, Lang, and Mews holding the sprayed pipe section.

The most important transaction terms of the new Acquisition Agreement with FTT include Titomic allotting $400,000 worth of its shares to FTT shareholders for $2.00 per share, half of which will be escrowed for a year. For every two shares, Titomic will also issue one new option to FTT shareholders, at an excerisable price set at a 130% premium to the share price with a two-year life.

In terms of its Exclusive License Agreement with CSIRO, Titomic will pay the following minimum annual royalties to CSIRO:

  • $50,000 for 2018-2019
  • $75,000 for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021
  • $150,000 for 4th year of agreement, and each subsequent agreement year until the end of the license term

CSIROs Keith McLean, Titomic’s Jeff Lang, and FTT’s Peter Mews celebrate the collaboration.

Additionally, Titomic will pay CSIRO an upfront fee of $125,000 cash for licensing the technologies.

To hear the rest of the terms, visit Titomic’s website.

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[Images provided by Titomic]