3D Printing News Briefs May 31, 2020: M. Holland, Nexa3D, Formlabs

We’re sharing materials and business news with you in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. First up, M. Holland is distributing Braskem polypropylene filament, and Nexa3D has launched a new high-performance polymer material, in addition to partnering with 3DZ. Finally, Formlabs is expanding its APAC management teams.

M. Holland Distributing Braskem’s Polypropylene

Thermoplastic resins distributor M. Holland Company is partnering with Braskem to exclusively distribute the petrochemical company’s new high-performance 3D printing polypropylene (PP) filament, enhancing its own material offerings in order to better support clients with applications development and prototype creation. Polypropylene typically has high failure rates with 3D printing, so M. Holland’s AM engineers tested out Braskem’s PP material first, and found that it generates clean surfaces, great layer adhesion, and better surface performance in support material. It features a proprietary formula, which allows users to achieve low warpage, consistent extrusion, and high stability, in addition to less stringing and more repeatable outcomes.

“The 3D printing market has seen increased adoption of additive manufacturing technologies and applications due to machinery commoditization and expanded material offerings. Our partnership to distribute Braskem’s 3D printing polypropylene products will enable injection molders to finally use genuinely 3D printable and easy-to-use polypropylene, opening up a world of applications,” said Haleyanne Freedman, Market Manager, 3D Printing at M. Holland.

Nexa3D Launches High-Performance xCE-Black Polymer

Belt pulleys 3D printed on NXE400 with xCE-Black

This week, stereolithography 3D printer manufacturer Nexa3D launched its new high-performance polymer material, xCE-Black, which is meant for high-speed printing of injection molding tools, heavy duty parts, and end-use plastic components, such as belt pulleys. Extensive testing by the company found that the single cure polymer exhibits long-term environmental stability and great isotropic properties, which makes it perfect for electronics, industrial, and automotive applications. xCE-BLack also has excellent thermal stability and higher flexural strength.

Brent Zollinger, Customer Success Lead at Nexa3D, stated, “When I needed to produce thousands of belt pulleys in our flexible factory overnight, I selected our new xCE-Black material for the job because of its high flexural strength and long-term stability. Within the first 2.5 hours into the project, I was able to print 2,000 pulleys in a single build or 13 parts every minute. That’s really fast and extremely practical for serial production of industrial parts.”

Nexa3D Announces Reseller Partnership with 3DZ

More news today from Nexa3D, as the company is entering the southern European 3D printing market thanks to a new reseller partnership with 3DZ Group, the largest AM value-added reseller in that region and an authorized dealer of 3D printers and scanners for some of the industry’s biggest names, including Artec 3D, Formlabs, HP, Markforged, Materialise, and 3D Systems. 3DZ has offered AM services and consultancy to the industry for several years, and will be able to help grow Nexa3D’s global reseller network so the company can increase the distribution of its flagship NXE400 3D printer.

“It is full speed ahead for us at Nexa3D as we continue to expand our global reseller network, and we’re honored to partner with a company with the vision, reach and proven performance of 3DZ. Manufacturers are adapting processes to become much more agile in their design and resilient in their supply chain in the face of changing circumstances. We believe that our products are at the heart of enabling customers to make that adjustment by converting current 3D printing speeds from dialup internet to broadband-like productivity,” said Avi Reichental, the Executive Chairman and CEO of Nexa3D. “We’re very excited to build together with 3DZ the future of design agility and supply chain resiliency for the benefit of our mutual customers.”

Formlabs Expanding APAC Management Teams

L-R: Jiadong Sun, Yoshinori Hasebe

This week, Formlabs announced that it is expanding its management team for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region by appointing two new hires, in order to continue growing its global operations and scale its growth in these markets. Jiadong Sun, with broad experience leading global sales and marketing at top tech companies across several industries, will be joining the team as the China General Manager, while Yoshinori Hasebe, who brings over 20 years of management experience at multinational companies to the table, will serve as the Japan General Manager. Together, they will help guide the company’s business strategy in these new markets, so that Formlabs users in the APAC region can continue to localize manufacturing and reduce costs and lead times with 3D printing and rapid iteration.

“As Formlabs continues to expand our global operations, Jiadong and Yoshinori will provide strategic guidance as we expand and scale in the important APAC region. These appointments will enable Formlabs to remain at the forefront of 3D printing as needs for additive manufacturing in major industries, including healthcare, continue to grow,” said Luke Winston, Chief Business Officer of Formlabs.

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HP posts financial results for Q2 2020

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) has announced its financial results for Q2 2020.  For the three months ended April 30, 2020, HP generated a total net revenue of $12.5 billion. This figure is down 11.2 percent compared to the same period last year, where the company’s revenue was reported at $14 billion.  During an earnings call […]

Mixed Dimensions & Mimaki Partnering to Bring 3D Printed Gaming Collectibles to the Market

Integrated reality and 3D printing technology startup Mixed Dimensions (Mxd3D) has announced a global strategic partnership with Mimaki Engineering Co., Ltd, a top company in the digital printing sector and developer of high-resolution, full-color 3D printing systems. The partnership will be focused on 3D printing and modeling services, as well as 3D software.

Mxd3D was founded seven years ago by Muhannad “Mo” Taslaq and Baha Abunojaim in Jordan, but is now headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company, which is backed by several top-tier venture firms such as Silicon Badia and Susman Ventures, started out as web-based software for 3D designers to upload their work and verify that their designs would come out correctly, and eventually established the leading GamePrint software platform and MakePrintable cloud-based 3D CAD file repair software as its core technologies.

3D printed Gods from Assassin’s Creed Origins (Image: Mixed Dimensions)

Both of its platforms make it easy for developers of digital intellectual property (IP), and specifically gaming companies, to create and provide 3D printed full-color versions of their important assets. Once someone places a request, the products are 3D printed in San Mateo, and can then be shipped to customers all over the world.

Mimaki is a leader in the industrial products, sign graphics, and textiles & apparel markets, and has already committed a significant amount of resources to its new partner, including an equity investment and some of its breakthrough, high-quality 3D printing hardware.

“Our experience working with Mimaki Engineering has been extraordinary,” stated John Vifian, Mixed Dimensions’ President and COO, in a press release. “Working closely together, we have unlocked manufacturing capabilities that were heretofore simply impossible, and what we have already achieved is only the beginning.”

Mixed Dimensions’ CEO Taslaq said, “Mixed Dimensions is building the merchandising factory of the future, to meet the growing global demand for personalized collectible objects.”

Mo Taslaq, Co-founder and CEO of Mixed Dimensions (Image: Mixed Dimensions)

Mr. Ikeda of Mimaki will be joining the board of directors at Mixed Dimensions, along with Taslaq, Pascal Levensohn of Dolby Family Ventures, Gilman Louie of Alsop-Louie Partners, two of the other venture firms which back Mixed Dimensions.

“We are very excited to welcome Ikeda-san as an independent director,” Tom Kalinske, Executive Chairman of the Mixed Dimensions board, said in the release. “Mimaki is the clear leader in full-color 3D printing, and we are proud to have them as a strategic partner and investor.”

The newly announced collaboration between these two companies will likely speed up the expansion and growth of the worldwide market in full-color 3D custom game collectibles, which have been increasing in popularity over the last few years.

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

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Additive Industries CEO Daan Kersten Steps Down as Firm Receives $14M Investment

One of a newer generation of metal laser powder bed fusion (PBF) manufacturers, Additive Industries is continuing to grow rapidly. The latest news is a $14 million investment from its existing shareholder, Highlands Beheer. With the funds, the company aims to expand its product portfolio, speed up its technological development strategy and shore up its working capital. This last use for the investment is meant to ensure financial resilience for the company amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outgoing Additive Industries CEO Daan Kersten (L) with Jonas Wintermans (R). Image courtesy of Additive Industries.

Highlands has acquired the shares of the startup’s CEO and co-founder, Daan Kersten, who will leave the company by June 30, 2020. In the interim, Chief Technology Officer Mark Vaes, who has been with Additive Industries since 2013, will fill the role. Kersten said of the decision:

“This substantial investment confirms the long-term commitment of Highlands to the growth ambitions of the company and it allows Additive Industries to make yet another significant step on its mission to revolutionize the productivity for the additive manufacturing of high-quality metal parts. After eight intense years of fast growth I feel the time is right to make way and hand over the reins to new leadership.”

The firm has quickly rolled out a modular metal PBF system with a high degree of automation and throughput. By reducing the need for operator intervention, the MetalFAB1 system is able to produce parts more rapidly, with pre- and post-processing operations happening in parallel to the build job. The next step in its roadmap was the development with SMS Group of automated factories called the Scale4Series, in which parts can be printed and post-processed automatically. In the process, Additive Industries has earned a number of high profile partners and clients, including Airbus/APWORKS, Volkswagen and the Sauber F1 team.

Cutaway of the MetalFab1 from Additive Industries. Image courtesy of Additive Industries.

As Highlands is increasing its share of the 3D printing firm, it’s worthwhile to learn a bit more about the company. In fact, Highlands now says that it owns Additive Industries, in addition to a cigar machinery manufacturer, ATD Machinery, and NTS Group, which produces optomechatronic systems and mechanical modules for original equipment manufacturers. Interestingly, the CEO of NTS is also stepping down this August.

A rendering of the Scale4Series in development by Additive Industries and SMS Group. Image courtesy of Additive Industries.

Highlands is owned by the Wintermans, a Dutch family that founded and ran Royal Agio Cigars, one of the largest cigar manufacturing businesses in Europe, before selling it to Scandinavian Tobacco Group last year. The family divvied up 10 million Euros among its employees as a part of the deal. Highlands maintains its ATD business, meaning that it will continue to focus on the tech side of cigar making, but its investment in Additive Industries and its ownership of NTS Group signifies a continued shift in the family’s business operations overall, which previously had been making cigars since 1904. The sale of Royal Agio seems to suggest that the transition of Highlands from a cigar company to a tech company is near complete.

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Additive Industries secures €14m in funding to fuel expansion

Dutch 3D printing company Additive Industries has received a €14 million investment from shareholder Highlands Beheer.  The metal Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) 3D printer manufacturer will use the capital to expand its product portfolio, accelerate the technology roadmap, and strengthen working capital.  “This substantial investment confirms the long-term commitment of Highlands to the growth ambitions […]

Nano Dimension raises $35.9M in direct stock offering

Leading AM electronics provider Nano Dimension has announced the sale of 17,950,000 of its American Depositary Shares (ADSs) at $2 per share in a registered direct offering. The sales are locked in with definitive agreements but, once complete, will total around $35.9M for the Nasdaq listed company. From this, a small portion will be deducted […]

Materialise launches Mindware – a specialist 3D printing advisory service for businesses

AM software provider Materialise has just launched its new 3D printing advisory service – Mindware. The premium service is designed to offer businesses tailored, technology-neutral advice and insight regarding the implementation of 3D printing. By addressing the many business challenges associated with this, clients will be able to more intelligently formulate a manufacturing strategy and […]

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

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

Fraunhofer’s Industry 4.0 Webinar

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

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

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

Formnext 2020 Still a Go in Frankfurt

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

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

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

Visagio and DiManEx Partnering to Improve AM Supply Chains

(Image: DiManEx)

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

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

3D Printed Cisco Live 2020 Installation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sigma Labs posts financial results for Q1 2020

Sigma Labs, the Santa Fe-based quality assurance software developer for additive manufacturing, has announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020. The company’s revenue for Q1 2020 experienced over 200 percent in growth compared to Q1 2019.  In a supporting statement, newly appointed CEO Mark K. Ruport explains that, amid the […]

Stratasys announces financial results for Q1 2020

Leading 3D printer OEM Stratasys has announced financial results for the first quarter of 2020.  The results show a total revenue of $132.9 million for Q1 2020. This figure represents a 14.4 percent decline compared to revenue generated by the company for the same period in 2019, which was $155.3 million.  Stratasys explains that the […]