MakerBot CloudPrint Software Makes Remote, Collaborative 3D Printing Seamless

Due to COVID-19, many more people are working remotely these days, which makes it imperative for employees to be able to print jobs, and manage them, remotely as well. That’s why MakerBot is launching a new workflow meant to make remote 3D printing collaboration easier. Not to be confused with Google’s CloudPrint or this open source factory, the new MakerBot CloudPrint software, formerly called MakerBot Cloud, is a next generation 3D printing platform that ensures all individuals and teams can collaboratively and seamlessly use 3D printing across multiple devices both onsite and remotely.

“We are experiencing a global phenomenon with more people working remotely than ever before. Without the right tools, this can lead to a disruption in work and, ultimately, a decrease in performance. We believe that MakerBot CloudPrint is an ideal solution for individual or team collaboration from anywhere,” stated MakerBot’s CEO Nadav Goshen. “MakerBot CloudPrint offers an all-in-one solution for users to prepare, queue, print, and manage printers. MakerBot CloudPrint aims to easily adapt to your workflow, no matter how many printers you have. This solution was built with productivity in mind, and we plan to continuously improve the fastest CAD-to-part benefits of the METHOD platform.”

By providing one centralized, cloud-based application, this new workflow software offers a faster, more advanced printing solution, and helps optimize 3D printer usage and collaboration as well. MakerBot CloudPrint marries cloud scalability with familiar software features to create a 3D printing workflow management solution that makes it easier for users to prepare, queue, print, manage, and monitor their jobs.

MakerBot CloudPrint provides users with more control, letting them reorder the queue if priorities suddenly change and share access to other connected MakerBot 3D printers. The new software solution can also reduce 3D printer downtime between projects, which helps streamline the workflow and ramp up productivity. It offers many other handy features as well, such as the ability to group printers into workspaces and shared in classrooms, production areas, or with teams. You can actually set permissions for different team betters for more access, or just create submission links so anyone can submit prints for approval.

The software solution’s full-featured print preparation view makes it easy to preview and position parts on the build plate, and allows users to slice prints right from their browser. A live camera feed allows users to add, monitor, and control access to other connected printers, as well as get live status updates on print jobs. Additionally, with the queue and print history features, it’s easy to track projects, and a dashboard offers a central place from which to view prints. You can generate reports to analyze printer performance, and optimized print modes can be used to access advanced settings, like custom and experimental print profiles, on the MakerBot METHOD platform. Finally, MakerBot CloudPrint allows users in need of more advanced print features to unlock expert METHOD settings, such as extra MakerBot LABS for METHOD user settings and all of the METHOD extruders and materials.

MakerBot CloudPrint already has one stamp of approval from NYC-based PENSA, an industrial design and invention consulting firm, uses the METHOD platform.

“Working remotely has meant a lot of changes to how we collaborate in a creative environment,” explained PENSA CEO Marco Perry. “While many digital tools have replaced face to face interactions, nothing can replace working with physical prototypes. MakerBot CloudPrint enables us to work with our 3D printers at a distance, removing one more barrier in the process.”

The software is integrated with Google products, and is also compatible with all MakerBot solutions, including the Replicator 3D printer series and SKETCH Classroom bundle. Additional MakerBot CloudPrint features include:

  • multi-model support
  • better slicing and preview options
  • speed optimizations
  • improved print performance
  • new UX/UI designs

MakerBot CloudPrint: 3D Printing Collaboration Everywhere | MakerBot

In the near future, additional features, such as custom print modes and improved monitoring and queuing, will be released for MakerBot CloudPrint, which is currently available to use free of charge. This is one major difference between the solution and Ultimaker’s subscription-based Ultimaker Essentials enterprise software platform, which was just launched last month. While MakerBot CloudPrint is compatible with its SKETCH Classroom bundle, Ultimaker Essentials includes a new eLearning platform, as well as access to three courses from the recently launched Ultimaker 3D Printing Academy. Ultimaker Essentials also comes with a catalog of verified plugins meant to improve the 3D printing workflow, while MakerBot CloudPrint appears to accomplish the same without the use of plugins. Test it out and see for yourself!

(Images courtesy of MakerBot)

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3DEXPERIENCE: A Virtual Journey, Part 1

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this year’s 3DEXPERIENCE Forum by Dassault Systèmes had to be re-imagined as a virtual event, just like so many other conferences. At 1 pm EDT on July 29th, nearly two months after the in-person event was meant to have taken place in Florida, the company began the live stream of the Plenary Session for “3DEXPERIENCE: A Virtual Journey,” a series of digital programming that replaced the annual North America customer event.

Unfortunately, the webinar seemed to be having issues, which continued on and off over the next two hours of the live stream, so I missed pieces here and there. Technical difficulties happen all the time at live events, too, so the only real difference here was that I couldn’t raise my hand and say, “I’m sorry, the audio and picture cut out, could you repeat that please?” Luckily, Dassault had the webinar up to view on-demand the very next day, so I was able to go back and check out the parts that I had missed.

Erik Swedberg, Managing Director, North America, Dassault Systèmes, got things started with his segment on “Business in the Age of Experience: Challenges and Opportunities for North America,” which focused on manufacturing and supply chains, and why companies looking to transform, some sooner than they’d hoped due to the pandemic, should “invent the industry of tomorrow,” rather than trying to digitize the past or the present.

“Yesterday, businesses focused on automation of the manufacturing system; this is Industry 4.0. Today, many industrials are digitizing the enterprise system. It’s not enough. You need to create experiences. Tomorrow, the game changers will be those with the best developed knowledge and know-how assets. Why? Simple. Because the Industry Renaissance is about new categories of new industrials creating new categories of solutions for new categories of consumers,” Swedberg said.

He mentioned Tesla and Amazon, companies in Silicon Valley working to create autonomous vehicles, and fab labs creating and printing smart, connected objects.

“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a platform for knowledge and know-how—a game changer, collaborative environment that empowers businesses and people to innovate in an entirely new way,” he continued. “Digital experience platforms for industry, urban development, and healthcare will become the infrastructure for the 21st century.”

Swedberg explained how 3DEXPERIENCE can allow any business to become social, by connecting employee innovation into the system where the company’s products are designed. This was a common theme today, which you’ll be able to see later.

He also explained that, with Dassault’s 13 brand applications—such as SIMULIA, CATIA, and SOLIDWORKS—the company can serve a wide variety of industries, helping its customers on their journey to invent tomorrow’s industry.

“In summation, we are in the experience economy, the Industry Renaissance is here, and world events are accelerating the need for digital transformation. As the world changes, we will partner with you for success,” Swedberg concluded. “We have the people and the insights to help you on your journey.”

Dassault’s Vice Chairman & CEO Bernard Charlès was up next, speaking about “From Things to Life.” He first said that he hoped no one on the live stream, or their loved ones and colleagues, had been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

“We’ve gone through a tough time, all of us. And we are with you, and we are learning a lot also from the crisis,” Charlès said.

Even though I’ve worked from home for nearly four years now, other aspects of my life have been turned upside down in the last few months, and I felt a kind of solidarity whenever the session’s speakers brought up how all of our lives, and our industry, have changed. Charlès also congratulated everyone signed into the live stream on working together, and continuing to innovate, during the pandemic; the continuing health crisis was another theme that threaded throughout the plenary session.

He said that the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is about inclusiveness, “because it means ideas and people connecting.” He shared some of the work that 3DEXPERIENCE users had accomplished during the recent and varied quarantines, such as creating respirators, improving logistics, and working to make the quality of airflow in hospitals better. He said that all of these projects were done on the 3DEXPERIENCE cloud.

“So many of you accelerated the cloud implementation, to be able to work from anywhere, especially from home, during confinement time.”

He mentioned that we are moving from a product economy to an experience economy, and that, in the long run, companies will continue to produce, and maintain ownership of, products and services throughout the life cycle, while their customers will get to enjoy the experience.

“That will accelerate innovation for a sustainable world,” Charlès said.

Next, he talked about a few companies that have been using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform for interesting projects, like California-based Canoo, which dreams about refining urban mobility with an electric vehicle that can be used as a service or subscription, rather than being owned by individuals.

In order to create innovation, Charlès said, you need to be sure that your digital platform will work, and Canoo stated that 3DEXPERIENCE hit the mark here, helping to speed things up in the product development process.

He then talked about Arup, a company that’s using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to create a virtual Hong Kong for city planning purposes. Arup is working to make Hong Kong a smart city, and the platform is helping the company in this endeavor; for example, Arup and Dassault just completed a project called the Common Spatial Data Infrastructure Built Environment Application platform…say that three times fast.

Finally, Charlès explained that the role of life sciences is to “protect what we care about,” and said that industry pioneers are coming up with new and different ways to diagnose and care for people. He stated that creating new healthcare experiences is a complex project, because it means converting big data into smart data and simulating real world situations in a virtual world. Luckily, 3DEXPERIENCE can help with this.

“3DEXPERIENCE…is a system of operation, because the platform can help you run your business, and the platform should also help you invent a new business model,” Charlès concluded. “The common values across all the industries we serve is putting the human at the center of everything we do.”

Next, Renee Pasman, Director of Integrated Systems at Skunk Works for Lockheed Martin, provided an overview of using the digital thread, and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, for the product lifecycle, “and how Lockheed Martin is leveraging it to drive increased affordability, efficiency and collaboration throughout the lifecycle.”

“…Our projects cover the entire product life cycle that you might imagine from an aerospace and defense type of program, all the way from conceptual design through modeling and simulation, manufacturing, to sustainment and end of life,” she explained. “And one key part of the Skunk Works culture in the last 75 years has been very close collaboration across all of those areas. What we’ve learned as we have started this digital thread initiative is that by giving our workforce these latest tools, we’ve been able to make that collaboration easier, to be able to make it go faster, to be able to bring data in sooner, make better decisions, see what the impacts are of those decisions, and use that to guide where we are going.”

She explained that the product lifecycle “really starts with design,” and said that by starting this new Near Term Digital Thread/Affordability initiative and giving its workforce the 3DEXPERIENCE tools, Skunk Works has learned that collaboration is faster and stronger, and that we “make better decisions to guide where we’re going.”

We’ve all heard about this issue before—there are two versions of an important product document, and some people update one, while others update the other, and no one has a clear idea of which version is correct and most up-to-date. It’s frustrating to say the least. But Pasman noted that by using the 3DEXPERIENCE product lifecycle management platform, “we’re starting to see efficiency benefits now.”

Pasman also said that the Skunk Works team has learned something “unexpected” with the platform, and that’s the social collaboration it provides, which allows users to “make changes with a level of certainty.”

“We hadn’t necessarily focused on this area, but our teams really used this environment to collaborate better, and found it to be very useful to have all information in that single source of truth.”

Pasman also noted the usefulness of having a life cycle digital twin, as it “allows us to tie it all the way back not just to manufacturing but actually back into design, and making sure the data flows in the digital twin seamlessly.”

“I think if you talk to maintainers or sustainment and users, there’s a lot of time spent putting data into different systems. By making it easier to do that, it allows people to focus on the hard parts of their job, and not just the data entry parts,” she explained. “Collaboration between different areas and getting data flowing is where we see a lot of the benefit from 3DEXPERIENCE, from affordability and product quality perspectives. We’re focused now on how to take the next step in this journey and improve schedule and affordability to fit into the market space that we are working in today. That’s where a lot of the work from our digital thread initiatives have been focused.”

Next up, Craig Maxwell, the Vice President and Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for Ohio-based motion and control technologies leader Parker Hannifin, spoke about “Simple By Design.” The multinational company has been integrating some of the tools that Dassault has been developing over the past few years, which has been valuable to the company.

“When we look at any enterprise or business, we saw these as opportunities that would manifest themselves as complexity,” he said in reference to the image below. “An average customer experience, which might be the ability to ship on time, with high and consistent quality. Of course, inconsistent delivery would manifest itself as complexity. High cost would be complexity…and then all of this would beget complexity in its many forms.”

GIPI = Global Industrial Performance Index

He said that all of these complexities can add up to new opportunities to take the company on the path to high performance. Maxwell also explained that the company’s traditional simplification efforts had revolved around design and organizational structure, explaining that 80% of any business’s profits and sales come from 20% of its portfolio.

“So by slicing and dicing that, could we eliminate complexity? The answer is a resounding yes,” Maxwell said.

He explained that 70% of a product’s cost is design, while 30% is labor and overhead, like lean manufacturing and the supply chain. The key is to spend less time on L&O, or conventional simplification, and work harder to reduce business complexity in that 70% design range. He said there are hundreds and thousands of decisions made on the L&O side, which, while easier to change, had a more limited impact on the long life cycles of their products.

“There were processes in place that we felt could address that reactively, not proactively,” he said.

With design, the decisions made were “relatively few and quick,” even though they could make a significant impact, because they would be difficult to change, mainly due to expensive tooling.

“We believe that if we can address design complexity, it would enable us to move faster and to grow by taking market share,” Maxwell said.

He explained that the cross-functional team Parker Hannifin set up to address “new” product complexity in a proactive way knew early on that there are two different value streams of Simple by Design.

“New products, for sure, but also core products,” he said. “If you look at where the money is, new products get a lot of attention, but our business is core products…they’re undergoing revisions constantly because our customers are asking for things that are different.”

The team decided to tackle new products first, and spent a lot of time working on design-related objectives, which is where they thought “a lot of the complexity and cost was being created.” He explained that the team wanted to keep the customer at the center of their attention, figure out what their pain points were and what they wanted, and get rid of the things that didn’t add value.

“The first principle of Simple by Design is design with Forward Thinking. With that deep customer engagement, anticipate what your customers are going to ask for in the future,” he explained. “Are there things we can do to the design of the product that, without increasing cost, that will allow us to make changes to it at a later date? The second principle is Design to Reduce, so to reduce complexity, can we reduce the number of new parts that we have, can we reduce the number of new suppliers we have? Can we eliminate proprietary materials that might be hard to come by?

“Design to Reuse – can we reuse parts that already exist? Why do we need to invent new when we’ve already got very similar or exactly what we need released into the system…and then finally, if we do the first three, we should see flow in the factory. We should not see the kind of bottlenecks that we experience today.”

Maxwell said that Dassault comes in with software tools that provide access to data, which “is the big game changer.” He talked about all of the many books and catalogs that were in his office at the beginning of his career, noting that engineers today just can look at all of this information online, because they have access to data. Parker Hannifin estimates that it has about 26 million active part numbers, which is a lot to keep track of, and Maxwell said that roughly 45% of a typical design engineer’s time is spent searching for information.

“So if I had access to the data behind that 26 million part numbers, what would happen? And today, I’m not embarrassed to say that generally we don’t. There’s a lot of things that we do many many times, we’re a very diversified company, we’re global, ” Maxwell said. “It’s not unusual for people to spend their entire career here in the company and not talk to a lot of other operating divisions…outside of the one they work in. So what if I could connect them and give them access to information, what kind of leverage might I enjoy?”

He brought up the company’s usage of Dassault’s EXALEAD OnePart, which can give multiple division access to this kind of information. Maxwell said that this software was used “early on in testing and in value creation,” which was very helpful in finding duplicate parts or component-level parts that already exist in the system, so no one had to create a new part.

Below is a test case he showed of Parker successfully using Dassault tools. FET is an industry-standard 6000 PSI thread to connect couplings, and there are a lot of competitors for parts like this. The company was working to design a new series that was more of a premium product than the original FET.

“We applied simplified design principles,” he explained. “There’s four different sizes, it was bespoke, very distinct from the FET series that was standard. It was fully validated and ready for launch. But it added 147 component parts to the value stream.”

The team focused here, and used the simplified design principles to make the decision to recycle the validated part, and go back to the drawing board.

“Is there an opportunity for us to reuse some of the parts that already exist in the FET series in the new 59 series, but still maintaining the 59 series’ premium features and benefits?”

You can see the results of keeping things simplified above—123 parts were eliminated, while keeping the series at 100% function. The new 59 series shares 90% of its components with the original FET series, and no additional capital was spent on equipment. Costs and inventory went down, and delivery went up, which Maxwell called a “great example of flow.”

Swedberg then introduced Florence Verzelen, Executive Vice President, Industry, Marketing, Global Affairs and Workforce of the Future for Dassault Systèmes, who would discuss “How to Transform the New Normal into an Opportunity.”

She opened by discussing how the COVID-19 crisis has changed everything, such as having to stay home and social distancing, and I’m sure we all agreed with this statement. But now we’re entering a new phase of building back after the pandemic, and building back better, as businesses reopen.

“How do you think you managed during COVID?” she asked. “Are you ready to transform, to perform better in the new normal world? Do you know how to become more resilient and therefore be prepared for the next crisis?”

Verzelen discussed some of the stark numbers coming out of the pandemic, such as 53 million—the number of jobs considered to be “at risk” during confinement and quarantine.

“In the 21st century, we have never seen a crisis of this amplitude,” she said. “And when it happens, as industry leaders, there are really two things, two imperatives, we should consider. Ensure the survival of our company, and contribute to the safeguard of the economy.”

There are five actions to take here, and the first priority is to protect employees and make sure they can safely do their jobs.

Verzelen explained that the 3DEXPERIENCE tool SIMULIA can help with this in many ways, such as simulating the airflow in a building’s corridors. She also said that companies can “implore their employees to work from home” without disruption, which is possible thanks to Dassault’s cloud solution.

The second thing necessary to keep your company surviving is maintaining its financial health.

“COVID-19 has affected the liquidity of many companies,” she said. “Less revenue, more costs…and in order to make decisions, you need to be able to build a scenario.”

Online sales can help keep companies afloat during a crisis, and also help maintain the connection to customers. Dassault can help with these as well through its data analytics solutions and digital tools. Adapting your company’s marketing and sales for an online experience is the third way to ensure its survival.

The fourth thing is to safeguard the supply chain. The disruption of one supplier can decimate production all the way down the whole chain, which can include suppliers in locations all over the world.

“During a crisis, it becomes essential to know where the weak points are,” Verzelen said. “This again we can do thanks to digitalization and thanks to data analytics.”

Finally, companies need to help the ecosystem, otherwise it will not survive. Dassault made sure that all of its solutions and tools were readily available on the cloud so that all customers could continue to work to keep the ecosystem going.

But, even though the world is slowly coming out of confinement, Verzelen warns that “it’s not over yet.” The use of automation will likely increase, and e-commerce is skyrocketing in Italy.

“It’s the beginning of a new phase. It’s the beginning of what we call the new normal.”

A lot of decisions need to be made when you’re restarting a business. Again, Dassault can help with this by building scenarios, so companies know the right steps to take, and in what order, to successfully reopen.

“We all have to change,” Verzelen said. “We’re developing new capabilities for employees, and making learning experiences available online to make sure your teams are ready. Returning to business probably means we need to rethink our supply chain, and we know that a contact-limited economy is here to stay. So you should push for e-commerce, and be prepared to work in contact-limited economy.”

She stated that the 3DEXPERIENCE allows companies to “unlock unlimited value,” and help us cope during this new normal.

“There are many ways to be resilient, and all of those ways are linked to innovation and sustainability.”

The paradigm has changed, and we need to be realistic going forward, and focus on sustainability in operations and business models, such as turning to additive manufacturing if your usual supplier can’t get you what you need in time.

“With the 3DEXPERIENCE platform you can create this kind of business model…create more efficiently, design more quickly,” she said.

“In a nutshell, we are going through very difficult times right now…But this crisis can also be seen as an opportunity to rethink what we do, and build back better.”

Finally, Swedberg introduced three additional Dassault panelists for the final discussion: Dr. Ales Alajbegovic, Vice President, SIMULIA Industry Process Success & Services; Garth Coleman, Vice President, ENOVIA Advocacy Marketing; and Eric Green, DELMIA’s Brand Marketing Vice President. These three are in charge of the content for the rest of 3DEXPERIENCE: A Virtual Journey, as it continues on:

  • “Fueling Innovation for the New Agile Enterprise,” August 26th
  • “Modeling & Simulation, Additive Manufacturing,” September 23rd
  • “Enabling Business Continuity Using the Cloud,” October 14th

L-R: Swedberg, Green, Coleman, Alajbegovic

Green said that three themes would be articulated in these upcoming sessions, all of which will fall under the “sustainable operations” umbrella: data-driven decision-making, leveraging agile success and being agile for success, and business resiliency. Coleman mentioned that the many customer references and testimonials found on the 3DEXPERIENCE site provide many examples of how the platform has helped customers innovate across every industry…even wine-making! Dr. Alajbegovic said that they are “very excited” about the upcoming modeling and simulation sessions and additive manufacturing panels.

“In our sessions, we will look at ways to enable the marriage between modeling and simulation, thus revolutionizing design,” Dr. Alajbegovic said.

It’s not too late to register for 3DEXPERIENCE: A Virtual Journey, so sign up today to enjoy access to further digital programming from Dassault Systèmes.

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3D Printing Design for Automotive to Be Supported by Lehvoss & FENA

3D printing materials provider Lehvoss North America, part of the LEHVOSS Group of chemical companies operating under parent company Lehmann&Voss&Co., announced that it is partnering up with Forward Engineering North America (FENA), a new division of global engineering and consulting firm Forward Engineering. This collaboration between the two is for the purposes of supporting the automotive industry through Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM), helping to translate the performance characteristics of both 3D printed and injection molded components.

(Image courtesy of Forward Engineering)

Forward Engineering’s particular specialty is helping to include cost-effective parts, made out of fiber-reinforced polymer composite materials, in serial mass-produced automotive structures. As Lehvoss is something of a materials expert, it makes sense for FENA to partner with the group in order to teach how DfAM can positively benefit automotive components.

“Local support and bringing expertise around 3D printing together will create a hub for the 3DP value chain further strengthening the region and accelerating the deployment of additive manufactured components at automotive OEMs and tier suppliers,” stated Martin Popella, Sales & Business Development Manager at Lehvoss North America.

Germany-headquartered Forward Engineering has long supported clients in North America, which is why it opened the division in Royal Oak, Michigan. FENA, which offers production-based design and engineering services to meet the growing demand for cost-effective and automated solutions, works with technology partners in the area to speed up the adoption of “composite intensive mixed material solutions.”

We’ve definitely seen AM used for automotive applications, but materials that offer the same high-performance properties and characteristics as filled structural and semi-structural injection molding grade resin components can be difficult to find. But Lehvoss has expanded its reach, and is now offering its materials, such as Luvosint and Luvocom 3F, in North America.

3D printed automotive structural component (Image courtesy of Lehvoss North America)

Lehvoss materials have many application-specific properties, such as flame retardance, and can be custom compounded to fit specific requirements from customers, so that they can meet any necessary industry standards and requirements. One of its lines of high-performance compounds, available for FFF and powder bed fusion technologies in filament, pellet, and powder formats, definitely meet the criteria needed for automotive OEM applications.

Forward Engineering is helping OEMs and automotive tier suppliers translate specific product requirements so they can 3D print functional, structural 3F parts that mimic how the injection molded twin part performs. The 3F Twin Process that the firm developed will help engineers quickly develop and validate their concepts, and then interpret them for production parts.

“Automotive OEMs and suppliers want to accelerate product development through the production of functional structural prototypes with Additive Manufacturing (AM),” Popella explained. “3F Printing offers a relatively fast and cost-effective means to produce these functional structural prototype parts that meet demanding performance requirements. However, the right materials and process parameters must be selected to deliver quality parts that meet targeted requirements including quality, consistency and repeatability.”

(Image courtesy of Lehvoss)

As a result of their partnership, FENA and Lehvoss have set up a joint additive manufacturing lab, also in Royal Oak, Michigan, that will offer support to product development and automotive manufacturing engineers. These engineers can work directly with the Lehvoss/Forward Engineering team to determine the processes and materials that will best suit automotive applications, and even help them create functional prototypes on site.

“Successful product development requires the right mix of design, material and process,” said Adam Halsband, Forward Engineering North America’s Managing Director. “The Lehvoss/Forward Engineering collaboration and establishment of the AM lab in the center of the North American automotive product development region brings these resources together in a responsive package that is accessible to the engineers that need them.”

(Source: JEC Group)

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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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MDA and Burloak to Make 3D Printed Space Satellite Parts

Family-owned metal manufacturing network Samuel, Son & Co. provides industrial products and related value-added services all across North America, and one of its most important company divisions is Burloak Technologies, which was responsible for establishing the first full advanced manufacturing and production additive manufacturing center in Canada back in 2014. This Canadian 3D printing leader was founded in Ontario in 2005, and offers design and engineering services for a variety of technologies, including additive manufacturing, high precision CNC machining, materials development, metrology, and post-processing, to companies in multiple sectors, including automotive, industrial, aerospace, and space. To that end, it recently announced a five year agreement with Canadian technology firm MDA, which provides innovative solutions to government and commercial space and defense markets.

These two companies are partnering up to 3D print components and parts for applications in satellite antennae that will be sent to outer space.

“Over the last two years we have worked closely with MDA’s Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue business to apply and evolve additive manufacturing to their product offerings. This collaboration has allowed us to optimize antenna designs in terms of size, mass and performance to create a new set of possibilities for the industry,” Colin Osborne, Samuel’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a press release.

Spacecraft Interface Bracket for an antenna

This collaboration seems to be a continuation of an existing partnership between the two companies. In the summer of 2019, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) awarded Burloak and MDA a two-year project under its Space Technology Development Program (STDP) for the purposes of using 3D printing to develop RF satellite communication sub-systems. As part of that project, Burloak, which is a member of GE Additive’s Manufacturing Partner Network, scaled up AM application to create more complex sub-system components, using flight-certified material processes for titanium and aluminum.

MDA, a Maxar company founded back in 1969, is well-known for its abilities in a wide array of applications, including communication satellite payloads, defense and maritime systems, geospatial imagery products and analytics, radar satellites and ground systems, space robotics and sensors, surveillance and intelligence systems, and antennas and subsystems. The last of these capabilities will obviously serve MDA well in its latest venture.

As of now, the two companies have successfully completed multiple combined efforts which have resulted in 3D printed parts being more readily accepted for use in the unforgiving conditions of outer space.

“With challenging technological needs, it’s important that we find the right partner to help us fully leverage the potential of additive manufacturing for space applications,” Mike Greenley, Chief Executive Officer of MDA, said. “We’re confident Burloak Technologies is the ideal supplier to continue supporting our efforts. This collaboration is a perfect example of partnerships that MDA develops under its LaunchPad program.”

(Image courtesy of MDA)

As part of this new agreement, MDA and Burloak will continue working together in order to improve upon the manufacturability and design of multiple antenna technologies through the use of additive manufacturing. We’ve seen that using 3D printing to fabricate components for satellite, and other types, of antenna can reduce the cost and mass of the parts, which is critically important for space communication applications. As a whole, the technology is transforming how we build complex space systems.

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Shining 3D & MAGARIMONO Partner for 3D Printed Shoes


Heresy as the standard for the future.

New footwear unbound by conventions.

Possibilities through fusing material and technology.

Processes never before challenged.

We aim for footwear capable of meeting such goals.

High-fashion is getting another boost from high-tech as Hangzhou-based Shining 3D collaborates with MAGARIMONO, a Japanese company manufacturing designer footwear. Endeavoring to send their clientele walking on clouds, Shining 3D and MAGARIMONO have teamed up to create four new designs for the MAGARIMONO ORIGINALS CLOUD Collection.

While most consumers want aesthetically pleasing shoes that are also comfortable (not always an easy ‘feat’ to pull off), the designers invoke the concept of cushiony luxury combined with allusions to the four different types of clouds: cumulus, cirrus, stratus and nimbus.

“The design incorporates an amorphous shape in which water circulates while changing shape, such as bubbles, waves and clouds,” explains the MAGARIMONO team in a recent press release sent to regarding the project.

Although most famous for manufacturing of the EinScan series of scanners and 3D printers using FDM, SLA, SLS and SLM technology, this is not Shining 3D’s first experience in working with footwear manufacturers; in fact, they have contributed to the success of other famous shoe brands in China, and continue to grow in that space through offering greater numbers of shoe soles worldwide, printed with TPU on their SLS printers.

“Digital modeling and 3D printing have enabled today´s designers to create novel objects of previously near-impossible form,” said Eric Ludlum of Core77. “Elaborate shapes have become a hallmark of the medium but thankfully form-giving as a practice has pulled back from a complete embrace of the aesthetic and now finds success with a restrained mix of those digital flourished with classic surfaces.

“Japanese brand MAGARIMONO manages this trick in their new line of shoes. What makes it an interesting launch is that they´ve taken some of the creative strangeness cut from the formal resolution, and found a place for it elsewhere in their overall creative package. It counteracts the seriousness and sterility that can build up in tight digitally-enabled product development loops.”


The advantages of 3D printing are on full display here as customized shoes are fabricated for consumers, allowing them to choose the type of cloud they would like to ‘walk on.’ Cloud pattern soles are then produced on the Shining 3D EP-C5050 Pro TPU 3D Printer, continuing with the concept of condensation in the form of ‘waterdrops,’ and the continued ‘transformation of the elements’ as imagined by the MAGARIMONO designers.

3D printing continues to serve the fashion industry, from 3D printed haute couture to dresses bordering on the 4D that morph to their environment, jewelry, and more. Many have also shown interest in 3D printing footwear, including some of the biggest brands in athletic wear: Adidas, New Balance, Under Armour, Reebok, Nike and more.

Find out more about this recent collaboration in the video below, or visit the Shining 3D or MAGARIMONO websites.

[Source / Images: Shining 3D]

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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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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.

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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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U.S. Air Force & GE Collaborate in Parts Certification, 3D Print F110 Sump Cover

A collaboration that began last year between GE Additive and GE Aviation and the U.S. Air Force is now coming to fruition. As the U.S. Air Force sought help with creating a metal additive airworthiness and certification path, beginning mid-2019, they received a proposal from GE offering a streamlined plan for readiness, affordability, and sustainment in an AM program.

With some aircraft reaching 60 years of service for the military, the U.S. Air Force’s Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO) began considering better ways to perform maintenance and manufacture spare parts. As the GE team reached out to the ROS, they realized that GE had the experience in qualifying and certifying AM parts that they required.

“The RSO is excited to partner with GE Additive and its efforts to deliver additively manufactured parts for the Air Force,” said Nathan Parker, deputy program executive officer for the RSO who oversees and provides funding for the project with GE. “Their successes will help ensure our systems rapidly obtain the high-quality parts they need to stay flying and at the ready.”

Additively manufactured, cobalt-chrome sump cover for F110 engine. (Photo: GE Additive, GEADPR035)

As continued proponents of 3D printing and additive manufacturing processes—for years, before most people were even aware of such technology—both GE Additive and a variety of different military divisions have continued to innovate, expanding AM facilities around the world, developing new materials, and creating new parts for U.S. Air Force planes and even runways. In this partnership, the two organizations have developed a multi-phased program that ascends in both complexity and scale as each phase is completed.

“The Air Force wanted to go fast from day one and gain the capability and capacity for metal additive manufacturing, as rapidly as possible, to improve readiness and sustainability,” explains Lisa Coroa-Bockley, general manager for advanced materials solutions at GE Aviation.

“Speed is additive’s currency, and by applying our additive experiences with the LEAP fuel nozzle and other parts additively printed for the GE9X, being able to offer an end-to-end solution and also applying lessons learned of a robust certification processes, we’ve been able to accelerate the pace for the USAF,” added Coroa-Bockley.

The program, based on a spiral development model, begins with basic part identification and then moves forward to part consolidation and certifying more complicated systems like common core heat exchangers.

“The collaborative effort between the US Air Force and GE shows great promise toward the adoption of metal 3D printed parts as an option to solve the US Air Force’s current and future sustainment challenges. This capability provides an alternate method to source parts for legacy propulsion systems throughout their life cycle, especially when faced with a diminishing supplier base or when infrequent demands or low volume orders are not attractive to traditional manufacturers,” said Colonel Benjamin Boehm, director, AFLCMC/LP Propulsion Directorate.

So far, the collaborative team has completed Phase 1, identifying GE Aviation spare parts for the F110 and TF34 engines, and then evaluating and proving their readiness for flight. Work had already been started on a sump cover (in use already for F-15 and F-16 aircraft) for the General Electric F110 engine, and it became the focal point of the first phase in the program.

Phase 1b, in the planning stages, will reflect continued complexity in the stages, as the team works on a sump cover housing. This is a ‘family of parts’ currently found on the TF34 engine—part of an aircraft that has been in use for over four decades.

“Re-engineering legacy parts and additively manufacturing low quantities of traditionally cast parts has incredible potential to improve USAF supportability. It’s worth our focus to develop a fast, highly repeatable process,” said Melanie Jonason, chief engineer for the propulsion sustainment division at Tinker Air Force Base (AFB).

Excited about the project from the beginning, Jonason is working with the GE Aviation military team, the chief engineer, Dr. Matt Szolwinski, James Bonar, and a team of GE Additive engineers.

“Compared to other parts on the F110 engine, the sump cover might have lower functionality, but is incredibly important. It needs to be durable, form a seal and it needs to work for the entire engine to function – which is of course critical on a single engine aircraft like the F-16,” said James Bonar, engineering manager at GE Additive.

GE Additive and GE Aviation have worked together closely in designing the aluminum sump cover—with the first builds produced on GE Additive Concept Laser M2 machines running cobalt-chrome at their Additive Technology Center (ATC) in Cincinnati.

Beth Dittmer

“The program with GE is ahead of schedule and the preliminary work already done on the sump cover has allowed us to move forward quickly. As we build our metal additive airworthiness plan for the Air Force, the completion of each phase represents a significant milestone as we take a step closer to getting an additive part qualified to fly in one of our aircraft,” said Beth Dittmer, division chief, propulsion integration at Tinker AFB.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at

GE Aviation F110 engine.

[Source / Images: Source / Images: GE Additive]

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