Italian company WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project) always manages to surprise me with the multitude of unique 3D printers it develops. At last year’s formnext event, the company introduced its Industrial 4.0 line, and this year, at formnext 2019, WASP will once again amaze visitors to the huge trade fair with something new: the Delta WASP 2040 TECH, which can print PEEK pellets.
PEEK, or polyetheretherketone, is notoriously difficult to print with, and requires a nozzle temperature of at least 380°C to properly extrude the high-strength thermoplastic. But WASP has never been one to back away from a challenge, as it’s always on the lookout for new ways to approach additive manufacturing. In fact, the company introduced its first pellet 3D printer three years ago, but it certainly wasn’t capable of working with PEEK, which it refers to as a ‘super polymer.’
“Peek pellet printing is undoubtedly a revolutionary application and the impact of this innovation on the entire WASP-printers-line is extraordinary,” the company stated in a press release.
The Delta WASP 2040 TECH 3D printer is the first of a new line that comes with a high-precision HD extruder for pellets. The company says it’s a novel machine because of the fully insulated, stainless steel, high-temperature chamber that makes it possible to print PEEK pellets.
Prosthesis from peek pellet Delta WASP 2040 TECH
“Healthcare has always been a huge branch of the applications for additive manufacturing since its beginning. This sector is showing us how tangibly 3D printing can improve our lives but also challenging every new technology and inspiring innovation,” WASP’s Giulio Buscaroli wrote on the WASP website.
“In this context, WASP is proud to unveil the results of its work on printing medical-grade PEEK from pellets with a brand new line of 3D printers: Delta WASP Tech line.”
The company has been busy researching in the medical field, and the new Delta WASP 2040 TECH is the culmination of all this hard work. The purpose of this pellet 3D printer is to fabricate implantable prostheses, in certified PEEK, at a more affordable cost. Neurosurgeon Dr. Villiam Dallolio has been helping WASP to develop the process, and the Delta WASP 2040 TECH will be showcased next week at formnext.
Delta WASP 3MT concrete 3D printing
But that isn’t the only new system WASP is bringing to the trade fair in Frankfurt. The company has been gaining experience in the architectural field as well as the medical, and will be showcasing its Delta WASP 3MT CONCRETE 3D printer – another novelty, which is capable of 3D printing large, fluid, dense materials. The company wrote that the new 3D printer “optimized the previous LDM system with a certified one,” which makes it possible to print materials like concrete through a continuous feeding method.
Finally, WASP will also be presenting its new Delta WASP 3MT INDUSTRIAL 4.0 3D printer at formnext. The printer features a continuous feeding system and optimized extruder so that it can print 100% recycled pellet polymers.
“It’s a solution for increasingly advanced medical applications but not only: WASP has identified in the pellet printing the answer to the increasingly essential needs of recycling plastic materials and also to the need of producing furniture tailored pieces,” the company wrote.
To see these three new 3D printers for yourself, you can visit WASP at formnext, November 19-22, at Stand B79 in Hall 11.0.
[Images provided by WASP]
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We’re starting off today’s 3D Printing News Briefs with a product launch announcement – 3YOURMIND launched the full version of its Agile MES software software this week at AMUG 2019. Moving on, Sintratec will present its latest SLS 3D printer at RAPID + TCT next month in Detroit, Tiamet3D has joined Ultimaker’s material alliance program, and Sciaky entered into an agreement with KTM Consultants. Xometry just announced some important certifications, and nScrypt is 3D printing titanium parts. Moving on to the world of art and theatre, the Zurich Opera House is 3D printing props, and artist Andrea Salvatori worked with WASP to create a 3D printed art collection.
3YOURMIND Launched Agile Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Software
After spending five years providing order management systems to scale for some of the industry’s AM leaders, 3YOURMIND has finally moved its software solutions to a production environment with the launch of its Agile Manufacturing Execution System (MES) earlier this week at AMUG 2019. The software uses smart part prioritization, rapid scheduling, order tracking, and custom AM workflow creation to improve machine utilization and make production more efficient, and an Early Access Program (EAP) allowed the company to receive direct feedback on its Agile MES software from representatives at companies like EOS and Voestalpine. The next step will be working to finalize machine connectivity.
“For Agile Manufacturing, the Agile MES will need to both GET and PUSH data from all major AM machines and post-processing systems. We are already integrating the data from several vendors into our software and expect to support all major machines,” explained 3YOURMIND’s CEO Stephan Kühr. “Receiving and processing machine data allows us to provide the documentation that is needed for quality assurance and to increase the repeatability of additive manufacturing. Pushing data directly to machines will be the key to automating production.”
Sintratec Showcasing New SLS 3D Printer at RAPID + TCT
A few months ago, Swiss SLS 3D printer manufacturer Sintratec introduced its scalable, modular Sintratec S2. Now, the company will be presenting the printer in the US for the first time next month at RAPID + TCT in Detroit, which will also be Sintratec’s first time attending the massive event. What makes the Sintratec S2 stand out is its closed-loop workflow, as the complete system covers every process with its three modules: the Laser Sintering Station (LSS), the Material Core Unit (MCU), and the Material Handling Station (MHS). The 3D printer offers quick material changes, a 4K camera for print monitoring, improved ergonomics, and effective heat distribution through its cylindrical printing area and ring lamps.
“The Sintratec S2 will boost the design of applications and gives the user the opportunity to set foot in small series production as well. And that for an unusually attractive price-performance ratio,” said Sintratec CEO Dominik Solenicki.
“With the Sintratec S2 solution we will be opening new opportunities for companies of any size.”
The price for the Sintratec S2 starts at $39,900, and you can see it for yourself at Sintratec’s booth 1753 at RAPID + TCT from May 20-23.
Tiamet 3D Joins Ultimaker’s Material Alliance Program
Reid Larson, the Director and Co-Founder of Tiamet 3D, told us about some of the highlighted specs of its ULTRA Diamond material, including no additional nozzle wear, 6300 mpa stiffness, low moisture absorption and friction, improved thermal conductivity, and twice “the temperature resistance of normal PLA, Annealed goes to 125C HDT.” You can purchase one kg of ULTRA Diamond filament for €59.
Sciaky Increasing Sales Efforts Through New Agreement
In an effort to increase the sales efforts of its Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) solutions in Australia, the Middle East, and New Zealand, Sciaky, Inc. has entered into an agreement with KTM Consultants, founded by metallurgist Trent Mackenzie in 2015. In terms of sheer work envelope, Sciaky’s massive EBAM systems are the industry’s most widely scalable metal 3D printing solution, able to produce parts ranging from 8 inches to 19 feet at gross deposition rates of up to 25 lbs of metal an hour. Additionally, its Interlayer Real-time Imaging and Sensing System (IRISS) is the metal 3D printing market’s only real-time adaptive control system capable of sensing and digitally self-adjusting its deposition.
“I was immediately drawn to Sciaky’s EBAM technology because of its unique and robust capabilities. Industrial manufacturers of large metal parts need to explore the significant advantages that technologies like EBAM offer. It is truly a game-changer,” said Mackenzie.
Xometry Announces New Industry Certifications
Digital manufacturing marketplace Xometry announced that it has just received ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D certifications – some of the most rigorous, widely-recognized quality management designations in the industry. ISO 9001 helps organizations meet the needs and expectations of their customers in terms of quality management, while AS9100 meets customer demands in the exacting aerospace and defense industries. The company went through a major audit as part of the process, and its achievement definitely reflects how committed Xometry is to providing quality.
“We are thrilled to receive this designation. Our team members have a passion for providing great customer service while following the disciplines that give our customers peace of mind regarding on-time delivery, quality, and continuous improvement. It is yet another step towards achieving industry “best in class” status and being able to meet the expanded needs of our customers,” stated Xometry COO Peter Goguen.
nScrypt Develops Proprietary Method for 3D Printing Titanium
nScrypt 3D printed titanium gear, dogbone, and block
Florida manufacturer nScrypt, which develops high-precision Micro-Dispensing and Direct Digital Manufacturing equipment and solutions, is now focusing on repeatable 3D printing of metals for the medical, defense, and aerospace industries. The company has created a proprietary method for 3D printing titanium parts, which tests have shown display densities comparable to wrought parts. This method could easily work with other metals as well, such as copper, Inconel, and stainless steel, and nScrypt’s Factory in a Tool (FiT) systems can finish or polish areas with high tolerance features using its integrated precision nMill milling head. nScrypt’s Brandon Dickerson told us that the company expects to release more details on this later in 2019.
“The parts were printed with our SmartPump Micro-Dispensing tool head, which runs on any of our systems,” Dickerson told 3DPrint.com. “The parts shown in the photos were printed on our DDM (Direct Digital Manufacturing) system, also known as our Factory in a Tool (FiT) system, which can run 5 tool heads at the same time, including our Micro-Dispensing, Material Extrusion, micro-milling, and pick-and-place tool heads. The parts were sintered after the build and the current densities are in the high 90% range. We expect our system to appeal to customers who want to do Direct Digital Manufacturing and need strong metal parts, but cannot build them with a powder bed system (for example, if the geometry would trap powder inside) or prefer not to use a powder bed system (for example, if they want a cleaner system).”
Zurich Opera House 3D Printing Props with German RepRap
Finished tutu for “The Nutcracker”, which was produced with the help of the x400 3D printer
Switzerland’s largest cultural institution, the Zurich Opera House, puts on over 300 performances a year, but the behind-the-scenes magic happens in the studios and workshops, where the props and costumes are made. The opera house uses the x400 3D printer from German RepRap, with assistance from Swiss reseller KVT- Fastening, to support its creative work by fabricating props and molds. This affords the institution more creativity and flexibility, as they can design objects to their exacting needs in 3D modeling programs, which also helps save on time and money. The opera house currently uses PLA, which is easy to handle, offers a variety of colors, and is flame retardant – very important in a theatrical setting.
“Often, the wishes and ideas of costume and stage designers are very diverse and sometimes extraordinary. It often happens that props are not available in the way designers have it in their minds. This is where the 3D printer is perfect for,” said Andreas Gatzka, director of theater sculpture at the Zurich Opera House.
“There are a lot of great benefits. Special wishes of stage and costume designers can be realized quickly as well as a short-term change of the objects, for example larger, smaller, longer, shorter, or whatever is needed.”
3D Printed Art Collection
Artist Andrea Salvatori 3D printed the eye-catching pieces for his new collection, titled Ikebana Rock’n’Roll, using the Delta WASP 40100 Clay 3D printer – designed by WASP to be used by ceramic and clay artists. The collection just opened on stage at THE POOL NYC in Milan last week, and will be available to view until May 31st. With these 3D printed vases, Salvatori wanted to use “a miscellany of ceramic insertions” to mess with the high quality shapes 3D printing can achieve by adding asymmetry.
“The process of depositing the material and setting the spheres is a central theme in the Ikebana Rock’n’Roll collection, to the point of convincing Salvatori to name the works “Composition 40100”, as if they originated from a musical dialogue of the most varied tones. The artist upsets the algorithm reiterated slavishly by the machine with imperfect musical accents, the result from time to time of spontaneous actions and reasoned processes,” WASP wrote in a blog post.
“The ikebanes, proposed by Andrea Salvatori in the exhibition, transcend the experimental limits of an abstract investigation, representing a concrete territory in which 3D printing and ceramic art co-exist synergistically. The Master challenges the confrontation with the public, becoming also in this sector, precursor of a new genre in which WASP feels itself fully represented.”
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The abstract reads, “In this work two different configurations of MFCs are tested, evaluating the importance of the operative conditions on power production. All the MFCs were fabricated employing 3D printing technologies and, by using biocompatible materials as for the body as for the electrodes, are analyzed the point of strength and development needed at the state of the art for this particular application. Power productions and stability in terms of energy production are deepen investigated for both the systems in order to quantify how much power can be extracted from the bacteria when a load is fixed for long time.”
The three main transfer mechanisms are electron shuttles, conductive nanowires, and redox reactions between bacteria and the electrode. Scaling up for real MFC applications would be expensive, as the needed materials, like NafionR and platinum, are costly. But 3D printing can be used to help lower costs, as well as offer more stable energy production.
“Due to that a more sustainable and less wasteful production can be applied to MFCs bioreactors. In addition, materials suitable for 3D printing are moving to bio-based solutions completely recyclable that would strength the sustainability by closing the loop also for the materials,” the researchers wrote.
For their study, the team investigated and tested two kinds of reactors: single chamber and double chamber. The biggest difference between them regards the use, or lack thereof, of a chamber for locating the cathode electrode.
Exploded and Compact view of (A) Single Chamber MFC, (B) Double Chamber MFC.
“In the reactors design the distances between cathodes and anodes in both layouts is fixed to 2 cm,” the researchers explained.
“In the single chamber configuration, activated carbon coated with PTFE and a nickel mesh as current collector are used as cathode (7 cm2 as active surface area) and a PLA based material is used for realizing the anode (9.7 cm2 active surface area).
“In the double chamber reactor, both electrodes (cathode and anode) are realized by using the PLA based material like that used for the anode of the single chamber reactor. These electrodes have also the same shape (9.7 cm2 active surface area). Moreover, a cation exchange membrane (CEM) is used as medium between the two chambers.”
Open source Free CAD was used to design the cube-shaped reactors, which included an internal circular hole for extra volume, and a Delta Wasp 20 40 3D printer fabricated the reactors out of non-toxic, conductive PLA from Proto-pasta.
The researchers noted, “This material is suitable for the application in MFC, but improvements are needed in order to obtain better power production.”
The team used bacteria from a mixture of compost taken from an Italian waste treatment facility and household vegetable waste for their experiments, and left the 3D printed reactors in a temperature-controlled environment of 20°C for 48 hours before beginning acquisitions.
“An experimental data acquisition system, is used to record the performances of the MFCs, consisting of an embedded system controlled by an Arduino board connected to sensors that recorded voltage and current at each operative condition set. The DAQ, with a sample frequency of 0.1 Hz (10 s), is able to switch automatically the resistance applied at the ends of the electrodes in order to easily obtain polarization curves. In particular, polarization procedure consists in the application of four different resistance (36000-27000-12000-8000 W) for 5 minutes each,” the researchers wrote.
“The procedure is continuous, so the total time needed is 20 minutes. Finally, the value of resistance that gives the maximum power is applied for four hours in order to test how the response of the same to an extended load.”
Conductive PLA Electrode Design.
The researchers continuously recorded the MFCs’ Open Circuit Voltage (OCV), and the double chamber system showed a higher starting potential of 0.95 V compared to the 0.59 V of the single chamber system. They noted a “great stability” during their experimental tests, and determined that 3D printing is “a suitable technology for the fabrication of the MFC in terms of precision and costs.”
“Results of the experiment show that both configurations are affected by a high internal resistance and, as a consequence, a limited power production has been achieved. As expected, better results are registered for the double chamber, mainly due to the use of CEM and the presence of potassium permanganate at the cathode that, probably, better balanced the redox reactions that occurred,” the team concluded. “However, this difference is very low (+11%) and the reason can be found in the materials used for the electrodes. AC coated with PTFE electrode (1 W resistance), used as cathode in the first configuration, allows better performance than the conductive PLA (400 W resistance approximately).”
Co-authors of the paper are Elio Jannelli, Pasquale Di Trolio, Fabio Flagiello, and Mariagiovanna Minutillo.
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