We’re all business today in 3D Printing News Briefs – Nanofabrica has raised $4 million in funding, and voxeljet is expanding its presence in India. Elementum 3D has achieved an important industry certification. Finally, AMPOWER has released its 2020 report.
Nanofabrica Raises $4 Million in Funding
Tel Aviv startup Nanofabrica, which makes 3D printers for fabricating complex electronic and optical parts for semiconductors and medical devices, has raised $4 million in funding, and the round was led by Microsoft’s venture arm M12, which invests in enterprise software companies in Series A through C funding with a focus on infrastructure, applied AI, business applications, and security, and NextLeap Ventures, an investor group made of former Intel Corp employees. The startup says it will use the funding – it’s raised a total of $7 million so far – to expand its sales and continue its R&D work.
M12 partner Matthew Goldstein said, “Nanoscale, precision manufacturing is a growing need for R&D organizations, as well as production-scale manufacturing companies,” and that the technology allows for the “digital mass manufacturing of precision parts.”
voxeljet Grows Presence in India with Sale of VX4000
The VX4000 is voxeljet’s largest 3D printer and has a building volume of 8 cubic meters
Industrial 3D printing solutions provider voxeljet AG has expanded its Asian presence with the announcement that Indian steel casting experts Peekay Steel Castings Pvt Ltd is investing in its 4000 x 2000 x 1000 mm VX4000 3D printer – the company’s largest industrial system. Peekay Steel, which makes high-quality steel castings, will use the printer to expand into new business areas and better cater to its current clients’ increasing demands. The flexibility, size, and speed of the VX4000 will allow the company to continue supporting the foundry industry in its native India, but also give them the opportunity to build a new Knowledge Center centered around the large 3D printer that will provide open access to a training facility. The VX4000 will be set up at a new Bangalore location in the Airport City.
“We want to offer our customers an end-to-end solution and position ourselves as a supplier of high-quality, ready-to-install components in record times. With the VX4000, we are able to increase the flexibility of our production in order to be able to react quickly, even to complex projects,” said K.E. Shanavaz, Jt., Managing Director, Peekay Steel Castings (P) Ltd. “3D printing gives us a unique competitive advantage, especially when it comes to expanding our business areas. Since the beginning, we have emphasized the importance of co engineering with our customers, most of these are Fortune 500 companies, to optimize and customize the product design, to lend better functionality and a clear competitive advantage. A specialized Design Center aligned to the VX4000 will help add value for our customers.”
Elementum 3D Achieves Quality Management Certification
Colorado metal 3D printing materials company Elementum 3D announced that it has received the important ISO 9001:2015 certification. This is recognized as the worldwide standard for quality management practices and systems, and was issued to the company through the Denver-based ISO 9001 management certification firm Platinum Registration, Inc. The scope of its certification includes manufacturing prototype and production parts to customer specifications, designing and manufacturing advanced composites, metals, and superalloys, and developing new manufacturing processes.
“This is an important milestone for Elementum 3D. It’s a rigorous process to become ISO 9001 certified. Our staff worked very hard with Platinum Registration’s auditors to demonstrate we meet the requirements of the standard. Not only does that make us feel confident we’re the most efficient that we can be, it assures our customers that we have a completely transparent and robust management system; and that means we have reliable, repeatable, continuously improving business processes so that our customers receive the best value for their money,” said Dr. Jacob Nuechterlein, Elementum 3D President and Founder.
AMPOWER Releases 2020 Metal AM Report
Metal additive manufacturing consultancy AMPOWER has released its new 2020 report, containing analysis based on over 250 data sets of metal AM supplier and user surveys. If you purchased the previous AMPOWER Report, you can get the latest edition for free through the online portal, or you could subscribe to the report to start getting it; either way, the publication is chock-full of helpful information. For instance, a separate section analyzes the possible impact scenarios of the COVID-19 pandemic on the metal AM industry in both 2020 and 2021, and new contributions from the worlds of standards and startups are included from ASTM and AM Ventures, respectively. The report includes in-depth market data, and has also added new databases with over 700 entries, so readers can browse through a list of material, service, and systems suppliers; the new interactive cost calculator has been updated with the most recent productivity values.
“We hope the AMPOWER Report 2020 continues to support our customers in making the right decisions in these challenging times,” AMPOWER’s Matthias Schmidt-Lehr, Dr. Maximilian Munsch, and Dr. Eric Wycisk wrote in an email.
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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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Jabil is one of the largest contract manufacturing and engineering companies worldwide. They’ve been very serious about 3D Printing for a number of years as well. The company has made moves in 3D printed footwear, setting up an Additive Manufacturing Network, partnering with HP, using clustered Ultimaker 3D printers and manufacturing 3D printers for Makerbot. The $19 billion dollar group uses 3D printing extensively in-house to prototype the products that it engineers as well as manufacture things such as jigs and tools extensively. Jabil can do anything from designing or improving a product to assembling millions of examples of that product to expediting them all around the world. Little known compared to its customers there is a high probability that this 180,000 person company made some of the high tech devices that you rely on each and every day.
Today Jabil announced that it is launching Jabil Engineered Materials for 3D printing which will let customers customize, test, create and validate 3D printing materials for manufacturing applications. Additionally, Jabil will be offering FDM and SLS materials on the open market and selling them via resellers. Materials have been a major brake on 3D printing innovation. High cost of materials slows down 3D printing adoption especially in manufacturing. Low performance also inhibits 3D printing success. Closed material ecosystems do lead to good print results but do mean that there is a lock-in for the company using that 3D printer manufacturer and material. Often companies want to use the polymers they know and love or those that are standards in their applications but these may not be available for 3D printing. In the regular plastics market, thousands of specialized compounding companies optimize materials for 3D printing. For 3D printing, some specialized filament producers will make filaments to order for you in FDM (FFF, Material Extrusion). For SLS (powder bed fusion, laser sintering) only ALM and a handful of other firms can qualify and create working specialized polymer materials. In SLS and EBM metal powders lots of people say they can do this but almost no one is actually able to do this (Höganäs, GE and Sandvik are exceptions for example).
A Jabil Employee mixing materials.
In polymers, we have lots of compounders worldwide but precious few have manufacturing knowledge of 3D printing or know how 3D printing works (LehVoss being the notable exception). Through deep manufacturing knowledge and operating a lot of machines, Jabil hopes to enter and prosper in this niche that is set for high growth. Custom material formulations for manufacturing is a very high 3D printing growth segment at the moment. Clearly, Jabil is making an astute vertical integration here that will let them lower their own production costs for 3D printed goods while simultaneously making them more indispensable to customers. More margin that feeds tactical success is always nice especially if you then become more relevant to customers as well. If they pull this off this will be a brilliant long term strategically significant move by the firm that will let them outcompete once 3D printing in manufacturing becomes a reality for more industries. The key element to getting things made with 3D printing is controlling the 3D printing Octagon. Right now everyone is trying to do this through alliances between material companies and OEMs or by trying to become a platform themselves. GE and Jabil are both doing the most to themselves monetize their control over the octagon and therefore obtain a better 3D printing manufacturing future for themselves. Other firms are simply sticking to their own islands of expertise while shaking hands a lot. While polymer knowledge is being tied to settings and materials are being qualified most are forgetting the manufacturing part of this equation.
Additionally Jabil has opened Materials Innovation Center in Minnesota where the company can develop materials as well as do compounding under ISO 9001. There and at other locations the company work on developing Integrated Materials, Processes and Machines (MPM) and. “evaluate, qualify and validate materials alongside certified machines and processes as part of an integrated MPM solution that matches specific part performance with application requirements. This comprehensive approach ensures greater availability of unique materials while reducing time-to-market and cost to produce the highest quality parts.”
John Dulchinos, vice president of digital manufacturing, Jabil stated that,
“Jabil is taking advantage of its rich history in materials science innovation to advance the entire additive manufacturing market forward and produce custom materials in weeks—not months. Our ability to integrate new engineered materials into our ecosystem of 3D printers and rigorous processes will transform a new generation of additive manufacturing applications, including those for heavily regulated industries, such as aerospace, automotive, industrial and healthcare.”
The company will also work on “Value-added attributes include, but aren’t limited to, reinforced, flame retardant, conductive, lubricated, Electrostatic Dissipative (ESD) and other engineered characteristics” which would put them very close to what Clariant is doing in 3D printing. The company will focus on FDM, SLS and HSS and a “full range of services also are available, including compounding, extrusion and powder creation as well as complete system integration on standard, open source platforms supported by Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and High-Speed Sintering (HSS) equipment.”
3DPrint.com spoke to John Dulchinos, VP of Digital Manufacturing, and Matt Torosian, Director of Product Management at Jabil to find out more. They told us that the material science team will comprise of more than 40 individuals and that they would produce pellets as well as filament and powder. Their main Minnesota site has dozens of 3D printers in different technologies and they deploy hundreds of machines across Jabil. Some of the materials that they hope to make available soon include PA12 and TPU powders as well as PETG filaments. The team has rheology, mechanical engineering and all the equipment needed in house.
Tensile strength testing a coupon at Jabil.
Matt believes that, “Every industrial assembly facility should at least have 20 3D printers eventually” and that internally Jabil used 3D printing “for jigs fixtures and tooling to reduce time and cost.” Jabil’s main motivation for selling and making materials is to “better serve customers and increase adoption rates of 3D printing.” He mentions that “customers tell us that they are ready to go but that they don’t have the right quality management, regulatory or materials for 3D printing” and this is where he believes Jabil can deliver value. John mentions that “3D printing material costs have to come down” and that their purchasing power and engineering can make this happen.
He adds that Jabil is “interested in real parts, and has adopted the right quality framework for 3D printing from consumer goods to medical.” The company has defined, “how we qualify a program, how we qualify a part or machine, how we define quality and what test coupons we use, what certifications we use.” He sees “FDM technology having broad applicability” and in some cases could see desktop printers and printer farms being used for manufacturing in the future as these platforms get their “next level of refinement.” He thinks that “open systems are the future of 3D printing” and thinks that Jabil is “ahead of the curve” in this “potentially disruptive manufacturing technology.”