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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The post 3D Printing News Briefs, May 18, 2020: Fraunhofer, Formnext, Visagio & DiManEx, BCN3D Technologies appeared first on 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing.

Kodak Launched New Design to Print Service, Showcased 3D Printing Ecosystem

Just a couple of short years ago, Kodak entered the AM market with its 3D Printing Ecosystem, which includes specialized software, the dual extruder, professional Portrait 3D printer, and a line of premium, low moisture content filaments. I learned a lot about this ecosystem while visiting Kodak’s booth at the recent RAPID+TCT show in Detroit, as the Portrait, and a wide array of example prints made on it, were being showcased.

On to new business first – the company launched its new Design to Print Service, which Kodak’s CCO and and co-founder Demian Gawianski told me is helpful for “customers who find designers’ time very valuable.”

“This can go from converting any 3D model into a 3D printable file to tuning the parameters on how to print those files,” he told me. “Basically, if you have complex geometry that wouldn’t go with our preset parameters, because it may have some bridges or overhangs or something like that, we would create the profile for the user, and our designers will actually print out the part to make sure it works.”


The company was offering a launching offer for its new service at the show – any customer who purchased the Portrait 3D printer at RAPID would also receive a $500 credit for the Design to Print Service.

This valuable service is an easy three-step process: first, share your project on your Kodak 3D Cloud account. Then, interact with the company’s professional designers in order to get a quick quote for the project, in addition to an estimated completion date. Finally, have your part optimized for a guaranteed result, printed, and tested by the Kodak team. You will then receive an STL file from the company that’s been modified for successful 3D printing. The service is available in English and Spanish, from 8 am to 5 pm EST, for a standard rate of $45 an hour; a priority job is available for an hourly rate of $90.

“We want to make sure that the user has a very successful experience, with any level of knowledge they may have about 3D printing,” Gawianski continued. “We want to have a comprehensive approach.”

This includes providing users with the right materials and hardware, empowered by good software, and Gawianski believes that Kodak’s design solution offers this unique, comprehensive approach.

Then we moved over to the Portrait 3D printer, which features a compact 215 x 210 x 235 mm build volume with a magnetic, heated build plate and dual extruders. With an intuitive color touchscreen that supports multiple languages, HEPA filter with activated carbon, automatic bed leveling, and live print monitoring via a built-in camera, I can see why Kodak calls it “the new standard for ‘desktop’ professional printing.”

Gawianski noted the “fully enclosed chamber,” which helps enable a “high level of control,” stability, and accuracy. He also pointed out the dual extrusion system with automatic nozzle lifting. The #2 hotend on the left is Teflon for high temperature materials, while the one on the right is metal for lower temperatures. The part being printed while we were standing there was out of white ABS.

“It would be difficult to achieve this level of quality on another printer with ABS, because it would warp and have all kinds of problems,” he explained.

Then we walked over to a setup in the corner of the booth that had caught my eye when I first arrived. A Portrait 3D printer – which was currently operating and weighs about 35 kg – had been placed on a rather thin-looking wooden platform, which was suspended by ropes that were attached to nylon hooks 3D printed on the Portrait itself.



The nylon hooks were strong enough to keep the platform stable, so the print could continue uninterrupted with “the same level of quality” while it was fabricating a blue part out of strong but flexible Nylon 6.

“The printer comes with two filament cases. You open the back of a filament, and place the filament in the case,” Gawianski said. “It has a silica gel that continues to protect the filament all the way from the manufacturing plant to the printed part.”

This case protects the filament from absorbing dust or humidity. Kodak is open to Portrait customers using third party materials, but these clear cases are only for its own filament.



He then started to show me various parts made out of Kodak’s other materials, such as a blue skull printed out of PLA Tough with water-soluble PVA supports, an engineering part made out of ABS with HIPS supports that dissolve in Limonene, and a large part with a green top that can lift 700 lbs of weight.

Kodak offers 11 different materials, including strong, food-safe PETG and semi-flexible Flex 98 with high abrasive resistance. Gawianski brought out a 3D printed part that was a good example of the Portrait 3D printer’s dual extrusion. The figure, which bore a strong resemblance to the Egyptian god Anubis, was made with PLA+ (green) and PLA Tough (red), which are the two materials that come with the Portrait 3D printer out of the box.

“We also have Nylon 12, which is FDA certified and has high resistance to impact,” Gawianski said, showing me two parts in translucent white.

“We also have some further ABS parts – this is a delamination test,” he continued, scratching the side of a small container. “It’s difficult to achieve this with an open printer, you need an enclosed one.”

Kodak will soon be releasing some new materials to the market, such as acrylic, which I also got the chance to see.

Our conversation ended by discussing Kodak’s 3D printing software.

“We have a desktop solution, which is the Kodak 3D Slicer,” Gawianski explained. “And we have the Kodak 3D Cloud, that is a cloud management system that enables you to manage an unlimited number of printers in unlimited locations from a single data place. So from your computer, phone, whatever, you can manage this fleet of printer.”

I asked if the company had anything new on the horizon, and aside from new filaments, Gawianski also said we can expect to see a new 3D printer model by the end of the year.

Take a look at some more of my pictures from the Kodak booth at RAPID+TCT 2019 below:




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[Images: Sarah Saunders]

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Maker Publishes Instructables About 3D Printing Favorite Vintage Games

Whenever I visit Target to pick up something in the toy department, whether it’s a present for my nieces or one of my friends’ kids, I also enjoy stopping in the tiny section at the end that features retro toys, such as the old Fisher Price record player and the classic sock monkey doll. I don’t know what it is…there’s just something about seeing retro toys and other vintage items showcased in a more modern setting.

Maker and Instructables member Mike Gardi gets it – he recently used 3D printing to recreate two of his favorite educational games from the 1960s that are so rare, not to mention expensive, that there’s no way you’d find them anywhere remotely near a mainstream store like Target. His labor of love was detailed in a recent Hackaday post by Tom Nardi.

“Seeing that the educational games which helped put him on a long and rewarding career in software development are now nearly unobtainable, he decided to try his hand at recreating them on his 3D printer,” Nardi wrote. “With his keen eye for detail and personal love of these incredible toys, he’s preserved them in digital form for future generations to enjoy.”

The first game Gardi recreated was “The Amazing Dr. Nim,” which was invented by John Thomas Godfrey and manufactured by Education Science Research (E.S.R., Inc.). According to his Instructable on 3D printing the game, a plastic, injection-molded mechanical Digi-Comp II digital computer is used as a game board, which chooses its moves through “the action of the marbles falling through the levers of the machine.”

“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I was inspired by the excellent Digi-Comp I replica created by Mark Ziemer,” Gardi commented on the Hackaday post.

Bits of data are held in memory switches, and several levers, which are affected by released marbles, program the unit. The starting position is set by three levers, and the fourth is an equalizer: if it’s set and the player doesn’t make any mistakes, they win. The final lever shows whose turn it is.

Gardi modeled his replica game using both Fusion 360 and Tinkercad, and while he needed to scale down his version so it would fit on a desktop 3D printer, it was otherwise pretty faithful; however, he did use 10 mm steel ball bearings instead of marbles.

“One other concession was to 3D print the folding stand rather than attempting to employ the wire stand of the original,” Gardi wrote.

He 3D printed all of the parts at a resolution of 0.2 mm out of PLA. While the base unit was printed with 20% infill, everything else was printed at 100%, and Gardi included the STL files for all of the parts in his Instructable. Tools needed to put the game together include tweezers, glue, fine grit sandpaper, and a hobby knife.

Gardi also made a 3D printed version of the “Think-a-Dot” puzzle game, which was invented by Joseph A. Weisbecker and also uses mechanical flip-flops. These levers are used to change the color of the eight dots on the game’s front panel.

When the player drops marbles into the three holes at the top of game board, they can create different patterns by changing the colors of the dots. The winner is the person who can determine the fewest amount of marbles that are necessary to create specific patterns found in the game manual.

“I tell people that I did the modelling with digital calipers, Tinkercad, and patience,” Gardi wrote in his Instructable for the Think-a-Dot replica. “I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. Tinkercad is a very organic experience and it felt more like sculpting to me than 3D design.”

While most of the pieces were 3D printed in PLA, Gardi used PETG to print the eight flip-flops. He also digitized the experience of owning these classic games by creating scans of the manuals, and then had them professionally printed and bound just like they would have been in the ’60s.

“This is really a fascinating way of preserving physical objects, and we’re interested to see if it catches on with other toys and games which otherwise might be lost to time,” Nardi concluded. “As storage capacities get higher and our ability to digitize the world around us improve, we suspect more and more of our physical world will get “backed up” onto the Internet.”

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Review: Amazon Basics 3D printer filament PLA and PETG

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Amazon now selling own-brand 3D printer filament

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