Equispheres Secures $30 Million in New Funding Round

Canadian materials science company Equispheres, which specializes in aluminum alloy powder for 3D printing, announced this week that it had secured a Series B investment, along with a new $30 million (CDN) investment round.

The funding round, at an undisclosed valuation, was led by HG Ventures, which is the corporate venture arm of The Heritage Group. Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a government-created foundation to advance clean technology innovation that’s supported the company in the past, and BDC, the only bank in Canada devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs, also participated in the funding round, along with some undisclosed contributors.

Lead funding partner HG Ventures, which invests in and partners with companies working in sustainable technology and advanced materials, contributed $10 million in equity investment to this round of funding, while SDTC added an $8 million grant, which was first announced back in January. BDC contributed $5 million in subordinated financing, and the round was completed with $7 million in undisclosed funding.

Equipsheres’ Doug Brouse informed us that Jonathan Schalliol, VC and Director of HG Ventures, “mentioned on LinkedIn” that the company is a new investor in the additive manufacturing space, and it’s always great to bring new companies into this industry that are excited to be here.

“We are extremely excited to have HG Ventures as a partner, their extraordinary combination of research capability and venture capital experience made them an ideal partner to understand both the technical and market potential of our product across the transportation industry,” stated Kevin Nicholds, President and CEO of Equispheres, in a press release. “We are also grateful to have the support of the Canadian government, enabling us to leverage investor financing to achieve our objective of providing a high-quality product at volume levels the marketplace demands.”

Extreme magnification of Equispheres’ aluminum alloy powders for AM.

This isn’t the first time Equisheres has received major funding for its work in unique metal AM powders. The high performance, mono-sized metal powders it develops can help print parts that are up to 30% stronger and lighter than ones fabricated with other powders. In the last year alone, the company has released two important reports about testing results of its specialty materials, including how it performed in aerospace-ready AM quality tests. With this latest funding, Equispheres can continue testing its powders, and plans to scale up the production capacity, along with investing in research and development partnerships.

Equispheres will be using the funds to focus on several important areas, including creating high quality jobs and hiring and developing new talent, and improving reactors for lower cost and higher volume powder production. In addition, the company will ramp up its R&D projects with new and existing strategic partners, as well as work on creating application support services for the aviation, automotive, defense, and space industries in order to expedite advanced manufacturing opportunities that its metal powders make possible.

Equispheres stated in its press release that “more significant developments are expected on the horizon,” so we should stay tuned to hear what’s coming next.

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Sciaky Joins R&D Initiative to Combine Traditional Metallurgy with Wirefed Metal 3D Printing Techniques

Metal 3D printing solutions provider Sciaky, Inc., well known for its extremely popular Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) process, just announced that it has entered into a research and development initiative with metallurgist expert Aubert & Duval – a subsidiary of the Eramet group’s Alloys division – and Airbus, one of its previous 3D printing partners. The ambitious initiative, also called the Metallic Advanced Materials for Aeronautics (MAMA) project, is being driven by the Saint Exupéry Institute for Research in Technology (IRT), and the academic partner for the project is the Production Engineering laboratory of the National School of Engineering in Tarbes, France.

“Sciaky is proud to work with the Saint Exupéry IRT, Aubert & Duval and Airbus on this exciting project. Industrial metal additive manufacturing technology continues to break new ground every day, and Sciaky is committed to keeping EBAM at the forefront of this movement,” said Scott Phillips, the President and CEO of Sciaky, Inc., a subsidiary of Phillips Service Industries, Inc. (PSI).

In terms of work envelope, Sciaky’s exclusive EBAM technology is probably the most widely scalable metal AM solution in the industry. It’s the only industrial metal 3D printing process that has approved applications for air, land, sea, and space, with gross deposition rates up to 11.34 kg of metal an hour, and is able to manufacture parts from 203 mm to 5.79 meters in length. Rather than just melting the outer layer of the metal powder, the EBAM process completely liquefies the metal wire feed.

The fast, cost-effective EBAM process offers a wide range of material options, including titanium, for large-scale metal applications, and uses its adaptive IRISS (Interlayer Real-time Imaging and Sensing System) to combine quality and control, as the patented system can sense, and digitally self-adjust, metal deposition with repeatability and precision. It is mainly due to the IRISS system that the Chicago-based company’s EBAM 3D printing process is so good at delivering, as the company puts it, “consistent part geometry, mechanical properties, microstructure, and metal chemistry, from the first part to the last.”

The goal of its combined MAMA project with Airbus and Aubert & Duval is to combine traditional metallurgy (high-power closed die forging) with new wirefed metal 3D printing techniques, such as Sciaky’s EBAM process, in order to come up with new processes for manufacturing titanium alloys that can be used to make aircraft parts. Based on the caliber of its partners, Sciaky made a good decision in joining the R&D initiative – Airbus is a 3D printing pioneer in the aerospace industry, and Aubert & Duval creates and develops advanced metallurgical solutions for projects in demanding industries, such as nuclear, medical, energy, defense, and aeronautics.

The project’s first phase has global funding in the amount of €4.2 million. 50% of this funding is supported by the French State as part of its “Investing in the Future” program (Programme Investissement d’Avenir, or PIA), while the other half is funded by industrial partners of the initiative.

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[Images provided by Sciaky, Inc.]

Polish Company CD3D Opens Largest 3D Bioprinting Cluster in Europe

Centrum Druku 3D, or CD3D, is the largest online website devoted to 3D printing technology in Poland. Launched in 2013 with an online portal, the company’s operations are based on two important pillars: providing knowledge in the 3D printing field, and scientific-research and R&D activities in the medical and pharmaceutical sciences. In 2014, CD3D held Poland’s first 3D printing awards, and this week launched a new medical project – the largest 3D bioprinting center in Europe.

The Open 3D Bioprinting Cluster launched in Lodz at the Bionanopark, which is one of the country’s largest laboratory complexes and works on multiple science and research projects in the medicine and biotechnology fields, including computational chemistry, 3D printing, biochemistry, and medical implants. CD3D, under the CD3D Medical brand, is the creator of the cluster, and will be operating it together with the Laboratory of Molecular and Nanostructured Biophysics at the complex, which also includes an incubator and conference center. In addition to bioprinting, CD3D Medical also offers SLA, FDM, and DMP 3D printing technologies.

21 3D bioprinters, created by CD3D and called SKAFFOSYS for ‘scaffold systems’, make up the cluster, and according to Pawel Slusarczyk, a Project Director at CD3D, they are the first Polish bioprinters.

The system uses a 5 ml syringe as a printhead, and performs extrusion mechanically, as semi-liquid, gel, and hydrogel materials are applied to a laboratory pan that’s been affixed to a working table. The SKAFFOSYS Lite 3D bioprinter features a 170 x 125 x 80 mm build area, with a process accuracy of 0.2 mm, and can also complete bioplotting. As more challenges are created over time by bioprinting projects, CD3D will expand the SKAFFOSYS Lite by adding new functionalities and modules.

Due to the teamwork between the Bionanopark and CD3D Medical, scientists are able to use additive bioprinting to complete comprehensive research and development projects in the biomedical engineering field. Under the close supervision of CD3D specialists and scientists from the Laboratory of Molecular and Nanostructured Biophysics, laboratories at the Bionanopark can now successfully complete, according to the website, “biochemical, biological and molecular research at virtually any stage of the creation of three-dimensional structures.”

The reason the 3D Bioprinting Cluster is so important is due to its open nature. We use 3D bioprinted structures for a myriad of purposes, from growing biological material on printed scaffolds and creating composite materials to researching alternative food sources and creating, studying, and testing out new types of biocompatible materials. So the fact that this large, new cluster for 3D bioprinting is open means that other external entities can use its important resources to complete tasks such as commissioning a comprehensive scientific and research service.

The partners and customers of the new Open 3D Bioprinting Cluster in Poland can now rest assured that the comprehensive service will make it possible to outsource scientific research projects to all of the laboratories in the Bionanopark.

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[Images: CD3D]

SOLIDWORKSWORLD 2019: Global R&D Team Discusses New and Improved Features in SOLIDWORKS

Earlier this week, I arrived back home in chilly Ohio after spending a couple of days in Dallas, Texas. But I wasn’t just visiting the Lone Star State to enjoy the warmer temperatures – I was there to attend one of the biggest events in 3D software, SOLIDWORKS World 2019, which was held in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

This was my first time at the event, which was in Los Angeles the last couple of years, and I’d heard a lot of good things about it, so I was excited.

While I missed the first full day of SWW 19, I was off to the races on Tuesday morning. Three different General Sessions were offered during the same time, and I decided to skip ‘New Horizons’ and ‘Design to Profit’ in favor of ‘R&D Futures,’ which promised attendees a preview of “the cutting-edge technologies taking form at Dassault Systèmes/SOLIDWORKS R&D Labs.”

Manish Kumar, Vice President of R&D for SOLIDWORKS, said that a single global R&D team binds together all of Dassault’s 12 brands, and the 6,700 members of this team, who are spread out across 21 nations, are encouraged to work on their dream projects. Kumar said that design is the starting point at Dassault, but posed two questions – is design still the way we learned it? What is its future?

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform by Dassault Systèmes now includes a portfolio of applications in its new 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS that will put user experience and simplicity at the core. Kumar likened the platform to a story with three chapters: industry renaissance, knowledge and know-how, and the workforce of the future. He explained that these interconnected chapters “are the themes that drive us.”

Kumar shared a personal story about his father, who once nearly missed a flight because, “like any dad, he refuses to seek any additional help,” such as smartphone airline apps that make traveling more efficient by providing helpful things like notifications of gate changes.

“How many of you face the same problem in your day to day life?” Kumar asked. “When you start your design, when you are extremely busy trying to finalize your design, how many times has it happened where someone who is working on the other design – which your design depends on – changed that design and they forgot to tell you? So you’re working off data which is already out of date.

“How are you gathering information? How are you sharing information, and how are you keeping everything up to date? Is it still like a printed boarding pass, which gets outdated right after it was printed, or is it like an airline app which is connected all the time to a single source of truth?”

Having been notified of more than one gate change this week through my airline app, this analogy really speaks to me…and it’s definitely applicable to additive manufacturing.

“We are in a world where technology enables people from all walks of life to share their knowledge and know-how like never before,” Kumar stated.

“What is your expertise? You are creators, you are designers, you are manufacturers, you are dreamers. If you have to share your expertise with the world, how would you share it?

“Our 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a platform for knowledge and know-how. This quest is also the core of our DNA. We at Dassault Systèmes R&D understand that the world is changing and the future is right now.”

Kumar reminded everyone that the current generation is working with technology in ways we never thought possible. While I was learning how to use Microsoft PowerPoint in eighth grade, students today are making actual robots…and using 3D printing to do it. A few years ago, I was sitting in a local yogurt shop that had an old typewriter on the counter, which patrons were encouraged to use for fun. A man brought his young daughter up to see it, and after running her finger over the keys, she said, “Daddy, where’s the search button?”

These personal anecdotes popped in my head during Kumar’s talk, both of which prove his point: kids today know that everything is connected.

“Today our kids are growing up in an environment where the global market is accessible to them,” Kumar said. “Our future generation is growing up in an entirely different world…connected to a global world of intelligent machines and computing power.

“So as they become our next generation workforce, we need to be ready for their needs. At Dassault Systèmes R&D, we take all these factors into consideration.”

Kumar then invited six members of the global R&D team onstage to show the audience what the team is working on, and SOLIDWORKS employee Aaron Kelly joined him first.

“24 years ago when I started at the SOLIDWORKS brand, we had the mission to put the power of 3D at every engineer’s desktop,” Kelly said. “We’ve been working on that passionately over that time, but there was one other thing. There was this unwritten promise, and that promise was that we would work together to make products…to build this ecosystem of products that were valuable and got you to get your job done faster and better.

“3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS, to me, is kind of a culmination of that promise.

“I know you’ll work with us together, and I know we’ll continue to make great products, because 3D is not enough – you’ve told us that. 24 years ago, 3D was new, it was exciting, and many of you have adopted it, and you’ve come back to us and said ‘We need more. We need to take our business to the next level, we need more tools.’ And when I think of 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS…I think of that taking us down a path to smashing down the walls of limitations and gently opening the doors to infinite possibilities.”

Kelly then introduced the other experts from the SOLIDWORKS R&D team, which, according to John Sweeney, just released several hundred new features in SOLIDWORKS 2019, and is currently working to do the same with SOLIDWORKS 2020.

Sweeney discussed some of the team’s multi-year initiatives, such as Sketch Enhancements, and 3D MarkUp, which can now be completed with a mouse. Mesh Modeling now allows for the addition of textures by grabbing a bitmap, dragging it to the correct place, and actually changing the surface of the mesh right then and there. This means it comes right off the 3D printer with that texture.

He also mentioned some big performance initiatives from last year that are continuing into next year, like a telescope model with huge assemblies that can be opened, and edited, in LDR, or Large Design Review, mode. Sweeney also discussed the new Detailing Mode, which gives users access to all project sheets and the ability to complete edits, like deleting dimensions.

Hubert Masson, who works with the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace, talked about how the company helps customers with collaboration, and mentioned two specific applications: 3D Drive, which has to do with file storage and sharing on the cloud, and social media collaboration on the 3D XPoint platform through 3D Swym.

Users can upload files to the cloud with a simple drag and drop from their web browser to 3D Drive.

“In a few seconds, all those files become available and accessible from anywhere – from the web browser as well as right from within SOLIDWORKS,” Masson explained.

You can also drag and drop files in order to add more components to a model, and send the files to other users, who can then work on them from their own devices and send suggestions back and forth, which will remain forever in the cloud as searchable comments. In 3D Swym, groups of people can create and publish social contact, react to it, and share existing content. The application was recently enhanced in order to increase user engagement, so people can now have private conversations on 3D Swym.

[Image: Dassault Systèmes]

Both 3D Drive and 3D Swym are available through iPhone apps, and 3D Drive also offers an augmented reality feature that allows users to get an even closer look at models from their phones. Additionally, you can even make video calls, which Masson demonstrated by calling a colleague in the front row.

Sweeney took center stage again to discuss design applications, and mentioned the recently announced xShape, which allows freeform design on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Then Kenneth Hallberg talked about Dassault’s ENOVIA PLM software, which works to keep things more product-based.

“We’re kind of taking a giant leap with 3DEXPERIENCE PLM Collaboration Services, and next to our 3D Drive solution, which is file-centric, we are delivering an all-embracing environment that supports everything from innovation processes to design and engineering work that spans over and across enterprises,” Hallberg explained.

“3DEXPERIENCE PLM Collaboration Services is connecting not only the SOLIDWORKS desktop users but all of the product stakeholders in a company, no matter what function you have or applications that you’re using.

“In addition to this, we are leveraging the ENOVIA portfolio and we’re providing really strong applications and capabilities for planning work…development work…and finally release activities, like engineering and comprehensive change management.”

Delphine Genouvrier has helped SOLIDWORKS create many simulation products over the years and is currently working with its SIMULIA team.

[Image: Dassault Systèmes]

“Lots of great things are coming for the SOLIDWORKS community, with a strong focus on power, robustness, and intuitiveness, ” she said.

To help customers increase efficiency and innovation, Genouvrier noted that it was imperative to assess product performance early on, with the highest possible fidelity. She explained that now through SIMULIA, users can test out projects with any physics through SOLIDWORKS, which is “completely new” for the community and can be accessed in the cloud through a “unique engineering workflow.” The 3DEXPERIENCE platform makes it easy to share simulation results during design, which can then be reviewed on any device anywhere.

Finally, Trever Diehl introduced the room to DELMIAWORKS, which is the rebranded version of IQMS – a recent acquisition of Dassault’s. Diehl described it as the bridge between designing and executing a product, as it provides all sorts of helpful features:

  • part quoting
  • process monitoring
  • scheduling, order processing, & shipping
  • shop floor integration
  • accounting suite

This helps ensure that your product is actually profitable.

“Think about making cookies,” Diehl said. “You get the dough together, you batch it out onto a baking sheet, you put it in the oven, you take out a batch of cookies.”

The R&D team members also talked about the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace, which makes it easy to collaborate between partner companies to “get your parts made in record time.”

Before the session ended, we got a surprise – the next morning, on the last day of SWW 19 and before the last General Session, the entertaining (and only slightly corny) SOLIDWORKS News Network team, or SNN, would perform a “What’s New” skit to provide attendees with a sneak peak at some of the latest features and platform updates “that even Wikileaks wouldn’t report” coming in SOLIDWORKS 2020.

After a day of interviews and a press conference, both of which I will talk about in more detail later, I spent the evening attending the SWW 19 special event, which was held nearby at a giant entertainment venue called Gilley’s and included everything from horseshoes, trivia, and a photo booth to hearty snacks and drinks, lots of live music and opportunities to meet new people, and armadillo racing…yes, you read that correctly.

The special session the next morning began with Dassault’s Mark Schneider announcing the winners of the Lenovo-sponsored Model Mania Challenge, which pitted users against users and resellers against resellers to see who could model and analyze a part most efficiently, accurately, and quickly.

Then, the six members of the SNN team – Schneider, Mark Barrow, Megan Duane, Michael Steeves, Jeremy Regnerus, and Yan Killy – went into full Anchorman mode, complete with plenty of groan-worthy jokes, to bring the room the latest SOLIDWORKS 2020 updates.

For instance, weatherman Schneider said that a massive approaching deadline could “lead to elevated stress levels” across the entire design ecosystem, and mentioned enhanced features for the Sketch Relations application, which allows users to control curves and will soon be able to make models even smoother with the new G3 Curvature constraint.

Another new assembly function coming is Envelope Publisher, as SW 2020 will include the ability to fill in mass properties for wires and cables; thanks to another new feature, the mass can also be calculated automatically. The team’s sportscaster brought up March Feature Madness, and explained some of the features of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform that would make up his top 10 list, including new tools that he was able to use to fix the remote he broke out of excitement over the Patriots’ recent Superbowl win.

One example is the ability to drag freeform primitive surfaces in order to easily customize geometry onscreen. In addition, users can select the Cage manipulator to achieve an alternate perspective for making detailed changes to freeform surfaces, and selection filters offer multiple ways to work with geometry. xDesign is a new browser tool that can use a merge function to knit freeform shapes into solid bodies, Flexible Parts can make any component dynamic, and SW 2020 will also allow you to run simulations and share design data more easily with other team members.

Killy, the team’s undercover reporter, tracked down a major developer to determine their favorite new features. Detailing Mode, which Sweeney mentioned the day before during R&D Futures, was brought up – it lets users quickly open drawings, no matter the complexity or size, without losing any detail, and also allows for annotation. While SW 2019 lets users add markups to past assemblies, SW 2020 takes it a step further with the new Markup view, which lets you choose a writing utensil and add markups directly to the screen of your device, then save, send, and post as a PDF.

Stay tuned for more news from SOLIDWORKS World 2019 – in the meantime, enjoy some of the pictures I took at the event:

Discuss this news and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.

[Images: Sarah Saunders, unless otherwise noted]

GE Additive Signs MoU with University of Sydney to Drive Metal 3D Printing Adoption in Australia

This week, GE Additive announced that it has signed a major Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Sydney, which includes a master research agreement. Per the agreement, GE Additive will support the university’s vision to create the first metal 3D printing ecosystem in Australia, and will invest a maximum of $1 million in research and development efforts annually over the next ten years to help speed up 3D printing adoption in the region and set up the necessary people and technology to drive education, commercial and economic opportunity, skills and job development, and research.

This agreement with the university is just the latest in a string of recent partnerships that GE Additive has announced in the last several months.

Debbra Rogers, Chief Commercial Officer, GE Additive, said, “We were immediately impressed by the University of Sydney’s vision for additive manufacturing – not just at an academic level, but also because they understand the positive impact this technology can have on Australia’s economy and its workforce in the very near future.

“Additive requires a completely different way of engineering and thinking. Educating and training current workforces with new skills and also getting more engineers into additive takes time and programs need to be developed over a number of years. The University of Sydney recognises this and that in order to build the right mindset, the right skills, the right materials we need to encourage close collaboration between companies, academia and governments.”

The university is actively working to provide intellectual leadership in 3D printing over the next ten years, and this new MoU reinforces its commitment to build a 1,000 square meter Additive Manufacturing and Advanced Materials Processing research facility, which will end up acting as a “focal point,” as GE Additive calls it, for the partnership.

Professor Simon Ringer, the Director of Core Research Facilities at the University of Sydney, said, “This addition to the University’s core research facilities will allow our researchers and research partners to conduct trail-blazing fundamental research, and will directly benefit Australian industry, particularly our aerospace, transport, biomedical and defence sectors.

“We are creating an environment for our researchers to explore the limits of what materials can do, how they are structured, and how to make them. Establishing a world-class capability in Darlington/ Camperdown is a key first step for our grand plans for Advanced Manufacturing in Paramatta/Westmead.”

Additionally, the university will also make an investment in current, and future, GE Additive technologies under the terms of the MoU.

The university’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence said, “This MoU builds on the University’s world-class expertise in the disciplines essential to advanced manufacturing such as materials engineering and integrated digital systems.

“By partnering with GE Additive, an industry leader in additive manufacturing, we can set the agenda for this disruptive technology and ensure that Australia is primed to both participate in, and contribute to, this exciting next phase of the industrial revolution. The collaboration will drive the R&D needed to learn how this disruption to manufacturing can be harnessed for economic benefit. We are especially delighted that this initiative aligns with our plan to establish a new campus at Parramatta/ Westmead, where advanced manufacturing will be a key focus.”

GE Additive and the University of Sydney will also cooperate on developing new applications, as well as potentially new 3D printing industries, to drive positive economic and commercial impact. GE Additive’s funding will help expand upon the university’s current materials science and advanced manufacturing research infrastructure and capabilities by helping to increase new R&D efforts into analytics, material and powder technologies, and sensing. Both will also enjoy bilateral access to the other’s networks of academic, government, and industry stakeholders.

L-R: Debbra Rogers, chief commercial officer, GE Additive; Professor Laurent Rivory, Pro-Vice-
Chancellor (Research), University of Sydney; Christine Furstoss, chief technology officer, GE Additive; and Dr. Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of University of Sydney

The aforementioned master research agreement, which was agreed to within the terms of the MoU, will cover three separate areas:

  • Image processing and data analytics
  • Materials and powder technologies, such as alloy design and modification, post-processing optimization, and materials gaps in repairs
  • Sensing technologies and advanced materials characterization

This last area will build on the university’s existing experience with electron microscopy and the electron beam melting (EBM) technology developed by GE Additive company Arcam.

Discuss this news and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

[Images provided by GE Additive]

3D Printing News Briefs: December 4, 2018

We’re sharing stories about events, business, and metal 3D printing in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. To start, the second annual Iran 3DShow is coming up, along with IQPC’s fifth Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace & Space event in London. Moving on to business, Carbon has an announcement about a new executive, Sigma Labs has joined an R&D collaboration with Fraunhofer IAPT, and Xometry is now offering instant quotes on parts 3D printed with HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology. Finally, Markforged is presenting a closer look at the process behind the Metal X.

Second Annual Iran 3DShow

Last year, the country of Iran hosted its first 3D printing trade show, originally called the Additive Manufacturing Symposium before the name was changed to Iran 3D Show. Now, the country is gearing up for the second annual event, which will be held at the Book Garden in Tehran from December 5-7. The Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology of Iran is holding the event, with the Iran Institute of Additive Manufacturing acting as the execution team and organizer. There will be a 3D printing competition for teachers and students, and the trade show itself is made up of three additional sub-events, called “The 2nd Exhibition of 3D Printing Industry.”

“This event is not only good for the ones who are trying to observe the market here, but also suits the international companies to join and involve,” said Seyyed Amir Ghaffari, the Managing Director of Iran 3D Show.

Fifth Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace & Space

Aligned to support the UK’s national AM strategy, the fifth Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace and Space conference by IQPC will be held in London from February 26-28, 2019; last year the forum was hosted in Munich. The conference helps attendees take on the roadblocks to adopting 3D printing and other industrial digitalization practices. The event provides content that helps 3D printing users exploit economic returns and performance gains provided by the technology. In addition, Airbus will be hosting a visit to its nearby Space Systems facility during the conference.

“Now entering its 5th year,  the conference has fast established itself as the premium forum for AM users, R&D experts and industry partners within the aerospace and space industry,” Olivia Timmins, Senior Marketing Manager for IQPC, told 3DPrint.com. “This year is no different with expert speaker line up from Thales, MTC, ESA, Airbus, Safran and more.”

If you register by Saturday, December 15th, you can even save up to £300 of the total cost.

Carbon Announces New Company Executive

Dara Treseder

Silicon Valley-based Carbon has announced a new executive, as Dara Treseder joins the company as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). The former CMO for GE Business Innovations and GE Ventures, Treseder is charged with finding new ways to showcase the company’s story at scale; with her excellent record, this should not be too challenging. This year, Treseder, who is also the co-founder of consulting firm NeuBridges, was featured by Forbes as a CMO Next, and in 2017, she was recognized on AdAge as one of the Women to Watch and by Inc. as one of the 30 Inspirational Women to Watch in Tech. Additionally, she is a sought-after speaker and writer on many subjects, including marketing, growth, innovation, and creating more diverse workplaces.

“I am deeply inspired by Carbon’s vision and values and excited to be part of a trailblazing team that is redefining digital manufacturing and creating the industry’s future. As chief marketing officer, I am looking forward to advancing Carbon’s brand, strengthening our customer connections, and rapidly scaling our global growth,” Treseder said.

Treseder is coming on board as Carbon works to strengthen its leadership team, and will support the growing company’s mission to keep driving the manufacturing industry’s digital transformation.

Sigma Labs Partners with Fraunhofer IAPT

John Rice and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Claus Emmelmann

This week, the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Additive Manufacturing Technologies (IAPT) and Sigma Labs, Inc., which provides quality assurance software under the PrintRite3D brand, announced a new collaborative research and development agreement that will focus on the industrialization of additive manufacturing. At last month’s formnext 2018 in Germany, John Rice, the CEO of Sigma Labs, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Claus Emmelmann, the Managing Director of Fraunhofer IAPT, signed the joint agreement. As part of the agreement between the two, Sigma Labs will be upgrading Fraunhofer IAPT’s current PrintRite3D system.

“The aim of this collaboration is to test and validate the use of the PrintRite3D system to identify and quantify machine and process inconsistencies as well as flag defect thermal signatures during the laser melting process, and correlate them to CT scan results. Ultimately, this will allow users to reduce scrap, increase productivity and reduce post-process inspection costs,” said Rice.

Xometry Offering Instant Quotes on Multi Jet Fusion Parts

On-demand manufacturing platform Xometry has only been in business for five years, but it is releasing news at a fast clip. This summer, the company also introduced a new version of its Instant Quoting Engine, which included several new and enhanced features to offer customers instant quotes for CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, urethane casting, and several 3D printing processes, including SLS, FDM, PolyJet, and DMLS.

Now, Xometry has announced that it will be offering instant quotes on custom parts made with HP’s fast Multi Jet Fusion technology. As always, simply drag and drop your 3D models into the Instant Quoting Engine, select your process and materials (if you so choose), and Xometry will do the rest, analyzing the model’s geometry and providing an instant price, design feedback, and delivery date.

Markforged Metal X 3D Printer Process

Last winter at CES 2017, Markforged introduced its Metal X, which is the company’s first 3D printer to leverage its Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing, or ADAM, metal 3D printing technology. This spring, Markforged began shipping the Metal X to customers and resellers, and announced early last month that it had shipped over 100 machines, with an expectation of doubling that number by the end of 2018.

As we get closer to the end of the year, and Markforged works to achieve this goal, the company is giving the world a closer look at the innovative process behind its Metal X, with the publication of a time-lapse video on YouTube that shows all seven steps of the process, starting with the actual 3D printing of a part, removing and washing it, and ending with part manipulation, in less than two minutes. Take a look at the video below to see it for yourself:

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3D Printing News Briefs: October 13, 2018

We’ve got business and education news galore in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs. First, Voodoo Manufacturing has launched its new Shopify app, and BeAM Machines is partnering with Empa, while Sculpteo is working with a property developer to provide 3D printed apartment models. VSHAPER has signed an agreement with educational publisher Grupa MAC, and the United Arab Emirates is introducing 3D printing into over 200 of its primary schools. The US Navy will be testing the first 3D printed ship component, and Lufthansa Technik has established a new Additive Manufacturing Center. Finally, maker Thomas Sanladerer shared on YouTube about his recent visit to the Prusa headquarters.

Voodoo Manufacturing Launches Shopify App

This spring, high-volume 3D printing factory Voodoo Manufacturing began its full-stack manufacturing and fulfillment service for 3D printing entrepreneurs, which allows users to outsource work like quality control and assembly for their products through its easy shopfront integrations with online marketplaces like Shopify. Now, the company has launched its own Shopify app, which will allow online sellers to create and customize 3D printed products and sell them on their own Shopify stores. Once the app is installed, users can make their first product in less than 5 minutes, which is then automatically added to their store, ready for purchase.

“We wanted to make it ridiculously easy for ecommerce stores to diversify their product offering with 3D printed products. By applying 3D printing to the print-on-demand business model, we are opening up an infinite range of product categories for Shopify merchants,” said Max Friefeld, the Founder and CEO of Voodoo Manufacturing. “The Voodoo app provides a new source of high quality, customizable, on-demand products, that don’t require any 3D design experience.”

Before the official launch this week, Voodoo piloted the service with a group of beta users, including It’s The Island Life by graphic designer and Guam native Lucy Hutcheson. She is already successfully selling six different products made with the help of the new Voodoo app.

BeAM Machines Partnering with Empa

BeAM, recently acquired by AddUp, has signed a research and development agreement with Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. Together, the two will develop novel applications for BeAM’s powder-based Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technology, which uses focused thermal energy to fuse materials by melting them while they’re deposited. This makes parts manufacturing much faster. The partnership has come on the heels of Empa’s acquisition of a BeAM DED 3D printer, which is located at its Laboratory for Advanced Materials Processing in Thun and is used to integrate and test out innovative components.

Patrik Hoffmann, who leads the laboratory, said, “We are very excited to collaborate with BeAM’s engineers to push the boundaries of this innovative additive manufacturing technology and to develop a whole new range of applications for Swiss industries and beyond.”

Sculpteo 3D Printing Apartment Models

Together with Sculpteo, French property developer Valoptim is working to improve customer experience by providing clients with miniaturized 3D printed models of their future apartments when they sign their contracts, so they can better visualize and prepare for moving into their new home. These small, exact replicas give new owners an immersive experience, which is a definite value add. In addition, production of the 3D printed models is local, and can be done fast.

“Sculpteo uses the best machines and 3D printing processes on the market today. At first, we had the ambition to test the feasibility of 3D printing in the real estate sector. This innovative process has proven to be extremely interesting: the realistic rendering, with high-end finishes, allowed our clients to discover a miniaturized version of their future apartment enabling them to realistically imagine themselves living in it,” said Edouard Pellerin, CEO of Valoptim. “This innovation contributes to our business dynamic: constantly improving the customer experience.”

VSHAPER and Grupa Mac Sign Agreement

Polish 3D printer manufacturer Verashape has signed an agreement with Grupa MAC, the country’s top educational publisher, in front of Poland’s education curators at the recent Future of Education Congress. Per the agreement, Grupa MAC will use a network of educational consultants to distribute the VSHAPER GO 3D printers to kindergartens and other schools in the country. Grupa MAC recognizes that 3D printers are a good way to quickly present the effects of students’ learning, and the VSHAPER GO is the perfect choice, as it is easy to use and comes with an intuitive interface of SOFTSHAPER software.

“Classes with students are a perfect environment for the use of 3D Printing. Creating a pyramid model for history lessons, the structure of a flower or a human body for biology lessons are just a few examples, and their list is limited only by the imagination of students and teachers,” said Patryk Tomczyk, a member of the Grupa MAC Management Board. “We are happy that thanks to our cooperation with VERASHAPE, 3D Printers have a chance to reach schools through our network of educational consultants.”

3D Printing to be Introduced in UAE Primary Schools

Speaking of 3D printing in education, the Ministry of Education (MoE) for the UAE has announced that in early 2019, a country-wide introduction of 3D printing into over 200 primary schools will commence. As part of this new technology roll out, Dubai education consultancy company Ibtikar is partnering with Makers Empire, an Australian education technology company, to deliver a program that implements 3D printing and design. Makers Empire will supply 3D software, curriculum, teacher resources, training, and support to Ibtikar, which will in turn train MoE teachers to deliver the program.

“Through this rollout of 3D technology, our students will learn to reframe needs as actionable statements and to create solutions to real-world problems,” said HE Eng. Abdul Rahman of the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education. “In doing so, our students will develop an important growth mindset, the skills they need to make their world better and the essential ability to persist when encountering setbacks.”

US Navy Approves Test of First 3D Printed Shipboard Part

USS Harry S. Truman

The US military has long explored the use of 3D printing to lower costs and increase the availability of spare parts. Huntington Ingalls Industries, the largest military shipbuilder in the US, has also been piloting new technologies, like 3D printing, as part of its digital transformation. In collaboration with the US Navy, the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division has worked to speed the adoption of 3D printed metal components for nuclear-powered warships. This has led to an exciting announcement by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA): a metal drain strainer orifice (DSO) prototype has officially been approved as the first 3D printed metal part to be installed on a US Navy ship. The assembly is a component for the steam system, which allows for drainage and removal of water from a steam line while in use. The 3D printed DSO prototype will be installed on the USS Harry S. Truman in 2019 for evaluation and tests. After one year, the assembly will be removed for inspection and analysis.

“This install marks a significant advancement in the Navy’s ability to make parts on demand and combine NAVSEA’s strategic goal of on-time delivery of ships and submarines while maintaining a culture of affordability. By targeting CVN 75 [USS Harry S. Truman], this allows us to get test results faster, so-if successful-we can identify additional uses of additive manufacturing for the fleet,” said Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, NAVSEA Chief Engineer and Deputy Commander for Ship Design, Integration, and Naval Engineering.

Lufthansa Technik Opens New Additive Manufacturing Center

Lufthansa Technik, a leading provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) for civil aircraft, has established a new Additive Manufacturing Center. The goal of the new AM Center is to bundle and expand the company’s experience and competence with the technology, which can be used to make individual parts more quickly and with more design freedom. As the world of aircraft is always aware of weight, making more lightweight parts is an excellent benefit of 3D printing.

“The new AM Center will serve as a collaborative hub where the experience and skills that Lufthansa Technik has gained in additive manufacturing can be bundled and further expanded,” said Dr. Aenne Koester, the head of the new AM Center. “The aim is to increase the degree of maturity of the technologies and to develop products that are suitable for production.”

Tom’s 3D Visits Prusa Headquarters 

Maker Thomas Sanladerer, who runs his own YouTube channel, recently had the chance to tour the Prusa Research headquarters in Prague. Not only did he get the opportunity to see how the company makes its popular MK3 and and MK2.5, but Sanladerer was also able to see early models of the company’s recently announced SL1 resin 3D printer, as well as the Prusament filament production line.

“I always find factory tours like this super interesting because it’s the only chance you really get of seeing behind the scenes of what might really just be a website, or you know, a marketing video or whatever,” Sanladerer said in his video.

Sanladerer took the tour of the Prusa factory right after Maker Faire Prague, which the company itself organized and sponsored. To see behind the scenes of Prusa for yourself, check out the rest of the video below:

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3D Printing News Briefs: August 24, 2018

We’re sharing some business news in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, followed by some interesting research and a cool 3D printed statue. Meld was listed as a finalist in the R&D 100 Awards, and Renishaw has introduced 3D printed versions to its styli range, while there’s an ongoing Digital Construction Grant competition happening in the UK. A researcher from Seoul Tech published a paper about in situ hydrogel in the field of click chemistry, while researchers in Canada focused on the Al10SiMg alloy for their study. Finally, an Arcam technician tested the Q20plus EBM 3D printer by making a unique titanium statue of Thomas Edison.

Meld is R&D 100 Awards Finalist

The global R&D 100 Awards have gone on for 56 years, highlighting the top 100 innovations each year in categories including Process/Prototyping, IT/Electrical, Mechanical Devices/Materials, Analytical/Test, and Software/Services, in addition to Special Recognition Awards for things like Green Tech and Market Disruptor Products. This year, over 50 judges from various industries selected finalists for the awards, one of which is MELD Manufacturing, an already award-winning company with a unique, patented no-melt process for altering, coating, joining, repairing, and 3D printing metal.

“Our mission with MELD is to revolutionize manufacturing and enable the design and manufacture of products not previously possible. MELD is a whole new category of additive manufacturing,” said MELD Manufacturing Corporation CEO Nanci Hardwick. “For example, we’re able to work with unweldable materials, operate our equipment in open-atmosphere, produce much larger parts that other additive processes, and avoid the many issues associated with melt-based technologies.”

The winners will be announced during a ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando on November 16th.

Renishaw Introduces 3D Printed Styli

This month, Renishaw introduced a 3D printed stylus version to its already wide range of available styli. The company uses its metal powder bed fusion technology to provide customers with complex, turnkey styli solutions in-house, with the ability to access part features that other styli can’t reach. 3D printing helps to decrease the lead time for custom styli, and can manufacture strong but lightweight titanium styli with complex structures and shapes. Female titanium threads (M2/M3/M4/M5) can be added to fit any additional stylus from Renishaw’s range, and adding a curved 3D printed stylus to its REVO 5-axis inspection system provides flexibility when accessing a component’s critical features. Components with larger features need a larger stylus tip, which Renishaw can now provide in a 3D printed version.

“For precision metrology, there is no substitute for touching the critical features of a component to gather precise surface data,” Renishaw wrote. “Complex parts often demand custom styli to inspect difficult-to-access features. AM styli can access features of parts that other styli cannot reach, providing a flexible, high-performance solution to complex inspection challenges.”

Digital Construction Grant Competition

Recently, a competition opened up in the UK for organizations in need of funding to help increase productivity, performance, and quality in the construction sector. As part of UK Research and Innovation, the organization Innovate UK – a fan of 3D printing – will invest up to £12.5 million on innovative projects meant to help improve and transform construction in the UK. Projects must be led by a for-profit business in the UK, begin this December and end up December of 2020, and address the objectives of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund on Transforming Construction. The competition is looking specifically for projects that can improve the construction lifecycle’s three main stages:

  • Designing and managing buildings through digitally-enabled performance management
  • Constructing quality buildings using a manufacturing approach
  • Powering buildings with active energy components and improving build quality

Projects that demonstrate scalable solutions and cross-sector collaboration will be prioritized, and results should lead to a more streamlined process that decreases delays, saves on costs, and improves outputs, productivity, and collaborations. The competition closes at noon on Wednesday, September 19. You can find more information here.

Click Bioprinting Research

Researcher Janarthanan Gopinathan with the Seoul University of Science Technology (Seoul Tech) published a study about click chemistry, which can be used to create multifunctional hydrogel biomaterials for bioprinting ink and tissue engineering applications. These materials can form 3D printable hydrogels that are able to retain live cells, even under a swollen state, without losing their mechanical integrity. In the paper, titled “Click Chemistry-Based Injectable Hydrogels and Bioprinting Inks for Tissue Engineering Applications,” Gopinathan says that regenerative medicine and tissue engineering applications need biomaterials that can be quickly and easily reproduced, are able to generate complex 3D structures that mimic native tissue, and be biodegradable and biocompatible.

“In this review, we present the recent developments of in situ hydrogel in the field of click chemistry reported for the tissue engineering and 3D bioinks applications, by mainly covering the diverse types of click chemistry methods such as Diels–Alder reaction, strain-promoted azide-alkyne cycloaddition reactions, thiol-ene reactions, oxime reactions and other interrelated reactions, excluding enzyme-based reactions,” the paper states.

“Interestingly, the emergence of click chemistry reactions in bioink synthesis for 3D bioprinting have shown the massive potential of these reaction methods in creating 3D tissue constructs. However, the limitations and challenges involved in the click chemistry reactions should be analyzed and bettered to be applied to tissue engineering and 3D bioinks. The future scope of these materials is promising, including their applications in in situ 3D bioprinting for tissue or organ regeneration.”

Analysis of Solidification Patterns and Microstructural Developments for Al10SiMg Alloy

a) Secondary SEM surface shot of Al10SiMg powder starting stock, (b) optical micrograph and (c) high-magnification secondary SEM image of the cross-sectional view of the internal microstructure with the corresponding inset shown in (ci); (d) the printed sample and schematic representation of scanning strategy; The bi-directional scan vectors in Layer n+1 are rotated by 67° counter clockwise with respect to those at Layer n.

A group of researchers from Queen’s University and McGill University, both in Canada, explain the complex solidification pattern that occurs during laser powder bed fusion 3D printing of the Al10SiMg alloy in a new paper, titled “Solidification pattern, microstructure and texture development in Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF) of Al10SiMg alloy.”

The paper also characterizes the evolution of the α-Al cellular network, grain structure and texture development, and brought to light many interesting facts, including that the grains’ orientation will align with that of the α-Al cells.

The abstract reads, “A comprehensive analysis of solidification patterns and microstructural development is presented for an Al10SiMg sample produced by Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF). Utilizing a novel scanning strategy that involves counter-clockwise rotation of the scan vector by 67° upon completion of each layer, a relatively randomized cusp-like pattern of protruding/overlapping scan tracks has been produced along the build direction. We show that such a distribution of scan tracks, as well as enhancing densification during LPBF, reduces the overall crystallographic texture in the sample, as opposed to those normally achieved by commonly-used bidirectional or island-based scanning regimes with 90° rotation. It is shown that, under directional solidification conditions present in LPBF, the grain structure is strictly columnar throughout the sample and that the grains’ orientation aligns well with that of the α-Al cells. The size evolution of cells and grains within the melt pools, however, is shown to follow opposite patterns. The cells’/grains’ size distribution and texture in the sample are explained via use of analytical models of cellular solidification as well as the overall heat flow direction and local solidification conditions in relation to the LPBF processing conditions. Such a knowledge of the mechanisms upon which microstructural features evolve throughout a complex solidification process is critical for process optimization and control of mechanical properties in LPBF.”

Co-authors include Hong Qin, Vahid Fallah, Qingshan Dong, Mathieu Brochu, Mark R. Daymond, and Mark Gallerneault.

3D Printed Titanium Thomas Edison Statue

Thomas Edison statue, stacked and time lapse build

Oskar Zielinski, a research and development technician at Arcam EBM, a GE Additive company, is responsible for maintaining, repairing, and modifying the company’s electron beam melting (EBM) 3D printers. Zielinski decided that he wanted to test out the Arcam EBM Q20plus 3D printer, but not with just any old benchmark test. Instead, he decided to create and 3D print a titanium (Ti64) statue of Thomas Edison, the founder of GE. He created 25 pieces and different free-floating net structures inside each of the layers, in order to test out the 3D printer’s capabilities. All 4,300 of the statue’s 90-micron layers were 3D printed in one build over a total of 90 hours, with just minimal support between the slices’ outer skins.

The statue stands 387 mm tall, and its interior net structures show off the kind of complicated filigree work that EBM 3D printing is capable of producing. In addition, Zielinski also captured a time lapse, using an Arcam LayerQam, from inside the 3D printer of the statue being printed.

“I am really happy with the result; this final piece is huge,” Zielinski said. “I keep wondering though what Thomas Edison would have thought if someone would have told him during the 19th century about the technology that exists today.”

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Contour Crafting Will Develop Concrete 3D Printer for Disaster Relief, Thanks to DoD Contract

One of the very first methods of large-scale 3D printing that the world witnessed was the technology of Contour Crafting Corporation, which uses large but lightweight robotic 3D printers to quickly put down layers of building material in order to rapidly create entire buildings onsite in just days.

Last week, we learned that the US Department of Defense (DoD) had recently awarded California-based Contour Crafting a $3 million research and development contract, effective July 25th, 2018, in the large-scale, construction 3D printing domain. Contour Crafting will use this Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) to build a concrete 3D printer for the purposes of Rapid Response Construction – quickly constructing buildings for disaster relief, an application that often makes use of 3D printing.

According to the company’s website, “The outcome of this funded R&D program is expected to be a technology which, among other applications, will effectively respond to disaster relief situations with expedient, safe and sustainable structures and buildings.”

The RIF was awarded to Contour Crafting based on its proposal, titled “Autonomous Construction Equipment and Sensing (ACES).” I assume this ACES is not to be mistaken for the US Army’s other ACES program, but as the location on the Federal Business Opportunities page is listed as CERL in Champaign, Illinois, one can’t be too sure.

Regardless, this contract award to Contour Crafting confirms that the DoD is interested in seeking outside help for its construction 3D printing goals, as opposed to just keeping things in-house…never a bad idea.

Speaking of construction 3D printing goals, Contour Crafting is on a mission to commercialize disruptive construction technologies, and this funding award from the DoD should definitely help the company on its way to achieving it.

In 2015, Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, who developed the company’s Contour Crafting technology at the University of Southern California and is its CEO and founder, predicted during an interview with 3DPrint.com that 3D printed homes would be widespread within five years. While the 3D printed housing sector is certainly hard at work, we are definitely not there yet. However, 3D printed construction technology does seem to be the perfect answer for smaller structures, like an army barracks and emergency housing, so it’s smart to focus on these while continuing to build up the technology until it’s ready.

While I did not learn too much more about the company’s newly awarded DoD contract, perhaps due to a non-disclosure agreement or something similar, Dr. Khoshnevis was kind enough to answer some questions for me in regards to Contour Crafting’s construction 3D printing technology, as well as the company’s plans for the future.

How does Contour Crafting’s technology compare to other construction 3D printing?

Contour Crafting Transformational Impact

“As the attached [sic] chart (published by an independent Dutch firm) shows, Contour Crafting is the pioneering technology in large scale 3D printing. Over the last 23 years we have developed a large set of related technologies in practically all related subfields including large-scale robotics, material delivery systems, and materials with numerous patented inventions in each subfield. We have conducted research in various application domains including building construction, infrastructure construction and planetary construction. In most fields of our activities no other 3D printing group or company is active so I have no basis for comparison in those fields.”

What do you think the future of 3D printing buildings will be like?

“I think construction by 3D printing will gradually gain popularity but we should not expect that this approach will become the dominant way of building construction. Frist, 3D printing can at best only build the building shell. There is much more to a building than just the shell, which encompasses about 1/3 of the building cost. Second, many buildings will continue to be built with stick frame, steel, etc. and 3D printing is not likely to make any of these alternative approaches obsolete.”

What kind of structures are ideal for 3D printing?

Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis

“Given that so far the economic attractiveness of construction by 3D printing is still unproven, the only ideal application remains to be construction of buildings that have exotic features, primarily curved walls, which would be potentially more expensive to build by manual methods. In case of concrete printing, even curvatures are limited to 2.5D features, thus giving an upper hand to manual methods over 3d printing approach.”

What are the next steps for your company?

“CC Corp is currently pursuing both construction and non-construction application domains. The latter has the main advantage of not being subject to regulatory restrictions and the complex and potentially costly process of obtaining approval of regulatory authorities for conformance to building codes, which incidentally is different for different localities because of varying factors such as extent of seismic activities and climatic conditions.

“In the field of construction we are advancing more cautiously as we are exploring potential implementation problems and solutions. We are doing many experimentations in-house and are preparing for some field tests as well.

“We have maintained our interest in the field of planetary construction as our prior accomplishments in the field, which include two NASA international competition Grand Prizes, have been noteworthy. We are developing new technologies for in-situ material usage for construction of a variety of useful infrastructure elements such as landing pads, blast protection walls, shade walls, radiation shielding walls, hangars, and roads.”

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3D Printing News Briefs: July 20, 2018

We’re starting out with some construction news in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, then following that with a little business, a little metal, and a little 3D design. Russian firm AMT-SPETSAVIA has updated two of its construction 3D printers, and the University of New Brunswick has chosen a Concept Laser 3D printer to use for its upcoming research. Mass Portal’s software team went through a reorganization, and attendees learned all about lightweight aluminum material at the recent AMAP forum. Finally, users of browser-based SelfCAD 3D software can access the MyMiniFactory design library…and share their own work there as well.

Spetsavia Completes Updates on Large Construction 3D Printers

Three years ago, Russian firm Spetsavia presented its home construction methods and 3D printers at the 3D Print Expo. Now, the group of machining and 3D printing companies collectively known as AMT-SPECAVIA has updated its range of construction 3D printers (Construction Objects Printing or COP) to introduce two new large-format models. The S-300, with a “working field” of 11.5 x 11 x 5.4 m, is able to print directly on the foundation of buildings up to two stories and 120 square meters, while the S-500 features an 11.5 x 11 x 15 m field and can 3D print buildings up to five, or even six, floors. However, the latter can be increased to a working field of 40 x 11 x 80 m, which Spetsavia says makes it “the largest 3D construction printer in the world.”

“New models of the S series are essentially the next generation of building printers. We’ve always been asked for a solution for multi-storey construction,” said Alexander Maslov, the General Director of AMT-SPETSAVIA. “Now we declare with confidence that such a solution exists! The AMT S300 and S500 printers are high-performance equipment with unprecedented capabilities and competitive price. During the development we’ve taken into account the wishes of the developing companies, at the same time maintaining the inherent reliability of our equipment, ease of management and maintenance.”

Both the S-300 and the S-500 have a direct flow print head for increased productivity, in addition to a new feed station that prepares the concrete mixture. The first shipment of the S-500 is scheduled for this fall, and a team of engineers will accompany the 3D printer to the customer for training.

University of New Brunswick to Use Concept Laser M2 Cusing

L-R: Keith Campbell, Senior Sales Director, GE Additive; Dr. Mohsen Mohammadi, Director of Research and Development for the Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence; Hart Devitt, Director of Industry and Government Services; Duncan McSporran, Director, Programs and Innovation, Office of Research Services, University of New Brunswick

GE Additive has announced that the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Canada, together with commercialization partner Custom Fabricators & Machinists and training partners Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), New Brunswick Community College (NBCC), and the College communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB), has chosen its Concept Laser M2 Cusing metal 3D printer to use in its latest research.

UNB is in charge of the country’s first Marine Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence, which will be the very first in Canada to fabricate certified parts for the marine industry with metal 3D printing. The M2 Cusing will mostly be used by UNB’s Dr. Mohsen Mohammadi, who will be the Director of Research and Development for the new center, and his team for multiple R&D areas, including bast resistance, enhanced corrosion protection, and hybrid 3D printing processes.

Mass Portal Announces Reorganization of Software Team

Latvian 3D printer manufacturer Mass Portal has reorganized, and appointed new leadership for, its software team, which is now an independent company called FabControl. The company will be building an open, next-generation software platform for managing 3D printers and AM workflows, and Mass Portal’s current CEO and co-founder Janis Grinhofs, the founder of FabControl and in charge of developing Mass Portal’s flagship Pharaoh 3D printers, will now serve as the CEO of the new company. Imants Treidis has been named the new CEO of Mass Portal.

“We will continue to serve our existing customers and industrial partners, in the same time striving for excellence in supplying the industry with highest quality machines and tailor built solutions for additive manufacturing needs,” Treidis said.

All About Aluminum at AMAP Forum 

Not too long ago in Aachen, scientific and industry experts gathered at the AMAP Forum (Advanced Metals and Processes) to demonstrate the continuing potential of researching non-ferrous metals, like aluminum, for the purposes of lightweight automotive design. 14 entrepreneurs from industry and five of the RWTH Aachen University institutions formed the AMAP Open Innovation Research cluster at the forum, and discussed topics ranging from new production technologies and materials development to modeling and metallurgic process technology. Some of the specifics included using aluminum hollow castings to create structural components with functional integration, additive manufacturing, and new design and calculation methods for high-strength aluminum alloys.

Dr. Klaus Vieregge, Chairman of the AMAP Advisory Board and Head of the Hydro Aluminium Research and Development Center in Bonn, said, “We are an efficient network. New members are always welcome, but a high number of members is not the focus of the AMAP cluster, we want to convince people by the efficiency of the work and the research results.”

SelfCAD Partners with MyMiniFactory

Online 3D design platform SelfCAD, founded in 2015, combines 3D modeling, slicing, and several other tools and functions in one easy program. Earlier this year, the platform announced a partnership with popular 3D printable model marketplace MyMiniFactory.

This partnership makes it easy for SelfCAD users to access the design library in MyMiniFactory, and also gives them the ability to download their 3D models directly from the marketplace while still in the SelfCAD program. In addition,  it’s also possible for users to upload their models directly to MyMiniFactory for maximum exposure.

To learn more, check out this helpful video:

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