CRP Technology Makes 3D Printed PocketQube Satellite Deployer for Alba Orbital

First there were the smallsats, and the CubeSats. Now there’s something even smaller to launch into orbit – PocketQubes, a satellite with off-the-shelf electronic components that can fit into your pocket. One eighth the volume of a CubeSat, these tiny space research satellites are 5 cm cubed, with a mass of 250 grams, and while they were only conceived of about ten years ago, interest in them is growing quickly, as it’s becoming more expensive to launch CubeSats into low Earth orbit.

Two years ago, the first PocketQube Standard was issued, and one of the contributors is Scottish high-tech SME Alba Orbital. The company supports this satellite class, as it builds its own PocketQube platforms and provides global companies, space agencies, and universities parts and launches.

Alba Orbital needed to improve the access and manufacturability, and reduce the weight, of its PocketQube satellite deployer, the AlbaPod 2.0, along with adding some new safety features, and is partnering with CRP Technology on the project. The Italian 3D printing company has used its patented Windform TOP-LINE composite materials for aerospace applications in the past, so it was more than up to the task.

3D printed AlbaPod 2.0 on vibration table going through pre-flight certification.

First, CRP analyzed the 2D and 3D files for the deployer, so it could best advise Alba Orbital on which material to use with its Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) process. The high-performance Windform XT 2.0 carbon composite material was chosen, thanks to its increased tensile strength, elongation at break, and tensile modulus.

“As the product needed to withstand a launch to space while containing several satellites, the pod needed to withstand high vibrations, and in the worst scenario, contain any satellite that breaks free internally,” said the Alba Orbital team. “Windform ® XT 2.0’s toughness and strength make it a perfect candidate for this use case.”

3D printed AlbaPods 2.0 in Windform XT 2.0.

Weight reduction is another important design goal for aerospace parts, and the material needs to be flight-approved due to strict degassing rules in space. Windform XT 2.0 has already been approved by major launch providers, making it an easy choice for the launcher.

“Windform® XT 2.0 is a non-outgassing, lightweight fibre reinforced polyamide plastic very similar to Nylon. The material combined with the manufacturing technique allowed us the option to design parts that can not be manufactured with traditional techniques, with thin sections and extremely complex geometry’s, and these parts can be manufactured and delivered in a fraction of the time for a traditional supply chain,” Alba Orbital said.

Fully loaded 3D printed AlbaPod 2.0 for flight – rear cover removed for inspection.

Once Alba Orbital sent the final STP file, CRP Technology quickly created the lightweight AlbaPod v2, a 3D printed deployer for PocketQube-compatible satellites, flight-proven 6P (up to six satellites) and weighing 60% less than the AlbaPod v1.

“The most innovative aspect of the project was the sheer number of components we switched over to Windform ® XT 2.0, not only was the shell redesigned in the material, but also the moving ejection mechanism and door assembly,” Alba Orbital notes.

The 3D printed AlbaPod v2 PocketQube deployer complies with Alba Orbital’s standards, and after performing many tests on the device, Alba Orbital says it has passed the control criteria.

3D printed AlbaPod 2.0 vibration testing.

“This is critical,” they said about the part’s mechanical performance. “Not only does the full assembly need to function correctly to facilitate the deployment of the satellites inside, but must also contain the satellites in the event of catastrophic failure of a payload during the launch as anything breaking free could fatally damage other payloads or the launch vehicle itself. This was tested thoroughly with free masses on vibration tables at extremely high loading and the shell held up phenomenally.

“Additionally weight is a major concern with anything going into space due to the costs associated, utilising Windform ® XT 2.0 allowed us to reduce the mass of a number of major components.”

Integrations began this fall, and six PocketQube satellites were launched into orbit by Alba Orbital in December on the 3D printed AlbaPod v2. The Alba Cluster 2 mission was in orbit for 100 days, and a launch via the 3D printed AlbaPod v2 for the Alba Cluster 3 mission is expected to occur later this year.

“3D printing allows us to rapidly improve design and customise/create bespoke launchers in the future for demanding payloads which may fall outside the Pocketqube standards or require special considerations,” Alba Orbital said.

“It will also allow the fast integration of new release mechanisms allowing us to switch manufacturers comparatively quickly and easily if problems with supply chain arise.”

The first of the two fully loaded AlbaPod 2.0 being attached to the kick stage of Rocket Labs Electron rockets for launch.

The AlbaPod v2 manufacturing experience will be presented this October 8th and 9th at the 4th Annual PocketQube Workshop 2020, held in the Glasgow University Union. The event brings together top innovators from the PocketQube community so they can explore the technology.

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

(Images: Courtesy of Alba Orbital)

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3D Printing News Briefs: January 16, 2020

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’ve got a little business news, followed by stories about materials, and finally ending with some 3D printed fashion. PostProcess Technologies is expanding in Japan with a new partnership. Smart International has launched a material partnership program, and CRP Technology is introducing a new Windform material. Finally, a Spanish fashion brand is using BCN3D’s technology to make some of its clothing.

PostProcess Technologies Enters Asian Market with New Partnership

Executives from PostProcess and K.K. IRISU (C. ILLIES & CO., LTD.)

Automated post-printing solutions provider PostProcess Technologies Inc. announced that it’s entering the Asian additive manufacturing market, and expanding the reach of its solutions, by naming K.K. IRISU (C. ILLIES & CO., LTD.) as its first distribution partner in Japan. PostProcess chose the high-quality industrial machinery and technologies specialist, to help serve its growing base of customers in Japan and represent its data-driven technologies because of its expertise and experience. The partnership is mutually beneficial, as ILLIES can now offer its customers access to technology that will automate common post-printing processes and enable “additive manufacturing at scale.”

“K.K.IRISU’s main objective is to educate the Japanese market in additive manufacturing and to continue to be the solution provider for the Japanese 3D manufacturing world. We feel that by adding PostProcess Technologies to our lineup, will help assist the Japanese market to compete with other countries in Additive Manufacturing as well as globally maintain the high standards of the tag ‘Made in Japan’,” said Dr. Frank Oberndorff, President of K. K. IRISU.

Next month, both companies will exhibit at the Design Engineering & Manufacturing Solutions (DMS) 2020 Expo.

Smart International Introduces Material Partnership Program

This week, Smart International, the global brand licensee in 3D printing for KODAK, announced the launch of a new Materials Partnership Program in order to help its customers achieve a repeatable 3D printing experience, while also meeting the demand for high-quality, yet easy-to-print, engineering materials. The company has already developed, and tested, material profiles for filaments from its partners BASF, Clariant, and DSM, which will help provide optimal conditions for these third party materials on the Portrait 3D printer. Print profiles were created from this data, and can either be accessed from the KODAK 3D Cloud or downloaded from the Smart3D website.

“We feel it is of vital importance to continually adapt to the ever-evolving 3D printing market. Partnering with top filament companies like BASF, Clariant and DSM gives the customer the opportunity to choose the material that best fits their project, and gives them confidence to use these high-quality 3rd party materials with the KODAK Portrait 3D Printer,” said Roberto Gawianski, the CEO of Smart International. “We are pleased to be able to assist in the development and evolution of 3D printing filaments, and will continue to support progress in this area.”

BASF material profiles include Ultrafuse ABS Fusion+, Ultrafuse PAHT CF15, Ultrafuse PA, and Ultrafuse Z PCTG, while Clariant now has a profile for its popular 20% carbon fiber-reinforced polyamide 6/66 PA6/66-CF20 filament. Smart International also created material profiles for DSM’s Novamid ID1030, Novamid ID1030 CF10, a carbon fiber filled PA6/66 copolymer filament and Arnitel ID2060 HT.

CRP Technology’s New Windform P2 Material

Italian company CRP Technology is introducing the latest material from its Windform P-LINE range – the glass fiber-reinforced thermoplastic polyamide Windform P2, which the company states has “excellent mechanical properties” for its High Speed Sintering (HSS) technology. The new material has high tensile strength (39.24 MPa), combined with increased stiffness (2925.20 MPa), and is great for insulating, as it is glass fiber-filled. Windform P2 is good for producing end-use parts that need high stiffness, as well as manufacturing components with detailed resolution.

“Windform® P2 is the second polymer from P-LINE, the new Windform® range of materials for high speed production-grade 3D printing, introduced on the market less than a year ago,” said Engineer Franco Cevolini, CRP Technology CTO and VP.

“This is a very important property. Windform® P2 is stiffer than Windform® P1 because Windform® P2 is reinforced (Windform® P1 is not reinforced). Most of the reinforced materials for similar technologies currently on the market, show a decrease in the tensile strength property. My staff and I have been able to preserve the high tensile strength in Windform® P2. Therefore, Windform® P2 overall’s performance is superior than the performance of similar materials currently on the market for similar technologies.”

ZER Collection 3D Printing Clothes with BCN3D

The 3D printed parts are made in TPU due to the flexibility of this material.

Spanish fashion brand ZER Collection introduced its first collection at the most recent Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Madrid. The label, which was founded in 2017 by Núria Costa and Ane Castro and designs ‘futuristic, functional and urban clothing with sporty aesthetics,’ incorporated 3D printed parts, made with BCN3D’s Sigma printer, into 12 of the outfits; this system allows for the printing of two different materials, including flexible TPU. ZER Collection is using 3D printing in order to accelerate its production manufacturing processes and reduce waste, while also contributing to the use of sustainable new technologies in the apparel industry.

“We work much faster, because we can print two fabrics at the same time,” Costa said when explaining some of the benefits of using 3D printing to make their clothing, including their ability to “digitize all patterns in order to produce only the necessary fabric.”

“We believe that the use of 3D printing represents a revolution in fashion, in environmental care and in society.”

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

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3D Printing News Briefs: December 3, 2019

We’re starting today’s 3D Printing News Briefs out with a new case study, and then concluding with some business. CRP USA has been working with additive manufacturing in the motorsports sector. Moving on, Gardner Aerospace has acquired FDM Digital Solutions Ltd. Finally, the Head of Engineering at Formlabs is joining up with Digital Alloys.

CRP USA AM in Motorsports Case Study

3D printed oil pan in Windform SP, University of Victoria’s Formula SAE race car 2019 version

The University of Victoria (UVic) Formula Motorsport team has been using 3D printed oil pans on their SAE competition cars for the last four years that were created with CRP USA‘s laser sintering process, and Windform TOP-LINE composite materials. As a CRP case study details, carbon-composite Windform XT 2.0 was used to print the oil pans for the race vehicles in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and while they performed “amazingly” the first two years, the engine overheated during a test of last year’s car, which caused the temperature of the oil to rise above what the pan could handle.

For this year’s vehicle, the team decided to use the carbon-filled Windform SP composite material to 3D print the oil pan, as it has a higher melting point. They also made the mating flange thicker to lessen the chances of failure, and both of these changes led to a better, more robust oil pan. At next week’s Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, CRP USA will be showing off some of the other 3D printed solutions it’s helped create for the motorsports industry at booth 1041 in the Green Hall.

Gardner Aerospace Acquires FDM Digital Solutions

Graeme Bond (FDM) & Dominic Cartwright (Gardner Aerospace)

Global manufacturer Gardner Aerospace announced its acquisition of FDM Digital Solutions Limited, one of the UK’s top polymer additive layer manufacturers. FDM was formed in 2012, and its business model of original design solutions, manufacturing capability, and customer collaboration is successful in the aerospace, automotive, medical, and motorsports industries. The company will now become part of the new Gardner Technology Centre business unit, which is focused on R&D and advanced technology.

“Gardner Aerospace is breaking new ground in terms of technology. The acquisition of FDM and the creation of our new Technology Centre business unit provides us with the perfect opportunity to expand our technical knowledge, R&D capability and product offering, and aligns us with our customers’ growing expectations on innovative solutions, continuous improvement and cost competitiveness,” stated Gardner Aerospace CEO Dominic Cartwright.

“The role of 3D printing within manufacturing is constantly expanding and this newly acquired additive layer manufacturing capability complements Gardner’s long-standing capabilities as a producer of metallic detailed parts and sub-assemblies.”

Formlabs’ Head of Engineering Joins Digital Alloys

Carl Calabria

Carl Calabria, an AM industry veteran and the Head of Engineering at Formlabs, is leaving the company to join Digital Alloys, Inc. as its CTO. The Burlington, Massachusetts-based 3D printing company introduced its unique Joule printing last year, which it claims is the fastest way to make the hardest metal parts, as the wire-feed process doesn’t require any metal powder. By adding Calabria to its team, where he will be responsible for the company’s research and engineering, Digital Alloys can accelerate the release of its high-speed metal AM process.

“Leaving Formlabs was a difficult decision, but I was drawn to the size of Digital Alloys’ market, the team, and the opportunity to use Joule Printing to deliver metal printing solutions that have the speed, cost and quality needed for volume manufacturing of larger parts,” said Calabria. “The remarkable technology is producing titanium and tool steel parts faster, and at lower cost than conventional manufacturing processes.”

Watch this video to see Digital Alloys’ Joule printing process in action:

 

What do you think? Discuss these stories and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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From design to reality: Windform® Composite Materials to go beyond 3D Printing

Additive manufacturing is evolving very quickly, powering the development of innovative, lightweight applications.

Energica Ego running prototype with several 3D printed parts in Windform® composite materials (starting point) and Energica Ego electric motorcycle homologated for street use (present day)

This growth has a major reason: advances in additive materials. According to many 2019 reports, the number of materials available for AM has more than doubled in the past five years, and the rules of manufacturing have been rewritten as the technical capabilities of these polymers met up with the opportunities that 3D printing offers in term of product development and low-volume parts production. Materials for professional 3D printing are completely changing traditional production schemes.

Amongst the most known and long-running high performance materials on market, there are Windform® TOP LINE range of Carbon or Glass fiber reinforced composite materials created by Italy-based CRP Technology.

Windform® TOP LINE composite materials are for selective laser sintering (SLS), an additive manufacturing technique that uses a laser as the power source to sinter powdered material from a 3D model.

Windform® TOP LINE are designed to offer full range of options, possibilities and features, from excellent thermal properties to resistance to high temperature, from high stiffness and excellent strength to reduced weight, just to name a few.

Eva EsseEsse9 3D printed terminal cover in Glass-fiber filled composite material Windform® LX 3.0 and 3D printed chain slider in Glass-fiber filled composite material Windform® GT

Examples concerning the wide range of uses of high performance composite materials and professional 3D printing, comes from Energica Motor Company, first Italian manufacturer of super-sport electric motorcycles and single manufacturer for FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup.

Long-term technological partnership with CRP Technology enabled Energica to be on the market quickly, fueling innovation, accelerating the prototyping and product development phase.

All Energica motorcycles models currently on the market were created and engineered through the support of CRP Technology: its innovative and avant-garde solutions in the field of additive manufacturing technology have made Energica a unique model throughout the world.

“We relied on CRP Technology and their 3D printing department as they have the right composite material to meet every demand, especially for a project as complex as Energica electric motorcycles. I’m not referring to an ordinary motorcycle, but a high-voltage, high power electric motorcycle that has special needs.  CRP Technology proved to be the right partner to support customers in their challenge,” explains Energica Motor Company CTO, Giampiero Testoni.

Eva EsseEsse9 3D printed water pump support realized in Windform® RL thermoplastic elastomer material for 3D printing

From the R&D and testing phases to pre-series, Energica motorcycles have been mounting many functional components 3D printed by CRP Technology.

Let’s consider the first model ever, Energica Ego which is “the most powerful and sophisticated electric motorcycle homologated for street use anywhere in the world” (from Energica website).

In the first prototype phase, several components of Energica Ego motorcycle such as aerodynamic parts, fairings, front and rear fenders, tail, were made by CRP Technology via professional 3D printing using Windform® XT 2.0 Carbon-fiber filled composite material from CRP Technology’s TOP-LINE range of high performance materials.

Dashboard support, rear mirrors and front fairing were made in Windform® SP Carbon fiber filled composite material.

Windform® TOP-LINE are production-grade materials. Their use is not limited to the prototype phase, but also short production runs. Let’s see some examples: Windform® XT 2.0 is nowadays used to produce the frontlight cover on the Energica Ego motorcycles currently on the market.

Eva EsseEsse9 3D printed terminal cover and 3D printed sprocket cover both in Glass-fiber filled composite material Windform® LX 3.0

This component isn’t the only one that CRP Technology is manufacturing for the Energica motorcycles that get to the world market: CRP Technology produces the electric motor terminal cover (for Energica Ego, Energica Eva EsseEsse9 motorcycles), turn signal indicators, sprocket cover (both for Energica Ego, Energica Eva EsseEsse9). These components are manufactured via selective laser sintering using Windform® LX 3.0 Glass-fiber filled composite TOP-LINE material.

The chain slider (for both Energica Ego, Energica Eva EsseEsse9) is manufactured by CRP Technology using the other Glass-fiber filled composite material from the TOP-LINE family: Windform® GT.

The water pump-support (for Energica Ego, Energica Eva EsseEsse9 motorcycles) is manufactured by CRP Technology in Windform® RL thermoplastic elastomer material for SLS.

CRP Technology partnered with Energica even on the development and construction of Ego Corsa, Energica’s electric racebike for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup which is derived from the street-legal motorcycle Energica Ego.

Energica Ego running prototype drives on the road: 3D printed dashboard support, rear mirrors, front fairings manufactured in Carbon fiber filled composite material Windform® SP

A first preview: Some recent components inside the Ego Corsa’s new battery are 3D printed using Windform® FR2, the newest and disruptive material from the Windform® TOP-LINE range. It is the first composite material for 3D printing which is Glass fiber-filled and flame retardant, FAR 25.853 and UL94 HB compliant.

The massive use of high quality 3D printing allows to fine tune the style (e.g. fairing) and, at the same time, allows to carry out specific test rides on the road.

This prerogative is not limited to the Automotive and Motorsports industry, as it is viable in all advanced sectors.

Learn more in CRP Technology’s white paper, available for download here.

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Pioneering the Additive Manufacturing Revolution in the Aerospace and Avionics fields

CRP Technology has been among the first to import additive manufacturing technology to Europe, and has developed the Windform® TOP-LINE family of composite materials.

They are some of the international market’s most high-performance Carbon- or Glass- composite laser sintering materials, in use for more than 20 years in the aerospace, UAV, defense, avionics markets for the most demanding applications.

Therefore it is unquestionable that CRP Technology has been changing the rules of additive manufacturing, smashing records and setting models nowadays that apply to 3D printing with polyamide materials.

A clear sign of this continued performance is Windform® FR1 (FR stands for Flame Retardant), the new-born material from the Windform® TOP-LINE family of composite materials for additive manufacturing.

It is intended to become a game-changing material in the field of 3D printing for its uniqueness: it is the first Flame Retardant (UL 94 V-0 rated) material for additive manufacturing which is carbon fiber reinforced.

It is also passed the FAR 25.853 flammability tests successfully as well as the 45° Bunsen burner test.

“Only a few weeks from the launch of a new range of Windform® materials, the P-LINE for HSS technology,” commented Franco Cevolini, VP and CTO at CRP Technology. “I’m very proud to introduce a new revolutionary composite material from the Windform® TOP-LINE family of materials for laser sintering technology. Our aim is to constantly produce technological breakthroughs. With Windform® FR1 we can steer you toward the proper solution for your projects.”

Franco Cevolini. Ph©Elisabetta Baracchi

“I’m firmly committed to solving one of the most important challenges, maybe the main one, for people who work in the 3D printing field “– added Cevolini – “the ability to ensure the performance and reliability of the AM process and materials. At CRP Technology and CRP USA we work extremely hard to control our process. We do testing on both equipment and materials on a regular basis. This kind of effort lets our customers understand that we are not just cranking out parts like a traditional rapid prototyping service bureau.”

Someone could say this technology and materials are expensive, but it is not correct especially in a long-term perspective. It is proven that using professional 3D printing and Windform® composite materials produce substantial cost savings considering the whole process performance.

“With professional 3D printing and Windform®” commented Cevolini – “the manufacturing process, from the design phase to product development, is optimized. Quality is not a cost, it is an investment”.

Aerospace and Avionics application spotlight

Not only the new-born Windform® FR1 material, but all the Windform® materials allow manufacturing of functional prototypes as well as finished, high-performance functional parts.

Windform® materials from the TOP-LINE range of composite materials have some unique properties. Let’s consider, for example, Windform® XT 2.0: resistance to UV, low outgassing and its lightweight versus strength are some of the key characteristics that allow for it to replace a traditional material like Aluminium in some applications.”

The freedom of additive manufacturing allows the creation of more complex geometry, especially in the aerospace field.

TuPOD deployed © JAXA NASA

Recently CRP USA , the U.S.-based 3D printing company partnered with CRP Technology, contributed to mark a new milestone in the small satellites arena with TuPOD, the innovative cubesat manufactured via laser sintering in Windform® XT 2.0. This ground breaking project was carried out by GAUSS, Teton Aerospace, Morehead State University. From a distance, the TuPOD looks relatively simple, but upon closer examination there are some areas in the design that would have been more difficult to accomplish with traditional manufacturing methods. 

The significant performance of Windform® is creating new ways to invent and manufacture, while it is proving to be a viable option for the innovative design and high-performance features associated with advanced Aerospace applications.

“Leveraging 3D printing and Windform® composite materials properly has been a key advantage that our customers in the Space Industry have quickly adapted to. Whether it is entire structures or smaller components, we have been amazed at the creativity. The time to produce the parts is often dramatically less than through traditional methods.”

Progress has been also made in the avionics field: recently Windform® composite materials combined with laser sintering technology, have been used to manufacture some external parts of the wind tunnel model in 1:8.5 scale for the prototype of the new Leonardo Helicopter Division tiltrotor AW609, for a series of dedicated low-speed wind tunnel tests. (Designed, manufactured and assembled by Metaltech S.r.l., under supervision of Leonardo HD).

Tiltrotor-AW609. Courtesy Leonardo HD

These 3D printed parts highlight the perfect union between advanced 3D printing technology and Windform® high-performance composite materials. Thanks to the Windform® materials, it was possible to complete and test the model in the wind tunnel within a very short time, with excellent results and with high-performing mechanical and aerodynamic properties.

The 3D printed parts have been created by CRP Technology using Windform® XT 2.0 are nose and cockpit, rear fuselage, nacelles, external fuel tanks and fairings.

CRP USA also contributed to demonstrate the effectiveness of additive manufacturing and use of Windform® as a structural material for avionics applications: on behalf of Leonardo HD and under the control of ATI Co. – Newport News (the model supplier), CRP USA manufactured via laser sintering and Windform, the external fuselage and additional components for a new 1:6 model.

It was created for a high-speed wind tunnel test campaign at NASA Ames Unitary Plan 11 by 11 foot transonic wind tunnel, as part of a thorough review of aircraft behavior. 

The model scale selected was 1:6 of the full scale in order to be fully compatible within the given constraints of the physical size of the NASA 11 by 11 tunnel.

The architecture of the new 1:6 model for transonic high-speed tests was very similar to the AW609 model but with some improvements in order to have the remote controls for the flaperons and elevator surfaces.

For the first time the Windform® XT 2.0 Carbon-composite material was used for an high speed model tested at NASA AMES facility.

Windform® TOP-LINE family of high-performance composite materials have passed NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) outgassing screening, suitable for aerospace applications: 

  • Windform® XT 2.0, Windform® SP both carbon-composite materials; Windform® LX 3.0, Windform® GT both glass-composite materials: have been tested in accordance to the ASTM E-595-07 standard, and passed with no issues
  • Windform® XT 2.0 carbon-composite material: has been passed ESA screening outgassing tests in accordance with ESA TEC-QTE 7171 (based on ECSS-Q-ST-70-02C); it has been K-rated according to Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) outgassing test.

In addition:

3D Printing News Briefs: March 9, 2019

We’re taking care of business first in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, and then moving on to education. Optomec has announced two new additions to its LENS series, and CRP Technology is introducing a new commercial strategy for its Windform composite materials. HP India is building a new Center of Excellence for 3D Printing, while the South Korean government continues its investment in the technology. The GE Additive Education Program is now accepting applications for 2019-2020, and a Philadelphia-based university and health system has integrated Ultimaker 3D printers into its teaching curriculum. Speaking of health, Sweden is looking into 3D printing food for the elderly.

Optomec’s New LENS Systems

This week, production-grade metal 3D printer supplier Optomec announced that it was releasing two new Directed Energy Deposition (DED) 3D printers in its Laser Engineered Net Shaping (LENS) Classic System Series: the CS 600 and the CS 800 Controlled Atmosphere (CA) DED Systems. Both of the systems are configurable, and are designed to maximize the process build envelope, while at the same time lowering the system footprint and chamber volume. They have CA chambers that make it possible to process both non-reactive and reactive metals, and are both compatible with the company’s latest generation LENS deposition head.

“These new systems come packed with next-generation DED components all born from signature Optomec know-how and built to provide affordable, high-quality metal additive manufacturing capabilities for industry’s most demanding requirements. The LENS CS 600 and CS 800 systems represent the latest in DED processing from precision deposition to cladding applications and extend our product portfolio to continue to provide high-value metal additive manufacturing solutions,” said Tom Cobbs, Optomec’s LENS product manager.

The first customer shipments of the CS 600 and the CS 800 CA systems have already begun this year.

New Commercial Strategy for Windform Materials

CRP Technology has for years made components and also sold its Windform composite materials. Now the company has decided to revise its commercial strategy for the materials: from now on, they will no longer be sold to service bureaus for the toll-manufacturing of 3D printing components. However, the materials will continue to be sold to companies that produce their own components, while CRP Technology and CRP USA will continue to offer support for service and assistance in producing Windform parts.

“The change in the strategy of CRP Technology is because we believe we can ensure the highest quality in the manufacture of 3D printed components; indeed the increase in production capacity -both in Europe and in the United States- will guarantee the volumes necessary to satisfy any request from our customers based all over the world, in compliance with the high standards of service and quality that has always been a distinctive element of CRP Technology and CRP USA’s activities,” CRP Technology told 3DPrint.com in an email.

HP Building Center of Excellence for 3D Printing in India

HP introduced its Jet Fusion 4200 3D Printing solutions to India last year, and is now planning to build a Center of Excellence (CoE) for 3D Printing in Andhra Pradesh, which is the country’s seventh-largest state. This week, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh government to build the CoE, which will give small and medium businesses (SMBs) and startups in the state the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of adopting 3D printing. HP India will be the main knowledge provider for the CoE, while the Andhra Pradesh Innovation Society (APIS) will enable accreditations and certifications and provide infrastructure support, and the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) will encourage and drive public sector enterprises and government departments to use the CoE.

“Manufacturing in Andhra Pradesh has great potential as a lot of demand is slated to come from domestic consumption,” said J. Krishna Kishore, the CEO of APEDB. “Andhra Pradesh’s impetus in automotive, electronics and aerospace makes technologies like 3D printing market-ready.”

South Korea Continues to Invest in 3D Printing 

For the last couple of years, the government of South Korea has been investing in 3D printing, and 2019 is no different. The country’s Ministry of Science and ICT announced that it would be spending 59.3 billion won (US $52.7 million) this year – up nearly 17% from its 2018 investment – in order to continue developing 3D printing expertise to help nurture the industry. According to government officials, 27.73 billion of this will be allocated to further development of 3D printing materials technology, and some of the budget will go towards helping the military make 3D printed components, in addition to helping the medical sector make 3D printed rehab devices.

“3D printing is a core sector that can create innovation in manufacturing and new markets. The ministry will support development by working with other related ministries and strengthen the basis of the industry,” said Yong Hong-taek, an ICT ministry official.

GE Additive Education Program Accepting Applications

In 2017, GE Additive announced that it would be investing $10 million in the GE Additive Education Program (AEP), an educational initiative designed to foster and develop students’ skills in additive manufacturing. To date, the global program has donated over 1,400 polymer 3D printers to 1,000 schools in 30 different countries, and announced this week that it is now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 cycle from primary and secondary schools. While in previous years the AEP also awarded metal 3D printers to universities, that’s not the case this time around.

“This year’s education program will focus only on primary and secondary schools,” said Jason Oliver, President & CEO of GE Additive. “The original purpose of our program is to accelerate awareness and education of 3D printing among students – building a pipeline of talent that understands 3D design and printing when they enter the workplace. We already enjoy some wonderful working relationships with universities and colleges, so this year we have decided to focus our efforts on younger students.”

The deadline for online AEP applications is Monday, April 1st, 2019. Packages include a Polar Cloud premium account, a Polar Cloud enabled 3D printer from either Dremel, Flashforge, or Monoprice, rolls of filament, and – new this round – learning and Tinkercad software resources from Autodesk. Check out the video below to learn about GE Additive’s ‘Anything Factory’ brand campaign, the heart of which was formed by a young student who had just discovered 3D printing and what it’s capable of creating…this is, of course, the purpose behind AEP.

Ultimaker 3D Printers Integrated into Medical Teaching Curriculum

Dr. Robert Pugliese and Dr. Bon Ku of Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health wanted to better prepare their students for real-world hospital challenges, and so decided to integrate Ultimaker 3D printers into the system’s Health Design Lab. The Lab is used for multiple medical and educational applications, from ultrasound training and cardiology to ENT surgery and high-risk obstetrics, and students are able to work with radiologists on real patient cases by helping to produce accurate anatomic models. The Lab houses a total of 14 Ultimaker 3D printers, including the Ultimaker 2+ Extended, the Ultimaker 3, and the Ultimaker S5, and the models 3D printed there help enhance patient care and improve surgical planning, as well as teach students how to segment critical features and interpret medical scan data.

“When we introduce these models to the patients their eyes get big and they ask a lot of questions, it helps them to understand what the complexity of their case really is. It’s just so much better to have the patient on the same page and these models really help bring that reality to them,” said Dr. Amy Mackey, Vice Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Jefferson’s Abington Hospital.

3D Printing Food for the Elderly in Sweden

Swedish care homes hope to make pureéd chicken indistinguishable from a drumstick [Image: EYEEM]

If you’ve attended a meal at a nursing home, or care home, then you know the food that’s served is not overly appetizing. This is because elderly people can also just have a more difficult time eating regular food. Roughly 8% of adults in Sweden have trouble chewing or swallowing their food, which can easily cause them to become malnourished. That’s why the Halmstad municipality on the country’s west coast wants to use 3D printing to stimulate these residents’ appetites, which will be accomplished by reconstituting soft, puréed food like chicken and broccoli to make it look more realistic.

Richard Asplund, a former head chef at the luxury Falkenbergs Strandbad hotel who’s now the head of Halmstad’s catering department, said, “When you find it hard to chew and swallow, the food that exists today doesn’t look very appetising.

“So the idea is to make something more aesthetic to look at, to make it look good to eat by recreating the original form of the food.”

The state innovation body Rise is coordinating the project, which is currently in the pre-study phase and plans to serve the first 3D printed meals in Halmstad and Helsingborg by the end of this year.

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3D Printing News Briefs: September 29, 2018

We’ve got some 3D printing event news to share with you in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, along with some business news and a story about a cool 3D printed container. At the TCT Show this week, Additive Industries announced a partnership with Laser Lines, and DEVELOP3D Magazine will soon celebrate product design and metal 3D printing at a live event. CRP Technology has created an updated 3D printed fairing for the Energica Ego Corsa superbike, and employees at the GE Additive Customer Experience Center in Munich made a 3D printed beer krug just in time for Oktoberest.

Additive Industries Partnering with Laser Lines

L-R: Mark Beard, General Manager UK, Additive Industries; Mark Tyrtania, Sales Director, Laser Lines; Daan Kersten, CEO, Additive Industries; and Phil Craxford, Sales Manager, Laser Lines

At the opening of the TCT Show, which took place in Birmingham earlier this week, Additive Industries announced a new partnership with Laser Lines Ltd. in order to speed up its 3D printing presence in the UK and Ireland. Laser Lines is a UK supplier of 3D printers, 3D scanning equipment, lasers, and related accessories, and will work together with Additive Industries to help grow the maturing market in the UK and Ireland for industrial 3D printers. Laser Lines will support Additive Industries in its work to further develop the industrial market for various applications in the aerospace, automotive, machine building, and medical sectors.

“With the recently announced expansion to the UK with a dedicated Process & Application Development Centre, we already acknowledge that the UK & Ireland is an important market that provides great opportunities for industrial companies to enter into industrial metal additive manufacturing,” said Daan Kersten, the CEO of Additive Industries. “With Laser Lines Ltd we add an experienced partner to our fast growing worldwide network that will work with us to identify and manage these opportunities that will contribute to our execution of our accelerated growth.”

DEVELOP3D Magazine Holding Live Event

Each year, DEVELOP3D, a monthly print and digital design journal, holds a live US event all about product design. This year’s DEVELOP3D Live event will be held this coming Tuesday, October 2nd, from 8 am – 6:30 pm at Boston University.

“We have some really fascinating folks coming to celebrate product design in the 21st Century,” Martyn Day from X3D Media, which runs DEVELOP3D, told 3DPrint.com. “We are especially pleased to have Ti Chang from Crave, Tatjana Dzambazova from new metals 3D printing company Velo3D and Olympian, Jon Owen from Team USA Luge.

“Our day is split with MainStage presentations from designers and the industry, together with a track dedicated to Additive Manufacturing, with all the latest in metals 3D printing.”

Tickets are just $50, and include full access to the conference and all 30 exhibitors, plus refreshments, lunch, and drinks at a social mixer. There will be 20 speakers presenting in two separate streams, and topics include CAD, topology optimization, 3D printing, virtual reality, and product development.

3D Printed Fairing for Ego Corsa

Together, Italy-based CRP Group and its subsidiary Energica have been using 3D printing and Windform materials to develop components for electric motorcycles and superbikes for a few years now. In April, the Ego Corsa electric motorcycle completed its third demo lap, and at the last series of road tests before the first edition of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup, the 2019 2019 Ego Corsa prototype hit the track with a new 3D printed fairing, manufacturing by CRP Technology with its laser sintering technology and Windform XT 2.0 Carbon-fiber reinforced composite material. The 3D printed fairing update has improved the Ego Corsa’s aerodynamics.

“We have had the fairing available in short time. Thanks to the professional 3D printing and CRP Technology’s Windform composite materials, it is possible to modify motorcycle components – even large ones – from one race to the next ones, in order to test different solutions directly on the track,” said the Energica technical staff.

“This fairing is not only more aerodynamic, but it also has a smaller frontal and lateral section. These improvements led to achieve increase in terms of performance and they led to achieve greater manageability in fast corners.

“The Windform XT 2.0 has once again proved to be a high performance composite material. We are very happy how the 3D printed new fairing behaved during the tests.”

GE Additive 3D Prints Metal Beer Stein

Even though the month of October doesn’t start for another few days, Oktoberfest itself officially kicked off last Saturday in Germany. In order to celebrate the occasion, the AddWorks team at the GE Additive Customer Experience Center in Munich, which opened last winter, decided to take another look at the traditional glass beer krug; what we’d call a pitcher or stein in the US.

The unfortunate thing about glass is that it breaks. Obviously, if you’ve enjoyed too much beer at an event like Oktoberfest, the likelihood of breaking your glass drink container goes way up. So AddWorks decided to create a new prototype beer krug, but instead of using glass, they 3D printed it using a combination of stainless steel and titanium…and the result is pretty impressive.

Take a look at the video below, which stars the head of the Munich CEC (Matthew Beaumont), to see the whole process:

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