In this week’s news, there’s both business deals and new 3D printing materials that may pique your curiosity. Norsk Titanium has partnered with Alcoa to manufacture 3D printed titanium aerospace components, and 3D Medical has acquired Mach7 in a $60 million deal. Next, both Shapeways and Stratasys have announced new materials, and CreoPop’s 3D printing pen that uses cool ink can now be picked up at Best Buy. Finally, PrintME 3D and Scandinavian Business Seating are teaming up to host a mid-November 3D printing and design show in London.
Norsk Titanium and Alcoa Partner for 3D Printed Parts
Norway’s Norsk Titanium (NTi) has teamed up with Alcoa to 3D print parts using Direct Metal Depositioning (DMD) technology. The partnership will specifically focus on developing advanced manufactured aerospace parts. Alcoa Titanium and Engineered Products already supplies titanium under a nine-year, $1 billion contract with Lockheed Martin. NTi produces titanium components with fourth-generation equipment. NTi President & Chief Executive Officer Warren M. Boley, Jr. has this to say about the new partnership:
“Through this cooperation program, we expect to build on our innovative technology capabilities by leveraging Alcoa’s in-depth understanding of lightweight metal components, increase our offerings for aerospace and other end markets, and support our goal of delivering near-net-shape titanium components finished with minimal machining.”
This partnership is a joint cooperation program, bringing Norsk Titanium’s 3D printing technologies together with Alcoa’s aerospace industry relationships to develop advanced aerospace solutions. In the first quarter of 2016, Norsk Titanium expects to formally conclude the required multi-year aviation certification process and will start producing titanium components so customer part qualification can be reached by 2016.
Mach7 and 3D Medical Merge in $60 Million Deal
The application of 3D printing for medical technology is becoming more and more prominent and lucrative. We are seeing the international medical community embrace the technology while also viewing the big business deals that reflect this tight fit between medicine and 3D printing. This is evident in the recent deal between Mach7 and 3D Medical companies. 3D Medical is a medical company that prints customized 3D models of patients’ bones and organs for doctors and surgeons. It has recently acquired the US-based medical technology business Mach7 in a deal worth $60 million. This large merger will allow Mach7 to supply medical imaging data to 3D Medical. Also, Mach7 has around 40 clients based in 10 international countries, with 300 sites. The merger will give 3D Medical access to all of these sites, and facilitate further expansion into the 3D printing world. After the planned merger, the company will be headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and renamed as Mach7 Technologies.
CreoPop 3D Printing Pen with Cool Ink Now Available at 1,000 Best Buy Stores
Here we write much about 3D printers, but there are also other tools and methods of 3D design that are far more accessible than a desktop printer. One of these design tools is the 3D printing pen, which is widening in availability. While so far these pens have been very well-received, there have been some drawbacks. Take, for example, the fact that so far, every 3D printing pen in the world has required hot parts containing smelly, melting plastics. This changed on October 26th, when the first 3D printing pen with cool ink became available at over 1,000 Best Buy locations. The pen’s name is CreoPop and it avoids the smelly, melted plastics by using light-photopolymers, or light-sensitive ink, that get solidified using LED diodes. CreoPop is a safe alternative for anyone interested in 3D design using pens. Since CreoPop uses no heat, it can be used much easier in environments with small children and animals. We’ve been following the pen’s funding successes here for some time now.
Shapeways Introduces Porcelain for Everyone!
One of the most important aspects of 3D printing is the material we use to print with. While plastic continues to dominate many 3D printing services, Shapeways has made a concerted effort to expand its range of material options for customers to try out in its materials pilot programs. Along these lines, Shapeways has introduced Porcelain into its growing line of materials available for all shoppers after a year-long pilot program and last month’s rollout for designers. Shapeways’ Porcelain has been crafted in-house using a unique process. Porcelain is casted into a mold made using Shapeways’ industrial SLS printers. Then the mold is removed and hand-glazed. According to the Shapeways blog, the outcome of this method is “a durable, functional, high detail product with a beautiful finish only possible with real Porcelain.” Not only does porcelain look fantastic, it is also food, oven and dishwasher safe too!
Stratasys Introduces New Biocompatible Resin Material
On the topic of new materials, 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys has introduced a new ULTEM 1010 resin for its Fortus 400mc and 450mc 3D production systems. This resin is a biocompatible material great for medical device, food processing, automotive and aerospace industries. Industrial uses for the material include clips, housings and ducts for aerospace and automotive industries. In food production, tools including fixtures, patterns, and dies can be made with it. And it can also be used to make custom medical tools like fixtures, trays, and surgical devices. This new material is a high-performance FDM thermoplastic that has the best strength, and heat and chemical resistance, of any FDM thermoplastic out there, according to Stratasys.
Old Street Design Show Highlights 3D Printing and Design
PrintME 3D and Scandanavian Business Seating are teaming up for a day-long event highlighting 3D printing and design technologies. The event, Old Street Design Show, will take place in London on November 19, 2015. Part trade show and part exhibit, this show will include 3D printing companies like 3D Systems, MakerBot, Ultimaker and Bq. Design, 3D modeling, and software companies, such as Wacom and SpaceClaim, will also be represented at the event. Guest speakers from international architecture firms like Bogle Architects, prop makers Lebanon Circle, and SKK Lighting will also be on hand throughout the day to show the latest in cutting edge technologies and design innovation. If you are in London in mid-November, check out the show–grab your free tickets here!
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