If you watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech, you may have seen his veiled reference to 3D printing. Are we so surprised that the technology continues to get hailed for its potential to usher in a manufacturing revolution? Beyond the White House, 3D printing is making news all over the place. In Belgium, for example, Materialise was honored with a prestigious award for its creative and innovative work. In 3D business news, 2D and 3D design leader TPM, Inc. has announced new partnerships with MarkForged and Airwolf 3D, and so have Italy’s Kentstrapper and Lumi Industries. Tinkerine Studios Ltd. is happy to report record sales for the 2015 fiscal year, and LPW Technology has launched a new POWDERFLOW product line to help with powder problems in additive manufacturing.
Obama Alludes to 3D Printing in State of the Union Address
If you happened to watch Obama’s final State of the Union address you may have heard his quick reference to “next generation manufacturing hubs” or what is surely 3D printing:
“We’ve launched next-generation manufacturing hubs, and online tools that give an entrepreneur everything he or she needs to start a business in a single day.”
You may also have followed Obama’s efforts to develop more public/private 3D printing and additive manufacturing hubs for economic development. As his time as US President wraps up, one wonders what the future has in store for his administration’s efforts to acknowledge the new technology and apply it to various industrial sectors. 3D printing is now growing more in the consumer desktop printer arena, and that growth may continue regardless of how interested the next US President is in the technology. Whatever else people say about Obama’s presidency, he definitely shined more of a spotlight on 3D printing technologies.
Materialise Wins Prestigious Belgian Design Award
The 2015 Henry van de Velde Company Award was presented to Materialise by Design Flanders in a recent ceremony that took place at the BOZAR, the Center for Fine Arts in Brussels. This award, accepted by company Founder and CEO Wilfried Vancraen, recognizes innovation in the creative sectors, and the honor is also accompanied by a Materialise exhibit taking place until March 24, 2016 at the Center. The Materialise team (see photo) has chosen to display a wide variety of its 3D printed objects including the Trimble UX5 Drones from Trimble USA, Arne Pauwels’ Wakati project, and Hoet Design Studio’s Cabrio Eyewear Collection. The Materialise team is thrilled to be honored for its creative contributions from such a distinguished award that recognizes high-quality and experimental work in the creative sector.
TPM Partners with MarkForged and Airwolf 3D
The Southeast’s leading 2D and 3D design technology provider, TPM, has recently announced new partnerships with MarkForged and Airwolf 3D. Both of these companies manufacture desktop 3D printers. TPM, Inc. Vice President Chris Fay explains that desktop solutions is a key company strategy for growth:
“Our customers are demanding a more flexible and easy to use 3D printing solution that can be spread throughout an engineering department. These two new desktop solutions allow a distributed 3D printing model whereas multiple smaller printers are being utilized by a group of designers as opposed to one large centralized piece of equipment.”
TPM, Inc. is headquartered in Greenville, SC and works with partners including HP, Canon, SOLIDWORKS, Autodesk, Océ, and others. With more than 3,300 customers each year seeking technology solutions, consulting, training, and implementation services, TPM’s new partnerships promise to further expand the company’s reach while offering customers a more complete 3D design and printing experience.
Kentstrapper and Lumi Industries Announce Partnership
There’s also news of established 3D printing companies working together in Italy. Two leading Italian 3D printing companies, Kentstrapper and Lumi Industries, have announced a new partnership that will draw from two different 3D printing technologies. Lumi Industries focuses on Digital Light Printing (DLP) technology, while Kentstrapper works with Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) in its line of 3D printing products. Together, the companies plan to develop new 3D printing product lines that draw from both areas of technological expertise, and the companies plan to keep the public updated about new developments through their websites–so stay tuned!
3D Printing Company, Tinkerine, Reports Record Sales in 2015
3D printing education companies have seen much enthusiasm, as the technology is compatible with the STEAM curriculum that seeks to use technology to prepare students for the 21st century workforce. One such company, Canada’s Tinkerine Studios Ltd., has reported it experienced record sales in 2015; this means a 270% increase in sales compared to 2014. The company attributes the record sales to a demand for the Tinkerine Ditto Pro 3D printer, and “filament consumable and associated software downloads from TinkerineU,” Tinkerine’s content sharing platform for hands-on learning.
Eugene Suyu, President and CEO, addresses Tinkerine’s recent success in the education tech sector:
“Our team at Tinkerine is developing new relationships with members of the education community, with a focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Arts and Mathematics) based education content. In addition to identifying and fostering new relationships, we are receiving new requests for methods to incorporate 3D printing into everyday activities. We are proud to give new users the opportunity to build up a foundation of skillsets in 3D printing, and will continue to develop new content for advancing educational content.”
Tinkerine is Canada’s leading 3D printing company, and now, with this recent fiscal news, it clearly has a firm grip on 3D printing education in Canada and beyond.
LPW Technology Launches New “POWDERFLOW” Product Line
Finally, there’s a new “comprehensive powder flow measurement kit” that will let the additive manufacturing industry characterize powder flow to known ASTM standards. This product line, which is brought to you by LPW Technology, is called “POWDERFLOW™” because that’s exactly what it measures. LPW knows machine problems can be confused with powder problems, wasting time and money before the problem is located. POWDERFLOW™ was developed to avoid these issues.
LPW Technology works with the aerospace, automotive, and biomedical industries’ leading companies, and the company is described as “unrivaled” for its ability to provide optimized metal powders to the additive manufacturing industry. This puts the company in an expert position to provide a Total Powder Management solution for working with powder. POWDERFLOW™ is one of these new product lines.
And that’s all of this week’s 3D printing news!