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3D Printing: The Stories We Didn’t Cover This Week–January 23

Metal AM Markets
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This week’s news starts with a Kickstarter campaign and a design competition, and it also covers news from i.materialise and Materialise blogs, business news from Norsk Titanium and Premium AEROTEC, and another business update from CGHT (Changing Technologies). Finally, the ESA has announced that a lunar village could potentially replace the International Space Station. Really?

Kickstarter Campign Launched for CNC combo 3D Printer Controller

rev1Jered Adams has launched a Kickstarter campaign that wants to raise $43,200 in the next 34 days. His Limitless 1.0 CNC combo 3D Printer Controller will allow you to switch between a 3D printer and a CNC milling machine. You can make a pledge of at least $360 to get the early bird special: one controller board and one 4″ display. The user will also have to provide an Xbox controller to make this all work. If you can’t quite afford the $360 price tag, you can make a pledge of $150 or more and receive a mug with the Advanced Automative Multi-Tool logo on it, and your name on a wall of appreciation.

MyMiniFactory Hosts Lotion Dispenser “Ideas Only” Competition

rev3In this week’s 3D printing design competition news, MyMiniFactory challenges 3D designers to reimagine what a lotion dispenser could look like when 3D printed. But since this is an “Ideas Only” contest, the dispenser you submit doesn’t even have to be designed in 3D. It can be delivered as a sketch, Photoshopped image, or quick write up–whatever conveys your idea best. As the competition website claims:

“We want to see you get creative and inject new life into this classic object! Anything goes, monster heads for the plunger, hooks for the shower, clips to link your bottles together, parts to administer dosage effectively, go wild! Let loose and show us what you’ve got!”

It’s true that this classic object, although used numerous times a day, sometimes by many people, is a little boring. So why not take a few minutes out of your busy day to draw up some alternatives that will make you smile or uplift your lotioning experience? You can get all the competition details here.

Get 10% of Ceramic Prints with i.materialise

ceramicsi.materialise has announced its Ceramics Sale, going on through January 31, 2016. This sale will allow you to save 10% on every 3D print you order in the company’s ceramic material. Maybe you’d even like to take this discounted price as an opportunity to try ceramics materials out for the first time, and if so, then you can get more information about ceramics from i.materialise here. Simply upload your design, choose the ceramics option, and place your order using the “WinterSale” promo code. Now is a great time to experiment with 3D printing in ceramics, so check out your options on the i.materialise website today.

3D Printed Phits Insoles Wins Sporting Goods Award

teamOver at Materialise’s blog, it has been announced that Phits Insoles, which works with Materialise to produce 3D printed shoe insoles, has won the ISPO Award. ISPO is one of the largest sports business networks in the world, and they hold big trade fairs that feature the top sporting goods products in the industry. Phits is a customized shoe orthotic that evolved from RSPrint 3D Printed Custom Orthotics, the first company to use Footscan software and hardware to create “dynamic pressure measurements for the design of insoles.” Guest blog post writer Tom Peeters is Marketing Manager for Phits, and he has this to say about the award:

“…These tech-savvy orthotics and awards are in itself utterly meaningless if it wouldn’t serve the real heroes in this story: all the experts that help people to achieve their goals by providing the right pair of Phits™ for them, day in, day out. Our orthotics conquered the London Marathon, faced the horrors of the Lanzarote Ironman and even completed the Vuelta a Espana for professional cyclists, but more important, they helped people with real difficulties to make their move again.”

Congratulations to everyone on the Phits and Materialise teams for this award!

CHGT to Develop 3D Printing Curriculum

rev53D printing education is getting to be its own industry niche, and CGHT/Changing Technologies, Inc. has announced that it is considering getting into the education game as well. The company, which covers much ground relating to 3D printing services, including a recent announcement that it will offer a service converting CT scans to 3D printable files, acknowledges the central role 3D printing education materials will have as the industry grows.

CHGT CEO Marco Valenzuela summarizes the company’s interest in education:

“This course would give students a valuable head start on an important manufacturing process and artistic medium… We’d like to work in conjunction with area high schools, trade schools and colleges to get students interested in 3D printing and give them some hands-on experience using the technology. This will not only give us positive publicity, but ultimately lead to new customers and revenues for our printing business and online portal.”

When a company like CHGT announces plans to get into the growing 3D printing education sector, this tells us to expect growth in this market.

Norsk Titanium and Premium AEROTEC on Fast-Track Qualification Program

rev10Premium AEROTEC holds design authority for Norsk Titanium’s Titanium Ti-6Al-4V sample parts, and now the two companies are in a Joint Qualification Program for Additive Manufactured Titanium Aircraft Components. The parts are undergoing engineering analysis at AEROTEC testing facilities, and then the testing information will be used in a joint fast-track qualification program that will save its client, Airbus, about $2-3 million per aircraft. Premium AEROTEC, a leading global supplier of military and commercial aircraft structures, is pleased with this joint effort with Norsk Titanium, the world’s “pioneering supplier of aerospace-grade, additive manufactured, structural titanium components.”

Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Head of Parts Production at Premium AEROTEC Varel Plant, praises Norsk Titanium’s efficiency in printing parts:

“We ordered samples of two of our proprietary Airbus A350 XWB parts and were pleasantly surprised how quickly they arrived and how efficiently we were able to machine Norsk’s near-net-shape RPD™ components into finished test pieces.”

The joint qualification program is acknowledged as the “next step to develop full industrial technology maturity” for the 3D printed titanium parts market.

3D Printed Moon Village to Eventually Replace the International Space Station?!

rev9The head of the European Space Agency (ESA), Jan Woerner, announces that once the International Space Station is taken out of service, in 2024 at the earliest, it may be replaced by “a ‘lunar village’ of structures made by robots and 3D printers that use moon dust as a building material.” At a recent Paris briefing, Woerner explained his vision:

“I looked into the requirements I see for a project after ISS. As of today, I see the moon village as the ideal successor of the International Space Station for (space) exploration…If someone else comes up with a better idea, so be it…But so far there is no competing proposal on the table.”

Why the moon? Woerner has been dedicated to a moon mission since he took over at the ESA because he feels that it is a key step to humans flying to Mars. We can think of worse visions for the future than a lunar village with robots and 3D printers, can’t we? What was your favorite story that we (almost) missed this week? Tell us about it in the From New 3D Printers to 3D Design Contests forum over at



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