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This week’s news covers internationally diverse stories representing 3D printing business news, as the industry seeks newer ways to accommodate the public’s growing interest in all things 3D printing related. It’s about more customer-friendly product development as companies seek to simplify technology for everyday use while still honoring longer term investment in larger scale 3D printing sectors. There’s a new creative tech space in Taiwan, new international shipping rates from i.materialise, a 3D printed epilepsy drug, software and firmware upgrades, a hotend Kickstarter campaign, and a new head of software for Berlin-based BigRep, manufacturer of the world’s largest serial 3D printer. How’s that for a week’s worth of 3D printing news?

XYZ Printing Announces New Creative Space in Taiwan

tai1XYZPrinting has announced plans for a 3D printing maker space of sorts that will be located in Taichung’s i-House location. DIY courses will be offered and the space will be rented out occasionally for other events. 3D printing products will be on display and customers will be able to receive a range of 3D printing services. There will be “integrated service robots” (which are 123cm tall x 45 cm wide and equipped with the Android 4.4 system) onsite to give instructional and guidance services.

XYZPrinting President Simon Shen has this to say about the new space:

“XYZPrinting is dedicated to extending 3D printing technology to every household and putting it in the hands of every consumer, and we are optimistic about Taiwan’s potential. Therefore, we are specially launching the 3D printing creative space in i-House in order to allow everyone to come into contact with 3D printing technology.”

Robots and 3D printing are quite a draw these days, so we are sure this space will accomplish exactly what it has set out to do.

Flat Shipping Rates Now Available from i.materialise

tai2It just keeps getting better over at i.materialise, where the company has announced that it is now offering a regionally-based flat shipping rate that will also serve as a more transparent price structure. Also, pickup services in certain parts of Europe are being offered as well as the possibility of using UPS in North America and most EU countries. This is an example of the “fairer price structure” now available for shipping items:

“Express shipping to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg dropped from 9.50 EUR to 8.00 EUR, standard shipping to Germany decreased from 8.13 EUR to 6.30 EUR and to Scandinavia from 11.93 EUR to 9.50 EUR. Ground shipping to the USA will only cost you 6.50 USD now (average shipping costs to the States were 15.5 USD before).”

So, if it’s prices that have been holding you back from ordering more 3D printed items from i.materialise, take a look at the new pricing and shipping structure to see if you can finally tackle a few more things on that lengthy 3D printing To Do list!

A 3D Printed Epilepsy Drug Funded by Deerfield Finances

tai3A new 3D printed drug has been developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and backed with a $30 million investment by Deerfield Management Company. SPRITAM is “an oral fast-melt form of levetiracetam for epilepsy”  from Aprecia, a pharmaceutical company with a proprietary “ZipDose Technology” expected to change how people take medicine. Aprecia, in fact, may be the first and only company in the world to apply 3D printing technology to the commercial development of pharmaceuticals.

Don Wetherhold, CEO of Aprecia, is pleased to have Deerfield as a partner:

“We are excited to have Deerfield as our partner in the launch of SPRITAM®. Deerfield has demonstrated tremendous knowledge of the field as well as creativity and flexibility in structuring the financing. With its desire to advance healthcare and address unmet patient needs, we believe Deerfield is an ideal partner for Aprecia.”

The drug will be available soon, according to the company website.

Firmware Upgrade Now Available

tai4New Matter is a company that produces the MOD-t, a crafty little 3D printer they want in “every home, school, and office.” If you already use the company’s MOD-t firmware, you can now access an upgrade, version 0.9.0, that has several improvements. These firmware improvements include front panel flashing, improved extruder motor function, improved user connectivity, WiFi connectivity with the store, and all around better printing connectivity and functioning services–including the ability to cancel print jobs.

New Matter is a “fully affordable, completely integrated end-to-end consumer 3D printing experience” that is user-friendly with a specific emphasis on 3D printing in the education sector. The company specifically notes how compatible 3D printing is with STEAM education lesson plans, and the idea is to make the machine and its accessories as accessible as possible–with an emphasis on easing teachers’ grasp of the technology. Sounds good to me!

BuildIT Releases New Metrology Software

BIS_Logo_COMIn other 3D printing accessory news, BuildIT has announced that new metrology software is available that “updates to the UI, redesigns customized reporting, enhancements to process automation capabilities and new GD&T functionality featuring the optimization of evaluations using MMC on datums in DRF”–if you follow all of these technical terms! The Montreal-based company creates and distributes both off-the-shelf and customized 3D software solutions working with measurement devices for real-time additive manufacturing needs such as tool building, part inspection, alignment, assembly, reverse engineering, measurement process automation, and quality control.

You can download a free software trial here if you are in the market for additive manufacturing software aimed at construction scheduling solutions.

Kickstarter Campaign Launched for 1730 Full Metal Hotend

hotA €15,000 ($16,200 USD) goal has been set for RepRapUniverse’s full metal hotend Kickstater campaign that promises to deliver a leak-proof and optimized “innovative modular Full Metal Hotend capable of printing 1.75 & 3 mm filament.” Modular nozzles that are easily swapped out allow for the quick use of both diameters, with the swapping rumored to be as quick as a 5-minute time period. A pledge of €79 ($85) will get you one 1.75 or 3 mm filament nozzle package, and the pledge package options increase to standard packages as well.

The hotend is intended to be consumer-friendly, setting new standards in both quality and efficiency categories, and the campaign will last for 25 more days, with an April 2016 shipping goal. So, if improving your switch up time between nozzle sizes is in the cards for you, check out the campaign and make a pledge to this worthy hotend cause today.

MakerBot’s Far McKon Now with Berlin’s BigRep

bigrep-logo-schwarzAnd finally, in this week’s news, we see more people moving on to companies that allow them the freedom to apply their own cultivated technology skills. This time it’s a software thing. It looks like BigRep just got a new Head of Software, Far McKon, who was formerly with MakerBot. Here, McKon explains how this new position is ideal for his maker background:

“Berlin is very international, bringing together know-how from a variety of disciplines which gives it great potential for innovation as a location. These are ideal conditions for makers like myself. 3D printing technologies are my greatest passion, I look forward to contributing to BigRep with my expertise, and to make our visions come true: to change tomorrow’s product development, industrial production and logistics from the core with large scale 3D printing.”

Since BigRep is known for manufacturing the world’s largest serial 3D printer, serving institutions around the world, there will be plenty of room for growth through product development. McKon’s background proves to be a strong fit to BigRep’s growing team of 40 employees representing ten different nations.

That’s all of this week’s news. Have a great weekend! Discuss your thoughts on these topics in the Weekly News Highlights Taiwan & 3D Printed Drugs forum over at 3DPB.com.

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