3D Printing: The Stories We Didn’t Cover This Week — April 16


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Amidst a flurry of 3D printing business and industry news this week, we also have stories about creations and new offerings. The first is that Italian watchmaker Panerai has released a 3D printed titanium watch, and Zortrax has decided to make its model library public beginning on April 18, 2016. In industry and fundraising news, the Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC) had its first meeting to work toward the development of industry-specific standards. And just when you thought all of the tech action is on the US west coast, LaunchTN has surpassed its $1 billion fundraising goal ahead of schedule. In acquisition and partnering news, Westcoast has acquired ArtSystems for an undisclosed amount, and FilamentOne has partnered with MatterHackers to distribute the wood filament known as Timberfill.

ANSI and America Makes Launch Standardization Collaboration

america-makes-ansiThe American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a body that specializes in developing voluntary standards for the private sector, and it recently joined with the 3D printing/additive manufacturing initiative America Makes to sketch out guidelines for additive manufacturing industry standards. Mind you, the goal here is not to develop standards at the outset. Instead, the idea is that these two bodies will collaborate on a roadmap to facilitate “a coordinated approach to the development of standards and specifications for additive manufacturing.”

Together, these two organizations create the America Makes and ANSI Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC), which recently held its first meeting. Nearly 90 individuals attended either in person or remotely, and the meeting established four primary working groups in the areas of design, process and materials, qualification and certification, and maintenance. Those groups will be meeting regularly both online and in person. To find out more, check out the AMSC website.

LaunchTN Reaches $1 Billion Start Up Goal Early

tnNot all of the tech money is on the coasts. This fact is proven simply enough by the recent news that Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) has surpassed its $1 billion startup investment goal set for 2017. That’s early, and ahead of fundraising deadlines. And it’s a combination of local, regional, and national investors that made this all possible.

Charlie Brock, CEO of LaunchTN, explains that this success is supported by “seven publicly funded entrepreneur centers” that offer music, logistics, healthcare, media and 3D printing industry knowledge. And he also notes Tennessee’s “perfect storm” environment combining low cost of living with a well-trained workforce due to “world class universities” and commitment to economic development from the highest levels of government.

Keep your eyes open for more 3D printing business coming out of the not-so-sleepy state of Tennessee, as it positions itself to be the “No. 1 state in the Southeast for entrepreneurs to start and grow a company.”

ArtSystems Acquired by Westcoast

bike1A significant business acquisition has occurred that impacts the UK 3D printing space. Westcoast, a leading distributor of information technology and mobile brands in the UK and Ireland, has acquired ArtSystems, “one of Europe’s top providers of value-add services and solutions to support high-end printing.” This deal, involving an undisclosed amount, places Westcoast firmly in the 3D printing space in the UK and Ireland, as ArtSystems is known for its demonstration services, technical consultancy, specialist logistics, and pre- and post-sales engineering in the “design, graphics, signage, display and 3D markets.”

Westcoast managing director Duncan Forsyth sums the deal up here as a “game-changing opportunity” because “ArtSystems has been a driving force in the development of the wide-format sector and is a leader in next-generation 3D printing.”

FilamentOne Partners with MatterHackers for Wood Filament Development

fillAnother 3D printing game-changer is filament. If you are a fan of wood filament, then this story is for you. MatterHackers and FilamentOne have partnered to expand market reach for a wood filament called “Timberfill.” The filament will now be available in four colors — Cinnamon, Champagne, Light Wood Tone, and Rosewood — on MatterHackers’ website. Currently, the Czech Republic’s Fillamentum manufactures this one-of-a-kind filament, and Alburquerque-based FilamentOne is the company’s official partner in the US. MatterHackers, which distributes over 40 different kinds of 3D printers, will certainly help with the distribution of this material — available in 1.75mm and 2.85mm.

Jacob Ondra, Founder and Owner of FilamentOne, is enthusiastic about this partnership:

“As a company that is firmly committed to the ever-growing 3D printing industry in the United States, we are incredibly excited to partner with such a reputable 3D printing distributor in sunny California. Our combined passions, expertise, and participation in the expansion of 3D printing will benefit both of our companies greatly. Check out MatterHacker’s website today to peruse our four Timberfill wood material options.”

3D Printed Titanium Watch from Panerai

watchAmidst all of the talk about standards, business acquisitions, and financing in the 3D printing space, there’s still the news of reworked classic luxury items. This week, Officine Panerai brings us a high-end and lightweight luxury titanium wristwatch — 3D printed using direct metal laser sintering, in fact. Officine Panerai watches are known for their blending of “Italian design, Swiss technology and passion for the sea.” Named after a man who started his watchmaking shop in Florence, Italy in 1860, the company’s attention to craftmanship does not detract from its technological sophistication. In fact, in my estimate, one good description for this design is “steam punk”, as it combines new technology with antiquated design aesthetics.

This watch is described by CityA.M. as “hand-wound, skeletonised and featuring a complex tourbillon, second time zone and six days of power, it’s heavyweight horology but as light as a feather.” So, if technologically sophisticated luxury watches are your thing, but you would also like a taste of the past with that — check out Panerai’s “Lo Scienziato Luminor1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio” watch.

The Zortrax Model Library Opens for Everyone, Soon!

zor1Poland-based Zortrax is one of the larger 3D printing companies in Europe, and it has undergone many changes as the company grows to fit its customers’ needs. It is a full service 3D printing company that offers everything from printers to software, materials, accessories, and other 3D printing products. Its M200, a 90-400 micron FDM printer, and Inventure are especially popular and have grabbed a certain amount of Europe’s 3D printer market share. The company also has a 3D model library that was currently available only to users of its Z-Suite software suite. Now Zortrax is making the once closed library free and open to the public. That’s right. Beginning on April 18, 2016, the Zortrax Model Library will be accessible to all: more information to follow shortly!

That’s all for this week’s news we didn’t cover! Discuss in the Week’s 3D Printing News forum over at 3DPB.com.


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