This week’s 3D printing news begins with evidence that the U.S. military is increasingly researching ways to integrate 3D printing into its daily operations. One example of this is a 3D printing class offered for Marines at a base camp in Lejeune, North Carolina — which we cover here. Next, two new partnerships signal that companies seek ways to merge services and customer bases to provide top-quality 3D printing services. This includes a business partnership between DSW and Feetz for 3D printed footwear and a partnership between Wipro Ltd. and Authentise. Other evidence that 3D printing technology continues to evolve in many global sectors is the agenda for the upcoming Barcelona, Spain conference “In(3D)ustry from Needs to Solutions” taking place at the end of June. In other conference news, CRP Technology plans to present on its Windform material at Germany’s upcoming Rapid.Tech 2016. Last, but certainly not least, is the news that Sculpteo is now taking the CLIP technology resin, Carbon Rigid Polyurethane, out of its beta program and making it available to all.
Marines Learn 3D Printing Skills
Like so many other sectors, the military is growing increasingly attracted to 3D printing as an option. At the Marine Corps base camp in Lejeune, North Carolina, 3D design and printing was the focus in a two day class at the beginning of June. Small-arms repair technicians, aircraft mechanics and supply Marines attended the class, which taught them ideas about integrating 3D printing into various military endeavors such as the on-site production of tools and parts by forward deployment units. In fact, military applications for 3D printing have been growing and evolving as various militaries learn of the benefits and convenience of 3D printing.
GySgt. Justin Horn, a 2nd Maintenance Battalion maintenance chief, summarizes the course’s goals:
“The end state here is to hopefully integrate the 3D printers into our new mobile machine shops. So if the need arises to make a one off part, and there is a machinist in country, you’ll have the support. But I think the intent is to also have more widespread usage of the 3D printers.”
Quicker production of replacement parts when shipping isn’t an option is one main reason that 3D printing is increasingly viewed as a strong alternative by the U.S. military, and now more people know more about the technology because of classes like this one in North Carolina.
Feetz and DSW Partner for 3D Printed Shoes
While some prepare to 3D print parts in war zones, others get excited about the option of affordable customized shoes that are 3D printed. If you are into shoes, you have probably heard of the large shoe retailer DSW. If you have heard of 3D printed shoes, then you may have also heard of Feetz: the first company to use 3D printing to make customized shoes “for every pair of feet” (including some of our own staffers’). Now the two companies have entered into a strategic partnership — wedding Feetz’s technology with DSW’s customer base and retail footprint in the shoe market.
Simon Nankervis, Chief Commercial Officer of DSW Inc., describes the advantages of partnering with Feetz:
“DSW is excited at the possibility of bringing Feetz’s innovative technology to our customers. The Feetz model will allow our customers to purchase true custom fit shoes at a fraction of what traditional bespoke shoes cost. We believe that giving customers the ability to purchase on-demand, affordable, custom fit shoes has the potential to disrupt the footwear market as we know it today.”
A new San Diego 3D printing facility is prepared to fulfill thousands of orders per month, according to Lucy Beard, CEO and founder of Feetz. This partnership also involves new members on the Feetz Board of Directors and DSW-led Series A funding for Feetz as well.
Wipro Joins Authentise to Offer 3D Printing Services
In other 3D printing service partnerships from this week’s news, information technology and consulting firm Wipro Ltd. has joined Mountain View, California-based Authentise, which offers 3D printing technology and consulting services. The idea behind this partnership is to help Global 2,000 companies adopt 3D printing and additive manufacturing services across aerospace, healthcare, automotive, hi-tech, telecom, and consumer electronics industries.
Authentise’s CEO, Andre Wegner, has this to say about the partnership:
“Authentise empowers businesses by taking their additive manufacturing initiatives from lab to production scale. Our partnership with Wipro, a company with deep engineering expertise as well as scale, allows us to serve these clients even better. Wipro’s commitment to 3D printing signals that the technology is now an established manufacturing alternative. The support for this technology will not only benefit existing clients but it will also help in building the entire ecosystem for 3D Printing.”
Upcoming “In(3D)ustry from Needs to Solutions” Conference in Spain
Business partnerships are one example of how 3D printing is being integrated into global industries, and conferences are another. 3D printing is the subject of an upcoming Barcelona, Spain conference taking place from June 21-23, 2016 at the Italian Pavilion of Fira de Barcelona’s Montjuïc venue. At the In(3D)ustry from Needs to Solutions conference, world-class engineers, designers, and architects will gather for presentations, discussions, and demonstrations of how the technology is being used in their respective fields. Many 3D printing related companies will also be present to premiere their products. These companies, including HP, Hofmann, Renishaw, Arburg, Nexeo Solutions, Repro 3D, Ultimaker, and many more, will have access to the space’s Arena Area to demonstrate their products. Architects will represent the latest 3D printed projects in their field, and surgeons will describe how the technology is being used for medical applications including facial reconstruction and pediatric oncology. Automotive and aeronautical industries will be represented, as will urban planning and Barcelona’s own FabLab, which focuses on the power of individual makers in the 3D printing space.
If you are near Barcelona towards the end of June, check this conference out to get a sense of how 3D printing is developing in Europe and internationally.
CRP Technology to Attend Germany’s Rapid.Tech 2016
Rapid.Tech is an international trade show and conference that features the latest technological products and services. This year, the conference takes place in Messe Erfurt, Germany from June 14-16, 2016, and there will be many companies represented that will demonstrate their latest 3D printing/additive manufacturing products. For the first time, CRP Technology, manufacturers of the versatile Windform materials, will be attending. At 1 PM on Thursday, June 16, Matteo Levoni, Engineer and Head of the Reverse Engineering Department at CRP Technology, will present the paper “Racetrack to Orbit, an Additive Revolution. ” This paper will cover how innovative Windform materials, which have passed outgassing screening at NASA, are used in space structures. In addition to aerospace, these materials also have applications in the medical, motorsport, automotive, and design sectors.
If you are interested in finding out more about CRP Technology’s Windform materials, you can check them, and many other related businesses, out at Rapid.Tech 2016!
Sculpteo Makes RPU CLIP Resin Universally Available
The business of 3D printing materials is a big one, as materials can transform object design and realization — opening up as many new design possibilities as the latest machines out there. Sculpteo has certainly done its part to ensure that it stays ahead of the materials game, and now it is offering Carbon Rigid Polyurethane (RPU) — one of the five CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production) technology materials available from Sculpteo – to everyone. The five materials were released as part of a beta program earlier this year, and RPU is the first to be taken out of beta and made universally available. This resin, available only in black, is described on a Sculpteo blog post as “resistant under stress, combining strength, rigidity and tenacity. It makes it an excellent material for electronic applications like computer mouses, cell phones, or other electronic housings.” (You can see an example of functional pedals printed in the resin in the photo at left.)
That’s all for this week’s 3D printing news! Discuss further in the Week’s 3D Printing News forum over at 3DPB.com.